Tournament Scheduling

marty judgeWhere is the balance between a tournament player’s obligation to meet the schedule and the tournament staff to be flexible in accommodating players’ schedules?

Newk camp friend and tournament player Marty Judge writes:

“Have you ever had a situation where a tournament director was so inflexible in scheduling matches that he refused to accommodate a legitimate and unavoidable conflict that was brought to his attention before he even set the draws, thus requiring you to default the first match of the tournament despite that your application fee was accepted? If so, what if anything were you able to do about it?”

Marty’s situation:

• He signed up for a tournament that was scheduled to start on a Saturday and run through the following week.
• And he emailed the tournament director saying he had a conflict on Saturday afternoon; so could he please be scheduled in the morning.
• There was no morning play scheduled and the tournament director’s reply was simply: “Sorry. You are scheduled to play @ 4pm Sat May 17.”
• Marty had to forfeit and had no further reply from the TD

His closing comments:
“It’s not the end of the world and it is only $33. But the curt response, no follow up, and overall tone just rubbed me the wrong way. By contrast, the TD in the last tournament I played could not have been nicer. He actually sent emails to the participants after the tournament was over thanking them for their participation and hoping that they will play the tournament again next year. (And you bet I will!!) He also made it clear on the USTA Tennis Link description of the tournament that, while he could make no guarantees, he is aware that people have jobs and lives outside of tournament tennis and he would do his best to try to accommodate all reasonable scheduling conflicts – provided they are brought to his attention early. A study in contrasts.”

My comment:
It is possible that the tournament did not have access to the courts in the morning (members only); but he could have perhaps come up with another solution.

Who is more right here?

Wimbledon TV

Below is a schedule of ESPN’s live Wimbledon programming.
Date Time (ET) Event Network
Mon., June 23 –
Thurs., June 26 7 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Early Round Action ESPN
11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Early Round Action ESPNEWS
2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2 (simulcast of ESPNEWS)
Fri., June 27 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN
Sat., June 28 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN
Mon., June 30 7 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Round of 16 ESPN
8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Round of 16, ESPN2
11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Round of 16 ESPNEWS
Tues., July 1 8 a.m – 1 p.m. Women’s quarterfinals, ESPN2
8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Women’s quarterfinals ESPN
11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Women’s quarterfinals, ESPNEWS
Weds., July 2 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Men’s quarterfinals, ESPN
8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Men’s quarterfinals, ESPN2
Thurs., July 3 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Women’s semifinals ESPN
Fri., July 4 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Men’s semifinals ESPN
Sat., July 5 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Women’s final ESPN
Sun., July 6 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Men’s final ESPN

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5 thoughts on “Tournament Scheduling

  1. Clearly the tournament director could have been less curt in his response but from my point of view is “in the right”. I’m the director of a small tournament and you wouldn’t believe the special scheduling requests/requirements . I go way out of my way to accomodate them when feasible but it’s not always possible. We don’t play matches in the morning so our club members can use the courts. This is really a matter of tone in the director’s response and that in this case was badly lacking.

  2. As the coordinator of the FL SSGP our policy is in first round matches to be as accommodating as possible. However, when the doubles starts then it becomes much more difficult. It is important that the player let the tournament know as early as possible so it can be done as part of normal scheduling. Otherwise it may mean having to change another match which means contacting all the other players and then they may not want or be able to switch times. It can get complicated. We try to be user friendly, but with 100 plus players not always easy to please everyone. The 2015 FL SSGP Circuit is shaping up and should be almost same as last year. One change is Colonial has declined to continue so looking for a replacement. Come on down and enjoy great tennis and mostly warm weather.

  3. Larry – thanks for the input and update on the FL tournaments. How about Bonita Bay (who does a great job with the Naples/Ft. Myers challenge) or Cambier Park, which used to host one? george

  4. If I’m accommodated by a tournament director, I see it as a nice “plus”, but I certainly don’t expect it.

    Just had a wonderful experience at a little tournament up in Anderson, SC. It was the most accommodating director I’ve ever come across, and the club members were also incredible with the way they treated the participants. We’ll likely return.

    Sounds like the director you described would rather not have to run that tournament – and *certainly* has no desire to see it grow. 🙂

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