Pac-12 tennis teams set to test new ITA dual meet format

Walnut Creek, Calif. – The Pac-12 announced today that it would feature some of its top teams in the experimental Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) dual meet format for three matches this spring.  All three matches will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks as part of a slate that will feature more collegiate tennis on one network than ever before.

The experimental ITA dual meet format was designed to increase excitement in collegiate tennis by increasing the speed of play and making the matches friendlier to fans and television audiences. The United States Tennis Association has also introduced an experimental format with the same objectives. Both formats will be used in January and February throughout the country, and the NCAA will use the results for the purpose of selecting teams and individuals for its 2014 championships.

The Pac-12 will first use the ITA experimental format on February 2 for a men’s double-header against two top teams from the Southeastern Conference. Last year’s Pac-12 Champion and NCAA runner-up UCLA will play the University of Georgia at 10 a.m. PT followed immediately by last year’s Pac-12 runner-up USC facing off with the University of Florida.

The Pac-12 will also use the ITA format on Feb 21 for a women’s conference match when UCLA hosts last year’s Pac-12 runner-up California at 1:30 p.m. PT.

The three matches are part of a spring tennis broadcast schedule on Pac-12 Networks that is unprecedented in collegiate tennis. The Pac-12 Networks will announce its final spring schedule in January but will feature at least 12 tennis matches.

“We are excited to test the ITA’s format this spring in the Pac-12, and we are thrilled to be able to bring these matches live to our fans on Pac-12 Networks,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “With great play in both singles and doubles, Pac-12 tennis is as exciting as any sport we have in our Conference. This new exposure should bring more fans and attention to our outstanding student-athletes.”

The Pac-12 is the premier collegiate tennis conference with its members combining to win 73 men and women’s NCAA tennis titles, including four of the last five men’s and six of the last 10 women’s crowns.

The collegiate dual match format consists of three doubles matches played first worth a total of one point, followed by six singles matches with each individual match worth a point. Four points are required to win the team match.

In the ITA men’s experimental format, the three doubles matches will each consist of one set to 6, with no-ad scoring and a tiebreaker at 5-all. Once a team has won two doubles matches, the remaining doubles match shall not be completed. The six singles matches follow the doubles are the best two out of three sets, with each set using no-ad scoring, and a tie-breaker at 5-all in each set.

In the ITA women’s experimental format, the three doubles matches will each consist of one set, with regular scoring and a tiebreaker at 6-all. Once a team has won two doubles matches, the remaining doubles match shall not be completed. Six singles matches will follow the doubles. Each singles match is two out of three sets, with each set using regular scoring, and a match tiebreaker in lieu of the third set.

In both men’s and women’s team matches, once four points have been reached, the remaining singles matches will be played to completion unless both coaches agree to do otherwise.

About the Pac-12 Conference

Built on a foundation of academic excellence and superior athletic performance, the Pac-12 Conference is the most successful college sports league in the United States. The Pac-12 has won 462 national championships, more than any other conference, upholding its tradition as the “Conference of Champions”®.  The Pac-12 is comprised of 12 prestigious member universities in the western United States, including the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Southern California (USC), the University of Utah, the University of Washington, and Washington State University. More info can be found at www.pac-12.com.

About the ITA

As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 20,000 college varsity student-athletes at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship and tennis performance. The official ITA web site is www.itatennis.com.

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