Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I am fully aware that as we head into another season of doubles leagues, everybody who signs up does so with the best intentions. We all want to play, be competitive, develop our game, and enjoy the social side of the sport. However, one of the ongoing problems with the doubles is the amount of subs required and last minute cancellations. Doubles matches cannot be rearranged like the singles league, and too often players (and I) are left scrambling to find replacements at the eleventh-hour – sometimes to no avail. To give you an idea of what I mean, the following are some statistics from the recent 2011 Summer League:

• Out of a total of 48 matches (4 matches a week for 12 weeks), only 3 were played in the entire season that did not require at least one sub.
• Overall, 40% of the players needed to be subbed out. Or, 78 total subs over the 12 weeks at an average of 6.5 subs a week.
• For the Thursday 6-7pm time slot, 60% of the players were subbed out. Over the final 6 weeks, all but 6 players were subbed out. That’s 18 subs out of 24 players, or 75%.
• One player dropped out of the league the day after the schedule was released.
• Incredibly, only 5 of the 48 matches were not played due to a no-show or a sub not being found in time.
• There were 4 no-call-no-shows.
• In three of the four no-shows we had in the summer league, two of the stranded players were already subbing for someone else.
• I do not have a percentage on this, but I know a high number of subs were requested the day of the scheduled matches.

We all know that things come up. The problem will never be 100% solved and subs will always be required, but hopefully we can start to minimize the frequency of them. For the league to be truly successful and for the program to grow, players need to be sure that when they turn up to play a league match, 3 other members will be meeting them.

Here are some suggestions to help everyone – including me – for the doubles league:
• Commit. Easy. You enter the league, you commit yourself to play.
• When you register, look ahead in your calendar at all the upcoming dates. If you know, tell me before I even do the schedule which weeks you will not be available for – then I won’t organize you for those days at all.
• Once I have done the schedule, I send it to you a week before the first round. You are able to see well in advance all the dates you are scheduled for. Enter all your playing dates on your calendar immediately.
• If you are not scheduled for a particular week, let me know if you would be available to sub anyway. To save time, I always try to contact the players that I know will step in. Plus, the more you play, the points you accumulate for the season.
• If you have a conflict, let me know straight away. The earlier I am aware that a sub is needed, the easier it is to find one.
• If you can organize your own sub – brilliant! Take it upon yourself to find someone to step in for you. Then make sure you let me know.
• When I send out the weekly reminder of who is playing, confirm your commitment. It’s peace of mind for the other 3 players, and me.
• If you know your calendar is hectic and commitment level is sporadic at best, DO NOT enter as a regular. Put your name down as a sub only. There are too many people entering the league and playing only 1 or 2 matches at the most for the season.

We all want increased participation on the doubles court, increased competition, and a thriving league. Without your commitment, that will never happen. To be clich̩ Рhelp me help you!

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