Wow! Maybe it was the enticement of a free entry to a National Championship. Or maybe it was the chance to tell us what you really think about playing in our age group Category I and Category II tournaments. But whatever the reason, over 600 of you responded to our Tournament Play Survey and we learned many things that will be helpful in making decisions that will make your tournament experience the best it can be.
You will find the results of the Survey on this web page, but here is a brief summary of how players answered the questions:
Over 70% of the respondents were men; 59% use the USTA web site to get info on the tournaments; most people play for the competition; the geographic location and date of tournament were neck and neck in how tournaments are chosen; prize money isn’t as important to most players; most people would rather have shorter events; travel expenses and entry fees are very important; over 70% do not like back-to-back tournaments; 60.1% are most likely to chose a tournament that offers consolation and another 20.5% say some of the time.
80.4% are happy with the current maximum number of tournaments (4) that should count toward a national ranking and 91% agree with needing only one National Championship to count toward their ranking. Many people feel we need to market our tournaments better.
Our lucky winners from the drawing: Gregg Hepner, Hemet, CA; Jeanne M. Wilson, Stowe, OH; David Noble, Houston, TX; Carol Levine, Wappingers Falls, NY; and Steve Franklin, Grand Prairie, TX. They will receive a free entry into one Category I National Championship in 2012.
A few other topics were covered in our meetings at the USTA Annual Meeting in Carlsbad, CA in March:
· Tournament Evaluations – Tournament Directors and the Scheduling and Sanctioning subcommittee really want to hear what you think about every Cat I and Cat II that you enter. Every tournament home page has a link for you to answer questions and give comments. You can go back anytime of the year to answer the questions, however, I urge you to answer the questions while the tournament is fresh.
· Points Per Round – Those players who won events in the ITF World Championships in San Diego in February, will receive 1,000 points toward their USTA ranking. The committee is working on establishing point’s tables for intersectional team events that are becoming popular and drawing many top players.
· Category II USTA National Tournaments – A few changes were made in the Super Category II guidelines beginning in 2013. The committee voted that tournaments should offer a ¾ playoff and must offer some form of consolation, which could include a Voluntary sign-up. Most of the Super Cat IIs already offer these options, but some don’t and the wish is to make them all consistent and to provide players with more playing opportunities. Check out this site to see the Super Cat II and Cat II events for 2012 and if you know of a successful tournament in your Section that might be a good candidate for a Cat II, please have them contact the A/S Competitive Department.
· Recovery Rule – The USTA Executive Committee voted to initiate immediately the following rule: In all singles matches in Junior, Adult, Senior, NTRP and Wheelchair divisions in which the match format is two out of three standard sets or more, a rest period of two hours shall be offered by the Referee before the player’s next singles match. This rule does not apply to short sets and matches that play a tiebreak in lieu of a final third set, nor to any match played indoors where the duration of the match is less than 120 minutes.
· The interest in Mixed Doubles is growing and the committee hopes to add several more opportunities for play in 2013.
· Suspension Point System – Seems like everyone doesn’t “play nice”, so the committee will have in place in 2013 a Suspension Point System, similar to the ones the Juniors use. More details after the USTA Semiannual meeting in September.
· ITF Regional Tournament with Canada – We are talking to Canada about an ITF tournament for our players who would like the opportunity to amass more world ranking points and to have some really good competition with our northern neighbor. Details later.
· Tournament Director Webinar – Every other year the Competitive Department has a TD workshop to bring TDs up to speed on the latest TDM issues (their computer software system for running tournaments), chances for new sites to learn from others, etc. On the odd year (this year) we are offering a Webinar which will cover many of the same areas but won’t involve travel. This is another way we are helping make your tournament experience better.
· Open Bidding – July 1 is the deadline for any bids for our Category I National Championships. Any USTA Organizational member may apply. If you know of a great site, in an inviting location, with a group of enthusiastic volunteers, and potential sponsors, please encourage them to submit a bid. Look on this web site for information.
As always, we appreciate your participation in our wonderful tournaments and we encourage you to invite your friends who haven’t played in a national event (remember, you only have to be the right age to “go on the tour”!)
Please feel free to contact me or anyone on the Adult/Senior Competition Committee, whose names are listed on this site.
See you on the courts! firstname.lastname@example.org