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View Full Version : College Format For League - Opinions?


GeoffB
03-13-2009, 02:44 PM
I watched a few college matches (at Berkeley) recently, and I thought the format was pretty cool. They way it worked was that they did three doubles matches (first to 8, win by 2, tiebreak at 8-8), followed by six individual singles matches (3 sets, standard scoring, tie breaks). It looked like everyone who played doubles followed it up with a singles match.

I thought it was a pretty cool format, because it forces players to be very well rounded. While I am mainly a singles player for my team, I've noticed that doubles really punishes the pusher, especially at the 3.5 level and below. When I was playing combo doubles (8.5 level), it really exposed some of the flaws in my own game. I had to give up on the high, safe backhand return, because it would get poached almost every single time. Say what you will about dubs, but it really does force your hand and demand aggressive play.

Not to let dubs players off the hook - in my dubs matches, I'd warm up against people with choppy strokes and wonder how they were playing at the 4.0/4.5 level (for 8.5 combo), only to find that they essentially never hit a groundstroke or ran to cover the court.

Seems like the dubs followed by singles would go a long way to forcing people out of the shell. What do you think, would this be a good format for USTA league tennis? One downside I can think of is that it could overly downplay dubs (super sets vs full matches, and 3 vs 6 points). But some other format could be used that still requires a combination of dubs and singles play...

hammer
03-13-2009, 03:21 PM
Well, you're talking about a bunch of 20 year olds who practice and train everyday vs. a bunch of 30, 40, or 50 somethings who do this for fun, and asking them to play 2 out of 3 sets of singles plus an 8 game pro set of doubles. I don't think that would work for league play. It's hard enough to get 6 players to play for 2-1/2 hours. Asking them to be here for another hour for an extra set is darned near impossible. I watched Stanford vs. Cal last year and those guys were no joke. And, actually, in NCAA, the doubles results only count as 1 point, so whichever school wins 2-1 or 3-0 in their doubles sets, they get 1 doubles point, so that would downplay doubles even more. Hey, would we have to play out lets as well like they do in NCAA?

GeoffB
03-13-2009, 03:30 PM
Yeah, time would be an issue. It also occurred to me that this might require having 6 courts available at the same time (otherwise, you'd have to stagger doubles and then two rounds of singles). Of course, you could abbreviate it (play two pro sets, one dubs, on singles), but that might not be as satisfying as just getting in one full three set match and not worrying so much about combining them. I'd also drop the "one point for doubles" rule and just add them up.

Another factor is that team tennis is really about doubles in the first place. I've noticed that very little dubs goes on at tournaments, whereas very little singles goes on in league (between standard league, combo, and mixed, there are 18 slots for dubs players and only two for singles).

To me, the advantage comes from the satisfaction I'd get from watching some of the pushers in singles have to take the court in dubs. If everyone had to play doubles as well as singles, the value of a pusher would go way, way down for team.