USTA News Update by Kathy Langer, ITF issues and more

            

USTA ADULT/SENIOR COMPETITION
COMMITTEE UPDATE

 

                                             By Kathy Langer

 

          Since
the beginning of the year, when the ITF decided to seed all ITF sanctioned
tournaments using the ITF ranking exclusively, our committee has been working
tirelessly to gather information to present to the ITF as to why we don’t think
that method of seeding is better than the USTA’s All Factors method and to
suggest other changes in their rules. 
Since all of our age 35-85 (men) 35-80 (women) Category I National Championships
and several of our Category II USTA Tournaments are sanctioned by the ITF, we
must either follow their rules or discontinue the sanctions.

          The
information gathered has included a survey of the players and Tournament
Directors (those results are now on the USTA Adult/Senior web site).  We did an analysis of the first five ITF
tournaments in 2009 using both methods of seeding.  There have been discussions with ITF
representatives by two of the USTA’s past presidents and discussions with ITF
staff and our ITF Sr. Committee member, Carolyn Nichols and the USTA Staff
Coordinator, Theresa Bowen, while they were at the Cup Team and World
Championships in Spain
in April.

          The
information and discussions are still ongoing, and a final decision will not be
made as to our further involvement with ITF until the end of the year.  This year, since these events are still ITF
sanctioned, we are continuing to abide by the ITF rules, except for our
decision to continue to seed by the All Factors method.  We have informed the ITF of that decision and
they understand that we are continuing to explore all of our options.

          The
discussions with the ITF have been positive. 
We are hoping for a compromise on the seeding issue, the IPIN number (International
Player Identification Number, a fee charged similar to the USTA membership fee)
and some other rules that we feel are not in our players’ best interests.  They have asked us for suggestions.  We are in the process of providing that
information.

The player survey (click here to see details) indicated
about 2/3 of players did not think it was important to remain involved with ITF
since most players do not play out of the country.  Many may not have realized that all of our
national tournaments are ITF sanctioned and players can earn ITF rankings by playing
them, without leaving the USA
to play.  One-third of our players like
being affiliated with the ITF.  Having a
world ranking is important to many players as it helps to ensure they will be
seeded correctly when they are representing the USTA in World Team and  World Individual Championships.  It will also help those players who play in
other countries.  Even though the number
of players who are able to play in other countries is small, we want them to be
treated fairly.

Every other country in the
world that has a tennis federation is a member of the ITF.  The USTA is the biggest tennis organization
and it is important that we consider carefully our decision to withdraw or
remain affiliated.  The IPIN will  not be an issue until approximately 2013 when
ITF becomes computerized.

 

 As anyone who follows world politics knows, it
takes lots of time and lots of discussion to reach accord between organizations
that believe their way is the best. Hopefully, each will compromise some things
in order to live peacefully. Some issues are too important on which to
compromise and our goal is to stand firm on those, while being open to ideas in
other areas.

The ITF Senior
Committee will meet in late November.  We
will

know then how they respond to our suggestions.

 

Regarding the
ITF and other issues: 

·       
The Adult/Senior Competition Committee has voted to review all new  ITF rules each year to determine if those
rules are compatible with USTA rules. 
The committee will vote each year on whether or not to continue having
our events be ITF sanctioned.    

·       
A new Feed-In Championship (FIC) points table has been posted which
makes it easier for the USTA computer program to accurately update points.

·       
A call item on optional Bye placements will be voted upon at the
Semi-Annual Meeting in New York.  This will help Tournament Directors get FIC
matches played so players can finish without having to stay an extra day to
complete the tournament.

·       
We are continuing to monitor and update the web site.  www.usta.com.

·       
Circuit Chairs/Seeding Assistants are working closely with TDs to help
them with seeding and to communicate player concerns so the event is fun and
successful.

 

Please contact me if you
have any questions.  kathy_langer@yahoo.com

 

 

 

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