Thursday, July 30, 2015

Diversity Has Arrived In Texas

Reprinted from USTA Texas Section News:

There are three organizations throughout Texas that have given LGBT members an outlet to be themselves while playing the sport of tennis. These organizations meet to play the sport, but it’s more than that. They not only spread acceptance within the sport but provide help for outside organizations.
The organizations, some of which have been running for over 20 years, also provide their members with life long friends and companions.
The Oak Lawn Tennis Association was founded in 1979 by a group of friends who enjoyed tennis. This organization was the first to support gay and lesbian tennis activities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. OLTA and similar groups began hosting the Texas Open. In addition, for the past two years, funds raised from the Texas Open, have been donated to CURE, an organization that provides healing to developing countries around the world.
“We have several success stories ranging from beginning players winning club awards…winning the Texas Cup competition in 2012 to several members winning tournaments at all levels on the GLTA tour,” said OLTA executive director Richard Chaney.
Also in Dallas, Sets in the City is a lesbian tennis organization founded in 2012 by Mary Sherman. Although a new club, SITC has around 150 members and welcomes lesbians of all ages, disabilities and skill levels. The organization meets every Friday afternoon to play tennis and round-robin matches, afterwards retiring for dinner and socializing.
“We view the primary purpose of Friday nights as introducing new players to the game and giving the group as a whole an opportunity to re-connect,” says SITC member Kathy Wise.
SITC sponsors 3.0 to 4.0 USTA and Metro teams and coordinates mixed doubles with their counterpart, OLTA. Success for SITC has been abundant, such as a 3.0 player being ranked No. 5 in Texas, their doubles team winning statewide and GLTA tournaments, and a rookie 2.5 Lone Star Team winning the championship with Sherman captaining the team.
Relationships have also flourished from this organization, from girlfriends and wives to lifelong friends, all supported within the SITC organization.
Founded in 1980, the Houston Tennis Club is a non-profit tennis organization that welcomes all players of all race, gender, and sexual orientation that play at any level. HTC hosts events like HOUTEX, an international GLTA tennis tournament held annually on Veterans Day weekend, where funds are donated to local LGBT organizations. Besides tennis activities, HTC hosts social events such as Fun Charity Tournaments and Happy Hour.
USTA Texas commends these organizations for their successful efforts in the tennis and LGBT community. It is with organizations like these that give players of all backgrounds the confidence to be themselves and feel included in the tennis community.
“Any organization that helps people feel comfortable and gives people a common bond (tennis) in the LGBT community is important,” said USTA Texas diversity and inclusion coordinator Veronica Nicholls.
USTA’s support for LGBT rights has reached new heights this Pride Month. USTA has announced that they participated in the 2015 New York City and San Francisco Pride Parades in June celebrating the LGBT community.
Along with their appearance, the tennis organization has also announced their partnership with award-winning global provider of mobile event applications Double Dutch to bring people the “LGBT Tennis Network.” This free social media app is a networking tool for LGBT tennis players to connect with fellow players, friends, family and allies.
Tennis Hall of Famer and activist Billie Jean King applauded USTA for its participation.

Time For Our Tennis Family To Pray For Luke Siegel

Luke Siegel, son of former Texas Tech men's tennis coach Tim Siegel, was critically injured in a golf cart accident a few days ago.  He is currently in the intensive care unit of the hospital with serious head trauma.  Many of us have had the privilege of working with Tim over the years as he led the Tech Red Raiders to many successful seasons so I know you will all want to lift up Tim and Luke in your prayers.

If you would like to help financially, a fund has been established at the link below:

Monday, July 27, 2015

August 8th: Tennis Officials River Raft Trip

All tennis officials and their friends are invited to come and join us for the TENNIS OFFICIALS RIVER RAFT TRIP on August 8th.

Here is the information for the trip:

Date:  August 8, 2015
Location:  New Braunfels, Texas
Departure time:  9 a.m.
Cost:  $16/tube and $25 per person for raft.

Rafting the river in New Braunfels is always an exciting experience--and its even better when shared with friends!  If you are interested in going, please contact Randy McDonald ( as soon as possible.  We already have a good group signed up to go so be sure to get in on the fun as soon as possible.

Friday, July 24, 2015

That Was The Week That Was...

Just about the time you begin to think you have seen everything in a tournament, something new pops up to burst your bubble.  That's the way it was this past weekend in Texas...

First, there was the woman who escaped from the hospital in her hospital gown, climbed the tennis center fence, and was wandering aimlessly through the tournament site.  Eventually the tournament was host to four police cars, two ambulances, and one firetruck just to subdue and restrain the errant woman!  Welcome to Texas...

Second, after a singles match when the boys were shaking hands at the net, Player A reached out to "hug" the other player but in reality he was grabbing him around the neck and pulling him close to say, "I'm going to kick your ___.  Let's go to the parking lot right now and I'll kick your ___ for you." Sadly, the roving official was not close enough to view the incident but I'm sure it will make its way up the chain to the proper authorities.

In today's world, nothing is surprising...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Parent: One Bleeding Nostril Is A Different Body Part Than The Other Bleeding Nostril

Thought you would enjoy hearing this one from a USTA junior tournament this past weekend.

A young boy developed a nose bleed and was given a bleeding timeout.  The bleeding was stopped and the boy continued play.  A while later his nose began to bleed again and he was denied another bleeding timeout.  His father indignantly said, "He was bleeding from the left side the other time and this time its from the right side and that's a different body part."  The parent was also quick to point out that he was a physician and he knew the body parts.

Needless to say, I am glad he's not my physician.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Football Season Is Nearly Here! First SEC Rankings Announced

Fall weather isn't quite here but the start of football season is on the horizon.  Check out first media pre-season poll for the SEC.  Should be an interesting year.  Can't quite figure out how Alabama is ranked first in the SEC West but Auburn is picked as the SEC Champion.

SEC West:
1.  Alabama
2.  Auburn
3.  LSU
4.  Arkansas
5.  Ole Miss
6.  Texas A&M
7.  Miss. State

SEC East:
1.  Georgia
2.  Tennessee
3.  Missouri
4.  South Carolina
5.  Florida
6.  Kentucky
7.  Vanderbilt

SEC Champion:
1.  Auburn
2.  Alabama
3.  Georgia
4.  LSU
5.  Ole Miss
6.  Arkansas
7.  Texas A&M
8.  Tennessee
9.  Miss. State
10.  Florida

*  Only SEC Media Poll results will be printed on this blog.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Welcome To The Land of Crocodile Tears and Remorse For The Loss of The Big 12

It is with much sadness and regret that we must pen this final blog post remembering the days of glory and fun in the Big 12 Conference.  I looked for an appropriate crocodile shedding great tears but was unable to find a willing participant; therefore, this lone sad eye will have to do.

Due to some new changes in the Big 12 Conference policy we will no longer to be able to write anything (good or bad) about any Big 12 team.  This includes not just tennis teams but any other Big 12 team.  Sadly, that means we will no longer be able to congratulate the conference champions and/or any Big 12 team that wins any post-season honors in the NCAA.  This greatly grieves me since three now-to-be-unmentioned teams did quite well this past year and some of the men did quite well in the NCAA individual tournament.  Hopefully those who do well in the future know we honor and respect them all but sadly, must remain silent.

On the bright side, we will continue to write blog posts about any other university in America and about any good officiating stories and questions we encounter in any locale other than the Big 12.  In fact, I have already washed my University of Georgia shirt and have ordered some new Texas A&M shirts to wear in this coming year...  Its hard to change my spots but I'll give it my best effort!

Sadly, I think our readers will miss a lot of good stories in the days to come.  We have surely had some great days in the past few years...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hail To The King And Queen

Novak Djokovic & Serena Williams

Wimbledon Men's Singles Champion

Wmbledon Women's Singles Champion

Saturday, July 11, 2015

You Cannot Accuse Wimbledon and London Of Not Being Diverse

In honor of being the "most diverse Grand Slam Tournament", London and Wimbledon have gone all out this year.  Check out some of the new changes this year...  With the spirit of diversity in the air, just imagine what the US Open is going to be like in New York City.  London ain't seen nothing yet!

The latest thing in women's panties and look especially good with the "all white" look at Wimbledon this year.

Not to be outdone, the men also have a special tennis shoe designed just for the occasion.

Two of the more illustrious tennis fans as they walk the streets before the finals.

Last (but not least) is this pair of matching boys.

Friday, July 10, 2015

New Guidelines For Our Tennis Officials Blog

Due to some changes in policy in the Big 12 Conference there will no longer be any blog posts that contain anything about any Big 12 team in any sport.

We will however continue to post about issues that affect officials and any other collegiate team other than a Big 12 team.  There will also be no comments published that pertain to any Big 12 team in any form or fashion.

Thanks for your understanding.

Randy McDonald

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Could It Be True?

Here is an article from USTA Today.  Kind of interesting and thought-provoking...

It’s a practice probably as old as the game itself: coaching from the stands. It comes in many forms: subtle nods, a shifting of a hat, a wink or sometimes out-and-out verbal instructions. The procedure itself is illegal. The enforcement of said legality is a gray area that gains more scrutiny by the year.
The accusations have dogged Rafael Nadal since he arrived on the worldwide tennis scene, if you even want to call them accusations. If you watch his Uncle Toni during a match, you can see him and Nadal often make eye contact and I doubt it’s to bird dog Kate Middleton when she’s in attendance. Andy Murray talks to his box as much as he talks to the press. And at this Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic is fending off claims that his coach, former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, has been coaching too and, therefore, cheating.
Becker didn’t help things when he admitted that “[we] have our ways” of signaling to Djokovic “to tell him it’s good or it’s bad,” a direct admission of coaching.
Both players have responded this week because, with the British press, everything is magnified at Wimbledon. Djokovic has been uncharacteristically testy when asked the question, saying that if he hasn’t been called for a violation on court, then he shouldn’t have to answer for it in the media. Nadal had a calmer, more rational response, though an ironic one given that the player he defeated before this press conference plays without a coach.
“It’s an old regulation. It was logical many years ago because some players had coaches, and others didn’t, so this was protection for those who didn’t have coaches, But now everybody has a coach so today I don’t see any player in this circuit who doesn’t have a coach so it’s rather absurd that everyone pays for a coach to help him and then when you need him the most you can’t talk to him.”
Who’s right? Are they cheating? Are they not? What should be done? In regular WTA events, after all, coaches are allowed to come on the court, just not in Grand Slams.
Well, the players are cheating by the letter of the law. But when umpires refuse to enforce the rule, then it’s like jaywalking or, in tennis terms, the time violations that are called so infrequently and arbitrarily. Therefore, it’s Nadal who has it pegged. Banning coaching from the box is an outdated rule and one that nobody enforces anyway. It’s like pitchers putting Bullfrog on their caps or batters using too much pine tar or 
quarterbacks deflating footballs or professional teams making contact with free agents before the 12:01 a.m. deadline. It’s widely practiced, oft discussed and almost never enforced.
Here’s my suggestion: Don’t let the coaches come on the court, don’t let players go to the box for a sidebar, but short of holding up Chip Kelly-esque signage, allow a little communication between the pair. It makes things easier, it clears up any confusion and, let’s be honest, if a player needs a tip of his coach’s cap to let him know to stand back farther on the return of serve, then he’s not winning many matches anyway.