Like many other gatherings and events in 2020, it was apparent IF hosting the 15th Annual Fall Classic was going to be a reality it would not look or feel like any of the previous Fall Classics. The board of directors had much to consider and many questions to answer. Through in depth discussions, the following tournament format changes were made:
- Downsizing must occur – it was adjusted from a 3-day event to a single day event.
- Lodging would not be feasible.
- Number of Athlete slots would be limited.
- Number of matches per Athlete would be adjusted.
- Travel delegations from out of state would not be able to attend.
Next, the board took great care to find answers to make the modified tournament format remain a meaningful experience for our Athletes, family members and volunteers. Some of the major questions we had to answer included:
- Could everyone observe social distancing and other COVID-19 restrictions to keep attendees feeling safe and comfortable?
- Would there be enough funding from sponsors and supporters necessary to cover related expenses?
- Would we be able to recruit enough volunteers to cover all the various needs?
- How best could we encourage the families of the Athletes to permit them to participate?
- Was there anything we could do to manage the risk of weather related issues within one day instead of three?
I am pleased to report we had 60 athletes compete in the event and over 200 volunteer slots filled. The athlete registration was filled within 72 hours of opening. A BIG SPT THANK YOU to the ALTA Foundation and USTA for their generous support of this year’s tournament. If you or a family member is a league player, you can be proud these organizations not only support the tennis community but they believe in Athletes who are served through adaptive tennis.
In summary, SPT remains committed to making our Fall Classic a memorable experience for our Athletes and volunteers. If you have additional comments or feedback, feel free to contact me @ [email protected]