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Honor the Game - Monday, September 29, 2014

Honor The Game

The USTA believes strongly in the importance of good sportsmanship and making tennis more enjoyable for all. Sportsmanship not only comes from the players, but also the spectators in the audience as well. In 2012 the US Open began rewarding a male and female player who recognizes the positive impact that athletes can make in promoting excellence in sportsmanship. As the focus becomes stronger on making sure the game is fair and friendlier, the USTA Southern Sections are now using this to help promote sportsmanship among the Jr. Players. This year at the 2014 Southern Junior Cup a new award, Most Valuable Player, was given to two juniors from each state. This may not have been the player with the best record, but the player with a decent record that also uplifted his/her teammates. Louisiana is very proud of their two players, Lily LaBiche and Greg Suhor who were recently awarded this great honor. LaBiche is an 8th grader from New Orleans, Louisiana and is currently ranked second in her age division in the state of Louisiana. Suhor is a senior from Mandeville, Louisiana who plays out of Franco’s Tennis Academy and is also a high school state champion. So in an effort to promote good behavior in Louisiana and sportsmanship in Jr. Team Tennis, we are starting our "Honor the Game” program at select junior tournaments across the state. A boy and a girl from each age division will be selected by the officials at the tournament. Examples of good sportsmanship include: A player assisting an opponent who was cramping or a player who offered one of her rackets to her opponent after the opponent had broken all of her strings. Officials may use their own judgment when selecting who the awards will go to, although recommendations of the parents or players may also come into play. Even in college, awards for sportsmanship are given out to players who show that they are willing to help their teammates on and off the court. If you have any questions about the new award please contact Tim Shoptaugh, Get in the Game!


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