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-   -   Suggestions for successful tennis challenge ladders (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=427881)

AR15 06-12-2012 06:21 AM

Suggestions for successful tennis challenge ladders
 
The challenge ladders at my club have had weak participation from the men, and almost zero participation from the ladies. I'm looking for suggestions to increase participation in the ladders, during the summer, while we have no league play other than mixed doubles.

We have ladders set up for men's singles and doubles, and women's singles and doubles. The men's singles is about the only one played, and only a hand full participate in it. The ladders are free, we use a website to manage them, and most members have registered at the site.

The average age of the adult players, at my club, is probably close to 50. Most work and have families.

What has worked, in your experience, to make challenge ladders successful in your area?

SwankPeRFection 06-12-2012 06:57 AM

Hate to say it, but it's the age group that's hurting you guys. The older guys just don't want to be out there playing all the time, especially moreso if they're already playing regular league during the week. Where I live, I see the old guys practice one day and play another day during the week. They're not out there all the time like the younger guys are.

You need to find out what incentive they'd like to have to play in this ladder moreso than the actual satisfaction of playing. Free gear from the club for the top rung players, club recognition/VIP treatment, maybe a discount on court fees for the next league season, etc. The old guys want to play for something other than self-satisfaction because their bodies hurt.

nyc 06-12-2012 07:17 AM

At our club we have 12 week "seasons" and Divisions based on 0.25 NTRP increments - and they're Men's and Women's combined.

After each season, the top ranked player for each receives a free ladder session, and moves up to the next division.

Is the scheduling flexible? that might be killing it too. If you have a fixed schedule, they HAVE to show up and manage family obligations, jobs etc around it. If you provide flexibility, people re-schedule ALL the time and eventually the program just fizzles out.

Loose Cannon 06-12-2012 07:33 AM

I agree.....these ladder leagues.....seem like such a fun idea, but usually dissolve a few weeks in. I loved playing.....Id play 2 matches back to back if need be......but to some.....playing a match is like heart surgery or something.....some huge ordeal. Yeah.....people just find reasons to place importance on oher things. I wish I had an answer

AR15 06-12-2012 10:29 AM

Yes, our match times are flexible.

We have a "Men's Night" once a week. Perhaps we could make it a "challenge ladder night"

mikeler 06-12-2012 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nyc (Post 6625512)
At our club we have 12 week "seasons" and Divisions based on 0.25 NTRP increments - and they're Men's and Women's combined.

After each season, the top ranked player for each receives a free ladder session, and moves up to the next division.

Is the scheduling flexible? that might be killing it too. If you have a fixed schedule, they HAVE to show up and manage family obligations, jobs etc around it. If you provide flexibility, people re-schedule ALL the time and eventually the program just fizzles out.


As much as I personally like flex leagues, the successful ones around here have a fixed schedule.

nyc 06-12-2012 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 6626269)
As much as I personally like flex leagues, the successful ones around here have a fixed schedule.

That's exactly my point, agree.

floridatennisdude 06-12-2012 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AR15 (Post 6626245)
Yes, our match times are flexible.

We have a "Men's Night" once a week. Perhaps we could make it a "challenge ladder night"

On some websites, you can set it up as a points system imstead of just a leap frog. Therefore, you earn points just by playing. Set it up where you get 5 points for a win, 2 points if you lose. Therefore, someone can be 0-5 and be tied with someone who is 2-0. The system encourages play rather than allows people to game the system by refusing challenges. It also encourages the stronger players to make and accept challenges because they can see the benefit of winning being multiplied 2.5 times.

No ladder is perfect because everyone's expectations are different. You'll always have a guy that wants to play every day and another guy that wants to play every other week. Points system at least encourages participation.


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