The times they are a changin’ in junior tennis seeding for Southern California. With advent of growing resources, the SCTA will be using many factors to determine seeding in Junior Open Tournaments Levels 1 to 4 starting January 2017. This means tournament directors will consider USTA sectional and national rankings, as well as the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system. Also, tournaments are offered through the USTA as well as UTR channels.
To find upcoming USTA junior tournaments in So Cal go to Http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/Schedule/Search.aspx. The next UTR tournament in San Diego is Feb 18 to 20 at Del Norte High. Sign up at http://events.universaltennis.com/tournaments/127/players/.
Trevor Kronemann, the Director of Junior Competition for the SCTA, stated several reasons for this shift. In 2016, he sent this information to USTA players in So Cal:
- The seeding committee reserves the right to consider other factors for players returning from injury, out of section players, players playing out of age division and other unforeseen situations that the seeding committee deems applicable.
- Seeding the system used to separate the top players in a draw so that they do not meet in the early rounds of a tournament. The top seed is the player that the tournament committee (Tournament Director, Tournament Referee, Director of Junior Tennis, Junior Competition Chair) deems the strongest player in the event. It is not a standing or ranking.
Many may wonder, what is the UTR system? Where does it get information? According to the UTR website, this is the story:
“Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) has now processed more than 4 million tennis match results—less than a year after attaining the 3 million match mark last April. UTR is rapidly becoming a “mainstream” tool throughout the tennis world. The millions of results flow in from more than 200 nations. They reflect the play of over 300,000 athletes and 2,000 college teams. The pace at which results are entering the system indicate UTR’s rapid growth: the database took a little over a year to grow from 2 million to 3 million matches, but the fourth million arrived in less than nine months.
UTR attracts tennis data from all over the world as a consequence of the simplicity, accuracy, pragmatic value, and universality of its rating scale. It gathers results from the ATP, WTA, ITF, ITA (U.S. college tennis), USTA (open, 5.0, and junior levels), Tennis Canada, Great Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Tennis Australia, and Tennis Europe, plus select public and private U.S. high school results.
UTR translates all this data into a common worldwide metric that rates athletes’ level of play on a 16-point scale (from beginners to world-class professionals). UTR precisely and reliably determines individual players’ ratings based on actual match results, without regard for age, gender. or where the matches are played. The score of the match and the rating of the opponent are the only factors that enter the algorithmic calculations.
In the past year, UTR has also added new features, like enabling players to claim their profiles and receive weekly results notifications. College teams, too, can claim their profiles and compare matchups with opponents. In the near future, Universal Tennis will introduce doubles ratings as well.”