Your Tennis Shop Is Closing

Todd Goldman, Publisher and Editor of TennisLife Magazine, is concerned that the USTA’s new “exclusive retail arrangement” with one company (Wilson) to sell Ten and Under equipment could have a huge, long-term, negative impact on sales at your local tennis shop.

He argues that once the sales connection is made on these products, much of the other business will start flowing there (and away from the local tennis shops). And asks anyone who is concerned to email the USTA Executive Director, Gordon Smith at gsmith@usta.com

SENIOR LEAGUES – Caution, this is only second-hand information at this point, but I heard the USTA will be changing the structure of senior doubles leagues …

According to the source, they will be ELIMINATING THE 60+ LEAGUES in favor of having 45s and 55s.

Does anyone know if this is really going to happen?

From my perspective, with the Baby Boomers now flowing through, they should be doing just the reverse: starting a 70+ division.

12 thoughts on “Your Tennis Shop Is Closing

  1. They should be adding age categories, not deleting them!! Not sure about the statement that business will start flowing to Wilson after the purchase of 10 and under equipment because the general public cannot purchase anything directly from Wilson as far as i know. I think it just means that all tennis shops will only be able to purchase the 10 and under equipment from Wilson.

  2. One of my best friends has just become President of the Georgia Tennis Association. According to her, starting in 2012 the age categoties for participation is USTA League Tennis will change. Senior starts at age 55 and Super Senior starts at age 70. So long to 60 year old super seniors. I don’t know anything about tournament play.

  3. Sounds rediculous to me. Why would they eliminate higher age brackets at this stage of the game??? The 60’s and the 70’s are going to become a larger age group in the future!!!

  4. I sure hope the rumor’s wrong, George – I just signed on to captain our SS team this summer! Just sent an inquiry to the USTA coordinator for Chicago District, asking if there’s any truth to the story. Will let you know if I hear anything either way.

  5. Senior Leagues – Caution again. About two years ago, maybe old information now, USTA was thinking about having the three same leagues we have now but changing the ages and names to accomodate the baby boomers. Adult (19-49), Seniors / Masters (50 – 64) and Super Seniors / Legends (65 and over). May have the ages slightly wrong. The person who would know, if it can be released, is David Schobel, head of leagues at the National level. His email is schobel@usta.com if anyone wants to follow up.

  6. George,
    I couldn’t find the article in TennisLife Magazine re: USTA’s exclusive retail agreement
    with Wilson. I’m wondering if the USTA is going to be retailing the equipment
    from Wilson to the consumer? If so, they would be yet another on-line competitor
    to local pro shops — a short-sighted move, in my opinion, which only makes it
    more difficult for our local brick-and-mortar tennis shops to keep the doors open.
    I’m a bit biased, having worked in one tennis shop or another for most of my
    life, but if the USTA is really trying to grow the game, let’s not kill off the local pro
    shops in the process!

  7. Here’s the league re-structuring approved by the USTA Board at their April Meeting in Naples:
    Adult 18 and Over: 2 singles; 3 doubles matches (3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5); 1 singles; 2 doubles matches (2.5 & 5.0); both are national programs
    Adult 40 and Over: 2 singles; 3 doubles matches (3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5); national program
    Adult 55 and Over: 3 doubles matches (6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0); national program
    Adult 70 and Over: 3 doubles matches (6.0, 7.0, 8.0); Strongly encouraged at Section and Local levels. Will become National Program (i.e. offer a National Championship) when the division meets the minimum criteria established by USTA League Committee (approximately 20,000 players and implemented in at least 12 Sections)

    Jack – does 8.0 mean that a 4.5 rated player cannot play in the league and be teamed with another — or even a 4.0? george

  8. George; as you are very well aware, I am and have been a fan of your e-mails for years. I, however, am disappointed that you printed this information today but do acknowledge that you used the word “caution” and that the information was only second hand information. Second hand information, not verified, creates an atsmosphere of anxiety and inaccuracy. #1. This information was just published last Tuesday. #2. Steve Scheer’s information provided by the President of Georgia Tennis Association is inaccurate in that the changes will not take effect in the league year of 2012 but in the league year of 2013. 3. I have not had the opportunity to advise the other local league coordinators of this impending change but have a meeting scheduled with them on 4-27-11, after which we will publish the accurate changes for all of you to view. 4. The super senior category is intact in USTA Florida for the 2012 league year. 5. The changes will be good for the game and the age divisions will be really good. 6. Regarding the anticipated growth of our society in the older categories, this is true. Please note that I started the Super 70’s in Naples area in 2004; you, yourself, asked me just a few weeks ago that I should consider starting a super 70’s league at which time I informed you that we have it for years and we will continue to do so. Our area is a prime area for the “older” players since we are the largest in the state for the senior, super senior and super 70’s age grouping.

    Having vented my thoughts, I would appreciate you and your readers tabling this until I get back to you, hopefully, on the 28th after I have discussed the changes to be implemented in the 2013 league year with the other coordinators in our area. I guess my frustration is that you are and have been aware for years that any and all of you can come to me with any issues and had you contacted me with your “cautionary” information, this entire situation could have been avoided and you would have had accurate information to share with your readers and fellow tennis players.

  9. Just to summarize all the above, George: yes, the changes take place next year and anybody from 55-69 will have to play in the 55’s. Combined rating of 8.0 means a 4.5 has to play with a 3.5. The teams here have used the strategy of keeping three 4.5 players from year to year and finding new, strong unrated players they can bring in for at least one year as 3.5 players – when they are successful, they get bumped up to 4.0 and get kicked off the team. The whole concept is kind of screwy, the USTA seems to be ignoring the strong base of 55-69 players who fill these leagues and show up for the USTA tournaments but are now going to be frozen out of most of the leagues. Where are we supposed to go for regular league play unless we join teams and leagues with players up to 14 years younger?

    Len – you have accurately described my concerns!! george

  10. One more thought to add: (even if Linda Kleitch seems to think we should not discuss this among ourselves) are there enough concerned players age 60-69 out there to directly address USTA (perhaps directly to David Schobel, email address above), to see if this is carved in stone or can be modified?

  11. George, Information regarding the 2013 USTA league age changes is still being finalized. I am not fully informed as to all the particulars with regards to the changes and would rather not piece meal or give out information that was not accurate. We should have available, the most current information at the captains meeting’s and plan to discuss these changes then. It is actually pretty exciting and will open up a whole new competitive age venue.
    The Super 70’s has a great group and is offered for the 2012 Fall and Winter USTA League sessions. I hope you will field or be part of a team. If you have any questions regarding the Super 70’s please feel free to contact me. For now I have put your name and email address in my contact list for the most current registration information when it becomes available. If any of your other 70’s readers are interested in the Super 70’s, they are welcome to inquire.

    Bob Baker
    LLC Super 70’s
    USTA Florida Region 7 – Collier
    bobbakerpersonal@comcast.net

    bob – i will be “there” for the 2013 season; but am disappointed by the potential of the ratings limitations. tks. george

  12. An 8.0 league exists now and is defined at the section level. Some sections like Florida require that both players in a doubles team be 4.0. In other sections (like Northern), a 3.5 player may be teamed with a 4.5 player as a doubles partner.

    Jack – too bad for us old guys who still carry the 4.5 rating. george

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