September 2023 Selection Policy – Regional Player Development Centres (RPDCs)
This policy describes how players will be selected for a place at one of the Regional Player Development Centres (RPDCs) for the 2023/2024 academic year. Places at the RPDCs are subject to the RPDCs capacity, selection process/criteria and terms of the player agreement. As this policy outlines, RPDC player selection is a 3-step process;
- Stage 1) RPDC longlist selection by the LTA
- Stage 2) Players included on the RPDC longlist are eligible to contact one (or several) RPDCs to register interest/apply
- Stage 3) RPDC selection by the RPDC in accordance with their selection process and criteria
The policy may be updated periodically; for example, changes may be made to the longlist process and timeline, and dates and processes may be subject to change. Any amendments shall be published on the LTA website so please check for changes on a regular basis.
2. Programme aims and locations
The RPDCs play an important strategic role within the National Performance stage of the player pathway, to increase the number of internationally competitive 14U players with the potential to transition strongly to the International Junior stage.
The RPDCs aim to support the development of those junior players considered to have the highest potential for international success and selection for the National Academy and/or International Junior stage of the player pathway.
There are 15 RPDCs across Great Britain (from September 2023), the locations as listed below:
- Bath University (Team Bath RPDC)
- Bisham Abbey (Delgado & Lee Pro Tennis Academy)
- Bolton Arena
- Bromley Tennis Centre
- Culford School
- Dukes Meadow
- Edgbaston Priory Club
- Hazelwood (Unique Tennis)
- Yorkshire Based RPDC (tbc)
- Nottingham Tennis Centre
- Reeds School
- Stirling University (Tennis Scotland)
- Swansea Tennis Centre (Wales RPDC)
- West Hants Club
3. RPDC Purpose
Each RPDC is committed to supporting and developing 10- 14-year-old *players, through a person-first approach to deliver:
- An inspiring and transformational development environment for our next generation of pro players
- World-class coaching and support, these centres will increase the number of nationally relevant players aged 10+ who can transition effectively to the international junior stage of the player pathway by 14.
*in exceptional cases younger players may be considered
Players are only eligible for longlisting and selection provided they are of an eligible age (4.1) and are eligible to represent Great Britain (4.2), as follows:
4.1 Age eligibility
For a player to be considered eligible they must be born in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 *
*In exceptional cases players born later than 2013 may be considered on a case-by-case basis
4.2 Eligible to represent Great Britain
Players must hold, or be in the process of obtaining, a British passport. They also must represent Great Britain in Tennis Europe and ITF events. Evidence may be asked for to prove eligibility. Those not meeting this stipulation, but who have lived in Great Britain continuously since 1 April 2021 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Such players must contact PlayerPathway@lta.org.uk to confirm they would like to be considered.
5. RPDC longlist criteria (Performance Level Requirements)
For an eligible player to be longlisted for RPDC consideration, they must meet the Performance Level Requirements (PLR) by fulfilling either of the following criteria;
- 5.1 and 5.2, or
- Two coach nominations (5.2)
5.1 Universal Tennis Rating (UTR)
Using the UTR, we will create a ranking list of players in each age and gender based on their UTR on Friday 14th April 2023. To meet the UTR criteria (5.1), a player will need to achieve the following *:
- 11U – Top 24 in GB based upon their UTR • 12U – Top 20 in GB based upon their UTR
- 13U – Top 16 in GB based upon their UTR
*Players who achieve multiple age group benchmarks will still require a national coach nomination
5.2 National Coach Nomination
Receive a nomination from an LTA National Performance Pathway Team Coach (National Age Group Coach, National Pathway Coach, or RPDC Network Lead) based on their professional opinion, from observations between 1st April 2022 and the longlisting meeting, on which players they believe have the potential to be;
At ages 10 & 11 years old
Potential to be selected for National Activity in their 11U or 12U year, in consideration with the following areas: • Game style: The player is developing skills in all phases of play and areas of the court (all court game), which can be developed into a successful future game style.
- Strengths & Weapons: The player is showing early signs of strengths which are being developed and have the potential to be successful weapons at the next age and stage,
- Head: The player demonstrates a basic understanding, and appropriate decision making, in all phases of play (attack, neutral, defense) and is showing the ability to sustain focus and refocus during matches,
- Heart: The player’s drive and attitude in training and competition shows a willingness to learn and a desire to compete hard in matches. The player demonstrates the courage to play a proactive, future focused style of play in competition.
- Athlete: The player has athletic fundamentals (agility, balance & coordination) which can be developed into physical attributes that could positively influence the outcome of matches,
- Performance: The player has established a competitive profile at regional level and above. Their results profile shows a future or current capability of becoming Nationally competitive (or better) in consistently winning matches at a national level in their current year of birth and/or above,
- Readiness: The player is ready to engage and meet the demands of the RPDC programme
At ages 12 & 13 years old
Potential to be selected for National Camps and/or NAGP scholarship between 12-14 years of age, in consideration with the following areas:
- Game style: The player is developing an all-round game, with an emerging game style which can be successful at the international junior stage and beyond,
- Strengths & Weapons: The player has emerging strengths which can be developed into successful weapons at the international junior stage and beyond,
- Head: The player demonstrates smart decision-making, good problem-solving abilities and a level of focus in matches, irrespective of the match situation,
- Heart: The player’s drive and attitude in training and competition shows a willingness to learn and a desire to win matches,
- Athlete: The player has a robust athletic foundation which can be developed into physical attributes that could positively influence the outcome of matches,
- Performance: The player has competitive results, ranking and rating (at current year of birth or above). Their results profile shows a future or current capability to become a Nationally relevant player or above (consistently reaching the Last 16 or beyond at domestic G1 level or above) in their current age group and/or above. The player shows the potential to beat players of a higher level than themselves
- Readiness: The player is ready to engage and meet the demands of the RPDC programme
5.3 Considerations relating to limiting factors
The National Performance Pathway Team may also consider any of the following matters that influences their opinion on the player’s potential when considering National Coach nominations (5.2):
- The player’s biological age and physical maturation;
- The player’s historic training programme;
- The player’s historic tournament schedule and match count;
- Any other considerations that have led to a significant interruption or impact on tennis (e.g. illness, injury).
5.4 RPDC longlist communication
Any player who meets the eligibility criteria (4.1 and 4.2) and Performance Level Requirements (5.1 and 5.2, or 2 coach nominations (5.2) will receive written communication confirming their inclusion on the RPDC longlist for the upcoming academic year (2023/2024). For the avoidance of doubt, this does not mean a player has been selected for an RPDC, but instead eligible for consideration and selection for an RPDC (if meeting the RPDC selection criteria as outlined in section (6)).
Once a player has received the written communication confirming their inclusion on the RPDC longlist for the 2023/2024 academic year, they are eligible to contact RPDCs of interest and register their interest/apply. The written communication will include the contact details for each of the 15 RPDCs. For the avoidance of doubt, RPDCs will only receive the confirmed list of player names that have been longlisted. Player contact details will not be provided to the RPDCs due to confidentiality, and therefore it is the responsibility of the RPDC longlisted player/parents/guardians to contact the RPDCs to register their interest/apply.
The RPDC longlist will be applicable for the academic year of selection and a new longlist will be created each spring for the following academic year (September). Players can be longlisted again if they meet the eligibility and performance level requirements (PLR), but players will not automatically remain on the list unless they achieve the PLR criteria as outlined in the policy at the point of longlisting.
Players on the RPDC longlist, if selected by a Regional Player Development Centre (RPDC) through their selection criteria and process (6.1 and 6.2), will be eligible to receive a subsidised training programme at the specific RPDC. Acceptance to and continued inclusion on an RPDC programme is at the discretion of each RPDC programme and in accordance with their re-selection process.
In exceptional circumstances, a player can be added to the RPDC longlist during the year *
*This will require two LTA coach nominations from the LTA NPP Team and based on the likelihood of that player being selected for a national camp, international activity, or NAGP scholarship programme in the academic year selection decisions are being made.
6. RPDC selection criteria and process
6.1 Selection Criteria
Each RPDC will have a clearly communicated selection process and criteria to determine who they select into their RPDC. This will include how they assess players, make decisions, and communicate both selection and non-selection. This will include at minimum;
- Face-to-face assessment
- Parent meeting
- Verbal communication of decision, followed by written confirmation
As aforementioned, players that are longlisted for RPDC consideration will receive written communication from the LTA which will include the contact details for the RPDCs.
6.2 Selection process
The selection process will normally run during May/June (with decisions communicated by the 30th June 2023), to enable RPDCs to confirm players for September 2023 in plenty of time and notice for the player, their schools, current programme and to provide a smooth transition into the RPDC through the summer months.
Once a player has been selected for and accepted a full-time place at an RPDC, the reselection of the RPDC player and contracting will be the responsibility of the RPDC to manage. RPDCs must confirm reselection/contract extension by an agreed date (31st May 2023) to give adequate notice to the player and enable players/parents time to consider alternative options if required.
All players offered a RPDC place (full-time or access) must sign a player and parent agreement. This will include at minimum the RPDCs code of conduct, disciplinary process, safeguarding policy and who/where to raise any concerns.
If a player decides to leave an RPDC mid-year, or is not offered a place for September, another RPDC can consider the player for selection if they meet the selection criteria for that RPDC and there is a place available.
A player who was on the RPDC longlist but not selected for an RPDC, or that leaves an RPDC mid-year and is not offered a place at an alternative RPDC, will need to be longlisted and go through the selection process again the following spring to be considered for the next academic year.
A player based full-time at an RPDC for the 2022/2023 academic year (remains a full-time player in the summer term) will automatically be included on the RPDC longlist in the May (if still age eligible). As such, they are eligible for consideration for reselection at their current RPDC, or consideration for selection at an alternative RPDC.
If a player is not reselected, or selected as a full-time player into an RPDC for the 2023/2024 academic year, they will need to meet the RPDC longlist criteria in spring 2024 to be eligible to be considered for RPDC selection in the 2024/2025 academic year.
RPDCs will be required to send confirmation of their full time RPDC list for the summer term by Friday 14th April 2023.
8. Key dates
Finalisation of the RPDC longlist for 2023/24 will take place the week commencing 17th April 2023 with all identified players advised the week commencing 24th April 2023.
For the avoidance of doubt, players who do not meet the eligibility criteria (4.1 and 4.2) and the Performance Level Requirements (5.1 and 5.2, or two national coach nominations (5.2) for any reason are not eligible to appeal.