The US/USTA needs to apply the age old time tested good karma principle
that a player plays with levels above them and below
ala Roddick mentoring Harrison nurture develop and give back
ala the hired (former)college hitter at the academy for the best juniors
who play with the next best juniors
While the stated intentions/goals of the USTA Jr Committee have merit
1) grow tennis (mission statement)
2) not miss school
3) more family time
4) reduce costs
5) increase local play
6) more local/regional qualifying for nat'l play
7) have best players playing best players
identitfy best players and help develop best players
the Best path for US tennis and their stated goals is
more national play not less
more players playing nationals not less
more futures and challengers
more ITF's across country
more inter college/ junior tournament events
more team tennis
Reducing incentives like # of tournaments from 8 to 6
and changing point structure has already deemphasized
needs to chase points
However, Limiting draw sizes from 64 to 32 in Nat Opens ridiculously excludes
50% of participation and gross revenues for the benifit of final 4 main's and back's one day hotel cost and missing school (if not home schooled)
NO active Parents,players,coaches directors have supported this (save a up to a theoretical min 2-5% that I havent met)
Further Reducing Natl Opens to 2x' a year once in Feb which has been even finished in recent years due to rain and during Thanksgiving (FAMILY TIME?)
not that anyone REALLY minds. But eliminating July Nat opens when no school? and reducing 3 site field to 96 total?
Easter Bowl to 32? from 128? x 8 divisions...75% denied former nat'l opportunity and this was compromise for some of USTA that wanted the Easter Bowl Gone!!!
Winter Nationals to a 32 training team workshop? Great, now include all 128 per division and include 12's whose players and families would really love it as they do zonals
Then reducing and restricting Regionals to own regions? Playing Same Kids again.
Qualifying progressively is a system but why limit to that.
Before 2011 WE have experienced freedom of choice, freedom of opportunities to play more Nat'l family events, travel fun, missing school where kids make up assignments and or do online and still pull 4.0's, get a
2nd CHANCE at playing someone from NY or FL or Mich or in an older division
and train a few days extra on the road for the Copper Bowl.
These are valued, beneficial, and treasured experiences minimized and or denied.
In their quest to development of pros The 2014 USTA changes appear to confuse and favor the goals of the development program at the expense and denial
of freedom of participation of the multitudes where the next champions may very well come from, the late bloomers, injured, the multi sporters etc..
Instead of denying participation
how about ADDING and GROWING participation
for Better players
MORE FUTURES and Challengers
and top junior events with
Create incentives for futures players to train and compete with top juniors
Perhaps a bridge between those impossible first ATP points
As the USTA has proposed and passed and implemented certain changes
its current system has not provided adequate input nor beneficial structure
representative and in the interests of WE the parents, Jr community players, coaches, directors, and industry.
With modern technology, input and representative consensus and mandate can be better achieved with surveys, open meetings.blogs,etc..
But this is another discussion that will help achieve the free flow of ideas
towards a truly mandated, beneficial, and representative system and structure that we in US JR tennis may participate, thrive, and flourish.