14 Comments

  1. I am not conversant on all the technical and staffing requirements of televising a sports event, but I cannot see how a 3-1/2 hour timeline will mitigate the logistics of covering multiple courts simultaneously. Not only would they need cameras on up to six courts, but the tech and production staff to switch between them as needed, as well as announcers capable of covering them. Other sports work for TV because they only have one field of play to cover. Sure, they use multiple cameras for football, but they also drive the revenue to justify it. Tennis will not. In the realm of advertising dollars, the best viewed college tennis event cannot compete with an average SEC, ACC, PAC-12, Big 10, & Big 12 football game. Or are they going to only televise the #1 and 2 positions? If so, wouldn't that meet the 3-1/2 hour window anyway? As long as they are played simultaneously I cannot see many matches exceeding that timeline.

    • Most upset about doubles being shortened. It's the most fun to watch and I just don't understand the reasoning.

  2. Sec and Big 10 etc..., they all have their tv networks begging for content, in the next 24 hrs. Sec network is showing repeats of 5 Women's basketball games, 2 live women's games and SEC Now for 9 Hrs and Paul Finebaum Show for 3 hrs. Plus they have 2 more stations without any content being shown. This crap of not enough outlets on tv is pure BS by the schools and networks. I'm in Fayetteville and quite frankly have about 5% interest in watching DI College tennis. The doubles play is pathetic and is basically meaningless, singles play is good. The only thing I want is for each match to be played to its conclusion and count. Doubles can be an 8 game pro set. Singles 2 out 3 sets, 10 point match tiebreak for the 3rd set. regular scoring. Schedule the doubles to start an hour before the televised program, will give the announcers something to start with at the beginning of their broadcast. Until these changes are made, I'm just not that interested.

  3. From Coach Chuck Kriese: I realize that in order to have relevance with statements we make using this media, we should be brief; however, it is very hard to be short of words on this topic. There is way too much on-the-line. We all should agree that we are more fortunate than we could ever express for what the great game of tennis has given to us. Thankfully, (on Feb. 10, 2015) the NCAA cabinet has ‘Once-again’ upheld the traditions and sanctity of our sport with their reluctance to rubber-stamp an ITA directive. As college tennis is the bedrock foundation for tennis in America, we should all be thanking our lucky-stars that a disaster has been prevented ‘Yet-Again’. The continuous attempts by ITA/USTA to change the very fabric of the game we love is hopefully an honest, ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to the temporary loss of tennis popularity in Our Country. However, there is a fear that there are other reasons for the attempt to dismantle our beautiful method of score-keeping. Hopefully, this is a wrong-assumption. So much risk is being taken for so little potential payoff. The depth, intrigue and drama added to our game because of its scoring gives multiple dimensions that other sports could only hope for. The attempt to change it to a more simplistic and common form is an impacting and permanent mistake. To Dumb-down something we love is always wrong on many, many fronts. First and foremost, each one of us needs to understand that we have a great responsibility and duty to simply ‘Honor-the-Game’ which has given so much to each of us and our loved ones. Dismantling the fabric and the depth of anything just to enhance ‘popularity’ will never sustain interest nor instill those things that ‘inspire’ us for any length of time. Chuck Kriese

  4. And here is the ITA response....going completely against what the NCAA decided...this is the USTA at its best (i mean worst) I mean the ITA...im confused...bottom line...the ITA needs to leave collegiate tennis and the entire tennis community needs to inform the ITA that their conduct is not appreciated. Wow David Benjamin....how can you sign off on such a document? Dear Coach, As you may already know, the NCAA Division I Cabinet, on its conference call this past Tuesday afternoon (2/9), took no action on the Tennis Committee's format request for the 2015 NCAA Division I Championships, but chose to refer this issue to the appropriate championships entity in the new Division I governance structure for consideration later this Spring. Subsequently, the ITA Division I Operating Committee met earlier today (2/11) via teleconference to clarify the dual meet policy for the winter/spring team season, and discuss the best way for college tennis to move forward. After a great amount of open discussion, the ITA Operating Committee reaffirmed its mandate (by a vote of 25-0-5) that the new ITA Format be played throughout the team season in all non-conference dual matches. In the same vote, the Committee agreed that NCAA Conferences should be strongly encouraged to play this new format in conference matches, and also voted to propose to the NCAA Tennis Committee that it support this format in its recommendation to the incoming NCAA Division I Council for implementation in the 2016 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships. The ITA Operating Committee felt it is very important for the ITA to take a leadership role in adopting a format that enhances the student-athlete experience, is more fan-friendly, is more exciting and makes college tennis more relevant. Accordingly, the team format detailed below will continue to serve as the mandatory ITA format for all non-conference dual matches unless both coaches agree to do otherwise: The ITA shortened format: No-ad scoring in singles and doubles. Three doubles matches played, each match one set to 6, with a tie-break at 6-all. Followed (after a 5 minute intermission) by six singles matches, each match 2 out of 3 sets, with tie-breaks at 6-all. Singles matches must be played to completion (ITA Rule II.A.4 Matches played to completion). No warm-up with opponents (in doubles and in singles). As with all ITA rules, NCAA Conference rules supersede and therefore any NCAA Conference can decide to do otherwise. We wish you the best of luck with your season. Best always, David A Benjamin Executive Director Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA)

  5. As stated earlier, DI tennis is awful under these playing formats and basically you have lost a person who used to actually bring kids and students to matches but cannot watch the destruction of what little was left in college tennis of our sport. Its like a paint by numbers painting being compared to a Vincent Van Gogh painting. No comparison to the sport I've loved for over 45 years now. To me DI tennis is worthless and not worth my time as long as David Benjamin and the ITA is involved.

  6. All I can say is WOW! I had no opinion of No-Ad because I have never played Tennis BUT felt that it must not be good for development if so many of the primary stakeholders are against it. Why stand on an Island? Well rewind to fall when Florida played its State Doubles with short sets/No-Ad/3rd set Tie break, in lieu of 3rd set. This is a fun event for the kids until you get to the SF, they get serious. I saw No-Ad take aggressive Finishers and mute their ability to play. After one missed Poach/Volley into the Net @ Deuce, they just stop playing. The doubles than became this Cross Court Rally ball game that is quite boring and un-Athletic. Professional players with established games or Seniors (minimize match time) I understand BUT Juniors/College kids are still learning, and improving???? Seems to me No-Ad stunts the players growth. Maybe I'm wrong but that is what I saw, teams that played traditional formations, go to at the Baseline all because of No-Ad. I see DBLS helping players discover the net play as a necessary and a good thing, no sharks, no boogeymen, or black hole gonna swallow you at the net. Fun way to learn, but No-Ad removes that.

  7. I couldn't agree more with Coach Chuck Kriese. Having just traveled across the country to watch my daughter play in two weekend matches, I can tell you firsthand that is was painful (and expensive) to watch this abomination (or "dumbing down") of what was supposed to be tennis. In doubles, ALL 3 matches were over in less than twenty minutes (Job well done ITA, as it was certainly more relevant and more fan friendly), NOT! Six games/no-ad is the absolute worst. It makes a complete sham of what is supposed to be doubles, but is now no real test of anything more than (as SeminoleG says) a quick and painful (for the real fans) battle of who is not going to miss... As many have mentioned, this attempt to make college tennis "more relevant" is turning people away from it. Is that observation not being taken into consideration? Thankfully the NCAA has decided to play the season ending championships under the previous rules. I can only hope that the SEC, ACC, PAC-12, Big 10, & Big 12 will make the right decision and revert back immediately, so that the true fans of tennis can enjoy it again.

  8. It's not solely the matter of making tennis more relevant, but most importantly, and what is not being mentioned, is the fact that what it is a matter of is keeping tennis a collegiate sport period. Tennis as a sport is in zero position to make demands of anything, anywhere. The NCAA does not care about the sport. Many universities care only because it costs the athletic departments money and resources to field a team or teams. Many top tier division 1 colleges throughout the past several years have eliminated one or both programs, in most cases men's teams being targeted. Some universities will keep the women's team to help the university remain title 9 compliant. The athletic directors have given these coaches an opportunity to try to figure this stuff out and prove that there is a relevance to the sport at the university. Everyone had better be very careful how they tread on this issue because in the very near future, your child's college tennis experience will be playing club tennis or for the school's USTA tennis on campus team. None of us that have played all of the levels of the sport like the "integrity" of the sport being messed with, but unfortunately the insignificance of tennis in the US has left us with not much of a choice.

  9. BRAVO Coach Chuck Kriese!! BRAVO Wayne Bryan (his last reaction to all this is hitting the nail on the head!). BRAVO Zoo Tennis! Also BRAVO to all other above comment writers!! All of us tennis-lovers seem to agree over and over again that the ITA enforced rule changes are hurting our sport, its athletes and its supporters . But let us go back to the question WHY? What is the problem??? Why do matches need to be shorter? Why do we need to change the rules of the game? Is it a problem with college tennis or is there a bigger college sports problem? Are we trying to anticipate on what we think is coming? If it is indeed a revenue problem other college sports are no doubt affected too. Are other college sports changing their rules? Is changing the rules of the sport a solution? As a tennis mom of three, being involved in USTA and DI college tennis for many years, I do not understand why we need these drastic changes. Is it possible that the NCAA, ITA and USTA cannot agree about a 'solution' because they cannot agree on 'the problem'?

  10. As a former collegiate player in the SEC and father to a highly ranked junior player, I am not disputing that traditional scoring is preferable. All of you are missing the point however. College athletics is a business and tennis is not fitting into the existing business model. This means that the powers-to-be are forced to examine different options. College tennis with its 4 hour 30 minute matches is not close to being fan friendly. How many of you stayed at the Sweet 16 match in 2013 b/w Kentucky and Duke that finished at 1am because the mens doubles took an intolerable 95 minutes to play? I did but I was about the only one who didn't have a kid playing in it. In my last conversation with USC Coach, Peter Smith, he told me his own wife couldn't watch the final 90 minutes of an incredible match vs Baylor last year because there was too much else going on in their young family's life that day. Is college tennis ever going to be a "TV sport"? Probably not, but that doesn't mean that the sport can't attract more fans. The single biggest way you make that happen is to make the product more appealing to the masses. I understand the traditionalists believe this to be heresy and if there were more Coach Krieses and Bryans in the world who have dedicated their lives to promoting the game, such changes may not be necessary. But there aren't. I am scared out of my mind that my 9th grade son, who is well on his way to playing high level Division 1 tennis, won't even have the opportunity to play college tennis because it may be gone. Thus, if that means that no-ad tennis saves some programs by putting fans in the seats, then I will support it (for the record, doubles should be an 8 game pro set and the clinch-clinch is a joke).

  11. ParentingAces » Does the Answer Lie in the Big East?

  12. JMWills you are dead wrong...NCAA tennis can, should and will be a TV relevant sport. First step, get the ITA out of the process. Let the decision making take place among the college coaches. The only reason the ITA is involved in this process is because the USTA never wants to lose one piece of the pie when it comes to controlling tennis in the United States. The USTA knows that tennis is a viable, marketable and TV ready product and they will never voluntarily lose control of any viable market. Therefore we have the ITA to influence NCAA tennis. Take a look at Lisa's most recent post and you will find NCAA coaches, irregardless of sport, are creative, entrepreneurial, smart and want to promote their sport. Let the NCAA coaches guide this process and be creative without any influence from the ITA.

  13. Sol..respect your opinion but disagree...the answer is making American tennis significant. We can look at other rule changes in other sports ie..three pointers in the NBA and NCAA basketball, overtime rules in NCAA football; aluminum bats in NCAA baseball..but these rule changes never, never, never made the sport significant. The sports were already significant and the rule changes fine tuned the sport. Simply barking up the wrong tree with rule changes to make NCAA tennis significant....the sport has to be significant itself which tennis is! It is not being promoted correctly.

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