Southern California Tennis Camps

2016 Junior Sectional Championships Review

The Southern California Tennis Association always sends a survey to tournament participants after an event is completed in order to gather necessary feedback. I would like to respond to some items that were brought up following the 114th Junior Sectional Championships.

SoCal-Junior-Sectionals-logoSeeding Method

Qualifying Seeding

Of the 128 players that were seeded 120 (93.75%) qualified for the Main Draw. Of the eight that did not make it, four lost and four didn’t take to the court, withdrawing because of illness or injury.

Main Draw Seeding

Three methods of seeding – Southern California Sectional Ranking, Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) and USTA Junior Ranking – were combined, (a practice that has been in place for all Levels 1-4 tournaments, in the section, since February). The seeding process resulted in the following: 46/64 (71.87%) correct of those that were seeded as the Top 8 made the quarterfinals of their respective draws. This is in direct contrast to Sectional Ranking, which would have been 40/64 (62.50%); USTA Junior Rating, which would have been 36/64 (56.25%) and finally, the Universal Tennis Rating, which was 46/64 (71.87%). Once again, the UTR and the New Seeding method far exceeded any other system available.

Consolation Disappointment

If points are the measure, then why do so many players leave them on the table? (On a side note, the sectional quota for the National Clay Court in the 18-12 divisions was not filled.)

There were a total of 508 Consolation matches to be played in all the back draws. Of those, 136 fell into the illness, injured or did not finish category. That means 26.77% (136/508) of the possible matches didn’t make it to the court. On the Boys’ side it was 77/262 (29.38%), and for the Girls’ it was 59/246 (23.98%). Nearly a third of all Consolation matches ended in a default of some kind.

Playoffs for third and fourth place were equally disappointing with 3/10 (30%) not taking the court, resulting in a default (two Boys’ and one Girls’ contest).

This situation affected scheduling, court and umpire costs, along with college recruiting. (I will discuss that topic in a future article.) To clarify the point, this is the equivalent of 8.5 turnovers at Los Caballeros Racquet & Sports Club on 16 courts, which is almost two full days of tennis that would not need to be scheduled or arranged. From all indications, a different method needs to be developed for the Consolation event while moving forward in 2017 and beyond.

An attempt was made to keep withdrawals to a minimum by playing the first round of Consolation on the day a player loses in the Main Draw. The staff felt that the approach improved the chances of people continuing to play the event. Once a competitor was in the Consolation, he/she had to play two matches a day, with a Tiebreak third set. This needed to be done in order to finish the Consolation in a timely fashion.

Doubles Scheduling

During the tournament, through to the quarterfinals, doubles was played first. In the interest of proper scheduling and not having to play late into the evening, as well as allowing those who were commuting to get on the road, it was decided to play the doubles semifinals and finals before the singles matches. As a result, in the Boys’ 18 three players in semifinals of the doubles and quarters of singles, two of the three players won their singles matches after the doubles. On Sunday, in the finals of doubles and semifinals of the singles, the only two competitors participating in both events won their singles matches after playing doubles first. That means four out of five (80%) won their singles matches. In the Girls’ 18, three players were in the Main Draw of the singles and doubles. In the semifinals of the doubles and quarterfinals of the singles, three of five (60%) won their singles matches after playing doubles. The two girls, who lost, played opponents who were also in the doubles. This approach had a minimal effect on those who had the upper hand in singles. Scheduling in this fashion gave the youngsters plenty of time to recover and prepare for their singles matches.

Trainer

After much discussion, along with the fact that at its peak there were eight to nine Sectional Championships sites being utilized, it was decided that it would be unfair to provide a trainer at one site and not the others. The staff and the committee will look into having a trainer at Los Caballeros Racquet & Sports Club, the main location, next year.

In conclusion, the staff and the committee will continue to evaluate and try to find ways to improve on the successes that were enjoyed this year. The goal is to make the115th rendition of the Southern California Junior Sectional Championships even better in 2017.

Trevor W. Kronemann
Director of Junior Tennis

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  1. Excellent article

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