In a major move, the USTA announced that it will “Pause” ALL changes to the National Schedule that were supposed to occur in 2013. There will be a series of Town Hall Meetings where parents, coaches, players, tournament directors and other interested parties will discus and explore refinements to the schedule for 2014 and beyond. This was the direct results of meetings between USTA officials and a group of concerned “Industry Representatives” I use the words “Industry Representatives” because that is how they describe themselves, but to be fair, they are basically concerned parents with the means to get heard plus a prominent tournament director.
The announcement was made on the website “tennisinsiders.com” which is owned by Tennis Channel Founder Steve Ballamy – one the the 5 “Industry Representatives.” The article starts out:
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.”
To read the whole article – CLICK HERE
The announcement made for many happy parents. Just a sampling from the comments:
– 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?
– 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.
– 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!
And then there was this from Sean Hannity, another one of the “Industry Representatives.”
As the above letter points out, 2013 changes will be put on hold, but more importantly, there will be numerous opportunities for Junior players, Parents, Coaches, Directors and others to NOW BECOME INVOLVED in the process.
This is a tremendous opportunity for anybody and everybody that has a passion for American tennis and Junior development.