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Thirty30 Tennis Blog - Dave Miley - 2018 Asian Tennis Coach Conference - Formats Scoring Etc.

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

At the recent Asian Tennis Coach Conference, Dave Miley, former Director of Development at the ITF (1997-2015), presented “What makes an effective tennis federation?”.

Among other topics, the presentation covered ‘Formats Scoring’ (includes Thirty30 tennis), ‘Play and competition’, ‘National Open Tournaments’ and ‘Adapt the product’.

A link to watch and listen to the relevant 3-minute excerpt is below.

A transcript of the 3-minute excerpt is below.

Dave Miley, Director of Development (ITF)

1. Formats Scoring

For me the big part of this user-friendly “Play and competition” is adapting the “Play and competition” to the needs and lifestyles of the customer and what a lot of people don’t appreciate is that the Rules of the ITF has changed a lot over the last number of years and there is many different formats and scorings that can be used.

You can play matches with tie-breaks, you can play short sets, you can play best of 3 sets playing to 4 games, you can play timed matches and there is even a format ‘Thirty30’ tennis where people are starting at thirty-all and playing 3 points to finish the game.

[T30 Comment – Note that games are won after playing 2 or 4 or 6 or … etc. points and not after 3 points – the No Ad rule is not used – Deuce and Ad points are played as per traditional tennis.]

So, there is many different formats which can then help you adapt the product to the needs and lifestyles, for people who have very little time, it can be one format, for people with a lot of time, another and of course mixing these formats and scoring with the social dynamics that we talked about before, what people want from the sport. But we need to see that we need to adapt the product to the needs and lifestyles.

2. Play and competition

And for me at the club level it is very important that the clubs are organising a calendar of events and not just at club level but all the way from international to national and club level and for me this should be at all ages and levels and of course all of the playing competitions should be linked to rankings at the highest level but ratings at the club level so people feel that they are moving up from a 6.2 to a 6.4 etc. and this motivates people to keep playing.

3. National Open Tournaments

For me as well at the national level it is very, very important I think for people to move away from the knockout system where for me it doesn’t make sense in a tournament where 32 players come on the first day and then 16 players go home after the first 3 or 4 hours.

You can imagine for the young child that comes with their friends to play the tournament and their friend goes home they stay.

We might think that they are happy because they are still in the tournament, maybe they’re miserable because their friend’s gone back.

So, for me, the placement system or the feed-in system where everybody plays a singles every day and at the end of the tournament there are different points for first, second, third, fourth all the way down to 31st and 32nd.

The other thing I think should be done away with, I think we should never use the word ‘consolation’ anymore or ‘lucky losers’.

These are terrible words.

What I want to call it is ‘placement matches’ and you treat all of the players with respect, so the player playing for 31st and 32nd place is still an important customer and they are being treated like that and maybe they sometimes play on the front courts and not on the back courts, but the key thing is every player is playing the same amount of singles matches.

4. Adapt the product

So, we need to adapt the product to the needs and lifestyles of the customer.

The customer is ‘never wrong’, so if the customer is not coming to the tournaments or is not buying the product of tennis, we need to adapt the product, either the content or the actual marketing or the packaging to make it more attractive.

A link to the full (29 minutes) presentation is here.

Dave Miley – What makes an effective Tennis Federation?

Since trialling of Thirty30 was launched all over the world at the end of December 2017 it has been receiving very encouraging feedback (now 170+) and this can be found on the page link below:

Thirty30 tennis – FEELS, LOOKS and SOUNDS like traditional tennis!

Thirty30 tennis – Where EVERY Point REALLY Counts!

Thirty30 tennis – Have You Tried It Yet?

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