With an aim to bring an end to organisational apathy, the All India Tennis Association has started the process of bringing all private academies under uniform regulation, which will ensure that only those centres can host age-group tournaments, which are registered with the Federation.

The move, accepted by AITA Executive Committee, means that all private academies in the country will have to apply for registration immediately with their respective state associations because from July 1, 2018, unregistered academies won’t be able to host tournaments.

Across the country, a lot of academies host tournaments such AITA Talent Series, Championship series, Super Series, National series and the Nationals. However, there have been numerous complaints that the events are being hosted in the most unprofessional manner.

It has been noted that some venues do not have even basic amenities such as drinking water and separate washrooms for boys and girls. There are no basic sitting arrangements for the accompanying parents. “All this has to stop. We want to create a system that all these academies come under one regulation. We have received a lot of complaints and we want to put an end to this,” AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee said.

“We are going to provide ratings to the academies. It will make players and parents aware as to where are they heading? Whether it is beneficial for players to be at a certain academy or not,” Chatterjee clarified.

Hosting tournaments has become a money-minting business for many in the country without conducting them in proper manner. For example, for a Super Series tournament, the organiser will easily get about 100 entries and if the entry fee is Rs 500, they will earn Rs 50,000.

For matches, the cost of the balls will not be more than Rs 15,000 and they end up saving Rs 35,000. Now count the money if the same organiser hosts about 25 tournaments a year at different places.

Also, the organisers have to provide DA to all players for all tournaments except the AITA Talent series. To save money on DA, they organise short matches like best of nine games or 12 games instead of best of three sets. It enables them to finish matches in 2-3 days and they end up saving a lot of funds.

Parameters set to assess rating

It has also been alleged that academies try to exploit the draw by giving easy matches to their own players. “We will monitor all these things as well. But we have go step by step. Academies with no washroom facilities and filtered drinking water will not be given registration,” said Chatterjee.

Several Indian tennis stars such as Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna, Mahesh Bhupathi, Nandan Bal, Zeeshan Ali and Vishal Uppal run their academies and they will also have to come under aegis of AITA. Former Davis Cupper Uppal, who runs Van Sports Club in Gurgaon, is of the opinion that it’s a much-needed move. “If implemented well, this can do a lot of good work. It will improve the system and the way things are happening in India,” Uppal said.

The AITA has set a few parameters to ascertain which academy be given what rating. The assessment will be based upon number of courts, number of AITA’s registered players, certified coaches and trainers with the centre.

Any academy with less than five points will be just an AITA recognized academy while academies with 5-10 points will be awarded 1 star rating. Academies with 11-14 points will be awarded a 2 star rating and academies with more than 15 points will be awarded 3 star rating, the highest.

The ratings may be reviewed after a period of 12 months, once a rating has been given, the academy can apply for revised rating only after 12 months of lock-in period. The ratings will be valid for a period of two years from the time they are approved. It is learnt that AITA will charge Rs 6,000 for recognition, Rs 10,000 for 1-star, 12,000 for 2-star and 15,000 for 3-star rating.

(With inputs from PTI)