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Change in Endorsement Rule



A fellow Tennis Parent emailed me the following question yesterday:

On this USTA Southern 2014 update page, there is a downloadable document called Formats for 2014. At the bottom of this document,  it states:


National Championships, October Regional Closed, & Future: One of the two Southern Level 1 Championships

Can you please in the next week or two confirm with Bill Ozaki that players who played the Southern 1 in mid January could be endorsed for summer national championships even if they do not play Southern Closed in June? This would be a major change. I hope it is true; it would take pressure off Georgia players to earn GA points this spring to get in Qualifier to get in Southern Closed to be endorsed for nationals.  It would also give 16s the option not to play Little Rock Southern closed if they played Rome in January.

One side question: In the past players could only be endorsed for one age-the age they played Southern Closed. However if a player played the STA1 for 16s in January and Qualifier/Southern Closed for 18s in June or vice versa, would they possibly be on both endorsement lists under this policy change? For players a few months from aging up from 14 to 16 or 16 to 18, the ability to apply for nationals in the older age but be able to fall back (if they did not have ranking for the quota)to the younger age would be a great new option. My son is a freshman who just turned 15 so everything is 16s (he won’t have high enough sectional ranking for Nat 1s this year anyway), but for some of his soph friends, a 16/18s dual endorsement would be very attractive.

I forwarded the email to Bill Ozaki, USTA Southern Director of Programs & Player Development, who responded with this information: “They are correct in their assumptions.  Either the Jan southern closed or June southern suffices for endorsement and this does allow players to be on the endorsement lists for two age groups.”

Please understand that this is a major change from previous years, at least in the Southern Section. Prior to 2014, a player had to play in the June Southern Closed in the age group in which he/she wanted to be endorsed for Nationals. That limited the player to one and only one age group which was sometimes an issue for those juniors close to aging up. With this new ruling, as the other parent pointed out, a player can play in both the January Southern Closed and the June Southern Closed in different age groups, earning endorsement into both. Obviously, for those juniors already in the 18s (like my son), it’s a moot point. But, for those who are in the younger age groups trying to build a ranking in an older age group in preparation for aging up, this is a wonderful opportunity.

Just curious to know if other sections have adopted this method of dual-age endorsement as well – please let us know what your section is doing in the Comments below.




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