Should junior and adult tennis mix?

clutch21

Rookie
I'm from Austin, Tx and we have a pretty cool ladder set up here. There are quite a few people who play on it and it's only $10 a year to join so it's a pretty sweet deal. I have been playing on the ladder for a little less than a year and love it.

I only have one gripe. Lately, there has been an influx of juniors who are joining the ladder. Most of these juniors are in middle school and around the 4.5 level. I'm all for juniors getting better and playing as many matches as they can, I just think that there are other ways to do so than join a mostly adult ladder. Personally, I don't like playing juniors. First off, I dislike having to communicate through their parents to set up a match. Secondly, in my experience, juniors have immature on court behaviors that can make it awkward on the adult to play them, especially with their parents watching. I just think the atmosphere of 4.5 adult tennis doesn't mix with 4.5 junior tennis.

Is my complaint justified or do I need to quit whining and deal with it?
 

kelkat

Rookie
In my opinion, if they they aren't mature enough to set up/coordinate their own match, then they aren't mature enough to play in this league -- which sounds like was originally intended for adults. This isn't a "play date".

I can also understand the awkwardness of having a middle schooler throw a tantrum on the court with the parents watching. But I've seen adults behave badly on court as well so I don't know how you can single the juniors out, or enforce anyone to behave well for that matter. :rolleyes:
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
No, they really shouldn't. My wife an I played against a 12 year old and her coach in the finals of a tourney a few years back. The girl could hit some lasers...a couple of them almost took both of our heads off. She couldn't volley to save her life. So after dropping the first set we seriously had to decide if were going to go after her with her being a 12 year old. I just decided that since she was on the court with her coach and he was hi fiving her for hitting these lasers that it's okay to go back after her....well...as soon as I did I hit her in the knee with a short forehand...and we about had to stop the match. I was all kinds of mf's and everything else. The girl's mother was in the stands and was giving me hell...the coach was giving me hell. Now after I calmly explained to them that no one said nothing the whole first set when were dodging bullets and the coach was encouraging it. I told them they could either get her off the court and quit or this would continue. No one seem to care about the prospect of me or my wife coming home with one eye. So why should I care about his student or the woman's daughter. Had she been a grown woman...it still would have seemed bad I guess but not like me going at a 12 year old girl. They haven't allowed juniors in their tourney since. To top it off this was an 8.0 mixed tourney and not only was she swinging the hell out of it. Her partner the coach was a National champion at the 5.0 level. So, no juniors shouldn't be allowed to play with adults because parents can't handle their little angels being given what they dish out. :)

I'm from Austin, Tx and we have a pretty cool ladder set up here. There are quite a few people who play on it and it's only $10 a year to join so it's a pretty sweet deal. I have been playing on the ladder for a little less than a year and love it.

I only have one gripe. Lately, there has been an influx of juniors who are joining the ladder. Most of these juniors are in middle school and around the 4.5 level. I'm all for juniors getting better and playing as many matches as they can, I just think that there are other ways to do so than join a mostly adult ladder. Personally, I don't like playing juniors. First off, I dislike having to communicate through their parents to set up a match. Secondly, in my experience, juniors have immature on court behaviors that can make it awkward on the adult to play them, especially with their parents watching. I just think the atmosphere of 4.5 adult tennis doesn't mix with 4.5 junior tennis.

Is my complaint justified or do I need to quit whining and deal with it?
 

RollTrackTake

Professional
^^^ funny! I had a similar situation a few years back when I was living in SOCAL. Played a 8.0 tourney with my wife. in the QF's ran into a dad and his 14 year old daughter. It only took 3 games before the gloves came off. After ducking out of the way on several missiles from both I started replying in kind. The dad confronted me on a changeover and asked me not to hit smashes or sitters back at his daughter. I told him then get her off the court. he sized me up, decided he would not be able to intimidate, muttered what i bet were some unpleasantries and took the court. Now I did not go after the girl on purpose but after a couple more bombs in her direction, dear old dad went to my wife this time and asked her for a truce. after that we played soft-ball for the remainder of the match!!
 

tennis_ocd

Hall of Fame
I'd think that occasionally playing a good, 4.5!? level 12 yo would be quite an enjoyable experience.... hopefully for both.
 

floridatennisdude

Hall of Fame
I wouldn't like having to communicate through a parent to set up a match. The kid needs to be the one to communicate. Teach the kid to grow up already.

I also think that to enter an adult ladder, the kid needs to be old enough to drive and have their own transportation. I don't want to wait around because mom's mini van had to drop off a sibling at dance or soccer practice first.

I just have zero interest of playing a 12-15 year old. Nothing to gain and everything to lose on my end. At best, I beat a child. At least if it is a 16 or 17 year old, they are usually big and strong enough that I don't feel like a schmuck.
 

LuckyR

Legend
I'm from Austin, Tx and we have a pretty cool ladder set up here. There are quite a few people who play on it and it's only $10 a year to join so it's a pretty sweet deal. I have been playing on the ladder for a little less than a year and love it.

I only have one gripe. Lately, there has been an influx of juniors who are joining the ladder. Most of these juniors are in middle school and around the 4.5 level. I'm all for juniors getting better and playing as many matches as they can, I just think that there are other ways to do so than join a mostly adult ladder. Personally, I don't like playing juniors. First off, I dislike having to communicate through their parents to set up a match. Secondly, in my experience, juniors have immature on court behaviors that can make it awkward on the adult to play them, especially with their parents watching. I just think the atmosphere of 4.5 adult tennis doesn't mix with 4.5 junior tennis.

Is my complaint justified or do I need to quit whining and deal with it?

I believe you have summed up the issue very well, why there are Junior and Adult (and Senior for that matter) Divisions.
 

cll30

Rookie
I live in Austin and have played on that same ladder. I'm currently taking a break from it, but once I did play a 10 year old boy on it. I figured he was a junior because I had to set up the match through his father, but when we got to the court I was very surprised to find out that he was only 10 years old (and he was a small one at that). He played well, but it was somewhat disconcerting to look over the net and not be able to easily see my opponent - that took some getting used to. :)
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
You'd be lucky to develop hitting relationships with them, because over the next few years they'll keep getting better, while you continue to decline.
 

escii_35

Rookie
^^^ funny! I had a similar situation a few years back when I was living in SOCAL. Played a 8.0 tourney with my wife. in the QF's ran into a dad and his 14 year old daughter. It only took 3 games before the gloves came off. After ducking out of the way on several missiles from both I started replying in kind. The dad confronted me on a changeover and asked me not to hit smashes or sitters back at his daughter. I told him then get her off the court. he sized me up, decided he would not be able to intimidate, muttered what i bet were some unpleasantries and took the court. Now I did not go after the girl on purpose but after a couple more bombs in her direction, dear old dad went to my wife this time and asked her for a truce. after that we played soft-ball for the remainder of the match!!
That is just an odd story. In 8.0 you will get more then a few alpha 4.5's eating up 80% of the court and launching fastballs from every angle imaginable. I can understand complaining in 7.0 but 8.0 ..... hmm.
 

floridatennisdude

Hall of Fame
You'd be lucky to develop hitting relationships with them, because over the next few years they'll keep getting better, while you continue to decline.
Some truth to this. I have a HS soph in my neighborhood thy mustered up the courage to challenge me. Tall, lanky kid. Beat up on him the first time. I keep playing him about once a month. I can't imagine I'll be able to hang with him by the end of the summer.
 

maggmaster

Hall of Fame
I don't mind playing with juniors. Personally, I feel that if your ego can handle it you should play with anyone who will give you a solid game.
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
Some truth to this. I have a HS soph in my neighborhood thy mustered up the courage to challenge me. Tall, lanky kid. Beat up on him the first time. I keep playing him about once a month. I can't imagine I'll be able to hang with him by the end of the summer.
You are right, sometimes it is months rather than years. Really, tennis competition is only meaningful between peers. Part of the reason I am enjoying the Gasquet-Murray third set on TC right now...;)
 

zcarzach

Semi-Pro
Every time I go back into this thread, I think about that episode of Seinfeld, where Kramer is in karate class with a bunch of kids.

"Yeah, but we're all at the same SKILL level"

No kids in my league, thanks. I just don't want to deal with all the hassles that children bring.
 

zcarzach

Semi-Pro
In many ways they are much less of a hassle than adults. IMO, when you give up interaction with kids you give up a very large portion of life.
I have no doubt you are right, but I don't want to play competitive tennis against them. I have nothing against kids in normal life, usually, as long as the parents aren't terrible and let them run amok.
 

maggmaster

Hall of Fame
Why? It gives you a very real opprotunity to play against someone who probably trains more than you do. Plus if they are younger kids, they have a built in weakness that you can try to exploit, that being that heavy topspin will bounce higher on them than on a full grown adult. Sorry I see very little difference between playing against a blue chip twelve year old vs a 30 year old 4.5, most of the advanced kids that I have in clinics are pretty mature for their age.
 

storypeddler

Semi-Pro
No, they really shouldn't. My wife an I played against a 12 year old and her coach in the finals of a tourney a few years back. The girl could hit some lasers...a couple of them almost took both of our heads off. She couldn't volley to save her life. So after dropping the first set we seriously had to decide if were going to go after her with her being a 12 year old. I just decided that since she was on the court with her coach and he was hi fiving her for hitting these lasers that it's okay to go back after her....well...as soon as I did I hit her in the knee with a short forehand...and we about had to stop the match. I was all kinds of mf's and everything else. The girl's mother was in the stands and was giving me hell...the coach was giving me hell. Now after I calmly explained to them that no one said nothing the whole first set when were dodging bullets and the coach was encouraging it. I told them they could either get her off the court and quit or this would continue. No one seem to care about the prospect of me or my wife coming home with one eye. So why should I care about his student or the woman's daughter. Had she been a grown woman...it still would have seemed bad I guess but not like me going at a 12 year old girl. They haven't allowed juniors in their tourney since. To top it off this was an 8.0 mixed tourney and not only was she swinging the hell out of it. Her partner the coach was a National champion at the 5.0 level. So, no juniors shouldn't be allowed to play with adults because parents can't handle their little angels being given what they dish out. :)
Good for you!!! You're my new hero!
 

storypeddler

Semi-Pro
As a rule I would agree with your summary of the situation. Frankly, I feel the same way in mixed doubles on those occasions when you play in an 8.0 league against a team made up of a 3.5 woman and a 4.5 man. The guy feels perfectly justified dominating the court and blasting winners at or through you, but the moment you start to hit big shots at his weaker partner, one or both of them get an attitude. Basically my mindset is the same throughout---I'm not trying to hurt anyone or embarrass anyone, but I AM out here to try to win. If you are on the court, young or old, male or female, you can't complain about any legal shot that comes your way. You always have the option of walking off the court and defaulting. So, if a junior DOES play, he/she should expect to give no quarter and for none to be given. The same goes for their partners, parents, whoever.
 

clutch21

Rookie
I really don't mind actually playing competitive points against juniors... I always am up for competitive matches regardless of who I am playing. I have just had some bad experiences with juniors.

I know adults throw tantrums on court, but its different when a kid does it and his (haven't played a girl yet, and frankly am not sure if my ego can handle it) parents respond to him and try to tell him to stop being a baby. Also on a side note, in my experience juniors call pretty "tight" lines. Like Zcarzach said.. just not worth the hassle.
 

clutch21

Rookie
I live in Austin and have played on that same ladder. I'm currently taking a break from it, but once I did play a 10 year old boy on it. I figured he was a junior because I had to set up the match through his father, but when we got to the court I was very surprised to find out that he was only 10 years old (and he was a small one at that). He played well, but it was somewhat disconcerting to look over the net and not be able to easily see my opponent - that took some getting used to. :)
I'm pretty sure I know the kid your talking about.
 

anantak2k

Semi-Pro
The ladder I play has a few juniors in it and I have never experienced any problems playing them. They play some awesome tennis and give you a good workout. They usually do tend to have some holes in their games that you can pick on. The juniors I have played have had great manners, been very respectful and friendly. This includes even the ones that are hot tempered. They usually get mad at themselves which does not bother me at all.

I did however notice that several of the people who said they had bad experience mentioned mixed doubles... I think the problem there is mixed doubles... just saying.
 

RollTrackTake

Professional
As a rule I would agree with your summary of the situation. Frankly, I feel the same way in mixed doubles on those occasions when you play in an 8.0 league against a team made up of a 3.5 woman and a 4.5 man. The guy feels perfectly justified dominating the court and blasting winners at or through you, but the moment you start to hit big shots at his weaker partner, one or both of them get an attitude. Basically my mindset is the same throughout---I'm not trying to hurt anyone or embarrass anyone, but I AM out here to try to win. If you are on the court, young or old, male or female, you can't complain about any legal shot that comes your way. You always have the option of walking off the court and defaulting. So, if a junior DOES play, he/she should expect to give no quarter and for none to be given. The same goes for their partners, parents, whoever.
I'm with you on this. In the 1 situation I posted this dad asked me to direct any smashes at him rather the daughter. I'm a parent so I understand not wanting to see my kid get hurt, but I also would not trot my kid out against adults unless I was ok with the possibility of injury because of the difference in physical development. Although I regularly see 12 year olds hit overheads just as hard as me!!
 

BHiC

Rookie
This is an interesting point. I played in a local adult ladder when I was 14-15 (I was about a 4.5 then), and I don't think anyone had problems with me. One thing that helped about setting up matches was that the ladder had challenge matches every Monday night, so there was no trying to arrange a time. It was also all singles, so there was no problems that go along with doubles or mixed doubles. It helped me get more match play in, and the only problem was that I beat one adult who's ego could not handle losing to a junior.
 

Rjtennis

Hall of Fame
Don't worry, it will end sooner or later when a kid reports that an adult opponent touched him on his special place during a changeover and there's a giant lawsuit.

I'm actually surprised they let kids and adult strangers meet for matches. There's no way I would play kids. Too risky these days.
That is a pretty bizarre comment. I sure hope something like that never ever happens.
 

Fuji

Legend
As a junior player, I enjoy played "adult" players more then people my own age. I get less temper tantrums and people are on time a lot more. :)

-Fuji
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
For me it's not an ego problem. It's whether their mommy can handle their little princess going home with fuzz in their eye. You and I both know if you nail a 12 year old you're going to be the bad ass no matter how many rockets she launches. That's where the problem is.

I don't mind playing with juniors. Personally, I feel that if your ego can handle it you should play with anyone who will give you a solid game.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
You are missing the point. Many of these players aren't "blue chip". This little girl had a forehand and backhand that would clean anyone off the court if caught in the wrong position, but she couldn't volley to save her life. So she was hardly a blue chip player and that's why they should ban kids from adults tourneys. I wasn't going to let her continue to drill balls at us and possibly hurt us. So I started firing back. We had to look at her like an adult or we would get hurt. I was grateful that the the ball that did hit her it not only hit her in the knee...it scared her to the point where she was reluctant to come in to the service box which is exactly what I wanted. The coach got ticked at her for not coming in but that was the parent and the coaches problem to deal with afterwards. :) Once we had her at the baseline everything went pretty smoothly. :)


Why? It gives you a very real opprotunity to play against someone who probably trains more than you do. Plus if they are younger kids, they have a built in weakness that you can try to exploit, that being that heavy topspin will bounce higher on them than on a full grown adult. Sorry I see very little difference between playing against a blue chip twelve year old vs a 30 year old 4.5, most of the advanced kids that I have in clinics are pretty mature for their age.
 

tennis_ocd

Hall of Fame
This little girl had a forehand and backhand that would clean anyone off the court if caught in the wrong position, but she couldn't volley to save her life.... Once we had her at the baseline everything went pretty smoothly. :)
Just having a hard time following. 1. How was the little girl getting these forehands when up at the net? 2. Why push someone who can't volley to the baseline where they can unleash these crushing groundies?? 3. Why all the concern and fear over the 12 yo and not the 5.0 national champion?
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Good questions...She was unleashing the bombs from the the service line and in and that was our fault. It didn't matter how hard she hit it from the baseline. We could volley that. :) The balls we did leave in no man's land and further in she was not hitting like she was before she got nailed. She was too concerned about what might come back. As far as her partner, he was a national champion in the late 90's. He was still a great player but I'm sure he was not the player he was in the 90's. but still a problem for us. So instilling fear in her was a must. Otherwise she was going to instill fear into my wife. :) Did that bring you up to speed?

Just having a hard time following. 1. How was the little girl getting these forehands when up at the net? 2. Why push someone who can't volley to the baseline where they can unleash these crushing groundies?? 3. Why all the concern and fear over the 12 yo and not the 5.0 national champion?
 

tennis_ocd

Hall of Fame
Good questions...She was unleashing the bombs from the the service line and in and that was our fault. It didn't matter how hard she hit it from the baseline. We could volley that. :) The balls we did leave in no man's land and further in she was not hitting like she was before she got nailed. She was too concerned about what might come back. As far as her partner, he was a national champion in the late 90's. He was still a great player but I'm sure he was not the player he was in the 90's. but still a problem for us. So instilling fear in her was a must. Otherwise she was going to instill fear into my wife. :) Did that bring you up to speed?
Yep... I have no issue with treating an accomplished 12 as an adult in a match. Hopefully she learned much from the experience.
 
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