September 21, 2020
With health and safety our top priority, competitive play in the Eastern section has resumed. Please check out our Return to Play hub for the latest updates on start dates, format changes and more. Updates regarding cancellations will continue to be posted on this page.
The health and safety of our tennis community is of the utmost importance. All USTA Eastern updates and policies regarding COVID-19 will be posted here. Please continue to check this page and our Facebook page for the latest information. USTA National COVID-19 updates are available here.
The USTA, USPTA, PTR, TIA, ITA, industry media partners and other stakeholders have created a centralized informational hub as our industry responds to the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 virus. ADVERTISEMENT Learn more and see what financial resources may be available to you.
USTA Facility Recovery Grant (Application is now LIVE)
Reopening Resource: Release & Waiver (Participant Content) Template
Reopening Resource: General Facility Use Release & Waiver Template
Please note: the information presented and templates provided are not intended as legal advice for your organizations. Please check with the laws governing your location and consult with counsel.
USTA Statement on Year-End NTRP Rankings
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all USTA programming was suspended for a significant part of the year and play has resumed only sporadically, and not in all Sections and Districts. In 2020, 80% of all USTA League Championships (including 100% of USTA League National Championships) have been canceled. These cancellations and other Covid-related prohibitions have resulted in 62% fewer USTA League matches played through August 3, 2020 as compared with August 3, 2019, and have had additional impacts on access to tennis and participation in other USTA programs, including NTRP Tournaments. While the NTRP system remains sound, these facts coupled with thorough deliberation have led the USTA to make the difficult decision not to run or publish year-end NTRP ratings for 2020. However, matches played will continue to calculate toward a player’s rating and will be used in the 2021 year-end rating calculation and publication. Click here for more information.
USTA Statement on Event Cancellations
Due to the situation surrounding COVID-19, the USTA has canceled all National junior events through Oct. 12, as well as all adult Category 1 events, comprising the Adult, Open, Family, and Age divisions, through the end of 2020.
The decision to cancel was made to ensure the health and safety of all those involved as the interstate travel required for these tournaments carries an increased risk. In addition, the different regulations, restrictions and quarantine periods, dependent upon the localities involved, both at the site of the event and in the participants’ home states were considered.
The safety of the actual tennis being played did not factor into the decision to cancel the events. In order to encourage local play opportunities that do not require extensive travel, junior and adult players will now be able to earn national rankings points at select Section-level events.
USTA Statement on Event Cancellations
Due to the situation surrounding COVID-19, the USTA has canceled a number of National level events scheduled to be held in August. The decision to cancel was made with guidance from the USTA Medical Advisory Group, to ensure the health and safety of all those involved with these tournaments. As these events were larger in scale and size, there was an inherent risk associated with hosting large numbers of individuals at one site, at one time, and would make risk mitigation difficult. Without a controlled environment that includes a comprehensive and contained lodging, transportation, food and beverage, and medical testing program in place, proper risk mitigation would not be possible—and in the case of these events, this type of environment would logistically and financially be incredibly difficult to create. In addition, as these are National level events, many of those competing would have to travel interstate, bringing into play different regulations, restrictions and quarantine periods, dependent upon the localities involved, both at the site of the event and in the participants’ home states. The uncertainty surrounding the number of COVID-19 cases in the states of the host sites was also considered.
The safety of the actual tennis being played was not a concern of the USTA Medical Advisory Group, and did not factor into the decision to cancel the events. The USTA has previously issued a set of recommendations as to how tennis can be played in a safe manner, which can be found HERE for players and HERE for facilities.
The following events have been canceled:
- USTA National Championships
- Boys’ 18s
- Aug. 7-15 – USTA National Campus (Orlando, Fla.)
- Girls’ 18s
- Aug. 7-15 – George Barnes Family Tennis Center (San Diego)
- Boys’ 16s
- Aug. 7-15 – Rome Tennis Center at Berry College (Rome, Ga.)
- Girls’ 16s
- Aug. 7-15 – Mobile Tennis Center (Mobile, Ala.)
- Boys’ 18s
- USTA National Doubles Championships
- Boys’ and Girls’ 18s – 12s
- Aug. 28-30 – USTA National Campus (Orlando, Fla.)
- Boys’ and Girls’ 18s – 12s
- Men's 65 USTA National Indoor Championships
- Aug. 10-15 – LifeTime Eden Prairie Athletic (Eden Prairie, Minn.)
- Men's and Women's Open USTA National Grass Court Championships
- Aug. 10-16 – International Tennis Hall of Fame (Newport, R.I.)
- Men's 75 & 80 and Mother/Son USTA National Grass Court Championships
- Aug. 13-16 – Agawam Hunt Country Club (Rumford, R.I.)
The latest USTA National Update stated that, beginning June 1, the suspension of USTA-sanctioned products and events will now be at the discretion of the USTA Sections and local health authorities. While USTA Eastern is actively preparing for the resumption of tennis, sanctioned events within the bounds of the section will remain under suspension post-June 1 to give facilities time to reopen and players time to train. Please see our detailed update below for more information.
USTA Eastern Resumption of Play Update
The health and safety of our Eastern family continues to be our priority. As providers and clubs begin reopening and implementing safety protocols, the section is actively preparing for the return of sanctioned events.
The section has put together active task forces to manage this situation and is currently developing return-to-play guidelines for junior and adult players as well as tournament organizers. The section is also working with local health and government officials as it develops a timeline for the resumption of play.
As we continue to make preparations, the USTA Medical Advisory Committee highly recommends all players ease their way back into play prior to competition. Due to the layoff, players will be more susceptible to under-training, over-use, and other injuries. The USTA strongly recommends at least three weeks of on-court and off-court conditioning before competition begins. USTA Eastern encourages players to return to the courts to play and train as soon as it is permitted in your area.
Keeping those recommendations in mind, please note the following important updates for the return of sanctioned play in the Eastern section:
10 and Under, Junior and Adult Tournaments
Tentatively, USTA Eastern plans to allow sanctioned 10U, junior and adult tournaments once four of the section's six regions have opened up according to parameters set by local government and health officials. This could take place as early as July 1.
Adult Leagues and Junior Team Tennis
The cancellation of Adult League and JTT sectional and national championships provides more flexibility to schedule local play. This means it may be possible for certain communities to begin modified local, non-advancing adult league and JTT play as early as the local government and health officials approve it.
We will continue to provide updates as we obtain more information. For questions, please email Eastern Return to Play.
USTA Eastern reminds players to always prioritize safety. We encourage you to review the USTA Player Tips and Recommendations before stepping onto a court.
National Clay Courts Championships have been canceled
Due to the situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus, and after discussions with the USTA Medical Advisory Committee, the USTA has suspended USTA sanctioned products and events through May 31. Recognizing the evolving and fast-changing nature of this situation, the USTA will continue to monitor and assess conditions to make future determinations about events and activities taking place after May 31. Additionally, the USTA has made the decision to cancel the 2020 National Clay Court Championships scheduled for July 11-19, and which would have taken place in seven cities across three states. Click here for more information.
Information on Facility Recovery Grants
USTA Eastern, along with assistance from the United States Tennis Association, have organized tennis provider support initiatives that will infuse a total of $460,000 into tennis facilities and programming across the section as the sport collectively fights back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The application process for these facility recovery grants is now open.
The overarching goal of this assistance is to provide immediate relief, spur the industry’s recovery, and help rebuild the tennis ecosystem once tennis programming resumes. The USTA Facility Recovery Grant is intended to assist public tennis facilities reopen their facilities for play and programming once it is possible and consistent with local, state and federal guidelines, after closing due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the grants is to help defray some of the tennis related costs associated with reopening. These grants are not provided to cover lost income, dues or lost revenue while closed due to the pandemic.
Eastern assistance available:
- USTA allocation: $310,000
- USTA Eastern section match: $150,000
- Total funding: $460,000
Facility applicants who meet qualifications can apply for the reopening grants at www.USTA.com/facilityrecovery. Applications will be evaluated in the order in which they are received.
*Effective immediately, the USTA has extended its suspension of all sanctioned products and events through May 31. USTA League National Championships, USTA Junior Team Tennis National Championships and USTA Intersectional Team Championships have all been canceled for 2020*
Additionally, USTA Eastern has canceled USTA League Sectional Championships and Junior Team Tennis Sectional Championships. Please click here for more information on USTA Eastern policies regarding these events.
USTA National Statement:
Due to the continued situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus, and after discussions with the USTA Medical Advisory Committee, effective immediately the USTA will extend the suspension of USTA sanctioned products and events through May 31. This includes:
- Adult and Junior Tournaments
- USTA League
- USTA Junior Team Tennis
- USTA Social Leagues
- Team Challenge
- Team Tournaments
- USTA Schools programs
- Tennis on Campus
- Wheelchair events
Additionally, recognizing the evolving and fast-changing nature of this situation, the USTA will continue to monitor and assess conditions to make future determinations about events and activities taking place after May 31.
All Category 1 and Super Category 2 National Adult Tournaments with an ITF status, all ITF Junior events, all Junior, Adult and Wheelchair L1 - L3 events, and all USTA Pro Circuit and professional events will align with the same calendar as the ITF, ATP and WTA, and be suspended through July 12. The National Clay Court Championships, slated to begin on July 11, will proceed as scheduled, at this time.
The determination has also been made to suspend the calculation and publication of the National Standings List (NSL) for Adult, Junior and Wheelchair play until further notice. The NSL published on March 18 will serve as the most current until tournament competition resumes.
In addition, to ensure that play taking place at local facilities will be the focus once the pandemic subsides, the following events will be canceled for 2020:
USTA League National Championships
USTA Junior Team Tennis National Championships
USTA Intersectional Team Championships
“The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the tennis landscape, and it is our goal to ensure that the sport is able to be played in a safe and healthy fashion at the parks and facilities throughout the country once the pandemic subsides,” said Patrick Galbraith, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “One of the greatest aspects of this game is that it fosters a true community, and we look forward to the time when we can return to our local courts and use tennis to unite us all, once again.”
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., is currently closed to the public. The facility’s Indoor Tennis Center has been converted to a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients, while Louis Armstrong Stadium is being utilized as a commissary to facilitate the creation of meal packages that are being distributed to patients, workers and New York City school children.
The USTA National Campus, in the Lake Nona area of Orlando, Fla., will remain closed for play and instructional opportunities through May 31. Any patron who wishes to cancel participation in a scheduled activity should contact the specific location for refund information. These policies will be in effect pending additional guidance or directives from each local governmental agency and the CDC. The USTA will continue to monitor and assess conditions to make future determinations about all activities at these facilities.
*Effective immediately, the USTA has extended its suspension of all sanctioned products and events through May 3.*
USTA Statement on Extension
Due to the continued situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus, and after discussions with the USTA Medical Advisory Committee, effective immediately the USTA will extend the suspension of USTA sanctioned products and events, including Adult and Junior Tournaments, USTA League, Junior Team Tennis, Team Challenge, Team Tournaments, USTA Schools programs, Tennis on Campus and Wheelchair events through May 3. Additionally, recognizing the evolving and fast-changing nature of this situation, the USTA will continue to monitor and assess conditions to make future determinations about events and activities taking place after May 3.
All Category 1 and Super Category 2 National Adult Tournaments with an ITF status, all ITF Junior events, and all USTA Pro Circuit and professional events will align with the same calendar as the ITF, ATP and WTA, and be suspended through June 7.
Both the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., and the USTA National Campus, in the Lake Nona area of Orlando, Fla., will remain closed for play and instructional opportunities through May 3. Any patron who wishes to cancel participation in a scheduled activity should contact the specific location for refund information. These policies will be in effect pending additional guidance or directives from each local governmental agency and the CDC. The USTA will continue to monitor and assess conditions to make future determinations about all activities at these facilities.
General Information (via the CDC)
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take steps to protect yourself and others:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Stay home if you feel sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.