Posts tagged competition committee
“If you don’t like us, find a way to get rid of us!” That was Patrick McEnroe’s response to a parent’s question regarding the 2014 Junior Competition Changes at last summer’s Girls 12 Nationals in Atlanta, and it was really the beginning of my extensive coverage of the new calendar that USTA was planning to implement beginning January 1, 2014.
Now that the calendar changes have been finalized and approved at the National Board level, I figured I should do a sort-of recap of the process around the changes and how they came to be . . .
- Some time in 2011: Jon Vegosen, then president of USTA, charged his Junior Competition Committee (JCC) to devise a new national tournament schedule. Please note that the JCC was chaired by Tim Russell, a More >
I know I said you probably wouldn’t be hearing from me this week – I’m still at the beach on Spring Break, luckily – but I wanted to pass along the latest news from USTA’s Board of Directors meeting.
I received an email this morning from USTA’s Bill Mountford, letting me know that the changes to the previously approved Junior Competition Structure were unanimously approved by the Board last night. That means, as predicted, that the changes will go into effect January 1 of next year.
It’s time to take a serious look at your child’s current schedule and the tweaks that you’ll need to make for next year. Alternatives to USTA tournaments are popping up around the country, and I’ll continue to post them here as I get word.
Time to move on . . More >
- Bill Mountford
- Dave Haggerty
- Lew Brewer, though he arrived a bit late and stayed mostly at the back of the room.
The following information is a conglomeration of several emails that I received after the meeting. If you were there and have something to add, please do so in the Comments below.
Sadly, attendance was rather small, but those in attendance seemed to be fully aware of the changes and were fully engaged in the discussion.
The initial issue that came up was in regards to why the USTA is reducing the number of national tournaments. The conversation started with traditional schooling and the desire to try and reduce the number of days players will miss. A few of the parents voiced their disagreement More >
Voting within USTA is much like the Electoral College system in the US federal government. All USTA sections are not created equal. Apparently, size DOES matter.
That said, and as was suggested by Scott Schultz at the listening meeting in Los Angeles, it is still crucial that we all continue to reach out to our Section Presidents (click here for a list of Sections, 2013 Presidents, and contact info where available) and ask them to vote for a pause on the 2014 changes to the junior competition calendar. It is our best hope for getting the result that many of us have been working toward for the past year or so – to see the USTA Junior Competition & Sportsmanship Committee take the 2014 plan, push the pause button, seek input from those More >
- Scott Schultz
- Bill Mountford
- Lew Brewer
- Ellen Ehlers
- Greg Hickey – SoCal President
- Michael Cooke – NorCal President
I’m happy to report that I have heard from several folks who attended last night’s meeting in Los Angeles, and that there was once again overwhelming opposition to the 2014 changes.
There were 61 attendees including several parents, coaches, USTA representatives, and even a tennis journalist. Some people who had planned to be there didn’t make it because they thought it was at UCLA (I’m not sure how or why they had incorrect information regarding the meeting location). School-night traffic on the LA freeways made it impossible for some parents to get there, but, still, 61 people came.
During the More >
Unfortunately, I don’t have much to report from last night’s “listening” meeting in Troy. The only word I’ve gotten is that there were only a small handful of people there, and that everyone stayed cool, calm, and collected.
Paul McDonald and Mark Bey were the USTA representatives leading the meeting. Apparently, Scott Schultz was also supposed to be there but got delayed by the weather. The parents in attendance who did speak were against the 2014 changes to the junior competition schedule, but the opposition was voiced in a very factual rather than impassioned manner. From the emails I received, it seems that the overall feeling was one of resignation – one attendee reported that it just felt “flat out terrible for the sport more so More >
I have heard from several parents and coaches who are concerned about speaking out regarding the 2014 Junior Competition changes for fear of retaliation from USTA. While I truly believe those concerns are unfounded, I do understand them.
So, as a way to help USTA gather as much input as possible before the 2013 Annual Meeting and the 2013-2014 Junior Competition Committee meeting in March, here’s my offer to all of you:
Email me at email@example.com. Share your thoughts on the 2014 changes with me – what you like and what you’d like to see changed. I will remove all of your identifying data then forward your email to the LetUsKnow@usta.com address. Once I get a reply from Bill Mountford at USTA, I will forward it to you so you can More >
Tom Walker (you’ll recognize his name as the one who wrote the Call to Action on the Junior Competition changes in March 2012) has created a Facebook page entitled USTA – Stop 2014 National Junior Tennis Tournament Changes (click here to see it). His mission is reprinted in its entirety below. I encourage you to visit the page, “like” it, then share it with your tennis friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever other means you have available. There is definitely strength in numbers, and Tom’s goal is to show USTA in no uncertain terms that a critical mass of its constituents are opposed to these changes and want to see the Junior Competition Committee go back to the drawing board:
This page is dedicated to spotlighting the insane More >
It was an interesting day yesterday, to say the least! I had spent the previous several days preparing my talking points for Sunday’s “listening” meeting as well as for my pre-meeting meeting with Lew Brewer and Andrea Norman, the new chair of the Junior Competition Committee (Andrea was a member of the JCC that created the 2014 changes and is now chairing that same group). Peter Lebedevs, also a member of the current JCC - and an active USTA volunteer, coach, and tournament director at both the junior and professional level – joined us, too.
The pre-meeting meeting was very informative. We talked for almost 2 hours about the changes and the impetus for them (I’m still not 100% clear on the “why” behind them other than that USTA is More >
This coming Sunday I will be attending, finally(!), a USTA “listening” meeting. I’ve been working on my talking points for the past several days and hope I have the opportunity to share them live and in person during the meeting.
Earlier this week, I received an email from USTA’s Bill Mountford putting me in touch with Andrea Norman, the new Chair of the Junior Competition Committee. Andrea and I, along with Lew Brewer, will be sitting down together Sunday morning before the “listening” meeting, presumably to get to know one another a bit and to discuss what’s in store for our junior players. I will of course be reporting on the outcomes of Sunday’s meetings, so please check back early next week for any updates.
Below is the information More >