Friday, November 16, 2012

Message from HTA on League Changes

Some folks may have seen this already, but with those who don't get it here are some further clarifications on the new league format.
End of year ratings **should** be out the week after thanksgiving. 

Letter from HTA President Regarding 2013 League Changes (11/15/12)
HTA League Players,
As you may have heard, the USTA has restructured their leagues for 2013 highlighted by the addition of the USTA 40+leagues for those age 40 and over.  The Houston Tennis Association (HTA) is excited to offer this opportunity to our players as statistics show that 70% of local players fit within this category and this will provide an additional chance for advancement to Sectional and National Championships.  With the league schedule crowded already, accommodating new opportunities demands adjustment to existing offerings. 
In an effort to maximize the offerings available for HTA members and local clubs, we are using this time of transition to institute changes to the traditional HTA schedule and to more closely align USTA and HTA league rules in an effort to establish more consistency in our products.  Please see the summary below.

Overview of Significant Changes for 2013

·         New Leagues Added: A USTA Adult 40 & Over league is being added in the spring, and an HTA Adult 40 & Over doubles league is being added in the fall. These are new play opportunities in the Houston area.
·         HTA Leagues NTRP Level Conformity: HTA Leagues will now match the NTRP eligibility requirements as USTA leagues.  For USTA and HTA leagues, the posted NTRP level of the team (with the exception of Open divisions) will be the maximum rating of any player on the roster for that team, and players need to be at the team NTRP level or no more than .5 lower.  For example, a 4.0 team can be comprised of 4.0 and 3.5 players only.  This allows matches to count toward NTRP, provides more leveled, competitive play, diminishes the opportunity for manipulation of ratings and conforms our offerings to the computer-generated NTRP rating system model.
·         HTA Leagues Lines of Play:  HTA is changing its doubles, singles and mixed doubles leagues to 3 lines of play rather than 4. This will make it easier to field teams, will decrease the number of courts required of the tennis club or facility, and will accommodate additional play opportunities provided through the introduction of the 40 & Over divisions.
·         HTA Doubles Leagues Schedule Changes: With the addition of the new 40 & Over leagues, the HTA spring and fall doubles leagues will be changing days.  Men will now play on Wednesday evenings, and women will play on Monday evenings or Friday mornings.
For a detailed description of all leagues offered through HTA for 2013, click here: "2013 League Spreadsheet" .  This link includes league type, format, dates, days, and playoff information.  Additionally, the League Coordinator will send out season-specific flyers as in the past.  There will soon be a league calendar added to the website where clicking on a specific season will lead you to the prepared flyer. 
The HTA leadership recognizes that change results in a variety of responses, and we ask for your cooperation and understanding as we navigate through this time of transition.  The changes are anticipated to endure for 2013 and beyond, but there will be ongoing review once results can be measured.  Please know that our goal is to provide leveled social and competitive tennis playing opportunities for all HTA players. 
For those desiring to give feedback, please send your comments to   Answers to what we anticipate to be "Frequently Asked Questions" are on the website. 
Thank you for your continued support of the Houston Tennis Association.
Emily Schaefer
HTA President


  1. age division only works in tournaments so you can play less matches to win. just because you are over 40 doesnt mean you will also sign up for 18+, and that could bring 70% more in revenues for hta. league play is once a week, so anyone over 40 should have no disadvantage on playing someone younger. you will still have the same number of head count in summer league, but now you will have to accommodate more courtd

  2. i would like to get my son into tennis, what age would u reccomend starting him at? he is 5 years old at the moment.

  3. 5 is perfect age to start. the only problem is keeping them interested. who knows, he could be the next federer