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-   -   Looks like USTA is finding new ways to mess up in VA (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=412625)

JRstriker12 02-07-2012 09:01 AM

Looks like USTA is finding new ways to mess up in VA
 
Anyone know what's going on here? Reducing the voice of a strong district within the section and possibly moving administration of USTA activities in Virginia to another district or section, possibly outside VA doesn't sound like a winning idea to me.

Maybe I'm wrong...

Could also have impact nationally as one item would limit the voting percentage of all districts nationally.

http://www.virginiatennis.com/news/1...our-voice.html

The three specific issues that are of concern are:

1) A potential Call Item to National USTA to divide Districts in order to reduce voting strength;

2) A potential Call Item to National USTA that would limit Districts, including Virginia, to a maximum of 35% voting strength at the Section level. (Currently, Virginia represents 57% of the membership in Mid Atlantic.)

3) Potential bylaw changes at the Mid-Atlantic Section that would take away Virginia’s autonomy to administer its leagues, programs, etc. while at the same time diminishing financial transparency and volunteer oversight.

Cindysphinx 02-07-2012 11:55 AM

Pardon?

Any idea what the politics are behind these changes?

I guess I could understand the need to "protect" and therefore grow smaller areas. My leagues are in MD, but I have never felt any friction with Virginia.

I know there is a lot of friction between DC and MD (perhaps not on the administration level but on the player level). Certain MD players have a habit of fielding all-star teams in DC to earn an easy trip to sectionals without the bother of going through MD Districts.

I can't say I blame them, but I understand that the DC 4.0 ladies senior league was won by an all-star team from MD, which went to sectionals but defaulted two courts to finish last at sectionals (IIRC). The feeling in some quarters in DC was irritation that the DC-based players lost the chance to go to sectionals to a MD team that didn't take sectionals seriously.

JRstriker12 02-07-2012 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 6311456)
Pardon?

Any idea what the politics are behind these changes?

I guess I could understand the need to "protect" and therefore grow smaller areas. My leagues are in MD, but I have never felt any friction with Virginia.

I know there is a lot of friction between DC and MD (perhaps not on the administration level but on the player level). Certain MD players have a habit of fielding all-star teams in DC to earn an easy trip to sectionals without the bother of going through MD Districts.

I can't say I blame them, but I understand that the DC 4.0 ladies senior league was won by an all-star team from MD, which went to sectionals but defaulted two courts to finish last at sectionals (IIRC). The feeling in some quarters in DC was irritation that the DC-based players lost the chance to go to sectionals to a MD team that didn't take sectionals seriously.

Yeah its a mistery to me too, unless it's some local USTA politics / power play. IMHO VA and MD tend to have a lot of players and thus tend to be more competitive. If DC wanted to protect their leagues, couldn't they limit the number of VA or MD players on each team or something along those lines?

But going back to this announcement, I wonder if it really about money. By splitting up and managing VA under other districts, they would be able to tap a rich vein of players and their fees.

Cindysphinx 02-07-2012 01:37 PM

I don't know if leagues are (or should be) able to prevent players from joining teams on the basis of residency. Interesting idea, though.

JRstriker12 02-07-2012 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 6311638)
I don't know if leagues are (or should be) able to prevent players from joining teams on the basis of residency. Interesting idea, though.

Why not? There are all sort of rules about who can play on which team based on if your team went to sectionals/nationals or how many players can play together on multiple teams.

They could just require that say 75% or more than 55% of the players on any team live in DC. Either that of field an all-star DC team to take out the all-star MD team...

Topaz 02-07-2012 04:29 PM

DC leagues and players are doing just fine. The DC team at sectionals at 3.5 had a very even mix. You just aren't going to have a team made up of just DC residents in this area...the districts are just too close together. I think the influx of VA and MD players makes DC league more competitive.

I know, too, for me, it is actually closer to play DC than MD or VA, and I LIVE in VA.

I know the captains of which you speak, of course. They are beatable, but most don't even try.

Cindysphinx 02-07-2012 06:11 PM

The DC team I played on (or I should say didn't play on) a few years back was a MD all-star team.

The DC senior 4.0 women team this year was a MD all-star team.

I believe there have been some NOVA all-star teams as well that played as a DC team.

That said, I will defer to your recollection, Topaz. I only pay attention to DC when there's some drama, so my perspective is probably skewed.

Anyway, I've committed to a DC 4.0 team. It's a team my regular partner plays on, so I'm sticking with her. This team has been reasonably high in the standings in the past and hopes to make a real run this year.

And I am courting a 4.0 senior guy, hoping to entice him to be my senior 8.0 mixed partner this summer. If he says yes, we will kill our opponents. How this guy has a 4.0 computer rating is beyond me.

Angle Queen 02-08-2012 01:59 PM

Finally had some time to sit and read the "message" from our District President.

I'll start out by saying I think his message falls somewhat flat because some important details are left out. Name names, Wayne. Who is this “Mid-Atlantic Delegate to USTA” that, without Board approval, proposed these call items and how and why were they allowed to do so (which National rules did they slide it in on)? Call them out in public, revoke their status as Delegate and maybe even their USTA membership.

Give dates. When was this "Semiannual Meeting" in New York? When is the next national meeting...for our “comments” to be in by? If you want to be all about "transparency and honesty" then give us all the facts.

And while you're at it, take a good long look in your own mirror. Last year, USTA/VA alone sucked $18 from each and every player for each and every league they played in. Was that information on the USTA/VA website? No, not that I could find (our local area broke down the almost $40 each signup costs). That same website does little to explain why the fee is so high except to say that it funds a long laundry list of things we rarely hear about. (link: http://www.virginiatennis.com/leagues/faqs.html) Is the District’s budget posted anywhere on-line?

About the specific proposals, it's hard to judge them without all the data.

Are the “potential” call items #1 and #2 a package deal? Exactly which Districts are to be divided? It would seem like the proposal must have some specifics.

At least in Item #2, we are given the breakdown that USTA/VA comprises “57% of the membership.” Do we assume that’s individual, unique members...or does it represent the aggregate number of players and their opportunities? Take someone like CindySphinx or Topaz. Live in one District, play in another. Are they members of both? If not, why not? If they’re paying “league” fees that go to that District, shouldn’t they have a say in how that District is governed?

(OK, maybe DC is a bad, bad, bad area to have this discussion of “paying” without being represented.)

And how is/was Item #3 even an issue at a National USTA meeting? It’s supposedly a proposed change to the Mid-Atlantic Section by-laws. Wouldn’t that have to be taken up by USTA/MAS (and then, perhaps, sent to National for final approval)?


Taking a step-back, I’ll have to admit I think the VA District is perhaps either too large, especially in relation to the other districts within our Section...or...the overall section is misconfigured. I'm not in the Washington area (DC proper, NOVA or MD) so you may think me crazy....but I think that players being allowed to play in two (or even three) different districts during the same “season” is crazy. If DC doesn't have enough (tennis) population to adequately field teams at many levels...well, then fix it. Maybe it's time to recognize that our "boundaries" really don't fall along "state" lines anymore. Other sections have bitten the bullet: one that comes to mind is the Missouri Valley-Heart of America District (with an area around Kansas City).

Would dividing up and diluting USTA/VA penalize the District for doing its job of "growing the game"? Eh, maybe. But if they want to maintain the current "structure" of one district/one vote (if that’s even it at all)...that's just not going to work long-term for everyone. Our own national congress (as messed up as those jokers are sometimes) is probably structured properly if we're going to stay mired in State boundaries. One voting group based on geography, the other on “population.” Perhaps that would be a better middle-ground to seek.

Bottom line, though for me, USTA cannot have it both ways: pushing to have increased “participation” but then limiting the voting power of those increased (or larger) areas.

Thanks, JRS for posting this issue. I never would have otherwise seen it. If I can get more details (from USTA/VA), I’ll gladly push them out to the other captains in the Richmond area I know (and there’s quite a few of them).

Cindysphinx 02-09-2012 03:36 AM

The tennis situation in DC seems quite fragile.

I know a 4.0 senior guy I would love to have as my mixed partner. He doesn't want to play MOCO because of the travel time and night matches. I was going to suggest we play DC senior 8.0 mixed this summer but DC did not even have an 8.0 league last year. They had 7.0 senior mixed (four teams), and that was it.

I haven't read the proposal, but I would support almost anything that supports tennis in DC. It may well go extinct without a little help.

AngleQueen, I believe our fees for each league in MD are about $23. $40 is lame.

On the question of players being able to be on multiple teams, I would hate to see that change. I am currently on four teams, yet I only play 1-2 times per week. This spring, I plan to play two for the Adult season: MOCO and DC. If I were limited to one team, I would only get four matches in 12 weeks.

JRstriker12 02-09-2012 12:03 PM

Thanks for the input AQ. Interesting thoughts.

Yeah, the announcement seemed to be missing details and it's all really strange.

I'm assuming that when they say VA is 57%, they mean people who are registered/live in VA are 57%. IIRC, I don't have to have have a USTA membership in DC to play DC.

I'm also assuming that since they want to limit the vote of any single district, maybe the vote is proportional to membership - thus VA gets more say because they have a larger membership pool.

As for playing in other districts, I'm all for giving players more opportunities to play as long as they pay. (FYI - I played and won a 3.5 singles tourney in DC. It was fun.) I would also think that paying the league fees in that district even if you come from another state would help the district you play in.

What I wouldn't want to see is where out of state teams dominate or take over a local league.

Honestly I guess this is all inside politics that wont impact most players, but I wouldn't want to see some sort of policy or rules implemented that my limit my playing opportunities to help a smaller district with less players (not that is what's happening... just hypothetically).

Also, USTA is ********... when is the last time you sent a letter? They should provide and email or a online form for player input/feedback. If they want verification, ask for your USTA number.... SMH!

Topaz - are you serious? You need about 4 teams to play 2x a week? I joined two teams and seemed like I have more tennis than I knew what to do with... but then again I was also had tennis sessions set up at FRC too.

Topaz 02-09-2012 02:22 PM

That was Cindy, not me.

And you most certainly do have to be a Usta member to play in DC. As someone who has actually captained and gone to Usta meetings in DC, I'm still confused why anyone thinks DC tennis is struggling to survive. Quite the contrary actually.

JRstriker12 02-10-2012 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Topaz (Post 6315922)
That was Cindy, not me.

And you most certainly do have to be a Usta member to play in DC. As someone who has actually captained and gone to Usta meetings in DC, I'm still confused why anyone thinks DC tennis is struggling to survive. Quite the contrary actually.

Oops, my bad.

I meant if you are a USTA member in VA, you don't have to buy another membership in DC - you just register for the DC team.

Topaz 02-10-2012 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRstriker12 (Post 6317459)
Oops, my bad.

I meant if you are a USTA member in VA, you don't have to buy another membership in DC - you just register for the DC team.

Yes, but that is true across all areas. If you are a USTA member, that's good in VA, MD, DC, CA, FL....you get my drift.

If you weren't a USTA member and you wanted to register in DC, you'd first have to buy or upgrade your USTA membership. Usually we all do that in VA first because that season simply starts first.

gmatheis 02-10-2012 12:48 PM

Sp basicly If i understand this correctly Virginia controls 57% of the voting in the mid atlantic section meaning that Virginia can tell the rest of the section what to do and the rest of the section cant do much about it since all together they only have 43%.

Seems a little unfair to me that VA would have that much power, 40% is still alot of voting power, it just means that VA has to get another state to support them rather than dictating what will be for the entire section now.

Humble_Warrior 02-14-2012 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gmatheis (Post 6318197)
Sp basicly If i understand this correctly Virginia controls 57% of the voting in the mid atlantic section meaning that Virginia can tell the rest of the section what to do and the rest of the section cant do much about it since all together they only have 43%.

Seems a little unfair to me that VA would have that much power, 40% is still alot of voting power, it just means that VA has to get another state to support them rather than dictating what will be for the entire section now.

I wonder if this is why the Sectionals are held in VA every year for the past seven years now.

Humble_Warrior 02-14-2012 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRstriker12 (Post 6311648)
Why not? There are all sort of rules about who can play on which team based on if your team went to sectionals/nationals or how many players can play together on multiple teams.

They could just require that say 75% or more than 55% of the players on any team live in DC. Either that of field an all-star DC team to take out the all-star MD team...

This would suggest that those that live in MD could only play in the county where they lived, i.e. Montgomery or Anne Arundel, but the VA district is simply NOVA. The USTA already destroyed the Men's league in PG County with their indistriminate moving up of players. The players simply got fed up and went to other areas to play or don't play USTA at all.

JRstriker12 02-15-2012 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Humble_Warrior (Post 6326278)
This would suggest that those that live in MD could only play in the county where they lived, i.e. Montgomery or Anne Arundel, but the VA district is simply NOVA. The USTA already destroyed the Men's league in PG County with their indistriminate moving up of players. The players simply got fed up and went to other areas to play or don't play USTA at all.

I wasn't suggesting that they could only play in their county, just that hypothetically, if DC was worried that non-residents were pushing out residents from DC leagues, they could try to limit the number of non-residents,not totally ban them.... but I doubt anything like that would happen.

Also, curious about what happened in PG, if players were bumped up to a level where they are not competitive, I don't see how playing USTA in another area helps. A 3.5 in PG still have to play 3.5 in DC or VA.

Local Girl 02-21-2012 10:04 PM

Check out the Mid-Atlantic website: midatlantic.usta.com
They're retracting the quad league and blaming it on the BNP Paribas.

Cindysphinx 02-22-2012 04:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Local Girl (Post 6342057)
Check out the Mid-Atlantic website: midatlantic.usta.com
They're retracting the quad league and blaming it on the BNP Paribas.

Disappointing, but understandable.

I was going to captain quad level this year. Bummer.

catfish 02-22-2012 05:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Local Girl (Post 6342057)
Check out the Mid-Atlantic website: midatlantic.usta.com
They're retracting the quad league and blaming it on the BNP Paribas.

You can do a google search and find out that the decision to change to "Quad Level" was made by the tennis director at Indian Wells. Indian Wells hosts the National championships for Tri-level and they decided to change the format to Quad Level for 2013. Then they decided to change back the format to Tri-level.

Edit: I can't find the link now, but the Tri-level national event is something that Indian Wells put together in conjunction with USTA. (I've never been, but I'm sure it's a nice event.) As an FYI, Tri-level is the only league that had a National Event before leagues were well established, and this is not what normally happens for a USTA league. For example, Combo is a huge & growing league but it does not have a National Championship at this point. Anyway, I believe that Indian Wells had a lot of control over the Tri-level National Championship, and they changed the format to Quad and asked the Sectionals to comply. You could still have a Tri-level league, but the winners would not advance to the National tournament at Indian Wells.


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