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USTA Florida Debuts Jr. Team Tennis Ranking Points

August 24, 2009 07:00 PM
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Following other USTA sections across the country, beginning with the Fall 2009 season, USTA Florida will add individual player ranking points for the end-of-season USTA Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) Sectional Championships for the spring, summer and fall seasons.

"Offering points towards rankings for USTA Jr. Team Tennis participants will help us close the recreational and competitive gap we've had for so many years," said Andy McFarland, associate executive director, Play Tennis Division, USTA Florida. "For one thing, it will entice more tournament-minded players to consider playing in the USTA Jr. Team Tennis program with their friends. Secondly, it will allow non-tournament players in JTT to get some education and interest in playing some of our local USTA-sanctioned tournaments. Both areas of tennis need more participation and this concept should certainly help."

Points will only be awarded at Florida sectional-level (state championship) play, and only for the advanced and intermediate divisions. In the advanced divisions, 10 points will be awarded for winning a singles match within a team match, and two points for doubles. No player can play more than twice in a given team match, and a sectional usually schedules no more than six total team matches. At the intermediate level, singles wins will be worth five points, and doubles wins one point.

Ranking points will be instituted with the start of the Fall 2009 season, which begins across the state anywhere from August 1 to December 18. For regional Jr. Team Tennis start dates in your city, go to http://tennislink.usta.com/TEAMTENNIS.

The JTT sectionals format of play consists of one boy's singles, one girl's singles, one boy's doubles, one girl's doubles, and one mixed doubles match. Team rosters are made up of 6-10 players.

The mixed-gender, Davis Cup and Fed Cup-like format also incorporates World TeamTennis-type scoring. Scoring at the sectional level is either 8-game pro-sets with regular scoring, or 6-game pro-sets with no-ad scoring, depending on court availability. Every game counts, as teams are measured on their cumulative score over a 3-6 match round robin schedule.

"Awarding ranking points in JTT events is such a win-win and truly will start to pave the road to bridging the gap from Jr. Team Tennis to junior competitive tennis," said Andy Gladstone, competitive tennis coordinator, USTA Florida. "Jr. Team Tennis is such a great venue for competitive players to hone their game and I'm looking forward to seeing the level of Jr. Team Tennis rise."

USTA Midwest was the first USTA section to institute Jr. Team Tennis ranking points in 2008. USTA Florida institutes ranking points after review and approval from Maria Cercone, chair of the USTA Florida Junior Competitive Council, and Phil Girardi, chair of the Recreational Tennis Council.

"Not only is Jr. Team Tennis a lot of fun, but higher-level players want to participate in the advanced and intermediate divisions, and we want to reward them for participation," said Michelle Willis, team tennis coordinator, USTA Florida. "Being part of a team is a rewarding experience and begins friendships that can last a lifetime. All teams are invited to be a part of the three Section Championships held in Florida, and of course winning the Sectional Championship and representing USTA Florida at JTT Nationals is always exciting."

For more information or to sign up for USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis click here, or contact Michelle Willis at (386) 671-8937 or willis@florida.usta.com.





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