High School Tennis Should Mirror College

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Mitch Bridge, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    It looks like all of the good players go to your school. They should be attending all of the schools equally in your area. If 50 kids go out for tennis and 9 make varsity, and the rest don't quit, obviously varsity is not the motivation to play. Your argument is lacking based on this factor and your team being loaded with all of the city's players. Spread the wealth! Then you would have competitive matches as well which strengthens the sport.
     
    #51
  2. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Hopefully I am just ahead of the curve. Without great matchups, you don't have great team tennis. Tennis is not deep enough to have so many spots, then the teams are out of balance. Balancing the depth will make it turn into a good team sport. Now all of the best kids go the same school. With 6 spots this won't happen nearly as much.
     
    #52
  3. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,866
    Location:
    At Large
    I went to a private high school that was absolutely loaded with tennis players. Tennis had absolutely nothing with my decision to go there, nor any of my teammates. We went there for the quality of the academics and the culture/tradition/reputation of the school, it just so happened we had the best of the best tennis players in the area all in one place. Not just tennis players, but other sports too.

    The only time I have ever known of players choosing a high school specifically for sports is in the case of sports like hockey or lacrosse where not every school has a team.
     
    #53
  4. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Not true...

    ...I agree with Mitch. Not that I claim expert credentials or anything. I do believe high school tennis is under utilized as a means of creating and supporting "more better, players." Keep pushing Mitch.
     
    #54
  5. crazygamer2091

    crazygamer2091 New User

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Who said anything about all the good players going to my school? I clearly said that the town next to me. As for spreading the wealth, refer to my post a few days prior about the high school tennis being only competitive at 1st and 2nd singles around here because of the number of nationally ranked players that decide to play.

    Frankly, I feel like you're being rather stubborn. You proposed an idea and almost everyone is against it. I think it's time you backed down a bit and take a closer look at what we've all been saying Mitch instead of downplaying it and continuing to try to prove your point to no prevail. Have a nice day.
     
    #55
  6. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    377
    This is actually a pretty good idea, it would be a lot more competitive, that's for sure.
     
    #56
  7. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    This I have no problem with. I just think that his method for "improving" HS tennis would have the opposite effect of what he suggests.
     
    #57
  8. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Your team...the team in the next town. Basically the same argument that mirroring college tennis will help spread the players out amongst more schools and the result is better competition. This will appear to hurt the dynasties, but things will settle in and high school tennis will be better off for it. Among most of the schools that I have had students involved in (hundreds) 20 to 50 kids go out for tennis. Most of these kids aren't looking to make varsin their 4 years of playing, so they aren't going to quit if the varsity team is shrunk. They may become more interested because they are developing much faster playing singles and doubles and having many more matches at the JV and Frosh/Soph levels.
     
    #58
  9. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,866
    Location:
    At Large
    Sorry but I don't see tennis as a compelling reason for a family to move to another town/district (to attend a different public school), and for some families private school just isn't an option. So I don't see how this will spread out the talent among schools, if anything it would just reduce access to the sport.

    Tennis is an expensive sport. The private schools and the public schools in wealthy neighborhoods will always have a bigger pool of players to draw from.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
    #59
  10. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,032
    Our 'conference' already did that and now our team consists of 6 guys from Europe and 2 from South America. The scrubs are locals, though, and they learn a lot at practice. They don't just bring the water. They do some of the stringing, too! One of the local kids got USRSA certified over the summer.

    Kidding. Just a sad bit of satire on division I college tennis today, haha.

    Best of luck w HS tennis. I played it. Loved it, even though most matches were a joke. The ones that were great, were great, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Of course that was back in the 80s when life was simpler.
     
    #60
  11. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    A family shouldn't move for HS tennis. Families do rent condos in the school districts to go to top HS programs, and it would be better for HS tennis if the talent would spread out a bit. As in all sports, the wealthy areas are going to have the better teams, and that will never change. But having good kids all go to one school so they can be team champions hurts the sport. With just 6 varsity spots this will reduce the recruiting of outside school area players and help spread out the talent.

    Our top team in the area has players from several other school neighborhoods attending it to play on a championship team. They are terrific, but if they only had 6 varsity spots many kids would just play for their neighborhood HS and the dual matches would be much more exciting instead of the 18-0 drubbings that take place now. If you don't have good matches then it is a minor sport.

    It is going to take a big move to make it a major sport at the high school level.
     
    #61
  12. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    High School tennis should also be a no-cut sport whenever possible. Parent/Coaches can volunteer to take on a team of 6 more kids and run their own JV or Frosh/Soph team under the leadership of the varsity head coach or JV coach. With more JV and Frosh/Soph teams there will be many more dual matches making the schedule much better. Most teams will have a JV1, JV2, JV3, etc. Usually making JV or Frosh/Soph is a negative omen because you won't have much match play, but limiting teams to 6 players will add teams to these development levels further adding to the overall HS tennis experience.
     
    #62
  13. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,149
    I know you have a good intentions but in many cases this is not possible. High school coaches coach because they want to do it or give back or the school asks them to do it. It is not for the money. Most public schools have to pay for the costs of all the sports. The state and the county do not do it. That means that tennis costs the school money so in most cases they will not have more than what is needed for the team. Often no parent steps up to coach and when they do they have to be approved by the county and usually complete a course and have a background check done on them. Also, usually the person coaching the team does not have the knowledge to really help the players. The better players have private coaches who mold their game. They do not want a high school coach with limited coaching experience to attempt to change their game. There are just lots of factors involved.

    Here in Georgia there is no singles competition. It is a team competition with singles and doubles players. That means you could be #1 in Georgia in singles but if your team does not have a lot of good players you will not go past region. Also, the private schools play and they recruit/scholarship players. Basically they are almost unbeatable. The whole system in this state is screwed up. It is a good experience for kids to play. My older son plays but it does not have much value other than a team experience.
     
    #63
  14. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,278
    Location:
    Bedford,Massachusetts,US
    Doubles only?

    Your quote
    --->
    Here in Georgia there is no singles competition. It is a team competition with singles and doubles players.
    ---->
    Your sentence is NOT very clear.
    Do you play ONLY 5 or 9 doubles submatches?
     
    #64
  15. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,149
    Sorry Julian, Georgia teams have 3 singles and 2 doubles on each team. If your team wins region or is the runner up then the team advances to the playoffs. There is nothing for just a singles player or doubles team to decide the best in the state. It is all a team competition. Once the team is defeated in the playoffs the season is over.
     
    #65
  16. monomer

    monomer Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    244
    In Michigan, teams advance to the state playoffs based on their performance at regionals. They do make an allowance for exceptional individuals on a weak team. If the #1 singles player makes it to their regional final they are automatically included in the state playoffs (without their team).

    I like like that Mitch is trying to find ways to create more interest in tennis. I tend to agree that this needs to happen well before high-school and that the proposed changes may not be practical. Still, it never hurts to talk about it.
     
    #66
  17. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,149
    When I was a junior in the 1980's the same format was used in Georgia. Now it is not present. I think then the only thing that a school did was play region as a team. The team did not go any further.
     
    #67
  18. B1G Tennis

    B1G Tennis New User

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    87
    Mitch:

    I'm not sure what world you live in where golf players are celebrities but tennis players get no respect. The reality is that outside of football and basketball, people do not care about high school sports. Elite tennis high schools are normally wealthy and filled with overachievers who really won't have time to follow smaller sports between schoolwork and the sport which they play.

    Your entire premise is that if high school tennis teams were good and thus cut themselves down to six people, the level of tennis would draw people to the match. This is demonstrably untrue. I've seen duals between truly elite tennis teams draw no fans. I've seen matches between blue chips with nobody to watch. And believe me, when my tennis team was very good my Junior year (several years ago now... we went 19-1 in duals), I didn't get any more respect than my Senior year when most of our top players graduated and we were slighly over .500.

    Most elite junior players aren't going to care about high school because it isn't going to get them recruited. When they do play, it is about enjoying themselves and hanging out with friends.

    Thus, the solution in high school tennis is the exact opposite of what you are proposing. You want players to HAVE FUN. This means:

    1. Do not have too many players per court. Most people play tennis because they enjoy tennis. By having no cuts, you are depriving people of the chance to play tennis and thus enjoy themselves if there are more than two people per court.

    2. Invite more people to Varsity, especially underclassmen players. As a young tennis player, there is nothing more fun than being the hero of a consequential match. Obviously you don't want to have players who re picking up a racquet for the first time playing Varsity, but in most cases that means more than six people.

    3. Emphasize competitiveness between other schools, but not cutthroat attitudes within a team. People want to have fun and celebrate wins together, not pray that their teammates lose so you can move up a spot. If you try to build a team who believes in winning duals, the effort will show up. Also, kids will fight harder for people they want to impress than people they don't care about.

    If you make these changes, you'd have more fun and a stronger connection between a team. That is what draws the elite players to high school tennis, but it also would encourage younger players to stick with tennis. There would be some casualties (ie the people outside the top 30 or so players), but realistically, they aren't going to play varsity anyways whether there are six people on a team or twelve. Outside of forcing college coaches to only recruit from high school tennis (which is impractical for about 1,000 reasons), this is the best high school tennis can do.
     
    #68
  19. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,278
    Location:
    Bedford,Massachusetts,US
    It is economy ...

    AD's in North East decide the cut policy
    They decide whether a given school buys balls for Junior Varsity
    or whether a coach pays from his pocket for tennis balls.
     
    #69
  20. watergirl

    watergirl New User

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    75
    In Texas the teams have a minimum of 7 boys and 7 girls. There are 3 lines of doubles for both girls and boys and 6 lines of singles for both boys and girls and 1 mixed doubles match. First to 10 wins. From district - 2 teams advances to regionals and from regionals 1 team advances to state so only 4 teams in each Class (5A and 4A) play for state. Lower divisions (3A, 2A, 1A) run their own state tournament that is not part of the UIL.

    In Spring individual competition occurs: singles, doubles, mixed with the top two players/double teams from the regionals advancing to state for a total of 8 playing for the state title. This is a big deal and there are a lot of college coaches, even from out of state, there to watch.

    A think it would be great to up the level at high schools. In Texas, the teams that win state are usually those near an academy or the most wealthy school districts or both.

    To up the level we need kids to start playing in elementary school. Unfortunately most of the kids on my sons team rarely play USTA events.

    Maybe more brainstorming can come up with some solutions rather than throwing up of hands and living with the status quo.
     
    #70
  21. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,149
    I agree. It is just the way it is. I assume colleges care more about how a player did in the sectional tournament and their USTA ranking than their high school results.
     
    #71
  22. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661

    Very well said.
     
    #72
  23. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    I live in a world where high school golfers get more respect for being good at their sport than high school tennis players. The word celebrity is your concoction.

    If you want two to a court but larger teams how are you going to have 30 kids practice. Do you have 15 courts?

    Are you happy with high school tennis as it is? Come on! It is mediocre at best, and our sport needs to evolve to compete well with the other sports so we don't fall further behind. Changing the high school format I believe is an important change that could and should be made.

    Leaving it as it is and saying as such isn't helping the sport.
     
    #73
  24. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,149
    I thinking only having a team competition in Georgia hurts participation.
     
    #74
  25. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    What you fail to realize is that people aren't against changing HS tennis. They just think that your version of change will make things worse. You might find a few people that agree with you but your proposal isn't going to be well received by players, parents or fans of HS tennis.

    You do get credit for being persistent though.
     
    #75
  26. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
     
    #76
  27. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
    #77

Share This Page