How to Decode Tournament Titles

August 21, 2022

The 2022-2023 tournament schedule lists at least seven types of tournaments. Here’s a guide to take the mystery away.

National Ranking Tournament

Do you want a national ranking? Play in NRTs—there are NRTs in all seven regions. Not all NRTs are equal; some will be weighted more heavily (worth more points) because of the quality of the seeds in the draw, Nationals being weighted the most. Players and team results are based on their best three results. The APTA lists the rankings on its website; the APTA computer keeps tabs on every NRT player. Bonus Q: How does a tournament become an NRT? They may request NRT status by petitioning the National Tournament Committee.

Platform Tennis Index

There are PTI tournaments all around the country, including PTI Nationals (sponsored by the APTA). To note: PTI is a rating system developed by the APTA, in partnership with the Paddlescores league management website, to rate the skill level of a player based on results from match data. PTI tournaments are assigned a number—let’s say 35+. Players (men and women use the same rating system) who have a 35 or higher PTI may enter that tournament. Most of these tournaments are regional. PTI Nationals are the ultimate leveled playing field—players from around the country meet to compete against players with a similar PTI.


These are APTA National Championships. Along with the APTA Men’s and Women’s Nationals, we hold championships in many categories across Men, Women, Mixed, Masters age groups, Juniors, PTI and Team. APTA National Championships draw players from across the country.


This is a carefully curated group of events that includes the Grand Prix and Men’s and Women’s Nationals events. In 2022-2023, the APTA TOUR consists of 14 tournaments around the country, all of which offer strong competition between the top players in the sport; many offer prize money. In 2022-2024, 13 out of the 14 tour events (which includes the Men’s and Women’s Nationals) will be Live Streamed.


The top four APTA TOUR events of the season before Nationals, the Grand Prix events attract the top players. Registered teams are awarded spots based on their ranking points. The number of teams allowed in is based on each event’s capacity.


Junior tournaments are open to players 18 and under. There are three levels of events. Level 1 is the Viking Tour, where kids can earn ranking points. Level 2 and Level 3 events are for beginner to intermediate players. Junior Nationals is the ultimate contest where girls and boys in age groups from 18U to 10U compete for titles.


The APTA quantifies a master as any player 45 or over. Masters tournaments offer age-grouped designations. For example, there may be a 60+ category, where both players must be 60 or older, or there may be combined age group events, such as 95+ or 110+. The APTA sponsors National Championships in many age groups—Men’s 45+, 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+, 70+, and 145+, and Women’s 45+, 50+, 60+, and 125+. Eligibility is determined by age on December 31.


These tournaments are run as fun or competitive events to raise money for worthwhile causes, such as Rochester’s SIS with over 200 players. Many NRTs are part of this category (e.g., the Chicago Charities) but raising money is not their sole purpose.


While some tournaments are identified as “Invitational,” in fact most are open. “Open” means just that, open to all entrants. Many tournament titles are historic—such as the Peachtree Invitational—and yet Atlanta welcomes all willing and able players.


PCQ tournaments were President’s Cup Qualifying tournaments. The President’s Cup was a region versus region team event held the day before the APTA Men’s and Women’s Nationals. The PCup has been replaced by the Baird and Fuller Cups and the Regional Cups.
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