Tennis Industry magazine

 

Industry News

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PTR Symposium Set, Cardio Tennis for Kids to Debut

The PTR will hold its annual International Tennis Symposium & $25,000 Championships Feb. 12 to 18 at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The event is expected to attract nearly 1,000 tennis teachers and coaches from more than 50 countries.

Among the more than 50 speakers at this year’s event will be Leo Alonso, Doug Cash, Lisa Duncan, Pat Etcheberry, Dr. Ben Kibler, Dr. Jim Loehr, Anne Pankhurst and Bill Tym, who will conduct classroom and on- court presentations. There is also a special high school coaches’ program held over President’s Weekend.

At the Symposium, the official debut of Cardio Tennis for Kids (CT4Kids) will take place Feb. 18. The three-hour CT4Kids workshop will be conducted by National Cardio Tennis Program Manager Michele Krause and members of the National Cardio Tennis Speakers Team. The workshop will consist of both classroom and on-court sessions.

Cardio Tennis for Kids is a group play activity featuring action-based tennis drills and games for children ages 6 to 12 of all ability levels. CT4Kids emphasizes movement and fun using music and pedometers. Using age appropriate equipment, the CT4kids environment develops tennis and athletic skills and improves health and fitness.

PTR teaching pros will compete in the $25,000 Championships, a tournament held in conjunction with the Symposium. The Symposium also offers a Tennis Trade Show. Visit ptrtennis.org.

Tennis Participation Tops 30 Million Players

Tennis participation in the U.S. topped 30 million players for the first time in more than 20 years, according to the latest survey by the USTA and TIA. The annual phone survey of 6,000 Americans showed that participation grew in all age groups under the age of 50 and within all ethnicities. With 30.1 million people hitting the courts, tennis participation grew 12 percent over 2008 and 25 percent since 2003.

New players comprised 7.1 million of the total, and the majority of tennis players — 14.8 million — consider themselves “regular players,” playing four to 20 times a year. Total play occasions surpassed 560 million for only the second time in more than 20 years, but were down slightly from last year. The greatest percentage growth in participation was in players in the 12 to 17 age bracket, which grew from 15.7 percent of total participants in 2008 to 20.5 percent in 2009.

“Over the past several years, we’ve strived to make the game more accessible, particularly at parks and schools,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis. “Combine this with the health benefits of tennis, and you get surging interest in the sport.”

“The TIA and the USTA have been focused on growing participation since the mid-90s and this is the result of a consistent and sustained effort,” says TIA President Jon Muir. “Our ongoing challenge is to continue to build our frequent player base, the economic lifeline for the sport.” In fact, the same survey shows a slight drop in frequent players, from 5.62 million in 2008 to 5.3 million in 2009.

The survey showed that participation in 2009 is up in every major ethnic group, but especially among African Americans (+19%) and Hispanics (+32%).

Age groups comprising the greatest percentage of players are:

‘Best Tennis Town’ Wins $100,000 for Community

More than 1,300 people turned out on Nov. 13 to celebrate Midland, Mich., being named America’s Best Tennis Town. The $100,000 first prize that went along with the title, which was announced during the 2009 US Open, will be used to upgrade tennis facilities in the community, provide equipment to kids, restart school tennis programs dropped for budget reasons, offer free tennis programming, and more.

The USTA named Midland “The Best Tennis Town In The U.S.” following a nationwide ballot that saw the community outvote 56 other cities in the competition. Midland rated high in level of participation and passion for the sport in this community of 40,000. Second-place winner Ojai, Calif., received $75,000 and third-place Independence, Kan., won $25,000.

ASBA Elects New Officers and Directors

The American Sports Builders Association, the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, has announced the election of its officers and directors for 2010-2011.

Officers remaining on the Board of Directors will be Track Division President Kristoff Eldridge (Cape & Island Tennis & Track in Pocasset, Mass.); Professional Division President Ed Norton (Holcombe Norton Partners of Birmingham, Ala.); and Indoor Division President Robert Cohen (Robert Cohen Co. LLC of Albuquerque).

Directors continuing on the board include Bruce Haroldson (Connor Sports Flooring, Salt Lake City, Utah), David Nielsen (Leslie Coatings Inc. of Indianapolis), Gerry Perry (Gerald Perry Tennis Courts of Springfield, Mo.), and Pete Smith (The CourtSmiths of Toledo, Ohio).

George Todd Jr. (Welch Tennis Courts of Sun City, Fla.) the association’s most recent chairman, will continue on the Board of Directors in the role of immediate past chairman.

Pacific Introduces Racquet Line, New BasaltX Technology

Pacific, long known for its strings, is bringing tennis racquets to market in early 2010. The brand, which recently acquired Fischer Tennis and Racquet Sports, will launch a line of racquets with what it calls BasaltX Technology.

The frames actually were introduced in late November in London, during the ATP World Finals. Pacific collaborated with the Austrian company Asa.Tec, a leader in basalt fiber technology. Basalt is found in volcanic stones, mined in Austria.

The Pacific BasaltX racquet line, which is scheduled to start delivery in January, will include models for all levels of player, from tour players to juniors. For more information visit pacific.com or basaltx.com.

Pro Coaches Launch Tour-Level Association

A group of ATP World Tour and WTA Tour coaches are launching a new organization to help support tour coaches and trainers by offering them a full range of benefits and services, including access to various forms of insurance, financial services, job training, and mentoring.

The organization is known as the Tour Level Tennis Coaches Association, and it will be for ATP and WTA Tour coaches and trainers. The TLTCA will work in concert with the ATP, WTA and ITF to promote the game across the globe.

Roger Rasheed (coach of ATP player Gael Monfils) and Vlado Platenik (coach of the WTA player Dominika Cibulkova) are spearheading the process of forming the TLTCA’s initial Advisory Board of Directors. With the assistance of tennis industry professionals, they have developed a set of bylaws and are engaged in enlisting other coaches to join. Plans call for a member vote in early January in Australia for the first official board of directors.

Congratulations To the Following For Achieving CS & MRT Status

CSS

Charles Borchers Port Charlotte, FL

Eric Ohlson White Salmon, WA

Dan Raykovitz Longmont, CO

David Wang Beaverton, OR

Adam Young Lantana, FL

MRT

Ron Castillo La Plata, MD

Diane Hamm-Vida Shallotte, NC

Irvin Hernandez Houston, TX

Lee Young Hoon Hwaseong, SOUTH KOREA

Mathew Mathew Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Jarrad Magee Sydney, AUSTRALIA

Stacey Moon Anchorage, AK

Mark Nissen Lane Cove, NSW, AUSTRALIA

Hao Shi Jacksonville, FL

Liem Thai Houston, TX

Oncourt Offcourt Celebrates 15 Years

Oncourt Offcourt, started in 1994 by USPTA and PTR Master Professional Joe Dinoffer, is celebrating its 15th year of supplying creative tennis training aids, target systems and court accessories. The Dallas-based company now features more than 100 proprietary products distributed worldwide. For a free color anniversary catalog with lower prices to celebrate during 2010, contact Oncourt Offcourt toll-free at 1-88-TENNIS-11 or visit oncourtoffcourt.com.

Hinding Tennis Adds QuickStart Courts

Mayor Dinkins (in red bow tie) was on hand at the grand opening of the newly renovated tennis courts on East Sidney Street in Mount Vernon, N.Y. Hinding Tennis of West Haven, Conn., renovated the two existing courts into 8 new QuickStart Tennis courts for children.

“This brings a whole new level of excitement for the younger tennis players,” said Skip Hartman, of the New York NJTL.

Hinding also rebuilt 16 courts in New Haven’s East Shore Park, including four permanent QST courts. For more information, visit hindingtennis.com or call 203-285-3055.

Viking Athletics Named Official Partner of PPTA

Viking has been named the official partner of the Professional Platform Tennis Association. Through the new one-year deal, Viking will be the exclusive provider of paddles, accessories, footwear and apparel at all PPTA events in 2010.

“To have Viking step up and offer support to the PPTA and its members in this fashion further solidifies why they are considered the industry leader,” says Nate Parsons, president of the PPTA. “Our organization, comprised of approximately 200 teaching pro members, is extremely impressed with Viking’s commitment of support.”

Through the new partnership, all PPTA members will receive a new Viking fleece jacket and substantial discounts off the purchase of the popular Prince T-8 line of shoes, available in styles for men, women and juniors.

The 2009-2010 Viking product line features eight paddles, including newly designed versions of the Oz, Ignite, and Zone. For more information, visit vikingathletics.com.

Peoplewatch

USPTA Adds “My Membership Page” to Website

The USPTA has a new member management area of its website, uspta.com. The new membership page now contains insurance information and a member profile, as well as a new feature, member documents.

The newest member tool allows members to print membership documents from their home or office computer, including membership cards and certificates, education report cards, insurance verification letters, and dues invoices. Each document is personalized, dated, and includes a security verification code for the member’s protection. Only members in good standing will be able to print documents that verify membership.

Members log into uspta.com using their last name and member number and click on the new menu item “My membership.” Then, they can select member documents, liability insurance and member profile.

New Doubles Book Released

Tennis Doubles Beyond Big Shots is the latest book by pro and tennis director Greg Moran, offering strategy and tactics that will lead to winning doubles play. Moran tells readers how to control the net in doubles, how to hit an effective serve, what to do when your partner is serving, the importance of communications in doubles, when to hit down the alley, doubles formations and much more. The book ($26.95) also has an accompanying DVD, which is sold separately. Discounts are available for retailers and tennis groups. Visit mansiongrovehouse.com for more information.

Short Sets

Wheelchair Tennis Pioneer Randy Snow Dies at Age 50

Wheelchair tennis great Randy Snow died on Nov. 19 from a heart attack. The 50-year-old Snow was in El Salvador at the time, giving a wheelchair tennis clinic.

During his playing career, Snow was ranked No. 1 in the world, and swept both the singles and doubles gold medals at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona. He also won the U.S. Open wheelchair singles titles 10 times, and was a six-time winner of the U.S. Open wheelchair doubles. In addition, Snow was a member of the bronze medal winning USA wheelchair basketball team in Atlanta in 1996.

Snow was a pioneer in the sport of wheelchair tennis and remained one of its strongest advocates, conducting hundreds of wheelchair sports camps, lectures and presentations. In 2004, he was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame.

Industry Loses Walter Montenegro

Tennis and racquet sports industry innovator Walter Montenegro died on Nov. 3 in New Jersey. He had celebrated his 100th birthday this past August.

Montenegro was born Aug. 25, 1909, in San Jose, Costa Rica. He earned an accounting degree at the University of Buenos Aires, then arrived in New York in his early 20s. He learned to string tennis racquets and ultimately established a number of racquet companies, including Calhoun-Cragin and Cragin Simplex, where he also imported Babolat strings.

Among other endeavors, he developed a squash ball for summer play that changed the game to a year-round sport, and generated a Sports Illustrated article. He also was instrumental in building up the USPTA, USRSA, TIA and U.S. Professional Squash Racquets Association. He was inducted into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame in 1985.

USPTA Schedules Certification Exams for 2010

The USPTA has scheduled more than 165 Certification Exams nationwide in 2010. The exam includes an on-court evaluation of tennis strokes and playing skills, stroke and grip analysis, private and group lesson instruction, and other skills needed in the tennis-teaching profession. The exam also includes a two-hour written test covering teaching, playing and business management skills, rules, club activity programming and other topics. Applicants can now opt to take the written and grip exams online after completing the on-court portions of the certification test.

Visit uspta.org for more details. Advanced registration is required. The total fee for the exam and application is $175, plus prorated USPTA membership dues.

PTR to Host West Coast Club & Facility Conference

The PTR will host a West Coast Tennis Club and Facility Conference March 8-10 at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in La Jolla, Calif. The event is designed specifically for tennis club owners, club managers, and directors of tennis.

Presentations and breakout sessions will include relevant topics such as Customer Service, Programming to Fill Courts, Innovative Ideas for New Clinics, Marketing Your Club & Programs, Forming a Club Owners Association, Controlling Energy Costs & Expenses, Managing Your Staff, Renovating Your Club, Creating/Improving Your Website and more.

The cost, $349 before Feb. 22 and $399 after, includes all workshops, meals and social activities. Additional registrants from the same club are $299. For more information or registration, contact PTR at 800-421-6289 or visit ptrtennis.org

New ZyMax 70 Badminton String

Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced the first string of its ZyMax line of badminton strings. ZyMax 70 makes maximum use of Ashaway’s patented new ZyWeaVe core processing technology which produces thinner, stronger strings. According to Ashaway, ZyMax 70 is the strongest 0.70 mm string ever made. Designed to provide durability and responsiveness at all stringing tensions, ZyMax 70 is ideal for heavy hitters who want a micro-gauge string but need to maximize durability. Visit ashawayusa.com.

Guide to College Tennis Available

The USTA Guide to Tennis on College Campuses provides high school juniors and seniors who want to play competitive college tennis — either varsity or recreational — with the information they need to choose a school. This second edition is a comprehensive resource for locating tennis programs at about 2,000 colleges and universities across the country and identifying their requirements for entry. The guide includes:

The guide, priced at $4.75, should be available in January, and is at ustashop.com, or visit tennisoncampus.com.

Ferris PTM Program Offers TennisConnect Course

The Professional Tennis Management program at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., now has a required course in tournament/activity administration that focuses on the TennisConnect business tool. The 16-week course, which is taught by PTM Director Derek Ameel, is designed to give students a well-rounded view of event programming and of TennisConnect’s capabilities in running a tennis business. The last eight weeks of the course cover various aspects of TennisConnect.

The course was created by Ameel with help from Charlie Ruddy, the developer of TennisConnect. Each student will create their own TennisConnect website and will complete a “go-live” process for their final exam.

“TennisConnect is a great business tool for any club and a fantastic addition to our program,” says Ameel. “There are so many aspects of TennisConnect that improve a club’s ability to run and manage their business. It provides many tools to improve customer service and increase profits.”

For more information on the Ferris State Professional Tennis Management program, visit ferris.edu/ptm. For information on TennisConnect, visit TennisConnect.com.

 

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