Annual CALTA Captains' Meeting


March 14, 2005


    The 2005 annual captains' meeting was held on March 14 in the Grill Room of Omar Auditorium, Patriot's Point, Mount Pleasant.  Refreshments were served at 9:30 and the meeting started at 10:00AM.  Of the 53 CALTA teams, 36 were represented.  


    The meeting was brought to order by CALTA President, Linda von Grotthuss, who made a brief opening statement that included an introduction of the Board members and a summary of the functions of the Board.  She also reviewed the way coordinating teams and coordinators are selected each year.  Linda referred to the rapid growth in CALTA (currently 700 dues-paying members, compared with 620 at the same time last year) and emphasized the need for this type of annual meeting to enable the Board to get first-hand input from the captains. 

    As there were no objections from the floor, the reading of last year's minutes and review of the CALTA financial statement were dispensed with.  Both had been on the CALTA web site for the past year. 


Web Site:

    The CALTA web site format and content were reviewed, with emphasis again on encouraging member usage and communication with the Board via the web site e-mail.  There are two new forms for the web site this year.  A "New Team Application" is now available (as announced by tennis columnist, James Beck, in his Post and Courier column the previous day).  A "Continuing Team Form" will be added in early May and will be required from each current team that intends to play in the 2005-2006 season.  The deadline for both forms to be submitted is June 1. 

Member Q:  Do we have to know who the Captain will be when the form is submitted?  Do we need to list the entire roster?

Board A:  No.  The form will request the name/e-mail of a "contact" for the summer, and the roster does not need to be submitted at that time.  [There will be no change in the deadline for roster submittal -- which is any time prior to the beginning of the new season. ]

Board Q:  Can a change of division be requested on the form?

Board A: Yes, there will be space on both forms to indicate division preference.


Division Structure and Scheduling for the 2005-2006 Season:

    Linda reviewed the process the Board goes through each year when establishing division structure and the match schedule.  Since, at past captains' meetings, a season of 24-27 matches has been voted on as the desired length by a significant majority of the teams represented, this is the starting point -- along with the Charleston Public School calendar.  The Board does not schedule play on days that the public schools are not in session.  Also, the Board tries to schedule as many "make-up" days as feasible for each division.

    A preliminary 2005-2006 calendar was distributed, illustrating the impact of the size of a division on the schedule for that size division.  It was explained that, given 1) calendar constraints, 2) the continuing growth in the league (currently 53 teams vs. 49 last year -- and new teams expected for next season), and 3) the desire to maintain competitive team groupings and respond to individual team requests, there is a possibility of going to five divisions next season.   [A schedule showing a 5-division structure based on current standings was made available for viewing at the end of the meeting.] 


Member Q:  Could our annual meeting be scheduled for a Tuesday, since USTA 3.0 matches are played on Monday? [It was noted that attendance at this Monday meeting was affected by both USTA 3.0 play and also the fact that it was a teacher development day and the public schools were not in session.]

Board A: This has been voted on at past captains' meetings and every year Monday has been the majority choice -- but we can look at other timing options.

Member Q:  What about scheduling it on a make-up day?

Board A:  This would create a conflict if teams needed the day for a make-up.  And removing a make-up day from the schedule might require starting a week earlier in August.

A vote was taken on whether we should start a week earlier in August -- a general "no" vote.

Member Q: Could we meet at 12:30?

Board A: Again, this has been voted on in the past.  It had been voted down since matches might not be finished and many of our members have children to pick up from school and would not be able to stay the entire meeting.

Member Q: What about an evening meeting?

Immediate negative response from membership.

Member Q:  What about having the annual meeting earlier in the year so as not to conflict with USTA play, which does not usually start until early February?

Board A:  USTA's start date is a moving target over which we have no control, but we could schedule the meeting earlier -- say mid-January -- and it would be unlikely that USTA Spring season would start by then.

A vote was taken and it was decided that a good solution would be to schedule the meeting on a Monday in mid-January and to request that the LCTA not start local 3.0 Spring play until after that date.  (And the meeting would be scheduled on a day that the local public schools are in session.) 

Member Q:  Can we combine our "spring break" week with Family Circle?

Board A:  "Spring Break" on our schedule refers to the Public School break. CALTA does not schedule play during the public school holiday for spring break and during the week of Family Circle.  If the two do not coincide, we have no choice but to not schedule matches on both those weeks.


Members were reminded that, as had been communicated early in the year by the coordinators, there is an error on this year's master schedule.  "Spring Break" is actually the week of March 28 -- not April 4 as shown on the schedule.  Captains are asked to plan to adjust their schedule accordingly.


Rules Committee Report:

    Nancy Pitcairn, Vice President and Chairman of the Rules Committee, reviewed the rules changes that had been put into effect for the current season.  [No rules changes were proposed for next season.]

    The first stated that even late-arriving players should be allowed a brief 5-minute warm-up -- a basic precaution against injury.  (no dissent from the members) 

    The second rule change concerned weather (Rule XII) and states that "if the courts are not dry/thawed by 8:45AM (to be confirmed in person by either staff on site or a member of the host team), the match is to be rescheduled unless both captains agree to wait longer."  Since the Board had heard of recent mix-ups related to this rule, Nancy explained that this means that, if the weather is questionable, the home captain will call the visiting captain (still no later than 7:30) to prevent anyone leaving home prematurely.  The Board feels that anyone leaving by 8:45 can get to any CALTA location by 10:00, the deadline to start (Rule VI).  It was emphasized that good communication is essential for the success of this rule.


Member Q:  What about when it's just too cold or windy?

Board A:  The issue of cold is already addressed in the rules and the home page of our web site has a link to a weather site that gives the hourly forecast for any zip code, including wind chill -- and which has proven to be a fairly reliable predictor for the captains to use as a reference in their discussions and decisions.   It should be noted that, even if the temperature forecast is above 32, if both teams agree that it's too nasty to play, the match can be rescheduled. 

Member Q:   Does this mean that we cannot start play until after 10:00 even if some courts are ready?

Board A:  No.  If both teams agree to wait out the conditions, play can start at any time after 9:30. 

Nancy asked if everyone was comfortable with this rule and there was general assent.


Member Q:  Can we get a pamphlet of the rules?

Board A:  It was explained that the rules are available on the CALTA web site and can be printed out by any member -- and require only 4 pages to print.  If a member does not have a computer, she should request that a team mate print the rules for her.  The members were reminded to keep their copies updated since the rules are reviewed on a yearly basis. 


Member Q:  When a position is forfeited, must it always be the fourth position? 

Board A:  Yes, but do not confuse this with a "default" (see Rule 5) which can occur on any court.

Member Q:  What about teams who change their line-ups after a "no-show"?

Board A:  Line-ups must be exchanged by 9:30 no matter how many players have not yet arrived.  If a player has not arrived by 9:45 (10:00 in a communicated emergency), that position is declared a default. 

Member Q:  If line-ups have been exchanged and then we are rained out, do the line-ups have to stay?

Board A:  If play has not started on a court, the line-ups are null and void and can be changed for the rescheduled match.  If play has started (even one point!), then the line-up must be the same for the rescheduled match. 

Member Q:  What if we cannot get a make-up match played?  Who defaults? 

Board A:  If neither team wants to make up a match, then both teams take zero points for that match.  If only one team wants to play and the other team does not want to play, the team that wants to play will receive four points (four forfeit points).  It is hoped that this will not occur since rescheduling of the four courts can be done at separate times.  The captains were encouraged to have their teams make every effort to play their make-up matches.


Nancy noted that, in view of a lack of "grievances" over the past two years, the Board feels there is no longer a need for a Grievance Committee and has been functioning without one this year.  The issues that have been brought to the attention of the Board have been rules- or weather-related and have been easily resolved. 


Junior Scholarship Program: 

    Pamela Doggett, CALTA Secretary and Chairman of the Junior Scholarship Program, gave a brief update of the program's status. 

    Each year applications for the program are sent to all schools, both public and private, that have tennis programs, and to all tennis clubs and facilities in the Charleston Area, requesting nominations for our program.  James Beck also publicizes our program in his P&C column, and information and forms are available on the CALTA web site for our members' use. 

    For the three years of the program's existence, CALTA has budgeted only $2,000 annually from dues -- but a total of over $11,000 has been provided in awards -- thanks to the  efforts of our coordinators and board members in organizing a very successful merchandise raffle two years ago and a cash 50/50 raffle last year.  Pamela thanked the members for the generosity in supporting these events.  

    Pamela announced that, at this year's luncheon, back by popular demand (as noted in last year's minutes), there will again be a merchandise raffle, with very appealing items.  The members were urged to bring their checkbooks to the luncheon and once again support this very worthy cause.


Nominating Committee Report:

    As noted in the invitation to the annual meeting, the current two-year term of CALTA's four executive board members (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) ends in May 2005.  The CALTA Charter specifies that a nominating committee be formed to present a slate of candidates for the next two-year term.  The committee selected by the Board was:  Pam Shaw (Chairman), Hutchie Cummin (representing Division 1), Mikie Frampton (Division 2), Francie Egleston (Division 3) and Bridget Hill (Division 4). 

    Francie Egleston presented the committee's report.  She announced that the nominating committee, having ascertained that all four of the current executive board members were willing to serve another term, was therefore presenting as its slate for the 2005-2007 term the same four individuals currently in office -- Linda von Grotthuss, Nancy Pitcairn, Pamela Doggett and Lynn McNally.  Francie asked if there were any nominations from the floor.  There were none.  She asked for a show of hands in support of the slate -- which resulted in unanimous approval.


May 2005 Luncheon Committee Report:

    Vicky Meister, chairman of the Luncheon Committee announced that our annual luncheon for all four divisions will be held this year on May 10 and it will again be held at the Omar Auditorium.  The price will remain the same -- $15 for dues-paying members, $20 for subs -- and there will be a cash bar.  As always, there will be spectacular decorations, member gifts, door prizes and awards presented to our winning teams.  Invitations will be mailed by early April with all the details.  This year there will again be a fabulous raffle, proceeds to benefit the CALTA Junior Scholarship Program.  Several items were mentioned in a effort to pique interest.  In response to a request from the floor, it was agreed that a list of raffle items would be made available prior to the luncheon so that members unable to attend could participate through a fellow member. 


Prior to adjourning, Linda asked if there were any other questions. 


Member Q:  If my rating changes, can I move up in CALTA? 

Board A:  CALTA does not recognize or use NTRP ratings.  A member may play in whichever division she chooses.  Most CALTA members choose to play with their friends in the most competitive division for their abilities. 

Member Q:  So how do I move up?

Board A:  As stated on the home page of our web site, players may be added to a team's roster at any time during the season.  By extension, a player can transfer from one team to another at any time during the season.  The player should, of course, meet the membership requirements of the tennis center of the team to which she is transferring.  Teams can move up or down by making a request to the board by June 1 for the coming season. 

Member Q:  Our score sheets require listing the home team's score first.  Since the other score sheets we use for other leagues require the winner's score first, this is confusing.  Can we change the CALTA score sheet to shoe the winner's score first?

Board A:  CALTA has been using the score sheet it inherited from City League, assuming that that was what our members were used to -- but, if our members want the score sheet changed, that can be done for next season. 

There was a general affirmative to this request.  Next year's score sheet will require that the winner's score be listed first.


There being no further business on the agenda or from the floor, the meeting was adjourned.