I played tennis in high school (albeit, not well) because it's fun, a good way to stay in shape, relatively, social, a sport you can play for life, etc.
But I was hesitant to pick tennis back up in Atlanta because the leagues sounded so formal, so serious… and so committed. I am committed to playing, but I don't want to have to play EVERY Sunday afternoon or every Tuesday. What if I have plans? What if I go out of town. I wanted something flexible.
Then someone (I believe my former coworker Elizabeth) told me about Atlanta's Flexible Tennis Leagues. They are designed for busy people who still want to get their tennis in.
1. You pay $30 to sign up (singles or doubles).
2. You select your ranking/skill level. You can play a "verification match" with someone if you want to make sure you're signed up in the right skill level. I signed up for 3.0- (3.0 "low") and it's been perfect for me. (T2 and Ultimate us USTA ratings, which go from 2.5 to 5.0. They also have "half" levels. In other words, if you're slightly better than 3.0, you can sign up as a 3.0+).
3. You pick a "home" court. Your home court doesn't have to be at a fancy tennis club; it can be your apartment complex or a public park. The hubs and I both play out of Glenlake Tennis Center in Decatur. Court fees are reasonable: maybe $10-$16 for a two-hour match depending on the courts. And if you play at your apartment or condo complex, they're likely free!
4. You're e-mailed a five or six week schedule. For singles, for example, the schedule includes an opponent name and a "play by" date for each week. (The scheduling system automatically picks people who are in your general area of town to cut down on travel times.) Every other game will be "home" (at your court) and every other game will be "away."
5. Starting with week one, you simply e-mail or call your opponent (using the provided contact information) and ask them when they're available to play. You know, like "Hey Susie — I am your T2 opponent for week one. I can play Tuesday, Oct. 18 after 6pm, Saturday, Oct. 22 at 9am or Sunday, Oct. 23 after 3pm." Your opponent responds ("Saturday 9am works great"). Convenience/flexibility? Check!
6. Whoever is home court calls and reserves a court. (When you're "home," you reserve the court, pay for the court and provide a new/fresh can of tennis balls.)
7. Show up and have a good time! (The winner reports the score online.)
It's actually quite easy — and quite awesome! This is my fifth "season" playing, and I'm having a great time. I've also enjoyed that Dan is playing, too. Maybe one day we'll even try mixed doubles!
These flexible leagues are also a great way to get started in tennis — just join at the lowest skill level and give it a go. Way fun.
T2 Tennis is offered in Atlanta; Charlotte; Denver; and Scottsdale.
Ultimate Tennis is currently offered in Atlanta; Tampa Bay, Florida; the Sarasota, Florida, area; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Diego; Dallas/Fort Worth; Houston; Austin; and San Antonio.