The 8 player UTR Compass Draw
After years of running different tennis tournaments and match play events, I now have my new favourite tournament format. Both as a developmental match play format but also as a fun, modern way to play a dynamic tournament in half a day.
We have never really hosted the multi day traditional tournaments. The time commitment, scheduling nightmares, player pullouts and in junior tournaments, the amount of parent anxiety has always put me off this style event.
Where there certainly still a place for these types of tournaments, I have enjoyed seeing the flair of new tournament formats that have sprung up such as World Team Tennis, Laver Cup, Tie Break 10s and Fast 4. Where players of course want to try and win the tournament, they want matches, with a variety of opponents and they want it to be smoothly operated with a good atmosphere. By leveraging the Universal Tennis (UTR) system you can run a fantastic 8 player tournament in 3 hours.
The DNA of our 8 player UTR.
Run on the Universal Tennis platform (UTR) + linked with your rating.
Global rating platform with ratings of players starting at 1.0 and going to 16.5. You can easily open tournament draws for those in a ratings band. Example 5.0 to 6.0 UTR rating. Universal Tennis is a solid platform to operate your tournament draws from and a good way to build your database of players who can be easily notified with new events.
Verified UTR Tournament – best of 3 sets Fast 4.
To verify your UTR Tournament and have points be counted towards your UTR, a best of 3 sets is required. Although I would prefer a traditional best of 3 set match, it will just take too long and wont fit into the modern, efficient, tournament format. The best of 3 sets Fast 4 (with a full Fast 4 set in the third) gives players a chance to come back and works well with this type of event. The Fast 4 rules of short deuce and no lets also applies.
8 players per division | Compass draw | 3 matches guaranteed.
8 players who will have a finishing place from 1st through to 8th. Players are fighting to finish as high as they can and these positions tell a story. To finish 5th for example shows they lost first round but then won the next two play off matches. This can be also run as 8 doubles teams with 16 players. Players will aim to play in the higher divisions where a higher rating is required.
Two seeds placed top and bottom of draw.
In Grand Slams there are 32 seeds in a 128 draw = 25% seeds. A top seed and second seed based on UTR decimal points will be placed at top and bottom of draw respectively. This will also be 25% placed seeds leaving 75% random placement.
Prize for 1st place.
I generally don’t support participation awards/prizes but philosophically I don’t think supporting Runners Up in an 8 player draw sends the right message either. These tournaments are about competing for three matches no matter what. Only one player will go 3 wins and 0 losses and therefore each division has one winner. No second prize !
A best of 3 sets Fast 4 between two closely rated players will take between 30 min to 60 min to complete. An average of 45 minutes can be allocated for each round.
- 9am – Warm up and welcome
- 915am – Match 1 Starts
- 10:00am – Match 2 Starts
- 10:45am to 11:00am – Match 3 Starts
- 11:45am to 12:00pm – Winner presented prize.
- 12:00pm – Tournament complete.
Future Plans with these events
Unique Venues – We currently base the UTR tournaments out of Scarborough Tennis Club and will continue to but at some stage we will be looking to expand these tournaments to new unique locations and facilities which have 4 or more high quality tennis courts. Given the format is all done in a block of 3 hours, players and their families can travel to the event knowing exactly what the schedule will be. You can easily play in 3 hour allotments with different divisions or if you have 8, 12 or 16 courts you can run 2, 3 or 4 divisions at the same time.
Bitcoin – Into the future I want to explore the option of higher level adult tournaments / UTR Pro events, to play off for Bitcoin instead of Dollars. I personally am a Bitcoin enthusiast even through the extreme price volatility. But Bitcoin is slowly making its mark in the sporting world. Imagine winning your division and picking up some satoshis (a fraction of a bitcoin) for your efforts. Players can always cash out but this would certainly be a unique selling proposition and a great sponsorship opportunity for a bitcoin lightning network company or crypto exchange.
Thanks for reading
The Art of Tennis