Rallying With The Executive Director
The Southern California Tennis Association wants each match played at its Junior tournaments to be about fair play, high quality competition, skills development, and friendships that last a lifetime. There is a minority of players and parents that don’t live up to these expectations because of their behavior on and off the court. These individuals spoil it for the rest of the players and parents who follow the rules. How do we fix that?
First, if we had more certified officials available to work matches that would provide a strong adult presence on court to deter inappropriate behavior at those critical moments during a match. If you would like to become a certified official, please call me at the SCTA office, 310.208.3838, so that I can connect you to the SCTA Officials Committee to begin the process.
Next, a court monitor program using older teens and adults could compliment the work of the officials and provide the on court guidance needed for some matches until an official is available. The SCTA Junior Competition Committee and staff members are determining what a court monitor program would look like and how it could work. If you would like to become a court monitor, please call Trevor Kronemann, Director of Junior Tennis, at the same number as above so that he can connect you to the right person.
Also, educating and training players and parents about the rules and expectations during tournaments is a vital undertaking for the SCTA and Trevor has made improving sportsmanship one of his most important goals during 2016. He has already held several Town Hall meetings in Southern California to meet with players, parents and coaches about the 2016 Tournament Schedule. Please look for a meeting in your area soon.
Finally, the Sportsmanship and Grievance Committee (SGC) supports the officials and tournament directors who enforce the rules and regulations governing fair play and competition in SoCal. The SGC makes decisions regarding disciplinary complaints filed against a player or parent. There are consequences for actions that violate The Code, ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA Regulations contained in Friend at Court. If you would like a copy of Friend at Court (FAC), start with this website or call the SCTA office to purchase a copy. https://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Rules/
These are the ways that the SCTA will use to improve sportsmanship. Please let us know if they are working. You may comment when you take the survey that we send after play is complete to all competitors who enter a junior tournament. We have recently changed the survey so that you no longer need to provide your name and USTA number when you respond to the survey. Thanks for your help and support to make sportsmanship better at Southern California junior tournaments.
Bruce A. Hunt
Executive Director – Southern California Tennis Association