Welcome to 2015, the year of the goat, or, in pro tennis circles, the year of the Djoker. It's time to kick off the 4th annual McCarren Park Tennis Ladder. As usual, all proceeds go towards the maintenance and improvement of the McCarren Park tennis courts. The ladder will run from June 1 to September 1, 2015. Sign-ups are open now, so please register here.
This year there will be two ladders. The "A" ladder is for 4.0+ players only and the "B" ladder is for players of all levels. Both ladders are open to men and women. Please indicate which ladder you would like to play in when you register. Once you are registered, you will receive an email with login information for tennisrungs.com. You will be able to challenge players, submit scores, and view rankings on the website during the season.
Register: To register, fill out the form and follow the steps to pay through PayPal using your PayPal account or any major credit card. Your registration will not be effective until we have received your payment.
The Donation: All participants must make a donation to McCarren Tennis to participate. The donation is $50.01 on or before May 31 and $65.01 thereafter. All proceeds go towards maintenance of the McCarren Park courts. Payments are collected on behalf of the McCarren Tennis Association by the Open Space Alliance, a not-for-profit dedicated to the improvement of North Brooklyn Parks.
The Rules: The rules are available on the McCarren Tennis Ladder Rules page.
Seeding: Initial seeding will be based on the final standings of last year's ladder. If you are joining for the first time, or if you sign up after May 31, you will automatically be added to the bottom of the ladder.
Play-offs: There will be a mini-tournament for the top 8 players of each ladder at the end of the season.
Getting there: The McCarren Park tennis courts are located here, between Bedford Ave. and Berry St., just north of North 12th St., in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Take the L train to Bedford Ave. or the G train to Nassau Ave.
Long time no post, but here we go. As many of you have seen, there are now shipping containers -- that's Brooklyn for "clubhouse" -- at the courts. This is the first stage of the long awaited, nay mythical, bubble that we've been promised for at least three years. Like the weatherman who tells you that rain is forecasted when it's already raining, we're confidently able to predict that we will likely, probably have a bubble this winter. Why? Well, it's been three years since the good folks who won the bid actually won it. Also, there are now containers on the site, and those are going to become a pro shop, a viewing area, and best of all, bathrooms for players. Finally, we're told from our Parks Department sources that permits and major issues have been worked out.
From a court-time planning perspective, we're told that the first phase of construction will involve digging a trench around the inside perimeter of the courts -- this will be the foundation to which the bubble fabric attaches when it's inflated each season. In theory and by design, this should disrupt play only on two courts at a time, though obviously time will tell. You can expect upgrades to the surfaces, nets and other things more important to play at some point. We still don't have definitive information on outdoor lighting, but please check back for more. Sound off below with questions or comments and we'll try to get some answers.
Most importantly -- check the next post for info on the 2015 McCarren Tennis Ladder!!
We've heard that our Paypal wasn't accepting donations properly, but we've now fixed the issue. We apologize for the inconvenience. So you don't have to fill out the whole form again, here's a simplified version of the form designed to just take your payment. This is ONLY if you have already registered -- otherwise just use the form below. See you on the courts.
Hi all - happy to announce that the 2014 McCarren Tennis Ladder is alive and well for the spring season.
Sign-ups for the 2014 Ladder will begin immediately, so please register here. The season will officially start June 1. This year there will be 3 separate ladders: 3.5 ladder, 4.0 ladder, and 4.5+ ladder. Both men & women may play in any of the ladders.
For registrants who sign up on or before June 1, initial seeding will be based on the results of last year's ladder. If you are joining for the first time, or if you sign up after June 1, you will automatically be added to the bottom of the ladder. We're offering a discount on early registrations: it's $50.01 before June 1, and $65.01 if you register later. Please review the full set of rules here.
We will be using tennisrungs.com again to run our ladder. Once you fill out the registration form and pay, a ladder administrator will send you an email to invite you to join tennisrungs.com. If you have any questions, please contact the administrator of the ladder that you're playing in. The admins:
By the way ... noticed the trimmed trees around the courts? Yes, you could have hit that high-bouncing lob if it didn't hit a tree branch first -- but this wasn't done for you. It's for the bubble. We can't make any promises, because it's been delayed so many times. But that's why those trees were trimmed, so hopefully this will move forward this year.
Back in late 2009, we were among the many groups and individuals who objected to the city's doubling of tennis permit fees. There were a lot of reasons for our opposition: the fact that tennis players already paid the highest per capita fees of any organized sport in the city, the fact that it would discourage adoption of the game, and of course that tennis players didn't get anything for the money we paid -- after all, it was the USTA and AmEx who had resurfaced our courts, not the city. One other argument we made, however, was that the city wouldn't even benefit from the rate increases. You don't have to be Paul Krugman to realize that raising rates on shitty (relatively) public courts so they are more expensive than all other Park activities and more expensive than most private facilities would result in a dramatic downturn tennis activity -- or an upturn in sneaking on the courts.
Well, we're unhappy to say that both were true. Read the article from the NY Times and weep.
Next time, the Parks Department might try to listen to the audience they're trying to sell permits to.
As many of you have heard, the bubble has been delayed for a year. Apparently after getting clearance from Parks to start construction, the concessionaires also needed to get a required permit from the Department of Buildings. Because that process takes 6-8 weeks at the minimum, the construction work wouldn't have been complete until October, and then it takes 3 months for the dome to be constructed per specs that become available after the construction is complete.
So ... no dome in 2013/2014 season. But at least our outdoor season won't be interrupted by construction -- and one hopes that the construction can be better timed to prevent disruption to spring/summer play next year.
At long last, we have some definitive news on the tennis bubble at our dear courts. Drum roll please ... the bubble will be up this October! After 2 years of wrangling with Parks, the concession has been awarded, permits granted, and everything is set. There are a few great wins for the community beyond the bubble, but there also will be some serious disruption during construction. Here are the pros and cons:
- The bubble company has agreed to install lights in the fall. This was part of his bid. These are exterior lights (there are different lights inside the dome) which will enable play on 3 courts during the permit season -- so this means we'll have night tennis as well as night soccer in the neighborhood. In 2016, lights will expand to cover all 6 courts.
- The bubble company would become responsible for all maintenance of the courts year round -- fixing the surface, fencing, nets, drainage, etc.
- We'll be able to play tennis in the winter ... for a fee, of course.
- There will be a trailer structure parked near the courts, which will be a pro-shop and concessions for the dome, as well as where you check in and pay. So you can have your rackets strung, buy balls, etc.
- Dome construction would start by end of June. This would involve cutting a 3' channel, about 4' deep, on both sides of the courts, pouring concrete and setting the anchor structure for the dome. Once completed, the anchors will not affect play, but there will be a disruption for 2-4 weeks once construction starts. This is unfortunately, but construction would have to start very soon to have the bubble ready for this winter.
- The bubble will go up in mid October and come down at the end of April. This period is outside of permit season, so no tennis permits are required to use the dome, but of course there are court fees. So effectively, there will be a period (November, April) when people could have played for free but now will have to pay. This was of course a source for debate during the RFP process.
At this time, pricing has not been set but it was limited in the RFP so you can probably expect it to be in line with Prospect Park. Questions? Ask them below and we'll try to get answers.
We're back!! Sign-ups for the 2013 McCarren Tennis Ladder will begin immediately, so register here. The season will officially start May 15. This year there will be 4 separate ladders: a women's ladder, 3.5 ladder, 4.0 ladder, and 4.5+ ladder (to be clear: women may play in any of the ladders, but men may not play in the women's ladder).
Initial seeding will be based on the results of last year's ladder. If you are joining for the first time, or if you sign up after May 15th, you will automatically be added to the bottom of the ladder. Please review the full set of rules here. The entry fee will be $35.01 per player.
This year we will be using Tennisrungs.com to run our ladder. Once you fill out the registration form and pay, a ladder administrator will send you an email to invite you to join Tennisrungs.com. If you have any questions, please contact the administrators of the ladder that you're interested in playing in.
Women's Ladder - Anastasiya Konopitskaya (firstname.lastname@example.org)
3.5 Ladder - Michael Truong (email@example.com)
4.0 Ladder - Drew Malcolm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4.5 Ladder - Michael Moshan (email@example.com)
We would like to send a special shout out to Tim Owens, co-founder of Tennisrungs.com, who graciously donated a lifetime membership to McCarren Tennis!! Tennisrungs.com removes all the headaches that comes with running a tennis ladder, allowing easy access for players to challenge, report scores, and view match statistics online. If you know of anyone else who participates in a tennis ladder, please help spread the word about Tennisrungs.com. Thank you Tim, we are really looking forward to using your website for our ladder this year!
Eric Gonda! Congratulations to Eric for beating Wojtek Januszko 4-6, 7-5, 10-4 in a closely contested ladder final match this afternoon. Unleashing punishing ground strokes, Wojtek built an early lead before Eric nabbed a crucial break to run away with the second set. With the momentum finally on his side, Eric eked out the win in the super tiebreak to become the first McCarren Ladder Champion.
Thank you to everyone who came out this afternoon to watch the final, and more importantly, to everyone who participated in the ladder this year. It was another successful fundraiser for the maintenance of the courts. See you next year!