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View Full Version : What do you think of usta flex leagues?


raiden031
07-14-2009, 09:25 AM
I just started playing in a flex league this year. I don't like the user interface because its too limited. I can't even browse flex leagues outside of my own flight.

Anyways I've played one match in my 4.0 flex league. I beat the guy pretty easily. I would rate him as a low-mid 3.5 at best...very different than what I've experienced in real usta league play where I went 1-8 and spent most of the time getting crushed. Also I noticed one of the players in my flight is a 4.5 rated player. Whats even more odd is that he played usta adult league the last couple years, yet he is self-rated?!?

Anyone have any thoughts or experiences involving flex leagues?

Mr. Blond
07-14-2009, 09:34 AM
My wife plays flex leagues.......and finds that people vary greatly between matches.

there is not much consistency between ratings either. Seems to me alot of people mis-rate themselves for some reason.

raiden031
07-14-2009, 09:36 AM
My wife plays flex leagues.......and finds that people vary greatly between matches.

there is not much consistency between ratings either. Seems to me alot of people mis-rate themselves for some reason.

Yeah I noticed there is no requirement to be a usta member, which I don't get. So you probably have more people who are not too familiar with the NTRP system, plus there is no downward rating pressure that you get with team competition.

DBH
07-14-2009, 09:46 AM
I find flex leagues a lot of fun. It's true that they are quite a bit less formal than the team leagues, which could be an advantage or disadvantage. People may tend to rate themselves differently than they would do with team leagues, because there's no captain determining whether they get to play matches.

The USTA flex leagues are only one of several flex leagues around the country. In certain places (mostly the Southeast and Southwest) there are also independent flex leagues (Kswiss/ultimate, peach tennis, LeagueTennis), many of which predate the USTA flex leagues.

goober
07-14-2009, 09:49 AM
Yeah I noticed there is no requirement to be a usta member, which I don't get. So you probably have more people who are not too familiar with the NTRP system, plus there is no downward rating pressure that you get with team competition.

In my view the flex leagues were created in a direct response to the success that the Kswiss and peach leagues were having around the country. Since the other leagues had no membership requirement, it would put the USTA flex leagues at at distinct disadvantage if they required it. People can self rate and the non USTA members generally over rate themselves or the USTA members play up a level or even two which they don't usually do in league play. If you find 4.0 too easy just move up to 4.5 next season. But I wouldn't base anything on just one match.

Grover Sparkman
07-14-2009, 09:55 AM
I'm playing in one also, and have generally liked it. I like that I can schedule the matches at my convenience, and I've never had to drive very far to play (actually had to drive farther for structured USTA leagues).

GeoffB
07-14-2009, 10:07 AM
I really like the flex leagues. That said, they are very casual, and you should expect a much lower level of competition on average for a particular NTRP level. I played 4.0 flex league, and I'd say as many as half of the players are 3.5's playing up. Furthermore, many of the 4.0 players are more doubles players who are getting in some singles for fun. That's not to say there's no good competition - there is - but the consistency is much lower.

Put it this way - my first season of playing competitive tennis (getting back into competing after a 16 year haitus), I went 6-3, 3-2, and 7-1 in 4.0 flex leagues. That same year, I went 1-5 in USTA adult league as a 4.0 singles player and got bumped down to 3.5.

So yeah, there's a pretty big difference in competition, but the leagues are fun, relaxed, and good practice.

conditionZero
07-14-2009, 10:36 AM
I think a lot of players use the flex league to play up to test themselves and practice against stiffer competition, but it doesn't really work if everyone's playing up. It's a good way to get in more matches and practice without having to worry about team competition and scheduling though.

OrangePower
07-14-2009, 10:45 AM
I've not tried it myself. But one of my teammates played it. We are mens 4.0 in Norcal, and he played in the 4.5 flex league. During USTA adult league, he plays only dubs, so he saw this as a way to get some singles practice. Anyway, he won maybe three-quarters of his matches, which was unexpected given that he was playing up a level and that he is not a singles guy. So I would have to conclude that you'd have to play up at least .5 in flex league to get competitive games.

OrangePower
07-14-2009, 10:50 AM
One other thing; I think the benefit of flex league is mainly if you don't have enough tennis contacts to arrange your own friendly matches. But if you can arrange competitive matches for yourself, then I don't really see much added value to flex. Now, if it impacted NTRP, that would be different...