The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has announced a new official partnership with Universal Tennis, a global online platform for connecting players, coaches, clubs and federations to grow the sport.
Universal Tennis is most widely known for the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR), a system that provides an accurate rating for every participating tennis player in the world regardless of age, gender or nationality. The UTR algorithm uses scores and quality of opponents from a player’s past 30 eligible matches to calculate a listing value on a point scale between 1 and 16.50. Players also have access to additional statistics that allow for a better understanding of personal performance as they track their improvement. With more than 2.3 million users from about 125 countries, UTR seeks to help players find better matches for any skill level.
“The NFHS is excited to partner with Universal Tennis to help enhance the game at the high school level,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “Our primary goal is to provide the best possible interscholastic experience within each of our athletics and activities programs and this agreement is a major step forward in fulfilling that mission.”
Through the partnership, the NFHS hopes to use UTR to significantly reduce “stacking” in high school tennis, a tactic employed by coaches to place higher caliber players against lower caliber players to create favorable scoring matchups. Using UTR’s numerical values to assess talent level will also cut down the hours that administrators, coaches and tournament directors spend determining player seeding for events.
“High school tennis administrators have long been searching for a way to utilize data to help organize tournaments and maintain integrity in the sport,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS director of sport and tennis liaison. “UTR has really stepped up and become a leader as an organization that provides these analytics and has been universally adopted from the amateur level up to the professional ranks. It will be of great benefit to the high school game going forward.”
In addition to becoming an Official Partner, the multi-year agreement grants Universal Tennis the ability to produce advertisements and articles for the NFHS’ High School Today magazine, present at annual and quarterly NFHS tennis webinars, and distribute promotional materials and address conference attendees at NFHS Summer Meetings.
“UTR High School is completely free and connects high school players to the world’s largest tennis ecosystem,” said Anne Worcester, President of Universal Tennis. “UTR’s easy-to-use tournament management and dual match software allows players to earn credit for their high school performance and provides more accurate and objective matchups and tournament seeding. As the gold standard in college recruiting, coaches across the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA ask high school players one question – ‘What’s your UTR?”
For more information on Universal Tennis and the Universal Tennis Rating, please visit: https://www.myutr.com.