Hawkeyes React To No-Ad Scoring Format

Sept. 9, 2015

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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.


IOWA CITY, Iowa — After three years of deliberation, the Division I Competition Oversight Committee announced a major rule change for men’s and women’s intercollegiate tennis in August. Beginning in 2016, no-ad scoring will be used for all men’s and women’s championship matches.

Previously, intercollegiate tennis was contested with ad scoring. When a game is tied at 40-40, typically referred to as deuce, a player must win two consecutive points in order to win the game. Under the no-ad rule, if the game reaches deuce the next player to win a point also captures the game.


A recommendation for the change was made in July, 2014, but was tabled for further review until this year. The goal of the change is to shave some time off the matches.

Stanford University Senior Associate Director Beth Goode was one of the individuals charged with the task of making the rule change recommendation.

“With the health and well-being of student-athletes, the overall championship experience and fan engagement at the forefront, the ad hoc committee felt the best direction for collegiate tennis was to move forward with the recommendation from the Division I Tennis Committee,” said Goode.

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association was also involved in the decision making process.

“Making an informed decision for a sport rich in tradition can be challenging given the strength and diversity of ideas amongst our large body of talented and committed coaches,” said ITA CEO Timothy Russell.

University of Iowa women’s tennis head coach Katie Dougherty commented on the recent decision.

“The scope of college tennis is shifting to a more fan-friendly, fast paced, and pressure driven format,” said Daugherty.

Men’s tennis head coach Ross Wilson also expressed his opinions about the new rule.

“I think that it will help shorten the length of matches so that fans will be able to see the start and finish of matches,” said Wilson.

The Hawkeyes welcome the committee’s decision. Wilson said his players competed with the no ad format in matches around the Midwest this past summer.

“It gets to the important points of a match much quicker and forces players to be able to execute under pressure more often,” said Wilson.

A similar mindset was illustrated by Hawkeye senior, Dominic Patrick.

“I like the idea of no-ad scoring,” said Patrick. “It makes every point more valuable throughout the match and puts us in the position of being deep into sets and having opportunities to win close sets. It gives an edge to the mentally stronger player, which is an aspect of our game that the coaches work on a lot with us.”

Women’s tennis is making the adjustment. During practice, Dougherty emphasizes competition. She wants her players to be comfortable in pressure situations and be prepared for the new style of play.

“The importance of good starts, controlling momentum shifts, and playing big points well consistently are going to be huge,” said Dougherty. “We are embracing the changes, training for them and with them, and come spring will be ready to use the new format to our advantage.”

Both the men and women’s tennis team begin fall tournament competition later this month

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