Tennis Tournaments at Club Towers – The New Approach

11 January 2024

Last spring, we asked you, the members, for your views on how to improve our tennis tournaments and to increase participation. Here is a quick recap of your feedback and conclusions we drew ….

  1. Tournaments needed to be better defined as to which ability standard they are best suited to.
  • Members wanted guidance on their ability level relative to others.
  • We should ensure our annual tournament schedule includes some competitions that appeal to each playing standard so that we provide good choice and fair opportunities for players at all levels.
  • We should test the appeal of scheduling tournaments at different days and times – not just Saturdays.
  • We should provide a variety of tournament formats to cater for a wide range of preferences.
  • We should make it easier to enter tournaments.
  • The Club Championships and some other low-cost tournaments should be free to enter.

For the second half of 2023 we implemented some of the above steps while we made plans for the 2024 programme, and we also made some adjustments to the Club Championships in the autumn. The good news is that we have seen a higher level of participation in tournaments through this period (almost double the usual entry in the Championships), and we will now build on that through 2024.

After considering a range of different options, the plan for 2024 is as follows:

Club Championships

We will trial the introduction of Plate competitions for first round losers. These have been very successful in drawing increased participation for our squash and racketball events. Plates will operate in those categories where we have more than 16 entrants to warrant one. We will also run the Championships over a longer period in 2024 to give sufficient time for the extra matches to be played.

Finals Weekend of 12th/13th October will provide the added challenge of scheduling Plate finals too. Should be a lot of fun! The 2023 finals were very exciting and great to watch. This year we hope for volunteer members to officiate as umpires to call the scores after each point. You can let us know nearer the time if you are interested in volunteering.

Other Tournaments

The other ‘day or night’ tournaments we run in 2024 will be aimed at specific player groups, with enough variety to ensure that all levels are catered for.

The table below shows the tournaments programme now decided for 2024:

When?Event Name/DescriptionFormat
All Year roundBox Leagues and Box Race – Players arrange all their own games (unchanged from 2023).Singles
27th JanuaryStart-rite Tournament – Fun Social aimed at all players who attended Start-rite or Play-rite courses in last year. Saturday afternoon.Doubles
21st MarchTowers Cup – Invitational to A, B and Vets A Teams players. Thursday evening.  Hopman Cup style format – a mixture of singles and mixed doubles in round robin groups  
30th MarchFun Doubles Tournament – C, D and Vets Teams players and non-Teams players. Saturday afternoon.  Fun doubles event with rotating pairs.  
23rd MayCaptains Cup – A, B, C club team players Captains organised event. Thursday evening.  Team event, singles and doubles
20th JuneGrand Slam Singles Tournament – A and B Team players only. Thursday evening. 
5th JulyStrawberry & Pimm’s – Players of all abilities
Friday evening.
Fun doubles aimed at improver standard or above. Rotating pairs  
21st SeptemberFun Doubles tournament – C, D Teams players and non-Teams players. Saturday afternoon.  Doubles – players sign up in pairs.  
June to OctoberClub Championships – All players in main events. 1st round losers into Plate.Players arrange early round matches to a Finals weekend on 12th/13th October.  Singles and Doubles
December (tbc)Christmas Jumper Tournament – Players of all abilities.All abilities, rotating pairs, fun doubles