For the last half-century, the North Shore has been home to a competitive tennis league for adult women called the Long Island Women’s Inter-Club Tennis League, which continues to grow with each passing year. Now in its 45th season, the League is home to more than 1,600 players representing almost 30 different clubs and programs.
“We’re in 28 clubs on the North Shore of Long Island, so we touch almost every private club on the North Shore, including everyone from high-level players to the recreational player,” said Elona Weiner, who has been the League’s president for the last 19 years.
The league is comprised of various levels, with A, B and C Divisions, with players ranging in ages 25-85, and runs from early May through the middle of August.
“Every club has people who want to play competitively. They can enroll in our League, and we have different levels, from beginners all the way through advanced, with middle and intermediate levels in between,” said Weiner. “We recently created a senior division for those 60 years of age and over. We wanted to give them the ability to play, and it’s more of a friendly, laid-back division. The group has loved it. The rules in that division are a little different; we try to limit the amount of time they have to be outdoors and things like that. It’s been very successful.”
Weiner took over as League president in 2000, and has been at the forefront of its growth in that time. An integral part of that was the introduction of the League’s Web site, InterClubTennis.net, which contains team rosters, scores, standings, schedules and more, with records dating back years so you can browse the League’s history.
“What’s great about that is if my team is scheduled play, I can go in and check our matchups against that opponent from previous years to see which player played on what court, who won, who lost, etc.,” said Weiner. “So you can evaluate what you need to do in a future matchup. It’s very friendly and easy to navigate. Every captain gets a login and password, and they can go in and input their rosters and report their scores.”
The teams play out of their respective clubs or facilities, and have both home and away matches. The amount of matches a team plays throughout the season depends on how many teams are in the division as each team plays every other team once. At the end of the season, whichever team sits in first place is that division’s winner.
“It’s very beneficial for the clubs because the members are actively coming in to take lessons so they can compete and help their teams win in the League, so it has really been beneficial for everyone involved,” added Weiner.
The season culminates every year with the End-of-Season Dinner Banquet, where the ladies from the League gather to celebrate the year in style with a trophy presentation and ceremony. There are prizes raffled off, an awards ceremony and giveaways.
Members of the 2018 A-1 Division Champions from Bay Terrace Club are awarded their championship trophy at last year's party.
“We do a giveaway that everyone gets. Last year, we gave away towels with the League name embroidered on it,” said Weiner. “This year, it will be something else, so every year everyone goes home with something.”
This year’s party will be held on Sept. 25 at The North Ritz Club in Syosset, and once again, Weiner and her executive board will use the League’s success and notoriety to give back to the community with the proceeds from the League’s fees and the party going towards charity.
In the beginning, the League donated to the Adelphi Breast Cancer Hotline, but in recent years, they have donated to the Maurer Foundation, whose mission is to save lives through breast health education that focuses on breast cancer prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, early detection and risk reduction.
The Long Island Women’s Inter-Club Tennis League has not only produced a competitive atmosphere for thousands of tennis players, but has also used that success to give back to the community. With the help of her board, which is made up of 10 other women, Weiner has helped grow the League in her 20 years there, and if that trend continues, the League hopes to be around for another 50.
You can learn more about the league by visiting InterClubTennis.net.