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View Full Version : Changing A Tournament Draw After It Has Been Posted?


Jack the Hack
09-22-2005, 06:31 PM
I wasn't sure if I should put this here or in the "Rants" section...

I am playing the final tournament of a Grand Prix series this weekend. Currently, I am in second place in the point standings and need to advance one round farther than the guy ahead of me in order to get enough points to win the overall title. These are USTA sanctioned tournaments and the series winner gets a $100 gift certificate to a local tennis store.

So here's the deal: On Tuesday night, the draw was posted, I was the #2 seed, and I got a bye in the 1st round. In the 2nd round, I was supposed to play the winner of two guys that are rated at a lower NTRP level. However, on Wednesday afternoon, the draw was changed and one of these lower NTRP rated players was moved up to the top of the draw and a strong player (who would have been the #8 seed if they had seeded that many) was moved down into his place. So, instead of playing the winner of two weaker players, I now will likely have to play one of the top 8 players in my first match.

When I e-mailed the tournament director, he told me that the reason that he did this is because the two weaker players were from the same club and play together all the time, and he tries to avoid pairing players like this in the 1st round. The USTA Friend at Court guidelines specify a discretionary procedure for separating opponents from the same area, family, school, club, etc when making the draw. However, from what I read, the only reasons addressed in the guideline for changing a draw after it has been posted are if there was a withdrawal of a player, or if a player was inadvertently omitted (which is not the case here).

Since I am the #2 seed, I believe in my chances to win. However, it is certainly not advantageous to play a tougher player in my first match, as opposed to the weaker player I would have gotten in the original draw. Also, if I were the stronger player that was moved, I would be really unhappy as well because they moved him down from a good section of the draw where he was paired with 3 weaker players in order to meet the #4 seed in the quarterfinals. Now, he will get me in the second round...

I've stated my case to the director, and he believes that he has done the proper thing. He says he pulled the player names from a hat when deciding who to move, so it was done at random. I can understand if he did this while making the draw, but it seems wrong to do it after the draw was already posted... especially in an officially sanctioned tournament with money on the line.

What do you think?

Mahboob Khan
09-22-2005, 06:40 PM
the only reasons addressed in the guideline for changing a draw after it has been posted are if there was a withdrawal of a player, or if a player was inadvertently omitted (which is not the case here).

Normally if the draw has been made and posted, it cannot be changed. But in your case there is above stated exception and that is if there was a withdrawal of a player, or if a player was inadvertently omitted. Well, perhaps it could be stretched to "if a player is not placed properly in the draw". The Tournament Director did what he did and you have to be content with that!

goober
09-22-2005, 06:57 PM
Although the tournament director probably bent the rules, I would not get worked up over it. First of all if you can't beat this #8 seed you probably will not win the tourney. You will have to face better players than this to win the tourney. Yes money is on the line, but seriously $100 is peanuts in the overall scheme of things. You aren't going hungry if you don't get it, your livelyhood doesn't depend on it.

I would just go out and play your best and not worry about getting the shaft (a minor one at that) from the "re-seeding". You stated your case to the director and that as far as I would probably go.

Dimethyl Sulfoxide
09-22-2005, 07:29 PM
I've seen draws changed before. This is typical. $ drives tournments.

Jack the Hack
09-22-2005, 07:54 PM
First of all if you can't beat this #8 seed you probably will not win the tourney. You will have to face better players than this to win the tourney.

I'm not worried about my first match, even with the tougher player. In this summer series, I have made the finals of two and won the last one, so my seed has been earned. However, tournaments are often like an endurance race. When you have to play 4-6 matches over a 3 day period, it behooves you to win your matches as quickly as possible to conserve energy. I expect to make the final and play the #1 seed for the tournament and series title... and the easier the early matches are, the more energy I will have in the final.

Frankly, I don't really care that much because I just try to play my best one point at a time and take winning or losing as it happens. My question is really whether the director is doing the right thing in a sanctioned tournament?

(The $100 is not the main motivator either... I have enough points that I would get the $50 second prize even if I didn't play the tournament. Pride is the trophy in this case!)

I've seen draws changed before. This is typical. $ drives tournments.

What were the reasons for changing the draws that you saw? Was it something other than player withdrawal or omission? Were these officially sanctioned tournaments?

We have all seen draws change at the French and US Opens this year, but they were due to seeded players withdrawing late, which is covered in the rules. At the local or national level, have you seen this happen for reasons other than the explicit guidelines?

I don't quite get the "$ drives tournaments" part. This is the 4th out of 4 tournaments where I have entered and paid my entry. I have also played 2 of the doubles tournaments, which they hold separately at the club. For the two players that the director changed the draw to accommodate, this was only their second tournament, and the first time they have played up out of their NTRP level. Even if they decided to drop out due to the original draw, I have still paid more money in entry fees than they have combined. Also, I should mention that I am a member of the club where this tournament is being played, and the other two players aren't. (Therefore, I pay more money into the club also.)

goober
09-22-2005, 08:30 PM
. My question is really whether the director is doing the right thing in a sanctioned tournament?


It depends on how you look at it. Maybe the tournament director is looking at it and saying this is how the draw would have been done if I had all the information ahead of time. If his intent was honorable I would not have a problem with it.

After reading through the USTA regulations on this subject, there seems to be guidelines on changes that can be made after the draw is posted. These guidelines are not absolute and the rules do not state that the draw cannot be changed in any other circumstances other than the ones listed. You could always bring your objections up with the tournament appeals committee if you feel need further clarification.

Jack the Hack
09-22-2005, 08:48 PM
Maybe the tournament director is looking at it and saying this is how the draw would have been done if I had all the information ahead of time. If his intent was honorable I would not have a problem with it.

You are correct that if the director had known that these two guys were playing partners from the same club ahead of time, he would have followed the discretionary procedures to separate them when he first made the draw. I don't think that his intent is wrong with the change, but it effects the dynamics of the tournament. (As I stated before, I would be more angry if I was the other guy... he originally had an easy draw to the quarters where he would likely meet the 4th seed. Now he has the #2 seed in the second round!)

Anyway, I'm not going to pout about this or refer it to the tournament appeals committee. I am a member of the club, and I actually play on the same USTA league team with the pro that is serving as the tournament director (we won a doubles match together this past season). He's a nice guy, and is doing what he thinks is right. However, I have also served as a tournament director in the past, and I don't think I would have made this change after the draw was made... especially given the circumstances.

With other tournament players on this forum, I just wondered if anyone else had encountered circumstances like this?

Another question... has anybody else ever been matched up in the 1st round against a regular hitting partner? If so, did you complain to the tournament director... and did he change the draw?

NoBadMojo
09-22-2005, 09:03 PM
i used to run into guys i knew and was friends with and played at the same club with quite alot and even in a first round or early round if i had a bye....they not only would never change the draw on that type of really feeble premise, but i really dont think it was even considered from the onset. the seeds should be lined up in the draw sheet and non seeds picked randomly for positioning in the draw...otherwise you can have all kinds of favoritisms and possible exceptions. i would just go play T and not worry about it, but that's really unprofessional of the tourney director...especially since this isnt just a social round robin

bookem
09-23-2005, 12:05 PM
If this is a sanctioned tournament, it is the REFEREE that makes the draw, not the TD. Furthermore, the Tournament Committee should also be aware of any changes made.

I'm not aware of any changes made to an existing draw when the seeds may be affected. Changes are usually made due to withdrawals or omissions. Substitutions may be made if the seedings are not invalidated.

Unless players are coming in from a distance or are siblings, there are usually no considerations for splitting up playing partners. I've played against my doubles partner several times. As a TD (and as Ed mentioned above), the seeds are determined and positioned then everyone else is randomly positioned on the sheet.

I'd still play it, but mention to the TD (and the tournament committee) that the regs should be reviewed (Reg I.I) by everyone in a meeting. If you run into a brick wall, contact your Section office; they will review the tournament and possibly check into the re-sanctioning application for propriety and conformity to USTA regs.

Geezer Guy
09-23-2005, 02:06 PM
Well, for what it's worth I think both you and the #8 guy got screwed. However, that's that, and as Goober said you should just go out and play your best. It might even make good fuel. Good luck.