Forming New Teams
If a club is interested in forming a new team and joining the league, they simply need to contact Deb Dager at firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to participate in the league, the club of the team must be able to provide three tennis courts and the tennis balls for at least half of the season’s 12-13 weeks. The courts must be within a 30-40 minute drive from Potomac Village. There is a $30 fee per team to provide for the website, schedule creation, league management, and result posting. Provision of water and towels is also appreciated when hosting along with post match beverages and snacks.
In the late 1990s Steve Tidball, the Congressional Country Club’s Director of Tennis, started the Potomac Women’s Evening League (POTWEL) to accommodate the growing number of women wanting to play competitive evening tennis at his club. Steve initiated the league with his own club, Congressional, along with Bethesda, Columbia, Kenwood, and Bullis. Soon after it began, the league grew to include Potomac Tennis, Westleigh, and Georgetown Prep. Each club was permitted to have one or two teams at the 3.5 and 4.0 levels.
As the league continued to grow, Steve asked Chi Rust to take over the organizational duties of the league in 2003. Chi accepted and volunteered a great amount of her time organizing and growing the league for 7 years. Membership in the league grew each year to include more clubs and teams.
The league strives to be competitive but informal. Due to Washington DC traffic issues and this being an ‘evening’ league, the league encourages flexibility regarding the match start time. The league also strives to maintain a minimum set of rules. A team captain is required for each team and they may be a player on the team, a tennis professional, or anyone willing to collect & organize the players for the matches.
In 2010, Deb Dager took over the league from Chi after she moved away, and she asked Tennis Topia to help sponsor the league. At this time Deb created the first website for the league which contained the schedules she created, the team standings, match results, club directions, rules, and contact information. In exchange for the sponsorship, the league was renamed to the “Tennis Topia League”.
In 2013 a Men’s 4.0 evening league was added. The men play their matches on Tuesday evenings, one court of singles and two of doubles. The first 6 teams to sign up in 2013 were Bretton Woods, Carderock Springs, Georgetown Prep, Palisades, Potomac Tennis Club, and Westleigh.
Matches are scheduled to begin at 6:30pm on Tuesday or Thursday evenings and aim to be completed by dusk as many of the facilities do not have outdoor lighting. The format of a the ladies match are 3 courts of doubles where court 1 is the strongest doubles pair. The men’s matches consist of one singles court and 2 doubles courts. Approximately half of the matches are played at the home facility. Generally the home team will provide beverages and snacks after match play, and best of all, a little social time.
In November of 2016, the league was renamed the “Evening Tennis League”, a new website was created, eveningleague.com, and the league was no longer sponsored by Tennis Topia.