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tennis5 12-08-2012 04:54 PM

10 and Under Mandate/Playing Up?
 
http://www.smmirror.com/articles/Spo...Mandate-/36257

Tennis Coaches Unite Under Bryan To Challenge USTA's U10 Mandate
FRIDAY, 7 DEC 2012, 5:16:00 PM
ROGER MORANTE

Photo by Roger Morante
Wayne Bryan (right), father of the Bryan Brothers doubles tennis stars, pleads with USTA director Craig Jones to understand his position during an intense debate on the future of tennis at the Riviera Country Club Sunday afternoon.


Professional Tennis Coach Wayne Bryan has waited for over a year to say what he needed to say to the United States Tennis Association (USTA) about its U10 Tennis mandate that came into effect in January of 2012.

Bryan wasn't alone.

Bryan, father and tennis coach of the Bryan brothers, challenged the "green ball mandate," in a forum packed with tennis coaches and interested parties that flew in from as far away as Arizona just to speak their minds along with Bryan at the "Riv It Up" USPTA Education Event held at the Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades Sunday, Dec. 1.

Along with Bryan at the event were USPTA professionals who listened to arguments presented by USPTA Board of Directors member Craig Jones who sat at the head of a forum table along with Bryan, Riviera Club Director of Tennis Andrew Minnelli, and the Tennis and Ski Channel's Steve Bellamy.

The U10 Tennis Mandate states that "modified courts that are similar in size than the 78-foot courts" must be used for tournament play.

New rules also mandate the use of "low compression tennis balls that move slower through the air and bounce lower" so the balls will be "better suited to the size and abilities of younger children."

Bryan directed his argument at Jones centering his belief that the U10 tennis mandate is not helping to send the world of tennis in the right direction.

"Coaches and everybody is ****ed at the mandate," said Bryan. "Using a soft ball in a club is fabulous. You've used it and I've used it. I'm all for it. But I'm against mandating that no ten and under player can play regular tennis with a yellow tennis ball."

According to Bryan, many kids and coaches still want to play with a regular tennis ball and feel as if the new rules are chasing away younger tennis players from entering and continuing inside of the world of tennis.

"You've crushed a whole bunch of kids across the country," said Bryan. "In Texas, you are not even allowed to play up and the USTA says that it doesn't matter that good tennis players play up. Yes it does."

Jones defended the USTA's decision on the mandate and believes that the decision made by the USTA helps kids improve their tennis skills rather then chasing them away.

"Teaching kids these days is dramatically different from before, say even ten years ago," said Jones.
"And reception skills are so poor these days in the average kid. It gets tough because you get a parent asking why their kid isn't hitting balls."

Pro-tennis player Josh Osswald offered a live and let live solution to the stand-off. "Why not just have two tournaments?"

But according to Jones, that is not an option and a dual tennis tournament would only complicate things.

Jones believes that the mandate, even if it is unpopular with some coaches, is meant to solve problems not create them.

"You can't just leave it wide open," said Jones. "That's what governing bodies do whether it's the local little league or swim league or what team goes to division one. You need to have some type of criteria and if you offer two of them the kids that have been playing in them are going to chose the other one."

Yet Jones seemed to listen to the argument made by Bryan and the other concerned coaches even if he didn't always agree with what they were saying.

"On down the road in my perfect world, I think there are a lot of tens, the really good ones, who could do it," said Jones. "The problem is with all these kids playing up that have no business playing up."

And quite simply, Bryan just wants to go back to the way tennis used to be so that a whole generation of American tennis players don't get "screwed" by the mandate.

"There are hundreds of kids getting screwed by this," said Bryan. "This stupid mandate that you got to use a green ball no matter how good you are. This will not stand."

Bellamy, who acted as an intermediary between the two factions, offered his opinion on how a successful tennis player is shaped and molded.

"This is just a competition mandate," said Bellamy. "I want the USTA to have everyone on their side and unify the sport. With a few things like the junior competition and the mandate, you get so many people away and divided against you."

According to Bellamy, the world of tennis had 44 million participants during the 70's when tennis shoes were hot and tennis fashion was the mode, but shortly after the world of tennis dropped to 11 million participants.

Bellamy believes that there are approximately 20-30 million players in the game today.

"In creating a tennis player, you need to create an environment that they want to be a part of," said Bellamy. "It's about those tangible things that really create their social structure."

At the end of the heated discussion, even though neither side could agree with the other, both agreed that something needed to be done to improve the dwindling numbers of tennis players in the United States and that both parties were listening to what the other had to say.

ga tennis 12-08-2012 05:36 PM

It affected my kid and so many other 10 year olds in such a bad way. We should all get appology letters. I keep telling myself to think positive.,

ga tennis 12-08-2012 05:41 PM

Craig Jones?? Really?? At least the U STA Could have put up a credible coach not just some average Joe drinking the koolade. SAD.....

ga tennis 12-08-2012 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ga tennis (Post 7053586)
Craig Jones?? Really?? At least the U STA could have put up a credible coach not just some average Joe drinking the koolade. SAD.....

Sorry Im just still ****ed!!!!

lala28m 12-08-2012 09:14 PM

I'm confused.
"In Texas, you are not even allowed to play up and the USTA says that it doesn't matter that good tennis players play up."
In Texas, they literally won't allow a ten year old to play in the 12-and-under division? How is this possible??
I'm truly confused, Am I missing something here?

Alohajrtennis 12-09-2012 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lala28m (Post 7053842)
I'm confused.
"In Texas, you are not even allowed to play up and the USTA says that it doesn't matter that good tennis players play up."
In Texas, they literally won't allow a ten year old to play in the 12-and-under division? How is this possible??
I'm truly confused, Am I missing something here?

I am not sure this is completely accurate. According to their published local rules, it seems that to play yellow ball, they player needs to be nine and to either a) win four green ball tournaments or b) participate in 10. Given the frequency and geographical availability of green ball tournaments, this might take even a really good player quite a while, but I am not sure.

Texas Rules are here : http://assets.usta.com/assets/642/15...c=headernavsub

seminoleG 12-09-2012 04:33 AM

Well my 10 yo is allowed to play up in Florida, but we left the "Jr Tour."
She's been playing Travel Soccer and just returned to her academy after only playing tennis 2 days week. All I can say is THANK's USTA!

We've saved several hundred $$$$ and her movement and footwork off the charts. Match play against those that just kept chasing tournaments isn't even close.

Practice now Tournamnts later stop the madness.

She's on Babolat Comp team and was a top 5 10 for Florida when they changed rules.

I was ****ed but now couldn't be happier. While these 10s play n 12s and the 12s move to 14s it's all WATERED down anyway.

Just forget about the 10s n 12s focus on the basics get their feet moving their mind mature for REAL TENNIS

TCF 12-09-2012 04:42 AM

=================================

thecrusher956 12-09-2012 07:11 AM

Teaching kids on a smaller court is pointless. Most 10 year old's are now going into 12's tournaments, the smaller courts are really pointless.

gplracer 12-09-2012 08:57 AM

It certainly is not pointless. It has a place but the jury is still out on how much and when to stop.

Pro_Tour_630 12-09-2012 03:51 PM

first time I saw coach mike, I confronted him about the green ball to a point where he changed the subject :oops: now it is pointless to even discuss the issue with him.:cry:

Heck in Texas everyone can carry a hand gun visibly:shock: yet an 8 year old can not compete in U12 yellow ball:confused: thank god I live in NEW England and not in ENGLAND where this rule is strictly enforced.

seminoleG 12-09-2012 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCF (Post 7054140)
Good stuff seminoleG. Great idea with the soccer for her movement. soccer and basketball are excellent other sports for tennis kids.

Well I'd love to take credit but she likes it. She asked me 2 weeks ago to run track instead. Sure fitness for almost nothing. The social aspect of soccer is great and she's ok with playing individual sports. Her team is struggling and she is VERY competitive which is a very interesting dynamic that has lead her to controlling her destiny.

We just sat down with a calendar to plan 2013 and I had to restrict the # of events for tennis. She is full of energy and not sick of a tennis routine. She's been invited to train with Ferrers brother at his Academy in Az during spring break and is excited and looking forward to working on clay. Sure he sees another $$$ source but figure a tennis vacation is not a bad option. Nothing special about thus except she's enthused about it while some of her peers dred it.

Keep TENNIS FRESH, and let them be involved in the PLAN.

Pro n TCF how refreshing to not care about Regionals, Sectionals etc NOW! Still planning on ITF Aug 2015 so we still got 3 years to get her ready. From what I'm being told she WILL be ready.

Tennishacker 12-09-2012 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gplracer (Post 7054410)
It certainly is not pointless. It has a place but the jury is still out on how much and when to stop.

10U mandate is pointless for the kids that are/want to be serious players.

Though I agree that 10U is certainly one way of getting more/new kids into tennis.

BMC9670 12-09-2012 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tennishacker (Post 7055242)
10U mandate is pointless for the kids that are/want to be serious players.

Though I agree that 10U is certainly one way of getting more/new kids into tennis.

More tools = good. Mandates = bad.

Give parents and coaches the benefit of using the tools that are best for their child's/players development.

gplracer 12-09-2012 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tennishacker (Post 7055242)
10U mandate is pointless for the kids that are/want to be serious players.

Though I agree that 10U is certainly one way of getting more/new kids into tennis.

Some of the high ranked 12 and under players in the south played 10U orange ball. It is not the only path but still a path. It helps to develop strokes in younger kids. The problem with the mandate is that the better kids in the 10s have to play up against older kids in the 12s if they want to play on the regular court. I would like to see orange ball in the lower level 10s and green ball in the higher level 10s.

TCF 12-09-2012 08:35 PM

========================

MarTennis 12-10-2012 06:31 AM

Like Roy Orbison said...
 
...I think I love you. In a bro kinda way of course.:)

Quote:

Originally Posted by seminoleG (Post 7054132)
Well my 10 yo is allowed to play up in Florida, but we left the "Jr Tour."
She's been playing Travel Soccer and just returned to her academy after only playing tennis 2 days week. All I can say is THANK's USTA!

We've saved several hundred $$$$ and her movement and footwork off the charts. Match play against those that just kept chasing tournaments isn't even close.

Practice now Tournamnts later stop the madness.

She's on Babolat Comp team and was a top 5 10 for Florida when they changed rules.

I was ****ed but now couldn't be happier. While these 10s play n 12s and the 12s move to 14s it's all WATERED down anyway.

Just forget about the 10s n 12s focus on the basics get their feet moving their mind mature for REAL TENNIS


Pro_Tour_630 12-10-2012 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seminoleG (Post 7055069)
Pro n TCF how refreshing to not care about Regionals, Sectionals etc NOW! Still planning on ITF Aug 2015 so we still got 3 years to get her ready. From what I'm being told she WILL be ready.

dunno you might sneak in a few USTA tournaments here and there :) but you are lucky, you have an international background and can travel, not many have this luxury


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