By Susan Levin, Sunday Women’s League Vice President
It’s hard to think about fall being just around the corner with our hot summer days and warm muggy nights surrounding us, but now is the perfect time to start planning for fall tennis. Our Sunday Women’s League registration for fall started on June 22 and ends July 13.
Captains are reaching out to their players to confirm they will be returning to their team in the fall before they submit the team’s roster. Once the fall rosters are submitted and the fall registration and correction period ends, then ALTA begins the work of reviewing rosters and calculating the various levels to enable more than 1,000 teams to have a fun, competitive season.
So, you may be thinking, “How can I prepare while waiting for the fall season to begin in September?” Here are a few ideas to help you get ready.
Check out the ALTA website. ALTA provides a wealth of information on its website for captains and players. Simply sign in. Every ALTA member has a “Member Portal” with a selection of icons to choose from; “My Resources” is a great place to start. It includes a section for teams looking for players or players looking for teams, facilities, ALTA documents for players and captains, plus much more.
Review the Rules. Now is a good time to go to the ALTA documents to review the rules. Whether new to ALTA or a member for decades, it’s always best to review the rules as a refresher before the season starts. All players should know the rules and where to find them. For example, did you know that cell phones should be turned off during the entirety of the match? Were you aware that players cannot be removed from the roster after the roster correction deadline has passed? (Note: When a player is added to a roster, an automated email is sent to the player notifying them they’ve been added. If for any reason a player does not wish to be added to the team, that person should request to be removed immediately before the deadline.)
Prepare to travel. During the regular season, matches are scheduled for seven weeks. Like other sports, both youth and adults, there will be some travel to other teams’ facilities during the season. Three or four matches will be at your home courts, and the other three or four will be at the opponent’s home courts. To make the drive more enjoyable, many teams carpool and travel together as a team, rather than individually. Some teams call their away matches their team’s field trip. To make it a positive experience, they use the drive time to build team spirit, get to know one another, and it also gives partners a chance to strategize in preparation for their match.
Exhibit good sportsmanship. All ALTA members love to play tennis! If not, we wouldn’t go out on Sunday afternoons to chase a fuzzy yellow ball around the court. To get the most enjoyment out of a good competitive tennis match, everyone should exhibit and be the recipient of good sportsmanship. As VP, I hear all kinds of stories. Most ladies and teams who truly represent the spirit of ALTA go over and above to be kind, helpful, and show respect to their opponents. Regretfully, there are a few incidents of unsportsmanlike behaviors and actions that are completely unacceptable. As we prepare for the fall season, whether we win or lose, or we’re the host team or the guest, we must always treat others like we prefer to be treated. Positive behavior will help ensure a fun, fall season for everyone.