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We are allowing anonymous Letters to the Editor because we understand your position and have experienced USTA backlash to dissenting voices ourselves. Please be aware whenever a letter is signed with The Commish it's always a tennis director, a teaching professional, a vendor or a USTA insider who is in fear of retribution. Thank you. We look forward to the day when everyone can voice their opinion freely and without fear.

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USPTA: JOHN EMBREE ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING ACCREDITATION

June 2, 2022

Rich, 

 

See what happens when they spurn someone's attempt to be a CEO...

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 2, 2022

Rich,

 

What a bunch of bullshit! John thinks it is the USPTA's role to help develop an accreditation program.  Sorry John, that is the USTA's job. The USPTA's job is certification. 

 

The Executive Committee didn't have the balls to send the message to the members. Instead, they want John to tweet out his line of bullshit.

 

The Executive Committee needs to find a CEO who understands the certification process, the education process, and how they work together.  The CEO needs to understand the members' needs and how to add value to the membership. The Executive Committee needs to find a CEO who understands the job market.

 

Saying they are not going to reapply for full accreditation is like having your girlfriend say she is only kind of pregnant.  The longer they work with the USTA, the more screwed up this gets.  

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 2, 2022

Rich,

 

Think about the USPTA and PTR as businesses.  Their annual revenue is about $5 million for the USPTA and $2.5 million for the PTR.  The total is about $7.5 million.  

 

Assume the average annual revenue for a Hooters is about $2.5 million.  The next revenue from about three Hooters is the same as the USPTA and PTR.

 

The amount of revenue generated from certifications probably isn't enough to pay the wages for John and Dan.

 

The USPTA and PTR really have to add value for the people they come in contact with.

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 2, 2022

Rich, 

 

This action was in the works for months. When the local USPTA Section Presidents met at the Lake Nona HQ months ago we were already told this was coming and had to sign an NDA.

John's Twitter message stated that they are negotiating the accreditation process (not the certification process).  The concerns with the certification process are reportedly creating financial problems. 

 

It is also possible they are now playing word games with certification and accreditation.  I think the USPTA and PTR should dictate the certification process, but since USTA is the NGB, I'm not sure how much say USPTA and PTR should have in the definition of the accreditation process. 

 

I assume the only reason for the NDA was for the USPTA to create a different or more favorable agreement for the USPTA than the PTR.  If this is the case, then it shows the level of thinking of all three groups.

 

John said that he and the USTA will develop an accreditation program that will impact the job market and benefit members - those are words to hold him accountable for. 

 

I looked at the financials based on tax returns.  Annual revenue for USPTA is about $5 million and PTR is about $2.5 million. The USPTA takes in about $200,000 per year in certification revenue.  

 

This whole situation is beginning to sound more like a couple of kids having a fit in the sandbox.

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

USPTA/USTA: TESTING, PRO SHORTAGE

June 9, 2022

Rich, 

 

I saw the attached FB post regarding Padel.

 

Padel has a new certification program and it is endorsed by the USPTA.  Since there are padel courts at the USTA tennis center, the USTA's name is associated with this entire advertisement. The inference is that the padel is accredited by the USTA and endorsed by the USPTA.  

 

Hats off to the Padel people for getting this recognition and doing good things. 

No wonder the USTA wanted to take charge of accreditation.  


John Embree and the USPTA dropped to new lows.

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

USPTA-Padel.jpg

June 9, 2022

Rich, 

 

FYI - 2021 USPTA numbers: 14 professionals certified, 194 tennis instructors. I guess there is a reason USPTA does not publish a directory.

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 10, 2022

Rich, 

 

What if the USTA offered select senior players at the NCAA championships a scholarship and room and board to spend three months learning to become a teaching pro?  And the Ed Shanaplys of the world would have jobs lined up for all of them?  They should be open to everyone, but an emphasis could be based on need, race, ethnicity, or gender.

 

You could do the same thing for players and camps.  About 20 years ago we had a program for kids who had a tendency to get in trouble. They got discounted tennis lessons if they kept their school work up and stayed out of trouble.  Lots of applications.

 

I find the USPTA, USTA, PTR silo of the month program - in June they are going to honor old bald men, in July they will honor old bald men with a noticeable spare tire, etc. They should show respect for these people 365 days a year instead of placing themselves on the center stage for recognizing the old fat bald men.  Instead of building silos, let's put together programs that strengthen the profession and the player base.

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 14, 2022

Rich, 

 

This article heading is interesting. America's lifeguard shortage will be 'a total disaster come August'

 

Like many industries, there is a shortage of lifeguards. And people are panicked.

The tennis industry supposedly increased by 5 million people - and USTA was the only people who talked about it.

There is a shortage of teaching pros - and nobody talks about it.

 

Tennis is a lot like Rodney Dangerfield. It gets no respect. Nobody cares about it.

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 16, 2022

Rich, 

 

Just saw a notice on Linked In with Sid Newcomb. It said  "This past weekend, 6 applicants in Kansas completed the TE-3 Certification course with Coach Sid Newcomb. We'd like to give a massive thank you to the beautiful Overland Park Racquet Club for hosting! #ElevatingTheStandards" and it was accompanied by a photo.

 

I also saw where Sid made a trip to Hawaii to test about ten pros.

 

Is anyone doing the math?  The USPTA isn't even covering their cost.  

 

USPTA is sending an "executive" to do these certifications.  What happened, did all of the USPTA members who had been testing take a stupid pill that made them incompetent for teaching?

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 17, 2022

Rich, 

 

So the USPTA is changing the name from tester to developer.... Classic!  

Rather than fix a problem, change the name and the problem goes away.  It is just like when the USPTA changed the name of P1 pros to elite pros to make them feel better.   Semantics over substance.

Should they change their name to United States Pickleball Testing Association? 

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

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KURT KAMPERMAN SPEAKING AT INDUSTRY CONFERENCES

May 25, 2022

Rich, 

 

If Kurt Kamperman speaks at the USPTA World Conference, you are going to see a very ugly side of me.  KK is the one that dragged us down the rabbit hole!! We'd hang Embree up by his thumbs if he invited him to speak at our convention after the way he treated us. 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

WORLD TENNIS NUMBER CONFUSION

June 14, 2022

Rich, 

I, and surely thousands of others, received this incredibly mixed-message email titled "WTN - Almost here" from the USTA last week.  In the same correspondence, the USTA insists

 

(1) that WTN is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that from now on all USTA sanctioned match results will go into the calculation of each player’s personal WTN, 

 

while at the same time saying

 

(2) that there is no plan to replace either NTRP or the USTA (“points-chasing”) ranking points system and that, despite the purported accuracy of the WTN, a player’s WTN cannot be used as a basis for arguing that a player’s NTRP rating is too high or too low. 

 

A few direct quotes, all from the same USTA publicity correspondence: 

 

“The ITF World Tennis number is one of the most advanced and accurate rating systems in the world.”   [WTN is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  But….]

 

“Although ITF World Tennis Number is not being used for USTA League play, all USTA league match results are included in the calculation of a player’s ITF World Tennis Number.”    [WTN is not so great that we’re going to use it for league play. But… we are going to use league play to calculate your WTN.  But…]

 

“[S]elf-rate USTA NTRP grievances will not take into account a player’s ITF World Tennis Number.”   [Although WTN is highly accurate, WTN is not so great that you can use it to figure out whether someone’s fudging on their NTRP rating.  But…]

 

“The USTA has no current plans to replace USTA NTRP. The USTA NTRP rating system will continue to serve as the foundation of the USTA League program.”  [Even though every league match result will be uploaded to calculate your highly-accurate WTN, we are going to ignore that number and rely solely on your NTRP rating for league play.   But…]

 

“USTA rankings will continue to guide seeding and selection for USTA junior and adult tournaments…Match wins make up your USTA ranking. Ranking points are awarded by either points per round or points per win, depending on the tournament level.”    [We don’t care how good a player our NTRP rating system says you are, and we don’t care how good a player our incredibly-accurate WTN rating system says you are, we’re not going to rank you or seed you in tournaments based on either of those; instead you still need to chase ranking points (we don’t care who you beat or who you lose to, just how many rounds you win) to get ranked/seeded for USTA tournaments.  But…]

 

What a publicity nightmare from a bunch of morons!

 

Also interesting is that, in one of its FAQs, the USTA concedes that “There is no direct one-to-one [player level] comparison between  NTRP and WTN due to many differences in each rating system.”

 

Then the only “differences” they mention are: (1) different algorithms [but… why would that matter; aren’t they both accurate/reliable?], (2) occasionally different matches are counted, [but… why would that make a difference, aren’t they both accurate/reliable?] (3) different approaches to counting singles/doubles results, [but… why would that make a difference, aren’t they both accurate/reliable?]  (4) different approaches to counting mixed doubles results, [but… why would that matter, aren’t they both accurate/reliable?]  and (5) different frequency of publishing ratings. [but… how could the frequency of publishing a person’s calculated  rating possibly mean that you can’t compare a player’s rating number in one system to that player’s ratings in the other system?]

 

These, of course, are ALL red herrings.

 

The REAL reason why they don’t want you to try to do a one-to-one comparison between NTRP and WTN ratings is the elephant in the room… which everyone knows, and which USTA does not want to publicly admit:  The NTRP ratings are so badly corrupted that, even among its own closely-controlled membership, NTRP ratings are inconsistent from one gender to another, and they are inconsistent from one age group to another, and they are inconsistent from one geographic region to another.  THAT is really why “there is no direct one-to-one comparison between NTRP and WTN”.  If there isn’t even direct one-to-one correlation among all players inside the NTRP system, itself, it would be inherently impossible to make direct one-to-one, across-the-board, comparisons between NTRP rating numbers and WTN rating numbers.  But they can't admit that.

 

Side note:  I’m waiting for the avalanche of woke commentary that will surely ensue when the USTA finally steps up to the plate and goes on record saying that, in its new WTN rating system (like in the UTR system), the highest-rated female player has a rating of such-and-such, and the highest-rated male player has a rating of something far different.  The USTA does NOT want to go public with that specificity.  For years, they got away with just saying that they both are rated 7.0 by NTRP.  Kiss that dodge good-bye.

 

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 14, 2022

Rich, 

 

Which do tennis players complain about the most?

 

A. The number of telephone calls notifying them that their extended warranty has expired?

 

B.  The number of emails from the USTA promoting the World Tennis Number?

 

Just curious.

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

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USTA LEAGUE SURVEY

June 13, 2022

Rich, 

 

I just completed a USTA league survey. 

 

In the demographic section, it asked what my gender was

a. M

b. F

c. Transgender

d. 3rd option

e. prefer not to answer.

 

Any time they offer prefer not to answer as an option I check that as my answer.  

 

Several of the questions looked like leading questions - designed to get a specific answer.

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

PICKLEBALL

June 11, 2022

Rich, 

 

Call me a cynic, but I think Pickleball started with bad to mediocre male tennis players who reveled in the fact that they didn't have to run so much. With a little practice, they were usually better than those newcomers streaming into the sport. Like in tennis, they were constantly able to beat up on lower Pickleball players. That's just a male thing in racquet sports.

The quality of Pickleball improved when better tennis players joined and it improved again when the tennis pros joined in. Today, Pickleball is the home of thousands of younger ex-tennis players who weren't good enough for serious pro-level competition because they didn't want to put the time and effort into the training. However, their superior eye-hand coordination means they are still far better than the regular PB players. And they can make some interesting money playing pro events.

What I'm seeing today is that PB is on the road to being like tennis - unwelcoming and with closed club-type groups that scare off beginners. In about 20 years, tennis will be completely eradicated. In another 10-20 years, someone in Bainbridge, Washington, will have a glorious idea: Let's get an army of Ambassadors together that are very welcoming and friendly and will bring back tennis and call it Fuzzyball.

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

June 12, 2022

Rich, 

 

I received an email from a friend and hard-core tennis fan today. I think he puts the problem for tennis in perspective.  He doesn't understand the role of the USTA, USPTA, and PTR in the mess.  I explained to him: The USPTA and PTR are focused on being social engineers and singing Kumbaya. I understand the importance of alternate racquet sports, but I think we need to be focused on keeping people on the tennis courts.

 

"Wimbledon starts soon so we best be fired up to watch five-plus hour tennis matches. Maybe the Luddites who gave us the 6:32 match between Anderson and Isner will be able to give us a seven-hour fiasco during Wimbledon. The French Open was making a valiant effort with Zverev vs Nadal, but unfortunately, Zverev sprained his ankle and the match, which didn’t last two sets, was over three hours long.

 

The interest in Pickle Ball is blowing tennis off its courts!  I went to the Rec Center last Friday morning and observed 26 Pickle Ballers attempting to play on four courts while zero tennis players were playing on the two adjacent tennis courts.

 

Today a friend was vacationing at The Palmetto Dunes Tennis  Center on Hilton Head Island. This is a Tennis Center! Six tennis players, one hundred Pickle Ballers.

 

At 11:00 AM  there is a Pickle Ball Championship on the Tennis Channel. It might be less than two years and Wimbledon will be on the Pickle Ball Channel.

 

Tennis is a great sport, it deserves a  better potential future. Presently it is dead in the water.  I hope the players and leaders of ATP and WTA tennis wake up."

The Commish

Everywhere, USA

Pronouns: They/Them

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