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Good Question July/August 2023

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ALTA Junior Leagues

Junior Tennis Balls
What are the differences in tennis balls for each age group in the Junior Leagues?

Wendy Fee, Junior Leagues VP
10U: Low-compression orange balls. They can be re-used during their home matches for the duration of the season.

12U: Green Dot balls are used. Two unopened cans of USTA-approved green dot balls for each dual meet. Both cans will be opened and used for the first two matches and re-used for subsequent matches of the dual meet.

15U: Two unopened cans of USTA-approved yellow balls for each dual meet. Both cans will be opened and used for the first two matches and re-used for subsequent matches of the dual meet.

18U: Four unopened cans of USTA-approved yellow balls must be provided each week.

Leveling the Playing Field
Last season, my team played B3 and we didn’t make the playoffs. So, we asked for B5 and you gave us B1. Why did you do that to us?

John Lowell, Mixed Doubles League VP
Leveling in ALTA Adult Leagues is done by the league vice presidents and the overall coordinators. When doing leveling, that group considers your team’s performance from last season as well as players that you added and players that you lost to come up with a Preliminary Placement. That is formulaic. From there, we drill a bit deeper to see if there are reasons to move your team away from that Preliminary Placement.

In the specific case of your team, you added a strong A2 ranked man and a strong A2 ranked woman to your team. And, while your team did not make the playoffs last season, you came close. As a result, your Preliminary Placement was at B1 (2 flights higher than you were last season) and we saw no reason to deviate from that Preliminary Placement. While we sometimes move teams because we need it to make scheduling work, in this case we did not have to do that.

Rules of the Tiebreak
Following a tiebreak, who should serve first and what side of the court should we be on for the start of the next set?

Karen Sullivan, Thursday Women’s League VP
USTA Rules of Tennis states: “Players shall change ends after every six points and at the conclusion of the tiebreak game.” This means that you switch sides from where you ended the tiebreak. It also states under rotation of service,“the pair whose turn it was to serve first in the tiebreak game shall receive service in the first game of the following set.”

Get Off My Court
If my opponent hits a shot at such an angle that the ball travels to the adjacent court and I run to the ball and am in a position to return it, but a player on the adjacent court is in my way and prevents me from swinging, may I call a “let?” Also, the same scenario, but the ball is in the court space between my court and the adjacent court and a player from the adjacent court is in my way and prevents me from swinging at the ball.

Greg McAfee, Men’s League VP
According to the USTA code and Rule 26, the playable area includes the area between courts but does not include any of the adjacent courts, therefore you can only call a hindrance if the player from the next court is in your way if you are on your court or the space between courts. Once you are on their court, it cannot be called.

 

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