Latest Episodes

Upcoming Episodes

November 25th - USTA Florida Foundation Support

Join USTA Florida Foundation Executive Director Alexis Johnson and Foundation President Donn Davis as they discuss how grassroots tennis programs provide lifechanging opportunities to those in local communities and how many have struggled to reopen and remain available since COVID-19.  The USTA Florida Foundation has options to help and we’re ready to debunk the myth that support is too difficult to obtain.

Connect on social:

Facebook Round Twitter round Instagram round

Support the USTA Florida Foundation online

Dec 2nd – 2021 Sectional Events

Join Christine Ducey, Director of Adult Tennis and Jason Gilbert, Director of Youth Tennis as they give a thorough review of what 2021 Sectional events will look like and what new and exciting things to expect.

Dec 9th – Officiating

How has COVID-19 changed the game for officials? USTA Florida Officials Committee Chair, Tracy Morgan and Immediate Past President Clark Higgs share their experiences and thoughts on 2021 events.

Dec 16th – Youth Tournaments and NG Circuit

As 2020 draws to a close, find out what you can expect from youth tournaments in 2021. Youth Tennis Director Jason Gilbert shares the latest on the new structure, safety guidelines and more!

Dec 23rd – You Asked/We Answer Podcast

In this end of year special episode, we ask Executive Director Laura Bowen questions that were submitted from the Florida tennis community.

Jan 6th – Adult Tournaments

We’re kicking off the New Year with a look at the new Adult Tournaments available in 2021. Our Adult Tennis Team and experts from USTA give us the latest updates on everything from NTRP to Super Senior Grand Prix.

Past Episodes

November 18th - USTA Florida Board Focus

USTA Florida 2021-2022 President Dana Andrews has assembled a stellar board and volunteer structure to build on the organization’s growth. Get the scoop on what she sees as the most important areas of focus and why she’s excited to serve in the coming years.
 
 

November 11th - USPTA Florida Focus

USPTA Florida President Joe D’Aleo joins our podcast to talk about how tennis professionals are navigating the return to tennis and how USTA Florida can help them grow even more in 2021.

USPTA FL Virtual Education Day

November 4th - Volunteer Opportunities

It’s official – the inaugural class of the USTA Florida Leadership Academy is graduating this month. We check in with USTA Florida Board Member Mary Conaway and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Jasmine Baptiste-Apena to see what new volunteer opportunities are coming in 2021 and how you can get involved.
 

Sign Up To Become A Volunteer Ace!

October 28th - Provider App Resources & Virtual Training

With the increased demand and need for virtual trainings and on demand resources for providers and programs, USTA Florida Training and Quality Assurance Manager Lori Burdell & Marketing Manager Stefan Burnett discuss new provider resources and trainings available through the USTA Florida provider web page and revamped app.

USTA Florida Provider Page

October 21st - LSA/FAU Virtual Adaptive Tennis

Love Serving Autism is excited to partner with the FAU Women’s Tennis Team to coach virtual adaptive tennis. Tune in as Lisa Pugliese-LaCroix – Founder of Love Serving Autism, Caroline Wheelen – FAU Women’s Tennis Coach, and Natalia Boltinskaya – FAU Women’s Tennis Team Player discuss the importance of community outreach for collegiate athletes to develop future leaders both on and off the tennis court.

October 14th - Schools Tennis/PE

Schools are back and with students working in a both virtual and in-person environment, what tools are available to help get kids active and moving with tennis? USTA Florida Community Play Coordinator Mag Holt gives an update on PE resources for teachers and parents.

October 7th - Serve Tennis Sanctioning

With sanctioning now open and a new tournament structure, USTA Florida tournament support staff discuss how providers can apply for events in 2021 and what changes they need to be mindful of when submitting their requests.

September 30th - NTRP Year-End Ratings

Join USTA Florida President Clark Higgs and Director of Adult Tennis Christine Ducey for a discussion and expert insights on the recent decision regarding NTRP Year-End ratings for 2020.

September 23rd - Campus Events: "Bobby Curtis" Green Ball Sectional Championship

Tune in as we check in with the USTA National Campus event team on what we learned from our first post-COVID sectional event and what players and parents can expect at this weekend’s Bobby Curtis Green Ball Championships.

September 16th - Private Club Challenges & Opportunities

Private tennis clubs face unique challenges and opportunities to grow in the post-COVID-19 world. Tune in as we get key insights from Chuck Gill, Director of Sports at the Club at Ibis, about how clubs can meet new demand and avoid potential pitfalls.

September 9th - Wheelchair Play

Wheelchair tennis is taking center stage on Ashe Court during the US Open this year. Tune in as we talk with USTA’s Wheelchair tennis committee and USTA Florida’s wheelchair project team about the resumption of wheelchair play in the wake of COVID-19 and get a preview of the new wheelchair tournament structure coming in 2021.

September 2nd - Adult Beginners

It’s been four months since we first talked about getting new beginners on the court in the post-COVID-19 environment. With demand for tennis at a high, we check in again with our Adult Tennis team to discuss plans for rolling out more Love to Learn/Love to Play programs across the state this fall.

Beginner Tennis Guidelines

August 26th - Adaptive/Special Olympics Florida

Tennis is one of only two sports that Special Olympics is set to resume this fall. Tune in as our Community Tennis team talks with Bankole Adebanjo, Vice President of Sports & Programs at Special Olympics Florida as we talk through the new guidelines and resources available for players and coaches.

August 19th - COVID's Effect on USTA Sectional Play

USTA Florida Executive Director Laura Bowen joins Delray Beach Open Tournament Director Ivan Baron to discuss COVID-19’s effect on the future of USTA Florida tennis.

August 12th - Future of College Tennis including Tennis on Campus

With colleges reducing in-person classes and college sports on hold, what will the future of College Tennis look like in Florida this year? Tune in as USTA FL Board member and St. Pete College Coach Phil Girardi shares his views with USTA Florida’s college tennis resident expert Andy Gladstone.

Tennis On Campus Statement

August 5th - High School Tennis

We continue our discussion of school tennis this week with the potential return to high school tennis play. Tune in to hear what three of our long-time high school coaches, Dede Allen, Todd Rubenstein and USTA Florida’s own Thad Hawkes, had to say about the prospects for play this year.

July 22nd - JTT Program

When and where will junior team tennis return to the Sunshine State? Youth Team Play Manager Elizabeth Coates is ready to bring this important program back this fall. Tune in to find out when and where you can play.

Click To Complete The Survey

July 29th - Schools/After-School

With Florida schools working on their return to the classroom, USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Danielle Gooding & Community Play Coordinator Magali Holt are working on keeping kids active in PE and After-School. Check out what they have to say about the return of teacher-run programs this year.

July 15th – Social Justice/Equality in Tennis

Former ATP Pro & Founder of the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, MaliVai Washington; and USTA Florida Diversity & Outreach Coordinator, Ron Lyons, share their insights on social justice & equality in tennis and how USTA Florida is amplifying voices that need to be heard.

July 8th – Adaptive Programs Podcast

Tune in as USTA Florida’s Community Team connects with Representatives from Special Olympics and Love Serving Autism to discuss guidelines for resuming adaptive programs and how coaches and volunteers can get training.

July 1st - Sectional Events

USTA Florida Sectional Events are making a comeback in August. Tune in to hear what we will be hosting next month at the USTA National Campus and what players can expect.

Click here for the outline

June 24th - Youth and Adult Program Restart Guidelines

With USTA Florida programs on target to start in July, what are the guidelines that players and providers will need to follow in order to resume play? Join us for two separate podcasts with our Directors of youth and adult tennis to hear about the new guidelines and where/when you can play leagues and tournaments in July. 

June 17th - USTA National Campus

What does it take to re-open a 100 court tennis facility? What will USTA Florida (and other entities) need to consider when hosting events at the USTA National Campus? We’ll tackle those topics and more with General Manager Tim Cass and Senior Director of Events and Collegiate Elissa Hill.

June 17th - Public Park Challenges/Opportunities

The public park system is critical to resuming tennis play in Florida. Navigating how to re-open a public park facility after COVID-19 is complicated. Join us for a conversation with Board member Marcelo Gouts, who will share his insights on how to bring tennis back to the parks, what he sees in terms of demand, and how we can grow.

Tournament Safety Guidelines

June 10th - Summer Camps at USTA FL Managed Facilities

With Florida facilities re-opening in June, the big question is how/if to run a summer camp. USTA FL Director of Tennis Management Frank Swope and Training and Quality Assurance Manager Lori Burdell discuss the new “normal” for youth summer camps at USTA FL managed facilities and what campers (and parents) can expect. Click the link below to see how USTA Florida Managed Facilities Summer Camps have changed this year for increased safety. 

Click Here For The Outline

June 3rd – Junior Team Tennis

When will Junior Team Tennis resume and what will players and parents need to consider? How will the suspension impact future seasons and the section championships?

Click For the Survey

May 27th – Community/Adaptive

What special considerations do we need to address for the special needs populations? How can families continue to play and stay safe? Will we be back in schools this fall?

May 20th – Youth Tournaments

When tournament play resumes, what can players expect? What changes/challenges can tournament directors expect?

Tournament Safety Guidelines

May 13th – Adult Leagues

What changes can players expect; what is USTA FL weighing in terms of local play and sectional events? How will the suspension of play impact future seasons and the sectional championships?

Adult & Social League Guidelines

May 6TH – Grants & Financial Support

How is the USTA Florida Section Foundation working to help get programs started again? What funding is available and what are the requirements?

April 29th – Adult Beginner Programs

How can new players find a court and get started after COVID-19

April 24th - BONUS Episode

USTA Florida President Clark Higgs joins the podcast for this special bonus edition. Hear what he has to say about the prospects for returning to play in Florida and what players can expect when returning to their local courts.

April 22nd – Tennis Management Division

Things to consider/plan for when re-opening your facility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tennis On Campus

To ensure USTA Florida is not putting any student at risk, we felt it was most appropriate to cancel the 2021-2022 TOC season.  

Yes, please contact your local play coordinator or club president to find out more ways to get involved in USTA Florida tennis.  

Find Local Play Opportunities

Please contact your club president to find out your school specific play options. Click the button below for Club contact info. 

Find Club Contact Info

General Play

It’s best to contact the facility directly for information. Some parks are still closed, and that information may be available on the city or county website. You can also call our staff at USTA Florida who will be happy to assist you.

The state of Florida does not have guidelines for playing tennis. However, USTA and USTA Florida are recommending these guidelines for playing tennis. 

USTA Florida recognizes that coronavirus has been affecting different parts of Florida in different ways and with different timing. USTA has issued safe play tips and recommendations for players and facilities, which can be found by clicking here.

This decision varies greatly. Local governments are a big part of the decision, especially with public parks. For clubs, it also can be up to the club board of directors, members and managers. 

Sectional Championships

Yes. Players are required to carry a picture ID with them for the entirety of the tournament. Random ID checks will be conducted by tournament staff throughout the event.

No, these events do not require COVID-19 testing as part of the protocol. However, each event will follow an established health and safety, and risk mitigation plan in order to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19.

Yes, all participants, spectators, and guests are required to sign a waiver and release before attending any events on the USTA National Campus and will be required to provide contact information to assist the state with its contact tracing program, if necessary. 

Yes, all must maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others, and practice recommended hand hygiene.

If a person develops COVID-19 symptoms before arrival at the Tournament, they should not travel to and attend the Tournament. They should report the symptoms to their healthcare provider to determine next steps. See CDC Publication: Symptoms of Coronavirus 

  1. Please inform the tournament director immediately if you begin to feel any of the following symptoms- – chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; new loss of taste or smell; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea; or new onset of headache, loss of taste/smell, fatigue, muscle or body aches.
  2. Seek immediate medical care if you experience the following symptoms: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face.
  3. See CDC Publication: What to Do If You Are Sick

If COVID-19 symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test develop within 14 days after the Tournament, for contact tracing purposes, report symptoms to your healthcare provider to determine next steps. All are advised to report this information to the Tournament Director.

All guests (players, captains, spectators, staff members, etc.) must fill out a health questionnaire provided before entering the Welcome Center; Please note: if a person is unable to meet the requirements of the health questionnaire, they will not be permitted entry. All must fill out the health questionnaire each day of entry into the National Campus.  

Click here for the guest health questionnaire – USTA National Campus

Yes, but the online health questionnaire is only valid for the day it is completed. The questionnaire must be filled out each day a person will be attending the event. The health questionnaire may not be completed the day before arrival. Please allow considerable extra time to be sure you will arrive to your assigned court on time. 

Players may register online prior to their arrival at the National Campus throughout the event weekend. See the Championship Page for information and registration link. NO CASH OR CHECK REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Players registering after the listed deadlines will not receive a t-shirt or raffle prize entry ticket. NO CASH OR CHECK REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

 

Only players registering before published player registration deadlines will receive the player gift t-shirt or raffle ticket to be distributed by the Captain. No t-shirt exchanges will be made, except to correct USTA Florida fulfillment errors.

 

Sectional EventPlay LevelTournament DirectorPlayer Registration Deadline
Mixed 40 & Over6.0/8.0Hoku Purcell-LangleyFriday, September 18, 2020 9:00am
Mixed 40 & Over7.0/9.0Desirae McLaughlinFriday, October 2, 2020 9:00am
Adult 55 & Over6.0/8.0Desirae McLaughhlinThursday, October 8, 2020 9:00am
Adult 55 & Over7.0/9.0Hoku Pucell-LangleyFriday, October 23, 2020 9:00am
Adult 40 & OverM4.0, M3.0, M4.5+, W4.5+Hoku Purcell-Langley & Christine DuceyThursday, October 29, 2020 9:00am
Adult 40 & OverM3.5, W2.5, W3.5Desirae McLaughlinThursday, November 5, 2020 9:00am
Adult 40 & OverW3.0, W4.0Hoku Purcell-LangleyThursday, November 12, 2020 9:00am
Adult 65 & OverAll DivisionsDesirae McLaughlinThursday, November 12, 2020 9:00am
Adult 18 & OverM4.5, W4.0, W5.0+, M3.5, M3.0, W3.5Hoku Purcell-LangleyThursday, December 3, 2020 9:00am
Adult 18 & OverM5.0+, W3.0, W4.5, M4.0, W2.5Desirae McLaughlinThursday, December 10, 2020 9:00am

To help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, all individuals on-site at the National Campus must wear a face cloth covering/mask covering their nose and mouth except while active on the tennis court. 

The National Campus Guidelines were created for “everyday programming.” While most of the information is applicable regarding “events,” such as the USTA Florida Sectional Championships, there are a few exceptions to the guidelines. Players will have to arrive earlier than normal for matches to ensure they have enough time to proceed through the temperature check station and fill out the health questionnaire. The Courtside Café will also be open during events.

Spectators will be allowed if the social distance guidelines are followed. Campus seating areas are limited (maintaining at least 6 ft. distance and avoiding congregating in groups of more than 10 people). To assist with finding players on court, there will be a digital display screen under the tournament building and will display the current players on the assigned courts. Court assignments will also be provided to captains prior to the tournament and will be available online.

Grab and go food options will be available for purchase at the Courtside Café. All Café hours of operation are subject to change and players should expect limited hours of operation. The Net Post Grill will not be open for this event.

Players will be responsible for their own equipment. You are encouraged to bring your own sanitizer and wipes. Players will be asked to supply their own mask, towels, water bottles, and any individual items that they need to compete. A handheld umbrella is very helpful to provide personal shade and to provide cover as all participants must immediately exit the campus during rain/red alert delays. Players may want to consider bringing their own thermometer to check their own temperature daily to avoid any surprises at the National Campus entry check point.

Water will not be available on court. Touchless water refill stations will be accessible and are located within walking distance of the courts. Ice machines are usually available but could be temporarily out of service. Bring a large refillable water bottle.

Yes, spectators are allowed if social distancing and National Campus guidelines are met.

In the event of rain or a red alert, there will be at least a 60-minute delay. Participants and guests will be asked to depart the National Campus immediately and will be provided with updates via text and/or email. You will not be permitted to stay inside the building or congregate anywhere at the facility. The server is responsible for retrieving and keeping the match balls for resumption of play. PLEASE BE SURE TO REPORT TO YOUR CAPTAIN BY PHONE OR TEXT THE SCORE OF THE MATCH, ANY GAME IN PROGRESS, AND WHO WAS SERVING, as you must have that information for your resumption of play, and they must report progress of match. Please bring paper and pen to assist with scorekeeping. Score tenders may not be available on court.

Tennis balls will be on placed court before the start of the match. There will be one can of balls provided per match. After the match has concluded, the players may keep the tennis balls or dispose of them properly. If a rain delay occurs the server is responsible for retrieving and keeping the match balls and bringing them to resume the match. Contact an official if there are issues.

There will be NO practice courts available! If you would like to rent a court, you may do so by calling the National Campus directly (407-675-2500) and reserving a court or by checking in at the Welcome Center front desk and reserving in person. Do not utilize courts that are not assigned to your team at any time.

Yes, your captain is a great information resource. They have been provided additional instructions. You may also check the appropriate USTA Florida Championship pages for your event to determine your event’s assigned Tournament Director.  

Please click here to visit your event page.

 

Hoku Purcell-Langley

Contact Information- purcell@ustaflorida.com 407-955-4988

or

Desirae McLaughlin  

Contact information- mclaughlin@ustaflorida.com 407-815-2193

Junior Tournaments

Please visit here for more information on the 2021 tournament realignment. 

“Bobby Curtis” Junior State Championships 12s & 14s Update

Due to the rising numbers surrounding the COVID-19 virus, USTA Florida has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Bobby Curtis 12’s & 14’s Sectional Championship, which was scheduled for August 15-19 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.  This was a very difficult decision to make.  However, the safety and well-being of our players, their families and event personnel are the first and foremost consideration of USTA Florida when hosting events.  

We will continue to monitor developments, including state and local guidelines, and issue guidance on future section events on a case-by-case basis.

For immediate questions or concerns please contact Jason Gilbert at (407) 965-3813 or gilbert@ustaflorida.com 

Will the Championship be rescheduled?

At this point we have not made that decision to reschedule due to the rise in COVID19 cases and the fluidity of the pandemic. 

Will we get a refund if we already signed up for the tournament? 

Your credit cards are only charged when players are selected to the tournament and no players were selected. 


Unfortunately, we are unable to move forward with this event as originally scheduled in June of 2020. We recognize how significant this tournament is to our Florida community and will look at all available opportunities to reschedule. With the intent of hosting the “Bobby Curtis” Junior Sectional Singles Championship in the Fall of 2020 we will communicate any further reschedule information when it becomes available.

The full statement can be viewed here.

Due to the suspension of play that began this past March and extended through June, over 50% of our Green Ball Qualifier/EDC Camp events were cancelled.  Due to the high number of cancellations ALL Green Ball Section Championship qualifying tournaments will be cancelled for the rest of 2020.

USTA Florida is planning to hold the annual Bobby Curtis Green Ball Section Championship in late fall and are in the process of finalizing plans.  Please check back on the Championship event listing in coming weeks for further information.

10 & under Green Ball tournaments will continue to take place and we encourage those of you who play those events to keep playing them. These tournaments will count toward Youth Progression. 

Upcoming Green Ball Tournaments Green Ball Championship Info

Junior Team Tennis

Unfortunately, the 2020 Summer USTA Florida Junior Team Tennis Sectional (USTA National Championship qualifier) and the 2020 USTA National Championship will be cancelled. We understand this is a difficult time for all involved and we apologize for the inconvenience this is causing.

The full statement can be viewed here.

Submit Your Question

Please use this contact form to submit your question(s) for Laura Bowen in our December 23rd Here To Serve Podcast episode.

Submission deadline: Monday, December 14th 

Top