31 August 2018

Match making - a tennis lover's guide

By and large our players are brilliant at scheduling matches and each year tens of thousands of matches are set up and played in our leagues nationwide. But sometimes it’s tricky. Here are some suggestions on the fine art of getting those matches arranged

“No one has got in touch with me!” 

“I sent all my dates at the beginning of the round but no one has responded.”

“I can’t get any response from the last two players in my group.” 

“I don’t understand why people join if they don’t reply to requests to play!”

We hear quite a lot about the frustrations of setting up matches here at Tennis HQ and we are very sympathetic. After all, each and everyone of us plays in the leagues too and we know it can be hard.

Some groups get inventive with Doodle or Whatsapp or even their own spreadsheet. Some text and some email and very occasionally, someone uses their phone to phone! (One day we may even be able to launch our own match scheduling app.)  There is no one best way to set up matches but over the years, we have learned a few things which might help.

  • Understand the booking system of the courts where you want to play. What is the refund policy? When are the quiet times? As a general rule, weekday nights and Saturday mornings are busy. Friday evenings, early mornings, day times, Saturday afternoon and Sundays are often better options.  
  • Before the round begins, book a court for the first weekend or sometime in the first week (assuming you can cancel if necessary)
  • Once the groups are issued on a Wednesday evening, you can see everyone’s details on your account page (log on to the website and click on your name top right). There is an option Email All. 
  • Offer the court you have booked to everyone and play the first person who responds
  • Thereafter, email one or two people at a time, ideally with the dates of a pre-booked court. Aim for those bonus points and free balls!
  • Don’t pester – give people a breather if you have not heard back.
  • Always, always, always respond if people contact you. 
  • If you invite someone to play at your club (or you are being invited) explain (or ask) about any guest fee    
  • If email does not work, text or phone and if that doesn’t work, contact us and we will try to help.
  • Don’t give up. Nothing succeeds like perseverance.

Have you found a good way to set up your own matches? We would love to hear it. Email info@localtennisleagues.com and let us know. You can also check out our page here.