2018 Year in Review: Net Gen Grows Tennis
Love-15: As 2018 draws to a close, USTA.com is taking a look back at the top 15 storylines, headlines and highlights from the year in American tennis. Now up, we look at the amazing impact of the first year of Net Generation, the revolutionary brand that engages kids to pick up a racquet and fall in love with tennis.
In 2017, the USTA unveiled Net Generation, its revolutionary brand developed for youth to inspire the next generation of greats. Since its launch, Net Generation has continued its promise to deliver kid-friendly tennis and to grow the game.
The USTA has a longstanding commitment to encouraging healthy and active lifestyles among children. Over the last decade, youth tennis has brought hundreds of thousands of kids into the sport by using shorter courts, lower-bouncing balls and lighter racquets to allow them to play more quickly and easily.
The objective of Net Generation is to provide a safe connection to the sport for kids ages 5-18, as well as a platform to celebrate individuality and self-expression. To ensure a safe environment, all Net Generation providers – including coaches, teachers, players and volunteers – must first go through a Safe Play Program, which involves a three-step process, including a background check, by registering on NetGeneration.com.
With the USTA’s focus on childhood safety, this system is the first of its kind in the sports landscape to require all providers to submit to a comprehensive screening and education program.
In 2018, kids experienced Net Gen first-hand, with over 300,000 players and parents registered with accounts on the Net Gen website.
Net Generation held a presence in the United States throughout the year, with Net Gen integrations held at all US Open Series events, 2018 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, the Laver Cup, Davis Cup, Fed Cup and multiple Pro Circuit and College MatchDay events. Net Gen was also a part of all major pro tournaments in the U.S., including Houston, Charleston, Miami, Indian Wells and the New York Open, and it even took a special trip to the final frontier, where NASA Astronaut AJ Feustel held a tennis match in space on the International Space Station.
For more American tennis highlights from 2018, be sure to check out our Year in Review page here.