ITF Update (Dec. 3, 2011). Rumblings are that the Senior International Competition Committee has reached an agreement with the ITF to upgrade our "closed" nationals to Grade 2 ITF points (even though there's a Grade 3 message on most of the Cat I web pages). So our 2012 Cat I's will continue to be conducted under USTA rules & regulations.
Nonetheless, the danger of a closer ITF affiliation in the future hasn't disappeared. The Committee has apparently been notified that the ITF is considering altering its method of team seeding to use individual player rankings ─ to the possible (likely?) detriment of USA teams. Isn't it enough that our four-member teams already benefit from the prestige of representing their country and from having their expenses paid? Additional monetary costs would be required to implement ITF regulations needed to provide Grade 1 points to our elite players (to improve their team seeding). Should those costs be borne through implementation of burdensome regulations imposed on several thousand non-elite players unlikely to ever compete internationally?
Here's a summary of what the negative effects of operating under ITF rules & regulations would be:
The ITF thoughtlessly wants to (mis-)apply rules designed for professional tournaments to our nationals ─ despite them having been successfully run for decades under comprehensive USTA regulations and overseen by Circuit Chairs/Seeding Assistants.
The added costs of "white badge" officials and trainers would be substantial, burdensome and unsustainable (and would ultimately be passed on to players).
Entrants would have to purchase an ITF membership (IPIN) each year.
The ITF method of seeding solely by points is inaccurate and unfair. (The USTA "all-factors" approach is superior.)
ITF officials are heavy-handed (as in Florida in January when they repeatedly hassled players with non-collared shirts).
While the new ITF tournament software is decent (but not accessible to TDs), their IPIN tournament calendar lacks tournament links and their team events software is incomprehensible.