Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tennis Dissolves in New Zealand

There are many aspects as to why tennis is not firing in this country.When Top Dog and now called Configure Rankings was introduced I questioned the method and the reasoning why TNZ implemented a Squash based ranking program.I wondered why no other tennis country has come up with this ranking based program.You can search my blog to find articles I have written.

Now there was a lot of serious question re tennis asked in the UK a few years ago but changes have been made and British Juniors are taking on the World.They had a Mickey Mouse rankings system before they decided to change. The LTA (England) developed a new system to run along side their rating system they said"The rankings system we have developed is a ‘points per round’ system based on tournament performance irrespective of opponent. This is the format most commonly used by other countries and the International Tennis Federation (ITF)"

Did you get the last part of that TNZ the format most commonly used by other countries and the International Tennis Federation! Not Squash New Zealand TNZ!

In world Junior ITF rankings New Zealand has one boy in the top 250 Cameron Norrie at 93 and one girl Emily Fanning at 74.The UK has 16 boys in the top 250 and Girls 6 in the top 250.

One of the important aspects that has been proven  is that a point by round system allows players and coaches to recognise the level and strength of an event and understand the ranking impact of success within any graded tournament. This in turn provides tangible and measurable goals for the player and allows the coach and player to formulate a competitive schedule that reflects the players’ long-term Development Plan

In my opinion the current rankings system is geared for the social club player who does not care about their rankings. Results speak for itself, the UK  fine tuned a system to produce good players.

Tennis NZ has failed to again listen to  what players and coaches say about the rankings system here obvious .oblivious that it has bore the jokes of many.New Zealand Tennis list TMS and the Grading system in their fixed assets of $103,000 , I wonder how much of that is the Grading System cost?

Does the current ranking system achieve these objectives

· Is it aspirational, allowing players to see where they sit within their peer group.

·  Does It support a simple grading and points structure that remains consistent throughout all age groups. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT POINT

· Does It encourages competitors to play up an age group when they are ready, without it having a negative impact on their ranking within their own age group

We all know that your points are accumulated based on who you play whether its a local club match or a National Tournament , we need to change this and measure the players on tournament performance.Adult players have incorrectly been loaded to high and are easy prey for smart juniors wishing to improve their rankings by beating one of these players.

The USTA  High Performance Division and the Youth Competition and Training Committee have concluded that a version of a points-based ranking system best addresses the specific objectives identified above and the overall goal of helping players reach their potential. By using tiered levels of importance we can weigh our events, assign regulations that help our juniors to compete often, and put the emphasis on advancing through the draw. The simple concept of having a player capable of categorizing an event, determining its level, and understanding the ranking impact of success in that event allows the player to understand what needs to be done. This is an invaluable asset in developing tangible and measurable goals that also help the player’s preparation and motivation.Sound familiar TNZ?

I guess our High Performance team disagree's .And if you live in isolation like the Southern region of New Zealand you are at a disadvantage because you are not able week in week out to play a Head to Head competition that favours players in the big city's.Did I not comment in my earlier article that the Board of TNZ have no idea what happens outside Auckland ...well I was not that specific but this article I am.

We continue to follow the same path we achieve the same results.

Configure THAT!



  1. It seems there's always so much bitterness in your posts. Do you actually know how many people TNZ employ in high performance? It's one full time person, yet you seem to infer it's a cast of dozens.
    No sports body is perfect that's for certain, even the organisations you quite often quote as the ones TNZ should.

  2. Thank you Anon , I would of called you by you first name or Net ID however you chose the easy option. I'm not sure if its bitterness or simply frustration , you dont think some of the issues raised here are relevant? I do know how many people TNZ employ , you are correct its not a cast of dozens? Would you say the Director has cast appropriately ?Being from Auckland you may have a different view.

  3. Tennis is my favorite game and love watching tennis and your post about tennis in NZ is bring me more interest about tennis. Thanks for this great post.

  4. Tennis is so far behind in New Zealand it really doesnt matter what ranking system they use. They have no chance against other parts of the world just look at their Davis Cup Team. The only place in new Zealand where tennis has potential is Auckland.

    1. You are certainly correct with your opinion where New Zealand sits to the rest of the world.Do you think there could be some hope if we could get in place some better pathways?Is Auckland really the last bastion? Maybe that could be the problem people only care what happens in Auckland.Thanks for your comment.

    2. What I am saying is that New Zealand is 10 years behind the rest of the world. The work ethnic isnt their. Some of the coaches are good but they don't stand a chance when they have to deal with Leslie Wilkinson and people like that who know nothing about tennis. Some of the lids have potential but your coming from the land down under. The USTA is not going to go to new Zealand to run tennis and the the people that work for Tennis New Zealand could never work for The USTA. Nice try KIWI's Stick to Rugby