Mitch Falkin, Men’s League Vice President
What’s the best thing about springtime in Atlanta? No, it’s not the azaleas blooming, or that yellow pollen in the air, or even the sound of leaf blowers; it’s Men’s ALTA Saturday mornings! The anticipation begins on Friday night, when you realize you’d better not party too much because you have a “big match” in the morning. At home that evening, after everyone else goes to sleep, you lay out your “weapons” for the next morning’s battle: two or three freshly strung racquets, those new sneakers that will allow you to cut quicker on the court, a new insulated water bottle, GPS directions to the opponent’s courts already in your phone, a coordinated tennis outfit (Say what? This is the Men’s League, so you can and want to look like a neanderthal … no matchy-matchy for you!).
In the morning, you wake up and cannot be distracted from your overriding mission: get to the courts on time and kick some tennis butt! OK, when you get to the courts, you may find an opponent making some kind of a big show about re-gripping their racquet right before the match, or one may need to win the warmup, or one might go to the restroom after warmup but before starting the match, or you might get ripped off on a line call here or there. But what the heck, it’s Saturday ALTA, and it’s all part of the game! We all know that once you get on the court, you may win or lose, you may play great or you may not, your team may not even take one line, but how bad can life be? You’re not a tennis pro. You’re playing ALTA tennis with your buddies on a gorgeous spring morning against some other guys who think they can beat y’all, but you just showed them they can’t!
Registration for the spring season starts Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, and the roster registration deadline is Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, so spread the word now, and help grow our Men’s League by introducing your friends and new neighbors to this uniquely ALTA tradition! There’s always room for more on your team, or maybe you would like to start a new team, so you can play your old team and have it out with them. NOW is the time to start planning your spring ALTA tennis strategy so you can have a fantastic spring season.
One recent advancement we have made here is an upgrade of the ALTA website to incorporate a lineup checker for our captains. This has really helped to reduce penalties and point deductions due to player movement violations, and it has also allowed for better communications from captains to teammates when publishing the lineup. We encourage all captains to use this as part of their weekly routine. We are working hard on our mapping functions to ensure that divisions are compiled with teams from the same geographic areas to minimize the driving distance to away matches. We also have been hard at work making sure that our league takes precautions to minimize risk and during this COVID-19 pandemic. As you probably know, we played all of our fall league City Finals at the home team’s courts and not at any central location, and we eliminated the exchange of food at the matches; we will continue to do everything we can to keep our league in compliance with CDC-recommended safety guidelines.
Make sure you sign up for the upcoming spring Men’s League by Jan. 20, 2021 to get on a roster and get in the game. Good luck to every player and every team, and we look forward to seeing you out on the courts!