Originally Posted by schmke
I'm guessing this is driven, in part at least, by the clubs and facilities.
Adding another league is only going to add team matches, it isn't just a pure split of the prior 18+ league (more players may play, some will play in both leagues) and if both leagues were to use 5 courts, this means USTA league matches are using more courts than past years which reduces court availability for other matches.
At clubs where members expect to be able to book courts and don't just want to see USTA matches using all the courts, particularly on weekends, the clubs/facilities response is to want these matches to use just 3 courts which limits the additional courts they need to set aside for USTA league matches.
Then, while I disagree with this, some might think that 40+ teams will have a harder time fielding singles players so the response is for the 3 court league to be the 40+ one so they only have to field one singles court.
Could be true with some clubs. Here in Colorado Springs, we have tons of
40+ singles players who don't want to play doubles. Last year we had more trouble getting singles players to fill out the double lines during the Adult season than anything else. The singles players are also the ones more disappointed with the 3 line format for 40+--many of us were looking forward to two singles lines every week without having to face the young guns.