Overview of Apta Junior Paddle
The anchor of APTA Junior paddle is the Viking Junior Tour Level 1 Events.
All Tour events include the following:
- The APTA offers online signups for all Viking Tour Events.
- The APTA offers email marketing to promote junior events and offers recap and pics every Tuesday following an event.
- APTA approved formats are used to guarantee at least 2 hours of play.
- National ranking points are awarded to all teams.
- All players receive a tournament favor and Winners and finalists receive prizes
- Food /snacks etc. provided for all players.
- Cost to enter is between $40 and $50/player to enter for next season.
- Updated Jr Rankings 3 times each season on website.
In addition to the Jr Tour Events, the APTA also offers Level 2 events and “Skills and Drills” Events, both of which were first introduced 4 years ago.
The Level 2 Events are low key, less competitive events with modified rules.
Kids can sign up for Level 2 events as a single and get to play both singles and doubles, depending on numbers of kids and courts. The cost is covered by a low entry fee, the length of play is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half but the fun factor is tripled as the modifications to the sport for juniors keeps the kids coming back for more! These modifications include playing with a different ball, giving players 2 serves, allowing kids an extra bounce off of the screens and advising the kids to play points from the baseline, rather than to serve and volley.
The APTA’s “Skills and Drills” events are sponsored by our “1st SERVE” initiative as a way to introduce kids to paddle by offering FREE introductory clinics taught by enthusiastic Pros who focus on teaching kids the basics of paddle in a low key, fun environment.
High School Paddle has gained huge momentum thanks to the support of our “1st Serve” initiative so our committee’s focus will be to continue to reach out to new areas and offer guidance and financial support. High School aged kids, many of whom had never seen paddle played, are now learning the basics of the game for free in a fun and social (co ed) environment. The APTA’s financial support of a teaching pro until a school can become self-sufficient is typically 2 years.
The highlight of the APTA Junior Season was the US Junior Nationals with 224 players battling it out in late February. The event included lunch, a family tailgate, several favors for every player and a Jr Nationals game room, most of which is possible thanks to the ongoing generosity from Viking and the financial support from Court Pro, Reilly Green Mountain , the NJ Men’s Platform Tennis Association , the NJ Women’s Platform Tennis League and our brand new sponsor, Maplecrest Ford/Lincoln.
Our Tour events are self-sufficient but our Junior Introductory events and our High School effort ( our two biggest growth areas) will need ample APTA financing to continue to grow and we are planning on growth thanks to the new google doc we created listing every pro and paddle coordinator in the country. Now our committee will be able to target new areas that we never could access in the past.
The following data tracking our junior numbers more than validates that our strategy for growth is working!
APTA Juniors by the numbers in past 4 years
# of players in Jr Nationals in 2017- 154
# of players in Jr Nationals in 2018- 176
# of players in Jr Nationals in 2019- 216
# of players in Jr. Nationals in 2020-224
# of players in Jr. Nationals 2021- 374
# of APTA Jr members in 2016-2017- 341
# of APTA Jr Members in 2017-2018- 397
# of APTA Jr Members in 2018-2019- 450
#of Apta Jr Members in 2019-2020- 569
# of Apta Jr. Members in 2020-2021- 558