After We Take The Children – By: Guardian Of The Game

Written by: on 25th September 2013
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Tennis Australian Open 2012
After We Take The Children - By: Guardian Of The Game

epa03069961 The shadow of Novak Djokovic of Serbia as he serves during his men's singles third round match against Nicolas Mahut of France at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 21 January 2012. EPA/MAST IRHAM  |

Now that we have the children, why stop! Let’s not go directly into collegiate tennis – we aren’t animals after all – but rather, let’s dip our beaks, quietly, to test the waters, without so much as a ripple, for fear that someone might sound an alarm against our intrusion.

We’ll call the committee an “advisory group,” because the masses are not afraid of groups nearly as much as “committees” and “organizations.” We’re so smart. And then we’ll call our changes “tests” and “experiments,” just like we did with 36/60, or Quickstart, or Progressive Tennis, or 10 and Under – wait what are we calling it these days?

And we’ll let people know that we sent out a hundred thousand surveys and then be sure to keep the number of respondents really secretive because, well not that many people really gave a crap about the fact that college tennis matches last about as a long as a college football game and the few who responded said they wouldn’t mind cutting things down by about an hour in order to get back to their club to practice all the great things they just watched on the college tennis courts.

We’ll just start on a few campuses – twenty sounds like a good number – doing away with that RIDICULOUS DOUBLES thing unless it’s really necessary to decide a match.

Too, the whole five-minute warm-up seems a bit obsolete. After all, why would players want to have a brief knock-about before rocketing a 135mph serve – besides, all the good universities have good shoulder surgeons on site. Yea, that five minutes is surely the biggest deterrent for fans wanting to come see a college match. What would they do for that insane temporal period? Way too long for a good urination or a stop at the food kiosk. Maybe some of the fans could hold a War and Peace book club reading while the athletes hit all those groundies and volleys.

Also, we can change the national singles and doubles championships to after the fall season, because the whole idea of getting matches and battle tested and coaching seems a bit overindulgent doesn’t it? Plus, that way we could eliminate, from the whole individual championship season, any aspiring kids starting in January. Certainly, this can’t be a bad thing.

Oh, and this will be the best part. Let’s say this: Historically the USTA has worked closely with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). However, due to the fact that the ITA has been actively engaged in these debates on format changes for a number of years, the USTA chose to not have the ITA at these initial Advisory Group meetings in order to assure a fresh perspective.

I bet that will be enough to circumvent all those smart people who think we should probably have been open about our intentions with the ITA if we wanted to move from American tennis into the NCAA’s realm.


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