How to get on a USTA league team
You might think that just wanting to play USTA
league tennis would be all that it would take,
you just sign-up and start playing.
It would be nice if it were that easy and
for some people it really is that easy.
Getting to play in a USTA
league requires that you get on a team and they
have only so many openings.
It's like the job market, sometimes
there's lots of job openings and getting a job
is easy and other times they are too few
openings and some people will not be able to
find a position no matter how hard they try.
Being a captain of an USTA
league team is a lot of work so the
people wanting to take on the workload of a
captain usually the limits the number of playing
positions that are available for any league.
are three ways to get on a team:
1) Contact the local USTA league tennis coordinator
and they either forward your contact info to the
team captains or the coordinator might give you the
contact info of the teams looking for players.
your tennis playing
friends and see if they can help you get on a team
by forwarding your contact info to their team
3) You start your own team.
For most people new to USTA league tennis the first
step is to contact the local USTA tennis league
USTA Tennis Coordinators for the Washington, DC area
Unless the league coordinator is running a few teams
they can't get you on a team, only the team captains
can offer you a chance to play on their team.
What they are looking for varies with each
team captain so just because a team has a few
openings doesn't mean that you'll get an offer to
join that team.
For example, last year's top teams will often
need replacements to fill the spots of players who
have moved up in their USTA ratings.
These very competitive team captains will be
searching for the best players they can find,
attempting to find players that can
help them win 1st place in the league.
A mid-level team might only need a few
players, but they often are not as picky as a top
team would be.
Teams at the bottom of the rankings will be
the least selective and offer the most chances for a
new player to find a opening.
The most opportunities are usually offered by
captains forming new teams.
They usually need a large number of players
and are more likely to take anyone they can get.
Of the three ways of getting on a team you should
first try method number 2.
With number 3, starting a team being the
Being a captain of a team involves taking on
a lot of responsibility, doing a lot of work, and
involves the financial liability for your team's
Only very experienced USTA league members should
consider taking on such a big job where the
negatives usually outweigh the benefits.
Method 1, should only be your backup plan if
contacting people you know doesn't work.
Most team captains will try and fill their
teams without asking for help from the league
coordinator if possible.
To find a team you should plan on starting the
search early; at least one month before the league's
Since that information isn't always easy to
find you can always use the
TennisLink website to map out the playing
calendar for the leagues in your area.
Look at the schedule for the previous year
and for the most part, the playing schedule should
be the same for the current year.
See how I've mapped out the schedules for
leagues in my area:
2009 NOVA USTA League Schedules.
Once you decide on the league that you want to play
in you can research whether anyone you know is
already playing in the league by going to
TennisLink and listing out the player rosters
for all the teams in the league.
Unfortunately you will be only be able to
contact those people that you already have contact
Team captains will usually try and fill their
rosters before the season starts so by starting a
month early you have a chance of finding a playing
slot before they are all filled.
Also by starting early you get to be a little
selective in that you can focus first on the teams
that you most want to join and if they don't work
out you still have time to try your second choices
before the season starts.
After the third week if finding a spot on a team
isn't looking good you should go to your backup plan
- contact the league coordinator.
There should be a few new teams forming and
those teams will probably be asking for help finding
people from the league coordinator.
After you get on a team it doesn't end there.
You never know if the captain will invite you
back next season or whether the team will continue
past a single season.
So you get to do it all over again and again
Unless you find a team that's a good fit and
it continues to be your team into the future.