Sol Schwartz #SaveCollegeTennis All-In Tournament

tounament-logoLately, I’ve posted several opportunities for junior players to get in some tournament play outside of the traditional USTA system: ITA Summer Circuit, Oracle ITA Junior Masters Series, and a variety of money tournaments. None is closer to my heart than the Sol Schwartz #SaveCollegeTennis All-In Tournament presented by Holabird Sports.

As you may recall, the Tennis World lost one of its biggest advocates this past March when my dear friend, Sol Schwartz, passed away unexpectedly. I was unable to go to his funeral in Baltimore, but I knew I wanted to do something meaningful to honor the memory of my friend. For several weeks I wracked my brain to come up with something. Making a monetary donation wasn’t going to cut it. Neither was setting up a scholarship fund. Sol was all about effecting change through tennis, so I knew that whatever I did needed to be sustainable and impactful. That’s how the Sol Schwartz #SaveCollegeTennis All-In Tournament idea was born.

Since I’ve never run a real tournament before, I knew I needed help. Lots of help. I reached out to others in the Tennis World who were close to Sol and who had connections to the tournament realm. That’s how our amazing organizing committee came to be: David Hirshfeld (Holabird Sports), Rob Hubbard (UMBC Tennis which has sadly been cut), Randy Jenks (UTR), and Melanie Rubin (Tennis Parent Extraordinaire). We have also consulted with Sol’s family who have been a great help in terms of logo design (thank you to Sol’s niece, Ali!), promotion ideas, and sponsorship.

The tournament is now a reality. It will take place August 20-21, 2016, at The Suburban Club in Pikesville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore where Sol lived with his family. It is open to all junior players age 18 and under. In keeping with Sol’s commitment to making tennis affordable for all, we have kept the entry fee very low at $30 per player.

Here are the particulars:

  • The title sponsor is Holabird Sports
  • 16-draw for boys and 16-draw for girls (it is an open 18-and-under draw)
  • Selection and seeding will be done using UTR
  • Compass draw ensures each player will get 4 matches
  • On-court coaching is allowed at changeovers
  • Each player will receive a print program which will include player photos and bios
  • The winner will receive a one-year clothing and equipment sponsorship from a major tennis manufacturer
  • This event is non-USTA sanctioned but will be included in UTR

My hope is that this event will grow and spread to cities across the US. While I wanted to host this inaugural event on a college campus, we weren’t able to make that happen this year. But, the goal is to have Sol Schwartz tournaments in several cities by next summer, all hosted on college campuses in order to raise awareness about the beauty of college tennis. Ever since I met Sol, his mission was to #SaveCollegeTennis, and I’m hoping these tournaments help achieve that mission. Long-term, we would like to establish a 501(c)3 non-profit so the proceeds from these events can be used in the form of grants to college programs in danger of being discontinued.

Registration is open TODAY through August 14th. Click here to go to the tournament website. For information on sponsorship opportunities, click here or email me at lisa@parentingaces.com.

Hope to see you in Maryland!

13 Comments on “Sol Schwartz #SaveCollegeTennis All-In Tournament”

  1. It sounds like a fun tournament. I think many Mid Atlantic kids would like to sign up, but it is at the same time as qualies for Prince George’s Country ITF that has many kid from the section sign up, just to get the chance to play against some good opponents. Too bad.

    1. Em, as you know, the junior tennis calendar is pretty full, so we were bound to come up against other events. Hopefully, there will be enough players who are enticed by the chance to play a minimum of 4 matches with a one-year equipment sponsorship going to the overall winner AND honoring the memory of a great supporter of our sport.

  2. Aloha! Just wondering if you have any advice on getting juniors from Hawaii to some of these tournaments. While Hawaii may seem like the perfect Tennis spot, it’s not very inclusive or even remotely up to par in Junior Tournaments. A lot of kids that are from the outer islands (and Oahu) are really talented, but the costs are astronomical to travel to these important events. Our local USTA pretty much invests zero dollars into our junior development and only give a couple hundred bucks a few times a year to go to USTA only events. It’s really frustrating, especially as a tennis parent. Mahalo!

    1. Bailey, that must be incredibly frustrating! I am going to share your concerns with Bill Mountford at USTA as well as with the folks creating tournaments at TRN and UTR in hopes that they can do something to increase the competitive opportunities for junior players in your beautiful islands. Thank you for your comment.

    2. Bailey — TRN has a schedule of “national showcases” each year that are “open tournaments” where players from any USTA section can enter. We would love to have a tournament in Hawaii, but we do not know who the really good tournament directors are. Here is a link to our National Showcase series for the rest of 2016 — http://www.tennisrecruiting.net/article.asp?id=1585
      If you have any ideas for 2017 to pass along to me at julie@tennisrecruiting.net, please let me know.

  3. Hi Lisa,

    I know this tournament is this weekend. I wanted to check in and see if you needed any help with anything during the two days of the tournament. I knew Sol when I was a teenager and really hadn’t seen him over the years. It would be an honor to lend a hand.

    Thx,
    Melissa

          1. Will do! I will ask for you when I get there. And, if my schedule changes for tomorrow and time allows, I’ll try and swing by tomorrow. Looking forward to meeting you!

  4. Good morning Lisa,

    My name is Elaine Rodriguez, Sol was a Tennis friend of mine also. As a matter of fact I met him through his first promotion of this tournament. If I can make it, I would like to come up as an observer to support the tournament. What time does the day start and end?

    Elaine

Share Your Thoughts