Drastic cutback in Junior Tournaments for 2010

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by justinmadison, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    The USTA’s has a new plan for junior tournaments in 2010. The plan is built around less high level tennis for everyone. The plan includes a provision which limits the number of dates available for National Level 3 tournaments to four per year and reduces the draws to 32. In addition the National Level 2 tournaments are reducing their draws to 32 for each of the 4 available dates.

    To better understand how drastic a cutback this is in 2009 there were 14 possible dates. Obviously having more dates allows for greater flexibility in tournament selection. In 2010 there will only be 4 possible dates. Combined with the reduction of draw sizes from 64 to 32 the amount of tennis is going to plummet.

    I have talked with parents of junior players at the last few tournaments and I cannot find a single one who thinks this is a good idea. The idea of playing more local tournaments is not going to give US kids the kind of competition necessary to improve their tennis.

    This is a complete disaster for US junior tennis.

    The story going around is somehow the Southern USTA section has so many adult members, which equals to votes, that they have complete say over USTA junior tennis decisions. Somehow they decided this was good for them and rammed it through the committee at the last possible moment without any discussion. (This is a rumor and I don’t know if it is true)


    These were / are the dates for National Level 3 tournaments for 14s in 2009.

    Jan 2nd Copper Bowl
    Jan 16th ******* Winter Champ / Tennis Plaza Cup
    May 1st Gater bowl / Muterspaw
    May 15th Columbus Indoor
    May 22nd New England Open
    May 28th Quicksilver / Peach State Classic
    July 10th Southern Open / ******* Open
    Aug 2nd West Coast Champ / Texas Open
    Sept 2nd Labor Day Champ/ Carmel Valley / Summer Smash
    Sept 18th Mike Agassi NO QUIT / Kentucky International
    Oct 9th Dunlop Junior Champ
    Oct 22nd Cincinnati Open
    Dec 14th Junior Orange Bowl
    Dec 18th California Bowl
     
  2. himynameisNIKE

    himynameisNIKE Professional

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    i actually think this is a good idea. this way families with less money wont have to pay as much money if they want to play national tournaments. Either way juniors don't need to be playing so many national tournaments. this way they can still play local tournaments and get some good competition as this forces other juniors to play them as well.
     
  3. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    I am unable to understand your position.

    Families, with or without money, will still have to pay the same amount of money to play national tournaments.

    Families without enough money to play with not be able to play either way. If there are tournaments or if there are not. How does it help anyone to eliminate the ability to play tournaments for those who can afford to?

    The skill level difference between the kids playing local tournaments and the skill level it takes to win at the highest level is enormous. The only result of having those kids play local tournaments is a reduction in top level talent.

    My guess is you do not have a junior player playing competitively or you would know this. My second guess is the people who made the decision also do not have junior players playing competitively.
     
  4. himynameisNIKE

    himynameisNIKE Professional

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    I am a junior player and i play competitively. The level 3s that i play per year are the copper bowl, muterspaw, my section's closed, quiksilver and the mike agassi tournament. I think it is a good idea to get the sections better kids playing more local tournaments, thus having them travel less, as it is not very efficient to be playing so many national tournaments during the year.
     
  5. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    Justin,
    L3 National tournaments are not the "highest level". L2s and L3s with 64 draw sizes are now used extensively by the rich point chasers to beef up the national ranking with the hope to be seeded at the follow-up events. Do you know if USTA will start awarding more National points for the local events - then the whole thing will make more sense. The problem is that in the weaker sections kids are playing against the same competition all the time. I guess it is not a problem in the Southern section that probably should be split anyway. And kids in the stronger sections will have harder time qualifying for the SuperNats.
     
  6. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    I know L3 tournaments are not the “highest level” I did not say that nor did I mean to imply that.

    I think we worry too much about point chasers. If a kid is not good enough to beat good players that problem will work itself out in the long run.

    The USTA is not going to change the points tables for section tournaments. From what I have seen I am not sure it would be a good idea to give out more points for section play. It would seem to favor the weaker section players and award points for beating lower ranked players. Just go to tennis recruiting and look at the section play and how kids will win section tournaments playing kids that are ranked lower than 450 in their graduating class.

    In my opinion one of the ways to help kids improve is to have them play the highest level of competition in which they can be successful. If you are in a weaker section you need national tournaments to find better competition. If you are in a strong section you need national tournaments to give you a chance to get points by beating the top kids from a weaker section. :)

    All in all, more tennis at a high level is good for juniors. Less tennis at a high level is bad for juniors. The point chasing and the monetary problems are bad but limiting competition is worse.
     
  7. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    What he means is that more lower level tournaments = less travel. This only cripples those who can afford them in the sense that more people can afford to get to these. Really, there is no handicap, unless you think it's unfair to the rich kids that they have to work harder to earn their points by going to more tournaments that other people can afford. In which case, f**k you :)
     
  8. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    Let me try and restate your case and you can correct me if I am wrong. … Having fewer national level tournaments results in lower travel costs for everyone and allows the people with less money to compete more effectively with the people who have more money. …

    If this is the objective than I agree that the changes will achieve this result. The problem I have is fewer national level tournaments will also result in fewer kids competing at a high level.

    I can remember my son going to his first level 2 tournament in 14’s. He lost both matches and would not have gotten in at all under the new system. The first thing he said after the match was …” I have to hit the ball bigger and with better placement to win at this level” He asked me if we could stay another day and watch the top seeds to see how they hit and played. After the tournament he came home and talked with his coach and they started working on what he needed to win. His coach laughed and told me that he had repeatedly told him he had to go for more to win in 14s but until you go and see/play against the competition it is hard to really understand.

    Limiting exposure to great tennis limits the learning experience for juniors. It is just that simple. If we are trying to make it more “fair” we will make junior tennis worse not better.
     
  9. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    They're lowering the importance of the national tournaments and increasing lower level tournament importance. If some players can't play in them, then the tennis level is that much weaker anyways.
     
  10. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    greater exposure is right .. look at all the USTA elite kids ,they all are sent to play ITFs all over the world... look at the past years of champions and pros ,they mostly came from ITF traveling kids.. this is one of the reasons why I think USA tennis is failing so much to produce the next generation of pros.. other countries find sponsors for their tennis kids so those elite kids start to travel the world by the time they are around 15.. this experience is what I feel is the major difference right now.. you need to travel and see all kinds of different game and get used to seeing different styles of play .. plus that 1 match lost,and you are sent home packing gives the sense of complete urgency ,and this gives them the hunger to win..
     
  11. flat

    flat Rookie

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    I can see JM's argument...but I'd like to hear from USTA on their official explanation and if they've considered JM's point or not?

    The first I've heard of this issue is from JM. While I guess I am not completely plugged into the USTA flow of things...given that I do travel regularly with my kid to various national tournaments, I'm surprised a decision of this magnitude wasn't communicated more broadly to the point that parents/kids are aware of it?

    JM, just a funny coincidence. the first I heard of this issue is when I overheard you discussing this with a certain coach at LB nationals, on top of that bleacher section. I wasn't paying much attention then...as I was much more worried about my son's match. :) It's all coming together now...your son played very well that day.
     
  12. tenniscrazed

    tenniscrazed Guest

    I've heard about the reduction in draw sizes but did not hear about the limit on the actual numbers of events.

    Personally, I think reducing the draw sizes is a great idea. Further I think they need to raise the levels of Open, and designated events. (L4's should be L3s, L5's should be L4's). L1's to L3 nationals should be cut in half. This group should represent the creme de la creme.

    With respect to JM's son not being able to get into a National event next year that he would qualify for this year should be an eye opener that he simply isn't ready for that level yet. When he is he will win his matches and will get in either by direct entry or wild card.

    I will say however that this may make the strongest sections even stronger and regretfully the weaker sections even weaker.
     
  13. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    With all draw sizes being cut in half and the number of dates for L3’s going from 19 to 4 you are getting more than you even asked for. Your idea of giving more points for section play and less for national play will result in having more weak section players qualifying for the L1 and L2 tournaments. I am not sure how that is good. I am also not sure why you feel like less tennis is good for the top guys.

    I am not sure why you think my son will have trouble qualifying for National events next year. He turned 14 in July and when the next set of 14’s national rankings are issued he will be at least 130 and higher depending on how he does in the L1 in San Antonio. My earlier reference was to when he entered a L2 14’s event based on his top 50 12’s ranking. That will be more difficult for people with the smaller draws. Who knows what his rank will be when he faces that dilemma again.

    I don’t think it will help anyone. The strong sections will not be represented as well in L1 – L3 events because it will be more difficult for them to pit their strength against the weaker kids in national tournaments. The week sections will be worse off because they will have more difficulty developing their talent against the strong sections.

    The only reason I found out about the changes is I was bored the day I received my son’s acceptance into the Clay Court Nationals. At the back of the 15 page package was a single sheet explaining the changes to draw sizes for L2 events. The rumor I heard, and I don’t know if it is true, is the USTA knows people are not going the like the changes and they are trying to hide it as much as possible until it is too late.

    Thanks, he did have a good day. He went on to win all of his matches at Zonals, then placed 4th in singles and won the doubles at the Texas Open. We will see how he does at San Antonio
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  14. tenniscrazed

    tenniscrazed Guest

    Honestly, actually it's a good thing. The kids who win their designated and sectional matches will rise. Those who don't, won't. The only players concerned about not getting into tournaments are those who realistically shouldn't be in them in the first place.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2010
  15. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    I looked at the paper work the USTA sent out and found the new 2011 date blocks for the L3 tournaments.

    January 22-24
    July 9-12
    September 3-5
    October 29-31

    I guess I should be glad I don’t own the rights for the Copper Bowl, Quicksilver, Muterspaw, or the California Bowl. They are out of business.
     
  16. tenniscrazed

    tenniscrazed Guest

    Honestly, I think you maybe overreacting on this. 1) Smaller draw sizes are beneficial overall as those that should be there will and those who shouldn't won't very simple. 2) Tournament directors will protect their events to best of their ability.

    It seems to me that you may be a bit concerned about what happens when your player becomes 15 (given this new set of rules). Honestly if your player deserves to be in the event he / she will, if not then they will not, simple as that.
     
  17. himynameisNIKE

    himynameisNIKE Professional

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    I deem this relevant


    [​IMG]
     
  18. jgravagna

    jgravagna New User

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    As a college w tennis coach I thing this is a great idea. However, it did not go far enough. They should also eliminate all events during the HS tennis season and award national ranking points this would force kids to play HS tennis. It is time that parents understand that college coaches like players who play HS tennis.
     
  19. flat

    flat Rookie

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    Not sure of your point here. Regardless of the draw size, or the number of tournaments, your statement of "those that should be there will and those who shouldn't won't" is always true. Maybe USTA should 1/2 the draw to 16 and decrease it to 2 tournaments a year? Then those who *really* should be there will...

    USTA (hopefully) did this for a good reason. I would like to understand how they hope to promote the Section more.

    I'm currently on JM's side, though. Speaking from a personal perspective, we will have a lot less choices this coming year. So either we are content to play the same players repeatedly in local tournaments, or else we'll spend money to send him to various academies (near relatives house) so he can get more exposure. So not sure we'll save money thru this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  20. TennisTaxi

    TennisTaxi Rookie

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    Interesting...these all all West Coast tourneys..are you saying they will all be gone? This puts the kids from the Ca, and Southwest at a disadvantage...because if they would be playing Nationals...these would be the one's they would play.


    As a tennis parent of a kid who basically was ranked between 100-150 nationally, who has traveled all over the country, and spent thousands of dollars on the travel...I have mixed feeling about this new system. Money wise, now that I looked back on it, it would have maybe been better to put the $$ into a college fund...but family bonding, seeing the US, meeting new people...priceless.

    Plus, when you come from a highly competitive section and your kid is not the in the top 10, it is good to get your kid out of the same environment, playing the same kids...and show them that yes, maybe they have game.

    In addition, as the system works now, if my son had not played all these Nationals, I doubt he would have received the same offers he had from colleges nor the interest from coaches, in that he just would have been some local player and not nationally recognized being outside the top 100.

    He has had over 1000 views of his tennis recruiting profile by college coaches, that interest was generated by his ranking based up playing kids from all over the country...I wonder how Dallas will be able to keep track of ranking with this new system? It was be heavily biased on the top kids who can get into the Nationals and then the rest way far behind....and it will be unfortunate for those kids who fall outside the top 100. In the long run, I just hope that they get the same offers as my son had and do not get lost in the system.
     
  21. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    Well, the Cali kids/West coast kids got way more nationals than the Eastern kids anyways so to balance it out would be extremely fair.

    However, I believe this puts a greater importance on the Sectionals of each individual Section.

    P.S.- Shouldn't the thread title be regarding 2011 and the 2011 National Schedule?

    And one more question, has this "drastic cutback" been 100% confirmed? This valuable information may prove helpful for the ones who need the National points now... There are only a 1-2 nationals left for them to get the points before they won't be able to get into them next year (An example would be me)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  22. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    So do we cut off the revenue to all the teaching pros and academies during HS Tennis season? "Force kids to play HS tennis" is not a good idea. In some sections, HS tennis has zero instruction, the coaches are merely glorified chaperones, and it's considered an elective. Do the virtual schools have a team?
     
  23. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed with you. Do not believe that HS tennis is the reply to this cutback. I know my coach doesn't do any instruction, he is just there to yell in your ear. And he is supposed to be the most winning-est coach in all of my area.

    My real question is why hasn't the USTA announced this yet? This can enrage many people if they release this news right even a month before the Copper Bowl, because many people will be looking to sign up for the first big L3 Nat of the year.

    For the ones that plan on starting Nationals in a new age group next year, this is truly going to hurt their chances of making the big SuperNationals like Easter Bowl and Kalamazoo .


    TC, I agree with you on your stand point as well. Even though I am a junior that will be really getting hit hard on this new cutback for 2011 and even planned on playing some of these L3's that will be now get cut, I believe that playing your section and then dominating will just make it easier to see who the true best players of each section. These are the ones that should really be playing the L2's and Super Nationals.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  24. tenniscrazed

    tenniscrazed Guest

    That's an honorable reply. Coming from a junior indicates your level of maturity and that you take your sport as an athletic endeavor. As I stated, you will get into L3s - L1's simply by proving yourself in L5's - L4s.

    Look at it this way. If you beat John Doe (150 national rank) in an L2 and get points. Those points are really fools gold if John Doe couldn't beat players in your section with terrible national ranks yet top sectional ranks. In otherwords John Doe is not as good as his National rank purports itself to be.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2010
  25. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    I also saw that you made a point that all L5's should be turned into L4's. And maybe even L4's into L3's. That would greatly help especially in my Section when 50% of our Designated's are L5's and 2 are L4's and 1 being an L3.. Some sections could use more than just 1 L3 Sectional especially where the Sections are much tougher.

    If the Nationals are going to be taken away, might as well make our Sectionals just a bit more important. I would know because the difference between an L5 and an L4 Sectional out here in the Eastern Section is quite big in terms of the points.
     
  26. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    Unfortunately for mrmo111 his Eastern section is a tough place to be. Now that the L3 tournaments are more restricted and regional he will have to fight it out in his section. For 14’s the Eastern section has 13 players in the top 100 nationally. Just for contrast the middle states section has 2 players in the top 100. Now that section play is all that matters for getting into SuperNats and L2’s we should see more players from the smaller sections qualifying. Of course more from them means less from the stronger sections like Eastern.

    Now that we have reduced national play this should happen much more frequently. This is exactly what mrmo1115 should expect coming from a tough section and playing the highly ranked players from the weaker sections.

    There is a huge difference in points between the levels. With the elimination of most of the L3 tournaments if you are in a tough section you will have no way of competing with weaker sections. I expected players to be unhappy about not having a way to test their abilities at the national level. I guess I was wrong.
     
  27. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    I think that limiting national events, yet increasing the amount of L3 + L4 tournaments within our individual sections will help.

    This way the kids who come out on top of these Sections, are the real players that the USTA should be looking at in terms of growing the new American Champion.

    Basically, eliminate the L5 , and balance out the number of L4 and L3 within the Sections and I think this will work out well.

    I think this also helps the mentality of us juniors. If we really want to make it to the Nationals, we are really going to have to fight it out in our Sectionals. This will force many players to lose the mentality of "Oh, I can just make up this bad sectional, with a L3 I have next week".

    Another final reason why I think this whole change is occurring is because of USTA's desperation for someone to come out and follow up the likes of our current American players (ex: Roddick, Blake, Fish, Ginepri)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  28. gauchotennis

    gauchotennis New User

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    Junior Competition Changes for 2011

    Justin, the changes are definitely coming,

    I have a copy of the proposed amendments by Liz Blum Chairwoman of the USTA Junior Competition Committee.

    Here is some info:

    Rationale:
    Rationale for Changes Related to USTA National Championships: The Committee believes that reducing the number of USTA National Championships from four to three will create a cost savings for junior players and less school time missed as it is the intent of the Committee to eliminate the USTA National Championships held in the spring. It also creates an opening in the calendar to sanction a National Excellence Tournament (classified as a USTA Regional Tournament with National Level 1 Ranking Points) at which the top players in each division can compete each year, a long-held goal of the Committee and the USTA Player Development Division. Selection data from the USTA National Championships indicates that although the draw sizes of these tournaments are 192 or 128, many players with rankings well below 300 gain acceptance into the existing tournaments. The Committee believes that the reduction in the number of tournaments, as well as the draw size decrease in the 14s divisions summer tournaments from 192 to 128, will improve the strength of field at each tournament.
    The Committee is also proposing a reduction in the number of qualifiers from each USTA National Open that are accepted into USTA National Championships. The data indicates that not all of these selection spots are needed by the players to gain acceptance into the USTA National Championships; they have earned acceptance by other methods of entry, most typically because they are already on a Sectional Association’s quota list. The spots are being shifted to wild cards to allow the five-member Wild Card Committee (comprised of the tournament director, national volunteers, national coaches, and national staff) to ensure selection of all top players who were not otherwise eligible for selection. If all of the wild cards are not used, which is especially typical in the 14 and 12 divisions, the spots will go to endorsed players on the National Standings Lists. The Committee believes this is a preferred option that will improve the strength of field of the tournaments.

    Although not part of the call item, as the USTA Regulations do not specify the surface on which the USTA National Championships are held, it is the intent of the Committee to sanction the USTA National Championships that will be held in the winter on indoor courts.
    Rationale for Changes Related to USTA National Opens: The Committee is proposing a reduction in the number of USTA National Opens from four sets of four concurrent tournaments to three sets of four concurrent tournaments and is also proposing a draw size reduction from 64 to 32 per draw (a reduction from 256 to 128 per set of tournaments). Corresponding adjustments have been made to the method of selection and ordering of alternates to accommodate the draw size reduction. The Committee believes that reducing the number of USTA National Opens will create a cost savings for junior players. It also creates a valuable opening in the calendar for the Sections to schedule a tournament as it is the intent of the Committee to eliminate the USTA National Opens that are held over President’s Day Weekend in February. Selection data from the USTA National Opens indicates that although the cumulative draw size for each set of USTA National Opens in a division is 256, many players with rankings well below 600 gain acceptance into the existing tournaments. The Committee believes that the reduction in the number of tournaments as well as the draw size will improve the strength of field at each tournament.
    The proposal also gives the Committee and the USTA Player Development division the authority to not play the singles Feed-in Championship to completion. It is the intent of the Committee to eliminate the final round match in the Feed-in Championship, shortening the tournament to three days and thereby reducing player costs and school time missed.
    Finally, the proposal eliminates the redundant statement that ATP, WTA and ITF players can enter USTA National Opens if they appear on the National Standings List. Any player can enter a tournament, regardless of their eligibility. Selection is based on a process specified in the USTA Regulations and any player who is otherwise eligible, regardless of whether they have an ATP, WTA or ITF ranking, can be selected if they are on the appropriate National Standings List used for selection.
    Rationale for Changes Related to USTA Regional Tournaments & USTA Boys’ and Girls’ 18 Interscholastic Championships (East/West): The proposal requires players in the USTA Regional Tournaments to meet the same eligibility requirements in place for the USTA Junior National Championships. The Committee believes that national junior tournaments should only allow entry of players who are eligible for national junior ranking. Entry of players who are not eligible for a national junior ranking reduces national competitive opportunities for our eligible players. Because the Committee’s proposals reduce overall draw spots in national tournaments, it believes it is especially important to make those draw spots available only to those players who are eligible to play in the USTA Junior National Championships and who are eligible for national ranking.
    Although classified in the USTA Regulations as a USTA Junior National Championship, the USTA Boys’ and Girls’ 18 Interscholastic Championships (East/West) (“Interscholastics”) is otherwise the same as a USTA Regional Tournament in that its strength of field is similar and it is a National Level 3 Ranking Tournament. The proposal eliminates the Interscholastics as part of a larger goal to reduce the total number of National Level 3 Ranking Tournaments and to segment these tournaments so as to reduce cost, encourage playing tournaments closer to home, create time for training, and better organize national play to allow Sections to more effectively plan their schedules.

    The reduction in the maximum number of singles and doubles tournaments that may count toward national ranking corresponds to the elimination of one USTA National Championship and one USTA National Open segment, the elimination of the USTA Boys’ and Girls’ 18 Interscholastic Championships, and the reduction in the number of USTA Regional Tournaments on the national schedule. The Committee believes that this reduction along with the elimination of some national tournaments will reduce the pressure to spend money to travel and allow for players to create more time in their schedules for training.
    The Committee is requesting that it, in consultation with USTA Player Development, be given the flexibility to annually designate additional tournaments to be considered for National Junior Ranking. If this amendment passes, it is the intent of the Committee to add the USTA Jr. Team Tennis Advanced Division National Championships to the list of tournaments that count for national ranking in support of a request by the Sectional Player Development Staff and to emphasize the unique aspects of team competition that help to develop junior players.
    Effective Date: January 1, 2011
    Notes: • Conforming changes need to be made to FAC Comment IX.A-1 to delete the reference to the USTA
    Spring National Championships. • It may be beneficial to add a new FAC Comment immediately after IX.A.9.j. and existing FAC
    Comment IX.A-7 to state that the USTA Player Development Division and the Junior Competition Committee have authorized the following draw formats at USTA National Championships: - In the 18 and 16 divisions, a Feed-in Championship format whereby players are fed in through the
    quarterfinals; - In the 14 and 12 divisions, a compass draw format whereby players are guaranteed a minimum of
    four matches at USTA National Championships in the 14 and 12 divisions. • It may be beneficial to add a new FAC Comment immediately after IX.A.10.g. and existing FAC Comment IX.A-9 to state that USTA Player Development Division and the Junior Competition Committee have authorized the singles Feed-in Championship at USTA National Opens to be played
    through the semifinals; no final round match is played.


    I hope this helps. If you have concerns and/or comments I would contact one of the following people:

    2009-2010 USTA Junior Competition Committee
    Committee Members:
    Liz Blum (Southern California): Committee Chair
    Andrea Norman (Northern California): Vice Chair
    Mitchel Alpert (Middle States): Coordinator of Junior Rankings; Subcommittee Chair
    Mark Bey (*******)
    Lew Brewer (Staff Committee Member): Director of Junior Competition
    Maria Cercone (Florida)
    Violet Clark (*******)
    Ellen Ehlers (Southern California): Subcommittee Chair - Tournament Directors’ Workshop
    Brent Frueh (Northern): Subcommittee Chair - Team Competitions
    Bob Ingersole (Eastern)
    Frank Inn (Pacific Northwest)
    Peter Lebedevs (Southern)
    Richard Meyers (Texas): Subcommittee Chair - Doubles
    Holger Nickel (Intermountain): Sanctions and Schedule Coordinator; Subcommittee Chair
    Cindi Pearce (Intermountain)

    Committee Liaisons:
    Board Liaison - Tommy Ho
    Council Chair - Barbara Fackel (Missouri Valley)
    Executive Director Liaison - Mary Buschmann (Missouri Valley)
    Sectional Player Development Liaison - Darren Potkey (Southern California)

    Liz is the chairwoman:
    liz@blums.com

    I hope I have Helped,

    Alec
     
  29. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    ^ That was an extremely informative read.

    So if I read part of that reading correctly... does that mean Easter Bowl is out therefore making it 3 Super Nationals, then there is this possibility of bringing Winter Nationals somewhere Indoors, like they used to?

    If they sport an Indoor SuperNational, I will be the first to tell you, my section (Eastern) will rejoice.
     
  30. Jen10isFan

    Jen10isFan New User

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    USTA National Championships (National Championships) reduced from four to three
    COMMENT: Canceling tourneys to have parents save money and miss less school is not a valid argument. Let the parents make that decision.

    Reduction in draw size from 192 to 128
    COMMENT: There are many kids that dream about and take enormous pride in playing a national level tournament - win or loose - and with only 128 draw, this opportunity disappears for many kids. At least 1 tourney per year should have a 192 draw.

    National Open draw sizes reduced to 32
    COMMENT: Their argument around strength of field is completely flawed. It does not take into consideration the kids that just recently aged up and that are more than good enough to compete in the tournament, but may not have the sufficient ranking to make it into the tournament.
    Example, a kid is top 25 nationally in 12s when he/she ages out and only top 300 in 14s, for whatever reason. The kid will not qualify to play the 14s USTA Open tournament slated for May because his/her 14s ranking is not good enough.

    Reduction from 8 to 6 Singles Tournaments and Doubles Tournaments that Count for National Ranking
    COMMENT: I can see this argument. BUT – will probably increase overall travel expenditures. With fewer tournaments that count, you want play and get points from the tournaments that yield the most points per tournament – the super nationals and national open - which means travel expenses.

    USTA National Championship - Indoor
    COMMENT: Just curious, where are they going to find sufficient indoor courts to hold the Winter Nationals without splitting up ages and genders? Splitting them up also works against their intent to reduce travel expenses for the many families with more than one child playing.
     
  31. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed on all your comments except for the Indoor Championship, I think the best place to have it is the USTA NTC here in NY. Just my 2 cents
     
  32. gauchotennis

    gauchotennis New User

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    I certainly hopes this gets people on the move about the changes.
    I think it also has an affect on tournament directors (financially).
    If players want to travel and play, and parents want to do the same, who cares?

    Those weaker players will get beat in the first round anyway.
    The other problem is that if you eliminate tournaments and reduce draws sizes for nationals then additionally do not award more national points for local designated events, it only hurts the players from the stronger regions.

    So Cal,Texas, Florida traditionally.


    Thoughts?
     
  33. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    My thoughts to the fact that weak sections will benefit this system the most gets countered because if these weak section kids with good rankings decide to go to these even more exclusive National Opens and Supers, they will get their butts kicked. Winning a match? Forget about it not even in a 32 National Open unless they end up playing each other.

    Although this might be too "drastic" for my liking, the idea of "change" is one that I am impressed by.
     
  34. gauchotennis

    gauchotennis New User

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    Well, the weaker sections will get their butts kicked but then that begs the question do any of them deserve to be there in the first place??
    I mean if I am a player from So Cal,Texas or Florida and I get beat out from someone in Montana just because they got endorsed how is that promoting the best play, finding the best talent.
    How many players train in florida,texas or So cal and still have their residence in UTah,Idaho,Colorado,oklahoma etc.

    so they use the other sections for training but use there home base for endorsement, happens all of the time.

    just food for thought?

    Justin any thoughts here?
     
  35. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    You make a good point but USTA is really sick of not finding that next American Champ that I don't blame them for doing all of this.

    I think their primary idea is to eliminate the Mid-Level Juniors hanging out at these National Opens and Supers and bringing in only the top of the crop and let them battle each other out.

    Then taking those top kids and really working them out at Boca.
     
  36. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    It seems clear that all of Jen10isFan’s points are both obvious and correct. A change of this magnitude, and one that has such obvious negative effects for a larger group of people, must be supported by someone. When the people making the decision give such obviously flawed rational I start to believe they do not want to state their actual rational.

    Several months ago I was eating dinner with several parents of kids in the USTA high performance program. Listening to the conversation it became apparent there was a serious disagreement about how many tournaments the kids were playing. The HiPo coaches were very upset that the kids were traveling for tournaments. They feel like if all of the kids stay at the training center the coaches can make sure the kids are getting the coaching. With all of the kids there they have plenty of opportunities to play practice matches and compete with each other. Once kids start traveling the whole experience unwinds. The parents laughed and said the coaches are trying to justify their salaries and don’t want an empty training center.

    Now it all begins to make sense. These tournament changes definitely benefit the top 4 or 5 kids in each section. These kids will not have trouble moving up in age groups as they get older. They do not benefit from the first round of play in a L2 64 draw or in a L1 192 draw. The coaches get plenty of quality matches in the training centers to offset fewer tournaments.

    The changes are detrimental to everyone else. As we have already figured out the USTA picks a few top kids and does not care about the rest.

    Now it all fits.
     
  37. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    ^ Yes because they are really really looking for the new crop of American Champs..

    They are using a very extreme method but it goes to show you how desperate the USTA is.
     
  38. tennis1970

    tennis1970 New User

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    COMMENT: Their argument around strength of field is completely flawed. It does not take into consideration the kids that just recently aged up and that are more than good enough to compete in the tournament, but may not have the sufficient ranking to make it into the tournament.
    Example, a kid is top 25 nationally in 12s when he/she ages out and only top 300 in 14s, for whatever reason. The kid will not qualify to play the 14s USTA Open tournament slated for May because his/her 14s ranking is not good enough.

    I'm not sure the above is true. You need to read the selection process for the opens. The top few kids in the LOWeR age group are actually on the selection list for the HIGHER age group. I can't remember though how many kids are selected in. Point being... The#1 12 yo can get into the 14s opens just by applying.
     
  39. tennis1970

    tennis1970 New User

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    I just looked. To get into a 14s opens they FIRST take the top 32 applicants from the 12s which are at least ranked 200. Then they fill it with the 14s applicants. My guess they will cut the number down with the reduction in draw size.
     
  40. Jen10isFan

    Jen10isFan New User

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    This is not the scenarion I am referring to. I concerned about the kids that were the top ranked kids in the lower age group, but subsequent to aging out have not been able to build their ranking in the new, higher agre group. Example: Joe was top 20 in B14 last month, this month he aged up to B16- meaning that Joe is no longer on the B14 rankings list and therefore can not rely on the rule you are referring to to get into the National Open tournament.
     
  41. himynameisNIKE

    himynameisNIKE Professional

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    well in that case, they need to prepare for the higher age group much earlier. They have that rule so that the younger players CAN build their ranking before aging up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  42. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    They are reducing the 32 to 16. Which is another blow to your theory.
     
  43. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    I think you misread something. The old method of selection for National Opens (level 2 events with 64 draw) included 8 players from the next lower age division as long as they were in the top 200 of that lower division. The new method will include 4 players from the next lower age division as long as they are in the top 100 of the lower division.


    This is going to be a huge issue. It will require that kids start playing up much earlier in the hopes they can continue to play national tournaments when they age up. Once you fall out of the group that is playing national tournaments it will be difficult get back in.

    My son played in a boys 14’s L3 tournament a couple of months ago in which he drew a player who was just starting to play up from 12’s. The 12’s player is ranked #14 in 12’s. My son was ranked around 165 in 14’s. My son had been around #50 in 12’s in July of last year so I felt like he had a chance to win. He was another year older, bigger, stronger etc. The issue was never in doubt. My son won 6-1,6-1 and was never pushed. Moving up is tough, even for the top players. It is too bad we cannot see the tennisrecruiting.net view that shows how the kids stack up across classes; it would help us understand the impact of the much smaller draws. My guess is we will see a trend where kids play national tournaments every other year, the year when they are the older kids in the group.

    Looking at the kids signed up for L2’s this year in SoCal my estimate is the 32 draw cutoff will be around national standing of #175. My best guess is only players in the top 10 of the lower age group have a chance to win a match in that draw. What this should tell you is after aging up anyone outside of the top 10 will not be able to play national tournaments.

    The good news is the USTA player development people are perfectly happy with this. What a shame.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  44. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    Justin, I think your not seeing the bigger picture of what USTA is trying to accomplish. I truly think this new system will benefit in finding who our real talent is, and who we should be really pressing and training to become a top touring pro.

    Of course this is going to hurt the mid-level junior that make the 64 draw National Opens and 192 Supers, but it just goes to show you that you have to train harder and elevate your game to get to these new smaller events.

    Playing within the section is fine. Just correctly fix our Sectional Level System, meaning drop all L5 Sectionals and increase the amount of L4's and possibly even add one more L3 to each section.
     
  45. tenniscrazed

    tenniscrazed Guest

    mrmo your maturity extends beyond your age and tennis itself. You will have a very good management career, good luck.

    L5s have such little national value that it renders them useless. I think if you read it carefully they are opening the calendar for other National events within sections that will likely be L4s and L3s and it appears that some type of National Super Regional event that maybe an L1.

    With respect to aging out. If your child is strong enough in their section regardless of the age group they are going into then that will reveal itself in the form of success.

    Train, get stronger, win your matches. Very simple really.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2010
  46. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    Tenniscrazed, we should just agree to disagree. The fact that I disagree with what the USTA and their training program is not an indication of my lack of maturity. It is an indication that I don’t like their approach and think it is bad for tennis. Their continued desire to pick a very few kids and bet all of our tennis future on them is, in my opinion, a bad idea. I don’t think they have done a good job so far picking kids and these changes just go further making life slightly better for the chosen ones and much worse for everyone else.

    Just take a look at the schedule for the first 6 months of 2011. No more Easter Bowl, no more Copper Bowl etc. If you are the best of the best and qualify for everything you get to play two national tournament during the first 6 months of 2011, one on Martin Luther King Day weekend and one on Feb 13th

    You think this is a good idea, I do not. It is that simple
     
  47. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    ^ You don't think they are picking the kids, but this new system will most likely fix that. This system will provide USTA a better picture of who to exactly pick for their HP.

    If you are the best of the best, you don't need that many national tournaments anyway to groom your game. If your a really top player the training is what you need.

    Look at some of the players at K-Zoo, who barely play tournaments outside their section, the So-Cal players, Kosakowski and Thompson
     
  48. NewGuy

    NewGuy Rookie

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    I think that the decision to cut back that drastically is unwise. I know firsthand that my daughter benefited greatly from seeing and participating in high national level play -- and it propelled her to earn a spot in a championship this year.

    Perhaps keeping the traditional 4 national opens but reducing the draws to 48 would be a better compromise.
     
  49. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    ^ 48 wouldn't work.
     
  50. gully

    gully Semi-Pro

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    The more I look at this proposal, the less sense it makes to me. (I am the parent of a junior ranked about 250.)

    For the top 100-150 players in a division, life is going to be essentially unchanged. These players often have byes or get easy first rounds in the L1 SuperNats (192 draw) and L2 Opens (64 draws). They'll go to the same events and play pretty much the same kinds of matches they always have. At a 128-draw L1 it'll be just the same, except for not getting a R1 bye. At a L2 Open, they won't have a lower-ranked R1 opponent like they had. But the R1-R5 matches will look just like R2-R6 had in years past. I can't see how the top players are going to face each other with any more frequency than in the past.

    So: who exactly does the change impact? Everyone, I think, from about 150-700 or so, the kids who scrap through an early-round loss and a few backdraw wins to build a modest ranking and get some exposure. As a parent to a player in this group, I can honestly say I'm not forced, as the USTA would have it, to travel to national events. I simply elect to, where and when I can afford it in terms of both time and money. It's a choice we make as a family based on lots of considerations. (So, frankly, is everything in tennis.) I call BS on the USTA saying they are doing this in my interest as a parent. They have never solicited any parent's opinion on a matter like this to my knowledge and act in the organization's, not its constituency's, interests.

    A few questions: we haven't heard much about the "regional" events USTA mentions. Anyone know anything about these? Also: what happens to events like the Copper Bowl? Is it even going to be played in '11?
     

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