INDIANAPOLIS A new NCAA proposal could change the way college tennis is played, and current players arent happy about it.
The move is intended to shorten matches with a new tiebreaker format and modify the NCAA tournament in hopes of giving the sport more exposure. The governing bodys Championships/Sports Management Cabinet will consider the proposal at next months regularly-scheduled meeting in Indianapolis.
If approved, starting in 2014, all singles matches would be contested in a best-of-three set format with a super tiebreaker used in the third set. The first player to get to 10 points and be ahead by at least two would win the match. Doubles matches would use a six-game set with a tiebreaker at 6-all, rather than having a tiebreaker at 8-all
In addition, warm-ups with opponents would be eliminated and the time between changeovers would be reduced from 90 seconds to 60 seconds.
Players dont like it one bit.
Stanfords Nicole Gibbs, the reigning NCAA womens champ, wrote on Twitter: I play tennis for tennis, not for tv coverage and frat boy attendance. Playing a tb for a third set compromises the integrity of the sport!
And the U.S. Tennis Association and Intercollegiate Tennis Association have said they intend to send a formal letter opposing the changes to the NCAA this week.
But in a statement, the NCAA contends the changes are merely a reflection of the memberships wishes.
The recommendations are based on consensus from Division I coaches that a change was necessary to reduce the current length of dual matches and to bring greater exposure to college tennis through fan support and media opportunities, while also not lessening the participation and preserving doubles play a priority for student-athletes and coaches alike, the statement said.
Opponents have started a Facebook page called Official-Against the changes to NCAA Tennis in hopes to influence next months vote in Indianapolis.
There is also a provision in the proposal that would reduce the number of days spent at the national tournaments finals site, from 12 to eight, and would create a new regional round. If approved, four teams, rather 16, would advance to the national finals. The semifinals and finals would then take place over the first two days of the tourney with the other six days used to determine individual singles and doubles champions.