Should they do away with the age eligibilty rules? (aka Capriati rule) - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Should they do away with the age eligibilty rules? (aka Capriati rule)

We all know why this was introduced in 93/94 because of Capriati's burn-out from tennis.

But really don't you think now that if they can't remove it, they could at least lower the age to play full-time on the tour to 16.

I have seen many players complain about the rule (Anna, Dokic to name 2) but never seen anyone say about how great it was for them.

There have been no cases since Capriati, and she to be honest was a one-off, Hingis was the last player to take advantage of not playing under the rule in playing at the end of 94.

What are your views on this?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 06:41 PM
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I would love to see a 13 year old girl kick the top players' butts! I mean, if the talent is there, why not?
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 06:45 PM
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I know a lot of the young players are really held back by it, especially those whose game requires a lot of matchplay to hone, like Lina K. TBE's the one to ask, though.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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And the other problem I think is that when they turn 18 they over-schedule and play near enough every single week...and you can't blame them as they had been held back for playing when they want for so long...and I do think it doesn't help.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 06:49 PM
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Lina's suffering from it, had she been able to play fully last year, I have no doubts she would have made Munich.

It holds alot of players back but its for their protection really, some see it and others don't.


Take Dokic for instance, once she was clear of the AER rules she played every week until end of year, missing just Strasbourg and Shanghai due to withdrawals.

If she'd been say 15 and done that ...... thats where the problem comes in..... burn out.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 06:54 PM
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i disagree. i think for a 13 year old girl (boy) to leave their familly, friends, stable environment...and education at that age is stupid. your right it would be good for the game to see someone beat a top player but in the long run it could harm them..maybe not physically but mentally for sure. what these athletes do is amazing and i give them all my uttermost respect..constantly travelling, being away from loved ones always under pressure..from media, coachs, agents and in most cases there own famillys. i just dont think its right. kids need to go to there proms (in usa) or there cheesey disco (in the UK ) experiance the pressure of exams in a room full of people and all kinds of shit we do...i can say that cant i

i mean this is just my opinion and im sure theres gonna be a load of people who disagree with me but hey...thats what debates and discussions are!!

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Eggy, re. my post above yours, if players could play when they wanted imo they wouldn't over-schedule.

Dokic complained about the restricitions a few times and I really believe that if she didn't have that she would never have scheuled like she has done for the past couple of years. Players get frustrated and when they hit 18, they play as much as they can to get as many points as they can to push their ranking higher to a place where they feel it should be if they had not been restricted they are making up for lost time.

Kim did that for a little but I think she realised after a while the damage it could do.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Kelly, I see your point but I think if a player wants to be a world class tennis player it should be their choice and if necessary they can go back and get an education if that is what they want.

But really the older generation of players I can't think of any it harmed. But then this is just my opinion.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 07:02 PM
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Well, when Jelena turned 18, she was hungry to play! At 17, Capriati was yearning for a break.

I think young girls and boys should not be able to play full time until maybe 17. THis way, they get a taste..and it means more. JImmy Connors mom only gave him 15 mnutes on the court a daywhen he was young, to keep him hungry. Of course there are probably exceptions, but not for 13, 14 or even 15 year olds. Capriati was the exception. I do not think there are many 13 year olds that could beat top 10 players like Jen did. Jen was really the exception to the rule. I think it is good they changed it.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 08:00 PM
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The rule is totally useless without coordination with the ITF Junior, because when you take into consideration their Junior schedule and their limited WTA events they are already overexerting themselves. I checked the schedules of a few top juniors and most of them played more tennis than the average player on the tour when you add their junior and senior events.

So in essence the rule doesnt really accomplish anything. Only in sports is a child allowed to work these types of hours.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 08:34 PM
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This issue is older than 1994. Pam Shriver talks about teen "burnout" and possible rules in her 1985 book Passing Shots. As Shriver pointed out then(and it's still true)any age eligibility rules can be gotten around because of exhibitions.

There were rules limiting teens as early as 1990(it was known as the "Jaeger" rule then) and the WTA violated it's own rules by letting Jennifer go over the limit so she could qualify for the WTA finals.


I doubt that dropping the rules would make these young women play a more sensible schedule. Why?
For one, it's the parents who decide where they play in 90% of the cases. And few of them learn to reduce schedules even into their 20's until seriously injured.

One way to stop overplaying is to change the ranking system by going back to the averaging ranking system,or to reduce the number of events counting towards a ranking. Even these measures would have only a limited effect.

Whatever is done, the bottom line is the incentives are too great for parents, agents, and the girls(and I mean girls, not women) to usually resist temptation. Gone are the days when Chris Evert's parents limited her til she 18 she
finished high school.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 08:50 PM
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Burn out isn't just about the physical exersions (sic), but the mental ones too.

If there was no AER yes, the amount played would even itself out (ie it'd be unlikely you'd get the state of affairs with Jelena, once she was free of AER), but you have to consider how AER can potentially lead to mental scars.

Hingis was not restricted by AER, and she's turned out OK I hear you say?

Well, the simple truth is that Martina and her relationship with tennis approaches savant-like status and you can't expect player to have that kind of mental fortitude.

What happens to the Sonya Jeyaseelan to name but one example? Mental fatigue and injury. The vast majority of players can only dream of getting a career high rank of sub 50. And that's what AER tries to protect.

I know what people mean about 'if you're good enough, then you're old enough'. It was great to see Jennifer just totally whipping Martina's arse. Martina Navratilova, that is. But you can still have that with AER, it just safeguards the players against the weariness (... and young girls, they do get weary ) of the Tour.

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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 08:59 PM
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with the AER ruling, it has drastically improved the standard of the junior game.

but the juniors play too much and at the top level tourn they are expected to play 6 matches in 6 days as well as doubles.
ITF has also given an incentive to finish in the top 10 of end of year Junior ranks as this gives those players 3 selected entries into various levels of Challenger events.

Rollo ...... the AER ruling also affects exhibitions.
in their final year they are only allowed 4 exhibition tourns

16-17 3 Exhibitions
15-16 2 Exhibitions
14-15 1 Exhibition

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 09:10 PM
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What are the penalties for "overplaying" exhibitions TBE? And even if there are penalties, how are exhibitions defined? It just seems to me that no matter what the rules are, if there is a will then there is a way around ANY WTA rule.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2002, 09:17 PM
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Exhibitions are any Non-Tour event between two or more players

Penalties are stiff..... fines of upto $25K and/or being banned upto 6 months from all WTA/ITF events

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