If your children enjoy playing tennis, you may be thinking about letting them compete in junior USTA sanctioned tournaments. Here are some tips and information that will help your child start to play USTA tournaments.
1. Your child will need to obtain a USTA number. Contact the United States Tennis Association at 1-914-696-7000 or go to their website. Your child cannot actually register for a tournament until he receives his USTA number, but numbers can be received quickly upon registration. A junior membership usually comes with a free tennis magazine called SMASH.
2. If your child is eleven or under, you may want to start her in a tournament called Little Mo, which is designed for and opened to only younger players. Children should have a basic understanding of tennis etiquette.
3. Go to the USTA website and click on the leagues and tournaments at the top. Enter your geographic area and the age of your child to find appropriate tournaments. Tournaments indicate the age the tournament is open to and whether they are opened to (B) boys or (G) girls or both.
4. Tournaments are categorized by age, and a player can play in that age bracket until he actually turns the minimum age of the next category. Therefore, a twelve and under player can actually be almost thirteen. Nevertheless, many players choose to play in the next age category up several months before they are required to do so. This allows the players to get off the ineligible list for the new age category earlier and start to accumulate points so that they will be accepted into more challenging tournaments.
5. Most tournaments must be paid for on-line although occasionally facilities will take checks directly. Tournaments have number ratings which indicate the level of competition. District tournaments are generally the beginning level although some sectional players also enter district tournaments as well. Most players have little difficulty being accepted into district tournaments.
6. As your child wins matches, he will receive points for ranking purposes. For the first three matches she plays, she will be on an ineligible ranking list. After three tournaments, your child moves to the regular ranking list. The more points your child accumulates, the higher his ranking.
7. As your child excels in tournaments he may begin to play sectional tournaments. The level of competition is higher and the points he has accumulated will be considered to determine if he is accepted in the tournaments. Sectional tournament are numbered. The higher the sectional tournament is numbered, the less skilled the competition. So, an SR 6 tournament would be much easier to be accepted into than an SR 4 tournament.
http://www.usta.com/LeaguesAndTournaments/Default.aspx USTA Leagues and Tournaments