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Tennis follows the same idea as other youth sports like baseball or soccer - use kid-sized equipment. Kids learn baseball by first playing T-ball; they use shorter, lighter bats and larger, softer, balls. Kids learning soccer begin with a size 3 ball, not a full size 5 ball, and play on smaller fields with smaller goals.
Red, orange, and green tennis balls don't move as fast through the air and are easier to hit because they bounce into your child's strike zone. The red, orange and green balls remove the lob game kids would play with regular yellow balls that bounce higher than their shoulders.
Youth Progression tennis recommends smaller rackets that are easier for smaller hands to hold and smaller arms to swing. By using equipment that matches the size and strength of the player, the benefits are immediate and within a short time kids are rallying, playing, and excited to keep playing. That means kids will keep the ball in play longer and have more fun!
Each player will have a page on Tennis Link to track their progress and accumulation of stars and trophies as opposed to ranking points.
A combination of 20 stars and/or trophies are needed to progress to the next level.
= 50 Points
= 50 Points
By using equipment that matches the size and strength of player, the benefits are immediate and within a short time kids are rallying, playing, and excited to keep playing.
Red Ball: You will start with Red Ball if you are under age 7. After age seven, you can move up to Orange Ball.
There are two levels of Orange Ball.
There is one level of green ball. Green balls are slightly softer than yellow balls. They bounce lower to keep in the correct stike zone for this age of player.
After displaying your mastery of the green ball, you will move up to the yellow ball and play in Open Tournaments.
Different USTA Sections will follow different progression schedules depending on the number of players they support and the inventory of tournaments they host. So Cal is a large Section and will follow the progression shown to the right.
Players should advance through the various stages with the understanding that this is not a race to Yellow Ball Tennis, but a process rich in development opportunities at each stage. All children develop at different paces, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. This new system is designed to accommodate these variations.
Participation points are collected by playing in:
10U Progression Tournaments
No points for defaulted matches
Junior Team Tennis
Championship & Local Junior Team Tennis: 10U Singles & Doubles
Must play a minimum of 2 matches for team to count the season
Can play a maximum of 2 seasons per calendar year
Players can play in either 10U orange ball or 10U green ball leagues and receive participation stars in their current level
Players collect “bonus points” in singles for achievement:
Winning a 10U Progression Tournament
Tournament Matches Won
Participation in Early Development Camps (EDC) will receive 4 stars in the appropriate level by the SCTA. All camps need to be completed and attended before receiving credit. There are three camps per ball ball color.
Early Development Camps
Players ranked in the Top 100 in Southern California 10U will be Grandfathered into Yellow Ball play or will have the option to play Green Dot play if not have aged out
If player has played 5 tournaments in Orange Ball, they will be grandfathered into Green Dot play or have the option to stay in Orange Ball play
If player has played in 5 tournaments in Green Dot , they will grandfathered into Yellow Ball play or have the option to stay in Green Dot play
If a player has accumulated the required amount of 20 stars/trophies due to participating in Tournaments, Junior Team Tennis or Early Development Camps, they will be grandfathered into the appropriate level
Players who will be aging out of 10U play with Birthdays in January, February and March will be grandfathered into Yellow Ball play
*** Please note that if a player does not reach the required amount of 20 stars/trophies to clear the level by February 15, which is the cut off date to clear a level, any points a player has accumulated will be counted towards the Youth Progression when it starts March 1, 2017.
*** It is suggested in order to move to the next level, your record should be .500 or better.
*** The Junior Department will be posting the Youth Progression list on Feb. 20 on our website, which will indicate the level a player will start their Youth Progression.
*** You will have until February 24 at Midnight to request an adjustment. All requests must be submitted via email. Any request submitted after 12AM on February 24 will NOT be accepted.
Coordinator, Youth Progression
Director, Junior Tennis
Click on the "Find and Event" button in the SoCal USTA MAIN navigation bar (top right) or check out:
USTA Southern California Headquarters
420 Charles Young Drive West
P.O. Box 240015
Los Angeles, CA 90024-9115
FAX: 310. 824.7691
Call SCTA and ask for a member of the Junior/Youth Team 310.208.3838