Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Where can you play the most USTA League tennis and how many matches did you play last year?

Many players that play USTA League live in a city where there is one USTA district or area and thus one set of leagues.  This usually provides ample opportunity to play, oftentimes year-round with the introduction of the 40 & over leagues last year.  In my area, many players will play 18 & over Mixed and Adult, 40 & over Mixed and Adult, and a Summer doubles league we have.

If that isn't enough for you, there are some areas of the country where you can play more.  A lot more in fact.  As you might expect, this is in the more populated areas of the country, namely the East Coast.  In some areas of New Jersey or Connecticut for example, you can play not only in multiple areas but multiple sections with the Middle States, Eastern, and New England sections all very close together.  Similarly, I've seen players that live in the Carolinas playing in both North and South Carolina as a way to get into more leagues and matches.

But the topper from what I've seen is in the Mid-Atlantic section, and specifically the Washington D.C. area.  Between Washington D.C. itself and the surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia, there is a plethora of playing opportunities.  Throw in that some of these areas have not only the standard leagues but also Tri-Level, Combo, and Singles leagues and someone that wanted could probably find a way to play 4-5 times a week if not more.

So, what are some of the extreme cases I've seen?  While most of us play in just one area, there is a player in the Mid-Atlantic section that played in eight last year.  Prince Georges County, Anne Arundel County, Frederick County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Forty West, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C.  And with just a bit of driving, this player could likely get to Baltimore County and Loudoun County, if not a few more.  And before you say this is one strange outlier, there are a bunch of players that played in six and seven areas as well.

This leads to situations where players may be on over 20 teams in a given year and play over 50 matches during the year.  In fact, there is a player from Leesburg, VA that was on 25 teams in 2013 and played over 100 matches during the year.

How many league matches did you play last year?