Men's Tennis Coach Pate Helps ITA Craft New Scoring Rules
Princeton men's tennis coach Billy Pate was part of part of the ITA Division I Operating Committee that developed changes to the format of collegiate matches in hopes of making them shorter.
The changes were in place on an experimental basis last fall, and the ITA announced August 6 that the adaptations would be in use for the 2014-15 season.
"Our goal is to maintain the integrity of the game, and at the same time, make our team matches more exciting, grow the sport and gain new fans," Pate said in the ITA's announcement. "Collectively, we decided to move forward and leave personal agendas and preferences aside. We started this process with many diverse opinions and directions, and we have arrived with an almost unanimous decision by the Operating Committee to support a dynamic proposal concerning the dual meet format."
The ITA's announcement on the changes can be found here.
Perhaps the most noteworthy change is the removal of "ad" scoring, where a player has to win back-to-back points to win a game. Now, if a point gets to 40-40, the next point will win that game.
Doubles matches will also be shorter, as each match will follow the same scoring as one singles set with the winner the first to get to six games won (or seven, in the case of 7-5). A tiebreak will be held at 6-6, as will be the case in singles sets.
Warming up with opponents for singles and doubles will no longer be permitted, and a 10-minute intermission will be the only break between singles and doubles. In dual matches, if the same team wins the first two doubles matches to be decided, the third doubles match will be halted, and once a team reaches the four points needed to win a match (via winning the doubles point and three singles wins or winning four singles matches), the remaining singles matches will be halted.
A vote by the NCAA Championships/Sports Management Cabinet on adopting the changes for the NCAA tournament will be held in September.