Tennis Industry magazine

 

League Leader

A longtime tennis director says WTT Rec Leagues are not only fun for all, but they also add to your bottom line.

By Scott Hanover

Last November, I had the tennis-playing thrill of a lifetime, competing at the World TeamTennis Recreational League National Finals. Holding the national champions banner and sharing the victory with my team is something I will never forget.

Being a part of this first-class national event, with folks like WTT co-founder Billie Jean King and WTT CEO/Commissioner llana Kloss leading the way, made the memories that much more incredible. But I have had the thrill of participating in and organizing World TeamTennis leagues for years, and from my vantage point as a player, team organizer and facility manager, WTT may be just the right league for your club, park or CTA.

For those of you not familiar with WTT, it’s a coed recreational league with NTRP or open skill levels. Players play five or six no-ad sets of men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles, with every game counting toward the winning score.

There are many reasons you may want to consider starting a WTT league, both for you and your players.

  1. Format: Easily scheduled within a two-hour time frame, a WTT match can be played on two courts. It offers all of tennis’ events, plus the excitement of playing lets, no-ad scoring, changing sides after four games and substitutions. And with overtime, losing teams who win the last set have a chance to catch up. Players enjoy the quick pace and trying something new!
  2. Averaging Levels: As long as the top two men and top two women on a team average out to the league skill level (4.0 for example), you can have a 4.5 man, a 4.0 man, a 4.0 woman and a 3.5 woman on your team. It allows friends of different levels, and oftentimes spouses, to be on the same team together.
  3. Revenue: Generate new business at your facility, encourage team practices and fill up court time. After paying your site license fee to WTT (which allows you permission to host a WTT League and be eligible for all the benefits), all the revenue produced is yours! And you have the option of online payments through PayPal for your league.
  4. Opportunity to Advance: Like USTA Leagues, teams winning local WTT Leagues can qualify for one of six National Qualifiers around the country.
  5. Great Benefits: WTT has benefits for directors and players (league rewards program, toll-free assistance) plus many discounts and incentives through Advanta, Wilson, and Bälle de Mätch.
  6. New Website and Web Tools: In the past year, WTT has greatly enhanced its website, WTT.com, with online registration, online league scheduling, posting schedules and scores, email notifications system and more.
  7. Other WTT Programs and Services:
    • X TeamTennis — An event for high school-age players featuring singles and mixed doubles. A day-long local-level tournament qualifies players for nationals. Schools may send multiple local co-ed teams.
    • Corporate Leagues — These are taking off around the country, and allow folks to play with co-workers, raise company morale and reduce health care costs at work. Offering many of the same benefits as WTT Leagues, corporate local winners qualify for their own national championship.
    • WTT is the format for USTA Tennis on Campus, bringing non-varsity players together on college club teams throughout the country, again featuring Section and National championships.
    • Pro Leagues — If you live near a pro league franchise, you have the added benefit of getting a free ticket for each of your rec league players to attend a professional match. Plus there is the cross-marketing opportunities of the local and pro league together.
  8. Customer Service: The national staff is always just a phone call away and extremely helpful. Delaine Mast has been WTT’s national director for the Rec Leagues for more than 20 years and knows all the ins and outs of WTT Leagues. Jen Smith has coordinated the National Qualifiers and Nationals for several years and is a great problem-solver. And returnee Elaine Wingfield has plenty of experience as WTT League director, and coordinates the collegiate competition.

I have hundreds of local league players who are sold on WTT. “It’s competitive, fun and social-all at the same time,” says Kathryn Johnson of Kansas City, Mo., who plays on a 3.5 team. “We meet lots of new players and earn the opportunity to travel to other cities for the National Qualifiers. And best of all, we enjoy playing all events-singles, doubles and mixed-in one night, with our friends.”

WTT Rec Leagues are fun for you and your players, and they generate revenue, too. What more could you ask for?


To find out more about WTT Leagues, call Delaine Mast at 1-866-PLAY-WTT or visit WTT.com.

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About the Author

Scott Hanover  is the general manager of Clayview Country Club, a swim, tennis, and fitness facility in Kansas City, Mo. As a volunteer, he serves as the national chairperson of the USTA Tennis in the Parks committee.

 

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