Preparing for 2014

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by tennisforlife77, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    It seems fair to say at this point that the 2014 changes to the National Junior Competition schedule will take place as planned in spite of the overwhelming opposition.. What are peoples thoughts on how to prepare for the new schedule.

    PS - this is not a thread to rehash all the reasons the new schedule will kill off junior tennis!
     
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  2. tennisforlife77

    tennisforlife77 Rookie

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    I think it will be important for players and parents to understand that there will be 2 distinct national pathways in 2014 without much overlap. The 1st pathway will lead to the two supernational events in the summer and in order to qualify a player will have to focus and achieve outstanding results in his or her section. National ranking will not be relevant in this case. The 2nd pathway will lead to the level 2 national opens, the level 1 team event in December and the level 2 sweet 16 events. National ranking will determine selection into these events and in this case playing the regional level 3 and 4 events will be important. It is not clear to me that a player(apart from perhaps the very top ) will be able to effectively follow both pathways and achieve success defined as selection into the super nationals, sweet 16 or level 1 team event. Until things become clearer i think it will be important to choose one pathway or the other to give yourself the best chance of getting to one of the high level 1 events.
     
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  3. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    ^^^^^

    ... and if you are in the 1st year of your age group, you have no national pathway unless you are exceptionally good.
     
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  4. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for starting this thread, seems like a good one. Been pondering this myself.

    First of all, your player should plan on winning the sectional ranking tournament in June. That will make everything simple :)

    Second, It would be helpful to know people at USTA and get wild cards. That's another strategy/ :twisted:

    Seriously though, one of the issues that a lot of this is going to be up to the Sections. Aside from the winners of the June selection tournaments, entry to most events(national/regional) in through sectional quotas. Sections are being given a of of leeway in how they manage their endorsements for these quotas spots.

    Before there were 12 designated sectional events that counted for national ranking points, and typically most sections have used these events as sort of a circuit to determine sectional ranking points and ultimately endorsements. But with six of these events disappearing, are sections going to rely just on six events ? Or will they introduce additional events and mandate a certain level of participation to be eligible for an endorsement?

    Likewise, the age up issue is something that they expect to be taken care of at the sectional level. From the FAQ : "The new emphasis places increased importance on Sections to develop methods for players to age up because access is now primarily through Sectional play". So, it seems to me they have basically kicked the can to the Sections to figure out. Do Sections use some of there quota on top players from the younger age group? It seems that will be a section by section decision.

    So, strategies may vary by section, depending on what your section come up with. Aside from mandating the level 3 events in January and June, and recommending dates for the Level 4's, it seems the sections are on there own. Basically, until each section says what there sectional tournament system is going to be like, and how they will decide who to endorse, there are alot of unknowns.
     
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  5. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I don't think anyone should have a national pathway unless they are exceptionally good. I realize this puts me in the minority here
     
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  6. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    It doesn't, In fact I think everyone could agree on this. What we disagree on is the definition of exceptionally good. For some, its pro-potential, for others, its D1 potential, for others, its D2 potential as well.
     
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  7. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    You're missing the point. I should have clarified it better. An exceptionally good 1st year player have no national pathway since they can't beat an exceptionally good 2nd year player. Only the 3-4 exceptionally exceptionally good player per section can do it. Haha.. now I officially confused myself.
     
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  8. BirdieLane

    BirdieLane New User

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    Now would be a very good time to lobby your sections for reasonable endorsement policies heading into 2014. For example, hopefully the couple of sections that DON'T count points down will come to their senses. If you are in one of those sections, I'd start to rally troops and present a clear case to fix that.

    Basically, if you are truly a national player, that means by definition that you don't have a lot of competition sectionally. And therefore you should be probably be doing very well playing up sectionally - and the section should not penalize your national age endorsement for doing so.

    As far as the 'two pathways' described by the OP, I think I'd submit that you focus on pathway #2 - and if your section recognizes rankings like it should in it's endorsement listings, you should be in pretty good shape. Just make sure that you start your 'summer ranking' in the right age group in October events (sweet16/L3) or November events at latest. Then when summer Clay and Hards roll around, you'll have two L3 sectional tourneys, several L4 sectional tourneys, and also two rounds of L2/L4 events as well as the May L3/sweet16

    To clarify and give an example, in November, you should probably choose to play at your next summers age which might mean to play a L4 at your next summer age over a L2 that you are aging out of.

    That's my take for now...I think we'll have to see how they lay out the points tables to get a true feel for how to tread.
     
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  9. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Biggest problem with sectionals, they have different rules!

    And that is the biggest problem.....
    Some sectionals let the points flow down for endorsement purposes and others don't.
    There you see the disparity where you now CAN'T play up as the points will not count for the lower sectional endorsed ranking for national tournaments.

    (A 14 year old plays up and gains 16 year old points,
    but they don't count in his 14 and under endorsed sectional ranking,
    only 14 and under points count.
    So playing up takes away points from your 14 and under ranking,
    and then you can't get into the National 14's)

    Really a disaster for some players in some sections.
    Glad the USTA thought this through!
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
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  10. watergirl

    watergirl New User

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    There are a lot of inequities. For the L-3 Sectionals in June - some kids are in draws of 32 and some in draws of 256. So in one section you have to win 3 matches to just be at the same starting point as the other sectional.
     
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  11. BirdieLane

    BirdieLane New User

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    Right...it's just not fair that some can stay in their section and get into great draws and have lots of good matches without having to get on an airplane.
     
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  12. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    The issue is that all sections SHOULD HAVE THE SAME RULES......

    And they don't.

    And to take it a step further, all sections SHOULD HAVE THE SAME RULES WITHIN THEIR OWN SECTION FOR ALL THE PLAYERS........

    And they don't. Boy A has to play his age limit for sectional endorsement points.
    In the same section, Boy B doesn't live in the state, and doesn't play ANY sectional tournaments.

    This is what angers folks, the inequities among the sections and within their own section.
    When the whole point of this grand new plan is that you are suppose to earn your advancement. What a joke.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
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  13. 10s4US

    10s4US New User

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    Yes, this an very important thread dealing with 2014 changes
    Yes, now is the time for sections to figure their endorsements, designateds, quota distribution.... lets hope our sections have structures in place By Jan 1 (To give a proper 12 mo notice to best schedule) There lots of options being tossed around.have This is a great time to connect with your section and give input. Welcoming of input probably varies per section, but Im guessing its better received than at NAtl level and if it isnt request and or create discussions, forums meetings. The NAt'l committees couldnt agree on certain Natl structure because different geographic and logistical interests, numbers and levels of play varied from section to section. The USTA is handing over the control of play to the sections for more sectional, local play. Thus the sections voted for the changes, meanwhile the USTA kind of left the rest of the minimal Nationals to PD discretion which the section delegates still voted for because they got their carrots. So the PD participation and connection is clearly a pathway.
    We can learn and perhaps influence within our sections setting models and precedent of participation that the USTA NAt'l commitees can follow.
    While we navigate through the 2014 changes and get reprogrammed lets remember Knowledge of the systems local and national can effect change as needed
    Sections can address natl issues as well...
     
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  14. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    Are you saying certain sections shouldn't have any national endorsements, then? There isn't a method to determine "exceptionally good." I recommend playing in your section, boosting your TRN and playing some ITF events in lieu of USTA L1s and L2s. The system is broken so find another system.
     
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  15. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    Don't hurt 'em...

    ...with your safe and sane competitive understanding of gettting better and striving.
     
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  16. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I am saying I don't think anyone should have a national pathway unless they are exceptionally good.

    I think ways to determine what is "exceptionally good" include results, rankings, and point systems. In your Section, how are endorsements determined, by factors other than these?
     
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  17. jrtennis

    jrtennis New User

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    Mrbill seems to post the same comment over and over on different threads without being challenged and doing the same thing the USTA has done: not taking a truly hard and analytical look at the consequences.

    So here's a hypothetical: you have a kid who is top 10 in the country in the 12s, turns 13 in March and is part of USTA Player Development... does he meet your criteria for exceptionally good? Should he be able to play level 1s in 14s?

    I will assume even Mrbill would say yes to both questions. Of course, the case is not a hypothetical. That specific kid (and he is just the most egregious example I found in all of five minutes of looking) would not have been able to play level 1s this summer because he comes from a tough section and wouldn't have made its quota.

    Many, many exceptionally good players will de deprived of the competition they deserve under the new structure. Their only hope as first years is to get a wild card. It's their only path and that shouldn't be.
     
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  18. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Sorry for not getting the point before.

    Yes, I get it that lots of national competitions are organized so that different geographical areas or divisions or leagues get slots. And this often means that a runner-up in one division or region who is better than a champion in another division doesn't get to go to the championships.

    Happens every year in MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA.........and lots of youth sports. And don't even get me started with the current BCS where only 2 teams qualify for Nationals

    I am all for resolving this inequity, taking into account the logistics that would be required.

    Did you see my post in the other thread endorsing Collette's proposal for national qualifiers?

    Would something like that address your concern?

    EDIT: I think Clark C broached this idea here before Zoo Tennis came out with it
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
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  19. tennismonsterr

    tennismonsterr New User

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    Regionals

    I understand that down the road (in 2014?) you can only play regionals in your own section. Is this true? My daughter will probably be finished with juniors by then but for those that follow behind us:

    We live in an area in Iowa where we don't have good training opportunities, people to play, pros that understand technique like they do for instance at many places in Florida. So we go to Florida for the summers, over Christmas and last year did a summer, a semester and a summer. So for that time period then we would play no regionals if we can't afford to do a lot of flying, with this new rule. Florida does have a bigger burden because we are not the only ones in this pickle, but then I don't see why Florida couldn't have more than one venue if this is a problem.

    We are lucky, since I grew up down there so we have family to live with and we train at a place that is not expensive like so many, although it is still adds up.
     
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  20. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    So, looking at the dates and draw sizes for 2014, and I noticed an interesting date change for July.

    Level 2, traditionally, July 2nd tournament starts on July 3rd?
    So, the 3 DAY L2 runs from July 3rd to the 5th.

    But, then the regional L3 ( with the new reduced draws of 32, remember this use to be the only 64) starts on July 6th.

    So, most people will have to fly on the 5th afternoon/evening to get there by the 6th to start at 8:00 am.

    Am I missing something here. Not even a day off?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
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  21. hound 109

    hound 109 Rookie

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    I noticed that too. L2 ends on one day & the L3 starts the very NEXT day. It's crazy.


    Also, another update for 2014.....Texas originally was with SoCal/NorCal/SW. Now Texas is with MoValley/Med west/Northern. The pathway may take me to Fargo ND or Toledo Ohio in Feb....instead of Disneyland. Thanks Pmac.

    (They moved the PacNW in with the Cals in place of TX)

    With the segregation taking place between the top 16 & everyone else & the fewer slots available at all tourneys, I still don't understand the need for Geographical regions. All kids at all tourneys (except for maybe the new L4s) will be strong....no chasing is possible. Let us pick the tourney that makes the most sense for the family
    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
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  22. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    1. SORRY!!!!!!!!!

    My post should have read 2013!!!!

    I am talking about this summer.

    So, the only changes for 2013:

    are the reduction in the L3 from 64 to 32 which is in July 2013,

    and

    the reduction in Hard and Clay from 192 to 128 for this summer, 2013.

    What I am noticing is the date changes for July 2013

    The July 2nd is now starting on July 3rd, ending on July 5th
    ( and there are a lot of kids there on July 5th, finalists, 3rd place, backdraw, and doubles),
    and then the regional starts on July 6th.

    How insane is that?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
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  23. SuzukiSS

    SuzukiSS New User

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    If you are going pro this means nothing! If you are looking at d1 scholarships this system may have merit. How many national tournaments did Sampras and Agassi win??
     
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  24. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Good question.

    How many national tournaments did Sampras and Agassi win??


    The USTA PD believes that the USTA national tournament system should be, well it will be cut, to grow future pro players.

    But, I believe, as most on this board, that the USTA national tournament system should not be cut to smithereens and be used for kids who eventually want to play D1, D2, and D3.

    So, yes, if you wanted to be a pro player, you should be playing ITFs ( of course they got cut here in the US, so you have to travel for some of them), and play the best juniors in the world.

    Agree.

    But, the point of this thread is to address how to adjust for the cuts in the National tournament system
    in 2014, not to discuss the inadequacies of the national tournament system to go pro.
     
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