Notes from First USTA Town Hall Listening Meeting Nov 17, 2012

The following information was emailed to me by a parent who was in attendance at the Reston, VA, “listening” meeting held by USTA.  I am reprinting it exactly as it was sent to me.  Please read and share with other tennis parents and coaches so our voices will be heard.  Thank you.

USTA Town Hall Meeting

11/17/2012

Mid-Atlantic Annual Meeting — Reston, VA

Representing the USTA:       Lew Brewer, Director Junior Competition

Scott Schultz, Managing Director, Youth Tennis

Scott Schultz (SS):            Introduction

wants to really listen and wants participants to leave feeling like they have listened

This is 1st town hall meeting

This is not about kids going pro.  These proposed changes affect critical group of kids:  those who devote the most time, energy, and money, and those with lots at stake — college, scholarships, etc.

Lew Brewer (LB):             effort is to serve vast majority of players competing

it is NOT about trying to make great players

the tournament structure is there:  if it works for you use it, if not, don’t

the junior tennis competition committee was asked to look at changes that would increase player development, increase affordability, and decrease missed school (and missed work for parents)

the vast majority of players are better served by playing locally

only changes that will happen in 2013:  new nat’l doubles tournament (to be played at us open series event) and new national grand masters tournament

in 2014 draw sizes for hard courts and clay courts will be reduced (assuming USTA approves committee’s recommendation to postpone this change for 2013)

Q (audience member):  why reduce draw size?

LB:          it used to be 128

the purpose of these tournaments is to crown a national champion and therefore they need the best players

Coach Chuck Kriese (CK):              I agree with the reduction.  The field at Kalamazoo has been diluted.  Recently, there were 51 defaults in the backdraw.  Lots of kids cramp the first day because they are not prepared to win, they are there just to have shown up.  But maybe there can be a qualifying tournament.

Q:           If there were 51 kids pulling out of the backdraw, the majority was actually those kids who came expecting to win and wanted only to be part of main draw.  It was not kids who were so excited just to get in.

Q:           There are amazing kids who are between 128 and 192, or even alternates who get in and have phenomenal tournaments.

It is also much better for college coaches to have larger draws.

If a parent doesn’t want to travel, they always have that option.

LB:          We could debate this issue all day and would still disagree.

Q:           Have you studied the impact of those kids between 128 and 192?

LB:          Yes, we studied players who lost 1st round to see how they did in backdraw but I don’t have the results with me.  There have been kids who have done very well, even a kid who made it to quarters of Kalamazoo.

But players will now qualify solely based on results in section and this will greatly change the complexion of who makes it.

Q:           But mid-atlantic is so strong, it will be impossible for all of the great players to get in.  Our number 8 kid could be top 100 in the country and not get in.

LB:          they will have to work hard and train hard and win.

Q:           There are other very valid reason for tournament besides crowing a national champion.  These tournaments give kids an incredible opportunity to learn and grow and improve.

Q:           Could you make some change so older kids don’t lose their last chance to play?

SS:          maybe  we could look at phasing it in with 12s first.

Q:           The proposed quota/endorsement system does not work for a section like the mid-atlantic.  Why is size relevant?  The 8th player in the 14s in the midatlantic is in the top 100 nationally but would not be allowed to play.  There are 16 midatlantic players in the 14s in the top 200 nationally.  Meanwhile, the top kids on different sections would get spots even though they could be in the 600s nationally.

LB:          Many people have argued it should just be the best players but the structure of the USTA demands that every section is represented.

SS:          There will never be traction on this issue.  Midatlantic has to make a proposal and fight that fight.

Bonnie Vona, mid-atlantic:          under the current structure these issues are addressed.  Every section gets endorsements, and others can get in off of the NSL.

Q:           much better for college coaches to have larger draw sizes.

If player is injured in summer out of luck unless they have Easter Bowl or winter nationals.

Q:           at NCAA division 1 tournament, only 22 of 128 players were american.

CK:         Very big and serious issue.

Only Americans in top 50 or 60 can easily play — otherwise competing against all international players.

$63 million in scholarships given to foreign players.

Q:           So can’t the uSTA address this issue and help US kids play tennis for US colleges?

SS:          this issue is incredibly upsetting and we have to do something.

Q:           If we are not competing well internationally, how do we improve kids beyond top 50?

LB:          Most kids better served by competing locally

CK:         kids should play with people of all different ages.  See universal tennis.com ratings.  Play should not be so age specific.

 Q:           Keeping kids playing in their sections limits playing styles and chance to play different types of players.

LB:          Lots of different playing styles in mid-atlantic.

SS:          88,000 kids play tournaments.  370,000 play in high school.  Tournaments don’t work for all kids.  It is very impt for kids to compete against different ages.

Q:           there are many reasons to compete in a national championship besides crowning the one national champion.

it is very important to college recruiting to have larger draw sizes.

The quotas are horrible.

LB:          explains how quotas will work.

Q:           in mid-atlantic, the top players don’t play sectionals — only nationals and ITF’s.  Won’t the quotas force them back into sectional play?

LB:          yes.

Q:           The quotas are the most disturbing proposal.  Will take away a kid’s chance to play and that will squash all enthusiasm.

LB:          quotas are good or bad depending on how you look at it.

Q:           There needs to be two means of entry:  quotas and NSL.  ANd no player should get in off of a quota unless they have a minimum ranking on the NSL.

SS:          New email address for comments:  letusknow@usta.com.  We are absolutely open to making adjustments.  We won’t be going back to the system as it is but we can make the changes better.

The proposed dates for the remaining “listening” meetings are as follows:

November 24: Boys & Girls 14s National Open, Rocky Hill, CT
December 16: ITA Convention (for convention attendees only), Naples FL
December 26: 16s & 18s Winter Nationals, Scottsdale, AZ
December 27: 12s & 14s Winter Nationals, Tucson, AZ
Jan. 10-13: Southern Section annual meeting, Atlanta, GA
Feb. 15-17: Texas Section annual meeting, Grapevine, TX

Okay, this is Lisa “talking” again.  It is crucial that parents and coaches take the time to educate themselves on the issues and attend these meetings.  If you can’t attend a meeting, then please use the new email address, letusknow@usta.com, to communicate your concerns.  I propose that we identify one or two parents in each USTA section to act as the voices for the section.  If you are interested in serving in that capacity, please contact me ASAP so we can get to work on compiling a list of speaking points.  Your ideas are welcome in the Comments section below.  If we present a united front to the USTA, letting them know that parents and coaches are on the same page and are only interested in what’s best for our junior players, I believe we stand a decent chance of being heard.  The onus is on us now.  USTA is providing the forum – we must seize the opportunity!

47 thoughts on “Notes from First USTA Town Hall Listening Meeting Nov 17, 2012”

  1. Lots to chew on here, but my first reaction is to one of the questions. Stating that only 22 of the 128 players in the NCAAs (I assume this is both the men’s and women’s draws in the individual tournament, which is a fair gauge) are from American is just not accurate. The actual number is 61, which may not be as high as those of us in the US would like, but is a long way from 22. This dialogue can’t be productive if inaccurate numbers are being used to make a point. I think we all need to be careful about this going forward, both the USTA and those questioning their policies.

  2. Thanks for posting this, great info. I have been parsing this primarily looking for areas of compromise and nothing jumps out. A couple comments from Scott Schultz(for example recognizes the college scholarship problem “this issue is incredibly upsetting and we have to do something”) seem positive but no surprises from Lew “Ill send them a T-Shirt” Brewer, man is stubborn as mule. Typical LB quotes : “We could debate this issue all day and would still disagree.” ; “the tournament structure is there: if it works for you use it, if not, don’t”.
    Maybe I am reading too much into it, but that’s the tome that comes across in print is not gone. I’d be interested in to here from the attendees felt what the tone of the meeting was like.

    I dont know if they figured this out yet, but Lew’s not the listening type. If it’s him they send out on a listening tour, this effort is doomed.

  3. Like I said, reading these notes, I really don’t see where they are prepared to compromise. If they are not going to compromise on the ‘advance through sectional play’ structure, than they need to compromise on the draw sizes and quota sizes. If they won’t compromise on either of these then I think this whole effort is dead in the water. I think the “advancement must be through sectional play” is core value of the new structure, so I formulated the response below previously, when adding qualifiers was proposed as a compromise solution:

    The core principle that USTA is advancing in the new system is that advancement must be through sectional play. I really don’t see them compromising on this, so I really don’t see adding qualifiers to national tournaments as a path they would be open to going down. Their goal is to force kids to play more at the sectional levels, they don’t want to open back doors for them to avoid sectional play.
    This principle in mind, there are some changes that they could make that, while may not completely satisfy everyone, would help.
    First, increase the draw sizes at nationals back to where they were. They are just too darn small, you can’t cut the number of tournaments and reduce the draw sizes, especially “as we look to a future with many times the participants we have today”.
    Second, bring back winter nationals. This event does not interfere with the school calendar, and serves as a great event for people from north looking for a mid-winter tune up and kids with spring birthdays. Alternately, keep Easter Bowl as full size event.
    Third, reevaluate the new regions, and increase draw sizes at the regional. Geographically and financially they don’t make sense. They are too spread out. I think you need 6 regions, minimum, not four (three sections per region, except N. Cal an S. Cal become one region).

    I know this won’t make everybody happy but I think USTA would not have had nearly as much resistance to their new “structure” if the draw sizes were just not so darn small. Especially with a new system like this, the draw sizes should error on the side inclusivity rather than exclusivity.

    I still stand behind that.

      1. Stan

        Whats the relationship between US open draw size and national Junior draw size ? Why should they be the same, why should they be different ? Is advancement to the US Open only through sectional play, or do the uses national/international rankings ?

        The US Open is about Money. Lots of it. 128 draw sizes means two solid weeks of matches, more TV time, more seats to fill, more hot dog and beer to sell, more money. And that’s good for us. If the US Open was just about crowing a champion, they would cut t to 8 like they do at the tour championships

      2. Should the best players go to the national tournaments or should the best sectional players go to a national tournament? If only one segment of a population can afford national tournaments and this is where the points are is this system discriminatory? Should we have a ranking system where the best players can show this at the sectional level and end up possibly ranked higher than players who travel the country with money the other player does not have?

    1. There is a valid point here. Wayne Bryan and others believe that you have to win in the section before moving on. This idea that seemed to occur at the Virginia listening tour of fighting for the right to buy points is a sure loser. You are correct to look elsewhere.

      1. Sid,

        Thanks. But If you take the Bryan Principle to the extreme though, we can just have one national tournament with 17 players and be done with it.

        I think if the opposition argues to maintain the status quo, they will fail.

        I think it possible to agree with some of the guiding principles of the changes, advancement primarily through regional play, conceptually, and still think the implementation of those changes are pretty FUBAR.

        I I think there is a huge amount of Hurbis here on the part of people like Mr. Brewer. To think that you can make a radical overhaul of the system and not have lots of unintended consequences is just crazy. Example of unintended consequences : The huge blow back they are getting now. To repeat myself, they should error on the side of inclusiveness and not exclusiveness.

      2. I was at the meeting. There was nothing about buying points! The discussion about the quotas was that juniors who are currently in the top 128 in the national rankings will no longer qualify because they are not in the top 7 in MATA. And questions about juniors who are aging up and whether there will still be a mechanism to qualify for Nationals based on their National ranking in the younger age group.

      3. Thanks WM,

        Again, looks like an issues that can be potentially be resolved by addressing the draw sizes..

        I wonder if you take the top 128 players with national points are, find out where the lowest ranked one in each section is ranked in that sections, set the quota for that section to that number, I wonder what the total quota would come to ? So, if the lowest ranked player inside the the 128 from MA is 125, and they are ranked 9 in the section, them MA gets a quota of nine. Just thinking out loud here…

        1. What a logical proposition! I will take a look at the rankings and see if I can figure out the breakdown. Or, if someone more math/stats savvy wants to tackle this one, let me know.

        2. i’ve just gone through a ton of rankings and compiled a spreadsheet showing the current sectional quotas for Nationals for both 128 and 192 draws. i looked solely at the B18 rankings to start. if you’re interested in seeing my data, please email me and i’ll be happy to send you the file. i’m not an analyst or a statistician, so if anyone here fits those qualifications and wants to offer more insight, i’d really appreciate it. actually, the quotas aren’t really very far off the mark as they currently stand. i’m waiting for more information in terms of where the remaining players come from for these tournaments since the quota numbers only add up to 60 for a 128 draw and 100 for a 192 draw.

  4. Soo sorry to read about the first “listening” meeting held in Reston, VA yesterday–must have missed the part where anybody was listening… Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Tennis will always be our first love and we certainly hope for the best but fear this is a big smokescreen and we’re moving on. Thanks to all who continue to fight the good fight on behalf of junior tennis…but the writing on the wall tells the story. A sad story, to be sure. 🙁

  5. Maybe I missed something. Where is the listening part. It seems like this is a get out the message campaign. What can we do? Perhaps we need to get Evan King on board and do a Facebook campaign, similar to what he was able to do with the NCAA proposed changes.

    1. please read my suggestion about forming a group of reps from each section and developing speaking points. if you’re interested in being part of that, email me and let’s get this ball rolling!

    2. It is hard to tell from this post what is the desired result. These generalized complaints with no points do not seem particularly helpful

      1. I’m simply reporting! I will wait to confer with others who are way more experienced and knowledgeable than I am before making specific recommendations. However, I do think it’s key for parents and coaches to be somewhat on the same page as we move forward.

  6. The following is a comment left on ZooTennis.com:

    Highlights for me –

    Notes from the 1st USTA Town Hall Meeting 11/17/12

    Lew Brewer (LB):
    the tournament structure is there: if it works for you use it, if not, don’t

    [ Sounds like take it or leave it……..]

    the junior tennis competition committee was asked to look at changes that would increase player development, increase affordability, and decrease missed school (and missed work for parents)

    [ Nobody asked him about why Winter Nationals is going bye-bye when it is during EVERYONE’S SCHOOL VACATION ACROSS THE ENTIRE US?]

    in 2014 draw sizes for hard courts and clay courts will be reduced (assuming USTA approves committee’s recommendation to postpone this change for 2013)

    [ Wait a minute……….. the USTA didn’t approve this change for 2013????????????????????]

    Coach Chuck Kriese (CK): I agree with the reduction. The field at Kalamazoo has been diluted. Recently, there were 51 defaults in the backdraw. Lots of kids cramp the first day because they are not prepared to win, they are there just to have shown up. But maybe there can be a qualifying tournament.

    [I like Chuck Kriese, but a lot of kids cramped the first day and threw up, ( kid on left hand side court in the flower pot), but he kept on playing. The first day was SUPER HOT this year……

    51 defaults in the backdraw of the national of 192……..
    Has anyone ever looked at the backdraw of a sectional tournament since the new point system went into effect?
    With ONE NATIONAL POINT PER WON MATCH, who stays anymore. No one…… ]

    Q: If there were 51 kids pulling out of the backdraw, the majority was actually those kids who came expecting to win and wanted only to be part of main draw. It was not kids who were so excited just to get in.

    Q: There are amazing kids who are between 128 and 192, or even alternates who get in and have phenomenal tournaments.

    It is also much better for college coaches to have larger draws.

    If a parent doesn’t want to travel, they always have that option.

    LB: We could debate this issue all day and would still disagree.

    [Wow, is that a response or a deflection?]

    Q: Have you studied the impact of those kids between 128 and 192?

    LB: Yes, we studied players who lost 1st round to see how they did in backdraw but I don’t have the results with me. There have been kids who have done very well, even a kid who made it to quarters of Kalamazoo.

    [Yes, I wrote my term paper, but I don’t have it with me….]

    Q: much better for college coaches to have larger draw sizes.

    If player is injured in summer out of luck unless they have Easter Bowl or winter nationals.

    [Excellent point, why is this not addressed by LB?]

    Q: at NCAA division 1 tournament, only 22 of 128 players were american.

    [ That number of 22 is not right, it is higher. ]

    CK: Very big and serious issue.

    Only Americans in top 50 or 60 can easily play — otherwise competing against all international players.

    $63 million in scholarships given to foreign players.

    Q: So can’t the uSTA address this issue and help US kids play tennis for US colleges?

    SS: this issue is incredibly upsetting and we have to do something.

    Q: If we are not competing well internationally, how do we improve kids beyond top 50?

    LB: Most kids better served by competing locally

    [ Is this a listening tour or a done deal?]

  7. This is a listening tour. You all need to listen and then decide what issues matter most. I would defy anyone to read all of these comments and know exactly what the commenters actually want. If you make coherent and easy to understand suggestions they will be considered.

    1. yes, it IS a listening tour – presumably, so USTA could listen to parents and coaches and hear why we’re so disheartened by the proposed changes. however, so far at least, it seems that USTA is more interested in reiterating its reasons for the changes rather than listening to its constituents. i’m hoping things will be different moving forward through the announced meeting dates. but, you make an excellent point that we MUST present a united front on what, exactly, we want to see happen here. please email me at fitmom@bellsouth.net with your ideas so i can compile them in one easy-to-read-and-understand document which i will then share. thank you!

  8. I’m reading lots of posts about the cost of travel, yet nothing about the the reduction in the number of regions.. This reduction will INCREASE the amount of travel locally. Living in the Midwest, we could find ourselves traveling to th state of Washington, A’s opposed to driving 1 hour, to compete locally…..and we have NO options, because we will have to compete “locally”. I have 3 kids playing,. We go to tourneys where they can all play in one spot. This sometime means traveling out of our region, which is cheaper than getting 3 different hotel rooms and paying a coach to travel with 1 of them. This option is now gone.

    Less options and opportunities is short sighted. We will not be able to manage this already very challenging system with less options.

    Please all of you whining about finances give this some thought.

  9. TMOM’s complaint does have specificity which is good though I wonder if the complaint should be directed at Midwest rather than the national office. Using an argument that Lew Brewer(bad guy apparently from these posts) is doing a good job at combining age groups should not dismiss Midwest who may not be doing a good job.

    1. the region idea goes beyond the sections – it’s a new USTA thing though i’m not sure who is responsible for these new regional events (USTA national? the section in which the event occurs?).

  10. Lisa–This fight has been going on since at least last March (that we know of) and there’s nothing new under the sun here. It’s so incredibly upsetting (believe me-we get that) and parents are rightfully angry, confused, irate—pick an adjective—but it just doesn’t matter because the USTA isn’t gonna change its position. Tom Walker, Wayne Bryan, Steve Bellamy and even Sean Hannity, for god’s sake…I hope you have a ton of time and a ton of energy but I fear you’re just the latest spokesperson to step up and fight the losing battle. We wish you GOOOD LUCK but please be aware of what you’re up against, o.k.

    1. i know, and i appreciate your honesty. but, this is a personal matter for me, too, as my kid only has 2 years left in the juniors. i don’t want to see his opportunities diminished because of these policy changes. he’s worked too hard to have that happen now.

  11. It is correct that this change was pushed under the now departing president of the USTA and passed with every section but one in March. This was not a close vote. It is also worith noting that the four people mentioned in the HTT notation above are all voicing complaints but different complaints from Wayne Bryan who wants earned advancement from the sectional level(no points buying) to Sean Hannity who wants to retain the right to leave Long Island and travel anywhere he wants for points. I am certain changes will be made but it is unclear which changes and I cannot tell much from this email string.

    1. again, that is why it’s imperative that we compile a list of speaking points and present a united front. no confusion. very clearly stated. to the point. nothing vague – just specific outcomes.

    2. Joe,

      Aside from your characterization of Sean’s motive, I think your point is well taken. When the criticisms stray too far off into tangents about foreign colleges scholarships, orange ball mandates, etc, the “opposition” can come off sounding like whiners.

      The proponents of the changes believe strongly in what they are doing, have been working together for several years an have their talking points down. The “opposition” is diverse, have different motivations and objectives and lacks the any coordination. Lisa – what I am saying is you are trying to herd cats.

      However, I will email you some ideas. DT this weekend, play of time sitting around waiting.

      1. i appreciate your comment, and i may very well be attempting to herd cats, but i have to do SOMETHING. my son is too far along in his junior tennis journey for me to sit idly by and watch these changes go forward.

  12. I think you are doing great work at putting people together. You need to keep in mind that the notion of earned advancement where you must succeed at the sectional level to move on has great appeal even with detractors of the new rules. Working on other issues would probably be more fruitful and the USTA would probably be willing to compromise in that area. With Draw sizes ask yourself if the draw size went up would the spots from the section go up or from the standings go up? That is the specificity that you will need.

    1. joe, thank you for your comment – yes, that is exactly the type of information we need to include here. and, i think doing an analysis of the current top 128 by section will be very telling in regards to section allotments versus nat’l ranking lists. keep the ideas coming, folks!

  13. Please stop about buying points. You are talking about a very small portion of the USTA junior population. To change a system based on this paranoia is harmful. Theses kids will naturally sink to the bottom, they know where they stand.

    If you want to talk about finances and advancing locally, then INCREASE the local regions. This will decrease travel. To DECREASE the regions..making tourneys now plane flights vs drive is ..I don’t know..crazy…….

    1. Tmom, to clarify, are you saying to increase the NUMBER of regions so that they are smaller in geographic scope? i just want to be sure i’m understanding you correctly. thanks!

  14. And you MUST play in your region. I think these whiners and complainers about travel expenses and buying points have no idea about what they are talking about.

    Having done this for 8 years now., the point buyers go away.

    There are many of us doing our best, the proper way. Please don’t make it more difficult.

  15. Points buying or whatever you want to call it is a very important issue. Let me ask the question this way: If you qualify in the section you can travel anywhere you want so we are not talking about these players. For TMOM to get some clarity are you advocating that players who cannot qualify through the sections still should get to travel and play wherever they want? These players clearly exist and are much larger than you seem to think. The question posed about players who cannot qualify sectionally but still play nationally is very important. Please read Wayne Brian’s column.

    1. Becky

      It’s not clear to me you understand the intricacies an subtleties of the current system versus the new system, but to be fair, I know I don’t, at least not completely. I am pretty sure the USTA does not either.

      Too believe that you can or should only advance through sectional quotas presupposes that sectional quotas are perfectly allocated. They are not and can never be. That’s one of the main flaws if the new system : by eliminating National Opens and open Regional, it virtually eliminates cross sectional play (or cross regional play) outside of the top 128, and even then only once a year. Most cross sectional play will be limited to top 32 and 64. How do you adjust the quotas ? Once the system is in place, national rankings outside the top 64 will be a meaningless, there just won’t be enough cross sectional play to make them statistically worthwhile.

      Also, are you aware of the PPR table changes in 2012 ? These were done to address point chasing. The net of it, you have to advance several rounds into a regional or open now to get significant points. Yes, you can spend money to fly to a regional or open that is further away from your home but that you perceive to weaker, but unless you win several matches, it won’t matter. And to advance several rounds at these tournaments, you have to be good. You can’t buy them, you have to earn them. Even at what I think you would perceive to be a weak regional, the top 8 are very very good, and that’s precisely becuase they are Open : supply and demand at work.

      This is not directed at you Becky, but one of the things that bothers me about the changes is the the USTA seems to be tapping into a populous anti 1 per center sentiment and positioning themselves on the side of the middle classes and against the rich point chasers. But the fact is, a less talented rich kid under the current system can fly across the country and if he is really not talented, he won’t get any significant points. He’s not taking anything away from your kid. Under the new system, a less well off kid who now must play within there own region, may be forced to fly 1000 miles whereas before they only had to drive 60. How is that making it more affordable for the second, more talented but lees well off kid ? Or are people just being happy that the rich kid was denied an opportunity ?

  16. This is clearly a personal and emotional issue for families that have kids playing national junior tournaments. I was at the Mid-Atlantic meeting and I felt the speakers were genuinely trying to listen. It doesn’t help that our Mid-Atlantic Section is fractured and that the current system has helped players avoid playing in Mid-Atlantic. No wonder no one wants to stay home and try to be the best.

  17. just to let y’all know, one of our readers is working on an analysis of the sectional vs. national rankings – i will share it once it’s ready. i’m also working with a group of very wise tennis professionals on the speaking points – we are making good progress even with the impending holiday. please keep your ideas and suggestions coming. i think we are onto something good!

    1. Lisa

      A consideration for who ever is doing the ranking analyses. Note that section quotas are consistent across all age groups. But in reality, some sections get stronger in the older age groups as players move to academies, etc. Example : Girls 12’s from Florida – nine of the top 100. Girls 18’s – Nineteen of the top 100. So how can one quota work for all age groups ?

  18. Yes Parenting aces. If the push is to play locally then allow the players to play locally. Under the proposed changes, we in the Midwest may have to travel thru 3 time zones. What’s local about that? Forget the time differnce, the cost, the time to get there, the more school missed, blah blah blah.. It’s about lack of options.

    I’m pretty upset about this.

    1. I just read the plan on the USTA website and Midwest players would not travel to Washington for a Regional Tournament. The Midwest is in the Region with Missouri Valley, Northern, and Texas.

  19. Then that changed. Still texas, northern, Missouri valley. Texas and northern are plane flights. Missouri valley at LEAST 6 and half hour drive. Still missing the local part of the economics surrounding these changes.

    For Petes sake, givens hardnworking well intentioned people options.

  20. My point is not to change any minds but rather to point you into areas that you can actually change things. This idea of not qualifying in the section but wanting to play elsewhere is a loser. Even the Tennis Industry group which some of you see as representing you did not argue this point. Read Wayne Brian’s column for example. This is simply not a winnable argument. Spend your time trying to get the tournament structure changed to something you want and if you can qualify through the section you can go to these tournaments. It is not a matter of right or wrong, it is what can be won. This right to travel outside the section when you are not a top sectional player is a true loser no matter what you may think of it. Oh yes it is definitely true that not all sections are the same. That is factually correct but irrelevant. While that might be nice it is not realistic. That is why qualifiers are a good idea. By the way does anyone else but the USTA not have qualifiers?

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