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Organizing a tennis tournament for amateurs

By Sigurd Neubauer


Maryland-based attorney Andrew Stein organized a tennis tournament for his friends and associates as pandemic era restrictions had been lifted during the summer of 2022. 

Looking back at it, “it was a lot of hard work but worth it at the end,” Stein recalls. 

On what it takes to organize one, Stein says “patience!” First and foremost. 

“The hardest part is staying on the players to play their matches. Otherwise, a good network of players, and a sense of their abilities, is really all it takes to get started,” he adds.

When it comes to general organization and who-plays-who, the attorney, who took full advantage of the work-from-home policy during the pandemic lockdown the summer before by playing singles nearly every day so that he could improve his game, describes the elimination process for his tournament as follows:

The hardest part is staying on the players to play their matches
16 players is a good minimum number for an amateur tournament, but one could go up to 32 or 64: Stein

“I knew some players and asked about others’ abilities.” Next, he ranked them and organized them in World Cup style pools. “Everyone played each other and the top in each pool advanced to single elimination play.”

The tournament didn’t have judges. “It was a very informal tournament with no prizes, so the players called their own lines.”

On what the ideal number of players needed to make it manageable, Stein recommends 16 “as a good minimum number, but one could go up to 32 or 64. The key is making sure the players have flexibility to schedule their matches at the time and place of their choosing.”

Stein took advantage of the pandemic to improve his game. Photo credit: Courtesy 

For those interested in organizing a tournament of their own, Stein provides the following recommendation:

“The hardest part about the tournament was dealing with players who couldn’t/wouldn’t schedule matches. I’d be harder on DQing after a reasonable period to keep things moving. You can’t lose momentum or the whole thing dies.” 

He also advises the aspiring tournament organizer to “be persistent and don’t be afraid to ruffle feathers to keep things moving.”

Would you do it again?

“Probably not. It was annoying staying on top of  people. Thankfully I have friends who are organizing their own tourneys, so I get to participate without the headache,” he says with a laugh. 

Be persistent and don't be afraid to ruffle feathers to keep things moving
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