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NetMaster70
02-26-2009, 05:16 PM
If you were "USTA league commissioner" what would you change about league administration?

NetMaster70
02-27-2009, 01:13 PM
How about this: I think Senior 50s should play 1 singles and 2 doubles lines _ not 3 doubles lines.

Advantages:
a) A lot of age 50 players still enjoy singles more than doubles. This makes league more attactive for those guys
b) Fewer players would be needed so maybe it would be easier to form teams
c) 80% of all senior players would still be playing doubles
d) This would make for more interesting line-up strategy

What do you think?

JavierLW
02-27-2009, 01:28 PM
How about this: I think Senior 50s should play 1 singles and 2 doubles lines _ not 3 doubles lines.

Advantages:
a) A lot of age 50 players still enjoy singles more than doubles. This makes league more attactive for those guys
b) Fewer players would be needed so maybe it would be easier to form teams
c) 80% of all senior players would still be playing doubles
d) This would make for more interesting line-up strategy

What do you think?

I think that could vary greatly from location to location depending on the players involved.

It probably depends on the level as well. At 3.0 and 3.5 a lot of the players in their 50's who love to play singles are still kicking butt in the regular non-senior league. So that's where they get their singles.

cak
02-27-2009, 01:56 PM
I certainly wouldn't add singles. We have enough trouble coming up with singles in adult league. And there we tend to dump singles on the younger players, saying they have young legs. I can't imagine trying to come up with a singles player for our senior teams.

cak
02-27-2009, 02:00 PM
If I were the league administrator I'd look and see what exactly the charter of USTA league tennis is supposed to be. If it is to get more people playing tennis I would drop Nationals from the leagues. I've found the combo leagues and leagues that don't go to Nationals tend to draw more new players than the adult and senior leagues. The carrot of Nationals seems to build more ultra serious teams that don't look at local leagues as fun, but as a way to whack their way through the weeds on their way to playoffs. These teams aren't fun to play, and turn off too many players.

NetMaster70
02-27-2009, 04:43 PM
cak,
I certainly think the USTA is trying to get more people to play tennis _ because that puts money in their pockets. Maybe I'm cynical but I think it is MOSTLY about $ with the USTA.

That's a good point about eliminating Nationals since most players/teams dont ever make Nationals anyway.

Still, the possibility of playing in a National event is a drawing card for some players and teams. I'm not sure if it is a net plus or net minus. as you suggest.

Jim A
02-27-2009, 05:17 PM
I'm surprised that they don't open up the National stage to more teams and charge an entry fee. Most events do it the reverse where they have a wider regional process and/or multiple levels. Why not have 64 or 96 3.5 teams at an event with draws and such, with the winners of the Sectionals each leading a flight and the goal being to play a wide variety of people across different areas. Even just a 2nd level that is 'open' and not for the sectional winners.

Many of us could play 2matches/day for a couple days in a row, you could do it with teams of 5, you are guaranteed 3 matches each with 1 singles/2 doubles

Also surprised there aren't more large scale regional events that offer unique options not found nearby for the typical NTRP player, when I was in Palm Springs there was a Grand Slam program where you played on hard/red/grass, each match could be a different surface, lodging at the event etc..

NetMaster70
02-28-2009, 05:42 AM
Jim A,
I like the idea of more teams competing and also more national events for teams. It would be great to give more teams and players the opportunity to play in a national team event.

A related thought: Currently there are 17 USTA Sections and each sends 1 rep to Nationals at various levels. They split the teams into 4 flights but one flight has 5 teams and three flights have 4 teams. At a minimum the USTA should invite 20 teams and have 4 flights with 5 teams each. That way every team would play at least 4 matches. The Southern Section should send THREE teams because they are so large. And perhaps one "at large" team from the Section with the 2nd most participants.

Jim A
02-28-2009, 07:55 AM
It's highly doable, I managed an even series in a different sport that grew from 138 teams to 400+ teams over a 6 year span, all of sudden we had cities bidding for our $12M impact for the economy through hotels, meals, entertainment

Even if its not "Nationals" per se, they could have quite a few large weekends that combine certain sections, that bring teams together, travel wouldn't be as expensive and you'd expand your network of tennis people, plus get people used to booking trips each year and putting tennis #1 on the list when it comes to vacations...there can be clinics, competitions and socials..

NetMaster70
02-28-2009, 09:23 AM
Jim,
Wow, you are the kind of guy that the USTA should hire to run the USTA League program.

It seems to me that the folks running the league tend to be very old, set in their ways and they lack creavity ideas. Maybe we should have TERM LIMITS on folks running the leagues.

cak
02-28-2009, 09:30 AM
I think Jim A has a great idea for the large weekend team tournaments. The fun thing about sectionals here is traveling and playing together as a team. You have a built in bunch of folks to hang with between matches and party with at night. And you get to meet other tennis maniacs.

I think if they offered "team tournaments" that teams could sign up for, whether they are cleaning up in their local leagues or not, it would be a money maker for the USTA.

Another idea would be to have a second nationals, made up of teams voted by their peers. Captains vote for the team with the best sportsmanship in their league. That would be the nationals I want to go to. The one where people are playing friendly, fun tennis. Not the one where the people are cursing, hooking, throwing rackets and playing head games.

NetMaster70
02-28-2009, 10:45 AM
cak,
Sounds like a winner to me!

Jim A
02-28-2009, 11:37 AM
I appreciate the thoughts Netmaster but couldn't even get in recently to talk about a league position, maybe they'll read this :)

NetMaster70
02-28-2009, 04:37 PM
Changing gears . . .what about a new rule: League players must play a full season before they are eligible to play in the post season. League players must play TWO full seasons before they are eligible to play at Nats.

This approach would encourage people to play at a level where they could enjoy their local league. Rahter than some guys self-rating way below level in order to make Nationals.

What do you think?

JavierLW
02-28-2009, 06:19 PM
Changing gears . . .what about a new rule: League players must play a full season before they are eligible to play in the post season. League players must play TWO full seasons before they are eligible to play at Nats.

This approach would encourage people to play at a level where they could enjoy their local league. Rahter than some guys self-rating way below level in order to make Nationals.

What do you think?

I think that is a little drastic just because there are some cheaters out there who improperly self rate themselves.

The league just needs to continue to improve the self rating process, and they need to enforce there own rules when transgressions are found rather than look the other way.

Topaz
02-28-2009, 06:26 PM
Changing gears . . .what about a new rule: League players must play a full season before they are eligible to play in the post season. League players must play TWO full seasons before they are eligible to play at Nats.

This approach would encourage people to play at a level where they could enjoy their local league. Rahter than some guys self-rating way below level in order to make Nationals.

What do you think?

I think that's crap. Players earn their trip to post season play one way and one way only...by winning matches. Shouldn't matter if you've been playing one season or 40 seasons.

Not all new, self-rated players are sandbaggers.

I think that is a little drastic just because there are some cheaters out there who improperly self rate themselves.

The league just needs to continue to improve the self rating process, and they need to enforce there own rules when transgressions are found rather than look the other way.

Well said.

cak
02-28-2009, 08:55 PM
Changing gears . . .what about a new rule: League players must play a full season before they are eligible to play in the post season. League players must play TWO full seasons before they are eligible to play at Nats.

I think self rating could easily be fixed by calling it a provisional rating. At the point they want to play in playoffs, they send a note off to the district (or, the district could just looks at all the teams in playoffs) run the DNTRP, if they are still within appealable range, change their rating to an ESR and they are set to play in playoffs. If their regular season play showed they are obviously out of range, then they get an ESR that would make them ineligible for perhaps that team, but if they were also playing up, they would be eligible for the higher team.

Topaz
03-01-2009, 03:48 AM
^^^Cak, those are some great ideas! How would you suppose that would work in an area that doesn't have ESR? Have you ever considered emailing this idea to the USTA?

NetMaster70
03-01-2009, 04:26 AM
Javier,
What specifically are you referring to when you say the USTA "needs to enforce its own rules"?

NetMaster70
03-01-2009, 04:30 AM
Topaz,
True, not all new self-rated players are cheaters. But also true, it seems like most of the teams making Nats are loaded with self-rated players who rated too low. Do you have any suggestion or prefer no change any all?

10sguy
03-01-2009, 06:00 AM
cak,
I certainly think the USTA is trying to get more people to play tennis _ because that puts money in their pockets. Maybe I'm cynical but I think it is MOSTLY about $ with the USTA.

It's difficult for some to believe this but, speaking STRICTLY of the USTA, it's NOT about the money. As far as I'm aware, USTA Sections are (501{c}3) CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS! Sure, USTA memberships and (after expenses), league fees generate revenue - BUT those monies tend to be plowed back into earnest attempts to genuinely grow the game. What also must be understood though, is that the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), which obviously has a big stake in the growth of tennis, is a big supporter of the USTA. But the USTA - which, in great part is a volunteer driven organization (with employees, of course) - is, to a large extent, all about people who love the game and want to see it prosper. Yes, folks who own/manage clubs are involved in the USTA as volunteers; think about it though . . . if you were in a similar position, you'd probably tend to get involved too. My observation is AT LEAST 50 percent - probably more - of the USTA volunteer base is made up of people who simply love the game and enjoy giving back.

Jim A
03-01-2009, 06:03 AM
a few notes on behalf of the USTA:
many times the organization doesn't have the resources to police cheating, it can only do so when others bring it to our attention. What is common knowledge locally never reaches the outer areas or sometimes even the local coordinators with the amount of players and teams in any sport.

I think it would be unfair to all of a sudden run a DNTRP and effect teams for the playoffs. Plus a team could then put its weaker players up against certain people and just tank a match to alter it up as well.

For the most part we must police ourselves and be honest with our ratings. As long as there is a winner/loser people will try to stay down for the glory of a $2medal or t-shirt. They are the exception to the rule and we must remember that.

I'd like to see teams move up if they win at the local/regional/sectional level. First it allows more people to enter into league play on the men's side at 3.0 without getting throttled and keeps that wide range of talent that seems to sit @ 3.5. Within a couple years you'd have a 3.5(high) and a 3.5(low) section. Then the teams are vying to move up from low to high and not about appealing down.

Appeals: Does the USTA charge to appeal? The easiest way to deter this is to have a fee attached based on the type. You send payment in with your appeal or through TennisLink. If the appeal is granted, nothing is charged/cashed. However if its denied it goes towards funding a program of your choice ("x" options per region). We had a $100 appeal fee, although I wouldn't set it that high for USTA, however $50 isn't out of the question. Once the process turns in favor of the USTA and not the player. It will slow down dramatically. I'd also like to see self-rated (me included) not be able to appeal for their first 2 ratings, we may get bumped back up/down dynamically but nothing else. Sure someone can still manipulate the system but it will be obvious and certainly the USTA has a supplementary discipline line in their rulebook.

cak
03-01-2009, 07:09 AM
I think it would be unfair to all of a sudden run a DNTRP and effect teams for the playoffs. Plus a team could then put its weaker players up against certain people and just tank a match to alter it up as well..

I'm interested in why you think it would be unfair. Right now, if self rated players are out of range they risk the chance of being stiked out, or thrown out of playoffs through grievance procedures. So captains are hesitant to put them in, or will ask them to tank matches just to be safe. I think running the DNTRP lets the captains and players know where they stand. If they did self rate too low, and shouldn't have been playing that level in the first place, yes, they won't be able to go to playoffs. But if they were in range they have the added security going into the playoffs that they are legit. Not to mention the opposing teams go into playoffs knowing they are legit.

Jim A
03-01-2009, 07:21 AM
well if you did it right before the playoffs, all of a sudden the team that used the players no longer has them at their disposal so why even have them represent the league?

It also then punishes someone who has improved during the course of the year

again it allows the schemers to work against you, have a team or 2 that doesn't like you and isn't going to District's? Do they have good players...well a 1 and 1 blowout for your borderline player will all of a sudden have him ineligible based not on his play but on the actions of others. In my hockey days I watched teams purposely not score many goals to keep another team out of the playoffs and/or give up a couple goals to change their seeding, it happens and with Tennislink, etc is an easy thing to do.

If you are a 3.0 to start the season, then that needs to be your level until it completes, people are going to get better as they play more, have more match play, etc...and to punish them for the culmination of hard work is unfair. I'd like to see the dynamic rating take place between the normal league and what is called twilight here, I think in Mixed they move up 0.5's anyway..(6.0 in the spring, 6.5 in the fall). IF the opposition felt there were players rated incorrectly, they should pay for a session with an pro that handles these issues, 15min or so to determine if it should be heard or something to that effect, no player tanking on either side then,

Javier is right on when he says to just go play, that is my motto. Unfortunately many don't share that sentiment.

JavierLW
03-01-2009, 07:26 AM
Javier,
What specifically are you referring to when you say the USTA "needs to enforce its own rules"?

There are cases of players and captains who did get caught and nothing was done to them.

Telling someone to improperly mis-rate themselves is supposed to be a serious issue.

There are also cases of players (in NoCAL) who even played using false identification and they are still in the league.

So it's not always a matter of the league policing itself, it's sometimes a matter of them being too wimpy when it comes to obvious cheaters. Usually by local officials.

Although I think they've fixed some of that this year, if you read the new rules it seems to give more powers to the national committee and at least the sectional committees (when it comes to medical appeals and certain grievences, etc....). So the local coordinators at least dont have quite as much leeway in some matters.

JavierLW
03-01-2009, 07:31 AM
It's difficult for some to believe this but, speaking STRICTLY of the USTA, it's NOT about the money. As far as I'm aware, USTA Sections are (501{c}3) CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS! Sure, USTA memberships and (after expenses), league fees generate revenue - BUT those monies tend to be plowed back into earnest attempts to genuinely grow the game. What also must be understood though, is that the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), which obviously has a big stake in the growth of tennis, is a big supporter of the USTA. But the USTA - which, in great part is a volunteer driven organization (with employees, of course) - is, to a large extent, all about people who love the game and want to see it prosper. Yes, folks who own/manage clubs are involved in the USTA as volunteers; think about it though . . . if you were in a similar position, you'd probably tend to get involved too. My observation is AT LEAST 50 percent - probably more - of the USTA volunteer base is made up of people who simply love the game and enjoy giving back.

Non-profit and Charitable Organizations still make money. It's more about tax status then anything.

I know a couple who runs the local Tennis and Education Foundation around here and they are doing quite well...

At the least they still do whatever they can to collect as many $22 registrations as possible. Whether that money is going to pay for someone's Lexus SUV or simply it's going to help run the organization, they still need to generate as much of it as possible.

cak
03-01-2009, 09:21 AM
well if you did it right before the playoffs, all of a sudden the team that used the players no longer has them at their disposal so why even have them represent the league?

Well, if they misrated you don't really have them at your disposal in playoffs, you just don't know that. As self rated players they can be DQ'd at any point. If self rated players were given their DNTRP before playoffs start the captain would know whether putting them out on the court would cause a DQ. If they have a legitimate ESR within range they can go out and play their best, without worrying about a DQ.


It also then punishes someone who has improved during the course of the year

The rule change that computer rated players cannot be DQ'd due to three strikes is great for that very reason. Occasionally people work real hard and improve quickly and they should not be penalized. However, self rated players just getting into league should know they will be improving quickly, and rate accordingly. Or, as USTA puts it on
http://www.usta.com/USTA/Global/Active/Custom%20Pages/Leagues/1237_NTRP.aspx

"Players who are good athletes and intend to spend a great deal of time taking lessons and practicing should be aware that their improvement may be significant enough to surpass their original self-rate level. All players, both self-rated and computer rated, are subject to disqualification through Sectional Championships."

Note that the "computer rated" went away, but the warning for self-rated stands.

JavierLW
03-01-2009, 09:37 AM
It also then punishes someone who has improved during the course of the year

.

Actually they already considered that. There is a built in threshold in place before a player even gets a strike, and the lower the level the bigger the threshold. (because it's more likely players can improve)

Also you have to get 3 strikes to get DQ'ed.

So all that makes it very unlikely that most players will get DQ'ed (even self rated), if someone does, they deserve to get DQ'ed.

(and if it's in the playoffs they shouldnt complain that much, they got to play a full season of tennis, that is the whole purpose of this league, to play tennis...)

It's true I said that as a player you should just go out there and just play. But that goes for these people as well, they could just as easily find a team in their local league where they fit in, and one that allows them to play enough matches and just play as well.

It's cool that we have playoffs and it's fun to win a water bottle or a pen, but it shouldnt be the only reason these players are in the league.

Jim A
03-01-2009, 09:44 AM
<I don't know why my brain likes figuring out this sort of stuff??>

I guess its not just the cheaters or those who play down who can improve though. I self-rated based on the recommendation of the pros I was taking lessons with and my results against other 3.0C rated players.

Typically I'm about 50/50 with the people who finish between the quarters and finals of local events. What I find wrong is that while some of them had year end ratings in both 3.0 and 3.5 (and were kept in 3.0) I may be the one who gets bumped if I do well early on in league and tournament play. I've tried playing a solid 3.5 and I lose 80% of the time if not more, it takes a bad day on their side for me to win or take a set...I turn into a pusher..

So I want to play a lot this year, leagues, tournaments, mixed, you name it,

however the way the system is construed it suits me better to only make a couple league matches play 2/3 doubles to keep the rating down and then jump out and say surprise if we make the playoffs, of which we stand a good chance, and then hop into singles where I can be a better help to the team

Further, I'd likely finish with a year-end of 3.0C or 3.0B and be able to play 2010 as well where I could then improve as much as I wanted without fear of a bump.

I'm all for moving up, but I dislike that I'm more of a risk to my team of being moved then some of them just because I was unable to get anything other than a self-rate prior to registering with the USTA. I hope to be rated higher next year, however it would be easy for me not to do so and I can see how people easily manipulate the system for years on end at certain levels, especially 3.0-ish..

I was about to go out and work on my footwork, but probably better not to...haha :???:

Topaz
03-01-2009, 09:54 AM
<I don't know why my brain likes figuring out this sort of stuff??>

I guess its not just the cheaters or those who play down who can improve though. I self-rated based on the recommendation of the pros I was taking lessons with and my results against other 3.0C rated players.

Typically I'm about 50/50 with the people who finish between the quarters and finals of local events. What I find wrong is that while some of them had year end ratings in both 3.0 and 3.5 (and were kept in 3.0) I may be the one who gets bumped if I do well early on in league and tournament play. I've tried playing a solid 3.5 and I lose 80% of the time if not more, it takes a bad day on their side for me to win or take a set...I turn into a pusher..

So I want to play a lot this year, leagues, tournaments, mixed, you name it,

however the way the system is construed it suits me better to only make a couple league matches play 2/3 doubles to keep the rating down and then jump out and say surprise if we make the playoffs, of which we stand a good chance, and then hop into singles where I can be a better help to the team

Further, I'd likely finish with a year-end of 3.0C or 3.0B and be able to play 2010 as well where I could then improve as much as I wanted without fear of a bump.

I'm all for moving up, but I dislike that I'm more of a risk to my team of being moved then some of them just because I was unable to get anything other than a self-rate prior to registering with the USTA. I hope to be rated higher next year, however it would be easy for me not to do so and I can see how people easily manipulate the system for years on end at certain levels, especially 3.0-ish..

I was about to go out and work on my footwork, but probably better not to...haha :???:

First of all, the computer doesn't care if you play #1 or #3 doubles...it doesn't weight them differently. Your dynamic NTRP will be based on your results against your first four (I think) opponents, and it will be determined by their DNTRP and the score.

Now, are you saying that you self-rated 3.0 but now you are having doubts? If you play 50/50 against other 3.0s, you'll more than likely be fine. I am not sure what you mean by some of them ended with a 3.0 and others with a 3.5? Do you mean that some of the people who you beat got moved to 3.5 at the end of last season?

If you get bumped up, then you will deserve it based on your play. While I know it would totally suck to get bumped up mid-season...if your goal is to improve, then you just would have met that goal earlier rather than sooner. And while it would mean you couldn't play on your 3.0 team anymore, you could still play on a 3.5 team and play 3.5 tournaments.

If you deliberately play 'down' during the season in order to be a 'surprise', then you are the very person that most of us really, really dislike...a sandbagger! If you self-rated honestly, then just go out and play and don't worry about it. I think you may be worrying too soon, especially if it is your first season. And, well, if you really are that concerned, you could forget playing 3.0 and play 3.5. You can always play up, just not down.

What is your goal? To win a pen, or to play better tennis? If it is to play and improve, go out and work on that footwork!!! :)

Jim A
03-01-2009, 01:03 PM
ooh..I had no idea there was a pen, 2.5 here I come!

my main question was that based on what has been said on the boards is that I, the self-rated scourge :), has a better chance of being bumped while others who I often split matches with and who are the stronger 3.0 players around (do well in tournaments/league play), are safe because they have earned their B/C marks for the year?

Topaz, I was saying that some of the 3.0's around here were ranked highly in 3.0 and also had some decent results in 3.5 yet weren't moved up, yet nearly the rest of the top 30 or so in the state were bumped to 3.5,

If I get bumped, so be it...but I'm just trying to figure out if I was more likely being self-rated then having a rating. I played a 3.0 USTA event last year, well it was supposed to be and then wasn't at the end, and did well..but then didn't get any points or year/end rating..that is what bugs me the most over it all..i would have had my C

NetMaster70
03-02-2009, 09:00 AM
One thing I would change if I were commissioner for a day: I play all matches out _ three full tiebreak sets. No "match tiebreak".

My view is that a match tiebreak is not much better than flipping a coin.

dataseviltwin
03-02-2009, 09:11 AM
Concur with the self-rating... everything's about .5 lower than the USTA recommendation (meaning: "by the book," I'm a 4.5... by the bashing's I've taken from the knuckle-dragging, from-the-trees-serving former college players at 4.5, I'm a 4.0...). I suppose once you know that, you can deal with it, but... it'd be nice to see some of these folks called on it once in a while...

Old guy singles wouldn't be a bad thing either - just a matter of economics and court time there, I expect... But... in Summer... hmmm...

Topaz
03-02-2009, 11:12 AM
One thing I would change if I were commissioner for a day: I play all matches out _ three full tiebreak sets. No "match tiebreak".

My view is that a match tiebreak is not much better than flipping a coin.

Well, we've been 'round and 'round that topic on here a billion times. The 3rd set 10-pt tiebreak is a necessity because of lack of court time/space in many areas. My indoor league uses it...it has to, there is no way around it. My outdoor league indeed plays out best two of three sets. There's just more courts, more time, more space, and less teams in that league.

And, I have to disagree that the tiebreak isn't better than flipping a coin...I think often tiebreakers are won by the better players...you don't have the time or 'cushion' to make stupid, brainless mistakes in a tie-break. And I say this as someone who dreads them....'cause I suck at them!

Nellie
03-02-2009, 12:47 PM
There is no one at the USTA getting rich from your dues/fees. Those monies, and the earnings from the US Open are all used to promote tennis in the US. You may disagree with how the money is raised or used, but if you really care, become active in the USTA and express your own thoughts. It is mostly a volunteer group and would love to have more active participants.

Joeyg
03-02-2009, 02:02 PM
What a load!! Sorry to rain on your parade, but the USTA is not a non profit organization. When I complained about policies, how money was spent, etc. Bruce Hunt, the NorCal director at that time basically told me that it was too bad I disagreed, but that as an indivdual member my opinion didn't really mean all that much.

As for all of the "volunteers", a large percentage of the board of directors of the NorCal section are people that have a vested, financial interest in the decisions that are made. How this isn't a conflict of interest is beyond me.

As for volunteering, I would run for the board, but I would have to kowtow to teaching pros and club owners to be elected. You see, voting is done by proxy. The only people that really vote are the club owners and teaching pros that control the blocks of votes.

So, in conclusion, I just find it hard to believe that more people aren't royally peeved about the way things are run within the USTA. However, people like 10sguy remind me of the great P.T Barnum's saying that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

10sguy
03-02-2009, 06:06 PM
What a load!! Sorry to rain on your parade, but the USTA is not a non profit organization. When I complained about policies, how money was spent, etc. Bruce Hunt, the NorCal director at that time basically told me that it was too bad I disagreed, but that as an indivdual member my opinion didn't really mean all that much.

As for all of the "volunteers", a large percentage of the board of directors of the NorCal section are people that have a vested, financial interest in the decisions that are made. How this isn't a conflict of interest is beyond me.

As for volunteering, I would run for the board, but I would have to kowtow to teaching pros and club owners to be elected. You see, voting is done by proxy. The only people that really vote are the club owners and teaching pros that control the blocks of votes.

So, in conclusion, I just find it hard to believe that more people aren't royally peeved about the way things are run within the USTA. However, people like 10sguy remind me of the great P.T Barnum's saying that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

Regarding just this piece of your post: "So, in conclusion, I just find it hard to believe that more people aren't royally peeved about the way things are run within the USTA."

- Believe it (who agrees with you?). Must be kinda lonely on that island.

Regarding the rest - sure, the USTA isn't perfect. what organization is?

Gosh, you wouldn't have to instantly aspire to be a Board member - if you were to get involved volunteering, perhaps you might view it differently.

Regarding the not-for-profit issue, see Nellie's unsolicited post just preceeding your last.

JavierLW
03-02-2009, 06:46 PM
Go back and read/UNDERSTAND; my post had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with USTA policies. It was about monies collected for due/league fees and how they're spent AND the fact that the USTA is primarily a volunteer-driven organization. Get you head out of your . . . oh, never mind.

Right and it's not really a useful argument either way unless you guys are running for politics or President of the USTA or something.

You're right, it's probably good to not paint the picture of some money hungry corporation (which is a bs picture anyway most of the time just designed to inspire class envy) where people are getting rich.

Although see my post, I know a couple in my area that run the local TEF where the USTA contributes and they are doing GREAT.

Im not saying they dont do good works, and they dont provide some sort of service, but they are also well off. (they have a huge house, fancy cars, they are living the life, if they were the CEO of some major company, people would cry about them these days but they are collecting money for charity instead of running a bank corporation or trying to make and sell automobiles)

Whether the USTA uses the money to pay employees (like a normal company), make a profit (even non-profit companys can make a profit, it's just a tax based status), give services away, throw the money in the ocean, or pay thousands of middle managers (like the government does when it runs a "charity"), they are trying to collect as much money as humanly possible.

But you are right, I dont think we should waste our time demonizing that part of it.

However to me (and Ive used this issue with our local league) it means two things:

1) I could care less where the money goes. In one of our captain's meetings they went on and on and on about where the money goes....

2) The fact is WE are the consumer's and WE are paying money to play tennis in this league (or whatever the product we think we are getting is). (it's not like a donation or anything...) So they should not forget that.

I TOTALLY do not have an issue with them collecting money. It's when they do so, and they brag about their numbers on one hand, yet they only make decisions that only affect 3% of the consumers (like rules that really only favor and consider playoff teams) that I have a problem with it.

Or in some areas where the leagues are not as big, rather than do something to make those leagues better or longer, they add all of these new goofy leagues (like tri-level, combo, combo-mixed, combo-tri-mixed, etc....).

Maybe in an area with TONS of tennis players those are great because they are extra options but I know at least in my area it seems like a ploy just to collect another $22 from us more then anything. (half the time in our area it amounts to just 4 matches, or a weekend tournament or something)

NetMaster70
03-03-2009, 09:58 AM
Personally I agree with Joeyg. True there are a lot of fantastic volunteers helping out the USTA. (And I have done quite a bit of volunteer work.) But my experience is that USTA DECISION-MAKERS are money focused. Officers at the National and Sectional offices do quite well financially. Some do have a financial interest in USTA activities which impacts their decisions. Also, there is a strong "good ole boy" network. USTA decision-makers tend to take care of each other and are resistant to positive change.

True, no organization is perfect. But the uSTA could do a lot better.

spot
03-03-2009, 04:16 PM
I still say that USTA could be improved a ton if they would simply get rid of the team win concept and award playoff berths by total lines taken over the season. THis would give teams strong incentive to take all 5 lines during the regular season and not reserve their best players (or even worse have them lose a meaningless match on purpose) during the season. Taking 3 over a team would give you the tiebreak over them if you ended up tied so there would still be strong incentive to take at least 3 points against a team. If you give teams more incentive to take 5 points then so much of the sandbagging has to go away.

JavierLW
03-03-2009, 06:10 PM
I still say that USTA could be improved a ton if they would simply get rid of the team win concept and award playoff berths by total lines taken over the season. THis would give teams strong incentive to take all 5 lines during the regular season and not reserve their best players (or even worse have them lose a meaningless match on purpose) during the season. Taking 3 over a team would give you the tiebreak over them if you ended up tied so there would still be strong incentive to take at least 3 points against a team. If you give teams more incentive to take 5 points then so much of the sandbagging has to go away.

We've done it that way in our area since 2001. (it's a local league decision to do so, not a national one)

It didnt fix the rating system because instead of needing 4 solid ringers, it just means you get 8. Then the other teams want to at least somewhat be able to compete so they get as many ringers as possible as well.

If anything it further polluted the rating system here. It definately means that if you have a 3.0 team you DEFINATELY cant afford to put anyone on your team that isnt at least a 3.5 now because every single match counts.

Also the team that took 4th in 3.5 Nationals in 2007 came from this system, it didnt keep them from hiding players etc...

Some teams get around it as well by carrying so many players that none of them have to play enough matches to get the strikes.

It does have a lot of other cool advantages though and we are supposably voting on whether to keep it or not this year (some 2nd place teams that had the most team wins but didnt know the rules last year are crying about it):

- Every match counts. (it's ******** that you'd play a match that didnt)
- Defaults hurt more. In the other system if you win 3, it's not a big deal that you defaulted 1 or 2.

Im going to vote to continue it just because of the defaulting thing, I HATE defaults.

But again, it doesnt stop sandbagging. It might stop teams from actually LOSING the matches, but if you are smart you dont actually have to lose to help keep your rating in check.

spot
03-03-2009, 09:20 PM
It makes sandbagging harder. Don't you realize how much harder it is to have 8 ringers rather than 4? Seriously- you posted this as a reason why having every line matter is a bad thing... All you can do is make sandbagging as hard as possible- having only 3 points matter every week makes it EASY. I can hide my best players all season long if I only have to worry about taking 3 points every week- Its trivial. If you have to worry about taking 5 points every week then all of those players are getting wins every week- the computer will sort them out if they don't belong. Just stacking a team with a lot of very good players top to bottom is not a problem that you can fix... letting a team "hide" their best players until the playoffs is

JavierLW
03-04-2009, 05:48 AM
It makes sandbagging harder. Don't you realize how much harder it is to have 8 ringers rather than 4? Seriously- you posted this as a reason why having every line matter is a bad thing... All you can do is make sandbagging as hard as possible- having only 3 points matter every week makes it EASY. I can hide my best players all season long if I only have to worry about taking 3 points every week- Its trivial. If you have to worry about taking 5 points every week then all of those players are getting wins every week- the computer will sort them out if they don't belong. Just stacking a team with a lot of very good players top to bottom is not a problem that you can fix... letting a team "hide" their best players until the playoffs is

Im not saying it's a bad system, Im just saying it doesnt really make it that much harder.

Ive BEEN PLAYING UNDER THIS SYSTEM, so dont tell me how "hard" it is to find 8 ringers. In one single area you only usually have 3-4 teams that go onto the playoffs every year, so those are the only ones who need 8 (or more) ringers, and they happen to be teams that win every year. (one of them has 20 players or some such nonsense as well which is another way to get around the system)

And like I said, teams can still hide players. They just find other more creative ways to do it.

Also you're forgetting the computer doesnt care about WINS and LOSSES, it cares about games. All you have to do is have a close score in games against a mediocre player and you're not in as much of a threat to get moved up (especially if you do it in the first match and you dont play a ton of matches).

One team did just that, they march someone out at #3 Doubles against a known weaker team, the guy threw a set, and then whipped them up in the next two sets. Then you didnt see the guy again until he was playing #1 Singles in the Regionals.

Again Im not saying it's a bad system for other reasons, but outside of whatever theory you have for it, it's not really all that much better. (see the part again about how wins and losses dont even matter.....)

The problem is you only have to play X number of matches to be eligable for the playoffs anyway. (here it's one match and then you can also take a default, and I think it may be 3 matches at some point in the playoffs)

Maybe they need to just fix that? Rather than bar all self rated players, they should just raise the minimum match requirement. It seems silly that someone who's only played one actual match during the whole entire season has some sort of entitlement to playing in the playoffs. Dont those guys who have been playing all year deserve it more?

spot
03-04-2009, 08:01 AM
Javier- I play in Atlanta in a league where total points matter- this is the system I captain under. And I can say that I don't have the ability to sit my best players 5 out of 7 weeks just to save them for the playoffs- I need those points in the regular season and if I sit my best player it makes all 5 lines worse. If my team is so overwhelmingly good that I can sit my best players and still make the playoffs then there is no rating system at all that can stop that from happening. Thats not sandbagging- thats putting together a really great team.

To me the current system is just an open license to cheat. Say you are at 3.5. You take your best ringer and put him with your worst 3.5 rated player and put them at #3 doubles. If your team takes 3 points and their line doesn't matter- that ringer can lower his score as much as he wants to with no downside at at all. Its FREE to do- no cost. Dump a set- dump the match- it doesn't matter- you can decide your own rating. This is actually a ton smarter than only playing the guy once in the regular season then trotting them out for playoffs because it would give their rating more "weight". As long as there are meaningless matches that affect your ratings the system is completely and totally worthless.

JavierLW
03-04-2009, 09:09 AM
Javier- I play in Atlanta in a league where total points matter- this is the system I captain under. And I can say that I don't have the ability to sit my best players 5 out of 7 weeks just to save them for the playoffs- I need those points in the regular season and if I sit my best player it makes all 5 lines worse. If my team is so overwhelmingly good that I can sit my best players and still make the playoffs then there is no rating system at all that can stop that from happening. Thats not sandbagging- thats putting together a really great team.

To me the current system is just an open license to cheat. Say you are at 3.5. You take your best ringer and put him with your worst 3.5 rated player and put them at #3 doubles. If your team takes 3 points and their line doesn't matter- that ringer can lower his score as much as he wants to with no downside at at all. Its FREE to do- no cost. Dump a set- dump the match- it doesn't matter- you can decide your own rating. This is actually a ton smarter than only playing the guy once in the regular season then trotting them out for playoffs because it would give their rating more "weight". As long as there are meaningless matches that affect your ratings the system is completely and totally worthless.

I agree about the worthless comment. I think that it's worthless period to have matches that dont count.

Maybe you are right, but I just know we've been doing it that way since 2001 and it hasnt (on it's own) changed much in terms of fixing ratings, and in some cases it makes them worse.

We also have plenty of examples of teams who still cheated and because the computer system doesnt care about wins and losses, you dont have to lose to sandbag a match anyway, especially if you have a decent knowledge of your competition.

It's a question of motivation more then anything. The system may work for you and I now, but that doesnt mean we would go out and cheat if the system was the other way. (if we were willing to do that, then why not keep doing it now, all you have to do is throw games, not matches?)

I havent really had a lot of experience playing in a system that works the other way though so maybe there is a big difference.

From the posts here it sounds like rampant stacking goes on in the team win system, and in the individual system it seems to be less of a factor (at least in our area, is it like that in yours?).

Im going to try to be on your side on this one, because like I said, we're voting on whether to "go back" to the team win system here, and Im voting to keep the individual system. It's way better and it makes more sense.

I got into an argument about one person because a common idea they throw out is "how can it be about a tennis team when a team win doesnt count??". My response is "how can it be about a tennis team when every player on the team's match doesnt count as much for something?.....".

It's like your team wins 3 matches, and the rest of the people out there dont matter, nobody watches them play and nobody cares (and in some cases they dont even care, they just give up if they are weasly enough).

There is a funny email I have from one player last year who was on a second place team that didnt know the rules (he had a new clueless captain, didnt read the rulebook, listen to anyone, etc....).

He goes on to complain about unfair it was that he didnt know the rules, because he thought his team had won the season already (because they won 3 matches and had the most team wins) and if he only would of known the rules "he would of tried....".

That's the silliest thing I ever saw and it's the exact reason why every match should count.

10sguy
03-12-2009, 06:20 PM
I still say that USTA could be improved a ton if they would simply get rid of the team win concept and award playoff berths by total lines taken over the season. THis would give teams strong incentive to take all 5 lines during the regular season and not reserve their best players (or even worse have them lose a meaningless match on purpose) during the season. Taking 3 over a team would give you the tiebreak over them if you ended up tied so there would still be strong incentive to take at least 3 points against a team. If you give teams more incentive to take 5 points then so much of the sandbagging has to go away.

I've felt that way a few times in the past too - but then came to realize the incentive would result in the best players/teams on a roster playing even more than they do now . . . to the detriment of lessor players on the roster.

JavierLW
03-12-2009, 07:40 PM
I've felt that way a few times in the past too - but then came to realize the incentive would result in the best players/teams on a roster playing even more than they do now . . . to the detriment of lessor players on the roster.

That's actually more or less true to me. Id say 70% of the teams still have 1 or 2 great positions that can be easily avoided if you only have to win 3 positions.

But in the individual win scenerio you cant afford to lose to them either so you need your best players around every single week except for the rare chance that you know an entire team is pretty weak. (like in our league sometimes they move the nights of the week around so an entire 3.0 team will play 3.5 rather than play on the new night of the week for 3.0)

But that's only if you really are trying to win first, or if you care about what position you take.

Like I said if someone REALLY wants to win first, and even better they want to go on past sectionals, they will have 8 great players out there.

It turned into an arms race of ringers pretty much in my area where 2nd and 3rd place teams will raise their criteria as well to keep up every year because eventually you cant afford to have real 3.5 players on a 3.5 team.

But that being said I think it's still a better system for other reasons. I makes a lot more sense that every single match counts, especially in the case of line defaults.

(I think defaulting is a worse problem then ringers, if someone defaults a line on you, you dont even get to play, at least if you face the ringer you at least gain something from it and you're playing tennis.....)

Topaz
03-13-2009, 01:38 PM
I still say that USTA could be improved a ton if they would simply get rid of the team win concept and award playoff berths by total lines taken over the season. THis would give teams strong incentive to take all 5 lines during the regular season and not reserve their best players (or even worse have them lose a meaningless match on purpose) during the season. Taking 3 over a team would give you the tiebreak over them if you ended up tied so there would still be strong incentive to take at least 3 points against a team. If you give teams more incentive to take 5 points then so much of the sandbagging has to go away.

One of the USTA leagues I participate in also does this (while another does not)...so again, maybe something to take up on a local level? I think it makes sense!

JavierLW
03-13-2009, 06:12 PM
One of the USTA leagues I participate in also does this (while another does not)...so again, maybe something to take up on a local level? I think it makes sense!

You're right, it's a local league decision.

That was my real point about it. MAKING everyone do that does not really help or hurt the entire system, it doesnt make all that much difference.

I think it should remain a local decision. (just like scoring formats, etc...)

spot
03-14-2009, 12:09 PM
If every line matters then the team has more incentive to have the team play their best which gives the ratings system a fair chance at working. As long as there are so many meaningless matches then the rating system is completely broken as far as I am concerned. You can hide your best players all season if you want or even have them lose on purpose if you want to win badly enough.

I simply can't see why you think "you need a deeper team if you want to have the best record" is considered a bad thing to you.

JavierLW
03-14-2009, 05:25 PM
If every line matters then the team has more incentive to have the team play their best which gives the ratings system a fair chance at working. As long as there are so many meaningless matches then the rating system is completely broken as far as I am concerned. You can hide your best players all season if you want or even have them lose on purpose if you want to win badly enough.

I simply can't see why you think "you need a deeper team if you want to have the best record" is considered a bad thing to you.

It's bad from the aspect that the purpose of USTA tennis is to allow players to play tennis, not to exclude people in an attempt to win some sort of pen or waterbottle.

The very thing you're trying to fix gets worse in the indivdual win system in some cases. Especially when you follow the levels down the very bottom and then all the sudden new players never even get a chance to get on a 3.0 men's team because there is no place for them. (which is the case in my area)

The whole reason you believe in this obviously is you assume that some team can get 4 players that JUST WILL NOT LOSE. So I dont see why it's so hard for you to believe that a team can get 8 or more players that JUST WILL NOT LOSE. (because once they do, it throws out your whole argument that somehow this fixes the whole rating system)

It happens all the time where I am from, we've been doing this system for awhile and those captains are not idiots, if enough like minded people have a quest to go to the playoffs they will find each other. (or someone will call all the good players from all the other teams and say "we're looking for some 4.0 players for our 3.5 SUUUPerTEEEM")

And again, I hate to argue with you becuase I do like the system (for other reasons).

But you are wrong. Your ratings are based on games, not wins and losses, so you can still screw around with your rating in the individual wins count system. If someone is simply so good that they werent going to lose the match anyway it gives them a lot of leeway to throw a set or games, especially if they put themselves in a line against a likely weak player. (which helps them even more)

Sure if you can afford to lose outright it makes it easier, but it doesnt mean you need that to doctor your rating.

Another trick is to make sure the first match for a self-rated player is in a situation where they will get a low rating. (like a close match at a weak position) That number factors largely into the other numbers as it's their initial rating which gets averaged in with everything else. I was thinking about this today and there probably is a way for the league to re-work this to eliminate this loophole but Im not sure.

Like I said if you go to 2007 3.5 Nationals the 4th place team in the whole country came from that system and they did a lot of same things that everyone whines about. (hid players during the regular season, got tons of extra overrated players, etc...)

It's a question of motivation. Are you telling me that you dont sandbag just because they didnt make it easy for you? I doubt you would in any case because you obviously are against it.

Not everyone feels that way though and they are going to do it no matter what obstacles you put in front of them. (a quote from the team I just mentioned if you ask them about it is "oh, everyone does it....")

What needs to happen like Ive said is they need to enforce their own rules more heavily for self rating violations. And they probably need to raise the minimum match requirement for the playoffs. That will do a lot more then working with any system.

I dont understand why someone who's only played one single match (and who's name got plugged in for a default) should automatically make them available for the playoffs. It shouldnt.

spot
03-14-2009, 06:12 PM
Javier- if someone wins 5 or 6 matches and still doesn't get bumped up then I don't see how you can complain about their rating anymore. If someone only plays twice and doesn't get bumped then thats a legitimate complaint. If someone Loses a meaningless match and thats the reason their rating stays low enough to not get bumped thats a massive problem with the system- its completely broken.

If a team is so strong that they can win the division while only playing their best players twice while taking 5 points every week matters then I don't particularly see how you can stop a team from getting stacked. The only thing that prevents stacking is the rating system, not having meaningless matches so that bad players can get into meaningless matches a few times during the season. You can get 8 great players on a team regardless of whether you go off of team wins or individual wins. But in the league with team wins I can ENSURE that none of my players ever get bumped if I don't want them to- thats why the system is broken.

If someone is good enough to consistently win 6-4 1-6 6-4 and not be in jeapordy of losing the match then once again I don't see how the computer rating system is going to be able to catch that no matter what you do. But I know thats MUCH tougher to do than to stop someone from winning 6-3 6-3 then losing the next match when it doesn't matter and doesn't cost the team anything. All you can do is give teams incentive for the players to do their best every single match and let the computer take care of the rest.

I think 2 times is legitimate for playoff eligibility- it gets awfully tough if you make it higher than that. My best player works the same time as our matches are scheduled- I am using rainouts to get him playoff eligible and it has nothing to do with ratings. Some people simply aren't available every single week to play.

To me, if you want the best players on the team to play more often the best thing you can do is get rid of the team win rule. For my teams I have real incentive to take all 5 lines. If my best player sits then it makes all 5 lines worse. If you go by individual wins and a team can take 5 points while sitting their best players then I really don't see why you should stop that. Its not against the rules to put together a strong team. Those players are winning every single week- eventually the comptuer will move them up

cak
03-14-2009, 10:35 PM
Counting line wins, instead of team wins, will give the huge clubs a bigger advantage over small clubs. Right now the small clubs occasionally are able to make it through playoffs to sectionals by having enough good players to pull in a team win. The bigger clubs, and public courts, are able to build the super teams. Even if the small clubs have three lines of the best players in the nation, they would never even make it to playoffs to prove it.