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Junior Tennis Council

The Junior Tennis Council is one committee of the South Carolina Tennis Association, formed to be of service to all South Carolina junior tennis players. The Council is in place to address all concerns of junior tennis players and to answer questions regarding South Carolina junior competition programs. The Council is also responsible for screening bids for the South Carolina Junior State Closed Tournaments, recommending coach selection to the Junior Davis Cup/Federation Cup teams, overseeing the selection of All Star Camp participants, and setting rules and guidelines affecting junior programs, with the approval of the SCTA Board of Directors. The Council is also responsible for the content of this guide. The members of the South Carolina Junior Tennis Council are listed on page 8, and all of them are available to answer your questions.

Tournament Opportunities for Juniors

The Challenger Circuit
The Challenger circuit is a series of sanctioned tournaments that count toward a regular state ranking and a challenger ranking. The goal of this program is to provide a bridge between the entry level junior tennis players and top state-ranked junior players. The purpose of the Challenger Circuit is to provide opportunities for beginning junior players to gain tournament experience against equal level competition. This program is intended to act as a feeder system into regular SCTA Junior Rankings.
To be eligible for challenger tournaments, a player must be a USTA member who:
1) is not ranked in the top 10% in the previous year’s challenger rankings and
2) is not ranked in the top 50% of regular rankings of their age division in 2001 and
3) if aging up, is not ranked in the top 25% of regular rankings of younger division in 2001.
4) is not standing in the top 25 based on current standings (June-December)
To qualify for a Challenger Circuit ranking, a player must have participated in two Challenger Circuit tournaments or the SC State Challenger Circuit Championship. Players must play in the youngest age division for which they are eligible unless they will age up this calendar year. Players who age up this year may play in either age division until the month they age up.

The South Carolina State Closed Junior Tournaments

 The South Carolina State Closed Junior tournaments are open to any South Carolina junior tennis player registered as a member with the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The tournaments will be held in July and include draws in the boys and girls 10’s through 18’s. The tournaments include a Feed-in Consolation. Due to the size of the draws, there may be qualifying rounds the first weekend of the tournament. On the first day of the tournament, all draws will be 64 or less. Forty-eight of those positions will be predetermined by a player’s ranking and records, and the remaining sixteen positions will be determined by the results of the qualifying rounds. A player still playing a national tournament on the Thursday of the preceding week will not begin a State closed tournament until Monday or later.

The South Carolina State Closed tournaments will have a numerical ranking of two (2.0) equal to that of the Wachovia Palmetto. A junior player MUST play in one of the State Closed tournaments or the Wachovia Palmetto to be eligible for a ranking.

The Wachovia Palmetto Championships

The Wachovia Palmetto Championships is the state’s junior qualifying tournament for all Southern Closed Tournaments. Southern Closed Championships are offered in four age divisions, 12‘s through 18’s. A player must play in the same age group in the Palmetto as the Southern Closed. The Palmetto is the first step to the National championships through the endorsement process (Southern Closed Championships), unless you are eligible for a waiver (see waiver requirements). A combination of public and private hard courts are used for the tournament. The Palmetto has been played in Belton for the past 45 years and offers a main draw of 32 in the 14’s, 16’s, and 18’s. Players are exempted into the main draw based on their previous year’s ranking. Players who are not exempt must play in the qualifying rounds to make the draw of 32. Draws for 10’s and 12’s are played in Anderson and are not limited, thus do not require qualifying. All draws (except the 10’s) feature a feed-in consolation. The 10’s offer a first round losers’ consolation.

The Palmetto offers a “Challenger Tournament” in the 14’s,16’s, and 18’s for players who lose in the qualifying rounds and do not make the Palmetto’s main draw of 32. These players will play a separate tournament, the Palmetto Challenger. This insures that every player who enters the Palmetto will get at least two singles matches. Most Challenger matches will be played at locations outside of Belton. The Palmetto Challenger will be played to completion, with the finals played in Belton the Wednesday morning of the regular tournament.

The Challenger will have no bearing on the qualifying for the Southern Closed Championships. The weight value for the Challenger matches will be 1.0 which will NOT count toward the 6 tournament points required for a ranking, since the player will have already earned 2 points by entering Wachovia Palmetto. The regular Palmetto entry fee will cover this tournament; no additional fee will be charged. The tournament will be singles only; players who wish to participate in doubles will play in the regular Palmetto Championships’ double draws.

Waiver Requirements from the
Wachovia Palmetto Championships

Participation in the Palmetto Championships may be waived if:
1) A player has a National ranking of top 10 in his/her present age group.
2) A player has a Southern ranking of top 5 in his/her present age group.
3) A player has an injury or illness and presents a written medical explanation verified by his/her physician and approved by a majority vote of the Junior Tennis Council.

A player must play in the age division in which they seek ranking in the Palmetto Championships unless they have played up all year. A player hoping to be considered for selection on the Jr. Davis Cup/Federation Cup team must play the Palmetto Championships, unless an excuse has been approved by the Junior Tennis Council.

Going to Southern

The Wachovia Palmetto Championships is the qualifying tournament for the Southern Closed Championships. Each player from South Carolina that is selected to play in the Southern Closed has to play the Palmetto unless he/she receives a waiver (see waiver requirements). Please remember that a player must play in the same age group at the Palmetto as the Southern Closed.

Since the Palmetto is the Southern Closed qualifying tournament, it is each player’s responsibility to check with his/her endorser at the Palmetto to see about his/her qualifying for the Southern Closed. Selection criteria will be as follows:
1) Any player who finishes in the top eight (8) at the Palmetto will be selected.
2) The remaining slots will be selected based on the player’s record for the current year  (which  includes matches played at   the Palmetto). Finishing in the “top twelve (12)” at the Palmetto does not guarantee selection to the Southern Closed.

A player who wishes to apply for selection to the Southern Closed must provide the following to the state endorsers:
1) An updated current year player record.
2) A copy of a current USTA card.
3) A completed Southern Closed entry form (form supplied by State Endorser at the Palmetto).
4) An entry fee.
All the above provisions must be turned into the Endorser by noon on the last day of the Palmetto.

Players who are selected/endorsed by the State Endorser will have either finished in the top “8” or be informed by the Endorser. The Southern tournament selects 14 players from all alternates sent in by all the Southern States. If the player is not selected/endorsed by South Carolina, then the player may be selected by the Southern Championship committee. The player will need to call the tournament to find out if they have been chosen as an alternate for the tournament. Times and telephone numbers to call will be on the entry form.

 Guidelines for Tournament Play

Highlights From The USTA Code Of Conduct

1) The oldest tradition in tennis is to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt; this means that any ball that cannot be called out with certainty is presumed to be good and continues in play.
2) All players should cooperate to attain accuracy in making line calls. When a player does not call an out ball against himself when he clearly sees it out, he is cheating.
3) No point should be replayed because a player is not sure if a ball was in or out.
4) Any call of “out” or “let” must be made instantaneously; otherwise, the ball continues in play.
5) Don’t enlist the aid of a spectator in making a call.
6) Foot faulting is cheating.
7) Returning a service that is obviously out is a form of rudeness.
8) To eliminate arguments about the score, the server should announce the set score prior to his serve of the game and the game score prior to serving each point.
9) In a tournament, if your opponent makes a large number of what you truly feel are bad calls, quietly and calmly call for an umpire and wait to continue play until an umpire arrives or until instructed to resume play by the referee. Never make a bad call in retaliation.
10) Don’t stall, sulk, complain, or practice unethical gamesmanship. Act in a way that makes it possible for participants to concentrate and have fun.


Suggestions To Parents Of Jr. Players

The following is a list of suggestions/rules to parents to remember after your child’s wins and losses. The list is taken from Coach Kriese’s book, Youth Tennis For Parents and Players, 1994. Coach Kriese is the men’s coach at Clemson University and a member of the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.

1) Your support should be steady and based on your child’s attitude and your child’s effort. It should not fluctuate according to losses and wins.
2) Be genuinely supportive and positive before your youngster’s competition, because this is the time of most doubt.
3) Be supportive for a job well done, for the small things as well as the big ones.
4) Don’t reward wins with big meals, gifts, money, other offerings that teach the youngster that winning deserves special treatment.
5) If you are emotional about your youngster’s loss, give yourself a mandatory 30-minute waiting period before you do any critiquing of your child’s match.
6) Children are sometimes trained to be fake happy or sad to please their parents. The way you as a parent feel is not necessarily the way your child feels. It is important to give them time to deal with their feelings in their own way.
7) It is important for the young athlete to be able to enjoy wins and to hurt over losses, but a balance should always be kept. A good workout after a loss helps to ease the pain as well as to learn in the process. Then the L-FIDO law goes into effect: Learn- Forget It, Drive On !
8) The only time the parent needs to step in is when behavior from wins or losses becomes excessive. The youngster cannot always control feelings, but he or she must take what they do seriously, and never take themselves too seriously.

Regulations for Tournament Play

Daily Playing Limitation Guidelines for Junior Tournaments
For all age divisions, match play is limited to:
   2 singles and one doubles, or
   one singles and 2 doubles, or
   3 doubles, or
   if short scoring is used, 3 singles matches.

Third set tie breaker

Singles and doubles matches consisting of at least two full sets shall count for a South Carolina ranking. In lieu of a third set, a tie breaker may be played to determine the winner of the match. A tournament director is to state the intent to play the third set tie breaker prior to the start of the tournament and may not change formats once the tournament has started. This applies to all tournaments except the Southern Championships, Bullfrog/STA Designated tournaments and District Qualifiers. If short scoring is used, up to three singles matches may be scheduled per day. Use of short scoring will count towards USTA National rankings/standings.

Rule 30 – Continuous play

- A change of sides, without rest, after the first game of every set
- At the end of any set, a “set break” of not longer than 120 seconds  (two minutes)
In the case of split sets, there is a break according to age. Adults 18-35 have a two (2) minute break, but cannot leave the court. Juniors aged 10-16 take a mandatory ten (10) minute break.
In the case of a tie-break in lieu of the third set, there is no ten (10) minute rest period at the end of the second set, but a two (2) minute break is allowed. The only time coaching is allowed is when players leave the court for a permitted rest period or suspension of play; never while they are on the court or taking a bathroom break.

Default rule

When a player or team retires from a match, it is a loss. All defaults after tournament play has started count as a loss against the player defaulting, but do not count as a win for the player advancing by default. Withdrawal after 10:00 am (time at tournament site) on the day before the start of the tournament will be considered a default and counted as a loss. Defaults shall be limited to one per player, per event, in any one tournament. The default rule for Southern Designated Tournaments without penalty of default shall be (seven) 7 days prior to the tournament start date. This is for Designated Tournaments only.

Age eligibility rule

The age eligibility rule became effective January 1, 1999. If you have NOT exceeded a division’s age limit by the last day of the month in which the tournament is held you may play in that age division.
Example: A player who turns 15 in October may play in the 14 and-under age group up through September 30. Starting October 1, this player must play 16-and-under age division.
Remember the starting date of the tournament determines the player’s eligibility for that tournament.

Junior Suspension Point System

The SC Junior Suspension Point System is patterned after the USTA system, revised January 1, 2002. It applies to conduct at all SCTA sanctioned tournaments:
a) during all matches [main draw, consolation, qualifying, and     doubles];
b) during tournament activities;
c) at tournament facilities; and
d) at facilities such as hotels, dormitories, and homes where    players stay.

A. Suspension points shall be issued for any of the following violations:



Point Penalty System.  For each Code Violation imposed under the PPS [excluding Time Violations] two points shall be assessed for each of the following:  Point, Game, Default Match


Default for a flagrantly unsportsmanlike act on or off the court


Default for refusal to play, or continue to play, for any reason other than illness, injury, or personal emergency 


Default for No Show [excluding consolations below 1.5 level tournaments]


Default due to late arrival for a match


Entering another tournament held during the same time, in whole or in part, unless each Tournament Committee approves multiple entries in writing


Withdrawal from a tournament [singles or doubles] after entries have closed for other than bona fide reason


Unsportsmanlike or inappropriate conduct off court at locations such as the tournament site, hotel, or housing


Not using best efforts to win


Physical Act of Violence against another person on or off the court by a player, parent, relative, coach, or other person associated with a player


Illegal use of drugs or possession of illegal drugs


Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages


Gambling activity [defined in USTA Regulation I.N.18]


Destruction of property


Playing while under suspension in any SCTA, Sectional, or USTA event


B. Code of Conduct Report: Persons authorized to file Code of Conduct Reports with the Referee for offenses they personally witness are: Tournament Committee members, all umpires, deputy referees, court monitors, club or facility managers, hotel or dormitory managers, families housing players, and player development staff.
Referees will fill out and sign all Code of Conduct Reports. Tournament Directors are responsible for mailing reports to SCTA within 48 hours after completion of tournament. A copy of the report will be handed or mailed to player. The SCTA office will record and tabulate all Jr. Suspension Points and will notify the Chair of the Grievance & Disciplinary Committee and Chair of Officials of players who have accumulated enough points to warrant suspension.

C. Player Suspensions will be issued according to the following schedule:
First: If a player receives 10 suspension points within a 12-month period, the player shall be suspended from competing in all sanctioned events for 3 months. Upon suspension these 10 points shall be cleared from the player’s record; all other points shall remain on the player’s record and count toward a second suspension.
Second: If a player accumulates 8 suspension points within the 12-months immediately following the first suspension, the player shall be suspended from competing in any sanctioned events for 6 months. Upon suspension these 8 points shall be cleared from player’s record. All other points shall remain and count toward a third suspension.
Third: If a player accumulates 6 suspension points within the 12-month period immediately following the previous suspension, the player shall be suspended from competing in any sanctioned events for a period to be determined by the SCTA Grievance & Disciplinary Committee. The suspension period shall not be less than one year and may be up to the remainder of the player’s junior career. These 6 points shall be cleared from player’s record.

D. Player Notification: A player who accumulates enough points to be suspended shall be notified by certified first class mail [return receipt requested] which shall set forth: that player is being suspended; length of suspension; player’s right to appeal; procedure for appealing suspension; effective date.

E. Repercussions from suspension may be elimination of selection for any special programs sponsored by the SCTA such as Junior Davis/Federation Cup, USTA Player Development programs, USTA Area Training Center programs, SCTA Training Camps, etc. A ranking for the year might also be withheld. The Junior Tennis Council shall make such decisions.

Additional Opportunities

Junior Davis/Federation Cup

The Junior Davis/Federation Cup is a team concept event which puts the strongest South Carolina team against those from the other eight southern states. The team is comprised of the top three boys and three girls in the state in age divisions 12, 14, 16, and 18. The format for the three day event is a round robin among the states. The teams accumulate points for matches won, and the winning team is determined by the points accumulated. The Junior Davis Cup is a junior program fashioned after the International Davis Cup Competition. The Junior Davis/Federation Cup format consists of singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. The selection for the Junior Davis/Federation Cup team members is based on that year’s Southern standing at the time of selection. Players who have had significant USTA national commitments and do not have a Southern standing at the time of selection will also be considered for the team. The players will be chosen by a committee comprised of the chairperson of the Junior Tennis Council and the Junior Endorsers.

Selection of the team is based upon not only ranking, but also on good sportsmanship exhibited throughout the year, exemplary behavior on and off the court, and adherence to the USTA Code of Conduct. If a tie should occur in the selection of any of the players, a player’s record will be consulted. After team selection, it will then become the responsibility of the coach to play the team members in whatever the position he deems appropriate. The Junior Tennis Council approves coaches for the Junior Davis/Federation Cup team and they are selected for a three year term.
The 2002 Bullfrog STA JDC/JFC Championship event for the 14’s, 16’s, and 18’s will be held Sept. 27-29 at a site to be determined. The 12’s event will be held September 13-15 in Stone Mountain, GA.

South Carolina All Star Camp

The South Carolina All Star Camp is a training program designed and directed by Dennis and Pat Van der Meer. It is held one weekend, usually in February or March at the Van der Meer Tennis Center on Hilton Head Island in honor of the junior tennis players from the state of South Carolina who finished the previous year with a top 10 ranking in the state. Funded by SCTA and Van der Meer Tennis Center, it includes boys and girls ages 12 through 18 and offers them a weekend of high intensity drilling, physical fitness testing, on court games and competition. It is a program created to reward the top players of the state for their hard work and dedication, and offers them a full weekend of professional expertise and experience. Those players qualified to participate are notified by the All Star Chairperson. If positions become available in the top 10 due to a player’s inability to participate, the number 11 and 12 players may be chosen as alternates.

USTA Player Development
(High Performance) Programs

The Player Development Program (recently renamed High Performance) began in September 1987 and was developed by a special committee appointed by the USTA Board of Directors. The three goals established by the Special Committee were:
1) To attract more young people from every background to tennis and keep them playing.
2) To help good players reach their maximum potential.
3) To help our superb players win the Gland Slam events, the Davis Cup, the Federation Cup and the Olympics.
To help achieve the second goal, USTA Competition Training Centers have been established for players in the 12’s and 14’s age divisions. The goal of the South Carolina program is to help players selected for each of the Competition Training Centers to focus on achieving skills that will enable them to reach their maximum potential. The centers are used to supplement the players’ current programs and complement already acquired mental and physical skills. Being selected for any player development program is an honor. If a player chooses not to attend with no explanation, then he or she jeopardizes his chances of being invited in the future.

The Player Development Committee makes the selections based on the following criteria:
 1) Player ranking and record
 2) Sportsmanship 
 3) Attitude
 4) All-court game
Selections are made by September 1st of each year and players are notified by mail by September 15th of the committee’s selections.

South Carolina may also host other programs in addition to the Competition Training Centers such as:
10’s Camp - All 10’s players who have qualified for a ranking will receive an invitation to a special Player Development session for 10’s only.
16’s & 18’s Camp - The top boys and girls in the 16’s and 18’s division are extended an invitation based on the same criteria as the 12’s and 14’s program. This age group may have one or two weekends committed to their play. Selections are made by the SCTA Player Development Committee.

SCTA Multicultural Player Development

The Multicultural Player Development Program is designed to assist in the development of multicultural players in the state, and increase their numbers. The program brings together the top multicultural players and the top multicultural coaches from across the state to provide an intense training regimen. The training sessions (held several times  per year) consist of drills, sports science lessons and supervised match play. Multicultural players who have a state ranking are invited to participate. The local multicultural program area coordinators select additional participants. For more information contact John Dingle, Multicultural Committee Chairman, at 803-648-9114.
The USA Tennis Pathway allows players to learn new skills and advance to higher levels of competitive play, when and if they desire. The recreational programs of the USA Tennis Pathway are described in detail on pages 31-36.

Financial Assistance

Grant Money for Tournament Players

Junior grant money is available through the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation. Junior players eligible for consideration to receive these funds must be approved based on the following qualifications:
 national and regional expenses
 state ranking
 number of tournaments played
 work ethic and attitude
For consideration, a written request must be submitted to:
Larry Rizzo, SCTPF, Florence Country Club, 1200 Club Dr., Florence, SC 29501.

South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation Scholarships

In 2000, the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation (SCTPF) established two college scholarships. As a non-profit and charitable organization, the SCTPF serves as an educational, motivational and fund raising body for tennis. Its purpose is to create, stimulate, and promote interest in tennis and to encourage and develop programs to increase the quality of junior tennis in South Carolina.

Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to two incoming college freshmen who have participated and have been ranked in junior tennis in South Carolina. Players must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the scholarship:
1) Must be an incoming freshman in an accredited college,
    university, or vocational school in the United States.
2) Has not already received a full college scholarship.
3) Has participated and been ranked in junior tennis in SC.
4) Academic achievement
5) Demonstrated good sportsmanship
6) Notable tennis achievements
7) Must write an essay entitled “The Impact of Tennis on My Life”

Requests for applications should be made to:

Mr. Rex Maynard
S.C. Tennis Patrons Foundation
P.O. Box 843
Belton, SC 29627

The application must be submitted by June 14, 2002. The selection of the recipients will be recommended by the Scholarship Committee and approved by the SCTPF Board of Directors.
Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation

Additional financial assistance for tournament players is available through the Southern Patrons. Contact Bill Ozaki at the Southern Tennis Association (770-368-8200) for more information.

The Dunlop Scholarship

The Dunlop Scholarship, established in 1992, is sponsored jointly by Dunlop Slazenger Corporation and the Wachovia Palmetto Championships. The Palmetto Championship is the state’s junior qualifying tournament held in Belton each June. Dunlop Slazenger

has worked with the Palmetto since the early 1980’s in an effort to improve the tournament and junior tennis in the state. The scholarship is a further effort on behalf of Dunlop Slazenger to provide more opportunities for our junior players. The $1,000 scholarship recognizes an incoming college freshman who has participated in junior tennis in South Carolina. The scholarship is for the freshman year only and selection is based on the following:

 Academic achievement
 Activities, leadership and honors
 Tennis accomplishments
 Palmetto Championships record

Players must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
1) Played in at least three Palmetto Championships (current year  may count as one of the three).
2) Received an SCTA ranking at least two years.
3) Play in the current year’s Palmetto Championships (unless    junior eligibility has expired or there is an injury or illness).
4) Be an incoming freshman at an accredited post-secondary col lege, university, or vocational school in the United States.
5) Not already have a full college scholarship.
The deadline for application is mid-May each year. The winner is announced on Monday during the 18’s party at the Palmetto Championships. Additional information and applications may be requested by writing to:

Mr. Rex Maynard
Wachovia Palmetto Championships
P.O. Box 843
Belton, SC 29627

For more information please contact: Avery Kauffman