By Keri Beck, Thursday Women League Vice President
I know you have heard the saying, “It takes a village.” This is true when it comes to ALTA. It takes a village of volunteers to organize, manage, and facilitate each league within the ALTA organization.
The Thursday Women’s League starts with about 800 volunteer captains. These ladies spend many hours putting a team together, registering the team, organizing lessons, and creating lineups that consider each player’s schedule. They then have the responsibility of communicating with their opponents and also their teammates, prior to match day, to make sure everyone knows where they are supposed to be and when they are supposed to be there. The captaining job was made even more challenging last fall with the arrival of COVID, adding yet another variable these ladies had to maneuver.
The next level of volunteers are the league coordinators. The Thursday Women’s League has 17 flight coordinators. Each coordinator is responsible for all of the teams in their flight. Many of these flights have seven or eight divisions, so they are responsible for up to 64 captains and are in contact with them on a weekly basis. These ladies are the first point of contact for the captains, and they are the best! They answer all their captains’ questions about line ups, player movement, default times, and any other question that you can throw at them. They may not always have the answer at their fingertips, but they know where to get that information. They certainly kept extra-busy last fall working through team and facility issues due to COVID. Their tireless efforts to keep us all on track last season really demonstrated their willingness to go the extra mile for this organization!
We also have four overall coordinators. These people, along with the league vice president, are responsible for the leveling process of all the teams in our league. Our computer system does a lot of the initial work for us, but we do a lot of research each season as players move from team to team and level to level. City Finals is the culmination of our season. This is facilitated by all the flight and overall coordinators in the league. The coordinators always say they enjoy finally getting to put a face with the name of their captains. They have developed a relationship with them throughout the season with emails and phone calls. At City Finals, they finally get to meet face to face.
The league VP gets her guidance from the ALTA president and first vice president, along with the ALTA Board of Directors; all of which are volunteer positions. She approves the leveling and mapping of teams in divisions and is the point of contact for issues escalated beyond the overall coordinators. She is a member of the ALTA Executive Committee and the Rules Committee which both meet monthly throughout the year.
So, you can see the ALTA village is filled with thousands of dedicated volunteers, across all the leagues, working to make playing league tennis a reality for all of us. I hope that you, as a player, will take the time to personally thank your team captain for stepping up to take on the responsibility of being part of the ALTA village! And if we see you at City Finals in May, please make sure to say “hello” and “thank you” to your ALTA coordinator!