So few USTA adult tournaments these days! What happened?

Holdfast44ID

Semi-Pro
There were there way more adult (Open and NTRP) tournaments than there are now! What happened? I'm planning to get back into playing tournaments and it seems like they have really dried up in the NorCal section compared to ten+ years ago. So many tournaments I remember from the past are no more. Several clubs don't have tournaments anymore. Some colleges are not having their annual USTA tennis team fundraiser tournaments. Tennis orgs are not having tournaments I remember. Do you notice this trend in your USTA section? This is sad. Maybe USTA league dominance is the reason?
 
1) League tennis
2) Pickleball
3) Legalized pot taking people's motivation away to do anything as difficult as learning to play tennis properly--playing video games is easier--children in the player's lounging staring at i-pads while mommy plays tennis.
4) Unsupervised clubs and parks creating anti-social negative playing environments.
5) No respect for senior excellence.
6) The general population has been dumbed down--tennis takes some brains.
7) Competition has become a dirty word.
 

atatu

Legend
I think the expansion of league tennis is the main reason. Years ago you just had the regular USTA NTRP leagues. Now you have NTRP, age group NTRP, Mixed, age group mixed, Combo, Tri-level, etc. etc. It's tough to get people to come out for tournaments with so much going on. Having said that, I think Texas still has a good number of tournaments compared to other sections. I was looking to play a tournament in Socal while in Palm Springs in March and there was nothing close.
 

MaxTennis

Rookie
There were there way more adult (Open and NTRP) tournaments than there are now! What happened? I'm planning to get back into playing tournaments and it seems like they have really dried up in the NorCal section compared to ten+ years ago. So many tournaments I remember from the past are no more. Several clubs don't have tournaments anymore. Some colleges are not having their annual USTA tennis team fundraiser tournaments. Tennis orgs are not having tournaments I remember. Do you notice this trend in your USTA section? This is sad. Maybe USTA league dominance is the reason?
I play Open tournaments in NorCal and it is pretty much just Long’s Tennis Academy and Bay Club SF with a few others sprinkled in here and there.

The big money Opens are still the same though (Los Gatos, Mountain View, Moraga, etc).
 

BallBag

Semi-Pro
This looks like a job for @schmke. I know he is tracking league participation numbers, not sure about tournament. He has a blog post about declining participation in league since 2013, maybe tournaments are getting hit even harder.
 

ATX Tennis

New User
Tournaments this year in my area have had very few 3.5s and a ton of 4.0s. Usually 3.5 is the most popular level...I guess it’s due to the ton of bump ups.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
This looks like a job for @schmke. I know he is tracking league participation numbers, not sure about tournament. He has a blog post about declining participation in league since 2013, maybe tournaments are getting hit even harder.
Disclaimer: My stats on tournaments may not be as robust as on league, and these stats are counting all tournaments, not just Adult tournaments.

Tournament matches by year:

2008 - 958K
2009 - 940K
2010 - 929K
2011 - 924K
2012 - 944K
2013 - 937K
2014 - 918K
2015 - 905K
2016 - 910K
2017 - 891K
2018 - 824K

So there is a decline in matches played, although there was a minor resurgence in 2012/2013 after a small decline through 2011.

Unique players by year:

2008 - 181K
2009 - 181K
2010 - 178K
2011 - 178K
2012 - 180K
2013 - 177K
2014 - 174K
2015 - 171K
2016 - 168K
2017 - 165K
2018 - 157K

Similar decline as you'd expect.
 

BallBag

Semi-Pro
Disclaimer: My stats on tournaments may not be as robust as on league, and these stats are counting all tournaments, not just Adult tournaments.

Tournament matches by year:

2008 - 958K
2009 - 940K
2010 - 929K
2011 - 924K
2012 - 944K
2013 - 937K
2014 - 918K
2015 - 905K
2016 - 910K
2017 - 891K
2018 - 824K

So there is a decline in matches played, although there was a minor resurgence in 2012/2013 after a small decline through 2011.

Unique players by year:

2008 - 181K
2009 - 181K
2010 - 178K
2011 - 178K
2012 - 180K
2013 - 177K
2014 - 174K
2015 - 171K
2016 - 168K
2017 - 165K
2018 - 157K

Similar decline as you'd expect.
If that includes juniors then these numbers are really scary. For adults I thought the decline is probably offset by using other platforms like TLS. But I don't think there is anything else other than USTA for juniors.
 

MaxTennis

Rookie
If that includes juniors then these numbers are really scary. For adults I thought the decline is probably offset by using other platforms like TLS. But I don't think there is anything else other than USTA for juniors.
I feel that NTRP tourneys aren’t worth it compared to leagues. Open tourneys are good though.
 

BallBag

Semi-Pro
I feel that NTRP tourneys aren’t worth it compared to leagues. Open tourneys are good though.
Open would be good for me as well if participation was higher. As it is I'm looking at getting my ass waxed in 45 min and then going home. NTRP gives me a few competitive matches. I really like UTR in theory because it really is just a really open tournment but I haven't seen it implemented quite right yet.
 

Holdfast44ID

Semi-Pro
I feel that NTRP tourneys aren’t worth it compared to leagues. Open tourneys are good though.
Well, you can probably get more bang for your buck playing league than tournaments I suppose. Opens should have good-sized draws and high-level players compared to NTRPs though.

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schmke

Hall of Fame
If that includes juniors then these numbers are really scary. For adults I thought the decline is probably offset by using other platforms like TLS. But I don't think there is anything else other than USTA for juniors.
It does include at least "some" junior events, I don't have a way of knowing if it includes all. But it does include things like US Open Juniors and Orange Bowls and various 16s/18s/etc Nationals.
 

BallBag

Semi-Pro
It does include at least "some" junior events, I don't have a way of knowing if it includes all. But it does include things like US Open Juniors and Orange Bowls and various 16s/18s/etc Nationals.
That makes sense, I always thought theres more juniors playing tournaments than adults playing league.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
1) League tennis
2) Pickleball
3) Legalized pot taking people's motivation away to do anything as difficult as learning to play tennis properly--playing video games is easier--children in the player's lounging staring at i-pads while mommy plays tennis.
4) Unsupervised clubs and parks creating anti-social negative playing environments.
5) No respect for senior excellence.
6) The general population has been dumbed down--tennis takes some brains.
7) Competition has become a dirty word.
3. Bunk. The decline of tennis in the US has been happening long before anyone legalized marijuana. California (where the OP is from) only legalized it in 2018. Also, video games are easy to pick up, but they require real talent and practice to master - just like tennis. The dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and reaction times required to play video games professionally are incredible. Pros can do and process a million things at the same time, and can react in fractions of a second. Pit a casual player against a pro and he gets wrecked, much like a casual tennis player would against a pro.
4. Their supervised alternatives are much too expensive for most to afford
5. Respect is a two-way street. If seniors don't respect younger people, it's hard to blame them for returning the same treatment
6/7. Bunk. But if it were true, whose fault would it be, anyway? Younger generations are mocked for being sheltered - but why is that the fault of these kids? It makes much more sense to blame the generation who raised them, the ones who mollycoddled them, and gave them the participation awards. The same people who freely played on the streets are the ones who won't let their kids do the same because they think the world is much more dangerous now (which is bunk).
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
Tennis has always been an aristocratic sport, but that has gotten worse as the years passed. Now, space is at a premium, specially in big cities, and tennis courts take up way too much space. Housing and rent prices have skyrocketed. In the '80s you could afford to buy a house with a middle class income. The same houses that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars are now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in some places. It makes so much financial sense to bulldoze tennis courts and build a big apartment complex in their place. If you live in a big city, it's hard to afford a tennis club membership. If you live in the middle of nowhere where you don't have these problems, there aren't enough people to play

It's not like the US has a shortage of talented athletes. The US still easily tops the medal tables in the Olympics. But it makes no sense for young athletes to invest lots of money into a sport like tennis where the payoff is uncertain. If you have to choose between developing into a world class tennis player and barely making ends meet (you don't break even until you reach the Top 200-300), or go into a different sport where you can earn a lot of money even warming the bench... The choice is easy. Of course, this also generates a vicious cycle. The lack of high profile American tennis players makes fewer American kids want to pick up a racquet, feeding into a further decline in popularity, and so on.
 

Holdfast44ID

Semi-Pro
I might add that in my area, San Jose, many high schools are now locking up their courts. At one school, they kick you off the courts and lock them up unless you have a "permit" to use them!!! Schools are renting courts for use by training organizations (e.g., junior training). While having training is good, what about those who simply want to use public courts, that we pay for, for practice? So, many kids and parents who cannot afford to join a club cannot even practice on high school courts! How is THIS good for growing the game? Pisses me off...

Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
 
I might add that in my area, San Jose, many high schools are now locking up their courts. At one school, they kick you off the courts and lock them up unless you have a "permit" to use them!!! Schools are renting courts for use by training organizations (e.g., junior training). While having training is good, what about those who simply want to use public courts, that we pay for, for practice? So, many kids and parents who cannot afford to join a club cannot even practice on high school courts! How is THIS good for growing the game? Pisses me off...
Is it even legal to lock up HS tennis courts? In Virginia and Maryland, HS tennis courts are available 24x7x365 for public use. There are abundant tennis courts here in Fairfax County recreation Parks and High School. There is a time limit at recreation park tennis courts, like 1 hour, if there are people waiting for courts but no time limit at High School tennis courts. That's why you see tennis teaching pros at public HS tennis courts giving lessons for money and get away with it. It is not legal to do so but no one here really enforces it. It is a different story at Fairfax County recreation park. You get a verbal warning the first time and heavy fine the 2nd time and probably a misdemeanor charge for repeat offenders. Because of that, tennis teaching pros stay away from recreation park, unless they have permit to do so, and permit costs $$$
 

atatu

Legend
Is it even legal to lock up HS tennis courts? In Virginia and Maryland, HS tennis courts are available 24x7x365 for public use. There are abundant tennis courts here in Fairfax County recreation Parks and High School. There is a time limit at recreation park tennis courts, like 1 hour, if there are people waiting for courts but no time limit at High School tennis courts. That's why you see tennis teaching pros at public HS tennis courts giving lessons for money and get away with it. It is not legal to do so but no one here really enforces it. It is a different story at Fairfax County recreation park. You get a verbal warning the first time and heavy fine the 2nd time and probably a misdemeanor charge for repeat offenders. Because of that, tennis teaching pros stay away from recreation park, unless they have permit to do so, and permit costs $$$
Here in Texas some high schools lock up their courts as well. The high school where my kids graduated from just started locking up 4 of their courts and leaving 4 open. I think it's very short sighted for the coach to do that, it discourages play, which in turn discourages kids from learning the sport which means fewer high school kids playing tennis. The coach justified this decision by saying that people were littering on the courts, etc. which I'm sure is true, but locking up the courts is a really bad idea.
 

Holdfast44ID

Semi-Pro
Is it even legal to lock up HS tennis courts? In Virginia and Maryland, HS tennis courts are available 24x7x365 for public use. There are abundant tennis courts here in Fairfax County recreation Parks and High School. There is a time limit at recreation park tennis courts, like 1 hour, if there are people waiting for courts but no time limit at High School tennis courts. That's why you see tennis teaching pros at public HS tennis courts giving lessons for money and get away with it. It is not legal to do so but no one here really enforces it. It is a different story at Fairfax County recreation park. You get a verbal warning the first time and heavy fine the 2nd time and probably a misdemeanor charge for repeat offenders. Because of that, tennis teaching pros stay away from recreation park, unless they have permit to do so, and permit costs $$$
I don't think it should be legal to lock up the high school courts. The reasoning might be to keep vandals and the homeless off the courts, perhaps. There is a small park with four courts and you have up to three people illegally hogging the courts for hours giving lessons. I have coached at Stanford, was a head pro at a club, and also taught parks and rec classes. I always had a permit to teach and used only one court. These guys lie, don't have a permit, and say they are teaching "their kids" and they are different kids, hour after hour. They prevent the public from playing. Use one court and you have a city permit, that's okay, but the other "pros" act like they own the courts. I don't really care about people teaching/coaching if some courts are left open. If I am not hitting with someone, I can use my ball machine. One day, I drove by three high schools and all courts were locked and the park courts were full. Went home...

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XM1014

New User
I play Open tournaments in NorCal and it is pretty much just Long’s Tennis Academy and Bay Club SF with a few others sprinkled in here and there.

The big money Opens are still the same though (Los Gatos, Mountain View, Moraga, etc).
Where do I find info on the money open tournaments?
 
Tennis has always been an aristocratic sport, but that has gotten worse as the years passed.
You sure get everything back-azzwards--have YOU ever played--or tried to play tennis while stoned?--I have long before it was legal and it killed my motivation--I just sat there at the public cts. by the way--asking myself the night after still somewhat high "Why am I doing this?" Pot is the entry level drug to ALL others and it's legalization under the pretext it's good to rub on you, amongst others, will lead to the downfall of civilization! Chew on that, I've gotta' play tennis. And as far as tennis being "aristocratic", BUNK back to you--not in the good ol' USA where tennis courts are plentiful and now going begging. There are plenty of courts in the ghetto, but if you lived there and got caught with a tennis racquet it was the equivalent of bringing a violin to school. You must live on some other planet--or France--where tennis was only played by the royals--under US capitalism tennis courts have abounded but the populace is so well off now it can afford other more expensive sports like sticking coke up there noses.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
You sure get everything back-azzwards--have YOU ever played--or tried to play tennis while stoned?--I have long before it was legal and it killed my motivation--I just sat there at the public cts. by the way--asking myself the night afterwards still somewhat hight "Why am I doing this?" Pot is the entry level drug to ALL others and it's legalization under the pretext it's good to rub on you, amongst others, will lead to the downfall of civilization! Chew on that, I've gotta' play tennis.
You claimed legalization has taken away people's motivation to play tennis (whether or not that's true is also up for debate). I'm pointing out interest in tennis in the States has been dwindling for a while now, long before anyone legalized pot

And as far as tennis being "aristocratic", BUNK back to you--not in the good ol' USA where tennis courts are plentiful and now going begging. There are plenty of courts in the ghetto, but if you lived there and got caught with a tennis racquet it was the equivalent of bringing a violin to school. You must live on some other planet--or France--where tennis was only played by the royals--under US capitalism tennis courts have abounded but the populace is so well off now it can afford other more expensive sports like sticking coke up there noses.
You can go and play on public courts on the cheap if you live in the right place. That of course has its own set of problems. But if you want to take lessons, join a club, or anything like that, the costs skyrocket. And that's for an adult. Junior tennis programs routinely run in the hundreds of dollars a month if not more (unless you're really good and they give you a big discount), and the average middle class family is not going to have enough disposable income to support this. It's much cheaper to get them into soccer or anything else.
 
And as far as tennis being "aristocratic", BUNK back to you--not in the good ol' USA where tennis courts are plentiful and now going begging.
Within of 3 miles from my house, there are about 35 FREE outdoor tennis courts that are opened for public usage. About 20 of them have lights that you can play at night until 11pm for FREE, (lights not available between after thanksgiving and April 1st). Courts are very well maintained by the schools and the County recreational park.
 
You can go and play on public courts on the cheap if you live in the right place. That of course has its own set of problems. But if you want to take lessons, join a club, or anything like that, the costs skyrocket. And that's for an adult. Junior tennis programs routinely run in the hundreds of dollars a month if not more (unless you're really good and they give you a big discount), and the average middle class family is not going to have enough disposable income to support this. It's much cheaper to get them into soccer or anything else.
Think again. Soccer is not cheap either. One of my nieces is playing elite travel soccer. The cost of travel, club, coaching, clinic, tournaments is about the same as tennis, may be a bit less.
 
I don't think it should be legal to lock up the high school courts.. The reasoning might be to keep vandals and the homeless off the courts, perhaps..
I am very grateful where I live because the public high school tennis courts in Potomac Maryland are kept pristine clean and resurfaced every few years, probably taxes in MD and Montgomery are quite high. No vandals or homeless on the tennis courts here in Potomac Maryland ;)

There is a small park with four courts and you have up to three people illegally hogging the courts for hours giving lessons. I have coached at Stanford, was a head pro at a club, and also taught parks and rec classes. I always had a permit to teach and used only one court. These guys lie, don't have a permit, and say they are teaching "their kids" and they are different kids, hour after hour. They prevent the public from playing. Use one court and you have a city permit, that's okay, but the other "pros" act like they own the courts. I don't really care about people teaching/coaching if some courts are left open. If I am not hitting with someone, I can use my ball machine. One day, I drove by three high schools and all courts were locked and the park courts were full. Went home...
On weekends, my friends and I hang out at tennis courts either in Potomac Churchill, Hoover middle school in Potomac MD or Langley HS in Mclean Virginia to play tennis. We do see tennis "pros" there but most of them are very nice and reasonable. They teach for a living so we respect them and vice versa. If the courts are full, we just find another tennis courts to play. They don't act like they own the courts and they really appreciate that we go somewhere else. One time, there is a young teaching pro and he acted like he "owns" the courts at Churchill HS, I pulled him aside and advised him not to do that because someone will call the police on him and his teaching days at Churchill HS tennis courts will be over. 99.9999% of the time, they are very reasonable and I become friends with them.

FYI: Most people that I know in my Potomac area don't play on public tennis courts. They play at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda MD :p
 

atatu

Legend
3. Bunk. The decline of tennis in the US has been happening long before anyone legalized marijuana. California (where the OP is from) only legalized it in 2018. Also, video games are easy to pick up, but they require real talent and practice to master - just like tennis. The dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and reaction times required to play video games professionally are incredible. Pros can do and process a million things at the same time, and can react in fractions of a second. Pit a casual player against a pro and he gets wrecked, much like a casual tennis player would against a pro.
Nobody said being a professional gamer is easy, he said it's easier to play videos games than tennis which is absolutely true, you don't even have to leave your house to start playing a video game, as opposed to tennis, most people have to travel to get to courts. I still think tennis is harder though, my son was on a "professional" counter strike team after dedicating a few years to the game, but he was only top 50 in the State in Tennis after many years of training.
 

tlsmikey

New User
I find it somewhat sad I can't find more tournaments. I'm a 4.5 and i'm relegated to leagues (which are fun), but it's rare in northern california that we get more than one or two tournaments with a lot of people through the year. I keep applying, maybe over time we'll get more.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
Nobody said being a professional gamer is easy, he said it's easier to play videos games than tennis which is absolutely true, you don't even have to leave your house to start playing a video game, as opposed to tennis, most people have to travel to get to courts. I still think tennis is harder though, my son was on a "professional" counter strike team after dedicating a few years to the game, but he was only top 50 in the State in Tennis after many years of training.
That's fair. Though I don't think you can blame people for doing it. It's always easier to do less. It's just a trade-off between boredom and effort. Am I bored enough to get off my ass and exercise? With so many entertainment options at home these days, it's become easier to just stay in. I think it's less of an indictment on this generation than people think; if boomers were raised with screens on their faces, they wouldn't be much different
 
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