Posts tagged tournament structure
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.
“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 >
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.
Today’s post courtesy of Antonio Mora . . .
In 1985, before all our junior players were born and when many of their parents were young enough to be junior players themselves, the Coca-Cola Company took what has been referred to as the greatest marketing risk in consumer goods history. The company changed the formula for Coca-Cola, the world’s most popular soft drink, the first significant change in its formula in 99 years.
The development of what everyone ended up calling “New Coke” was a long and secret process that even had a code name, “Project Kansas.” The company’s most senior executives launched the effort, hoping to find a new “champion” for the company and reverse years of decline in Coke’s market share. By the early 1980s, 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 >