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Sunday Competitive (strong) Doubles Tennis-- For players 3.5 and above

BY SIGNING UP, YOU ARE AGREEING TO THE FOLLOWING POLICIES!  

Please bring a new can of balls.  If it rains the event is cancelled. 

ATTENDANCE POLICY:  CHANGING YOUR RSVP LATER THAN 9 pm FOR WEEKEND EVENTS COUNTS AS A NO SHOW (particularly when the event is full).  2 no shows OR late cancellations results in the penalty described in the "pages" above (monetary fines or removal from the group for a year).  

SKILL LEVEL POLICY: Open only to STRONG skill players that are 3.5 skill level and above. This means: 1) you have consistency in all the main strokes: ground strokes, volleys, serve, and lob; and 2) you practice correct doubles tennis positioning -- and in particular, that you CAN PLAY AT THE NET net and YOU DO NOT HANG OUT AT THE SERVICE LINE (the line between the baseline and the net) ("no man's zone").  Correct net position is crucial when playing against 2 players!!  Doubles tennis is all about getting 2 players at the net whenever possible!!  

DOUBLES POSITION POLICY:  To facilitate a high level of play, we have these 4 BASIC EXPECTATIONS ABOUT COURT POSITION. (This is how the pros play--so if you watch pro doubles, you will see these things in practice).  These four expectations are aligned with the USTA 3.5 rating description:   https://www.usta.com/Adult-Tennis/USTA-Leag..."You have achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots, but need to develop depth and variety. You exhibit more aggressive net play, have improved court coverage and are developing teamwork in doubles". In comparison with 3.0 and lower, the USTA description says that 3.0 players are usually one up and one back. So, "MORE AGGRESSIVE NET PLAY" for 3.5 level means that BOTH players try to play and stay at the net when feasible.  

1) ON OFFENSE (when your partner serves), YOU MUST PLAY AT THE NET--which is about midway between the service line and the net.  (Moving too close can make you vulnerable to lobs; remaining back at the service line means you will miss opportunities to hit quick, powerful, angled, and downward volleys and it makes you more vulnerable to shots at your feet and passing shots.)

 2) ON DEFENSE (when your partner receives the serve), YOU MUST BEGIN TO PLAY AT OR SLIGHTLY BEHIND THE SERVICE LINE--AND THEN IMMEDIATELY MOVE FORWARD TO THE NET POSITION IF AND WHEN THE RETURN CLEARS THE OPPOSING NET PLAYER.  (For a second serve, depending on the skill of the other players--server, returner, and net player--you may start out a step or two closer to the net.) 

3)  IN THE BACKCOURT, YOU ARE EXPECTED TO LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO MOVE FORWARD and take the offensive, "aggressive" net position: In particular, after moving in to hit a shot near the service line, you continue to move forward a few steps rather than retreat many steps!

4) WHEN YOUR PARTNER COMES TO THE NET, NEVER RETREAT TO THE BACK COURT (immediately, at least)!  You may move back a few steps to near the service line or a slightly behind (e.g., if you anticipate a lob); but never retreat to the baseline area! 

We can help you to learn the correct positioning, but you must stay aware of the above 4 expectations and accept feedback about these things if you don't practice them!  

If you have evidence that tennis pros are teaching something other than this, send me (Don) the You Tube or other link!  

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