| By Ricky Becker

Although I appreciate (and disagree with) the counterpoint to my last article about limiting junior tournaments to younger kids, I will respond to it in the future.

When I heard that for the second time, there was going to be an attempt to blatently stack a lineup to gain a competitive advantage, I was shocked.  Not shocked mind you that a coach would try to do this so much, although I do disagree with this.  I am more surprised that whoever makes the rules for Suffolk County would even allow this. Allowing teams "flexible" lineups which is a euphemism for stacking is the dumbest idea I have ever heard.  For starters, you are taking the ball out of the kids hands and giving them to the coaches which I'm sure everyone agrees is not the point of high school sports.  Secondly, it is not rewarding the best team.  Thirdly, why not just play cards instead?  BS, poker, you name it!  Rock, paper, scissors?  I think they are going to throw out the rock, so I will counter with paper! It makes the whole thing a guessing game.  "What lineup is the other team going to throw out?" is the way to prepare for a match.  Not actually practicing!  Lastly, shouldn't common sense just take over that this is a bad rule? 

Three singles for one county while the other does four singles is kind of cool.  It gives a little bit of a home court advantage I guess.

I do realize that minor lineup stacking has gone on for a long time. Maybe a team puts fourth singles at second. Maybe a first doubles player gets dropped to second.  But the Suffolk County Public School Sports Association (or whatever it is called) to allow it as an official rule is even crazier than the coach who tries to implement it. 

Ricky Becker is The Director of Tennis at Glen Oaks Club.  Ricky also coaches high-performance juniors throughout the year and has been the Director of Tennis at three of Long Island’s biggest junior programs.  As a player, Becker was the Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis team and ranked in the top-five nationally as a junior.  He can be reached at rbecker06@yahoo.com, 516-359-4843 or via juniortennisconsulting.com.