Question about scheduling for my first USTA tournament

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by scottf2, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. scottf2

    scottf2 New User

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    Hi All,
    I'm considering signing up for a USTA tournament in a couple of weeks, which would be my first time playing in a tournament (I started playing a few months ago...)

    I have a bunch of questions about how the scheduling works. It's a two-day tournament. If I sign up, will I need to be "around" all day on both days waiting to play? Or will I know what time my matches are for one or both days in advance? Is there any way to know in advance how many matches I will play each day? Will I definitely have a match on both days or will I perhaps be eliminated on the first day?

    I'm trying to get a sense of how much time I'm committing if I sign up - whether I'll be able to plan on doing anything else on one/both of those days or if I'll just be at the tournament the whole time...

    If it helps to answer any of these questions, this is the tournament, and I'd be playing at the men's 3.0 level: http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=125737

    Thanks for the help!

    Scott
     
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Looks like you have 5 people right now in the draw. It depends how many more people sign up before midnight. My guess is your draw will end up at 8 to 10 people. If the draw is 8, there are only 3 potential matches. If it is 9 or more, then you will have four potential matches. You probably won't know the start time of your 2nd match until after the first. Sometimes they want you to play right away and other times you have a few hours to kill. Just talk with them and they can try to accommodate you.
     
  3. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I'm really only familiar with junior tournements... they are typically only once per day (perhaps more on final day but we haven't gotten that far ;) )

    Are you really signed up for 3.0? Don't see you in applicant page for 3.0 only M35s and I wonder why they permit that?? Just curious on how adult system works....signed up based on age
     
  4. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    What is the difference from being signed up as NTRP 3.0s vs. M35s???
     
  5. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    You should know the time of your 1st match prior, but after that and assuming you win, you're going to be stuck there. It doesn't make a lot sense to run off only to come back between matches. Also, I'd assume you would want to warm up again after sitting for a while in-between matches.

    So I would just commit myself there if I win. That's sort of annoying to me. Because if you get far in these tournaments, you've lost a weekend.

    But you should be excited! I remember the first tournament I played, I was like: "Damn, there are a lot of good people..."
     
  6. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    The USTA tournaments run at my club have a full schedule as soon as the draws are finalized. So I know when each of my matches (should I continue to win) are scheduled for.

    It doesn't mean that is when the matches will start, if there are close/long matches the tournament may fall behind schedule, and they ask that folks show up early in case they are ahead of schedule and can get you on the court sooner, but you at least get an idea for when your matches will be.

    On the subject, something I'd love to see tournaments to is use Twitter or other social media to post scores and updated schedules so that participants have an easy way to have the information pushed to them. TennisLink isn't going to give you this sort of information (scores get posted, but not terribly timely in many cases) and other Web-sites require navigating around, while Twitter allows you to follow the tournament and just see updates naturally.
     
  7. scottf2

    scottf2 New User

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    Thanks for the responses. Sounds like the scheduling process varies from tournament to tournament so I'll try to check with the tournament directory to see how they're doing it in this case.

    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  8. scottf2

    scottf2 New User

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    My (very limited) understanding based on a brief conversation with the guy running the tournaments at my club is that if I sign up as 3.0, I'll be playing other 3.0 players, whereas if I sign up for an age group, I'd be playing other players my age - most all of whom would probably be a lot better than me!
     
  9. scottf2

    scottf2 New User

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    I am excited to compete in my first tournament, but tennis is pretty much my "backup" sport - my main sport is cycling and I usually go for a 4-5 hour ride on Saturday or Sunday, so if the tournament makes that impossible for both days, I'll probably skip it... hence the question!

    But thanks for the encouragement - I'm hoping it works out so I can play AND ride!
     
  10. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    In NorCal, the rule is (and the NorCal office is very strict about it) that the tournament must have the draws and schedule published no later than 10:00 a.m. 3 days before the tournament.

    The reason at NTRP tournaments that the scores aren't published timely, is because of the tournament director or referee not entering them in in a timely fashion.

    The tournament director (or someone working for the tournament) should be entering the scores into TDM as the matches come off court, and then they should push the "Update" button in TDM as soon as all matches are entered in. As soon as that is done, the draws and scores will be updated in TDM and posted on TennisLink.
     
  11. jonnyjack

    jonnyjack Rookie

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    That is correct so don't sign up for age group. Most of those guys are open level players!

    In Norcal, they will post the match times for the entire tournament usually. When they don't, those are usually for tournaments that are played over two weekends.

    Good luck, I used to play a lot of tournaments but now mainly stick to league but try to get in a double tourney at least once a year with a friend. I hear the Sacramento area usually have some nice tournaments.
     
  12. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    That would be my guess. That said, are you sure you signed up for 3.0? Guessing at real names vs. TT screen names and comparing to applicants it doesn't appear so. But my understanding is even more limited than yours.... Good luck.
     
  13. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    If OP is the Scott from Monteray then he is currently the only person signed up for Men's 35. There are only 5 people signed up for Men's 3.0 currently with no one named Scott among them.
     
  14. scottf2

    scottf2 New User

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    Thanks again for the help everyone. I had a chance to talk to the tournament director today (since it's at my home club), and found out the following (which most of you probably already know but in case there are any newbies like me reading along):

    The schedule for the whole weekend will be posted by the Tuesday before the tournament. So I'll know all of my possible game times.

    What I didn't realize is that if I lose my first match, I'm done for the weekend... That should have been obvious from the "single elimination" label, but somehow I missed that. And apparently the maximum number of matches for the weekend would be three (if I somehow miraculously won my first two).

    Also - to the people who kindly double checked to see if I was actually signed up - I hadn't actually registered until just now. I was waiting to find out more about the scheduling, but I figured I might as well do it anyway - I can (and do) go for a bike ride every weekend, but I have no idea when the next time I'll have a chance to play in a tournament at my home club will be (though I suppose there's probably a way to find this out on the very poorly designed USTA website).

    I'm now signed up (although I just checked and I don't show up in the list of competitors - maybe it takes a while to update?)

    Thanks again for the assistance - I'll report back and let you all know how it goes. I might even try to record my first match for posterity...

    Scott
     
  15. jonnyjack

    jonnyjack Rookie

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    The applicant list gets updated as soon as you register. The competitior list only gets updated when the tourney director selects players. Normally they don't do this until after the registration deadline passes so you don't even see that link but some will update that occasionally prior to the deadline like this tournament.

    Combo Districts will be held this weekend at Natomas, Broadstone, and Laguna Creek clubs. It's going to be a team round robin tournament. You should check it out.

    Here's the schedule: http://assets.usta.com/assets/635/15/2012_Combo_Districts_February13l.pdf
     
  16. scottf2

    scottf2 New User

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    Well, the draw has been posted and if I'm reading the chart correctly, it looks like I'll be playing the number one seed in the first round. On the bright side, I'll probably only have to play one match and can then get on with my weekend :)

    Another question: have any of you ever recorded your USTA tournament games on video? Are there any rules regarding recording I should know about (couldn't find anything through a quick web search).

    For those that have recorded games before, and assuming there are no rules prohibiting it: did you ask your opponent if it was OK, or did you just inform them you'd be recording the game? I want to be courteous, but I'd rather not ask for permission, since I don't want to give anyone the chance to say "no"! I figure a simple "Hey, just so you know, I'm recording our game" would work... or maybe not say anything at all (they'll see the camera and can ask about it if they want)? Any thoughts/suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  17. MeHere2PlayTennis

    MeHere2PlayTennis New User

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    Good luck in your tournament, you may win you never know. Seeding for tournaments is not just based on winning, but how many tournaments you play.

    As far as the recording, I am not sure you may have to check with the director and official. In junior tournaments like the nationals, there are vendors that record and sell the recordings to the players.

    Again good luck.
     
  18. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Good luck, sounds exciting. Maybe I'll try and play a tourney this year.
     
  19. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    The decent thing to do would be to ask permission.

    I realize it's your first tournament and you're excited, but I respectfully suggest you don't bother with recording. Your choice though. Good luck, and more importantly, have fun!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  20. scottf2

    scottf2 New User

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    So, I played in my first tournament yesterday! As I expected, I got creamed: I believe the expression is "double bagels"? I think it was a bit of bad luck playing the top seed in the first round. He was a very nice guy, and a gracious winner, but I didn't give him much of a battle... I don't think he even got a very good warmup out of our match. Both his first and second serves were by far the best I've ever played against (which isn't necessarily saying much, but still...) He had a lot of top spin on his serves, which I'm really not used to, and I ended up having to try to return a lot of his serves from shoulder height, which didn't go well!

    I felt a little better after the match when I discovered he's been playing tennis for four years compared to my four months, and after watching some of the other 3.0 matches, I think I could have held my own and won at least a few games if I had played some of the other unseeded players (the guy I lost to in the first round went on to win the finals 6-1 6-1).

    Anyway, it was a great experience and I'm really glad I gave it a shot. I learned a lot, and I look forward to improving my game and providing a bit more of a battle for my future tournament opponents.

    Thanks again to everyone who responded and provided guidance.

    Scott
     
  21. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    So you did not get to play a consolation match?
     
  22. goober

    goober Legend

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    Your opponent was out of level- i.e sandbagger. I haven't seen many 3.0 with legit topspin serves. If he has been playing 4 years he should be past 3.0 which is basically the lowest competitive level in most sections. OTOH playing a tourney after 4 months is probably overly ambitious when you are just trying to work on basic technique.
     
  23. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    Maybe, but there's something uniquely motivating about going to a web site and seeing your name in a bracket where you went out in the first round.

    Scott, if you had fun, keep signing up. You won't get a nightmare draw every time.
     
  24. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Yeah...that didn't read like a 3.0 player, at all. Having a top spin serve pretty much takes you into 3.5 by default. Hell, I'm sure there aren't many 3.5's that actually have legit Top Spin serves. It takes time and practice to get it right.
     
  25. MeHere2PlayTennis

    MeHere2PlayTennis New User

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    Tournaments are a good way to get a lot of match experience in a short period of time. Keep playing, 4 months isn't long. In my area it is unusual to see a 3.0 with a top spin serve, but I have been to sectionals and seen 2.5s with top spin serves.

    Glad the tournament went well.
     
  26. scottf2

    scottf2 New User

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    Hi all,
    Thanks for the additional comments. I'm definitely planning on continuing to sign up for tournaments - there's another local one in a couple of weeks that I'll probably do. I think it's good experience, even if I'm severely outmatched. I also enjoy the tournament atmosphere and the chance to watch all the higher level players.

    As for my opponent, I would imagine he'll get moved up to 3.5 pretty soon (however/whenever that happens - I don't know the details of how that works). He played in a lot of tournaments last year, so I guess whatever system is used to determine these things still deems him a 3.0, since that's where he's rated now after lots of tournament and league play... Watching him play and comparing him to the 3.5 players I saw at the tournament, I'd say he'd fit in well at the low-middle 3.5 level. His serves were definitely the best part of his game...

    I took video of our entire match, so if I can get his permission to do so, maybe I'll post it, though it will be pretty embarrassing for me! But I'm very glad I recorded the game - I was able to notice many flaws that I thought I had been successfully working on. For example, I know that I often don't take a "full swing" at the ball, and I've been working on that a bunch with the ball machine. As it turns out, I can break that habit when I'm focusing on it under the predictable conditions of the ball machine, but in a match, I very rarely took a full swing and follow through, with predictably bad results!

    Anyway, thanks again for the feedback and support- I'm sure I'll have more to share about my trials and tribulations as a new 3.0 player over the next few months!

    Scott
     
  27. scottf2

    scottf2 New User

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    Nope - no consolation round... But I did get to enjoy watching lots of great tennis for the rest of the day!
     
  28. ian2

    ian2 Semi-Pro

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    Scott, regarding your opponent: from what I can decipher he has a T (tournament exclusive) rating dating back to 2010. It appears that he hasn't played any USTA leagues or tournaments since, until early this year. But he clearly improved in the meantime: he now has won two small tourneys in a row in 3.0 singles, which makes him vastly more 'experienced" player that you are at the moment :) Keep it up: with your attitude and some work, you'll catch up in no time!
     

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