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The Golden Rotators...

I recently joined a group of tennis players at InShape Rancho Solano in Fairfield, California. They call themselves "The Golden Rotators." They've been meeting at 8:30 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, weather permitting, since 2003. The program was initiated by a group of men, with Stuart Travis taking the lead. Stuart, now happily retired, continues to lead the tribe through his email list of at least 60 players. They have a rotational system that is pure genius, thanks to Mr. Travis.

The Joys of Rotation 

  • Play begins with two doubles teams. 
  • Whether a player is waiting or not, the players rotate positions after every game.  
  • The only competitive scoring is during the game. Points are only counted to know when the game is over, and then players rotate.  
  • The player who has been waiting becomes the server. The player who finished serving moves to play the net for the next server. The player who returned serve on the ad court either rotates out for a game or, if no one is waiting, becomes the server.  
  • The deuce court returner moves to the ad court, and the serving team's net player moves to return on the deuce court.
  • If more than one player is waiting, 2 players are rotated into the serving side, and they decide between themselves who will serve.

So Many Advantages! Everyone plays every doubles position, and it’s purely recreational tennis. No keeping track of games won. Players waiting actually enjoy watching and commentating, especially when it goes to deuce for the third or fourth time. Everyone gets to play as much as they want, and can leave anytime. By the middle of the morning, players are rotating in and out on all four courts. They move quickly and don’t skip a beat. This is a great way to get new members involved with other players. This system can also help Juniors who are learning doubles. And it’s an easy way to get members to meet and welcome new players too. The Golden Rotator system might not be for everyone, but its advantages are many. If a retired member wants to play tennis without having to round up a game, or if a housewife or househusband wants to get back into the game while the kids are at school, and want the convenience of showing up and knowing there will be others who want the same convenience, it is an easy way to develop a fun program, without any pressure to win. Just play! A great time is had by all. And the “trash talking” taking place on all courts is so much fun, building camaraderie and friendships and fun.

Michael Friedman, USPTA Elite Professional

Note: As of 09/16/2021, the Golden Rotators now start play at 9:00 AM vice 8:30 AM M-W-F.

Point of Contact is Stu Travis. E-mail: [email protected]

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