- United Stated Tennis Association
- United States of America
WE, the players, parents, coaches, facility operators, members and other patrons of the USTA, demand a voice in the structure and organization of junior tennis in our particular sections and at the national level.
Given that nearly no junior player, parent or coach was provided any notice at all of the "approved" changes, nor allowed an opportunity to have a discussion or provide suggestions for the upcoming rule changes and given that such changes will affect our players in a drastic and severe way, (including the expenditure of money for no real purpose and the restriction of players to have any incentive to keep playing the sport) we demand that the 2014 rules be amended or at the very least, suspended until there has been further study, comment, review and input from the very people who participate and spend money to be involved with the USTA.
We believe that the 2014 rule changes will have a "chilling effect" on junior tennis, in that relegating players to participate in only local events and not giving those players who might develop later in the sport or who might "catch fire" by seeing and competing in higher event categories, is certain to cause hundreds, if not thousands of juniors to quit the sport.
The rule changes will be so discouraging for those players just below the top ranked players and the middle of the pack players, they will quit the sport. In addition and most importantly, the stated rationale for approving the changes in order for the US to again have another top professional player by only allowing the "elite players to compete against the elite players" will not have the intended outcome as can be seen from undertaking statistical studies of the rule changes.
The upcoming 2014 rules changes will only deter players from continuing in the sport we all love and the changes will only encourage our jr. players to join other sports where opportunities are fair and extensive. We, the participants in the USTA, believe that inclusiveness is the way to find the next great US player, not exclusiveness. That, reducing tournaments and reducing draw sizes across the board will not encourage participation, but will instead, discourage participation. We demand that common sense, not elitism, should rule the day.
We demand an opportunity to discuss alternative structures to junior tennis that are inclusive, fair and give incentive to each and every junior to keep playing the game.
We demand that all our junior players be given opportunities to move up in the junior structure and opportunities to play against better players, as this is sometimes the best way to incentivize a player to continue improving.