11/19/15 – Tennis Tournament Format Changes

November 19, 2015 Tennis Blog Updates

For the past several years, the KHSAA staff and Board of Control have been reviewing the region and state tennis formats due to concerns expressed from experts in Sports Medicine. At its recent meeting, the KHSAA Board of Control approved a staff recommendation based on feedback and consensus from the Commissioner’s Tennis Advisory Committee, to no longer play the team vs. team and individual singles/doubles state competitions on the same days. Rather, these events will be separated to conduct a separate team vs. team tennis (seven-player) tournament. The exact date, location and time of these team matches will be determined in the near future with the traditional singles and doubles event remaining on its corresponding weekend.

The Kentucky Medical Association’s Sports Medicine Committee, acting on a report and adopting research-based findings from the USTA, the governing body for Youth and Adult Tennis in the U.S., had recently strongly recommended that changes be made to ensure that players play no more than two full set matches in a day. This recommendation compels the KHSAA to make revisions to the schedule to ensure that the health and welfare of the student-athletes continue to be the primary focus. “Our staff is in constant communication with state and national sports medicine experts to look out for the health and safety of our student-athletes,” KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said.  “With the recent research by USTA and invaluable input from our allies at KMA, this is a necessary revision.”

In addition, there also previously existed a discrepancy between the process to declare a champion at the regional and state levels. In the past, the regional champion was determined by the aggregate points earned in singles and doubles play. The state team champion, meanwhile, was determined by a seven-player team vs. team competition. Though individual singles and double champions will continue to be crowned at the regional and state competitions, the overall team champions in both region and the state will be determined by team vs. team play.

To make this transition, the regional seven-player team vs. team competition would be conducted throughout the season either with an extended schedule or with a culminating regional tournament, at the discretion of the participating schools. The 16 regional champion teams would then advance to play a state tournament format over two days, tentatively scheduled to be held between the regional dates and the current state championship dates. Pairings for the state team competition will be determined by blind draw at a time and date to be announced, as will be the exact date, location and time of the state matches. At the regional level, teams should plan a meeting to determine which schools plan to enter a team in the team competition. Each region will then be able (based on its numbers) to develop a team tournament schedule and decide how best to schedule these matches, which by definition will be considered postseason regional matches and not applied to the match limits in Bylaw 23.

Many of the details will be communicated to the schools as they are defined, and prior to the start of the 2016 season including declaration deadlines and further procedures.

–KHSAA–

The KHSAA staff routinely publishes blog posts to better communicate with its various constituencies and the public. The blogs for specific sports and sport-activities are on that sport or sport activity main page, and there are general information blogs at http://khsaa.org/news-stats-pubs/sports-blogs/