A Letter from Gordan Smith-New Junior Changes

I’m pleased to share with you some exciting news regarding important changes to our Junior Competitive Structure. These changes, now approved by the USTA’s Junior Competition Committee, were made after reviewing considerable research and data and promise to re-shape and revitalize junior competition throughout the U.S. For the first time, competitive junior events throughout each of the USTA’s 17 sections will have a standardized structure and ranking system, allowing for more players to compete more easily across sections and providing a consistent distribution of points at every event, regardless of where it is held. There will be seven levels of events, ranging from Level 7 (Intermediate) through Level 1 (National Championships), as well as an increased number of “open” events, providing more playing opportunities for juniors. Another exciting part of this plan is the new “Net Generation Circuit,” a series of non-ranking events where the emphasis will be on age-appropriate competition, skills development and fun. We want to thank all the staff, volunteers, coaches and tournament directors who have spent countless hours over the past 12 months, researching and debating the ideal pathway for our juniors and we are now committed to the successful implementation but also the consistent review and evaluation moving forward to meet the needs of our players, parents and coaches. These changes, slated to be put in place in 2021, will be announced later this month, but I wanted to give you all a sneak peek at our plan, which will help to shape the future of our sport and keep it growing strong for years to come by getting more young players on more courts in more places. Our tomorrow is taking shape today, and this revitalization of our Junior Competitive Structure is a large step toward our future success.

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