Back when I was growing up USTA tournaments were played out to the end and they meant something to play. It was almost like the United States Postal Service–rain never stopped the postman and it did not stop USTA tournaments from being completed. If a tournament had to be finished on Monday or the following night or even a few nights later the officials, players and parents did what it took to get it done. Because USTA tournaments meant something and they were special events to be played and to be won.
These days when the rain falls you can begin to see the USTA referees, tournament directors and other administrators for the events begin to pack up faster than my dad could knock me into next week!
“There used to be real endings to USTA junior tournaments as a champion was crowned–now, often there is no ending; just a place where you stop competing, a place where you stop playing!”
In the past you crowned a victor. The victor is no longer the goal in the “full on” points chase the USTA has in place. This whole way of handling things has crept up on us very slowly and quietly.
I would love to see us go back to the days where players and officials stayed and finished a tournament no matter how long it takes. But it is going to be tough to return to those days because not many people will have the stomach for it. The tournament administrators certainly will not. And nowadays the parents are not even really wanting to wait around to find out who wins.
It seems convenience and the easier way have found a home in our tournament lexicon. Waiting for the clouds to break and the storms to past just takes too much time.0
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