Types of Junior Tournaments

Here in the San Fernando Valley, we are very fortunate to have several different types of tennis tournaments and other match play events for junior players:

  • SSV tournaments—These are one-day round-robin events designed to match up players of a similar skill level. See our SSV page for more information.
  • USTA/SCTA sanctioned tournaments—These tournaments provide a path to increased competition and let you earn sectional and national ranking points.
  • Junior Team Tennis (JTT)–This is a junior league that consists of multiple matches in a season.  The matches are USTA-sanctioned and also let you earn sectional and national ranking points depending on your results and your team’s results.

USTA/SCTA Sanctioned Tournaments

The Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) is our section of the USTA, and is the recognized governing body for tennis in Southern California.

Sanctioned tournaments are run according to USTA’s and SCTA’s tournament rules, and typically have one or more roving officials who will monitor players’ compliance with the rules.

There are seven levels of junior tournaments that are sanctioned by the SCTA:

  • Level 7 (Novice or Entry Level) tournaments—these are one-day events in a “round-robin” or other format, intended for beginning tournament players.
  • Level 6 (Satellite or Local Level) tournaments—these are multi-day events for players who have a little bit of tournament experience.
  • Level 5 (Sectional Open) tournaments—these tournaments are for players at a more advanced level who have moved beyond the satellite competition level.
  • Levels 4 through 1 (Open)–these tournaments provide strong competition, and at the higher levels you can earn USTA national ranking points.

Especially at Level 5 and higher, these tournaments provide a more consistent level of competition and will let players grow their talents to the highest levels.

USTA’s website also lists certain non-sanctioned tournaments. Non-sanctioned tournaments do not contribute to a player’s ranking points, but they can still be valuable for helping to build a player’s competition skills.

Each tournament has divisions by age group for boys’ singles, girls’ singles, and (sometimes) doubles and mixed doubles.  For example, a tournament might offer divisions for players who are 10 years old or under, as well as 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s.  If you are aged 12, you could play in the 12s or higher divisions, but you cannot play in the 10s division.

How to Find Sanctioned Tournaments

You can find local sanctioned tournaments by going to SCTA’s tournaments page and searching by zip code.  For example, here are links to searches for Level 7 (Novice) and Level 6 (Satellite) tournaments near Sylmar:

Level 7 Tournaments Near Sylmar, CA

Level 6 Tournaments Near Sylmar, CA

Your NJTP coach can offer advice on which type of tournaments you should be playing at each stage of your tennis development.  We’re here to help, so just ask!

How to Sign Up For Sanctioned Tournaments

Once you have found a sanctioned tournament you’d like to play in, there are just a few steps:

  1. You must have a valid USTA membership through the end of the tournament.  If you need to obtain or renew your USTA membership, click this link.
  2. Then, use USTA’s TennisLink tournament search page (see example links above) and find your tournament.
  3. On the tournament page, be sure to read the list of divisions for the tournament, to make sure you are eligible to play.
  4. Also be sure to read the Important Info section on the tournament page.  It may contain information about the match format, tournament location, dress code and other things you need to know about the tournament.
  5. Click the red Register Now button to register for the tournament!

Next: Junior Rankings and Points