If This Doesn’t Convince You . . .

Spreadsheet Links

2014 National comparison with 2009 and 2012 -with teams

2014 National comparison with 2009 and 2012 -Individual entries-No Teams

The two spreadsheets above were created by Robert Sasseville, a member of the group that met with the USTA folks in Chicago in October.  Robert has run the Girls 14s Nationals for the past 30 years and has been involved in junior tennis in some way, shape, or form for over 40 years, so he’s seen the evolution of the competition calendar and ranking system over a long enough period of time to understand clearly how the 2014 changes will impact our junior players.

The first link shows a comparison between the 2014 national competition opportunities and those in 2012 and 2009, including the new team events.  The second link shows the same comparison but without including the new team events so there is an “apples to apples, oranges to oranges” comparison.  The spreadsheets are broken down by weeks, so that when viewed, it is obvious how restrictive the current and proposed 2014 schedules are compared to pre-2011.

If, after studying the spreadsheets, you still aren’t convinced that the 2014 calendar will greatly reduce competition opportunities for our juniors, please let me know in the Comments below. I have Robert on stand-by!

The following was written by Robert Sasseville and posted in another article‘s Comments section:

It was today one year ago, December 1, 2011, that I first received a copy of the proposed changes to the National Junior Competition Structure.  It was that night that I composed my first “comparison” of competitive opportunity reductions.  That night I compared 2014 with 2011, 2010, and the 1980’s, our recent “golden age” of junior tennis.  I compared only Level 1 and Level 2 changes.

In the original proposal the Winter and Spring Nationals were eliminated.  Both remaining Level 2 Nationals were reduced to 64 draws, while The Nationals (Hard Courts) were reduced to 128 draws and the National Clay Courts were moved to Memorial Day weekend and reduced to 64 Draws.  Depending on age group the Level 1 reductions from 2010 were 75% for 12’s, 60% for 14’s,  59% for 16’s, and 58% for 18’s.  Sweet Sixteen’s weren’t counted because they were automatically entered into the succeeding Level 1 National.

The Level 2 events were all reduced from 16 events with 64 players each in 2010 to 6 events with 32 players each in 2014.  That was a reduction for all age groups of 81.25%.

The National Junior Competition Schedule that passed in March had some changes, like not moving the Clay Courts to May and adding a 32-draw Spring event for 12’s, 14’s, and 16’s, so our updated numbers have changed as modifications occurred.

To get a picture of how the schedule changes will affect playing opportunities for juniors, I put together a spreadsheet comparing 2009 with 2012 and 2014.  It was not only designed to show percentage decrease in opportunity, but also the event distribution.   Because it was laid out in a 52-week format, the flexibility inherent in the 2009 schedule contrasted with the rigidity of the 2014 schedule was readily apparent.

The original comparisons were based on National “developmental” opportunities, which meant that a single player could enter a  tournament with the opportunity to play another player from anywhere in the United States.  (A player from College Park, Maryland could possibly have opponents from Spokane, WA, Houston, TX, and San Juan, PR, or any other location within the United States.)  In our original computation we included the proposed 2014 Winter Team Championships, although they are really not individual events.

We did not include 2014 Regionals in the computation, because they are “National” in respect to “point opportunities” only, as opposed to the current events labeled “Regional” which currently have no geographic restrictions, and are truly “National”.

In this document we expanded the spreadsheets and looked at both the individual events, the team events, as well as the new ‘Regional’ events and computed percentages based on individual and team events, separately and together, as well as, including the new  “Regionals”.

It all depends on one’s definition of “National”.

If “National” means you have the possibility of playing anyone from anywhere …..

  • The range of reduction percentages from 2009 to 2014 for Individual events is 82.47% to 86.75%.
  • The range of reduction percentages from 2009 to 2014 for Individual and team events combined is 71.00% to 80.75%.

If “National” means the tournament has “National” or “Regional” in the title, and you will receive National points  …….

  • The range of reduction percentages from 2009 to 2014 for Individual events is 60.73% to 65.90%.
  • The range of reduction percentages from 2009 to 2014 for Individual and team events combined is 51.24% to 61.65%.

Another reduction, for those defining “National” opportunities using the criteria that National Points are available, is the fact that the number of Sectional events offering “National” points has been reduced by 50%.   Each section’s number of events carrying National points has been reduced from 12 to 6.  Even though the events eliminated were Level 5, elimination of 6 events spread throughout the year reduces opportunities for players whose schedules are restricted by school or other commitments.

If you are defining “National” by the opportunity to acquire National Points, you might want to consider exactly what National Points and National Rankings will do for you in 2014.

Already, National Rankings are basically a tool used by the USTA online entry system for player selection and seeding.   Having a “National” ranking has devolved to the point where its only real value is in the selection process for “National” events.

Seldom does one hear people talk about National ranking, particularly as a player reaches college age.  Now people mention, or aspire to be, “Blue Chips”, “5 Stars”, “4 Stars”, etc.  USTA Rankings have become irrelevant for college recruiting purposes because they don’t take into account the quality of play.    Once USTA moved away from a merit-based head-to-head ranking system, the value of the ranking secured by point acquisition is merely the value granted to it by USTA.  The value is that if you have more points, you will be admitted ahead of someone who has fewer.

Additionally, the number of events accepting entrants based on a player’s National ranking shows a staggering decrease. The events per age group admitting players via National ranking in 2014 compared to 2009 and 2013 are:

  • 12’s    28 in  2009  vs. 12 in 2013 and 3 in 2014
    •  [2 National Selection tournaments (96 players each) and the Spring National event (32 players)]   Reduction: 89.3% (2009); 75% (2013)
  • 14’s    29 in  2009  vs. 12 in 2013 and 6 in 2014
    • [2 National Selection tournaments (96 players each), 2 Sweet 16 (16 players each), Winter Team event (64 players), and the Spring National event (32 players)]   Reduction: 79.3% (2009); 50% (2013)
  • 16’s    31 in  2009  vs. 12 in 2013 and 6 in 2014
    • [2 National Selection tournaments (96 players each), 2 Sweet 16 (16 players each), Winter Team event (64 players), and the Spring National event (32 players)]  Reduction: 80.6% (2009); 50% (2013)
  • 18’s    32 in  2009  vs. 12 in 2013 and 3 in 2014
    • [2 National Selection tournaments (96 players each), Winter Team event (64 players)]  Reduction: 89.3% (2009); 75% (2013)

Imagine being a rising 17- or 18-year-old and having your National Ranking used for admittance to only 3 National level events for all of 2014, when in 2013 there had been 12 events played in 10 different months that admitted you via your National Ranking.

So, one thing is certain.  National individual opportunities for all will be reduced anywhere from 51% to 86%, depending on your age group and your definition of “National”.

The numbers of events where your National Ranking will have any significance at all will drop by 79.3% to 89.3%, or 50% to 75%, depending on which year you choose as a comparison.

Severely reducing the number of events making selections based on USTA National standing serves to diminish the value of a USTA National ranking, and therefore the value of events that carry National points, but no National developmental opportunities (e.g., 2014 Level 3 and Level 4 Regionals).

While there may be argument over the exact percentages, there is no argument that the operative word for 2014 is REDUCTION.

42 Comments on “If This Doesn’t Convince You . . .”

  1. Brilliant, Robert, but very sad. Thank you for taking the time to do this huge amount of work. One important point you make and that often gets lost in the shuffle is that the “old” system (pre-2010) provided enormous flexibility because of how the level 3 bowls were spread throughout the year.

  2. For those who us who know Robert Sasseville we all respect his experience and knowledge even though some of us strongly disagree with his opinions. While Robert’s numbers certainly support the echo chamber of yourself and a few other contributors to this blog you need to know that his numbers are felt to be incorrect by those in the know at the USTA. It is one thing to have a disagreement of opinion but probably it is not such a good thing to have a disagreement of fact. I know that even though you have a horse in this race and don’t want the changes that already passed I would suggest you email Lew Brewer and ask him to give the opposing side of these statistics. There are two sides when probably there should not be.

    1. I’d love to see Lew Brewer try and discredit Robert’s stat’s. Bet we don’t hear a peep from him on this!

      1. To not hear from him would indeed have meaning. However to be fair give him a chance. This particular string needs to be careful not to echo all over itself and keep an open mind. Everyone tends to grab statistics that support their position. Be careful.

    2. i have emailed lew brewer a link to this article along with a request that he share the opposing side to robert’s stats. i’ve asked him to reply to me directly OR to post in the comments here. i will report anything i hear from him.

  3. I’ve heard from others about Robert’s spreadsheets and putting numbers on spreadsheets doesn’t tell the whole story. Robert is one of the best tournament directors, but there are some tournament directors that like big draws because of the money regardless of the value of the competitive experience. Comparing 2009 with 2014 is comparing pears to concrete blocks. The whole “blue chip” and “4 star” ratings are great ideas but don’t mean anything. Ranking players by graduation year is a great idea but they are the same players as in the USTA rankings in much the same order. Stefan Kozlov, as a 14 year old, is 71 in the world and 11 in the USTA B18 rankings. He is not on any tennisrecruiting.net list I have seen. Accuracy??

    1. Tennisrecruiting.net is a recruiting tool for college coaches – you will find kids like Mitchell Krueger and Alexios Halebian also show up with an N/A for their ranking – tennisrecruiting can provide the specific buts i believe they exclude players from their rankings who have turned professional and signed with an agent which is why Koslov is not ranked by them. Their rankings differ substantially from the USTA rankings and are generally perceived to be much more accurate outside of players perhaps in the top 20 or 30. You will find the stars and the TRN rankings mean a lot to the college coaches and they are now the de facto go to rankings for most of the kids.

      1. Don’t get me wrong. I think tennisrecruiting is a good tool for coaches. Lord knows college coaches need all the tools they can get. Players put all their personal details for coaches and other paid subscribers to see. I’m not sure minors should be providing so much detail online. Anyone heard of COPA? Players need to compete in events that will further their ultimate goals. No player has ever been accepted into a USTA, ITF, ATP, or WTA event based on their “blue chip” status or their “4 star” rating. If a player wants to play one of the junior Grand Slams or other ITF Grade A events, they better be competing in ITF Junior events. There is plenty of room for different systems and they all serve some sort of purpose. Which college football poll is the most accurate? AP top 25 poll, USA Today, Harris Poll, ESPN Power Rankings? I look at all of them and enjoy debating which is most accurate. However, if a team wants to play in the season ending BCS championships, it doesn’t matter what the team’s ranking is on the Harris Poll or USA Today poll. They better be 1 or 2 in the BCS standings. Robert shapes his spreadsheet to prove his point that tournaments are falling off a cliff. The USTA appears to say that they want players to earn their way to national competition by competing and winning locally (an idea that I think has merit). They also seem concerned with the quality of matches and the overall competitive experience (also an idea that I think has merit). It appears to me that Robert and Antonio don’t worry about the quality of the experience as long as everyone who wants to can get into a national level event. As a final thought, I don’t really care what Lew Brewer thinks of Robert’s spreadsheet because it doesn’t matter in the least.

    2. As far as I know, I believe Stefan Kozlov turned pro about 6 months ago. TennisRecruiting.net does not rank professionals, since they are not eligible to play college tennis.

      1. Yes, I think I had read something about him being one of the youngest professionals. So TennisRecruiting will not be of interest to him, but how does excluding players help with accuracy. This is exactly why the debate about accuracy is fruitless. I’m sure the USTA has reason to think their rankings are accurate for their purposes. I’m sure that TennisRecruiting thinks that their rankings are accurate for their purposes. You say tomato, I say tamato – let’s call the whole thing off! 🙂

  4. We’ve heard the occasional peep from the USTA about Robert’s numbers being bad, but four months later we’ve seen absolutely no refutation of the numbers. And, as I’ve said, anyone can look at the simplest scenario of comparing current tournaments to 2014 : we go from 4 levels 1’s to 2 (with smaller draws); 16 level 2’s to 6; and 32 level 3’s to 12 (some with smaller draws and limited to play in your region). The add-on tournaments only make a minor dent in what anyone can see are massive cuts. You just can’t seriously be arguing that there isn’t a huge reduction.

    Nathan, nice of you to accuse Robert of massaging the stats and having a financial horse in the race when he is the only TD I’ve ever heard of who spends the money to put a chair ump out there for every match. It also seems to me that you need to leave your own “echo chamber” because, as I just showed, any possible reading of the changes shows massive slashing in national playing opportunities. Again, reasonable people can disagree about whether the changes are worthwhile, but not about whether the changes cut opportunities.

    George, you say “comparing 2009 to 2014 is like comparing pears to concrete blocks.” Even though it is a perfectly valid pears-to-pears comparison and you don’t support your argument, I just gave you a 2012 to 2014 comparison. I assume that’s concrete blocks and concrete blocks? You also dismiss Tennis Recruiting mistakenly with respect to Stefan (he was pulled when he turned pro and was ranked #1 until he turned pro) and with respect to the lack of meaning of the rankings (there are huge disparities with the USTA’s PPR, especially once you go beyond the top 20 or 30– I’ll spare you a long explanation, but I’d be happy to provide one as necessary).

  5. George – There are going to be a grand total of 9 unique national events starting in 2014 down from 40 in 2009. That’s 31 lost tournament opportunities and virtually no choice in terms of where and what events you play – there is no mechanism for kids to effectively age up and so in effect they will have a gap year ever other year in terms of national play. We are all in favor of earned advancement, less expense and more sectional play but as Lisa has pointed out where are the sections in all this – are they stepping up to fill the void with more tournament opportunities for the kids that fall through the cracks. I’m not seeing it. Take a look at what’s happening in junior tennis in Europe – Tennis Europe offers 175 ( yes 175 ) unique pan- European tournament opportunities in the boys 14 and under. Every event has a qualifying draw and a first round losers consolation as well as food and lodging for all competitors – every single draw has been full so far this year. OK – so Europe has twice our population and a great high speed rail network but compare that to our 9 national events – That’s the future of junior tennis.

    Anyway i can’t wait to hear Lew refute Robert’s stats and explain how there really will not be a reduction in playing opportunities in 2014 for 90 % of junior tennis players. As Antonio said we can debate the merits of the changes but there cannot be any debate about the fact that national playing opportunities have been slashed and there is no sign of the sections stepping up to fill the void. if this wasn’t so tragic it would be comical.

  6. Thank you Robert for quantifying the reductions in tournament participation opportunities.. One needs to be a statician, demographer and constitutional lawyer to understand these issues.. I have played and coached in the USTA system for 50 years and I think we need to step back and use common sense. The competitive player lists and criteria for rankings used to establish pathways for elite tournament play is so complex and confusing that it is a complete joke. “Shrink to grow” goes against every successful formula ever used to achieve competitive excellence.
    Furthermore how can a talented entry level player with little or no background in tennis and more importantly their parents, possibly understand and embrace a system as convoluted as the proposed changes. Who is going to invest hundreds of thousands of $$$$ engaging in an ultra elite system that they can’t possibly understand? I am a pro trying to identify talent and grow the game. When I explain the difficulty of learning tennis, the amount of money required to develop and compete and finally the elite nature of the limited opportunities for a return on their investment, people just say no thanks tennis is too hard, expensive and time consuming.
    The fact that US junior tennis is in dramatic decline is obvious. It is too bureaucratic and the proposed changes are just a symptom of it. When I was growing up the USTA provided us with a system that was simple,, cost effective and monumentally successful. Ask anyone who played, the summer usta junior circuit of Louisville, St. Louis, Springfield Oh. and Kalamazoo.. This junior tour and system laid the foundation for the “Tennis Boom” and international dominance by US players.Times have changed but with a common sense approach the USTA has the resources to duplicate this success from the late 60s and 70s.

  7. I am still having a great deal of difficulty understanding the USTAs rational for diminishing draw sizes, tournament opportunities and reduced number of regions..that you must play in

    The first issues may be entirely self serving for the USTA. Less perceived wasted time for their players and coaches, and with fewer USTA tournaments, greater opportunity for their players to play iTFs.(have to wonder if the increasing number of foreign coaches had input ther)

    The last issue makes no sense at all when the explanation is to reduce travel costs.

    It’s a big country now offering fewer opportunities. Isn’t that why many people come to the USA in the first place.

    It’s very frustrating to be completely ignored, be given half baked answers to sme very specific questions.

  8. System is horrible here in the states. Broken, and the usta really doesnt care about these national tournaments. The best kids will always be playing ITF juniors/Futures. All of the USTA coaches look at these National Opens as time wasters. The thoughts from the top of the player development is this, if they are not good enough to be playing ITF juniors or Futures, they shouldnt be leaving their section. By 2018 they want even less nationals….

    1. then i hope USTA does something to get more ITF jr events in the states, especially during the summer months when kids are out of school and can play week-long tourneys. for now, kids who attend traditional school are limited in how many ITFs they can play. and, Player Development and Player ID are looking for the next US champion. what about the other 99.9% of junior players whose goal is to play at the college level? that’s who Junior Comp should be watching out for, and i just don’t feel like these changes are in those kids’ best interest.

  9. I believe SMB is on target with respect to what the attitudes are at the top of player development are. I don’t agree with that attitude philosophically, I am just staying that’s what we are up against.

    I can’t help but going back to Pmac’s comments in Georgia at the Nationals. To paraphrase, these changes have very little to do with the current kids in the system, it about making the sport more affordable, or at least appear more affordable, vis-a-vis football, basketball, etc so that when parent are choosing sports for there kids at 7,8,9,10 they choose tennis instead. The belief is that they need more elite athletes choosing tennis, and the perception that to be successful in tennis you need to spend lots of money traveling all over the country is causing people to choose other sports instead of tennis.

    Once they get more elite athletes to choose tennis, PD will snatch up the elite athletes who who show pro potential(they know who these are by 12) but are not independently wealthy,

    Everyone else, well, they should be able to have a fun, satisfying career playing at the sectional level, with a few occasional trips to national tournaments for a small handful. They want tennis to be like basketball or football where kids can play there whole junior career in there home state, earn college scholarship without ever having to travel to a national tournament. Once they eliminate the national events, the sectional events will become more challenging for players becuase the better players who are very good, but not pro potential caliber, who are currently skipping sectional events in favor of national events will now be forced to play back in there sectional events.

    Now, I don’t necessarily agree with everything, or in anything, above, I am just trying share what I think is there agenda based on there public comments, rather than the PR spin they put out in there marketing of the changes. I think there is all sorts of enormous holes in the logic behind the thinking above.

    1. Probably one of the most accurate conjectural summaries of the changes goals at hand. I must say that in large part agree with the change in direction. Along with the 12 and under adjustments, you can see the contours of a plan to expand the reach and numbers of kids playing tennis, along with a recognition of a longer incubation time before emphasising results, followed by a pathway for sectional development and earned national advancement. Not to say I would not favor and lend support to changes at the margin, like opening up the doubles draws a bit.

  10. Interesting frank comments by PMac. Explains alot. Nonetheless totally moronic, As his older brother would say. No matter how you dress it up, tennis is still an individual sport, requiring a certain kind of personality and person, and parental commitment. There is a safety feel on a team.. You can switch positions, maybe sit out, carpool. It’s not the same, smacks of arrogance, that these guys know more than a juniors predisposition.

    Morons. There I’ve done. Stooped to smack talk.

  11. I especially like the comment to appear more affordable. Just looked at our newly developed system to save money for our regional event in January. We get to play in Spring Texas…plane flight from Chicago vs drive.

    What an organization. I can’t eve explain this to my coworkers who think we are crAzy and part of a crazy organization.

    Word of mouth does wonders. My co workers with young kids would no more have their kids pick up a racket than fly to the moon

  12. These debates are very helpful to “new” tennis parents. Keep up the analysis and the passion. One things for certain, playing the same kids in the same areas is boring and unproductive after a while. The Europe model is compelling.

  13. I agree with David.

    Also, the ITF issue is irrelevant for 12s and 14s. You cannot change a schedule that affects them based on what might or might not be more important for older kids.

    I believe Patrick realized how silly it was to say “we can identify who can be a pro by the time they’re 12” was and backed off it in later comments.

  14. Again word of mouth is very powerful. So USTA wants to ram these unilateral decisions down their membership. Word of mouth most powerful tool.

    Nobody is chatting up the USTA in a positive light. That shouldnhelp to attract the elite.

    And I actually have an elite.


  15. Lisa,

    I asked she you post this that you include te L3. Roberts numbers are a sham and aren’t “apples to apples”. L3 events are the old Rocky Quicksilver events. This is what is bad with your site. You allow a ton of misinformation. People can talk without any understanding including yourself. Get the correct facts on your site. Great spin on the numbers. Everyone that has been around for ages can see the spin. Look at Steve’s site. Greater than 53% want to keep the changes. Maybe the industry group should take a look.

    1. Oh My are you actually following the debate? Or do you just make it up as you go along and hope it sounds correct….

      L3 are regional events ONLY!!!!!

      1. The new regionals are also pretty worthless as far as I can tell, especially the level 4’s, I am struggling to figure out why anyone would go out of there way to play them. The only thing national points are good for under the new system is for entry to elite 32 player draw events. But how are points from another level 4 regional going to help you get a top 50+ ranking, when you already have points from four level 4 and two level 3 sectional events ? As far as I can tell, there is no progression from section to region to national. Its from section to national, with an occasional dead end side excursion to a regional

  16. I assume that “Get Better” hasn’t looked at the spreadsheets at the top of this topic. If he/she had done so, he/she would have found on line 31 (week 21) of the 2009 column, the event name, “Quicksilver/Roxy”, dated 5/23-26, with 64 opportunities for all 8 age groups.

    I’m not sure exactly where there is an inaccuracy, since the 2009 numbers were transposed directly from a hard copy of the “2009 National Junior Tournament Schedule”. The reason 2009 was used rather than 2010, the last year before major changes occurred, was that I had a copy of the 2009 schedule, but not 2010.

    If he/she actually has an instance where an appropriate event was not listed, I would be glad to correct it.

    In my original explanation I allow each individual to determine what “National” means to him/her. However, there can be no dispute that the number of “National” opportunities was decreased in 2011 and would be decreased again in 2014. Pick whatever percentage fits your definition, the numbers will still decline significantly.

    Steve has a very fluid survey engine on his site. As of right now, of the 794 total votes, 60% are against the new schedule, so it has experienced a 13 point swing in the last 2 1/2 hours.

    Speaking of polls in general….making your individual decisions based solely on the opinions of others is a waste of your intellect, logic, and experience, and basicly makes you irrelevant.

  17. Clearly, nothing will get your head out of the sand, Get Better, as this last post and your many others on this blog prove. You are the one peddling misinformation and you should apologize to Lisa for insulting her.

    As I said above, NOBODY has refuted Robert’s numbers other than in snide, unsupported comments. He DID provide a spreadsheet including the 2014 L3s, despite the fact that they are NOT true nationals because kids can’t play outside their regions. It shows a huge reduction in opportunities. If you don’t like that Robert went back to 2009, go up a few posts and look at my very basic comparison between 2012 and 2014 and tell me there isn’t a massive slashing.

    Also, if you believe that the opposition to the changes isn’t overwhelming, you really must have your head deeply buried in the sand. I have attended three large meetings where the 2014 changes were addressed (Daytona, Little Rock and Boca) with an aggregate attendance of more than 200 people. I heard one parent (whose child has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in USTAPD support and one coach support the changes and even they were ambivalent). The meetings at the various national championships in August and the two listening tour stops so far showed similar, virtually unanimous opposition.

    It’s almost laughable that you cite an unscientific poll on Tennis Insiders to support you side. Weeks ago, Steve told me the numbers had gone from overwhelmingly against the changes (in votes that came from many sources) to slightly in favor of them, OVERNIGHT. Why? People can vote multiple times and two geniuses did, over and over again in favor of the changes. Did hey really think Steve wouldn’t notice? By the way, last I looked more than 60% opposed the changes in that poll.

    It is obvious to anyone who cares to be fair that the opposition to the changes is probably easily in the 90%+ range in the junior tennis community. Sean Hannity offered to help finance a scientific survey. Nobody took him up on it because the high level of opposition is obvious to any one who cares to look. It might be hard with all that sand in your eyes.

    1. Please Antonio don’t insult my intelligence. Do you get national points? If the answer is yes then they are national events.

      Seems like you are like all the rest of the parents. You always want to spin things in your favor. The facts are the facts and I am sorry you don’t want to believe the facts. Here are some facts “the tennis industry” are nothing but rich parents who only care about the best interest of their kids. Those are the facts and sorry of the truth hurts.

      1. Get Better,

        First point. You wrote : “Do you get national points? If the answer is yes then they are national events”.

        Uhm, sorry, this reasoning is inane. This logic says that the level 3 and level 4 sectional events that you get national points are now national events ? Following this crazy reasoning, there used to be 12 sectional events with national points, and now there are only six. So, you are still cutting spots in half.

        Second point :

        Got to love the class warfare rhetoric.

        You are what was known during the cold war as a useful idiot. I got news for you – you and a lot of people like you are being used. Plain and simple. You are buying hook, line and sinker in to the big lie than these changes are somehow going to make tennis less expensive, and will screw the rich. The supporters of the changes are pandering to this anti-rich sediment, using the bogeyman of point chasers, to get support for the changes they really want, which is to shrink the draws so they can spend more time and money on the elite 32 and 64.

        You can’t take take the money out of tennis. What are you going try to regulate next ? How much coaches can charge, how many hours kids can practice ? Ban home schooled kids ? Ban tennis academies ? I have multiple players in my small section who have live in full-time, full time private coaches. Nothing in these changes are going to change that.

        But you cannot buy results. You cannot buy points. You can’t buy talent and passion. In the current system, if you have more money you can might get more opportunities, but all the private coaching and first class airplane tickets don’t mean a thing unless they win on the court.

        You accuse Lisa of spinning, but the only one I see spinning here is you. And sadly, I think you are the one being spun, you are just too wrapped up in you hatred of rich people to clearly see who doing the spinning.

    2. One last laughable thing, if the poll is unscientific why did Mr Bellamy post the poll? If Sean Hannity is so sure about his poll why dont these “industry” leaders go out and conduct a scientific poll? Are you guys affraid of the truth? From what all the blogs are showing you cant get anyone to even come out to the listening sessions. I thought you had this overwhelming support. The lack of attendance is scientific in itself. My advice to you is you should stay off the blogs. You are only digging a deeper whole.

      1. If accumulating national points is the defining characteristic of a “national” event, how do you account for 12 sectionally closed tournaments that currently award “national” points. How did you define a “national” tournamemt before the points per round ranking system (using the term “ranking” loosely) was imposed on junior tennis about 12 years ago?

        When Agassi, Sampras, Courier, Chang and the other players of junior tennis’s golden age played junior events, there were no points. Were Kalamzoo and other Nationally titled events not really “national”? Or, were “National” events defined by the quality of players involved?

        Again, pick your definition, but I prefer that any “National” event be open to all players, regardless of residence, as long as they otherwise qualify for that event. Georgraphic restrictions by their very nature localize an event and make it no longer truly “national” in player population.

      2. Btw,

        I think you are right on this. The poll is extremely scientific and should be used to settle this matter. The poll is now up to 61% against. If that’s not a high enough margin, please let me know what poll result you would like to change you mind, and I will take a couple of minutes and get it there.

  18. Sasseville. Well put. A national local event.just about sums it up.

    Restrictions. Limitations. Reductions. Sounds like a real grand plan for hatching the next American champion.

  19. AJT. Spot on. Paranoia is driving these changes.

    Having just made travel arrangements for our national local , no other options, January regional event, I’m spending about 3 times as much money as I would have if I could have gotten in the car to drive to the tournament. This does not include money spent for changing airline reservations depending on results.

    These people saying these changes are to reduce costs, those thinking they will reduce costs are WRONG.

    1. i hope all of you – those in favor and those against – will take a few minutes to complete the online survey being conducted by American Tennis Journal (see link on right side of this page). the results are going to be used to determine whether holding a virtual “listening” meeting is warranted. also, please share the survey link with others in the tennis community. thank you.

  20. Great post AJT.

    Get Better, your spinning is atrocious. As AJT said, following your “logic” sectional events that produce national points are “national” tournaments. Those are being cut in half, so there goes your “reasoning.” Also, as I told you and you ignored, in my simple comparison between 2012 and 2014 above, I INCLUDED all regionals and proved the massive slashing.

    So please, don’t insult OUR intelligence. You are utterly ignoring what would be obvious to a 5th grader without need of a calculator. L1s from 4 to 2. L2s from 16 to 6. L3s from 32 (some with 64 draws) to 12 Sectionals (because you care) 12 to 6. Can you do the math or should I find a fifth grader? It all equals a MASSIVE REDUCTION IN NATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES.

    Finally, with respect to the scientific survey that Sean Hannity offered to fund, the USTA did not take him up on the offer. Your spinning on that is dead wrong. Come on Get Better… Life will truly get better if you get your head out of the sand.

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