Junior Tournaments & Rankings

TRN’s National Showcase Series

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As I’ve been posting on Facebook and Tweeting this week, TennisRecruiting.net recently announced its National Showcase Series for 2013.

Per the email I received yesterday from TRN, the National Showcase Tournaments are designed to give players a chance to compete outside of their districts and sections.  They are seeking to fill the gap left by USTA’s 2013 and 2014 junior competition calendar changes, some of which limit players to competing within their own section or region.  While the TRN events will NOT count toward USTA national rankings, they WILL count toward USTA sectional or district ranking (if the player is competing in one of these events held in his/her own section or district of residence) as well as a player’s ranking and star rating on TennisRecruiting.net.  It’s important to note that players who choose to compete in National Showcase events held OUTSIDE their section or district of residence will not receive USTA ranking points but will still get credit toward their TRN ranking and star rating.

TRN’s Dallas Oliver says, “The idea of these National Showcase tournaments is to provide meaningful cross-play between different areas that will provide more data for meaningful national rankings. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback so far – players and parents appreciate having more choices. And the tournament directors we have on board so far have great reputations for running quality tournaments.  We think that this tournament series has a lot of positive qualities. These are USTA-sanctioned events, so players and their families will get a familiar experience. But the tournaments will not be on the USTA national schedule, which obviates the concerns many had about ‘point-chasing’. At the same time, these tournaments will count for Tennis Recruiting rankings, and so there are rewards for players to compete in them.”

Tournaments in the National Showcase are “open” tournaments. Entries for these tournaments will be open to all USTA players, regardless of residence. The bulk of these tournaments are scheduled during the summer or on long holiday weekends to accommodate travel and reduce missed school days.  Players and parents need to look at their section’s 2013 tournament schedule to find out the level of those Showcase events held within their section. In the Southern section, for example, some of the Showcases are Southern Level 3s and some are Southern Level 4s, and USTA ranking points will be awarded accordingly.

I asked TRN’s founder, Julie Wrege, why they decided to get USTA sanctioning for the Showcases.  She told me that a USTA sanction insures that the rules of tennis will be followed, certified officials will be used at the tournament, scheduling will be done according to the rules, and results will be published on TennisLink.  I expressed my concern that USTA would see the Showcases as filling in the gap left by the elimination of several national events and use them to justify the 2013 and 2014 changes.  Julie feels that the Showcases will not take the place of anything that is proposed or is going on now.  These tournaments carry no USTA points at the national level – and only at the section level if sanctioned by a section – and only at a district level if sanctioned by a district.  She went on to say that the sections need to have a lot more sectional play – and these few events scattered across the country will not fill that gap.

It is important to note:

  • All events in a National Showcase tournaments will count for Tennis Recruiting national rankings.
  • A player who competes in one of these events and has a win – in the main draw or a consolation event – will become a Tennis Recruiting National Player.
  • Entry into these events is open to all USTA players, regardless of residence.
  • Acceptance will start with the USTA National Rankings – followed by the USTA sectional and district rankings.

Here is the current schedule of National Showcase tournaments. Several more tournaments will be added to this 2013 schedule as their USTA sanctions are finalized:

StartsTournamentEventsContact
12/26COSTA MESA OPEN CLASSIC
Costa Mesa, CA
BG18H. Lloyd
3/30GEORGIA/ALABAMA OPEN
Dothan, AL
BG18-16D. Bryan
3/30GEORGIA/ALABAMA OPEN
Bainbridge, GA
BG14-12T. Thompson
4/06BLUEGRASS SPRING JR. OPEN
Louisville, KY
BG18-12C. Mather
4/26OJAI JR. TENNIS TOURNAMENT
Ojai, CA
G18, BG16-14C. Fugle
5/25NORTH GEORGIA OPEN
Rome, GA
BG18-12R. Sasseville
6/25NEWPORT NEWS OPEN
Newport News, VA
BG18-12S. Dearth
6/24LA JOLLA JR. CHAMPIONSHIPS
La Jolla, CA
BG18-12B. Davis
6/29JACKSONVILLE OPEN
Jacksonville, FL
BG18-12R. Jenks
7/01WILBUR FOLSON MEMORIAL OPEN
San Diego, CA
BG18-12A. Podney
7/13GEORGIA JUNIOR OPEN
Rome, GA
BG18-12R. Sasseville
7/15COSTA MESA SUMMER CLASSIC
Costa Mesa, CA
BG18-12H. Lloyd
8/03HUDLOW JR. OPEN
Norcross, GA
BG18-14C. Chapin
8/04SANTA CLARA BRONCO OPEN
Santa Clara, CA
BG18-16J. Scalese
8/11SANTA CLARA BRONCO OPEN
Santa Clara, CA
BG14-12J. Scalese
8/16ST. LOUIS JR. SUMMER OPEN
St. Louis, MO
BG18-12J. Dippold
9/21BLUEGRASS FALL JR. OPEN
Louisville, KY
BG18-12C. Mather
9/28ST. LOUIS JR. FALL OPEN
St. Louis, MO
B18-12J. Dippold
11/22ATLANTA THANKSGIVING OPEN
Norcross, GA
BG18-16C. Chapin
11/22ATLANTA THANKSGIVING OPEN
Norcross, GA
BG14-12T. Berne
11/29WESTERN STATES JR. OPEN
Tucson, AZ
BG18-12M. Houk

Again, according to Dallas Oliver, “We are excited to have 20 tournaments on the schedule so far, and we are reasonably pleased with how they are spread around the country. There are clearly some areas – like New England and the mid-Atlantic region – where we need to do better. Hopefully players and parents can talk to their favorite tournament directors about running a National Showcase tournament – we would love to hear from them!”

As you can see above, the first Showcase Tournament is the Costa Mesa Open – an 18s event that takes place the week before New Year’s in Costa Mesa, Calif. If you are interested in that one, register now at their tournament page on TennisLink or contact Hank Lloyd at hltcm@sbcglobal.net. But hurry – entries close next Thursday, December 20!  For TRN’s FAQ on the National Showcase Series, click here.

One last note from the folks at TRN: “At the end of the day, we feel that the more choices there are, the better. These National Showcase tournaments should provide more of these choices without interfering with the goals that the USTA has put forward for earned advancement.”

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