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INTERNATIONAL TENNIS NUMBERS (ITN) - description of standard




INTERNATIONAL TENNIS NUMBERS (ITN) - description of standard


The chart below is the description of abilities for each I.T.N. level as provided by the International Tennis Federation.

General competitive level

ITN 1
  • Currently holds or is capable of holding an ATP / WTA ranking.
  • A world-class player who is committed to tournament competition on an international level and whose major source of Income Is tournament prize-money.
  • Has extensive professional tournament experience.
ITN 2
  • Can analyze and exploit an opponent's weakness.
  • Can vary strategies and style of play and is capable of hitting dependable shots In stressful situations.
  • Usually a highly ranked national player.
  • First and second serve can be relied upon in stressful situations and can be hit offensively at any time.
  • Has developed good anticipation for both returns.
  • Can pick up cues from an opponents preparation, toss, back swing and body position.
  • Capable of hitting dependable shots in stressful stations.
  • Can attack, counter-attack and defend effectively with both forehand and backhand.
  • Can play a full range of shots.
  • Hits slice or drive approaches.
  • Anticipates well at the net and has good court sense.
  • Can use angles or play deep effectively.
  • Volleys aggressively.
  • Overhead is invariably a winner.
  • Backhand overhead is also strong.
  • Improvises and passes very well off both sides and from the return of serve.
  • Is able to use the two-shot passing combinations very effectively.
ITN 3
  • Good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot, consistency or attribute around which a game may be based.
  • The player is 'match wise', plays percentage tennis and can regularly hit winning return of serve or force errors In the return of serve from short balls.
  • Serve Is placed effectively with the intent of hitting to a weakness or developing an offensive situation.
  • Has a variety of serves to rely on.
  • Good depth, spin and placement on most second serves to force a weak return or to set up the next shot.
  • Can mix up aggressive and off-paced return of serve with control, depth and spin.
  • Forehand Is strong with control, depth and spin.
  • Uses forehand to set up offensive situations.
  • Backhand is used as an aggressive shot with good consistency.
  • Has good direction and depth on most shots.
  • Has developed good touch.
  • Varies spin.
  • Approach shots are hit with pace and a high degree of effectiveness.
  • Can hit most volleys with depth, pace and direction.
  • Plays difficult volleys with depth.
  • When given the opportunity, the volley Is often hit for a winner.
  • Overheads can be hit from any position.
  • Hits mid-court volleys with consistency.
  • Consistent on passing shots and hits them with pace and a high degree of effectiveness.
  • Can lob offensively
ITN 4
  • Consistent play, capable of generating power and spin effectively and has begun to handle pace.
  • Has good anticipation, sound footwork and covers up weaknesses well.
  • Can control the depth of shots and is beginning to vary game plans according to opponents.
  • Although tentative on difficult shots, this player can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve.
  • Aggressive net play is common in doubles.
  • Has an aggressive serve and commits few double-faults.
  • Power and spin can be used effectively to set up offensive situations, especially on first serves.
  • Second serves are typically well placed and deep.
  • Often hits aggressive return of serve.
  • Can take pace off with moderate success in doubles.
  • Can chip and drive and chip and charge with success.
  • Very consistent (dependable) forehand.
  • Uses speed and spin effectively.
  • Controls depth well, but tends to over-hit when rushed or when pressing.
  • Offensive on moderate shots.
  • Backhand can control direction and depth but may break down under pressure.
  • Has a reasonable slice.
  • Approach shots hit with good depth and control.
  • Can handle a mixed sequence of volleys.
  • Has depth and directional control on backhand volley.
  • Can consistently hit volleys and overheads to end the point.
  • Developing touch and good footwork, however the most common error Is still over-hitting.
  • Able to lob defensively and offensively.
  • Able to pass the net player with a reasonable amount of effectiveness.
ITN 5
  • Good consistency (dependable strokes) including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate shots, although rallies may be lost due to impatience.
  • Ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with some success.
  • Developing court coverage, experienced and tactically aware but not yet playing good percentage tennis.
  • Occasionally forces errors In return of serve when serving.
  • Teamwork in doubles is evident
  • Placement of both first and second serve is evident
  • First serve is often hit powerfully.
  • Some use of spin.
  • Has a dependable return of serve
  • Can return with depth In singles and vary the return in doubles.
  • Forehand is consistent and hits with depth and control on moderate shots, but placement can suffer when under pressure.
  • Backhand can direct the ball with consistency and depth on moderate shots.
  • Developing spin and may be able to use a bit of both topspin and slice.
  • Follows aggressive shots to the net.
  • Has depth and control on the forehand volley.
  • Can direct backhand volleys, but usually lacks depth.
  • Is developing wide and low volleys on both sides.
  • Can put away easy overheads
  • Can poach In doubles.
  • Beginning to finish point off.
  • Can hit to an opponents weakness.
  • Able to lob defensively on difficult shots and offensively to set up the point.
ITN 6
  • Has achieved improved stroke consistency with directional control on moderate shots but with little depth and variety.
  • Court coverage is improving yet there remains some hesitancy in moving forward.
  • Is developing teamwork In doubles.
  • Starting to serve with control and some power.
  • Developing spin.
  • Can return serve consistently with directional control on medium-paced shots.
  • Forehand is quite consistent, varied on moderate shots and is played with directional control and some spin.
  • Backhand is hit with directional control on moderate shots however difficulty Is experienced on high and hard shots, which are often returned defensively.
  • Will use either backhand drive or slice almost exclusively.
  • Is developing approach shots and starting to look for the opportunity to come In to the net.
  • More aggressive net play.
  • Can direct forehand volleys, controls backhand volley but with little offence.
  • Has difficulty in putting volleys away and in playing half volleys.
  • Is capable of covering some passing shots and typically uses proper footwork.
  • Consistent overhead on shots within reach.
  • Can lob fairly consistently on faster paced shots.
  • Developing basic passing shot ability but has difficulty in playing a pass with the backhand.
ITN 7
  • Fairly consistent when hitting moderately paced shots but Is not comfortable playing all strokes and can lack control when trying for direction, depth or power.
  • A singles match will be played almost exclusively from the baseline, whilst the most common doubles formation is one-up, one-back.
  • Is developing a rhythm, although is less consistent when trying far power.
  • Second serve is often substantially slower than the first serve.
  • Can return serve with reasonable consistency with the majority returned to the middle of the court.
  • Forehand is fairly consistent with some directional intent but has little control of depth.
  • Backhand Is starting to become fairly consistent on moderate shots with most of the balls directed to the middle of the court.
  • Approaches the net when play dictates It but needs to improve its execution.
  • Has a consistent forehand volley, but is less consistent on the backhand volley.
  • Has difficulty volleying shots played low and wide.
  • Sometimes caught out of position and can tend to take too large a swing.
  • Can lob fairly consistently on moderate shots and often uses It on the return of serve Instead of a drive.
ITN 8
  • Learning to judge where the ball is going, although court coverage needs to be improved substantially.
  • When playing with other players of the same ability this player can sustain a short rally of slow pace with modest consistency.
  • Usually remains in the initial doubles position during doubles play.
  • Attempting a full swing.
  • There is little difference between the pace of first and second serves.
  • Gets the ball in play at a slow pace.
  • Toss needs to be more consistent.
  • Can return a slow paced serve.
  • Will often have an abbreviated follow through.
  • Forehand form is developing.
  • Player is positioned and prepared for moderately paced shots.
  • Backhand grip and preparation problems may be evident and the player will often choose to hit a forehand instead of a backhand.
  • Approaches the net only when forced to.
  • Needs to spend more time at the net to build some confidence.
  • Is currently uncomfortable at the net, especially on the backhand side and will frequently use forehand side of the racket face to play backhand volleys.
  • Can make contact on overhead.
  • Can lob intentionally but with little control.
  • Will often play back to the opponent.
ITN 9
  • Needs on-court experience.
  • While strokes can be completed with some success, stroke weaknesses are evident.
  • Is familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles play, although needs better positioning and may even prefer to play both back.
  • This player has begun to engage in match play.
  • Is learning the basic rules and scoring.
  • Service motion Is not continuous and needs more co-ordination.
  • Toss needs to be more consistent and controlled.
  • Double-faults are quite common.
  • Return of serve needs to be more consistent in order to reduce unforced errors.
  • Will attempt to return almost exclusively with forehand.
  • Forehand needs to have a more complete swing and more directional intent
  • Reluctance to play backhand is clear and experiences several technical problems on this side (i.e. grip, swing, contact).
  • Not yet familiar with approach and net play.
  • Will look to play forehand volley exclusively and has problems making contact on overheads.
  • Experiences difficulties lobbing intentionally.
  • Is not accustomed to playing a pass and will typically hit the ball straight back to the opponent.
ITN 10
  • This player is starting to play competitively (can serve and return / rally) on a full court using a normal ITF approved ball.
ITN 10a
  • The player is able to rally with movement and control.
  • The ITN 10.a to 10.c categories will usually involve playing in a modified environment e.g. using transition / soft balls on a reduced court and / or using adapted rackets as appropriate.
ITN 10b
  • The player has developed some simple tennis-specific skills in hitting an oncoming ball regularly, however rallying with movement and control is not yet achieved.
ITN 10c
  • The player is in the early stages of tennis skills development and is primarily learning simple tennis co-ordination tasks / exercises.

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