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 Lack of Interest??

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bpg Posted - 10/11/2003 : 21:37:58
Why was tournament participation down this year? Several tournaments were cancelled due to lack of interest.

Anyone have any ideas of why this is? What could be done to revive tournaments next year?

Edited by - bpg on 10/16/2003 18:54:40
14   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
bpg Posted - 11/09/2004 : 10:03:17
Just curious ...

In reviewing the local tournaments of 2004, would you say things were better, worse, or the same as before?

jf Posted - 01/12/2004 : 14:15:14
Charlottesville needs a tournament that is sanctioned by the USTA. If people knew that their results would contribute toward a state or MATA USTA ranking, there might be more interest. This would also draw more players and provide more competition from out of town. This goes not only for junior events, but also for adult events. It's remarkable that cville has zero usta sanctioned tournaments (..the new women's pro tournament doesn't count in my amateur book...)....

cybrnathan Posted - 11/18/2003 : 13:10:03
I'm in my 30's, and I play with a lot people younger than I am who are not in the same physical condition. I would say I'm a little above average as far as conditioning. After talking with some of the younger players, some of them are driven off by the possibility of having to play matches so close together, whether it be 2 on the same day or 2 days in a row. I think if the tournaments could ensure that at the very least no one has to play twice on the same day, there may be a little more interest. After all, even the pros usually get a day between matches.

Nathan Harlow
bpg Posted - 11/12/2003 : 08:06:08
These are good points cvillemike.

I agree with posting the tournament brackets, and I have done this in the past with the Julian King tournament. However this depends on the cooperation of the tournament directors (i.e. they need to provide me with this info). UVA does this for the Dogwood Tournament.

Regarding publicity: ACAC gives me a rack where I can display flyers advertising this Web site. I have been unsuccessful in getting other clubs/stores to do the same.

This site has been here since 1998 and has a prominent position in the search engines. I am hoping we can catch a lot of people this way as well.

Webmaster - Charlottesville Tennis Online

Edited by - bpg on 11/12/2003 08:07:34
cvillemike Posted - 11/11/2003 : 01:32:23
I graduated from UVA in 2000 and have stayed in town working since then. I have been playing in as many tournaments as I can since summer 2001, when I found out about them. I've seen the frequency of cancelled tournaments increase in the last two summers even though I play in one of the most popular brackets (Men's A/B).

My suggestions:
- More hard court tournaments at UVA. The Penn Park tournament has been cancelled two years straight, and the Dogwood is pretty early in the season. The excellent Synder courts should be taken advantage of in the summer while most the students are out of town.
- Advertise the tournaments better. I know about all the tournaments since I know about this site, but I've people that are tournament level players that didn't know about the tournaments. I think posting flyers at sporting goods stores (DTA, Dick's, Play it Again, etc), clubs (Farmington, Boar's Head, ACAC) and at courts (Penn Park, UVA) would help.
- Starting a tennis ladder from the people signed up on this site might let us all get to know each other better and encourage us to play in tournaments.
- No T-shirt and lower cost would be fine with me if I knew that would encourage entry.
- Online postings of the brackets during the tournament would be great. Some of the tournaments tried to do this (Farmington) this year, but they didn't keep it up to date so it was not very helpful.
- More business sponsership and tournaments for charity would be helpful too.

Ash Posted - 11/09/2003 : 15:15:26
If your worried about youth signing up for tournaments...I know lots of juniors who would be interested in year round local tournaments.It helps get ready for the school season etc.

IceX Posted - 10/18/2003 : 09:31:14
We need to pair up players according to age, I m an older player @ 48.. I do ok but I m paired with people who are 15 to 20 years younger.. Maybe have along with the other tournaments a Jr Vets anyone 35 and up or something like that.. I m from Boston been here for seven years they had these types of tournsments and turn outs were large.. I played every year, I was a lot younger then.. I still enter and play because I m having fun, the fee could come down a little but keep the Trophies! I won a (A) tournament up in Boston in 85 and placed second here in Virginia 2001 (B) receiving that trophy for me is what it's all about.. You never know were your game is at when there is nothing to play for...


bpg Posted - 10/18/2003 : 07:02:14
Here are some comments I received by e-mail:

"Perhaps run tennis the same way the golfers do, for charities and sponsored by local business firms."

"The weather might of had an effect. I think we should lower the cost, make the playing times more readily available to working people, do more advertising, make them more interesting. All day tournaments, 5 game sets, co-ed."

"My suggestions would be to (1) schedule a hard court tournament at UVA; and
(2) lower the entry fees."

Edited by - bpg on 10/18/2003 07:02:59
bpg Posted - 10/16/2003 : 18:56:32
There are some very good ideas presented here. I will be sure to get this information to the CTPA tournament committee. Maybe this will help to improve things for next year.

Thanks to all of you who have contributed your ideas thus far.

Webmaster - Charlottesville Tennis Online

Edited by - bpg on 10/16/2003 18:58:32
Ash Posted - 10/16/2003 : 17:18:58
More local kid/junior tournaments. Ecsp. for fall/winter..There's hardly anything.
LaRue Posted - 10/16/2003 : 09:38:26
In my opinion, the problem is two-fold. First, I've found that even after a tournament is posted, many of the tournament directors do not have entry forms ready or available. In one instance, the tournament deadline was one day away before the director had an entry form ready. This delay causes a drop in interest, and forces the players to complete the entry process on an "emergency" basis. Second, several of the tournaments span too long (sometimes a week or two). In my experience, weekend tournaments seem to draw better since the players can plan their time better. Just a couple of thoughts.

lhorner Posted - 10/15/2003 : 19:11:58
We recently subscribed to this tennis newsletter because we are looking for more junior competition. Other than USTA, my son has very little opportunities to play competitive tennis. We were hoping to find a place to play that was closer to home, less expensive, and more frequent. I am aware that their are jr. camps available in your area during the summer, however, we are 50 minutes away which makes a daily trip impossible.(Not your fault, just the way it is.) I also agree with the above comment that your fees are a bit high, as we do play in Fredericksburg where it is much less. While juniors are much more appreciative of the trophy, t-shirt thing, hopefully, all tennis players believe that a good, competitive match is the goal. I doubt I am much help in giving you feedback on your lack of participation issue but I took this opportunity to plug in a suggestion that we need more jr. involvement as well. Parent/child tournaments are fun and so beneficial to community tennis. You might also look into surrounding counties......do you ever advertise in those places? How about with high school teams? These are just thoughts, thanks for the opportunity to share them.

tca3k Posted - 10/15/2003 : 13:31:55
I agree with Jenny that a big problem is the collapsing of the brackets into one single. There are certain players that are strong enough that you know they will always come out on top of the tournament if it is a single bracket.

Another issue is the cost. In Fredricksburg, tennis patrons pay $5 and non patrons $8 to play in most non-USTA tournaments. They also guarantee at least 2 matches. When you are asking $20-30 to play with no guarantee of more than one match and the chances are strong of a collapsed bracket, it is hard to justify this cost. Most adults are more interested in playing than in trophies, so I would cut back on prizes/t shirts and lessen the cost.

Also having the tournaments during the USTA season may lessen the turn out. People are already extended with team play and this may cause scheduling issues with the tournaments. I would also suspect that the unusually rainy year contributed somewhat to this year's lack of participation.


Tommye Arnold
Jenny Nowlen Posted - 10/15/2003 : 08:24:43
A chief complaint is that categories get collapsed so that ability levels between competitors is often not equal. This is very discouraging to new players especially.
Also, outside of the various clubs, there is very little interest of tournament organizers (I presume) to find out who the public court players in the community are. I am in an informal group of approximately 15 older women players who are in the 3.5-4.0 category, but most of us never play in the tournaments, although we tried to at an earlier time. There must be other groups like us. I think we need a community organizing effort (Do they have this in Atlanta--from which we might learn?)so that the public (and private club) tennis players can get to know each other. Otherwise, I do think the tournament effort in this town is dead.


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