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DI Competition Committee to consider tennis format changes

An ad hoc group will look at no-ad scoring, other proposals designed to shorten length of matches

The Division I Competition Oversight Committee created an ad hoc subcommittee to consider whether the Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships have no-ad scoring and other format modifications in the future. 

The ad-hoc group, which will be chaired by Stanford University Senior Associate Athletics Director Beth Goode, will make a recommendation to the full oversight committee by August 1. Oversight committee members hope to vote on the issue later in August.

The Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee, in collaboration with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and the United States Tennis Association, made the recommendations to reduce the length of the championship matches in July 2014 to the Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet, which has since been replaced by the oversight committee. 

The proposals include all matches being played with no-ad scoring. For example, in games tied at 40-all, the player who wins the next point will win the game. 

In the team championships, three doubles matches would be played with no-ad scoring, with each match consisting of one set to six games. A tie-break would be played at 6-all. 

Following a 10-minute intermission, six singles matches would be played with no-ad scoring, with each match consisting of a best-of-three with tiebreakers at 6-all. In addition, there would be no warm-up with an opponent once the players have been called to the court for the start of the match. 

As in the past, the matches would be played “clinch/clinch” – when the doubles point is clinched, the remaining doubles match is stopped. And in singles, once the team match has been clinched, any remaining singles matches are stopped. 

For the individual singles and doubles championships, all matches would be played utilizing no-ad scoring. In doubles, matches would consist of the best-of-three sets, with a match tiebreak in lieu of the third set. 

After months of coordinated discussions, experimentation, research and vetting with college coaches and administrators, the Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee concluded that reducing the overall length of play will enhance student-athlete well-being and increase the level of excitement of the matches, making collegiate tennis more fan-friendly.