Neil Johnson of Serve, Stroke and Volley (SSV) wins SCTA’s Curt Condon Spirit Award

Bill Kellogg (left), Neil Johnson, Bruce Hunt (right)

The concept of Serve, Stroke and Volley (SSV) is a tennis rating program that has given the face of junior tennis a fresh look at level-based competition. For his dedication and efforts, Neil Johnson of San Diego recently received the Curt Condon Spirit Award from the Southern California Tennis Association. This honor recognizes an individual (or group) that has been inspirational to those they have touched in the community by unselfishly going above and beyond in their promotion of tennis.

SSV was created over three decades ago by Johnson. He was searching for a means to accurately rate players of all levels based on control, power and ball placement. Then he created fun and fast competitive round robin events to offer level-based play, which often produces fair and challenging matches for all.

Johnson built SSV around measuring five basic strokes including the serve, forehand, backhand, forehand volley and backhand volley, as well as a court mobility bonus test score.  An individual’s total score then becomes the basis for categorizing junior players of similar levels, regardless of age and gender. The rating test takes about 15 minutes to perform per person, and it offers the option to later re-test and upgrade one’s score.

It took time for the majority of the junior tennis world to get on board the SSV train, but now Johnson and his son, Randy, offer this program to any group who wants to use it in Southern California. In addition, they will train pros, coaches and instructors how to use it.

Congratulations to Neil and Randy Johnson, and the entire organization.

For more information on SSV tennis, go to or email  To contact Neil Johnson (San Diego) call (760) 781-5182 or in Los Angeles, call Randy Johnson at  (818) 458-6882.

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