Senior Tournament Survey Results: Graphs & Comments

(Click on link above to download a pdf version of the verbiage below. The graphical results follow the written analysis.)

Question 8 & 9 written comments (scoring formats and would you play):

Out of 986 respondents there was a lot of repetition on the comments…..

· Travelling a great distance for a National Tournament to play a short format would be unacceptable

· The # of matches a day and the # of events per day would dictate my decision on a short format

· Prefers TB in 3rd set for 65+

· 2 out of 3 goes away – no longer would play USTA events

· Prefers short format in early rounds and then play 2 out of 3 in Semis/Finals

· Not worth existing entry fee levels to play short formats

· Want maximum amount of playing time relative to money and time spent participating in events

· Playing 2 events a 10pt for the 3rd in doubles would be acceptable

· Would not pay to travel to play shorten format

· Shorten format reduces the importance of fitness for seniors

· Plays only Doubles…would not play a short format

· It’s not worth paying the money to play a modified match

· Tournament fees are extremely high… why play a short format, why get in shape, isn’t durability and fitness part of the game?

· Short formats are okay for local and sectional events but not for National events.

Questions 10 and 11 written comments – Increase/Decrease in Participation

Interestingly enough, but not too surprising, we found that the reasons cited for Increase in Participation ran along the same lines as those for Decrease in Participation. Many more people commented on the Decrease than on the Increase.

For the Increase in Participation, the following “categories” of reasons were found (listed from highest number of comments to lowest):

n More time and money to travel

n Good competition, fun, camaraderie

n Well-run tourneys, good locations, consolations

n Good health

Other things mentioned were enjoyment of family events, ranking points, prize money, amenities (Only one mention of one-day events)

For the Decrease in Participation, the following “categories” of reasons were found (listed from highest number of comments to lowest: First 3 are by far, the most mentioned.

§ Too expensive

§ Injuries/Health/Death of Spouse

§ Leagues

§ Poorly run tourneys

§ No consolations

§ Locations of tourneys

§ Lack of interest

§ Ranking system

§ Work/time

§ Smaller draws/same people

§ Lack of amenities

Other things mentioned more than once but less than 5: prize $$, rude players, play same people, focus on singles (doubles players), USTA discourages because of less support to Cup players. One person said 3 sets is too much to play on hard courts on consecutive days.

Question 14 written comments:

In reviewing question 14, column M, it seems to me that the consensus was a big “maybe”.  Variables most mentioned were location, prize money, well run and not expensive.  Very few responses were a strong NO.  It seems like a strange idea to many people, so they just might be open to it.  Having a senior tournament geographically accessible is a very big incentive.  Other answers talked about having a consolation round and a strong draw.

My take is, under certain conditions, many players would be fine to play a non-sanctioned senior event.

Question 16 written comments, “What suggestions do you have to increase participation in Sr. Tournaments.” Based upon the number of comments made about a particular subject area is reflected in the order of information presented below.

USTA Support

· Priority of USTA Support

o #1 is the Junior Development/Program

o #2 NTRP League Play

o End of List- Sr. Tennis Tournaments

o World Cup Teams

· USTA Should Promote Sr. Tournaments

o Promote by notifying players via email, social media of upcoming tournaments

o Notify at least 3 months before tournaments

o Tennis link and website is not easy to navigate through

· USTA Should Promote Sr. Tennis

o Start locally-grass root effort

o Sections support-programs to get more tournaments going

o Increase Tournaments

o Help tournaments get sponsors to offset costs

· There were numerous formats discussed, but regardless of which one, they are important to include in the tournament structure to promote more play


· Held in Cities with easy travel access

· High quality destination locations (other things to do)

· Tennis Clubs with good quality tennis courts

· Comfortable locations (ie ability to sit and watch tennis)

· Promote more tournaments on soft court

· Play at location where the members WELCOME and embrace the players

· Camaraderie/social engagement is very important

Published list of players looking for Reduce Cost to Enter, Travel and Play National and CAT 1 &2 Tournaments

· Reduce costs of Entries

· Provide more Meals

· Housing

· Discount (deep) Hotels

· Discount Airfare’s

· Prize money given and reaches further down the rounds

· Get Local Clubs involved to reduce costs

· Provide scholarship to participate in tournament

· Provide (USTA/Other) financial assistance to attend tournaments


· doubles partner

Sportsmanship, Officiating, Following Rules

· Eliminate, control or monitor closely players who frequently don’t follow rules

o Such as bad line calls, aggressive, call the score wrong, unsportsmanlike conduct

o These players do much to deter participation-not enjoyable to play against

· Beef up Officiating to reduce “incidents”

· TD and Tournaments require all to follow rules with no preferential treatment

Ideas to Promote Play (Mentioned Often)

· Combine more tournament and host both Men’s and Women’s events

· Start tournaments on Friday so most play is on non-work

· Look at compressing smaller tournaments (Local, Cat 2) to 3-4 days

o Look for ways to compress tournament

· Reach out to League Players to play Sr. Tournaments

· Super Senior and Young Seniors recommend different rules (examples)

o Super Sr. Play in Cool times of the day and year

o Young Seniors can play 2 singles in one day

· Bring a friend to the tournament

· Keep format (2 out of 3 sets)

Singular Suggestions to Promote Play (Golden Nuggets)

· Develop Sr. Players Hold local/sectional/national tournaments for the lower level sr. players

o Set it up so no high level players can enter

o Would give those players opportunity to play more and improve

· Have Grand Prix at Year End

· Tie in League Champions into Sr. Tournaments

Suggestions for growth

We feel that those tournaments which are the most successful are those which are marketed well by their TD’s. The tournament is a priority for them. A few things that might help would be: 1. To start with whatever email list the TD has and send multiple emails, beginning months out from the tournament and continue building the list. Encourage those receiving the email to share the information with others and to send email addresses to the TD. Remind the recipients of the fun things that will happen during the tournament, etc. 2. The TD could send simple flyers to tournaments preceding theirs and ask them to distribute. 3. If the TD has a mailing list, the TD can mail entry forms to possible entrants. 4. The TD can seek sponsorships for enhancements. 5. The TD can offer some housing. 6. Players who play league as well as Cat I’s and Cat II’s can encourage other league players to come along with them to age group tournaments.


(click on link to view or download a pdf file of the graphical responses.)

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