Youth League Tennis was first offered throughout Southern California by Laura
Kassirer's company, Laura's TIPS in the Spring of 2002 at 16 tennis sites
from Westlake to San Clemente. It was created to give the
students playing in Laura's TIPS after school tennis enrichment programs, an opportunity to
experience match play on real tennis courts in their community.
Approximately 425 kids signed up to play. At this time players were grouped
into 3 levels: red, yellow and blue. All players were supposed to have had
some tennis experience before joining the league, and at a
minimum be able to start a rally with a drop hit forehand. At most sites, there were several
players that were still beginners and not ready to play matches, even though
they had some previous instruction. In addition, during registration over
150 youth that had never played tennis wished to join Laura's TIPS Youth
League Tennis. At the time, Laura's TIPS did not register beginners. As a
result, Youth League Tennis introduced the green level for beginners in the
Fall of 2002.
Laura's TIPS also brought in over 70 High School tennis players to volunteer
their time to help umpire and coach the youth during their matches. High
School students were given community service hours for their
time, and the SCTA approved an incentive program jointly with the CIF where they rewarded
teams for their volunteer efforts. Each team was sent a free case of Wilson
tennis balls, by the SCTA for every 16 hours total that a team member served.
The goal of this program is to have High School students help promote High School tennis.
summer of 2002, preceding the Fall league, Laura researched other
sports leagues, such as AYSO soccer, Little League Baseball, Cal Ripken
Little League , Babe Ruth Little League and local Basketball
leagues, and learned that every sport, except for tennis, offered a community non profit
league, with modified kid friendly levels of competition designed to allow
all youth to play and compete regardless of their level.
Laura met with Loeb & Loeb, LLP and they graciously agreed to sponsor Youth League Tennis. They
helped Youth League Tennis achieve 501 (c) 3 charitable status in under one
month. Laura's TIPs Youth League Tennis became Youth League Tennis, a non
profit public benefit charitable organization and
established a board of directors which includes: Laura Kassirer, Allan Kassirer, Billy Martin, Jon
Muir and Keith Fleer. Laura Kassirer was named President of Youth League
In addition, during the summer UCLA Mercedes Benz Cup men's professional
tournament, the 12 league champions were invited to play on center court in
between the men's matches. Laura drilled the kids on
center court and was thrilled to bring them this special opportunity.
In the Fall of 2002
YLT expanded to 22 Southern Cal Sites and introduced 2 new
levels: green (for beginners) and purple (for elite tournament players). Approximately 200 beginners, and 115 tournament players joined
YLT, and helped YLT surpass their goals of registering 600 players. Approximately
650 youth played in the Fall of 2002, with hundreds of kids placed on a wait
the Spring of 2003, YLT expanded into San Diego
County and ran at 30 sites, registering
approximately 870 kids to play in So Cal.
41% of these kids were beginners. YLT ran
3 Regional play-off tournaments, 1 each in San
Diego, Orange & LA County. The season
culminated at Championships played at the
Racquet Club of Irvine. The YLT champions
played on center court during the Mercedes Benz
Cup tournament and invited all of the kids to
come to an exclusive clinic and see the pro
matches for free on Wednesday, July 30, 2003.