Patrick McEnroe at G12 Super Nationals

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by HIGH-TECH TENNIS, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    FYI---PARENT/COACHES MEETING: Monday, 1-2PM, August 6th at site of G12 National Championships---Windward Lake Club, Alpharetta, GA
     
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  2. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    Nice choice... I see that he avoided the 14s or 16s where the parents are out for blood.
     
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  3. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    I guess being beaten by a pack of 12 year old girls is less dangerous than a pack of 16 year old boys.
     
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  4. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    great choice - most of the parents will be newish to the competitive game and will have little frame of reference in terms of what the changes really mean and so he will be able to report back that there was broad support for the changes!!
     
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  5. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    What a sneaky move, trying to indoctrinate the new parents.
     
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  6. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

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    LOL...What a freakin' coward and total loser! Hey Pat, what's your salary and what's your incentive? Sell out.
     
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  7. schap02

    schap02 Semi-Pro

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    ???Did I miss something?
     
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  8. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    SPECIAL NOTE: We (HIGH-TECH TENNIS) met Antonio Mora (sr?) and his son Antonio Mora (jr?) approximately 3-4 years ago and we absolutely, completely agree with points 12, 13, and 15 but we can't discount the other points (just don't understand them clearly right now). HOW ABOUT YOU??? We are sharing this information SO YOU WILL KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING.

    Antonio Mora responds to Hannity/Russell USTA debate
    August 04, 2012

    Hannity fans may remember Sean's stern rebuke (read Sean's letter here) to the USTA's Tim Russell over rule changes the tennis association put in place in a failed attempt to increase "competition." The debate has escalated with both sides trading letters, emails and tweets about the subject. Over the past few weeks hundreds of coaches, parents and fans have come out in support of Sean flooding the Hannity Inbox with emails. Below is one such letter from news anchor Antonio Mora. Additionally, you can read Tom Walker, Director of Tennis for the Kalamazoo YMCA's, letter of support for Sean by clicking here.
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    The following is an attempt to focus on the main issues discussed in the exchange between Sean Hannity and Tim Russell. It is less than two pages long and an addresses what I see as the most substantive issues raised by the USTA’s changes in the junior competitive schedule. While I believe those changes are well-intentioned, I am afraid there are a series of unintended consequences that will do precisely the opposite of what the USTA hopes to achieve.

    1) “Meaningful Competition,” Best Playing the Best,” “Earned Advancement.” These phrases are used repeatedly in Tim Russell’s response to Sean Hannity and are the main philosophical reasons for the changes. Ironically, the quota system at the heart of the USTA’s changes directly contradicts that philosophy. If you want the best to play the best, then why is the USTA allowing for a “size component” when it comes to determining a section’s quota? Size should be irrelevant, if you want to be intellectually consistent and fair. Only a section’s strength should be considered if we are being honest about only rewarding kids who have earned it with the ability to play nationally. If, as Dr. Russell repeatedly says, we want all national matches to be competitive, for the best to play the best, quality should trump size. The size of a section should be irrelevant (see point #2).

    2) Section Strength. Making matters worse, the USTA is using its own rankings to determine the strength of a section. Instead, it should use a head-to-head ranking system such as Tennis Information that more fairly determines the ability of a player (a player is not penalized if injuries didn’t allow him or her to enter major tournaments and it does not reward players who have the financial wherewithal to play every national and regional tournament). Let’s use Florida as an example. The quota Florida will get for supernationals, based on the size/strength equation, is only 10 (it would have more if “size” were not considered). When I looked on July 10th, there were 13 Florida boys in the top 150 on the USTA 14s rankings and 13 in the 12s. But, if you look at the Tennisinformation rankings, there are 24 in the top 150 in the 14s (plus Stefan Kozlov, so it’s really 25) and there are 26 in the 12s, fully double the strength Florida is getting credit for in its quota by using the USTA rankings as the gauge. How can it possibly be fair to limit Florida kids to ten spots at supernationals? The injustice is such that the #61, 62, 63, 67 and 73 boys in the country on Tennis Information in the 14s (on July 10th) would not be ranked highly enough in Florida to get in under the quota. One of those boys who would miss out is part of USTA Player Development.

    3) Wild Cards. Doesn’t increasing the number of wild cards also directly contradict the earned advancement that’s being preached?

    4) Chasing Points. A lot of time has been wasted focusing on kids who chase points by traveling long distances as if this were an epidemic that somehow invalidates the ranking structure. That overlooks the reality that only a small number of kids do so and that none of those kids gets ranked very highly unless they win a lot of matches. The new 2012 point structure makes it even harder for “chasing points” to have any kind of significant effect because kids don’t earn many points unless they get deep into a tournament. Can anyone show me a kid in the top 50 in the country who hasn’t earned his or her way to that ranking?

    5) “Increase” in Opportunities. I’m mystified by Mr. Russell’s argument here. There is no doubt that there are more opportunities for the super-elite players (top 20 in the country), but some of the added Level 1 tournaments only take between four and 16 applicants per category. The “majors,” the supernationals, will only take place twice a year instead of four. Level 2 tournaments are cut from four concurrent tournaments four times a year to only three concurrent tournaments only twice a year. Level 3 regional tournaments are slashed from eight tournaments four times a year to four tournaments three times a year. Again, I’m mystified at how that’s an “increase.”

    6) Aging Up Decrease in Opportunities. An important point that is not addressed is that the new system will greatly delay the ability for even super-elite kids to play nationally in the years they age up, especially in the country’s most competitive regions. That can’t be good for their tennis.

    7) Travel “Reduction.” By my count, a 14 year-old kid who plays a full national and sectional schedule currently plays 17 level 1-to-4 tournaments (four supernats, four national opens, four regionals, zonals and four sectionals). Under the new system (as I interpret the convoluted 2014 schedule), a kid who plays a full schedule (the super-elite) will play a similar number of level 1-to-4 tournaments, but they will have to play a far greater number of tournaments in their section in order to make sure to make their section’s quota. Home school anyone? The kids who are just below the super-elite will also play about the same number of level 1-to-4 tournaments they play today XXXXXXX (but they will be playing mostly level 3 and 4s)XXXXXXXX. For the super-elite and the next layer of top kids, the proposal does NOTHING to decrease travel. But the big issue is the flip side: even top kids who don’t make it into their section’s quota will have a travel elimination, with almost no opportunity to play outside their section, nationally OR regionally (see examples in #2 above).

    8) Travel Costs and Distances. The truth is that the new system will not help much. It is sometimes far more time consuming and expensive to travel within a section than to go to a national open or regional elsewhere. Try to get from the Tri-Cities in Washington State to Oklahoma City (kids in region 2 will have to do that) or even from Miami to Augusta, Georgia… it’s cheaper and much quicker to fly to Dallas, Chicago or New York!

    9) Missing School. I find it ironic that after years where the USTA seemed not to care about this (January regionals not scheduled over MLK Birthday weekend, February National Opens not scheduled over President’s Day weekend, the Easter Bowl scheduled when virtually nobody has spring break, May National Opens not scheduled over Memorial Day weekend; I can go on with more examples), the Russell letter argues that the new system will be better on that score. It is, slightly. But it would have been awfully easy to make the old schedule work better.

    10) Playing Styles and Surfaces. The Russell letter mostly skirts the issue of how the new changes will limit exposure to different surfaces and playing styles. As he says, the new system will provide opportunities for the super-elite to have that kind of exposure, but the reality is the enormous majority of our top kids will be hurt. When will top Florida kids compete indoors? When will most top kids in the country compete on clay?

    11) Birth Year. Why in the world would Dr. Russell even raise the possibility of returning to the much-discredited (by “Outliers” and other subsequent research) calendar-year system? Is he actually arguing that, somehow, two wrongs (calendar-year system and only two supernationals) would suddenly make a right? I’ve heard the ITF is considering following the much fairer rolling-birthday system we have here. The USTA should exert its efforts to change the ITF, not to go back to a silly, discriminatory system.

    12) “Lower Ranked Players.” Dr. Russell jumps all over Mr. Hannity for saying that “lower-ranked players will not get to play national events,” asking why “low-ranked players should play national events.” I can’t speak for Mr. Hannity, but he said “lower” not “low.” That’s an important distinction. Very, very good kids will not be able to play national events under a whole series of circumstances. While there is a certain inertia that keeps top players near the top from the 10s on, some kids do make progress over time and manage to soar to the top. Some kids do come out of seemingly nowhere to do very well in tournaments. The next Andre Agassi could be a kid who didn’t do well in the 12s and 14s but then grows a foot in the 18s. By discouraging that player by limiting his opportunities early on, we may lose him to lacrosse or baseball.

    TO BE CONTINUED...
     
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  9. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    13) Psychology. Here again, I agree with Mr. Hannity and disagree with Dr. Russell, especially when he calls Mr. Hannity’s point “preposterous.” Kids getting the chance to play nationally, even if it’s only every once in a while, is powerful validation. Few things are more inspiring to young players than playing at the highest levels with the country’s best players. Limiting those opportunities will give far fewer players the chance to get that inspiration. Traveling around the country often leads to the kinds of friendships that are catalysts that encourage a lifetime of tennis. Again, fewer kids will have that chance. They and the sport will suffer for it.

    14) Kids Playing Adults. I’m not sure what it’s like where Dr. Russell lives in, but I’m with Mr. Hannity in saying that that kids playing with adults just doesn’t happen. Maybe if a new rating system gets implemented that mixes everybody into the same tournaments, but spontaneous play with adults who aren’t their parents is uncommon in today’s world. Please don’t take away opportunities for kids to play with a wide variety of good kids, no matter what form of transportation they need to get to that competition.

    15) “Consultation.” Even though I wanted to keep this email focused on substance, this is one non-substantive point that needs to be addressed. Dr. Russell talks about the legions of people who were consulted, but the process was anything but transparent, open and public as he claims. When the proposed changes were unveiled at the post-Christmas meeting in Texas, people there were told NOT to disseminate the proposals. When I sent a detailed analysis of the proposals to dozens of parents of highly-competitive kids across the country two months later in early March, NONE of them were aware any of this was being considered. Tom Walker recently addressed the lack of consultation this in a letter published on Zoo Tennis. I hope the USTA accepts Mr. Hannity’s offer to poll parents. It wouldn’t have to be unwieldy: if you poll parents of the top two hundred kids in each age group, you’re talking about less than 1600 people (some will be duplicates with multiple kids). I think the USTA will be surprised at the extent of the opposition to the changes.

    Finally, there are many positives in the changes approved, but there are an awful lot of negatives. I would hope the USTA could find an intelligent middle ground that would not slash the opportunities for kids to play nationally while still taking steps to help create new great tennis generations.

    In the interest of full disclosure, assuming all things remain equal, my son is not likely to suffer much from the changes and is highly ranked enough that some may benefit him. Dr. Russell gave his background, so I will too. I am a Harvard Law School graduate, with a lot of training and experience analyzing complex documents (both the approved changes and Dr. Russell’s letter certainly qualify as such). After practicing law in New York, I switched careers and became a broadcast journalist, earning a dozen national and local Emmy Awards. I am also a lifelong tennis player from a tennis-playing family that includes a brother who played on the ATP tour for years and two generations of Davis Cup players.

    I would urge everyone to be forthcoming with their names in whatever discussion ensues. It’s disappointing to see so many anonymous attacks from all sides in this important conversation and I would hope the USTA would not be vindictive against the children of those who express opinions the organization does not like. Sadly, many people are afraid to speak out because they believe that will happen.

    Thanks for reading.
    Antonio Mora
    News Anchor
     
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  10. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    High Tech Tennis, thanks for posting!
     
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  11. TenAll

    TenAll New User

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    Nice letter by Antonio Mora. Lets hope USTA is listening.
     
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  12. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    HIDE YOUR GIRLS , RUN FOR THE HILLS ,SWIM OUT INTO THE GULF OR THE ATLANTIC , JUMP OFF THE HIGHEST BRIDGE ! OK THROW HIM OFF IT .

    Just keep your kids safe from him .
     
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  13. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    If they have the letters "Dr." In front of their name it usually means they have spent a lot of time in a book learning how to deal with kids rather then hands-on like the experts "the parents" and then they are gonna have some empty answer on how to raise your kids, to that I say hahahahhahhah
     
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  14. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    so he gets a large turn out of support and you still blame him :confused:

     
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  15. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    the parents of "once nationally ranked jr." U14 and U16 are foaming at the mouth because the chickens have come home to roost:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
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  16. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Pot, meet kettle. It seems you are the one foaming at the mouth. You've really gone over the deep end. 4,900 posts and now all you can do is troll ? People object to the changes and want to have a rational discussion about it, but all you can do is throw out insults and personal attacks. Really pathetic.
     
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  17. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I don't think irate parents barking at a tournament, complaining on a forum, or even a figurehead like Hannity submitting a thesis will reverse any decisions. There are far more effective ways to win the war.
     
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  18. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Let's hear them .
     
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  19. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    How are their answers empty versus your supreme parenting and marriage successes? Do you have examples of their empty answers and how your real world experiences is so much better than those who practices as "Dr's"?
     
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  20. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Words of a true troller.
     
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  21. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Look at are schools or party/violent warzones ,look at teenage prego's throughout the land ,transmitted diseases ,low ed scorings ,ect. I could go on and on and all this is from over the last 25-40yrs of Drs/psychologist telling us to be positive don't spank, re-enforce with a soft tone and don't sound negative because you might hurt the little evil kids feelings and we can't have that !!!

    Oh btw here's some pills to settle him/her down.
     
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  22. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    "I am coming to Windward tomorrow to tell Patrick McEnroe that I'm so angry about him destroying junior tennis!! I do not want him to save me money-IT IS MY DAMN MONEY-and if he really wants to save money, he should donate HIS SALARY!!!" Father of 15 year old and longtime customer/friend
     
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  23. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    What a sad commentary about our society, that every problem presented is now answered with a pill...
     
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  24. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    This is a subject I hate being correct on.
     
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  25. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    You're mixing issues which I don't believe fall into the same category. Disagree on some, agree on others. I get your point and overall agree more than I disagree. Scary.
     
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  26. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    Get your thoughts together so you'll be ready & join us at Windward Lake Club in Alpharetta for Parents/Coaches Mtg w/ PATRICK MCENROE today from 1-2PM. Antonio Mora stood up for junior tennis players (www.hannity.com)... WILL YOU???
     
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  27. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I know plenty of people that will stand up for junior tennis players too, however; that doesn't mean they share the same opinion as Mr. Mora.

    If you want to oppose change, you need a better strategy than "Occupy Windward" - that's not a path to success. But since you are going, remember - you'll catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

    Good luck to you today.
     
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  28. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    "occupy winward",,,,,,,,,,,,,, fail :)

    heck I would be upset too if I can no longer finance my sons national ambitions. the jig is up:roll:

    Hannity should feature the 25K syrians massacred rather than few unhappy parents of U14-U16 that want to maximize their darlings tennis experience. :)
     
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  29. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    HTT - Maybe you should re-read this great quote and think again about how ridiculous this sounds. Not everyone can afford to be your longtime customer. Many would welcome the changes that can make junior tennis experience more affordable. Not all of their changes are bad but some truly are.
     
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  30. MomTennis

    MomTennis New User

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    I, as a parent of a 15 year old who is just now becoming a good player, would love to hear the "far more effective ways..." I thought Hannity's suggestion of a poll was a good one. Other suggestions would be most welcome.


    One issue that no one seems to have addressed that has caused problems this summer is the decrease in the number of national points. My son could not get into several higher level tournaments this summer because his national ranking was lower that the other sectional players - he aged up in April and while he has been playing higher level tournaments since January his point totals for the same number of wins is far lower than those who got their points last fall under the old system so he has been unable to play - by next January it will all even out but this summer has not been as productive for him as it should have been.

    However that is my fear for the next round of changes - the unintended (?) consequences have not been thought out by the USTA and will not be evident until people like my son lose opportunities.
     
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  31. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to multiple requests, we'll record Parents/Coaches Meeting w/ Patrick McEnroe & post at www.high-techtennis.com later today/tonight!
     
    #31
  32. DB_Cooper

    DB_Cooper New User

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    Maybe PM is just a pawn and the true powers that approved his salarie have decided that the American kids don't get to buy in anymore. It's time to step up and develop potential not presumption. You can't "Buy In" if your in Russia or Spain, you have to "Earn In".

    Instead of cleaning house at the USTA, let's clean up the parking lots at the tourneys where all you see is Range Rover, BMW, Mercedes and Lexus. We need Chevy, Ford and Chrysler's that are 3-7 years old. With the game for the future.

    It's just the Government. It doesn't matter what you say or think. It's not changing. The poor get broke and the rich make more from the poor.

    It's time to take the money out of it and that's what's being done

    DB
     
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  33. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    If it were my meeting, I'd put a kibosh on any recording. I'd be surprised if USTA or any organization would allow a 3rd party to come in and record a meeting without prior approval.
     
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  34. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    I just got back from my director and he told me that they took the money factor out of the equation period. Heck he even told me that my 9 year old son could have gotten into one of those U12 national tournaments. I was laughing because i know how my son plays and he is not even an elite player. :oops:
     
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  35. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    any feedback from the Craig Jones meeting at the Boys 14's in San Antonio? PM seems to be going to boys and girls 12's and girls 14's monday and tuesday.
     
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  36. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    I agree that the quote is problematic.

    Great that this dad wants to spend his money the way he wants to.

    But lots of other US parents cannot afford to fly their kid all over the country chasing points.

    Junior tennis really should be about talent rising to the top, not those whose parents have the most money.
     
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  37. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    A lot of parents are angry because they cannot buy their way into a high national ranking any more.
     
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  38. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    DB on the case. Get ready for the Reign of Terror. You sound ready tho'.
     
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  39. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    If that's why they are angry, they'll never admit it.
     
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  40. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    You can't buy a TRN ranking. (Can you?) This is the ranking that really counts. And Dallas said on the Board in one of the earlier incarnations of this thread that the new system wouldn't affect the validity of the TRN rankings.

    I get it that various individuals have personal reasons for preferring one system over another. But I am still not getting what the inherent unfairness or handicap or damage to a player's tennis career is or might be.
     
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  41. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Mr.Bill....Glad to hear a voice of reason here. Not much constructive discussion about the 2 schedules except hurtful arguments and heated attacks from both sides the past 2 days.
     
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  42. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    Agreed...

    Once this dawned on me, I became much less concerned about sectional or USTA ranking. Mind you my charges are really competing to develop rather than dominate, they are only 7 and 10. But as a parent learning the system now is important. The 10 year old loves the usta rankings, other kids love them too, but I preach development, toughness and finding competitors to play practice matches.

    Rather than stalking points, I help the 10 y.o. stalk other competitors. We try to find tourneys with kids who are rising or starred on TRN. Takes the anxiety out of the process for me, cause I know my charge is getting exposed to developing competition, which is all I can bank on right now. Full disclosure, in Cali with plenty of places to roam.
     
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  43. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    This makes perfect sense. So for those who get it, i.e, TRN, head to head is what really counts, why do they support the new system ? Nobody is forced to go to these tournaments in the old system, and you dont care about the USTA rating. With the current system, If you have a poor player or mediocre player, they will get eliminated early and with the changes to the points table last year, their point chasing will not work, they wont boost there USTA ranking anyhow by losing early in these tournaments. They will just be wasting their own money.

    I am not talking about you martennis, but I am really confused about the ferocity with which some defenders of the changes attack those who don't like them. I don't understand why so many people are so eager to deny kids these opportunities, it just seems mean spirited. If the "best will still rise to the top", why does it matter so much that they have to have these changes. Why not compromise, refine the current system, get some by in from the participants, etc, It seems if you don't like the changes the vitriol directed out you is over the top, you are immediately accused of being a point chasing insane tennis parent, or a capitalistic pig trying to exploit insane tennis parents.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
    #43
  44. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Over 1,000 people responded to a survey regarding these changes over 3 years ago. It looks like the changes were largely supported by the results of the survey so I don't think it was all done in a vacuum but who knows.
     
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  45. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    I don't think Dallas said that - I believe he said that they hoped there would be enough cross sectional play to keep the rankings accurate but that time would tell - but Dallas can speak for himself.

    In terms of the proposed systems fairness there is something for everyone to dislike...using sectional quotas will mean far too few kids from the strong sections will get into the nationals and super nationals ( see Antonio Mora's piece) but the offset is there is plenty of good sectional competition. For all the other sections it means that elite players will be forced back into sectional tournaments that are way below their level - Jared Hiltzik is 54-5 over the last year and played no events in his own ******* section...

    But whatever your point of view the process by which these new rules were introduced in a shroud of secrecy with virtually no consultation is unattractive. I would hope even chalk and PT360 would agree with that point.
     
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  46. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    Meant ******* section - not an expletive. :)
     
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  47. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    *******ern section
     
    #47
  48. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    Mar 28, 2011
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    102
    Ok. I'm beat. Dont know why it won't let me write mid-west
     
    #48
  49. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    5,154
    Location:
    Connecticut
    this is what I said more than six months ago before the cat went out of the bag :)
     
    #49
  50. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    671
    Dallas said he doesn't think it will be the case that lack of cross-play will cause a difference in the TRN rankings. See below. (Bold added) Let's see if he says he has changed his mind since he posted this:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=6346108#post6346108
     
    #50

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