Howard County tennis to try mixed doubles beginning April 11

February 25, 2011|By Sandra McKee | The Baltimore Sun

Howard County will add mixed doubles to its lineups for the second half of the tennis season, April 11. The lineup at that time will be two girls singles, two boys singles, two girls doubles, two boys doubles and two mixed doubles — one on the boys side and one on the girls side.

The decision by the county's tennis coaches comes after at least two years of debate.

"We've talked about it for a long time," Karen Wolfe, regional director and Reservoir tennis coach, said Thursday. "We've been trying to find a way to get more competitive practices before the county, regional and state tournaments, where there are mixed-doubles competitions."

In the past, Wolfe said, the Howard teams have tried to work mixed-doubles practices into their practice routine late in the season, when time is short and the situation usually hectic, as teams try to make up matches that have been postponed by bad weather.

The situation was a definite disadvantage in postseason play because, said Jean Vanderpool, athletics and activities manager at Centennial, "We're the only county that did not play mixed doubles during the regular season."

The previous lineup, which Howard's teams will start this season with, had two girls and two boys singles, three boys doubles and three girls doubles teams.

"Some coaches don't want to do this, but we have a lot of new coaches this year and the majority decided to give it a try," Wolfe said.

At the end of the season, the addition of the two mixed-doubles teams will be re-evaluated. If the majority of the coaches like it, it will be used full-time in 2012.

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