Congratulations to everyone on the completion of another fabulous season in RCRL. About 1400 women competed in our “alphabet” divisions (Open A through C1), about 270 of you played in either Masters I or II, and about 90 of you played in our new “just for fun” division called Grandmasters. That’s a lot of tennis!
It was a transition year for all of us as we operated under a set of rules that were substantially changed from prior years, and as we began using the dynamic rating system for placement of players. The rules changes and the rating system presented some challenges, but I could not be prouder of the way that all of you responded to these changes. Were there questions? Yes. Was there confusion at times? Yes. Were there complaints? A few. But, overall you handled this with grace, cooperation, respect and good humor. As proof of that, please let me point out that not one grievance was filed this entire year! This is noteworthy indeed. Thank you all for your great spirit and sportsmanship. It really was a remarkable year!
Your Board has been paramount in making this year a success. Please take the time to thank your division director and co-director for their hard work. Fielding your questions has taken a great deal of time, but your directors have been unfailing in working with their captains and teams. Thanks also to Marie McCauley and Katy Andrews, and all the co-directors, for arranging for the terrific year end luncheon at Churchill Downs.
The Rules Committee has completed its work on changes for next season, and the changes, while not very many, are important. All captains, please review the new rules completely. They will be posted shortly on RCRL.org, the website you should be visiting regularly, if they are not posted already by the time you read this. While the division directors will be reviewing these at the captains’ meeting before the season begins, it is the responsibility each captain to read and understand the rules on her own as well.
Here are some highlights of the rules for next year:
- We will continue to use the dynamic ratings, and the ratings cutoffs for each division remain the same as they were this year.
- There are minor changes regarding when one may or must get a pro verification. A significant change is that any player who has not played for 3 consecutive seasons may opt for a pro verification if she feels her dynamic rating is no longer an accurate measure.
- The “transition rules” for this year are no longer in effect. As a result, players are not limited to one division in moving either up or down, and Open A players who choose to do so will be allowed to move down if their ratings are appropriate for them to do so.
- The winner of the A1 division will not longer be exempt from the “move up” rule and will be required to move to Open A the following year.
- The penalties for violating the rules on bathroom breaks, which we adopted during last year, now appear in the rules document.
- Rosters will close seven days before the first match of the season and the first match after the holiday break, rather than midnight the night before. This will allow division directors to complete their check of the proper division placement of players before play begins. This is an important change; don’t get caught by it.
- While we have always had teams who become short of players due to injury and whatever, we heard this more than we usually do this year. Importantly, we often heard of teams losing players because they were returning to work or changing jobs. In response to that, the Board felt it important to allow teams more flexibility to add players during the season. So, next year, under limited circumstances, teams will be allowed to add players in October, November, February and March (in addition to at the holiday break). There is a strict procedure to follow for doing that, which is set out in the rules and which you should read. But, assuming that procedure is followed, you will be able to supplement your rosters, up to the regular maximum number of players, in those designated months.
- We hope that the C2 division will be revived again this year. Letters of intent for C2 will be due on June 15, like in other divisions.
- Each division co-director will be required to call a division meeting to solicit suggested rule changes, before the rules committee meets in January.
- The Grandmasters division, as a “just for fun” division, is not addressed in the rules, but we expect it to continue for those players who will have reached their 60th birthday before the end of the season. Our most mature players actually have the opportunity to play in three divisions – an “alphabet” division, Masters I or II, and Grandmasters. Don’t you ALL wish you were at least 60? As one who knows, Grandmasters is a lot of fun, and if you are eligible, you should try it. There will be more communication about that in the future.
We hope everyone has a wonderful summer and plays lots of tennis, and that we will see you back next year. Please keep these two important dates in mind:
Letters of intent for ALL teams are due by June 15. They must be filed on the form provided at RCRL.org and sent to the current (2011-2012) division director for the division you are seeking to play. If you don’t know who that is, you can find out on RCRL.org. Also, please copy the director of your current division, if you are seeking a division change. The Board will meet to decide division placement on June 18.
- Waiver requests for players who are seeking relief from playing at the division mandated by their rating (that is, players “forced to move up”) will not be heard until the July meeting. There is a stringent standard for waivers which is very difficult to meet; any player considering seeking a waiver should review that standard, which is in the rules, and talk with her division director. No waivers to “play down” a division were approved last year. Teams should keep this in mind in deciding which division they seek to play next year.
Finally, I am proud to announce that RCRL has made a donation to Raise A Racquet Foundation, administered by the Kentucky Tennis Association. Our gift was made to assist in the recovery efforts of the Morgan County High tennis team and the tennis community inWest Liberty,Kentucky, after the tornado severely damaged the tennis facilities earlier this year.
It has been a pleasure serving as your president. Please support Cindy Rose as she steps into this role for next year.
With warmest regards,