PDA

View Full Version : League Coordinator thinks I'm sandbagging


raiden031
01-08-2007, 09:52 AM
I have played at a few tennis socials with rotating doubles play recently and met the league coordinator of my 6.0 winter mix league who happened to be there at the events. I haven't played any league matches yet though. Anyways I was playing with people ranging from 3.0-4.0 (mostly 3.5 though) and had been playing very well considering my limited experience with doubles. Anyways my serve has been a dominating force, even better than the upper end players who I have played with at these socials. The league coordinator comes up to me and tells me that I'm no 3.0 and should be playing in the 7.0 mix, but that there's nothing she can do about it (laughingly).

Anyways, because this is a mixed league, there is no computer disqualification, but I'm wondering if my opponents might complain if they feel I'm above the level. I'm not sure what part of my game was noticeably too good to the coordinator; I had several aces and some weak returns from my opponents. My forehand has alot of power and top spin which presents problems to those not used to it. My biggest weakness now is my backhand volley, which often floats out if I am volleying against a ball with alot of pace.

Overally I actually think that I appear more successful at doubles than singles because points don't last as long so I commit far less unforced errors (also many of the UEs are committed by my partner). So it appears that I am better because of my powerful strokes and large amount of spin.

What would happen if an opponent complained about my playing if we beat them bad and there is no computer disqualification?

Dr. Van Nostrand
01-08-2007, 03:01 PM
.....What would happen if an opponent complained about my playing if we beat them bad and there is no computer disqualification?

Since there is no computer disqualification for mixed doubles nothing official would happen. You will probably get players on the teams you beat P.O.'ed at you but that is about it. You may enjoy the competitiveness of 7.0 mixed more than 6.0 mixed but whatever turns you on I guess.

darkblue
01-08-2007, 03:02 PM
What would happen if an opponent complained about my playing if we beat them bad and there is no computer disqualification?

Nothing... unless this is a "championship", i.e. sectionals and regionals where there are USTA officials who can instantly DQ you...
It takes a miracle to have USTA issue instant DQ during local league play.

Dr. Van Nostrand
01-08-2007, 03:14 PM
Nothing... unless this is a "championship", i.e. sectionals and regionals where there are USTA officials who can instantly DQ you...
It takes a miracle to have USTA issue instant DQ during local league play.

I don't think my section, Norcal has visual raters on hand during district or sectional playoffs anymore.

cak
01-08-2007, 04:52 PM
I don't think my section, Norcal has visual raters on hand during district or sectional playoffs anymore.

Actually, I have heard stories that your section, NorCal, does in fact have visual raters on hand during district and sectionals. I also heard of many people getting disqualified at districts and sectionals just last season. (2006) Including some in mixed.

National will only dq people in National leagues, and have chosen not to dq people in mixed. Sections can do what they want with that. Norcal has chosen to accept grievances from on players playing out of level in mixed, combo leagues, and other leagues where National is not using their three strikes algorithm. If you have a grievance filed against you they may bring in visual verifiers to check out your level, or they may argue from match scores. I've seen both done. Verifiers will not dq some one that no one has officially complained about.

Cindysphinx
01-08-2007, 05:01 PM
Raiden, I think we're in the same league. is there some reason why you don't move your team up to 7.0?

There are currently 19 7.0 teams, so we could accommodate another 7.0 team. In fact, you'd wind up in my division and I might have a chance to return that serve of yours!

Cindy

Dr. Van Nostrand
01-08-2007, 09:04 PM
Actually, I have heard stories that your section, NorCal, does in fact have visual raters on hand during district and sectionals.

Yea, maybe they do. I was basing my comment on the last time I played at the district playoffs (2004) and at the general meeting before the start of the first matches the head referee specifically said that their were not any rating verifiers in attendance and players should not come to him to complain about ratings since his was the referee and not a rater. But, maybe they did have visual raters wathcing the matches but they didn't want to openly admit it.

raiden031
01-09-2007, 06:07 AM
Raiden, I think we're in the same league. is there some reason why you don't move your team up to 7.0?

There are currently 19 7.0 teams, so we could accommodate another 7.0 team. In fact, you'd wind up in my division and I might have a chance to return that serve of yours!

Cindy

Cindy, I'm playing in the Howard County league, not your league. One of my teammates is playing in your league though. I can't do anything because I'm not the captain of my team. Cindy, I could theoretically play you in a fun match since we aren't too far away from each other. That way you can decide as a representative of the TT forums how good I really am.


You may enjoy the competitiveness of 7.0 mixed more than 6.0 mixed but whatever turns you on I guess.


I committed to the 6.0 league 2-3 months ago after putting up an ad describing my abilities. At the time I was not getting any interest from 7.0 captains because I didn't specify myself as a strong 3.5. I stated I was a weak 3.5 at best and was unrated, so all the 6.0 captains were begging to have me join. At this point I have improved so much and have even been competitive against 4.0 players in doubles recently at these socials but its too late to join a 7.0 team since the season has started. I know that if I crush everyone at 6.0, I will certainly play only 3.5 in the spring season. There are people in this league (6.0) who have beaten me in singles over the summer, but its possible I would crush them if we played right now. Who knows, I'll let you all know how my 6.0 matches go if you're interested in hearing.

Cindysphinx
01-09-2007, 06:28 AM
Raiden, it's not too late in our county to join a team, so maybe you can get on a 7.0 team now.

Yeah, uh. We could play sometime. Except you would undoubtedly *destroy* me, especially in singles. I can't do anything right in singles.

raiden031
01-09-2007, 07:12 AM
Raiden, it's not too late in our county to join a team, so maybe you can get on a 7.0 team now.

Yeah, uh. We could play sometime. Except you would undoubtedly *destroy* me, especially in singles. I can't do anything right in singles.

Has your season started yet? I know mine has...my team has already played 1 match. So once playing starts, are you allowed to add new players?

Well its possible I have it all wrong when I describe my abilities. If I played you it would be doubles because thats where you're strong. I am a stronger singles player because I can't volley very well, but somehow I am more competitive against higher-rated players in doubles than in singles. I'm not sure how that works. Maybe I am actually better at doubles but I feel more comfortable with singles.

Do you know any teams in your county looking for players? If so we should take this offline. I'm only playing 5 matches on my team so I could use some more playing time.

Cindysphinx
01-09-2007, 11:06 AM
Yes, our league teams are allowed to add players to the roster at any time during the season, even for the last match. There used to be a cut-off, but that requirement was dropped in 2006 IIRC.

Yes, we can talk off-line, but I don't know how the PM feature works on this board.

raiden031
01-09-2007, 11:29 AM
Yes, our league teams are allowed to add players to the roster at any time during the season, even for the last match. There used to be a cut-off, but that requirement was dropped in 2006 IIRC.

Yes, we can talk off-line, but I don't know how the PM feature works on this board.

I actually found a contact person for the league and sent them an email saying I was looking for a team so I'll wait to see what I hear back.

Cindysphinx
01-09-2007, 03:06 PM
Awesome! If you get on a team, do shout out.

That way I can arrange to be, erm, sick on the day my team plays yours. :)

raiden031
01-10-2007, 04:34 AM
Awesome! If you get on a team, do shout out.

That way I can arrange to be, erm, sick on the day my team plays yours. :)

Or you could arrange to play and beat me and brag about it to the TT crew.

West Coast Ace
01-12-2007, 02:24 PM
raiden031, what do you want to do? Win or improve? If you want to win and the people at one level can't even get your serve back, then no worries. If you want to get better, take Cindy up and move up and work on the areas that need improvement since the better players will be more likely to find them.

Netgame
01-12-2007, 02:36 PM
Just maybe, if the league coordinator thinks you are sandbagging, then you probably are too good for that level. You are probably better then you see yourself being.

equinox
01-12-2007, 03:17 PM
Every team that wants to win sandbags.

I played in a local mixed comp which had only a few females. Teams were stacked with 3 males, you didn't have a choice unless you wanted to be blown out. Ocassionally you'd see a stronger pennant grade2 female at #2 position, but rarely.

Sad thing is that my captain ditched out of 4/5 of the matches because she didn't feel strong enough playing against #4 man.

Anyways, We had our #2 ultrapusher playing as #4 in finals.

The opposition used #1+ male playing as #4, #1 7ft giant playing #2.

We tried two #1 at #1+2 position but got shot down by league head. What a joke and we still managed to win.

Sakkijarvi
01-13-2007, 07:53 AM
My first post here...

I started playing tennis a year ago after not swinging a racquet for almost 20 years. Took lessons as a kid, hit with friends at the town park, that kind of thing. So now that I'm onto my second bite of the apple, I want to be the best player possible. I've played other organized sports, semi-pro baseball from 1990-2006. Lots of pick-up basketball. I'm 44.

My first move last fall was to call around and find a singles league. Doubles didn't really appeal to me (although I'm playing them once a week now with a 6-man group; they invited me in) as I'm always looking for a max workout. I found a league at a tennis club near my home, joined their 3.0 league right away as a guy backed out two matches into the season with an injury.

I went 7-5 in my first season, getting beat pretty good as players enjoyed their ESPN highlight reels at my expense (think: booming put-aways at the net on my sitters). Second season I went 12-2 and won the league. Same group of guys, except one that moved up because he won the previous season (stomping me in the process twice).

So they moved me up to the next league, supposedly higher players on hand. I play my last match of the season Monday and if I win, I go 10-5 (I took on matches for a guy that backed out, whenever my bye was on, to get extra matches) -- with three guys ahead of me. All three of them beat me each time I played them.

Along the way I took on a pro at the club, nothing major, two sessions to date. But both were of great value, helping to gear my game toward moving forward. Instead of finishing points with winners (what I took to be 'the way' to play) against 3.0ers, he has me committing to longer rallies against better players.

To come to the end of an admittedly long post, my goal is to take on an defeat the guys ahead of me...then move up a league and begin the entire process again. There are two more in-house leagues for singles, up to a 4.0 league.

My desire is to keep growing my game until I hit the point where I can't move up any further...I want to be in a setting where I have to push myself to play every point of every game in every match. That's the kind of workout that makes tennis thrilling. I own a business and can't commit more time than two nights a week plus the occasional lesson so realistically if I can play a true 3.5-4.0 level, win as many matches as I lose, it will be a great sport for me. All this stuff about "sandbagging", USTA ratings, jockeying sports in tournaments, etc. leaves me nonplussed. Sounds like too much of the 'people' side and not enough of 'the game' and I've always leaned toward the latter, big time (i.e., books, video, tennis talk with friends that play...X's and O's).

Sakki

oldguysrule
01-13-2007, 10:25 AM
My first post here...

Welcome to the game and this forum. Where are you located?

Don't worry too much about what you hear regarding sandbaggers, ratings, etc. The vast majority of tennis players play the game to have fun, get a workout, meet people, and keep the competitive spirit alive. View the ratings as a guide to find competitive games and not as a true rating of your ability. If you do this, you will have more fun than the whiners and complainers and gain the respect of the tennis community where you play.

West Coast Ace
01-14-2007, 08:59 AM
My first post here...I'd more or less agree with oldguy - it's human nature to dwell on the negative. There are probably many people that join leagues who make friends, improve their games, and get in better shape who don't bother posting to this or any other Internet board. As long as you have your attitude adjusted and priorities in line, you probably won't have a problem. But expect to run into some of these sandbaggers if you play long enough - the guy who's serve magically gets a lot harder and better placed at 4-4 in each set, who starts hitting BH winners when he was just slicing balls back earlier in the set, etc... - they're out there.

You (and oldguy since he asked) should modify preferences to show your location - never know, might meet someone to play/rally with from this board.

Sakkijarvi
01-15-2007, 07:42 AM
<I'd more or less agree with oldguy - it's human nature to dwell on the negative.>

I don't feel negative about tennis at all. Quite the opposite, elated. As in just worked out with my tennis pro Saturday morning to tune up for my season-ending match tonight, hit well and it was a blast. The same day (Saturday) I coached an AAU basketball game, and picked up my son from his workout with his personal trainer. I include this extra detail to identify 'where we're at' in terms of this "sandbagging" topic -- I may be new tennis meat but I am no sports neophyte, by any means.

To date I've only played in non USTA club leagues, and dropped in here as I put a feeler out to our club's USTA 3.5 team captain. He sent me a perfunctory E-mail about the try-outs being in March, then out of the blue, I got a call to play doubles with him and "two other guys from the 3.5 team". Reading the msg board here at tw.com before meeting up with these guys has been interesting. This board is quite good, and I had a chance to prepare some questions for these potential tennis team-mates.

As I said, as a non sports newbie, I have a yardstick to measure the 'tennis animal' against -- so anything that hints of a tryout is reciprocal as far as I'm concerned.

Sakki

raiden031
01-16-2007, 07:01 AM
raiden031, what do you want to do? Win or improve? If you want to win and the people at one level can't even get your serve back, then no worries. If you want to get better, take Cindy up and move up and work on the areas that need improvement since the better players will be more likely to find them.

Here's what I'm doing right now. I have a few singles practice partners that are all better than me. I have been playing 1-2 times a week indoors and twice a week hitting against a racquetball court wall. So my goal right now is certainly to improve. What I want is by January 2008 to be a 4.0 player.

Two of the players I played within the past week were 4.0 and said they took about a year off each. I played one and went 3-6, 2-6. The other I went 3-6, 3-4, cuz we ran out of time. Both of them had a serve that I could barely return.

I feel like I am much better than I was a few months ago when I felt I couldn't cut it as a 3.5, but now I feel like I'm at least an avg 3.5. But I can't truly tell because in the past I was playing with weaker players and now I'm playing with stronger players.

I am about to play a mixed league match on friday and I guess the results of these matches will determine where I truly stand. My main concern is simply angering the opponents because it might be obvious if I am above the level. I just don't want to cause problems with my team in the league that my captain will have to deal with. I just want to know if anyone thinks the league could manually disqualify me based on complaints.

Cindysphinx
01-16-2007, 09:34 AM
Raiden, I have never heard of a self-rated player being disqualified based on complaints. I have seen disqualifications of self-rated players based on three-strikes.

If I were you, I would play the match as hard as you can and see what happens. Your captain can then decide whether to keep playing you and risk disqualification or bench you instead.

Whatever you do, don't throw games or ease up, though. I would consider that to be cheating. Let the computer sort it out.

Good luck! I wish I could be a fly on the wall for your match on Friday. :)

raiden031
01-16-2007, 10:08 AM
Raiden, I have never heard of a self-rated player being disqualified based on complaints. I have seen disqualifications of self-rated players based on three-strikes.

If I were you, I would play the match as hard as you can and see what happens. Your captain can then decide whether to keep playing you and risk disqualification or bench you instead.

Whatever you do, don't throw games or ease up, though. I would consider that to be cheating. Let the computer sort it out.

Good luck! I wish I could be a fly on the wall for your match on Friday. :)

If this were not mixed, then I wouldn't need to ask because the computer would disqualify me if needed. But in mixed there is no computer disqualification, thats why I'm wondering what the league does if someone plays way below their ability.

Cindysphinx
01-16-2007, 10:12 AM
You sure about that?

In our league, there's definitely disqualification for mixed. Not Combo, though.

raiden031
01-16-2007, 10:17 AM
You sure about that?

In our league, there's definitely disqualification for mixed. Not Combo, though.

According to USTA's FAQ on leagues, you can't be disqualified based on matches within any mixed doubles league. However if you are disqualified in a non-mixed league, you can no longer play in the mixed league with that same rating.

Sakkijarvi
01-16-2007, 05:38 PM
<So my goal right now is certainly to improve. What I want is by January 2008 to be a 4.0 player.>

This is where I'm heading too, my real goal...so I allow myself to 'keep hitting' and 'keep serving' in matches instead of resort to regression methods that would give me a better chance to win that match, but curtail growth going forward.

<Both of them had a serve that I could barely return.>

I'd love to hear more on this...what kind of serves? Kick? Hard flat? What did you do to try and return them. I just played two 4.0 guys last week (it was a doubles match and they were the opponents) and one was a big serving, hard flat server; the other a southpaw with a legit second serve kicker. I went to my pro because of the lefty, to work on techniques to deal with both the lefty challenge AND returning the kick serve. The hard flat thing I find a snap to deal with, in fact it's one of my favorite tennis challenges as I like to alternate between the slice, slap back and crush on these and find when hard servers get goosed they can be beat just by removing that part of their game (and thus their mojo).

Sakki

Cindysphinx
01-17-2007, 06:11 AM
Raiden, I stand corrected. I guess the DQs I saw were based on same-gender play but carried over to mixed.

Cindy

raiden031
01-17-2007, 08:07 AM
<So my goal right now is certainly to improve. What I want is by January 2008 to be a 4.0 player.>

This is where I'm heading too, my real goal...so I allow myself to 'keep hitting' and 'keep serving' in matches instead of resort to regression methods that would give me a better chance to win that match, but curtail growth going forward.

<Both of them had a serve that I could barely return.>

I'd love to hear more on this...what kind of serves? Kick? Hard flat? What did you do to try and return them. I just played two 4.0 guys last week (it was a doubles match and they were the opponents) and one was a big serving, hard flat server; the other a southpaw with a legit second serve kicker. I went to my pro because of the lefty, to work on techniques to deal with both the lefty challenge AND returning the kick serve. The hard flat thing I find a snap to deal with, in fact it's one of my favorite tennis challenges as I like to alternate between the slice, slap back and crush on these and find when hard servers get goosed they can be beat just by removing that part of their game (and thus their mojo).

Sakki

The first 4.0 guy had a very hard flat serve, with a little slice on it. I mainly just couldn't get my forehand timed right because of the pace, which I wasn't used to playing the lower levels. As a result I shanked alot of forehand returns. I got better at returning as the match progressed, without really changing anything.

The second 4.0 guy had a vicious kick serve and the ball bounced about face height most of the time. He kept hitting the ball right into my body so I would get stuck trying to decide whether to take it on the backhand or forehand side. I shanked a bunch on the forehand. For this guy I decided to stand like 4 feet behind the baseline and had much more success, since he was hitting most of them right near me anyways.

In both cases if I hit with my backhand it would usually be a high sliced floater, because I couldn't even attempt a backhand drive.

Sakkijarvi
01-17-2007, 10:47 AM
Ahhh...now we're talking! This is the kind of stuff I want to do here...thank you for your detailed replies -- I'll try and respond in kind.

R: The first 4.0 guy had a very hard flat serve, with a little slice on it. I mainly just couldn't get my forehand timed right because of the pace, which I wasn't used to playing the lower levels. As a result I shanked alot of forehand returns. I got better at returning as the match progressed, without really changing anything.

S: Yup, I know that drill. Experience will be your guide -- my experience along these lines is just as you reported it. I find big pace not a problem now, say, compared to guys that can hit it hard and angle it. I get my racquet back way early and basically plan on hitting everything forehand, so I peer at the ball and swing carefully and step early, reading the delivery and incoming. I don't want to be guessing what side to hit on once the ball is on the way as that leads to getting handcuffed, so much so that with a really hard serve, 'success' is just getting out of the way and not getting hit by the ball! That said, I'm a veteran baseball player, plenty of time at third base. I like catching hard (not 'the express' of course) errant serves in my left hand when I can, snap it up and quickly pocket it -- as in' no big deal'.

R: The second 4.0 guy had a vicious kick serve and the ball bounced about face height most of the time. He kept hitting the ball right into my body so I would get stuck trying to decide whether to take it on the backhand or forehand side. I shanked a bunch on the forehand. For this guy I decided to stand like 4 feet behind the baseline and had much more success, since he was hitting most of them right near me anyways.

S: I've had problems with simply backing up to handle a kicker as it seems the players I've faced that are advanced enough to delivery a kick serve can ALSO angle off a hard flattie, killing you if you stand too far back. When I worked out with my pro this past weekend, one of the two main things I asked (er, paid) to work on was the return of the kick serve, in my case specifically the kick serve from a lefty. I was worried that there was a specific technique I was 'missing', as I had been taking the ball about neck high and delivering a cross-court return once I got it timed. What I wasn't doing was 'taking it early' or 'letting it drop into the hitting zone', things I was assuming I SHOULD be doing. I was surprised when the pro simply reinforced my existing approach, and emphasized that the swing needed to be controlled and consistent.

R: In both cases if I hit with my backhand it would usually be a high sliced floater, because I couldn't even attempt a backhand drive.

S: I hear that. If I get into a backhand, I try and just chip it back, low, and let its skidding effect (which keeps it lower than the net usually) make it tough for my opponent to do anything super aggressive with the return (and occasionally they net it).

Sakki