USTA to Pause 2013 Schedule Changes


The junior competition committee of the USTA has spent the last couple of years working on a plan for growth that focuses on noble causes such as trying to lower costs for competitors, lowering school absences and adhering to Wayne Bryan’s “Don’t get on a plane to play a tournament until you can win the tournaments you can drive to and don’t get in a car until you can win the tournaments you can pedal to.”

After hearing the tennis industry’s reaction to the changes, the USTA agreed to have a series of meetings with a group of tennis industry insiders  to discuss the situation.

After in person meetings in NY, Los Angeles, Carmel and now Chicago with the industry group, the USTA has decided to do the following:

  • Leave the 2013 changes alone and continue the same schedule as 2012
  • Conduct a series of Town Hall Listening Meetings between now and mid-March
  • Use the information gleaned from that Listening Tour to help determine refinements for the tournament schedule for 2014 and beyond
I can’t express how impressed I was with the level of concern of making double, triple, quadruple sure that they got this right.  A lot of great people spent years volunteering their time to put this plan together.  These USTA Execs were super sensitive about those volunteers balanced against a concern that the kids were getting enough opportunity.

The spirit of cooperation was off the charts and the results will hopefully be something that is more appreciated by more constituencies in tennis.

The joint announcement is below:

68 Responses to “USTA to Pause 2013 Schedule Changes”

  1. Glad I Am Not Growing Up Now says:

    What great news! Congrats to the USTA for listening and for the Tennis Industry group for carrying the feelings of most of us to this meeting. Hopefully now the 2014 competition structure can be crafted in a way that meets the expectations of most and that it continues to give juniors the opportunity to compete nationally if they so choose.

    When will we hear when and where the meetings are going to be scheduled?

  2. Wow says:

    I cannot believe my eyes! Am I reading this correctly? You guys have given a big gift to junior tennis players in America. I just dropped my daughter off at school and am going to run back in to tell her.

    Incredible!

    Thank you so much for this news.

  3. Huuuuge shout-out to everyone who was a part of this!!! We are THRILLED to tell our customers and anyone else who care about junior tennis that there’s GREAT NEWS: 1) There’ll be NO CHANGES in 2013 and 2) They’ll have an opportunity to express themselves at the “Town Hall Listening Meetings.”

    Hope the powers that be reserve big rooms for the meetings because I suspect they’ll be WELL ATTENDED. :) Can’t wait to learn when/where they’ll be held.

    THANKS AGAIN TO ALL!!

  4. Mike Caites says:

    I am reading this right??? Thank you on behave of all the kids in junior tennis. The top 10 kids were just as negatively impacted by these changes as the kids who were going to pushed back to the leper colonies. Great day for tennis. And is it possible that we now have a USTA that cares about the people?

  5. Jp weber says:

    I am happy this happened and if it is good for tennis then I am excited. But I do not think anyone had an interest in fighting for the 10 and Under situation. I am interested in a whole lot more than just the national schedule. I think there ate many more issues to examine.

  6. Art says:

    There were no planned changes for 2013 but it certainly has everyone convinced something changed here when it did not.

  7. Tennis Dad says:

    My congratulations and many tanks to the whole group!! Just don’t be too happy. We won the battle, but not yet the war! Let’s make sure that USTA will use this time to really work on the schedule of Junior National tournaments that will give a boost to Junior Tennis instead of killing it. Still it is very nice of USTA senior management to show that they really listen and HEAR what the countyry has to say!!!

  8. rlleddon says:

    This is great news and a huge thank you to the industry group for taking tremendous time and energy to get this issue addressed. Can’t wait for the town hall meeting announcements.

  9. Geoffrey Grant says:

    The 2013 changes were pretty minor and so before we get too excited lets hope that the USTA is now committed to a full re-write of the 2014 changes which is where the meat is. The 2014 proposals are flawed on so many levels that nothing short of a fresh start is appropriate. Let’s hope that is what we now get.

  10. Rich Neher says:

    Excellent job by a group of very fine people. Shows me that arguments put forward in a serious fashion with support by serious professionals will be heard. It also shows me that the USTA team takes criticism paired with realistic ideas seriously. Bravo both sides!

  11. Susan Evans says:

    Big Congrats! Thanks for your passion, efforts, dedication and perserverance! The ball is rolling! Keep ‘er going and maybe you can continue to make other significant changes that are pressing and important: 10 and under tennis, doubles and rankings, college tennis and scholarships, etc. etc. You’ve broken the ice, keep the momentum and slow down these glaciers that are freezing out the growth of our great game and opportunities for our juniors. There is some sunlight now! Way to go!

  12. Tiffany cacciatore says:

    A big thank you to all for listening to what so many tennis kids, parents, coaches and tournament directors wanted to hear. These changes would have negatively impacted so many and benefitted so few. An agreement to work together is amazing!! Keep up the good work!

  13. Glad I Am Not Growing Up Now says:

    To Art — Actually the USTA had planned a 2-year phase in and some changes were to happen in 2013. Two of the biggest will not happen:
    1) The BG18-16 National Clays (July) and Nationals (August) would have their singles’ draws reduced from 192 to 128;
    2) The July USTA Regionals would have their singles draws reduced from 64 to 32, and doubles would be draws of 16;

  14. Lisa Stone says:

    glad to hear something positive for a change! just shared with my readers in hopes that they will continue to pay attention and attend these Town Meetings to voice their concerns. thank you to all who went to Chicago and spoke for the rest of us!

  15. Steve Bellamy says:

    As an FYI, the corporate governance of the USTA is complicated and extreme. There are certain things that could be done without a giant vote and certain that could. The basic premise of this result is that the USTA is going to listen to the industry as opposed to dictate to it. It was a big win for tennis and candidly for the USTA. They are challenging themselves like I have never seen before.

    All the USTA guys were appropriate, fair and concerned. And it ended up being a great day for tennis.

    Imagine the potential of having the industry work with them as opposed to against them.

  16. “Imagine the potential of having the industry work with them as opposed to against them.” WELL SAID!

  17. USTA staff - Section Executive Director says:

    That is very impressive. I am not shocked. The USTA is far more willing to listen then most people think. The national staff at the highest levels are very smart, fair minded people. The bureaucracy in between is where much of the challenge is. I am very glad to hear that all the efforts of the parents, coaches and industry leaders has paid off. Well done.

  18. Christina says:

    Way to go!!! That is awesome that they are listening. I am not only a Tennis Director, I am a tennis Mom that travels to all of these tournaments and it would be great to see us all working together. Thank you Steve and your very concerned group for starting all of this and following through. I really hope the USTA will now listen like they say they will… This will be a big plus for the junior game of tennis and definitely help grow it as well. The USTA needs to have all of the Tournament Directors and Tennis Professionals on the same page as them, thus listening to us.

  19. Adrian Roji says:

    Great to hear that the meeting in Chicago went well !!! This is a great step forward, it talks well of the USTA. Pretending to hear is one thing but really listen is a different. This is for the best interest of the kids and tennis in USA. Thank you for the industry representatives, it takes time and passion for the sport what you have done.

  20. Anonomous says:

    As a person partly responsible for these changes, I must say that I am relieved. It is clear that what we have been doing in tennis has not been working. Tennis costs too much and we aren’t producing any champions. Kids are missing too much school. I believe that is there is no right answer. But I was always tentatively accepting of this plan at the same time that I was scared that we were just negotiating with ourselves. The burden of this task should be put out to the entire tennis industry as opposed to a committee.

  21. Arthur Heller says:

    Glad to hear the USTA is willing to listen to coaches, parents and junior players about these important issues. Special thanks to Antonio Mora and the other representatives as they strive to do what’s in the best interest of the kids and US tennis. I look forward to further discussion on this.

  22. Radman says:

    This is a great result for all. This is especially good for the USTA. They have seemed so heavy handed and unwilling to listen in the past. I really do think this could serve as a new beginning. Thanks to all who helped make this change happen and thanks to the USTA for being willing to reverse this very unpopular mandate. It takes some guts to admit your own missteps but shows a lot of character!

  23. uspta tennis pro says:

    In 2013, the USTA will not reduce size of July L3 draws from 64 to 32? Summer Clays and Hards National championships still 192? Not lowered to 128? I thought the letter stated that the changes in 2013 will remain. Someone please clear this up for me…Thanks.

  24. Steve Bellamy says:

    Also there are very material changes in 2013 that in a little over 60 days were going to be a lock. Clay Courts and Hard Courts, the only two avenues to really score any points under the current points table, drop from 192 to 128 draws. That is 128 player opportunities per gender, per age group at the biggest point opportunity events of the year.

    Like the rest of the industry, I do not remotely subscribe to the “shrink the National Calendar” to grow theory. I want to add more tournaments locally and get more kids playing tennis. Around 1% of juniors make it into Kalamazoo or any of the National Level 1′s. It is reasonable in my mind that all those kids should be able to get in by virtue of being in the top 1%.

    Thanks for all the emails and notes…and please let all your tennis friends know.

    tx

  25. Steve Bellamy says:

    Responding to #23. 2013 will remain the same as 2012. The changes that were supposed to have taken place have been paused. So there will be no opportunities lost from 2012 to 2013.

  26. Kimberly nguyen le says:

    I am very disappointed that there are so many more important
    people like large academies and famous coaches and SCTA
    official are not in this list of stand up fight for Southern California
    players . It’s would make much more sense that more Open National
    level of tournament and ITF for all age division to
    happen here in Southern Cal for more opportunities for Southern Cal
    players to compete instead just a few tournaments in various
    difference State since large open Section like California and the weather
    here in California is much more permissible for competition.
    We have such a large Section and the quota for endorsement to qualify
    for National is almost impossible to get in. If USTA open more national/ITF events here in Southern Cal would save us tons of $$$$
    that we the parents can put that $$& toward more academic education
    and tennis training..

  27. David Dollahite says:

    Along with other tennis parents across the U.S. THANK YOU for your great work with the USTA in striving to improve junior tennis! Great news on the agreement to work together to consider other options. Thanks to the USTA leadership for their willingness to work together with others and include as broad a perspective as possible.

  28. uspta tennis pro says:

    Thank you Steve for your quick response to my question 23 and all your efforts in support of our kids.

    This is great!!! Now we just need L2 back to 64 draws.

  29. atennismom says:

    Applause. Applause. Applause. Thank you to all who have put action behind their words to facilitate the opportunities to express to the USTA the concerns of SO many parents, players, tournament directors, coaches, etc. And thank you to the USTA for listening, caring, and for the willingness to re-evaluate what is truly best for junior tennis.

  30. J.P. Weber says:

    I like the “pause” which was created and I repeat again I think it is a super duper thing the elite of the elite got together in Chicago for a pow wow. I do also think it is an enormous stretch to say the USTA listened to the regular folks. They have not listened to the regular folks at all in my experience. The local guys will still withhold funds, punish pros/coaches who are not with them 100% and reward those who tow the party line. The USTA was put into a position where they had to go and listen to a media mogul, a political analyst (with a WHOLE lot of listeners), a news broadcaster and a very successful tournament referee/director. To say that from this it was a great success is an enormous stretch and a little bit of what Hannity would call “pure spin” if it was being uttered by one of the Clinton’s. I can remain optimistic but I too would like to see more effort made to turn the organization more into a service organization and one that operates with less cronyism and dictatorial flavors.

  31. ER says:

    Steve,

    What about the 2013 winter nationals ? Is this back on the schedule ? Was this considered a 2013 or 2014 change ?

  32. J Mayo says:

    Having just spent the weekend in Las Vegas at an RTC with several of the USTA National coaches and witnessing first hand their untiring dedication to making junior tennis the best that it can be, which included inviting personal coaches into the fold for brainstorming sessions, I am not surprised that the USTA is making every effort to get things right. Thanks Steve, Antonio, Sean, Kevin & Robert for all of your hard work on this — as the parent of two young aspiring juniors it is greatly appreciated.

  33. Jenny says:

    I just called my husband and we both just sat on the phone in silence. When we found out about these changes, we called our section who said that they weren’t for the changes, but there was nothing that was going to be able to change them.

    Stunned, overjoyed and can’t wait to pick up my son at school!

    Thank you to all who did this.

  34. Susan says:

    Thanks for “standing up” for juniors, particularly those in the “not so strong” sections who were going to be hurt the most by the lack of playing opportunities.

  35. Stoner Family says:

    Thank you to everyone who has worked to keep our kids playing tennis!!!

  36. illinibeta says:

    Bells, Antonio, Wayne B, AND the rest of the “Industry Group” members that are driving this train…FANTASTIC JOB!

    Thank you all for dedicating the time, concern, and expertise not only for this Chicago meeting, but all that you have done behind the scenes over the past year prepping for this BIG step forward with the USTA. I have no doubt that it will bear fruit beyond what the “powers that be” there imagine, but which you fully envision, and that will help to further the transition of the junior system, the collegiate atmosphere, and the professional game.

    These efforts by you are very likely the genesis of what will be the resurgence of public interest in tennis over the next decade and what will propel that beyond the heights that the sport achieved in the 1970′s.

    It’s an honor to know and have met you gentlemen, and I thank you on behalf of all the kids and families in this country, be they currently involved in tennis or not (yet), that will benefit in countless ways from the vision and passion that you have….SS

  37. Eric says:

    As someone who does not like to get involved in the politics of tennis, but spends pretty much every weekend at tournaments, I would like to say the following: How did these changes ever happen to begin with? I have yet to meeting a coach, parent, tournament director, official or anyone knowable about junior tennis who understands how they came up with this plan. Shouldn’t the people impacted by the changes have a say in the process? Was this committee filled with the smartest people in junior tennis in the US. I know one of the people on the committee and that person barely knows how to play a tiebreaker. Going forward, I hope they appoint people to committees that are from the tennis industry and of the cloth to make decisions about the future of the game.

  38. Greg Mason says:

    Congrats! Great to see the USTA listening and being open to changing direction when presented with reasonable arguements. The town hall meetings can now determine the proper course forward so it will be important to get the stake holders (parents, coaches) to attend them and express their views on the real issues to not only keep what is currently in place, but hopefully build on it with further input from those closest to it.

  39. Glad I Am Not Growing Up Now says:

    To answer #31 —
    The cutting of the Spring and Winter Nationals was to be done in 2014 — and this change is still in the proposal for 2014.

  40. Lance Luciani says:

    There are many players that would be affected by these changes. One parent made a very intelligent statement. If the emphasis is shifted to sectional play then the kids will get bored playing the same players week after week. I work with a talented young man who will predominantly playing itf’s in 2 years and this will now allow us to seamlessly move from one schedule to the other. I’m glad.

  41. Barry Thompkins says:

    This is controversial, but I think the draws should be 256 at four majors. Those four majors should happen on hard, clay and then a mixture of indoors or red clay.

    The first four rounds of each event should be two sets with a 10-point breaker for the 3rd set. Then starting at the round of 16, it moves to a regular 2 out of 3 set match.

    On day 3, you are at the round of 16 and no one has had to have a long 3 set match.

    More kids playing the great sport of tennis and travel costs are lowered.

  42. Arizona Tennis Parent says:

    There are 1800 ranked boys on the USTA 18′s ranking list. There are many more who aren’t listed. I believe that the National Tournament System should focus on the upper 1/3 of those players. There should be optimal opportunity for kids to compete Nationally for those players.

  43. Rachel says:

    This is a great day for junior tennis. These cuts were not in the best interest of the sport.

  44. george says:

    I am glad they seem to want to listen at least a little. I am hoping that the USTA will listen to the coaches and parents and will open their minds to allow more freedom and not DICTATE to juniors what they must do without representation of parents and coaches. Nothing the USTA was set to mandate was in the best interest of juniors. Mandates are wrong. I love tennis and all it has done for me and my family. Let more kids play wherever they want to play and in whatever division and whichever equipment they want to play with.

  45. Thanks to everybody standing up for the JUNIORS. It is a shame it had to come to all of this to make the USTA see that they were wrong in doing what they are doing. Keep watching what they are doing. Now lets fight for all the great young talent in this country and not give in to MINIATURE tennis and soft balls. For 3,4,5 year olds GREAT, but that is it. Lets not sacrifice all the young very talented kids in this country.Let them play the game they want to play. The USTA is crazy if they think that soft balls are going to make CHAMPIONS. That only shows that they don’t know how to develop TALENT and make champions.

  46. 38yrsn10s says:

    Have you ever watched a dog chasing a car?
    What will he do when he catches it?

    Sometimes when faced with an unexpected opportunity, we often act like we just took a bite out of a radial tire. We spit it out and go back to our routine.

    If there was ever a time in tennis to become involved, this is it. If you’ve ever felt that no one listens and no one cares what you think or how it will affect those you love, this is the opportunity to get the attention that for so long you have missed.

    If parents, coaches, players, and friends of tennis truly believe that there must be a better way, even if it’s the old way, they must now invest some time in composing a document for submission, or even take a trip to one of the “town hall meetings” to present their ideas.

    If the USTA has affirmatively stated that they are listening, it is incumbent upon all stakeholders to express their ideas. If you don’t buy a ticket and get on board, this train probably won’t pass this way again.

    If you are lying in bed at night and have a genius thought, get up and write it down. No one has all the answers, but with experience from some, passion from others, and the occasional divine revelation, something really great could come from this newly found openness on the part of USTA.

    Take time to reflect on the words attributed to Samuel Clemens, “Any fool can criticize, and most do.”

    If you aren’t willing to give just a little of yourself, then please don’t belittle or prejudge the motives of those who have invested much to provide you with the opportunity to let your voice be heard.

  47. Lisa Stone says:

    38yrs, well said! enough with the talking. time to act. those of us who have public forums (blogs, online bulletin boards, websites, etc) in which to share ideas must keep reminding folks about how important it is to show up at these “town hall meetings” and voice our opinions/ideas to USTA. they have offered to listen. we must give them something worthwhile to listen TO.

  48. 38yrsn10s says:

    So, maybe Mark Twain stole that quote from Benjamin Franklin.
    Wisdom is not the property of its source.

  49. Walker Sahag says:

    99% of the American junior tournament tennis players play with the hope of a college scholarship. College recruiters go to the Super National tournaments and if you are not there they do not perceive you worthy of their team and move on to foreign players. With the USTA’s proposal there was NO thought or initiative to assist American kids.
    These are the people who are PAYING the salaries of the USTA coaches who are ignoring their cries. When I forwarded the news that the USTA initiative would be delayed 100% of the parents and players wrote back with exclamations of hope, thankfulness and GREAT APPRECIATION! 100% all are in hopes that the reduction of the USTA nation events will NOT occur and each with a moving story of why this was a crushing blow to their individual efforts.
    I can go on but most importantly I feel that without public pressure this hesitation would not have occurred and for the hundreds of players and parents effected I want to personally express my gratitude.
    We must continue to speak out!!

  50. Rich Neher says:

    Good comments everyone. Let’s keep going. Hats off to Kamperman, btw. What seemed to be a stuck up guy high up in the USTA towers of White Plains turns out to be a reasonable Executive willing to listen and make corrections. Amazing!

  51. Doug Hayes says:

    This is an amazing move by the USTA. Who knew they had ears?

  52. Solomon Liu says:

    Very, very thankful to see this today. My 13 year-old son would have been directly affected by this every other year after aging up.

    I have been giving him 4-5 month breaks from tournaments every other year to work on development at the sacrifice of gaining rankings points during that time. As a result, he is always under-ranked until the last 6 months of being in the age group (10s and 12s).

    The proposed changes would have forced us to abandon what i know is the best for the development of his game in order to chase rankings points, not just for the sake of being ranked, but in order to qualify for regional and national tournaments, where the best competition is for getting better.

    Limiting the number of players in these tournaments to the tiny numbers proposed would have had the opposite effect of what the USTA is supposed to do – to promote tennis in the US, in this case the best development of our junior players.

    I was starting to contemplate travel to other states (we are in SoCal) to gain points as some people do. The reality is it would work to gain points. But, spending a bunch of money to travel to where the competition is weaker? You get better by playing better competition, not weaker…

    Anyway, thanks very much to those who made this happen!

  53. Lisa Stone says:

    any dates/locations yet for the Town Hall Listening Meetings??? i sincerely hope they are announced with enough lead time for people to make arrangements to attend – up to now, USTA’s MO has been last-minute announcements with limited publicity of these types of things. i think the onus will be on all of us to get the word out quickly once the announcement is made.

  54. Tennis parent says:

    I applaud the USTA for doing what is right even though they were so far down the path. You are making a lot of your customers happy fight now.

  55. Smith says:

    Speechless!

  56. uspta tennis pro says:

    Reply to Soloman’s comment–

    ‘The reality is it would work to gain points. But, spending a bunch of money to travel to where the competition is weaker? You get better by playing better competition, not weaker…’

    In contrast, Solomon also states that his son is underanked until the last six months of his age out year.

    So basically you sit it out and train waiting until the stronger players age out and then you jump in when the draws are weaker, the competitors younger and then your ‘underanked’ ranking rises. I would say your son is overanked. Sorry, I am not trying to be mean.

    I would suggest training during this period. I would also play up at this time (6 months prior to age out)

    My player is truly ‘underanked’ because this has been our plan. We train more the 6 months prior to age out and we rarely play in our age group. We choose tougher tournaments in the higher age group. I would say your son is overanked.

    My players go to tournaments not to gain points but to gain experience against a variety of high quality opponents. We use this as a measuring stick and as a test.

    I would agree that travel is overated. I do believe it is fun and potentially incredible experience that can have great value in moderation. I believe many of the top ranked players travel way too much(that is how they achieved their high rank) and as a result lose a ton of valuable training time and money. Here I believe is another key factor in the poor quality of American tennis.

    I give kudos for your understanding of the importance of allowing for lengthy training periods devoid of USTA tournaments but please play sets at the end of a days training during these periods of training.

    On a side note, the awful USTA rule changes would benefit your
    training methods. Anyone who likes to play up early is hurt by the changes.

    Pete Sampras always played up and he often lost badly. (Hey USTA losing in the Nationals round of 256,6-0 6-0, has value for both players!!! USTA has often said that this type of match is a waste for the top players)

    Pete was a classic Underanked junior. USTA rewards the underdeveloped pushers and penalizes the players that try to develop an all court game at the cost of ranking points. USTA keep listening to those of us in the trenches. Thanks!!!

    Robert Lansdorp. Please weigh in on this for me. You were there.

  57. jeffj says:

    Wow. This is a great and awesome day for junior tennis. Thank you all for the work and dedication you have all showed in the care given to this delicate subject. Thank you USTA and all who have written letters on this site. There is power in numbers, and this proves it. Steve you are a rock star my friend. Kudos

  58. I think you should play “up” when you are one of the best in your age division and don’t have the competition any more. Sampras played “up” because he was so great. Then he changed his two hander for a one hander. Pretty risky move and he was losing for a while,around the age of 14. Crying many times. Maria Sharapova hardly played junior tournaments, almost none, just a couple Major ones ,like Orange bowl. She was great and played every practice match like it was the finals of Wimbledon. You have to be careful in playing “up” ,because the junior who does not like the pressure of having to play kids their age and want to play ” BETTER” kids are afraid. Hugh mistake, kids will never make it this way.You can not be afraid to play kids in your age division. YOU NEED PRESSURE TO BECOME GREAT. So playing “up” has its place ,but be careful. I also believe in lots of tournaments with large draws . Let these kids compete, let them have the pleasure of plying in a National tournament and feel good about themselfs. Give them something to look forward to. The USTA is very good in selecting a few kids and screwing all the rest even coaching against other American kids.

  59. uspta tennis pro says:

    Thank you for weighing in for me Robert. I feel honored that you read my post. Your response was erudite and enlightening.

    The reduction of draw size in the L2 and L3 from 64 to 32 needs to be reversed.

    How do you feel about USTA forcing kids to play only in their sections until they can escape their section by gaining top 1-4 ranking?

    I have players who develop brutal mental blocks after losing a bunch of times to the same top players in 12s 14s. I take them away from the familiar adversary, go to a different section by way of nationals(usta trying to stop this practice). Now there is less pressure. Players do not know each other, there is no history, and all of a sudden they play loose and get a big win over a player that beats their old sectional nemesis easily!

    Now the newly confident player comes back to their section and finally beats the old nemesis. If This is ducking pressure than I am all for it in moderation.

    The old nemesis with the high rank will criticize the traveling player of ducking and point running. USTA agrees with this elite player position and wants to eliminate this alternative and force all to stay within their section forever.

    Another reason the USTA must keep National tournaments bigger and more accessible for the four and five star players is the fact that different regions breed much different styles of play. Northeasterns tend to hit big and have shorter points due to hard court training. Floridians grind more tend to be fitter. Californians….I would love for Robert Lansdorp to respond again.

    My next agenda: Legalize on court changeover coaching in the USTA. Davis Cup style. This is what will take US tennis to the next level in my opinion.

    We are still one of the only sports that frown upon coaching and we must change this. Our players will improve by leaps and bounds if coached during match play. The current USTA rules actually do more harm by creating an anti coaching ethos amongst the juniors. The negative bias towards coaching leaks on to the practice courts as many juniors see coaching, criticism , and advise as a negative.
    If we legalize coaching in the USTA it will bring about a mini tennis boom for Tennis Professionals, as parents would now have the ability to hire coaches for the matches or become coaches themselves if they have the skills.
    Skilled juniors who lack financial backing would receive free coaching. Many an aspiring coach would jump at a the chance to financially assist a quality junior with on court coaching in order to self promote. Great coaches would benefit poor coaches would not. USTA thinks that the rich would have an advantage. Don’t they always? Now the poor would have a much better chance at free coaching. Of course, truly weak players would still be at a disadvantage but that is the case now as well.

    Let us not stop at draw size. WE must address the root of the problem. Get behind me on this coaching thing people and sorry for the hijack of this post but this is a bigger idea.

    Oh yeah, I forgot, USTA and other detractors have said on court coaching will introduce the spector of crazy coaches or crazy parents freaking out on the courts during matches. Wait, correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t this happen all the time already? I think there will be less problems and much happier players and parents because kids will be improving more rapidly. They will respond more to coaching because it is not “illegal”. They will display poor behavior less not more, because adults are on the court monitoring.

    Purists will finally claim that what makes tennis special is the lack of coaching and that coaching detracts from the individual nature of the game and in essence changes the original intentions of the sport.

    Yeah and we all should continue to wear all white use wooden rackets and belong to a racist and exclusive country clubs. No dri fit gear either.

    Tennis is so special. It is the greatest sport on earth. I think my ideas will eventually be accepted and take the sport to a higher level in the US and the world. I do not want to see on court coaching in the pros. Not when money is on the line. (i am talking to you Uncle Toni) But I am talking about developing juniors who have no clue out there. If you have been watching USTA matches at any level you surely would agree that the majority of juniors are not making the proper strategic decisions the majority of the time. They need good coaching. USTA stop sending our juniors to a gun fight with dull knives and stop preventing them from truly developing their games. Also quality of coaching would skyrocket. BONUS!!!

    The country club elites snobs will be furious! That is ok. Do not let them hijack our sport!!! Let us tell these wannabee hackers to SHHHHH!!!

  60. Jerry says:

    I just heard about the changes today. Don’t know why I hadn’t heard about them before. Who in the world thought this was a good idea? IT ISN’T!

  61. Benjamin says:

    I would love to know how many people on this committee have juniors playing National tournaments right now.

    I’ll bet anything that they would not have come up with this conclusion had they actually been currently involved.

    Very simple, if you cut national opportunities you are going to shrink tennis. If you add opportunities, then you are going to grow tennis.

    Trying to orchestrate a push back to the sections of play will NOT work at all.

  62. RSal says:

    The ability to travel is critical for my son who is top 15 in section with a full year left before he ages out. He is going to start playing up within the section starting next month. Locally, I cannot get him enough match play. Older kids don’t want to lose to him and often play even higher age groups once he signs up for local tourney. We travel once a month to a sectional if avail. and once to a national or national regional when available. It’s the only way to get adequate match play. Playing locally, I have to play a 12 yo in the 16′s just to get enough competition but worry about injury especially on fast indoors where many boys are 6′ tall and blast their serves. Very little point development doesn’t help his overall game. Out of state travel is critical especially since it allows him to go south or west and develop all facets of his game. Having more rather than less opportunities is essential at this age.

  63. George says:

    When I sit here reading some of these anonymous writings it is quite amazing to see how much further the ball is being pushed down the court than anyone including the industry group intended. The concerns of the industry group was that national opportunities such as decreased national championship draw sizes were being decreased. Whether it be Wayne Bryan, The industry, or the much maligned USTA committees everyone accepts the notion that you have to win locally to advance. The only question is how many get to advance locally which is why there is such debate as to national championship draw sizes which translates into how many local players get to advance. There seems to be a belief that this idea of skipping the local sections and parading around the country buying points is going to be allowed to continue. This is quite unlikely since neither side is advocating this. If you qualify locally and the better players always will especially with larger national draws then good local players will have ample national opportunities. For those who cannot qualify locally don’t expect any relief for all these potentially reinserted national opportunities.

  64. Lisa Stone says:

    any more news on when the “listening tour” will begin and what the schedule will be?

  65. Ken says:

    I am glad to see that the USTA decided to side with reason. The problem is that too many players who have committed to Universities have decided to check out of the USTA tournament system because of their tactics. There is too much money thrown at a select few rather than letting them fight their way through the Futures like the rest of the crowd. There is no way that the Harrison brothers would have gotten to where they are now without EARNING their way there like they have. Like or dislike the way that Ryan carries himself on court, he has earned the respect from the other players on tour because he has EARNED his ranking.

  66. Lisa Stone says:

    okay, it’s been 3 weeks since the Chicago meeting. do we have dates/locations for the listening tour yet???

  67. Peter says:

    When will the USTA announce the road show dates or will this also be done in secret?

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