A Brief History of the Central Ohio Grand Prix

In 1983, Alann Leinwohl started a tournament, the Newark Open, at the OSU-Newark campus. Two years later, during the summer of 1985, he began discussions with a group of tournament directors about organizing their events in terms of scheduling and creating a unified circuit with a Masters finale. As a result of these talks, the Central Ohio Grand Prix tour debuted in 1986.

That first year, the circuit was quite informal. The job of organizing fell to Leinwohl and he added the Masters tournament at the end of the 1986 season in Newark. Subsequent Masters events alternated between Newark and Lancaster until 1991 when the tournament moved to Wolfe Park in Columbus.

By 1988, the COGP tournaments began paying fees to support the publication of a yearbook and promotion of the tour through advertising and direct mail. Leinwohl also offered tournament directors a computerized draw-making program which he developed. Individual memberships were sold offering players discounts on entry fees, stringing and equipment. Also in 1988, the Tennisfax Ranking System was adopted as a basis for seeding in COGP events. In the beginning, the goal was simple... just a little organization. Soon, the COGP took on a life of its own. By 1991, every week from Memorial Day to early October was filled by a COGP tour event.

While the tour started as an adult organization, Leinwohl is proud of adding junior events to the circuit. He sees the COGP as a place for kids who are just starting to play tournaments. Many COGP players have gone on to success in OVTA and Midwest events while they continue to play on the COGP tour.

In 2000, The COGP launched a web site where players can find announcements, match results, tournament reports and current rankings. The COGP also provided individual tournaments on the circuit with their own web pages. Visitors can enter tournaments online and find match schedules and results posted daily.

Leinwohl retired as tour director after the 2002 season. New owners Arnie Jones and Alan Kinnard continued the COGP philosophy. They felt the COGP tour is a great place for the high school and college players to compete with top amateurs and teaching pros. Kinnard acted as COGP Tour Director from 2003-2011 with Jones taking over as of 2012.


The Central Ohio Grand Prix is a series of grass roots tournaments played in various locations throughout Central Ohio each spring and summer. Players receive Grand Prix points (see "Points") based on their performance in each tournament. The Masters tournament is held following the season. All draws for the Masters are limited to players who have competed on the COGP Tour.


Most tournaments offer competition in Mens and Womens Singles and Doubles, Mens and Womens 35 & Over Singles and Doubles, Mens and Women's 45 & Over Singles and Doubles, Mens 55 & Over Singles and Doubles, Mens 65 & Over Singles and Doubles, Mixed Doubles and 35 & Over Mixed Doubles. Most junior tournaments offer Boys and Girls 18 & Under Singles and Doubles, Boys and Girls 16 & Under Singles, Boys and Girls 14 & Under Singles and Doubles, and Boys and Girls 12 & Under Singles; some offer additional events.

Entry Procedure

Players may enter tournaments by:

1) online entry at www.cogp.com
2) online entry at www.usta.com via Tennislink
3) mailing entry forms to the tournament director
4) phone entries to the tournament director
Some tournaments will not accept registration by phone, through the Grand Prix office or online. Entry forms should be read completely and entry procedures followed carefully.

Doubles Entry

Any player who wants to play doubles is encouraged to find their own partner. If a player wishes to play doubles but does not have a partner, the tournaments, in coordination with the Grand Prix, will try to form compatible doubles teams if other players without partners sign up.

Doubles Qualifying

Players qualify for the Masters individually in all doubles events. Both players on a doubles team must have played at least one tournament in the division they wish to enter.


Players receive the following "Grand Prix" points for each tournament they play. Players must actually win a round to receive points; byes do not count as a round won if you lose your next match, defaults do.

  Round of 16
  Round of 32
  Round of 64
  Backdraw (per match won)







Any player, regardless of age, is eligible to play in open events. For the year Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, you are eligible to play in:

Junior divisions (18, 16, 14, 12) if you have not exceeded the maximum age by the last day of the month during which the tournament is scheduled to start. (For example, if you turn 19 in September, you can play in the 18 & under division through August or if an 18 & under tournament starts in August and finishes in September, you can still play that tournament.)

Senior divisions are open to players who will have reached in minimum age requirement at any time during the year.



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