PDA

View Full Version : USTA League, why play????


tennismike33
11-18-2006, 09:39 AM
I have played 3 out of the last 5 years and it is enjoyable. The situation I found was that it costs not only a lot of money, almost $100, just for the league play, not counting the costs of travel, gas, and hotel when we qualified for sectionals. What can be done to lower the costs and reduce the political nature of the play. Not just the cost but my feeling is that there are more close calls that "appear" in that are called out. When I called a ball in my partner told me, "Call that ball out, they are." Why is this?

Topaz
11-18-2006, 04:24 PM
I was hit with similar money issues when my team made districts. Hotel, meals, and if you win...you gotta stay longer. In VA they always have districts and sectionals at the same place, so it is always the same people traveling, and the same people, who live close by, get the breaks and 'home court' advantage.

atatu
11-19-2006, 02:50 PM
I love competition, but I have two kids and I can't play tournaments that last a whole weekend. The USTA league guarantees me a competitive match once a week for a maximum of three hours and I'm done.

SteveI
11-19-2006, 03:27 PM
I have played 3 out of the last 5 years and it is enjoyable. The situation I found was that it costs not only a lot of money, almost $100, just for the league play, not counting the costs of travel, gas, and hotel when we qualified for sectionals. What can be done to lower the costs and reduce the political nature of the play. Not just the cost but my feeling is that there are more close calls that "appear" in that are called out. When I called a ball in my partner told me, "Call that ball out, they are." Why is this?

#1 In my section we play our matches "indoors" in the summer.

#2 The cost.

#3 The cheating and all the "A-"Holes you have to deal with.

#4 I teach tennis in the summer 6-8 hours a day.. do not want to be on the court any additional hours unless I choose to be.

#5 Life is too short.. I have 5 or 6 great local partners I can play doubles or singles anytime with..refer ..back to #1 - 3. ie.. I am too old to deal with this shi..............

Regards,
Steve

basil J
11-19-2006, 03:50 PM
I used to play USTA, but now with kids and an unpredictable schedule I play Tennis northeast. There are a lot of decent 3.5-4.5 players, all divided by ability and into divisions. You get a list of opponents for your season(10-30 players) and you coordinate your own schedule. Usually it runs smoothly and you get lots of looks at new players every season. There is no "sandbagging" like in USTA.
If you have a winning percentage you get moved up, if you are losing a lot you get moved down. 99% of the guys are gentlemen just looking for some competitive tennis. I have been playing in it for 3 years now and I don't miss the all weekend long USTA tourneys a bit.

goober
11-19-2006, 04:02 PM
I stopped playing USTA league tennis. If you are interested in playing singles I have found there is plenty of competition playing nonUSTA leagues and USTA tourneys. I could play in a league singles match almost everyday if I wanted to.

TennisLeaguePlay
11-20-2006, 12:12 PM
Players,

USTA has lost touch with its base. I've heard all the horror stories.

That is why there is an online world of new leagues gaining strength in the tennis community.

Tennis NorthEast is one-such community
http://www.tennisnortheast.com/

During the outdoor season, it is a single $29.95 to $32.95 cost. Most players end up playing close to 10 or more matches in a season.

ChicagoJack
11-20-2006, 12:42 PM
User deleted the question,
I just saw the link to Chicago area leagues in another thread. Thanks.
-Jack

tennismike33
11-20-2006, 07:29 PM
Very interesting post, wish I was back in MA so that I could play in this league. I grew up in Walpole and played tennis throughout. My favorite memory was playing on the clay courts in Norwood, does anyone know if they are still there?

BigGriff
11-21-2006, 10:38 PM
IMHO USTA League play is a severely flawed system that simply saps the fun out of the sport. I used to play in the infamous NorCal USTA League. The blatant cheating left a sour taste in my mouth so I stick to club tourneys and events that aren't affiliated with the USTA.

Ash Doyle
11-22-2006, 04:51 AM
Every time I read about USTA League play on here it sounds like the most un-enjoyable event filled with cheaters everywhere you turn. Thankfully, that hasn't been my experience. I enjoy playing USTA League and have yet to see someone I thought was cheating. I haven't seen any player I thought was sandbagging yet either. (Just because someone beats you doesn't automatically mean they are sandbagging :) )

The one time I've seen someone cheating was in a USTA NTRP tournament. They were making the worst line calls I've ever seen. This person would get lobbed over, then situate themselves between the ball and their opponent in an attempt to block their view of the ball and then call the ball out when it land about two feet in.

raiden031
11-22-2006, 05:41 AM
I am in the process of joining a USTA league and I must admit, unless you are willing to captain your own team, you have to sandbag.

If you can't play at the level of the other [sandbagging] teammates, then they won't let you on the team. Of course if you have social connections to the team, then you might be ok regardless of your skills. I'd rather play a level higher but if I get accepted on a team, I probably won't play much since I'd be a weaker player.

Ash Doyle
11-22-2006, 05:50 AM
I'm convinced that the majority of the sandbagging complaints are due to players over estimating their ability.

For example, someone thinks they are a 4.0. They go and play with a 4.0 team and find that everyone is beating them badly. Instead of thinking "Maybe I'm not really a 4.0, but a 3.5" they instead think "These people aren't 4.0 like me, they are 4.5 or 5.0 and are lying about their rating".

I get this idea from NTRP tournament coordinators in the area who are constantly hearing complaints from players that there are too many players in draws that have self rated themselves too high and should not be attempting to compete at that level.

I'm not saying that sandbagging doesn't happen. I'm just suggesting that it's FAR less common than it would appear from reading these boards.

tennis-n-sc
11-22-2006, 06:07 AM
I throughly enjoy all aspects of league play and regularly play adult, senior, mixed and combo. The area in which I play is well managed by our USTA local officers. Spring meetings are well attended and complaints, both serious and trivial, are handled. For the most part, the players run the league by majority and there is a lot of leeway for the local leagues to pursue. I haven't heard of a local tournament that is not USTA sanctioned. So, in a sense, it is the only game in town but it is also enjoyable. It is apparent that all is not well in some localities across the country. My only suggestion is take charge locally. Attend meetings and volunteer for league work. If you keep bad officers in office, expect bad results. It doesn't have to be this way.

Geezer Guy
11-22-2006, 07:19 AM
I've enjoyed USTA league and tournament play for a number of years now. 90% of the guys I play against at good sports. It's really fairly rare that you run into the a-hole that cheats on line-calls or has an attitude.

For the amount of play you get, the league play is a good value. Tournament play can be a little expensive - especially if you lose in the first round or if you have to pay hotel bills. I've been lucky that there are lots of tournaments close by, so I don't have hotel bills to worry about.

I have several friends that I play "for fun", and I'm in leagues at my club that sometimes give me good matches and sometimes are lopsided one way or the other. However, with my USTA matches I know they'll usually be close and they're matches I can take seriously.

migjam
11-22-2006, 08:13 PM
I've found USTA team tennis to be a waste of time. It's a constant stacking job. Tournaments IMHO are a better use of my time. I know that I'll have a good match and I don't have to put up with all the antics of team tennis.

KFwinds
11-23-2006, 12:26 AM
I'm convinced that the majority of the sandbagging complaints are due to players over estimating their ability.

For example, someone thinks they are a 4.0. They go and play with a 4.0 team and find that everyone is beating them badly. Instead of thinking "Maybe I'm not really a 4.0, but a 3.5" they instead think "These people aren't 4.0 like me, they are 4.5 or 5.0 and are lying about their rating".

I get this idea from NTRP tournament coordinators in the area who are constantly hearing complaints from players that there are too many players in draws that have self rated themselves too high and should not be attempting to compete at that level.

I'm not saying that sandbagging doesn't happen. I'm just suggesting that it's FAR less common than it would appear from reading these boards.

I actually think the problems you are reading about most often are the opposite of what you described (and what has been my own observation); it's more like 4.0 players intentionally signing up as 3.5's, or an actual 5.0 player self-rating as a 4.5, etc...

goober
11-23-2006, 03:52 AM
I've found USTA team tennis to be a waste of time. It's a constant stacking job. Tournaments IMHO are a better use of my time. I know that I'll have a good match and I don't have to put up with all the antics of team tennis.

While I generally agree, the downsides for tourneys are that they are expensive and they can take up the whole weekend and sometimes Thursday and Friday night. If you get knocked out early you feel like you wasted your money. For the price of one tourney I can play a whole season of nonUSTA league play (8-10 matches).

Brad Smith
11-23-2006, 05:32 AM
I'm convinced that the majority of the sandbagging complaints are due to players over estimating their ability.

For example, someone thinks they are a 4.0. They go and play with a 4.0 team and find that everyone is beating them badly. Instead of thinking "Maybe I'm not really a 4.0, but a 3.5" they instead think "These people aren't 4.0 like me, they are 4.5 or 5.0 and are lying about their rating".

I get this idea from NTRP tournament coordinators in the area who are constantly hearing complaints from players that there are too many players in draws that have self rated themselves too high and should not be attempting to compete at that level.

I'm not saying that sandbagging doesn't happen. I'm just suggesting that it's FAR less common than it would appear from reading these boards.


In tournaments people tend to overestimate their abilities and play at levels that are inappropriate for them, but the sandbagging in the leagues is a completely different thing. That's all about team play and playing below your level, or at least playing at the lower level or if you're on the edge, is very common and strongly encouraged in some places.

migjam
11-23-2006, 08:05 AM
While I generally agree, the downsides for tourneys are that they are expensive and they can take up the whole weekend and sometimes Thursday and Friday night. If you get knocked out early you feel like you wasted your money. For the price of one tourney I can play a whole season of nonUSTA league play (8-10 matches).

Like I said, for me, tournaments are a better use of my time. I get better matches rather than having a 3.0-4.0 player (no offense to those players) and winning 6-0, 6-0 and not having much of a match. I don't play NTRP tournaments, just age level tournaments and from my experience most of the players that I have played in those tournaments are alright.

goober
11-23-2006, 08:38 AM
Like I said, for me, tournaments are a better use of my time. I get better matches rather than having a 3.0-4.0 player (no offense to those players) and winning 6-0, 6-0 and not having much of a match. I don't play NTRP tournaments, just age level tournaments and from my experience most of the players that I have played in those tournaments are alright.

Well you could play 4.5-5.0 NTRP tourneys. Why would you play 3.0-4.0 in tourneys or league play if you are playing well in age group tourneys?

migjam
11-23-2006, 09:32 AM
Well you could play 4.5-5.0 NTRP tourneys. Why would you play 3.0-4.0 in tourneys or league play if you are playing well in age group tourneys?

Because I got talked into playing on a 4.5 league, won all my matches 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 because most of the singles players weren't even 4.5, they were closer to 4.0. I got bumped back up to 5.0 after the season. I don't play NTRP tourneys, never have. I choose just to play age level tourneys and the competition is pretty good in my area.
The thing is, you take time to go play in the league match, and then end up playing a weak player and winning in 30-40 minutes. It's a waste of time and isn't enjoyable at all to me.

TennisLeaguePlay
11-24-2006, 06:44 AM
Where do you play now?

Our team has grown the league to DC, Chicago, Philly and LA.

TennisLeaguePlay
11-24-2006, 06:46 AM
Raiden,

This is so true. Plus if you really like to play singles you need to be a 4.0 player to play 3.5 singles. So tough.

BigGriff
11-24-2006, 12:24 PM
Pefect example of why I don't play USTA.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=105863

tennismike33
11-25-2006, 10:33 AM
While I generally agree, the downsides for tourneys are that they are expensive and they can take up the whole weekend and sometimes Thursday and Friday night. If you get knocked out early you feel like you wasted your money. For the price of one tourney I can play a whole season of nonUSTA league play (8-10 matches).

I look at the opposite approach to this, I want the challenge of tournament play and I don't want to spend a whole weekend on only 2 sets of tennis.

I played in a tournament one weekend and the person who coordinates the USTA teams I played on questioned my loyalty to the team. As I explained to her, my body is conditioned to play a lot of tennis. MIGJAM will attest to this, I play a LOT. I finished playing in my tournament then showed up right on time to play doubles, no worries. I can rest when I am dead, until then I want to play as much as possible.