| By Kathy Miller

At the time this article will go to print, all USTA 18 & Over, 40 & Over, 55 & Over and 65 &Over teams will have their schedules for the upcoming USTA League Season! The Mixed Playoff/Regional matches will be finishing up, and we want to take this opportunity to wish our teams the best of luck and a great time at Sectionals the first weekend in June. The next issue of Long Island Tennis Magazine will list the winning teams.

I want to explain a change in the running of the USTA League on Long Island. In the past, players paid their roster fees to TennisLink and Eastern paid Long Island Tennis League part of the roster fee to run the leagues. USTA Eastern is now in the process of bringing all of the regions “in house” and hiring coordinators for each region as USTA Eastern employees. At this point, the Southern Region, New Jersey and Long Island coordinators have been hired and are all employees of USTA Eastern. The other three regions of Eastern will be following over the next two years. Long Island will continue with a volunteer Board to go over and implement rules (within USTA and Eastern rules) and we will also continue with our local Grievance and Appeals Committees. USTA Eastern deemed the Long Island coordinator position to be one person. I was hired for this position and I want to personally thank Jamie Stickney for doing a great job with the Tri-Level and Mixed-Doubles Leagues for the past two years. Jamie was a wonderful asset who put her heart and soul into the running and growing of the leagues on Long Island. Thank you Jamie!

Going forward, the 18 & Over and 40 & Over Leagues will play May to August as usual. The 55 & Over and 65 & Over Leagues will play June to the end of August. For the first time, all playoff matches will be pre-scheduled, with set dates, times and locations which all captains have been made aware of. We did this mainly due to a lack of court time when trying to get all of these matches scheduled with very little notice last season. All the locations were decided when I was doing the schedules in March and April. I have no way of knowing which teams will be in the playoffs obviously. It may work out that someone gets home court … it cannot be avoided. I was most concerned with the 18 & Over and 40 & Over Divisions not conflicting and had to use the clubs available. I also tried to keep things somewhat “middle Island,” since most levels have the possibility of having Nassau and/or Suffolk teams competing. All playoffs are scheduled on hard courts since all Championships are on hard courts, and I wanted to keep it consistent. These clubs are holding this court time months ahead of time and are not scheduling other programs. Therefore, please do not ask for matches to be moved. Even if both teams are in agreement to move a match, it WILL NOT be moved. All captains have this information and should be making their teams aware of it now in order to avoid conflicts later.

I am planning on having the Tri-Level League play during the month of September over a couple of weekends. Next up would be the 18 & Over Mixed-Doubles League, starting in October. How long it runs will depend on the number of teams. The 40 & Over Mixed-Doubles League will begin towards the end of January or in February. There will be some overlap between the two Mixed-Doubles Leagues as I do not want to see players who cannot yet play in the 40 & Over Mixed go a long period unable to play in a USTA League. This is all in the beginning “giving it thought” stages. I am always open to suggestions and comments, so feel free to e-mail me at KathyM65@aol.com. Please understand though, I have guidelines with both USTA and the clubs that I must work within and not all suggestions can be implemented.

I am looking forward to a great, dare I say, drama-free USTA Season this summer! I hope all the teams have good matches and a great league experience based on all of the good sportsmanship!

Kathy Miller

Kathy Miller is the manager at Carefree Racquet Club and is also the Adult League Coordinator for USTA/Long Island. She may be reached at kathym65@aol.com.