October marks a big month for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus in the world of adult tennis. Throughout the month of October, the USTA National Campus will be hosting five USTA League National Championships covering a number of age and skill divisions.
Established in 1980, USTA League has grown from 13,000 players in a few parts of the country in its first year to more than 900,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league. USTA League was established to provide adult recreational tennis players throughout the country with the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels. Players participate on teams in a league format, which is administered by the USTA through its 17 sections. The league groups players by using six National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) levels, ranging from 2.5 (entry) to 5.0 (advanced). USTA League is open to any USTA member 18 years of age or older.
The 2017 USTA League season will be the fifth with the updated structure and format. It offers four age categories (Adult 18 & Over, Adult 40 & Over, Adult 55 & Over and Mixed 18 & Over) to better align participants with players their own age. A fifth age division, the Mixed 40 & Over, was added in 2014. The restructuring guarantees more frequency of play opportunities at more appropriate age groups.
Also, for any local players who want to get involved, the USTA National Campus has expanded its offering for adult social match play. These sessions resemble a classic “pick-up league” and include both singles and doubles options for a wide range of skill levels. The sessions, which cost $15 for singles and $20 for doubles, are led by USTA National Campus pros and are designed for local players to grow their tennis network in a fun yet competitive atmosphere.
Monday nights include singles match play for 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 players. The same is offered on Tuesday evenings for doubles. Wednesday offers both singles and doubles options in the evening, with the addition of novice doubles sessions in both the morning and evening. Finally, a Saturday morning session for 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 doubles will continue throughout the fall.
Finally, one of the most unique events on the entire 2017 calendar comes to Lake Nona on Oct. 8-22 as the USTA National Campus is set to host the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super-Seniors World Team Championships. The tournament is the senior tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions, with top American tennis players representing their countries in the 65-, 70-, 75- and 80-and-older age groups.
The U.S. will enter the event as the defending champions in three events: Queens’ Cup (Women’s 75 & over), Doris Hart Cup (Women’s 80 & over) and Gardnar Mulloy Cup (Men’s 80 & Over). The Americans will be looking for their eighth consecutive Queens’ Cup trophy; they will be defending the Doris Hart Cup and Gardnar Mulloy Cup for the first time.
The U.S. will be fielding teams in all eight of the traditional divisions, as well as the newly added 85-and-over men’s division.