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-   -   Drastic cutback in Junior Tournaments for 2010 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=341746)

justinmadison 08-05-2010 10:28 AM

Drastic cutback in Junior Tournaments for 2010
 
The USTA’s has a new plan for junior tournaments in 2010. The plan is built around less high level tennis for everyone. The plan includes a provision which limits the number of dates available for National Level 3 tournaments to four per year and reduces the draws to 32. In addition the National Level 2 tournaments are reducing their draws to 32 for each of the 4 available dates.

To better understand how drastic a cutback this is in 2009 there were 14 possible dates. Obviously having more dates allows for greater flexibility in tournament selection. In 2010 there will only be 4 possible dates. Combined with the reduction of draw sizes from 64 to 32 the amount of tennis is going to plummet.

I have talked with parents of junior players at the last few tournaments and I cannot find a single one who thinks this is a good idea. The idea of playing more local tournaments is not going to give US kids the kind of competition necessary to improve their tennis.

This is a complete disaster for US junior tennis.

The story going around is somehow the Southern USTA section has so many adult members, which equals to votes, that they have complete say over USTA junior tennis decisions. Somehow they decided this was good for them and rammed it through the committee at the last possible moment without any discussion. (This is a rumor and I don’t know if it is true)


These were / are the dates for National Level 3 tournaments for 14s in 2009.

Jan 2nd Copper Bowl
Jan 16th ******* Winter Champ / Tennis Plaza Cup
May 1st Gater bowl / Muterspaw
May 15th Columbus Indoor
May 22nd New England Open
May 28th Quicksilver / Peach State Classic
July 10th Southern Open / ******* Open
Aug 2nd West Coast Champ / Texas Open
Sept 2nd Labor Day Champ/ Carmel Valley / Summer Smash
Sept 18th Mike Agassi NO QUIT / Kentucky International
Oct 9th Dunlop Junior Champ
Oct 22nd Cincinnati Open
Dec 14th Junior Orange Bowl
Dec 18th California Bowl

himynameisNIKE 08-05-2010 10:52 AM

i actually think this is a good idea. this way families with less money wont have to pay as much money if they want to play national tournaments. Either way juniors don't need to be playing so many national tournaments. this way they can still play local tournaments and get some good competition as this forces other juniors to play them as well.

justinmadison 08-05-2010 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by himynameisNIKE (Post 4921359)
i actually think this is a good idea. this way families with less money wont have to pay as much money if they want to play national tournaments. Either way juniors don't need to be playing so many national tournaments. this way they can still play local tournaments and get some good competition as this forces other juniors to play them as well.

I am unable to understand your position.

Families, with or without money, will still have to pay the same amount of money to play national tournaments.

Families without enough money to play with not be able to play either way. If there are tournaments or if there are not. How does it help anyone to eliminate the ability to play tournaments for those who can afford to?

The skill level difference between the kids playing local tournaments and the skill level it takes to win at the highest level is enormous. The only result of having those kids play local tournaments is a reduction in top level talent.

My guess is you do not have a junior player playing competitively or you would know this. My second guess is the people who made the decision also do not have junior players playing competitively.

himynameisNIKE 08-05-2010 11:55 AM

I am a junior player and i play competitively. The level 3s that i play per year are the copper bowl, muterspaw, my section's closed, quiksilver and the mike agassi tournament. I think it is a good idea to get the sections better kids playing more local tournaments, thus having them travel less, as it is not very efficient to be playing so many national tournaments during the year.

klu375 08-05-2010 01:10 PM

Justin,
L3 National tournaments are not the "highest level". L2s and L3s with 64 draw sizes are now used extensively by the rich point chasers to beef up the national ranking with the hope to be seeded at the follow-up events. Do you know if USTA will start awarding more National points for the local events - then the whole thing will make more sense. The problem is that in the weaker sections kids are playing against the same competition all the time. I guess it is not a problem in the Southern section that probably should be split anyway. And kids in the stronger sections will have harder time qualifying for the SuperNats.

justinmadison 08-05-2010 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by klu375 (Post 4921608)
Justin,
L3 National tournaments are not the "highest level". L2s and L3s with 64 draw sizes are now used extensively by the rich point chasers to beef up the national ranking with the hope to be seeded at the follow-up events. Do you know if USTA will start awarding more National points for the local events - then the whole thing will make more sense. The problem is that in the weaker sections kids are playing against the same competition all the time. I guess it is not a problem in the Southern section that probably should be split anyway. And kids in the stronger sections will have harder time qualifying for the SuperNats.

I know L3 tournaments are not the “highest level” I did not say that nor did I mean to imply that.

I think we worry too much about point chasers. If a kid is not good enough to beat good players that problem will work itself out in the long run.

The USTA is not going to change the points tables for section tournaments. From what I have seen I am not sure it would be a good idea to give out more points for section play. It would seem to favor the weaker section players and award points for beating lower ranked players. Just go to tennis recruiting and look at the section play and how kids will win section tournaments playing kids that are ranked lower than 450 in their graduating class.

In my opinion one of the ways to help kids improve is to have them play the highest level of competition in which they can be successful. If you are in a weaker section you need national tournaments to find better competition. If you are in a strong section you need national tournaments to give you a chance to get points by beating the top kids from a weaker section. :)

All in all, more tennis at a high level is good for juniors. Less tennis at a high level is bad for juniors. The point chasing and the monetary problems are bad but limiting competition is worse.

Falloutjr 08-05-2010 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justinmadison (Post 4921462)
I am unable to understand your position.

Families, with or without money, will still have to pay the same amount of money to play national tournaments.

Families without enough money to play with not be able to play either way. If there are tournaments or if there are not. How does it help anyone to eliminate the ability to play tournaments for those who can afford to?

The skill level difference between the kids playing local tournaments and the skill level it takes to win at the highest level is enormous. The only result of having those kids play local tournaments is a reduction in top level talent.

My guess is you do not have a junior player playing competitively or you would know this. My second guess is the people who made the decision also do not have junior players playing competitively.

What he means is that more lower level tournaments = less travel. This only cripples those who can afford them in the sense that more people can afford to get to these. Really, there is no handicap, unless you think it's unfair to the rich kids that they have to work harder to earn their points by going to more tournaments that other people can afford. In which case, f**k you :)

justinmadison 08-05-2010 06:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Falloutjr (Post 4922057)
What he means is that more lower level tournaments = less travel. This only cripples those who can afford them in the sense that more people can afford to get to these. Really, there is no handicap, unless you think it's unfair to the rich kids that they have to work harder to earn their points by going to more tournaments that other people can afford. In which case, f**k you :)

Let me try and restate your case and you can correct me if I am wrong. … Having fewer national level tournaments results in lower travel costs for everyone and allows the people with less money to compete more effectively with the people who have more money. …

If this is the objective than I agree that the changes will achieve this result. The problem I have is fewer national level tournaments will also result in fewer kids competing at a high level.

I can remember my son going to his first level 2 tournament in 14’s. He lost both matches and would not have gotten in at all under the new system. The first thing he said after the match was …” I have to hit the ball bigger and with better placement to win at this level” He asked me if we could stay another day and watch the top seeds to see how they hit and played. After the tournament he came home and talked with his coach and they started working on what he needed to win. His coach laughed and told me that he had repeatedly told him he had to go for more to win in 14s but until you go and see/play against the competition it is hard to really understand.

Limiting exposure to great tennis limits the learning experience for juniors. It is just that simple. If we are trying to make it more “fair” we will make junior tennis worse not better.

Falloutjr 08-05-2010 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justinmadison (Post 4922111)
Let me try and restate your case and you can correct me if I am wrong. … Having fewer national level tournaments results in lower travel costs for everyone and allows the people with less money to compete more effectively with the people who have more money. …

If this is the objective than I agree that the changes will achieve this result. The problem I have is fewer national level tournaments will also result in fewer kids competing at a high level.

I can remember my son going to his first level 2 tournament in 14’s. He lost both matches and would not have gotten in at all under the new system. The first thing he said after the match was …” I have to hit the ball bigger and with better placement to win at this level” He asked me if we could stay another day and watch the top seeds to see how they hit and played. After the tournament he came home and talked with his coach and they started working on what he needed to win. His coach laughed and told me that he had repeatedly told him he had to go for more to win in 14s but until you go and see/play against the competition it is hard to really understand.

Limiting exposure to great tennis limits the learning experience for juniors. It is just that simple. If we are trying to make it more “fair” we will make junior tennis worse not better.

They're lowering the importance of the national tournaments and increasing lower level tournament importance. If some players can't play in them, then the tennis level is that much weaker anyways.

SoCal10s 08-05-2010 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justinmadison (Post 4922111)

Limiting exposure to great tennis limits the learning experience for juniors. It is just that simple. If we are trying to make it more “fair” we will make junior tennis worse not better.

greater exposure is right .. look at all the USTA elite kids ,they all are sent to play ITFs all over the world... look at the past years of champions and pros ,they mostly came from ITF traveling kids.. this is one of the reasons why I think USA tennis is failing so much to produce the next generation of pros.. other countries find sponsors for their tennis kids so those elite kids start to travel the world by the time they are around 15.. this experience is what I feel is the major difference right now.. you need to travel and see all kinds of different game and get used to seeing different styles of play .. plus that 1 match lost,and you are sent home packing gives the sense of complete urgency ,and this gives them the hunger to win..

flat 08-05-2010 10:24 PM

I can see JM's argument...but I'd like to hear from USTA on their official explanation and if they've considered JM's point or not?

The first I've heard of this issue is from JM. While I guess I am not completely plugged into the USTA flow of things...given that I do travel regularly with my kid to various national tournaments, I'm surprised a decision of this magnitude wasn't communicated more broadly to the point that parents/kids are aware of it?

JM, just a funny coincidence. the first I heard of this issue is when I overheard you discussing this with a certain coach at LB nationals, on top of that bleacher section. I wasn't paying much attention then...as I was much more worried about my son's match. :) It's all coming together now...your son played very well that day.

tenniscrazed 08-06-2010 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flat (Post 4922452)
I can see JM's argument...but I'd like to hear from USTA on their official explanation and if they've considered JM's point or not?

The first I've heard of this issue is from JM. While I guess I am not completely plugged into the USTA flow of things...given that I do travel regularly with my kid to various national tournaments, I'm surprised a decision of this magnitude wasn't communicated more broadly to the point that parents/kids are aware of it?

JM, just a funny coincidence. the first I heard of this issue is when I overheard you discussing this with a certain coach at LB nationals, on top of that bleacher section. I wasn't paying much attention then...as I was much more worried about my son's match. :) It's all coming together now...your son played very well that day.

I've heard about the reduction in draw sizes but did not hear about the limit on the actual numbers of events.

Personally, I think reducing the draw sizes is a great idea. Further I think they need to raise the levels of Open, and designated events. (L4's should be L3s, L5's should be L4's). L1's to L3 nationals should be cut in half. This group should represent the creme de la creme.

With respect to JM's son not being able to get into a National event next year that he would qualify for this year should be an eye opener that he simply isn't ready for that level yet. When he is he will win his matches and will get in either by direct entry or wild card.

I will say however that this may make the strongest sections even stronger and regretfully the weaker sections even weaker.

justinmadison 08-06-2010 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenniscrazed (Post 4923387)
Personally, I think reducing the draw sizes is a great idea. Further I think they need to raise the levels of Open, and designated events. (L4's should be L3s, L5's should be L4's). L1's to L3 nationals should be cut in half. This group should represent the creme de la creme.

With all draw sizes being cut in half and the number of dates for L3’s going from 19 to 4 you are getting more than you even asked for. Your idea of giving more points for section play and less for national play will result in having more weak section players qualifying for the L1 and L2 tournaments. I am not sure how that is good. I am also not sure why you feel like less tennis is good for the top guys.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenniscrazed (Post 4923387)
With respect to JM's son not being able to get into a National event next year that he would qualify for this year should be an eye opener that he simply isn't ready for that level yet. When he is he will win his matches and will get in either by direct entry or wild card.
.

I am not sure why you think my son will have trouble qualifying for National events next year. He turned 14 in July and when the next set of 14’s national rankings are issued he will be at least 130 and higher depending on how he does in the L1 in San Antonio. My earlier reference was to when he entered a L2 14’s event based on his top 50 12’s ranking. That will be more difficult for people with the smaller draws. Who knows what his rank will be when he faces that dilemma again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenniscrazed (Post 4923387)
I will say however that this may make the strongest sections even stronger and regretfully the weaker sections even weaker.

I don’t think it will help anyone. The strong sections will not be represented as well in L1 – L3 events because it will be more difficult for them to pit their strength against the weaker kids in national tournaments. The week sections will be worse off because they will have more difficulty developing their talent against the strong sections.

Quote:

Originally Posted by flat (Post 4922452)
The first I've heard of this issue is from JM. While I guess I am not completely plugged into the USTA flow of things...given that I do travel regularly with my kid to various national tournaments, I'm surprised a decision of this magnitude wasn't communicated more broadly to the point that parents/kids are aware of it?

The only reason I found out about the changes is I was bored the day I received my son’s acceptance into the Clay Court Nationals. At the back of the 15 page package was a single sheet explaining the changes to draw sizes for L2 events. The rumor I heard, and I don’t know if it is true, is the USTA knows people are not going the like the changes and they are trying to hide it as much as possible until it is too late.

Quote:

Originally Posted by flat (Post 4922452)
JM, just a funny coincidence. the first I heard of this issue is when I overheard you discussing this with a certain coach at LB nationals, on top of that bleacher section. I wasn't paying much attention then...as I was much more worried about my son's match. :) It's all coming together now...your son played very well that day.

Thanks, he did have a good day. He went on to win all of his matches at Zonals, then placed 4th in singles and won the doubles at the Texas Open. We will see how he does at San Antonio

tenniscrazed 08-06-2010 03:42 PM

Honestly, actually it's a good thing. The kids who win their designated and sectional matches will rise. Those who don't, won't. The only players concerned about not getting into tournaments are those who realistically shouldn't be in them in the first place.

justinmadison 08-06-2010 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justinmadison (Post 4921313)
These were / are the dates for National Level 3 tournaments for 14s in 2009.

Jan 2nd Copper Bowl
Jan 16th ******* Winter Champ / Tennis Plaza Cup
May 1st Gater bowl / Muterspaw
May 15th Columbus Indoor
May 22nd New England Open
May 28th Quicksilver / Peach State Classic
July 10th Southern Open / ******* Open
Aug 2nd West Coast Champ / Texas Open
Sept 2nd Labor Day Champ/ Carmel Valley / Summer Smash
Sept 18th Mike Agassi NO QUIT / Kentucky International
Oct 9th Dunlop Junior Champ
Oct 22nd Cincinnati Open
Dec 14th Junior Orange Bowl
Dec 18th California Bowl

I looked at the paper work the USTA sent out and found the new 2011 date blocks for the L3 tournaments.

January 22-24
July 9-12
September 3-5
October 29-31

I guess I should be glad I don’t own the rights for the Copper Bowl, Quicksilver, Muterspaw, or the California Bowl. They are out of business.

tenniscrazed 08-06-2010 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justinmadison (Post 4924161)
I looked at the paper work the USTA sent out and found the new 2011 date blocks for the L3 tournaments.

January 22-24
July 9-12
September 3-5
October 29-31

I guess I should be glad I don’t own the rights for the Copper Bowl, Quicksilver, Muterspaw, or the California Bowl. They are out of business.

Honestly, I think you maybe overreacting on this. 1) Smaller draw sizes are beneficial overall as those that should be there will and those who shouldn't won't very simple. 2) Tournament directors will protect their events to best of their ability.

It seems to me that you may be a bit concerned about what happens when your player becomes 15 (given this new set of rules). Honestly if your player deserves to be in the event he / she will, if not then they will not, simple as that.

himynameisNIKE 08-06-2010 05:46 PM

I deem this relevant



jgravagna 08-06-2010 06:00 PM

Drastic cutback in Junior Tournaments for 2010
 
As a college w tennis coach I thing this is a great idea. However, it did not go far enough. They should also eliminate all events during the HS tennis season and award national ranking points this would force kids to play HS tennis. It is time that parents understand that college coaches like players who play HS tennis.

flat 08-06-2010 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenniscrazed (Post 4924316)
Honestly, I think you maybe overreacting on this. 1) Smaller draw sizes are beneficial overall as those that should be there will and those who shouldn't won't very simple. 2) Tournament directors will protect their events to best of their ability.

Not sure of your point here. Regardless of the draw size, or the number of tournaments, your statement of "those that should be there will and those who shouldn't won't" is always true. Maybe USTA should 1/2 the draw to 16 and decrease it to 2 tournaments a year? Then those who *really* should be there will...

USTA (hopefully) did this for a good reason. I would like to understand how they hope to promote the Section more.

I'm currently on JM's side, though. Speaking from a personal perspective, we will have a lot less choices this coming year. So either we are content to play the same players repeatedly in local tournaments, or else we'll spend money to send him to various academies (near relatives house) so he can get more exposure. So not sure we'll save money thru this.

TennisTaxi 08-07-2010 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justinmadison (Post 4924161)
I looked at the paper work the USTA sent out and found the new 2011 date blocks for the L3 tournaments.

January 22-24
July 9-12
September 3-5
October 29-31

I guess I should be glad I don’t own the rights for the Copper Bowl, Quicksilver, Muterspaw, or the California Bowl. They are out of business.

Interesting...these all all West Coast tourneys..are you saying they will all be gone? This puts the kids from the Ca, and Southwest at a disadvantage...because if they would be playing Nationals...these would be the one's they would play.


As a tennis parent of a kid who basically was ranked between 100-150 nationally, who has traveled all over the country, and spent thousands of dollars on the travel...I have mixed feeling about this new system. Money wise, now that I looked back on it, it would have maybe been better to put the $$ into a college fund...but family bonding, seeing the US, meeting new people...priceless.

Plus, when you come from a highly competitive section and your kid is not the in the top 10, it is good to get your kid out of the same environment, playing the same kids...and show them that yes, maybe they have game.

In addition, as the system works now, if my son had not played all these Nationals, I doubt he would have received the same offers he had from colleges nor the interest from coaches, in that he just would have been some local player and not nationally recognized being outside the top 100.

He has had over 1000 views of his tennis recruiting profile by college coaches, that interest was generated by his ranking based up playing kids from all over the country...I wonder how Dallas will be able to keep track of ranking with this new system? It was be heavily biased on the top kids who can get into the Nationals and then the rest way far behind....and it will be unfortunate for those kids who fall outside the top 100. In the long run, I just hope that they get the same offers as my son had and do not get lost in the system.


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