I was just informed today that the NorCal section has once again amended its rules regarding 12-and-under play (see my Vote On ROG article from a few weeks ago).
According to Summer Verhoeven, R.O.G. Development Coordinator for USTA NorCal, if a child does not want to play with the colored balls, they can now go directly to yellow ball tournaments by completing an online form no later than August 31, 2013 indicating their chosen “development pathway”. Details about choosing a pathway are on the USTA NorCal website at http://www.norcal.usta.com/Juniors/determine_your_level/.
Basically, the player has to be a current USTA member and can then go to his/her player page on the USTA NorCal site to indicate which development pathway he/she would like to follow.
Before this latest change, the player/parent/coach had no say about which pathway to follow – it was based on the age of the player, period. However, wisdom has prevailed and NorCal has amended the rule to allow for flexibility based on the player’s experience and readiness to play with a yellow ball. This is a very good change, in my opinion.