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Frequently Asked Questions-Player Services

USTA Training Center-Headquarters (Boca Raton, Florida)

How do I get invited to the USTA Training Center, Headquarters in Boca Raton?

The USTA Training Center-Headquarters runs a full-time boarding academy. Players must apply and be selected to train at that location. Acceptance is very limited and is based on strong national and international results at major events.

What is the daily program at the USTA Training Center-Headquarters in Boca Raton?

The USTA Training Center - Headquarters currently offers two types of programs, which includes full-time residency or a day program for players. The full-time program requires players who are extremely strong players to live and train every day at the center. The day program is for players who live close to the USTA Training Center and have been selected to participate in the program with the full-time resident players.

How can players train at the USTA Training Center-Headquarters?

Players for both of the above mentioned programs must apply to be accepted into either of these programs. The application and overview of the program is available on the USTA website at: /About-USTA/Training-Centers/TrainingCenter/

USTA Training Center – West (Carson, CA)

What is the daily program at the USTA Training Center-West?

The USTA Training Center - West currently offers two types of programs for aspiring young players during the school year. There is a day-time program which allows players who are not attending traditional school to train during the day and an opportunity to work out with our strength and conditioning staff after their tennis workouts. In addition, we offer an afterschool program which runs from 4 pm -7 pm each day and is for those kids who attend traditional school. This dual program allows for players who are at various stages of age and development to meet their specific needs while training at our center. During the summer time, the program is combined into one program but coordinated to optimize court time and coaching opportunities.

How can players who do not live by the training center train at the USTA Training Center-West?

Players who are highly nationally ranked (players ranked in the top 10 in the nation) and do not live near the training center are always welcomed to train at the USTA Training Center-West. Players should contact the Director of the USTA Training Center or the Lead National Coach at the training center to find out when they can come for training. However this is at the player’s expense. Also, depending on the ability and age of the player, and the number of coaches at the center during a particular week, we will determine if a player can train at our center.

How can players who live in Southern California get invited to train at the USTA Training Center-West?

Players are selected into either of the programs mentioned above based on results and performance in tournaments, hard work, and the ability to listen to feedback and to implement changes. Players who are highly ranked and wish to be involved in the program need to contact the Director of the USTA Training Center or the Lead National Coach. Once selected into the program, players are expected to take what they learn and put it into practice on a daily basis. Players will do a variety of activities which include drilling and match play as well on court and off court conditioning. Players are continually tested physically and players are expected to improve their conditioning from previous tests. Parents are expected to come to mandatory parent seminars.

Are the courts open to the public?

No the courts are not open to the public. Juniors who are highly ranked can set up times to use the courts (clay and hard) to play matches with other junior players. Usually the best time to be able to use the courts is on weekends. All players who use the courts must sign a waiver to play on the courts at the USTA Training Center-West. Players can not just "show-up" and use the courts.

How does the USTA interact with the player’s Personal Coaches?

The goal of the USTA is to develop world-class American players and we do not care who coaches a player as long as we continue to develop strong American players. The USTA staff is sometimes the primary coach for a player and at other times the secondary coach. We understand that some players are coached primarily by another coach and, therefore, it is extremely important that players let us know who their primary coach is so that we can have regular communication. It is the parent’s responsibility to let all coaches involved in the child’s development know that they are receiving input from various coaches so we can all work together to assist the player reach his/her highest level. In addition, personal coaches are always welcome to come to the training center or to call any of our coaches regarding the player’s development.

Wild Cards

Who decides which players are given wild cards?Wild Cards are different depending on the event and a lot of people become confused by the process. Remember that a wild card is "wild", thus no one deserves or is guaranteed a wild card. That being said, there are different procedures for requesting wild cards:

  1. ATP/WTA Events

    These events are decided by the tournament director. Players should contact the tournament director directly.

  2. USTA Pro Circuit Events

    These events are split between the USTA and the tournament director. The USTA has a certain number of wild cards in which players can request with the wild card request form and the local tournament wild cards are decided by the tournament director. Players must apply online at the website listed below.

  3. ITF Junior Events in the US

    These events are also split between the USTA and the tournament director. The USTA has a certain number of wild cards in which players can request with the wild card request form and the local tournament wild cards are decided by the tournament director. Players must apply online at the website listed below.

  4. ITF Junior Events outside the U.S.

    These events are decided by the tournament director.

  5. USTA National Championships

    These events are decided by a committee composed of the USTA Director of Junior Tennis, USTA National Coach, Tournament Director, Youth Competition and Training Committee Chair and Junior Ranking Chair. Players must apply online at the website listed below.

  6. USTA National Schedule events.

These events wild cards are decided by the tournament director.

For more information about wild cards procedures, go to:

Pro Circuit Events

How do you participate in Pro Circuit events?

The USTA has a lot of information about the how the Pro Circuit events work and how to get started: Just go to:

/Pro-Tennis/Pro-Circuit/USTAProCircuit/

Then click player information on the right hand side of your screen.

Do I need an IPIN to sign-up for USTA Pro Circuit events?

Yes you need an IPIN for all ITF sanctioned events, which includes Men’s 10K and 15K events and Women’s 10K, 25K, 50K, and 75K. The ITF governs all play for women’s events below the International WTA level (Currently 220K). On the Men’s side, the ATP governs all play for events that are 35K or greater.

Grants

Does USTA Player Development provide grants to deserving players?

USTA Player Development offers four types of grants for players:  Grand Slam Grants, Excellence Grants, Player Development Grants, and Collegiate Team Grants.  Grand Slam Grants are awarded to players who get into the main draw of a junior Grand Slam; Excellence Grants are awarded to players who meet the criteria established for their birth year, and the national coaching staff awards Player Development Grants  to players they feel are deserving based on performance and potential.  Collegiate Team Grants are awarded during the summer to assist the top American Collegiate players in playing Pro Circuit Events; these grants are provided through the Collegiate Competition Department.  Multicultural Grants are also provided to players through the USTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Department.  To find out more, please go to: /About-USTA/Player Development/Player-Services/110792 Player Grants/ 

For Criteria for Collegiate Team Grants, please visit the USTA College Tennis Website: http://www.usta.com/collegetennis

What are the criteria for providing grants?

Grand Slam Grants are awarded to Main Draw Participants in the Australian, French and Wimbledon Junior Championships

Excellence Grants are awarded to players who meet the established criteria for a player birth year.

Player Development Grants are awarded by the Head of Men’s and Women’s Tennis to players who are showing success at USTA National Championships, ITF Grade A and Grade 1 events, as well as professional events.  These grants are to help assist with the cost of travel to tournaments and other training service costs. 

Do I have to apply for these grants?

Players must apply for Excellence Grants, but players do not have to apply for Grand Slam Grants or Player Development Grants.  Grand Slam Grants are awarded once the event is completed. Grant Letters are sent by the Player Services department to all the players who participated in the three Grand Slam not held in the US.  The Head of Men’s Tennis and the Head of Women’s Tennis award Player Development Grants.  None of these grants are based on need, but rather on performance and/or an assessment of potential.  Once the players have been selected by the coaching department the Player Service Department administers these granst to the players.

I received a grant and signed the grant letter, but I have not received any money. How come?

Once a player receives a grant the player does not receive a check for the entire amount.  The USTA requires players to submit a Tournament and/or Service Grant request form.  The tournaments which are eligible and the amounts that a player is reimbursed is listed on the USTA grant procedurers document

To find out more information go to:

/About-USTA/Player-Development/Player-Services/110792_Player_Grants/

How long will it take to receive the check once I have submitted the request form?

Once a player submits their request form then it will take about 3-4 weeks to receive your money.

I heard that the USTA has multicultural grants for players. How do I apply for one of those grants.

Players need to complete the multicultural grant application.  These grant applications are usually available in mid October of each year and are due back to a player’s sectional office by mid November.

For more information go to: /About-USTA/USTA-Awards/AwardsandGrants/

USTA Training Camps

How come my son/daughter was not invited to the upcoming training camp? At the:

National camps at USTA Training Centers: Players are selected by the USTA National Coach in charge of the camp. Players are selected based on ranking, tournament performance and work ethic. Players selected may invite their Personal Coaches to attend these camps.

National camps at USTA Certified Regional Training Centers: Players are selected by the USTA National Coach in charge of the camp. Players are selected based on ranking, tournament performance and work ethic. Players selected may invite their Personal Coaches to attend these camps.

Regional camps at USTA Certified Regional Training Centers: Players are selected by the staff of the department of talent ID and identification with assistance for staff at the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers. Players are selected from a region around the regional training center. Players are chosen based on ranking, tournament performance, coach recommendation and work ethic. Players selected may invite their Personal Coaches to attend these camps.

ITF Tournaments

How do I enter an ITF Tournament?

First, all entries are faxed to our Boca Raton office as opposed to the tournament director. Second, all players competing in the 18 and under event must have an IPIN in order to enter ITF events. Lastly, the players must submit a copy of their passport to the player services department, as well as be in good standing with the USTA.

How do I get an IPIN?

You will need to apply online at: http://www.itftennis.com/ipin/

Why do some USTA Tournaments follow ITF Rules?

The International Tennis Federation is the governing body of tennis all over the world. The tournaments in the United States that are ITF events are governed by the ITF and their rules. The ITF rules are the similar to the rules that are followed at the pro level events and therefore they are designed to prepare a player for competing at those events. Some of the major rules that are different than USTA rules that you should be aware of are Age Eligibility, Sign-In Requirements, Clothing Requirements and Selection Process for events.

Age Eligibility: Age Eligibility for ITF events is based on year of birth as opposed to month of birth. Therefore someone turning 17 in May must start playing the 18 and under division in January. In order to play in ITF tournaments, a player must have turned 13 years old prior to the start of the tournament.

Sign-In Requirements: All players, except wild cards with the permission of the referee, are required to sign-in for the ITF Tournament. Players are required to bring a photo ID, preferably a passport. Parents, coaches, friends, etc., are not allowed to sign-in for the player.

Clothing Requirements: ITF tournaments have strict rules regarding clothing and there are limits on the size of logos allowed for these events. Also Doubles Teams must wear similar colors when playing. So if one player is wearing green shorts, then both players must wear green shorts.

Officiating: ITF rules specify that the chair umpire must call all the lines. Obviously, this is extremely difficult for a chair umpires and possibly the player. So be aware of this and get into a positive state of mind no matter the call being made.

Selection Process: Entry for selection into ITF tournaments is based strictly on ITF ranking (Except the ITF Easter Bowl-please see website for that selection process). Once all ITF rankings are exhausted, then national rankings will be considered for player selections.

To look up the complete list of rules go to: http://www.itftennis.com/juniors/

I want to play an ITF tournament outside of the United States but do I have to have an ITF Ranking?

You must have an ITF ranking in order to play outside of the North American Region. If you are American you can play without an ITF ranking in the United States, Canada or Mexico. However if you do not have an ITF Ranking then you are less likely to get into higher level ITF events.

What are the different levels of ITF events?

Grade A are the highest level events, which include the Grand Slam Junior events. Then the tournaments are leveled from Grade 1-5, with Level 1 be the strongest field of competitors. If you are just getting started then you should start by competing in Level 4 and 5 events.

How do I find out if I was accepted into the tournament?

ITF tournaments provide acceptance lists which notify players if they are in the Main Draw, Qualifying or an alternate. Players should check the USTA, ITF or tournament website regarding the acceptance list. Players should constantly check the lists to see if there status has changed. Players including alternates should withdrawal if at any time they decide they are no longer going to attend the event.

What were the cut offs for last years tournaments?

The cutoffs refer to the last player’s ranking that was accepted into the tournament. The ITF updates the previous year’s tournament cut-offs on its website. To see those cutoffs, go to:

What is a Special Exempt and how does it work?

In ITF events, there are spots reserved for what is called Special Exempts (SE). Special Exempts are awarded by the tournament director and referee based on performing well in the prior week’s ITF event. The Special Exempt is given to a player who is in qualifying and is not able to make the start of qualifying. Therefore, there are specific rules on who can be awarded the special exempt: 1) The player must request the SE; 2) The player must be playing at the previous weeks event on the start of the qualifying on the following weeks event, and 3) The player must have entered the tournament in the following week.

 
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