The USTA has launched the “youth progression pathway,” which was designed to create a greater experience for children beginning and developing in tennis competition, to ensure that young players, ages 7-10 years old, are competing at appropriate levels of play as they progress through competitive stages based on age, participation and achievement. The best-in-class system will track the progress of junior players as they advance from the orange level, to the green level, and then to the yellow level competition. (Levels are determined by the type of ball the player is using.) A child can advance to another level (i.e., from orange to green or green to yellow) by earning the required amount of virtual participation stars and trophies. Players have to collect a combination of 20 stars and/or trophies to advance to the next level. Once players have accumulated enough points (stars and trophies) to advance out of the program they will be able to participate in other events. The new system serves as a guide for coaches, parents and players to help ensure that kids 10 and under participate in events using the appropriate ball and court for their skill level. If you have any additional questions after reviewing this guide, please feel free to reach out to your Section/District office. You can find their contact information by going to Find Section/District Office Contact Information. If you are not sure of your Youth Progression level, you can find this information by going to Find Youth Progression Level.
  1. Players can earn credit by playing in a 10U Junior Team Tennis division
  2. Players 10 years of age and younger are unable to register for 14U and 18U JTT divisions unless they are Yellow Ball/Mission Complete in the Youth Progression system
  3. A 10U player who is Yellow Ball/Mission Complete will be able to register for a 12U division but will not receive automatic credit for that participation
  4. Players can earn credit by playing in singles and in doubles
  5. Players can earn credit by playing orange or green ball (the system doesn't track ball color)
  6. Players can earn credit in both local Junior Team Tennis and National Championship JTT tracks
  7. Players can receive participation stars for only one team per season
  8. Players must play a minimum of 2 matches for team to earn JTT credit (not including defaults)
  9. Players can receive credit for a maximum of 2 seasons per calendar year
  10. Participation stars will appear on players profile after the flight end date
  11. Programs that have no age cutoff will default to using August 31 as the cut off for Youth Progression divisions
  12. A player "ages out" the 1st of their birth month. If a player "ages out" before the season ending date of the 10U or 8U division they are trying to register for, they will be unable to register
  13. In TennisLink, programs that use the National Age Cutoff date (August 31) to determine the age of the player will consider a child who is currently 10 and has their birthday before August 31, as an 11-year old - and they will be able to register for 12U, 14U, or 18U JTT divisions
Options Chosen by USTA Sections:
  • 1 – Hawaii, Middle States, Midwest, Northern, Nor. California, Pacific Northwest, So. California
  • 2 – Missouri Valley, Southwest, Texas, Intermountain, Southern
  • 3 – Eastern, Mid-Atlantic, New England
  • 4 – Florida
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