Your $0.02 on Wood Tournaments and Approved Sticks?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Harl Goodman, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Harl Goodman

    Harl Goodman New User

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    I live in a budding community of wood racket players.
    It appears to be catching on at a fair clip, so a couple of us are attempting to organize a bit.

    It looks like we'll have a web site, mainly for folks to know we exist and to set up matches via message board.
    Also, we hope there will be a couple tournaments each year, based on interest.

    I'd like to learn from the experiences of you wood players who've been to the tournaments.
    What format(s) did you use?
    What's worked well, and what hasn't?
    What would you like to see that you haven't?
    Other?

    I'm also very curious about what lines have been drawn RE over-sized rackets and rackets with non-wood components.
    Already in our group we've seen the Prince Woodie, the Wilson Jack Kramer Mid and the Dunlop Maxply Light.
    While these are cool, interesting sticks that mark technology creeping toward the modern racket, I feel they may run counter to the intent of a wood racket "league".

    I look forward to your comments!
     
    #1
  2. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,078
    Hey Harl, sounds lke fun!

    THere is a wood racquet club in our areas and they are pretty picky about approved sticks. They require all wood construction and a single shaft (ie, no 'split throat') design.

    I don't know if there is a head size requirement but you probably wouldn't need one as the other restrictions ought to do the job.

    I took my dad's old Slazenger Challenge (15 oz!!) to one of their events and had an absolute ball. I must have looked pretty funny with my open stance reverse forehand and all, but it was heaps of fun!

    They played a round robin doubles format based on a timer. 5 minute warm up, 45 minute match and 10 minute break/change.

    Worked really well.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!
     
    #2
  3. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,049
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I played a 'throwback' tournament a few years ago where the rule was that the racquet had to have been available for purchase prior to 1980. Not quite the same thing, but maybe close enough, with the advantage that you don't have to get into racquet design/features - just need to know when the particular model was first introduced.
     
    #3
  4. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    Played a couple. It's easiest to just do what OrangePower said and a date for cutoff. Otherwise you get a bunch of old fogies bickering over technical specs.

    It's easy for anyone to get on the web and google their racquet, find out if it's eligible.
     
    #4
  5. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    5,901
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Lolz, Yeah I went out and hit a few balls into the fence with my Rod Laver Chemold Wooden racket a few days ago.

    I haven't brought myself to actually use it on the court though, but I probably should.
     
    #5
  6. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    776
    Harl, what area are you doing this?
     
    #6
  7. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I have hosted a wood tourney, and will do more in the future.
    For my first tourney, I limited rackets to wood construction, and 65 s.i. head size.

    My next tourney will allow aluminum, metal, and fiberglass (T-2000, Head Pro, Head Ashe Comps, Yamaha YFGs, etc) frames; again, not to exceed 65 s.i..(graphite frames excluded - so I'll leave my Ultra II Standard at home).

    Whatever parameters you decide to use, just be clear in your announcement.

    Good luck and great fun!
     
    #7
  8. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,576
    Location:
    Florida
    I played in a wooden racquet tournament where the members donated racquets for players to use in the tournament and you could also bring in your own. Every racquet was standard head size, single throat, and essentially all wood construction. They also required that you wear primarily white tennis clothes.

    Personally, I would require standard racquet head size, single throat design, and primarily wood construction. It's tough to say all wood because even the classic racquets have plastic and leather in there somewhere. Many wooden racquets had some composite type of material in certain places, and wooden racquets are so scarce, you wouldn't want to get too picky.

    I wish I would have kept my old wooden racquets.
     
    #8
  9. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    On the topic of fairness, the date of availability rule is much better than the specific size/composition rule patchwork.

    The bigger point, IMO is that most would be using racquets that regardless of their origin, are likely not physically in playing trim (racquets don't last forever).
     
    #9
  10. Harl Goodman

    Harl Goodman New User

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    We're playing in St. Louis.
     
    #10
  11. Harl Goodman

    Harl Goodman New User

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    A lot of good thoughts thus far. Thanks!

    My desire would be wood only, standard head size ... I'd just hate to have to tell someone who still has their old sticks that they have to go shopping :-|

    I like the manufacture date idea, but I see a couple potential holes in it.
    For one thing, were there not standard size all wood rackets being made at the same time and after the mods were being produced?
    Also, I've tried searching some specific rackets but did not come up with info on production dates as some of you have indicated it should be simple to do. Maybe I just need an education? :)

    I've looked at some nice sites with various info (80s-tennis, woodtennis, woodtennisrackets), but I've yet to see anything that resembled a database of manufacturer's models and production dates. I'd be very happy to be pointed that direction if you've got a lead for me.

    Another question, based on a couple responses - What's the bent against an open throat wood racket? Does it really have that much of a performance advantage?
     
    #11
  12. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    The researching of the racquet should be up to the player, not you. If you make 1978 the cutoff, then the player needs to provide (or be prepared to provide) the proof that their stick fits the rule.
     
    #12
  13. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,078
    No bent, really, but where do you draw the line? Do you want people turning up with this thing? (It's made of wood, after all!)

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=5873153&postcount=52
     
    #13
  14. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,576
    Location:
    Florida
    The date of availability rule is tougher to enforce than size/design/composition. I can just see the arguments coming up about when the model was actually available. Besides, seeing T-2000's and Head Comps really doesn't seem as "traditional" to me as Jack Kramer Autographs.

    You make a good point that racquets don't last forever. It's too bad that there probably isn't a big enough market for wooden racquets for some manufacturer to revive the line. When I played in the wooden racquet tournament, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well my racquet played after about 30-40 years of sitting around.
     
    #14
  15. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,611
    So, are you guys using poly in your wood rackets?
     
    #15
  16. chippy17

    chippy17 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    404
    #16
  17. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,838
    Location:
    At Large
    problem with old wood rackets is that the frames can warp, dry out and crack, the leather grips will be slippery, the strings are long dead. I played a wood pro-am (teaching pros, not touring pros) at my club a few years back. A day before the event me and another one of the pros went through a pile of rackets and chose the ones in best condition for ourselves and put in new synthetic grips and fresh strings. I'd suggest doing the same.
     
    #17
  18. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #18
  19. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    Havre de Grace, MD
    Isnt this just a modern frame with painted wood grain.

    The stiffness is 70 thats some stiff wood.

    I thought some chinese comapny was selling Kramer reproductions on the bay for like 10 bucks a piece or soemthing.

    If it was me I would limit it to wood. If someone had a 100 sq inch wood frame that weighed 20 ounces I would let them have at it.
     
    #19
  20. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    697
    Location:
    about 5000 feet up...
    HARL - shoot me an email to ljohnson at fasterisbetter dot com...
     
    #20
  21. Harl Goodman

    Harl Goodman New User

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Currently, in our group (a dozen strong) 10 are all poly, 1 is a hybrid and 1 has been taking his chances with whatever is in the rackets he's found.
     
    #21
  22. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,078
    Well, I am not going to even bother to explain why a player would have an advantage as it is so obvious. However, and with no disrespect to Harl, the point of a wood racquet event is to recreate a certain 'feel', a 'look' if you will, that hearkens back to another era. The Lacoste is hardly going to fit in...

    As for the guy who reckons it is painted graphite, apparently it is some kind of wood. Wait and see when (if) it ever goes into production.
     
    #22
  23. Harl Goodman

    Harl Goodman New User

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    The input received has mostly reinforced my initial leanings ...

    Tournaments - Standard head size, all wood
       Provides an even playing field and still gives room for folks to pick the weight they like within
       a 2oz range (SO many choices ...) :)
       Fights against the idea of gaining an edge with hybrid equipment

    Pick-up matches - No holds barred!  If it's part wood, bring it!
       I like the idea of getting to see and play with RoboCop style woods on occasion.
       It's a good hands-on history lesson of how the game began to change (i.e. yesterday I
       played the Kramer ProStaff for a while, then hit with a Head Vilas ... holy power injection, Batman!)

    So, it'll be up to the player to figure out if it's worth switching between rackets for pick-up vs. tournament play.
    Personally, I'd feel self-conscious walking onto a doubles court with a Prince Woodie if everyone else had something like a Kramer Auto.
    On the flip side, I'd consider it a challenge if someone wants to play me with a part graphite stick (me and Pancho G. have already proved we can take down modern rackets in singles and doubles at level, so BRING IT!).

    This brings me to another interesting question - What about customization of wood rackets?  What/how was done, if it all?

    I have some lower quality sticks that are in the WIMPY range of 12-12.5oz, and for a while  I've wanted to drill the handle and add lead to see what I get.
    By my own standards for a wood tournament, would an all wood with lead in the handle and/or lead tape on the head be allowed, or should it be banned?
     
    #23
  24. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    505
    I bought up some wood racquets on [the deleted 'rhymes with tree' and ends with "bay" from my post] a bit back and break them out when I am playing some of my 3.0 friends, a handicap of sorts. They don't care. In fact, like true 3.0's they usually don't notice when I pull the wood out of the bag ... they don't often look over to the other side of the net (factual statement; not intended as a slur; invariably when I ask my 3.0 friends, "did you see" or "what did you think" they simply state, 'I wasn't looking... they are usually concentrating on 'their strokes'').

    Wood racquets, I have noticed, are hell on tennis elbow. Otherwise, playing with one is a giggle, but if you own a modern Luxilon power baseline game like I do ... it might also be fun to play with a trashcan lid, a Coke bottle, or a ping-pong paddle ... in lieu of my Wilson stick and Belgian string.
     
    #24

Share This Page