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View Full Version : Players Overrating at Norcal


allez
01-07-2007, 09:13 PM
It seems that many on this board feel very strongly about players sandbagging at Norcal. I played there for several years up to a year ago due to a job transfer out of the area. I am quite familiar with the players and competition there. My observation is that people overrating themselves were more prevalent, especially in the 4.0 to 4.5 levels.

In several districts I had played, every flight has a couple of teams that were loaded with players intentionally underrating themselves to win. Then, the rest of the teams (70-80%) have players that were overrating themselves so they can get some “quality” competition. I had played with and against too many players that called themselves 4.0 or 4.5 when in fact they were not any better then an average 3.5 (many just didn’t want to be labeled anything lower so they felt they belonged to a more “elite” club).

I remembered the old initial rating system required a player to be visually rated by a USTA certified person. Now a player can rate them whatever they like. As a result, in every flight, there were one or two strong teams just feasting on the remaining teams with mostly overrated players. This is perhaps a bigger problem because it screws up the whole benchmarking of the USTA levels. It’s not fairly to most of the players. The strong teams had no competition, and the week teams had no hope. Pretty much every year, the same group of players went to the playoff.

I think the USTA should certify and benchmark a few of their employees for each level and let them play in the respective levels in the league. Use the win/loss records from the competition against these benchmarking players directly and indirectly to correct the player rating. Move players up and down to their right levels create more competition in all flights in each level.

Any thought on this?

darkblue
01-08-2007, 07:14 AM
I think the USTA should certify and benchmark a few of their employees for each level and let them play in the respective levels in the league. Use the win/loss records from the competition against these benchmarking players directly and indirectly to correct the player rating. Move players up and down to their right levels create more competition in all flights in each level.

Any thought on this?

I agree that there are players who over-rate themselves. Then, there are the under-raters - this combination, without a doubt, produces lopsided results.

Your idea about USTA benchmark employees playing in the league is interesting - though this would not work unless there is a mechanism to remove conflict of interests. Under-cover or not, the USTA police PLAYING in the league would create really messy situations.

Dr. Van Nostrand
01-08-2007, 03:11 PM
I remembered the old initial rating system required a player to be visually rated by a USTA certified person. Now a player can rate them whatever they like. As a result, in every flight, there were one or two strong teams just feasting on the remaining teams with mostly overrated players. This is perhaps a bigger problem because it screws up the whole benchmarking of the USTA levels. It’s not fairly to most of the players. The strong teams had no competition, and the week teams had no hope. Pretty much every year, the same group of players went to the playoff.

To a large degree even visually rated players could get the rating they wanted. Generally if someone wanted to be visually rated higher than what the rater may have thought they should be they would be given the higher rating. Of course a 3.0 player could not get a 5.0 visual rating by asking for it but if they wanted a 3.5 or even 4.0 rating they could usually get it if they asked. Also there was no three strikes disqualification rule when players were visually rated.

I think the USTA should certify and benchmark a few of their employees for each level and let them play in the respective levels in the league. Use the win/loss records from the competition against these benchmarking players directly and indirectly to correct the player rating. Move players up and down to their right levels create more competition in all flights in each level.

Any thought on this?

I don't know how this would effectively work. If these USTA certified employees/players were playing in leagues in an undercover type of role I am sure it would only be a matter of time until everyone found out who they were and played accordingly against them to "manage" their rating.

tennismike33
01-08-2007, 03:41 PM
Some of you know a lot more about the rating system than I do, so maybe you can help. I was bumped to a rating of 4.5 two years ago. Last year I did not play USTA league play, now I am being told by a person that I can lower my rating to 4.0 and play league at that level, is this true?

Jack the Hack
01-08-2007, 04:03 PM
Some of you know a lot more about the rating system than I do, so maybe you can help. I was bumped to a rating of 4.5 two years ago. Last year I did not play USTA league play, now I am being told by a person that I can lower my rating to 4.0 and play league at that level, is this true?

Computer ratings are good for 3 years for players under the age of 60, 2 years for folks over 60. That means if you were rated 4.5 by the computer at the end of 2004, you would still be a 4.5 unless the system moved you up or down based on your play.

With your scenerio, it sounds like you got a 4.5 at the end of 2005 and didn't play USTA League in 2006. Unless the system knocked you down to 4.0 due to tournament play, you would still be a 4.5. Also, if you think you are close to the edge, I suppose you could also file an appeal to see if your rating is low enough to be moved down a level.

You can look your rating up here: http://national.usta.com/leagues/reports/NTRP/FindRating.asp

PBODY99
01-08-2007, 04:36 PM
I think the USTA should certify and benchmark a few of their employees for each level and let them play in the respective levels in the league. Use the win/loss records from the competition against these benchmarking players directly and indirectly to correct the player rating. Move players up and down to their right levels create more competition in all flights in each level.

They have a system of benchmark players in place, but is doesn't seem to stop players from playing down. If you are much better than someone, you can win matches by a close score& make it look to the system that you are in level. I've seen this happen in Middle States, and have reports from the players I know up and down the East Coast. Still I play on.

tlm
01-09-2007, 04:05 PM
No wonder there is a guy here saying he has been only playing 3 years+ is already a 4.0+ is beating 4.5 players, he is from norcal+ he claimed it was the land of the sandbaggers.

Now can anybody hear say that it is possible to be beating 4.5 players after only playing tennis for 3 years?As a matter of fact i find it hard to believe someone could reach a legit 4.0 ranking in only 3 years of ever playing the game.

I guess that it could happen, but to be beating real 4.5 players with only 3 years of total tennis playing time, i would have to say that would be impossible.

darkblue
01-10-2007, 04:34 AM
I guess that it could happen, but to be beating real 4.5 players with only 3 years of total tennis playing time, i would have to say that would be impossible.

i've been there - lost a closely contested match to a retired investment banker (40 yrs old), who had decided to pick up tennis for the 1st time @ age 38. he plays 4-5 times a week, ~1 lesson a week.
he had played varsity golf @ the univ. of florida during college days. (top notch coordination + sports mentality)

oh i wish i could retire and live like that myself....perhaps that will allow me to get back to where i was looong time ago.

darkblue
01-10-2007, 04:38 AM
to be beating real 4.5 players .

i went 7-1 in singles during the USTA league play,
and 15-4 in tournament play in 4.5 last year... i hope that makes me a "legit" 4.5 in your definition....
also, i've lost to a "3.5" rated player in an open level tournament last year
as well...

alwaysatnet
01-10-2007, 06:46 AM
I went to nationals one year with a Norcal 4.0 team and even then,(92') sandbagging was outrageous.We had a former quarterback from Stanford and lacrosse All American from back east on our number one doubles team.Both were in their fifties at the time but great athletes,nonetheless.It was just taken for granted you had to have players that didn't belong on the team or you would get beaten by the other guy's sandbaggers.At nationals we saw absurdly talented singles players who only got tossed because they had to play one another and got caught.Like in pro sports we played within the rules though we knew we vilolated the intents of them.

duffman
01-10-2007, 09:49 AM
No wonder there is a guy here saying he has been only playing 3 years+ is already a 4.0+ is beating 4.5 players, he is from norcal+ he claimed it was the land of the sandbaggers.

Now can anybody hear say that it is possible to be beating 4.5 players after only playing tennis for 3 years?As a matter of fact i find it hard to believe someone could reach a legit 4.0 ranking in only 3 years of ever playing the game.

I guess that it could happen, but to be beating real 4.5 players with only 3 years of total tennis playing time, i would have to say that would be impossible.

Lol, still stuck on this TLM??? By the way it was 2 years not 3. I still can't figure out why you can't believe that a very good athlete could be beating 4.5 players after playing 2 years 2-4 times a week in a climate that allows year round play. I didn't say I beat all the 4.5's I play, just that I was 4-2 in 2006 adult league @ 4.5 and now when I step on the court with any 4.5 I have just as good a shot of winning as losing (in doubles at least).

Would you like me to email you my usta#? I'm sure you'll find that my 4.0 rating is "legit". People are going to progress at different rates at both ends of the spectrum. I may be on the upper end of the spectrum in tennis, but like I've posted before this was only possible by playing and practicing with 4.5's combined with hard work.

Back to the topic of the post, while there might be a few players around, especially those that only play in city leagues that like to inflate their rating and self rate as such. It has been my experience in USTA adult league tennis that the opposite is usually true and guys will do whatever they can (self-rate, appeal, medical appeal), to get dropped down a level so that they can dominate local league play and compete at districts and sectionals with the hopes of eventually making it to nationals.

TLM, if want to really open pandora's box, start a thread asking people's opinions on sandbagging in Norcal if you are doubting the quality of tennis in Norcal.

tlm
01-11-2007, 03:26 AM
Hey duffman, i dont know what the quality of tennis is in norcal.I was going by what Allez said about people overrating themselves.It only took you 2 years to reach 4.0? Thats pretty fast if you have really never played before.

That is possible i guess, but to beat 4.5 players with only playing 2 years is the one i cant believe.Now you say at least in doubles, i have seen many players play a level up in doubles.Or get carried by thier partner, i dont want to hear about doubles.I am talking about real tennis here not doubles!

dvikasmishra
01-11-2007, 07:20 AM
Hey duffman, i dont know what the quality of tennis is in norcal.I was going by what Allez said about people overrating themselves.It only took you 2 years to reach 4.0? Thats pretty fast if you have really never played before.

That is possible i guess, but to beat 4.5 players with only playing 2 years is the one i cant believe.Now you say at least in doubles, i have seen many players play a level up in doubles.Or get carried by thier partner, i dont want to hear about doubles.I am talking about real tennis here not doubles!

I believe it is possible to beat a 4.5 in two years. I have been playing tennis for one and half years now and I have beaten couple of USTA 4( Though I am still inconsistent).
I think beating 4.5 should not a problem after two years if you have played some college level sports .

tlm
01-11-2007, 04:09 PM
I dont see what playing college level sports has to do with beating 4.5 players in 2 years.Obviously you have to be athletic to progress quickly in any sport, but i wouldnt care if it was a pro athlete you can only progress so fast in a new sport.

At the tennis club i play at, all the 4.5 players or 5.0 have been playing at least 10 years a lot of them played college tennis.By the way, i dont believe if you played in high school or college means that much.I know some good players that didnt start until they were in thier late twentys.

I asked the pro at the club i belong to if someone could be competing against 4.5 players in only 2 years of playing the game, he laughed + said no way.

duffman
01-11-2007, 07:32 PM
I dont see what playing college level sports has to do with beating 4.5 players in 2 years.Obviously you have to be athletic to progress quickly in any sport, but i wouldnt care if it was a pro athlete you can only progress so fast in a new sport.

At the tennis club i play at, all the 4.5 players or 5.0 have been playing at least 10 years a lot of them played college tennis.By the way, i dont believe if you played in high school or college means that much.I know some good players that didnt start until they were in thier late twentys.

I asked the pro at the club i belong to if someone could be competing against 4.5 players in only 2 years of playing the game, he laughed + said no way.

Well, I'll have my club pro who I've played with and is a 5.5, call your club pro to set him straight, lol. Seriously though, length of time playing the sport is not important as the quality of the time spent playing it. I spent my first adult league season as a 3.0 just messing around with other 3.0's and while I was improving, it wasn't until I started hitting with guys that were alot better than me and showed me the correct way to do things that my tennis began to rapidly improve.

BabolatFan
01-12-2007, 08:58 AM
Oh yeah I've seen some open level players in 3.5 as well. I guess sometimes they feel like creaming the heck out of those that rate themselves 3.5, so they underrate themselves.