March 6th Official Statement from USTA

Today is March 6th, the day USTA said we would hear something from the work done by the Junior Competition & Sportsmanship Committee last week in Dallas.  I emailed Lew Brewer this morning for an update.  The following is my email to him along with his reply.  I hope it lends clarity about the process. . .

Lisa to Lew:

“Good morning, Lew! From previous communications, it seems like today’s the day for USTA to reveal publicly the changes made to the 2014 schedule during last week’s JCSC meeting. If that’s the case, can you please include me on any releases sent out? Thank you.”

Lew to Lisa:

“Thanks for the email.  Yes, today is the day of days.

I’m sorry that I could not tell you more earlier but we really had to inform our USTA leadership about the proposed changes before we released it to the public.  There are two versions of the changes.  There is a 28-page version which is very detailed and a 6-page version which is more of a layperson’s description.  I assume you will want both.

We want people to know about the proposed changes and the Sections will weigh-in on them at the USTA Annual Meeting.  It is important to note that the proposed changes were approved unanimously by the new Committee.

The process moving forward will be as follows:

We’ll release the information to everyone today.

  • The Sections will discuss within their Junior Competition structure between now and the USTA Annual Meeting (March 16-18, 2013).  All the Sections have been informed that this information is coming so they should be ready to discuss it internally.
  • The USTA Leadership (Section Presidents, Section Delegates, Section Executive Directors) will discuss this on March 16, 2013.  These are the key voting groups in the USTA (except the Section Executive Directors).
  • We will have an open forum for all the attendees during the meeting and the Executive Committee will take a straw vote during the Annual Meeting.  Technically it is not an official vote because of some technical governance issues but we have asked the Sections to treat this as if it were an official vote.
  • Assuming the Sections give it their approval, the USTA Board will vote on the plan at its next meeting in April.
  • In mid-April we will notify folks of the result and announce that bids are open for those who would like to host a 2014 event.
  • I’m confident that the revised plan will be approved.  I expect that people on both sides of the issue will not be completely happy, but the new plan reflects what we heard on our listening tours and through other means while remaining consistent with the principles of the currently approved plan.

The information will be released in the afternoon and I’ll send it to you as soon as it is available.  I’m sure you will get it from someone else before I send it to you.

Thanks.”

As I interpret Lew’s email, the Sections still have to approve the proposal before it goes to a full Board vote in April.  Therefore, it is crucial that we all continue to communicate with our Section Leadership (click here for the list of 2013 Section Presidents with email addresses) and voice our opinions on the changes once we see what comes out later today.  We’ve all worked so diligently on behalf of our junior players – let’s stick with it and see this thing through!

6 Comments on “March 6th Official Statement from USTA”

  1. Lisa, I’ve paid some attention – not a ton – to what’s been going on, and hear all the anti clamor, but I’m still not sure that it’s the 2014 changes are a bad thing. Color me dense? : ) As father of a soon-to-be 10-year-old playing competitively, it sure would help me if someone could lay out not the advantages/disadvantages of the changes, but in a real case of what that would look like. Maybe on one of your radio shows you could run two hypothetical cases of how a junior would move through the tournament/ranking process under the current system and how that junior could/would move through it in the 2014 changes? In other words, almost a timeline (or, really, two): in the current system, what would I be doing with my daughter to advance her, and then, in the 2014 changed system, what would I be doing with my daughter, how would it be different, so I can see a picture of what the changes really mean in practical terms. “Less tournaments…smaller draws…”..I hear all that, but how will it really impact my child and others like her? Does that make sense? It would be good if it were not quite such a one-sided analysis, unless you and others who have been so anti feel that there really are no advantages to the 2014 changes. I’ve read Hannity’s letter, a few of Wayne Bryant’s and your stuff as well, but sometimes the emotion of those pieces clouds the reality for me. I’d love to know that the 2014 changes will hurt my daughter’s opportunities to advance IF that’s true, so I could jump on the bandwagon and help you with the opposition….which I surely would…not that my help might make a hill of beans of difference… But on the other hand, in practical terms, if my daughter’s journey through competing will not really be thwarted by the 2014 changes (though Hannity’s travelling/vaction schedule might be thrown out of whack)…what’s all the ruckus about?

    1. Patrick, I urge you to go back and read the articles AND the comments on them that are listed on the 2014 Jr Comp tab of this blog. Several folks have done just what you’re requesting – they’ve shown how the changes will have a direct impact. I will email you privately with some additional information if you like. Thanks for your interest!

  2. I just received the changes that came out of the Dallas meeting last week. I’m trying to figure out how to post them (they came to me as PDF files) – hang tight!

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