A new championship format has been proposed by the Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Committee. The proposals, which would take effect the 2014 season, recommends that the number of days spent at the finals site is decreased from 12 to just eight. Also, the number of teams at the finals site would be reduced from 16 to just four. The new structure must be approved by the Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet. They are scheduled to meet in Indianapolis from Sept. 10-12.
The current format includes 16 men's and women's teams advancing to the finals site along with all individual singles and doubles competitors throughout the U.S. With this current structure, a player competing on a team could potentially play for 12 consecutive days.
The new structure would have the first and second rounds at the 16 different campus sites. The remaining four teams from those rounds would then move forward to a new regional round taking place at four campus sites. Only then would the regional winners advance to the finals site.
The number of matches that must be played is also up for debate. Currently, singles players must play a minimum of 13 matches through the fall and spring seasons, and doubles teams must play a minimum of 10. There should be more of a balance between fall and spring. The new rules would require singes' players to play a minimum of six matches in the spring and doubles teams to play five matches to be considered for selection.
"The USTA is aware of the proposed format changes being made by the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee to the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships," said the USTA in a prepared statement. "Working with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the USTA is preparing a joint opposition letter to these changes. The letter will be distributed to the committee in advance of its Monday, Aug. 20th meeting."