Time To Reduce Draws Sizes for National Championships???

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Keysmickey, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    I guess it's time for the USTA to reduce the draw size for the Super Nationals (National Championships) as the results from the National Championships in Mobile are in ... And they weren't pretty.

    The main criteria used by the USTA for reducing draw sizes in the L2 and L3 tournaments was level of competition. They felt there were too many matches not considered close matches (4 & 4 is what they considered close). So by that rationale the super Nationals need to be reduced immediately to a 64 draw as only 22 of the 64 matches on the girls side and 19 of the 64 matches on the boys were competitive in first round action (again, according to THEIR criteria).

    So all of you proponents of the reduction in L2 and L3 sizes, how do you feel about this? I mean you only want the best, right?
     
    #1
  2. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,765
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    22 out of 64 is a pretty good number of competitive matches. Single digits would be bad, but 22 out of 64 when a lot of seeds are playing non-seeds is pretty good.

    I believe the USTA listed other criteria for L2 draw size reduction, such as days of school missed. They are not going to budge on the days of school criterion for super nationals, especially with the clay and Kalamazoo being in the summer, and the winter nationals don't always cause school to be missed for kids who lose early, which is half the kids there. The spring super nationals are a different story.
     
    #2
  3. jkang909

    jkang909 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    235
    i like bigger draw sizes because more people are there. to me, the more people there are, the better the atmosphere
     
    #3
  4. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    I'm curious as to where this information you reference is listed. It's not that I don't believe you, I'd just like to review all the criteria that you reference. Can you share that information? Where did the USTA state that the main criteria for reducing draw sizes in the L2 and L3 tournaments was level of competition. Where did they state that they felt there were too many matches not considered close matches? Thanks!
     
    #4
  5. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    CFU, recent interviews with USTA 'muckity mucks' on USTA website and tr.net.

    Clark, agreed but then the L2 and L3's were seeing about the same percentages in their first matches. Why'd they REALLY get the axe????

    The USTA did mention missed school as a reason but this was just lip service, IMO, as in reality the kids who are reaching the semi and finals of these tournaments aren't too concerned with school attendance anyway (assuming many of them are even in regular school).
     
    #5
  6. dirkpitt38

    dirkpitt38 New User

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Messages:
    76
    I think the USTA should just cut to the chase and reduce all tournaments to the top 15 boys and girls.Then regulate the rest to play QS. :twisted:
     
    #6
  7. flat

    flat Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Do you have some data to back this up? I don't have a opinion either way, but just thought this is interesting.

    Also, you have to establish a baseline on what is a good % for competitive matches. I guess someone can analyze all futures, or challenger, or ATP, college, or ATP matches and come up with comparable stats?
     
    #7
  8. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    I'm really worried this may be the future. LOL.
     
    #8
  9. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,778
    USTA already has the top kids at their training facilities ... those kids hardly ever play a level 2 national and only a selected level 1 ... they are more interested in ITF's and futures for those kids..
     
    #9
  10. PennAlum

    PennAlum Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    It would be good to limit Supers at 128 rather than the 192 at the Zoo draws where many 1st rounders end up at 0,0 and 0,1's. I think it's great that L2 and L3 are limited. It brings sanity back into junior tennis. Sorry it you can't compete sectionally to earn the right to compete nationally. I'm all for limited national play to players who have earned it. Sorry for a vote against allowing mediorce players to play nationals to adorn their resumes in this feel good, politically right era where every soccer and baseball player gets a trophy. Good riddence to mediocrity.
     
    #10
  11. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    You think the USTA should be about pro prospects only??? Unbelievable. It's a great philosophy if you're one of the few ... Of course it doesn't matter in the long run since the USTA couldn't produce a decent pro if Federer were in the system.
     
    #11
  12. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    503
    May not be a bad idea to limit all L1s to 128 and increase L2s to 48. With the present system it may be easier to get into summer L1s than into L2s. Also replace full feed-in consolation with separate consolation draws for 1-2nd round losers, 3-4 round losers, etc. to equalize competition for weaker players. L1 tournaments should be grand slams of junior tennis and the players should be proud just to qualify for these tournaments.
    We will not see all implications of the latest changes until 2012 because players are still riding on National points earned in 2010.
     
    #12
  13. PennAlum

    PennAlum Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    NO! NO! NO! I did not say that but I'm a firm believer that you should excel in your section BEFORE you spend money and time away from school so that you don't get killed 0,1 in the first round and waste everyone's time and money. There was a guy in our section that was never good enough to play the main draw in the sectional designated tourneys. However, he spent time and money to game the sytem and flay around the country to enter the weakest L3 draws so he could win one round. This was good enough for him to gain points to qualify to enter L1 and L2 where he would get killed 0,1 and waste other people's time and money. With the new system, players like him can no longer game the system with money. They have not earned the right to play Supers. There are a lot of levels in this sport and each player should play at his approppiate level and the new USTA system moves closer to that goal. It's not about nurturing pros, it's about having a rational system that can't be exploited by money which the old system allowed!!!
     
    #13
  14. PennAlum

    PennAlum Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    Furthermore, not every pro is good enough to play the Grand Slams. If a junior is not good enough to play the Supers then too bad! Go practice and play more to improve your game! The 192 draw just adds another day or two and $200-400 more in expenses which is more wasted money to play this ridiculously expensive sport and makes the backdraw too long! This is the major impediment in getting great athletes in poor and middle class families into this great sport of ours.
     
    #14
  15. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    Agree with you on all points.
     
    #15
  16. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    Penn,

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What a well constructed and accurate post. You absolutely nailed it - spot on. National tournaments were out of control and needed reigning in.
     
    #16
  17. PennAlum

    PennAlum Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    Daddy had an open wallet and sent a traveling pro with him everywhere so he and junior could tell his friends and family that the kid was playing USTA national tennis tournaments! He was the running joke in the section and ended up not even playing college tennis. Another junior in the section would enter the required sectional designated tournaments to obtain his sectional endorsements but would pull out before the first round for "injury." He was scared to play in his own section because so many guys could beat him. He and his parents gamed the system to find the weakest L3 draws where he would be seeded #1 and he would win the tourneys and hoist his national ranking points. He was ranked top 20 in the country but always lost in the first 3 rounds in L1's but it worked as he was recruited to a great school with strong tennis . Theyu had it down to a science. He has yet to start in college in his first 2 years and is only getting some play as a junior at the bottom position. So the old system was gamed and the kids and parents all knew it! The old system was a joke.

    I suspect most of the complaints in the new system with smaller draws are from families with money who are worried that cannot buy a ranking for junior and paint a pretty picture for college. I APPLAUD the USTA for making this bold step of rationality which is unusual for them. The USTA tends to broaden the junior tournamnet experience to rain money on the tournament venues so everyong can make more money under the guise of "more playing experience." The cream will rise to the top without the added expense of having to play more touneys to chase points. My son was top 30 in the USTA national and only played one L3 tourney in his life. He got there by winnig numerous sectionals designated tourneys which earned him the right to play L1's and L2's.
     
    #17
  18. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    OK, now that's really condescending.

    I reiterate, I do not need the USTA any longer. My daughter's college is paid for. I have simply been trying to rally support for a system in which winning isn't everything. A system that promotes development of all levels of players. A system that allows opportunities and rewards those players for their improvement. Most of you disagree and that's fine, exclusionary, but fine.

    Since I don't need any changes from the USTA personally I'll just bow out of this website, heck, I haven't been posting here too long anyway, and let those of you with kids still in the rat race hash it out.

    Good tennis everyone.
     
    #18
  19. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    525
    I love it when people tell these kinds of obviously ridiculous stories. The part that really kills me is the number of people who actually believe this kind of stuff. Let’s do the math. If you win one round in a L3 with a 64 draw you get 60 points. If you win one round in a 128 draw L3 you get 40 points. Let’s say he played all small draw L3 and got 60 points in every event. 60 X 6 = 360. 360 points places you with a national ranking of #424. The cutoff for L1 play in usually around 210 sometimes as low as #225.

    Try to make up a story that is at least possible.
     
    #19
  20. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    525
    This may be my all-time favorite for most ridiculous posts. Do you honestly think we believe a guys playing in the lineup at a “great school with strong tennis” could not win matches in his section? He was winning L3’s and losing in the round of 32 at L1 events and he “was the running joke” in the section. I guess the joke’s on the people laughing at him now that he is in the line-up a great school with strong tennis.


    This is definitely the best of the best for absolutely ridiculous.
     
    #20
  21. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    503
    As usually I am very impressed with your quantative analysis but it used to be 8 best Nat tournaments so the number of points would be 8 x 60=480. Also there used to be a lot of L3s with 32 draws. So if you scrape by one round (weak local alternate or opponent from weak section) in each you would get 8 x 80=640 nat points. Actually more if your luck will continue in consolation where a lot of people would leave early to go back to school/work. The same was possible in L2s with 64 draws.
     
    #21
  22. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    525
    That is great for your son. It sounds like the system worked well for him. What section did he play. There is an enormous difference between winning a designated in SoCal and Mid-Atlantic. The fact that you believe L3’s in the old system are easier that designateds leads me to believe that you were in a tough section. Allowing kids who are between say top 20 and 50 in SoCal the opportunity to play for points against the kids who are top 10 in the weaker sections makes sense to me. I don’t know why we think a kid who is #10 in Mid-Atlantic is more “worthy” to play L1’s when he cannot beat a kid who is #30 in SoCal. That is why the kid who is #30 in SoCal would try to find a L3 where he could play the #10 kid in Mid-Atlantic.

    SoCal took 30 boys to Zonals last year for boys 14s. Hawaii and others took 6. SoCal took both 1st and 2nd place. Why should excelling in Hawaii allow you to get into a L1 while placing 20ith in SoCal mean you cannot play?
     
    #22
  23. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    525
    I used 6 X 60 so I could compare to the current national list. If you use 8 X 60 = 480 and compare against the 2010 ranking you get the same answer. The ranking would be lower than 411. I looked at the 2010 L3 tournament schedule and there were more 32 draws than I realized. Most are in the North East in the winter which makes sense as they are played indoors. If you win one round there you get 80 points. If you can do that in 8 tournaments you got 640 points. Still not enough to get into a L1. You would be ranked slightly below 300.
     
    #23
  24. PennAlum

    PennAlum Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    All very true. He only started at #6 sometimes in his junior year, not a regular because he still couldn't win. Freshman and sophomore year was a bust and no one in his section was surprised. Very true. Guys in his section love to play him him to beat him for national bonus points but he couldn't take the pressure and would default all the time. There were a lot of ridiculously easy L3's out there. Top kids never played L3's. Only players who wanted to game the system or pay for points to pad their record went to them, kids who couldn't win their own sectionals went to them. Players who won their own sectionals got enough points to play L1's and L2's. That's the way it should be. Kids who couldn't compete in their own section would pick the weakest National Open and fly halfway across the country rather than drive 2 1/2 hrs and compete against guys in their own section. Very true, you see it all the time. You are being naive if you don't believe this. L3's are a joke and are easier than the top 5 sections' designated tourneys.

    Socal is the toughest section in the country and in it's own league. Coaches understand this and many fly in to see the CA sectionals. Then again players in Socal have the best opportunity to develop as the competition is so difficult.
     
    #24
  25. PennAlum

    PennAlum Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    A top #10 kid in mid-Atlantic is not going to play L1's because he is not going to win his section's designated tourneys. He's the kid that flies around the country buying points to get into L1's. The #30 kid in Socal has a better chance to play L1's because Socal has more slots for L1's and every time he plays Socal designated tourneys he has loads of opportunities to get bonus points by knocking off national players. You don't have than opportunity in weak sections if you are #10, you probably only have 1 or 2 players with national rankings who you can't beat. In Socal, guys like Kosakowski have the opportunity to come from #114 freshman year when no one knew him to #1 senior year.
     
    #25
  26. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    ^^^^ Qualis, Qualis, Qualis, Qualis and when you're done more Qualis. Simple, hold out 8 to 16 depending on the draw. If you want to pay to get to the even.. No problem...Quali time. If you're good enough but didn't have enough money for points... No problem.. Quali time.

    To me quali's are where the you see who the real deal is.
     
    #26
  27. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    Fixing grammar errors. It should be "pay to get to the event". To me qualis are where you see who the real deal is".

    Sorry but I have no edit button?????
     
    #27
  28. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    The other one is playing for wild cards. If you have 8, save 4 and play for 4.
     
    #28
  29. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    I don't disagree with your statement about the real deal, however; it adds time and expense. It's not going to happen.
     
    #29
  30. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,290
    Dear KeysMickey,

    I hope you will stay in the discussion. I always find your views enlightening and on target. Those who are condescending usually don't know what they are talking about, or are not in your shoes to know what you are talking about...


    Dear KeysMickey,

    I hope you would stay in the conversation. I always find your views enlightening and on target. Unfortunately, people who are condescending usually don't know what they are talking about, or are not in your shoes to know what you are talking about.
     
    #30
  31. hound 109

    hound 109 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Messages:
    382
    Keysmickey, my kid is still in the rat race (& will be for several years).

    I often agree with your points.....but more importantly I appreciate your perspective as a parent who has already "run the gauntlet" with your daughter.

    Not everyone reading these threads is an elite coach or the parent of a future pro. Please continue to post if you think your opinion would be helpful.

    Thanks.

    :)
     
    #31
  32. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    991
    Keysmickey, I'm 100% with you.
    I have kids playing D1 tennis, went through same crap as you have with the USTA junior tennis system.

    They will never get it right until they just go back to growing the game.
     
    #32
  33. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    If you're an American and playing D1 tennis, you're in the minority.
     
    #33
  34. Jen10isFan

    Jen10isFan New User

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    41
    There are many reasons why the concept of reducing the draws of Supers to 64 is beyond flawed!

    - The various sections are granted a specific number of spots. This means that players from sections that have many great players, but small number of spots, will not necessarily get in. Example; PNW B16s would only get one spot, yet they have 5-6 players that regularly do very well at Supers.

    - Top kids that age up will have a hard time getting into the tournaments as they will not have sufficient points.

    - Who is to say that a top 200 player can not be competitive?

    - These tournaments play a major role in the development of players. Nothing can beat the inspiration of going to a Super National - across the board - and it may just be the necessary inspiration that a kid needs to go from being OK to becoming great.

    Let the kids compete!
     
    #34
  35. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    You haven't read my previous posts, I was being facetious. All of my opinions are in favor of more play for more kids, as much as they want or can play.
     
    #35
  36. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    Qualis, qualis, qualis. Really the answer lies simply in the qualifiers. Most every tournament in the entire world except for USTA juniors has qualifier events. ITF futures have qualis, ATP events have qualis, ITF juniors have qualis. USTA pro circuit events even have qualis.
     
    #36
  37. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    100% correct. Every major tourny should have that option. A talented kid who is taking a different path should be able to show up and qualify. First come first serve, or a lottery if their are too many interested kids. That way the kids only real sure they could advance would risk bypassing the rankings.

    For example, that Emira Stafford who is supposedly training with former pro players but never plays tournaments. If she is that good she should be able to drop into a tournament, qualify, win it, and throw the entire ranked players off their games.

    I think that would be a cool option and result in a wider scope of talent challenging each other. You could have some inner city freak athlete show up and get to the semis of a major. That is the stuff that makes for greatness.

    The USTA had a deal where anyone could try to qualify for the US Open....yet major junior tournaments don't have that sort of thing? Maybe if the top 10 executives at the USTA would take a little less money we could afford to do stuff that would help US junior tennis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
    #37
  38. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    Standing ovation.
     
    #38
  39. seminoleG

    seminoleG Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    473

    Bingo! I would never play a tourney again for points. Just the Q!

    USTA and tourney directors (USTA staff) would lose $$$$$$

    I could save $$$ and pay for more one on one instruction. Even use savings to travel to more events.
     
    #39
  40. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    Plenty of kids would still chase points so the USTA would still make lots of money. But it would allow some talented kids to take another route, practice, drill, get better without spending money chasing points.

    Its the right answer to increasing the depth of junior talent.
     
    #40
  41. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    Quali's are the right answer. If a child is good enough but lacks resources to play many events, they can come in through the quali. If a child has been injured and lost a prior ranking status they don't have to beg for a wild card, they come in through the quali. If a child is good enough but simply did not want to miss too much school then coming in through a national L1, L2, or L3 quali is the answer.

    USTA junior events are the only elimination type events in the entire world that do not have a quali system. Even USTA Pro Circuit events have qualis. It is a bit bizarre.
     
    #41
  42. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    Hmmm...and the USTA junior tournament system has produced no top players. Perhaps they should shake things up?
     
    #42
  43. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    There is no qualifier system.
     
    #43
  44. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    You should be able to play a quali for ever L-3 down to L-1s (or the other way around)
     
    #44
  45. Keysmickey

    Keysmickey Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    160
    I'm not familiar with the quali system.

    I assume the quali's would offer no points, only the chance to get into the dance? Or could they offer, say local sized (minimal) points for wins?

    Also, does only the winner of a quali get in or are they only played to the quarter's, semi's or finals allowing 8, 4 or 2 entries generally?
     
    #45
  46. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    Not gonna happen.
     
    #46
  47. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    Why? Every single sports governing body evaluates things on a regular basis and makes changes. The most successful organization on the sports planet, the NFL, changes rules every year to make the product better.

    So the USTA, who has a horrible track record of producing top players, is too good to change anything like offering qualifiers at selected tournaments?

    The posts concerning this are dead on. It would add so much to have kids who take different paths able to have the chance to battle the USTA ranked players if they are good enough. Its simple to do. They should have to have USTA memberships to enter the qualis.

    I think it is one of the best ideas with a real chance of actually improving the American junior tourny and ranking system that stinks right now.
     
    #47
  48. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    TCF,

    Qualies at a few select events is interesting. For the big nationals perhaps, but I'd draw the line there. L2,L3, forget it.

    I know you despise the USTA, but they makes changes too. And I like the changes they've made. QS was a radical and necessary change. A controversial decision indeed. Time (not a few months) will tell if the decision was good for the sport.
     
    #48
  49. Freak4tennis

    Freak4tennis Guest

    Quali's generally play down to 16 on a 128, 8 on a 64, 4 on a 32. Quali's give the opportunity to play the main draw and are a an excellent way for a player to fight their way into the mains.

    The ITF for example even has an exemption rule. If you are in the quarters or better of the main draw in an event within the same continent and you are in the quali of the next tournament you will be automatically exempt from having to play the next tourney's quali you would get a main draw direct because of the depth which you obtained in the prior event.

    Qualis are where it's at. Whether we like it or not, whether the USTA allows for them or not is irrelevant. The rest of the world and even the Pro Circuit events within the US have them. The sport of tennis say's if you want to succeed you will play qualis at some point.

    If you succeed in these qualis you will have earned your place in that level. Simple formula.
     
    #49
  50. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    I agree with you, however; the financial impact and the importance of education must also be considered. We shouldn't do anything just because everybody else does. My kid had to quali for JOB and that was a great character building experience.
     
    #50

Share This Page