The below modules have been created to prepare and assist yourself and child on how to start competing. Click on the below modules to find out more
Module 1 – Get your child ready to compete
1.1 Create your Competitive Player Profile
Before your child can enter and compete in an endorsed Tournament, League & Coloured Ball Competition you will need to sign them up for a Competitive Player Profile. The Competitive Player Profile is free to register and provides you your unique eleven digit Tennis ID and login while linking your UTR Sports account correctly. It is quick and easy to sign up online and you can read more about the benefits of a Competitive Player Profile below.
All players who complete their Competitive Player Profile have access to the below benefits:
• UTR Ratings
• Endorsed Event & League entry.
• AO and Summer of Tennis ticket offers.
• Discounts & Special offers
• Exclusive events & Content.
As soon as your child has their Competitive Player Profile, they will be able to enter and compete in in endorsed Tournaments, Leagues & Coloured Ball Competitions. The next sections of this guide will help you to understand how to find the most appropriate competition for your child.
1.2 Finding the right competition for your child
The best place to start is to ask their coach – They will be able to talk through all the different competition options available in your area and which is most appropriate for your child.
For players who have just started or looking for their early competition experience, Coloured Ball Comp is a great way to start playing and having fun with friends. Coloured Ball Comp offers fun, localised level-based playing opportunities for Red, Orange & Green ball players. Coloured Ball Comps contribute to a players Coloured Ball Rating.
If your child wants to take the next step in competing, they may be interested in trying their hand at an endorsed Tennis Australia Tournament.
Junior Development Series tournaments are a great first or early tournament experience, often held over a few hours or one day. Junior Development Series tournaments contribute to a player’s UTR Rating or Coloured Ball Rating.
For players looking to continue their development and tournament Journey, Junior Tour tournaments are for you and offer players the opportunity to earn Junior Tour points.
Junior Tour tournaments are graded from J125 (entry level) through to J1000 (Nationals level)
League play is a great option to get regular level based playing opportunities. Your local club or association will be able to provide you more information on what leagues are available.
1.3 The aspirational competition pathway
The aspirational competition pathway provides level based competitive opportunities for players as they develop and improve their game to continue to test their skills at an appropriate level. We will explain the key information you need to know about each stage allowing you to find the right level of competition for your child to play in Taking part in appropriate competition is important for all players, but especially those new to competing – players will have a more positive experience if they are competing against other players of a similar ability.
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1.4 Finding and entering a competition
Entering a Coloured Ball Comp
Please contact your local deliverer on how to enter their red, orange or green ball competitions. We are currently working on a central Coloured Ball Comp calendar, once this is available you will be able to find and enter these competitions online.
Entering a Tournament
If you have decided you would like to enter a Junior Tour or Junior Development Tournament please visit the Tennis Australia Tournament website HERE.
Entering a League
Your clubs / Association will be able to provide you with the details and instructions required to enter their league. Please visit their website or contact them directly.
1.5 Safeguarding child information
Tennis committed to providing a safe and encouraging environment for everyone, especially children. We have developed the following resources as part of our safeguarding children education and awareness campaign A Safer Game Plan.
We encourage you to learn more about what we are doing to help keep your child safe and what you can do to make our sport safer for your child.
1.6 Require further assistance
You have just been provided a brief introduction to ensuring your child is ready to compete. Please check out our other modules to continue your knowledge journey.
Module 2 – Preparing for the competition
2.1 Preparing for a competition
Being prepared for a competition will aide in your child having a positive experience. The below checklist is a great way to ensure you are ready for the day at your competition.
- Ensure your child has all their equipment including racket, suitable clothing (shorts, t-shirts, hat, tracksuits if they are playing outside), water bottle, sunscreen for warm weather, spare clothes and non-marking trainers.
- Ensure you have the telephone number for the referee before leaving home – you may need to contact them en-route. Allow enough time for your journey and make sure you let the referee know as soon as possible if you are going to be delayed.
- Bring enough food and drink with you as not all venues will have refreshments available. Some smaller venues may offer drinks and snacks but may only take cash payment. Check the competition factsheet in advance to find out what might be available at the venue.
- It is likely that your child will have some time in between matches, so you may want to take some things to keep them occupied while they are not playing.
- Always arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your required time. This will allow you to check in with the organiser and get ready for your match.
2.2 Understanding the format
It is important to understand the format your child will be playing, check the following for the relevant competition before arriving.
Coloured Ball Comp – Check the information provided by the organiser on the sign up page to see what format they will be playing. Often these will be sets to 4 games or 6.
Tournaments – If you have entered a Junior Development or Junior Tour Tournament, always check the factsheet on the tournament site. The factsheet will provide you information on the draw format (round robin, elimination etc.) and scoring format the tournament is planning on playing. The factsheet will also provide you with specific venue information, and contain the contact details of the organiser if required.
Leagues – When registering for a league with your local club or association, make sure you are aware of the scoring format used, so you know how many games your child is playing to. If you are unable to find the information or are unsure, just ask your club contact or league organiser. They will be happy to assist and answer your questions.
2.3 Understating the basic scoring of tennis
We know that scoring in Tennis can often be confusing for new players and parents, it will aide your childs overall experience if you also have a basic understanding of how to score to follow your childs matches. The below provides a basic introduction to scoring and the terminology used. Don’t worry if it take you a couple of competitions to feel comfortable with how tennis is scored.
Tennis scoring uses four main terms, points, games, set & match. With the aim for each player to win enough points to win a game, then enough games to win a set, and enough sets to win a match (if you are playing a best of multiple set format)
Scoring a Game
In tennis, you win a game if you win four points, but you must of won the game by at least two points.
Here’s how the scoring system works:
- 0 points = Love
- 1 point = 15
- 2 points = 30
- 3 points = 40
- 4 points = You won the game (except if you have tied at 3 points all. Read further for more information)
If you have a tied score, we use the word all, Here’s an example:
- If players are tied 1–1, the score is 15-all
- If players are tied 2–2, the score is 30–all
- However, once we get to a 3–3 tie, just to complicate things and we use the word deuce. So if its three points all, the server would say deuce
But at deuce things are a little different, remember you must win the game by two points. So when a game reaches deuce a new term of advantage comes in and the following process is followed. If the server wins the next point after deuce, they will call the score advantage server (or advantage receiver if they won the point). That means they have the game-winning point.
If the player team with advantage then wins the next point they win the game, however if the opposing team wins the next point the score resets to deuce. This continues until the server or receiving player/team wins two points in a row to win the game.
Scoring a Set
Once a player has won a game, this counts to their games total, i.e 1- 0. As a general rule, once a player reaches the designated number of games required for your format, that players wins the set. For example if you are playing a 6 game set, once a player has reached 6 games they win the set. But with tennis their is always exceptions to this rule, and this depends on the type of set you are playing. Read further to find out more about two of the common set types you may play.
Two of the most common types of sets in Australia are:
- First to a set number of games – In this format a set is won by the player who reaches the designated number of games first. E.g. 4 games if it is a set to 4 games
- Tie break sets – In this format a set is won by the player who reaches the designated number of games first, however they must win by at least two games, E.g. 6-4. If the set reaches 6 games all a tie-break is played to determine the winner. See the tie-break explainer to learn how to score a tie-break. In this instance the winner of the tie-break is awarded an extra game, and added to the set score. E.g. 7-6, if playing a 6 game set format.
Winning a match
When a match is over will depend on the type of scoring format you are playing.
Two of the most common scoring formats in Australia are:
- Single set – Once a set is complete, the winner of that set it the match winner
- Best of 3 sets – a player must win two sets to win/finish the match. if this is the case, at the completion of the first set, all scores reset and you will start your next set.
We know that there is a lot if information for new parents and tennis scoring can take time to fully understand. Remember, if you have any questions at the competition on scoring, please talk to the organiser or referee who will be happy to assist.
2.4 Items to be aware of when at the competition
When your at the competition it is a good idea to be aware of the following and the opportunities for you
- It is always good to know who and where the organiser is setup, should you have any questions. Never be afraid to ask anything you may have.
- Notice board – there may be a notice board or location setup that displays important information
- Tennis competitions are a great opportunity for you and your child to make new friends. It is often nice to know other tennis parents at the competition you can talk to while there.
- Your competition may have a presentation, check with the organiser if their is a time this will occur, so you can ensure you are around.
2.5 Supporting your child at competitions
Positive support and encouragement for your child will have a positive impact on your childs development and enjoyment in the sport. Always remember that competing helps your child to develop many skills, whether they win or lose!
Positive parent/carer behaviour creates an enjoyable competition experience for everyone taking part. When attending a competition with your child try committing to the following simple actions.
- Treat officials, parents and players with respect
- Act as a positive role model
- Support and encourage all players
- Not get involved in line calls or disputes
- Encourage your child to play fairly and always shake hands after a match
- Help to create a positive environment for your child and the others taking part
- If you need help at any stage, ask the organiser or referee if one is onsite.
Module 3 – After the Competition
3.1 What happens next
Hopefully your child enjoyed their competition, developed their skills. But more importantly had fun!
Here are some suggestions that you may want to undertake next:
- Check the results online to ensure they are correct, and that your results have been added to your UTR Sports profile. Remember to allow up to three business days from the completion of the competition for your results to be added.
- Complete any feedback surveys provided. Organisers are always looking at ways to improve their competition offerings, and love to hear what you enjoyed.
- You might like to look for and enter your next competition.
You have just worked through a high level introduction to competitive play, thank you for taking the time to improve your Childs experience. As your child continues to develop, you might want to read up on ratings and how these work and are used across the competitive play pathway.