USPTA accepting nominations for annual awards

March 2, 2013

The United States Professional Tennis Association is now accepting nominations for its 2013 National Awards Program. As the leader in tennis-teacher education and certification, each year the USPTA honors members who are committed to excellence as tennis teachers and as ambassadors using tennis to impact people and communities.

The USPTA is accepting nominations until the July 2 deadline. All Professional-level members are eligible. Recipients will be recognized during the USPTA World Conference Sept. 23-28 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Fla. The award categories are:

USPTA Stars are members who have dedicated many years to volunteering in grassroots tennis, and through initiatives incorporating multicultural and other aspects, bring the sport and sportsmanship to the players they touch. Their giving spirits have made them stars in their own communities. We may not have heard of the people who receive this award, but their stories are inspiring, and almost all of us know at least one person who deserves a nomination.

The USPTA Industry Excellence Award is given to teaching professionals who take both an altruistic and entrepreneurial attitude toward their jobs. They use their own resources and those offered by the industry to build programs that bring tennis to more people. At the same time, they are successful in growing a tennis business. The recipient of this award will receive a $1,000 grant from the Tennis Industry Association and a Tennis Tutor ball machine from Sports Tutor for use in his or her grassroots programs.

The Alex Gordon Award for Professional of the Year recognizes a member who, over a career, has demonstrated exemplary achievement in seven areas, including: contributions to USPTA and USTA; as a teaching professional, player and coach; in education, research and publications; and with other organizations, achievements and contributions.

College Coach of the Year and High School Coach of the Year award recipients are usually selected based on their results as team coaches, however individual coaches may be considered. The Touring Coach of the Year is selected on the basis of his or her work with a playing professional on the ATP World Tour or the WTA Tour and/or touring juniors.

All “Player of the Year” awards will now be awarded to the No.1-ranked player for each category (listed below) in singles & doubles, or combined when applicable, based on year-end USPTA rankings and not current USPTA rankings. There will no longer be an application process for Player of the Year Awards in every category. The categories for this award are: men’s open, women’s open, men’s 35-and-over, women’s 35-and-over, men’s 45-and-over, women’s 45-and-over, and men’s 55-and-over and women’s 55-and-over.

The George Bacso Tester of the Year award recognizes the USPTA tester who does the most to advance certification opportunities and the certification process.

The USPTA Lessons for LifeTM Award recognizes those USPTA members who have done the most to raise money for charities through tennis events. While the award spotlights individuals who have raised large amounts of money, it also honors those hosting the most creative, original or unique tennis event to raise money for charities. An individual hosting an event raising the most money will not necessarily receive this award.

The USPTA Tennis Across AmericaTM Award recognizes those USPTA members who have done the most to get people to play tennis. Established in 1990, TAA is the original, free, grassroots lesson program. It also has a multicultural segment that targets various communities and potential players who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play. While the award does look at individuals who have held the most free clinics with the greatest number of participants, it also looks at individuals hosting the most creative, original or unique free tennis event to get people to play the game.

The USPTA Diversity Award recognizes those USPTA members who have demonstrated an outstanding ability to unite diverse populations within their community through tennis.

Award nomination forms and guidelines are available at, by calling 800-877-8248 or by sending a request to [email protected]. Since changes have been made to some individual categories, as well as Division of the Year criteria please be sure to read the general rules and requirements for each award carefully. Also there are changes to the awards format and presentation at the World Conference, so please note that while all awards will be announced in writing at the conference, not all awards may be presented formally as they have in the past.