Archive for October 29, 2009


Word of the day: NTRP, The National Tennis Rating Program is the widely used tennis rating system to ensure each participant is play at the appropriate level. Even China is importing it.

The NTRP has 10 levels, starting from 1.0 for people who just starting out to learn to play the game, to 5.5 for those who could hit lethal shots in stress situations. 6.0 and 7.0 refer to professional players, such as Roger and Serena.

Amateur ice hockey league has their own raking system for the same purpose.

I started out playing tennis in 1986 and went to USTA got myself rated in 1989. Either I heard it wrong or the rater was blind, I got a 3.0. When we went to Hilton Head (South Carolina) in 1996, I abandoned my family, letting them spent the day on the beach while I sweat out on the court.

HH is one of my two favorite places in the USA, the other is the Berkshires in the Western Massachusetts. When I went to the tennis club to sign up, the coach asked me what level I was at. Hmmmmmmm … let me see: in the intervening years since the rating, I played [forgot how little] and even joined a Lady’s league.

“4.0” I replied without blinking.

Ok, 4.0 it was. Once on court, the balls went back and forth so fast and precisely, and always passed me by – other players were so skilled to keep the ball away from me because they were sicken tired of me hitting it out. After a couple of games, the nice coach pulled me aside,

“Honey, I think you may enjoy more with that group.”

She ushered me out of the 4.0 court. She did not want to traumatize me so didn’t mentioned the rating of the court I was to join: 2.0. I had better time there, in terms of getting a decent play. But still found myself being out-played.

Anyway, the delicate way she sounded and handled it, made me realize just how big a deal the rating is. No big deal indeed. Few years ago, I was still harboring the dream of reaching the elusive 4.0 in my life time. Ha ha ha … never hurt to have a dream.

Last time we were at the Hilton Head, actually every time there I played .. thinking I’ve been actively playing, day and night, plus lessons for all those years, I ought to improve someway? Never won a match at the HH. Ok, Irene, make sure you could manage to retain the 3.0 rating for this life time. Got it? Good.

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