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Best Practices for Tournaments

  • Prior to the Registration Period

    Click here to access your USTA Tournament Administration page; login using your USTA credentials (email address & password). Administration functions can be found in the right-hand column underneath Help Center.

    Use the New Sanction Form to renew your sanction and to update relevant information about your tournament.

    Accept (and even emphasize) online registration via TennisLink.

    Click here for instructions on how to make your web page complete by adding essential information on topics like Amenities, Conditions, Directions and Hotels.

    If the Surface appeared as "Unknown" on last year's page, contact your section administrator to have it corrected.

    Use "signup" (voluntary) consolations rather than first-match loser consolations. Designate main draws as First Match Loser Consolation (FMLC) until the registration period has ended and then change to them to Single Elimination consolation  events.  Manually create a parallel event within TDM for each consolation draw.

    Close entries for doubles  at the same time as the singles.  Suggested language for the USTA web page and application forms:

    Doubles and singles draws will be made at the same time.  Interested players should enter with or without a partner.  Players without partners will be put in contact with each other and refunds will be given to those who remain without partners.

  • During Registration

    Record mail and telephone entries frequently.

    Resolve unmatched and partial doubles pairings (the new, online TDM does not complete an original unpaired player when the second registrant is the one who specifies his partner).

    Assist unpaired players in finding a partner — preferably before entries close.

    Designate and post provisional seeds a few days before the entry deadline and give consideration to revisions suggested by players. Designate four number 5 seeds rather than 5 through 8, eight number 9 seeds, etc. Click here for detailed guidelines on seeding.

  • Making the Draw

    Make and post the draw as soon as possible after the entry deadline — preferably the following day.

     Consider playing a small number of matches a day early should a division have an awkward number of entries, e.g. 17-18 or 33-34 (so most players play on the first scheduled day).

    Schedule at least the first two days of matches (to ensure players with byes are informed of their start times).

  • During the Tournament

    Have each court equipped with chairs, singles sticks, scorekeepers and water.

    Have opened cans of balls available in advance.  Use odd-numbered balls on odd-numbered courts, etc.  (Preparing two cases in advance is most helpful ─ one case for odds and the other for evens.)

    Use the Tournament Desk function in TDM to check players in, assign courts and record scores. Consider using a projector to display its contents for the benefit of players and spectators.

    Clay courts can benefit by not being swept between matches. Rather, have only the lines brushed. (Sweeping will make them dusty and mid-day watering during a tournament is usually impractical.)

    At the conclusion of each day's play, make sure the schedule for at least the next two days is complete before performing the nightly Upload Tournament.

    Have first-match losers voluntarily sign up for consolation events and manually enter each player into the corresponding manually-created event.   (Highlight the appropriate main draw event;  use Shift-click to select a enter a player and then drag his name from Players panel to the consolation event listed in the top panel.)

    Use match tiebreaks (first to ten with a margin of two) in lieu of third sets for consolations (and notify players in advance on entry forms and the web site).

  • Special Considerations for Cat I's & II's

    Recognize that out-of-section players must arrange travel and hotels. Those playing only doubles will benefit from having their draws published with the singles draws.

    In making the draw, it's allowable (and desirable) to prevent players from the same Section and/or doubles partners from meeting in the first round.

    Ensure that players play every day (no skipped days).

    Emphasize the desirability of using voluntary consolations to avoid the numerous defaults and scheduling problems that result from using the TDM automated consolation feature.

    Category I & II tournaments must provide 3rd/4th place playoffs.  To enable this in TDM, click on Edit Event for each event, then select Draw Information and choose "Top 4" in the Playoffs dropdown and click on "OK."

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