Wow–I saw a post months ago that generated a ton of responses. It went something like this: WRT players had to play extra matches in an IRT tournament and it was not fair. Then the conspiracy theorists started that the IRT is conspiring against the WRT players. My take on this and remember, I coach players on both tours and have friends on both sides of this thing. Very good friends!
1. The IRT was here first and developed their own rules based on “events” and some issues over the years.
2. The WRT was born to directly compete with the IRT tour and felt they could do it better.
3. The WRT has created an atmosphere of love and good competition and a straight draw with seeding like a normal tournament. This is very popular with some fans, no argument.
4. The IRT seeds the top 8 and as far as love, it is more like fierce competiton to make the top 8.
5. Any player complaining about the IRT seeding can play all the IRT events, win them, or defeat higher seeds and gain ranking. It is very simple. Or like some players are doing, they can play only WRT events and when they do play an IRT event, expect low seeding because they have no points on the IRT ranking. When the latter happens, remember the late Al Davis and “Just win, Baby!”.
6. The top 8 cannot play other events but there are signs that is changing and may continue to change as our sport changes.
7. The IRT has the best three players in the world until someone defeats them. All of them have fallen to WRT players (if you count injury forfeits too!).
8. The WRT has very good players and if they played the IRT full time they could be in the top 8. (I can think of three or four off the top of my head who could do that (and so can you probably).
9. I do not think the deck is stacked against WRT players. Because they do not play the tour, they are placed according to numbers. I know because I see things like players playing their hometown player or the same player in futures and the main draw. Numbers and nothing else as far as I know dictates that.
10. I coach players in both the WRT and the IRT. My players do well in both tours but I tell my players the same things I have said for years to all players I have ever worked with. You want the respect you deserve? You want more money? Just Win!! It is very simple-win! Extra matches to play? Draws stacked against you?
In 2009 Kane was seeded at the bottom, I think his ranking was #145. He had to play two matches to get into the main draw in Denver, (his first tournament in two years) and then had to play the #4, #3 and number one seed to win the tournament. The draw was stacked against him. Not on purpose, but on points because he had not played in two years. Then, he had to play two or more qualifying matches to make the main draw from October to April the following year. At the US Open that year he qualified on court #9 with an overflow crowd while the top seeds played in front of nobody on the show court. In April he had enough points to make the top eight in the main draw.
I never heard a complaint, in private or public. He was happy to be back playing the game he loved.
I am not biased to either organization. Both have strengths and weaknesses. I do know some people prefer one over the other and may find all sorts of reasons to dislike the other tour. But if you are looking for something wrong with something, you can find it. Or you can compete and do your best. If your favorite player is getting a raw deal; tell them to just win. That will take care of everything.