What could the USTA do to increase participation...

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
I do not think that sandbagging is as big of a problem as some do. Sure, there are always going to be a few individuals that game the system. But there are not enough in USTA to make a significant difference.

What people do not like about USTA is that when you play a match, your scores are public for all to see. It’s like taking a test in college or high school and having the class grades posted publicly. Every one who cares enough to do so can see everyone who beat you for the past several years. They know who you should’ve beaten but couldn’t, all of your embarrassing losses, all the matches you should’ve won by more but didn’t. Players who are winning or players who have a lot of natural confidence do not seem to mind this. It’s the other types who begin to accuse others of sandbagging or get discouraged by USTA altogether. Moreover, it’s some of these who even claim to be sandbagging themselves to avoid embarrassment about their losses.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I do not think that sandbagging is as big of a problem as some do. Sure, there are always going to be a few individuals that game the system. But there are not enough in USTA to make a significant difference.

What people do not like about USTA is that when you play a match, your scores are public for all to see. It’s like taking a test in college or high school and having the class grades posted publicly. Every one who cares enough to do so can see everyone who beat you for the past several years. They know who you should’ve beaten but couldn’t, all of your embarrassing losses, all the matches you should’ve won by more but didn’t. Players who are winning or players who have a lot of natural confidence do not seem to mind this. It’s the other types who begin to accuse others of sandbagging or get discouraged by USTA altogether. Moreover, it’s some of these who even claim to be sandbagging themselves to avoid embarrassment about their losses.
This is a problem not with the USTA but our culture.

J
 
So what are they actually going to do to get people in?
Are they just dumping the problem on captains / players and saying hey, get more people to play?
If so that's pretty lame. You'd think they would realize that it's on them to do a better job promoting USTA league.
My area could support 3 times as many teams as there actually are. But there is zero outreach from USTA to encourage higher participation.
YUP! If USTA wants to "grow the [league] game, they SHOULD get their employees out of the offices or out of their front row box seats at the slams and out onto the decks of the courts and rouse the troops--tennis morale is at an all time LOW!--it was probably like this when court tennis became extinct with the overthrow of the French monarchy--the sport of lawn tennis is becoming extinct--the courts are going empty after the league matches finish the kali dip and depart for the day. PICKLE BALL IS WHERE IT'S HAPPENING! The PB courts are full! It's new, it's easier then tennis I've been told and the baby boomers can't move very fast anymore but can stretch from all that yoga, pilates and feldenkreis. If the USTA wants tennis to survive they better get their office bound employees into the trenches scouting players and forming teams based on realistic ability levels and pass out some swag for signup inducements, like cans of balls, Hershey bars and cigs. The valuable real estate of empty tennis courts is being eyed for higher and better uses such as pickle ball, mini-soccer and high rise mx'ed use buildings. Club owners, , managers and TC's share blame in the demise of tennis by not rallying with the troops smacking the ball--rather then driving off to their t-times after noon.
 

Doan

Rookie
Here in Northern VA the # of teams for mixed for 2019 and 2020 have gone up apart from 9.0. Will have to wait and see if total # of players has also gone up.
6.0 4 -> 5
7.0 10 -> 13
8.0 13 -> 15
9.0 6 <- 4
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
The PB courts are full! It's new, it's easier then tennis I've been told and the baby boomers can't move very fast anymore but can stretch from all that yoga, pilates and feldenkreis.
You say that but just last week I went to play one morning at the coast. Beautiful public facility with 8 tennis courts and 6 farily new PB courts. In the time I was there (~2 hrs) there were 8-9 different groups playing tennis. No one ever stepped foot on a PB court.
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
You say that but just last week I went to play one morning at the coast. Beautiful public facility with 8 tennis courts and 6 farily new PB courts. In the time I was there (~2 hrs) there were 8-9 different groups playing tennis. No one ever stepped foot on a PB court.
I've seen the opposite around here in the PNW. For example, one morning, a friend and I went to play on some high school courts that were recently resurfaced, and the entire place was being taken up by pickleballers. They had brought their own nets and taped lines to have two matches going per tennis court. There must have been at least 50 people there, so we had to go find a tennis court elsewhere. In another example, a resort city that I used to like going to every year to play tournaments had passed a city bond measure to have several new tennis courts created. The money was highjacked by a pickleball group who had a large pickleball complex built instead. That city used to host around 4 to 6 tennis tournaments a year, and now there are none. However, it's become a destination for numerous pickleball events every summer. And finally, I know at least 5 high level tennis pros in our area that have stopped teaching tennis and now do pickleball full time. Two of them play on the professional pickleball circuit, have endorsement deals, and are featured in advertisements for pickleball gear.

(The last time I went to that resort city I mentioned above, I found out that the facility where I used to do drop in tennis clinics to find some playing time had stopped them in favor of pickleball clinics. So I decided to try pickleball... and within 15 minutes, I felt like it was a joke. Not enough movement or fun for me. Plus, I hate the sound of the ball hitting the paddle. And at least 75% of the people at the clinic I went to were over 60 years old and were not athletic. I've played plenty of great tennis players over the age of 60, but didn't see any great athletes over 60 playing pickleball.)
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
I've seen the opposite around here in the PNW. For example, one morning, a friend and I went to play on some high school courts that were recently resurfaced, and the entire place was being taken up by pickleballers. They had brought their own nets and taped lines to have two matches going per tennis court. There must have been at least 50 people there, so we had to go find a tennis court elsewhere. In another example, a resort city that I used to like going to every year to play tournaments had passed a city bond measure to have several new tennis courts created. The money was highjacked by a pickleball group who had a large pickleball complex built instead. That city used to host around 4 to 6 tennis tournaments a year, and now there are none. However, it's become a destination for numerous pickleball events every summer. And finally, I know at least 5 high level tennis pros in our area that have stopped teaching tennis and now do pickleball full time. Two of them play on the professional pickleball circuit, have endorsement deals, and are featured in advertisements for pickleball gear.

(The last time I went to that resort city I mentioned above, I found out that the facility where I used to do drop in tennis clinics to find some playing time had stopped them in favor of pickleball clinics. So I decided to try pickleball... and within 15 minutes, I felt like it was a joke. Not enough movement or fun for me. Plus, I hate the sound of the ball hitting the paddle. And at least 75% of the people at the clinic I went to were over 60 years old and were not athletic. I've played plenty of great tennis players over the age of 60, but didn't see any great athletes over 60 playing pickleball.)
Very difficult to believe this post. I have not seen any pickle ball at all, anywhere. The only place I’ve heard of it is on this website.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I have captained a minimum of 3 teams / year for 10 years now and I am about done. Between what I see in Adult League (specific to the question) and Junior Tournament Tennis (not specific to the question) it is a complete mess. They need a complete overhaul. Our local district office is completely useless and snippy and it comes out in how they administer our leagues. Decisions are made based on what requires the least of amount of work for them.

They don't canvass/survey membership for feedback on how they are doing like other organizations because they really don't care what their members think.

I have given up.
 
Very difficult to believe this post. I have not seen any pickle ball at all, anywhere. The only place I’ve heard of it is on this website.
It's true in my area to (adjacent to PNW) so I buy it. One large public park here that the USTA paid grant money to build kid sized courts at has been essentially taken over by Pickleball. The kids courts are solely pickleball and on good weather weekends, they take up at least half of the standard tennis courts as well. A larger "tennis" facility that was built here recently is probably solely surviving on pickleball now. They get maybe 70 people for tennis tournaments at their facility but have had pickleball tournaments push 400 and have had to close the entry for them way in advance. My club had a pickleball preview to gauge interest in striping some of the courts for them and I thought that a riot might break out.
 

Matthew ATX

Semi-Pro
Very difficult to believe this post. I have not seen any pickle ball at all, anywhere. The only place I’ve heard of it is on this website.
I hear people talk about playing it here, but I've never actually seen anyone doing it. There's a big tennis facility in NE Austin that has a bunch of pickleball specific courts built in. I'm sure some people use them at some point, but I've literally never seen a single person on them when I've been there.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Very difficult to believe this post. I have not seen any pickle ball at all, anywhere. The only place I’ve heard of it is on this website.
Come to our town... They are discussing taking out our city courts and replacing them with pickle ball.

Two parks near us put in pickle ball "Stadiums" with multiple courts, viewing areas. It is nuts.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
It's true in my area to (adjacent to PNW) so I buy it. One large public park here that the USTA paid grant money to build kid sized courts at has been essentially taken over by Pickleball. The kids courts are solely pickleball and on good weather weekends, they take up at least half of the standard tennis courts as well. A larger "tennis" facility that was built here recently is probably solely surviving on pickleball now. They get maybe 70 people for tennis tournaments at their facility but have had pickleball tournaments push 400 and have had to close the entry for them way in advance. My club had a pickleball preview to gauge interest in striping some of the courts for them and I thought that a riot might break out.
I am a member of 2 tennis clubs and play at numerous public facilities. I have never heard of pickle ball anywhere but on this site. In fact, I don’t even ask about it because I feel like people would know that I am on this site.
 
I am a member of 2 tennis clubs and play at numerous public facilities. I have never heard of pickle ball anywhere but on this site. In fact, I don’t even ask about it because I feel like people would know that I am on this site.
I was working for the local USTA office a few years ago when that park I mentioned put those kids courts in (I coordinated the grants for it). At that time, we were already having constant conflict between pickleball and tennis. At that time, USTA leagues were pulling up the tape that Pickleball was using to line courts at all of the schools the USTA uses for league play. The local Pickleball Assoc. would call into the USTA office constantly to complain. As soon as those park kids courts were built, we were fielding questions about pickleball usage since the 8 & under court dimensions are very close to PB. It has only escalated from there to where that park is 70% PB at minimum and that other facility may as well rebrand as a PB club since that is their primary revenue source. Not sure what it is like in your area, but we have an increasing number of retirees here who have disposal income from selling their house and moving here and plenty of time on their hands, thus fueling the growth of PB here.
 

Dave Mc

Rookie
After college tennis I didn't pick up a racquet for a year, and all the ex-college players I practice with today had taken some number of years off before playing again. I don't know why, maybe its the burn-out? Or maybe its something else? Back then, there were active corporate leagues and corporate tournaments, combined with pressure from co-workers, which helped introduce ex-college players to fun recreational tennis. After a few seasons of that, it was much easier to transition into the USTA leagues and tournaments.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
I saw Bjorn Borg and Sampras playing pickle ball the other day. Said it was a blast. I also heard Nadal say if he could do it all again it would be all pickleball from day 1.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I saw Bjorn Borg and Sampras playing pickle ball the other day. Said it was a blast. I also heard Nadal say if he could do it all again it would be all pickleball from day 1.
I received a FB post today about kids playing pickle ball and Junior tournaments. I find it ok. Actually, between tennis, pickle ball, and platform tennis...

Platform tennis is a blast!!! It is so much fun!!!
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
Very difficult to believe this post. I have not seen any pickle ball at all, anywhere. The only place I’ve heard of it is on this website.
Alrighty, here's some of what I wrote about...

This is the park in Bend, Oregon that was supposed to be for new tennis courts with the bond measure that was passed, but was built as a pickleball complex instead:





  • This facility has 10 indoor pickleball courts. The head pro is a former ATP professional that was #1 in the PNW Open rankings about 10 years ago, and he was also an assistant coach at a couple colleges in the PNW. While only in his late 30s or early 40s now, he doesn't play or teach tennis anymore, but is a full time manager and head teaching pro for this pickleball facility (and is one of the people I was mentioning): https://www.widgi.com/rates-lessons-clinics/


  • Feel free to search TennisLink for the number of tennis tournaments that used to be held in the Bend area in the past. Off the top of my head, I can think of the Bend City Championships, the Collier Cup, the Mirror Pond Championships, the Black Butte Championships, the Sunriver Open and Senior Championships, and the Team Cup Challenge. Right now, the only tournament I find is the Summer Solstice tournament next June in Sunriver, which is unsanctioned: https://tennislink.usta.com/tournam...Time=&Sanctioned=-1&AgeGroup=&SearchRadius=50

And finally, I don't like to drop names in a public forum like this, but this person is a professional athlete now with media advertisements, so I think it's OK. This is the link to the Head Pickleball commercial for Sarah Ansboury: https://www.ispot.tv/ad/dw33/head-pickleball-are-you-ready-featuring-sarah-ansboury



Sarah was the head teaching pro at our tennis club for about 10 years, but she quit tennis altogether to become a professional pickleball player. Before that, Sarah was a high school state tennis champion who coached some college in addition to being the pro at our club. She had a 5.5 rating and was ranked in the top 4 or 5 players in the US in her senior age group (30s I think). With her Mom, she also won a couple Mother-Daughter USTA National doubles championships. Sarah doesn't even pick up a racquet now that she's getting paid to be a top pickleballer.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
same here. The local ladder has over 150 players on 3 levels and has over 200 matches played in less than 3 weeks. Meanwhile I have put in 2 requests for a team with the USTA and gotten nothing. I've already beaten supposed 4.0 team captains.
Yea, agree , you need to get those 150 players involved in USTA teams as well. and it all starts with the captains proactively involving new players. There should be some kind of Mandatory system where each USTA teams in each level must add new players from USTA participation list
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Alrighty, here's some of what I wrote about...

This is the park in Bend, Oregon that was supposed to be for new tennis courts with the bond measure that was passed, but was built as a pickleball complex instead:





  • This facility has 10 indoor pickleball courts. The head pro is a former ATP professional that was #1 in the PNW Open rankings about 10 years ago, and he was also an assistant coach at a couple colleges in the PNW. While only in his late 30s or early 40s now, he doesn't play or teach tennis anymore, but is a full time manager and head teaching pro for this pickleball facility (and is one of the people I was mentioning): https://www.widgi.com/rates-lessons-clinics/


  • Feel free to search TennisLink for the number of tennis tournaments that used to be held in the Bend area in the past. Off the top of my head, I can think of the Bend City Championships, the Collier Cup, the Mirror Pond Championships, the Black Butte Championships, the Sunriver Open and Senior Championships, and the Team Cup Challenge. Right now, the only tournament I find is the Summer Solstice tournament next June in Sunriver, which is unsanctioned: https://tennislink.usta.com/tournam...Time=&Sanctioned=-1&AgeGroup=&SearchRadius=50

And finally, I don't like to drop names in a public forum like this, but this person is a professional athlete now with media advertisements, so I think it's OK. This is the link to the Head Pickleball commercial for Sarah Ansboury: https://www.ispot.tv/ad/dw33/head-pickleball-are-you-ready-featuring-sarah-ansboury



Sarah was the head teaching pro at our tennis club for about 10 years, but she quit tennis altogether to become a professional pickleball player. Before that, Sarah was a high school state tennis champion who coached some college in addition to being the pro at our club. She had a 5.5 rating and was ranked in the top 4 or 5 players in the US in her senior age group (30s I think). With her Mom, she also won a couple Mother-Daughter USTA National doubles championships. Sarah doesn't even pick up a racquet now that she's getting paid to be a top pickleballer.
Oh, that explains a lot. Bend is a resort town though. Not an old school city type of place. Not surprising that pickle ball would get popular there.
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
Oh, that explains a lot. Bend is a resort town though. Not an old school city type of place. Not surprising that pickle ball would get popular there.
It's very disappointing. Bend used to be one of our favorite vacation destinations and I played tennis tournaments over there almost every summer for about 20 years, but all of them have folded up. At the same time, the entire Bend area has less than 200,000 people, but I believe that they might have more pickleball courts than there are tennis courts in the entire Portland area, and all of the tennis tournaments have been displaced by pickleball.

I live in the Portland area and pickleball is growing there, and in several other places in the PNW where I frequently travel. Several of the players I've had on my 4.5 and 5.0 teams in the past have given up tennis for pickleball as well. The only appeal that I seem to see for it is that if you are a half way decent athlete, you should be able to dominate pretty well. Otherwise, it's an old person game to me.

If pickleball hasn't come to your area, good for you! I'm not a fan of it and when I retire in the future, I'm hoping to relocate to an area where tennis is still popular.
 

Chalkdust

Semi-Pro
It's very disappointing. Bend used to be one of our favorite vacation destinations and I played tennis tournaments over there almost every summer for about 20 years, but all of them have folded up. At the same time, the entire Bend area has less than 200,000 people, but I believe that they might have more pickleball courts than there are tennis courts in the entire Portland area, and all of the tennis tournaments have been displaced by pickleball.

I live in the Portland area and pickleball is growing there, and in several other places in the PNW where I frequently travel. Several of the players I've had on my 4.5 and 5.0 teams in the past have given up tennis for pickleball as well. The only appeal that I seem to see for it is that if you are a half way decent athlete, you should be able to dominate pretty well. Otherwise, it's an old person game to me.

If pickleball hasn't come to your area, good for you! I'm not a fan of it and when I retire in the future, I'm hoping to relocate to an area where tennis is still popular.
I'm in SW Florida and all the newer developments and clubs here have PB courts. Clay, no less. One major advantage of PB is that there are also some indoor courts for summer use. We don't have indoor tennis here and in summer it's brutal.
 

innoVAShaun

Legend
Bring back being NTRP rated by a certified pro!

Have USTA host FREE weekly or monthly showcases of people signed up to play. Get your rating there. Just like these potential college player showcases.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Bring back being NTRP rated by a certified pro!

Have USTA host FREE weekly or monthly showcases of people signed up to play. Get your rating there. Just like these potential college player showcases.
That has to happen! I have seen players playing 1.5 above their rating... appeal and go back down with no one looking at them too see how stupid that decision was.

I had a very good friend who was bumped up and baselined into purgatory at 4.0 with a patty-cake 2nd serve who clearly to everyones eyes (opponents, teammates, coaches he hit with) was a good athlete with 3.0 strokes. He quit playing tennis, the sport he had just started and never had a lesson at, to go back to rec basketball. That helped the USTA "Grow the Sport".
 
The most common story in adult rec tennis is... played as a kid and/or college. Did not play in 20's. Had kids in early 30's. Now is late 30's/early 40's, kids are a little older/lower maintenance, and wants to get back into it. How to keep them engaged the whole time? Hard to say. Ask the clubs in Europe how they do it.
Their Bundasliga (sp?) lets the 2.5 ladies play literally on the court beside ATP/WTA pros. It’s fun. People like it. I have a close friend who was once 52 in the world. She is still friends with “ordinary” recreational players who were on her German team 30 years ago.


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Matthew ATX

Semi-Pro
Bring back being NTRP rated by a certified pro!

Have USTA host FREE weekly or monthly showcases of people signed up to play. Get your rating there. Just like these potential college player showcases.
I'm not sure creating another barrier to entry would increase participation.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Sarah was the head teaching pro at our tennis club for about 10 years, but she quit tennis altogether to become a professional pickleball player. Before that, Sarah was a high school state tennis champion who coached some college in addition to being the pro at our club. She had a 5.5 rating and was ranked in the top 4 or 5 players in the US in her senior age group (30s I think). With her Mom, she also won a couple Mother-Daughter USTA National doubles championships. Sarah doesn't even pick up a racquet now that she's getting paid to be a top pickleballer.
Interesting that Pickleball is still young enough as a competitive and paid sport that just about any level athlete can get in, get sponsored, and win tournaments. That is changing quickly though as you get folks like Sarah jumping out of the saturated tennis arena and getting a part of the Pickleball action, thus upping the level over all. That trend will continue.

That said, this should really appeal to all those who say tennis has become a baseline bahsing game since Pickleball is a mostly slow touchy-feely game, and you'll see a lot of older folks still out there competing at higher levels because they don't have to run.
 
This is an interesting article that discusses some of the failures of the USTA.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/draf...k_ZAxC3i045AFaDH7czFwVCqXBVXh1Poy-Xdfj5I08CyY


When leadership is mindless By Javier Palenque
This past weekend I coached a set of twins in a local event here in South Florida. The first thing I noticed was a large number of byes in both the B16 and G16 draws. Then my first thought was: this is, of course, the result of a dumb system imposed by the USTA and its leaders who continue to believe all is good when the sport is disappearing from the American mindset on a weekly basis. So, while we were waiting for our match I went to tennislink.com and looked for events in the month of September in zip code 98405 this zip code belongs to Tacoma -Washington the same area where the Chairman of the Board and President of the United States Tennis Association ( 12 words to describe _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ) lives. Then I entered a radius of 50 miles to get events within one-hour driving and got the list below. Then I proceeded to look one by one for the number of participants in these Boys and Girls events in the 16-18 age group and tried to get a real picture of how tennis is where the head of the richest sports federation on earth resides. To my surprise, after adding the number of people and subtracting the byes I came up with the following table.

Please notice the following

  • Only 5 events in the entire month
  • Notice how participation drops from 16's from 30% participation to 9% in 18's ( I hope you realize, this means that by 14 we have lost 70% of kids and by 18 we have lost 90%. You realize that if we have these numbers it means no young adults will play, no sales of merchandise and products, no coaching clients, no business for any of us.)
  • Not a single draw with 32 players.
  • These numbers are beyond repair, they are so horrible why would the people paying care to pay again for such a low turnout?
  • How can the organizer make any money when some events have 4 kids and many none. (Hope you realize what this means: fewer people living off tennis, would you let your kid get into tennis or coaching with these stats? it's like saying get a job at Blockbuster Video, knowing full well it will disappear soon.
  • What the USTA does and its board is simply irresponsible.
The problem that is so obvious is that this key demographic (16's-18's) needs high numbers in order for the sport to have a healthy future. You see these kids that are 16-18 today will also play as adults, then as young adults and will carry the sport over for the next generation, that is of course if they continue to play at this age. But if these events have less than 10% in 18's and less than 30% in 16's it means: THE SPORT IS DEAD. The dumb leaders of the USTA, have no solution to the problem and rather than collectively resign in shame and let intelligent and educated people run the sport, they are so smart that they continue to collect board fees, and salaries and hide participation numbers like it was a state secret of some sort. They have all this data, which is the worst part, but they hide it and conceal it from the public so as to continue to collect their pathetic salaries and freebies, much like people who have a welfare mentality in our poorest and least educated neighborhoods. This is the mindset of these inept leaders today in 2019 when data tells us everything we need to know.

If the sport is at this chronic level of participation, who do you think is responsible for this fiasco? In any business small or big, the leaders would have been shown the door long ago. However, to the head of the USTA who needs 12 words to describe his title all is good and he has no intention to resign after being on the board for 14 years and accomplishing absolutely nothing more than the decline of the sport. This is brilliant.

Wake up America, these results are real, verify them yourselves and this level of incompetence cannot continue and not be called out. All the inept leaders of the USTA must resign the sport is at a point of NO return. They must leave.

These numbers are unacceptable!

"I say NO to ineptitude and yes to growing the game"
To the leaders of the USTA: if dignity of self is not enough to make you resign and see the result of your work of decades in your own zip codes, tell us what is it going to take for you to leave the sport and stop the horrific decline of it? We need new people and that excludes all of you.

  • Do I have to hire those huge Display Vans and park them outside the handful of sponsors you have? or your employment parking lots on a weekly basis. Do I need to start a go fund me campaign to fund that? Hmmm....
  • Or we can do a cut out campaign, you know those where you get faces enlarged and use them at games or parties. We use the images of the leaders of the USTA, those who always try to be"in" and go around all the empty parks and photograph the cut-outs from each park showing the abandonment of the parks and the lack of players and tying them to the incapable leaders who hide participation numbers until they leave and show the real numbers like all federations in the world do.
Fraud is generally defined in the law as an intentional misrepresentation of material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act, and upon which the other person relies with resulting injury or damage.

You realize you cannot hide the data in 2019, do you not? Your work is pathetic, your plans are proven to be stupid and you need still stay to collect freebies when you are the cause of the problem. Honorable!

When leadership is mindless, you get to have the most resources of any sport in the nation, and misuse them year after year and you deliver numbers that only show that the sport is dead, you get to have the least amount of kids of any sport and decide to hide participation numbers from the very people that are invested in the sport. This is ineptitude at the highest levels. To those supporting the USTA you do not have to believe me, all you need to do us repeat the exercise I did simply pick any zip code you wish and reach your own conclusions. Let me help you, the sport is dead thanks to the USTA.”
 
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rogerroger917

Hall of Fame
After 10 years of my kid grinding in juniors.

Line judges. We can deal with a lot. But the most discouraging for kids is lack of line judges. All the way to the national tournaments. It's bad sometimes. kids quit because of this stuff.

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kevrol

Hall of Fame
After 10 years of my kid grinding in juniors.

Line judges. We can deal with a lot. But the most discouraging for kids is lack of line judges. All the way to the national tournaments. It's bad sometimes. kids quit because of this stuff.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
I'm assuming you'd be willing to pay an additional $100 or so for each tournament to pay for the line judges?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm assuming you'd be willing to pay an additional $100 or so for each tournament to pay for the line judges?
It's not that much, when we have nationals at my club the USTA sends one or two officials sometimes and our staff helps. They don't pay us our normal teaching rate but if you can play you will get hitting lessons from kids who want to warm up so it's worth being around for the tournament.

J
 

rogerroger917

Hall of Fame
I'm assuming you'd be willing to pay an additional $100 or so for each tournament to pay for the line judges?
It's not that expensive per player. Court sense clubs in NJ have multiple judges. Its 20 dollars more to register. And they always have full draws.

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V-Werks

New User
I started playing USTA league about three years ago after taking a 25 year rest from tennis. At least where I live, it is really not easy to join a team. If you are a member of a club you usually can bypass all of this, but there are just too many obstacles for some people.
After navigating the less than ideal computer rating questions and getting a rating which may or may not reflect your ability level, you then have to have either someone introduce you to a group where you can be pulled from, know a captain, or somehow stumble on the rather poor "find a team" form on the local tennis association website.
Then, if you are able to do that, you have to navigate a local political system of captains, and/or organizers of which you don't understand or know the pitfalls of. Then, you have to ingratiate yourself with the local team "gatekeepers" either by being really good for your NTRP rating or really good and viable to understate your rating with your abilities. If you can't do that, you have to find a captain who is either needing warm bodies or just does not care about anything other than drinking beer after the matches or is not really competitive.
If you do all that, then you have to pay money for membership, team fees, court fees all with no understanding of how much you will play.
I don't expect it is like this everywhere but it was my path. Whatever can be done to remove these types of obstacles would help. I am familiar with the system now so it is much easier to navigate and a lot more enjoyable.
You nailed it. My path was even worse since the Team Captain refused to play ANY new player and the private club that we all paid $300 per month (plus several $,$$$ in initiation fees) supported the policy. Talk about a clique!
 

V-Werks

New User
Very difficult to believe this post. I have not seen any pickle ball at all, anywhere. The only place I’ve heard of it is on this website.
In California and parts of Nevada, pickleball is spreading like the bubonic plague did. I've seen several public facilities convert 1/3rd of their tennis courts to pickleball. I know of a private tennis facility in SoCal that converted 3/5ths of their courts to pickleball and they've just painted those obnoxious pickleball lines on the remaining tennis courts!
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I think USTA does a terrible job of growing league tennis. We've all been playing so long I think many of us don't fully appreciate the challenge of starting off in tennis.

I mean, I don't play soccer. Imagine the difficulties I would encounter if I up and decided I wanted to learn soccer and join a competitive team. I wouldn't know where to start. And even if I found someone to teach me the basics, how could I ever get an established team to take me on?

Well, with tennis, we are expecting people to join an expensive club for a sport they may not like. Even if they know how to play, we give them no help whatsoever in finding a team or understanding the process.

USTA should have ambassadors who frequent parks and hand out information. There should be a league liaison who holds the hands of new captains (or even captains 2.5 level teams with any players willing to give it a go). How to join a team shouldn't be a secret.

I do wonder at times if tennis will survive.
 

silentkman

Professional
I think USTA does a terrible job of growing league tennis. We've all been playing so long I think many of us don't fully appreciate the challenge of starting off in tennis.

I mean, I don't play soccer. Imagine the difficulties I would encounter if I up and decided I wanted to learn soccer and join a competitive team. I wouldn't know where to start. And even if I found someone to teach me the basics, how could I ever get an established team to take me on?

Well, with tennis, we are expecting people to join an expensive club for a sport they may not like. Even if they know how to play, we give them no help whatsoever in finding a team or understanding the process.

USTA should have ambassadors who frequent parks and hand out information. There should be a league liaison who holds the hands of new captains (or even captains 2.5 level teams with any players willing to give it a go). How to join a team shouldn't be a secret.

I do wonder at times if tennis will survive.
i think the focus should be on tournaments. League tennis is boring and not team oriented. Tennis is not a team sport. we need more tournaments like the one in Maryland this weekend. 164 players.
 

MaxTennis

Professional
Tournaments are dead.

Who has time to devote to being on call all weekend to play a tennis match?

Who can stomach paying a bunch of money and then getting eliminated in the first round?

With league tennis, you know when you will play and how much it will cost. It fits people’s lives better.
At least in California, the adult tournament scene is pretty big. Comparable to leagues and many players play both.

Everything else you said is accurate though.
 

J D

Semi-Pro
I don’t think you can measure how well tennis is doing by USTA participation. The USTA has really distanced itself from rec tennis, almost intentionally it seems.

Some things I would like to see the USTA do:
1) sponsor tennis days at local parks for beginner and rec players with free lessons, giveaways, mini-tournaments, etc.... to get people into the sport and introduce them to the USTA,
2) encourage high school participation by sponsoring teams, providing equipment, and offering scholarships for lessons,
3) make it much easier to find and join USTA leagues,
4) have leagues for individual singles and single team doubles. This way you could sign up and automatically be in a league, picking from a variety of options (set schedule at a particular facility, schedule your own match, tennis ladder, etc....), and
5) get involved in local rec tennis by piggybacking on local leagues. For an extra fee, they could offer to let the top one or two finishers from each local league in both singles and doubles participate in local quarterly playoffs. The top finishers from those could advance to annual regional and national playoffs. This could potentially plug every tennis player in the US that plays organized tennis into the USTA.

The USTA’s sole plan seems to be to find the next Sampras or Serena and develop them so that their celebrity will bolster tennis in the US. Not only are they failing miserably at executing this, but the plan itself is of questionable value. Instead of focusing on elite players or setting up hard to find and maintain team leagues, they need to be getting involved at the grass roots level and getting as many players as possible plugged in.

They are making themselves irrelevant to the average rec player. They need to get out of their ivory tower.
 

silentkman

Professional
Tournaments are dead.

Who has time to devote to being on call all weekend to play a tennis match?

Who can stomach paying a bunch of money and then getting eliminated in the first round?

With league tennis, you know when you will play and how much it will cost. It fits people’s lives better.
You are not on call to play a tennis match. In some cases the cost in issue. You just have to find the good ones. You can actually have one day or compass tournaments. The tournament in Maryland is $25 and played at great facility. No politics and no drama. Tournament tennis fits some peoples lives better. The camaraderie thing is overblown in league tennis. Most people just play and go home. stop trying to put lipstick on pig with league tennis. The comments that I read about league tennis issues is an embarrassment. Tennis is not a team sport.
 

silentkman

Professional
I don’t think you can measure how well tennis is doing by USTA participation. The USTA has really distanced itself from rec tennis, almost intentionally it seems.

Some things I would like to see the USTA do:
1) sponsor tennis days at local parks for beginner and rec players with free lessons, giveaways, mini-tournaments, etc.... to get people into the sport and introduce them to the USTA,
2) encourage high school participation by sponsoring teams, providing equipment, and offering scholarships for lessons,
3) make it much easier to find and join USTA leagues,
4) have leagues for individual singles and single team doubles. This way you could sign up and automatically be in a league, picking from a variety of options (set schedule at a particular facility, schedule your own match, tennis ladder, etc....), and
5) get involved in local rec tennis by piggybacking on local leagues. For an extra fee, they could offer to let the top one or two finishers from each local league in both singles and doubles participate in local quarterly playoffs. The top finishers from those could advance to annual regional and national playoffs. This could potentially plug every tennis player in the US that plays organized tennis into the USTA.

The USTA’s sole plan seems to be to find the next Sampras or Serena and develop them so that their celebrity will bolster tennis in the US. Not only are they failing miserably at executing this, but the plan itself is of questionable value. Instead of focusing on elite players or setting up hard to find and maintain team leagues, they need to be getting involved at the grass roots level and getting as many players as possible plugged in.

They are making themselves irrelevant to the average rec player. They need to get out of their ivory tower.
The USTA's sole purpose is to make money. I think its ridiculous to pay a fee for every league you are in. I would have a flat rate for the year and you can play in as many leagues as you want.
 
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You are not on call to play a tennis match. In some cases the cost in issue. You just have to find the good ones. You can actually have one day or compass tournaments. The tournament in Maryland is $25 and played at great facility. No politics and no drama. Tournament tennis fits some peoples lives better. The camaraderie thing is overblown in league tennis. Most people just play and go home. stop trying to put lipstick on pig with league tennis. The comments that I read about league tennis issues is an embarrassment. Tennis is not a team sport.
Tournament viability varies widely by geographic area and by gender. I've only ever signed up for one tournament, this was back when I lived in Minneapolis, which is a decent sized city, and the tournament was on the U of M campus which is pretty centrally located. Yet I was the only female to sign up for 3.5, so the tournament director called asking if I would want to play the 1 female that signed up for 3.0, and he would half our entry fees since we only get one match. The girl had just graduated from high school and had never played a singles match before, pretty sure her dad forced her to sign up...it wasn't a great match. At least I got a t-shirt for participating and a free sweatshirt for winning the "bracket". That was my first and last tournament experience.

On the other hand, with leagues I usually get a competitive match, the cost per match is less, and I get to play in 3-6 matches spread over 2-3 months with one sign-up. I do tend to hang around after the match and chat with my teammates, which I enjoy. Although I mostly participate in leagues for the tennis, I also consider it as doubling as a social activity (being an introvert who works from home half the time, I don't get out much :laughing:).

Obviously for other people in other areas, tournaments are a better fit, which is why they continue to exist there.
 

Doan

Rookie
You are not on call to play a tennis match. In some cases the cost in issue. You just have to find the good ones. You can actually have one day or compass tournaments. The tournament in Maryland is $25 and played at great facility. No politics and no drama. Tournament tennis fits some peoples lives better. The camaraderie thing is overblown in league tennis. Most people just play and go home. stop trying to put lipstick on pig with league tennis. The comments that I read about league tennis issues is an embarrassment. Tennis is not a team sport.
The draw doesn't get posted until a 2-3 days before the start so you have no idea when you're going to be playing on Sat...or possibly a friday night match. Unless the first match of the day - its very rare for a tournament match to start at the posted time. But you still have to turn up and check in. And if its outdoors with possible rain - forget about it. Tournaments are a good fit for a small % of tennis players. Turn up wait around, play + possibly wait around some more if you win and then leave. Leagues are a good fit for more folks. Turn up, play at scheduled time and then leave.
 

silentkman

Professional
Tournament viability varies widely by geographic area and by gender. I've only ever signed up for one tournament, this was back when I lived in Minneapolis, which is a decent sized city, and the tournament was on the U of M campus which is pretty centrally located. Yet I was the only female to sign up for 3.5, so the tournament director called asking if I would want to play the 1 female that signed up for 3.0, and he would half our entry fees since we only get one match. The girl had just graduated from high school and had never played a singles match before, pretty sure her dad forced her to sign up...it wasn't a great match. At least I got a t-shirt for participating and a free sweatshirt for winning the "bracket". That was my first and last tournament experience.

On the other hand, with leagues I usually get a competitive match, the cost per match is less, and I get to play in 3-6 matches spread over 2-3 months with one sign-up. I do tend to hang around after the match and chat with my teammates, which I enjoy. Although I mostly participate in leagues for the tennis, I also consider it as doubling as a social activity (being an introvert who works from home half the time, I don't get out much :laughing:).

Obviously for other people in other areas, tournaments are a better fit, which is why they continue to exist there.

vaild points on your end. In NOVA, you pay the league fee then the cost per match ($15-$20) for doubles. You only have 90 minutes to warm up and play a match. very rarely can you finish a three set match. If you are captain, you have to organize etc. when you play a tournament, you don't have to look at the clock. I've played tournaments with goody bags, players parties with real food (Firebirds). I'll be the first to admit that some tournament directors just want to take the money and run. I obviously avoid those.
 

silentkman

Professional
The draw doesn't get posted until a 2-3 days before the start so you have no idea when you're going to be playing on Sat...or possibly a friday night match. Unless the first match of the day - its very rare for a tournament match to start at the posted time. But you still have to turn up and check in. And if its outdoors with possible rain - forget about it. Tournaments are a good fit for a small % of tennis players. Turn up wait around, play + possibly wait around some more if you win and then leave. Leagues are a good fit for more folks. Turn up, play at scheduled time and then leave.
Your last sentence is precisely why league tennis is a bore. I actually enjoy hanging out and talking to different people before a match. I'm cool with the times. You don't tell someone that i need you to finish your match in 10 minutes. That is the beauty of a tournament. I have a group of eight men that we play doubles with every week. We used that to get ready for a tournament. Nobody wants to be on the clock for everything.
 
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