Mum blue over son’s omis­sion

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 2 - Justin Marville

by justin­mar­ville@na­tion­

The Bar­ba­dos Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion’s ar­bi­tra­tion com­mit­tee has been called into ac­tion af­ter a dis­grun­tled par­ent cried favouritism over the seed­ing of the boys’ 16s draw at the on­go­ing Sol Na­tion­als.

Tra­cia Seifert-licor­ish, mother of ju­nior player Curt Seifert, con­tends her son wasn’t treated fairly when he was re­placed by se­nior Davis Cup player Kaipo Mar­shall as the fourth seed and then forced to play No. 2 Stephen Slo­combe in the first round as he was no longer be­ing seeded.

But tour­na­ment direc­tor Mariejeanne Sym­monds ex­plained the de­ci­sion wasn’t prej­u­diced, say­ing the mat­ter was dis­cussed at length at the level of the tour­na­ment com­mit­tee and then ju­nior com­mit­tee be­fore the ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil fi­nally voted to rat­ify the de­ci­sion.

It all came about due to a last­minute de­ci­sion to con­test the 15-man draw by Mar­shall, who re­port­edly hasn’t played a sanc­tioned lo­cal ju­nior tour­na­ment since Novem­ber and thus has no rank­ing points at that level.

“I have no is­sue with Kaipo be­ing seeded for the tour­na­ment be­cause we all know he is the best player in the age group but if you’re go­ing to use dis­cre­tion to seed him then why wouldn’t you seed him No. 1 and just bump ev­ery­one down a spot in­stead of ran­domly putting him in at four?” ques­tioned Seifert-licor­ish.

“No one could have had a prob­lem with that but they’ve just de­cided to take out one seed in­stead of push­ing ev­ery­one down and what makes it worse is that Kaipo was will­ing to play un­seeded. So it seems like they’re try­ing to pro­tect cer­tain play­ers ahead of my son who ob­vi­ously would’ve lost to Kaipo early in the tour­na­ment.

No re­sponse

“My real prob­lem is that I have emailed the coun­cil about what was done and no one has re­sponded. This is crazy be­cause it’s the same six play­ers play­ing 16s all the time and Kurt has worked hard for three years tak­ing licks, com­ing back and fight­ing to be ranked fourth in Bar­ba­dos and you just throw that away from seeded to un­seeded,” she added.

Seifert went on to lose that firstround match-up with Slo­combe be­fore Mar­shall pre­dictably mo­tored through the tour­na­ment with­out drop­ping more than three games.

The sit­u­a­tion re­sulted in an of­fi­cial re­sign­ing the post as as­sis­tant tour­na­ment direc­tor while Seifert-licor­ish sent some strong­ly­worded cor­re­spon­dence to the ex­ec­u­tive.

How­ever, Sym­monds coun­tered by say­ing seed­ing doesn’t al­ways nec­es­sar­ily re­ward par­tic­i­pa­tion, ex­plain­ing that the tour­na­ment com­mit­tee wanted to ac­cu­rately re­flect the best play­ers in the coun­try.

“Typ­i­cally, if you are go­ing to use dis­cre­tion to rank some­one then the rule of thumb is that you rank them at the low­est avail­able seed and he cer­tainly wasn’t con­sulted about play­ing un­seeded be­cause we can’t have the tail wag­ging the dog,” rea­soned Sym­monds.

“Even if Kaipo was seeded one, then Curt would’ve have lost his seed­ing and it wasn’t a case of us pro­tect­ing the No. 1 seed be­cause we had two joint num­ber ones and they had to toss a coin be­fore the tour­na­ment for us to have a No. 1 seed.

“We are com­mit­ted to have a rank­ing sys­tem that ac­cu­rately re­flects who our best play­ers are, so we don’t have these ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances and I think go­ing for­ward to avoid this we’re go­ing to have to ask or even in­sist that these play­ers play the tour­na­ments,” she added.

BTA pres­i­dent Dr Ray­mond Forde de­clined to com­ment on the mat­ter, cit­ing his po­si­tion on the ar­bi­tra­tion com­mit­tee.


Curr Seifert

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