Is Something Rotten in the State of California?

One of my readers (thank you, whoever you are!) recently posted a comment on another ParentingAces article alerting me to a new blog that was just started by a SoCal parent regarding seeding in an upcoming designated doubles tournament. I read the blog then reached out to the parent, Phil Pellouchoud, who has both a son in the 12s and a daughter in the 16s. Phil shared the details of what seems to be a disconnect between published seeding “rules” and actual seeding. He has reached out to the SCTA (Southern California Tennis Association) asking for an explanation but has been greeted with silence so far. I’m hoping someone at SCTA will see this post and either comment publicly here or reach out to Phil privately to clarify exactly what’s going on in these top-level sectional tournaments. You can read Phil’s blog and reader comments at sctacomplaint.blogspot.com, but he has given me permission to reprint his first two posts. If you live in SoCal and have any information to share, please feel free to add your comments below.

Monday, January 25, 2016

There it is.  I said it.  Yup.  the SCTA is either incompetent or corrupt.  Before you dismiss me or what I just said, please allow me the courtesy to explain myself.  Please read the entire post before passing judgement.

Now any parent of a competitive tennis player knows that playing competitive junior tennis requires an immense amount of commitment from the parents.  I’m not some wealthy guy who can pay to have their coach drive / fly them to tournaments.  I’m just a regular guy, with a regular day job, trying to let my kids compete in the sport they love.  I never played tennis as a youth and to be honest, I don’t really care about tennis – my sport is soccer.  I’m just a regular dad who is trying to support their kids.

When I see an injustice like I am about to explain, it irks me.  Not because it’s that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but because I feel like it’s just rotten.  And most importantly, it’s just wrong.  The USTA (and SCTA) are a big monopoly.  There is really no other place to go if your kid wants to play competitive junior tennis in the US.  Yes, there are other leagues, but let’s be real, the USTA / SCTA are a monopoly.  People are probably scared to upset the people there, probably worried about rocking the boat, or retribution — not me.

There are a few big tournaments a year, for which there are big points.  These are called “designated” tournaments – and getting far in them (or even winning them) is prestigious.  It really means something.  One of these tournament is the “71st Annual Fullerton Junior Closed Tournament.”  The doubles draw for boys 12s for this tournament were made as such:

On the number 3 line is my kid, Zachary Pellouchoud (and his doubles partner – Jiaxi Ma).  As you can see, they are unseeded and would wind up facing the #1 seed if they got past their first opponents in the round of 16.  It’s not like I’m scared of the #1 seed, but you will see from the e-mail exchange below, it is simply unfair.

I had so many people text message me about how crazy this was and how it didn’t make any sense and how I should complain to the director.  So, I did (the guy on the CC is the head of the SCTA).

From: Phil Pellouchoud <ppellouchoud@dexcom.com>
Subject: 71st Annual Fullerton Junior Closed Tournament (Level 2)
Date: January 24, 2016 at 8:15:47 PM PST
To: tensmd@aol.com
Cc: TKronemann@scta.usta.com
 
Hi,
 
I am trying to understand how the seeding got done for the Boys 12s doubles in this tournament.
 
I am looking at the doubles ranking for SCTA and I see the following:
 

 
Zachary Pellouchoud and Jiaxi Ma are ranked 2 and 10 respectively yet are unseeded for this tournament.
 
#1 seed Sebastian Gorzny and Dominique Rolland are ranked 6 and 14 respectively
#2 seed Hudson Rivera and Chase Thompson are ranked 4 and 5 respectively
#3 seed Nathan Caoile and Marcus Sebastian 63 and 17 respectively!!!!!!
#4 seed Kai Braver and Rithvik Krishna are ranked 8 and 11 respectively
 
What formula is being used to determine the seeding here?  Because I can’t figure out any rational scheme that would have Zachary and Jiaxi unseeded compared to the existing seeds (especially #3).
-phil
 
I expected that the seeding would be changed.  We’re plenty far from the start of the tournament that no one could legitimately complain they didn’t know the draw had changed and when something is wrong, you should fix it.  I don’t know what kind of math they are using, but I cannot come up with any scheme that would have Zack and Jiaxi unseeded compared to the other seeded pairs.  Sum of doubles rankings, average of doubles rankings, highest ranking, lowest ranking — I just don’t get it.  Maybe they used common core math to come up with the seeding.  I just would like a clear and transparent explanation.
 
Needless to say – here was the director’s response:
 
From: David Nowick <tensmd@aol.com>
Subject: Re: 71st Annual Fullerton Junior Closed Tournament (Level 2)
Date: January 25, 2016 at 2:42:55 PM PST
To: ppellouchoud@Dexcom.com
 
after reviewing with SCTA
seedings will stand as posted
best of luck
dave
 
I responded to his e-mail asking for what the formula is for determining the seedings – no response yet.
 
The USTA/SCTA creates a point system whereby they use it for determining seeding (or at least are supposed to).  The ranking (determined by total points accumulated) also determine who gets invited to special events like Team events (e.g. Tommy Tucker), “Zonals” and “National” tournaments.  When the integrity of the system cannot be trusted, when directors and officials start making things up without explanation or act in a prejudiced manner – the people in the system need to speak out, and that’s what I’m doing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Today is Tuesday, it’s 5:30pm and I see this on the tournament website.

Doubles Draws

All doubles draws are down until Wednesday noon. Please check back after noon for any changes.

They took down the doubles draws – presumably (hopefully) to remake them based on something that makes sense.  I guess I should feel some small sense of victory, but I guess I will withhold judgement until I see the new draws.  I am going to assume that someone at a high enough level saw the lunacy of what they had and decided in the best interest of the integrity of the organization, decided to fix it.  At least I can only hope for that.

I hope they do fix it, don’t get me wrong.  But some part of me feels like even if they did, there would be unfinished business.  Why did it require an ordinary person to complain two levels above the tournament director, only to be rebuffed twice, having to write this blog and attempting to spread it as far as I could to enact change for something that was clearly wrong?  Something is broken in the process.

I learned some information today about how draws are made, and I thought I’d share that with you here.  I was fairly ignorant to what a director goes through when making the draws.  I assumed you selected all the players in the tournament, clicked on a button, the computer would pick the seeds and randomly place the unseeded players, and voila – you’d be done.  Nope – not quite that simple.

First of all, the director has the ability to “Auto Seed” or “Manual Seed.”  To me, the ability to manually seed players seems inherently bad.  I won’t pretend I understand all the reasons why that’s necessary, but I’ll ignore that for the moment because the people I talked to regarding this tournament told me the director used “Auto Seed.”  Auto Seed to me seems pretty straight forward – automatically generate the seeds.  Again, not quite that simple.

The seeding done by the “Tournament Data Manager (TDM)” (the software used to create a tournament and the draws), pops up a window when a tournament director hits the “Auto Seed” button.  The Auto Seed pop up window contains an entry called “Rank List Type.”  This Rank List Type allows the director to specify what basis they want to use as the method for seeding.  There are a bazillion choices here, I am guessing that section ranking, national ranking, and grandmother’s shoe size are all valid choices.

In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I asked the tournament director what “Rank List Type” they used to create the Boys 12s doubles draw for this tournament, because I would like to see what possible ranking scheme would have not had my son and his partner seeded.  I have not heard back yet.  It seems like most of the e-mail exchanges I’ve had with the USTA officials have been polite while extolling the virtues of transparency and openness.  Yet, every time I ask for specific details regarding how things are done, I get the silent treatment.  It’s frustrating.

I hope someone from the USTA is reading this because I want to speak to you directly here.  I’m one of the good guys.  Go look in your complaint department, I’m willing to bet money that you won’t find a single complaint about me or my two kids who play competitive junior tennis.  That is incredibly unusual for someone with two kids competing at the highest level.

I’m on the front lines here.  I’m the one waking up at 4am to prepare to drive from San Diego to LA for an 8am match.  I’m the one whose driving 12 hours round trip to Tucson over Thanksgiving and New Years.  I’m the one whose spending ungodly amounts of money and time supporting my kids tennis addiction.  I’m that guy.  And I’m not asking for a lot in return.  I don’t want special treatment, I don’t want things I don’t deserve.  I just want to be treated fair, and when I don’t think I’m being treated fair, and I present a reasonable argument, I want someone to look into it.  The dismissive attitude of the people involved is hurting the sport.  The attitude has become one of putting up barriers hoping problems go away instead of deciphering which are the fake problems that can be ignored and which are the real problems which should be addressed.  We’re all in this together, put aside your egos and hurt feelings, and let’s build champions!

 

26 thoughts on “Is Something Rotten in the State of California?

  1. At least the 1 & 2 seeds won’t meet until the finals – they got that part right. But all too frequently you’ll see (for example, if 16 players are seeded) the #8 seed play the #15 seed in the round of 16 when the draw should be created such that #8 & #9 play each other.

    And how many kids in that draw above are also registered in another tournament? In my child’s division (same tournament as is referenced in the article) there are multiple players who signed up for this tournament and an overlapping tournament in another county. Why is that allowed? Making matters worse, the draws are out for both tournaments and one person is listed in both draws. How is that person going to be in Orange and San Diego counties at the same time?

    It doesn’t have to be so hard.

    1. Complain in the U.K. See the number 1 or 2 seed every tournament in the 1 st round. Excuse the computer did it. Seems it’s the same the world over.

  2. UPDATE: Trevor Kronemann (Director of Junior Development) and Bruce Hunt (Executive Director) continue to give Phil the run around.

    Here is the evolution of their explanation:

    1) Trevor invokes the “All Factors” Method of Seeding as the reason for why Zack and Jessie were not seeded, but refuses to actually say what factors were used.

    2) Bruce Hunt (Trevor’s Boss) gets back to Phil and tells him that the seeds were done using the Auto Seed feature of TDM. Phil then asks what list was used to come up with the auto seeds (a list always has to be chosen to use for auto seeding).

    3) Tonight, Trevor sent Phil an email apologizing for accidentally using the wrong list when doing the Auto Seeding. However, when you look at the possible lists that the SCTA has to choose from, their is no list that could have possibly generated the original seeding that was generated and the name of the list provided by Trevor does not in fact exist.

    Bruce, Trevor, we need a straight answer as to what occurred here and what you will do to make sure this never happens again.

    Bill Kellogg runs the SCTA and is ultimately responsible. Bill, we need to hear from you.

  3. I am a So. Cal parent. At a Closed Level 1 tournament in Palm Desert a couple of weeks ago, after reviewing the draw, I had a couple of issues about how my daughter’s division had been seeded. According to the seeding list, my daughter should have been seeded in the top 8. However, she was not seeded according to the posted seeding list as it was not followed. As a result she faced a tough draw in which she had to play the #2 seed in the third round and the #5 seed in the quarterfinals. I did not take up the issue before the tournament with anyone. I thought that it was a great opportunity for her to play some tough matches and perhaps have a great tournament. She did. She won both matches and made it to semifinals. After the tournament was over, and to satisfy my own curiosity, I approached Trevor Kronemann and asked him about how the seeding in my daughters division was accomplished. He told me that he used the all factors methods and specifically explained how he utilized the UTR ranking system, as they do in Northern Cal, in addition to other ranking systems, to assure that the tournament achieves a high degree of competitiveness. It was very obvious to me that he had give the issue a lot of thought and I was impressed how he approached the issue given the fact that he is very new to his position. I was very glad that, according to my interpretation of what Trevor explained to me, his main concern was to have the draw result in very competitive matches i.e. were the loosing player wins at least half the games that the winner does. Trevor also explained to me how the UTR ranking system works and how beneficial it is to assure competitive matches. I look forward to the day that So. Cal utilizes UTR rankings to seed all tournaments.
    As a tennis parent, I feel that my daughter has to play tough matches against good opponents in order to improve as a player. I want for those matches to be played locally and do not want to travel and spend money to chase good matches. I welcome SCTA’s way of seeding if it results in competitive matches for the kids at the local level. I wish they could bring back head to head matches.

    P.S. Dave Howick is a great tournament director. He has run the Fullerton Tournament for years super efficiently. No other tournament is run better. To imply anything else is ridiculous.

    1. Thank you for providing another perspective. I think the bigger issue here, like Phil keeps alluding to, is transparency. If SCTA is going to use UTR for seeding – and I absolutely hope they do! – then that should be made clear on the tournament website from the beginning. UTR is still a relatively new “product” and there are still many people out there who don’t know what it is or how it works. I encourage all of my readers to get educated on UTR by reading my articles on the rating system, listening to my podcasts on the subject, and visiting UTR’s website, http://www.universaltennis.com.

  4. I’m not from the Cal section, and cannot speak to the seeding methods (or lack thereof) employed by their officials. However, after reading Mr. Pellouchoud’s post, I believe there are two issues at play. One is the method of seeding and a lack of transparency into that process. The second is an almost universal attitude expressed by USTA officials at all levels.

    From tournament referees to White Plains, it seems that the default response to any inquiry is either to stiff-arm the customer (us) with the threat of the player’s default, or offer some ridiculous pabulum designed to appear friendly and helpful, while really meaning “we don’t care what you think, now shut up and go away” which is how I interpreted the response to Mr. Pellouchoud from Mr. Nowick – below.

    after reviewing with SCTA
    seedings will stand as posted
    best of luck
    dave

    A specific, polite, and reasonable request for clarification on the method, relevant list, and factors used for seeding Mr. Nowick’s event was ignored. Adding “best of luck” doesn’t make it any better, and the lack of any effort to include basic punctuation or capitalization (except for your own organization) is indicative of the level of interest the respondent felt.

    I have had lengthy dialogues with the staff at both the Florida Section, and White Plains. I will say that the Sectional interaction was much more open and they were willing to listen to opposing points of view on most issues, but still resulted in something like “Those are really great points and we will definitely take them under consideration. However, for the time being, we will have to agree to disagree.” The time being always turned out to be forever.

    White Plains, was much less accommodating and would either not respond at all, or would present specious arguments, which when refuted, resulted in more silence. It is as if they believe that lowering themselves to the level of their membership by answering an inquiry, is a gift not an obligation. That being the case, they feel no compunction to actually explain themselves when confronted with opposing points of view. There is no better example of this, than the 2012 Junior Comp program. At every turn the attitude was “Sit down. Shut up. Do what you’re told.”

    I salute Mr. Pellouchoud, and every parent and coach that pushes the USTA to lift the veil, and explain to we unwashed masses, why they know better.

  5. Lisa,

    I have asked Bruce Hunt to post a response on your or Phil’s site.

    Here is the text of what i sent him:

    Bruce,

    We have a big issue with integrity in the junior competition program.

    Please read the following:

    http://sctacomplaint.blogspot.com/

    https://parentingaces.com/is-something-rotten-in-the-state-of-california/

    The second link was emailed out to 100,000 tennis parents throughout the country by Parenting Aces.

    Many if not all of the tennis parents in the SCTA are aware of this issue and are awaiting an answer as to what happened and what you are going to to make sure this never happens again.

    Your lack of of a response and action is speaking volumes to all of us.

    Please post your response directly on either or both of these sites.

  6. Quick question here. Does this tournament count level 2 national points or what level of tournament would this be counted as nationally? This is just my curiosity in comparing sections. Thanks.

  7. Well BRAVO to SCTA Parent, and Lin I can only say YES….YES…and YES……

    Sections are basically a separate and distinct set of Oligarchy’s (ol·i·gar·chy). Each fully independent and function with a very broad set of guidelines.

    We as parents, consumers MEMBERS have let this happen. Only when the injustice is so incredibly obvious (So Cal seeding) do when then stand up and the Sections hide behind committees, and rules while pointing at the OTHER guy in another department. But you all are in the same office??????

    For example, Florida kids to play in a National CLOSED Regional L4 have to be Endorsed by Florida Section (earn Quota slot) Yet UNLESS the event was played in the state they received NO SECTION points….Duhhhhh. SO you have to be Endorsed but get no Section Points….SO Guess how many Florida players took one of the 12 or so Quota slots….. Closed Regional events National L4 became a SOUTHERN event since played in Georgia…..One of many fine examples…

    Draws — There are rumblings in Florida that some kids close to the Section Leaders play Section events and seem to get very favorable draws…..Odds are against this possibility and I did not believe it until I was shown 10 Draws and seems these kids in almost every occasion had very Favorable Draws…Maybe JUST GREAT run of luck????

    So Sad to say this post highlights nothing new….. EXCEPT that someone was pissed enough to act….That’s a GOOD thing….

    In Florida they have made several changes to what events earn points and you are now allowed to enter multiple Divisions and are not FORCED to the lowest Division you enter. Yes in FLORIDA if you entered the 14s/16s for an event you were accepted into the LOWER age before the higher division…… YES aging up almost impossible……..

    These changes were suggested, and asked but never made….UNTIL some very influential kids and parents finally got their voices heard.

    So my point in a LONG winded response is the SECTIONs only RE-act, they don’t innovate or enact change.

    Hope we see a change how the Draws are done to provide more transparency……A WEBCAST is simple and easy…..

  8. I am not quite sure why a Boys 12’s doubles tournament is so important? I think people (especially parents) worry way to much about rankings in the early divisions. If you stress about rankings in the 12’s it does not help in developing the youngsters game. The article right before this backs up my point. If the seedings are wrong your son should win the match, and go forward in the tournament. Over a long career the good and bad draws even out.

  9. I am not really sure why boys 12’s doubles seeding is really that big an issue? Obviously you want the seeding and draws to be fair and transparent, but over the course of a junior career and hopefully beyond, you get good draws and bad draws. The key focus at this age is just playing the team or player you get, and keep developing. I loved Eric Buturac’s story on this site, how much more important developing your game and having fun is, than worrying about rankings at an early age. I have seen so many juniors stunt their games by worrying about short term results and rankings, and not developing their games for the long term.

  10. Former SoCal parent here (recently moved to Switzerland) and I must say, the system here is better than what we have in the US. Here everyone is rated instead of ranked and tournaments are classified based on ratings. When we first moved, my daughter was rated R9 (lowest) because she didn’t have any record. After winning 2 tournaments where she beat girls rated R4, she got bumped up to R4. Having an appropriate rating is good because now I can choose what tournaments to put her in. I typically search for tournaments where there are a lot of R4s and higher and the matches are really competitive. It’s also not age based. So a younger girl ranked R3 is generally better than an R4 and we’ve experienced this first hand when my daughter who’s 12 played a 10 year old girl ranked R3 and she lost 3,3. Now I am putting her in Women’s tournaments where the classification is for R4 and above to test this theory but I’m pretty sure it will hold.

    In SoCal, I’ve seen it too many times where a player plays lower level L5 tournaments to get the points so they can be seeded and guarantee easier matches in bigger tournaments and it becomes a point chase. Adopting UTR is a step in the right direction. I hope this gets more support and becomes the standard.

  11. Jack and Alex – You are both correct that many parents put waaaayy too much stock in early results/ranking, and those early years should be used for building a game that will produce results in the 16s/18s, not shining examples of success in the 12s. However, what I perceive in this discussion is that the behaviour and attitude evidenced in this fairly inconsequential tournament, is systemic throughout all age divisions and levels of event.

    We should shrug about 10s & 12s results/ranking, but If we just shrug about ingrained nepotism, cronyism, opaque processes, and indifferent attitudes in these early tournaments, then we, our kids, and the sport will suffer.

    There have been many threads about the migration of kids away from tennis, and this is one reason. Why would anyone want to fight their way through a system that doesn’t seem to care about them?

  12. The european system is definately way better, traveling accross the us for national tournaments in 12 and 14’s just seems crazy to me, when you could just play up regionally. The ability for european 15 and ups to play high level pro money tournaments, and high level club leagues is huge. They also have alot more futures touraments that you can travel to by train, as opposed to expensive travel in the us. The juniors there who can’t make a living on tour just come to us and get a scholarship, taking from our kids

  13. i recently went to a SoCal high level tournament from out of state. I think the strange seeding may be limited to doubles. if that is true who cares? the singles seeding was pretty much dead on.

  14. A couple of general comments in regards to draws and seedings. If there are any international players invovled in the draw then UTR must be used for seedings.

    The most important point, in regards to draws, is that their needs to be an independent 3rd pary varifying that every USTA draw is random.

    Varification that every draw is random by an independent 3rd party is easily done with today’s technology and the resources of the USTA.

  15. sasamm – You wrote “I think the strange seeding may be limited to doubles. if that is true who cares?” Well… I do, for two reasons:

    First; have we decided that doubles is truly the ugly stepchild to be kicked to the curb by the fair-haired silver-spooned prodigal child, Singles? I happen to be a singles-only player who loves to watch doubles, and appreciates the transferrable skills doubles develops that are an advantage to singles players when integrated into their skillset. Way too many juniors only know how to bang from the baseline, and only approach the net when dragged there kicking and screaming by a mishit or dropshot.

    American tennis has suffered for 20 years, and I cannot see how developing one-dimensional players by saying “who cares about doubles” will be beneficial.

    And second; as I wrote previously, this it a symptom of a deeper attitude from the event organizers, up through all levels of the USTA. They routinely say “who cares” about anything that differs from what they know is best for the rest of us. That must stop.

    Those who tacitly endorse the “who cares” attitude by ignoring things like fixed seeding in doubles, will be the first to rise up in righteous indignation when it happens to their kid in singles. How about requiring the events to be run properly for all categories of play?

    As to the assertion by directors that the computer makes the draw, that’s a blatant lie. I know several tournament directors, and they have confirmed to me that they have the latitude to manually adjust the draw at their discretion. Even if I hadn’t received that first-hand confirmation, I’ve seen way too many events where players from the academy hosting the event receive favorable draws, to believe otherwise.

    Think of any cause that you are passionate about,and there will be people who say “who cares”. Now apply the argument you would make for why they should care, and apply that to this issue.

  16. Well Lin, you always have a powerful response. i think you need to get on the Trump bandwagon. You will do well there.

    Aside from the personal attacks i will get down to business….USTA tournament directors do have the latitude to change draws…that is why i have endorsed a 3rd party to credential all USTA draws as random….i have never endorsed that the computer makes the draw.

    eh…doubles…to make a singles player play doubles because of the singles rating really? In our section Doubles results account for a 30% credit towards a singles ranking. How do NCAA coaches figure this out is my quesiton? does this happen on the ATP? No!

    I can almost guarantee you the USTA would like to say “who cares” in regards to doubles but they cant…..USTA can not sell doubles to anyone…not even you Lin…tell me the last ATP doubles match you looked forward to seeing…are there “buts in the seats” to see that doubles match? is the USTA selling Heinekeins for that doubles match?

    The only doubles that matters is Davis Cup..

    Lets boil this down to junior doubles seeding…..who cares! the best team will win!

  17. sasamm – I reread my post and see no ad hominem attacks. If you perceived otherwise, I assure you I did not intend any personal attack. I spoke in generalities. If I were directing comments at you, I would have named you. At least you didn’t react with a knee-jerk personally directed counter-attack… did you?

    I would agree with you about the 3rd party to create draws. It won’t happen because it would add another layer of cost, and no one will foot the bill.

    Regarding the import of doubles; my stance is directed toward player development, not a visceral need to see doubles played in junior tournaments. Doubles builds skills that singles-only players don’t acquire without very directed coaching, and that is more rare than hen’s teeth.

    Coaches keep students by showing results. If you have a 10/12-year old approach the net, they will get lobbed and passed all day… and lose. The typical parent won’t accept that a more mature game is being created. They will see their little darling lose, and fire the coach.

    By integrating doubles, players are forced to practice transition, overhead, volley, court position, and serve placement, in an environment with shared responsibility and less panic over a loss.

    I don’t like playing doubles, but I absolutely work on the skills that makes for a good doubles player, because it makes me a better singles player. And I do play doubles to hone those skills against players who eat my lunch at doubles, because they internalize those skills better. The only reason I can beat them at singles, is that I a move better, am more fit, and hit harder. Without the physical advantages, I would lose every time.

    As to any doubles that matter; I would say every college match. The first point can be a momentum builder, and the deciding point in the total match. That the ITA and NCAA have reduced it to a coin flip with one set to 6, no-ad doubles is a crime.

    Now to get personal. Sasamm, I like you. Your arguments are well thought out and presented succinctly. That I disagree should not be construed as a personal attack, but only a difference of opinion. If you think my position is wrong, please continue to state your case. I am willing to consider other points of view, and frequently learn that I have been in error. Like most others, I get myopic, and appreciate another set of eyes on the problem.

  18. I think the whole point of this post was that the poster felt that the draw was rigged against their son (funny that as more posts came in, the original poster stayed out). Like Lin said, the point of doubles in youth development is developing net play (although you see 4 back sometimes which is horrible to watch), I also think the extra match play is great for kids (helps learning to close out matches, figure out styles…). My initial point was to not focus on 12’s junior ranking and focus on development of game.

    A big problem with playing singles and doubles is the extra time and expense of staying at a tournament after the player is out of singles, hanging out for 5 hours to play doubles after lost singles match can really be a pain (or staying at out of town tournament after singles loss for doubles). If player is still in main draw, or back draw singles and in doubles, it makes for a very long day. I can remember playing 2 singles and 2 doubles matches in a day, that is a lot of tennis, especially if you have to play again the next day.

    College is a huge factor to have a junior play doubles regularly, if two kids are close in singles, I would take the better doubles player if I was a coach. Many juniors just have zero clue at doubles strategy, and doubles does help singles game.

    Lastly, a very high percentage adults play only doubles in leagues, and we should all hope our kids will continue to play after juniors and college.

  19. Sasamm – Re comment # 23: I’m not advocating doubles as something that will attract a large paying (or even not paying) audience. I’m saying that incorporating the skills that make for great doubles players, will absolutely improve singles players. I’m pushing for policies that will build American tennis, and our juniors are too focused on hitting winners from the baseline, with no plan-B that would get them to the net.

    #24: Fair enough. I don’t require that others agree with me, as long as they can tolerate my not agreeing with them.

    #25: Yea! Common ground.

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