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Third Set: Are you in favor of eliminating full third sets and having all matches play a match tiebreak? 


Other Coaches Opinions


Don Margoni

I am not in agreement to changing to a 10 point super-tiebreaker.  I feel if a player has taken steps to properly condition themselves prior to and during the season they should benefit from their hard work.  I feel it would be a disadvantage for the player who has conditioned himself to not be allowed to play a complete three sets.

On the other hand, I feel the committee should look at counting 2 three set matches in sucession as three matches during State tournaments to allow players time to recover between matches.  Conditioning can only help so much.  It seems unfair for one team to rest for 1-2 hours and then play a team that has just competed for 5-6 hours of play with only a 30 minute break between.  This would mean one additional match on a Saturday.  Even the pros would not do what we do.

Ron Landfair

NO. I am against this change.  It rewards a "hot" team, which may not necessarily be the "best" team as proved out over three full sets.

Larry Brown I believe we should play all 3rd sets out in duals, regionalÕs, and Finals. Using a tiebreaker for a 3rd set in regular season tournaments should be up to the school hosting the tournament. As to whether a tiebreaker or a full set should be used in Conference or league tournaments. It should be decided by the league.
Tom Kudwa No. Everything throughout the season is about getting ready for the playoffs. Playing out a third set at a Saturday tournament can be counterproductive. Two good sets and an intense tie breaker accomplishes that goal. But when it comes to crunch time, the playoffs, may the player(s) best prepared move on. Play it out...
Steve Bender

After coaching in Indiana this past fall, let me share this.  It is a state rule that in all tournaments that have three matches, the 10 point tie breaker must be used for the third set.  After running tournaments for over 20 years by playing out full third sets, I was initially against it, but after going through the process, I do like it.  In our 3 match tournaments, it seemed like all matches were so close in finishing and it was much easier to organize quads when 2 sites were used.  For duals and the state tourney, playing out the third set is a must.

Chuck Parker I'm in favor of full third set in dual matches, regional and state tournaments.
Terry Schwartzkopf I also feel that a third set tie break is an unfair indicator of performance. If decided in a quad or tournament prior to play, ok. But in terms of dual and MHSAA run tournaments it removes conditioning and stamina from the equation.
Jim Niebling

This discussion topic was added at my request. It is part of a MUCH larger issue in my mind concerning a need for more parity among tennis programs in high school tennis. If you are interested, take a look at my thoughts on the "parity" discussion topic. As for the issue of replacing the third set with a super tie-breaker, I would say this. It's not a great idea and has it's flaws: Disadvantaging the well-conditioned player(s) and deviating from "tradition", just to name a few. But it also has its upsides.

Anyone who has ever run a tournament will tell you horror stories about how a three-hour, three-set match or two made the tournament run WAYY longer than needed. As a result there is often that one flight that ends up finishing an hour after everyone else is done. So the first advantage to replacing third sets with super tie-breakers is simply logistics. Time management. Tournaments (and even duals, especially those played on fewer than 8 courts) could be managed much easier and more predictably. And who wouldn't like that on a hot Saturday afternoon after being at a tournament all day?

The second advantage is that it would likely be a small, unobtrusive change compared to some that have taken place in recent history. After all, many JV matches and week-day tournaments have gone to this format already, so the kids are already familiar with it. In fact, it's become so common at our place that kids often ask if they are to play out the third set or not when no overt instruction is given.

The third and most important reason is that it might be a small way to add some parity to high school tennis. As I tell my players whenever that's the format of the day and they just lost the first set badly, "hey, if you can find a way to win the second set, you stand a good chance of winning the match in a tie-breaker." In other words, it gives the weaker player a small incentive to give their best effort when it might have otherwise looked hopeless. In that way, the weaker player might steal a match or two that perhaps on paper they didn't really deserve. So yes, it disadvantages the stronger player. But the bigger issue here is creating more parity.

So while it certainly disadvantages some players, I think the upsides might very well be worth it.

Jim D'Angelo

I like keeping a full third set, not a super(match) tiebreaker.  It seems a fairer determination of the better player as far as overall skill, conditioning, etc.

Annie Murphy I feel a full third set should be played out especially in duals. If there is a time constraint or you are participating in an invite, a 10 point tie breaker for the set makes sense.
Dennis Jokela No, I am not for a tie break for the 3rd set. I think it would give the athletes the short end of the stick.