In 2017 there are some regulation changes to the tournaments, points and ranking systems. I suggest all parents and players read the new regulations on the TA website and understand them intimately.
Basically until the age of 15 players can no longer receive points from AMT events. This does not prevent players from playing these events (however they will not receive those points until they turn 15. At that time those points will be added to their rankings if the tournament has occurred within the same 12 month period).
Players before their 13th birthday will need approval from TA to enter an AMT event.
There is a real strategy required to get the 2 major outcomes most people require from playing competitive tennis. In this case my recommendation is that players in the older junior age groups (14 +) look to play more AMT events that also have junior point score events within that tournament. Ie highly ranked 12 / 13 year olds may play 14’s or 16’s and specials and highly ranked 14 year olds may play 18’s and AMT events.
This strategy will allow players to maximise their point’s accumulation as well as receive the valuable experience of playing older / adult players.
Other outcomes to look for:
- To get the experiences required to improve and maximize your game.
- To get enough points up (Ranking) to be able to get into the events you want to play. Ie ITF’s, Nationals, Team selection.
Please understand this strategy should be balanced with players playing events within a framework of the below 3 key points.
- They play where they can have a win; loss ratio of 2-3 : 1
- They play and have success in 4 – 6 stronger events per year in their own age groups.
- In all most of our players should be playing between 15 and 25 tournaments per year and between 100-120 (singles and doubles combined) matches per year. Note – girls may have to play more tournaments as the draws are often smaller and don’t receive as many matches per tournament as the boys.
Over the past years we have gravitated to more and more events in northern NSW as they are often run in the same way as QLD used to operate where in AMT tournaments you can often play in an AMT or special event as well as a junior events. What this means is that the players get far more tennis for the amount of time and money spent and hence have the option of playing less tournaments throughout the year. They also receive a range of different experiences in the one event.
I would also like to point out that there are players current training and playing not looking to make tennis their only career path. There are a number of players who are looking to use tennis to gain a college scholarship and tertiary education in the USA.
For those players there is a different optioned pathway. The US College coaches and recruitment agents are looking at a different system to determine a player’s standard or capability. They recognise that the Australian Ranking System is vastly flawed and is often not an accurate reflection of a player’s standard or true ranking.
The US College coaches look at the following order of categories in determining a player’s true playing level.
- ATP /WTA Ranking
- ITF Junior Ranking
- Universal Tennis Rating System
The UTR system utilises the above 2 categories within that system as well as other designated UTR tournaments. The UTR system is a network of results that classifies individual’s results of every match they play. The UTR tournaments also places players into smaller draws of players of a similar standard. This means that players will play more quality matches of a similar standard to themselves.