League Report 2021
Thank you to everyone for participating in the league this season. Ideally, we would have preferred to play a full season, however the only safe way that included everyone that wanted to play, was to run a half season instead. Thank you to all clubs for supporting this approach 100%.
As it turned out this was just as well as emerging from lockdown took us straight into Easter. Even at this stage we were still facing restrictions accessing indoor facilities which were not released until mid-April. This meant staggering the fixture schedule to accommodate this plus the usual intra club matches as close to the beginning of the season as practical.
A lot of our usual activity felt different to normal. The Cups competitions were held as planned, but the North Devon Tournament had to be deferred from March to September, so unusually, activity that would not normally overlap has.
There were a few occasions where matches had to be postponed & rearranged due to covid. Thankfully the number was small. Thank you to the affected teams for being understanding and dealing with the date changes.
92% of results are in with 311 participating players. This compares to 94% and 436 players in 2019. This drop in participation, we believe, generally reflects the wariness of players not wanting to return to tennis or competitive competition straight away. We obviously hope that the players we have not seen will gradually feel comfortable in returning to play during 2022 as we also hope it will be possible to run a full program of events in the order, they normally occur. Indeed, all tournaments that were postponed or cancelled over the period will be welcomed back to the calendar.
From an LTA perspective the return to play and competitive competition did not quite align with the furlough scheme. At times it meant that the LTA appeared to lag behind the requests for leagues and tournaments setup. Since the furlough scheme has been wound down the service appears to be back to usual response times. The LTA continue to work on changes to their computers systems. The next major change is the release of the ITF World Tennis Number (WTN). Essentially this replaces the old ratings system with one that provides a separate measure of player ability for singles and doubles players. Players WTN number will be updated weekly and will accept results as short as a single set. Particularly useful when playing a match that is stopped due to bad light. Up to four years of results will contribute to your WTN. Another major difference is that 132 countries are adopting this system, so if you take your racket with you on business or holiday there is a chance, you’ll be able to play someone with the same WTN as yourself. I hope this can be a catalyst to persuade more players to join the LTA Advantage scheme as only the free version is needed to participate.
15 October 2019
North Devon Club Forum
5 October 2019
North Devon Presentation Evening
This was a forum for all Devon Clubs and covered the following: -
Meeting the Devon LTA Team
Each of the team explained their roles. It is good to see the faces behind the names and to witness their enthusiasm.
How to grow our Club Memberships
This is one of the most important questions of our generation.
We talked about –
Being more aware of who is out there
We can help each other
Every Club has unique selling points
Competition is good. It tells us what we are good at and what we can improve.
This is a mapping tool that is available to all Clubs that attend the forums.
This interactive toolkit contains information about our clubs that is based on the kinds members we have.
It also tells us who we have in a 10 to 20-minute driving range of our clubs and our club’s potential.
There is an LTA guide that helps you understand your members and how to find more of them.
I was initially sceptical of attending but I have to say this is the most useful forum I’ve attended in ages. Seeing actual information about tennis club members, how to find more of them and to receive direct help from Devon Tennis must surely be of interest to all clubs.
The next forum is about Club Finance.
It’s important to send along the right people. Are your contact details up to date?
Please contact the county office if you are not sure at firstname.lastname@example.org
NDLTA Dinner Dance and Presentation Evening
This year’s event celebrated North Devon Tennis League’s 50th anniversary and took place at Portmore Golf Club. The decorations and quiz reflected events of 1969 and Liz Booth from ARC produced a fabulous slideshow of past and current players and news clips over the years.
The guest of honour was Paul Ley who was playing in the League’s first year as a 15-year old (and is still playing first division tennis now, and represents Devon in the 65’s age group). Paul’s lovely speech was a celebration of North Devon Tennis League and players over the last 50 years – some no longer with us. He looked forward to the next 50 years, and proposed a toast to the League.
After the meal and coffee, there was a cake made by Zest Home Catering (Bella Leonard and Bev Trapnell) which was distributed to everyone in the room along with a glass of sparkling wine for Paul Ley’s toast.
The presentation of trophies to the winners and runners-up of both Divisions and the Pete Stacey, Knockout and Houldsworth Cups took place before the evening was rounded off by a disco so everybody could dance the night away.
Braunton Club ran the raffle and Teresa Poole also did a second “squares” draw whose prize was the refund of the ticket price for the evening. The raffle and the draw raised £284. As with previous years, some teams donated the cost of their trophies to charity. This resulted in an additional £456 being raised which, along with the raffle draws and profits from the event, allowed the League to donate £390 each to the two nominated charities – “Annabelle’s Challenge” (Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) and “Over and Above” (North Devon Hospital Cancer Centre).
The Presentation Evening’s sub-committee was ably organised by Teresa Poole and included – Chrissy Walsh, Liz Booth, Sara Milburn, Julia Sloman, Sue Hunter and Debbie Chaffe
29 September 2019
Di Govier Tournament
Given the awful weather conditions, we were very fortunate to play on the indoor courts at ARC, as the courts were available, and also that we were charged a discounted price because of the event's being run in aid of a charity.
There were 7 pairs (8 until Sunday morning when one was unable to come), so in the morning session 1 box of 4 played 10 games, and box of 3 played 14, all using sliding handicap.
As always we stopped for a shared lunch, which is as ever a great social occasion, and an opportunity to enjoy some fantastic food provided by all the competitors.
In the afternoon session the winners of each box - Ally Poore/Jinny Stapley and Cath Andrews/Jenny Doig, played out a final, using level scoring. It was very tight, Cath and Jenny finally winning the 3rd set championship tie-break 10-7.
We ran out of indoor court time half way through the 2nd set, so the match was completed on the outside courts, as by now the weather had turned out fine.
All the other players had a few quick games playing those pairs they hadn't come up against in the morning, and then watched the latter stages of the final.
A good day had by all.
We have raised over £120 for the N Devon Hospice
28 September 2019
Nexus Junior Tennis Tour U16 Boys
This was a new event for ARC to host. The Nexus series of tournaments are set up to enable players of a lower rating to enter tournaments without playing against higher ranked players. The ratings cap for Under 16s is 8.1
This tournament attracted 8 entrants, 4 from ARC (of whom for 2 it was their first ever tournament) 3 from East Devon and one from Cornwall. The boys all played 3 matches each using the new Fast Four rules which came in 1st September.
The best part of this tournament was the excellent sportsmanship on court from all 8 players and the fantastic support shown by the parents in encouraging their children even when the going was tough!
There was no outright winner as all the scores are entered onto a Leader board with the top 8 children being invited to a special Finals day at the end of the season. There are 7 more of these tournaments in the circuit across Devon and details can be found on Facebook by entering Nexus Junior Tennis Tour.
There is also a circuit for Under 12’s (mixed) again sponsored by Nexus and ARC are hosting one of these on January 11th.
22 September 2019
British Tour FAST4 event at Tarka Tennis Centre
Sixteen aspiring tennis players from across the South and South West region made their way to Tarka Tennis Centre in Barnstaple to compete in a British Tour FAST4 Open Mens Singles event on 22nd September. FAST4 is an abbreviated scoring format which means an event can be completed in one day with each player having up to four matches, with not a lot of rest in between!
The final was contested by local player Rupert George, aged just 14, and Nikolai Marin, 16, from Middlesex. Both players are highly ranked nationally in their respective age groups and the final was a real battle between two talented individuals. Rupert was the more aggressive with his shots whilst Nikolai soaked up the pressure with some excellent defence and countered with precision when he had the chance. Nikolai took the title on this occasion but Rupert was a worthy Runner-up.
Local players included Lewie Parker, Bruno Alvarez and Alex Styles.
It is hoped that more events like this will be offered by the LTA to North Devon in the future.