WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 21, 2018 – The USTA today announced that beginning with the 2018 US Open, ballpersons will roll the ball from point-to-point, rather than throw between positions. Rolling between positions has traditionally been utilized at the other Grand Slam events.
“By rolling between positions, we are putting less emphasis on a single skill-set, in this case throwing, and instead looking at the importance of slotting more well-rounded athletes at the positions,” said Tina Taps, Director of US Open Ballpersons. “In making this change, we are able to focus more on speed, dexterity and agility, important attributes for a ballperson, along with overall court awareness.”
“The goal of making the change to the rolling technique, is to create a larger pool of athletes and applicants trying out for the ballperson position,” said Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA. “In the past, potential applicants may have decided not to try out because of the daunting nature of the throw. We hope that those same individuals will now come out for the try-out this year, as well as those that may have not made the cut in the past, solely due to their throwing prowess.”
The public ballperson tryouts for the 2018 US Open will take place on Tuesday, June 26, at 4:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. registration) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in Flushing, N.Y. More than 100 sought-after ballperson positions will be up for grabs. Ages 14 and older are eligible to try out for the coolest summer job in sports.
To find more information and pre-register for the tryouts, go to www.usopen.org/ballperson.
2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of the US Open, and throughout Fan Week and the Main Draw of the tournament, special recognitions and ceremonies will take place to honor the tradition and history of the event, as well as celebrate its great champions. In addition, the 2018 US Open marks the completion of the Strategic Transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center with the opening of the new 14,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium. In all, the five-year project, which revamped more than 90 percent of the facility, will have incorporated the installation of a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, the construction of a new Louis Armstrong Stadium (also with a retractable roof), a new Grandstand, new West Stadium and practice courts, as well as a completely renovated and redesigned southern campus.
For the fourth straight year, the US Open will be distributed first-ball to last-ball, live and exclusively across the ESPN family of networks, on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN digital platforms. In addition, an hour-long Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation special will air at 2:00 p.m. ET on ABC on Sunday, August 26.