Many spring athletes at the collegiate and high school level were denied the chance to complete their respective sports seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic, but tennis players in Southern Maryland will now have a chance to compete this summer.
The Southern Maryland Tennis League is sponsored by the Calvert County Tennis Association and is a league for high school and college students to play tennis in a healthy, safe, and competitive organized format with a postseason tournament.
Any player looking to participate should know how to serve, rally and keep score in a match on their own. Players in the league will be separated into divisions based on experience and play singles matches against people around their skill level to promote competitive play.
“This summer tennis league is a great idea to bring the tennis community together and interact with each other in a safe and competitive environment,” said Nick Fulcher, a 2018 St. Charles High School graduate and current student at the College of Southern Maryland.
The SMTL will be five weeks long with a four-week regular season followed by a postseason tournament in the final week. Players will be scheduled to play two matches each week, slated to begin on July 7 and end on Aug. 6 at Hallowing Point Park in Prince Frederick.
“I miss sports and getting to compete with other athletes, and the [SMTL] is the perfect opportunity to do that in a socially distanced manner,” Huntingtown High School rising sophomore Bella Rosasco said. “Not to mention, with our school [tennis] season getting canceled for my freshman year, I really wanted to get experience in real tennis matches for next season. Now I will be able to do that by participating in the league.”
On May 28, the United States Tennis Association released guidelines for playing tennis safely. The SMTL will adhere to those guidelines throughout the season, which include using a new can of balls for each match, eliminating contact between players with no handshakes or high-fives, sanitizing wipes to wipe down the nets, benches, scorecards and fence doors between matches. Hand sanitizer will be accessible to each player to utilize as much as they choose to during play.
In addition to organized match play, students who sign up to participate will receive a league T-shirt, have action photographs taken of them on court playing, be able to track the standings on the league’s website which will be updated after match days. Complimentary drinks and snacks will also be provided.
“I am definitely looking forward to the summer tennis league,” Fulcher said. “This will allow me to network and meet new players in the tri-county area tennis community and help me to work and improve my game.”
The registration deadline is July 1. Interested players may check out the league website at https://somdtennis/leaguerepublic.com for more information.