Hey guys, I live outside USA, I know the rating system and what it means, but not how it really works.
Could one of you, who has the time and the patience, explain to me a couple of things?
-how is the ranking assigned/updated?
-You jump from 3.0 to 3.5 to 4.0, or you can be 3.2,3.7, etc.?
-The tourneys reunite players within which point difference?
You hit for about 30 minutes with another player while a USTA certified teaching pro watches. Depending on what they see, they assign you a rating. The scale is only on a .5, so no such thing as a 3.2, 3.4. It also costs to be rated, and at least where I live (upstate NY) it's only offered a few times a year. Being rated isn't a requirement to play socially, but if you want to play on a USTA team, you must have a rating. You need to get rated at least once a year to play on a team, and if you're rated 3.0 you play on a team, and in a league of other 3.0 teams.
As far as some of the people on this board saying they're rated 5.0, 6.0 or higher - I guess it's possible, but most of the really really good players I know are rated no more then 4.5. Even the head pro at my club, who use to play on the women's tour about 15 years ago, or so, told me she's probably only a 5.0 now, since she's gotten older. And she's really really good.