Monday, April 24, 2017

Northern California 2017 USTA League 40 & over Districts are this weekend, still time to scout opponents

This is the time of year when USTA League starts to get busy.  Some areas are coming out of winter and leagues are starting, while other areas where they played indoors or are warm weather states have played their local league season and are starting to have local or district playoffs.

Examples of playoffs occurring already are the Seattle area 40 & over and Portland area 18 & over playoffs held this past weekend, and the upcoming weekend brings the 40 & over Districts in Northern California.

NorCal is interesting in that organizationally within TennisLink there is sort of just one district, and they have a single 18 & over and 40 & over league in this district.  The way they split things up is by having different sub-flights for different areas at each level.  There are 17 of these areas, and sometimes multiple sub-flights per area.

So first, there is usually local playoffs to determine a winner within or between flights in the same area.  The winner of each area, and sometimes a wildcard, will advance to districts which is generally flights of 4 or 5 teams from a selection of the the areas.  The winners, it used to be 4 of them but at some levels appears to be 7(!) this year, advance to Sectionals.

Since NorCal typically does pretty well at Nationals, making it out of your Districts flight to just make Sectionals can be a tough task.  And while a lot of players play in multiple areas and there is familiarity between them, doing some research and scouting of the opponents can always be helpful.

This is where team and flight reports can be very useful to find out who the strongest/weakest teams are, who their best players are and who they typically play with and on which courts, and what team's tendencies are regarding stacking.  All of this can help captains map out a plan to use their players most effectively and advance on to Sectionals.  Contact me if interested in more details or purchasing any reports.