Mixed Doubles During the Regular Season, Yes or No?


Kiley King, Writer

The Frederick County Tennis Tournament is upon local high school teams, beginning on Friday, May 12th. Each school sends four singles players, four doubles teams (two boys and two girls for each), and two mixed doubles teams.


Most schools don’t send their direct lineups, and instead will draw from their exhibition teams to play in singles or doubles. Mixed doubles teams pull from the starting lineup for players. The problem with this is the fact that mixed doubles will only play at the championships, and not during the regular season.


Although there are possible solutions to this problem, they are complex and not prepared to be readily accepted by tennis programs.


On one side, having mixed doubles play during the season would be beneficial to the players. Coach Sean Weiss, the Oakdale girls tennis coach and math teacher, commented, “It would be nice to have them [the mixed doubles teams] play during the season….usually the boys and girls can only start practicing together the week before the tournament”.


Unfortunately, there are also  multiple problems that arise with mixed doubles being played in the regular season, such as how to score and the problem with who will play it.


Senior Captain Emily Woodard states, ¨You want to try and have well-rounded players for all the positions…for mixed you pretty much always want someone who iś going to be aggressive, and those types of players usually have more experience.¨


If mixed doubles were to be played during the regular season, then that would leave a vacuum for other starting positions. Players of experience play mixed doubles, so during tournaments exhibition players will play the singles and doubles positions of the starters that will play mixed. Over time this vacuum could be filled, but it would be a difficult transition, so coaches are turned off from this idea.


Correspondingly, the largest problem that remains is how to score mixed doubles. A possible solution is creating a “mixed doubles exhibition” bracket to play during the season. The points wouldn’t count towards one team or another but instead count towards the individual mixed doubles team. Again, another issue arises with this solution: the mixed doubles teams would be constantly changing based on exhibition members.


At the present time, the tournament will still continue to include mixed doubles. Oakdale plans to send Stephanie Pascal with Vivek Patel and Emily Woodard with Josh Lee as their mixed doubles teams. Stephanie and Vivek will be playing mixed doubles for the first time, both as individuals and together, and both are juniors. Emily and Josh are both seniors, and this will be Emilyś second year playing mixed, while this is Joshś first year.