A.G. Longoria, Founder of the CTCA, shares why CTCA is adopting UTR into its high school programming. He currently is Tennis Coach at Laguna Hills High School and Tennis Advisor at Sage Hill School.
The California Tennis Coaches Association (CTCA) and UTR are helping high schools with their two biggest needs: less expensive, time consuming ways to play year-round matches and better team fundraising to pay for equipment, fees and coaches stipends. This marriage also gives our players exposure to college coaches and provides coaches with metrics for tryouts and line - ups. The backbone of CTCA endeavors is UTR.
Playing USTA takes two weekends, getting, at most, 2 matches, if that, plus USTA fees, travel, meals and $70 entry fees makes year round match play, an important necessity, out of reach for most.
Plus parents and players have to pay and/or raise money for the coach's stipends, equipment, entry fees, snacks, etc. Selling programs or running concessions at football games, selling candy at Halloween and wrapping paper at Christmas is not productive.
Together, we offer UTR Play Days, on school courts, run by the team, where players can play three matches in two hours, for $30. All the team has to do is secure the courts, furnish balls and staff the event.
This spring we ran events at Laguna Hills High School as a trial. This summer we are holding 20 events at three Orange County locations. By adding doubles and a Verified UTR Division we tripled the income schools can make.
This summer our Play Days have UTR's 5 & below, where the players get 3 one-set matches in set 1 & 1/2 hour time slots in the mornings. Verified UTR play is in the afternoons and requires full 2 of 3 set matches and cost a little more. We recommend that the Verified UTR Division be for UTR's 4 & above and offer 3 full matches in 3 hours playing 2 of 3 Fast 4 sets.
The CTCA has also added a Verified UTR Girls Pre - Season weekend tournament, August 16 - 18 at Mission Viejo's Marguerite Tennis Pavilion. A Boys Tournament is set for MLK Weekend, January 17-19, 2020. In 2020 we will expand both these annual events hosting in four regions of California at the same time.
There is another advantage for high school tennis with UTR, being able to have weekly statewide rankings! The strong schools already have their starters in UTR and UTR Play Days and year round tournaments will get even more teams "in the system".
This fall we will do what Texas High Schools and College Tennis are doing, weekly state rankings based on UTR numbers. The CTCA is excited about offering a state wide Top 25 Team Ranking and Top 50 rankings in singles and doubles each week, starting this September.
We are just getting started and with UTR we are accomplishing 85% of our goals. Besides easier match play, team fundraising and weekly rankings, we will make it easier to get elite players into high school tennis, help college coaches connect to kids good enough for college tennis and fund CTCA so we can offer continuing education, host conventions and have a robust social media presence.
Already, we have added a statewide fall girl's version of the spring Boys High School Division at Ojai so that girls can have the same experience as the boys. On our agenda is offering a 16 field World Team Tennis (WTT) Winter coed high school team event in Orange County for high school players with teams from the same high school. We also have a dream of making WTT coed team tennis a CIF sport during the winter season of sport in California. These events will, of course, count for UTR.
The CTCA, partnering with UTR, wants to hear from our high schools that want to host their own Play Days as a fundraiser and match play for their players. We make it easy, using our platform on UTR, we will do the draws, paperwork, fee collection and posting of scores to UTR and all the team has to do is get the courts, cover the balls and run the event. The school gets 45% or $13.50 an entrant. A full field would net the school $600 to $1,000 for the day. School's can host as many of these events as they want, starting in September.
Zoran Korac is our CTCA/UTR Director and is in charge of these events. He is available 24/7 to help high school programs set up their own events. Check out our UTR Club Page to see what we are doing and to contact us.
All High School tennis matches can count for UTR! Make your team's matches count and drive fundraising opportunities through Universal Tennis. Coaches can click here to learn more about UTR for high school and how to get started.