By Kirsten Sykes, Mixed Doubles League Vice President
“When should I contact my coordinator?” “I don’t know who my coordinator is. Where would I find that information?” “I can’t reach my coordinator, what now?”
These are all questions I have heard as vice president. A coordinator’s function is to assist captains and teams with any questions regarding rules or conflicts that may arise during the season. You should contact your coordinator if you have a question before, during or after a match, after first checking the ALTA rules. It is always best to have a copy of the rules downloaded onto your phone or printed and kept in your tennis bag for reference. This will hopefully aid those captains and players who feel as though they may have been bullied into making bad choices in the past.
At the beginning of every season, your flight coordinator will send you a “Welcome Letter” giving you some basic information and highlighting any rule changes, as well as a guide to the most commonly seen league errors. This is a very informative email and should be forwarded to all team members. If you don’t receive this email (don’t forget to check your spam folders), this information can be found in several places.
The easiest place to locate your coordinator is on your schedule on the ALTA website (My ALTA > My Schedules). Their name, phone and email are just above the directions. Captains also can find this information in their captains’ packets. I would strongly suggest all captains copy the page in their packets with all of the coordinator names, phone numbers and emails in case you are not able to reach your coordinator. This list is “League Specific” so you have different coordinators depending on the league and season you are playing.
“I’m at the match and have a question, but I can’t get in touch with my coordinator.”It’s likely your coordinator also is on the courts playing tennis. This is why I suggest printing out the coordinator list each season. If you can’t reach your assigned coordinator, go to the coordinator listing for the league you are playing, and try to reach another coordinator on that list. Do not rely on the pro at the courts or someone who says they used to be a coordinator or a coordinator from another league. Pros or coordinators for other leagues may not know of any recent rule changes or rules specific to leagues they do not manage.
It is to your benefit to be familiar with ALTA rules and to feel comfortable calling your coordinator. This is especially important if you find yourself short players or worrying that your team is getting too many defaults (no more than the average of one per match). There is nothing I dislike more than defaulting out a team. Keep in mind, a default (no one to play a line) counts against you, but a forfeit does not (you have players available and they play, but there is a lineup mistake). In most cases, during this past “water-logged” winter season, if captains had called their coordinators for help, we wouldn’t have had as many teams default out.
Coordinators are there for you. Call them if you have a problem or question.
Looking forward to a sunny summer season!