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View Full Version : What is the point of asking for an NTRP eval/rating on a web forum (even w/video)?


Kick_It
01-04-2009, 03:11 PM
At (short term) risk stirring up a rat's nest, I'd like a better understanding of what this audience both needs and wants to get out of such posts.

I do not understand the fascination people have with asking/evaluating/guessing/speculating NTRP ratings on this forum. I witness all sorts of discussion about it though - with what I'd call a high noise-to-signal ratio, and I've got to ask - what good comes of it?

One thing I love about this forum is on most other tennis topics - it has a great signal-to-noise ratio for discussing tennis topics; one of the best on the web I've found.

The point of me asking this question is for us all to do a better job of addressing the valid needs and wants that get identified; hopefully we can improve the signal-to-noise ratio. At least some of us would like to be better able to filter out some of signal from all the noise that currently exists around this topic ;-)

I am probably in the minority here - I don't care about NTRP ratings. I don't. IMO: anything that isn't based upon actual match results is pointless.

What does this audience need, and/or want to get out of "what NTRP am I"? or "what NTRP is this person?" type posts?

Mada
01-04-2009, 03:14 PM
If I posted a video of myself asking for an NTRP rating of myself, I would ask because I wanted to know how I "fit in" with other people my age. There are coaches on these boards, and if I got lucky maybe one would post in my thread telling me how to improve my game, or telling me if I had a chance of going to a good college for tennis, etc. Most people just want to be "evaluated" which is what an NTRP rating basically is.

BestLefty UK
01-04-2009, 03:16 PM
What does this audience need, and/or want to get out of "what NTRP am I"? or "what NTRP is this person?" type posts?

They need validation. They want to boast. They want to prove something to themselves. They want to gauge how good they actually are. They want to gauge how good they have to be. They want people to compliment them. They want to gauge the differences between NTRP levels. They want to put someone down.

LeeD
01-04-2009, 03:20 PM
I see nothing wrong with posting vids and asking opinions for the level they are hitting according to the video and for stroke reproduction and style.
Obviously opinions are only that, and vids only show maybe 2/5th of a players actual tournament ability.
We play tennis for excercise, true. But we also play for the competition, and for that, we need to know where we stand so we ....can progress.
Without knowing where you are, how can you know where to go?

lancernrg
01-04-2009, 03:30 PM
At (short term) risk stirring up a rat's nest, I'd like a better understanding of what this audience both needs and wants to get out of such posts.

I do not understand the fascination people have with asking/evaluating/guessing/speculating NTRP ratings on this forum. I witness all sorts of discussion about it though - with what I'd call a high noise-to-signal ratio, and I've got to ask - what good comes of it?

One thing I love about this forum is on most other tennis topics - it has a great signal-to-noise ratio for discussing tennis topics; one of the best on the web I've found.

The point of me asking this question is for us all to do a better job of addressing the valid needs and wants that get identified; hopefully we can improve the signal-to-noise ratio. At least some of us would like to be better able to filter out some of signal from all the noise that currently exists around this topic ;-)

I am probably in the minority here - I don't care about NTRP ratings. I don't. IMO: anything that isn't based upon actual match results is pointless.

What does this audience need, and/or want to get out of "what NTRP am I"? or "what NTRP is this person?" type posts?

It makes them feel good about themselves lol.

Kick_It
01-04-2009, 03:31 PM
These are all great inputs.

Videos and asking people for input on how to improve a shot or sequence of shots are a great example. I'd suggest that much of that goal could be achieved by simply posting a video fragment, and simply asking for suggestions on how to improve it. Does adding NTRP to that mix add much? Or instead does it add mud to the water? Isn't that a primarily technical question where technique is merely one factor in NTRP?

Keep the inputs coming!

Topaz
01-04-2009, 03:34 PM
It gives us something to bicker about during the 'off' season!

BTW, a true NTRP rating is determined one way, and one way only...and that is through results in USTA matches.

LeeD
01-04-2009, 03:35 PM
Er......
Most of us bash the players who claim whatever level they are.
Makes them feel good?
Only thing that makes anyone a 4.5 is if they play tournaments that rating and actually belong there....like go mid rounds most tournaments. And that would be multiple tournaments.
The guys who post vids want to get better. They are exposing their strokes for all of us to see. Good on them and they will get better !!!!
As for not caring about rankings.....
That's just silly. Of course you care. You need to know where most other people play (ability wise). You need a basis for your own game, if you want to improve.
Even if you don't want to improve, you need to know where you stand.

Kick_It
01-04-2009, 03:48 PM
A clarification:

I don't care about NTRP ratings. Whenever I play in a league or NTRP tourney - it is purely for practice to support other goals I have that are measured other ways.

I care about rankings that are arrived at by tournament results, in the divisions I compete in, particularly the ones closer to my age where I seem to do better ;-) Rankings have their shortcomings too - but at least they're arrived at from tournament results.

Yes, I'd still like to beat the same opponent who I haven't beaten yet - but that's a head-to-head dynamic and more about how we as individuals match up against each other in a pressure situation.

I have an idea of how good/bad I am, what I need to improve on (it's a good sized list). I also know that I'm only really as good as the next ball I can hit.

raiden031
01-04-2009, 03:48 PM
I am probably in the minority here - I don't care about NTRP ratings. I don't. IMO: anything that isn't based upon actual match results is pointless.

What does this audience need, and/or want to get out of "what NTRP am I"? or "what NTRP is this person?" type posts?

If NTRP doesn't matter, then how would someone determine what level of competition to play at? How would they find competitive hitting partners through ads or online? There has to be some way to gauge skill levels. People need goals to help them improve as players. Hitting a certain NTRP level can mean reaching a goal. Alot of people are not exposed to this system because they are not in an area with usta leagues or they are underage. So they post a video online asking what level they are.

raiden031
01-04-2009, 04:11 PM
A clarification:

I don't care about NTRP ratings. Whenever I play in a league or NTRP tourney - it is purely for practice to support other goals I have that are measured other ways.

I care about rankings that are arrived at by tournament results, in the divisions I compete in, particularly the ones closer to my age where I seem to do better ;-) Rankings have their shortcomings too - but at least they're arrived at from tournament results.

Yes, I'd still like to beat the same opponent who I haven't beaten yet - but that's a head-to-head dynamic and more about how we as individuals match up against each other in a pressure situation.

I have an idea of how good/bad I am, what I need to improve on (it's a good sized list). I also know that I'm only really as good as the next ball I can hit.

How does someone who does not fit into any age group get ranked? As someone in their 20s, the only ranking I would get are NTRP tournament rankings (which means I need to know my NTRP rating) or open division rankings. Without being at least a 5.0+, its pointless to be concerned with open division rankings because I'll never have a ranking.

Kick_It
01-04-2009, 04:21 PM
My original question is what is the point of asking for an eval/rating on a web forum.

I am not questioning the value of NTRP rating system; Raiden cites a good situation.

I think most can agree that actual results (in whatever form) are what counts.

raiden031
01-04-2009, 04:29 PM
My original question is what is the point of asking for an eval/rating on a web forum.

I am not questioning the value of NTRP rating system; Raiden cites a good situation.

I think most can agree that actual results (in whatever form) are what counts.

Lack of any other way to determine their rating.

I'm guessing alot of players her are not associated wth any clubs where they can be evaluated by the club pro during lessons or whatever. I played tennis for about 5 years before even knowing that the NTRP system even existed. I only played casually and the intramural tournament once a year at my college.

BullDogTennis
01-04-2009, 04:53 PM
its just so they can "re-assured" or sometimes have hopes shattered, and make excuses on why they didnt do better.

i know when i put a video or somethin on here, it wasnt to know NTRP but to get stuff fixed. i had little problems wtih my serve and i didnt exactly know what was up.

Valdez737
01-04-2009, 05:03 PM
None Thrs no point

tennisdad65
01-05-2009, 08:20 AM
None Thrs no point

maybe so, but I think it is great to see videos. I love to watch fellow TW'ers play. And the arguments and comments in those threads are fairly interesting. And this is a web forum and we are here for entertainment anyways :)

GeorgeLucas
01-05-2009, 08:32 AM
By nature, people are self destructive and thus enjoy setting themselves up to be bashed.

x5150
01-05-2009, 08:40 AM
It might be a remote way of letting someone gauge what WTT league level they should join or if they should bother playing someone at say 4.5 when they have no clue where they are.

SlapShot
01-05-2009, 08:46 AM
I agree 100% with the OP. NTRP is only useful when you have a basis to work from (having played NTRP tourneys/leagues). Self-rating from the web is merely a subjective (and highly speculative) means of comparing yourself to others - you shouldn't take your self-rate as gospel. A short video is no more helpful, however. Without match results, NTRP means absolutely nothing.

The juniors who are using NTRP are equally (if not more) off base - as far as I know, there are no NTRP tourneys for juniors. Generally, good junior players know where they are as a section ranking (if they play USTA tourneys), and one may be able to extrapolate a rough NTRP from that, but again, that's results based, and not based off of a 45 second video of some forehands.

drakulie
01-05-2009, 08:46 AM
It gives us something to bicker about during the 'off' season!

BTW, a true NTRP rating is determined one way, and one way only...and that is through results in USTA matches.

Agreed.

Especially about the "bickering" part. :)

On another note, I truly enjoy watching other posters vids (especially over seas). Gives everyone a chance to see other posters, and put "a face" to their screen name. Where else would you be able to see these posters play??

This is after-all, a "tennis forum".

RoddickAce
01-05-2009, 09:44 AM
They need validation. They want to boast. They want to prove something to themselves. They want to gauge how good they actually are. They want to gauge how good they have to be. They want people to compliment them. They want to gauge the differences between NTRP levels. They want to put someone down.

Well said, and to the point.

raiden031
01-05-2009, 11:22 AM
I agree 100% with the OP. NTRP is only useful when you have a basis to work from (having played NTRP tourneys/leagues). Self-rating from the web is merely a subjective (and highly speculative) means of comparing yourself to others - you shouldn't take your self-rate as gospel. A short video is no more helpful, however. Without match results, NTRP means absolutely nothing.

The juniors who are using NTRP are equally (if not more) off base - as far as I know, there are no NTRP tourneys for juniors. Generally, good junior players know where they are as a section ranking (if they play USTA tourneys), and one may be able to extrapolate a rough NTRP from that, but again, that's results based, and not based off of a 45 second video of some forehands.

I agree with all this. Just like the USTA itself claims that people are capable of determining their rating from a guideline with three sentences that describe each level, many players feel they can determined their rating by posting a video of 3 forehands.

I think its all good fun, but does get tiring and annoying when people insist that person A's rating from watching a video is rated X "at best" or "can't possibly" be rated Y (when they are playing in official league matches at that higher level of play).

bad_call
01-05-2009, 11:37 AM
Agreed.

Especially about the "bickering" part. :)

On another note, I truly enjoy watching other posters vids (especially over seas). Gives everyone a chance to see other posters, and put "a face" to their screen name. Where else would you be able to see these posters play??

This is after-all, a "tennis forum".

right...when i drive down to SF, there'll be the smiley TWSF faces to greet me with top shelf micro brews. :)

Soar
01-05-2009, 06:39 PM
HAHAHAHAHAHA
wtf?
it lets ppl know how good they are
and they ask it on a tennis forum because they want their opinions from ppl who know/care tennis. then they can compare it to theyre own opinions, lets them work on theyre weaknesses, etc

LOL WTH IS THE POINT OF THIS THREAD???? LMAO

SirBlend12
01-05-2009, 06:58 PM
Bragging rights. Security. Ego. Curiosity. Desire for help/instruction.

In that order, that's why.

This is, for the most part, the wrong place to come, though. I'd say about 80% of the posters on this board believe that they are better than anyone else here, and as a result, love to let any vid poster know just that by telling them how much they suck or how they can't be a certain NTRP. Bragging rights. Security. Ego.

I just came out of a thread where a video of some 4.0 league play was posted. About half of the posts in the thread were about how the guys in the video COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE 4.0's DESPITE HAVING COMPUTER-GENERATED RATINGS.

Ridiculous. They also made mention of how they were all easily better. Pshh...

Curiosity. Desire for instruction/help/yada yada yada...

These people post vids because of either wanting validation or any of the first 3 things I mentioned OR (big or, that is) because they truly desire some helpful pointers or ned an idea of where they stand for whatever reason (tryouts, tourneys, etc.).

I've only ever posted one video on here and it was for the purpose of shutting up all of the ego-loving folk who claimed they could serve 130 mph at 13 years old. It was all for the purpose of "post it, prove it, or shut up" and also to get an "accurate" readout of speed because I don't have regular access to radar and I was a bit curious.

Feed not your mobile image sequences to the lurking wolves... devour you, they will.

SlapShot
01-05-2009, 07:06 PM
HAHAHAHAHAHA
wtf?
it lets ppl know how good they are


No it doesn't - NTRP isn't a "talent measuring stick." It's based on results. Period. Not video, not post count, but results against other computer rated players. If NTRP were a strict scale, you had might as well not even play the match - just match up the player's NTRP ratings and do math. It doesn't work that way.

Soar
01-05-2009, 07:12 PM
lol obviously anything can happen in a tennis match, thats why competition is fun. ESPECIALLY tennis (thats the way the scoring system is set up)
and btw, im pretty sure(not really 100%) that the ntrp was meant so ppl can rate themselves and their tennis abilities.
also isnt the ntrp based on commonalities in skill level rather than the match results <-- d00d

i still stand by my post that ppl ask what ntrp they are because they would like other opinions on how good they are or look or seem or w/e.

bad_call
01-05-2009, 08:02 PM
No it doesn't - NTRP isn't a "talent measuring stick." It's based on results. Period. Not video, not post count, but results against other computer rated players. If NTRP were a strict scale, you had might as well not even play the match - just match up the player's NTRP ratings and do math. It doesn't work that way.

right. got to hit with a former D1 player and it was nice to hit with that level again. don't care about the ntrp rating. just helps to see what is needed to be more competitive...

raiden031
01-06-2009, 03:18 AM
lol obviously anything can happen in a tennis match, thats why competition is fun. ESPECIALLY tennis (thats the way the scoring system is set up)
and btw, im pretty sure(not really 100%) that the ntrp was meant so ppl can rate themselves and their tennis abilities.
also isnt the ntrp based on commonalities in skill level rather than the match results <-- d00d

i still stand by my post that ppl ask what ntrp they are because they would like other opinions on how good they are or look or seem or w/e.

No it just saves money by allowing players to rate themselves. Remember they used to hold rating clinics for rating new players.

The guidelines are based on commonalities, and that is why year after year people come on to TW and insist they are a certain NTRP level based on the guidelines, even though they would actually be competitive with players 2 levels below. I would say the use of the guidelines as a self-rating tool is a failure.

ssjkyle31
01-06-2009, 05:54 AM
right. got to hit with a former D1 player and it was nice to hit with that level again. don't care about the ntrp rating. just helps to see what is needed to be more competitive...

Just because you hit with a D1 player does not mean that you will have a NTRP rating similar to the D1 player. It is how you use your experience in match play against an unknown player.

bad_call
01-06-2009, 07:06 AM
right. got to hit with a former D1 player and it was nice to hit with that level again. don't care about the ntrp rating. just helps to see what is needed to be more competitive...

Just because you hit with a D1 player does not mean that you will have a NTRP rating similar to the D1 player. It is how you use your experience in match play against an unknown player.

dude - did u even read what i posted? "...don't care about the ntrp rating."

how did u jump to the conclusion i thought myself equal? i could hit with Federer (if he asked me) and not have his ntrp rating...

Kick_It
01-07-2009, 10:13 AM
IMO the best reason I've seen so far is around people wanting to improve their shots and asking for feedback on how to improve.

One thing to improve the signal-to-noise ratio here IMO is simply to omit 'NTRP' from such posts - because it really does muddy the water. Look @ the recent thread on the guy's kick serve as proof.

It seems there is an unmet need for people who "aspire" to improve to see videos of what different strokes basically look like at different rating levels. I think that might help many folks - though caution that isn't a cut and dry thing - because strokes are primarily technique, and NTRP isn't solely a metric of technique; it is merely a factor in the ratings. For example, I've seen computer rated 4.0 players who have one or two strokes many would presume are strokes a 4.5 or 5.0 level player would hit - yet they are deficient in other areas.

I totally agree ego stroking, etc as a big factor. If part of the point w/ ratings is to find other people to play with at a similar level - those who claim inflated ratings seems to me just like the person who does online dating when a woman claims she's slender, or a guy claims he's 6' tall - online , when they aren't in reality. Tennis is fundamentally a game where you need more than one person to play (walls, ball machines, and serve practice aside) and presumably you play more/longer with someone at a similar actual level.

Claiming a higher rating might be good to initially find a higher level player to hit with, until that person realizes you aren't as good as you claim to be (or that the guy who claims he's 6' tall is actually 5'5"...). Unless that higher level player is desperate - chances are they won't continue to hit with you for long.

If people want sand kicked on their face, or to kick sand on others faces - so be it. I suppose there are lots of people who can't go to the beach in January ;-)

ssjkyle31
01-07-2009, 09:03 PM
dude - did u even read what i posted? "...don't care about the ntrp rating."

how did u jump to the conclusion i thought myself equal? i could hit with Federer (if he asked me) and not have his ntrp rating...

I'm sorry, if you took offense to the comment but I hear a lot people who say they hit with so-so. It is a comparison of skill if you can ralley with the D1 player for more than 10-20 strokes at medium to heavy pace. It just that in tournament play can you execute that skill on an opponent who wants to win also? Maybe, you can do it? Have you ever seen a player that ralley goods but seemed to fall apart in a match?

Anyway, I think anyone can hit with Federer (or anyone in the top 500), it just that 99 % of the TW poster can't win a set off of him in a sanction match. Maybe you can win a game, I don't know. But don't stress over these comments:), these are only words.

ssjkyle31
01-08-2009, 06:10 AM
IMO the best reason I've seen so far is around people wanting to improve their shots and asking for feedback on how to improve.

One thing to improve the signal-to-noise ratio here IMO is simply to omit 'NTRP' from such posts - because it really does muddy the water. Look @ the recent thread on the guy's kick serve as proof.

It seems there is an unmet need for people who "aspire" to improve to see videos of what different strokes basically look like at different rating levels. I think that might help many folks - though caution that isn't a cut and dry thing - because strokes are primarily technique, and NTRP isn't solely a metric of technique; it is merely a factor in the ratings. For example, I've seen computer rated 4.0 players who have one or two strokes many would presume are strokes a 4.5 or 5.0 level player would hit - yet they are deficient in other areas.

I totally agree ego stroking, etc as a big factor. If part of the point w/ ratings is to find other people to play with at a similar level - those who claim inflated ratings seems to me just like the person who does online dating when a woman claims she's slender, or a guy claims he's 6' tall - online , when they aren't in reality. Tennis is fundamentally a game where you need more than one person to play (walls, ball machines, and serve practice aside) and presumably you play more/longer with someone at a similar actual level.

Claiming a higher rating might be good to initially find a higher level player to hit with, until that person realizes you aren't as good as you claim to be (or that the guy who claims he's 6' tall is actually 5'5"...). Unless that higher level player is desperate - chances are they won't continue to hit with you for long.

If people want sand kicked on their face, or to kick sand on others faces - so be it. I suppose there are lots of people who can't go to the beach in January ;-)

I do agree NTRP was used wrong. There are many players out there that never received a NTRP rating and can be considered a high rated player.

bad_call
01-08-2009, 06:39 AM
I'm sorry, if you took offense to the comment but I hear a lot people who say they hit with so-so. It is a comparison of skill if you can ralley with the D1 player for more than 10-20 strokes at medium to heavy pace. It just that in tournament play can you execute that skill on an opponent who wants to win also? Maybe, you can do it? Have you ever seen a player that ralley goods but seemed to fall apart in a match?

Anyway, I think anyone can hit with Federer (or anyone in the top 500), it just that 99 % of the TW poster can't win a set off of him in a sanction match. Maybe you can win a game, I don't know. But don't stress over these comments:), these are only words.

no problem. i did not take offense. :) i don't think you meant it in a mean way. just clarifying what i posted. apologies from me if i came across too hard... mubuhay!! :)

Tennisguy777
01-08-2009, 07:06 AM
The other end of this when people claim a high NTRP and refuse to post videos and people make a big deal of it!