Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by HIGH-TECH TENNIS, Jun 26, 2012.
Anyway, thanks USTA fella.
Great idea. Should be no problem with court scheduling. There would only be 384 matches played in the two rounds that play on the first day.
No answer was given yet. Can someone please explain what in the heck these numbers are?
The conversation has centered on one theme in this thread -
the changes in 2010, 2012, and 2014 for the USTA National Schedule.
If you have no kids who aspire to be national players, then obviously they are NOT PLAYING NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS.
Why are you discussing a system which your kids don't play in, nor do they aspire to be in?
The purpose of this board is to in a polite manner:
Educate discuss, and inform.
You seem to be on a political mission here just to trash a newscaster.
Talk tennis does not allow political conversations, or assaults on political figures, as this is ....... a tennis site,
and only tennis should be discussed.
I know T135...
as an avid commentator on the game. Also, people make political analogies to bureaucracy and governement all day long re the USTA. It seems a bit unfair to stretch a quote to accuse a poster of being off topic.
My son grew up playing in So Cal, if he never traveled out of our section he never would have played on clay or grass. So much for developing all around players!!
Looks like a point-by-point slam dunk. I think just about every criticism has been answered there. The only real problem that I find with the response is that Russell returns to the same theme about five times: If you don't like the current level of American pro tennis success, then why do you want us to keep the crummy broken system we have now instead of changing it? The other points made in the 17-page reply are impressive, but this point is not. If something is mediocre, you can change it in a way that makes it worse. Absolutely any change, no matter how ridiculous, could be justified with this bogus argument. How about we forbid all junior tournaments and have players just do drills with their coaches? If you object, why are you defending the current system that you claim is failing to produce top pros?
That caveat aside, I think that many of Hannity's arguments were refuted in great depth, sometimes embarrassingly so.
Quite a tome
Rather impressive in length and wil honestly take some time to consider. An fairly evaluate. But it was also unnecessarily defensive and could have been have the length, I think.
Aside from from Clark's accurate observation above, two there things jumped out at me:
1 They sort of whiffed on the birthday issue. I don't reay understand tree response. What I read is "good point. we thought about. Not sure what should do"
2 I think the attacks on people(hannity) feeling "entitled" went way overboard, really attacking straw men. He was not saying that everyone should be able to play national events, they should have to earn their participation, like they do now, the discussion is about what needs to be accomplished to earn that privilege. The bar is being raised. Like clark is saying, they need to communicate a better justification for raising the bar than "we need to do something".
Lots of reasons for not filling:
- Its the only L3 with 64 draw( with 8 locations)
- It begins only 3 days after an L2 ends!
- summer vacations
- It ends 3 days before the L1 Clays begin
- They hold them in god awful places (Midland TX etc.)
imo, the 12s L3s should only be 32 (8 locations of 64 in 12s is a little much) On the bright side the 14s, 16s &18s draws are all filled. I'm glad that next year the L3 in July will be 32 for 12s in 2013. But i wished they'd kept the 16s & 18s at 64, since they do have full draws & so my kid could have played up for one natl tourney next year. (Like lots of kids are doing this year).
This has been a highly informative discussion about the state of american junior tennis; past, present and future.
Russell didn't put on any gloves with Hannity but that was an extremely well constructed response that everyone should read regardless of what side of the fence one sits.
BTW, I once wrote a letter to the USTA, not only did John McEnroe not contact me personally...I never got a response from ANYONE. Oh, I forgot, I don't have a nationally syndicated radio show....
Well, some of Russell's points are pretty meaningless, frankly (as are some of Hannity's).
A few that stuck out to me:
The example of "the first alternate in to this July’s Girl’s 12’s National Clay Court Championship is ranked #888 in the country!" This is simply cherry-picked data. In my kid's experience in G14-18, a rank of about 400 or better was necessary to be entered into a supernat 192-person draw. I don't have an explanation why this particular example is so high, but I guarantee it's not representative.
The quote from the Minnesota teaching pro: "the new system would have made [my] son a much better player and saved [my] family tens of thousands of dollars!” Well, the old system allowed my daughter to improve against national-caliber players, and saved my family over a hundred thousand dollars with the full D1 scholarship that resulted. Sure, some people might benefit from the new system; the fact that a committee member says he would have is honestly meaningless.
Claiming that in the new system "no one will ever have to travel unless they want to." Well, no one had to travel in the old system, either. They could simply forgo national competition for sectional play. Plenty did. Now, of course, far fewer can travel--and in the USTA's mind, costs have been magnanimously spared the parents.
I find a lot of Russell's "defense" hyperbolic (ridden with exclamation points) and defensive. Much of it posits a straw man argument agains the worst aspects of the "old" system, such as the ridiculous L3 regionals and the byzantine application process instituted a year or two ago -- a system so awful that most tourney directors and parents would have preferred a death-by-Ridley-Scott's-slimedemons-in-Prometheus. So what if the new system improves upon that mess? That doesn't make it anything to shout about -- it just reminds us of how scattershot and prone to abuse the current system was.
I do give him credit for explaining some of the rationale for the changes.
No parent of any player I ever talked to had ever been consulted in any way on the changes. Nor did they complain about travel or expense related to national-level play. Far fewer of them now have that opportunity. To the USTA elite, this is a good thing.
For me it's all said and done, and future changes won't affect my family. But I find the USTA's rhetoric a little insulting. They're doing what they're doing to narrow down the game at the top and hoping to create some intense competition by givign the very best players in the nation more opportunities to compete against each other. Fine. But it's BS, frankly, to claim that these changes will benefit all families by reducing their expenses.
I'm not trying to argue or defend either side: But
1. Spring Nationals, National Clays, National Hards = draws are too big and littered with kids that do not belong competing against the best ones ..yet. The best kids don't get quality matches until 4 days into the tournament (expensive) Eventually best kids stop playing the bigger events. Come on...really? 256 draw size. Where else in the world is this happening?
2. Just because you have a top 100 ranking nationally, still doesn't mean you are able to compete Internationally. Money buys rankings in the USA. College coaches get burned when they recruit a top 20 usta player and then find out he/she can't compete at the college level (international exposure)
3. I recommend not even playing USTA events except for practice. Start the ITF ranking as soon as you are ready and you only get ready by playing against your section and becoming the best in your section.
4. Go to South America and play 14's and 16's COSAT's - learn how to play against different styles in different cultures.
I'll just say it.
It's impossible for me to take Sean Hannity seriously on any level when he has demonstrated a lack of integrity for truth and decency throughout his career as a purveyor of hatred and divisiveness including closely associating himself with at least one white supremacist organization.
He has proven himself to be unworthy of the consideration by non-bigoted citizens on "both sides of the aisle."
Much like Rush Limbaugh found himself ousted from mainstream American football commentary because his rampant racism and sexism were not welcome, similarly we ought not really be terribly interested in what Mr. Hannity has to say about tennis.
We each have a right to an opinion---but I gotta go with two that I've read: tennistaxi and soianka...say it again.
Agree totally. Hannity doesn't speak for the typical tennis parents.
Well said. I also applaud the changes, it brings some sanity to a situation that got out of hand with the point chasing and money as a barrier to success in junior tennis. This exactly what is stopping our beloved sport from getting superior athletes to take up the sport.
i read it. It's filled with a defensive tone, inaccurate facts (tell the parent in Seattle it's cheaper to compete in St. Louis than in LA), non-answers (why are the only 2 Super Nats going to be less than one month apart, instead of having 3 - or 4 - spread out throughout the year).... & phony research.
As said upthread, there are hundreds of parents in the sphere of many who post here, none were ever surveyed & all think that several of the changes are ridiculous. (no more Winter Nats)
I'm thinking this is a FL problem. With middle of the pack academy kids from FL flying all over to play elsewhere. Not sure how to fix that, but the current system (instituted a year & a half ago) for National L2s & L3s fixed 90% of the point chasing in 14s-18s.
No one cares that they are stopping the ability to sign up at multiple sites (a real pain for the TDs i've been told). That is one logical development...but it doesn't change the fact that most of the other changes going down in 2014 are dumb, myopic & counterproductive to the development of US tennis.
The dude's 17 page disertation was well written though. If i had an agenda i was pushing, he'd be the one I'd use to get the talking points out.
I bet you could comment on a few more, but there are only so many hours in the day.
Are the Super Nat draws 256?
Are you recommending that we fly our kids to South American tournaments on a regular basis to prepare them for Mid Major, D2 & D3 college tennis?
I should have let my kid play La Crosse with his friends.
I wouldn't fly my kid to South America to play in tournaments on a regular basis. If you get creative you can find matches without jumping on planes.
C'mon it's point chasing. The cream rises to the top. If you are really good, you will rise to top 2 in your section and will qualify for everthing. The new system won't effect the really good players that need to develop. It is bad for the wannebes and wealthy marginal players (probably Hannity's in the future to make a case in point, that's why he is vehemently against it! Don't think for one minute that he is not self serving!). The only problem is SoCal where there is a wealth of talent however there is so much talent there, they can develop locally.
I am not sure that it is fair to say that people who don't have a big objection to the changes have an "all or nothing" approach.
The changes have nothing to do with a one-star advancing to two-star, two to three, three to four, or low four to high four. I think the changes may or may not have an effect on high-four stars/low five stars.
If I am reading the situation incorrectly, I am sure someone will point it out.
So it seems to me there are about 50+ players in each graduating class who may be affected. I can sympathize with anyone who is adversely affected by the changes, but I do not think it is a pervasive situation that relates to the entire sport for juniors.
And I don't think that the old system....or any changes that anyone could come up with....could possibly be ideal for everyone. I think that would be an unrealistic expectation.
So, what do people think? Is the issue about a possible....possible...new challenge for about 50 juniors in each graduating class?
Under the current system there are juniors playing the Super Nationals who should not be playing them. It is ridiculous that players from the smaller, weaker sections who were eliminated early in their Sectionals are playing a Level 1. It is a waste of everyone's time and money.
Unfortunately, the kids don't really cooperate and organize themselves that neatly. Rather, talent tend to push talent and make each other better, so in small section, we may get age groups where there are none who are truly qualified to play at a top national level, but the next age group there is several. I think the same phenomena happens across the board.
yeah, I got a belly laugh out of this one too...
There have been suggestions before on how to improve this - make the first two rounds 8 game pro-sets and play two a day.
One justifications for shrinking the draws is that first round matches are not-competitive. Well, that's pretty much the nature of Tennis and the seeding system. We can do away with seeding and then we'll see some first round competitive matches:twisted:. But in any case, if the first round is generally competitive, than I submit that you have cut he draw too much.
Thanks for opening the bigger picture to me. So what's the answer? With the changes it is "a lost opportunity for everyone", but with 256 national draws it is not a lost opportunity for everyone and tennis in the US continues to flourish? Why not 512 draws?
And who said it was a small group that was upset with the changes? I said there would be about 50+ people in each graduating class affected. High-four-star/low five star range. I said I felt sympathy for them.
The people upset with the changes obviously comprise a much bigger group....all those who think they are high four star/low five star caliber. Doesn't mean everyone who is upset will be affected.
So let's get to the nitty-gritty. What can we expect?
-Quality of play in the US to decrease?
-Fewer scholarships slots available at colleges?
-Lower USTA membership?
-Fewer subscriptions to TRN?
What is this bad tennis world we are facing..........looking at the bigger picture
It's pretty obvious that when 16 of 17 sections vote for it, the change is here to stay for now.
Pretty solid response from Timothy Russell.
And I was right, they are basically going back to how it was when I was a junior.
I also grew up in SoCal under this format (the new one that is actually the old one), and we (SoCal) developed some good players (Sampras, Chang, Davenport, etc.).
- I predict USTA memberships will increase over the next 5 years.
- I predict the quality of play in the US will improve as well.
And if those predictions turn out to be wrong, all the Hannity haters can blame him for it.
It's clear that you enjoy seeing me rotate on the spit, however; I'm not too overly concerned with the blame game. The emotional scoreboard is of no interest to me.
On a positive note, I do believe we're making progress and I'm confident with my predictions - they really weren't earth shattering anyway. I'm just not a gloom and doom guy. The real question is, do we have the patience? It will not happen in the next 2 years.
I agree with your prediction...
out with the old and in with the new.
It is quite ridiculous when the letter says that all but one section voted for the changes. The sections have no source of income. They receive 100% of their funding from the USTA in White Plains. No way are the section employees in a position to fight their bosses in White Plains. You cannot underestimate the influence of money and power in the decision making process. It would have made much more sense to go directly to the parents. Sean Hannity has a platform so they craft a 17 page response to his points. Pat Mac responds as well. Joe Shmo in Idaho has 3 kids playing USTA that he is supporting on a teacher's salary. They don't bother to respond to him.
Excellent Point About Joe Schmo In Idaho!!!
Hannity didn't respond to Russell's Email either.
Russell's response was not written for Hannity...it was written for Mr & Mrs Schmo.
I find the most insulting aspect was that all the sections except 1 voted for it.
Landslide victories don't mean very much when sections were threatened with cuts to their budgets.
What is the point? I missed it.
Is it that Hannity responds to all the Joe Schmos who contact him?
EDIT: I got no problem with a national organization like the USTA not responding to every individual who contacts them. I think the proper channel is through the sections. Our family has had experience with two sections and have found them both to be very responsive. Maybe the top 128 kids should be entitled to direct responses from National without clearing the Sectional route.....or maybe others would prefer 256 or 512. (Ha-ha)
Completely agree with you MisterBill about utilizing the channels in place.
The link to the response from the USTA to his article:
Everyone would love to play ITFs, but very few people can afford a flight to South America or Europe.
It is a couple of times the price for a plane ride to Florida.
And somehow, this huge country that we live in seems to have very few ITFs.
So, national draws that are getting smaller ( 192 shrinking to 128, AND DOUBLE THE WILD CARDS),
Winter Nationals and Easter Bowl have disappeared,
( even though the USTA didn't want to interrupt school for tennis, and of course Winter Nats is OVER XMAS BREAK WHEN NO ONE HAS SCHOOL!)
Not that many ITFs here in this country. We had more, but they are gone.....
Notice a pattern here.
USTA's answer - play with college kids. Well, they are only home for the summer, and they are earning money like everyone else working.
Not so easy to get them to play with junior.
From what I have read this had nothing to do with saving families the expense of competing in national tournaments. It had everything to do with the extreme paranoia the USTA suffers from in not having Americans playing for Grand Slams. The purpose is to have to top rated juniors battle it out against each other more often without having to waste 2 meaningless rounds againt Joe Shmo from Idaho's kids. They should have published "proposed changes" in their newsletter with a 30 day comment period. They should have read a sample of the comments and then made a final decision. That is one way it is done in a responsible organization.
Separate names with a comma.