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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Some Thoughts on the ITF Junior Regulation Changes for 2010

The ITF makes changes to their junior regulations every year, and there are plenty of noteworthy ones for 2010. The complete regulations can be found on the ITF junior site, and you don't need to be a tournament director or an ITF official to learn something from reading them. Here are a few of the changes this year that I thought might be of interest, in no particular order, with my comments in italics:

∆ Competition is open to all tennis players based on merit and without
discrimination subject only to the conditions herein set forth.
I assume this was prompted from the Shahar Peer incident in Dubai last February

The new system for online entry already resulted in high profile players Daniel Berta and Gianni Mina needing wild cards to play the Australian juniors

∆ Uploading results daily using the Tournament Planner software
This has been a problem for some tournaments, with no results on the ITF website as late as Thursday of the tournament week. It is now specifically the tournament referee's responsibility to see that results are posted daily.

∆ No player can arrive on site to play doubles only.

∆ The maximum duration of a tournament Qualifying event shall be two days.

∆ It will no longer be necessary to provide a medical certificate in the case of a
Late Withdrawal
late withdrawals are after the Tuesday thirteen (13) days prior to the Monday of the tournament week.

∆ The Freeze Deadline is at 14:00 hrs GMT on the Wednesday preceding the tournament week.
there is no movement from qualies to main or alternate to qualies after that.

∆ If the Qualifying and Main Draw Wild Card(s) move into the draw on merit, before the Freeze Deadline, such player(s) will have their Wild Card nomination(s) automatically withdrawn and replacement Wild Cards may be nominated up until the time the draw is made.

∆ This principle of separation of ITF ranked players shall extend to cover all players in the draw. Therefore, the top eight players from a country shall be drawn in separate eighths and so on.
it appears that it was the top four from a country prior to this change.

∆ No ITF Junior Circuit Tournament shall cancel less than ten (10) weeks prior to the scheduled commencement of the event.

written permission is required for the use of images by a tournament visitor. Because media is considered a tournament visitor, this includes me. I believe that I am able to avoid getting a piece of paper for every junior I photograph if I get permission from the tournament's ITF referee.

∆ Private housing shall not be used by tournaments as a form of hospitality
I know several tournaments in the U.S. that offer this; the one I'm most familiar with is the International Grass Courts, where players are placed in the homes of Philadelphia Cricket Club members. Providing hotel accommodations is an expensive proposition, so it may result in tournaments dropping to Grades 4&5, where hospitality isn't required.

∆ Each Junior Circuit Tournament must provide at its sole expense a Tournament Doctor on-call during play and a Physiotherapist/Athletic Trainer available on-site during play.
I hope this is enforced, but unfunded mandates are tricky, especially when entry fees were not adjusted in 2010.

∆ Wild cards may be seeded
This is not actually a change, but I wanted to comment on it to point out that the seeding referred to is within the very strict seeding guidelines of the ITF juniors, not outside it. It allowed Gianni Mina to be seeded No. 2 at Australia even though he was a wild card, but it wouldn't have allowed say, CoCo Vandeweghe to be seeded in the 2008 US Open Juniors, since she didn't have the required WTA or ITF ranking at the time.

∆ A player may receive treatment for muscle cramping only during the time allotted for change of ends and/or set breaks. Players may not receive a Medical Time-Out for muscle cramping.
This is the same rule that is now in place for Grand Slams and other ITF professional tournaments and events


tennis guy2894 said...

Why does the ITF do such a poor job posting information to upcoming tournaments? The tournament in Midland says it starts today but no qualifiying results or any other match information listed!