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View Full Version : Reason why club ratings and USTA ratings differ


raiden031
03-14-2007, 07:00 AM
Here is why I think USTA and club ratings differ:

In USTA, match results are official, and there is national competition at stake, therefore players would rather play at a lower level to encourage better match performance and the opportunity to play in nationals. NOTE: This for some strange reason does not apply to women, because women would prefer to have a higher rating on record than to sandbag their way to nationals. Hence women are more likely to overrate in USTA play.

At the clubs, there is not much at stake other than your results posted on the bulletin board of the local club. But at the clubs, everyone wants challenging competition, so they rate themselves higher in order to ensure that they are playing against better players.

So the dilemma I find is that right now I'm playing at 3.0 in USTA play, which is fine because I have found some good competition, but whenever I advertise my rating for any non-USTA ladder, league, or classified looking for partners, I have to say that I'm 3.5 otherwise I will get stuck playing against very weak players. And so the cycle continues.

So basically when someone says they are 3.0 or 3.5, it could really mean absolute beginner up to 4.0. Anyone find themselves in this annoying dilemma?

Caswell
03-14-2007, 07:46 AM
So basically when someone says they are 3.0 or 3.5, it could really mean absolute beginner up to 4.0. Anyone find themselves in this annoying dilemma?

To a certain extent, yes. Our club tends to underrate people so that we send a team to regionals in every NTRP bracket. So you've got guys like me who can win against 3.5 and 4.0 computer rated players on our 3.0 USTA men's team.

Outside of the league play though, the lower ratings really don't mean sqaut. Anyone who comes in off the street and joins gets thrown out on court with the 3.0 men, so you end up with huge disparities in skill at that level. Go up to the club nights for the 4.5 men, and it's all former college players and the random teaching pro which makes for a much more homogenous bracket.

SlapShot
03-15-2007, 01:25 PM
I've had that issue quite a bit. I was asked to come out and hit with a group for some mixed dubs for a few weeks. Totally casual, not ranked, etc. They had said that they were a group of 3.5's, which I figured would be a decent level to work on strokes and strategy. I' d rate them a 3.0 at best. Not to be mean, but they had little competitive experience and just generally weren't serious players.

If it were USTA league, there'd be no way they'd rate themselves at a 3.5.

Cindysphinx
03-15-2007, 01:28 PM
I had a lady express interest in my 6.5 combo team. She plays at a club. She said she figured she was a USTA 3.5.

She was 2.5 on a good day. Very disappointing.

raiden031
03-15-2007, 01:32 PM
I had a lady express interest in my 6.5 combo team. She plays at a club. She said she figured she was a USTA 3.5.

She was 2.5 on a good day. Very disappointing.

But she probably legitimately thought she was a 3.5, right? Almost all of the decent 3.0 players that play USTA and also play ladders around here say they are 3.5 when advertising for the ladders, but 3.0 on their official USTA teams. The people who don't play USTA say they are 3.0 for the ladders, when they can barely hit the ball at all.

Just like when I signed up for this "intermediate" group team tennis session in the fall, they were mostly 2.5 players. They had beginner and advanced beginner sessions as well, so I don't get why these felt they were intermediate. I bageled most of them.

Raiden.Kaminari
03-15-2007, 02:01 PM
So basically when someone says they are 3.0 or 3.5, it could really mean absolute beginner up to 4.0. Anyone find themselves in this annoying dilemma?

I have a friend who is a former 5.5 ... used to run circles around us. He went to college, got injured, quit tennis, focused on his studies, gained a lot of weight, etc.

When he finally returned to tennis after 20 years, he was about a 3.0 because he could no longer move on court, and since he couldn't use any of the current racquets (too light, too stiff), he's had a rather difficult time. When a ball is fed to his strike zone, he looks pretty good. But otherwise, he was horrible (he isn't joining USTA until he's back to about 4.0 or 4.5).

I've seen a few other players in the same category (knew them when I played 16s and 18s), and it's good that they're back in tennis. They were always humble, and taught others humility as well.

You have the folks that set their bar too high. You have the folks who set their bar too low.

It's not annoying. It's tennis.

But USTA is where you can find the overly competitive players ... players willing to cheat on their self-rating. Most of them don't know the rules of tennis, or even the Code. Today's tennis lacks integrity.

Geezer Guy
03-21-2007, 10:31 AM
In USTA matches, you're playing against opponents whose primary goal is to find and exploit your weaknesses. You're going to lose matches until you can overcome those weaknesses. As long as you lose matches, you're not going to advance.

At the "club" level, you're often thrown into a league based on how a teaching pro see's you hitting in a drill session. Hitting in drills is totally different than playing in a competitive league. At the same time, people may want to play "up" a level or two in a club league, and there's generally nothing preventing them from doing so. It's pretty hard to play "up" a level in a USTA league, because no one wants you on their team! Believe me, when I was doing well in the 3.5 USTA leagues I had several captains tring to get me on their teams. Once I got bumped up to 4.0, I can't BUY my way onto a team!

raiden031
03-22-2007, 08:33 AM
In USTA matches, you're playing against opponents whose primary goal is to find and exploit your weaknesses. You're going to lose matches until you can overcome those weaknesses. As long as you lose matches, you're not going to advance.

At the "club" level, you're often thrown into a league based on how a teaching pro see's you hitting in a drill session. Hitting in drills is totally different than playing in a competitive league. At the same time, people may want to play "up" a level or two in a club league, and there's generally nothing preventing them from doing so. It's pretty hard to play "up" a level in a USTA league, because no one wants you on their team! Believe me, when I was doing well in the 3.5 USTA leagues I had several captains tring to get me on their teams. Once I got bumped up to 4.0, I can't BUY my way onto a team!

Good point I didn't think of about the way some teaching pros rate based on a drill session. I took this free half hour lesson at this club, that was meant to be a sales pitch to get you to join their club. Anyways I was hitting wonderfully because the teacher was feeding balls to me perfectly every time. Anyways, afterwards he recommended I join this 4.5 group who plays weekly. I laughed because I know I am nowhere near a 4.5 (more like weak 3.5 at best), but my hitting was so good against his feeds that it appeared I was far better than I really was.

kevhen
03-22-2007, 01:00 PM
I think young men tend to overrate at the lower levels saying they are 3.5, 4.0 or even 4.5 when at least a level below that. Women often underrate for leagues when first starting out. At the higher levels both men and women tend to underrate so they can dominate their levels.

So it's just the young cocky guys who overrate in my opinion, with most everyone else underrating. Some club instructors overrate their pupils to make them feel good but then they get spanked in USTA matches.