Regional Tournament selection list and alternate list
Does anyone else have problems with the selection process for Regional tournaments? My son is now 15 and is working hard to earn national points to qualify for Regional 16 tournaments. I already feel it is unfair for these tournaments for giving 2 to 6 positions to players from the younger 14 age group division if they are ranked within top 200 in the nation in 14's.
My son along with many other good players who are 15 or 16 years old are on the alternate list. My problem with USTA is their alternate list selection has changed and this is what I was emailed:
"The ordered alternate list will be posted today. Please note that the alternate list is ordered by the following:
Players in the event division with a 100 or more ranking points
Players in the younger division with a 100 or more ranking points in the younger age division
Players in the event division with less than a 100 ranking points
Players in the younger division with less than a 100 ranking points in the younger age division
Unranked players in either division by lot (random draw)
Since most of the players in the division with a 100 ranking points or more were selected into the main draw, the alternate lists all start with the younger players with a 100 or more ranking points. Most players in the age division will have less than a 100 ranking points in the division and so will follow them. Please check this before you write and tell me that you are in the wrong position. We do make mistakes occasionally, and if we do, we will correct the list. However, we will not go back retroactively if someone has already been added to the main draw."
My issue with this section process is USTA already allowed 6 players from the younger age group into a tournament with a draw of 32. One spot is open for a wildcard. That means only 25 kids that have actually earned their ranking points qualified for this tournament and 7 kids gets a free ride. Now all the other kids that are working hard to qualify for this tournament gets put into an alternate list. Why in the world would the kids in the younger 14 age group get the first opportunity to be selected from the alternate list before the kids that are playing in the 16's? USTA already took 6 kids from the 14's. Now they are going to take more from the 14's when selected players withdraw? This is totally not fair.
Kids should earn their way into each tournament. Actually no kids should be given a free ride into any tournament just because they were the top 200 in the nation in the younger division. Each kid should play in their age group and if they want to play up in a higher age group, they should go through the same process like everyone else by playing local Championships, Excellence and Sectional tournaments to earn national points so they can qualify for the Regional tournaments like everyone else. What are your thoughts?
First thing I would recommend is to stop worrying about playing National tournaments. Your son is 15, you should be working on becoming #1 in your section in the 16s and then the 18s, very soon. You're in No Cal so there shouldn't be a problem finding good competition. Your son is a 3 star. He can easily move up from just playing older boys in your section.
And as you probably already know, most of those 14 yr olds that get selected can lay a whupping on the bottom half of 16s that get in. Besides, Regionals are so watered down you can pretty much get in somewhere if you don't mind travelling.
Interesting.... where you come down on this issue is directly dependent on how you personally are affected. Without the set-aside for younger players, those players trying to age-up will be out of contention for a year while they accumulate the requisite points to get direct entry, but to afford them the hand up, some of the players already in that division will be left out.
I had a problem with the method of selecting those younger players, not the policy itself. They take the top 4-6 players from the younger division first, regardless of whether they would qualify without the set-aside. In one event we played that allowed 4 players from the younger division, 3 of them had more than enough ranking to qualify for direct entry, so the players who would have actually needed the set-aside couldn't use it. In answer to my question about how this actually benefited the younger players, the USTA wrote “At the end of the day, the Committee has determined that the emphasis should be on the younger age division and so those selections are done first. One can disagree, but the decision has been made that these events can be age-up opportunities for players and thus the emphasis is on the younger age division.“ They never did clarify how giving assistance to those who didn't need it, helped those who do. Don't fret over what you cannot change. As with any bureaucracy, the USTA is like a huge ship... they don't turn quickly, and once they do, they stay on that course for a long time. By the time you change anyone's mind, your kid will have graduated college. Spend your time improving his game now and get a better ranking, then you don't have to worry.
Thanks for your input. I am not having too much of an issue with the top kids from a younger age division getting the chance to play in a higher age group as long as there are only 2-4 spots for them in a draw of 32. I know those top kids are great players but to allow more kids from the lower age group when they shouldn't be there is my problem. There is already 6 spots given to younger age group players.
My biggest issue is why on earth would USTA give more younger aged group kids priority over kids playing in that age group in the Alternates? That means if the tournament gets 3 kids withdrawing, they will fill them with younger aged group players that are not even ranked in the top 200 nationally? How is this fair any anyone that is working hard to try and qualify for this tournament?
I am not worried about my son but I see this as unfair for many players. These younger age groups should not be even allowed to play if they are not the 6 kids ranked above 200 nationally. This makes the draw easy for some players as the competition will not be as competitive. I can see if one of the 6 younger aged player withdraw that they would replace him with another younger player but I don't see the reasoning behind putting more younger players into this tournament that hasn't earned the right to be there.
I know I can't change anything but just wanted to come here to vent a little. My son is a 3 star and still needs a lot of hard work. I am trying to enjoy this long process but I also want things to be fair for everyone, not just for my son. We enjoy these Regional tournaments as it's our father and son weekend getaways. I am not going to take him outside of California to any Regional just to chase points. I just want him to get the opportunity to play top players around the country and learn to be a better player.
1) The alternate email is very strange, I agree.
This is of course new............
And the first time I have ever read it.
Typical, that I learn about this stuff on TT and not through the USTA.
You can complain....... but, it will be a waste of time.
2) The rule is 4 players..... not 6 players are allowed to age up.
If they are taking 6 players off the bat right into the main draw,
I am going to say that 4 of them are top 100 in the Boys 14's and the other 2 already have acquired 16 national points.
However, if they took 6 players with just 14 rankings ( and no 16 points) into the main draw, they are breaking the rules. Call Lew Brenner and rat them out.
3) Wildcard. There was a tournament where an 8th grader was playing in the boys 16's. Regional. He was not top 100 for boys 14's and I thought that was an outrage that he took a spot from a kid who is turning 16 this fall ( a high school junior) who was sitting there at the tournament, hoping someone didn't show.
Young kid did lousy. Totally not right. You can complain to the USTA, but it is their kids who get the wildcard, so it falls on deaf ears.
3.5) Now, I do disagree with one of your statements strongly.
No kid should play up?
Come on, the boy who is ranked 25 in the country shouldn't play up?
4) If you live in California, who cares about this tournament?
Seriously, consider yourself lucky that he gets great competition every week.
If he signs up for a sectional, then he will get to play these exact same great players in the QF, SF and Final.
5) High school tennis teams, especially in California, are really good.
Sign him up.
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