Tennis Association of Farmingdale, Inc.

The Tennis Association of Farmingdale (TAF) is an adult - 18 and over - tennis league that provides its members the opportunity to play outdoor competitive tennis during the months of May through September. A member of the USTA Community Tennis Association, the TAF is made up of seven individual sections, which include: The TAF operates under a ladder format; in fact, most of our members refer to the TAF as “The Ladder”, and each individual component as the “Men’s Ladder”, the “Women’s Ladder”, etc. A ladder format simply means that each of the above seven ladders have standings, which are constantly changing throughout the season as matches are played and results are recorded. If you defeat someone who is above you in the ladder, you take their spot, and everyone else between you and your opponent bumps down one spot (in other words, you do not exchange places). If the higher ranked player wins the match, the standings remain the same. You always have a range of twenty players at any given time to challenge to a match, ten “ups” and ten “downs”. Players are required to play a down match for every up match, a rule which was designed to foster play and allow for the constant movement of players up and down the ladders. The beauty of this format is that over time players will naturally gravitate toward other individuals of their own ability level, and you always have a wide variety of other people to play at all times.

Arranging matches is a very simple process, all done by the players themselves. Typically, matches are set up either by telephone or email – in recent years, email seems to have become the preferred method because of its convenience. All players in the TAF receive a monthly “Court Report” newsletter which includes the phone numbers of every player in all ladders. To arrange a match, you would contact one of the twenty players in your range and propose a date within the ensuing three weeks. Once you have agreed to a date and time to play with someone, you would then discuss a mutually agreeable location. Although occasionally this location could be indoors, should that be agreeable to both parties, the vast majority of matches are played outdoors on public courts. In fact, the TAF was designed to be an outdoor league. How many matches you play is entirely up to you – it could range from every day to the league minimum of two matches a month.

The TAF was formed in 1976, so the upcoming 2009 season will be our 33rd year. The intent of the founding members was to create a community based, grass roots organization to afford its members the opportunity to enjoy and grow the game they love. The significance of the “Farmingdale” in the name of TAF is simply that most of the founding members came from the Farmingdale area. Today, the TAF includes members throughout the counties of Nassau and Suffolk, and even a few hardy souls from Queens and Brooklyn. We currently have 247 members, many of whom play in multiple ladders within the TAF. Many of these individuals have been members for many years, and in addition each year we add many new members. The ladder is made up of a wide variety of players, both in age and experience. Please note that those individuals over 50 years of age have the option to join the senior or regular singles ladders – or both, if you like. In fact, several of our members play in both ladders.

Our membership, many of whom have been participating in the TAF for many years, is the most important asset of our league. And the lifeblood of the TAF is the volunteers who run the league, from the Executive Board to the ladder captains who oversee the operation of each of the individual ladder sections. We are always looking to grow the league and add new members. Anyone who is interested in obtaining more information about the TAF can visit our web site (www.taftennis.org) to learn more about us and download a membership application. The cost to join the TAF is only $25, no matter how many of the ladders you sign up for, which is an incredible bargain when you consider that in return you get a whole summer’s worth of great tennis. There are also many other benefits to joining beyond the opportunity to play matches. Some of these are – the annual tournament against the Huntington Tennis Association (HTA), a sister organization operating out of Huntington; annual meeting at which a variety of awards are given out, including top players/teams and most active players; and a bi-annual membership picnic. But perhaps the most important benefit is the camaraderie and friendships that are forged through the years of playing tennis with each other. This sentiment is best expressed by Joan Deissler, one of our founding members in 1976, who in documenting the history of the TAF (which can be viewed on our web site) writes:

Those of us who were involved in organizing TAF take great pride in the fact that our goal of bringing tennis players together in the enjoyment of the sport was achieved. However, that goal was exceeded by a more significant benefit. As members became acquainted, they discovered shared interests in other areas, and as a result, formed long term friendships with people they otherwise might never have met. As one original member recently commented, “These people are my closest friends. Joining TAF was the best thing I ever did.”

We hope this brief introduction to the TAF whets your interest about our organization. If you are interested in joining us, we would love to have you become part of our family. There is still plenty of time to join for the 2009 season, which starts on May 1st. Again, information is available at our web site (www.taftennis.org). You can also contact any of our board members, whose phone numbers and email addresses are available on the web site, to discuss any questions you might have about the TAF.

TAF Board:
President Joanna Pascucci 631-656-0925 izziemoon@optonline.net
Vice President Diana Burban 516-798-1740 vite42@hotmail.com
Treasurer Sheri Savage 516-349-9262 sheri298@aol.com
Secretary Tricia Fudim 631-539-6374 tbf63@optonline.net
Ladders Neil Foehrenbach 516-364-9484 taf.tennis@taftennis.org