Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder

Last Updated: 4-18-09


When does the ladder begin? Is it too late to register and play?

It's never too late to join the ladder. Unlike leagues, which usually have one registration deadline early in the season, you can join the ladder at any time during the season.


When does the ladder end?

Competition for prizes ends in the fall of the current ladder season.

However, the ladder will remain operational on TennisEngine throughout the fall and winter. You can continue entering scores or using the player's listing to find opponents. The following spring a new ladder season starts and the previous ladder is deleted from TennisEngine.


Why should I join the ladder?

It's for Everyone:

The purpose of a tennis challenge ladder is to allow all tennis players, from the novice to the serious, experienced player, to meet and play other tennis enthusiasts with comparable skills. Whether you play only occasionally, "just for fun," or compete hard several times a week, you can meet others at your level and passion for tennis. The ladder is open to players of all ages and both sexes.

It's Convenient:

The ladder is run and administered entirely over the Web and via e-mail. You can enter match scores, review ladder standings, learn the previous match results of your opponents and read their player profiles at any time.

The personal info you provide to join the ladder is only available to registered ladder members. It's not accessible by Internet prowlers, human or digital.

It's Challenging:

You will  have the opportunity to improve your game by challenging new opponents who are slightly more advanced or who play the game with new styles and strategies. If you're playing with the same 2 or 3 partners week after week you're missing a big part of the game of tennis.

It's Rewarding:

See how high you can move up the ladder. Maybe you can become the legitimate tennis king or queen of Schenley Park! You can also win valuable prizes.

More important than status or prizes are the new and interesting people you will meet. Tennis is perhaps the most international of sports. The Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder gives you an opportunity to meet people from around the world who now reside in the Pittsburgh area. If you play with the same people all the time you are missing one of the major rewards of being involved with tennis.


How do I join the ladder?

1) Pay your entry fee by sending a check for $10 made payable to "John Valentich" to:

John Valentich
100 Denniston Ave. #41
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

2) E-mail your full name, e-mail address and a phone number where it's best for other ladder members to reach you to set up matches to: pghtennis@gmail.com.

You will then be e-mailed a user name and password enabling you to access the Web-based ladder system (TennisEngine), set up your player profile, select opponents, enter match scores and view up to the minute ladder standings.


Why is a ladder better than a league?


I play in a summer tennis league. Why should I play on the ladder?

You can play in both. Most Pittsburgh-area leagues (USTA, East Hills, PTA) end by the beginning of August. This leaves you at least two more months of good weather to play tennis outside. Take advantage of this and join the ladder! 

Why play only one league match a week? You'll never improve your game playing only once a week. You can use the ladder to get match tough for your league play. Also, if you play a league match against another ladder member you should enter the match results in the TennisEngine ladder scoring system.


Why doesn't TennisEngine.com accept my user name and  password?


 I've lost/forgotten my user name and password? What do I do?


How do I change my Registration Information or Player Profile?

1) Go to TennisEngine.com
2) Enter your user name and password
3) At the bottom of the page that loads after your user name and password are accepted click Update Profile.
4) Enter or revise your Registration Information if desired.
5) Click Go! at the bottom of the page.
6) Enter or revise the you Player Profile.
5) Click Go! at the bottom of the page.


The user name and password you assigned me are not easy to remember. Can I get  different ones?

Edit your Registration Information as described in the previous answer. At the bottom of the form there is an area where you can enter a new user name or password. 

Remember, the password is case sensitive, meaning capitalization counts, eg. if aaaa is your password AAAA will not work.

Keep your user name and password in a place where you can retrieve them when forgotten. You will need them every time you need to access the ladder to make a challenge or enter a match score.


I receive an error message saying that the TennisEngine.com Web page isn't accessible. What should I do?

Try again a few minutes or hours later. 

Sometimes the TennisEngine server, which I have no direct control over, gets out of wack and must be re-set by the server administrator. If your inability to use TennisEngine extends beyond 24 hrs please contact me: pghtennis@gmail.com. DON'T SEND E-MAIL TO TENNISENGINE HELP. 


 I've entered and posted an incorrect match score, opponent or date. How do I correct this?

Do 20 push ups. Then send an e-mail to pghtennis@gmail.com clearly describing what info needs to be changed. Don't send e-mail to help@TennisEngine.com.


How does the ladder rating system work?

Go here for these details.


Player X refuses to play me! What can I do?

Ask them again. Maybe they misplaced your initial e-mail or phone message. If you are continually rebuffed, contact another player. There are many to choose from!


Isn't the ladder only for competitive, tournament players?

No! The ladder easily accommodates both advanced and intermediate players. If you're willing to keep score, you can and should play on the ladder. Most ladder players are at 3.5-4.0 NTRP skill levels.  Remember, all tennis players need to regularly compete with players of lower and high skill levels to improve their game and avoid discouragement and burnout.

Since you choose the skill level of your opponents, you should not face an opponent that embarrasses you on the court.


I don't play tennis for competition, just for exercise. Why should I play on the ladder?

It's up to you how competitive you want to be on the tennis court. In case you don't realize it, tennis morphs into an entirely different game when you start keeping score and the person across the net isn't trying to hit the ball directly back into your hitting zone.


My three friends and I have been playing doubles together for twenty years. Why should I play on the ladder?

So you can meet new players and encounter different styles of play. You're not experiencing a big part of the game of tennis by playing the same people over and over again.

If you want to greatly improve the fitness reward of tennis play singles as well as doubles.


How do I find compatible players and set up a match?

1) Check the player's ranking and NTRP rating on the current ladder. 
2) Check who your prospective opponent played previously and what the match results were.
3) Check the player's ranking in previous ladder sessions or seasons.
4) Ask other players who have already played matches with your prospective opponent.

Why doesn't anyone call me to set up a match?

Because they're anxiously waiting for YOU to call them! Break the stalemate and take the initiative! 

Send out some e-mails or make some phone calls. You'll be amazed at the positive results you'll get and how much tennis you'll be playing. If someone turns you down don't take it personally and move on to another player. There are many to choose from.


How do I find out in what area of town a player lives or where and when they like to play before I challenge them?

There is no good facility in TennisEngine for doing this.

The majority of players on the ladder are happy to play at Schenley Park, Highland Park or Washington's Landing as well as other courts around the city.
In addition, matches are also being played on suburban public courts.

If a player balks at driving to where you want to play, simply contact other players.

How do I find out where local tennis courts are located?

Go to: Pittsburgh Metro Area Tennis Courts at: http//nnetis.com/tennis_courts_Pittsburgh.html


When a new ladder session begins, players are randomly ordered. How do I determine an appropriate player to challenge early in the ladder session, before match results have had a chance to sort the players according to their skill level?


I can't play on the ladder for an extended period of time but still want to remain registered and keep my user name and password. How do I prevent players from calling me to set up matches?

Send an e-mail to pghtennis@gmail.com indicating you want to temporarily withdraw from ladder play. You will be marked as "inactive" on the ladder player listing.

When you are ready to play again, send an e-mail to pghtennis@gmail.com and you will be re-activated.


I want to quit the ladder. Can you delete all my match results?

No. Ladder players' rankings are computed using results from all of their previous matches as well as all previous matches of their opponents. Deleting a single player's previous match scores would adversely disrupt the standings of the entire ladder.


Why isn't there a winter ladder season?

In order to make it fair for players who are not members of indoor tennis clubs, competition for prizes occurs only during the spring, summer and fall, when tennis can be played outdoors on Pittsburgh's public courts.

Actually, the ladder continues all year. If you play a ladder member during the late fall or winter you can still enter the match results, they just won't count toward winning a prize.

In the spring, at the beginning of a new ladder season, all match results from the previous season are erased and play begins from a fresh slate.


Why isn't there a doubles ladder?

I've found that most players prefer singles during the warmer months.

If you want to play indoor doubles during the summer (or winter) contact Ed Price at: 412-512-5987 or blinded@comcast.net. His Pittsburgh Tennis Doubles League is extremely popular and lots of fun.


I still need  more info about the Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder.

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