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View Full Version : Any tips on running a singles league?


oldhacker
12-08-2008, 04:07 AM
I am looking into setting up a rated adult singles league for typical club (as opposed to performance) players in my town as no such thing exists here and would appreciate any tips or advice from others who have experience of such things. A few points I have on my list already:

1. I will be running the league alone as a volunteer so I need to minimise the amount of time and cost involved. I cannot get involved in chasing players to play or log results or arbitrating disputes over non-pplayed matches.

2. Structure is likely to be leagues of 4 or 5 players at each rating level with promotion and relegation after each run.

3. Players will come from a number of clubs in the town which are all fairly close to each other. Bearing in mind (1) above I think the best format would be one where players have to organise thier own matches within prescribed timescales (I think you call that Flex league in the US). Not sure how long to give them though or how many runs per year is realistic.

4. I think I will need very firm rules on getting matches played. For example, the result of any matches not played by each deadline will be automatically be decided by the toss on a coin. And there will be an automatic 2 strikes and you are out (of the league for good) rule for players who do not play matches.

5. Online management of leagues and results would be great. Any advice on free / cheap online resources for this?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Islandtennis
12-08-2008, 08:08 AM
You should approach your local league coordinator and see about setting up a USTA Singles League in your area.

oldhacker
12-08-2008, 02:36 PM
Sorry - I should have said I am not in the US. We do not have an existing structure of adult rated tennis below performance level and our national association shows little interest in developing one either because they cannot be bothered or they do not think non-performance adult players are interested. The way I see it is that it is clearly popular in other countries such as the US and it is worth trying here. And who knows if I get it to work I may have a model and evidence to take to our national association !

So all ideas from those with experience of running adult leagues will be much appreciated !

You should approach your local league coordinator and see about setting up a USTA Singles League in your area.

zapvor
12-09-2008, 04:09 AM
a fairly easy way is this:

round up all the players, and rank them according to ability. they can lie. then in the begining let everyone challenge up to 5 or 6 spots above them in match play. winner and loser swap spots, and so on. after everyones played at least 1 match, make it so they can only challeneg 4 spots up. after 2 or 3 rounds you will have a pretty good idea of the rankings, and the ladder for the league.

Geezer Guy
12-09-2008, 10:06 AM
check out www.TennisEngine.com

OrangePower
12-10-2008, 10:08 PM
Are you looking to do a league or a ladder? Two different things. If a ladder, then a few good suggestions have already been posted.

If a league, then I've participated in one that was organized as follows:

* Individuals sign up for a level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), based on general skill level guidlines. Of course this relies on self-policing (unless you have additional information about participants to help classify them). In the league I played, it worked ok because (1) there is no winner's prize or other incentive to sandbag, and (2) pretty much everyone knows everyone else so it's tough to sandbag.

* The league season has a start date and an end date that you establish.

* Within this time period, players set up matches against the others in the level. For example, if there are 8 players in a level, then each player can have up to 7 matches. If you have 5 or less in a level, then you can allow players to play each other twice. Scheduling and location for individual matches is left completely up to the players themselves. The winner emails the coordinator the result. The loser pays for the tennis balls.

* The incentive for players to schedule and complete matches (pt 1): After the end of the regular league season, there is a single-elimination tournament. Only players completing more than a set number of matches qualify (appropriate number is up to you to determine), but everyone who completed the minimum number qualifies regardless of how well they did.

* The incentive for players to schedule and complete matches (pt 2): Each match victory during the regular season gets you 2 points. A defeat still earns you 1 point. Total points are used to determine seeding for the end-of-season tournament. So you are better off playing a match and losing than not playing it at all.

* There is no league entry fee. The winner of the tournament gets... nothing! Well, bragging rights... :)

oldhacker
12-11-2008, 01:18 AM
Thanks OrangePower - some good ideas in there. I really like the end of season elimination tournament incentive. I am leaning towards a structure of mini / box leagues initially grouped on ability with promotion and relegation. I am not too worried about 'sand-bagging' as there will be no material prizes up for grabs and players entering will mostly be motivated to do so by the prospect of getting competitive matches against players of similar ability - something which does not currently exist here for club standard adult players. As it is a smallish town most players will already be known to at least a few others and so any obvious under / over ratings will quickly be identified. Coaches I know at the various clubs will be helping to promote the league to players and so they can also help in providing initial ratings for the players they know where needed.

Are you looking to do a league or a ladder? Two different things. If a ladder, then a few good suggestions have already been posted.

If a league, then I've participated in one that was organized as follows:

* Individuals sign up for a level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), based on general skill level guidlines. Of course this relies on self-policing (unless you have additional information about participants to help classify them). In the league I played, it worked ok because (1) there is no winner's prize or other incentive to sandbag, and (2) pretty much everyone knows everyone else so it's tough to sandbag.

* The league season has a start date and an end date that you establish.

* Within this time period, players set up matches against the others in the level. For example, if there are 8 players in a level, then each player can have up to 7 matches. If you have 5 or less in a level, then you can allow players to play each other twice. Scheduling and location for individual matches is left completely up to the players themselves. The winner emails the coordinator the result. The loser pays for the tennis balls.

* The incentive for players to schedule and complete matches (pt 1): After the end of the regular league season, there is a single-elimination tournament. Only players completing more than a set number of matches qualify (appropriate number is up to you to determine), but everyone who completed the minimum number qualifies regardless of how well they did.

* The incentive for players to schedule and complete matches (pt 2): Each match victory during the regular season gets you 2 points. A defeat still earns you 1 point. Total points are used to determine seeding for the end-of-season tournament. So you are better off playing a match and losing than not playing it at all.

* There is no league entry fee. The winner of the tournament gets... nothing! Well, bragging rights... :)

zapvor
12-11-2008, 04:12 AM
oops i did a ladder. my mistake

burosky
12-18-2008, 01:10 PM
You mentioned something about having a national association from where you are at. No need to re-invent the wheel. Why not have your national association contact USTA? If you are looking for something similar to leagues run by the USTA, unless you have a ton of time on your hands, I think it will be quite overwhelming for a single person. The way it is, with the resources available to the USTA they still mess things up. Let your national association do the work for you. That's what they are there for, right?

Frankauc
12-18-2008, 07:06 PM
i run a league in my club. it's like you want. I can send you the excel program if you want

oldhacker
12-20-2008, 11:36 AM
hi burosky - if only! Our national association (which is probably the richest in the world) is not interested in adult competitive tennis below elite level. They cannot see the benefit (blind fools) and do not think there is the interest or demand for it. They are mad on getting juniors competing but no interest or will to do anything for typical club standard adult players. I will be doing it on a small scale so it will not be too overwhelming and if it is a success I hope I will have some evidence and a model to go to the national association with.

You mentioned something about having a national association from where you are at. No need to re-invent the wheel. Why not have your national association contact USTA? If you are looking for something similar to leagues run by the USTA, unless you have a ton of time on your hands, I think it will be quite overwhelming for a single person. The way it is, with the resources available to the USTA they still mess things up. Let your national association do the work for you. That's what they are there for, right?