Let’s Take It A Step Further

Today’s Guest Post is from a parent in the Southern California section . . .

Kudos to the USTA Junior Competition Committee for changing back to 192 draws and direct acceptance into the 2015 summer Clay and Hardcourt National Championship tournaments. Now, the medium level and aspiring players from strong sections need to be allowed back into the national championships.

The quota selection system needs to be revisited and tweaked. The way it is now is not consistent and flies in face of the USTA’s goal of having the best players play the best players and players playing at their appropriate level.

For Winter Nationals, quotas currently do not factor in that more West coast players will want to attend while more Eastern and Southern players will choose to play Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl. They should. For a player ranked over 1000 Nationally from a larger section to get into the Winter Nationals in B18 while someone ranked Nationally in the 200’s or 300’s cannot because their section is strong or more proximate to the tournament site doesn’t fit in with USTA’s goal.

There are a few simple options to make the quota/National ranking balance more fair:

1) Revert back to the 1/2 quotas and half NSL selection criteria after wild cards and championship list (direct acceptance)

2)Compromise: Reduce the quota ratio to include some NSL spots i.e. 60-75% quota /40-25% NSL

3) Require the section’s quota players to have a minimum National ranking i.e. 500 or some other reasonable minimum ranking per age division (12s could be lower)

4) For Clays and Hardcourts have the selection criteria include 64 NSL spots that were the qualies spots in 2014. I heard that was being considered.

Looking forward . . .

Mike Gealer

6 thoughts on “Let’s Take It A Step Further

  1. I just don’t understand how some of these players make it into some of these tournaments. My daughter was accepted into the main draw of the Orange Bowl 14s. In the first round (128) she drew a #9 seed. She lost an incredible match – 4-6,6-4,6-7(5-7). OK, a tough draw – what are you gonna do except get better?

    In the first round of consolation she played a girl from somewhere in the Caribbean and served up a double-bagel in about 25 minutes. How this girl got into the Orange Bowl boggles my mind.

    There are way too many blow-outs in some of these big tournaments. The goal should be to match the best against the best. Eliminate the section quotas and go off the national rankings list.

  2. Not to Hi Jack but just left the Jr Orangebowl. This is important and needs correction. The changes are a start to improving the Jr tennis experience. These would make it ALMOST right
    BUT I’m fully on board with more officials or none of this matters!!!!! Epic Cheating, Epic

  3. Seminole, I agree with you that cheating must be stopped. It is happening even in practice matches where my kid trains. He comes home and says things like I won but he cheated me bad! It is outrageous. Things are so bad that now any time I see a three set match I assume there was cheating, and assume cheater won. I’ve noticed that in later stages of high level tournaments you see “unexpected” wins and that might be because there was an official and better kid actually won!

  4. Kudos Lisa..I think you were a driving force in regards to the USTA changing their mind which rarely happens. I will still stand by my premise that this issue doesnt matter in regards to collegiate tennis recruiting. College coaches pay attention to Tennis Recruiting Network and even more to the Universal Tennis Rankings systems. Tennis Recruiting Network is limited to US players whereas the Universal Tennis Ranking system accounts for international play as well. More and more. the Universal Tennis Ranking system trumps everything in regards to NCAA tennis.

    Lisa Stone deserves a huge amount of accolades for the USTA to change the format in such a short amount of time. Again, thank you Lisa for your service!

    1. Sasamm, you’re very sweet, but this site is a collaborative effort. Without the thoughtful insights from all of you, it’s just one mom’s opinion, and we all know what that’s worth! So, thanks to all of you who take the time to read, share, and comment on the various topics posted on ParentingAces. Together, we are helping junior tennis get better.

  5. Last observations of OB was four years ago in the 14’s and I couldn’t stand all the folks from other countries coaching their kids out loud or screaming in their own languages. I think they also forget that Americans speak more than one language and know what they are saying…

    Overall, the officials were the worst. Totally disregarded kids cheating, yelling, throwing their racquets, even more so than national tournaments. It just wasn’t worth the trip again with disinterested officials. Glad to see that I complained to the USTA and nothing changed. Yes, I am being sarcastic with my last line.

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