Posts Tagged ‘The United States Tennis Association (USTA)’

The United States Tennis Association (USTA)

February 9, 2011

As a financial professional and former ATP Tour tennis player, I maintain strong ties with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and have served as a board member of the USTA.

 

With over 700,000 members worldwide, the USTA serves as the governing body of U.S. Tennis. USTA got its start in 1881 as the United States National Lawn Tennis Association, at a time when tennis was primarily played on grass. The organization switched to its current name in 1975, long after lawn play had been usurped by hard court competition.

 

USTA is organized into several geographical affiliations, including New England, the Midwest, the Southwest, and northern California. Within each chapter, USTA is organized into leagues representing a wide range of ages and playing abilities, from Junior to Super Senior. This system allows the efficient organization of local teams, leagues, and competitions suitable for the ages and makeup of member participants. USTA also maintains the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP), a self-rating system ensuring evenly balanced play in USTA tournaments.

 

The arm of USTA I am most involved with is the charitable and philanthropic USTA Serves. The organization provides a mix of college scholarships for well-motivated student athletes and educational programs fostering tennis and life skills. I am very heartened at the way USTA has helped the popularity of tennis grow among all segments of American society, encouraging at-risk youth and people with disabilities to compete on and off the court.

 

The USTA is currently experiencing tremendous growth, mirroring renewed interest in tennis throughout the U.S. Among sports, tennis has been a leader in growth this past decade, according to Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association data, witnessing an incredible 40 percent increase in participation from 2000 to 2008. This places tennis well ahead of sports such as football, baseball, and ice hockey, all of which experienced participation declines.

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