An update from Tennis SA on the return of seniors tournaments in South Africa in 2020:
GROWTHPOINT SENIORS SUPER SIX SERIES
We are delighted to confirm that Growthpoint will be giving TSA Seniors a generous sponsorship, despite the pandemic. We have therefore decided to introduce a “Growthpoint Seniors Super Six Series”.
- The series will include the six biggest seniors tournaments and will culminate in one male and one female seniors player winning a trophy for the highest number of titles achieved across the six tournaments. The titles will include singles, doubles and mixed doubles The last of the six tournaments will be Gauteng East in Jan 2021 and the trophies will be presented at the Growthpoint Seniors Nationals in March 2021.
- The tournaments included for 2020 will be Boland, KZN, Gauteng North, Eden, Cape Town and Gauteng East. These tournaments will still be Category B tournaments and will receive a sponsorship of R10,000 each.
- All other Category B seniors tournaments can strive to replace the smallest of the six if they achieve a higher number of entries for two years in a row.
- The entry fee will remain at R420 for ALL category B tournaments, but any transformation player wishing to play these events may do so at the lower entry fee of R250 by applying in writing to [email protected].
- Remember too, that any first-time seniors tournament players receive FREE MEMBERSHIP and pay R250 for their first tournament for Category A, B or C tournaments.
GROWTHPOINT SENIORS TRANSFORMATION TOURNAMENTS
The Seniors Transformation Sub-Committee have decided to host two GROWTHPOINT one-day seniors doubles events and three GROWTHPOINT seniors two-day tournaments before the end of 2020.
- The doubles events will be the “Growthpoint Seniors Bababedi Shootouts”. One will be held in Kwa-Thema and one in Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni. (Bababedi means doubles.) They will be run in a round robin format for one day only. They will be social events so will not be counted for ranking purposes. Anyone may enter via SportyHQ. There is no entry fee but a small fee may be charged on site on the day of the event to cover costs.
- We are also introducing a “Growthpoint Abadala Series” of tournaments (Abadala means Seniors in Xhosa and Zulu) to be held in Kwa-Thema, Atteridgeville and Soweto. These will be Category C ranking tournaments held over two days only on weekends. Matches will all consist of three short sets with sudden death deuce and only singles and doubles will be played. Players will play two singles and two doubles matches per day, depending on the size of the draws. These tournaments will be piloted in Gauteng for two years and then rolled out to other provinces if they prove to be popular. The entry fee will be R250 and entry will be via
RETURN TO SENIORS TOURNAMENTS
The return to competitive tennis needs to be slow with reduced numbers and shortened formats. The NSC has therefore decided that no official seniors ranking tournaments will take place before 24th September 2020. There will only be one doubles event, the “Growthpoint Seniors Babaledi Shootout” hosted before that on 19th September in Kwa-Thema, Ekurhuleni. The first two official seniors ranking tournaments to be hosted will be the “2020 Growthpoint Seniors Super 6 Boland” and the 2020 NWP Seniors in Potchefstroom. It is hoped that by then Inter-provincial travel will be allowed but there is no guarantee of this. I have attached the seniors calendar which includes all the ranking tournaments we hope to host between 24th September 2020 and the 31st January 2021.
TRAINING ON SPORTYHQ
This was one of the NSC’s goals for 2020! Johann Greyling will be training interested people on how to open tournaments, create draws and schedule seniors tournaments on SportyHQ. Training will begin in Jhb Gauteng prior to the 2020 Growthpoint Seniors Super 6 GN event. Interested people in Gauteng are asked to email Johann at [email protected]. If there are any interested people, including qualified Referees, from the other eight provinces keen to be trained, then please let Johann know and we will make a plan to schedule training around seniors tournaments in your province. Please note that this is not an official Referee course, but purely informal training around using SportyHQ and scheduling seniors tournaments, which is complex given the number of draws for the different age categories in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. (Between 50 and 55 draws in large events.)
INTER-PROVINCIAL TOURNAMENTS AND THE YOUNG SENIORS MASTERS
All these events will be scheduled in 2021 at a similar time and at the same venues as originally scheduled for 2020.
ITF SENIORS WORLD TEAM EVENTS
All three ITF Seniors World Championships events will be hosted at the same venues in 2021 as planned for 2020. The dates for the ITF Seniors World Championships in Boca Raton, Florida, will be from 25th April to 8th May 2021. The teams originally selected for this event in 2020 will remain as selected for 2021 except if a player moves up a category, in which case their selection will no longer be valid. If reserves were selected for any of the teams in place of withdrawals then they will remain selected. Any other reserves that were nominated will also remain reserves if they wish to in case of any withdrawals. Any necessary replacements thereafter will be selected from the ranking table published after the Eden Seniors tournament in December 2020. The dates for the other two World Championships have not yet been announced by the ITF.
The ranking was last published after the Growthpoint ITF Seniors Nationals in March 2020.
- Ranking points earned from January 2020 to 23rd March 2020 will remain and be replaced when these events are played again in 2021.
- Ranking points earned between April 2019 and September 2019 will be carried over to 2021 for any events not played in 2020.
- Ranking points earned from 24th September 2020 to 31st December 2020 will remain and will be replaced when these events are played again in 2021. If any tournaments planned for September are not played because of travel restrictions, then the points earned in 2019 will be carried over.
- IPT bonus points will be carried over until they are played in 2021.
Government Regulations will take priority over all planning mentioned above and we will need to make changes to the calendar in line with the status of the Covid-19 Pandemic if necessary. Players will be issued with a short list of regulations specific to the hosting of Seniors Tournaments during the pandemic. These regulations will be in addition to the general regulations for the return to tennis that are included in the attached TSA COVID-19 INFO PACK.