APTA faces Issues with the tournament system

Carl S. Forsythe III sounded off in the Issues section of the May edition of Paddle Talk about a system that appeared to be creating incentives and recognition for a small group of elite teams at the expense of the broader tournament playing population.

“If the game of paddle tennis is to maintain a healthy depth and broad base of interest, a number of changes should be made next year in the manner in which the men’s tournament schedule is set up.

Generally, the current procedures discourage all but the top 15 or 20 teams, to whom they accord such a position of honor that teams below this group tend to become discouraged and drop ‘off the circuit.’

This causes a lack of depth in APTA draws and is, to some extent, responsible for the regularity with which the top teams march into the 16′s and quarters of the draw. In the long run it is neither in the interests of the top players nor the game of platform tennis generally to perpetuate a system which creates incentive and recognition for only a small group of elite teams.

This year’s Tribuno point system as applied to the 10 men’s ranking tournaments has aggravated a situation that was already deteriorating. The ‘best five’ system creates an incentive for every top team to enter every tournament, thus adding to the boring and monotonous nature of the draws and the discouragement of any team which cannot accumulate enough ‘points’ early in the season to be in the running for the top sixteen group.”

Forsythe went on to make a few suggestions for improvement.

Source: Paddle Talk, No. 4 (May)