Welcome to the LA Tennis Ladder. Anyone can join and the cost is $30/per year for unlimited match play. Here are the basic rules:

  • Best 2 out of 3 tiebreak sets.
  • Matches can be played at any mutually agreed upon location
  • If you are new to the ladder, you can challenge anyone as high as #11. In order to challenge a top ten player, you must be in the top twenty (11-20). Once you are in the top twenty, you can challenge anyone in the top ten except the #1 player. If you are in the top ten, you can challenge anyone, including the #1 player.
  • Match results are submitted by the winner via our new automated system, and ladder rankings are updated automatically.
  • To challenge a player, just call or e-mail and schedule a mutually convenient match time.

It all started

No Ho Park SignThe LA Tennis Ladder had its humble beginnings at the North Hollywood Tennis courts on Magnolia and Tujunga. It began with about 6-7 guys back in the late 1990’s and was dubbed the NoHo Tennis Ladder. There was no website, no status reports, just an old clipboard with a piece of paper and a pencil attached by a string.

Some of the original guys on the ladder were Lad Dell, Magic, Greg Barnes, Arnie Darini , and Andy Buras.

Ladd DellLad used to run the NoHo ladder and did a great job setting up competitive matches. However, no one ever knew who was playing anyone else and it was difficult to get in touch with anyone to challenge them unless you happened to see them at the park.

When Lad had a job transfer and needed to move to Boston, Rob Stone offered to take over the ladder in hopes of trying to grow it and make it more accessible to players. Lad agreed and Stone decided in order for the ladder to succeed, it needed three things:

1. A website to build a tennis community
2. Status Updates to let people know who was playing who
3. In the spirit of the original ladder, it needed to always be open to anyone and everyone. After all, tennis belongs to everybody.

So Stone built his first website, started sending out weekly and monthly status reports via e-mail, and within a month, the ladder tripled in membership. Within it’s first year, there were over 50 active players. By the end of the second year, there were over 100 players. Because so many players were joining due to word of mouth, and were from all parts of Los Angeles county, Stone decided it had grown beyond only North Hollywood and renamed it The Los Angeles Tennis Ladder (LA Tennis Ladder).

noho court fakeTournaments

In addition to ladder matches (that can be played 365 days a year), Stone  started putting on Ladder tournaments with prize money and other tennis prizes through sponsorships such as Prince, Solinco, The Racket Doctor, and Calabasas Tennis & Swim.

The Iron Man Tourney

While watching a riveting five set match between Federer and Nadal, Stone wondered what it must feel like to play a five setter with so much on the line. He then got the crazy idea to put on an Iron Man Tournament where every match would be best of five sets for prize money. Thinking he’d only be able to find 3 or 4 other certifiable tennis nuts to attempt this insanity, he was amazed when over 20 other tennis lunatics signed up. Believing there would only be one or two matches that would actually go the distance, everyone was amazed when over six matches went to five sets. The longest match in the history of the ladder was an Iron Man match that lasted over 7 hours where three of the five sets went to a tiebreaker (including the final set).

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