Saturday, May 30, 2020

USTA Authorizes Sections to Make Re-Opening Decisions While National Campus Remains Closed; Bryan Brothers Headline Monday's USTA Learning Series Webinar

Earlier this week, the USTA changed its policy from a blanket shutdown of all its sanctioned events nationwide to one that leaves the decision about resuming tournaments to the individual sections.  Here is the USTA's announcement:
The USTA recognizes that the coronavirus has been affecting different parts of the country in different ways and with different timing. Because of that, it will be possible for people to return to playing tennis safely in some cities and states sooner than in others.
At present, stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders have been lifted or modified in some communities, and some are phasing tennis back in as a safe, or in certain cases, an “essential,” activity.
 Beginning June 1, the suspension of USTA Sanctioned products and events noted below will now be at the discretion of the USTA Sections and local health authorities. These USTA Sanctioned products and events include:
• Adult and Junior Tournaments
• USTA League
• USTA Junior Team Tennis
• USTA Social Leagues
• Team Challenge
• Team Tournaments
• USTA School Programs
• Tennis on Campus
• Wheelchair Tennis 
Few sections are resuming tournaments however, and many have now canceled their sectional events. With the USTA now allowing only one level 3 national tournament in 2020, sections who have already had such an event are not allowed to have their summer sectional closed. That includes Texas, which had a level 3 in January, and therefore has now canceled, rather than postponed, its annual May Grand Slam. Middle States has also canceled its summer sectional. New England has officially postponed its June sectional and is not allowing play prior to July 1. Eastern is targeting July 1 as a possible return date, with Florida also not holding tournaments until after June 30.

One of the sections who is moving ahead with tournaments in June is Missouri Valley, with Oklahoma hosting an event next weekend and Junior Team Tennis restarting on the 15th.

For specific updates from a particular section, use this usta.com page.

The USTA's National Campus remains closed, but the good news is that the "closed through" date was moved from May 31st to June 7. I have heard that although there will be no tournaments there in June (due to USTA Florida canceling all events through June 30), the campus is expected to reopen at some point during the month.

After a week off for the Memorial Day holiday, the USTA Player Development Learning Series is back on Monday, June 1, with Mike and Bob Bryan the featured guests for the webinar entitled "How to be Champions On and Off the Court and Returning to Play Safely." In addition to the Bryans, presenters include Brent Salazar, Director of Performance, Dr. Larry Lauer, Mental Skills Specialist, and USTA National Coaches Jamea Jackson and Maureen Diaz.

To register for the 3 p.m. EDT webinar, go to this page.