COUNTRY CLOSED CHAMPIONSHIPS CANCELLED
Tennis NSW has today confirmed the NSW tournament calendar through to the end of 2021 despite the current challenges facing the sport in the Greater Sydney Area. The calendar includes all competitive play opportunities including both Australian Ranking Tournaments and UTR events across New South Wales for the remainder of the year.
The calendar will see the resumption of Platinum and Gold Australian Money Tournaments (AMT), the launch of the ‘The Roche Series – Race to Sydney’, the return of the hugely popular Premier League competition alongside two junior ITF tournaments in Northern NSW. Throughout the remaining months of the year, the calendar is supported by a range of UTR competitive play opportunities across our NSW regions.
Whilst COVID restrictions remain in place in certain parts of NSW, Tennis NSW is seeking to find the right balance of AR tournaments whilst providing NSW competitors a range of both Tournament and Competition play that will assist in attaining and developing their Universal Tennis Rating (UTR).
The recent events impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions in Greater Sydney have been provisionally rescheduled for later in the year whilst the Tennis Country Committee have confirmed that the 2021 Country Closed Championships will not be rescheduled for this year.
Tennis Country Chairperson, Brett Bevan said, “Following extensive discussion within the Tennis NSW Tournaments Team and after extensive review of the tournament calendar, Tennis Country have taken the regrettable decision not to reschedule the 2021 Country Championships for a date later in the year.
The Committee firstly want to empathise once more with all players, parents and coaches who had made the journey to Forster for the event and acknowledge the frustrations felt by many.
The decision to cancel at the time was not an easy one and was only made after hours of consultation and discussions both internally and with the NSW Government and whilst the Country Championships Committee explored all available options for alternative match play for those still in Forster and not locked down, this sadly was unable to be achieved due to the risks associated with it and the short time frame to turn things around.
The Tennis Country Management Committee have explored every possible option and scenario; however, we could not find space on the calendar within the school holidays to run the event again without greatly impacting other tournaments and events also planned for the school holidays. This is of great disappointment to the Committee as we have spent months planning the 2021 Country Championships. It was also the view of the Committee that unless we were able to fully replicate the event in its fullest sense, including all AMT and JT events, then it was the Committees preference to not reschedule this year’s event and work towards delivering a fantastic Country Championships in 2022.”
Tennis NSW Chief Executive, Lawrence Robertson said, “The past three weeks have highlighted once again, the challenges we are facing in seeking to provide competitive play opportunities for our playing group in NSW.
The Australian Ranking system is designed to provide access and opportunities for all players to develop their ranking across the State and the Country. Whilst we continue to see border restrictions and local lockdowns, then obviously the integrity of the Ranking system is compromised as there are many players in NSW currently who cannot compete.
These restrictions have been the primary reason for the lack of Platinum and Gold tournaments in the first half of the year as it is these levels of events that encourage both Inter-State and significant Intra-State travel. Something that we were trying to limit given that all States across Australia were experiencing a range of lockdowns and travel restrictions.
The calendar we are launching today was constructed without knowing we would be entering into a severe lockdown in Greater Sydney and we have considered how we best present this to the playing community of NSW whilst being respectful and understanding of the current situation.
We felt it was right to allow the players, parents and coaches an understanding of what the current schedule may be but I am sure you can all appreciate that everything currently outlined in the calendar is subject to change and amendments. To address these we have sought to set out some guiding principles that will help guide our decision making and provide clarity, transparency and certainty to all who are competing in and delivering these tournaments”.
In regards to any future COVID impacted events, including on-going restrictions on players to travel to compete, Tennis NSW will apply the following principles:
- Tournament Schedule & Calendar
To maximise playing opportunities for the NSW playing community, the intention is to stage all events currently planned for and scheduled on the Calendar. Should COVID restrictions remain in place, then Tennis NSW reserves the right to relocate the Tournament and/or change the AR status and points allocation.
- Tournament venue
Should restrictions remain in place that would impact a Venue’s ability to host a scheduled Tournament, no later than 14 days prior to the commencement of the Tournament, Tennis NSW reserves the right to relocate the scheduled Tournament to the nearest, most appropriate venue.
- Platinum & Gold AR Tournaments
Should restrictions remain in place that would impact a player’s ability to enter a Platinum or Gold Tournament, this Tournament will proceed however Tennis NSW reserves the right to implement the following changes in order to maintain the status of the event but minimise any inequity in the awarding of AR points;
- Downgrade the tournament to Silver status with corresponding points allocation
- Maintain the Prize Money levels intended for either Platinum or Gold
- Maintain the Official requirements intended for either Platinum or Gold
- Tennis NSW would subsidise any increase in Prize Money contribution from the Host Venue as a result of the reallocation of Tournament status
- Tennis NSW will reserve the right to make a final decision on the status and allocation of points for the Tournament up to the close of entries.
Players and Coaches are asked to note that entry into future AR tournaments alongside consideration for selection for Regional & Zone squads, State Teams selection and qualification for National Tournaments will all be based on player’s UTR rating. Tennis NSW have worked closely with the respective Regional Committees and across Metropolitan Sydney to ensure that the Calendar provides a range of competitive opportunities that will all be UTR verified.
These include the launch of the Roche Race to Sydney, the return of the NSW Premier League and Regional State League and a large number of Junior UTR and State UTR series events. All of which will take place through term time regionally to ensure there are plenty of opportunities for meaningful competitive tennis from August through to December.
View the competitive play calendars click here.
Please refer to supporting FAQs here.