US Open National Playoffs Information

Overview

The US Open National Playoffs is a series of tournaments that gives any person 14 years of age or older who meets the eligibility requirements the opportunity to earn a singles wild card entry to compete in the US Open Qualifying Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, August 24-27, 2010. Participating USTA sections will run a men’s and women’s Sectional Qualifying Tournament between April 1 and July 5. In 2010 there will be a total of 16 men’s tournaments and 16 women’s tournaments. Players will compete in a single elimination singles draw played to the best-of-three tiebreak sets. Players in the draw will not be seeded by any means. The winner of each men’s and women’s Sectional Qualifying Tournament will advance to the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s and Women’s Championship, which will be held in conjunction with Olympus US Open Series Tournaments this summer. Dates and locations will be announced shortly. At each US Open National Playoffs Championship, a maximum of 16 players will compete in a single elimination singles draw played to the best-of-three tiebreak sets with the winner receiving a singles wild card entry to compete in the 2010 US Open Qualifying Tournament.

Player Eligibility

By nature of the US Open National Playoffs concept, the Sectional Qualifying Tournaments are as inclusive and open as possible with the following guidelines & restrictions in place:

• Players must be 14 years of age or older (as of 8/30/10).

• Open to Amateurs and Professionals.

• U.S. citizenship is not required.

• No domicile restrictions for players.

• A player must be a current USTA member and must maintain his/her membership through and inclusive of August 30, 2010.

• All players must be in good standing with the ITF.

• Able/non-able bodied players may compete and shall abide by their respective rules of play.

• A player may only enter and compete in one (1) Sectional Qualifying Tournament during a calendar year.

• Participation in the US Open National Playoffs will not impact a player’s ability to secure a 2010 US Open Qualifying or Main Draw Wild Card or receive a Direct Acceptance into the 2010 US Open.

Match Format

All US Open National Playoffs matches will be singles only with a single elimination draw played to the best-of-three tiebreak sets. If the Referee needs to take steps to shorten the tournament (i.e. due to inclement weather, health concerns, or safety concerns) to keep the tournament on schedule, the event may switch to any other scoring method (i.e., No-Ad Scoring, 10-Point Match Tiebreak in lieu of final set or Pro Sets) with prior approval by the National Tournament Director or authorized representative.

Seeding/Draw Size

The draw size at each Sectional Qualifying Tournament will be a maximum of two hundred and fifty six (256). Tournaments may not cap the draw size below the two hundred and fifty six (256) maximum. Players competing in a Sectional Qualifying Tournament will not be seeded by any means. The draw at each tournament will take place no later than two (2) days prior to the start of the tournament.

The draw size at the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship and US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship will be a maximum of seventeen (17) but dependent on the number of Sectional Qualifying Tournaments. The top four (4) players competing in a US Open National Playoffs Championship will be seeded using their international professional computer rankings (if any). If less than four (4) players with international professional computer rankings are competing in a US Open National Playoffs Championship, then only those ranked will be seeded.

Dates of Play/Times of Play

All Sectional Qualifying Tournaments will take place between April 1, 2010, and July 5, 2010. Click here for a complete schedule. Sectional Qualifying Tournament matches will neither start nor a suspended match resume before 8 a.m. or after 10 p.m. The US Open National Playoffs – Men’s and Women’s Championship will be held in conjunction with Olympus US Open Series Tournaments this summer. Match times at each US Open National Playoffs Championship will be communicated to participating players in advance.

Surface Type

All Sectional Qualifying Tournaments, the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship and US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship will take place outdoors on hard courts.

Entry Fee

The entry fee for each Sectional Qualifying Tournament will be $125.00 plus a processing fee.

USTA Membership Requirement

All players competing in a Sectional Qualifying Tournament must be current members of the USTA and their membership must be valid through 8/30/10. Players who need a USTA membership or need to renew their existing membership will be directed to do so during the online registration process for the tournament. Adult players (i.e., participants 19 years of age and older) will be offered an Introductory Rate one-year membership for $30.00. Players age 18 and younger will be offered a one-year Junior membership for $19.00. New/renewed memberships shall be valid for one (1) year from the date of submission. Players can compete in any Sectional Qualifying Tournament regardless of their membership section.

Entry Process

Entry for each Sectional Qualifying Tournament must be completed online through www.usta.com (TennisLink). Click on one of the USTA sections under Sectional Qualifying Tournaments on the main page for information on their tournament and a direct link to register for the tournament.

Entry will be open no later than thirty (30) days prior to the start of the tournament (but no earlier than February 1) and closed no later than ten (10) days prior to the start of the tournament. After entry has been closed, the tournament shall run the “Lottery Selection Process” via TennisLink which will automatically accept all entries if the total number of entries into the tournament is less than or equal to two hundred and fifty six (256). If the total number of entries into the tournament is greater than two hundred and fifty six (256), then the “Lottery Selection Process” will automatically determine accepted online entries at random. A player’s entry fee will only be processed if he/she is accepted into the tournament. All players accepted into the tournament will receive an email notification via TennisLink indicating as such and will be posted online once the “Lottery Selection Process” is run. All players not accepted into the tournament will receive an email notification via TennisLink indicating as such once the “Lottery Selection Process” is run. The draw will take place no later than two (2) days prior to the start of the tournament. Entries will not be refused on the basis of race, creed, sexual orientation, color, or national origin.

A player may enter only one (1) Sectional Qualifying Tournament. However, if a player is not accepted in a Sectional Qualifying Tournament once the “Lottery Selection Process” is run, then the player will have the ability to enter another Sectional Qualifying Tournament that still has open registration (if any). If a player withdraws from a previously entered Sectional Qualifying Tournament prior to the entry close date, then the player will have the ability to enter another Sectional Qualifying Tournament that still has open registration (if any). If a player withdraws from a previously entered Sectional Qualifying Tournament after the entry close date, then the player will not have the ability to enter another Sectional Qualifying Tournament that still has open registration (if any).

All players are required to complete a “US Open National Playoffs Player Release and Consent Form” prior to the player’s first match. The release can be downloaded during the registration process. Players will be asked for this form upon check-in at the tournament.

Player Withdrawal

A player may withdraw online before the entry close date without penalty as a player’s entry fee will only be processed once the “Lottery Selection Process” is run through TennisLink after the entry close date and he/she is accepted into the tournament. A player may not withdraw online after the entry close date. If a player withdraws after the entry close date by contacting the Tournament Director, he/she is not entitled to receive a refund. A player should not withdraw from a Sectional Qualifying Tournament except for illness, injury, personal emergency, or previously authorized entry into another tournament.

Match Officials

The regulations for the US Open National Playoffs are The Rules of Tennis as published by the International Tennis Federation (ITF Rules of Tennis). Early rounds of each Sectional Qualifying Tournament will be player-officiated with a minimum of one (1) Roving Umpire for every three (3) courts in use plus one (1) Referee or one (1) Deputy Referee present at all times while matches are in progress to handle player disputes. Players shall follow The Code in all player-officiated matches. Each quarterfinal match will be officiated by a Chair Umpire plus three (3) Line Umpires; each semifinal and final match will be officiated by a Chair Umpire plus five (5) Line Umpires. All matches at the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship and US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship will be officiated by a Chair Umpire plus five (5) Line Umpires. Electronic review will not be used at any Sectional Qualifying Tournament. The USTA reserves the right to determine if electronic review will be used at the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship and US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship. The use of ballpersons at each Sectional Qualifying Tournament shall be at the tournament’s discretion. Ballpersons will be utilized for all matches played at the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship and US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship.

Role of Court Officials

In matches where a Chair Umpire is assigned, the Chair Umpire will be the final authority on all questions of fact during the match. The players have the right to call the Referee or Deputy Referee to court if they disagree with a Chair Umpire’s interpretation of tennis law. In matches where Line Umpires are assigned, they make all calls relating to that line. The Chair Umpire has the right to overrule a Line Umpire if the Chair Umpire is certain that a clear mistake has been made. The Chair Umpire is responsible for calling any line or net where no Line Umpire is assigned.

Clothing/Shoe Restrictions

The Tournament Director will determine any reasonable restrictions related to clothing and/or shoes for their Sectional Qualifying Tournaments and communicate such restrictions to all players in advance of their participation. Shirts must be worn by players at all times while matches are in progress. Players who compete in the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship, US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship and/or the US Open Qualifying Tournament will abide by all US Open clothing/shoe restrictions. These restrictions will be communicated by the Tournament Director to all players in advance of their participation.

Match Rest Periods

At the end of each set at all Sectional Qualifying Tournaments, there will be a set break of one hundred and twenty (120) seconds. The minimum rest between matches will be sixty (60) minutes which may be extended by the on-site Referee at his/her discretion. No player will play more than two (2) singles matches per day. A match will neither start nor a suspended match resume before 8 a.m. or after 10 p.m.

Ball Type/Ball Policy

Wilson is the official ball of the US Open National Playoffs and Sectional Qualifying Tournaments. The number of balls for play at each Sectional Qualifying Tournament match is four (4). Ball changes during the early rounds will take place at the beginning of the third set. Ball changes during each quarterfinal, semifinal, and final match will be at nine & eleven. Players at Sectional Qualifying Tournaments are not guaranteed balls for practice.

Prize Money/Awards

Given the amateur status and/or age of players eligible to compete in the US Open National Playoffs and Sectional Qualifying Tournaments, prize money will not be awarded at any Sectional Qualifying Tournament, the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship or US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship. The winner and runner-up of each Sectional Qualifying Tournament will receive a trophy and the winner will receive an invitation to compete in their respective US Open National Playoffs Championship. Should the winner of a Sectional Qualifying Tournament elect not to compete in the US Open National Playoffs Championship for any reason, the runner-up of the respective Sectional Qualifying Tournament will be invited to attend. Should the runner-up elect not to compete in the US Open National Playoffs Championship for any reason, the tournament will waive their Sectional Qualifying Tournament spot in the respective US Open National Playoffs Championship. There will be no additional entry fee required for the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship or US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship. All players competing in a US Open National Playoffs Championship will be responsible for all costs and expenses associated with their participation (e.g., travel, accommodations, meals, etc.).

The winner and runner-up of a US Open National Playoffs Championship will receive a trophy and the winner will receive an invitation to compete in the 2010 US Open Qualifying Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, August 24-27, 2010. should the winner of a US Open National Playoffs Championship elect not to compete in the US Open Qualifying Tournament for any reason, the runner-up will be invited to compete. Should the runner-up elect not to compete for any reason, then the winner of the playoff match for third place will be invited to compete. Should the third place finisher elect not to compete for any reason, then the fourth place finisher will be invited to compete. Should the fourth place finisher elect not to compete for any reason, the designated wild card will be used at the USTA’s sole and absolute discretion. The one (1) male and one (1) female player who accepts the wild card entry into the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be responsible for all costs and expenses associated with their participation (e.g., travel, accommodations, meals, etc.). Anyone competing at the 2010 US Open must sign a standard entry form before being allowed to compete.

Anti-Doping

The USTA believes that the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with and contrary to the best interests of the sport. While the USTA is committed to ensuring a fair and drug-free competition, Sectional Qualifying Tournaments will not require or administer any drug testing. Players and Tournament Officials participating in the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship or US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship may be required to undergo drug testing at the respective tournament. Players who receive a wild card entry into the 2010 US Open Qualifying Tournament through the US Open National Playoffs may be required to undergo drug testing either as a result of governmental or other binding regulations imposed upon the event, or as a result of a drug testing program that is approved and applicable to all players competing in the 2010 US Open.

Anti-Gambling

All players competing in the US Open National Playoffs and individuals associated with the operation and/or management of the US Open National Playoffs must refrain from participating in or aiding and abetting, directly or indirectly, any form of gambling or betting on the outcome of any tennis match staged in connection with any professional tennis event, including but not limited to all events associated with the US Open National Playoffs and other USTA events.

 
 
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