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View Full Version : Hiding A Weak Player In Your Line-up


heninfan99
05-26-2009, 04:57 AM
Was wondering what other captains do when they have to play their weakest player(s). Do you pair them with a strong doubles player? Do you sacrifice them on an upper court? Sacrificing will probably get me in the end because if they get begaled those lost games and sets seem to b a deciding factor when tied in the standings.

Sublime
05-26-2009, 05:09 AM
Was wondering what other captains do when they have to play their weakest player(s). Do you pair them with a strong doubles player? Do you sacrifice them on an upper court? Sacrificing will probably get me in the end because if they get begaled those lost games and sets seem to b a deciding factor when tied in the standings.

Sacrificing the upper line seems like the logical choice, but from what I've seen it puts too much pressure on the rest of your team. If you have a five line meet, that means you have to beat the other team 3-1 in the remaining lines. That's a tall order and doesn't leave much margin for error.

In my opinion, you pair them with a very strong singles player at the lowest line. Then if it comes down to that line, you actually go into it with a good amount of confidence, you have a ringer on that line after all.

I've seen a good player paired with a bad player, double bagel a team with two players that we better than the bad player.

tfm1973
05-26-2009, 05:14 AM
this seems like a trick question.

hiding a weak player really only come into play if you are one of the top teams in your league. if your team isn't in the running for playoffs or districts then hiding a weak player doesn't really matter.

but assuming you have a team that has a shot of making it to the post-season -- then you likely have either very strong players OR a few ringers. so i would pair up one of your strong players/ringers with your weak player and stick them in #2 or #3 doubles against the cellar dwellers of your league.

but if you don't have a shot at winning the league -- then you play your weak player just as you would anyone else on your team.

cak
05-26-2009, 06:46 AM
In general, pairing a ringer or very strong player with a weak player gets you one annoyed strong player and one frustrated weak player. It will end up looking like mixed.

I've found finding the weak opponents, and then pairing two of your weak players against their weakest position, will either mean the weak players will step up their game, and play really well, or they will have an epiphany, and pull their availability for the rest of the season.

tfm1973
05-26-2009, 07:16 AM
cak -- lol. so the sink or swim mentality. i like it. +1

i like your point about the strong player/ringer paired with the weak player. i remember when i was a young TFM and fairly fast with fresh legs and i would be paired with the older senior player. these players typically hit good shots in their strike zones but their strike zones was usually a 5 foot radius around their body. frustrating when you're the only one running around like a fool. i prefer company when i'm running around like a fool. ;)

Xisbum
05-26-2009, 07:45 AM
i remember when i was a young TFM and fairly fast with fresh legs and i would be paired with the older senior player. these players typically hit good shots in their strike zones but their strike zones was usually a 5 foot radius around their body. frustrating when you're the only one running around like a fool. i prefer company when i'm running around like a fool. ;)
??? Anyone we know??? :-?

Cindysphinx
05-26-2009, 08:05 AM
In general, pairing a ringer or very strong player with a weak player gets you one annoyed strong player and one frustrated weak player. It will end up looking like mixed.

I've found finding the weak opponents, and then pairing two of your weak players against their weakest position, will either mean the weak players will step up their game, and play really well, or they will have an epiphany, and pull their availability for the rest of the season.

+1.

I find the best approach is exactly what CAK says. Put another weak player with the weak player.

If you put a strong player with a weak one, the strong one winds up frustrated by a game of Xtreme Keep-Away, as the opponent tries to hit to the weak player. The weak player is embarrassed.

Also, the strong player feels responsible to get in the game and prevent the loss, so she will do things she really shouldn't do and try shots she doesn't have and overhit. If she winds up trying to be a ball hog, weak player will be annoyed, especially if strong player is missing. Meanwhile, weak player cowers in the doubles alley, waiting for strong player to ride to the rescue.

Lastly, strong player will be annoyed that her rating or ego will suffer because of the loss with weak player. She may in the long run consider finding a team where she isn't expected to carry weak players.

Putting two weak players also has the advantage of filling your 2-match quota for two players instead of one.

I wouldn't sacrifice the two players on Court One unless you, um . . . don't like them very much and want to encourage them to leave. Around here (and especially with my ladies), players are very sensitive to court assignment and a sacrifice is an insult. This is so even though stacking is perfectly legal!

I have women on my team who beg me never to put them on Court One, even if they are one of the stronger players. Fine, then. I'll play Court One. I like the challenge.

It's a difficult question. My 4.0 captain has only two 4.0 players, and the rest of us are 3.5s. He had been pairing the two 4.0 players on Court One, and they were competitive, with two blow-out wins and one close loss. He has decided to split this pair up to increase the chance of winning two courts instead of one. So far, this has yielded one loss and no wins.

I'll report back on whether this strategy works, as I'm curious. In such a situation, I would keep the winning players together and continue to lose 1-4, but maybe his way is better.

raiden031
05-26-2009, 08:42 AM
I think its only fair to the strong players to pair them with other strong players. If a team really wants to be competitive in the league, then they won't be inviting obvious weak players to join their team. I don't like mismatched doubles pairings, so if you do end up with weak players on your team, put them together so that they are both to blame for losing badly. I'm also against stacking lineups, because it takes away from the attempt to make league play competitive.

heninfan99
05-26-2009, 10:00 AM
That makes sense. Putting the two weakest together seems the way to go.
Sometimes other teams stack too and put their best players on court #2 and sometimes court #3 doubles. So you never know for sure unless you were able to do some research ahead of time about the other team.

Also, it sounds like I would be wasting a good player if I paired him with the weakest as the keep-away tactic will cause them to lose anyway.

I think its only fair to the strong players to pair them with other strong players. If a team really wants to be competitive in the league, then they won't be inviting obvious weak players to join their team. I don't like mismatched doubles pairings, so if you do end up with weak players on your team, put them together so that they are both to blame for losing badly. I'm also against stacking lineups, because it takes away from the attempt to make league play competitive.

tfm1973
05-26-2009, 10:30 AM
??? Anyone we know??? :-?

you lurker xisbum! definitely not you. you have a 15 foot radius of pure brilliance around you. :)

i'm talking bout this one partner who didn't even flinch or shimmy in the right direction when a lob was thrown up. just kinda sat there and looked upward. and this was when he's up at net OR when he's on the baseline. *smacks forehead*

Jim A
05-26-2009, 06:18 PM
everyone plays equally on our team, with everyone sitting 3

we don't hide our weakest player per se, we have quite a bit of movement week to week

however we try to hold him out of our 2 toughest matches

CrocodileRock
05-27-2009, 07:30 AM
An ounce of prevention.... If you're afraid of putting certain players in the lineup, it's probably best not to invite them on your team in the first place. However, it's too late for that this year. What you can do is one of two extremes, in order to cause the least damage to the team. Either play them with someone fairly strong against the weakest team in the league at #3 doubles, or use them against a strong team's unbeatable singles or doubles line, in a match you are going to lose anyway, so you might as well put your strong players in matches where they have a chance.

Nice sig Bum, Tom Petty is the man!