Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring break friendly tennis

Spring break is a fact of life.  Whether you’re a teacher, whether you’re a parent who has children in school or not, as a tennis captain or even a player, you and your team can be affected by spring break.

Of course, spring break is a terrific time for families to be together, on vacation or at home, and family time spent together is not only precious, but it’s a depreciating asset; the memories can last a lifetime and the opportunities will come and go before you know it, and then be gone forever.  Tennis players that do, and those that don’t have kids need to realize and appreciate these realities.

The USTA does recognize spring break, at least here in Atlanta; league tennis is suspended during this time so that players can feel guilt-free about taking time away from their teams to be with their families and captains can stress less about not having their best available in the lineup for two weeks in a row.  Unfortunately, ALTA doesn’t pay attention to spring break (or the July 4 holiday etc.), which oftentimes makes captains have to scramble to try to schedule matches early – something women frequently do to accommodate one another, but men do not – or to field a complete lineup without forfeiting any points.

Since ALTA is unlikely to change their policies – I’ve seen this topic raised in Net News magazines several times over the years – it’s up to men’s league captains to work together in the spirit of accommodation in order to make the entire spring season’s matchups be as equitable as possible.  Will this ever happen?  Probably not.  I have made the request to play these matches early on more than one occasion – at the beginning of the season, before any matches have been played – when my opponent would not be able to make a value judgment based upon how his team did the first couple of weeks to decide whether to help out.  I was turned down flat both times.

While I’m tempted to say “C’mon ALTA”, instead I’ll plead “C’mon captains, be good sportsmen!”

1 comment:

  1. Amen....Play should not be scheduled.
    We only have 10 and the team we are playing is scrambling to get 10