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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: tennis ladder

From: John Valentich <>
Date: Wed 31 Jul 2002 18:06:17 -0400

I've created a successful ladder in Pittsburgh using, a
free, Web-based ladder back end that carries out much of the administrative
work involved in running a ladder. Players enter their match results on a
Web page and immediately see their new positions on the ladder. Scores of
previous matches are posted and players can view the scores of all matches
their opponents have played. I strongly recommend looking at

The Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder Web page is found at:

The ladder itself is at:

My ladder is a pure grassroots initiative. I have no club or USTA support.
I used an email list of about 400 names developed from my Web site "Tennis
in the Burgh" ( and my Pittsburgh tennis e-newsletter to
advertise, "seed" and promote the ladder.

Being Web-based, my ladder requires that participants have Internet access.
However, I'm guessing that 90-95% of today's tennis players have Net
access, so I don't think I'm losing a significant number of potential
players by being Web-based. If your ladder is decentralized, with matches
being played at numerous tennis facilities around a city, a Web-based
ladder eliminates a huge number of administrative/logistical problems.

As others mentioned, your biggest hurdle is getting people signed up and
playing matches. Why tennis players are reluctant to play tennis matches is
an interesting, but frustrating, issue; but that's the topic of another thread.

With TennisEngine, or other software, setting up and administering the
ladder is fairly trivial. However, it may take a couple of months for the
ladder to "take root."

Charging people to participate in the first incarnation of your ladder may
put people off and prevent you from getting a critical mass of players
interested and signed up. I suggest running a free ladder for a "season"
(you can determine how long that is) to assess the level of interest and
get the bugs worked out. Then you could restart the ladder and charge a
registration fee. The registration fee may be nominal or significant. If
significant, you'll have to come up with some significant prizes. There's a
guy in Buffalo ( that charges about $50 to participate in
his ladder, but the winner gets a free trip to a tennis resort!


  ( ) John Valentich
  / Q_ / Tennis in the Burgh
  \_/ | Resources for Pittsburgh Tennis Enthusiasts
    / \
   / / Email:
  ~ ~

Received on Thu Aug 01 2002 - 02:16:17 CDT

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