Note: Above the 2.0 level, all levels should be able to demonstrate most of the skills for their level plus most of the skills from preceding levels. Thus a 2.5 level player, for example, demonstrates most skills in the 2.5 level list as well as most skills in the 2.0 level list, and so on.

1.0 Skill Level

  • New and have only minimal knowledge of the game and the rules.

1.5 Skill Level

  • Limited to some rallies.
  • Learning how to serve.
  • Developing a forehand.
  • Fails to return easy balls frequently and occasionally misses the ball entirely.
  • Played a few games and is learning the court lines, scoring, and some basic rules of the game.

2.0 Skill Level

  • Moves around court in balanced, safe manner
  • Gets some serves “in”, perhaps not regularly
  • Realizes aspects of score-keeping, rules and where to stand on court during serve, receipt of serve, and general play
  • Has some basic stroke skills

2.5 Skill Level

  • Able to serve “in” more regularly
  • Knows two-bounce rule and demonstrates it most times
  • Knows where to stand on the court during serve, receipt of serve and general play
  • Is mastering keeping score.
  • Attempts to dink but not always effective at it
  • Working on their form for ground strokes, accuracy is variable
  • Can keep the ball in play longer
  • Sometimes lobs with forehand with varying degrees of success.

3.0 Skill level

  • Knows the fundamental rules and can keep score
  • Regularly gets serves “in” to mid-court or deeper
  • Dinks mostly in opposite kitchen and is dinking lower over the net
  • Able to sustain dinking in the game
  • Using both forehand and backhand on returns and forehands on overhead returns
  • Working at keeping the serve deep and return of serve deep
  • Moves quickly towards the non-volley zone when opportunity is there
  • Trying to make flatter returns (where appropriate)
  • Aware of partner’s position on the court & moving as a team
  • Developing more power and/or softness in their shots
  • Somewhat a uni-dimensional player working at broadening their playing repertoire.

3.5 Skill level

  • Demonstrates a broad knowledge of the rules of the game
  • Gets a high majority of serves in deep & returns serve deep
  • Often hits to the weak side of opponent
  • Demonstrates strategies of playing during games
  • Actively works with partners in communicating, covering court, moving to net
  • With varying consistency executes: lobs, forehand/backhand ground strokes, overheads, net volleys, and sustained dinking
  • Some use of drop shots to get to the net
  • Specifically places shots rather than just hitting shots anywhere
  • Selective mixing up soft shots with power shots to create an advantage
  • Hits fewer balls out of bounds or in the net
  • Has a moderate # of unforced errors per game
  • Demonstrates ability to intentionally play in offensive mode
  • Self-correcting after play is over
  • Demonstrates extended periods of multi-dimensional play

4.0 Skill Level

  • Primarily plays in an offensive mode rather than reactively
  • Controls and places serves and return of serves to best advantage
  • Puts advanced playing strategy into the game, particularly in dinking
  • Consistently varies shots for competitive advantage, uses power shots selectively
  • Communicates and moves well with partner — easily “switches” court positions
  • Very comfortable playing at the non-volley zone. Works with partner to control the line, keeping opponents back and driving them off the line.
  • Can block hard volleys directed at them
  • Has good footwork and moves laterally, backward and forward with ease.
  • Hits overhead shots consistently, often as put-aways
  • Ability to change a hard shot to a soft shot
  • Consistently executes effective drop shots that are not easily returned for advantage
  • Can effectively poach
  • Hits a low # of unforced errors per game
  • Regularly demonstrates “anticipation of play”
  • Self-correcting during play
  • Consistently is a multi-dimensional player and/or is exceptionally dominate in a limited playing repertoire.

4.5 – 5.0 Skill Level

  • Can regularly convert a hard shot to a soft shot
  • Exhibits patience in play at a superior level
  • Shows noticeably increased skills, a higher level of strategy, quickness of hands and movement, judicious use of power, superior placement of shots, superb anticipation of play, sustained volleying skills, superior put-aways —all with consistency
  • Makes very few unforced errors

Differences between 4.5 and 5.0 are subjective – but, generally, each of the four points above is even more pronounced at the 5.0 level.