Youth Progression

For those with children playing tennis that are 10 and younger, there will be a major change in January 2017.

Southern California Junior Tennis will be rolling out the new Youth Progression early next year. It is a system designed by the USTA in order to track the progress of junior players ages 10 and under from Orange to Green to Yellow ball competition. The system will follow a player’s progress through participation in Play Days, Junior Team Tennis, tournaments and tournament wins. Players will get credit not only for participating in tennis events, but they will be rewarded “Bonus Points” as well as “Participation Points” for doing well in a tournament. This will help players, who are more skilled move more quickly through the Youth Progression. (It is similar to what they will experience in the 12 and Under through 18 and Under age divisions.)


The system and rules are easy to follow. In order to move through the Progression, players will need to complete each level by collecting Stars and Trophies based on their results. (One Star equals 50 Participation Points and One Trophy equals 50 Result Points.) Each player will need to reach 1,000 points. That can be achieved through a combination of 20 Stars and/or Trophies, in order to progress to the next level.  Players will collect Stars through: Tournament Participation, Junior Team Tennis and Championship JTT Participation, and Play Day Participation. Players will collect Trophies through: Winning a tournament, being a finalist, and Tournament Matches Won. Each player will have his/her own page on TennisLink in order to track their progress and the accumulation of Stars and Trophies as opposed to ranking points. As players advance, they will be notified of how many more Stars and Trophies they may need in order to move on to the next level. (If players need more practice they can always participate in their previous ball color and level. However, if they decide to do this, Stars and Trophies will only be collected for the new ball color and level and not the previous level.)

The minimum age to begin playing Orange Ball Tournaments is seven. Players who are six and younger are encouraged to participate in Play Days and Junior Team Tennis.

The first day of a player’s 11th birthday month, he/she will automatically advance out of the 10 and Under Youth Progression tracking system. With the Youth Progression, players will move from Orange Level 2 to Orange Level 1 to Green Level 1. Only participation Stars are allowed in Orange Level 2. There will be no Trophies earned at this level, and only Stars for participation.  Once a player progresses to Orange Level 1 and Green Level 1, there is an opportunity to earn bonus trophies for winning a minimum of three individual tournament matches. Within these two Levels “Tournament Matches Won” will only count if a player isn’t a winner or finalist of the tournament and if a player wins a minimum of three matches in the same Progression tournament and none of the three matches won were defaults.

The new Youth Progression will be posted on an SCTA webpage so that participants familiarize themselves with the system before it is launched in January 2017. It will ensure there will be no questions or concerns when implementing the new program.

Below is an overview of the Progression.

For more information about Youth Progression, contact Meg Broccolo, Coordinator, Red, Orange, Green Ball, at

Meg Broccolo

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47 Responses

  1. If my 9 and 10 year olds have been playing level 4 & 5 and winning matches and tournaments, do they have to go through this progression in 2017?

  2. Angela, we are working on a grandfather provision for current players and we will have that policy ready around March 1, 2016. We will publish the information as soon as it is finalized. Thanks for your question.

  3. What’s the MANDATORY racquet size for Orange ball?. My kids are using 27″ length since 6 yo. Having us switched to smaller size racquet after years of use so that we can go through the youth progression is very regressing our proress. Please comment on this. The rule stated that it’s “recommended” to use up to 25″ and we need to be absolutely certain.

  4. FAIL !
    The ball progression from red to green dot is great for the kids. BUT when they progress from green dot to hitting the yellow balls good, the green dot balls no longer help them but hinder their development.
    I cannot find ONE Tennis Coach or Parent who thinks the level 5 and above 10/u players should be playing


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