The Herald Bulletin

July 11, 2013

Rick Teverbaugh: Tennis Classic scheduling a big job

The Herald Bulletin

---- — The people running the Anderson Tennis Classic at Anderson University this week have a difficult job with a can’t-win slant to it.

The ultimate goal is to fit all of the matches into the schedules of the players as well as into a greater scheme that will make the often interlocking brackets roll smoothly to a weekend conclusion.

The schedule needs to be a bit flexible as players will have some real-life emergencies and unexpected turns with which they must deal during this nine-day run. Many of those are legitimate and the people in charge are to be commended for putting forth that extra effort to let everyone play their matches. Forfeits are to be avoided at nearly any cost.

There are also some accommodations that aren’t nearly as necessary. But rather than making those judgments, the changes are just routinely made whenever possible.

But that creates some problems for the people who aren’t playing.

The biggest group hindered by that practice are the spectators. The daily schedule for matches in the tournament can be found online. That is a great tool for planning to see the best matchups or to connect with those matches of family and friends.

Yet when those matches get changed with very little notice, matches are missed. It is a good thing that the match schedule for the day is hand posted on boards at the AU courts. But that doesn’t help the people who have made a fruitless trip.

The much smaller group affected by the switching of times and days is the media. Now in this case, that only involves THB as I’ve not seen any other newspaper, radio or television reporters covering these matches.

But there are matches I pick on a daily basis to watch and then interview the participants for a story. Often those matches aren’t to be found when I get there.

Granted, I know a lot of the players and can usually find a match that will make a good story or I can come back at a later time to view the match I had originally targeted. The same can’t be said for our photographers, who need to take pictures at the scheduled time or not at all.

If there are ever questions about what matches and players get covered, remember that the original choices might not have been playing at the scheduled time.

I am already looking forward to Saturday, late morning and early afternoon, when many of the ‘A’ titles will be decided. But I am also fearful that many of those matches might get played at other times and we could miss them entirely.

As I stated originally, it is a no-win scenario with no right answer and no easy way to get through the scheduling maze. Wednesday’s rain just made it even more difficult. I don’t envy them their job and wouldn’t want to volunteer to do it.

Sports Editor Rick Teverbaugh’s columns appear twice weekly.