© 2016 Dr Ray Brown


Summary: The USTA Texas has mandated, the mandate is known as ROG/Quickstart, that all children of the age of ten and under who play USTA tournaments use USTA designated racquets and balls rather than standard racquets and balls regardless of their skill level. The mandate is a component of a required contract between parents and the USTA in order for their child to play USTA tournaments. 

The ROG/Quickstart mandate has the potential to seriously delay the development of athletically advanced players when compared to players using standard equipment and training, thus reducing a player’s chances of receiving a college scholarship in tennis when they graduate from high school.  In addition, the mandate may result in forcing unsuspecting parents to spend considerable sums of time, money and other resources in excess of informed parents who elect to forfeit, as the lesser of two evils, the tournament age group of ten and under and use standard training protocols to protect their child’s development.  

This mandate is scientifically unsupportable but is being promoted as if it were well-grounded in research and science to give the impression that it is a credible and superior training protocol to standard training. The general public, relying on the due diligence of the USTA in these matters, is compelled by USTA tournament rules (in essence a contract) to spend significant sums of money on ROG/Quickstart training in the belief that it will accelerate their child’s tennis skill development whereas it may actually retard their development when compared to standard protocols.

In order to promote the appearance of credibility, the USTA engaged Dr. Brian Hainline, a practicing neurologists in New York having no standing in the scientific community, to affix his name to the key USTA marketing publication Positioning Youth Tennis for Success in order to give the appearance that the USTA has properly researched the mandated protocol and found it to be superior to standard protocols. 

In essence, the promotion of ROG/Quickstart as a superior training protocol is both false and misleading advertising and may even be detrimental to athletically skilled children, compromising their ability to compete for college tennis scholarships upon graduation from high school.

In the interest of protecting the good citizens of Texas from costly and even detrimental tennis training programs, I am asking the Texas Attorney General to compel the USTA Texas to include in all of its advertisements, and to compel all clubs and pros who promote ROG/Quickstart, a disclaimer that states that ROG/Quickstart is not a proven superior training protocol when compared to conventional training protocols and may even delay the development of athletic children and that the parent engages ROG/Quickstart pros for training at their own risk. Detailed disclaimer included below under the section entitled Relief.


Background: The USTA Texas has mandated that all children of the age of ten and under who play USTA tournaments use recreational racquets and balls rather than standard racquets and balls regardless of their skill level. While this appears harmless, in fact it results in creating a significant disadvantage for skilled athletic children ten and under who are capable of playing with standard balls and racquets by delaying their skill development. The significance of this, in turn, is that athletic children are usually training to compete for college scholarships one day and being forced to play with recreational equipment reduces their ability to compete for college scholarship against children who train with standard equipment. The USTA Texas tournaments in question are commonly known as ROG/Quickstart tournaments. 

The rationale is this: The USTA claims that ROG/Quickstart is a superior protocol to conventional and traditional protocols for tennis training and has published this in the pamphlet entitled Positioning Youth Tennis for Success. At the heart of their credibility claim is the implicit endorsement of Dr. Hainline who affixed his name to the publication.  The effect of this publication and Dr. Hainline’s tacit endorsement is to give the impression to the general public that the USTA has carefully researched the ROG training protocols and concluded that they are superior to standard protocols. This impression translates into fact in the minds of the general public and misleads many to invest in the ROG equipment, training and tournaments with the belief that their child will excel as a result and be better positioned to compete for college scholarships.  This is a false impression having no scientific credibility and is therefore false and misleading advertising.

Dr. Hainline is a practicing neurologist in New York and is not a recognized neuroscientist. There is a significant difference.  A neurologist provides diagnoses and prescribes treatment for illnesses of the nervous system. A practicing neurologist does not contribute to the field of neuroscience unless he has published in recognized journals; therefore, he is only able to repeat back to patients and organizations such as the USTA what we in the scientific community have discovered.  In short, Dr. Hainline is only capable of repeating what the scientific community tells him he can repeat. In particular, he obtains his information concerning the human learning process from the books and journal articles that we in the neuroscience research community write. If he ventures beyond the state of the science, his statements must be regarded as strictly personal opinion or metaphorical. 

A review of the pamphlet Positioning Youth Tennis for Success reveals at once that it is seriously out of date and out of step with the scientific community. With regard to ROG/Quickstart Dr. Hainline (through his implicit endorsement) has not presented a complete picture that will enable a member of the general public to make an informed decision concerning the expenditure of resources to train their child to compete for tennis scholarships. There is no mal intent on Dr. Hainline’s part; he is just not informed on the current state of research in the human learning process as demonstrated by allowing his name to be affixed to the USTA publication Positioning Youth Tennis for Success.

However, by allowing his name to be used by the USTA he has contributed to creating the impression that the USTA ROG/Quickstart program is superior to conventional and traditional training methods; this impression is misleading because it is unproven and is at the heart of this complaint.

As a result, the implication that ROG/Quickstart will accelerate a child’s development beyond standard training methods will be taken by the good citizens of Texas as fact in part because of its tacit endorsement by a prominent physician. This is because the citizens of Texas rely on the USTA to be acting in good faith on behalf of their children’s future.

In order for Dr. Hainline’s endorsement to be credible, he must have published research on ROG/Quickstart in a credible journal such as Behavioral and Brain Sciences for which I am a commentator. I have found no credible publications on the subject of the neuroscience of the human learning process by Dr. Hainline. Without such publications proving the value of ROG/Quickstart, Dr. Hainline has no credibility in the scientific community and has no credentials on which to base any decision about the comparative effectiveness of the ROG/Quickstart training protocols for athletic performance, other than a personal opinion. In short, his tacit endorsement is at best metaphorical as proven by the lack of scientific content, or even scientific references in the USTA publication Positioning Youth Tennis for Success.

A particularly good example is the chart on page 65 which has no scientific proof whatsoever.

To be credible this chart should have scientific experiments to justify every phase of the ROG process. Further, it should have a comparative chart showing typical progress using standard methods alone. Thus there should be two charts, one for ROG and one for standard methods and it should have a reference to quantitatively substantiate how the two methods compare. The metaphorical chart combined with the test and Dr. Hainline’s tacit endorsement implies that a student will benefit from ROG/Quickstart in excess of conventional and traditional tennis training. Since this is not proven, the USTA Texas has no basis to impose mandatory requirements on a child’s training that may even retard their development without an associated risk disclaimer.

I am, in contrast to Dr. Hainline, a recognized mathematical neuroscientist currently making ground breaking contributions to the human learning process as demonstrated by my numerous scientific publications. See, chapters 17, and 18 as well as the numerous mathematical contributions to neuroscience in the journal DCDIS. For example, most recently see, volume 23.  I know for a fact that Dr. Hainline’s knowledge of the human learning process as reflected in the USTA pamphlet Positioning Youth Tennis for Success  is far short of the current state of the science.

It is reasonable for the USTA to suggest ROG/Quickstart for recreational players. It is unreasonable for the USTA Texas to impose mandatory requirements on highly skilled players implying thereby that ROG/Quickstart is a superior training protocol for all without an attendant disclaimer. Any such mandatory requirement will be perceived by the public that the USTA is acting in good faith and that the USTA has done due diligence and assures the public of the superiority of ROG/Quickstart to conventional and traditional training methods.

In the absence of any scientific proof, the fact that the USTA Texas makes ROG/Quickstart tournament participation mandatory must be accompanied by a disclaimer by the USTA Texas asserting that the USTA Texas knows there is no scientific proof of the value of ROG/Quickstart and therefore every parent participates at their own risk, said risk which may result in delayed development of their child’s tennis skills and compromise their ability to compete with conventionally traditional trained children for future college scholarships. 

Relief: I am requesting the following from the office of the Attorney General.

  1. Whereas Dr. Hainline has lent his good name to the publication Positioning Youth Tennis for Success, he has, in effect, endorsed ROG/Quickstart and therefore supports the advertising and promotion of ROG/Quickstart as a superior method of training to conventional and traditional tennis training methods.
  2. In order to prove that his endorsement not support false and misleading advertising, the Attorney General should request of Dr. Hainline provide the following documents that are necessary to prove that his endorsement is not supporting false and misleading advertising: a) A sworn affidavit stating that he, Dr. Hainline, has personally conducted sufficient research to prove the superiority of ROG/Quickstart to all conventional and traditional tennis training methods; b) that he, Dr. Hainline, has published the results of his research in distinguished refereed journals in the field of neuroscience and that publication should be cited; c) said publication should describe methods, hypothesis, sample selection, test duration, and metrics that prove to the scientific community the superiority of  ROG/Quickstart; d) said publication should be presented in such detail that an independent team can verify his results without his involvement; e) that said publication cite dates, locations and participants in the research to assure scientific credibility.
  3. Failure for Dr. Hainline to provide such sworn affidavits and publications should be grounds to establish that ROG/Quickstart is not a proven superior training method and any mandatory requirement for students to play ROG/Quickstart before the age of eleven implicitly constitutes false and misleading advertising by the USTA for which there should be remedies.
  4. In particular, in the absence of proof that ROG/Quickstart is a superior method of training to conventional and traditional methods, the USTA Texas and all clubs and coaches using ROG/Quickstart should be legally compelled to issue a disclaimer to all parents to that effect.
  5. Said disclaimer should include the following language:  ROG/Quickstart or any program using ROG/Quickstart equipment or any ROG/Quickstart tournament in which a child participates has no proven value to develop tennis skills faster or more efficiently than traditional methods. Further, it is possible that participation in any ROG/Quickstart program or tournament may even delay development of skill when compared to traditional and conventional training methods.  That such participation in ROG/Quickstart may even put a child at a disadvantage in competing for college tennis scholarships against students training with conventional and traditional methods.
  6. The USTA Texas should state on its website and in all youth publications available to Texas residents that participation in ROG/Quickstart training and tournaments is voluntary and that the USTA does not support mandatory use of ROG/Quickstart training nor make any claims as to its value as per the above disclaimer.
  7. That anyone who has participated in ROG/Quickstart under the impression that its methods are superior to conventional and traditional methods be refunded all monies and expenses they have incurred as a result of having good faith and believing that the USTA had conducted due diligence research prior to making ROG/Quickstart mandatory for children of the age of ten and under.


Dr. Ray Brown
Mathematical Neuroscientist