Missouri Valley / St. Louis

St. Louis, Tulsa, KC to Host JTT Section Qualifiers

Josh Sellmeyer | May 12, 2023

Team registration is open for the three USTA Missouri Valley Junior Team Tennis Section Qualifiers occurring in 2023. The Qualifiers will take place June 14-15 in Tulsa, June 24-25 in St. Louis and June 28-29 in Kansas City. JTT squads participating in any of these Qualifiers can progress to the Section Championships in Oklahoma City by placing first or second in their respective divisions.


“This year we have narrowed down how many Qualifiers we have with three across the section,” said Tara Williams, USTA Missouri Valley community tennis and JTT manager. “It’s really exciting these hubs get to host the Qualifiers. Every time I get to run the Section Championships it’s just a fun time. The kids have a great time. It’s so great to see all the team camaraderie and everything we do with Section Championships. It’s a blast.”

Williams — who said it’s her “favorite time of year right now” as she preps for the forthcoming festivities — encouraged providers to go ahead and get their JTT squads signed up for as many Qualifier events as they’d like. Registration can be completed by clicking here. JTT coaches can also contact Williams with questions or to get their team signed up. Williams can be reached at williams@movalley.usta.com.

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“With the Qualifiers and JTT in general, it just gives all these players who are usually playing individual tournaments across the section an opportunity to play with friends,” Williams said. “The way we have set up our Qualifiers this year using the new World Tennis Number, it has opened it up to where more players have access to be able to play.


“We haven’t divided up the divisions like we have in the past. So you may have players who play a lot of tournaments and may be higher ranked. They’re getting to play with friends of theirs who are maybe more intermediate players.”


Safe Play Approved coaches can sign up their team — a minimum of four boys and four girls — for the 14U Championship and 18U Championship divisions. Each division will then be divided into pools of play using the WTN team average, when applicable. Cost per Qualifier is $35/player plus credit card processing fees. To learn more about the 2023 Qualifiers and Section Championships, click here.


“The biggest thing is just being able to get together with other players you enjoy being around, and also the mixed doubles aspect of JTT is always fun,” Williams said. “The guys getting to play with girls, and the girls getting to play with guys. That’s not something they get to do all the time. We have a lot of extras we do at the different events, especially at Section Championships if they’re able to advance.”

The St. Louis JTT Section Qualifier will take place at Dwight Davis Tennis Center in Forest Park, and the deadline to register is June 20. The Tulsa Qualifier is occurring at LaFortune Park Tennis Center, while the Kansas City Qualifier is at Plaza Tennis Center. The Section Championships will be held at OKC’s Edmond Center Court. To view the full calendar of events, click here.


“St. Louis historically has had one of the best JTT programs in the section,” Williams said. “There is going to be some great competition there. The facility is amazing. Toni McDonald is going to be the Tournament Director. She has been doing JTT for several years, and she does such a great job. The experience will be great for any team that decides to go to St. Louis.”


Williams noted the Section Qualifiers are open, so teams have the opportunity to travel to other cities and potentially play against new competition. Match format is one boys’ singles, one boys’ doubles, one girls’ singles, one girls’ doubles and one mixed doubles. Scoring is no-ad, best two out of three sets to six games.


While there is no advancement from the Section Championships to JTT National Championships this year, that did afford USTA Missouri Valley an opportunity to tinker with the team format. In previous years, a minimum of three boys and three girls was required per team. By increasing that number and providing each matchup five courts, select players no longer have to double up on matches. And all participants play their matches simultaneously.


“Just getting feedback from parents, coaches and players across the section last year,” Williams said. “It decreases the amount of time they’re out in the sun or waiting on matches to finish. With JTT, sometimes those matches can go a long time. It’s going to give the event an even better feel because of the flow this year.”

Williams said she is already in the process of ordering gifts for players and coaches, and she’s excited about the extras USTA Missouri Valley has in store for participants. Players can earn USTA ranking points by competing in the Section Qualifiers. To learn more about JTT, click here.



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