Sportsmanship & League Players: ACES in the Making
What makes you great as a USTA League player in the Mid-Atlantic? When it comes to being the best version of you in tennis it's one part skill and one part sportsmanship; that's what makes you a force to be reckoned with on and off the court. Take it from the legendary Pro’s like USTA Mid-Atlantic’s very own Frances Tiafoe, who is nominated for the 2022 ATP Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. At USTA Mid-Atlantic we believe that tennis creates character, community, and well-being for all players and sportsmanship is a big contributor to fostering each of these areas.
Displaying good sportsmanship creates a welcoming environment for every player to feel comfortable. Having strong sportsmanship all across the Mid-Atlantic Section is foundational to the mission to grow the sport and makes it that much more of an enjoyable experience for all people.
At USTA Mid-Atlantic, we expect everyone to embrace sportsmanship and contribute to creating an inclusive and fun environment on and off the tennis court when they are participating in USTA Mid-Atlantic sanctioned events. This is where the ACES Pledge comes in.
“As a participant in USTA Mid-Atlantic programs, whether as a player, parent, spectator, coach, or provider, I commit to a fun, fair, safe, and inclusive environment for ALL. I pledge to Always Champion Exceptional Sportsmanship on and off the court."
In 2022, the ACES Pledge was introduced in the Mid-Atlantic Section, primarily among youth and adult tournament players and more than 5,000 tennis players, parents, coaches, providers, spectators and more signed the pledge to show their commitment to fostering and demonstrating good sportsmanship on and off the court.
Now, League players, it's your turn!
As registration for USTA League gets underway for winter in the Mid-Atlantic, or when you start to register for spring leagues soon, you’ll be prompted to sign the ACES Pledge within the registration flow. The ACES Pledge signifies your commitment to foster good sportsmanship during your local league matches, while spectating, at Regional and Sectional Championships and more.
Taking the ACES Pledge and demonstrating good sportsmanship won't cost you anything but it may pay off in ways that are purely invaluable. Take it from the opposing Women’s 3.5 Adult 40 & Over teams from Raintree Swim and Racquet Club in Richmond, Va., and Kingsmill Tennis Club in Williamsburg, VA. Competitors against one another during an intense Sectional, their equal display of sportsmanship sparked something truly special. The atmosphere between them was pure good vibes.
“Overall, it was a delightful experience and we really enjoyed playing them at Sectionals,” said player Cary Kelly of Kingsmill Tennis Club. “All four of us had such a good time playing that we decided to get the two teams together at another time.”
The teams decided to hold a recreational match and potluck where they came together, played, and enjoyed each other's company while getting to know each other better.
“We had such good play at Sectionals and just hit it off so I thought since we were so close in proximity it would be fun to get together to play again,” Kelly said.
Both teams took the short amount of time playing together at a Sectional and turned their experience into something everlasting. Now a bridge of friendship has been created between the teams that is making it easier to play more locally, have fun and enhance the fabric of the larger tennis community in their region.
Tennis can be a competitive sport but what's most important is that through great sportsmanship, it builds community in many different ways, shapes and forms.
By signing the ACES Pledge, you can take the lead in creating a great tennis atmosphere in your local community and demonstrate great sportsmanship every time you take to the tennis courts in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. By being a good sport, you are doing your part to grow tennis in the Section. Look for the ACES Pledge and be ready to take your sportsmanship and tennis game to new heights!
USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.