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By Cesar Octavio Andrade, CEO. TennisAppSuite, LLC

Most tennis providers offer LADDER programs. Despite their common complaint that Competition Tennis Ranking Tournament Ladders Are Way Too Much Work to Organize and Operate … If They Are So Much Bother, Then, Why Do Ladders? … They have shared with me that, to one degree or another, they see and achieve important motivating benefits that often include:


  • Providing adrenaline-pumping competition opportunity for all players in a tennis community

  • Creating and fostering spirit of participation and community belonging

  • Breaking the monotony of players sticking to play always with same opponents

  • Driving court occupancy outside of peak times

  • Driving provider services income from fees and sponsors

  • Preventing and reducing exodus of tennis players to alternate racquet sports where they are finding easier ways to participate and enjoy

Often the attention to these events is the first casualty of staff limitations … We have all seen them at one time or another, at one club or another tennis provider premises … Multiple, very creative ways to register and maintain player positioning lists reflecting the last results of the last challenge match played in their ranking tournament ladders.  


Can digital technology help?  As a business system's analyst, I see clear ways and means for digital technologies to transform the challenges of organizing and operating challenge ladder ranking tournaments into a win-win situation for players and tennis providers …

HOW CAN SaaS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORM THE PRACTICE AND BUSINESS OF TENNIS CHALLENGE TOURNAMENT LADDERS … There are apps to support tennis ladders "out there" … they can be found, and tennis community leaders can try them out but as a software architect, and avid club player and leader – having personally experienced the good the bad and the ugly of many tennis apps – I share some professional observations … 

tennis leaders selecting and adopting tennis apps, should be aware that most tend to be one-function apps, stand-alone, requiring use of multiple and different apps for tennis activities, events, and community communications including ladder tournaments. User interfaces are unique to each app requiring learning curves, and data files are in diverse formats and locations requiring special attention to data integrity and error prevention. The noticeable lack of digital technology designed to create and manage ranking ladder tournaments is a perfect example of this syndrome.


Until NOW!  


The pains of creating and managing ranking tournament ladders is indeed one of those tennis activities requiring the application of the right digital technologies to transform everyone's experience. In fact, now you can use a digital assistance app to CREATE SELF-RUNNING CHALLENGE LADDERS ... IN MINUTES!  What does that really mean?


For challenge ranking tournament ladders, the core customer is a tennis community, small, medium, large, but  a geographically compatible group of players and a leader at the center; perhaps a player\professional tennis services provider, providing leadership and management … within comfortable driving distances from one another and the courts supporting the event …

But not all tennis players are created or stay equal, and currently there are major players in the tennis world vying for domination of the PLAYER RATINGS ecosystems that provide metrics for player skill levels from beginning learners to world-class pro players …

The USTA supporting its well known America-centered NTRP system and now, together with many other national federations globally, migrating towards adoption of the ITF World Tennis Number WTN system, arguably a progression or emulation of UTR system. PLUS, in many locations and communities, tennis providers and players have created and us their OWN custom player rating system.


So, what is a tennis ladder organizer and director to do? Until now, it has been necessary to chose ONE of these ranking systems to organize player positions in the ladder.  Creating an additional obstacle for player participation when they do not have a current rating per one of the systems. A well-designed digital assistant app will provide an effective means to use any of the rating systems because its AI is able to equate any one system rating with all the others. Players indicate on their app profile whichever rating system they are either self-rated or certified-rating, the app does the rest automatically.

Challenge match, determination of whom, where and when … Ladder challenge matches in such viable communities require - for each match - that players negotiate and agree on match day, date, time, and courts.

This is where a true tennis-functions-centered app will provide for players to set the specific calendar days and scheduled hours they commit to accept challenge matches …  and provide seamless integration with their court,reservations system so that the challenging player is able to complete the challenge request together with arrangements for the court the match is to be played on …


In a totally self-service fashion, no other human\staff intervention required and no chain of texting or phone tag calls required either.

And yes, of course, the rules! I recall a TV commercial of days gone by, advertising a magic programmable kitchen appliance the narrator would say all you had to do to create your food masterpiece, was to "set it and forget it" … Literally, that is what a digital assistant app needs to do for busy and scarce tennis provider and ranking ladder tournament leaders.

The ranking ladder tournament digital assistant app will serve the Ladder Directors at their discretion to create, set and modify as needed,  rules designed to promote high participation and motivation by players, governing all aspects of the ladders, further, the digital assistant app will provide automatic enforcement of such rules including:


Fees to join any Ladder as well as to book a Ladder Challenge matches – These fees should be set in accordance with the local economy and competitive landscape to encourage maximum player participation.

Ladders Duration Periods  – also known as SPRINTS – will be set in the digital assistant app according to the local seasons and customs. Other rules determine: Enrollment process, number of challenge matches a player must engage Per Sprint, the number of players above the challenging player position in the ladder they can Up Challenge and Down Challenge, Court Rules, match scoring protocols and Tiebreak rules, Tennis Balls etiquette, Awards, General Rules.

Match scoring, reporting and consequential player ladder rankings reordering … This is another area where a good digital assistant app will simply take over the entire process, literally in a hands-free fashion … How does that work?

It begins with ON-COURT-SELF-SCORING by the players … Using either standard Android or Apple smartwatches and/or Android or Apple smartphones


Each single finger click updating the game points in the smartwatch and/or the smartphone live score triggers the entire data food chain to automatically update the game and set scores as well as the match results and consequential reordering of all players ladder positions. Further, instantly informing all ladder participants.

Last but not least, digital technology can empower tennis providers of all sizes and missions to monetize their brand in ways not possible until now … most local and regional sponsors of tennis events, are businesses looking to position their products and services in front of tennis community members, however large or small …


Ladder tournament events are an excellent opportunity to monetize services and brand, which is what a state-of-the-art digital assistant app should provide.

Your role and your serve! …


You too can create ladder tournaments with minutes of strategic organizing work, and then sit back and enjoy seeing your tennis players self-serve participation in challenge matches. Further you can increase your income by inviting local sponsors to advertise in YOUR ladder app …  So, I invite you to transform, together with your players, into the thriving and fun digital tennis community of the future, perhaps empowered by TennisAppSuite™

Contact Cesar

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