This week’s rain-delayed CAT II tournament highlighted the need for ALL tournaments and the USTA to consider ways to improve communications with the players. Many people travel significant distances and spend upwards of $600 – $1,000 in total expenses to participate, and deserve to get the most for their efforts (on and off the courts).
Obviously, the biggest need is when weather impacts the schedule and match times — and locations (when satellite sites are involved). But changes do regularly take place, both in the main draw and consolation brackets that need to be communicated.
Here are some suggestions …
• When players register for a tournament online, be sure to provide their cell phone (rather than home phone) number along with their email address.
• The USTA should provide a digital file of all participant’s email addresses to the tournament director.
• then, in ADDITION to posting updates on the website, the tournament can send out an email “blast” with general announcements about delayed start times, weather conditions, etc.
• Players should regularly check online and/or emails for updates.
• Tournaments should NEVER change a posted start time, without notifying the players in that match.
• Tournaments should always label a website update with a new time (NOT edit an old one, that players may have already read).
• If there are satellite sites being used, identify them on the draws (online, big board, etc.).
• AND allow players to go directly to those sites and check in there (rather than driving to the main location and then being told to get back in their cars and drive somewhere else).
• Tournaments should provide a phone number that will always be answered … and by a person who has knowledge of what is happening.
• Tournaments should use an “all of the above” philosophy when trying to reach players: website, email, and cell phone.
What communication suggestions do you have for problems you may have encountered?
Sterling Oaks – finishes up today. HERE is the link to the results and pending matches.
Palm Aire – starts in one week. The deadline for sign-up is tomorrow at 5 p.m. (I will be keeping it a short week in Sarasota and playing singles only). The link is HERE
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