Net Generation - USTA Southern California

Net Generation






Tennis is a powerful youth sport. According to a recent study, youth who play tennis get better grades, have college aspirations, are better behaved, are community-minded, and are more prone to healthy behaviors.

Tennis helps strengthen executive function, focus, and related skills, all of which translate directly to success off the courts.

Net Generation


Net Generation is the USTA youth platform that promotes early entry into the sport of tennis. Easy to learn and tailored for all ages and abilities, tennis offers kids a game that will help them stay active, build friendships, and develop life skills in a positive environment.

Through Net Generation initiatives based on the American Development Model (ADM), parents and their young players can track their development across three main stages of growth – introductory Team Challenges, intermediate Junior Team Tennis, and Junior Circuit tournament play.

Most importantly, Net Generation brings players to the court, providing countless opportunities to learn, grow, and excel not just in tennis, but in everyday life. With a full slate of unique and innovative activities, there’s never been a better time to join the Net Generation.


For players who are just starting in the game to those competing at the highest levels, USTA Southern California and our dedicated providers offer a pathway of opportunities to help young players succeed and grow in the game.

Through the USTA American Development Model (ADM) framework, players can learn to compete at their own age level and ability. All of these programs offer different levels, formats, and schedules to accommodate growth and development of junior players. 

Tennis development begins with a program often referred to as Red/Orange/Green (R/O/G). R/O/G uses low-compression balls, smaller racquets and smaller courts that allow the beginning player to be successful right away on the court and to develop the best habits for the game long-term. 

Age Divisions

– Players aged 5-7 years old are recommended to play in red ball programs.
– Players aged 7-9 years old are recommended to play in orange ball programs.
– Players aged 9-11 years old are recommended to play in green ball programs.

Note that 10U players can participate in the following USTA programs:

Team Challenges (R/O/G)
– Junior Team Tennis (O/G)
– Junior Circuit Round Robin Events (O/G)

Once a player has completed the Net Generation PlayTracker journey to yellow ball (or the player ages up to 12 years old), he/she may advance to USTA Southern California sanctioned tournaments and accrue a ranking.

The Net Generation PlayTracker is for players aged 5-11 and their parents to track progress at USTA competitive events, all in one place. Using the USTA’s American Development Model (ADM) framework, players and parents will learn more about the recommended development pathway while earning digital accolades for their achievements along their tennis journey.

Benefits of Play Tracker

The new Net Generation PlayTracker will help parents and players navigate their development progress, replacing the previous stars and trophies system.

Benefits of this new system include:

– More control and flexibility for parents and coaches.
– More USTA program options, designed to suit players’ age and skill level.
– Clean and focused profiles to visualize a player’s journey.
– Earned advancement.
– More consistency no matter where a player lives, allowing players to travel or move to a new section with ease.
– Players can earn points for both playing and winning, collecting points in PlayTracker after participating in USTA Team Challenges, USTA Junior Team Tennis, and USTA Junior Circuit programs.

Junior Tennis
Junior Tennis


A fun and social introduction to tennis that allows players to learn the game within their age group and skill level, USTA Team Challenge programs are single or multi-day events with short sessions focused on play and skill development, rather than competition. 

USTA Team Challenge is a low-pressure team environment for children of all ages to develop their skills through level-based play, without an emphasis on instruction or results. This experience is for red, orange, and green ball players. Participants are expected to at least drop hit serve from the service line over the net or sustain a modified rally (rolling, trapping, bumping, or hitting).

Find a Team Challenge event near you by using the search engine. Click the filter “Team Challenge” to narrow your results. 


Who says tennis isn’t a team sport? It sure is! Youngsters compete on co-ed teams in Junior Team Tennis, playing singles, doubles, and mixed doubles matches with other JTT squads.

Seasonal sessions over one to two months focus on developing individual skills along with the team concept. A great way to learn the game (red/orange/green ball play) and make a lot of new friends in the process!


For players looking to get started with individual match play, the USTA recommends starting in the USTA Junior Circuit events. These are non-ranking events that allow players to gain match experience in a tournament setting while still focusing on having fun.

No USTA ranking points are awarded at Junior Circuit events, but PlayTracker points are earned for players ages 10 & under. Events are one-day and last two to four hours, with non-elimination round robin play. They’re open to all players ages 7-18 who are able to serve, maintain a rally, and keep score.

Once players achieve success at a USTA Junior Circuit, the USTA recommends Level 7 USTA Junior Tournaments in order to start earning national ranking points.


USTA Southern California Early Development Camps are the first step in the USTA Player Development Pathway. Our goal is to bring together 10 & Under players across SoCal, who currently compete in Junior Circuit tournaments in order to practice and play together.

Early Development Camps are developed and designed by the USTA High Performance Player Development and utilize local USTA trained coaches. This two-day camp emphasizes fundamentals and overall athletic development in a fun, educational environment while giving players an opportunity to earn PlayTracker points through match play. Players with excellent work ethic, commitment, talent, and attitude are encouraged to participate.

Campers are required to attend both days, which includes a USTA Sanctioned Tournament on the final day where players can earn PlayTracker points.

Orange Ball – Must be 7-10 years old.

Green Ball – Must be 7-10 years old. Players 7 and 8 years old that reach 1,000 play points in orange ball are eligible for green ball.

Orange ball competencies expected for attendance:

– Are able to sustain a 20-ball rally with coach at slow pace.
– Are able to sustain a 10-ball rally with player of similar level.
– Are working on forehand and backhand slice with continental grip.
– Have started using continental grip on volleys, overheads and serves.
– Have started working on closed, open and semi-open stances to maintain contact points between hip and shoulder.

Green ball competencies expected for attendance:

– Are able to sustain a 20 ball rally with coach at medium pace
– Are able to sustain a 10-ball rally with player of similar level at medium pace with contact points between hip and shoulder.
– Are able to sustain a rally using slice off of both sides with the continental grip.
– Using continental grip on volley, overheads and serves.
– Have a fundamental understanding of footwork patterns for closed, open and semi-open stances and when to use them.

Each camp includes:

– Camp Shirt
– Athletic/Technical Skills
– Teachable Moments
– Parent Information
– Orange Ball/Green Ball Junior Circuit Tournament

Early Development Camp