The national campus has 6 permanent structure indoor courts and a bunch har-tru so playing in light rain is not catastrophic.
They have six, one long row. They played both semis at the same time so each match used three courts. Interesting surface selection.I only saw 3?
They may have more in the player development area?
Building 20 indoor courts in Florida is silly. It doesn't get cold enough for indoor and they have enough clay to play in light rain. 20 indoor courts would stay empty for the majority of the year.All I'm saying is, they built a massive facility with 100 courts. I would think the cost to enclose at least ~20 of those at a minimum would not be *that* much expense relative to the entire project, especially since it's supposed to be the fricken tennis capital of North America. Everyone knows it rains in the PM in FL, and if it's not raining it's hotter than sin...so i bet they would get used way more than anticipated, but only *if* they made commitment to hold all 'national' level events at the site...from age 0-100, NTRP's, you name it...make it the tennis mecca of the northern hemisphere -- commit that everything meaningful in non-ATP/WTA tennis happens there...if you want to be tennis, BE TENNIS!
By having an adequate number of indoor courts, there's the 'contingency plan' needed for any tourney right there. Keep the AC set to ~80-85 degrees to cut down on expense and keep the lights off when not in use. Without knowledge of what they pay other sites for usage, I would think the cost of *not* having to pay other facilities would be (to an extent) offset by holding the event @ the Orlando site.
As for travel, if the USTA would make the commitment to enclose some courts, I would guess the teams who are serious about trying to win at the national level would not chirp too much about having to go to MCO if they knew that by going there, the risk of the Arlington nonsense is eliminated, and their matches will all be 'proper'. Additionally, it's a town that can accomodate plenty of direct flights at reasonable price, and offers much to do aside from tennis to make it a long weekend/vacation...the town is basically built for convention/entertainment of visitors.
seriously -- am i over-simplifying this?
Generally, I would agree with you, but in this instance, I think it not so silly. We're not talking about any facility, we're talking about the (ideally), tennis capital of North America, and therefore, should aspire to hosting all the important non-tour tournaments year-round. My point is, if they want to be in position to hold that mantle, they have to create a situation that mitigates risk of people dis-engaging...which may mean increased cost in terms of the build itself, but in the long term, would also mean that risk is mitigated for good.Building 20 indoor courts in Florida is silly. It doesn't get cold enough for indoor and they have enough clay to play in light rain. 20 indoor courts would stay empty for the majority of the year.
Let's say that the type of weather event that would require 20 indoor courts happens every 10 years (conservative estimate). Let's say it costs $100 per day to maintain a 20 court building on top of the initial building cost. So that's $365,000 every 10 years to absolutly make sure Nationals gets played on schedule. I'm not sure how many teams go to Nationals but I think it would be cheaper to just buy them flights and hotels on a different weekend.Generally, I would agree with you, but in this instance, I think it not so silly. We're not talking about any facility, we're talking about the (ideally), tennis capital of North America, and therefore, should aspire to hosting all the important non-tour tournaments year-round. My point is, if they want to be in position to hold that mantle, they have to create a situation that mitigates risk of people dis-engaging...which may mean increased cost in terms of the build itself, but in the long term, would also mean that risk is mitigated for good.
I also don't think we can just say indoor courts at Natl would stay empty all year --we can speculate, but we don't know that for a fact. I know *many* people who actually prefer to play inside versus outside, so they don't have to deal with bugs, sun, wind, rain, etc etc...Full disclosure: here in the *******, I play outside any chance I get since sunny days are a premium. So yes, my local club is pretty empty during the summer days...but a 7pm match on a hot summer night can actually be really unpleasant with all the bugs swarming (I'm not exaggerating -- they fly up your nose and in your eyes while waiting to return serve). You play thru it, but it can really ruin the experience depending on how bad it gets.
While I'm thinking about it (and this is a total side-note)...with respect to the whole idea of 'player development' I hear all of the complaints about how US players do not compete so well on different surfaces at the tour level. I don't know the answer to this, but now i'm just wondering...if some courts were covered at MSO/Natl, I wonder how difficult it would be to also be able to convert those courts with a carpet surface for players to train for those indoor/arena tourneys on the tours. I don't know enough about which events are on carpet/how many...just thinking of possible ways to incorporate multi-use as a means to make the expense worthwhile...but again, all this is predicated on the fact that it's not just *any* tennis club...it's the (supposed) tennis mecca...
wooohooo after traveling 2000 miles, 4 days, paying for airfare, lodging, airport parking, I get $55 back. I doubt I'll ever see the $55. When does UTR leagues start?the USTA just wrote us back and said that all players will get their $55 entry fee reimbursed. they are also putting together a task force to review the recommendations and should have responses in the next 30 days.
even though i'm on the east coast i would gladly pay the extra $ if nationals is somewhere on the west coast to take rain out of the equation. it's very hard to find enough indoor courts to host a whole tournament unless you end up playing until late at night.
personally, i don't think the split up rule should be waived. you have to split up b/c you are good enough to earn a trip to nationals, not what actually happened at nationals. it sucks that everyone got screwed with the tournament but i still think you should have to split up.
i do think that the dynamic ratings for the tournament should be thrown out. for 2 days a 4-1 win (which could be one break, playing indoors) goes down as a 6-1, 6-2 score. that's not right. neither is the fact that conditioning (for singles mainly) was irrelevant.
hopefully this means no more nationals (and hopefully no sectionals) in mobile. it's the wettest city in the continental US and has no indoor courts in the vicinity.
please re-read my first post (#60). I'm talking about having the indoor courts under the premise that *all* age-level youth national, and *all* NTRP level national tourneys are held there, plus any other mid-year events, developmental programs, etc...obviously i'm not saying to build a structure for one tournament...Let's say that the type of weather event that would require 20 indoor courts happens every 10 years (conservative estimate). Let's say it costs $100 per day to maintain a 20 court building on top of the initial building cost. So that's $365,000 every 10 years to absolutly make sure Nationals gets played on schedule. I'm not sure how many teams go to Nationals but I think it would be cheaper to just buy them flights and hotels on a different weekend.
I still don't see a need for 20 indoor courts. They already have 6.please re-read my first post (#60). I'm talking about having the indoor courts under the premise that *all* age-level youth national, and *all* NTRP level national tourneys are held there, plus any other mid-year events, developmental programs, etc...obviously i'm not saying to build a structure for one tournament...
I played at Indian Wells. That was totally awesome and the weather was perfect.We are on our 3rd week of Nationals being hosted in Vegas at my club. First week for 3.0, weather was fine, a tad breezy on Sunday. Second week for 4.5 40+ weather on Friday perfect, a little breezy on Saturday and Sunday had some rain (0.125") at 5am that dried up before 9am ... this week couldn't ask for better, mid-70s topping off at 80F, no wind at all, clear skies.
It makes no sense to me to put Nationals somewhere that it can be expected to rain even occassionally without a solid backup plan that doesn't alter the game itself.
After the disaster of Mobile AL and Lauderdale in 2017 ... the real challenges of Arlington ... why wouldn't the USTA make some smart decisions regarding where they host Nationals going forward? Seems to me that the smart choices are Arizona, Nevada or somewhere else in the desert southwest.
I have to be in Palm Springs for a biz trip in early December ... my hotel is 1/2 mile down the street from the tennis garden .... trying to figure out a foursome to play there one evening!I played at Indian Wells. That was totally awesome and the weather was perfect.
Is there anywhere in New England with 30 indoor courts?Why don't they host the Nationals in New England? Pretty much every USTA match is played indoors throughout the season here. They just need to increase the registration fee to cover the cost of reserving enough indoor courts.
I'm surprised that you're surprised about the USTA response. They care about $$$ and that's all they care about. You and the rest of the teams mean Zero. Wake up.My apologies to everyone for the length of this post and the two that follow, but I wanted to share with you the following letter that was written my myself (captain of the SoCal women's team) and the captain of the Florida women's team, and endorsed by the captains of 13 other teams that participated in 18+ 4.5 Nationals in Arlington, TX the weekend of Oct 12-14. The event was pretty much a disaster from start to finish, due to horrible weather and a total lack of contingency planning by the USTA.
Ours was certainly not the first such national USTA competition to be severely impacted by bad weather, nor will it be the last – unless and until the USTA steps up and administers these events properly, beginning with having adequate contingency plans in place.
(Given the 10000-character limit placed on posts to this message board, I will have to split the letter into three posts.)
To the USTA President, Board of Directors, Adult Tennis National Committee, and Senior Management:
We are the captains of the Florida and Southern California 18+ women’s 4.5 teams who participated in the Nationals event hosted in Arlington, TX, October 12-14. We are writing on behalf of our own team members as well as a number of other women’s and men’s teams who were also at the event; their names and teams are listed below. (Note that this list includes the captains of both teams that ultimately earned the title of National Champions – the Southern women’s team and the Midwestern men’s team.)
We write you to express our extreme disappointment and frustration with the handling of our Nationals event, and to respond to the letter that we received on October 17 from Jeff Waters (Managing Director of USTA Community Tennis) regarding the same (a copy of which is attached hereto for your reference). For the reasons set forth below, we believe that Mr. Waters’ letter fails to adequately redress the numerous problems posed by the format changes implemented by event officials over the weekend.
To help you better understand the issues we are raising, we will begin with a brief recap of what transpired during the event:
With those background facts in mind, we can now address the serious ramifications that resulted:
- Beginning one week before the competition was scheduled to commence, weather forecasts were consistently calling for heavy rain in Arlington throughout the weekend. It is unclear what, if any, efforts were made by the tournament officials at that time to secure adequate indoor courts (or whether they even had the support of more senior USTA personnel to do so). Whatever contingency measures they may have discussed, based upon conversations one team captain had with them on Thursday October 11, their “plan” was to hope for enough dry weather on Friday and Saturday to complete four rounds of play – and to shorten the format and accelerate the match schedule in any way necessary to achieve that goal.
- By Friday October 12, there was no escaping the heavy rain that was forecasted to arrive by sometime that afternoon. When teams checked in at the tournament desk on Friday morning, we were informed that the first matches would begin at 7:00am (instead of 7:30am), and that the format would be abbreviated by shortening the sets from 6 games to 4 (with a deciding game at 3 games-all), and using only a 7-point match tiebreak in the event of split sets. Starting times for all subsequent matches were moved up 1-2 hours earlier due to the shortened match format.
- But even with these modifications in place, the rain began in earnest on Friday afternoon before two rounds of play could be completed. At this point, tournament officials scrambled to come up with a plan. A few teams whose Round One matches had not yet been completed were sent to a facility in Fort Worth (30 miles away) with two indoor courts. But no other indoor courts could be secured, so officials sent everyone else back to their hotels to await further instructions.
- On Friday night, tournament officials contacted those captains whose teams had not been able to complete their Round Two matches, and informed them that their only option was to finish those matches on Saturday morning at 6:00am at an indoor facility in Dallas (Brookhaven Country Club) – 30 miles from Arlington. These were the only indoor courts that tournament officials were able to secure, and they were only available from 6:00am to 7:30am.
- Those teams impacted by this directive (some of whom had already played a 7:00am match on Friday) had to leave Arlington at 5:15am on Saturday and drive through torrential rain to arrive at Brookhaven by 6:00am. Once their Round Two matches were complete, there was nothing to do but return to Arlington because tournament officials were unable to secure additional indoor court time until 8:30pm that evening – once again in Dallas at Brookhaven (which could not make courts available any earlier because it had already committed to hosting the Texas Combo Doubles Sectionals event from 6:00pm to 8:00pm).
- Determined to squeeze two more rounds into a three-hour time window, tournament officials abridged the format for Rounds Three and Four even further – to a single set of the first to 4 games with no-ad scoring (win by 2), and a 7-point deciding tiebreak at 4 games-all.
- Of the 16 courts at Brookhaven that were used for match play, only eight were true “indoor courts” that were housed in a climate-controlled building which was reasonably well-lit. The remaining eight courts were simply “covered courts” housed in what was aptly referred to as the “Barn.” The courts in the Barn, while shielded from the rain, were very dimly lit and had an extremely low ceiling that effectively precluded any lobbing. The lack of consistent playing conditions across all courts, coupled with the extreme times of day at which some teams were forced to play, created an unlevel playing field that arbitrarily gave some teams an advantage over others.
- After the completion of each round of play, tournament officials converted the actual (abbreviated) scores to the standard format of 2-out-of-3 sets (first to 6 games) so that they could be entered into Tennis Link. Once all four rounds were completed (sometime after 1:00am on Sunday), the officials used these manufactured results to determine the top four finishing men’s and women’s teams who would advance to the semifinals later Sunday morning.
- Many players did not get back to their hotels in Arlington until 2:00am or later on Sunday, and tournament officials did not notify teams of the results until 2:15am. Yet all of the semifinalists were required to check in at Arlington Tennis Center at 7:15am (less than five hours later) for their matches to start at 7:30am – this time using the standard 2-out-of-3-set format.
1. It was obvious to all of the team captains that tournament officials wanted to be in a position to say that despite the inclement weather, they had succeeded in completing all four rounds of “matches” that had been in the original tournament schedule. We could not tell whether they made this the priority at the direction of more senior USTA personnel in the National office, or whether they had the discretion to consider other options (such as reducing the number of preliminary rounds from four to three). But their single-minded determination to accomplish this goal required them to repeatedly abbreviate the format of these so-called “matches” – so much so that the quality of matches was sacrificed and the reliability of the resulting scores nullified. Matches during Rounds One and Two lasted barely more than 30 minutes each; matches during Rounds Three and Four lasted less than 15 minutes.
For a competition among 4.5-level players, the results generated by these formats (particularly in Rounds Three and Four) were not a true indication of the better player(s). So even if all teams were subjected to the same conditions, many of the components crucial to winning a competitive match were effectively removed from the equation – most significantly, mental and physical endurance.
Given the unreliability of the formats used, the validity of the final rankings and resulting selection of the top four teams was highly questionable. (On the women’s side, only one team had a 4-0 record after four rounds; another 6 teams were tied at 3-1. The top three of those teams were ultimately determined based upon total number of lines won and total number of sets lost, but given the inhe the top four teams.)
(Letter continues in next two posts.)
If they include a time machine with the $55, then it would be worth it.wooohooo after traveling 2000 miles, 4 days, paying for airfare, lodging, airport parking, I get $55 back. I doubt I'll ever see the $55. When does UTR leagues start?
Kick it to the backhand!Wow. Can't believe how the usta handled the nationals. May as well just make it sudden death, first point wins. ONE first serve, no second serve. Do you go for an ace or play conservative?
If they include a time machine with the $55, then it would be worth it.
I thought of this also before I posted my suggestion about adding 20 enclosed courts @ MSO...and for hte same reasons you point out. There are 12 indoor courts @ Flushing Meadows.Also, why don't they host the Nationals at the Flushing Meadows park? I don't think the facility is in use throughout the year and it would be a great honor for those who can advance to the Nationals to play at the facility where the US Open takes place.
Nice to see some League Nationals for 2019 already pegged for Arizona!As much as I like meeting people when they are here and seeing the play, our center gets pegged WAY too much for USTA Nationals. Looks like AGAIN as soon as the weather turns nice we lose our facility for over a month. But hey, y'all hit me up when you are in town.
Surprise AZ Tournament Schedule 18-19
Nice to see some League Nationals for 2019 already pegged for Arizona!
Continuation of Letter to USTA:
Based upon all of the foregoing, and in consideration of the enormous amount of time, effort and money that we as participants expended in what turned out to be a weekend of almost no tennis whatsoever, we respectfully ask that the USTA do the following:1. Waive the move-up-or-split-up rule for all 18+ 4.5 teams that competed this year, and allow these teams to compete again in 2019.
No. Not a good idea, and not fair. Those who could not attend nationals for whatever reason (e.g. injury, work, expense) still must deal with move up/split up. Since whether you play at nationals is irrelevant, the sad experience this year should not affect that rule.
Agreed. We should not base bumps on hypothetical results. I understand that this will make benchmarking difficult; do whatever you would do had there been a 9/11-type of catastrophe that shut down air travel. Figure something out, USTA.2. Do not include the results from 18+ 4.5 Nationals (Rounds One through Four) in players’ rating calculations. (If in fact, as the USTA claims, these converted scores did not have a material impact on player ratings, then why not just exclude them altogether?)
. . . .
I'm not sure where you would find enough indoor courts that could be reserved. I think a better idea is to just hold Nationals in Indian Wells, Arizona, and any other place that does not have inclement weather. Period. I don't see why we need to spread out the championships to different parts of the country.National league competitions should only be held at locations where there are adequate indoor courts nearby (or at a place and time of year where there is little to no chance of precipitation, such as California or Arizona outside of their rainy seasons). Indoor courts should be reserved well in advance of the event (while they are still available); if it turns out that these courts are not needed for match play because the weather cooperates, they can be made available to participating teams as practice courts throughout the tournament. If the added cost of reserving indoor courts is of great concern to the USTA (but with several hundred million dollars of cash in the USTA’s coffers, it really shouldn’t be), it should raise the registration fee by $25-50 per person.
Oh, dear. Bad idea. When I went to Nationals, there was one travel day on each end, so it was a five-day trip. Adding a day to that is untenable for people who only get a couple of weeks of vacation or who have a family that might wish the tennis-playing parent had enough money/vacation time to take them on a vacation.The USTA should build more cushion into the tournament schedule by holding the event over the course of 4-5 days instead of just a weekend. (If, for example, our event had started on Wednesday or even Thursday instead of Friday, many more matches could have been completed outdoors and without having to severely truncate the format.)
This is also not practical. Decent-priced airline tickets cannot be changed without steep change fees, and by the time USTA decided to go with the rain date the change in airfare would make the ticket price enormous.The USTA should have a rain date set for each tournament, and should inform all qualifying players of the possibility (however remote) of later rescheduling – before these players register or make any travel arrangements. It should also encourage all participants to purchase travel insurance that would cover the costs associated with any such rescheduling.
This is not that complicated. USTA needs to make the best possible plan and arrangements for Nationals, and then hold Nationals on that date. That means picking a location that makes sense. I'm sorry this happened to this year's players.
No there isn't any place with 30 indoor courts but with enough prep, they could divide up the court's in between clubs. The problem is that there's no incentive for clubs to give away so much court time. The MAC, and NETA and Longfellow are all the big clubs in Mass and they all train elite players year round. There's no incentive to rent out all ten of there courts when they have rich kids begging to train there/take privates there. Private Lessons or Training Academy's or Even high-level tournaments > Just renting court time.Is there anywhere in New England with 30 indoor courts?
No. I didn't actually go. I was on a team that qualified, but I wasn't there, so I guess I don't get one.
Then you shouldn't have stacked, should you have?Imagine you are a 4.0 benchwarmer in 40+ 4.5+ and you are the throw court in #1 singles against a guy getting bumped to 5.5 and through some luck win a game to lose 1-4, the score gets entered as 2-6, 3-6 and bam you are a 5.0.