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Match Play Programs

Empire Tennis Academy is proud to offer the most match play opportunities in the Greater Rochester Area for EVERYONE throughout the whole year! Juniors, Adults, Entry through Advanced, we have it all. We firmly believe match play is the cornerstone for any player to test the skills they are learning in class and hold them accountable.


We provide USTA Net Generation Youth Progression match play events for ages 7-10 years old starting with Orange Ball Round Robins, and progressing to Green Ball Round Robins with Playoffs. Due to limited space, we only host USTA Net Generation Youth Progression Green Ball Round Robins with Playoffs outside only, on our five outdoor courts behind our main facility. 


At Empire Tennis Academy, we expect all of our players enrolled in the Intermediate level and above to compete in either United States Tennis Association (USTA) or Universal Tennis Ratings (UTR) match play events for each semester they are enrolled in ETA. Our most robust match play offerings are during our outdoor season, May-October. Empire primarily uses the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system for the vast majority of our yellow ball (ages 11 and older) events. UTR’s rating system eliminates gender and age, leaving just ability. It is based on match scores, and not just wins and losses. Everyone is rated on the same scale. A UTR 4 is the same whether a male or female, whether New York or California, or USA or Canada. You will be rated on the same scale as the top pro’s in the world, college kids, and high school players alike. Ratings update DAILY and it encourages you to just play matches!!! You do not necessarily have to worry about tournaments, round robins or leagues. Just go play! If you do not have a UTR rating, it’s ok! When you register, UTR will ask you some questions to help give you an initial rating. This is just a starting point. The more matches you play, the more accurate it becomes, the more competitive your matches are. We provide UTR match play events nearly every weekend for the public, and some organized team tennis events for players enrolled in our program.

Additionally, we offer all year round low cost match play for kids 11 & older, or kids already competing in USTA Green ball match play events through our not for profit wing, Tennis Saves on UTR.

Below is a look at our match play programs for our players only (Invitational), as well as events open to the public. Click on the links below for more information and to register.

Empire Invitational Match Play
Ages 5-8 Red Rally

This is not an instructional program. The Red Rally Club is an invitational program for kids enrolled in our Intermediate and Advanced Red ball level classes who display a particular interest in learning the earliest stages of scoring and match play. There is an emphasis on cooperation, competition, and learning mental toughness during match play. We teach students the rules of matchplay, and players will be paired up in a round robin style match play. Empire prides itself on making sure there is a large emphasis on sportsmanship and communication for our young players who are just starting on our competitive pathway. Invitations to the Rally Club are extended to students who can consistently hit at least two balls in a row in play during points in their Intermediate level classes.

Friday, May 5th - June 30th (9 weeks)
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Ages 9 & 10 Orange Ball Allstars

This is not an instructional program. Orange Ball Allstars is an invitational program for kids enrolled in our Orange ball  Intermediate and Advanced level classes who display a particular interest in learning how to compete. Kids will learn scoring, tactics, and basic match preparation. One court will be designated for situational games, and others for match play.

Friday, May 5th - June 30th (9 weeks)
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Ages 9-12 Green Ball Academy

This is not an instructional program. Green Ball Academy is an invitational program for kids enrolled in our Green Intermediate level classes to make them more well-rounded and capable of competing strategically within their own capabilities. This program is a package that includes one or two weekly group lessons, weekly organized match-play, and one private lesson in the two-month session.

Friday, May 5th - June 30th (9 weeks)
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Ages 10 & Under

Empire is proud to offer USTA Orange Ball and Green Ball match play all year round for players 10 & Under. These tournaments are the first step for young players along the USTA competitive pathway which allows them to compete locally all the way up to the national level. USTA Orange Ball tournaments are a gentle introduction to the structure of formal match-play in a tournament setting, while the Green Ball tournaments are more suitable for players who already have competitive experience. Your child must have a valid USTA membership to register for any USTA tournament. 

Ages 11+ and Adults

Empire primarily uses the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system for the vast majority of our yellow ball (ages 11 and older) events. We love UTR’s rating system because it eliminates gender, age, updates daily, and promotes competitive play. Everyone is put on the same scale and scores matter more than wins and losses. The more matches you play, the more accurate it becomes, the more competitive your matches are. We provide UTR match play events nearly every weekend for the public, and some organized team tennis events for players enrolled in our program. When looking for events, keep in mind that if you are new to match play, or have not played two sets in two years, we generally recommend you start with Game N Plays. This is a combination of short matches and a game court to run around a bit and get to know others. Based loosely on the wins and number games you won, you will receive a “Projected Rating.” It may or may not be accurate. Play one or two more Game N Plays to get the rust out. Get your UTR score up to a 2.0 and then we recommend “Verified Matches.” This is where your results are weighted heavier because you have to play two sets as opposed to one previously. Based on your results, you will be able to climb up the ratings and play competitive matches. Below is a short description of various events we host all throughout the year.

UTR Game N Plays

Game N Plays are either two or three hour events. These events are open to players who have not yet received a UTR rating, ready to start competing, or working their way up the ratings. Players who already have an established UTR and have competed in prior matchplay can also join these events, so long as their UTR is not above a 3.0. 


Players who register must be able to communicate and keep track of score, communicate verbally or visually when the ball is out, get their serves in play as well as be able to hit some tennis balls in play. You will play at least two short-set matches to 4 games with no-ad scoring. While players are competing on matchplay courts, a tennis pro will run a fun game court that will have everyone playing in situational games for both singles and doubles.

UTR Verified Match Play Events

Verified match play events are for players (adult or junior) ready to improve their score and play against more difficult players. Verified matches are weighted heavier because players must play two sets instead of one. The format can vary, but a minimum of four games must be won per set. Our Verified UTR match play events (singles or doubles) do have a rating range, so please make sure you register in the appropriate events based upon your current UTR (Universal Tennis Rating). Some exceptions will be made for lower level players. Particular descriptions and formats are explained on the registration page.

UTR Invitationals

Throughout the year, Empire will host Singles and Doubles Invitationals both indoors and outdoors for players within our UTR network only. These invitationals will have singles players or doubles teams competing against each other for the Empire Invitational trophy.

UTR & USTA Team Tennis

ETA is proud to offer USTA & UTR Junior and Adult Team Tennis each year for players enrolled in our Intermediate level programs and above. This is another great outlet to test our skills against other players in Rochester, and sometimes in the Region. These are unique opportunities for players to represent Empire Tennis Academy and bond as a community.

Adult Singles League

The Adult Singles League spans for 12 weeks, typically starting Memorial Day weekend and concluding just before Labor Day weekend. Both men and women can participate, and players have the flexibility to choose the nights they are available to play for each upcoming week. By playing a minimum of seven matches, players can qualify for the Playoffs, where they are grouped into semi-final and final rounds. Winning the Playoffs entitles players to prizes like FREE Singles League matches, Cardio Tennis, and more. While there is no mandatory requirement to play every week, we highly encourage participation. Based on your performance, your rating can either increase or decrease, and you will compete against players with different ratings. The Director of Tennis will pair the matches at their discretion, and balls will be provided for each match. 

Tennis Saves

Tennis Saves is the not for profit wing of Empire Tennis Academy with the goal of providing juniors with opportunities to develop their tournament play for a very low registration fee. Tennis Saves started with the Summer Junior Tennis Grand Prix and has expanded to provide all year round match play throughout the community.

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