By Gina Clance, Senior Leagues Vice President
Let’s shake the frost off our racquets and get the warm weather clothes out — it’s almost time for summer tennis! Registration for the ALTA summer Senior Leagues begins March 21 and runs through April 11. Players must be at least turning the “Big 45” in 2023 to play, and each team needs to have a minimum of 10 players, although having a few more on your roster is always a good idea. Senior Women will hit the courts at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 1, while the Senior Men begin play at 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 2. City Finals will be held August 5 and 6. Each match consists of four lines of doubles and will utilize a mandatory third-set tiebreaker unless all four players want to play a full third set. We put this rule in place to help get us ‘old folks’ off the court a bit faster in the summer heat.
The summer Senior Leagues are smaller than many of the other ALTA leagues, so they bring a few challenges to the court. The most common complaint we hear concerns travel. One way to shorten travel time is to have more teams join the league. If your roster has enough people to form two teams, please consider splitting your roster. Everyone will get more playing time in this casual, fun-loving league. Just think, when you play against your neighbors and friends, you could plan a big courtside cookout and have a blast! Another way to help with travel time is to encourage others to start new teams. Being a captain isn’t too hard, and ALTA has experienced coordinators to help a new captain navigate the season. This league features some of the most fun, relaxing tennis in ALTA. We’d love to grow this league and get more ‘oldies’ out on the courts!
Summer heat is also a concern among tennis players. The ALTA guideline is to check the temperature on a weather app using the zip code of the facility. If the air temp (not heat index) is under 95 degrees, the matches are to be played. If the air temp is 95 or higher, players must wait an hour to see if the temperature comes down. ALTA encourages each player to assess his/her own health concerns when agreeing to play a match in high temps. If a heat wave is predicted, we suggest players try to schedule matches early. In 2022, we had one week of super high temperatures. We heard many stories of teams working together to play early, and we thank all of you for your consideration and cooperation. Most of the time, Georgia temperatures are well below 95 by 6:30 p.m., but if they don’t come down after a one-hour wait, the match can be treated as a rain-out.
For more information: altatennis.org/PlayersAndLeagues/AdultLeagues. Can’t wait to see you on the courts!