League tennis competition tailored to meet your busy schedule. That's what USTA's new Flex Leagues are all about.
With today's busy lifestyles, committing to a fixed league schedule is keeping many players from engaging in tennis. Playing at the same time every week and at the same location just doesn't work for many players' schedules.
The United States Tennis Association is hoping to change all that with the new Flex Leagues tennis program.
"USTA Flex Leagues offer players flexibility in scheduling their tennis around other commitments and an opportunity to meet and play other players outside their current player group," said USTA Player and Network Services Managing Director Patricia Freebody.
Players sign up online for singles, doubles or mixed doubles (depending on local schedule) using the TennisLink system. Players also track standings and report scores with the online system. All players registered are entered into nationwide drawings held twice a year for exciting prizes such a trip for two to the 2010 US Open and online gift certificates ranging from $50-500.
The home player is responsible for initial contact and for offering first choice of time/location.? Both players will then mutually agree on the most convenient schedule and place.? Many times, players will agree to a neutral site that is convenient to both in order to help facilitate getting the match played.
"USTA Flex Leagues connect players of similar ability together in an organized league that allows players to schedule 5-7 matches when and where it's convenient for the players involved. This means you might play a morning match near home one week and an evening match near work the next week, says Marilyn Sherman, National Manager, USTA Flex Leagues.
The Benefits of USTA Flex Leagues
- Flexible scheduling (players decide when and where to play)
- Meet new players
- Built-in opponents for more match play
- Competitive (flights are divided by NTRP levels)
- Many players are remembering that they can get their exercise ON the court by playing singles
- Another chance to get your exercise on the court or to work on your game
- If doubles is offered, it's a chance to play several matches with the same partner or to work on doubles strategy
Here's how USTA Flex Leagues work:
Level of Play
Play is ordered by NTRP levels. If you have a current NTRP rating, it is suggested you play at that level or above. If you do not have a current NTRP rating, you are prompted to self rate when level of play is selected. Not sure you know your level? Self-rate your game.
Schedules will be created designating a week for matches to be played. Matches can be played any time agreed upon by both players (or both doubles pairs). All matches should be completed and scores entered by the season end date for the program.
The schedule will designate one player (pair) as home. The home player arranges the court and covers any court costs. The home player should initiate the contact with an opponent, but the away player can choose to make the contact.
It is recommended that the winner enter the scores for the match and the opponent confirms it is correct. Either player can enter scores, but only a local tennis organizer may correct scores that have been entered. The scoring format will be either:
A.?best of three sets with a set tiebreak (first to 7 points by 2) at 6-6 in any set.
B.?match tiebreak in lieu of 3rd set (first to 10 points by 2). Set tiebreak (first to 7 points by 2) at 6-6 in first or second set.
Rules of Play
Play is self-regulated and disputes should be worked out by the players. It is recommended you read the Code for Unofficiated Matches to familiarize yourself with the rules of tennis.
In leagues with multiple flights, a playoff could be scheduled between flight winners. The local tennis organizer will let you know how a playoff would be scheduled.
Whether you're looking to play more matches, improve your skills, expand your social network or get more exercise on the court by playing singles, USTA Flex Leagues is for you!
GREAT TENNIS. ON YOUR TERMS.
For more information on USTA Flex Leagues visit? USTA Flex.com . You can submit your email and zip code there (at the bottom of home page) to show interest and you will be emailed when a league opens in your area.