Things You Need to Know:
Wheelchair Changes for 2021
New USTA Wheelchair Tennis Ranked Divisions
- Gender-neutral divisions will now replace former men’s and women’s divisions. In 2021, ranked divisions will be offered in the following categories:
- A, B, C, D
- 18 and Under
- Open (Men, Women, Quad - professional divisions)
- Tournament directors may offer other non-ranked divisions such as up/down, senior, etc. However, only the above divisions will receive national ranking points.
New Tournament Level Configuration
- USTA Wheelchair tournaments will now have five levels with different scoring and draw formats allowed at each level. The overall purpose is to provide more opportunity for match play. For more information, please reference this table.
New Rankings Tables
- In order to make rankings more fair and equitable, new points tables have been formulated. ADVERTISEMENT To learn more, click here.
Move Up/Move Down Requirement
- We no longer have a Move Up/Move Down requirement as previously understood. Now, players who finish in the top 5 percent of the D, C, or B divisions will have to move up.
- There is no longer a move down option. If a player wishes to move down, they can submit an appeal to be considered by the National Wheelchair Tennis Committee.
- As there are new divisions, players will be placed on an eligibility list using rankings data and other information from 2019 and 2020. Players must play in divisions for which they are eligible in 2021. Of course, players can always play in a higher division. The initial eligibility list will be published at the beginning of December and players will be able to appeal before the list becomes live in the beginning of January 2021.
Suspension Point System
- Both the Adult and Wheelchair Tennis departments will be utilizing the suspension point system created by the juniors department. Information on this can be found in Friend at Court. (add link to FAC)
National Standings List (NSL)
- Beginning in 2021, the Coed A, Coed B and Coed C Divisions will replace the Men’s, Women’s and Quad A, Men’s and Women’s B, and Men’s C Divisions, and a new Coed D Division will begin. Also beginning in 2021, the Junior 18 Coed Division will replace the Junior Open/A (18 and under) Divisions. Because there are no results in these new Divisions, the first NSLs of the year will be published on or about February 1, 2021 and include the results from January 2020.
- Each month following the initial February 2021 publications, the new NSLs in these divisions will include the additional new month of results. For example, when the June 2021 NSL is published, it will include results from January through the date of publication in June 2021. The first true rolling standings list where new results will be added and old results will be removed will be in February 2022.
- Due to the fact that we will not have a complete NSL until July 31, 2021, tournament directors will be instructed to use the all factors method for seeding.
New Regulation Document
- The USTA Wheelchair Tennis Committee passed a call item and had all the regulations pulled out of Friend at Court so that they could be housed in a Regulation Document. This document allows for easier regulation of all the rules, policies, and procedures of wheelchair tennis tournament play. The benefit is that it will be much easier to make changes if needed in the future.
Significant Rule Changes for 2021
- The Eligible Impairments provisions are being aligned with ITF Wheelchair Regulations.
- Scheduling Guidelines for the new permitted match formats are added to Table 9.
- The minimum rest between matches regulations are changing from a length-of-match based rule to a rule based on match formats.
- The time allowed between sets is being standardized so that all matches that split sets will have a 10-minute rest period at the option of any player. When play is suspended for 10 minutes or more during the 2nd set, there shall be no option for a rest period.
- A wheelchair repair timeout has been created that is consistent with the ITF Wheelchair Regulations.
- Consistent with ITF Wheelchair Regulations, reasonable time will be permitted for a Quad player to re-strap the racquet to their hand.
- The Suspension Point System, previously only used in junior tournaments, will apply to all sanctioned Wheelchair tournaments.
2021 National Tournament Sanctioning Process
- Previously, ITF tournaments were assigned automatic USTA categories that aligned with their ITF designation. This is no longer the case.
- USTA National Levels 1, 2 and 3 must now complete an online tournament application before receiving approval to fill out a sanction form. Click here to access the application.
- USTA Levels 3 (closed), 4 and 5 are sanctioned at the Section or District level and therefore do not have to fill out the National online sanctioning application.