Tennis Club Business HEAD Radical

THIS MONTH

Dear Reader
Open for Change? Can You Wrap Your Head Around the Transgender Controversy!

New Product in Tennis Club Business Web Store

Pickleball Rocks. 4 Health Benefits of Pickleball

Pickleball is Invading Bay Area Tennis Courts. Is That a Good Thing?

Did Michael Dowse Surrender to the USTA Deep State?

February Content

Worth Reading and Watching

Brought to my Attention (USTA SoCal, UTR, USPTA, Transgender Controversy,
Lake Nona Tax Controversy, GSM Zoom Meeting, and more)

Shout-Outs

DEAR READER,

The January theme for Inc Magazine's Inspirational quote​s was HOPEFULNESS AND NEW BEGINNINGS. My favorite of 31 daily inspirations in January: "Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely." (by Karen Kaiser Clark) I decided early on this year that I will be more open to change - within reason - and make sure the newsletter is growing. We'll be attempting to raise some funds in February to be able to cover our cost a little more and to have some resources for that expansion. More about this in a few weeks.

OPEN FOR CHANGE?

 

CAN YOU WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND THE TRANSGENDER CONTROVERSY?

Not easy for a "seasoned professional" or, as my doubles partner calls me, an "old fart." The biggest change in my life came in 1985 when I emigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania. It was day and night for me. Over the years I adapted and learned. And I grew personally. And finally, more than 30 years later, I became an American. The areas where I decided to become more open for change are areas that were unthinkable only less than a decade ago. Subjects like "Transgender issues tearing up women's sports," were not even discussed then. Today I can't help thinking that if I had young children in the school system and the teachers would tell them they could choose their gender at age 6, change their pronouns, and have boys share the bathroom with girls, I would immediately take them out of school. I'd rather move to another school or home school.

As far as Transgender sports are concerned, I still am completely against allowing Transgender females to participate in women's sports and share bath and locker rooms with women. And I can't understand why such a tiny minority is able to dictate the narrative in our country. On the other hand, I think change can come gradually over time. When the playing field is leveled and you can't anatomically distinguish between a Transgender woman and a "normal" female anymore, maybe in 200-300 years, then I'm ready to say OK, Roberta, you can run the 100 m dash against Doris now. And Doris won't mind because now she has a chance to still become Champion.

I've written about it a little over a year ago and I'm still convinced that the Transgender issue will come to the shores of our tennis clubs and public parks and country clubs. You need to be ready, folks. And when the first Transgender woman in your membership wants to play on your USTA Ladies team, hit them with UTR. Insist EVERY player on league teams has to be rated according to UTR levels. Remember, UTR is supposed to be gender-neutral. There you have it. Problem solved!

On the other hand, who knows whether the USTA Adult Leagues of the near future will have any competition at all. The writing is on the wall that there are forces within our governing body of tennis that want to take the competition out of tennis and give every participant a medal. See my most-read article from last month: 

Two USTA Flagship Programs on the Chopping Block? -- A Tale of Two Programs or RIP Adult Leagues + NTRP.

I am posting a little more about the Transgender issue further down under 'BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION.

Bottom line: I'll be more open to Transgender issues and would love to see a good solution where girls are safe and Trans are happy.

BETTING: ANOTHER CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT

In the past, I have had a pretty negative opinion and position when it came to betting in tennis. However, I'm slowly and steadily coming around. What changed my mind? I realized you can't fight progress forever and I have to better pick my fights. I urge all the other 'old farts' out there to think younger. Have an open mind and include stuff in your conversation that is important for people one or two generations younger than yourself.

I am open to change. Are you?

NEW PRODUCT IN TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS WEB STORE 

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PICKLEBALL ROCKS

 

CourtReserve's Ashley Owens writes, "We have so many clubs and Orgs 

that are adding Pickleball we decided to do a monthly webinar series to help educate so here is the link to the last session. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PICKLEBALL WEBINAR

Now this is all about a Pickleball club but there is really good info on programming that I know Tennis could use if they are adding pickleball to their ORG.

 

If you would like to register for the next one see below!

We are going to spend time with Werner Zehnder from Pickleball Zone in Bend OR on the best practices for running a large 3,000+ member Pickleball Facility. Bring your questions about tips and tricks to growing a successful pickleball program. 

You are invited to a Zoom webinar called Pickleball Club Education Presented by CourtReserve."


When: Feb 17, 2021, 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

CourtReserve.com Tennisrungs.com 

Click to Schedule a LIVE demo with our Founder

Read our Educational Blog

FOUR HEALTH BENEFITS OF PICKLEBALL

 

Picking up a new sport is an excellent way to improve your physical (and mental) health. Some sports, like weightlifting, are great for your muscles. Other sports, like yoga, are great for your mind. Pickleball is the best of both worlds! Kalindi Dinoffer is giving us 4 reasons why we should include Pickleball in our weekly fitness routine.

See her blog post here.

PICKLEBALL IS INVADING  BAY AREA TENNIS COURTS. IS THAT A GOOD THING?

Thank, Javier, for sharing this article with us.

The pickleball takeover is here. Bay Area tennis players are scared.

The new green sound barriers at the Cedar Rose pickleball courts in Berkeley, California. After neighbor complaints about the constant din of the pickleball games, the city of Berkeley put in these barriers to hopefully lessen the problem.

(David Curran)

Tennis Club Business PTR International Tennis Symposium

DID MICHAEL DOWSE SURRENDER TO THE USTA DEEP STATE?

 

Player Development Sucking Up Millions

From all too many discussions with tennis professionals, vendors, and industry insiders (the latter eager to speak "off the record") I had already years ago come to the conclusion that the USTA's Player Development department is a complete and utter waste of time and money! Looking at the organization's 990 tax forms one can easily see how many hundreds of millions of dollars have been wasted on PD over the past 20 years. Are you getting this? Do you know how many grassroots tennis programs, facilities, and professionals could have benefited from 100,000,000 dollars?

Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted by the USTA over the last 20 years.

Let that sink in, folks!

Look at all the distinguished people that have served at the pleasure of half a million USTA members in those 20 years. The executive tag team of Gordon Smith and Kurt Kamperman worked for 14 years on growing the US Open, expanding USTA staff, and increasing salaries, perks, and pension funds. But what have they really done for growing tennis? Very little, if you ask me. Just empty words and costly programs. The most successful USTA program, Adult Leagues, was created many years before these gentlemen arrived at the helm of this organization. And now we are seeing a new group of managers seemingly hellbent on destroying this very program 300,000 leaguers love.

 

I remember when I worked on the USTA Tennislink Team Kamperman was planning to bring the USTA membership from about 400,000 to 1 Mio members within 5-10 years. And now, 15 years later, where are we? 700,000? 

And how about the Presidents that have come and gone? Vegosen. Adams. Galbraith. Haggerty. What have they accomplished? Big plans. Big words. Lots of initiatives and I truly believe most of them meant well, but I guess they had no stamina for fighting that oft-rumored USTA 'Deep State' so instead of putting up a fight, they joined them.

Desperate for a New Figurehead

 

Can you see the USTA Board in 2017/2018 frantically trying to save face and act when critics like Javier Palenque, myself, and others begun showing the world that our governing body of tennis is the most funded NGB and has nothing to show for the hundreds of millions of dollars spent other than a successful US Open? The USTA Mission talks about growing tennis but that's not what they had done for decades. "Darn it. What to do? Our executives are so well-liked and much respected in the industry and our sport is almost in the process of becoming insignificant? No one knows how to deal with Millennials. "Sip 'N Serve' to the rescue!!! And what about the assault from those deplorable pickleball players?

What to do? Arrrghh! Smith needs to retire but what about Kamperman? We need a new figurehead."

Michael Dowse was selected as the Knight in Shining Armor. An experienced industry man, what could go wrong? And then came COVID-19 and everything changed. When Dowse announced staff cuts, furloughs, and salary reductions, a lot of people, myself included, were quite hopeful. The right man at the right time. A man of action. A communicator. Nice for a change. What many people were looking at, of course, was Player Development. A department with a staff of 60+ people, sucking up 20+ Mio dollars a year. Eliminate it and use the money to grow tennis. Easy, right?

I became suspicious when it was announced that PD was cut by 23 people. I've been around the block for a while and I know when they pull wool over my eyes. This looks very much like it was just a show and NOBODY at the USTA had seen reason to listen to the critics, do away with that money pit, and concentrate on the core business and its mission. Why? I can only guess that they are all dreaming of one day creating an American Roger Federer. Can you see the Board year after year approving that budget with no results for decades now?

Don't they see the drastic example of Serena Williams, the only American player on top of the world, arguably the best female player ever, who had fortunately never been exposed to USTA PD? It was her dad who coached her and it'll be the thousands of capable coaches that will one day produce another US champion. Everyone knows that. Right?

Player Development Expanding Again

 

And last week we saw the press release: ​Michael Joyce and Jenna Worswick Join USTA Player Development as National Coach and Strength & Conditioning Coach. Who wants to bet by the end of 2021 we'll be back at $20 Mio spent on PD? 

Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted by the USTA over the last 20 years. Total revenues reduced in 2020.

And still, the money is growing on trees. When will it end, Mr. Dowse?

And you know another interesting part in the never-ending story of wasted USTA millions and the useless race for that elusive champion? None of the mainstream tennis media dares to touch that subject. Tennis magazine, tennis.com, Inside Tennis, Racquet Sports Industry, The Tennis Channel, ESPN - silence. As long as the advertising dollars are coming in, no one bothers to rattle the cage. 

TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS will continue to rattle the cage

and hold their feet to the fire!

MAVERICKS DON'T TOE THE LINE!

Tennis Club Business Neuro Tennis

FEBRUARY CONTENT

I hope you will find our content useful again this month. We are celebrating new tennis friends from the USA, India, Kenya, and Zimbabwe, Latin tennis professionals from Mexico, Peru, and Puerto Rico teaching in the U.S., and 11 female tennis professionals with interesting careers.

The February WOMEN IN TENNIS feature is brought to you by I Love My Doubles Partner, purveyors of Luxury

Ladies Tennis Apparel, Bags, Jewels, and Tournaments. They are also organizing a Women's Doubles Tournament in beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands on May 14-23.

Rod Heckelman's article about your 'Member Retention Quotient' and Gary Horvath's contribution about the 'C-19 Tennis Boom Retention Test' seem to go hand in hand this month. Scott Mitchell writes about the '16 Golden Rules for Successful Staff.' Ed Shanaphy reminds us about 'Housing, the Bane of Our Club Industry.'

We are pleased to introduce Jean Pletchette of Thanks USA and Kim Bastable, Director of USTA Professional Tennis Management at the University of Florida.  German tennis professional Frank Henze is explaining his concept of 'Sunball Tennis.' Have you ever heard of Sprongo? Founder/CEO Muzi Gaziogli explains this new video analyzing technology. Our SportsProsConnect Job of the Month is located in the beautiful city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

We are analyzing our short Net Generation survey results. Marsh Riggs is writing about tennis broadcaster Doug Adler and his odyssey to get his reputation back. Clive Carrington explains his OneMoreBall philosophy and CDT Travel showcases Pickleball and Padel Camps in Florida and Georgia. Our inspirational story of the month comes from Gary Willardson and describes his journey to World TeamTennis National Champion after brain surgery.

Being partial to products coming out of Israel, I wanted to know how customers review Slinger Bag, our newest advertiser. Lucky for me, I found a person we had written about a while ago and who is a very popular Northern California tennis professional: Claire Carter. Read about her experience with Slinger Bag.

And, last but not least, we have several The Commish contributions this month. Besides two articles that should make you smile and think, more people have decided to post anonymously in LETTERS TO THE EDITOR as The Commish. I like that. If you want to write about something near and dear to your heart and want to use the genderless and anonymous moniker The Commish, be my guest!

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WORTH READING AND WATCHING

I read two tennis books and watched a tennis movie last month and thoroughly enjoyed all three.

Shark Life – A Memoir (by Ward Snyder, USPTA Tennis Professional & Certified Pickleball Professional, Keowee Key, Salem, SC)

I can only speak for myself but I have the feeling many of our readers would dream about having the life Ward Snyder had and has. On the one hand, he is infatuated with sharks. When he was younger, “rarely did a day go by in which the thought of the apex predator didn’t cross my mind.” For many years he fished for them in the turquoise blue waters of the Bahamas. On the other hand, in between shark adventures, he played tennis, golf and managed to earn a living in the world of commercial real estate.

Today, Ward is a tennis and pickleball professional at beautiful Keowee Key in South Carolina. Keowee Key is a premier lakeside community and retirement community nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 14 tennis courts. He and his wife also have a part-time residence in the Bahamas, a place they visit every three weeks or so, “when the itch to leave for crystal clear water calls.”

I enjoyed reading this memoir and accompanying Ward from adventure to adventure, making good and bad life decisions, beating Trey Waltke once in tennis (Trey must have had a really bad day. He tells me “We’ve known each other since 1965. He neglected to mention the other 3 times I drubbed him.”) and teaching tennis along the way. Ward concludes that he still looks for his beloved ocean sharks but the “needless killing of them is now a thing of the past” for him. “Just watching their grace and beauty as they swim is far more appealing to me than the goal of old days – to hang the prize on the hook for a photo op.”

Right on, Ward. Shark Life – A Memoir is available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle form.

STRUNG OUT by Gigi Arnold

It was fun reading a (double) murder mystery involving a bunch of outrageously behaving tennis ladies in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania. Gigi Arnold describes her main character, Charlotte McGhie, as a 40-something, food critic, single mom, and tennis addict who “didn't mind that tennis was a dangerous sport where being abused verbally and emotionally was all in a day's match.” Her life is hectic enough with being a food critic for a local newspaper, fighting off her ex’s attempt to get custody of their two kids, and dealing with a gorgeous tennis pro and an over-sexed, toothless, old high school boyfriend. “After one of her opponents drops dead after eating Charlie's chicken tortilla soup, she's accused of the poisoning and afraid the only other thing she'll ever serve again is time.” I’m sure most USTA league tennis players, especially the ladies, will nod their heads and see themselves and their friends on every page of this book.

I don’t want to give the surprise ending away, of course, but I know STRUNG OUT makes a very nice gift for any tennis fan, player or not, who wants an easy read about the well known and lesser-known mysteries and idiosyncrasies of USTA ladies’ league tennis. It is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle form.

I don’t want to give the surprise ending away, of course, but I know STRUNG OUT makes a very nice gift for any tennis fan, player or not, who wants an easy read about the well known and lesser-known mysteries and idiosyncrasies of USTA ladies’ league tennis. It is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle form.

Btw, Strung Out is being developed into a film and is looking for investors. Here is the film site: strungoutmovie.com.

FIRST ONE IN (Tennis comedy written and directed by Gina O’Brien)

Yes, you guessed it, that quirky little movie is 97 minutes of ladies’ tennis clichés and pure, over-the-top fun.

With a tagline like “First One In: A Comedy of Unforced Errors” the film comes with this official synopsis: Thrown off a popular reality show in disgrace, unemployed real estate agent Madi Cooke (Kat Foster), teams with a group of misfit tennis players in a do-or-die match against Bobbi Mason (Georgia King)--an overachieving, tightly wound, real estate shark--and her tennis-playing minions.

My go-to movie reviewer Pam Powell (Reel Tal with Chuck and Pam) writes, “FIRST ONE IN is an over-the-top and incredibly fun film as it exemplifies women’s relationships, our competitiveness, and the importance of friendship all within the sport of tennis.” She ends her review with “I loved every minute of the chaos and turmoil which doesn’t take itself seriously, yet finds a way to pull at your heartstrings and remind us to lift one another.  With a great story arc, FIRST ONE IN is an ace!”

I liked watching FIRST ONE IN. Not a very complicated storyline and lots of laughs watching women compete on and off the court. One thing I found quite weird in a funny kind of way: halfway through the movie Madie gets hold of the white one-piece bodysuit Anne White featured at Wimbledon in 1985. Interesting. (Although Anne looked better in it, haha)

The video is available for free for Amazon Prime subscribers.

BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION (scroll down for information on how to reach us)

 

SPORTSPROSCONNECT

Mark Wylam's interview with Ruben Herrera is worth a read. Subject: The recruitment process for tennis coaches worldwide. Read it here.

USPTA + ATA

Congratulations on the USPTA's partnership with the American Tennis Association to "further provide minority participation and opportunities in tennis. Read the press release here.

UTR ALSO TONE DEAF?

I couldn't believe my eyes reading the list of UTR Award Winners. Six awards, five white men (incl. Sanchez-Casal), one white woman. Are there no minorities in tennis? Have you checked out the ATA lately? Just saying.

UTR PRO TOUR Q+A

While I absolutely congratulate UTR on their new Pro Tour schedule, I had three questions for Ben Makarenko, their VP Marketing. Here are the questions and his answers:

 

  • Q: How much is the UTR Pro Tour disrupting the business of ITF and USTA? 
    A: We are collaborating with the USTA, Tennis Australia, and other national Federations to help elite players with their professional pathway aspirations. Universal Tennis is making significant investments to help these players and Federations to provide more competitive matches and opportunity to earn prize money through the Pro Tennis Tour.

 

  • Q: The press release points out a $20M UTR investment to create nearly 450 new events worldwide. Where is this money coming from? Are there single investors? 
    A: Universal Tennis is a well funded business with strong partners and investors like Larry Ellison, Tennis Australia, Tennis Channel, Team8 and Novak Djokovic making commitments and investments to our success and growth.

 

  • Q: How much is UTR involved in what’s known as the Betting Industry? 
    A: Universal Tennis will make a live stream of these PTT tournaments globally available to the public as well as others who may use them for enabled betting. As such, the events adhere to strict guidelines and rules including the careful monitoring and compliance in order to ensure the highest standard of tennis integrity. 

Btw, we asked a few professionals about their opinion regarding the UTR Pro Tour. Find their comments in LETTERS

USTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-INTERESTING PARTNERSHIP CHOICE

When I read the announcement about the partnership between USTA Socal and Tecnifibre the first thing that came to mind was: Wow, what a slap-in-the-face for HEAD, a company that spent millions on donated Penn balls, funds, and gifts for the sections including Southern California. And when I learned that they didn't even ask the HEAD rep to quote on supplying balls or inform HEAD of their intentions, I realized again: that's the new business climate at the SCTA. You have a non-tennis playing lawyer at the helm, you know the business will become nastier and nastier. I have written enough about their CEO and her relationship with the community one former Board member calls "estranged."

Then something else caught my eye reading the announcement again. It says, "Tecnifibre balls are currently available at most tennis specialist retail and online stores across the country. For any product inquiries, please contact fraveau@tecnifibre.com." So I contacted this person (Flavien Raveau) who happens to be located at Tecnifibre's HQ in France. He referred me to Erik Kourtland, their new Rep in California. I asked Erik about SoCal tennis stores carrying the balls. None of the four stores he mentioned actually did carry them. I don't want to throw Erik under the bus, of course. He is new and has to get up to speed with his retailers. But you have to ask yourself some questions here. If that statement in the announcement is incorrect, what else in there is not correct?

For the sake of the Southern Cal tennis community, I hope HEAD will continue to support their events despite the actions of what a tennis pro called their "rogue CEO."

PTR & PPR SYMPOSIUM

In case you haven't heard it, the PTR International Tennis Symposium and PPR Pickleball Conference are virtual events this year from February 9-11. Read here about the event and registration.

CMAA CLUB MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

Another virtual event is coming our way, folks. Read here about the CMAA 2021 World Conference and Club Business Expo, March 8-12.

USTA NEW ENGLAND'S 'PRO POWER SERIES'

As seen in 'Tennis Industry United,' USTA New England and local USPTA and PTR chapters have once again teamed up to host a free yearlong virtual education series focused on tennis providers. Read more here.

SECOND PPP LOAN

Also seen in 'Tennis Industry United,' the question is: Is your business eligible for a second PPP loan? They write, "Under the new COVID relief package, some small businesses can receive a second forgivable loan under the new Paycheck Protection Program. Applications for these “second-draw” loans are open now and will close on March 31. Find out if your business is eligible." Read more here.

HEAD'S NEW RADICAL

HEAD calls it The People's Racquet. Here's the story behind the new Radical 2021. I know Claire Carter is a big fan of the new Radical.

ANNOUNCING THE RADAR COACH

Kalindi Dinoffer sent me the note that "competitive athletes know how hard they can hit, kick, or throw a ball. With the affordable Radar Coach™, you can as well. Radar feedback helps you improve your skills and it’s fun! Measure your ball speed in a variety of sports including tennis, pickleball, golf, baseball, softball, football, soccer, hockey, volleyball, and more!" Read more here.

LAKE NONA TAX INCENTIVE

When I read this article I wasn't sure whether to laugh or to cry. Lake Nona tennis center avoids $1 million a year in property taxes through a tax break meant for charities.

The pro who sent me the article wrote, "There are many examples of Darwinian economic development giveaways. United Airlines and Dell Computer are at the top of the list. Amazon played America's top cities for fools in the HQ2 RFPs several years ago.  Typically, cities or states are desperate and the companies have stronger lawyers than the eco devo people.  That is why bad deals are made.

 

I am not defending the USTA. It sounds like much of the blame lies with the desperate and negligent local developers and eco devo group. Is Orlando having buyer's remorse? Ironically, this is addressed now, when schools and cities need money. This should have been addressed awhile back. The USTA claims to be doing charitable things for the community. Chances are they would be doing those things anyway as a show of goodwill. What they are doing is not impressive. It is window dressing.

 

Is the USTA guilty of doing anything wrong? In the court of public opinion, the USTA appears to be unnecessarily greedy. It is very possible that in a court of law, which really matters, they have a good chance of holding onto their incentive. It is a fascinating situation."

Here is Javier Palenque's insightful opinion about this matter.

GSM VIRTUAL MEETING

Listening in on the Zoom meeting of the Global Sports Matters Organization I was torn between fascination and admiration for one of the presenters and the urge to unhappily turn the meeting off.  The event was called 'Tough Conversations for 2021' - very well presented by a young man called Dr. Scott Brooks. The person I was most impressed with was Dr. Wilsa Charles Malveaux, M.D., M.A., a young female General & Sports Psychiatrist. She made the most sense and I want to encourage you, folks, to read her essay on LinkedIn: "Overcoming Premature Exits from Sport: Living with the loss, Learning life lessons, and Leveraging your experience."

Here's where I cringed and wanted to switch off the meeting. Opening statements like "We recognize and acknowledge the lands where we are hosting this conversation today as belonging to the Maricopa and Pima peoples." What are they good for? Or they all acted on one participant's request in Chat: "Would love to see pronouns added to names of speakers to help contribute to normalizing the conversation." I thought, Yulin Oliver (her name), you are seriously telling me the conversation can't be normal without knowing someone's weird pronoun? But then I remembered my New Year's resolution for having an open mind, especially when young and somewhat inexperienced people are talking. So, I hung in there and learned about the big fears of these activists that state legislators are working hard on destroying their little dream house of a world full of Transgender people with strange pronouns and choice of bathrooms according to their daily feelings. (That was supposed to be funny, haha)

TRANSGENDER CONTROVERSY EXPLAINED

I learned in January that Montana is not the only state trying to protect women's sports by restricting Transgender sports participation. (Read more here)

To bring you up to speed about the subject and in an attempt to explain the mindset of LGBT activists, let me post an excerpt from my September 2019 article 'Transgender Confusion Coming to Your Courts Soon!"

Imagine a transgender woman who wants to go onto your 4.0 adult ladies league team. Let's say she self-rates as a 4.0 or maybe had a 4.0 C rating from her time as a man. What do you do? From my time on the USTA Tennislink Team, I remember that a 4.0 man's tennis skills are usually compared to those of a 4.5 woman. This woman is likely to dominate because she should really compete on a 4.5 team. Right? And what happens if two transgender women sign up and play as a doubles team together? Are you as confused as I was when I started tackling that subject?

A whole army of women, athletes, parents, and teachers alike, believe that women's sport must be protected. Others, though, believe that gender identification trumps everything. Where is a fair solution for both sides?

Are penis and vagina becoming irrelevant?


A Facebook friend of mine broke it down this way: If you have a penis, you're a man. If you have a vagina, you're a woman. I know a lot of people agree with this rather simplistic approach.

I decided to learn more about it and share my findings.

Why is the issue coming up now?


With the exception of Reneé Richards who won against the USTA in a landmark Supreme Court decision, we wouldn't hear a lot about the transgender issue in past decades because certain rules were in place since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The traditional separation of genders in Men and Women was standard. I think the current political climate of disrupting and brazen attacks on everything that's deemed conventional, is the reason we are now facing these challenges.

The traditional standards are going bye-bye, folks. Hard to understand for Baby Boomers who are always suspicious when organizations like the LGBT and others try to shove 'outrageous' rules down their throats. Millennials and Gen Zers have a much more relaxed view of the issue and are open to embracing new ideas unconditionally.

What are we dealing with?


If you follow the news you probably have heard different terms that pop up much more often nowadays. Here are some definitions. Don't be afraid to accept procedures like "assigned at birth" as fact. Whether you are a staunch catholic or not, that's what happens to everyone. No?

TRANSGENDER - A transgender woman is a person who was assigned male at birth but who identifies as a female.

CISGENDER - When a person is cisgender, they identify the gender that matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. A cisgender woman is a person who was assigned a female at birth and identifies as female.

According to Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D., posted under 'What it means to be cisgender' in the August 21 issue of verywellhealth, and medically reviewed by a board-certified physician, sex and gender are not the same things. Here is her definition:

SEX - A biological and physiological designation. Refers to both a person's chromosomes and the way that their genes are expressed.

GENDER - A social construct. Refers to the social roles, behaviors, and expectations considered appropriate for men and women.

 

Cisgender - a new term to cushion the blow?


Dr. Boskey furthermore explains that gender identity and sexual orientation are really not the same things. A cisgender person can bi, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual and asexual. So can a transgender person. When you understand that concept, it'll be much easier for you to see the real challenges posed by this whole new world of biological and physiological designations.

 

Removing the notion a 'normal' category exists.


Dr. Boskey ends by noting that many sexuality educators, LGBT activists, and individuals who are cognizant of gender politics use the term cisgender to reduce the stigma associated with a transgender identity. Like, in order to more easily convince us to accept that new view of gender politics, they invent a new term to cushion the blow. Pretty clever, don't you think? The good doctor writes, "Some transgender activists prefer the term non-transgender to cisgender. In truth, the purpose of both terms - cisgender and non-transgender - is the same. These terms are designed to encourage categorization of everyone's gender identity, removing the notion that there is a default or 'normal' category."

Don't ever think (or hope) this problem will go away, folks. Since Billie Jean King seems to have inexplicably made the turn to promote Transgender females as regular competitors in women's sport, and since our current government is hellbent on bringing all those silly issues to the foreground, be ready to accept some major shoveling down your throats. Then it's your choice to either say yes, thank you, or do something about it. I just hope none of your children have to go through all this nonsense at school.

If you have information worth mentioning in this BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION forum, please contact Pat via email. Leave your name and phone number if you want us to get back to you for further clarification. Anonymity is guaranteed if you prefer. Thank you!

Tennis Club Business Stones Net

SHOUT-OUTS

The McKay Family from Northern California  - for saving The Claremont Club in Southern California, a 27-court facility that had suddenly closed in July due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

East Carolina University  - for reinstating women’s tennis, along with women’s swimming and diving. A stunning but well-received and very much appreciated reversal of their May 20 decision. Read more here.

Becky Castellano  - for actively doing her best to help save college tennis. See the USTA Northern CEO's letter in Letters.

The Commish  - for giving readers a friendly, completely anonymous platform to contribute or vent. Or both.

The State of Florida  - for becoming my second home in a friendly, warm, sunny region where businesses were not forced to close and people are still trying to go about their daily lives as safe as possible.

That Unnamed Top Tennis Celebrity  - for writing me, "You have built a stage for a variety of views on so many subjects. It is truly great reading for me. Keep the pressure on.” Reading this, I know I’m doing something right.

Have a great February, friends!

Rich Neher

Publisher

Tennis Club Business is the only tennis business newsletter that calls out the failed policies and programs of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the 17 USTA Sections, the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), and the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Our motto: MAVERICKS DON'T TOE THE LINE.

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