A NEW era in Gippsland tennis begins tonight.
The Gippsland Premier League sees the return of a region-wide tennis pennant-style competition after various failed attempts to revive the Gippsland Tennis Association over the past decade.
Unlike the GTA, which was run directly by clubs, the GPL will be organised by the East and Central Gippsland administration bodies.
The first GPL season begins with a Sale derby between Star Hotel and Heron Todd White tonight. The match will be played tonight instead of Saturday to allow some of the players to attend a wedding.
Senior teams will consist of two males and a female, while a junior 18 and under team of one boy and a girl will compete in a separate division.
Playing parallel senior and junior competitions will help develop the younger players’ tennis skills, but also assist them socially.
Six senior and six junior teams will compete in the first season with Sale Tennis Club and Traralgon Tennis Association to field two of each, with Maffra Lawn Tennis Club and Bairnsdale Tennis Club to have one of each.
There will be three competitions held during the year, with the first to finish with the finals at Sale on December 15. The top two teams will battle it out for the title with classifications matches between the third and fourth, and fifth and sixth-placed sides.
A post-Christmas season will begin in February followed by a mid-year season.
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.