MHSTeCA's Forum Page

Topic: The reality is that there are really two very different "worlds" of high school tennis in Michigan. One is the elite world which is composed of teams with USTA tournament players and the other is the world of teams without such players. The proposed reworking of the MHSAA tournament would create championship opportunities for teams from each of these worlds. Link to the attached documents for further explanation of one proposal to create a tournament where every school can compete against other more similar teams and thus hopefully, more invigorate Michigan high school tennis. (Click here for complete proposal.)


Other Coaches Opinions


Ralph Kridner

I do support a restructed state and regional.  I don't know how complicated it needs to be, but anything would be better then it currently is.  Schools like Ovid-Elsie High School have to travel about 40 minutes just to get to a tennis facility and most parents just don't have cash to spend on a regular basis.  So, the kids only play in the warm months.  Yes these kids are held back by the 4 kid rule and yes it stops them from competing at a higher level.  If you have money, you can grow your game.  Otherwise, the kids can only get so good and go so far.  That is why OE as a team only has a goal of competing at Conference.  Regionals and State just aren't realistic when I watch Portland, LCC and Williamston boys and girls at the indoor tennis facilities year round.  My kids aren't able to do this and although we go out and work over the summer.  I only have so much time I can dedicate to the kids and with only 4 at a time, it is very limiting.  We only go to regionals for the kids to get the experience.  We know we can't go past the second round and that was very clear in 2010.  OE boy's tennis had one of the best season ever last year.  At regionals they couldn't get a game off the opponents and it wasn't because of a lack of effort.  I also look at how some regionals teams that we beat get into states and we don't.  Even just reconfiguring the events would help.

Anyway, I do support a different layout and hope to see one sooner then later.

Don Margoni

I would find it difficult to monitor the guidelines regarding elite teams and non elite teams as indicated.  I do acknowledge that tennis is a sport that favors families who have excess income and can support their child playing indoors during the winter months and/or taking part in professional lessons.
There is a difference between taking part in a USTA tournament and being an elite player - and I feel some schools would be placed in a higher category based on players taking part and not their ability. 
Plus - if a team only had one or two players taking part in USTA sanctioned tournments that does not mean the team as a whole is strong.
I do agree that private schools seem to have an advantage.... perhaps we could do something simple such as using a multiplier to equalize the smaller private schools with public schools with more students.  Perhaps you could take the number of students at a private school and mulitiply their enrollment by 1.5 or appropriate number and they would play in that division.
The other way would be to look at schools who have qualified for State and see what their final standings were for the past 3-5 years.  If they were constantly in the top 5-10 teams every year they would be required to play up a level.
This would allow them to play competition at the level they deserve.
My current team has several players taking part in USTA events with several of the girls being ranked - with one player I would call elite and the others defined as very good players.  Even though I have an elite player it would be difficult for her to take a match from Detroit Country Day or East Grand Rapids.  The rest of the team are players who do not play tennis year round.  I do not get this type of group very often and would hate to have the team be punished for the rare time I am able to compete with the Country Days and the East Grand Rapids Group.
It is not often we get a chance to beat one of these teams but we really like the opportunity.