College Tennis Fall Invitationals in October
For those of you who haven't read our article on the tournaments in September (click here to take a look), there are some very relevant things to know about these Invitationals - especially so for 1. college tennis rookies, 2. those of you looking for a scholarship within the next years, or 3. parents of players:
- Invitationals are events, which are organized by athletic programs - college tennis programs - with the aim of providing their players with plenty of match time against equally strong players. It's up to the host to invite participants and the number of participating teams can vary from as little as 4 to more than 20 teams.
- As the aim of the events is to provide match experience against other college players, all players are typically guaranteed a minimum number of matches. The winners continue competing and the losers proceed in the consolation rounds.
- Most of the time, Invitationals maintain the separation between NCAA D-I and "small college" divisions. Sometimes you will come across a list of participating schools, which goes beyond this split and allows players from NAIA, NCAA D-I, D-II, D-III and even NJCAA to be pitted against each other. A great example of such an event in October is the Mercer Bear Gridiron Classic. D-I players might dominate the events, as was the case at the Mercer Invite (University of North Carolina Wilmington), but those from small colleges divisions are challenged to step up their level.
(Source: Western Michigan)
This map focuses on ITA-sanctioned events held in October. Because interesting information, such as participating schools, is not published until the event takes place, there's not as detailed background facts available on the remaining October tournaments to come. The graphic therefore does not contain all the information and even leaves out other, Small College Invitationals (NCAA D-II, D-III, NAIA). If we missed one, please feel free to drop us a mail and we'll make sure to add it!
Click here to get an idea of the September events, and check back in 4 weeks' time for our November map:
View Fall Invitationals - September 2015 in a full screen map
The month of October features 54 Fall Invitationals. If you change the filter and look closely, you will see that there are significantly more events for women than for men... 54 events is a lot fewer events than in September (78) and simply owed to the fact that the best players of all divisions are competing in ITA Regional Championships this month. This is actually a really exciting time of the year and we will dedicate an edition purely on the ITA Regionals in our upcoming Friday Scholarship Guide.
A really fun thing about the Invitationals is that the modus of play is up to the host. Knock-out draws, round-robin events or team scores - the organizing school decides. However, you will always come across the fact that there are several doubles and singles flights. Coaches have the chance to see their players be challenged in various situations. At what level is the player performing best? In the strongest singles flight against other teams' #1 players or on the #2 spot and thus in the second strongest singles draw? Does the player step up against better opponents or is he/she a solid and reliable winner at position #5 or #6?
(Source: University of Arizona)
When reading the recaps of the Invitationals, you will notice there are several champions in a single event. That is the result of the larger number of singles and doubles flights. Often, you will find a school capturing several titles at the same event, simply reflecting a school's stronger line-up at all positions.
If you want to read more about D-I tennis, also in the off-season, we can highly recommend you take a look at College Tennis Today, which covers D-I tennis as well as the most relevant Fall Invitationals.
Interested in our November edition on Fall Invitationals as well as the upcoming piece on ITA Regional Championships? Just follow us on one of our social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter, and you will certainly see us publishing our blog articles!