The ITF Board of Directors has approved the recommendations of the Junior Circuit Committee to make rules changes in relation to on-court coaching and the service let, as well as adjust the Junior Circuit ranking points system.
Selected Junior Circuit rule changes for 2018
The full 2018 Junior Circuit Regulations, with all changes marked, will be available before the end of December. Notable changes will include the following:
– On-court coaching: On-court coaching will be permitted, subject to the approval of each tournament, at Grand Slams, the Youth Olympic Games and the ITF Junior Masters. Rules and procedures will be in place, and these will be communicated at a later date.
– Match Format: The service let will be eliminated at all Junior Circuit tournaments.*
– Organisational Requirements –Hospitality: Minimum hospitality requirements will be reduced for Grade 3 tournaments. Instead of being required to provide full hospitality for all main draw players and one coach per nation, Grade 3s will have to provide bed and breakfast for main draw players, and no hospitality for coaches.
*The provisions set out in Appendix A of the regulations apply.
Junior Circuit Ranking Point Structure
The Junior Circuit ranking point changes will be introduced at the end of the first quarter of 2018. The changes are designed to ensure that the Junior Circuit rankings are a more accurate reflection of performance at the Junior Circuit’s most important tournaments (Junior Grand Slams, Grade As, and Grade 1s). As a result, these changes will also have positive implications for the introduction of the transition tour in 2019, which will see places in tournaments reserved for the highest ranked Juniors.
The changes concern the number of points awarded at the different rounds of different tournaments. Specific details of the changes are set out in the table below. The major changes are:
– A point structure that gives greater weight to performance at Grade A and Grade 1 tournaments; and greater weight at all levels to progressing through to the later rounds of a tournament;
– An increase in the points awarded at Junior Grand Slams, the Junior Masters, and the Youth Olympic Games (YOG);
– Regional Championships to award the same points as the equivalent standard grade tournament (i.e. a Regional B1 tournament will award the same points as a Grade 1 tournament, a B2 the same as a Grade 2 etc).
The method of calculating a Junior ranking remains the same, both in terms of the number of tournaments and the contribution of singles and doubles. A Junior Ranking is comprised of the six best singles results plus one quarter (¼) of the six best doubles results in Junior Circuit tournaments. (Note: bonus points will no longer awarded at Grade A or Junior Grand Slam tournaments.)
Full details of the specific changes to the ranking point system are here.
Timing of Implementation
The changes will be implemented at the end of the first quarter of 2018, following the completion of tournaments in the week of 26 March 2018, which includes the Easter Bowl in the United States.
The ranking point change will be achieved through the conversion of existing Junior Circuit ranking points to the new points structure. The formal conversion will take place on 2 April 2018 where a player’s existing points over the previous 52 weeks will be converted to the new points formula.
Where the entry process of a tournament is open before the formal conversion, entry will take place under the new ranking point structure. Specifically, players will enter all tournaments taking place in the week of 26 March 2018 or earlier under the existing ranking point system; and all tournaments taking place in the week of 2 April 2018 or later under the new system of converted points.
The ITF will produce a shadow ranking in December 2017 which will be updated weekly in 2018 until 2 April, when the shadow ranking becomes the actual ranking.
The shadow ranking will show players what their points and ranking would be under the new system and for the purposes of making tournament entries (for tournaments taking place from 2 April onwards), the shadow ranking will show a player their place on the tournament’s acceptance list.
Source: ITF Juniors