| 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


*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 Pine Hollow Country Club. He independently coaches high-performance juniors and adults of all-levels year-round at Bethpage Park Tennis Center. He has coached hundreds of ranked junior players. As a player, Becker was awarded Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis Team and 1989-1992 Roslyn High School Tennis Teams, and was ranked number four in the United States in the 18 & Under Division.