Junior Competition Changes for 2018

junior competition changesI know. I’m a bit late on this post, but better late than never, right?

A few weeks ago, I emailed one of my contacts on the USTA Junior Competition Committee to find out if there were any changes to junior comp for this year. While there are no significant changes in 2018, here is one that went into effect January 1, 2018 (found here):

Amend USTA Regulation II.A.4. as follows (pp. 61-63):
II. DRAW REGULATIONS
A. Seeding
While there is no requirement that every tournament have seedings, most tournaments of
the elimination and compass draw types, as distinguished from round robins, use seedings
to ensure that players of recognized outstanding ability do not confront each other in the
early rounds.
1. Responsibility for seeding. [unchanged]
2. Number of seeds. [unchanged]
3. Listing seeds. [unchanged]
4. Seeding methods.
a. All Factors Method. The All Factors Method of seeding is based on the
players’ chances of winning the tournament as determined by the
Tournament Committee. The Tournament Committee shall consider all
reasonably available information, including ranking lists, ratings, standing
lists, recent records, types of surface, and particularly head-to-head
encounters.
b. Computerized List Method. A The Computerized List Method of seeding
is based on a computerized system of rankings, ratings, or standings.
5. Seeding in national tournaments. [unchanged]
6. Seeding in tournaments other than national tournaments. [unchanged]
7. Publication of method of seeding and seeding criteria. [unchanged]
8. Seeding groups. [unchanged]
9. Placing. [unchanged]
10. Block seeding. [unchanged]
Effective Date: January 1, 2018

Rationale: Many Sectional Associations have begun using ratings either as a tool for seeding or
as the computerized list used to order some or all of the seeds. While the USTA Junior National
Tournament, Ranking, and Sanctioning Regulations permit the use of ratings as a tool to seed,
the USTA Regulations that apply to non-national Junior tournaments do not explicitly permit
their use, leaving it vague as to whether this practice is permitted. The Committee believes it is
time for the USTA Regulations to conform explicitly with the growing practice of using ratings
to seed junior tournaments. The Adult Competition and Wheelchair Committees have been
consulted and support including ratings as a seeding method for tournaments in their respective
divisions.

What impact will this have? Speculation is that the growing popularity of UTR is going to greatly affect USTA junior tournaments. UTR hosted 75 events in 2016 and 750 in 2017 with a big expansion planned for 2018. USTA seems to understand that it’s time to embrace UTR as evidenced by last week’s joint event held at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona. That said, USTA tournament organizers have reported that now nobody wants to be the top seed in any event for fear of negatively impacting their rating with UTR. In 2017, kids in 12’s and 14’s Zonals started pulling out after arriving at the event because the UTR of their opponents wasn’t high enough.

My interpretation is that there is still a misunderstanding of UTR and how it is meant to be used in terms of junior development and competition. With its recent infusion of capital and new partnerships, UTR is here for the long-term. Parents and coaches need to take some time to educate themselves on the Universal Tennis Rating model. ParentingAces has published several articles and hosted several podcasts on UTR, so please take the time to read and listen to them. You can find them easily by typing “UTR” in the search bar on the top right of this page.

You can find the 2018 National Junior Competition Schedule here.  There are still no details (location, draw sizes, etc.) listed for the following events, but I will update as soon as I hear something:

  • USTA National Level 3 Tournaments • Week of July 7-13,2018 • Level 3
  • USTA National Clay Court Championships
    BG16-18: July 15-22, 2018 • BG14: July 15-21, 2018 • BG12 July 16-21, 2018 • Level 1
  • USTA Zone Team Championships • July 26-30, 2018 • Level 2
  • USTA National Team Championships
    B18: July 28-July 31, 2018 • G18: July 29-August 1, 2018 • Level 1
  • The USTA National Championships (Hard Courts)
    B18: August 3-12, 2018 • G18 August 5-12, 2018 • B16: August 3-12, 2018 G16: August 5-12, 2018 • BG14: August 5-12, 2018 • BG12: August 6-12, 2018 • Level 1
  • USTA National Doubles Championships • August 23-26, 2018 • Level 1
  • USTA National Level 3 Tournaments • September 22-24, 2018 • Level 3
  • USTA National Level 2 Tournaments • October 6-8, 2018 • 4 Events in Each Division • Level 2
  • USTA National Indoor Championships • November 23-26, 2018 • All Divisions: November 24-27, 2017 • Level 1
  • USTA National Winter Championships • December 27, 2018-January 2, 2019 • Level 1

While I can’t find an updated National Points Per Round Ranking Points table for 2018,  some of the sections seem to have updated their own PPR tables. You should check with your section’s head of Junior Competition (click here for a list by section) to see if any changes have been made. Once USTA National publishes its 2018 table, I will update this article with the link.

If there are any other changes you are aware of, please add them in the Comments below. Wishing all of you a successful 2018!

5 Comments on “Junior Competition Changes for 2018”

  1. We dumped our subscription to UTR because they refuse to be transparent as to how it is calculated. The last straw was when they arbitrarily decided to subtract points from all the juniors.

    Last week my daughter (a junior) crushed it in a tournament in which all five of her opponents are in the lineup in their respective colleges (four of the five play in power 5 conferences and two of the five have a higher UTR). After the tournament her UTR was unchanged despite the fact that some wins and losses against lesser players from 52 weeks ago dropped off her record.

    No transparency = no credibility.

  2. Hi Lisa: As has been the case for several years now, the initially posted dates for the Kalamazoo Boys 16s and 18s Nationals are incorrect. As has been the case for many years, the tournament begins on Friday and ends on Sunday with both singles finals. This year the dates are August 3-August 12.

  3. I am a full supporter of UTR but at the same time, I do believe transparency is important. Especially it affects so many hard working juniors that they deserve to know how the ranking has changed after a tournament. I don’t think the explanation needs to be detailed, but possibly broken down into categories with simple multiple up or down arrow or (-) after each match of a tournament. ( example: ^ or ^^ or ^^^ …) understand that UTR is a real time and this ^ info may not be accurate once your opponent UTR has also changed, I guess something UTR has to figure out… anyway, just a thought.

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