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Age restrictions and mature Maria...

Maria's success has WTA officials examining age restrictions:


Larry Scott, the new chief executive officer of the WTA, said that he planned to conduct a review of the age eligibility restrictions put in place seven years ago to address concerns about players being placed under too much physical and emotional stress at too young an age.

"I think the principles of the rule are terrific and appropriate," Scott said. "But I think, like anything after seven years, times change."

Scott said the Tour had no intention of abolishing restrictions or of lowering the minimum age of 14. But he said that it would examine increasing the number of events permitted for players between 14 and 18. Under the current rule, a 16-year-old like Maria Sharapova may play 10 professional events as well as the Tour Championships and Fed Cup.

"The Sharapova issue has sort of raised the question," Scott said. "She's an example of someone who has had a lot of training and is very mature for her age and may be in a different situation than other 16-year-olds."


It's about time! :rolleyes: IF the rules make changes, all 14-17 yrs-olds players in the future will have to thank Maria Sharapova. :)
 

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Sharky said:
Age restrictions and mature Maria...

Maria's success has WTA officials examining age restrictions:


Larry Scott, the new chief executive officer of the WTA, said that he planned to conduct a review of the age eligibility restrictions put in place seven years ago to address concerns about players being placed under too much physical and emotional stress at too young an age.

"I think the principles of the rule are terrific and appropriate," Scott said. "But I think, like anything after seven years, times change."

Scott said the Tour had no intention of abolishing restrictions or of lowering the minimum age of 14. But he said that it would examine increasing the number of events permitted for players between 14 and 18. Under the current rule, a 16-year-old like Maria Sharapova may play 10 professional events as well as the Tour Championships and Fed Cup.

"The Sharapova issue has sort of raised the question," Scott said. "She's an example of someone who has had a lot of training and is very mature for her age and may be in a different situation than other 16-year-olds."


It's about time! :rolleyes: IF the rules make changes, all 14-17 yrs-olds players in the future will have to thank Maria Sharapova. :)
If there is someone who truly suffers from EAR, it is not Sharapova, it is Safina.
 

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No. Sharapova is not even close to good enough yet to win a Tier II, so there is no desperate need to get her more events.

The only way I would be in favour of allowing teenagers increased tournaments is if it is tied directly to playing less junior events. ie: Less than 10 junior events makes you eligible for one additional WTA, less than 5 junior events makes you eligible for 2 additional WTA and 1 additional Challenger.
 

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i think this is a good i dea as long as things don't get out of hand. but i think sharapova is only partly the reason for the review. i think another reason could be that they want to get ratings up and by allowing the young players to play more gives them more of a chance to get to the big events to play the top players. imo the thing that makes womens tennis popular is the youngsters (15, 16 and 17 year olds) playing the top players and causing some upsets. people like to see the future stars progress and grow up in-front of them. but i'm sure sharapova is why attention was brought to this issue but the changes will also be made for other reasons.
 

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I spoke with Joe Giuliano at Wimby and he wanted the rules changed, he wasn't happy with the situation, holding the players back.
This change has been pushed by Brad Gilbert/Joe Giuliano who got together with Larry at Wimbledon time and tried him to change things.
Both are rather peeved that their Tatiana Golovin has only 2 events until end Jan, and saw Maria do well and pushed their case.


banana said:
here we go Capriati all over again!
so all players under 18 end up like Jen :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
if that was the case, its more a problem with society rather than tennis.
 

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Oh please this is ridiculous. She has one good result and now people are using her as an example to lift the age restrictions. Nobody was openly complaining about it when she was 0-5 on the year in main draw tour events. I understand people's opinion on changing the rules, but I think needs to be enforced.

Case in point, Ashley Harkleroad. As soon as she turned 18, she went off and played something like 8 weeks straight. She ended up hurting her arm and even said after her first round exit at Wimbledon she was a bit overzealous and would need to schedule her tournaments more intelligently. What about Jelena Dokic, who plays in excess of 35 tournaments a year? It's not healthy to be doing that to begin with, but it's REALLY not healthy to be doing it when you're 15 or 16, which she obviously would be doing. I think it's a good idea to gradually get your feet wet on the tour.
 

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i think being 0-5 actually was part of the reason why they've decided to review it. in those matches she was competeing well against her opponents but was breaking down in the 3rd set. if she had played more matches and had more experience she may have won more of those matches. but at the same time if she had won those matches and gone deep into the tournament then they would not be reviewing things imo because she would be so much higher in the rankings that they would think that if a player was good enough then they would be able to deal with the limitations of the rule.
 

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Were those Age Eligibility Rules created after Hingis's first dominating year? I say it because I've looked up to her results and I'm seeing that she played like 17-18 tournaments in 1996.

Did they make an exception with her?
 

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sonfo said:
Were those Age Eligibility Rules created after Hingis's first dominating year? I say it because I've looked up to her results and I'm seeing that she played like 17-18 tournaments in 1996.

Did they make an exception with her?
No, actually the AER were already decided, but players born 1981 or earlier were "grandfathered" out of them. Serena and Anna for instance.
 

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disposablehero said:
No. Sharapova is not even close to good enough yet to win a Tier II, so there is no desperate need to get her more events.

The only way I would be in favour of allowing teenagers increased tournaments is if it is tied directly to playing less junior events. ie: Less than 10 junior events makes you eligible for one additional WTA, less than 5 junior events makes you eligible for 2 additional WTA and 1 additional Challenger.
why would they want to do this now?...
didnt Jelena beat Martina at 16?.....there wasnt no review for that..:rolleyes:
but exchanging junior and senior is a really nice idea,
another suggestion........
winner of a grade A tournament will get an extra WC
into a tournament as an additional WTA tournament,
so the Wimbledon Champ will get WC which gets
her into an additional tournie at courtesy of the organizer,
winner of a grade 1 will get one for, say 75K/50K WC
and winner of grade 2 will get one for 25K.....
winner of grade 3-5 get one for 10K.....
 

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TheBoiledEgg said:
I spoke with Joe Giuliano at Wimby and he wanted the rules changed, he wasn't happy with the situation, holding the players back.
This change has been pushed by Brad Gilbert/Joe Giuliano who got together with Larry at Wimbledon time and tried him to change things.
Both are rather peeved that their Tatiana Golovin has only 2 events until end Jan, and saw Maria do well and pushed their case.




so all players under 18 end up like Jen :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
if that was the case, its more a problem with society rather than tennis.


i am not saying that she will be Capriati no# 2, maybe i should have articulated myself a little betta :banghead: What i meant, iz that a athletes r people first, not entertainers. The Capriati rules r there so players don't bcome consumed by the pressure cooker thats is the sporting arena, and how do u know that she won't end up like Jen? Do u really want 2 risk Sharapova (or ne1 else) go through years of turmoil just so that she can play a few extra tournaments?
 

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the AER is an aberration.

The WTA has no business telling players how many tournament they have to play, it's up to them and their parents to decide, and if they make the wrong decision, it's their decisions.

Adults make wrong decisions as well, and some teenagers, and some fathers are actually capable of making good decisions and if they don't, it's their problem.

there are abusive fathers that want their children to succeed quickly and preasure them to play too much, so? there are fathers that hit their daughers (and worse), will the WTA intervene too?

that's part of the problem, the WTA doesn't know what its responsabilities are, they are not there to babysit the players, but to promote and organize the tour, the made a decision based on a few individual cases and they ruled about something they have no right to.

IMO the AER should be abolish immediately, it's unfair to players that have been restricted but to keep this absurdity won't do any good.

They should probably lift the rules in stages, for example, eliminate all restrictions for players aged 17 and reduce for player younger until it's gone.

As for the players that turned 18 or 19 this year, that would be in an unfair position, they should compensate them some way, like for example giving them wildcards to all tournaments they want to enter.

They made this mess and they have to get out of it, the problem is that they will never admit they messed up.
 

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These are just my run-of-the-mill thoughts, so forgive me if they're not totally organized ;)

It's obivous Masha is pretty special. Remember she had already won a WTA match (Miami 2002) long before her big performance at Wimbledon. One match does not make an entire career, but it can provide some coming attractions.

But, I'm not sure the rules should be changed just because of what Masha did at Wimbledon. Instead, I think they should be made more flexible, and sometimes be done on a case-by-case basis. Remember, some girls are more mature at 16 than others. Masha handled the spotlight at Wimbledon pretty well. She seems to have a level head on her shoulders. I don't think there's anything wrong with letting her play one or two extra events, especially if doing so would help her tennis improve.

But...for every Masha, there are 50 other 16-year-olds out there who want to play on the tour, but don't have nearly the talent or composure Masha does. They should be kept under the AER. Perhaps if a player goes above a certain ranking...say if a 17-year-old hits the Top 50, a 16-year-old hits the Top 100, you get the idea...then she should be allowed to have her tournament total adjusted. But a girl who's ranked No. 482 in the world, and is still playing predominantly junior events should be kept under AER. And no exceptions. Masha is in the Top 100 for a reason, and the other girl is No. 482 for a reason. They both should play at their own level.

And I agree with i_like_tennis, and to some extent disposablehero (even though he might not agree with my post!), that how much/how well you do in juniors should have an effect. If you do win the Wimbledon juniors, you should be allowed a WC into a Tour event. I don't know if that's a rule now, but if it isn't, it should be.

That's my two cents for now.
 

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disposablehero said:
No, actually the AER were already decided, but players born 1981 or earlier were "grandfathered" out of them. Serena and Anna for instance.
Actually, Anna didn't get grandfathered. I don't know about Serena - you wouldn't think so since she's younger. Maybe you're thinking about Venus? But Anna was under modified age restrictions; she was treated as one year older than she was. i.e. she got to play the amount a 17 year old was allowed at 16, and was treated as an adult at 17.

I'm against the AER. They aren't going to do anything unless you manage to find a way to restrict practice and exhibitions as well - even then, it's going to do more harm than good. At the very least, I think they should be modified. If the WTA must have them, I think they should allow about 15 tournaments for 16 and younger and maybe 18 for the year the player turns 17.
 

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Ha-ha it’s a men’s world. Anna K is over and out they(WTA marketing staff) badly need another looker as often as possible around. Look sells and this world is driven by money...
 

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I think that it is ok to play the wta, but it only makes me wonder as to why the wta would mess with the rules instead of trying to create a junior tour. This will give exposure to the up and coming players and rivalries and their own rivalries.

It's like having two wta. To make it more interesting it can own the tour and sell rights to espn or eurosport. Imagine having a rivalry like Maria and Ashley? Or add to the fact, the Samantha Reeves and whomever. I think the wta would be better off.

Before a player gets to the main tour they would have some exposure to the big matches, and have a chance to really learn the ropes without having to be overworked. Plus it makes the junior draw at grand slams more interesting.

With the junior tour, players should be given a chance to play on the wta by first reaching the top 20 in the junior rankings.........
 
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