Tournament Pathway

As at Aug 2011. 

This note is an update for you about the training and tournament structure outside our club and district.  Use this as a "beginners guide" for kids interested in challenging themselves against better players of their own age in the region or state.  This note is focused on information on the Tennis NSW website and plan, and does not cover lots of regional activities and events.   It is not intended to be a complete list or guide, just an introduction.      
There's some useful info on the Tennis NSW website about higher level tournaments.   Here's a link to the player development pathway at state level both in terms of tournaments and also training.  In terms of tournaments, the Junior Development Series (JDS) Round Robin is the entry level, and then Optus Junior Tour (OJT) White, Bronze, Silver, Gold tournaments are where the kids accrue points towards rankings.  In terms of the "first steps", the Medibank Junior Development Series (MJDS, sometimes referred to as JDS) event is a round robin series, with each event over one day.   Each player will play a preliminary round robin group series usually against 4 or 5 players in that group - the match is short set (total of 6 games is common).  Group winners and high achievers go on to a finals series on the same day.  The JDS Round Robin group stage standard will be a mixture from good district age players to state ranked players.  Some might find the standard tough, but it's an introduction into the age standard outside our area.  Maybe interested kids could just go and watch?   The next level up is the OJT events.  Note that these are often shown on the calendar as 4 day events, however most players will normally be finished in the Saturday/Sunday with just Semi's and Finals played on Mondays.   The formats do vary a bit by age group and tournament level, however commonly at an OJT tournament the player will have a round 1 match on Saturday morning, and either a 2nd round match or a consolation series match in the afternoon.  Two losses and you’re finished at the event.  Most matches are best of 3 sets with the 3rd set being a shortened "super tie-break" just like our own A1 (ISLTA) Saturday morning singles format.   So, as a minimum, the player would play 4 sets at an OJT tournament, and parents should plan for their child to be available for play on both Saturday and Sunday of the event.  You might be finished on Saturday.

Here's a good link for the National playing calendar, and also note that it is updated ongoing, but is accurate 10 weeks before a tournament announced date. You can see who's made an online registration to an event, though this is maybe not all the players that are registered.   There's also a step by step guide there about the online tournament booking system.   {Most of these events have online tournament application system.   You need to setup an Online account to do that, and you need your Tennis NSW registration number to do that.   Get your number from your coach, because it is something you should discuss/plan with your coach first anyway.   If you can't find your registration number through your coach then ring Tennis NSW to get the number.  Anyone who has paid their affiliation fees will have a number}.    

See this link for Tennis NSW tournaments - they link to the levels in the pathway, and in particular at first you’re looking for MSS (Medibank State Series) or MJDS (Medibank Junior Development Series) or OJT (Optus Junior Tour) events and/or watch for your age group as well.   Players are eligible for an age group if they are under age as at the last day of the tournament.    Note that there are some tournaments on this state calendar that are not on the national calendar, particularly lower level and district sponsored events, especially local challenge or round robin events.  If you’re unsure, each event has a name and number for a tournament sponsor, so give them a call to see about the standard, suitability and details.   

Here's how the ranking system works.  There is one national ranking list for men/boys and women/girls, and performance in events from the Optus Junior Tour (OJT) and higher accrues points in events that lead to ranking.   On this same link you can see the current Australian rankings, right down into the juniors by name who have earned as little as 0.25 points (Lleyton currently has over 600,000 points !!}.   

The Tennis NSW and Tennis Australia websites have a lot of information on them, and they are the authoritative source and body responsible for tennis.   I put the (above) links as favourites in my web browser so I can now find things a bit easier.   The tournaments co-ordinators (started @July10) at Tennis NSW on 02 9024 7600 are Lara Giltinan and Eliza Boyd   First point of call is your club coach.   


Thanks and best wishes, from Martin at