These FAQ’s are designed to help answer some of the most common questions asked about the junior program by players, parents, and teaching professionals. For the full official policies governing junior rankings, please visit the Junior Guidelines page.
Get playing! Each child will progress at their own pace – some will want to play more tournaments at the beginning and others will want to play one or two to get their feet wet. Start with tournaments in your local area; the online tournament schedule can be sorted in order to find those that are near to you. Bronze-level tournaments are designed to be introductory level events and are a perfect way for newer players to get involved in tournaments with other players their level at a lower level of pressure. Local teaching professionals in your area can offer good advice on how to proceed as your child gets involved in tournaments and continues to enjoy themselves on court.
A player earns ranking points by playing in junior tournaments. The amount of points he or she earns is determined by the type of tournament (i.e. JCT, Silver, etc.), and the position he or she finishes in that particular division.
To determine a player’s ranking, an average is taken of his or her earned points. If a player has between 1 and 8 tournaments, his or her top four points-earned tournaments are used. For example, if he or she has played 5 tournaments, the worst points-earned performance is dropped. When a player has played 9-11 tournaments, his or her best 5 tournaments are taken, for 12-14 tournaments the best 6 are taken, and so on.
The rising divisor is designed to prevent those players who are able to play the highest number of events from gaining an excessive advantage over those players who are restricted to fewer events, while still retaining a certain amount of the incentive for playing more.
Take the comparison of players who have played in 1 tournament above the different divisor marks: Player A has played in 5 tournaments, Player B has played in 10 tournaments, and Player C has played in 13 tournaments. Player A’s ranking is determined based on her best 4 point totals, therefore dropping only 1 result and using 80% of her tournaments into her ranking. Player B’s ranking is determined based on her best 5 results, so while she does now have to use an extra tournament as compared to Player A, she still can drop her lowest 5 point totals and only has to use 50% of her tournaments. Player C is in an even more advantageous position, using her top 6 results but only having to use 46% of her results.
Tournaments affect a players ranking for an 11-month period, defined as 43 weeks.
Moving to 11 months allows tournaments to stay on player’s record for a longer period of time, which will help some players who do not have the opportunity to play as many events throughout the season due to academic, family, or other commitments. While a shift to 12 months was considered, it was determined that this would allow tournaments to stay on a player’s profile for too long – for instance, a player could qualify for a tournament based on their performance in that same tournament the year before, instead of their play from a more recent time frame.
This information is available on a player’s profile online. The “rankings” tab on the player profile shows his or her ranking average, while the “tournaments” tab shows how many points the player has earned in each tournament. More detail will be added to these pages over time to provide more information and a richer user experience.
Tournaments are added to a player’s average as of the Tuesday evening ranking run immediately after completion of the tournament.
When a player ages up into a new age division, if he or she does not have 4 or more tournaments in the new division, that player will carry points up from the younger age division to the older one. The points are converted at 40% for each tournament from the younger division. The converted tournaments fall off a player’s average as he or she plays tournaments in the new age division; for instance, if a player ages up from the GU13 to the GU15 division and has already played one GU15 event, he ranking will be determined by taking the average of four tournaments: her GU15 tournament, plus her top 3 GU13 tournaments all converted at 40%. When she plays her second GU15 tournament, her ranking average would then be based off her two GU15 tournaments and her top 2 GU13 tournaments converted at 40%, and so on until all GU13 tournaments are replaced.
No. Players may play up in a higher age division, but their points earned will only affect their ranking in that division.
Players may determine their personal tournament calendar based on what level of events make the most sense for their playing level. While there are no ranking restrictions on which tournaments players may enter (other than the U.S. Junior Silver Championships and U.S. Junior Bronze Championships), the strongest players are not incentivized to enter Silver and Bronze events due to the lower ranking points available in these events.
The most points are available in Junior Championship Tour (JCT) events. Gold events are the next highest tier of points. For the 2012-2013 Season, there will be 5 JCT events and roughly 20 Gold events, all of which may need to restrict the number of participants per division in the event that divisions are over-subscribed. There are more Silver and Bronze tournaments available throughout the tournament season and over the summer.
Because Gold tournaments have the highest level of points outside of the JCTs and the U.S. Junior Championship events, the number of Gold tournaments is restricted to maintain the integrity of the rankings. Additionally, only one Gold tournament is held per weekend. Sanctioning too many Gold events, or more than one in a weekend, would dilute the overall strength of the fields in these events.
The points available in different levels of tournaments overlap so that players whose rankings are too low or who are improving rapidly can move up to Gold and JCT level events. For instance, the winner of a Silver tournament earns 750 points. This is equivalent to the amount of points earned by a player finishing 12th in a 32-play Gold tournament; hence, the winner of a Silver can move up in the rankings relative to those players finishing in the bottom half of a Gold event. Similarly, a player finishing 8th in a Gold tournament (1150 points) is earning as many or more points than those players finishing 17th-32nd in a JCT. As players have good results in certain levels of tournaments, they are able to earn the necessary points to move up to the next level.
Coming off a hiatus in play is always difficult, but the best thing to do is start playing! With the points earned from good performances in a few lower level events, a player is able to start moving up the rankings to qualify for the bigger events, as described above.
Several Gold tournaments are accredited (sanctioned) over the summer due to the fact that many players are now playing squash outside of the traditional season. Additionally, due to academic, family, or other commitments, many players are not able to play in enough tournaments during the school year to adequately fulfill the requirements for a ranking. Summer Gold events allow players some flexibility that they might not otherwise have.
While Gold tournaments during the summer season are useful to many players, frequently the fields are not quite as strong as most Gold tournaments during the regular season, therefore giving competitors and opportunity to earn higher points than they otherwise might during the season. The policy of only being able to use the points from two summer Gold tournaments balances the addition of these new competitive opportunities with maintaining a fair and balanced ranking for all players.
The points tables are available here:
In order to seed a tournament, the ranking run from the Tuesday 1.5 weeks before the event is used. Players are then separated into “seeding groups” and placed in the draw accordingly. The top 4 seeded players are placed into the draw in their normal positions. Then, the 5-8 seeds are randomized and placed in the 4 slots for the 5-8 players (for instance, the 7th seeded player could end up in the #5 seeding position). The 9-12 players are then randomized within their grouping and placed in the 9-12 positions. This continues for the 13-16, 17-24, and 25-32 seeded players.
In order to maintain fair competition for all players in an event, players must play in all scheduled matches for a given tournament. If a player does not arrive on time for their scheduled match, the Tournament Director reserves the right to default that player after 15 minutes of the scheduled match time. Players who default a match due to lateness, injury, or any other reason also default any subsequent scheduled matches. Players may be permitted to continue in the tournament at the discretion of the Tournament Director. In making these decisions, the Tournament Director will take into consideration the level of communication with the player, court availability, and any other relevant specific factors. In no case is the Tournament Director obligated to make special accommodations for players.