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USPTA Certification

Categories of Tennis Membership

Certified Membership

This is a teaching category requiring successful completion of the USPTA Certification Exam, leading to a certification rating of Professional.

Certification is intended for those at least 18 years old who derive or intend to derive a major portion of income from teaching tennis. To qualify for certified membership, a professional must meet all application, exam and experience requirements, and must agree to abide by the USPTA Code of Ethics. Non-U.S. citizens who cannot legally work in the United States, but do meet all other requirements for certified membership, may join the Association as International Division members. International members are not covered by the protection of USPTA's on-court liability insurance policy. Non-U.S. membership does not imply that USPTA sponsors these members to immigrate to the United States to work as tennis-teaching professionals. U.S. labor certification laws apply in these cases.

In order for USPTA to send mail to noncitizens at a U.S. address, the World Headquarters must receive a copy of either the alien registration card (green card) or a student or work visa.

There are three levels of certified membership:

USPTA Professionals must be at least 18 years old, pass the on-court and written portions of the exam, and complete Stage 1 and 2 of Coach Youth Tennis. They should be able to organize and implement tennis programs, assist with and develop players, direct and/or assist with pro shop management and facility maintenance, conduct private and group lessons, and assist with tennis programs. Depending on the person’s experience, a USPTA Professional’s job description may range from assistant pro to head tennis professional. USPTA Professionals are required to earn 6 credits every three years to maintain their membership.

Elite Professional
To become an Elite Professional, a USPTA member must be at least 22 years old, pass the written Elite exam, which covers business, programming, sport science and tennis operations, Elite stroke analysis exam and the Elite-level on-court exams. Elite Professionals are required to earn 6 credits every three years to maintain their membership. They commonly are considered for director of tennis or head tennis professional positions.

Master Professional
USPTA Master Professional is the highest, most esteemed category of membership. Qualified applicants must hold an Elite Professional rating for 10 years, complete a required number of continuing education hours and fulfill a broad spectrum of industry service. The Master Professional Committee makes the final decision on the review of applicants. Master Professionals are required to earn 6 credits every three years to maintain their membership. These members should be capable of high-level jobs such as general manager, director of tennis operations or director of tennis.

Master Professional application

Creating an electronic scrapbook

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Wheelchair certification

USPTA is committed to quality teaching of all players and understands the need to fill the void in the wheelchair certification area. This program opens up new teaching opportunities for professionals and encourages the growth of wheelchair tennis.

The wheelchair certification allows USPTA pros to teach wheelchair players and teach other teachers about this sport. The certification is also available to teachers who are not USPTA members.

The certification includes a course and written exam. Current USPTA members need only pay a fee for the certification; there are no additional annual dues. Nonmembers pay an application fee and annual dues.

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A provisional teaching category that leads to being a certified member, pending successful completion of the USPTA Certification Exam.

This category allows a professional to receive correspondence, certain benefits and magazine subscriptions from USPTA World Headquarters, while he or she studies to take the exam for certified membership.

The applicant member pays dues and receives certain benefits, including on-court liability insurance. Upon passing the exam and becoming a certified member, the professional receives the full benefit schedule.

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Recreational Coach

The USPTA Recreational Coach category is designed for people who may already be teaching tennis - as high school coaches, at recreational facilities or in other part-time situations - but are not immediate candidates for careers as full-time teaching professionals. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to apply for this category. To become a Recreational Coach, applicants will learn the basic standards of tennis teaching during workshops led by the USTA or by taking the online Professional Tennis Coaches Academy I.

USPTA sets the standard for the industry with its professional-level certification. Coaches working deep in the grassroots will benefit from the experience of USPTA Professionals and the unique mentoring approach of this program. As the quality of teaching improves, the value of the tennis teachers' contribution to the industry will increase.

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School Coach

This is a new membership category for school tennis coaches. School athletic directors are encouraged to sign up their schools, and all tennis coaches at a school will have access to the benefits. This is an annual membership (Jan.-Dec.) for $99 per year.

Benefits include:

  • Full access to – a website with hundreds of hours of drills, tips, instructional videos and more.
  • Interactive online practice planner containing hundreds of drills to help you build custom lesson plans for your team to help you stay organized during the busy school year. (View a sample here)
  • School subscription to Tennis magazine
  • School subscription to Tennis Industry magazine
  • USPTA member pricing for USPTA national and division events

For more information or to sign up, contact the USPTA membership department at or 713-978-7782.

Corporate Membership

A nonteaching category for which the Certification Exam is not required.

For all public and private tennis facilities, companies or people who have a full-time commitment to tennis in an executive, administrative or commercial capacity. This membership must be listed in the corporation or club's name. Corporate members are entitled to most privileges and subject to most obligations of active membership, but may not vote, hold office, compete in USPTA national or divisional tournaments, and are not covered by USPTA's on-court liability insurance policy. Corporate members are listed in the USPTA Membership Directory and receive a booth discount at the USPTA Buying Show.

A corporate membership must be listed in the name of the company. The company shall not use the USPTA logo or USPTA name to imply company or product endorsement. Any club that applies for USPTA membership must assure USPTA that admission to membership in the club is open to all people regardless of race, color, age, creed, gender, national origin, religion or physical handicap.

For more information, contact or call 800-877-8248, ext. 108.

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Code of Ethics

The Association expects its members to be of good character, to treat the public honestly and fairly, and to treat their fellow members in the tennis-teaching profession in the same way. Accordingly:

  1. Any complaint against a member of dishonest or unfair dealing, either to the public or to a fellow member, shall be referred to an ethics committee that will be appointed by the President and that will always include general counsel. In its discretion, the ethics committee will act on the complaint, including an attempt to resolve the matter between the parties. Upon the determination of the ethics committee, however, the exercise by a member of his or her legal rights will be recognized and honored, and issues of fact or law will be left to the decision of a court of law.
  2. If the ethics committee, in its discretion, considers the charge to be sufficiently serious, it may refer the matter to the Board of Directors, which, after due consideration, will have the power to expel the member or to determine any lesser punishment.
  3. Any member who is convicted of a serious crime, as determined by the Board of Directors, will be subject to immediate expulsion from the Association.

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Financial Assistance

ADD program

In order to further its mission, the USPTA created the ADD Program. The USPTA ADD Program is open to tennis instructors who are socioeconomically disadvantaged and cannot otherwise afford to attain USPTA certification. Applicants who are accepted into the ADD program will receive their first year’s dues free. The second year will be 50 percent off and the third year will be 25 percent off. Please note that the certification process must be completed by the end of the second year or the membership will be dropped.

Each ADD applicant's socioeconomic position should be determined through the short-answer questionnaire that includes questions about income, community involvement and future plans once certified as a USPTA Professional. Once we have received and approved the application, the ADD applicant has two years to complete the certification exam. If they do not take the exam within this time, they forfeit their application and will not be able to re-apply for the ADD category.

ADD applicants will be limited to a ratio of 1-to-4 (one ADD applicant to every four regular applicants) at any given test. We must set this ratio to cover the costs incurred from certifying new members for free. ADD applicants will either be put on a waiting list when test spots are filled, or they will be offered the choice of another test date. The USPTA's Membership Department will fill ADD applicants' spots on a first-come, first-served basis. Each division has a limit of 10 applicants per calendar year.

To apply for the ADD Program, you must fill out the two forms below and return them to your division office. Click here for your division office. Don't know what division you're in? Click here.

USPTA membership application
USPTA ADD Program application

For more information, contact the Membership Department at or 800-877-8248, ext. 122.

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Preparing for the Exam

USPTA's exam includes a one-day PTCA I that reviews testing procedures and requirements. It covers:

  • Organization of private and group lessons
  • Teaching techniques and lesson progressions
  • Review of written and grip exams

The PTCA I is also available online. Please click the option on the application form if you wish to take it online.

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Taking the Exam

The USPTA Certification Exam constantly evolves as the game and industry change. For example, the current test contains questions about modern tennis technique. The exam is explained in detail in the study material that you receive. The exam has three sections - stroke production, teaching and written - and covers the following:

The stroke production exam establishes an applicant's accuracy, form and spin on:

  • Forehand
  • Backhand
  • Serve
  • Volley
  • Lob and dropshot

The teaching exam covers:

  • Demonstration of grips
  • Feeding
  • Teaching a 25-minute private lesson
  • Teaching a 25-minute group lesson

The written exam includes (available online):

  • Modern tennis
  • Teaching and playing skills
  • Business and programming
  • Professional conduct
  • NTRP
  • Equipment
  • 10 and Under Tennis
  • Definitions, expressions and rules
  • Court maintenance

Non-U.S. citizens living in the United States must send a copy of either an alien registration card (green card) or work visa.

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Professional to Elite Professional

The Elite certification level was designed for Professionals who wish to take their careers to the next level.  This category is for those interested in becoming head professionals and/or directors of tennis.

The revised Elite exam went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.  The new requirements are:

  • Score Elite level on the certification exam – private lesson, group lesson, stroke production and grip.
  • Pass the online Elite stroke analysis exam with a score of at least 75 percent. The time limit is 20 minutes to complete the exam.
  • Pass the online, 29-multiple-choice Elite written exam with a score of at least 75 percent. The time limit is 90 minutes to complete the exam.

Watch three specialty courses and one webinar on  Required courses are:

  • Using Your Coaching Skills in a Manager's Role (specialty course)
  • Tennis Business Management (specialty course)
  • Management: a Learned Skill (specialty course)
  • Accounting 101 webinar

These courses will help the Professional prepare for the Elite written exam and provide the required education credits. 

The upgrade fee is $109.95.  Anyone interested can call the Membership Department at 800-877-8248 and register for the upgrade exam.

Click here for upgrade review materials.

Recreational Coach to Professional

  1. If you are interested in upgrading from Recreational Coach, you must pay the application fee of $175. Once this fee has been paid, we will email the study materials, PTCA I, to you. You also need to pay the difference between Recreational Coach and Professional dues. Please contact the Membership Department for your dues amount.

  2. At that time, you can register for the exam. Click here for a complete list of test dates. You will receive an email of confirmation for the exam, including site information.

  3. Test results take four to six weeks to process. They are mailed via USPS.

If you took the Professional-level exam and received a Recreational Coach rating, you will receive an eligibility date for when you can attempt to upgrade. To prepare for the exam, study the portions on which you received the RC rating. You will only need to retake those portions.

Click here to access the upgrade materials.

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USPTA Testers

The following members are USPTA-certified testers, who are carefully selected and trained. They organize a Certification Exam from start to finish and provide the first USPTA experience for many new members. Testers work closely with local clubs, their divisional board of directors, and the World Headquarters to help the Association grow and maintain its high standards.

Bunny Bruning
Bunny Bruning
Adel, IA

Kendell Hale
Kendell Hale
Kansas City, MO

Ted Meyer
Ted Meyer
New Market, MD

Joe Cappellino
Joe Cappellino
Glen Allen, VA

Feisal Hassan

Feisal Hassan
Midlothian, VA

Amy Nestle
Amy Nestle
Big Rapids, MI

Tom Daglis
Tom Daglis
Spring Lake, NC

Robin Keener
Robin Keener
Melbourne, FL

Sid Newcomb

Sid Newcomb
Redwood City, CA

Steve Diamond
Steve Diamond
North Caldwell, NJ

Kyle LaCroix
Kyle LaCroix
Boca Raton, FL

Desmond Oon
Desmond Oon, Ph.D.
Redondo Beach, CA

Jack Foster
Jack Foster
Sugar Land, TX

Mike Lange
Mike Lange
Aurora, IL

Dave Porter
David T. Porter, Ed.D.
Laie, HI

Don Gomsi
Don Gomsi
San Diego, CA

John Lim
John Y K Lim
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ben Rakusin
Ben Rakusin

Ron Gwyn
Ron Gwyn
Hilton Head, SC

Paul Marcum
Paul Marcum
248-626-9880 X4006
West Bloomfield, MI


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