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Cindysphinx
03-02-2007, 06:04 PM
So I've signed on to a 3.5 team for the spring, in addition to my 3.0 team. Rumor has it that many of the 3.5s on the team don't wish to be partnered with a 3.0. There is much fear and handwringing among the 3.5s that playing with an inferior partner will jeopardize their 3.5 rating.

That got me wondering. Just how often does the computer drop a player down a level due to poor performance in doubles? Are these fears of the 3.5s well-founded?

I know two self-rated players who were dropped from 3.0 to 2.5, but I only know of one computer-rated player who dropped from 3.0 to 2.5. I have no proof, but I've always thought the computer tried to avoid dropping people once they've been elevated, perhaps to discourage people to throw games and matches?

oldguysrule
03-02-2007, 06:30 PM
As far as dropping down...your dynamic rating is what it is. The computer doesn't make value decisions, it just moves your rating up and down.

In doubles, the computer averages the dynamic rating for a team and compares it to the average of the other team. Any adjustment that is necessary based on the outcome of the match is split between the team and the difference in ratings between the two players is maintained. (short story)

End result...I would guess a 3.5 playing with you would have a better chance of moving up than moving down since the average rating for your team would be lower than for the other team.

Cruzer
03-02-2007, 06:40 PM
The computer doesn't know if you or your 3.5 partner were making all those UE's when you lose a match so both players ratings may be adversely affected depending on the strength of your opponents. I can understand the concern of a 3.5 not wanting to play with a 3.0 unless the 3.0 is generally regarded as being mis-rated and should be a 3.5. My wife got the opportunity to play 3.5 when she was a 3.0. At the time her level of play was steadily improving and she was undefeated in all the 3.5 matches she played including three at the district playoffs. Naturally her rating went up when the Early Start ratings were published.

Ace
03-02-2007, 07:20 PM
The people in your area seem to be way overly concerned about what rating they are.

In any case, as long as the 3.5/3.0 combination wins (or plays competitively) against a 3.5/3.5 combination, that makes the 3.5/3.0 team look even better.

If they are so worried about their rating, they should play up at 4.0. If they get killed at 4.0, then whats the big deal about being bumped down to 3.0...they can still play the 3.5 level being a 3.0. If they get killed playing 3.5, then they shouldn't be 3.5, its that simple.

Do you guys automatically stop talking to someone who gets bumped down to 3.0? I mean, they play the same as they did when they were 3.5, right...its just a number. If they are happy with the way you play, and feel you are as strong as they are, they shouldn't care what your rating is. If they aren't, then they shouldn't have you on the team.

cak
03-02-2007, 09:07 PM
I have seen a ton of people drop from computer rated 3.5 to 3.0 over the years, so yes it's possible. (And the 3.0 teams LOOOOVE them...they usually only stay at 3.0 for one season, but they take advantage.)

If I were you I wouldn't worry about it. As a 3.0 captain what do you do about the people that don't want to play with the 2.5s? Figure that's probably will be the same thing that happens on this team. Last year, on the 3.5 team I played on we had 10 3.0s. Nine of them had a combined record of 3 wins, 27 loses. However the 10th one had the best record on the team, and was the only 3.0 to win against 3.5/3.5 combos. Everyone was scrambling to play with her, as she was obviously a better 3.5 than many of us. If you can be that 3.0, you are in like flint. Otherwise, if you are playing up to improve, go ahead and play singles or doubles with another 3.0. If you win it will bump you up that much faster.

North
03-03-2007, 04:38 AM
Where I am (Mid-Atlantic), the ratings are essentially meaningless, whether they are self ratings or dynamic. There is a significant proportion of people who only play for a season or two and quit and a significant number of people who stay year after year who are sandbaggers. Thus, the ratings never really sort themselves out. I've spoken with national USTA people and they are aware of the problem.

If you play 3.5, you are just as likely to play 3.5 opponents as 4.0 opponents. That is probably why the "3.5" (ahem...) players are worried.

One national USTA executive told me there are more complaints about sandbagging and rating shenanigans in the Mid-Atlantic than any other region. I made some good suggestions but the local USTA is intransigent and unwilling to work on the issue. I just quit USTA league play, found a bunch of other people to play with (that did take some doing over time), and now no longer deal with the BS - lol.

Good luck with your efforts to improve and play competitively! If you wish to stick with the league, it might help if more and more people took up the problem with national USTA. A flood of letters, perhaps....

raiden031
03-03-2007, 05:24 AM
Where I am (Mid-Atlantic), the ratings are essentially meaningless, whether they are self ratings or dynamic. There is a significant proportion of people who only play for a season or two and quit and a significant number of people who stay year after year who are sandbaggers. Thus, the ratings never really sort themselves out. I've spoken with national USTA people and they are aware of the problem.

If you play 3.5, you are just as likely to play 3.5 opponents as 4.0 opponents. That is probably why the "3.5" (ahem...) players are worried.

One national USTA executive told me there are more complaints about sandbagging and rating shenanigans in the Mid-Atlantic than any other region. I made some good suggestions but the local USTA is intransigent and unwilling to work on the issue. I just quit USTA league play, found a bunch of other people to play with (that did take some doing over time), and now no longer deal with the BS - lol.

Good luck with your efforts to improve and play competitively! If you wish to stick with the league, it might help if more and more people took up the problem with national USTA. A flood of letters, perhaps....

I'm starting to see this more and more each day. We are also in Mid-atlantic. There are alot of players who are self-rated at 3.0, but everyone always has that clause when describing them "but he is really a 3.5".

The funny thing is that one of the guys I play in singles once a week, who advertised himself as a strong 3.5 to 4.0, just joined a 3.0 mixed doubles team midway through the season. He joined this undefeated team in the league. So basically the captain saw his ad and noticed he was not a member of USTA and asked him to self-rate at 3.0 and join his team.

I admit I have been overly worried about my rating, its an ego thing. The higher the rating, the more self-satisfaction. But I'm going to just ditch the whole idea, because the purpose of playing tennis is for fitness and good competition. If there are alot of sandbaggers, that just means more challenging competition, which is a good thing. We all just need to get over this rating business and let the computer take care of it.

So as of right now, I am self-rated at 3.0 so I'm going to play 3.0 league until the computer decides to bump me up. There's no point in joining a 3.5 league so that I can drag down the team or be the guy nobody wants to play with.

Topaz
03-03-2007, 07:13 AM
Also Mid-Atlantic here...I know a few women who are 3.0 one year, get moved up to 3.5 the next, then back down to 3.0, etc, etc. It is frustrating for them because they always have to find a new team.

Like Cindy, I'm a 3.0 that also will be playing up on a 3.5 team this upcoming season. The captain has already told me that this is her 'fun' team, and there are several other 3.0s on the roster. I'm thinking this is the perfect situation for me. I'm a strong 3.0, and I hope to get moved up this season, but I realize it also might not happen until the season after...depending of course on how I play. This is a great opportunity for me to get some better experience and play some stronger players.

I'm not too worried about my rating. If for some freak reason I got moved down, I'd appeal back up. Plus, after captaining a few teams and playing as much as I do, I know enough people that know how I play and would take me on their team regardless of what the computer said.

cak
03-03-2007, 07:41 AM
So as of right now, I am self-rated at 3.0 so I'm going to play 3.0 league until the computer decides to bump me up. There's no point in joining a 3.5 league so that I can drag down the team or be the guy nobody wants to play with.

Interestingly enough, in the very small data set that is my tennis club, the people who played only 3.0 until the computer bumped them spent much less time at 3.0 than those that played both 3.0 and 3.5. I don't know if it was a cause and effect, or if it was self selecting.

I did see a weird phenomena amongst some of the 3.0 ladies playing up at 3.5. It was obvious from watching they were trying harder in their 3.0 matches than in their 3.5 matches. They had no expectation of winning, figuring even getting 3 game a set was good enough since they were playing up. Then they'd walk off the court and find they were playing against 3.0s. This could be why playing up didn't help them.

Cindysphinx
03-03-2007, 10:07 AM
The people in your area seem to be way overly concerned about what rating they are.

In any case, as long as the 3.5/3.0 combination wins (or plays competitively) against a 3.5/3.5 combination, that makes the 3.5/3.0 team look even better.

If they are so worried about their rating, they should play up at 4.0. If they get killed at 4.0, then whats the big deal about being bumped down to 3.0...they can still play the 3.5 level being a 3.0. If they get killed playing 3.5, then they shouldn't be 3.5, its that simple.

Do you guys automatically stop talking to someone who gets bumped down to 3.0? I mean, they play the same as they did when they were 3.5, right...its just a number. If they are happy with the way you play, and feel you are as strong as they are, they shouldn't care what your rating is. If they aren't, then they shouldn't have you on the team.


Just to be clear . . . I don't know these 3.5 ladies. I know a 3.0 on the team, and she says it is hard to find partners because of the concern among the 3.5s that a 3.0 partner will jeopardize their rating. The communications from the captain so far have had an undercurrent of this to them.

I am guessing that the reason for all the fear and handwringing is that if you're a 3.5 among a group of 3.5 pals and you get dropped to 3.0, this would be very embarrassing. I'm just guessing, though.

tennis-n-sc
03-04-2007, 05:32 AM
Just to be clear . . . I don't know these 3.5 ladies. I know a 3.0 on the team, and she says it is hard to find partners because of the concern among the 3.5s that a 3.0 partner will jeopardize their rating. The communications from the captain so far have had an undercurrent of this to them.

I am guessing that the reason for all the fear and handwringing is that if you're a 3.5 among a group of 3.5 pals and you get dropped to 3.0, this would be very embarrassing. I'm just guessing, though.

Well, put yourself in their position. If you were playing 3.0 doubles, would you want a partner that was a 2.5? Probably not. Ratings protection may have something to do with it, but maybe it is helping the team that is paramount. You have to consider what you, as an inconsistent 3.0, brings to the table of a 3.5 team.

Some of the most fun I have had in tennis was at 3.0. Played with the same partner for about 5 years. We began to win tournaments, established state rankings and standings, and were seeded in most tournaments. My partner captained the adult 3.0 team and we won our local three years in a row, porgressing on to the state tournaments. In our last state, we won and went to sectionals and came in second. We all knew we could play and beat many 3.5's while we were 3.0s. We did it on a consistent basis at our club. But most of us waited to move up, we learned how to win and gained match experience at our level and the state and sectional levels. We did have a couple on our team that left and played up as 3.0's. But they never gained what we did in the winning team experience. There is something about a team when it bonds that is indescribable but the bonding will never happen if everyone doesn't stay put for a few seasons.

But it is all relative. Some never grab the team concept and all that can go with it. Some even deny that it exists. Some claim that tennis is an individual sport and the team has no relavence. You can bet that if your 3.5 team is a "team", you can expect little play and when you do it will likely be with another 3.0 player in a "throw away" position. I hope your experience is good but, at some point, you will have to get your rating the old fashioned way.

goober
03-04-2007, 06:05 AM
Just to be clear . . . I don't know these 3.5 ladies. I know a 3.0 on the team, and she says it is hard to find partners because of the concern among the 3.5s that a 3.0 partner will jeopardize their rating. The communications from the captain so far have had an undercurrent of this to them.

I am guessing that the reason for all the fear and handwringing is that if you're a 3.5 among a group of 3.5 pals and you get dropped to 3.0, this would be very embarrassing. I'm just guessing, though.

I think there is a unhealthy obsession with ratings where you are at. I mean seriously do people really get embarrassed if their ratings drop? Are you going to lose the respect of your peers or maybe they won't want you on their team?

Cindysphinx
03-04-2007, 06:47 AM
In my opinion, women tend to get terribly obsessed with their rating. Many women see it as a validation: "The computer says I'm good!" I even know a woman who was so disappointed not to have moved up from 3.0 to 3.5 like all of her friends that she appealed up. Not to mention the woman who wanted to join my 6.5 combo team and billed herself as a strong 3.5 and who turned out to be a weak 2.5.

Guys, it seems, appear to regard their rating as an obstacle to having the chance to sandbag and thereby destroy weaker players. Guys tend to underrate themselves; women tend to overrate themselves.

Ooooh, that was a controversial thing to say, wasn't it? Yup, a little something to offend everyone! :)

Is it true, though?

J011yroger
03-04-2007, 07:04 AM
I admit I have been overly worried about my rating, its an ego thing. The higher the rating, the more self-satisfaction. But I'm going to just ditch the whole idea, because the purpose of playing tennis is for fitness and good competition. If there are alot of sandbaggers, that just means more challenging competition, which is a good thing. We all just need to get over this rating business and let the computer take care of it.

Yo, Raiden.

I don't mean to stir up controversy, or challange anyone's values, but there are a lot of different purposes for playing. Not just fitness and good competition. If that is what you are after, that is just fine, but don't let anyone tell you that. This is still America, and it is perfectly acceptable to play to get better, go up in ranking, and win. If it isn't your personality, don't get suckered into that "As long as you try your best BS.".

Setting goals is a great motivator, it is just a question of how much you want it. I have a little strips of paper with "How Much Do You Want It?" sprinkled around my house, sometimes they stop me from eating that second helping of ice cream, or having that next beer, sometimes they don't, sometimes they get me off the computer, and out practicing my serve, sometimes they don't, but the question still remains, that I am governed by how much I want it. I have a big newsprint book, you know one of those giant ones that kids draw in that is real cheap. And I write my sectional ranking on it in big bold magic marker, every week, and how many points I have, and I put it up on top of my toolbox at work so I look at it every minute of the day while I am at work.

There are lots of people in this world, some say "I have 2 days a week to play tennis, I play 3.0, I get exercise and good competition" and that is fine. But if you say "I am a 3.0 player, and I will get to 3.5, and I will play them, and there will be sandbaggers, and I will whoop they *** too!" And ya know what, when you get to 3.5 you will start trying to figure out how to get to 4.0.

I personally am of the opinion that this "doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as you try", is making us raise a generation of sissys, but then again, I don't have any kids, so, it is kind of like casting stones.

J

10sfreak
03-04-2007, 07:10 AM
In my opinion, women tend to get terribly obsessed with their rating. Many women see it as a validation: "The computer says I'm good!" I even know a woman who was so disappointed not to have moved up from 3.0 to 3.5 like all of her friends that she appealed up. Not to mention the woman who wanted to join my 6.5 combo team and billed herself as a strong 3.5 and who turned out to be a weak 2.5.

Guys, it seems, appear to regard their rating as an obstacle to having the chance to sandbag and thereby destroy weaker players. Guys tend to underrate themselves; women tend to overrate themselves.

Ooooh, that was a controversial thing to say, wasn't it? Yup, a little something to offend everyone! :)

Is it true, though?
Cindy, there's a lot of truth to what you write. I think with men, winning is more important than the rating, and with the women, the rating is more important than actually winning (or even being able to compete). I know several ladies on my mixed-doubles team who have just been bumped up to 3.5, and they're ecstatic about it, even though we all know they're going to get KILLED at that level (and since adult league started, they have been getting killed), and a couple more who can't wait to get bumped up. And the couple who can't wait to get bumped up would get destroyed (right now) if they did get bumped up.
With the guys, we care a lot more about winning/competing than what our rating might actually be. At least, that's the impression I get from most guys around our league.
But overall, you're right, guys tend to underrate their ability, and women tend to overrate theirs.

J011yroger
03-04-2007, 07:15 AM
Alright, this is off topic, and I am sorry cindy for disrupting your thread, but I just got this vision of a single, 5.5 rated guy who had multiple personality disorder, playing 5.5 combi dubs against a 2.5 and a 3.0.

I mean I coach a husband/wife (I dunno if they play 5.5 or 6.0 but I know the wife is 3.0 not sure if the husband is 2.5 or 3.0) and after the lesson before I practice myself, sometime I will play a set against them, and I mean, I just keep the ball in play, move it around and serve/return at about 3%, until they make an error, or I jockey them out of position enough to hit a slow winner. But I could imagine if I showed up at a match to play against them, said "We are ready" and played 100%.

I dunno, maybe I got hit in the head by one too many tennis balls as a kid.

J

raiden031
03-05-2007, 05:09 AM
Yo, Raiden.

I don't mean to stir up controversy, or challange anyone's values, but there are a lot of different purposes for playing. Not just fitness and good competition. If that is what you are after, that is just fine, but don't let anyone tell you that. This is still America, and it is perfectly acceptable to play to get better, go up in ranking, and win. If it isn't your personality, don't get suckered into that "As long as you try your best BS.".

Setting goals is a great motivator, it is just a question of how much you want it. I have a little strips of paper with "How Much Do You Want It?" sprinkled around my house, sometimes they stop me from eating that second helping of ice cream, or having that next beer, sometimes they don't, sometimes they get me off the computer, and out practicing my serve, sometimes they don't, but the question still remains, that I am governed by how much I want it. I have a big newsprint book, you know one of those giant ones that kids draw in that is real cheap. And I write my sectional ranking on it in big bold magic marker, every week, and how many points I have, and I put it up on top of my toolbox at work so I look at it every minute of the day while I am at work.

There are lots of people in this world, some say "I have 2 days a week to play tennis, I play 3.0, I get exercise and good competition" and that is fine. But if you say "I am a 3.0 player, and I will get to 3.5, and I will play them, and there will be sandbaggers, and I will whoop they *** too!" And ya know what, when you get to 3.5 you will start trying to figure out how to get to 4.0.

I personally am of the opinion that this "doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as you try", is making us raise a generation of sissys, but then again, I don't have any kids, so, it is kind of like casting stones.

J

I wasn't saying winning and losing doesn't matter, in fact I am against schools banning competitive games in phys ed to keep the weaker kids from getting their feelings hurt, because I think is counterproductive and teaches kids to be babies about everything.

I am saying the USTA NTRP rating system doesn't matter. A sectional ranking is completely differenet because it means something and you have control over it. You win matches, your ranking goes up. With NTRP, you could be a 4.0 player and whip a 5.0 player. You have no control over how the other players rate themselves. The NTRP is all relative to the peers around you and doesn't mean much of anything. Especially when you have 4.0 players playing at 3.0.

Realistically, why should I be so concerned to move from 3.0 to 3.5 when alot of the players at 3.0 are just as good as the players at the higher level?

Kevo
03-05-2007, 07:12 AM
I am a little surprised to see you guys getting all obsessed about the ratings. I guess here in the Dallas area it's just not as big a deal. I mean I've played a bunch of different teams at the 4.0 level, and there is quite a range of 4.0 players, but the teams seem fairly even for the most part. The only thing I've seen consistently is that coaches tend to move their guys around to try and gain a line advantage. Like some coaches will move their #1 line doubles to #2 and #2 to #3 and then play #3 at line 1. Or some other combination. I am planning on playing my team straight up. Our best doubles line will play #1, next best #2 and so on. I am out there to just have some good matches. The closest one are always the most fun.

spot
03-05-2007, 11:36 AM
I don't think it probably has anything at all to do with the rating- on most teams the worst players have trouble finding people that want to play with them. All things being equal people would rather play with a stronger partner. If you win then more people probably will want to play with you. If you always lose then people probably won't want to play with you very much