From APTA President Tiernan Cavanna

I hope you have had a wonderful summer, traveling, playing summer paddle, or sitting on a beach somewhere fondly remembering your greatest paddle victories of 2018-2019. While I had my fair share of relaxation and spent some time thinking about my last 128 consolation reprieve loss, the APTA board, staff, committee members, and I have also worked very hard this summer to bring you some exciting changes for the upcoming season.

Our sport is continuing to grow and evolve and the APTA board believes we have the opportunity to extend this growth by opening up tournament play (including the National Championships) to players of all levels. We are also keen to bring our biggest tournaments to new geographies to help accelerate growth in those locales.

Based on positive feedback from our partnership with Paddlescores, the PTI rating system, and multiple conversations with players at every level, we are excited to bring you the following changes to the Men’s Tour this year:

 

  • We have scheduled an entire series of PTI Nationals at every skill level.
  • The Grand Prix tournaments have the option of four different types of draws.
  • The 2020 Men’s Nationals will have two draws—one draw for the top 64 teams that qualify and an open draw for PTI 5+ men.

 

For this season, the new PTI, Grand Prix, and Nationals formats only apply to the men, but we certainly haven’t forgotten about the women. Currently, women’s draw sizes generally aren’t as large as men’s draw sizes and women’s leagues haven’t yet adopted the PTI rating system as quickly as the men’s leagues. We hope this year will build some more momentum. Once we have more women using PTI data and we have gathered input from our female players and the Women’s Players Committee, the APTA can roll-out similar tournament formatting changes for the women.

I recognize that some of you might be hesitant to change anything about our wonderful sport, but we promise to make every effort to be completely transparent and will give it our absolute best to execute these changes in a fair and thoughtful manner. You can find more details on the APTA website, but as always, I am available to talk and would like to hear from you if you have thoughts or ideas. I am all for making changes driven from the bottom up, not the top down.

Cheers—Tiernan

 

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