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Peggy
12-23-2009, 01:59 PM
Has anyone experienced huge discrepancies between the states in the USTA rating system? I thought it was a 'national' rating but have recently learned that it seems much more regional and that sometimes one states 4.0 player is another state's 3.5. What should the USTA do? Should they just drop the national and let people self rate when they move or should they use those of us who move from state to state or play across state lines be 'benchmark' players.

JRstriker12
12-23-2009, 02:23 PM
Has anyone experienced huge discrepancies between the states in the USTA rating system? I thought it was a 'national' rating but have recently learned that it seems much more regional and that sometimes one states 4.0 player is another state's 3.5. What should the USTA do? Should they just drop the national and let people self rate when they move or should they use those of us who move from state to state or play across state lines be 'benchmark' players.

Honestly, alot of "Player X would be a (subtract 1 or .5 from NTRP) in my area..." is just snobbery.

The ratings are national, (is a 4.0 is a 4.0, etc).

Look at the list of the national champs for this year:
http://www.usta.com/USTA/Home/LeaguesAndTournaments/LeagueNationalChampionships.aspx

CA is there a few times, but you also have champs from Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota, Tennessee... etc. - I don't think the last three or four are exactly tennis hot beds... (IMHO). If you drill down to see the top 4 winners for each divsion, you'll see Michigan and Arkansas listed, among some other areas.

If it was true that the rating aren't national, then (according to posters on this board) California and Florida would win every NTRP divsion every single year, but that's not the case.

Allowing people to self rate everytime they moved from one region/state would not be a good idea and would be a dream for captains looking to recruit ringers. (Oh you were a 4.5 and just moved to my area? Self rate at 3.5 please.....). Odds are that if you are a 3.5 here, you're a 3.5 anywhere.

Sure, a state with a larger playing population and more sunny weather may have a bigger pot of 3.5's, and you may fall on the lower end of that pot, but that doesn't mean that you're a 3.0.

sphinx780
12-23-2009, 02:31 PM
^^^ditto^^^

GMay
12-23-2009, 07:43 PM
I recently moved from Washington to Arizona and I do think there is a difference in the level of play here compared to Washington (Seattle specifically). The levels are .5 lower here than what both my husband and I were used to playing. I think that you are going to have variations in levels and a national rating system is always going to hard no matter what sport you are in.

Steady Eddy
12-23-2009, 07:54 PM
I can remember when the NTRP rating system was new, (back in '79). The hope was that it would be a way of stating what kind of player someone is, the same way the golf handicap system works. Some golf courses are much easier than others, so golfers rate courses, so that if you have a low handicap only because you play an easy course, you can properly rate yourself nationally. This seems to be harder to do with tennis, because there's not a score you get that only depends on yourself. I've noticed locally that people give themselves higher ratings when they sign up for doubles (for ego), than they do for tournaments, (for the win). People who list 4.5 as their level for doubles will play in a 3.0 tournament or league. Maybe the system is still evolving, or maybe tennis players will never be able to answer, "So how good a player are you?"

innoVAShaun
12-23-2009, 09:03 PM
2 other threads with similar questions/topics:

1) how rankings differ from area to area (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=290144)

2) Levels vary by Section/State? (http://http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=302031)

Peggy
12-24-2009, 10:13 AM
I recently moved from Washington to Arizona and I do think there is a difference in the level of play here compared to Washington (Seattle specifically). The levels are .5 lower here than what both my husband and I were used to playing. I think that you are going to have variations in levels and a national rating system is always going to hard no matter what sport you are in.
Hi G May - do you mean that Washington state players were tougher at your level than Arizona or that Arizona players are tougher? Do you think it has anything to do with the dry air vs. the more humid climate in Washington? I moved from Colorado to Washington state and the players here are definitely much higher than they were in Colorado at the same NTRP. The size of base of players is larger in Colorado and yet there are more national winning teams in Washington so something is up.

Peggy
12-24-2009, 10:24 AM
2 other threads with similar questions/topics:

1) how rankings differ from area to area (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=290144)

2) Levels vary by Section/State? (http://http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=302031)
Thanks - I looked at that thread and saw that it dates back to 2004. I noticed when I lived in Colorado that people would move in and have incredible talent. Of course for awhile they wouldn't know how to play at altitude so it was easy to beat them until they learned how to control the ball and keep it in the court but always they flew past their initial NTRP level to the next level. I really believe that Colorado has NTRP levels at least .5 higher than other areas of the country and that makes it really difficult when you move with an NTRP level that is too high for you to be a contributor to a USTA team. I think there are enough people playing tournaments and moving that they could fix this. IMHO.

GMay
12-25-2009, 10:54 AM
Hi Peggy,

I found that the players in Seattle were a higher level than the players here in Arizona. I have some theories as to why --- certain coaches known for finding self-raters and having them play at a level lower than they should be, I am not sure how the DQ process works but I think the section has to run some sort of thing during the season and I don't think the PNW section does this. I have seen players here in Arizona DQd and I have seen self-raters players with the much better records not DQd in Seattle (like only losing 5 or 6 games, yes games, all season and not getting DQd or playing both 2.5 and 3.0, winning all matches at both levels and not getting DQd at 2.5 although this person did get bumped to 3.5 with the latest ratings).

USTA is the only form of organized league play available in Seattle so that is what people play. While in Arizona there are other leagues or venues to play so USTA is not so big here.

I guess that I am fortunate that I am making the move the opposite direction but it was a bit hard to find a 3.5 team that would take a 3.0 player. I did not play the early start Fall season but am going to play on a 3.5 and 4.0 team for the Winter/Spring season.

Z-Man
12-25-2009, 04:58 PM
I don't think the levels differ that much, but the depth at each level does. 4.5 means the same thing in AL as it does in FL, but there are a lot more 4.5s in FL.

LeeD
12-25-2009, 05:17 PM
Good stuff, Z-Man....
While Florida, Texas, and California might well have lots of say....4.0's, I'll bet RhodeIsland and Alaska depth charts are much shorter.
And what does it take to get rated "4.0". As a 3.0 player, you enter a 4.5 tournament, or open, win a couple rounds and get rated way higher than you really are. Luck of the draw can determine ratings as much as your actual playing level.

Z-Man
12-25-2009, 06:48 PM
I also think the proliferation of local leagues has added to ratings inflation in some areas. These days even many small towns have local leagues. I live in a town of less than 30,000 people, and we have tons of local league play. None of these teams go to state, so the ratings are free to drift away from reality. People self-rate, and these ratings are never verified through competetive league play. These local leagues are great, and our organization gets grants from the USTA based on participation. But they do distort ratings because people don't advance to state. K-Swiss ratings are similar--there is ratings drift. Then, when these people play a real tournament, it's a wake-up call.

raiden031
12-26-2009, 05:52 AM
I have seen no shred of evidence that the ratings in one area differ from the ratings in any other area. I need some statistical proof, because my own observations and experiences at two National events would show otherwise.

GMay
12-26-2009, 03:11 PM
My proof would be my husband's USTA record:

Seattle 3.0 = 3-6 (Winter 2009)
Arizona 3.5 = 3-3 (Fall 2009)

Obviously a 3.0 from Seattle can be competitive at 3.5 in Arizona. He has never had a regular doubles partner so you cannot say that he has a better or worse partner here in Arizona.

I will let you know how I do in the Winter/Spring league playing up a level or two.

andfor
12-26-2009, 08:57 PM
My proof would be my husband's USTA record:

Seattle 3.0 = 3-6 (Winter 2009)
Arizona 3.5 = 3-3 (Fall 2009)

Obviously a 3.0 from Seattle can be competitive at 3.5 in Arizona. He has never had a regular doubles partner so you cannot say that he has a better or worse partner here in Arizona.

I will let you know how I do in the Winter/Spring league playing up a level or two.

I love these threads. No disrespect but 9 matches in Seattle vs. 6 in AZ is hardly a track record. That said, and I know, the USTA has moved players up and down with less. In your husbands case maybe in Seattle his 6 losses came agains the 6 best 3.0's in the area. In AZ maybe your husband played the worst 3.5's in the area. Maybe if he played more matches in AZ his 3.5 record will start to look more like his record in Seattle, I hope not for him. Maybe your husband has simply improved over the course of the year.

Playing levels by and large nationally are close to the same. Locally here and there discrepancies will occur due to some over and under rating. Sure some cities may have more good (insert NTRP) than the next and the same goes when comparing states and sections. However no one state or section has a monopoly on winning national titles. Again reference some of the posts here showing winners nationally being spread among most every section in the country.

raiden031
12-27-2009, 05:23 AM
My proof would be my husband's USTA record:

Seattle 3.0 = 3-6 (Winter 2009)
Arizona 3.5 = 3-3 (Fall 2009)

Obviously a 3.0 from Seattle can be competitive at 3.5 in Arizona. He has never had a regular doubles partner so you cannot say that he has a better or worse partner here in Arizona.

I will let you know how I do in the Winter/Spring league playing up a level or two.

Winter 2009 as in Jan/Fed. So in like 6-8 months your husband improved from a 3.0 to a 3.5. I went from like mid 3.0 to low 4.0 in about a year.

GMay
12-27-2009, 06:12 AM
No, the USTA season in Seattle is from February to June and the Fall season here in AZ started at the end of September. Some of his wins may be due to improvement but from June to August we were selling our house in Seattle and moving down here to AZ at the end of August so he did not get to play a lot of tennis between those times. Basically no tennis the entire month of August.

The Fall season here is not done yet so I would expect that he would get a few more matches in and a few more wins.

I have also found the levels are different here when I play matches and, in addition, I had a rating done when I moved down here in August and was told that I was a high 3.5 to low 4.0 and I can tell you at that point I was not any better than I was in Seattle (a 3.0 with only one win ever!).

Cindysphinx
12-27-2009, 06:22 AM
I have seen no shred of evidence that the ratings in one area differ from the ratings in any other area. I need some statistical proof, because my own observations and experiences at two National events would show otherwise.

I don't have any experience with players from other regions other than a particular area in Colorado. The 3.5 players I know from there would get destroyed if they played here.

As far as objective information goes, I can cite my experience in a tournament there. I played singles and doubles when I was a 2.5 (and my partner was a 3.0). In singles, I won the tournament while giving up very few games. In doubles, my partner and I bumped off the No. 4 seeds in the first round and lost a squeaker in the consolation round. Meanwhile, I played a tournament in my area that same year and did worse.

I think there are two reasons for the discrepancy. My area is larger. Also, there are far more playing opportunities here because we have league almost year-round whereas this area offers only tournaments during the long winters.

raiden031
12-27-2009, 07:51 AM
No, the USTA season in Seattle is from February to June and the Fall season here in AZ started at the end of September. Some of his wins may be due to improvement but from June to August we were selling our house in Seattle and moving down here to AZ at the end of August so he did not get to play a lot of tennis between those times. Basically no tennis the entire month of August.

The Fall season here is not done yet so I would expect that he would get a few more matches in and a few more wins.

I have also found the levels are different here when I play matches and, in addition, I had a rating done when I moved down here in August and was told that I was a high 3.5 to low 4.0 and I can tell you at that point I was not any better than I was in Seattle (a 3.0 with only one win ever!).

Again your experiences are nothing I haven't seen before in my own area. Improvement isn't always predictable, as you can be stagnant for many months and then suddenly your game jumps up a notch or two.

When I was probably about 3.5ish, I did a short lesson with a teaching pro who estimated me to be in the 4.5 range, just because he was hitting good feeds to me and all we were doing is groundstrokes.

Without some larger samples, I don't buy this discrepency, especially when people say that FL, CA, or TX ratings are different than the rest of the country. I might believe a small, remote area could be a little out of synch though.

Peggy
12-29-2009, 11:54 AM
Hi Peggy,

I found that the players in Seattle were a higher level than the players here in Arizona. I have some theories as to why --- certain coaches known for finding self-raters and having them play at a level lower than they should be, I am not sure how the DQ process works but I think the section has to run some sort of thing during the season and I don't think the PNW section does this. I have seen players here in Arizona DQd and I have seen self-raters players with the much better records not DQd in Seattle (like only losing 5 or 6 games, yes games, all season and not getting DQd or playing both 2.5 and 3.0, winning all matches at both levels and not getting DQd at 2.5 although this person did get bumped to 3.5 with the latest ratings).

USTA is the only form of organized league play available in Seattle so that is what people play. While in Arizona there are other leagues or venues to play so USTA is not so big here.

I guess that I am fortunate that I am making the move the opposite direction but it was a bit hard to find a 3.5 team that would take a 3.0 player. I did not play the early start Fall season but am going to play on a 3.5 and 4.0 team for the Winter/Spring season.
Hi G May - that is exactly what I noticed too. In Denver if someone was playing at a level obviously below their skill they would be turned in to the Colorado Tennis Association and they would be DQ'd but here I have seen people playing at 3.0 winning everything at 3.5 and moving to 4.0 in 2 seasons - it's pathetic and it isn't fair. I've tried to alert the national USTA about it but it doesn't seem to be doing any good. I finally decided to just quit USTA and only play for my own fun. It would be easier to move from an area like this to an area where the ratings are lower as you can play up but can't play down. I'm sure you'll be an asset on 3.5 there if you are 3.0 here. Good luck and thanks for replying.

Peggy
12-29-2009, 11:59 AM
I have seen no shred of evidence that the ratings in one area differ from the ratings in any other area. I need some statistical proof, because my own observations and experiences at two National events would show otherwise.
Hi Raiden - there are differences. One thing that can cause a difference is how the local or section manages things. Here in the PNW a player can play on 2 USTA teams (one at level and one a level up) in Colorado you cannot do that. So, in Colorado if you want to have a competitive season and you are close to moving up you choose only to play at the higher level. If you have competitive matches at that level you will bump up. Here in the PNW you can have competitive matches at both levels and the ones played 'at level' will hold you down. That is only one huge difference. The other is what G May said that the region here seems loath to DQ a player who is obviously playing above level.

Peggy
12-29-2009, 12:02 PM
I love these threads. No disrespect but 9 matches in Seattle vs. 6 in AZ is hardly a track record. That said, and I know, the USTA has moved players up and down with less. In your husbands case maybe in Seattle his 6 losses came agains the 6 best 3.0's in the area. In AZ maybe your husband played the worst 3.5's in the area. Maybe if he played more matches in AZ his 3.5 record will start to look more like his record in Seattle, I hope not for him. Maybe your husband has simply improved over the course of the year.

Playing levels by and large nationally are close to the same. Locally here and there discrepancies will occur due to some over and under rating. Sure some cities may have more good (insert NTRP) than the next and the same goes when comparing states and sections. However no one state or section has a monopoly on winning national titles. Again reference some of the posts here showing winners nationally being spread among most every section in the country.
Hi AndFor - no section has a monopoly on winning but there are a lot of national titles for a city with a pretty small # of tennis players here. I know in southern California there are more tennis players but many of them don't play USTA because of the inconvenience of traveling there.

Ennismt
01-02-2010, 01:16 PM
I think the state to state variation is clouded by the variation within state. I am an upper 4.0 and have different playing partners and groups. I am dominant in one group and competitive in another (i.e., the outcome is ~50-50 in win/loss). Furthermore, I play with some 4.5s, but only get a win once in awhile against lower 4.5s and never against middle to upper 4.5s. The point is that there is a fairly wide variation within rating and some overlap (e.g., I could probably be a crummy 4.5 if I wanted the rating). Trying to assess state to state variation is likely very difficult based on individual experiences, and even more so when those experiences are limited. I trust the USTA ratings, but only after their latest adjustment.

andfor
01-02-2010, 08:37 PM
Hi AndFor - no section has a monopoly on winning but there are a lot of national titles for a city with a pretty small # of tennis players here. I know in southern California there are more tennis players but many of them don't play USTA because of the inconvenience of traveling there.

The point is that by and large a 4.5 (instert NTRP rating of your choice) in one part of the country is the same in another part of the country.

Not sure what your point is about California. But if I understand you and by your example Atlanta (Southern Section) would win most all levels of the USTA Team Tennis National Championships every year. I base that on sheer number of good tennis players who play ALTA (worlds largest tennis league) but many of them do not play USTA.

RickGoulet
01-04-2010, 08:03 PM
The ratings are national, (is a 4.0 is a 4.0, etc).

Look at the list of the national champs for this year:


I disagree. The ratings are very local with an attempt to match them up nationally by using benchmark players. How local? It will vary from league to league in the same area. It may or may not vary as much as .5 of a rating point, but it does vary due to a lot variables that impact the ratings for a league. Saying that a 4.0 from Fl is the same as 4.0 from Va is like expecting a women 4.0 to be the same as a guy 4.0. Between Fl and Va the weather is so different that given two new players starting at the same time you would expect that the new player in FL would be able to play more often against other players who also play more than their Va counter parts and that players in Fl would improve faster due to all the extra playing. Or here's another variable: teams from large cities should be stronger than teams from small towns. The more players you have to pick from in an area the easier it is to create a team of only very strong players. You could also pick two cities with the same population size and find that one has a really strong tennis program and the other a poorly run one; guess which city has the better players.

Looking at the list of national champs doesn't show the whole story.

He's a piece of the rest of the story:
For 2009
Mid-Atlantic is No. 1 at Nationals
Section Finishes with 14 Top 4 Finishes, Most of Any Section

Logically you would think that this area of the country with all its cold weather would not be able to compete with the tennis power house states. Yet we did better than Florida and California so how is that possible, it just doesn't make sense???

My understanding is that a few years ago the Mid-Atlantic Section decided that it was tired of doing poorly at the National Championships so they force a major ratings downgrade for our area. I remembered when it happened 3-4 years ago, a lot of people got moved down. Well it seems to have worked, we now do better at the National level.

The USTA saw too many players looking much better then their playing level and this year forced a correction back upwards. At first I thought it was just our area, but they did it equally across the country.

boris becker 1
01-04-2010, 08:09 PM
a 4.5 in florida is a 6.0 in massachusetts or new york(ie somewhere where the level of tennis isnt very good and people play once a week in the winter)

raiden031
01-05-2010, 04:43 AM
I disagree. The ratings are very local with an attempt to match them up nationally by using benchmark players. How local? It will vary from league to league in the same area. It may or may not vary as much as .5 of a rating point, but it does vary due to a lot variables that impact the ratings for a league. Saying that a 4.0 from Fl is the same as 4.0 from Va is like expecting a women 4.0 to be the same as a guy 4.0. Between Fl and Va the weather is so different that given two new players starting at the same time you would expect that the new player in FL would be able to play more often against other players who also play more than their Va counter parts and that players in Fl would improve faster due to all the extra playing. Or here's another variable: teams from large cities should be stronger than teams from small towns. The more players you have to pick from in an area the easier it is to create a team of only very strong players. You could also pick two cities with the same population size and find that one has a really strong tennis program and the other a poorly run one; guess which city has the better players.

Looking at the list of national champs doesn't show the whole story.

He's a piece of the rest of the story:
For 2009
Mid-Atlantic is No. 1 at Nationals
Section Finishes with 14 Top 4 Finishes, Most of Any Section

Logically you would think that this area of the country with all its cold weather would not be able to compete with the tennis power house states. Yet we did better than Florida and California so how is that possible, it just doesn't make sense???

My understanding is that a few years ago the Mid-Atlantic Section decided that it was tired of doing poorly at the National Championships so they force a major ratings downgrade for our area. I remembered when it happened 3-4 years ago, a lot of people got moved down. Well it seems to have worked, we now do better at the National level.

The USTA saw too many players looking much better then their playing level and this year forced a correction back upwards. At first I thought it was just our area, but they did it equally across the country.

Where's your proof that mid-atlantic did a rating downgrade? There are lots of mid-atlantic players on this board, and never have I heard anyone mention that. I've been playing in USTA here since 2007.

Also your thing about weather is misleading. Most of the serious players in the DC metro area playing indoors year round. Definitely all of the players from winning teams in my county do, and we've had several teams advance far into Nationals.

I think the real reason mid-atlantic is strong is because we have a very competitive community of players here, and that might have something to do with the type of professions around here. Also we are very transient in that there are lots of players moving around the area, and of course taking advantage of the self-rating stuff.

RickGoulet
01-05-2010, 05:41 AM
Where's your proof that mid-atlantic did a rating downgrade? There are lots of mid-atlantic players on this board, and never have I heard anyone mention that. I've been playing in USTA here since 2007.

Also your thing about weather is misleading. Most of the serious players in the DC metro area playing indoors year round. .

Saying it was "my understanding" was my attempt at saying it's not a fact, but just what I believe happened. That's based on something that I remember reading or hearing in a converstation. It was so long ago I can't remember the details. I thought I could provide the facts by looking at the ratings on TennisLink for the years in question and comparing rating increases between years and parts of the country. I tried, but I can't do it because TennisLink has messed up their ratings database. When you look back for historical ratings it shows current ratings for players still playing and not their rating at that time.

Maybe the rating change happened before you started playing, but someone who was active at the time would remember a year when a lot of local players got moved down all at the same time. MOST didn't like it!

I'm right about the weather preventing players from playing as much as they want to because I'm a good example of that. I have time (work part-time) and I have two courts nearby that are never used, and I own a ball machine that I like to use as much as I can. When the weather is reasonable I'm out on the court practicing more days of the week than not. Currently I haven't played outdoors for at least a month and I get to play doubles once or twice a week. I'm getting NO practice time because tennis classes are full in the local bubble and indoor time is too expensive to be used for practice. I can't wait for the wind to die down and for the temps to move up 10 degrees.

I'm sure that we do get a lot of good players moving here from other parts of the country and that movement helps us because of the types of people this area attracts. As I pointed out already, if you are working on your game and trying to improve, you will improve faster in an area where it's warmer and you get to play a lot more. I've been wanting to go out and work on my serve for about a month now - has that impacted my game - I think so.

raiden031
01-05-2010, 06:02 AM
Saying it was "my understanding" was my attempt at saying it's not a fact, but just what I believe happened. That's based on something that I remember reading or hearing in a converstation. It was so long ago I can't remember the details. I thought I could provide the facts by looking at the ratings on TennisLink for the years in question and comparing rating increases between years and parts of the country. I tried, but I can't do it because TennisLink has messed up their ratings database. When you look back for historical ratings it shows current ratings for players still playing and not their rating at that time.

Maybe the rating change happened before you started playing, but someone who was active at the time would remember a year when a lot of local players got moved down all at the same time. MOST didn't like it!


You said 3-4 years ago, which is not that long ago. I know lots of players who were playing usta many years ago, and nobody mentioned anything about this.

In addition to what I've said, I think another reason mid-atlantic is good because USTA is the main source of competitive tennis here, so communities put more emphasis on putting together strong teams. Maybe in FL, there are so many other programs that people don't need to rely on USTA so much...

RickGoulet
01-05-2010, 08:00 AM
You said 3-4 years ago, which is not that long ago.

My sense of time isn't great so it could have been 5-8 years ago. Someone should remember it. It was a big deal, just like the current big change is a big deal because it can really mess up team rosters with such major changes.

JRstriker12
01-05-2010, 09:18 AM
I disagree. The ratings are very local with an attempt to match them up nationally by using benchmark players. How local? It will vary from league to league in the same area. It may or may not vary as much as .5 of a rating point, but it does vary due to a lot variables that impact the ratings for a league. Saying that a 4.0 from Fl is the same as 4.0 from Va is like expecting a women 4.0 to be the same as a guy 4.0. Between Fl and Va the weather is so different that given two new players starting at the same time you would expect that the new player in FL would be able to play more often against other players who also play more than their Va counter parts and that players in Fl would improve faster due to all the extra playing. Or here's another variable: teams from large cities should be stronger than teams from small towns. The more players you have to pick from in an area the easier it is to create a team of only very strong players. You could also pick two cities with the same population size and find that one has a really strong tennis program and the other a poorly run one; guess which city has the better players.

Looking at the list of national champs doesn't show the whole story.

He's a piece of the rest of the story:
For 2009
Mid-Atlantic is No. 1 at Nationals
Section Finishes with 14 Top 4 Finishes, Most of Any Section

Logically you would think that this area of the country with all its cold weather would not be able to compete with the tennis power house states. Yet we did better than Florida and California so how is that possible, it just doesn't make sense???

My understanding is that a few years ago the Mid-Atlantic Section decided that it was tired of doing poorly at the National Championships so they force a major ratings downgrade for our area. I remembered when it happened 3-4 years ago, a lot of people got moved down. Well it seems to have worked, we now do better at the National level.

The USTA saw too many players looking much better then their playing level and this year forced a correction back upwards. At first I thought it was just our area, but they did it equally across the country.

There are slight variations within any system, however, as a whole, the levels are fairly close, or how else would some of those smaller areas even have a chance at winning at Nationals. I mean Minnesota???? Do they play on ice skates? Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Illinois, Tennessee - not what we consider tennis hot beds.

Also, since the NTRP system is based on .5 steps, any variation less than .5 is considered on level. A person who's actual computed NTRP is 4.1 and anotherís who is at 4.4 are both considered 4.0's.

Yes, the warm weather players may have a chance to practice more, but they have jobs, families, chores, etc just like we do, the difference may be very small. Also, a lot of people in this area play year round indoors several times a week. Between clinics, club leagues and USTA, I play about 3 to 4 times a week during the winter, which is pretty close to the amount I play in the warmer months.

I do think it's possible to find areas with a larger number of stronger players in cities with larger and wealthlier populations, but still, I don't think the variation is more than one whole level as some have claimed on these boards (such as a Florida 4.0 = 5.0 elsewhere).

I don't know about previous adjustments in Mid-Atlanticís NTRP, but seeing as how USTA tracks players ratings nationally, it would be hard to have a whole-sale drop of player's ratings in a single region and not have other regions notice and do the same and/or complain.

Also the bump in ratings for a lot of players was nation wide and not just concentrated in a few off-kilter regions. I think this suggests that ratings on are comparable nation wide.

MNPlayer
01-05-2010, 10:02 AM
There are slight variations within any system, however, as a whole, the levels are fairly close, or how else would some of those smaller areas even have a chance at winning at Nationals. I mean Minnesota???? Do they play on ice skates? Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Illinois, Tennessee - not what we consider tennis hot beds.

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I live in Minnesota (obviously) and play 3-4 days a week in the winter. I used to play almost every day before my daughter was born. We have plenty of indoor facilities if you are willing to pay the $$ for court time.

At the top end of the NTRP (5.0 and above) we have a fairly limited supply of players. But we have a decent number of 3.5 and 4.0 teams. I played a 4.0 singles tournament recently with over 20 people in the draw. I think the trick to winning at nationals (not that I have ever been there) would be to have a team composed mostly or all of "high" 4.0 players. This is unlikely unless all the good players happen to be buddies.

For this reason, it would certainly be statistically possible (and I would argue, likely) for the average 4.0 player in MN to equal the average 4.0 in SoCal, but for the SoCal team to win nationals every year. Assuming SoCal has more 4.0 teams, it is more likely they will happen to send a team to nationals that is uniformly strong at that level. Of course they will also have more weak teams, but you don't see those at nationals.

This reminds me of the argument about the relative math skills of men and women. From what I have read - it turns out that most math geniuses are men. But the average man is not better at math than the average women. Men just have a wider distribution of math skills - there are more male idiots and geniuses, and fewer near the average.

JRstriker12
01-05-2010, 10:27 AM
I live in Minnesota (obviously) and play 3-4 days a week in the winter. I used to play almost every day before my daughter was born. We have plenty of indoor facilities if you are willing to pay the $$ for court time.

At the top end of the NTRP (5.0 and above) we have a fairly limited supply of players. But we have a decent number of 3.5 and 4.0 teams. I played a 4.0 singles tournament recently with over 20 people in the draw. I think the trick to winning at nationals (not that I have ever been there) would be to have a team composed mostly or all of "high" 4.0 players. This is unlikely unless all the good players happen to be buddies.

For this reason, it would certainly be statistically possible (and I would argue, likely) for the average 4.0 player in MN to equal the average 4.0 in SoCal, but for the SoCal team to win nationals every year. Assuming SoCal has more 4.0 teams, it is more likely they will happen to send a team to nationals that is uniformly strong at that level. Of course they will also have more weak teams, but you don't see those at nationals.

This reminds me of the argument about the relative math skills of men and women. From what I have read - it turns out that most math geniuses are men. But the average man is not better at math than the average women. Men just have a wider distribution of math skills - there are more male idiots and geniuses, and fewer near the average.

I agree, this is sort of what I was trying to get at.

BTW- Some team captains make a career out of cherry picking the top players at the level, so it really doesn't matter if the players know each other, it's the captains ability to scoop up these players. With all player results posted online, it's fairly easy to do, and IMHO - it's very likely that this is the way some teams get to nationals. IIRC - Tennis magazine did a article on this one USTA captain who did all sorts of crazy scouting and recruiting to make sure he has a winning team each year.

BTW2- I was just joking about the skates. My point was that cold weather doesn't stop players from being on level with everyone else. Even here in DC/MD/VA, a lot of USTA leagues are indoors only.

MNPlayer
01-05-2010, 01:23 PM
I agree, this is sort of what I was trying to get at.

BTW- Some team captains make a career out of cherry picking the top players at the level, so it really doesn't matter if the players know each other, it's the captains ability to scoop up these players. With all player results posted online, it's fairly easy to do, and IMHO - it's very likely that this is the way some teams get to nationals. IIRC - Tennis magazine did a article on this one USTA captain who did all sorts of crazy scouting and recruiting to make sure he has a winning team each year.

BTW2- I was just joking about the skates. My point was that cold weather doesn't stop players from being on level with everyone else. Even here in DC/MD/VA, a lot of USTA leagues are indoors only.

Yup, we have one or two guys like that here. One reason why I'm excited about the big shift in NTRP - it will throw a wrench into their plans for a season or two.

RickGoulet
01-05-2010, 03:06 PM
My point was that cold weather doesn't stop players from being on level with everyone else.

That's true for most Adult players who like you are limited in how much tennis they can play. But for many Senior, kids and women at home during the day they might want to play more and warmer weather would allow that. If I were living in FL I believe I would play about 30% more than I do now and that should impact my game and playing level.

I asked someone who should know about the rating adjustment that I thought had happened and she didn't know about it. It might not have happened. Still how do you tell if one section has its ratings out of alinement with the rest of the country? If the top players of one section can't compete with players who should be at the same rating level across the rest of the country then there is a major rating problem and I really don't think that normal methods (benchmark players) would fix the problem. A special sectional adjustment would be needed, and that adjustment if done could work too well. Since the recent ratings bump seemed to be equally done nationwide it does suggest that the USTA doesn't see a problem that needs to be fixed yet.

For Northern Virginia 2009 Leagues:
3257 players
925 moved up (28.4 %)
39 moved down

From TennisLink
National figures:
players that moved up 30.1%

A small difference that just makes our area a little stronger nationally.

damazing
01-05-2010, 04:28 PM
I just tried to come at this from a different angle but the USTA interface made it not the easiest thing to do.

I started to look up the winning national male teams for 2009 to see first how many "self rated" players were on their squads and secondly to see how many of them got the double bump. My expectation was that the winning teams would have a large number of self rated players and at the lower levels (3.0, 3.5) would have more players getting double bumped because they were able to hide their talent during league play (sandbag).

I was not able to fully identify the self rated players but was able to determine that both the 3.0 and 3.5 winning teams had a fair number of self rated players.

Regarding their bump ups -
3 of the winning 3.0 players got double bumped to 4.0
6 of the winning 3.5 players got double bumped to 4.5
None of the 4.0 winning team got double bumped
1 of the winning 4.5 team got double bumped

This speaks more to the perceived sandbagging issue rather than if a 3.5 in California is better than a 3.5 in North Dakota.