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Adult/Senior Tournaments

Notes from Adult/Senior Competition Chairperson Kathy Langer

October 1, 2012 12:41 PM
A message from Kathy Langer, Chair, Adult/Senior Competition Committee
New York, New York!
 
September in New York could not be more exciting -- not only was the US Open, the biggest Grand Slam tennis tournament in the world, being held, but the USTA Semiannual Meeting and Conference (SAMC) took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan over Labor Day weekend. 1,100 volunteers and their families watched exciting pro matches, sat in on committee meetings, listened to inspirational speaking sessions, and saw outstanding people receiving well-deserved awards. It was fun, educational, and inspiring.
 
The Adult/Senior Competition had two two-hour meetings, along with members sneaking off to one or two matches when we could fit them in. The SAMC is chock full of committee meetings, elective sessions, pro updates, building construction updates at BJKTC, and this year, a fun Broadway Show-themed breakfast which highlighted the work of the 40+ USTA committees with creative Broadway posters.
 
Gold Slam winners were honored at the Awards Breakfast, recognized at the A/S Competition meeting, and they got to watch the US Open in a special suite. The 2011 winners were: Mary Dailey (W35D), Mario Tabares (M45S), Doris Jane Lutz (W80S), Kathy Bennett and Richard Doss (H/W 140), Diane Barker and Matthew Hane (M/S), Carl and John Erikson (F/S), Mary Mentzer (W90S/D) and DoDo Cheney (W90D).
 
At our meetings we decided on the 2013 Men’s, Women’s and Family Category I National Championship schedule. The Category II USTA Tournament schedule was only partially determined since the sections sanction them and because Super Cat IIs have to agree to hold at least a voluntary consolation. Some previous Super Cat IIs may become Cat IIs in 2013.  The schedules should be complete and posted on this web site in December.
 
The A/S Competition Committee’s main objective is to increase participation in its events. Several subcommittees work hard throughout the two-year term on many issues affecting players and Tournament Directors, always keeping that goal in mind.
 
Scheduling and Sanctioning
 
Hours of conference calls are spent discussing bids for the next year’s Cat I schedule.  Evaluations are read, forms redone, players contacted, TDs talked to, all with the goal of putting together the best schedule for all of our age groups on all of the surfaces. Open bidding on all of our tournaments has increased the amount of time spent, but we feel we are providing opportunities for more sites to have the opportunity to host a National Championship and to encourage all to keep trying to improve their event for the players.
 
Category II
 
A meticulous spread sheet has been created to monitor, analyze and help determine which sectional tournaments should get the nod to be our second tier events as both Super Cat II’s and Cat IIs. We’ve taken a few Cat IIs away and have added some new ones. Because Super Cat IIs are supposed to be extra special, the committee voted to add the rule that Super Cat IIs must provide at least a voluntary consolation choice so players are guaranteed at least two matches. No more than 50% of Cat II tournaments can be Super Cat IIs. The schedule will be complete in December.
 
Communications
 
Created a printable schedule, showing all Cat I, Cat II and ITF World Championships each month so players can plan their whole year at a time. They regularly send information to section staffs to help promote the tournaments in their section and to remind their players of other playing opportunities in other sections. They have also produced articles on players for the national Community Tennis Association (CTA) newsletter.
 
Points Per Round
 
We are still working on creating new tables for the expanding intersectional teams that are gaining strength around the country. The committee also awards USTA ranking points to winners in ITF World Individual Championships when held in the US. Plus a new ITF Regional Closed Championship with Canada, that is tentatively planned to take place in April, will receive USTA ranking points, as well as the second highest number if ITF ranking points after World Championship points. Watch this web site for details.
 
Senior International
 
Reported a record number of wins (7 of 10) of Cup Teams in the ITF World Team Championships in Croatia in September. Our National Championships provide the competition for these players to be chosen for these teams.
 
Circuit Chairs
 
Do an outstanding job helping TDs seed their events, monitoring the home pages and giving information to Scheduling and Sanctioning to help in evaluating the tournaments.
 
Diversity and Inclusion
 
This subcommittee has sent lists of opportunities for TDs, and sections to increase their awareness and inclusion of diverse members of the tennis community in all areas, from encouraging players to ask a diverse friend to enter a tournament, to hiring diverse officials, or contacting diverse sponsors.
 
Intersectionals, Family Events; Standards and Procedures, Mixed Doubles
 
All working toward our main goal. This committee’s term ends in December. It’s been a great committee and I have been honored to work with them. In January, a new committee takes over, but the goal is the same. As this committee has done, it will conscientiously strive to monitor and evaluate our tournaments and provide the best experience possible for our competitive players.
 
Have a great time on the courts and if you have a concern, I’ll be around until December 31. Contact me anytime at kathy_langer@yahoo.com.
 

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