Update on League Play

No courts available for at least the first league season

Note: if you are not playing or planning on playing on a BTA league team this season, you can disregard this message.

In true fire drill fashion, the Colorado Tennis Association (CTA) sent out a notification to league team captains this morning that leagues are ready to start, and that captains must confirm their team’s status by tomorrow at midnight!

All very nice for CTA, which is responsible for tennis leagues throughout Colorado. But it ignores some  local issues that make it impossible for BTA to support league play, at least for the proposed CTA first season. Here’s CTA’s very cheerful checklist for starting league play, taken from their message today...

Unfortunately for BTA teams, the third and fourth boxes are NOT checked off for Boulder and surroundings.

City and County Government ordinances DO NOT allow league play

At the moment, illogical as it may be, all city and county courts still officially limit play to “members of the same household.” It’s one thing for informal tennis players to casually ignore this restriction, but quite another to host league matches with 12 – 16 players involved. Facilities across the League Area ARE NOT open and ARE NOT allowing league play

More importantly, because of the restriction against playing with people who are not members of the same household, Boulder Parks and Rec informed BTA several weeks ago that they will not rent out public courts for league play this year. As of now, that policy has not changed. In addition, we reached out to the Boulder Valley School District about playing league on their courts. Unfortunately, despite the fact the Centennial Middle School courts are no longer locked, as far as the School District is concerned they are still closed to the public through July 31st – so no league tennis there.

In short, there are no courts available for league matches and no way for BTA teams to host a match on a home court. That’s pretty much a deal breaker for league play. BTA league play cancelled for at least the first CTA season

Until this court situation gets resolved, league tennis will be impossible on Boulder public courts. CTA plans to offer two shortened seasons. Season one, the first roughly seven weeks, will include USTA Mixed 18+, USTA Adult 18+, USTA Adult 55+, and CTA Women’s Daytime Doubles. This is the one we will unable to participate in. Season Two, later this summer, will include ITA Mixed, CTA Twilight, CTA Adult 65+, and CTA Women’s Summer Daytime. Participation in that depends on the court situation getting resolved.What are some other issues around league play this season?

The BTA Board loves league tennis, and always goes out of its way to encourage more BTA members to join and play in a league. So we’re pretty unhappy with conditions not allowing us to hit the courts for league play. Just to make us all feel better, here are some issues that would have made this season less than ideal anyway…

  • The social aspect of tennis league will certainly take a hit this year. It would have probably been do-able to stand around afterward and enjoy a cold drink – at an appropriate social distance, of course – but sharing food would be problematic. And there’s a good chance that more players than usual will choose to bail immediately after the match.
  • Rocky Mountain Tennis Center and the Meadows have already opted out of playing league in 2020. And it is impossible to tell what level of participation there will be from the other local tennis associations and clubs. If there are significantly fewer teams, then there is an increased possibility of playing a team twice during a season and/or having to drive farther afield to play matches. Nobody should feel too bad about missing a trip to Denver during rush hour.
  • Also, there will be no playoffs or District matches at the end of these seasons. So if your be all and end all is making it to the big leagues, that wasn’t going to happen anyway this year.

Refunds and more

We will keep you informed on the status of courts as the second short season begins to roll around. In the meantime, BTA will be sending out refunds for our portion of this first season’s league fees. BTA receives $13 of the $39 fee, of which we’ll refund everything but the $1.43 non-refundable fee that PayPal charges us. So that means an $11.57 refund from BTA. The rest of your payment will be refunded by USTA, minus I’m sure some fee for handling on their end. That will be sent as a lump sum to your captain to distribute to individual players.

That’s it for now. Don’t forget to keep playing tennis!