It is difficult to justify corralling all players within their regions – and then only allowing the very best players in the nation the opportunity to compete against out-of-region opponents. Reducing out-of-region playing opportunities by at least 75 percent makes no sense from a developmental standpoint, to say nothing of how it will affect the players motivationally. All players should have the chance to be exposed to as many different opponents as possible within a framework that meets their personal schedule, and not be limited to the very rigid July-August time frame.
There is no justification to reduce the number of competitive opportunities or to require regionalized play just to reduce travel for players and avoid missing school. Because of the reduction in the number of event dates, players will have FEWER choices to make about having to travel and when to play, regardless of how it affects their personal schedules. In fact, reducing the number of national event dates and sites will force players to travel to wherever the tournament is being held! Believing that it will be cheaper for a player to travel to one of four tournament sites across the U.S. would somehow be cheaper than traveling to one of eight sites defies all logic. While some players will by necessity be forced to stay close to home in regional play, those who are admitted to the reduced number of national events being offered will by necessity have to travel farther!
When you have an expanded menu of tournament choices, those choices allow certain events to work into your personal world very well. More tournaments mean – more chances that you have cheaper airfares to a particular city, more drives instead of flies, more chances to stay at a friend's house, more chances to combine a tennis trip with a vacation, etc. When you don’t have these choices, you are left to do the best you can with what is offered.
The result is this: Strong players will have to travel farther at greater costs. Good players will be restricted to play the same players over and over again in their regionally mandated events. Lower ranked players will not get to play national events at all and, in all likelihood, will understandably lose interest in pursuing the game.
This is basic economics. When products are in short supply, one of two things must happen: The price will increase, or the demand will drop. In the case of junior tennis, because of the USTA’s proposals for 2014, both will happen. Some players will have to spend more; others will simply drop out.
Replies to This Discussion
This was interesting. It is actually better to read the full article on the link listed.
Never in a million years would I have thought that Hannity makes sense.
ALSO: I moved this to the correct category. tsk tst Timmy!
OOPS: forgot, Mark!