The New Jersey District is proud to be hosting Allied Doubles Tournaments throughout the state. The tournament format started as a New Jersey District pilot program, which is funded by the district, to provide more play opportunities to athletes with special needs in our sport. Although the athletes get to participate in Special Olympics, there are very few competitions during the year.
The tournament format consists of all doubles competition. Athletes with special needs are paired with volunteer partners to play in one-day tournaments. The matches are times, and teams try to win as many games as possible within the time limit. The winner of each round robin group moves on to a playoff, which is a best 2 out of 3 sets match. The tournament winners receive a trophy.
This year, Cherry Hill Health & Racquet Club, RiverWinds Tennis Club and Princeton Tennis Program have all hosted a tournament.
“The Allied Tournament is competition in its purest form,” said Gwen Guidice, the Executive Director of Princeton Tennis Program, who has played in Allied Tournaments before. “It is all about truly enjoying competitive tennis at whatever level. It is about competing, but not about winning or losing.”
Eric Wall, who was named the 2014 Middle States Tournament Director of the Year, ran the Princeton tournament.
“It is one of the most gratifying things that I have ever been a part of,” Wall said. “To see their smiles and faces says it all. It was priceless.”