Player Availability Change Alerts

ALTA Tennis, Availability, Captains, USTA Tennis Comments Off on Player Availability Change Alerts

Captains, you can now receive email alerts when a player updates their availability!

For instance, lets assume you are busy in your “non-tennis life” and haven’t yet created that week’s lineup yet, but you have a pretty good idea which players are going to play which line. What happens though when one of your key player’s has a change in schedule and isn’t available? In the past you wouldn’t see this until you checked out the “set/view availability” page or when to “create lineup” — now instead you can be alerted by email when someone becomes not available or available. Yes, all the team’s registered captains and co-captains receive the email.

What happens if you were a touch more prepared though with a “draft lineup” for this coming weeks match? Well you can get alerts then too if the player changes their availability.

Could we have made the availability alerts really simple — send you an email EVERY time someone enters/edits their availability? Yes, we could have but then you would just start to ignore the emails since you have no action to take based off the email you got… kind of like those who just click a “reply to all” — sorry to digress 😉 Technically if you want to get TONS of emails on all changes you can change the last setting (no lineup alerts) to be a really large number like 90 days and that would generate lots of emails in case you do want them.

You can find the availability alerts in the “set availability” page for the team. Below is a screen shot of the “availability alerts”. Check it out for your next team and stay informed as a captain!

FYI, we also moved the “auto-nag” settings here as well so that all the “availability page” setting are in the same place.

Player Availability Alerts on TennisPoint

New to TennisPoint? All you need to know as a player…

ALTA Tennis, Captains Comments Off on New to TennisPoint? All you need to know as a player…

With the fall tennis seasons getting ready to kick off, we wanted to give all those who are new to TennisPoint a quick bullet list about how to get setup for team on TennisPoint.

1. Sign Up for a TennisPoint Account – this step is very easy and costs nothing. Our goal is to really just ask for the key information that helps create the best experience on TennisPoint. For instance, some wonder why we ask for your address — we do this so that we can provide google maps driving directions from your house to the away matches. Why do we ask for phone number… your captain really wants this ;o) Several other items for captain as well like your court side / playing preference (doubles/singles) are there to help your team win.

Remember you only ever need 1 TennisPoint account regardless of the team, season, year or league… everything is managed in 1 single account.

2. Log into your account – Once logged into your account, the site should already have found your team and you should be viewing it. If your captain hasn’t created the team’s schedule yet on TennisPoint you will see a view like this:
Team with no schedule yet

If your captain has already created the team’s schedule, you will see a list of the individual matches (when viewing from the “matches & teams” top navigation tab).

3. Set Availability – Yes, your team has a schedule and now it is time to tell your captain when you are available to play. Set Availability

Save your captain some stress and keep your availability updated — plus it only takes 2 minutes to tell your captains when you are available to play.

4. Confirm your good in the lineup — After a lineup has been created for a match, if you are in the lineup you are able to mark on the site that you are good to play and will be there. Most captains will also send out a match confirmation email, which provides you the links directly into your account to confirm for the upcoming match:

Match Confirmation in Email

After you click on the “Yes, I am Ready to Play” link in the image above you will be automatically logged into your account and confirmed for the match – simple and easy! If you aren’t available, you can click that too and an email will be generated to your captains alerting them of this.

5. Play and have lots of fun! Yes, as a player the only thing left is to play and have a great time!

ALTA Imports… Schedule, Division Standing & Player Verification

ALTA Tennis, Captains, Points, Schedule Comments Off on ALTA Imports… Schedule, Division Standing & Player Verification

All of TennisPoint’s time saving ALTA imports are working great with the ALTA new website. This includes the team Division Standings, Player Verification to ensure no lost points and an all new Schedule Import.

Schedule Import:
ALTA just released the Summer mixed schedule today (Thursday May 20th) and now it is even easier to get your ALTA schedule into TennisPoint with our Schedule Import. Simply make TennisPoint a Designee on your ALTA team, enter your ALTA Roster ID and the import grabs all the schedule details for your review and submission. It is truly quick and painless!

Wondering how to setup TennisPoint as an ALTA Designee on your team?
To create TennisPoint as a designee on your ALTA it is a quick and easy process – we actually use the exact same process as coaches use to access your team’s schedule.

As a designee it allows us to view the team schedule once it is published and import it into your TennisPoint. Plus, the great thing with it being a designee is it allows you to keep your personal ALTA username/password private and still have complete control over everything!

Division Standings
The great thing is it is VERY easy to automatically import in your division standing – purely enter your team’s settings (ie: B-3 division 4) and it will automatically pull in all your points for all teams in the division.

Player Verification
Player verification is designed to ensure you never play a player who isn’t registered on your ALTA team. Unfortunately it can be easy to forget to register a player between the original team registration date quiet period and post captains meeting when you are able to add new players. TennisPoint has to be a designee on the team for Player verification to be used as well.

TennisPoint ALTA Imports can really save more time and make using TennisPoint even better!

Rain Mode Available Now…

Availability, Captains, Lineup, Rain Comments Off on Rain Mode Available Now…

Rain is inevitable in the Fall and Spring and we have now enabled a rain mode to help with this. Rain mode will enable the team to keep up with when & where the rain makeup match will take place. For instance, if you had a match this past Saturday when it was raining cats and dogs outside and the tennis courts were not going to get played anytime soon; then you could click “ Active Rain Mode” and be able to set the new match date, time and location of the match. This makeup information is by individual line as well since normally not all are available on the same date/time.

Below are the screen shots for what happens:
1. After I click on the link Activate Rain Mode, then I am present with a form for each of the lines to enter the makeup date, time and place (only show a couple lines to demonstrate below).
Activate Rain Mode

2. After I set the new makeup match date, match time and playing facility, then I get to see when it is. Plus, all my teammates know when and where to show up to cheer on our victory:
Rain Makeup Match Set

You will notice in the picture above that I am also able to edit this at anytime if it changes. FYI, the only captains, co-captains and team coaches (if you have one setup) can activate rain mode on the team. Plus each player at a line can set their new makeup times but ONLY for the line they are playing.

Got any help with our opponent captains — yes, we have a another nice time saver there as well. Since majority of the time each line arranges their makeup matches independently, we have created another email which will send the player’s contact information to the opposing captain to help get the scheduling started. Below is a screen shot of of this email and you will notice that you can choose to email based off the line as well.
Email Player Contact Info

Hopefully we will have LOTS of sunshine but just in case you can now be more informed with TennisPoint’s Rain Mode.

Voiceblast: Call your entire team with a single call!

Announcements, Captains, Lineup, Playoff Comments Off on Voiceblast: Call your entire team with a single call!

People are very busy and unfortunately our players aren’t just hanging out next to their computers waiting for our emails. So how do you get out that important or inspiring message to your team? Thankfully everyone has a phone (yes, we know their could still be a few holdouts they don’t play tennis) and the quickest way to get that last minute message to your team is to call them! How do you call them all at once and not waste 20 minutes calling every player… you can use TennisPoint’s Voiceblast feature.

To voiceblast your team, all you do is call our toll-free 800 number and record your message which you would like to send out to your team. Voiceblaster walks you through recording your message to send to your team and even allows you to listen to it prior to sending and re-record if desired. Once you are happy with your message and send it to all your players, TennisPoint’s Voiceblaster calls everyone immediately and plays back your recorded message.

  • If you have multiple teams on TennisPoint, no problem – it prompts you up front for which team you would like to voiceblast.
  • If you already have a lineup for an upcoming match, you can choose to only call those in the lineup or call the entire team.
  • Your recorded message is also left for their voice mail just in case they don’t answer it.

You can purchase Voiceblast credits in quantities as small as 3 blasts and up to 60 blasts. The credits never expire, so be sure you have have them when you need them.

“Hey all, remember we are playing at X place this coming Saturday”

“Hey all, good luck with the match this Saturday while I am out of town!”

“Guys, we are playing on courts 4 & 5 in this massive complex in the back corner when you get here.

“With the pouring rain we are canceled for today. Please send me an email with your availability this week and if you are out of town.”

Flex Leagues Now Supported

Announcements, Captains, Flex League Comments Off on Flex Leagues Now Supported

Flex Leagues are now supported in TennisPoint….but what is a Flex League?

A Flex League is a league which normally has a 1 or 2 week window to play a match and all players on both teams agree on a match date/time. In comparison, USTA leagues define all details about the match – where to play, which teams are playing and what time they must start — even with strict rules around being late. These strict time rules, fostered the creation of “Flex Leagues” where players get to set their own time to play and there are many great Flex Leagues – K-Swiss (, and and several others out there.

Getting 2 people to agree on a play time for their match is normally fairly easy, but getting 4 (doubles) to agree to a play time can be challenging. This gets compounded when players play in multiple Flex Leagues and we all have busy lives!

Up until today, players would try and schedule each Flex League match through email and phone calls, but we all know this isn’t the most effective way. In email, it is unfortunately easy to confuse match opponents and potentially end up incorrectly scheduling a match and possibly even have to forfeit the match due to this mistake.

The TennisPoint Power Scheduler is now available to help with these scheduling challenges! How would I use TennisPoint to manage your Flex League Matches?

1. Create New Team: Assuming you are already a TennisPoint member (if not signup here), then you will want to “Create a New Team”. This is a small form which gets the key details like which League, Doubles or Singles, number of matches and even doubles playing partner.

2. Create Team Schedule: When submitting your team, you can setup your match schedule. You will need to input the “play by” date, home or away, your opponent’s facility and your opponent emails. This step is VERY quick since we already have all the details about the facilities already in the databae and features like “auto-populate dates” mean you only need to select 1 date truly!

3. Please Set your Availability: To set the days you are available to play a match, we have created very quick and intuitive scheduler where you can check which days/times work for your scheduling your play time.

Play Times Available

If your playing doubles, your playing partner does the same thing and can quickly see the dates you are available. Yes, the green boxes below are what my partner checked as available match times – very quick and easy!

Playing Partner's Schedule

4. Email Dates to Opponents: For doubles, once you both have agreed to X number of play times, then you need to email your opponents your available dates/times.

UH OH, Do my opponents need to be TennisPoint members? NO, we know that everyone isn’t a TennisPoint member yet! In the email, each opponent gets a custom URL which allows them to select their availability and schedule the match! When an opponent clicks on the URL, they will see custom page where they can choose the match time!

5. Once the match start time is set by all players, everyone gets an email with the agreed match date and start time with all the details like location and even directions there!

What are the gray and yellow balls on the scheduler? When you already have a match scheduled, we mark those time slots to ensure you can’t double book your matches!

Yes, this truly becomes a quick and easy way to manage your Flex League Matches!!!

Prevent Point loss from Playing non-registered ALTA Players

ALTA Tennis, Announcements, Captains, Lineup Comments Off on Prevent Point loss from Playing non-registered ALTA Players

As an ALTA tennis captain it has either happened to you or you know someone who it has happened to — losing points due to accidentally playing a player who is NOT registered in ALTA ( ALTA is understandably very strict about playing a non-registered player. The rules specifically state that player must be registered before midnight the night before scheduled play — so for a Saturday morning match, a player must be registered in ALTA’s system by 11:59pm Friday night.

So what happens if you play a player who is NOT registered? You lose the point from that match if it was won, but will also lose all points above it as well. For instance, an unregistered player plays at line 4 and wins along with line 5 winning as well — the team will forfeit the points from line 4 & 5 to the other team. Now lets compound this another step farther, with the mailed in scorecards, the coordinator might not alert you to the infraction for another week and could result in another week of point losses! Unfortunately it could mount up to 4-10 points forfeited and also take a team out of contention for division winner and playoffs! A really big bummer! now alerts you [captain] when a player is NOT confirmed with our ALTA Roster Confirmation!

Lets walk through the specifics of the TennisPoint ALTA Roster Confirmation System. After creating your team & schedule, you will see a message like the following:

ALTA Player Roster Confirmation

The first step is to click on “Click here to confirm players” and you will be prompted to enter your ALTA Team confirmation number and the captain’s ALTA number. Example here:

ALTA Roster Confirmation Setup

Once you click on “Submit –> Player Confirmation”, TennisPoint will import in your ALTA roster from and auto-match your players based off player ALTA # and full name.

After all the processing you get a nice confirmation page letting you know all the details like this:

ALTA Roster Matching with TennisPoint Team Roster
Create Lineup

You will notice based off the screen shot above that 3 players weren’t “auto-matched” and the captain has the ability to match these players up manually.

What about creating a lineup though for a match? This is the important part because we show the captains who is NOT confirmed so that a player can be confirmed/registered BEFORE playing and keep the points won!

You will notice in the image to the right (the drop down to the right is shown in the create lineup page), the section stating “NOT Confirmed as ALTA Registered” and these player(s) need to be confirmed in TennisPoint as ALTA Registered first.

We have a feeling that the TennisPoint ALTA captains will REALLY appreciate this peace of mind!!! Any questions around this powerful new feature let us know.

Have great matches out on the courts!

TennisPoint Member Services

ALTA Sandbagging Rules Explained…

ALTA Tennis, Captains, Lineup, Points Comments Off on ALTA Sandbagging Rules Explained…

With Fall ALTA just around the corner we thought it would be a good idea to review the ALTA Sandbagging rules since their is really tooooooo much confusion around this and the examples on it are very vague unfortunately. Let us review the existing rules that are in place from ALTA:

  1. A previously played (win or lose) pairing can only go up OR down 1 line together — ie: line 2 to 3.
  2. Regardless of previously winning or losing, a single player in a NEW pairing can only go up OR down 2 lines — ie: line 1 to line 3.
  3. A losing pair can NOT be moved up 1 line while a winning pair goes down 1 line — aka true sandbagging by possibly putting the weaker line up higher and the stronger line lower trying to get a win/point.

Well that really is not that many rules – granted we are only talking about sandbagging rules (Adult ALTA rules & Junior ALTA rules) and they can get really complicated quickly as the season moves along. Let us look at a good example:

ALTA Sandbagging rules simplified

A little information about the image above… Each match day has 5 lines each with 1 pairing (10 people). I labeled the pairings with letters and colored them green for a WIN and red for a LOSS — Purple is an ILLEGAL move. The assumption is that I have to create a lineup for week 4…. so lets analyze the details week by week:

  • Week 1: All the pairings are new so anyone can play with anyone anywhere — EASY.
  • Week 2: Now the rules start kicking in since pairings have been created and player lines defined.
    • Pair B moved down 1 line – legal since the pair went down 1 line and the pairing above them (line 2) was a NEW pairing (Pair X)
    • Pair Y is also a new one at line 5 which is fine as well
  • Week 3: Pair X moved from line 2 to line 1 which was a legal move
    • Pair B moved up 1 line from week 2 which was a legal move as well
    • Line 4 has an illegal move since one player from pairing A moved from line 1 to line 4 — the lowest the player could go down was to line 3.
      • If this was truly played then the team would lose points for line 4 AND line 5 — wow that would suck!
  • Week 4: LOTS going on here with the proposed lineup!
    • Line 2 is an ILLEGAL move (Pair A last at line 1 for week 2 and Pair X previously at line 1 for week 3) when Pair B is moved above since the pairing (B) lost in week 2. If we go back up to our ALTA sandbagging rules above these moves violate rule 3.
    • Line 3 stayed in the same position so no problem.
    • Line 4 stayed in the same position (last paired together on week 2) so no problem as well.
    • Line 5 is an ILLEGAL move as well since the pair was together on week 1 at line 3 and can ONLY go up/down 1 line. Notice that this rules goes back to the LAST time played together and in this case it was on week 1.

You will notice by the examples above that it can get pretty crazy real quick! Imagine also have a good lineup (all 5 lines) created correctly and have one of your players in line 2 say they can not play last minute — if you do not use a software like TennisPoint will you remember all the previous weeks to ensure a legal move?

Why is it important to NOT make an illegal move? It is VERY important because all points will be forfeited from the offending line down and ALL points earned are stripped! For instance, if an illegal move happened at line 2, and lines 2, 3, 4 & 5 won, then your coordinator will be calling you to tell you about your illegal move and that all points earned for lines 2 – 5 will go to your competitor!

When creating my lineups on TennisPoint do I have think about it? You will want to think about it for planning purposes and TennisPoint will perform sandbagging check to keep you safe as well!

ALTA Scorekeeper Emails

Captains, Points Comments Off on ALTA Scorekeeper Emails

ALTA Captains can now send out scorekeeper emails directly from the application. The form used to send out emails is still the same email form with now a place to record the scorekeepers email and have it saved for future use as well. Another great feature is the captain does not need to worry about giving out lineup details either, becuase the points reported are purely aggregated totals.

Example email:

Personalized email text from captain…

Enter Scorekeepers EmailMatch #3 on 6-15-2008

  • Terrell Mill TC [Smith]: 3 Pts
  • Avalon Tennis Center: 2 Pts

How do you send out this email:?

1. In the lineup grid click on Email Points/Lineup

2. Fill in the Scorekeepers Email

3. Enter in your email details (subject & body)

4. Select the Scorekeeper Email Radio Button at bottom and then click Send Email Button.

Scorekeeper email Type

How do I archive off an old tennis Season?

Captains, Schedule Comments Off on How do I archive off an old tennis Season?

All of your teams are auto-archived off approximately 10 days after the LAST scheduled match… regular season or playoff date.

Yes, you can still view the team though and all the details for it… you now have a drop down at the top of the “All Matches” page which states: “Completed Seasons”. You can select any/all past matches and reference them as much as you like. The great thing is your stats are NOT archived off and stay in your Stats view season after season.

If you did happen to set some facilities in your schedule for playoffs and did NOT play them, then this date will still be used for the last day. Here is a good example:

Last Regular season match play: 5/9/2008

Playoff match date with a facility (schedule edited and place holder put in): 5/16/2008 & 5/30/2008

Your team will auto-archive 10 days AFTER the last scheduled match (5/30/2008). If you want to speed up this auto-archiving process, edit the team’s schedule and delete the playoff matches that were NOT played… then the new “last match date” is back to 5/9/2008.

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