The Oceania Tennis Federation will be implementing two changes in competitions among junior players in the region.
CNMI coach Jeff Race, who attended a meeting with OTF last month in Fiji, said for the 2013-2014 season, said the two players per country limit in the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships will no longer be implemented.
“That’s good news for us because we could get more CNMI players to Fiji. This change also means the quality of competition for next year’s POJC will be very high,” said Race, who also went to Fiji to coach the 12 Commonwealth players.
The CNMI could have sent more than 12 to the POJC in Fiji, as several other local players finished in the Top 4 in the 2013 North Pacific Regional Championships held here in June. However, with the two players per nation restriction, only Carol Lee, Tania Tan, Michael Ren, Robbie Schorr, Negahr Rastguiy, Tammy Ackerman, Moris Villanueva, Chris Cajigan, Tommy Choi, Amami Sakano, Jake Lee, Mikayla Lopez, and Thea Minor represented the Commonwealth to the POJC. The CNMI managed to have three entries in the boys U18 (Jake Lee, Sakano, and Choi) after a Guam player missed the Fiji trip.
Meanwhile, Race added that junior tennis competitions will switch to the U14 and U16 age groups from the U15 and U18, while the U12 division will remain.
Race an in earlier interview with Saipan Tribune said this change has a big impact on the CNMI’s junior players, especially those who will be “forced” to move up to a higher age group and face much experience players. Race is hoping players affected will use this change as a challenge to improve their skills so they can keep up with their foes.
The new age group competitions will be implemented later this year, as NMITA kicks off the season with the staging of the Tan Holdings Tennis Classic in November.