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2012 Ranking Tournament Changes

Tennis Australia would like to inform all players, parents and coaches that the tournament structure of the very popular Australian Ranking Tournament circuit, covering the Australian Money Tournaments (AMTs) and Optus Junior Tour (OJTs) will be changing as of 1st January 2012. Below is a list of the major changes being implemented across Australia.

Background
There has been a 81% increase in the number of Australian Ranking tournaments between 2007 and 2010. The success of this growth has seen the number of tournament entries increase by 59% over this same period. However, the overall number of entries in each tournament has declined by 11% and the average number of games per match is hovering around 16 games (i.e. 6-2 6-2 results).

Our goal over the next four years is to improve the number of quality competitive opportunities that players compete in and to improve the quality of the matches to 19 games (6-3 6-4) or better.

Separating of player fields into qualifying and main draw
In order to improve the quality of matches being played at AMTs and OJTs, Tennis Australia will be separating players into what are called qualifying and main draw events. What this means is that in each tournament, a pre-determined number of the highest ranked players that have entered will be placed directly into the main draw, with all other entrants playing off against eachother in qualifying matches to then earn the right to move into the main draw and playoff for the title. 

The objective of this separation is to ensure all players compete in matches against players of similar ability right from their first match. The AR points table will be changed to award players that win matches in qualifying with points.

AMT Draw Formats
AMTs will have the choice to conduct either 16 or 24 player main draw events and accept up to a maximum of 128 players into the qualifying event. Both the main draw and qualifying events will be played using the traditional elimination draw format. There will be optional sign-in consolation events for players that lose in qualifying as well as in the main draw.  Have a look at the 
TA Platinum AMT that was played during the December Showdown as an example of how an AMT will be run in 2012. 

OJT Draw Formats
OJT's will have the choice to conduct 16 or 32 player main draw events.  In both AMTs and OJTs, tournaments can accept up to a maximum of 128 players into the qualifying event.  The main draw can either be played using a traditional elimination draw or round-robin format (white series only). There will be consolation events for players that lose in qualifying as well as in the main draw. '

OJT Main Draw Positional Playoffs (3rd to 8th)
All levels of Optus Junior Tour tournaments will now feature an additional match for the losing semi-finalists in the main draw, which is a playoff match to determine 3rd place. The points table has been updated to reflect the additional points that can be earned by winning this playoff match.

As in 2011, all OJT Platinum and Gold tournaments will feature playoff matches for the losing quarter-finalists in the main draw to determine positions 5 to 8.

Mandatory online entry and My Tennis membership numbers

To assist all staff and volunteers to effectively manage their tournaments, it will be mandatory for all players to enter all Australian Ranking events in 2012 via the online entry system (no exceptions).

You may have noticed already that the online system only allows players enter tournaments that have a valid My Tennis membership number. These new numbers have been rolled out across the country over the past 12 months and are 11-digit numbers that start with 61. If you do not have your number, please contact your club or member association. If you are not a member of a club, 
click here to register for a My Tennis number.

Entry Closing Dates
All 2012 Australian Ranking tournaments will close their entries 14 days
prior to the start of the qualifying event and will not be extending their entry closing dates in 2012. Therefore, if you do not enter by the 14 day entry deadline your entry will not be accepted – no exceptions! National Junior Championships are the only exception to this and will close 28 days prior to the start of the tournament. The online tournament calendar is the best way to keep track of upcoming entry closing dates.

Acceptance Lists
Once the tournament entries have closed, each tournament will compile an acceptance list, showing the list of players that have been accepted directly into the main draw and the list of players that are required to compete in the qualifying event. There will be a withdrawal deadline (7 days prior to the start), so players will need to keep an eye on the acceptance list as it will be constantly update. For the January events, these acceptance lists will be done manually, but an automated solution to be located on the tournament home pages will be rolled out soon.

Wildcards
All Australian Money Tournaments, in consultation with the relevant Member Association will have the opportunity to award a select number of wildcards directly into the main draw and into qualifying. There will be no opportunity to award wildcards into Optus Junior Tour tournaments, except at the National Junior Championship (Platinum) level. 

Questions, Regulations and Feedback
Tennis Australia have produced a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to help explain some questions you might have. 
Click here to view the document.

The 2012 Australian Ranking Tournament Regulations and updated Australian Ranking points tables and regulations are now available, 
click here to view the document. This document outlines the changes in further detail. 

All Australian Ranking tournaments have been made aware of the changes that are being implemented for 2012, but we kindly ask for your patience and cooperation during this rollout. Any questions or feedback can be sent via email:
tournaments@tennis.com.au

Thank you for continuing to support the Australian Ranking tournament circuit and good luck in tournaments for 2012. 

Kind Regards,
Tennis Australia
Tournaments & Competitions Department

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