All Sections Are NOT Created Equal
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 in the trenches day in and day out, use it as a base to create something that serves the greatest number of junior players, vet it properly among its constituents, then move forward in hopes of providing a clear pathway for our kids to make the most of their junior tennis years.
Here’s what I sent to Bud Spencer, the Southern Section President: “Mr. Spencer, please vote to PAUSE the 2014 schedule at the next USTA meeting! The proposed changes will have a significant negative impact on junior tennis. Why not just take one more look at this whole proposal and re-evaluate? What is the harm? What is the rush? Isn’t it better to do things right instead of doing them right now? Please listen to the concerns of so many of the coaches and parents and players involved and vote NO on moving forward with these changes in 2014. Thank you.”
Please note that the next (and final!) listening meeting is Friday, February 15th at 4:30pm at the DFW Airport Hilton in Grapevine, Texas. Dave Haggerty, Bill Mountford, and Lew Brewer are scheduled to be the USTA representatives there. You folks in Texas are up against it, though. A parent posted the following on the ParentingAces Facebook page: “Just got an email from Ken McAllister, Director over the Texas Section, they will continue to support the changes to the jr. tournament schedule and do so more strongly than before.” This, despite the fact that many parents have reached out to Mr. McAllister asking him to vote for a pause. This, despite the fact that the listening meeting in his section hasn’t even happened yet.
If you are planning to attend the Texas meeting and are willing to share your thoughts with me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, don’t forget to keep sharing your thoughts with LetUsKnow@usta.com.
By the way, Monday’s ParentingAces radio show will continue with last week’s discussion on the 2014 changes and how they will impact players and families. My guests will include Antonio Mora, Geoff Grant, Sol Schwartz, and Martyn Collins. I hope others of you will call in and share your questions and concerns. The show airs at Noon ET – please click the Radio Show tab above for details.