A: Take a look at the LTA yearbook as welll as the other information you'll find under the Juniors section of this site. Review the Tournament and Ranking Regulations. In these regulations, you will see how Louisiana uses a point per round ranking system for its players. Also, you will see what tournaments a player needs to play in order to get a ranking.
A: This is a tough one. Parents know their children and can best decide whether their child has the interest, demeanor and maturity to play. Consultation with your child’s tennis coach is also probably a good idea. If your child wants to play a tournament, has a basic understanding of the game, and can keep score, then the time may be right to play. Louisiana has tournaments for just about every age and skill level. Our hope is that your child enjoys the experience and will want to play more and more tennis as he/she gets older. Therefore, it is important that the tournament experience is fun and rewarding regardless of wins or losses.
Q: My child is starting to play tennis and wants to compete in tournaments. What tournaments should I consider entering?
A: For most players starting out tournament play, the best ones to enter are the "Grand Prix" events which have "ranked" and unranked" divisions. The "ranked" divisions usually have the more experienced and advanced players. The "unranked" divisions usually have players who are in the beginning phases of playing tennis and competing in tournaments. The unranked divisions are designed to get beginning players’ "feet wet" in tournament play.
Also, there are a number of good state tournaments which are not classified as "Grand Prix" events, but would also be fun to participate in. These tournaments are designated Level 3 events in Louisiana.
Q: What is the point per round system and this stuff about tournament levels?
A: A player is ranked based upon the total number of points earned in his best four Louisiana tournaments. Points are earned by winning matches and reaching certain rounds in a tournament. The more important the tournament, the more points a player can earn. Louisiana has tournaments classified as Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4. (See PPR Table and Explanations on Junior Website). In higher level tournaments like Level 1 or 2, more points can be earned. Usually, these tournaments attract the more advanced and experienced junior players. Louisiana’s only Level 1 tournament is the Louisiana State Closed Junior Qualifying usually held in early June. This tournament brings the best players from all over Louisiana - sort of like the "Wimbledon" of Louisiana junior tennis. Since this is a Level 1 event, a player who does well will earn more points than reaching the same round in a lower level tournament.
Louisiana has four tournaments, two in the spring and two in the fall, which are "designated" tournaments and classified as Level 2 events. These are also known as "state championships." Play in at least some of these events is required to obtain a state ranking (see Rule No. 9 of Junior Ranking Regulations).
Most of the Louisiana tournaments are Level 3 events. These are usually weekend tournaments that are played all over the state during the year. "Grand Prix" tournaments have both ranked and unranked divisions in each age group. The ranked divisions are Level 3 with the unranked divisions Level 4. Players who are just beginning to play tournaments or who may not have much tournament experience may want to enter the unranked divisions to get their "feet wet" in tennis tournaments.
To obtain a year-end state ranking, a player is required to play in certain tournaments during the year. Take a look at Rule 9 to see what is required.
Q: My child has played a few tournaments and wants to continue to progress in the sport. What should be my plan?
A: Again, the nature and extent of tournament play can best be decided by the parent and player. If the player has a coach, then the coach should be consulted.
Much depends also on the level of success enjoyed by the player. If the player is succeeding at Level 3 events then playing in Level 2 events and even playing the Louisiana State Closed Junior Qualifying, would be good experience.