League Scheduling

June 25th, 2006 by frvp

The Aspen Valley USTA league consists of a geographical area which includes Aspen, Snowmass, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs.  These towns are the main suppliers of teams that participate in the USTA Spring, Summer, and Fall leagues.  There is potential for more teams from other close-by communities in the future.  New Castle, Basalt, and Gypsum to a name a few.  I hear New Castle is looking to put in 4 hard courts in the near future.

The most important aspect of this geographical area is the proximately of the towns. They are all about an hour or less travel time apart.  This aspect makes the travel obligation for match play bearable for all the league teams involved.  With the cost of gas today, it is a significant aspect.

I signed up to play on a couple leagues this season.  I was excited to join the area tennis community and looked forward to some healthy competition.  The area USTA League Coordinator mentioned that towns such as Steamboat Springs may have some teams but since they are so far away they would be required to travel here.  I thought that sounded reasonable and the welcomed added competition to the league.

However, that is not the way it worked out.  There were teams singled out from the Aspen Valley that were scheduled to drive to Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge for their matches with the respective teams. 

Not only would the matches not be scheduled on the night that the leagues were supposed to be played, but rather on a weekend.  Also the mixed team would be required to play 2 back to back matches in Steamboat Springs.  That’s an all day event on a weekend involving over 5 hours a driving time. 

As captain I know our team didn’t sign up for that kind of schedule.  Despite my many attempts to reschedule, our team was disqualified from league competition for not traveling to Steamboat Springs.

The point is that towns like Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge and Crested Butte or any other town over 100 miles or over 2 hours away are just too far way.  Other teams are in the same situation and entire matches have been defaulted.  It just doesn’t work!

I feel for towns like Steamboat which have a strong tennis community but are just so isolated.  However, I really believe that far-way towns that want to compete in the Aspen Valley League need to come here for the matches and on the designated night not a weekend. 

They have or had a Vail Valley USTA Coordinator.  What’s up with that?  There is a lot of potential in the Vail valley with Vail, Dillon, Breckenridge, and Copper Mountain, ect..  Additionally, Steamboat Springs is much closer to Vail and Breckenridge. 

Finally, The USTA is a corporation and they are out to be profitable.  The league coordinators get a percentage.  I think it is about time they take a hard look at the player’s perspective.  Last I heard we still live in a democracy.

I really feel that at least 75% of the team participants in the Aspen Valley League would rather not travel to places as far away as Steamboat Springs especially on a weekend.

However, I need your help to get this point across to the USTA and local league coordinator.  I think if enough people voice their opinion either through a petition, an email, or phone call we can get them to re-evaluate league scheduling in this area.

I urge team captains to query their teams and pass the results to me or directly to either:  

Shelly Freeman – Local Area Coordinator (970) 927-7668 Sladvent@rof.net 

Bonnie Fluxman – Adult League Program Director 303-695-4116 x202 bonnie@coloradotennis.com 

Thank you,

Tim Brown – Petitioner 877-220-0276 frvp@yahoo.com   



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