Posts tagged junior competition
In case you haven’t heard (!), USTA changed the national junior competition schedule, effective January 1, 2014. A big reason for the change, according to USTA, is to drive competition back to the sections instead of having so many big national tournaments requiring travel all over the country.
Those opposed to the changes, including Yours Truly, kept asking USTA what it was doing to ensure the sections would step up and fill in the gaps. We never got a clear answer.
And, now, that which we feared – that sections would not take on that task but would actually slash competitive opportunities instead – has come to fruition.
Last year, about this time, I was writing regularly about my son’s experience on his high school tennis team – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
However, due to some ridiculous eligibility rule changes by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), my son did not play for his school team this year. It was HIS choice, don’t get me wrong, but, basically, our state governing body made it very unattractive for any high-level players to join their high school teams this year – to summarize, the rule said that a player lost eligibility if he or she trained for his/her sport during stated school hours. For my son and many other tennis players, their school hours are modified in such a way as to include “zero period” and online classes so they More >
“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 >
Why, you might ask, is there a French magazine cover pictured at the top of this post? Well, 2 reasons . . . first of all, because I want everyone to notice that it features French pro, Richard Gasquet, at the age of 9, playing tennis using a yellow ball. Second of all, because in just a few weeks I’ll be at Roland Garros watching a couple of days of phenomenal tennis at the French Open and am pretty darn excited! (P.S. Anyone who wants to hook me up with courtside seats, you know how to reach me!)
Some of you may have gotten wind of the changes happening across the country with 10-and-under tennis and the mandated use of the ROG balls in tournament play. What you may not know is that ROG is now infiltrating the 12s, too.
The 2014 changes to the junior competition calendar are all but a done deal. The Powers That Be at USTA, despite our best efforts, have decided they (not parents, not coaches, not the players themselves) know what’s best for our young players and have slashed competitive opportunities at the national level by a huge margin. So, now what?
Add to the mix the fact that several USTA sections have also adopted a rather Draconian policy for the 10-and-unders and 12-and-unders, forcing them onto the ROG path, making it so they have to play all the way up in the 14s if they want to play with a yellow ball on a full-size court. If you haven’t already, be sure to listen to the free podcast of my radio show with Lawrence Roddick (Andy’s older More >
This past weekend was another giant step in my Tennis Parent Journey. My son drove himself to a tournament. Out of town. About 2 hours from home. While my husband and I were at a family reunion out of state.
Now, before you start thinking I am totally out of my mind, please know that I enlisted the support of a Fellow Tennis Mom to be on call for my son. She and her son were staying at the same hotel as my kid. She was in charge of checking my son into his room and making sure he had his key. Her son was playing in the same age division as my kid. And the boys go to school together. (And I now owe her a very nice bottle of wine!)
As my husband and I left our house and headed to the airport, I made a mental list . . . Had I More >
Finally, after months of being on alternate lists and finding out last minute whether or not he was going to play that weekend, my son got direct entry into one of our Southern Level 3 tournaments AND was seeded! He had a pretty good draw and figured he had a very good chance of getting to the Semis if not winning the whole thing. He had been playing well in practice over the past couple of weeks and went into the weekend feeling very confident in his game.
So, early Friday evening, we packed up the car and headed to South Carolina, an easy 2-hour drive from our house. The weather forecast was bleak, but we kept hoping the Weather.com folks would be wrong (hey, that’s not a reach, right?!?) and that the 2-day tournament would finish More >
The following is the official announcement I received just a few minutes ago from LetUsKnow.com. Given that I’m going on the air in less than 15 minutes, I haven’t had a chance to read through everything yet. I welcome your comments below.
We are writing to let you know that the U.S. Tennis Association has taken another positive step toward approving some significant changes to the previously approved 2014 national junior competition structure during the Association’s Annual Meeting this weekend in Weston, Fla.
In recent months, the proposed changes to the national junior competition structure have been socialized extensively. This includes at the USTA National and Sectional levels as well as during nine Listening Sessions held More >
I’m not sure anyone even noticed, but I’ve been out of town all week on a Girls Trip with my daughters. My middle daughter and I were visiting her big sister in Los Angeles. Yes, the Indian Wells tournament was in full swing. No, we did not attend. Sometimes hiking and shopping and Disneyland trump tennis. Sometimes.
Anyway, I have been following all the comments posted on my article about our options regarding the 2014 calendar. Wow! A lot of emotion coming through. Obviously, I have many passionate readers here who fall on both sides of the 2014 changes. That’s a good thing. And unexpected. At least, I don’t think USTA had any inkling that all this passion would emerge a year ago when it announced the changes.
There’s another More >