Posts tagged competition schedule
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 >
Since my home-base of Atlanta is the next stop on the USTA Listening Meeting Tour this coming Sunday, I figured I’d better brush up on my junior competition history. Who better to contact than veteran junior tournament director, Robert Sasseville? You’ll recognize his name as one of the folks who met with USTA in Chicago in the Fall to discuss pushing the pause button on the 2014 junior comp changes. Robert has been around the junior tennis world for several decades and is always very gracious about sharing his knowledge and experience. Here is what I learned from Robert (the info below is a reprint of a document that Robert composed and emailed to me last week) . . .
The year was 1862 and the American Civil War had just begun. More >
Two listening meetings were held over the past two days during the Winter Nationals in Arizona, a tournament that will, ironically, disappear from the schedule if the 2014 changes remain as is.
I received emails from attendees at both meetings, each of which had 40-50 people in attendance. It seems that the parents, players, and industry folks (Brad Stine, Jack Sharpe, Mark Bey, Steve Bellamy, Kevin Kempin, Gordon Bellis, Timon Corwin, Tim Mayotte, Antonio Mora) who were in attendance were well-versed in the changes and had no qualms about speaking their minds to Tim Russell, Kurt Kamperman, and Dave Haggerty. Several parents and players spoke out about how they would NOT have gotten a college scholarship under the new system. One More >
The link above is to the handout given to attendees at yesterday’s “listening” meeting at the ITA Coaches Convention in Naples, Florida. The pages are reversed – my apologies for not being able to figure out how to edit them in Adobe – so be sure to scroll to Page 2 for the details. NOTE: Lew Brewer just emailed me a cleaner version of the handout which I’ve linked to above.
The meeting was led by outgoing USTA president, Jon Vegosen, and incoming USTA staff liaison to the Junior Competition Committee, Bill Mountford. Lew Brewer was also in attendance. For more information on the meeting, please see today’s ZooTennis post by clicking here – Colette was there and gives a very thorough analysis.
One thing I More >
More unintended consequences? Thank you to Antonio Mora, Emmy-winning journalist and tennis parent, for sharing the following information with all of us:
In the boys’ 14s of the upcoming Winter Nationals, the boy ranked 211 in the country on the day entries closed, did not make the cut. But the player ranked 955 (!!!!) was selected, even though almost 90 higher-ranked players were excluded. In the girls’ 18s, the player ranked 333 didn’t get in, but #965 did. In the boys’ 16s, the player ranked 204 didn’t make the cut, but #442 did. Boys 18s, 288 out, 713 in. Girls’ 16s, 250 is out, 731 in.
How does this happen? Kids who aren’t highly ranked managed to squeeze in under their section’s quota. Under current rules, only sixty kids out of More >
Earlier this week, I received an email from Bill Mountford, currently USTA’s Market Development Specialist and one of the guys present at the 2nd listening meeting in Rocky Hill, CT. He was coming to town for the USPTA’s 10-and-under coaching workshop and wanted to meet me. He said he had no proposed agenda for this meeting but simply wanted to sit down and chat. I figured it would be a great opportunity to ask him some very pointed questions about the 2014 junior comp changes and where things were heading. I was right.
The main point that came out of our 2 1/2+ hour conversation is that many of the parents and coaches who came to the first two listening meetings seemed either uninformed or confused over exactly what the 2014 junior More >
The two spreadsheets above were created by Robert Sasseville, a member of the group that met with the USTA folks in Chicago in October. Robert has run the Girls 14s Nationals for the past 30 years and has been involved in junior tennis in some way, shape, or form for over 40 years, so he’s seen the evolution of the competition calendar and ranking system over a long enough period of time to understand clearly how the 2014 changes will impact our junior players.
The first link shows a comparison between the 2014 national competition opportunities and those in 2012 and 2009, including the new More >