By Wendy Fee, Junior Leagues Vice President
The flowers will soon begin to bloom as we begin to get pumped up for our 2023 junior season. Once again, the excitement for playing one of the most prestigious sports is finally here.
Registration for the spring season is in full swing, with the hope nothing is going to stop us now as we continue to get back to normal. I think we all appreciate what we had before the pandemic, and it’s time to continue moving forward in a positive way. You can feel the exhilaration in the air.
There is nothing better than seeing kids playing and socializing again. Many sports involve teamwork; tennis is no different, especially in ALTA matches. Having people cheer you on (quietly in juniors) as you battle through the elements, sometimes on chilly or windy days, is one of the highlights. I learned that wearing layers is not just for fashion. Remember, we live in Atlanta and have the craziest of weather! It can be fun to have team shirts or have the team wear the same colors on match days, which adds to the excitement and camaraderie for the team.
Within the Junior League, there is so much room for growth. We always encourage more participation by adding more players to the roster or welcoming new teams to the league. The more, the merrier! The juniors are our future in ALTA, and we love to inspire and welcome more participation. Keep in mind that there are Good Sportsmanship Awards that will be given out at the end of the season. You can nominate a player, a team manager, or a team by emailing your coordinator or to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There also are scholarship awards available later this year for junior tennis players who are college-bound seniors.
The Junior League is comprised of players ages 7-18, and matches are played on Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. for the girls, followed by the boys at 3:30 p.m. Registration for the spring season began on Dec. 29, 2022, and will close on January 27 of this year. Schedules will be out February 22. The first scheduled match will be March 11, with the regular season closing on April 22.
Lineups, Lineups, Lineups! If you are an existing team manager or a new team manager or a coach who helps with lineups, there is one thing that is essential to bring to your attention at the start of this season: the use of the Lineup Checker. This is a tool on the ALTA website for lineup configuration. It will keep you from having point deductions due to innocently making an illegal line up with incorrect player movement. The Lineup Checker will not allow a player to go on the scorecard if there is illegal player movement or “sandbagging.” In the past, team managers would think they had the proper lineup, only to find out their mistake post-match and would lose points in the process. I’m happy to say that in 2022 most lineup errors were eliminated but stay vigilant. Your junior players will appreciate keeping all the points they earned.
Please know that whether you are a parent, team manager, coach or coordinator, we appreciate all you do, and we want to thank you for volunteering your time and energy in supporting the junior players of ALTA. We are looking forward to a wonderful, successful, and fulfilling spring season!