| By Ricky Becker

Although well-intentioned, are short courts, deflated balls, round-robins and short sets pulling kids into tennis on Long Island?

Through five years, the answer is: “No!”

Age Group/Level  2010 Players Per Long Island Tournament (Average)  2016 Players Per Long Island Tournament (Average)
Boys 10’s Level 1B 16.3 10.0
Boys 10’s Level 2             15.6 1.4
Boys 10’s Level 3              6.2 3.2
Girls 10’s Level 1B         10.7  5.4
Girls 10’s Level 2  8.8 1.1
Girls 10’s Level 3  3.6 2.3
Boys 12’s L1+ 72.6 42.0
Boys 12’s L1/L1A 31.3  5.0
Boys 12’s L1B 26.0 6.0
Boys 12’s L2 14.1 8.9
Boys 12’s L3 3.8 5.0
Girls 12’s L1+ 41.5 41.0
Girls 12’s L1/L1A 15.5 9.5
Girls 12’s L1B 11.8  5.1
Girls 12’s L2 5.0 4.1
Girls 12’s L3 1.7

1.2

*Tournament averages taken from January-April

The numbers speak for themselves, but anecdotes, theories and solutions will be presented in the next issue of Long Island Tennis Magazine.

Ricky Becker is The Director of Tennis at the prestigious Pine Hollow Country Club and independently coaches high-performance juniors year-round predominantly at Bethpage Park Tennis Center. As a player, Becker was awarded Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis Team and 1989-1992 Roslyn High School Teams. He was ranked number one in the Eastern Section and fourth in the United States in the 18-and-unders.  He can be reached at rbecker06@yahoo.com, 516-359-4843 or via JuniorTennisConsulting.com.