Riverside Tournament

The Event

Weybridge LTC has a rich history of bringing members together to play some socially competitive tennis in an organised way.

In recent years there has been the American Tournament, organised magnificently by Geoff Mullins. As he passes on the baton, Geoff will continue to be involved as a player and supporter of its successor, the new Riverside Tournament.

The Riverside Tournament will continue the social aspect of the American Tournament, and the tennis format will be different.

The inaugural Riverside Tournament will be played on Monday 30 August 2021 from 12 noon to 5:00pm, and will be help in memory of Susan Pettinger.

Refreshments will be available, with further details to follow.

The Teams

The Riverside Tournament involves 4 teams, and allows more members to be involved.

Each team will have its own colour. In the inaugural tournament, the colours will borrow from our history and be Red, White and Blue (American) plus Green (from the grass courts of Wimbledon).

Each team in the Riverside Tournament has 6 players, and a captain (who may or may not be a player).

Team names will include the team colour, and will be chosen by the captain and team members.

Team names for Bank Holiday Monday, 30 August 2021

  • Red Devils – captained by Janice Blanchard
  • White Concorde – captained by Geoff Mullens
  • Blue Demons – captained by Patrick Gibbon
  • Evergreen – captained by Jeri Journeaux

 

The Tennis

In the Riverside Tournament, each player will play 5 doubles sets, each with a different team-mate.

Sets comprise exactly 8 games, so each player gets to serve twice.

  • Don’t stop if a team gets to 6
  • Keep going until all 8 games have been completed
  • The final score can be 4-all, or 5-3, or 6-2, or 7-1 or even 8-0
  • There is no tie-break

Games involve a short-deuce, so they don’t take too long.

  • A short-deuce means that a maximum of 3 points are played once deuce at 40-all is first reached
  • That’s right, if the game goes to deuce a second time, then a golden point will decide the winner of the game
  • The receiving team is to select the forehand or backhand court for the sudden-death golden point

 

The Competition

There will be 7 rounds of tennis in the Riverside Tournament.

Each player plays a match in 5 rounds, and has 2 byes.

During your bye rounds you can socialise, cheer on your team mates or rest for your upcoming matches. Whatever suits you.

Each set is for exactly 8 games. The winning team earns 2 competition points, whilst the losing team gets 0 points. A set ending in a tie at 4-all will result in both teams earning 1 competition point each.

Team scores are tallied through the day and will be available for all to see.

At the end of all 7 rounds the winning team will be the one with the most competition points.

In the event of a tie, the winner will be the team with the most games won.

If it’s still a tie, then there will be a play-off involving a championship tiebreak. Where possible, this will involve the respective captains and a team-mate. However, the specifics will be determined on the day by the organisers and remaining captains.

 

The Players

The inaugural Riverside Tournament is open to Full Members and Young Adult Members.

  • Long-standing members and newcomers
  • Women and men
  • Leading players and the rest of us
  • Left-handers and right-handers
  • Older members and younger members

Later Riverside Tournaments may be extended to Mid-week Members and Juniors.

 

The Captains

Each team has a captain, who can be a playing-captain or a non-playing captain.

Captains are involved in helping to organise the event.

They ensure players are distributed evenly between teams.

They setup their team WhatsApp group.

Prior to the day, they make sure their team is focused, ready to play, are wearing their team colours, and have chosen their team name.

On the day, they lead, inspire and encourage their team to thrive in the socially competitive spirit of the day.

Should a tournament play-off be required, playing-captains will be involved.

 

The Comparison

With many members previously playing in the American Tournament, it might make sense to look at the similarity and differences with the new Riverside Tournament.

  • Let’s start with the similarity. They are both a way for members to play an afternoon of socially competitive tennis in an organised way
  • The American Tournament (AT) involves 20 players whereas the Riverside Tournament (RT) has 24 players
  • AT has sets of mixed doubles; RT has sets of doubles
  • AT has equal numbers of men and women, and doesn’t work as well without it; RT welcomes equal numbers, but doesn’t require it
  • AT is a competition for individuals; RT is an event for teams
  • AT sets are 7 games; RT sets are 8 games
  • RT matches are all scheduled prior to the day; AT determines each match after the result of the previous round of matches
  • AT has 5 rounds (typically) with players on-court for each round; RT has 7 rounds, with each player playing 5 sets and having 2 byes (for extra socialising)
  • RT players will play 5 sets with 5 different partners; AT players invariably have the same parter for some of their sets
  • RT players will play against 10 different opponents; AT players invariably play against several of the same opponents through the day
  • RT aims for each doubles pair in a match to be of a similar standard; AT doesn’t have this aim
  • AT prefers to have matches involving 2 men and 2 women; RT can have matches involving 2 women and 2 men, 3 women and 1 man, 3 men and 1 women, or 4 players of the same sex
  • AT is disrupted by no-shows or players opting-out late; RT is disrupted by no-shows or players opting-out late

FAQ

How do I get involved?

  • There are 3 ways of getting involved
  • Nominate to play, to enjoy an afternoon of socially competitive tennis
  • Nominate to be a captain, to get involved in organising and inspiring your team
  • Just come down and spectate, and enjoy the social side of the day

How are players organised into teams?

  • The organisers and captains take great care to ensure teams are as equal as possible, yet players are allocated randomly
  • The important elements are to 1) determine an equal spread of playing talent, 2) get  an equal gender balance, 3) give priority to those that signed-up earlier (subject to steps 1 and 2), if a surplus of members have nominated, then 4) allocate players randomly into teams
  • Ideally, teams are organised and announced a week prior to the event

What happens if more than 24 members want to play?

  • Some members will miss out on playing
  • Sign-up early if you want to maximise your chances of playing
  • Those who sign-up later than other players of a similar playing level are at risk of missing out
  • Members who miss out will be invited to be on the reserves list
  • If you miss out on playing, you will have priority for the next Riverside Tournament

    Can I choose what colour team I’m in?

    • No, colours and teams are allocated randomly

    How can you ensure that each set is evenly-matched?

    • We can’t ensure each set is evenly-matched, but we can make a brave attempt at it
    • We combine our assessment of each player’s current tennis skill with a unique matching algorithm (patent possibly pending)

    What happens in a set if the score is 4-all?

    • The set is over
    • Congratulate your partner and your opponents and let the organisers know the score was 4-all

    What happens if the set gets to 6-0?

    • Keep playing, there are 2 more games to be played

    I’m super-competitive at tennis and get angry if I lose a point. How do I win this competition?

    • Perhaps this event is not for you

    I’m left-handed and feel discriminated against. People like you call one side of the court the forehand side, and it’s not! It’s the backhand side. Why do you get things so wrong?

    • I know what you mean, I hit more forehands when I play on the backhand side
    • Mostly I feel lost on the court anyway
    • Perhaps I should play left-handed

    I’ve only recently joined the club. Am I able to play in the Social Team Challenge?

    • Of course

    I don’t have a green top. What will I do if I’m placed in the green team?

    • Chat with your team and decide how your team will present themselves on the day
    • Perhaps you can use the Green Team WhatsApp group to chat

    How do you know the Riverside Tournament will work as a tennis event?

    • The organisers have run a series of test events with different groups of 8 members split into 2 teams and playing 4 evenly-matched sets
    • We have incorporated the feedback and learnings from those test events into organising the Riverside Tournament
    • Let’s give it a go and see how it works out