2020 USTA SOUTHWEST JUNIOR PLAYER HANDBOOK
This is our parent/players' resource to all things junior tennis in the Southwest, including tournament schedules, and rankings and tournament levels-explanations. Please bookmark the page and refer back to this document for items you may need to view again during the calendar year.
JUNIOR TEAM TENNIS
USTA Jr. Team Tennis is the largest youth tennis program in the country, helping girls and boys ages 7 to 18 get in the game, get on the court, and have a good time.
Teams are coed and made up of at least six players, three boys and three girls, based on similar ages and skill levels. The emphasis is on skill development, fun, teamwork and friendly competition, all with the possibility of advancing to the Section and National Championships.
Tennis is a sport you can play for life and Jr. Team Tennis lays the foundation for a lasting relationship.
USTA Southwest divides our level of tournaments for kids into seven levels (1-7 and National events).
The beginning, lower stages of play start with a higher number (i.e. LEVEL 7), and as players progress they move to numbers more fitting of their improving skill level (with the highest level of play being LEVEL 1).
Entry Level tournaments provide new or less experienced players an opportunity to get started in a variety of different formats.
Formats: Include one day or half day non-elimination or round robin formats
What they count for: These tournaments do not count in the rankings/standings as the focus is more on experience and participation
Selection: Open entry
Where to find them: You’ll find these tournaments in the TennisLink searchable schedule under “non-sanctioned events” or “entry level” and will have a L7 at the end of the tournament name. Not all entry level events will be published online so check with your local facility to see what they have to offer.
Examples: Includes Tempe’s East Valley NET tournaments and Northern New Mexico Rookie L7s
Ball Used: This level of tournament may be using red, orange, green or yellow depending on the level and age. Refer to the tournament for more information.
Local tournaments provide the next step in improving and challenging your game.
Formats: A variety of different formats including round robin, compass draw and traditional consolation and vary in length from half a day to three day tournaments. For instance, Super Sets are half day round robin or compass draw non elimination tournaments
What they count for: These tournaments count in the USTA Southwest Section rankings/standings and endorsement list
Selection: Open entry; some tournament may have limited draw due to court restrictions
Where to find them: You’ll find these tournaments in the TennisLink searchable schedule under “sanctioned events” and will have a L6 at the end of the tournament name
Examples: Super Sets, Shootouts, Mesa Jr. Open, Tennis West Jr. Open, Jerry Cline Jr. Open
Ball Used: 8U red ball; 10U orange ball and green ball; 12U green ball; 14U, 16U, 18U
DISTRICT QUALIFYING TOURNAMENTS/CHALLENGERS
District qualifying tournaments or “Challengers” serve as regular local/regional competition and as a qualifying tournament into the next Level 4 Master Series Event.
For more information on these tournaments refer to the endorsement section later in this document.
Format: Full Feed-In Consolation through the R16 with Quarterfinal consolation draw; Dates held are typically Saturday through Monday (depending on draw sizes)
What they count for: These tournaments count in the USTA Southwest Section standings and USTA Southwest Endorsement list
Selection: Open entry with limited draws; selection based on Universal Tennis Rating
Where to find them: You’ll find these tournaments in the TennisLink searchable schedule under “sanctioned events” and will have a L5 at the end of the tournament name
Examples: Arizona Junior Challenger L5, El Paso Junior Challenger L5
Ball Used: 12U, 14U, 16U, 18U Yellow ball
There are four Section Masters Series tournaments that provide a high level of competition.
One is held in each of the larger districts- USTA Phoenix, USTA Southern Arizona, USTA Northern New Mexico and USTA Greater El Paso.
For more information on these tournaments refer to the endorsement section.
Format: Limited 32 player draw with alternates; Full feed-in consolation through R16 with Quarterfinal consolation; Saturday through Monday
What they count for: These tournaments count in the USTA Southwest Section standings, USTA Southwest Endorsement list and USTA National rankings/standings
Selection: Open to all section players and up to 8 players per division from outside section and selection based on Universal Tennis Rating
Where to find them: You’ll find these tournaments in the TennisLink searchable schedule under “sanctioned events” and will have a L4 at the end of the tournament name
Examples: Masters Events—Racketbusters, Sun City Jr., NNM Jr , Jeff Myers Jr.
Ball Used: yellow ball for all age divisions (only 12-18 age divisions)
Section Championships, Masters Championships & National Level 3 events
There are two Level 3 Section tournaments, the Section Championships (Southwest Jr. Closed) and Phoenix Junior Masters .
There are 6 other date blocks for L3 National events. These provide a high level of competition and point value.
For more information on these tournaments and their format refer to the endorsement section later in this document.
What they count for: These tournaments count in the USTA Southwest Section and USTA National rankings/standings
Selection: Closed to section residents and selection based on Universal Tennis Rating
Where to find them: You’ll find these tournaments in the TennisLink searchable schedule under “sanctioned events” and will have a L3 at the end of the tournament name
There are 4 date blocks for National Level 2 events throughout the year. Please refer to the national junior tournament schedule and our section endorsement page later in this document for information on selection and format for these events.
What they count for: These tournaments count in the USTA Southwest Section, USTA Southwest Endorsement list and USTA National rankings/standings
Selection: Based on National Standings List (NSL)
Where to find them: You’ll find these tournaments in the TennisLink searchable schedule
Examples: National selection tournaments and Zone Team Championships
Ball Used: Yellow ball for all age divisions
LEVEL 1 - USTA NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS
There are a variety of National Level 1 events throughout the year.
The Format: Refer to endorsement section for more information
What they count for: These tournaments count in the USTA Southwest Section and USTA National rankings/standings
Selection: Based primarily on Southwest Section Endorsement or NSL. This will place an increased importance on achieving excellence at the Sectional level before advancing to national competition.
Where to find them: You’ll find these tournaments in the TennisLink searchable schedule
Examples: Spring Championships, Nat’l Championships, Clay Court Nat’l Championships, National Indoors, Winter Nat’l Champs, Spring Team Championships, Intersectional Team Championships, and BG 18 Nat’l Team Championships
Ball Used: Yellow ball for all age divisions
Quota System: Quota is a mathematical calculation that determines the number of players each Section endorses to Nationals.
It is currently based solely on size of junior membership in a Section. To give weight to the strength of a Section’s players, the new quota will be based on 40% size and 60% strength.
Strength will be determined by the number of players each Section (i.e. - in our case, the Southwest Section) has ranked among the top 150 in all divisions. The calculation is done at the beginning of each year using data as of December 31.
BOYS/GIRLS 16/18s CLAY and HARD COURTS: 2 quota spots
BOYS/GIRLS 12/14 CLAY & HARD COURTS: 2 quota spots
BOYS/GIRLS 12/14 INDOOR: 1 quota spot
BOYS/GIRLS 14-18 WINTER: 2 quota spots
BOYS/GIRLS 12 WINTER: 2 quota spots
All juniors who hope to be endorsed for participation in National Surface Championships and Team Events should read this information very carefully. Make sure you understand the procedures and regulations for endorsement. It is the responsibility of the player to initiate as well as secure an endorsement.
Questions regarding endorsement should be directed to the Junior Development Manager at email@example.com.
What is Endorsement?: Endorsement is the Section’s approval of a junior player to play National Events based on ranking and meeting the section’s endorsement requirements.
The draws for the USTA's National Championships, National Clay Court Championships, National Winter Championships, National Indoor Championships, and Summer National Team events are limited and are based on the Southwest endorsement list at the time of selection.
All players who have one win in an eligible tournament and accumulate points will appear on the endorsement list.
Each USTA Section has an exact, guaranteed quota for the National Championships listed in the previous section.
The endorsement list will include the past 12 months of a players’ record. A player’s best 6 singles and best 6 doubles will count at any one time. This can include any USTA Sanctioned Sectional, USTA National tournament or ITF tournament (that used TDM). This list will be a rolling endorsement list.
A PLAYER MUST HAVE AT LEAST ONE WIN IN THE AGE GROUP TO APPEAR ON THE LIST. The list will not include you if you are only counting points down from a higher age group. Consult section office for more information.
Summer National Team events selection will be based on a combined ranking during the segment.
This combined ranking will use 100% of a player’s singles points and 25% of a player’s doubles points. The best six (6) singles and doubles tournament results during the past 12 months will count.
The endorsement list for each National tournament selection will be posted by our national offices’ publishing deadline for the endorsement list and will only include tournaments up until that date.
Easter Bowl/National Spring Championships (March 28-April 5, 2020) Players are selected via the NSL (National Standings List) in BG 12-16 and via the ITF selection process for BG 18s. This tournament will be a draw of 64 singles, 32 doubles. (BG 18s is a Level 1A tournament, BG 12-16 is Level 1)
National Clay Court Championships (July 12-18, 2020) Players are selected via the section quota– this tournament will be a draw of 192 in singles and 96 in doubles. Our endorsement list (used for section quota) will be published during the week of the tournament’s deadline.
National Hard Court Championships (August 7-15, 2020) Players are selected via the section quota– this tournament will be a draw of 192 in singles and 96 in doubles. Our endorsement list (used for section quota) will be published during the week of the tournament’s deadline.
National Doubles Championships (August 28-30, 2020) Players are selected via the NSL (National Standings List) and section sends in doubles team endorsement list.32 teams in 14s and 16s, Compass Draw.
National Indoor Championships (November 27-30, 2020) Players are selected via section quota-one section quota spot per age division. The tournament will be a draw of 64 singles and 32 doubles.
Winter National Championships (Dec 27, 2020-Jan 3, 2021) Players are selected via the section quota– this tournament will be a draw of 128 singles and 64 in doubles. Our endorsement list (used for section quota) will be published during the week of the tournament’s deadline.
BG 18’s National Team Championships (August 1-5, 2020) Top 7 boys and top 7 girls in 18s that are endorsed and register through the section.
BG 16 & 14 Intersectionals (July 5-9, 2020) Top 4 boys and top 4 girls in 16s and 14s that are endorsed and register through the section. Selection list date after Memorial Day tournaments.
BG 12-16 Zonals (July 30-August 3, 2020) Next 6 boys and 6 girls for BG 14-16 zonals and top 12 boys and girls for 12 Zonals that are endorsed and register through the section. Selection list date after the Southwest Junior Closed.
National Spring Team Championships (February 29-March 3 2020) 32 players in each age group/16 teams. All selections based on the NSL (National Standings List).
POINTS PER ROUND
1. Players must win a round to receive points for a tournament. Byes don’t qualify as wins.
2. Withdrawals and walkovers qualify as wins for the advancing player and earn Points Per Round, but do not earn bonus points for significant wins.
3. Retirements qualify as wins for the advancing player and earn Points Per Round and bonus points for significant wins.
4. A player who advances because of a default that takes place before the commencement of the first point in the match or because the opponent is disqualified shall receive Point Per Round for advancing, but does not earn bonus points for significant wins.
5. A player who is defaulted from a tournament for code violations under the Point Penalty System or misconduct forfeits any points accumulated during the tournament. Players defaulted in singles only lose points accumulated for singles.
6. Points earned in a higher age division count towards a player's standing in the player's natural age division, as well as in the age division of the tournament itself (standings only, not final rankings).
7. Singles and Doubles Standings will use a Combined Ranking. This combined ranking will be based on a player's best Six (6) tournaments played in the last twelve (12) months. This combined ranking will use 100% of a player’s singles points and 25% of a player’s doubles points.
8. Final Combined Rankings will be based on the best Six (6) tournaments played during the calendar year. This final combined ranking will use 100% of a player’s singles points and 25% of a player’s doubles points. There are not any minimum requirements to receive a final ranking (except participating in one tournament and winning a match). Final rankings do not include any results from other age divisions.
9. All eligible players who have won at least one match in a USTA Southwest Section sanctioned tournament will have a standing.
10. Significant win/Bonus points are based on the previous month’s final standings.
11. Results of exhibitions, interscholastic and intercollegiate matches will not be considered for ranking purposes.
12. Results of Southwest Sanctioned tournaments and tournaments on the USTA National Schedule for the ranking year under consideration will provide the sole data for standings/rankings.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The entry deadline for a tournament has passed. Can I still get in? It is up to the tournament director. If there is space in the draw, they may allow it, but they are not required to accept late entries. Be sure to plan your tournament schedule early. All tournaments are available on the searchable calendar.
When registering for a tournament, why am I asked for a phone number and email? Tournament directors do not have access to membership information. In order for the tournament director to contact you for any reason, they will need the correct contact information. It is highly advisable to put down a cell phone number as many times players are traveling out of area and a home phone will not do a tournament director any good if they cannot reach you.
How do I register for doubles? All players who want to participate in doubles MUST register online for a doubles event before the deadline. If you registered for doubles with a partner, but your partner did not register by the closing date, the system will not pair you together. For all tournaments, you must e-mail the tournament director BEFORE the deadline with partner information or you will be randomly paired or not guaranteed a partner.
How do I withdraw from a tournament? To withdraw from a tournament before the entry deadline, return to the tournament homepage via TennisLink and click the "Withdraw" link under the Edit Registration title. - To withdraw from a tournament after the entry deadline, send an email to the tournament director listed on the tournament homepage.
Will I receive a refund if I withdraw from a tournament? If you withdraw online before the entry deadline, you will not be charged for the tournament so there is no need for a refund. If you withdraw after being selected for a tournament, the Tournament Director is not required to refund your entry fee.
How are the draws made? For all USTA Southwest Section Tournaments, the draws are made by a computer using software that has been developed for USTA tournaments and the tournament director is the person who pushes the “make draw” button.
How are the seeds determined for a tournament?To determine the seeds in the singles draws of L3-5 events, players are ordered using Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) weekly average, the Wednesday or Thursday of the week entries closed. - To determine the seeds in the doubles draws, the players are ordered using UTR doubles rating. We consider 80%-100% status as reliable ratings for singles and doubles seeding.
Does anybody read the comments from the tournament surveys? Yes, all submitted responses are reviewed by the Junior Player Development Manager.
Do byes count as a win? No.
How often are the Standing and Endorsement Lists updated? The Standings list is run every week between Monday and Wednesday. Any changes made to a tournament after the lists have been calculated and published will not be included until the following week. It is a player’s responsibility to check his or her results and notify the tournament director in a timely manner for errors. Endorsement lists are run every 2-3 weeks.
What does "doesn’t count toward ranking" mean? Since not all tournaments are included in the overall point total, when this note is next to a tournament it means that it is not one of the player’s top 6 results.
Do tournaments played outside the Southwest Section count toward my Southwest section ranking? Only tournaments on the national junior tournament schedule (NJTS) and ITF junior events that use TDM for score entry outside the section, are included in the section and endorsement standings.
Withdrawal Policy: If a player withdraws or defaults (for reason other than illness or injury) from any sanctioned tournament in the Southwest Section (L3-L6), after entries close, that player will be assessed 4 suspension points unless medical documentation of the injury or illness is provided to the Tournament Director AND Southwest Section Junior Player Development Manager within 48 hours after the completion of the tournament.
"Player shall not enter tournament player cannot finish. Player shall not enter a tournament (including mandatory consolation) knowing the player will be unable to finish." p119 Friend at Court
Parents, Coaches, Spectators: Coaching, interjection into a match, audible obscenities, physical confrontation or verbal confrontation deemed to be threatening or disruptive, by a Coach, Spectator, Parent, Sibling or any other person related to a player, will result in immediate ejection of the offending party from all tournament sites for the remainder of the tournament.
The Referee, Umpires, Officials, Tournament Committee Members and the Junior Player Development Manager are authorized to eject all persons engaging in any of the infractions listed above.
Such ejection will be documented and forwarded to the Junior Player Development Manager and the SWS Junior Sportsmanship Committee for review and the imposition of further penalties if warranted. Failure to leave the tournament site when directed to do so will result in increased penalties.
Player Promise: I recognize that tennis is a sport that places the responsibility for fair play on me. I promise to abide by the rules of the game, which require me to give the benefit of the doubt to my opponent. At all times I shall strive to compete with the true spirit of sportsmanship, recognizing that my behavior on the court is a direct reflection of my character.
RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP
1. All persons ranked must hold a current USTA membership card in one of the Southwest Section districts.
2. Only persons who maintain a permanent residence within the boundaries of the Southwest Section (states of Arizona, New Mexico, and El Paso County, Texas) are eligible for ranking, endorsement and closed tournaments. A junior player, who lives with one or both parents, or a legal guardian, shall be considered a permanent resident of the location where he or she physically resides for the majority of the year, where he or she attends school and/or where he or she primarily engages in training and playing tennis. A junior player who is an established resident of the Southwest Section according to the aforementioned criteria, but is currently living apart from his or her parent(s) for reasons such as college, tennis academy or boarding school attendance, military involvement, etc. will continue to be considered a permanent resident of the Southwest Section as long as his or her parent(s) maintain a permanent residence within its boundaries. For this purpose, permanent residency for the calendar year for the parent(s) is defined as a minimum of 184 days.
3. Anyone moving into the section during the year must change their membership with the USTA membership department. The residency committee has the right to ask for proof of permanent residency. The burden of proof will be on the player/parent.
A person's legal residence is his/her permanent dwelling place. It is the place where he/she is generally understood to reside with the intent to remain there indefinitely and return when absent. There must be a concurrence of actual residence and of intent to remain indefinitely to acquire legal residence. Examples are as follows:
• Residence of the individual or residence of the parents for a junior,
• Location of eligibility of voter registration,
• Location of individual's or family's (in the case of a junior) personal property and payment of taxes thereon,
• Place where the individual has filed and paid state income tax,
• Address and other pertinent facts listed on federal and state income tax returns,
• Address listed on credit cards,
• State where individual's or parent's (in the case of a junior), personal automobile title is registered and the payment of property tax thereon.
• Address on individual's or parent's (in the case of a junior) driver’s license.
The above factors are only examples of many acts that might reveal one's true intent with regard to residency. Intent should not be determined on the basis of one of these facts alone; neither should a predetermined number of facts be required. Instead, all the acts that tend to display intent to become a legal resident of a district in the USTA Southwest Section should be listed together.
The burden of proof of eligibility for entry to USTA Southwest Section Closed tournaments and for USTA Southwest Section ranking is on the player seeking to be declared eligible.
If a player feels that there is any debate that he/she qualifies as a resident of the USTA Southwest Section of the USTA, according to the prescribed regulations, and thereby eligible to be ranked and/or participate in USTA Southwest Section Closed tournaments, he/she may appeal his/her eligibility to an appeals committee composed of:
• The Junior Competition Committee of the Southwest Section.
• The Chairman of the USTA Southwest Section Grievance Committee.
U.S. Citizenship - USTA National Hard and Clay Court Championships, USTA National Doubles Championships, USTA National Spring Championships, USTA National Selection Tournaments, USTA National Level 3 Tournaments, USTA National Spring Team Championships, USTA National Team Championships, USTA Intersectional Team Championships, USTA Zone Team Championships, Southwest Section Closed L3’s and L4’s (Central AZ and Southern AZ):
Permanent resident aliens of the United States.
Diplomats. Aliens who have resided in the United States continuously for more than one year and who are members of families of persons in the diplomatic or consular corps.
Aliens with Refugee Status. Aliens who have been granted Refugee Status.
Aliens with Asylee Status. Aliens who have been granted Asylee Status. Aliens with Temporary Protected Status. Aliens who have been granted Temporary Protected Status.
Aliens with Adjustment Status. Aliens whose I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status) has been accepted for filing.
British Columbians: Canadian citizens and landed Canadian immigrants who reside in British Columbia, provided that they were USTA members for at least one month and so long as they do not allow their USTA memberships to lapse for a period of more than six months.
Documents commonly used to support a particular alien status include a permanent resident alien card (green card), Form I-94, or a receipt confirming filing of the I-485.