Join A Team
How to Join a Tennis Team:
The Aiken Area Tennis League is a division of the USTA (United States Tennis Association).
Basically, to participate in league tennis, you just need to do four things:
- Determine your tennis ability rating
- Become a member of USTA
- Find a team to join
- Sign up for the team online
1. Determine your tennis ability rating:
You will need an National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) rating to fairly play against players of similar ability. Players with equal ratings participate in the same “flights.” If you have played USTA league tennis in any state within the last 5 years, you already have an NTRP rating assigned by USTA. (To see how to appeal your NTRP Rating, click here.) If you have not played within the last 5 years (or not played at all), you may self-rate when you sign up for your team. To accurately self-rate, match your tennis abilities to the NTRP general & experienced player guidelines, which the USTA has established, or contact a tennis pro at one of the local tennis facilities to evaluate you. Please self-rate honestly; self-rating yourself too low can have serious consequences to you, your Captain, and others on your team, including but not limited to disqualification, voiding of team matches, suspension from league play, or other league sanctions. Click here for some advice on self-rating. For an explanation on how USTA annually updates NTRP ratings based on previous season
performance, please click here.
2. Become a member of USTA:
You gotta be a USTA member to be assigned a membership number. You can obtain an annual single membership or family membership. Your AATL dues will be included in the fee paid when you register. To join USTA, click here and fill in the form (this is where you’ll state your NTRP ability rating). The cost for each League may vary. Have a credit card ready to pay the fee. Keep a record of the member number USTA assigns to you.
3. Find a team to join:
Every season, each team Captain has a new Team Number assigned by USTA. Teams are formed by Captains in “flights” according to NTRP ratings (for example, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, etc.).Contact the pro of a tennis facility (to see a list of Aiken-area pros, click here) or the AATL League Coordinator to put you in contact with team Captains that need players at your NTRP level. (Hint: you can look up currently formed teams in the “AATL Team Information” table on our Home Page.) If there are no Captains or no room on an existing team, build your own team – the form used in Step 4, below, is the same! (Click here for a guide on “How To Be A Team Captain.”)Often volunteering to be a Captain can qualify for you for free league registration (see the “Be A Captain” page).
4. Sign up for the team online:
Once you have a USTA member number and a team number, you’re ready to register for the team online through TennisLink, the USTA online database for League Tennis. Click on “Register for a Team” and follow the steps. You’ll have to pay a registration fee ($10-$28, [depending on the league] plus a $3 TennisLink fee), so have your credit card handy. These team registration fees also are intended to cover any league-play court fees at USTA member-facilities.
That’s all there is to it – You’re on a team!
After the initial sign-up deadline, the AATL League Coordinator will finalize a match schedule for all teams. Even if you didn’t make the initial sign-up deadline, you can still join an existing team (if there’s room) before the team’s second-to-last regular season match. You can find team rosters, Captains, schedules, and match results by clicking in the “AATL Team Information” table on our AATL home page. Your team Captain will announce practice schedules, make partner and match assignments, and record scores. Be sure to let the Captain know how to reach you and when you’re available for matches – don’t make him/her do all the work of communicating. Be cooperative and show your appreciation for your Captain’s efforts.
Good luck and HAVE FUN!