National Tennis Rating Program Guidebook defines each playing level (1, 1.5 .. to 7, total 13 levels) on page 10 and 11 in great details – see the chart below.
In an effort to avoid disqualification when players are rating themselves and they question which level they should play, they should place themselves in the higher level of play.
USTA emphases on Players must rate themselves in accordance with the NTRP. Leveling the playing field is absolutely vital but at the same time, does it get abused? How do they justify the above level playing allowed in the league?
Players who are good athletes and intend to spend a great deal of time taking lessons and practicing should be aware that their improvement may be significant enough to surpass their original self-rate level.
A question: Jane is a new player who picks up a tennis racket and self rated herself and joins a league. Then she finds herself in love with the game or talented, takes lessons and improved tremendously in just a couple of months. Instead of waiting for complaint to come she goes to the coordinator and asks to be placed at a higher level while the season has not ended. The league grants her wish. Now do the matches she played stay or being reversed?
Some helpful links ..