Longest local league drive in USTA leagues?

Zman

New User
I'm curious what's the longest drive people need to make for local league matches. One contender is the 115-mile drive between Bloomington IN and Muncie IN. They play their matches somewhere in between, but still, at rush hour it can take 2 hours to get from either place to the in-between location where they play. Are there other local leagues with similar or even worse drives?
 
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brettatk

Semi-Pro
I use to routinely drive 45 minutes to every home match for years until I moved a little closer. Also played in a Chattanooga league where it was 118 miles round trip. Stopped that after a couple of seasons, just to far to go.
 
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schmke

Hall of Fame
We have two facilities that are a bit of a trek. When the schedule comes out you A) hope you aren't in the same flight or B) that it is a home and not away match for your team.

One is in Bellingham, about 90 miles north of Seattle, and depending on where you live the drive could be longer or shorter (75 for me). The last part is a pretty drive, but still a long trek for a league match.

The other is Bainbridge Island, as the crow flies very close to Seattle, but requires taking one of two different ferries, or a 90 mile drive, which again can be longer or shorter depending on your starting point. In either case it is again about 2 hours one-way.
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
i know a few players who drive from between ft Wayne/Toledo area to play in Indy -- ~2.25 hrs drive one way.. Not every week, but at least get their two matches in. these are 4.5 players, so the the talent pool in their area very thin, so they are willing to make the drive a couple times per session in order to play similarly-skilled opponents. Also a few others from the Terre Haute area (1.5 hr drive one-way, and a few on the Illinois side of the border...)

its funny...some people think driving more than 20 min is a life-changing event, others don't even think about it. We used to go surfing up-coast and not think anything about driving a few hours to go to a desired beach...of course that's an all-day thing on the weekend vs Tuesday night after work...(unless we were skipping class to do it...had to get home regular time to make it look like we'd been at school all day...).
 

Zman

New User
We have two facilities that are a bit of a trek. When the schedule comes out you A) hope you aren't in the same flight or B) that it is a home and not away match for your team.

One is in Bellingham, about 90 miles north of Seattle, and depending on where you live the drive could be longer or shorter (75 for me). The last part is a pretty drive, but still a long trek for a league match.

The other is Bainbridge Island, as the crow flies very close to Seattle, but requires taking one of two different ferries, or a 90 mile drive, which again can be longer or shorter depending on your starting point. In either case it is again about 2 hours one-way.
Those sound even longer than the one I mentioned (which is only a 2 hour drive in the worst case). I've seen local leagues where the schedule of which teams have away matches vs the very remote opponent winds up effectively determining the league champion, since centrally located teams usually struggle to get players to make the long drive to play the remote opponent and then they usually lose their away match vs the remote opponent. So if the top two teams are centrally located then it's a huge advantage if one has a home match vs the 2-hour-away opponent while the other does not. Would it be crazy to put a hard cap of (say) 40 minutes expected driving time between different home courts in the same local league flight, at the cost of having a few more flights and consequently a few more teams involved in flight playoffs? I understand that this would be worse for a team located far from all other teams, but I'm not sure it's reasonable for one such team to force half the other teams to endure a super-long drive for a non-local match in their "local" league. It seems to me that the point of a local league is to have local matches...
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
i hear ya -- i once served on the board of our local assn, and it gave me another way to look at this. the overall ideal is to increase participation/memberships, so on the one hand you want to be inclusive of those few outlier towns who have a decent sized playing community, and want to be included in the district, but then people in the population center who have no interest/reason to drive to the outlier to play (at least in their own minds). you're also trying to blend those who want to play for fun/exercise, and those who really want to try to make a serious run, so there has to be a little flexibility to accommodate both types of participant.

when we started consistently communicating that these are *travel* leagues, and set the expectation *up front* there is a possibility of a 1hr+ drive on a weeknight 1-2 times per session, the team I cap all took it in stride. some folks can, some can't, just build a bigger roster and make it a fun road trip. i personally have not experienced any attrition from the three teams I cap as a result. as an aside, my anecdotal observation is these outlier teams tend to be generally strong, perhaps because the few in those communities who really do want to play, understand they will need to drive to do it...so, with my captain hat on, i use that as a motivator to the folks in the population centers: you want to be the best in your district? then go beat 'em and prove it! we need both types in leagues, and the more competitive players like the challenge and chance to advance so they don't care.

these are the same people who have kids in travel soccer/AAU basketball etc and think nothing of driving all over for that, or to go to a sporting event or rock concert on a work night and get home at midnight. once we put it in those terms, people seemed to just buy-in. Some still grumble bc no one likes to play away, but the reality is we're talking about one night *maybe* every 4-6 months...
 
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J_R_B

Hall of Fame
The worst in Middle States NJ is Perth Amboy, NJ. It's over an hour away from the other home facilities, and it's the worst facility in the league: cracked courts, broken nets, broken glass on the ground. It's basically a public park in the middle of the barrio, so you also have to park where you can keep an eye on your car. The worst part about it is that the venue isn't even located in Middle States section. Perth Amboy is right outside of NYC in the Eastern NJ region part of the state, not the Middle States part, so we have to drive an hour out of the way to a venue that's not even located in the section to play in a God forsaken hellhole. I have no idea how that team is even allowed to use that as a home venue in a Middle States league.
 

zaskar1

Rookie
you guys must be diehard tennis players.

our local league has a lot of matches around 30-40 minutes away,
i usually dont make myself available for them. 20 minutes drive is my limit.
i am thinking of dropping usta altogether, as i can get a lot of matches within 10 minutes drive
of my house, although not as competitive as usta.
when i played for one team a few years back, i would drive over an hour for matches, and think nothing of it.
guess i am getting old, as i would rather
spend my time playing tennis, not driving to matches

z
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
My max drive is about 25-35 minutes ... most are about 15 minutes

There is talk about adding St George, UT and Boulder City, AZ into the Las Vegas District. I don't know how serious this talk is but St George would be almost 2 hours, BC only a shade over an hour. I know some players would absolutely revolt.

Further away means I have an excuse to make a day of it .... go out for lunch/dinner with the team and avoid weekend chores. All our matches are on Saturdays so that is a little easier to pull off.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
IMO if you choose to live in BFE and want to play then you need to come to where the majority of the players are. If I had to drive 1hr+ each way a USTA match I'd stop playing USTA.
 
The worst in Middle States NJ is Perth Amboy, NJ. It's over an hour away from the other home facilities, and it's the worst facility in the league: cracked courts, broken nets, broken glass on the ground. It's basically a public park in the middle of the barrio, so you also have to park where you can keep an eye on your car. The worst part about it is that the venue isn't even located in Middle States section. Perth Amboy is right outside of NYC in the Eastern NJ region part of the state, not the Middle States part, so we have to drive an hour out of the way to a venue that's not even located in the section to play in a God forsaken hellhole. I have no idea how that team is even allowed to use that as a home venue in a Middle States league.

This is shocking. Perth Amboy is absolutely no where remotely near middle states!!!! That's an outrage that is so easily determined. Come on usta, get your act together. if they just glanced at a map it would be self evident.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Greater Phoenix is so spread out .... Is the Phoenix area divided into multiple USTA districts or is it just one?

We are one central AZ, but they have tried to break, say, East and West up then do a playoff between them. Keeps us from driving too much, but also dilluates the overal variety of play. When there are less teams, like our 40+ 4.0 that only has a few teams, we play them a fe times each to make the season, but they are all over the place.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
We are one central AZ, but they have tried to break, say, East and West up then do a playoff between them. Keeps us from driving too much, but also dilluates the overal variety of play. When there are less teams, like our 40+ 4.0 that only has a few teams, we play them a fe times each to make the season, but they are all over the place.
That is a bit surprising to me ... your population (and geographic footprint) is so much bigger than Vegas and yet we are also 1 district.

at 18+ how many flights and how many teams per flight go to districts?

Also odd that you have decidedly fewer 40+ teams ... ours are fewer but not drastically so.
 

Zman

New User
The worst in Middle States NJ is Perth Amboy, NJ. It's over an hour away from the other home facilities, and it's the worst facility in the league: cracked courts, broken nets, broken glass on the ground. It's basically a public park in the middle of the barrio, so you also have to park where you can keep an eye on your car. The worst part about it is that the venue isn't even located in Middle States section. Perth Amboy is right outside of NYC in the Eastern NJ region part of the state, not the Middle States part, so we have to drive an hour out of the way to a venue that's not even located in the section to play in a God forsaken hellhole. I have no idea how that team is even allowed to use that as a home venue in a Middle States league.
Bizarrely, the USTA league tennis national rules don't seem to say that a team's home court must be within the district or section the team is playing in. Neither do the Middle States section rules. The New Jersey district rules only say that home courts must be in the state of New Jersey, not that home courts must be in the Middle States portion of New Jersey. That seems like a strange omission. And unfortunately the rules don't mention excluding home courts that are God forsaken hellholes!

I do see in the New Jersey district rules that if there is only one team in an area within New Jersey then that team can play in a different area, and "the coordinator for that league will help the out of town team to find a home facility in the area they want to enter to minimize the travel for the other teams". I'm in favor of that.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Bizarrely, the USTA league tennis national rules don't seem to say that a team's home court must be within the district or section the team is playing in. Neither do the Middle States section rules. The New Jersey district rules only say that home courts must be in the state of New Jersey, not that home courts must be in the Middle States portion of New Jersey. That seems like a strange omission. And unfortunately the rules don't mention excluding home courts that are God forsaken hellholes!

I do see in the New Jersey district rules that if there is only one team in an area within New Jersey then that team can play in a different area, and "the coordinator for that league will help the out of town team to find a home facility in the area they want to enter to minimize the travel for the other teams". I'm in favor of that.
I agree. I don't have an issue with the team playing in the league, just the venue.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
Worst was when Celina OH was in the league, 113 miles each way. All good, played all our matches on Saturday. After a couple yrs Celina got an automatic berth in playoffs. Not a prob, traveling man BITD.
 

Zman

New User
Worst was when Celina OH was in the league, 113 miles each way. All good, played all our matches on Saturday. After a couple yrs Celina got an automatic berth in playoffs. Not a prob, traveling man BITD.
Celina is technically in the NW Ohio district (which is basically the Toledo district, hence the 113 mile drive), but there would be much less travel if Celina were in the Dayton local league or the Fort Wayne local league (Fort Wayne to Celina is 50 miles).

And the automatic berth in the playoffs sounds strange, since USTA rules require every team to play a local league. When was this?
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
Celina is technically in the NW Ohio district (which is basically the Toledo district, hence the 113 mile drive), but there would be much less travel if Celina were in the Dayton local league or the Fort Wayne local league (Fort Wayne to Celina is 50 miles).

And the automatic berth in the playoffs sounds strange, since USTA rules require every team to play a local league. When was this?
Nearly 30 yrs ago. Guess we were spoiled
 

Zman

New User
Nearly 30 yrs ago. Guess we were spoiled
That's one way to solve the problem of having one team located far away from all others, just sending that team directly to the playoffs. That has its plusses and minuses. But anyway it can't be done now, due to the current rules.
 

MRfStop

Professional
We have some people who play mixed in Columbus(4.5 lady who plays 8.0 and 9.0). Macon to Columbus is around a hour and half drive. We also have some players from Macon who play in Atlanta’s ALTA league. They travel anywhere from 45 mins to 2.5 hours depending on where the match is. ALTA covers all of Atlanta and surrounding suburbs.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
That's one way to solve the problem of having one team located far away from all others, just sending that team directly to the playoffs. That has its plusses and minuses. But anyway it can't be done now, due to the current rules.
Alas, it does still happen. I imagine one must appeal and get special permission to do it, but I have done reports for players and see teams go directly to States/Districts with no local league play.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
Alas, it does still happen. I imagine one must appeal and get special permission to do it, but I have done reports for players and see teams go directly to States/Districts with no local league play.
We recently had to run a 2-team league locally to allow a team to the chance advance. They were very competitive, but it was a struggle to find enough at level players. I enjoyed playing up, as it exposes your borderline weaknesses so much more.

If memory serves... they lost 2-3 at state. The team that beat them lost 2-3 to the eventual national champs.

On one hand if you've got a team that's good enough to compete then I'd like to see them included... on the other hand the potential for abuse seems high. Without any local league results it would be easier to hide sandbaggers.
 

tennisjon

Professional
The thing with NJ is that it is a divided state between Middle States and Eastern. From the same club you can play in multiple sections. The longest drive for me in NJ is 90 minutes, but that is Middle States and I live in Eastern. In Eastern NJ its a 45 minute drive.
 

jonestim

Hall of Fame
In our league two years ago (Southern Oregon) the longest drive for any of the teams was 235 miles. Klamath Falls, OR to Salem, OR. 4 hrs each way. The Klamath team made the drive to Salem, but I believe when it was Salem's turn they defaulted instead. Salem was out of the running for districts so they didn't bother. I thought that was a pretty crappy move.

Our team's longest drive was 137 miles - also to Klamath Falls, but from Bend, OR. Our SHORTEST drive was 130 miles - to Eugene, OR. Right in the middle was Salem at 132 miles.

We didn't field a team in 2019. Too much driving.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
In our league two years ago (Southern Oregon) the longest drive for any of the teams was 235 miles. Klamath Falls, OR to Salem, OR. 4 hrs each way. The Klamath team made the drive to Salem, but I believe when it was Salem's turn they defaulted instead. Salem was out of the running for districts so they didn't bother. I thought that was a pretty crappy move.

Our team's longest drive was 137 miles - also to Klamath Falls, but from Bend, OR. Our SHORTEST drive was 130 miles - to Eugene, OR. Right in the middle was Salem at 132 miles.

We didn't field a team in 2019. Too much driving.
Some areas that are very distributed like this will have their regular season just be one long weekend with a double round-robin. A lot of tennis in a few days, but minimizes the multiple long trips.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
In our league two years ago (Southern Oregon) the longest drive for any of the teams was 235 miles. Klamath Falls, OR to Salem, OR. 4 hrs each way. The Klamath team made the drive to Salem, but I believe when it was Salem's turn they defaulted instead. Salem was out of the running for districts so they didn't bother. I thought that was a pretty crappy move.
Yeah I'm not making that drive even if I'm IN the running.
 

Zman

New User
In our league two years ago (Southern Oregon) the longest drive for any of the teams was 235 miles. Klamath Falls, OR to Salem, OR. 4 hrs each way. The Klamath team made the drive to Salem, but I believe when it was Salem's turn they defaulted instead. Salem was out of the running for districts so they didn't bother. I thought that was a pretty crappy move.

Our team's longest drive was 137 miles - also to Klamath Falls, but from Bend, OR. Our SHORTEST drive was 130 miles - to Eugene, OR. Right in the middle was Salem at 132 miles.

We didn't field a team in 2019. Too much driving.
WOW!!! That's a shockingly huge amount of driving. It sounds like district lines got drawn in a way that isn't ideal for Salem tennis players, since Salem is in the northern part of the state but instead of being in the northern Oregon district (where essentially all matches would be at most an hour's drive from Salem) it got put in the southern Oregon district with the resulting massive drive to the southern border.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
WOW!!! That's a shockingly huge amount of driving. It sounds like district lines got drawn in a way that isn't ideal for Salem tennis players, since Salem is in the northern part of the state but instead of being in the northern Oregon district (where essentially all matches would be at most an hour's drive from Salem) it got put in the southern Oregon district with the resulting massive drive to the southern border.
I'm guessing none of the Portland teams want to have the longer drive to Salem. Section HQ is in Portland ...

But also, Southern Oregon is already smaller from a player/team perspective, if you remove Salem teams, that district get awful small.

This is what happens when you have a geographically large area with a lot of unpopulated parts, and the cities that do have players relatively far apart.
 
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