USTA & ITF Rankings on TennisRecruiting.net

You may have noticed the recent addition of both USTA and ITF rankings on your child’s TennisRecruiting.net (TRN) profile. I asked TRN’s Dallas Oliver why they decided to add this information, especially given all the confusion over USTA rankings and point tables in 2014. Here is his response:

“Don’t read anything into the timing. Coaches (and others) have asked for us to show USTA and ITF rankings on our profile pages for years. We think this will be good for Tennis Recruiting. Since it is easy to find players on our site, we thought our site would be more valuable as a jumping-off place for people to find all information about a player – not just Tennis Recruiting information. We hope to add Universal Tennis to the list at some point in the near future as well. Hopefully, people will use Tennis Recruiting as their starting point for all junior tennis information – the more information, the better.”

It is now more important than ever for your child to check his/her TRN profile on a regular basis to be sure the information is up to date. College coaches are using TRN as a first-stop, so you want to be sure your child is putting his/her best face forward!

 

 

40 Comments on “USTA & ITF Rankings on TennisRecruiting.net”

  1. Well, TRN is smart, they are reacting to an environment which is becoming more international.
    Our players, unfortunately, are in competition with the world for scholarship money and spots.

    I like the ITF ranking because when you are checking out another player’s ranking who is foreign, I don’t have to switch to another safari page to look it up.

    However, the USTA ranking is highly distorted with the new point table.
    Points that are 3x last year’s points, and if you missed the first tournament, you are out.
    I wonder if TRN is aware how messed up the USTA point system is?

  2. Lisa, you are like the breaking news for tennis 🙂 I am a coach for a small college and yes, we do recruit heavily for foreigners.American kids all want the same few name schools, and the foreigners are a bit more open, and quite frankly, better players. I use ITF and then TRN rankings in that order. With all the changes happening ( dad of an American junior girl, thank you title 9), I do think TRN will have their hands full with the lack of cross play and their head to head rankings will become less meaningful, so glad to see the ITF ranking included. But, agree with the poster below, the USTA point table is askew, and worthless at this point.

  3. Lisa, the point tables are still messed up. I have been arguing with my section head, and was told “they are working on it”. The USTA has millions in dollars and their computer system is still messed up?

  4. I noticed that some TRN players of the same age and class had USTA #s from 18s, while others had USTA #s from 16s. When I asked TRN why, they wrote

    “But some of them are 16 and thus have both a 16 and an 18 ranking. Since their 16s ranking is usually higher, they complain that we use their 18s ranking which makes them look bad.”

    While I understand that TRN gets crap from anyone who thinks their kid is not being shown in the best light, they should either be consistent by only showing the rank for the player’s natural division, or indicate the USTA age division for the rank they do show.

    Right now it’s rather confusing, as some 15-yr old players will only play 18s because their parents demand it. They can accrue a decent standing in the 18s, but will have no rank at all in their natural age division because they must play at least one event per year in a division for points to accrue.

    Or maybe they have a so-so rank in the 18s but a poor rank in the 16s. A decent player can rise to the mid 100’s in the next division up just by showing up at enough national events. I know of several who have languished in the 100 – 150 range in the 18s for two years (started when 14) while their contemporaries are in the 30 – 75 range in the 16s.

    At least identifying the age division would give some perspective to the reviewing coach.

  5. Junior tennis players obviously show up on lots of USTA ranking lists of different types (standings, singles, doubles, combined), in different regions (national, sectional, district), and for different age divisions. We wanted to show USTA rankings on profile pages, but we also wanted (at least for now) to keep things as simple as possible on our website. To that end, we decided to show only one USTA ranking.

    But which one? After talking about things internally and with others, we decided to show a player’s national ranking for the age group in which they have achieved their highest ranking. For the vast majority of players, this will be a player’s natural age division.

    We will think more about the cases that you mention and see how big of an issue it is. We will also see if there is some change we could make that would be simple to explain to people. But I will make a couple of points…

    (1) These problems usually work themselves over time. Everyone eventually lands in the 18s, and so when kids commit we are always comparing apples with apples.

    (2) Everyone knows that there are lots of USTA rankings. Clicking on the list will take you to the record and indicate the particular list we reference.

  6. Dallas,

    I like the ITF ranking on the page, but don’t like the USTA number.
    I also think you should put the birthdate like ITF, I know I am not alone in saying this.
    Your ITF page has your birthdate on it, and there is no legal liability for them.

    In regards to the USTA number, it dilutes your own standing as people ( coaches, juniors, parents) were using the TRN number instead of the USTA number. No one ever said, he’s ranked X and then Y, it was just X ( the TRN number). So, in a sense, you have decreased your own value.

    Second, as kids are now currently straddling two age groups instead of moving up, the number is not as meaningful.

    Third, the USTA is using the craziest point table in history, and everyone is sick of it.

    Fourth, you can easily manipulate the USTA number, but you can not the ITF number nor the TRN number.

    The ITF number can not be distorted because you can’t get into a higher ITF level tournament unless you actually have the points. You don’t get the points……. unless you win.
    So simple and straightforward makes it impossible to manipulate.

    But, the USTA number is not real. The biggest points are the L1’s and many good players won’t get into these tournaments because they are in good sections and are the number 11th player, instead of the tenth…… it’s not on earned advancement anymore, but a quota system.

  7. Is there a perfect ranking system? The tennis recruiting rankings are certainly far from perfect. I have seen some kids stars and wondered why one kid is so under-rated and another so over-rated. I won’t leave names perhaps some of you have seen some of what I am speaking of. It does make me wonder why the tennis recruiting star system has bias in it too.

    In the end parents, players, coaches have to know for themselves what they are reaching for. Depending on all these self proclaimed experts in “ranking evaluations” will maybe leave you confused,angry and dispirited.

    Do you enjoy what you are seeing in your kid and are they making adequate progress? Address that and “rankings” will take take care of themselves. If that fails…hello, devise your own ranking system and throw it on up…seems all you need is a website and a ranking program. How’s that for pro-activeness…get in the mix!!

  8. Candy, it should be no surprise you wonder how one kid has this many stars and another has that many. Everything is based on USTA tournament results. What kid plays what other kid who is supposed to be a strong player. But all these tournaments can be gamed. Selecting out of the way events, point chasing, cheating and gamesmanship, having a more forceful personality.

    Why does anyone think rankings have any credibility? How could they? There are no adults to enforce the rules. So we have no idea if the 130th ranked kid is really a shy kid who should be 30th but loses all the close calls, or is he a point chaser who is really the 300th ranked talent.

    The USTA rankings and thus the TRN ratings have no credibility at all once you get past the very top kids. Does anyone really think the kid ranked 45th for example is really much better than the kid ranked 83rd? How could we possibly know?

  9. Wow… tough crowd. I’ll make four comments, and these will likely be my last on this thread…

    (1) I’ll bite. I believe our head-to-head rankings do a good job at ranking kids far beyond the Top 100. On several junior tennis message boards, I have challenged people to email me the names of two players who have reasonable-length records and a significant difference in ranking where we clearly got the order wrong. I have yet to see a case where our rankings have not done a good job.

    (2) One nice benefit to having two ranking systems that people care about (i.e., USTA and Tennis Recruiting) is that it is extremely difficult to game both systems at the same time. The USTA PPR system encourages play… while the Tennis Recruiting system encourages players to compete against worthy opponents. As for the cross-play issue mentioned below, we’ll have to see how that goes – but the National Showcase Tournaments might actually lead to more significant cross-play than what existed in previous years – these tournaments are at many different levels, and we should see cross-play between 2-Stars, 3-Stars, and 4-Stars as well as the highest-ranked kids.

    (3) Some of the players below refer to our Top Prospect ratings (i.e., “the stars”) as rankings. Tennis Recruiting comes out with new rankings every week – and those are what should be used for comparisons. The ratings have some nice properties, but they are what they are – a very coarse rating (there are only 6 levels!) that is only updated twice a year. The current ratings are from last Fall, and so they are based on play from September 2012 to August 2013. Our new ratings come out over the next week or two – but I always encourage people to look at the rankings.

    (4) There are several people below who think we should not show the USTA rankings, but we will continue to disagree. College coaches have asked us to provide that information because they want to see it. We are making it easier for coaches to get to that information. That’s it. And us not showing those rankings won’t make the rankings go away. The only thing I regret is the timing – this is a feature that has been on our road map for years – the fact that there is some turmoil with the USTA rankings at this exact moment is an unfortunate coincidence.

    Best,
    Dallas

  10. Jim – K WOW you are jaded and haven’t even passed GO.

    As a ex-DIV 1 Football and Track guy I can tell you if think TRN is skewed at least it isn’t a bunch of guys in a room DECIDING who gets STARS like the FOOTBALL players. You should see how many of those 5 Star can’t miss Blue Chippers MISS! I’d bet if you ask colleges between USTA/ITF/TRN and watching matches/video they get a DAM good profile of a player and MISS less than the revenue Sports Baseball/Football/Basketball

    Only been subscribed to TRN for a short while but will a 5 star beat most 1-2-3 stars from what I have seen YES, but not always. Is my daughter ranked behind 8-9 kids she has beaten, YES but so what. She plays fewer events and TRNs system seems to want more match play. I know this and so will College Coaches. I see the TRN/USTA/ITF as indicators. I never look to them for guidance just as a gauge—IS MY $$$ for TENNIS going where it should.

    I use my eyes but you need other INDICATORS (like the Markets) to tell you.

    So when my Daughter played #10 in the US and a TRN Blue Chipper (higher grade) and Lost 6-1,6-4 and I see the match I can then GAUGE her progress against her PEERS. I can then look @ TRN and see her progress and project how my daughter would be doing. I also know this #10 girl won matches 0,0 so I can take a peek at those girls and once again gauge my daughters progress. Guidlines Guidlines Guidelines

    So yes the Ranking Number may be useless but the HEAD TO HEAD is PRICELESS, unless you are going to TROOP around the country and play everyone. So without going to California I can use TRN as a guide to how we stack against our PEERS.

  11. I see nothing wrong with adding the USTA and ITF rankings on the page. More information to help coaches recruit the better. However, I’m sure most know that the USTA ranking isn’t the end all be all. There are flaws in the entire system, but its not bad. You work with what you have.

    My son is a very good player (lefty!) with designs on being one of the best (dreams big!). He works his butt off to get better and has an awesome coach (who’s son is top 5 USTA 16 and daughter who is a USTA top 14). Unfortunately he has my dad’s genes and won’t get his height until later, so he is short for his age.

    Here is where the rankings screw him over…money. As all of you know, tennis is a damn expensive sport. Between his weekly lessons, his Elite clinics, local tournaments, equipment, etc, I’m already spending 25% of my take home pay. I can’t afford to drop $500 on a weekend to travel to high level tournaments, so I have to wait until they come here. Therefore his points will never grow to where others can. Kids may or may not be better than my son, but I’ll never really know because he doesn’t really get to play against them. By the way, I don’t begrudge anyone that can afford it. Lord knows if I had the funds, I’d be traveling a lot.

    One other issue is during the high school season in Ohio, kids cannot play in any tournaments for almost 2 months. It’s an OHSAA rule, and it’s bull crap if you ask me. But I’d never discourage him from being a part of that team and having that school pride. So his USTA rankings suffer.

  12. I was happy to see the USTA ranking. My daughter is an excellent doubles player and that is not included in the TRN ratings at all while it is included in her USTA ranking to some extent. There is a big discrepancy between the different ranking
    numbers as a result of this. I am hoping that college coaches recognize this since doubles are so important to their team efforts.

  13. Dallas,
    As a travel coach for a small academy, we think TR.net is the perfect ranking system for kids. Please disregard the comments made by Jim. There are 2-3 “Jim’s” at every tournament. He’s always complaining that his child is ranked 419, but he’s beaten 126. He forgets to tell you that his kid has also lost to 688 and 904. I think these parents/coaches don’t realize that you can now pull results up on the internet.
    If we have a kid ranked in the 600’s that wants to be in the 400’s, we make sure to get them in the appropriate events. At that point, it’s up to the player to prove themselves.
    We appreciate your system. Our boys wake up on Tuesday mornings to see where they sit in the rankings and our girls check their numbers the following morning. It challenges them each and every week.
    Thanks,
    ADNA Coach

  14. I don’t think the USTA number is a legit number this year as many kids will not get to play the L1 due to not being one of the top kids in their section. Not right in the big sections.
    Point tables are too big and wild in the L1 and distort the entire number.

  15. We lost 70 spots after skipping the L2/L4 we could have played either one but decided to go to the Spring Team event instead. We did play the L4 Finalist 2 times and lost a total of 3 games. So honestly the L4’s at least for Southern/Florida is a joke. That said we choose to skip it and if we played a Local event our TRN could have improved while we lost USTA#s JUST ODD!.
    The folks that need to use these numbers aren’t stupid so I see the TRN #s becoming more significant Not less and the “other #s” as filling in the white space.

    I think another number could be added – “Significant wins” These are wins against anyone in the TOP xxxx at the time.

  16. I am very offended by the comment of ADNA coach. To disregard my comments which are the facts of the matter is not right. The system is horribly broken and the rankings totally meaningless. But I see that insiders want everything to stay the same and react harshly to the notion that their precious rankings are deeply flawed.

    I watch it unfold again just this weekend. First round match a girl quickly went down 3-0. several people watching walked away to other matches as the skill levels were so different, the girl up 3-0 was the much better player. Cue dad or coach, not sure which. He got up, walked behind the fence and started barking instructions in a foreign language. Later I found out he was from the country of Georgia. The girl immediately began taking point after point after point. She won the match. The girl she was playing was obviously a very quiet kid and never said a thing.

    Then on to the 2nd round. The cheater ran up against a girl who stood her ground. 3 hour argue fest. One of the 2 refs for 18 courts came and left. When he left, the cheating resumed. Ms. Georgia won again, just wore the other kid out who finally stopped arguing and lost. The result, a mediocre player on to the semifinals. 3 hour match, other matches now delayed.

    Semifinals. Another 3 hour mess of kids staring at each other across the net for 10 minutes every few points. Ref coming and going, cheater wins again. Kids sitting for hours waiting to play behind them.

    Finals. By Sundays afternoon the 2 refs had “called out sick”. So TD all alone. Cheater plays another very skilled but totally quiet girl. I have seen her play once in a local tournament, she beat my daughter easily. She is really, really good and the sweetest kid you ever want to meet. But never stood a chance and lost badly as she got hooked on every other ball. Then I watched the cheater and her family pose for pictures with her trophy, walking away with a good number of points. The 2nd place girl seemed happy with her trophy too.

    So there we have it. Week after week, all over the place. The rankings do not indicate a thing. I have had college coaches lament that they sometimes go by a recruiting video and rankings and are shocked to see how low the skill level is of a player. And we wonder why with each passing year it seems like our university rosters have less and less US born kids on them?

    We have a very broken system. I think my elderly father accidentally summed it up the best. He has no clue about tennis in any way. During one phone conversation I explained that for the most part no one really enforces the rules except for the players and the occasional wandering ref. He just said “well thats really not a sport then”.

    Nope, its really not a sport. Its a competition of who can fiddle with the broken system the best. Maybe a kid ranked top 150 is better than a kid ranked 250, maybe not. Might as well just flip a coin.

  17. Jim-K don’t be offended, you have been challenged to get informed. You shine a light at a low level event and take that as standard. I don’t know you but get the feeling you are a parent that believes everyone should get playing time in Travel Sports.

    ONCE again you have a Level 4 STILL going on @ Pembroke Pines 14s and Jimmy Everett Tennis Center (Ft. Lauderdale) They have Finals/3rd Place Playoff’s, Matches for 6-9 Places going on. COME ON OUT and prove your point and learn a bit.

    I was @ one site from 7-4 and yesterday from 7-5, and None of what you say was happening. Aside from the Yells and Screams of the Boys who are very animated I saw very little arguing and official involvement.

    I saw one girl get a code violation and you could barley hear what was said by her. I believe the official used it as a teaching moment.

    These are events that had 64 of the BEST kids at their age group and in your analogy are CHEATERS and BULLIES. Their parents are overbearing rule breakers, and the folks running the event Sloppy and Lazy.

    So I’m considered offended since your point if a kid is winning they Cheat/Lie/ and Bully.

    So your week after week @ Level 7/8 events is your world and have fun. Someday when you attend a strong event you will get to see how wrong you are.

  18. JimK reminds me of a guy who was in the junior section.
    Same background, dad with a young tennis girl, loved basketball, lived in Florida, and before his daughter ever played in a USTA tournament thought all the talk of cheating was an excuse, and if you thought there was cheating, then it was your kid who cheated. Yeah, some bizarre logic.

    Then, his daughter played, and the cheating was over the top…
    And all his posts became ones of the outrageous cheating going on.
    So, a bit of a flip flop.

    Seminole, my son has played a few tournaments all over the country.
    There is cheating.

    Badly run tournaments.
    Kids throwing their racquets.
    Kids saying F-uck and Jesus out loud in front of the refs.
    Kids spiking the ball out of the courts
    Parents coaching.
    Parents talking in Russian
    Parents intimidating other juniors…, and women refs.

    What percentage. About 20%.
    Much higher in Florida, and that is pretty well known to have the worst cheaters, especially the academy kids. Russian kids are bad too. No idea why.

    I can’t tell you how many tournaments I’ve been to where the ref is eating lunch, in the bathroom ( probably asleep in the car), eating pizza again as a snack, on their phone texting, doesn’t know the rules, or they are short a ref ( had a heart attack, or died, not joking).

    I blame the USTA. The fees for these tournaments are exorbitant. Hitting up to $150, add in gas for a 4 hour drive, hotel, food, etc. It is pricey to get to a tournament and it is badly run. The USTA pumps $17 million into PD, and how much into tournaments, zero $$$$$ 000000 dollars…………….

    JimK – if you want to do something, the blog is not the place.
    Write an article on the decline of US tennis and get it published.
    Period.

    The USTA has ONLY ever responded when their bad behavior ( Taylor) was reported…..

    Best of luck.

  19. I’ve witnessed medical release while parents coaching on the way to the bathrooms in Chinese, and as of yesterday parents awarding and coaching the kid near the fence getting their son to rush the game as my son couldn’t even get to get ready. It was pathetic. The USTA ref. did nothing to support the match and it was a final. Needless to say I’m thankful his coach dropped of some reading material, and next time he will freeze on the court or walk off the court as he should have. There are not enough refs. to deal with the amount of coaching and bad line calls, double bounces. It’s evident that the USTA needs to something about this I’m paying to watch my son get cheated out of matches.

  20. Pj, it’s almost comical when you are in the bathroom taking a leak,
    and the kid and the coach/parent? are together on the bathroom break.

    Maybe, it is something related to the bathroom, ‘wash your hands, son’, who knows, as it is never in English.

  21. Shawn,
    Whenever someone takes a “bathroom break” notify an official to “start the clock” (pretty sure it is 3 minutes). I have always approached officials when an opponent takes a break….I think the player taking a break is supposed to notify an official first anyway (not sure on that and need clarification)…I have never received any negative feedback from an official when notifying him/her that a player has stepped off of the court for any reason

  22. A lot of good stuff here….bottom line comes down to changing the eligible birth date back to January 1 for national tournaments. I think there is a lot of consensus for this. Moving to the next level….. Yes, absolutely ITF rankings should be given. Right now…USTA rankings matter at the sectional level but after that it turns into a mess rapidly. Get back to the eligible birth date of January 1 and incorporate more ITF tournaments into the United States schedule.

  23. The point was that cheating is all over the country, not only in tennis.
    But, in the California school scandal, there was a consequence, not so in tennis.

    Lawrence, get the ref to time the bathroom break?
    There is usually only two refs per 12 courts, and one of them is always missing.
    How in the world do you get the ref to stay on the court when the next three courts the kids are all arguing.

    i ask that seriously btw.

  24. Mr. Roddick: Why do you say that we should go back to changing the eligible date to January 1. Where in these arguments and posts do you get that this is the answer? I simply did not see it anywhere below, maybe I missed it.

    Yes, I have a December child so I will get that out of the way and for full disclosure.

    But to say that we should use some arcane system that is based on grouping kids with a possible difference in age of almost a year is simply outdated. With the technology that we have (or should have – USTA I am looking at you) today, having the rolling age up rules seems to make more sense. Also, please remember that we are talking about children and that 11 months can make a huge difference in physical and mental abilities; more so that my old self. 11 months for a 12 year old is almost 8% of their entire life. I just do not understand the argument, nor do I understand any other cut offs. Each party will have their own agenda to any cut off other than age – January birthdate kids want a January cut off; September birthdate kids want a school year cut off; kids held back want to go by school grade; etc.

    With all due respect, I believe that this is one of the few good changes that USTA has made. I am open to understand the other side of the argument, so if I missed, it please let me know why you believe that a January cut off if best. I will say that I firmly believe that there is not the consensus that you refer to where we are.

    As to including ITF rankings, sure why not. I don’t see how it could hurt.

    On a different note, I do think that the ITF Junior study was on to something when they said that the goal of juniors should be 25% of matches should be doubles. I know we are not doing that in Texas. Just something to think about.

  25. Dear “Tennis Dad”:

    There are many reasons to use a January 1 birth date for age elgibility into a USTA tournament. And for full disclosure my child has a horrendous birthday in June. But that was not the reason for my response into this blog. And to get back to “full disclosure”, you failed to provide your true name in your post…….but let’s get back on topic. The January 1 birth date for elgibility to USTA tournaments. Here are some of my thoughts but not necessarily all:

    I think to preface the entire discussion I have to state that ITF tournaments use a January 1 birth date for elgibility into a tournament given the player is 13 years of age. Here is a quote taken directly off of the USTA website: “ITF events use Year of birth eligibility as opposed to month of birth eligibility.” “Players are not eligible to participate in any ITF Junior Tournament until they have reached their thirteenth (13) birthday.”

    1) It would give college coaches a better understanding of the true ranking of each child. I refer to Richard’s post (a college coach) on this thread around #30 or #31 in which he clearly states he refers to TRN and ITF to get rankings for a player because they are the most clear cut.

    2) A January 1 birth date for elgibility would give more USTA tournaments the opportunity to obtain ITF points. FYI….in order to apply for an ITF tournament in the United States you have to “go through” the USTA….

    3) It would smooth out the process of “playing up” or “not playing up”. After the summer nationals…. you play up in Speptember if you participate in the summer national tournaments and then end the year playing the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl in your true age division and then continue playing up in January.

    4) A January 1 birth date for elgibility into USTA tournaments would re-inforce the USTA’s philosophy of creating tennis echo systems of local competition and the best playing the best. Player’s would not have to worry as much about when they are going to age up and how this will effect their ranking.

    5) With the U10 Mandate a January 1 birth date is imperative (Tennis Dad). The Texas U10 Mandate deprives children of 1 year of high level competition. As Tennis Dad so clearly stated this is 8% of their lives (and I will go ahead and extrapolate that into 15% -16% of their lives given the 20 month mandate imposed by Texas).

    Tennis Dad, I want to stay positive on this discussion. I want to reference your “11-month theory”. There are many reasons why your theory is irrelevant but I want you to focus on the ITF rules in regards to this matter. You reference the ITF “25% rule” for doubles. The ITF imposed the U10 Mandate on the United States. So now in regards to the January 1 birth date issue the ITF doesn’t matter? Hmmmm…..

    I want to say this. I think Texas does a good job promoting doubles. Dont have a problem with that.

  26. Bathroom Break Rules:

    USTA Regulations
    A. USTA Regulations (not professional) state that a reasonable time is permitted for bon a fide bathroom breaks and toilet breaks may be taken at any time. It is encouraged to take these breaks on changeovers and set breaks if it is not an emergency. If officials are present they must be informed to be sure there is a genuine need and that there is no coaching during the break.

    NCAA Rules
    2. Bathroom breaks
    A player must ask an official for a designated bathroom break. The official may refuse this request if he determines that the player is resorting to gamesmanship. Division 1 women are allowed a reasonable time for bathroom breaks and should take them on a 90-second changeover or set break. If a player is able to take a bathroom break during the 90-second changeover, this is permitted in addition to the bathroom breaks described above.

    3. No bathroom breaks in Men’s Division 1 Tennis
    No bathroom breaks permitted in Men’s Division 1 Tennis. Men will have 90 seconds during the changeover to use the bathroom. After 90 seconds, the player will be subject to time violation penalties (Warning, Point, Point, etc.) If no bathroom is available within a reasonable distance from the courts, it is the responsibility of the coaches and the Referee to determine prior to the start of the match.

  27. Mr. Roddick:

    I appreciate your thoughtful responses. As to the aging up issue and the January 1 cutoff, I think we will simply have to agree to disagree. I understand what you stated, but think there are issues with your points. As an example if I was a college coach, and needed boys, I would want a system that uses school grades as the divider. Since we have so many boys starting kindergarten late, the age may be misleading. The fact that a boy may be #1 and 18 years old but just a junior in high school is vital information for me if I was a college coach.

    I simply believe that it is the most fair system that I can think of at this time to have kids competing against kids of the same age, unless someone wants to play up. The rolling age up system seems to provide this.

    This different point of views is part of the junior tennis experience right now. I believe/hope that most of us (I do believe you and I are included in this group) would like to have that perfect junior tennis system for our kid(s), the golden unicorn if you will. One problem is that we all have different views of what that is and how to get there.

    I do want to say that I originally typed that I believe that all of us would like to have the perfect system. But unfortunately that is simply not true. There are some that simply want a system that is beneficial to their kid(s). Unfortunatly, there are more of this group that I want to admit.

    Back to the premise of this blog posting, I think one of the advantages of including both rankings is to allow the observer more information and the observer gets to make of it what he will.

    I believe that the ITF system is interesting and has some good components. I do not believe that it is the unicorn and everyone should follow it. I believe that the USTA system has some good components, but it too has flaws and is not the unicorn.

    The real reason that I posted was due to my understanding of you saying that there is a lot of consensus for getting rid of the rolling age cut off. From where I sit watching the kids play and visiting with the other dads and moms at tournaments, there is not any consensus to move the age cut off from the rolling date. Again, we can agree to disagree and I can only speak for myself and some people who I have talked to, by far not all or even most tennis parents.

    I get very concerned when people seem to speak for me. USTA seems to have been doing a lot of that making many changes. You mentioned the 10U mandate. Let us simply say that I do not agree with 10U as is. Some good, but lots not. That is another topic for another time.

    Finally Lisa, I do think it would be interesting to see what everyone around the country does regarding doubles. I thought the emphasis in the ITF recommendation was interesting and could lead to discussions. I personally like the 25% of matches should be doubles goal.

    Here in Texas, my opinion differs from Mr Roddick. In Texas we divide the players into 3 levels, the lowest level being ZAT players. At ZAT tournaments, there is no doubles offered. Once you get enough points you move up to Champ level. At CMZ (Champ tournaments) there is no doubles offered, however beginning a couple of years ago Texas started offering 2 doubles only tournaments a year. Finally, the top group is Super Champs. At this level at the SCMZ (Recently the name was changed, but we will still use it) tournaments, they do offer doubles and they also this year have a doubles only tournament. The Super Champ level is around the top 75-125 kids in each age division in Texas. I do believe that those kids are well taken care of, but what about the majority of the kids which are found at the ZAT and Champ level. There is only the 2 CMZ tournaments for doubles of these kids. I would like to see there be more doubles at the ZAT level and Champ level.

  28. “Finally Lisa, I do think it would be interesting to see what everyone around the country does regarding doubles. I thought the emphasis in the ITF recommendation was interesting and could lead to discussions. I personally like the 25% of matches should be doubles goal.”

    Tennis Dad – FLORIDA basically eliminated Doubles. THEN…………. After the Level 3 in January it was discussed that even if a Florida kid WON every event that had national points he/she should be 23% or so behind players from other sections BECAUSE they played DBLS in their National Designated Events.

    So mid week Florida changed its Format and added DBLS to the Level 4 event this past week, and I must assume to a Level 3 later this spring. The Cost was Level 4 went from 3 full sets to 2 and 10 pt tiebreak, also FIC thru Rd 16. Don’t know if it was parents or coaches, I suspect BOTH.

    Can’t answer why the section dumped DBLS other than with Rain Delays more DBLS were getting cancelled to get the main events done. I don’t know. BUT most parents WANTED DBLS and were upset at the change.

  29. Now I agree with Tennis Dad in regards to the playing more doubles in Texas. I overlooked the fact that in Texas ZATs and Champs do not provide a consistent venue to play doubles each month. To set another mandate on players (25% doubles matches) would not work. One idea is to require all Open tournaments to offer doubles. This would be a mandate but not a player’s mandate rather a tournament mandate. I would also encourage points be given for ZAT players and Champ players who participate in Open tournaments.

    Circling back around to the January 1 birthdate for eligibility…..I dont think the “age-gap” is as great as it seems to you right now. I understand Tennis Dad is on the wrong end of the stick on this but ultimately the push needs to be having more ITF tournaments in the United States and a great starting point is to become “ITF compliant” in regards to this matter. More ITF tournaments means more exposure and more opportunities for US junior players (some of the main thrusts for Lisa starting this site). Along with that comes better competition and putting more United States junior players on the international stage by allowing more junior US players to obtain ITF points. This is one of the things that is very important in order to obtain more scholarships for United States players and more all-around success at the higher levels of tennis.

  30. A fellow Tennis Parent emailed me the following info regarding how doubles are calculated into rankings in each of the 17 USTA sections:

    Doubles Points In Combined Rankings by Section

    Carribean 15% of 6
    Eastern 15% of 6
    Florida 15% of 8
    Hawaii Pacific 15% of 3
    Intermountain separate singles and doubles rankings
    Mid-Atlantic 15% of 5
    Middle States 15% of 4
    Midwest separate singles and doubles rankings
    Missouri Valley 15 % of 5
    NoCal 20% of 6
    Northern 15 % of 6
    PNW 15% of 6
    SoCal separate singles and doubles rankings
    Southern 15% of 6
    Southwest 20% of 6
    Texas too complicated to post here!

  31. Has my sons TRN ranking been hurt by him playing up in the 16s the last 9 months rather than playing in the 14s? We were getting ready for him to age up in April when he turns 15, so his W-L record suffered while playing the 16s. We could have played in the 14s, improved his record, maybe win a few tournaments, got into a few high level 14s, but I felt he faced better competition to get him ready to not only play singles for his high school as a freshman, but also got him USTA points so he hits the ground running when he can play USTA events after the high school season.

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