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Dear Reader

My August Suggestion For the USTA CEO

Ken Stuart Needs Your Help

Executive Salaries - How Much Is Too Much? You Decide!

Why Tennis Should Embrace Clubhouse!

Some Tech News

Things Are Looking Up at USTA Southern California... But Not So Good for the

Carol Kimmelman Athletic and Academic Campus in Carson

'Tennis Boom Radio' on Clubhouse - July is in the Bag

3 Headlines and a Lie

Brought to my Attention




Thank you for sticking with us when you have a choice of tennis publications to read every month. Ours is not like any of the standard magazines and eZines out there that have the USTA as their biggest advertiser. And I don't want to knock them, don't get me wrong. They all have their place in our tennis ecosystem. 

However, they would probably not do what we are doing this month!



After a very nice person pointed out what kind of salary his USTA section CEO is making, we decided to look at all USTA sections and their 990 filings. Most of the data is from 2019, of course, but this puts us in a unique position to a) compare the data to their 2020 filings once they become available and b) it allows us to continue posting that data year after year to show you where changes occur and how those changes affect the bottom line, etc.

I bet you can't wait to see the results. Please scroll down to USTA SECTIONS - Executive salaries - How much is too much? You decide! In some cases, it's an eye-opener, folks.

An issue that's near and dear to my heart is the health of Ken Stuart, the best friend tennis has in Southern California and beyond. Please scroll down to read what happened to him and why his club members are going the Go Fund Me route to help defray his medical expenses. Give whatever you can. It's being appreciated!

One main question plagued me for the longest time: Who's moving the needle and who's just saying it to sell seminars? I've looked at two candidates that are pretty serious about that, Fernando Segal and Noel Walsh. Read about it in Tennis Ecosystem: Who Can Move The Needle? Anyone?

Our friend Rod Heckelman gives us his perspective on the Naomi Osaka situation in "Too Much is Too Much." The Commish is making noise again. Scott Mitchell is writing about Tennis Advocacy. Javier Palenque continues to hold the USTA's feet to the fire. We have a bunch of good items listed under Tennis Industry. How about Edgar Allegre's "Big 3" NFTs? Under Alternative Racquet Sports, we are posting items about Spec Tennis, touchtennis, Platform Tennis, Beach Tennis, and Pickleball. In Special Features, we posted content from Pierre Lamarche (Canada), Dana Andrews (Florida), Emma Skingley (England), Paul Saxton (England), and Susan Nardi (California). Tennis Confidential (for our premium members) gives you some background information and my personal opinion about hot issues. Lots of good stuff, folks!



Without excitement, advocacy is just an empty phrase

lost in the whirlwind of change!

Do something that excites people into loving tennis, the cool sport!

Ken Stuart Needs Our Help


Most of our 10,000 readers may not know Ken Stuart but many of you will. Especially if you live in California. Ken actually wrote something for our Adult Beginners section this month. I introduced him like this: Ken Stuart has had a distinguished tennis career with over 60 years of playing, coaching, and promoting our sport. He designed, managed, and owned successful tennis clubs. He hosted countless activities and events for players and charities throughout Southern California and for participants around the world. Ken Stuart is also the man who brought the Davis Cup to Newport Beach in 1997. Ken sold the Palisades Tennis Club and retired in 2020.

Little did I know that he needs all our help right now.


This message is being sent to those who have had the pleasure of knowing Ken Stuart. You may have met him through tennis, car collecting or as lifelong friends. Ken played a large part in the development of John Wayne Tennis Club in 1973 and became owner in 1995, renaming it Palisades Tennis Club. Over the 25 years as the Club’s owner, Ken has been one of the main architects for family tennis in Southern California. 


If you are not aware, Ken had a baseball size tumor removed from his brain on February 26, 2021. Unfortunately, the tumor was stage 4 cancer, but fortunately, the operation was a success with the tumor removed. 


Ken had to follow up with radiation and chemotherapy. Miraculously, after three weeks of physical therapy, cognitive therapy, and speech therapy, Ken was released from the hospital -- but is far, far from out of the woods.


Ken's part of the medical expenses to date exceed $284,000, which do not include future radiation treatments, MRIs every two months, and MOST importantly, a very targeted pill-form of chemotherapy -- 250 pills per month every month for the rest of his life. This critical medication requires a co-pay of $4,750 per month. (Without insurance, the cost of this treatment is $18,000 per month.)


Our Goal is SIMPLE, yet CRITICAL: To cover Ken's out-of-pocket medical expenses -- and a fighting chance to give him some more time with us. In the past, Ken has helped many in need through donations and holding fundraisers at the club. Now, it’s time we all join together to help him. 


We invite you to visit the GOFUNDME website that we have set up for donations to be made to help Ken Stuart through his medical emergency. Ken is taking calls, so if you would like to chat with him, call his cell at 949-878-1932.


Please click on the link below to be directed to the GOFUNDME page.

Link to GOFUNDME page


Thank you so much for your donation and for helping us kick off this campaign,

If you would like to find out more about Ken Stuart, watch this video on YouTube created for his 2017 induction into the USTA Southern California Hall of Fame. Click on the link below.


View Ken's Hall of Fame Bio Video

Executive Salaries - How Much is Too Much?
You Decide!

Many TCB readers will probably look at the below information and say, "Why are they doing this?" The answer is simple: Because nobody else is doing it. No one is holding the USTA's section feet to the fire. We showed it to a tennis parent and he said, "You empower the powerless." That is exactly what we're are doing after one league player happened to look at his section's 990 filings and wrote to me, "They're looting our USTA section."


I don't want to go that far, though. No one is looting here, of course, because each section's Board of Directors is watching out for the good of their organization. Or are they?

One section's Board member told me they never get to know the conditions when a new ED is hired because those decisions are made by the 'good old boys" or Executive Board. In case you forgot, that's this never-changing group of 3 or 4 distinguished servants of the greater good, mostly men, who make sure they all get their regular awards, Hall of Fame induction, and President's Box tickets to the US Open.

So, we decided to be the first (and probably only) member of the tennis media that looks a little closer at section finances with special emphasis on Executive salaries and the overall health.

Most of the 990 filings we inspected are from 2019 (except, unfortunately, from Midwest) and we understand that 2020 will look a whole lot different because of COVID. However, as soon as all 2020 forms 990 have come in, we'll update that list and see how each section had come through the pandemic. Did they cut Executive salaries? Did they trim down or reach into the reserves? It'll be interesting to compare all this.

Profit or Loss? We understand that nonprofits are not required to make a profit. So we decided to not put too much emphasis on losses but still point them out here.


We are not financial experts. However, we think we know how to read a 990 filing and trust those filings were done correctly by each section accountant. Each section's filings, except the ones for the Caribbean section, can be seen when clicking on the link IRS 990 FORM. We guess, since Puerto Rico is not (yet) a US state, they don't fall under IRS rule.

In case you are concerned, we are not at all sharing private or illegal information. Form 990 filings are public information nonprofits have to file and allow access to. Some sections have that on their website, others don't. Every state has different interpretations of the so-called Sunshine Laws, but they all state that nonprofits have to publicize the 990 filings.


Here's what the numbers mean:

Revenue/Expenses/Profit/Loss: Self-explanatory We looked at overall expenses without breaking them down.

Reserves: The combination of cash on hand, publicly traded securities, and other investments.

CEO/ED Income: Only salaries over $100K plus "other compensation" like bonuses were listed (Executive Income). Pension plan accruals and contributions, incl. 401 (k) are NOT included.

We believe that a section CEO or ED should not be making less than $125 or, depending on the overall financial situation, should be capped at 3% of expenses.

IPE: The ratio of Income as Part of the Expenses. Should not be more than 3% in our opinion. After all, we think since these organizations are all non-profit, money should be spent on growing tennis and not on growing a person's wealth.
COMP: We wanted to know the sum of all compensation incl. all salaries, "other" benefits, pension plans, and payroll taxes and also show that figure as a percentage of a section's expenses.

Star Rating

  • A top section that has an IPE of 3% or less, COMP below 40%, and reserves that carry their operation for at least 6 months, gets a 5-Star rating.

  • When COMP is below 30% of expenses we add 1 Star.

  • When the section COMP s over 50% of expenses we deduct 1 Star, over 65% we deduct 2 Stars.

  • When a CEO's salary is over 3.5% of expenses, we deduct 1 Star.

  • When all Executive salaries are over 10% of expenses, we deduct 1 Star, over 15% we deduct 2 Stars.

  • When the reserves fall well below the minimum needed for a 6-month survival, we deduct 1 Star. When they get close to zero we deduct 2 Stars.


SECTION: Northern California

2019 REVENUE: $5,833K

2019 EXPENSES: $5,590K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: 243K


2019 ED INCOME: $153K

CEO IPE: 2.7%

COMP: $2,509K = 44.9%




COMMENTS: Overall, the USTA NorCal section looked healthy at the end of 2019.

SECTION: Southern California

2019 REVENUE: $5,259

2019 EXPENSES: $5,591

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $267K


2019 INT. CEO INCOME: $216K

CEO IPE: 3.9%


TOP 4 EXECS IPE: 12.1%

COMP: $2,519K = 45.6%



IRS 990 FORM - not published yet but management sent us the 2019 Tax Filing.

COMMENTS: $216k for an Interim CEO seems too high. The good news: At the end of 2019, the SCTA looks in good shape as far as the reserves are concerned.

SECTION: Pacific Northwest

2019 REVENUE: $5,690K

2019 EXPENSES: $6,423K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $733K



2019 CEO INCOME: $294K

2019 COO INCOME: $228K

2019 GM INCOME: $177K

CEO IPE: 4.6%


COMP: $3,080K = 48%




COMMENTS: Executive incomes look excessive and not justifiable. The entire section looks top heavy. The only good news here: with $6.4Mio in reserves, money management looks good.

SECTION: Pacific Northwest

2020 REVENUE: $4,021K

2020 EXPENSES: $4,700K

2020 PROFIT/LOSS: $678K



2020 CEO INCOME: $263K

2020 COO INCOME: $206K

2020 GM INCOME: $195K

CEO IPE: 5.6%



COMP: $3,331K = 70.8%




COMMENTS: Executive incomes still look excessive and not justifiable during many years of losses (although some of the Execs may have been axed in 2020.) One Exec income increased during 2020!

SECTION: Southwest

2019 REVENUE: $1,635K

2019 EXPENSES: $1,389K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $245K


2019 CEO INCOME: $111K


COMP: $577K = 41.5%




COMMENTS: We discounted the 8% IOE because we think a section CEO or ED should not make less than $120K. Overall, the USTA Southwest section looked healthy at the end of 2019.


2019 REVENUE: $6,358K

2019 EXPENSES: $6,227K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $131K


2019 ED INCOME: $221K

2019 DIR INCOME: $130K

CEO IPE: 3.55%


TOP 2 IPE: 5.6%

COMP: $2,329K = 37.4%




COMMENTS: Overall, the USTA Texas section looked healthy at the end of 2019 although we think Executive income looks excessive.

SECTION: Hawaii Pacific

2019 REVENUE: $1,613K

2019 EXPENSES: $2,278K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $665K


2019 ED INCOME: $108K

ED IPE: 4.7%

COMP: $711K = 31.2%




COMMENTS: We can only hope that the "No Assets" part of their 2019 tax filing was done by error since they had almost a million dollars in assets at the beginning of the year, including $386K in cash. If it's true, this may well be the worst run section of the USTA.

SECTION: Intermountain

2019 REVENUE: $3,111K

2019 EXPENSES: $3,105K



2019 ED INCOME: $134K

ED IPE: 4.3%

COMP: $723K = 23.3%




COMMENTS: We took one star away because of very low reserves and one star for IPE over 3.5%. We added one star for COMP below 30%

SECTION: Missouri Valley

2019 REVENUE: $3,376K

2019 EXPENSES: $3,425K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $49K



2019 ED INCOME: $115K

ED IPE: 3.4%

COMP: $1,351K = 39.4%




COMMENTS: Relatively low reserves cost them an extra star.

SECTION: Northern

2019 REVENUE: $1,929K

2019 EXPENSES: $1,729K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $200K


2019 ED INCOME: $121K

ED IPE: 7%
COMP: $923K = 53.4%




COMMENTS: Relatively low reserves and COMP over 50% cost them two stars.

SECTION: Southern

2019 REVENUE: $13,139K

2019 EXPENSES: $11,605K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $1,534K

RESERVES: $11,896K

2019 ED/COO INCOME: $307K

CEO IPE: 2.6%

COMP: $2,578K = 22.2%




COMMENTS: It's hard to argue about an executive salary when that section is doing so well and the person also functions as COO.

SECTION: Midwest

2018 REVENUE: $11,053K

2018 EXPENSES: $11,169K

2018 PROFIT/LOSS: $116K



IRS 990 FORM (2018)

COMMENTS: The second largest USTA section has low reserves which lost them one star. However, they gained one star with COMP below 30%. Question is: Why is the 2019 filing not available? Should we have taken a star away for such laziness? Is there more to that story?

2018 ED INCOME: $227K

2018 CFO INCOME: $150K

2018 COO INCOME: $125K

ED IPE: 2%


TOP 3 IPE: 4.5%

COMP: $2,843K = 25.5%


SECTION: Florida

2019 REVENUE: $5,736K

2019 EXPENSES: $5,446K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $290K


2019 ED INCOME: $142K


2019 DIR INCOME: $134K

CEO IPE: 2.6%


COMP: $3,299K = 60.6%




COMMENTS: Overall, the USTA Florida section looked healthy at the end of 2019 but COMP over 60% cost them one star.

SECTION: Mid-Atlantic

2019 REVENUE: $6,134K

2019 EXPENSES: $6,064K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $70K


2019 CEO INCOME: $301K

2019 COO INCOME: $167K

2019 DIR INCOME: 120K
2019 DIR INCOME: 104K



TOP 4 IPE: 11.4%

COMP: $2,815K = 46.4%




COMMENTS: This section is top-heavy. The CEO's salary is excessive.

SECTION: Middle States

2019 REVENUE: $3,553K

2019 EXPENSES: $3,348K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $205K


2019 ED INCOME: $182K

ED IPE: 5.4%

COMP: $1,321K = 35.2%




COMMENTS: ED salary a little too high for a section that's losing money.

SECTION: Eastern

2019 REVENUE: $4,904K

2019 EXPENSES: $4,703K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $201K


2019 ED INCOME: $189K

2019 DIR INCOME: $118K



TOP 2 IPE: 6.5%

COMP: $1,705K = 36.3%




COMMENTS: The section looks healthy but the ED salary is a little on the high side.

SECTION: New England

2019 REVENUE: $3,786K

2019 EXPENSES: $4,036K

2019 PROFIT/LOSS: $250K


2019 ED INCOME: ???

ED IPE: ???

COMP: $1,642K = 40.7%




COMMENTS: Unfortunately, the full 990 filing was not publicly available which cost them an extra star. The 2018 ED income was $137K which would have meant the IPE was 3.4%.

As you can clearly see, John Callen is not looting the Southern Section with his income. We think he's not being paid enough. Under his leadership, tennis made some extraordinary progress in the South.

Going into this study we fully expected the Florida section to come out with 5 Stars. But when we saw their COMP of 60.6% we were troubled and asked ourselves, what are their 55 employees doing all day? Comparable sections with similar revenues show numbers way below those in Florida. Generally accepted guidelines for nonprofits state that payroll including all related expenses should not be more than 20% of revenue. We decided to regard 30-50% as acceptable for USTA sections.

Would be interesting for a workflow consultant to come in and examine why most sections need so many employees to do the job and whether it can be done with fewer people. The money saved could go into - you guessed it - grassroots tennis.

  • Congratulations to Northern California, Southern, Midwest, and Southwest, for receiving the new (and hopefully soon coveted) TCB 5-Star rating.

  • For Pacific Northwest, we're asking: Is that what they call Mission Incapable?

  • For all sections, we can't wait to compare those numbers with your 2020 filings.


We would have loved to see programming fees itemized in each 990. It seems easy to hide shenanigans in such numbers. By shenanigans, we mean dollars spent on not growing tennis or fees paid to Board members or staff without disclosure. We're not saying this is happening but we're planning to enable all section staff members to anonymously rate their section in certain criteria very soon. That way we will find out what's potentially happening there. More information about this next month.

We want to encourage section staff that is not happy with our analysis to come forward and let us know. We'll post every letter in our next issue without editing. And if you like what we're doing, let us know, too.


Don't forget:

We are asking all Pacific Northwest Section players, providers, staff, club owners, did you know that your CEO took home $294K incl. "other income" and your COO $228K? What are these people doing all week to justify that money? Then there is some GM who took home $177K (and that salary was increased in 2020 to $195K incl "other income"!) Does the full PNW Board know about this? Are you OK with that?


And your top 5 executives earned over a million dollars combined in 2019. That's a whopping 15.6% of all expenses. FOR 5 PEOPLE? Ouch!



On June 17, three days after the court reached Marly, the third estate declared itself unilaterally to be a National Assembly and that it was with the intent of providing a new constitution. On June 20, locked out of the usual salon in which they met, the deputies adjourned to one of Versailles' tennis courts and a general oath was administered. This oath ignored the theoretical powers of the monarch. This became known as the 'tennis court oath.'

-Antonia Fraser-

Marie Antoinette: The Journey

Why Tennis Should Embrace Clubhouse

By Rich Neher

I'm pretty sure you have all heard of Clubhouse by now. Many of you may ask, "What do we need an audio-only platform in the time of Zoom and Skype?" And you may have a point. But...

Let's start with a good look at Clubhouse. According to the platform's official website, Clubhouse was designed to be “a space for authentic conversation and expression — where people can have fun, learn, make meaningful connections and share rich experiences with others around the world." 


I was surprised to learn that Clubhouse hasn't even officially launched yet. Whaaat? I and everyone I know thought there is so much buzz around Clubhouse, the audio chat social network surely has been around forever. I read that  the ‘general release’ date has yet to be announced, but Clubhouse has said it will not be before the July 4 weekend. Okay. 

While Clubhouse has been running in Beta mode for the last 14 months, the audio chat space has become crowded. I bet you didn't know how crowded: 


June 21 they officially rolled out the launch of Live Audio Rooms in the U.S. on iOS, starting with public figures and select Facebook Groups and the debut of an initial set of U.S. podcast partners.


June 16 they launched Spotify Greenroom after acquiring the company behind the sports-focused audio app Locker Room to speed its entry into the live audio market.


Mid-June, Twitter launched a Clubhouse competitor for users to conduct audio-based chats and discuss a number of topics in the form of Spaces. Twitter Spaces can be monetized with the introduction of the new Ticketed Spaces. 

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has confirmed they are working on an audio networking feature for over 740 million members in more than 200 countries

The feature will be connected to members' professional identity.

Other companies working on audio chat: Slack, Reddit.

THE DRUM writes, "It is clearly only the beginning for Clubhouse and this brand-new segment, which offers significant benefits to marketers. Specifically, people in audio rooms are very engaged – often for up to 60 minutes. Then there’s the stripped down, raw environment which allows brands to appear authentic and transparent. Lastly, this ambiguous moment gives marketers a chance to experiment and create brand loyalty before the space becomes overrun and overproduced – which by most accounts appears to be happening very quickly."

You see how Clubhouse includes a lot more interesting aspects than we all thought a few months ago?

When ​I approached Bill Patton in May with the idea to start a regular weekly tennis room in Clubhouse, he came up with naming it Tennis Boom Radio and I loved it. Since then we have both moderated 14 rooms (we call it "shows") and asked a few more people to become co-moderators. Bill has a great radio voice (I don't) and he loves to be involved and engaged and always has stories to tell.


As outlined in our summary for June (inside Publisher's Notes this month), we discussed diverse topics such as high school tennis, the USTA, club management apps, and UTR. There are always two kinds of people in our room on Clubhouse, the ones that just came to listen and the ones that want to be on stage and actively participate. We love both and always hope a lot of tennis professionals will join us on stage.


Why do I think Clubhouse is good for tennis?


I have to quote The Drum again: "Clubhouse now has 400,000 rooms created every day, per the company. Within those rooms, early adopter marketers are finding eager audiences. BMW hosted a chat with film score composer Hans Zimmer. He discussed how he created the sounds for BMW’s new electric vehicle. Time Magazine’s editor-in-chief drops in weekly to readers. Bloomberg and the LA Times are regulars as well. Bumble used the platform to talk about its initial public offering as well as field questions. And infamously, IHOP served up the live sounds of sizzling bacon to 8,000 people."

Can you see what's possible on Clubhouse? Let me run some ideas by you.

USTA - Create regular Clubhouse rooms like a press conference but for their members and collaborators. Introduce new initiatives or, even better, answer the questions of your members. Wow. What a concept!

Tennis Club ABC - Do a covert member promotion by featuring your club, your tennis pros, let them give tips and tricks to become a better player, answer questions.

Startup Tennis Vendor - Promote your product or service, find clubs for beta testing, engage in discussion that promotes interest in you, test market pricing structures.

USPTA, PTR - Discussion groups, promoting the organization and certification, answering questions, announcing new partnerships.

Tennis Professionals - Promote, promote, promote by talking about tennis and answering questions.

High School and College Coaches - Recruit, recruit, recruit... you get the point.

Shall I go on? The possibilities are endless. Bill and I have our own ideas on how to utilize the medium Clubhouse for more fun stuff. You'll hear about it soon. For now, join us this coming Monday, 9 am PST. Our Topic: Alternative Racquet Sports like Spec Tennis. Here's the link.  Tennis Boom Radio Episode 15

Spiideo Releases Portable Automated Camera for Sports 

Sports-focused video recording company Spiideo has released its new camera solution called SmartCam. SmartCam is a portable version of Spiideo’s existing video capture technology, which uses AI to track the movement of play across a field or court, making a camera operator unnecessary.


Spiideo’s portable SmartCam weighs under 8kg and has a setup time of less than 10 minutes. It can be mounted on a tall tripod above the field or court, allowing for greater visibility and a 180-degree field of view.


As with previous Spiideo products, the SmartCam can also be used to stream live footage if connected to the internet via ethernet or WiFi network. 

Why PCs Are Turning Into Giant Phones

Apple is dragging Microsoft, Google and the entire PC industry into the 21st century

As seen on Morning Brew: A Rundown of New Crypto Rules and Regs Around the World



When I was forty years old, my doctor advised me that a man in his forties shouldn't be playing tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached fifty to start again.

Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black

Treasury of Modern Quotations (February 1963)


After my article asking who comes to the rescue of that "sinking ship" USTA SoCal, something happened that I guess hasn't happened in that section in over a hundred years. The President and the CEO reached out to someone outside of the section. That someone was me. Woohoo! And I must say we had a good, constructive two-hour meeting during which I learned about some amazing changes that these guys have in their hopper. Especially in the areas of Level 7 Junior Tournaments and outreach to capture new players. And I was able to explain what the community concerns were in regards to less than stellar customer service and a depressing business climate.

So, while I promise to keep every section's and national's feet to the fire, I'm cautiously optimistic about the USTA SoCal. My recommendation to them was: Get your staff some customer service training. The members and players deserve it.

Speaking about a sinking ship. I found out last week that the 48-court tennis portion of the planned 'Carol Kimmelman Athletic and Academic Campus' in Carson has collapsed (words from an email sent by the City of Los Angeles) because of a landfill issue underneath that location. I also heard that the project is not completely dead because they are working on Plan B, a different location. 


It looked like the Carol Kimmelman project was Messing's way back into the 'LA 28 Olympics' because the center would have been a shoo-in for Olympic tennis and golf. Oops.


Now I'm wondering why the entire news did not get a mention in any local media.


"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Albert Einstein


we would like to invite you to support the continuation of this newsletter as well as our new Mid-Month content, interviews, reviews, and other features on TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS via joining our Patreon Community. For as little as $1 a month, you can help ensure the long-term future of TCB.

Thank you!!!

Rich Neher


(scroll down for August schedule)

Bill Patton, David Span, Adeline Arjad Cook, and I had a lot of fun moderating 4 Clubhouse rooms in July. Here are quick summaries for you.

July 5, 2021, TENNIS BOOM RADIO Episode 11

Topic: 'Fun stuff for Independence Day'


We just fooled around for an hour, telling stories like all my Bobby Riggs stuff including what Vic Braden used to report. We also talked about exhibition matches and their entertainment value. We finished up joking about betting companies. Bill doesn't like them at all and so do I. There, now you know!

July 12, 2021, TENNIS BOOM RADIO Episode 12

Topic: 'Does Tennis Need the USTA?' Part 2

Special Guest: Mickey Maule USTA Managing Director, Engagement and Services

Mickey Maule mentioned the USTA's transition to a service organization in his opening remarks. He also confirmed that an outside company was hired, Blue Oceans Group from Canada, to take over the USTA's customer service. Blue Ocean Group staff is currently in Orlando being trained by USTA staff.


(Is there something fishy going on regarding Blue Ocean? Scroll down to "Brought To My Attention" for my thoughts on this.)

Lisa Stone explained that she continues to get questions and complaints from players and parents. "It is now mid-July and the platform is still a mess." Lisa mentioned that improvements were made but the whole affair is very frustrating. "Thank goodness the UTR stepped up and provided good tourneys under stable conditions."

Lisa's biggest complaint is the lack of communication. (The USTA is NEVER responding to that complaint, though. It probably comes under Kamperman's directive "IGNORE THE NOISE.")

Lisa says the USTA did a poor job communicating about the project ahead of time and educating the junior tennis community about what's coming. "And now they're hiring an outside company for customer service? Very troubling!"

Michael Harper (Manager, USTA Cardio Tennis) chimed in mentioning that it seems troubling that communication was so poor. However, he pointed to webinars that actually were done. Lisa replied that those webinars were done AFTER the launch. Michael was sure they had those in the fall but it seems obvious that there was a breakdown in communication.

Delaine Mast offered that the "mindset needs to shift to the providers, not people in an office."

John Niedfeldt-Thomas (USTA League Committee member) mentioned that adult league is the last program to transition to Serve Tennis and they are now a year behind.

Adam Sher (Accutennis) remembered some feedback from clubs that said, "USTA is dictating how certain activities should be run. They should mainly be an enabler of tennis, provide best practices, etc.

Delaine Mast reminded us that Mike Dowse promised more transparency for the USTA.

When Adeline mentioned that the USTA is in the business of growing tennis I had to correct her, reminding everyone that the USTA is only in the business of growing the US Open. Everything else they do is window dressing imho.

July 19, 2021, TENNIS BOOM RADIO Episode 13

Topic: 'Cheating in Junior Tennis'

Special Guest: Lisa Stone, Parenting Aces, Mickey Maule, USTA, David Fish, more.


In all my time discussing tennis with professionals and parents, cheating was often at the top of their concerns. It is also believed that cheating is one of the main reasons why kids turn away from tennis after playing just a few tournaments. Since the USTA has known about this for decades it seems, my question is: Why haven't they done something about it? All we hear is lip service and if they are working on improving that situation, where is the communication about it?

I started the discussion by sharing my experience at a large junior tournament in the desert where I observed a very well-known San Diego coach sitting in the bushes next to a court and coaching his player continuously while he was playing. For me, that is big time, professional cheating.

Bill Patton thinks that cheating is the single biggest threat to tennis. "We're repelling a lot of good characters of the game, layers who are disgusted with cheaters." Bill's students know the rule: 1 bad call is OK. 2 bad calls and they ask their opponent "are you sure?" 3 bad calls result in the immediate request for a linesperson.

Lisa Stone thought that tennis is all about the long game and "helping our kids to develop a skill set that helps them throughout their lives. We have to teach our kids respect for the game and for their opponents." She also mentioned that as parents we have to understand that there's so much emotion bubbling up with players and parents.


Mickey Maule made a note to do some more research on the subject.


Scott Ross mentioned that in Volleyball, the Tournament Director explains all the rules before play starts and calls out known offenders.

Sadiyah Butt said that the tournament director should have information about cheating and cheaters and should deal with it beforehand. The rule should be WE WILL NOT TOLERATE CHEATING. One way of avoiding cheating may be allowing coaching at the lowest levels of tournaments.

Lisa Stone chimed in agreeing that meetings with parents and coaches where expectations are shared should be done before every tournament. "Cheating is not tolerated." When there are disagreements, an adult should be present."In 5 or 6 tournaments we only had 1 match with issues because of that."

Lisa sees a flip side to that issue. "Kids are learning valuable skills when they play a cheater. They learn to manage anxiety and reset."

Mickey Maule stated that we have to evaluate the issue and emphasize good behavior. One other issue here is also the amount of screaming which is out of hand in junior tennis. "We need to promote integrity and sportsmanship and train our tournament directors better."

David Span reminded us that the coaches should be able to "lay down the law."

David Fish shared that during 44 years at Harvard they knew the teams where coaches did the right things and did not turn the other way when their players misbehaved. During many UTR tournaments hey had no referees at all because of the high standards that were set for all.

David Neese reported that during college matches he observed, everyone is screaming "Deuce" to rattle the server.

Lisa Stone lamented the absence of fun and excitement. "They ruled fun out of tennis. We have to make it an exciting experience again."

Scott Ross reminded us that at the BTR Tour, cheering is encouraged. "There is such positive energy, people love that. Don't take away the fun from tennis. There should be a 1-strike rule."

I asked Mickey Maule if there was a USTA committee on cheating. Who is working on that issue? Would you mind getting back to us with those answers when we do Cheating Part 2 next month? Mickey confirmed.

Lisa Stone thought we also need to recognize the kids that do it right and "find out what's going on with the kids/parents that don't."

We are all looking forward to Part 2 of this discussion next month. It is scheduled for August 23.

July 26, 2021, TENNIS BOOM RADIO Episode 14

Topic: 'Wheelchair and Adaptive Tennis Worldwide'

Our guests were Jason Harnett (USTA National Wheelchair Manager + Head Coach), Dee Henry (former 45-year Women's Coach at Biola University and 30+ year Wheelchair Tennis Coach), Trevor Kroneman (CEO, USTA Southern California), Kevin Finkelberg (Wheelchair Tennis Manager, USTA SoCal), David Buck and Jeff Bourns (Wheelchair Tennis players). 


Photo: British Wheelchair Tennis Star 
Lucy Shuker

I had met Jason Harnett a few times 10 years ago when he was running Wheelchair Tennis programs and tournaments at what is now the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion in Mission Viejo. At the time I was writing for the Examiner Group and was very lucky to get interviews with Brad Parks, the inventor of the sport, and David Wagner, the no. 1 Quad player in the world. Unfortunately, David was on a flight returning from an event in England and couldn't join us. 


Jason Harnett briefly led us through the beginnings of Wheelchair Tennis with the legendary Brad Parks. Brad broke his back in the late seventies and asked himself in the hospital "is tennis something I can still do?" The rest is history. In the '90s the ITF took Wheelchair Tennis under their wings and in 1998 the USTA became involved. That was also the year Jason Harnett came on board, together with Dan James.

Kevin Finkelberg started only at the SoCal section of the USTA last year and is excited about the opportunities the section can create for anyone interested in Wheelchair Tennis. Trevor Kroneman is the brand new CEO of that section and had plenty of experience with "Wheelies" as a former coach and teaching pro.

Jeff Bourns is an amputee who played on the Adaptive Tennis Tour he started in 2015. This is standing up tennis without a wheelchair. Jeff retired with a rank of no. 4 in the world in 2019.

Bill Patton expressed his feelings of gratitude when he sees what wheelies and adaptive players have to go through to play the sport of tennis.

Dee Henry is a Wheelchair Tennis coaching icon in Southern California. The recipient of the 2006 USTA Eve Kraft Community Service Award and of the 2016 International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award explained that the ITF asked tennis coaches in 1990 o put something more into the sport. So Dee started teaching a 6-year old boy to play Wheelchair Tennis "and it took off from here." She just finished a collegiate Championship which she says was a fantastic event. Dee has created a nonprofit called La Mirada Community Tennis Association.

Bill Patton asked how people find Wheelchair Tennis players. What kind of outreach is there?

Dee Henry mentioned that the USTA has a wonderful site on Net Generation. Players can sign up there

Jason Harnett said outreach depends on whether it's a high-performance program or not. "We are generally connecting to players through section staff. There's also the Ambassador program through the Net Generation Providers Network. We have over 100 providers in the system. Being able to connect to people via the Internet is really making a difference for us. However, word of mouth is a very powerful way to reach out, too. We're quite happy to see we're growing everywhere."

Kevin Finkelberg: "We have a strong connection with the providers in our section. They're telling me what they need. The ALL COMERS CAMPS are very successful, too."

Jason Harnett called the Summer Camps fantastic. "That's an easy entry point for adults. The camps always have 20-30 people participating and they also include a Coaches Workshop."

David Buck broke his back in a snow skiing accident. Wheelchair Tennis changed his life. He made it to rank 9 in the world and helped hundreds or even thousands of people to learn the sport. David started a durable medical equipment company dedicated to helping those with spinal cord injuries. He also invented hand controls for driving a car.  David also founded the World Up Down Sports Foundation for "Giving Disabled Bodies a Brighter Tomorrow."He is currently looking for tennis clubs interested in letting him and some other wheelies come in for "updown tennis."

Kevin Finkelberg mentioned that there are groups like David's everywhere from Pasadena to San Diego.

Asked about some of the challenges Wheelchair Tennis players are being confronted with, Dee Henry listed that gates to tennis courts are sometimes not big enough for the chairs. Also, restrooms are often not too accessible for players with special needs.

David Buck: Setting people up for wheelchairs is a big challenge and one of the reasons why newcomers may get discouraged and don't even start playing or leave again in a short while.

Jason Harnett listed shoes and chairs as challenging. "Chairs need to be customized because they can't use regular chairs. Sizes are different from player to player and so is adjustability. The USTA provides up to $50,000 in grants for local groups A basic adjustable chair costs at least $2,000. The better ones are between $4,000 and $5,000. 

Bill Dow is a Wheelchair Tennis coach from the Seattle area. "I'm coaching here for about 2 years now. Jason and Dan James certified me last year. I always have an extra chair on site for newcomers."

Asked about the 2-bounce rule in Wheelchair Tennis, Jason Harnett replied, "Professionals on the tour hardly need to use the 2-bounce rule nowadays. They are just too fast and athletic. This is mainly the only rule that's different from regular tennis. Brad Parks wanted to make sure Wheelchair Tennis stays as close as possible to able-bodied tennis.

David Buck said his nonprofit is sometimes subsidizing the cost of a wheelchair.

Trevor Kroneman mentioned there are 6 chairs at the USTA SoCal office which they bring along to events. 

Bill Patton appreciated that both USPTA and PTR are actively trying to get coaches into teaching Wheelchair Tennis. "I'm giving them a B+ for their efforts."

Jason Harnett assured us that PTR and USPTA have their people in place and Wheelchair Tennis is also woven into all accreditation courses. "The USTA's goal is to get 30,000 new pros accredited and all of them will be exposed to Wheelchair Tennis. It's in their curriculums." He also mentioned that huge steps regarding the integration of Wheelchair Tennis were done and even more are coming soon.

Adeline Arjad Cook tennis organizer and owner of 'I Love My Doubles Partner' offered support in SoCal and would love to be involved in helping out.

Clubhouse Schedule for August


August 2 - Episode 15: Alternative Racquet Sports (Spec Tennis, Pickleball)

August 9 - Episode 16: What are your favorite tennis books?

August 16: Episode 17: Beach Tennis

August 23: Episode 18: Cheating in Junior Tennis Part 2

August 30: Episode 19: US Open


"Brad's made a career out of winning matches he was supposed to lose. Up to this point in my career I have done the opposite."

Andre Agassi
Agassi and Ecstacy by Paul Bauman


Three Headlines and a Lie

We’re down to trick you with some weird headlines. Three of these are real, one is not. Can you guess which is the fake?

  1. A teenager from Alaska won Olympic Gold in Tokyo.

  2. A woman from Hawaii won Olympic Gold in Tokyo.

  3. Megan Rapinoe won the U.S. President's Award for Most Loved American.

  4. Naomi Osaka lost her Tokyo round 3 match 6-1, 6-4.

Scroll down to the end for the correct answer.


"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear."

George Addair


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



I mentioned it under Tennis Boom Radio Episode 12 on Clubhouse (scroll up).


I don't want to just glance over the fact that the company the USTA hired to do all their future customer service functions is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Like so many times before, I get that distinct feeling that someone may be getting rich from that transaction. Why else select a Canadian company, right? Similarities come to mind when looking back at the selection process for ClubSpark which so far ended in a fiasco. I still haven't found out who got rich from that deal but.


I was always thinking when Kurt Kamperman retired why did he move to Canada? I hope he didn't HAVE to leave the country. We may never know about that, of course, but, holy moly, Kamperman moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Coincidence? There's no such thing, people. The ex-USTA Executive under whose stewardship we lost millions of players in the United States, is the new CEO of Tennis Nova Scotia in Halifax.

And a team from Blue Ocean is currently in Orlando getting trained. On what? Blue Ocean is part of the IMP group specialized in Aerospace, Aviation, IT, Defense IT, and aircraft sale. Wow!

A USTA section ED friend of mine with very dry humor put it this way, "Kurt is in Halifax to teach Tennis Nova Scotia how to lose members. Blue Ocean is in Orlando to teach the USTA how to communicate without pissing everyone off."


Be that as it may, this does not pass the smell test for me. If Kamperman really was involved in it (and I don't know for sure), hold on to your seats, folks. What could possibly go wrong?




I was following Pickleball Champion Barbara Wintroub's never-ending ordeal with tournament organizers who do not want to let the older senior players compete in their own age groups. Instead, they make them play with women sometimes 25 years younger than them. In my eyes, this is a scandal. I have brought this issue to the forefront for years and never got any reaction from the USAPA nor did any of the tournament directors ever comment. As I said before, they seem to copy the old USTA mantra "Ignore a problem and it will go away."

This is another issue that doesn't pass the smelltest for me. My question:

Does the USAPA, in an effort to make Pickleball more attractive for younger players, intentionally make it impossible for the older seniors to compete? These are the ones that made Pickleball to what it is today. The players who became Ambassadors and evangelists for their sport.


But for the USAPA, they are not where the money is. Right? Didn't the USTA do the same thing in 2007 or 2008? Had they not gotten rid of the Super Senior events because there wasn't enough money in it anymore? But the USTA did it abruptly from one year to another. The USAPA seems to have concocted up a sneaky, slimy strategy.

I feel sorry for the Pickleball seniors who are the best in their age groups but have to compete against much younger players.

Cardio Tennis “Hit to be Fit” Tour  

The first “Hit to be Fit” tour in Chicago, IL was a great success with 35 coaches trained and over 150 consumers experiencing Cardio Tennis activations. 


The purpose of the “Hit to be Fit” tour is two-fold:

1) Re-energize and educate tennis and fitness instructors by elevating the standards of delivery

2) Re-engage consumers with the message, you can “get fit” by hitting tennis balls regardless of skill level. Cardio Tennis is the ultimate mind/body engagement (fun) workout.

The Chicago events were scheduled over two bookend weekends (this event would typically be scheduled over a 2-4-day period)


Seven unique consumer activations were delivered at 5 locations which included multi-court Cardio Tennis workouts, CT with TRX suspension trainer, and the fan-favorite Triples events. Approximately 150 consumers participated in these various activations.


The demographics of the consumers across all events were varied and included a high percentage of starter players and a high percentage in the 25-35 age group. It also included those who hadn’t picked up a racket in years, all ages (our most senior athlete was 83), and all fitness and ability levels.


Two Cardio Tennis Training Course opportunities were offered at different locations to attract more coaches and part of the training included the coaches participating in a live consumer activation to cement the learning and to experience the workout/event with real athletes.  


The “Hit To Be Fit” Tour model is flexible and cost-effective. One can schedule any number of events from a menu of activations that would be most appropriate for your market and goals. For more information contact


Tennis Investor Completed Significant Strategic Investment in a Global Innovative Multi-Sport Marketing/Sponsorship Business.

For the year 2022 annual sponsorship will be offered to 200+ high-level tennis players. Selected players will qualify for the opportunity to get annual sponsorship between 600 USD and 60,000 USD.


The value of sponsorship is directly related to the previous, current, and potential performance of the selected tennis players. Tennis Investor is now accepting applications for this selection process worldwide during August and September 2021.


Tennis players worldwide are invited to apply by email with a detailed TENNIS CV which lists relevant details including social media profiles and number of followers on each individual social media channel and a social media link to their accounts. Include links to your ATP, WTA ITF, UTR profiles. A Tennis Player Profile website page would be an advantage as it lists in one place relevant details. 


Terms and conditions apply. Minimum age 14+. No age limit. Please spread the word and invite other players you know to apply also. Email.

Players Can Now Learn To Slice, Volley and Serve Like the Pros With New Grip MD 

Steve Pratt sent over a press release about Grip MD, a revolutionary new unique training device developed by two former collegiate tennis stars with the goal to aid players of all levels how to perfect the proper volley, serve, and slice grip.


He writes, "Grip MD is the creation of former ATP World Tour doubles No. 38 and NCAA Champion Mark Merklein and former Notre Dame No. 1 Matt Daly. The device simply slips onto the handle of the racket, allowing the player to feel the perfect Continental grip.  The Continental grip is used for the slice, serve and volleys in tennis and is vital to a player’s development."
Grip MD website.


USTA Webinar - Junior Competition Pathway-The Why

Am I the only person thinking this webinar was really weird? I appreciated how Tracy Davis was quite honest when she talked about those hundreds of thousands of players that were lost to tennis over the past years. But I couldn't really follow Karl Davis too well. What did he really say? And Julio Godreau? Nice guy but no new information in anything he said. Karl Davis mentioned there were 900 parents signed up and he anticipated "tons of questions." But the webinar ended after 30 minutes and there were only 2 or 3 questions. Hu?


TopCourt Expanding Stable of Coaches: Amanda Anisimova

TopCourt writes, "Amanda has taken the tennis world by storm, winning her first WTA title at 17 years old, and becoming the youngest French Open semifinalist in the last decade. Her powerful groundstrokes and calm demeanor have made her a force to be reckoned with on all surfaces. Through patience, dedication, and hard work, she's been able to turn her dreams into reality, one day at a time."

Amanda joins a list of remarkable players such as Venus Williams, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios, Petra Kvitova, Chris Evert, Brad Gilbert, Paul Annacone, Lindsay Davenport, Andrey Rublev, Iga Swiatek, Taylor Fritz, Sloane Stephens, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu, Bryan Brothers, and many more. 

Dates for 2021 BNP Paribas Open: October 4-17

The BNP Paribas Open, a combined ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 event, will be held October 4 – 17, 2021 in Indian Wells, California, it was announced today by Tournament Director Tommy Haas.
The first-ever fall edition of the BNP Paribas Open will feature a women’s event with 96-player singles draw, 32-player singles qualifying draw, and 32-team doubles draw, while the men’s event will feature 56-player singles draw, 28-player singles qualifying draw, and 28-team doubles draw.


Exciting New Racquet Sport Spec Tennis Revolutionizing How Game Of Tennis Is Taught

Played on a pickleball court, all that is needed is a paddle and orange-dot low-compression tennis ball for hours of enjoyment using the same strokes & strategies as tennis.

Intrigued by the size of a pickleball court and recalling the paddle tennis he played as a youth in Southern California, tennis teaching professional Nate Gross had an idea. What if there was a way to use a paddle and low compression orange-dot tennis ball and take advantage of the pickleball craze and the hundreds of courts being built each month across the country. Putting those two components together, the game of Spec Tennis was created by Gross in 2016 and is quickly revolutionizing the way the game of tennis is being taught to beginners young and old.

Gross has created the United States Spec Tennis Association ( and a unique ambassador program where tennis and racquet directors, as well as Spec Tennis enthusiasts, can grow the sport while receiving a commission on paddle sales, and a discount on additional paddles. (


What is Spec Tennis video:

See also the Spec Tennis content on our Alternative Racquet Sports page.

USTA Foundation Grants

The USTA Foundation, the charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association Incorporated (USTA), has awarded grants totaling more than $1,070,000 to 105 National Junior Tennis & Learning chapters (NJTL) in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The grants are designated to support under-resourced youth through tennis and education programs designed to improve health, build character and strive for academic excellence. This is an initial investment as the USTA Foundation will award approximately $4 million in grants in 2021.


These grants, targeted towards community programs designated by the 105 NJTL chapters, are anticipated to support 60,000 youth participants at the selected chapters, including 30,000 who are estimated to pick up a racquet for the first time.  In total, these chapters will offer more than 56,000 hours of education and 95,000 hours of tennis activities, including the creation and expansion of after-school and summer camp programs. The USTA Foundation also designated $100,000 of the grants towards 20 new NJTL network members. 



Serve For Hope Tennis & Pickleball Tournament

Agape Tennis Academy out of Atlanta, Georgia, is hosting a great charity event at the Dekalb Tennis Center in Decatur, GA on Saturday, August 28. The Serve For Hope Tennis & Pickleball Tournament will benefit the Canadian nonprofit Heart For Africa. Janine Maxwell and her husband, Ian, are the co-founders of Heart for Africa, which focuses on bringing HOPE to the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in the areas of Hunger, Orphans, Poverty and Education. Bravo, Agape and bravo, Amy Pazahanick. If I lived in Georgia, I would play in it.

10th Annual Tennis Seminar for Professional Coaches, Assistant Coaches, and Parents

Marguerite Tennis Center, Mission Viejo, California

August 15, 8am to 5pm

Have you guys signed up for that wonderful event yet? I will be there and hopefully meet many old and new friends! Steve Riggs has done a great job 9 times in a row and I have reason to believe no. 10, together with Steve Borelli, will be even better! Who doesn't want to listen to Ken De Hart and Karen Ronney? Right?


Speakers: Dave Borelli, Amanda Fink, Dina McBride, Ken De Hart, Matt Previdi, Karen Ronney, Brooke Ronney, Dave Hagler, Evan Perry, John Michael Chamakoon, Martin Parkes, Ryan Hill, Mike Gennette. Qualifies for continuing education points with PTR and USPTA. 

Raffle Prizes: Gamma 5003 Stringing Machine values at $1,400, 6 Travel Teaching Carts, 12 cases of tennis balls...

$75 includes lunch and raffle tickets.

Register PayPal Registration

or Venmo Steve Riggs @Steve-Riggs-11

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


To Lisa Stone - who is working tirelessly to promote tennis and disseminate good information through her site

To Trevor Kroneman - who became the new CEO of USTA Southern California and for whom reaching out to tennis folks is not just a phrase.

To Nate Gross - who realized that promoting Spec Tennis also promotes tennis.

To American Danielle Collins - who captured her first WTA singles title.  As the top seed in Palermo last week, she won without dropping a set. By winning the title, Collins's ranking improved nine spots, moving from No.44 to No.35. Congratulations.

To Ken Stuart - who hopefully enjoys a full recovery after brain surgery soon!

To Bill Patton - who is a great Co-Host at our weekly Tennis Boom Radio show on Clubhouse.

To the USTA sections Northern California, Southern, Midwest, and Southwest - all of whom have received the TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS 5-Star Rating (see above). Congratulations.

To Iranian Tennis Pro Armita Omidian - who moved to Canada and started her new job at ACE Tennis in Toronto. Congratulations.

To Amy Pazahanick of Agape Tennis Academy - who is expanding her fabulous company from Atlanta, Georgia to other states and has been awarded the contract to manage the Fountain Valley Tennis and Pickleball Center in Orange County, California. Congratulations.

Have a great August, friends!

Rich Neher



Megan Rapinoe did not win the (ficticious) U.S. President's Award for Most Loved American.

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