By: Elliott Datlow, Junior Tennis Director
Hello everyone! I wanted to take a minute to help everyone understand the basics of junior tournament play. Tennis tournaments sanctioned through the United States Tennis Association (USTA) count towards a player’s ranking (or standing) in our region, which is USTA/ Mid-Atlantic. A player needs to be a member of the USTA in order to play a tournament—all of our juniors should be members of USTA!
At the Club we have been hosting many USTA Level 7 tournaments. These are designed to be “entry level” tournaments and to teach kids about tournament play. Our team at the Aspen Hill Club believes that kids get BETTER and LEARN through competition. We also host several “Level 5” events throughout the year for those experienced tournament players.
Tournaments are designated by “Levels,” with Level 1 (L1) being the highest level while L8 is for players just learning about tournament play. The higher the level, the more points a player earns for their ranking. As an example, a player that wins one match at a L3 earns 190 points while a player winning an entire L7 tournament earns 165 points. There is little incentive for very strong players to play lower level tournaments.
A player’s ranking is made up of the sum of their top 5 tournament events within a year. So If I had played 6 tournaments and my point totals were 200, 210, 215, 220, 225, and 100—the event where I earned 100 points would not count towards my ranking. This is a sign that I should be playing higher level tournaments!
Tips for Tournament Players:
- Age divisions go by 2 year groupings: 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s, 18s. So a 13 year old girl would play “Girls 14 and under” (G14u). She is permitted to play the 16s and 18s, but she isn’t able to play younger divisions.
- ALL players that play a L8 tournament earn 50 ranking points! A player needs to win a match in higher level events to earn any points. Example: If I play a L7 tournament and don’t win any matches, I earn zero points.
- Points earned in older age divisions count down! So if I usually play 12 and under tournaments, but earn points in the 14 and under—those points will count towards my 12 and under ranking.
- Level 7 & 8 events are scheduled as 1 day and/or TIMED events! You will know the timeframe that the kids will play Level 6+up are 2 day events! They can take up much of a weekend