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Cindysphinx
01-14-2010, 06:05 AM
I am starting to have some empathy for the folks who were bumped in the ratings adjustment. Especially the seniors.

I had a 7.0 mixed match, and I arrived early. I was talking with a lady on the other team. Their team was one of the top 6.0 teams, but most everyone was bumped so they felt they had to start playing 7.0. She had been bumped from 3.0 to 3.5, and this was her first outing with her shiny new rating. She looked like she was well over 50.

She looked pretty bummed. She said she really didn't think she was a 3.5 and was surprised at the bump. As it turned out, she was not my opponent, but she was on the next court so I could see how things were going for her.

Things were not going well. She simply didn't have the stroke mechanics or mobility to have any prayer of returning the serve of a 3.5 guy or staying in a rally with him. On my own court, we broke the opposing guy every time he served because he was a senior and simply could not move to the ball, handle my partner's pace or hit the ball hard enough to cause us any real problems. His partner was younger and a new 3.5, and she seemed to handle 7.0 play much better than him.

I wonder, was there some better way to do this ratings adjustment? I think the adjustment seems to have affected the senior players quite a lot more than I thought. I know Xisbum mentioned the effect the rating bump to 4.0 would have on him. At the time, I didn't fully understand what he was getting at, but now I am thinking the algorithm should perhaps make some adjustments for age. Or appeals should be allowed for seniors. Or *something.*

raiden031
01-14-2010, 06:12 AM
I think everyone needs to just tough it out, unless they have a legitimate medical reason why they can't handle the new level of play. It doesn't necessarily matter if one is a senior or not. I got slaughtered my first year at a new level that I'd never played (or even practiced) against, and it wasn't at all about deteriorating fitness or mobility problems. Its just about getting used to players who hit harder and/or are more consistent and adapting to it. This will take time for them but they'll get there.

3.5 and even 4.0 are pretty watered down this year compared to what they previously were. It was harsh for me last year because there weren't a whole lot of people on the same boat, but this year all the new bump-ups will face off against alot of other new bump-ups who are at an equal disadvantage as them.

Perry the Platypus
01-14-2010, 06:27 AM
As I've mentioned before, I tend to side with Cindy on this. For the senior folks who liked to play both regular adults and seniors, this bump will be rough. I realize there are exceptions , but generally speaking 60 year olds don't make exponential improvement to their games. I know seniors who got bumped to 4.5 that are just flat out going to struggle. At this point in their life they are closer to going down the NTRP ladder than up it, yet they got bumped.....

Like I said originally, this bump will relegate a lot of those guys to playing seniors only...... Personally, I think that is too bad, because at 4.0 adults their court savvy could win them matches (and in turn teach some whippersnappers a few things about the intricacies of the game), but I don't see that holding true at 4.5.

10ispro
01-14-2010, 06:30 AM
The major problem is you have alot of people which actually could be a majority nationally who are 50yrs old or older that may in USTA League. Their senior teams advance to post season play which counts more toward their ratings, but they have average results in the under 50 or regular league.

This actually is a problem in many areas. In my area There are several great 4.0 guys who are phenomenal doubles players who are all over 50. They had very mixed results in regular but their senior teams advanced to play offs or sectionals. So now the new 4.5s have to play against guys who can hit bigger balls, run more balls down and do just about everything else as well or better and have fresher legs at the end of the day.
The other problem is alot of these guys simply will not find a team to play on unless they start their own team, which is unlikely.

A possible solution is to have a senior and regular rating.and keep them separate. But that equals more work for the USTA and could cause some initial confusion amongst players.

raiden031
01-14-2010, 06:32 AM
The major problem is you have alot of people which actually could be a majority nationally who are 50yrs old or older that may in USTA League. Their senior teams advance to post season play which counts more toward their ratings, but they have average results in the under 50 or regular league.

This actually is a problem in many areas. In my area There are several great 4.0 guys who are phenomenal doubles players who are all over 50. They had very mixed results in regular but their senior teams advanced to play offs or sectionals. So now the new 4.5s have to play against guys who can hit bigger balls, run more balls down and do just about everything else as well or better and have fresher legs at the end of the day.
The other problem is alot of these guys simply will not find a team to play on unless they start their own team, which is unlikely.

A possible solution is to have a senior and regular rating.and keep them separate. But that equals more work for the USTA and could cause some initial confusion amongst players.

The seniors moved up to 4.5 could just start a 4.5 seniors league instead of playing in 4.5 adults. At least they have the option at all of playing in two different leagues.

Kostas
01-14-2010, 06:56 AM
In my area (North MS/Memphis) probably more than 75% of the 3.0 and 3.5 men got bumped.

We had numerous teams throughout the year that went to and played competitively at state though.

Down here though...all but a very small number of the new 3.5 men's universe is made up of the old 3.0 group. And the previously rated 3.5s that didn't get bumped to 4.0 were all on the lower end. The new 3.5 landscape is MUCH more balanced now than either 3.0 or 3.5 was last year which is good in the grand scheme of things.

The new 4.0 field is basically exactly the same as the old 3.5 field was so not much improvement there.

raiden031
01-14-2010, 07:02 AM
The new 4.0 field is basically exactly the same as the old 3.5 field was so not much improvement there.

I feel like alot of people got moved into 4.0, but not alot moved out. I know several people in my area successfully appealed from 4.5 back down to 4.0. 4.0 is going to see alot of non-competitive matches this year in my league.

athiker
01-14-2010, 07:06 AM
They made a huge wholesale change this year so there had to be some caught in the flow that shouldn't have been. Its only one year though, maybe. We'll have to wait and see if it is fine tuned next year and those that really struggle get moved back down a notch next year.

In our area most of the top teams were hit hard. But when you see the same teams finish at the top year after year, in a equal level league, are they really playing at the correct level? If the player in the OP was formerly on a consistant top 3.0 team, then yes, they were one of the targets to spread the opportunity to some other teams to see some success.

I'm going to reserve complete judgement till we see what tweaks are made next year. Change is never easy or perfect. I would hope an upper tier 3.5 player is not going to T off on a weak senior female (or male) on an overhead smash at the net and no one gets injured. I assume the match score would make that unecessary. Short of that, not such a big deal to me that a former top team might have a losing season.

athiker
01-14-2010, 07:12 AM
I feel like alot of people got moved into 4.0, but not alot moved out. I know several people in my area successfully appealed from 4.5 back down to 4.0. 4.0 is going to see alot of non-competitive matches this year in my league.

That may be true...I know an excellent 4.0 who was not bumped up. Supposedly he was a benchmark player which makes even less sense. He didn't play on our neighborhood team but was more of a hired gun on a better nearby team! He comes down and hits with us sometimes though and can smoke any of our 3.5 guys that were bumped up 4.0.

Even among some of our equally skilled 3.5 players some were bumped up and some were not. I just think the nature of the game, being largely doubles, makes it hard to accurately distinguish who was responsible for a win and who gets moved up. Over the course of several years under the new changes I would expect things to sort out better. There will always be sorting problems though.

HitItHarder
01-14-2010, 07:13 AM
I think things will work themselves out in a year or two. The thing is that a NTRP rating isn't based on fitness, age, stroke mechanics, pace, or the like. It is based solely on one thing -- Match performance against other computer rated players.

The reason they got bumped was because they were playing competitve matches (and likely winning) against good competition. If they are less successful at the next level, their opponents will be moved up or they will be moved back down based on match performance.

Does it mean that you have to go through a year or two of playing less competitive matches. Yes. But isn't that what most of us face when we move up a level.

kylebarendrick
01-14-2010, 08:12 AM
I hope this all leads to ratings being more fluid from year to year. Many people seem to have an idea that they have a permanent rating and that's where they belong. Based on how few people were moved either up (or especially down) in the past, they weren't far from wrong.

If people are moved more freely, then they'll get used to being at the top sometimes and at the bottom sometimes and will hopefully complain about it less.

Topaz
01-14-2010, 08:21 AM
^^^I agree, I also hope that is where it is headed...though it could wreck havoc on teams that try to stay together.

SlapShot
01-14-2010, 08:52 AM
Sadly, the rating bump happened midway through our fall/winter season, so at #1 dubs, I'm still playing guys who are now 4.5 players, but are able to play on 4.0 teams. I don't have an issue with it (as I'm currently playing 4.5 as well as 4.0 with decent success), but the leveling out hasn't quite happened yet up here in Northern.

We'll see what it does full-spectrum, but I did notice a few odd bumps of older fellas who may have some trouble at 4.5.

That being said, as with any change that has this level of effect, there are going to be growing pains. In a year, a lot of the people who were unjustly bumped may end up bumped back down, and the people who were bumped for good reason will likely be competitive at the next level (as was expected from the start). It sucks for the people caught in the fray right now, but I think that we need to let the computers do their job before we get too worried about the end effect.

tom10s
01-14-2010, 09:53 AM
I have noticed that a lot of seniors in my area avoid adult league like the plague, lay low april-june, then emerge for senior league in july. Typically, these guys are no longer competitive at their official usta rating, and avoid adult league in order to remain competitive at artificially high usta rating. If they played adult league they would risk getting bumped down appropriately.

Ripper014
01-14-2010, 10:23 AM
At the end of the day everything should balance out... like anything that is new there will be a few growing pains, which is due to how poorly the talent was being distributed. There are always people that are going to manipulate the system so they can win. But the true measure of a good player is his/her willingness to learn and become better... and the only way to do that is play better competition. A winning record does not always mean you are a good player... it just says you play people that are not as good as you.

If you have moved up... embrace the challenge... you have earn it. Don't think of it as a negative... if you are unable to compete you will be leveled down soon enough... how often do you get the chance to compete with someone better than you. If someone was asking me... I would say savour every minute you get to play with these better players, and take as much as you can from it.

I think if we all look back in our past, our most enjoyable moments are those were we did not expect to win. Were we overcame what we considered overwhelming odds... There is not joy in winning below your level of play, those that enjoy it are only stroking their egos. Pick up the gaunlet... put a smile on your face... and take on the dragon... if you don't deserve to be there you will be moving down soon enough.

LafayetteHitter
01-14-2010, 10:36 AM
I feel like alot of people got moved into 4.0, but not alot moved out. I know several people in my area successfully appealed from 4.5 back down to 4.0. 4.0 is going to see alot of non-competitive matches this year in my league.

I understand both sides of this but honestly the way I look at it is this. There were many 3.5 guys that like being able to kick butt in 3.5 and were scared to move to 4.0 because they don't like losing. The other thing is with most people mentioning how about 70-75 percent of the 3.0 and 3.5 players in areas moved up doesn't that mean the same ones that are unhappy will be seeing the same people from the year before anyways? I for one think these people that have been sitting in 3.0 for 8 years are the reason why many newcomers get discouraged in league. As far as the seniors, if they end up losing all their matches they will get moved back down.

raiden031
01-14-2010, 10:39 AM
I understand both sides of this but honestly the way I look at it is this. There were many 3.5 guys that like being able to kick butt in 3.5 and were scared to move to 4.0 because they don't like losing. The other thing is with most people mentioning how about 70-75 percent of the 3.0 and 3.5 players in areas moved up doesn't that mean the same ones that are unhappy will be seeing the same people from the year before anyways? I for one think these people that have been sitting in 3.0 for 8 years are the reason why many newcomers get discouraged in league. As far as the seniors, if they end up losing all their matches they will get moved back down.

I don't have a problem at all with 3.5s moving to 4.0, I just feel like not enough strong 4.0s moved out.

Annika
01-14-2010, 11:41 AM
I'm way out out of the loop of ratings and USTA. Someone please explain what all the hoopla is about this adjustment this year. Haven't they done this every year? I would hate to have been bumped up in the "twilight" of my senior years which is where I'm at. :evil:

cknobman
01-15-2010, 05:54 AM
Its gonna be rough for me this year. Im positive Ill take many severe but kickins at 4.0 this year.

But all the same Id rather be getting my butt kicked by better players than dominating less skilled players. Its the only way Im going to get better. In fact my bump inspired me to get back into taking lessons and working on fitness so I can be more competitive.

Cindysphinx
01-15-2010, 06:37 AM
Hmmm. Here's a thought.

Why don't they just have a new rating category for Seniors? If someone plays only senior or super senior, they would have a Senior exclusive rating. Kind of like how someone who only plays mixed has a Mixed exclusive rating.

Anyone who plays senior or adult would have an adult rating, and the senior results would be disregarded (as mixed results are disregarded for those who play mixed and adult).

This would protect those who only want to play seniors -- they would have a senior rating based on senior results, so it would be accurate. It would also protect those who play play seniors and adult from having their rating skewed toward their better senior results.

The recently-bumped fellow I played in mixed had a 3.5, presumably bolstered by his excellent senior results. If the system were changed as I suggest, he might still be a 3.0 because if he didn't fare as well in his adult season.

What's wrong with that?

Cindy -- hoping the new rating wouldn't be "F" for Fossil

cak
01-15-2010, 06:56 AM
Often the reason seniors play both senior and adult is to temper their ratings. They might clean up in seniors, and would get bumped on those results alone, but then they play adult, have good but not fantastic results, and then get to go clean up on fellow seniors in that level again the next year. I would guess there are very few seniors at nationals that don't also play adult season.

raiden031
01-15-2010, 07:27 AM
Hmmm. Here's a thought.

Why don't they just have a new rating category for Seniors? If someone plays only senior or super senior, they would have a Senior exclusive rating. Kind of like how someone who only plays mixed has a Mixed exclusive rating.

Anyone who plays senior or adult would have an adult rating, and the senior results would be disregarded (as mixed results are disregarded for those who play mixed and adult).

This would protect those who only want to play seniors -- they would have a senior rating based on senior results, so it would be accurate. It would also protect those who play play seniors and adult from having their rating skewed toward their better senior results.

The recently-bumped fellow I played in mixed had a 3.5, presumably bolstered by his excellent senior results. If the system were changed as I suggest, he might still be a 3.0 because if he didn't fare as well in his adult season.

What's wrong with that?

Cindy -- hoping the new rating wouldn't be "F" for Fossil

Just seems like it adds too much unecessary complication. I don't like the fact that like 80% of league divisions (mixed, combo, flex, other unsanctioned leagues, etc.) don't count towards your rating, making it so that the average person's rating is decided by less than say 10 matches in an entire year.

I think it would be nicer if more stuff counted towards your rating.

I think with the senior thing, it shouldn't be a God-given right that all seniors get to always be at the top of the level and winning matches.

raiden031
01-15-2010, 07:30 AM
Its gonna be rough for me this year. Im positive Ill take many severe but kickins at 4.0 this year.

But all the same Id rather be getting my butt kicked by better players than dominating less skilled players. Its the only way Im going to get better. In fact my bump inspired me to get back into taking lessons and working on fitness so I can be more competitive.

You will get more butt-kickins, but you will also face some of your peers who are at the same level as you. So it will even out in the end. Its just there will be alot more variation at 4.0 than there was at last year.

Just remember there are alot of people in the same boat. My area had something like 60 or 70 guys moved from 3.5 to 4.0, and there are like 220 maybe overall I'm guessing. So that means 1/3 of the matches might be against a lower-end player.

doubleshack
01-15-2010, 08:23 AM
I was bumped up in the ratings adjustment from 3.5 to 4.0. It is actually bittersweet. I've been trying to improve my game so that I would get bumped up. However, being adjusted due to a shift in ratings policy makes me feel like I should have an asterisk next to my rating. I'm a 4.0, but only because they modified the ratings.

Being in an early start district, we won't see the impact until the summer league. However, so many of us were bumped up, there will be entire teams of 4.0*. We'll be competitive amongst ourselves, but will probably get spanked by the 'real' 4.0 teams.

Overall, I saw the need for an improvement in the ratings system. I can only imagine the logistical nightmare it would be to try and apply something at a national level. Was this the best approach? Who knows, time will tell, but they are trying to address the issue. I'm sure many methods were discussed and this is the one that was chosen.

I like the idea of a separate rating for Seniors. Heck, have one for super seniors as well. I like playing against seniors in the adult league. I know I'm in for a tough match as they are very knowledgable players. It would be disappointing if they play less Adult league because of this rating change.

We currently have separate ratings for men and women. Does getting a 3.5 rating as a man mean they would play competitively in a 3.5 women's league? (rhetorical question, not looking for an answer) Let the seniors get a rating for each league.

cknobman
01-15-2010, 09:31 AM
doubleshack I dont think there should be separate ratings for men and women because the rating should be a reflection of skill level not competitiveness. A women 3.5 should have the same skill set as a man.

But generally speaking a man should play .5 level up if playing a women due to physical ability. Men are quicker and stronger (not being sexist just a realist) so that advantage can make up for the lack of skill a higher rated women has.

Thats why in mixed leagues(6.5,7.5,8.5) a higher rated women paired with a lower rated man ie (3.5 guy with 4.0 girl). Well at least that is how it works in my area of the country.

raiden031
01-15-2010, 09:39 AM
doubleshack I dont think there should be separate ratings for men and women because the rating should be a reflection of skill level not competitiveness. A women 3.5 should have the same skill set as a man.

But generally speaking a man should play .5 level up if playing a women due to physical ability. Men are quicker and stronger (not being sexist just a realist) so that advantage can make up for the lack of skill a higher rated women has.

Thats why in mixed leagues(6.5,7.5,8.5) a higher rated women paired with a lower rated man ie (3.5 guy with 4.0 girl). Well at least that is how it works in my area of the country.

I actually disagree with this. I think the only commonality of the men's and women's scale is the number of steps from 2.5 to 7.0.

For instance, there are tons of 3.5 men who hit kick serves and very few 3.5 women who hit kick serves.

Tennisman912
01-15-2010, 10:34 AM
What is happening was entirely predictable if the USTA really understood what they were doing. It will take a year or two to move everyone to where they are more comfortable and competitive. The seniors have it worse because many just donít have the mobility to compete with many that are younger/faster/stronger. For example, I knew some 4.5 seniors whom almost all donít even play on their clubís regular 4.5 team who did very well this year in seniors. All bumped to 5.0 and essentially canít play USTA anymore except for mixed as they canít compete with younger 5.0s and know it. I am sure everyone can come up with plenty of their own examples.

But I am with Raiden031 on this one. The USTA made their bed and now have to live with the consequences. As he said, this same phenomena happened in the past every year just on a much smaller numbers base (case in point Raiden). Now that many are put into that position, the USTA will hear many more complaints. But I also say suck it up. Maybe they will learn from this. Probably not.

The only question is will they lose a lot of players not happy because of this? Time will tell. As I said before, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. It will get worse before it gets better. Wait until this summer and the volume of complaints will be pretty high I imagine.

Good tennis

TM

Ripper014
01-15-2010, 11:21 AM
I find this whole rating thing funny and pointless... the complaints and the things that some people go through to stay at a given level so they can win is crazy.

I am not addressing this to anyone specific... but this has been going on for as long as I can remember, and for me that would be about 3 and half decades. You would think that the USTA would have it worked out by now...

I believe part of the reason nothing has worked til this point is that everyone is so caught up about winning, so much so that they would rather stay at a lower level and win than move up and challenge themselves.

I think (and this is just my opinion) that you are at the right level when you get blown out 10% of the time... blow out an opponent 10% of the time... and have a competitive match the other 80%. Overall winning around 50% of your matches... if you are winning more you probably need better competition... less, consider yourself lucky... being able to consistantly get to play with players better than you.

We need to change our mindset about what it is to win... it is not the scorecards that are kept... it is about making ourselves better.

A lot of people like being the big fish in a small pond... I believe it is better to be the humble bigger fish in a large ocean.

Cindysphinx
01-15-2010, 11:33 AM
Tennisman,

The difference between Raiden (forgive me, Raiden!) and the new 3.5 older guy I played the other night is that Raiden can improve. He can get stronger, he can get faster. This other guy, not so much. Not to mention how Raiden would at least have a shot at touching many balls that were simply out of reach for the older guy. As I get older, I am finding that everything is affected by age, including important things like vision and reaction time. It stinks, in case you are wondering.

Sure, there are lots of people at the bottom of their rating level. They will lose. I get that.

The difference is that it is just seniors who are invited to play in a separate league, only to have those results folded in with their adult play to skew their rating upward.

I mean, imagine if mixed play counted toward a person's rating. What would happen if someone -- let's use 4.0 Raiden as our example -- played 4.0 men's adult and 7.0 mixed. I would guess that Raiden's mixed results would be stronger than his adult results. So he could get bumped to 4.5 based on two poor adult results and 10 excellent mixed results.

In reality, I have no idea if Raiden's mixed results would be better than his men's adult results, of course. But I don't think it is a stretch to imagine a 4.0 guy who had good hands and so could help his 3.0 partner a lot in mixed, but who couldn't handle the pace of 4.0 men's singles or doubles quite as well.

Lefty
01-15-2010, 01:13 PM
Does anyone know what the criteria is for getting bumped down? I'm a 55 yr. old 4.5 who got bumped to 4.5 Dec 2008 after doing well that year as a 4.0 (benchmark rating). Well, I've yet to win as a 4.5. After waiting a year I appealed on-line and was denied in about 2 seconds (literally). I'll play again this year, and hopefully with new 4.5s I'll do better. But how much do you have to flounder a the higher level to get bumped down?

Tennisman912
01-15-2010, 04:31 PM
Cindy,

You make many very valid points. The Raidens of the world can and will improve over time. But the Raidens of the world will suck it up and work on their game and improve. That older guy you were referring too should have never been bumped to begin with. But because a committee somewhere decided to do a mass rating adjustment, many more people will suffer than in the past. Now he has to suffer through a season of getting killed or stop playing USTA. By the time they have played 3.5 for 10 years (just an example) and are now all of the sudden bumped up when they know they don’t have the skills or speed to compete, what do they do? Many will decide USTA tennis isn’t worth it or as fun as it was when they could play with their buddies for the past 5 or 10 years, winning and losing together. No they may just decide to just play with their buddies and forget about USTA tennis altogether. That is the problem they created.

I don’t believe the older guy can’t improve much either. He just won’t do what he has to to change his grooved but incorrect technique. Exactly why he has been at the same level 10 years (or whatever). Sure his speed and physical abilities may not be as sharp as when he was younger, but I know plenty of senior players who can overcome the lack of speed with playing very smart and knowing where too be, at least up to a certain level. They just don’t play above that level.

Your idea of seniors only leagues already happens with senior leagues now that are age restricted. Unfortunately, I don’t believe there is enough interest to keep the seniors completely separate. They just will play with their peers and cut down on league tennis if moved to where they can’t or don’t want to play. Also as cak suggested, if they only play seniors and do well, they will get bumped as happened this year, knowing they can’t compete at their previous any age level. You idea is a good one but I can see it happening any time soon.

Good tennis

TM

North
01-16-2010, 07:56 AM
I find this whole rating thing funny and pointless... the complaints and the things that some people go through to stay at a given level so they can win is crazy.

I think (and this is just my opinion) that you are at the right level when you get blown out 10% of the time... blow out an opponent 10% of the time... and have a competitive match the other 80%. Overall winning around 50% of your matches... if you are winning more you probably need better competition...

Yeah, totally agree. As soon as you are bumped up to where you are winning about half your matches, you are at your correct level. If you cannot, or don't want to, improve anymore then you stay at that level. This business of people howling because they will no longer dominate after being bumped reflects priorities I just don't get. "Funny and pointless" is a good way to put it.

OrangePower
01-17-2010, 05:44 PM
I would agree that some people, especially some seniors, are going to have a very rough time of it. The combination of the mass bump-up plus the no-automatic-appeal rule means that many people are now at a level where they are just never going to be remotely competitive.

What I mean is, some people still have potential to improve their games and will 'grow' into their new level. But some people, like seniors who may have mobility issues and underdeveloped strokes, are just not going to be able to lift their games.

As a result, I personally know several players who recently got bumped from 4.0 to 4.5 who have decided not to play at all in the upcoming adult season. They will probably just wait to play senior league later in the year.

Some of you might think it's not a big deal, and big-picture wise I agree, but at the same time it's a shame to see people feeling like they have no reasonable choice other than not playing.

spaceman_spiff
01-19-2010, 07:40 AM
I disagree with the idea of separate ratings. To me, Seniors 4.0 league should mean a league made up of 4.0 players who happen to be seniors, not something completely different (as if Senior 4.0 and Adult 4.0 are two completely different ratings).

If you create separate ratings, then things would just get more complicated for those wanting to play both. "I'm a 4.0 in Seniors but a 3.5 in Adults, and in mixed I'm this, but on Sundays I'm that, and Tuesdays are different altogether." A 3.5 should be a 3.5 regardless of which league he/she is in.

I think this ratings adjustment is just exposing those who really weren't the level they thought they were. If the guys playing Seniors 3.5 had played more Adult 3.5 (and lost), their results would have been more accurate and they probably wouldn't have been bumped. If they were whooping up on all the Seniors 3.5 but won't have a chance in Adult 4.0, then maybe those other guys in the Senior 3.5 league weren't really 3.5's (which also would have been exposed if they had played more Adult 3.5) and should have been in a Senior/Adult 3.0 league.

Of course, bumping people down or exposing their true level by bumping them up and making them suffer a lot of losses would hurt their egos, especially if they had a particular rating for many years and really believed that was their level. But, maybe that's what is needed.

raiden031
01-19-2010, 07:46 AM
Some of you might think it's not a big deal, and big-picture wise I agree, but at the same time it's a shame to see people feeling like they have no reasonable choice other than not playing.

For the *declining* senior players, they will get their butts kicked for one year and then move back down. For the younger adults, they will get their butts kicked for a year and then either get moved back down, or they will be a little more competitive at the new level the following year.

spaceman_spiff
01-19-2010, 08:43 AM
I would agree that some people, especially some seniors, are going to have a very rough time of it. The combination of the mass bump-up plus the no-automatic-appeal rule means that many people are now at a level where they are just never going to be remotely competitive.

What I mean is, some people still have potential to improve their games and will 'grow' into their new level. But some people, like seniors who may have mobility issues and underdeveloped strokes, are just not going to be able to lift their games.

As a result, I personally know several players who recently got bumped from 4.0 to 4.5 who have decided not to play at all in the upcoming adult season. They will probably just wait to play senior league later in the year.

Some of you might think it's not a big deal, and big-picture wise I agree, but at the same time it's a shame to see people feeling like they have no reasonable choice other than not playing.

Even if these players choose not to play the Adult leagues this year, this change will eventually catch up with them.

Even if they only play Seniors (and presumably stay up) this year, next year they will inevitably face players who were bumped up themselves and subsequently get bumped back down (4.0's bumped to 4.5 who lose in the Adult leagus and get bumped back down to 4.0). So, the 3.5 guy who had no chance in Adult 4.0 after getting bumped up this year and chose to only play Seniors will have no chance in Senior 4.0 next year when all those 4.0 guys who got bumped to 4.5 get bumped back down.

Either way, a true 3.5 who gets bumped to 4.0 will eventually have to play (and most likely lose, possibly even quite badly) to true 4.0's, whether it's in the Adult league this year or the Seniors league next year. At some point in time, they'll have to face the music unless they appeal successfully.

As Warren Miller would say, "If you don't do it this year, you'll only be a year older when you do."

Ripper014
01-19-2010, 09:06 AM
I don't get it... I thought the whole system is set up to regulate your skills not your age. I assume (and hope this would be the fact) that if you are a 3.0 senior... you would be a 3.0 adult. Even if you are only playing seniors... that factors would be in place to rate you based on your competition... and hopefully some of your competition would still be playing some adult matches... and everything in this mix would provide you a relatively accurate result.

Even if all the seniors only play seniors... someone at some point would have to have evaluated the standard of play. If the league is all based on self ratings... then you deserve what you get.

raiden031
01-19-2010, 09:27 AM
I don't get it... I thought the whole system is set up to regulate your skills not your age. I assume (and hope this would be the fact) that if you are a 3.0 senior... you would be a 3.0 adult. Even if you are only playing seniors... that factors would be in place to rate you based on your competition... and hopefully some of your competition would still be playing some adult matches... and everything in this mix would provide you a relatively accurate result.

Even if all the seniors only play seniors... someone at some point would have to have evaluated the standard of play. If the league is all based on self ratings... then you deserve what you get.

I think the concern here is for the senior players who got bumped up to a new level, but are no longer capable of improving and are in fact in a decline.

They definitely should not separate senior and adult ratings, and they certainly did the right thing by adjusting the ratings.

If anything the most they should do is modify the medical appeals policy to make it easier for aging seniors to appeal.

Ripper014
01-19-2010, 09:36 AM
I think the concern here is for the senior players who got bumped up to a new level, but are no longer capable of improving and are in fact in a decline.

They definitely should not separate senior and adult ratings, and they certainly did the right thing by adjusting the ratings.

If anything the most they should do is modify the medical appeals policy to make it easier for aging seniors to appeal.

Ok... but you can only judge someone by their most current ratings... if you were able to compete at that level last year... what is to say you cannot do it again this year. Most people that move up struggle a little in their new ratings... if you cannot compete you will be moved back down soon enough. I think it is fair... the player moving up has obviously tasted success... I would rather have one person move up that may not be able to compete but dominated the previous year... than leave him where he is and allow him to dominate his level again. How fair would that be for rest of the players in that level.

raiden031
01-19-2010, 09:46 AM
Ok... but you can only judge someone by their most current ratings... if you were able to compete at that level last year... what is to say you cannot do it again this year. Most people that move up struggle a little in their new ratings... if you cannot compete you will be moved back down soon enough. I think it is fair... the player moving up has obviously tasted success... I would rather have one person move up that may not be able to compete but dominated the previous year... than leave him where he is and allow him to dominate his level again. How fair would that be for rest of the players in that level.

Here's my solution for aging senior players over the age of say 65. You play 1 year at your new NTRP level. At the end of the year, if you think you need to get bumped down (but don't automatically), you submit an appeal and if your match results demonstrate that you really can't compete, then you get moved down for the next year.

Anyone below this age should have a medical reason, or they need to improve their game. Its not all about fitness and mobility in the NTRP leagues. Its mainly about consistency.

Ripper014
01-19-2010, 10:22 AM
Here's my solution for aging senior players over the age of say 65. You play 1 year at your new NTRP level. At the end of the year, if you think you need to get bumped down (but don't automatically), you submit an appeal and if your match results demonstrate that you really can't compete, then you get moved down for the next year.

Anyone below this age should have a medical reason, or they need to improve their game. Its not all about fitness and mobility in the NTRP leagues. Its mainly about consistency.

I could live with the one year at your new NTRP level...

OrangePower
01-19-2010, 11:55 AM
For the *declining* senior players, they will get their butts kicked for one year and then move back down. For the younger adults, they will get their butts kicked for a year and then either get moved back down, or they will be a little more competitive at the new level the following year.

I agree, for those that choose to play adult league. But I know several seniors who have decided to opt out of the upcoming adult season because they don't think they can reasonably compete.

Even if these players choose not to play the Adult leagues this year, this change will eventually catch up with them.

Even if they only play Seniors (and presumably stay up) this year, next year they will inevitably face players who were bumped up themselves and subsequently get bumped back down (4.0's bumped to 4.5 who lose in the Adult leagus and get bumped back down to 4.0). So, the 3.5 guy who had no chance in Adult 4.0 after getting bumped up this year and chose to only play Seniors will have no chance in Senior 4.0 next year when all those 4.0 guys who got bumped to 4.5 get bumped back down.

Either way, a true 3.5 who gets bumped to 4.0 will eventually have to play (and most likely lose, possibly even quite badly) to true 4.0's, whether it's in the Adult league this year or the Seniors league next year. At some point in time, they'll have to face the music unless they appeal successfully.

As Warren Miller would say, "If you don't do it this year, you'll only be a year older when you do."

Yes I think you're right, but it will take a few seasons for this to work itself out. The process you're describing relies on "cross-pollination" to happen between the ratings of seniors who play only senior league, and seniors who also play regular adult league. If more and more seniors are staying out of adult league, that reduces the cross-pollination and increase the time it takes to even out. But like you say at some point these seniors will have to pay the piper...

doubleshack
01-19-2010, 04:29 PM
While there are rating 'descriptions', the reality is that a rating is historical comparison of matches. Your rating is based on your results. The goal is to have people of similar ratings have competitive matches.

As such, a player may do much better against other seniors, but not against other younger adults. Match comparison's across league play may yield different ratings. As indicated earlier, there might even be people taking advantage of this arbitrage.

Because a senior may do very well against other seniors, he may be thrust in an open league where he is not competitive. However, if he had separate ratings, he could play both leagues and be competitive in both.

Granted some people play better on Sunday's then on Tuesdays, so where do you draw the line. Do we have separate ratings for everything, no. But Senior ratings would seem to be something worth trying. If after a couple years, it's noted that Seniors typically have the same rating in both years, then remove it.

Shouldn't the goal be to increase participation in the sport at all levels. It would seem that adding a senior rating would encourage additional play.

spaceman_spiff
01-20-2010, 01:28 AM
Yes I think you're right, but it will take a few seasons for this to work itself out. The process you're describing relies on "cross-pollination" to happen between the ratings of seniors who play only senior league, and seniors who also play regular adult league. If more and more seniors are staying out of adult league, that reduces the cross-pollination and increase the time it takes to even out. But like you say at some point these seniors will have to pay the piper...

Yeah, the caveat is that there might not be enough seniors in the area who participate in the adult leagues to prevent the two from being disconnected, which would be sad. In that case, in that area, you would end up with separate ratings for seniors and adults, though not officially, because the two groups simply wouldn't play against each other.

It would be just like the men's and women's ratings, where most people agree a 4.0 man is usually better than a 4.0 woman. There's just not enough competition between the two for their ratings to be comparable (you'd have to have singles matches between the two for a few seasons for that to happen).

Hopefully, if the ratings become more fluid and you stop getting certain people rated lower than they should be year after year, more seniors will participate in the regular adult leagues. Greater movement amongst players should give them the confidence that they will be playing against people the same level (though perhaps not the same age) rather than someone who is going to blast them off the court.

spaceman_spiff
01-20-2010, 01:40 AM
I just realized this ratings adjustment might cause a migration to WTT amongst those players who enjoy playing (and dominating) at lower levels.

I knew a guy in MD who quit USTA because he knew he would get bumped up. He played 3.5 WTT for years and never, ever lost. Even when other teams had obviously brought in sandbaggers (4.0's or even low 4.5's), he still beat them. I honestly never saw him lose a match in singles; I can't even remember seeing him lose a set.

All those types might quit USTA leagues altogether, rather than risking a hit to their egos. But that might not be a bad thing.

raiden031
01-20-2010, 03:45 AM
I just realized this ratings adjustment might cause a migration to WTT amongst those players who enjoy playing (and dominating) at lower levels.

I knew a guy in MD who quit USTA because he knew he would get bumped up. He played 3.5 WTT for years and never, ever lost. Even when other teams had obviously brought in sandbaggers (4.0's or even low 4.5's), he still beat them. I honestly never saw him lose a match in singles; I can't even remember seeing him lose a set.

All those types might quit USTA leagues altogether, rather than risking a hit to their egos. But that might not be a bad thing.

I think WTT format sucks...I would never play it.

I got the ultimate solution for the people who can't bare to lose a tennis match. Lets abolish score altogether and just hit rallies for 1.5 hours during USTA matches. Everybody wins!

spaceman_spiff
01-20-2010, 05:20 AM
I think WTT format sucks...I would never play it.

I got the ultimate solution for the people who can't bare to lose a tennis match. Lets abolish score altogether and just hit rallies for 1.5 hours during USTA matches. Everybody wins!

I think it's more a love of winning than a fear of losing. They love the trophies and such, regardless of what level they're for. They'd probably play boys/girls 10&U tournaments if possible, just to get easy wins.

I get bored getting easy wins against lower level players. It's no fun. But, some people would rather win a really easy match than play (and possibly lose) a good match. I can't understand that mentality.

How do they take pride in winning trophies for leagues/tournaments one or two ratings below their true level? It's not like Federer and Nadal would take a huge amount of pride from beating a group of us in a tournament/league, though it would be a guaranteed win for them. I'm sure they'd rather play, and possibly lose, in a grand slam than come over to our courts and whoop on us.

I agree on WTT. Not my cup of tea.

Annika
01-23-2010, 10:54 PM
As I get older, I am finding that everything is affected by age, including important things like vision and reaction time. It stinks, in case you are wondering.


Can you believe I can't play indoors because it's too gray. I can't see the ball. Thankfully I live in SC and no one plays indoors pretty much. :mad:

Cindysphinx
01-24-2010, 10:54 AM
Can you believe I can't play indoors because it's too gray. I can't see the ball. Thankfully I live in SC and no one plays indoors pretty much. :mad:

I have a lot of trouble seeing the ball in low-light conditions and flickering light outdoors. If I am having this problem in a match, I just do my level best to ignore it. At 48, I tell myself I am probably still one of the younger players on the court, so the others are struggling just as much!

Spokewench
01-24-2010, 10:57 AM
I play indoors a bunch - since that is our only choice for months on end here. Also, our only club (if you want to call it that) is an indoor facility.

It is quite hard to see in there sometimes, everything fuzzes out especially for us old gals.

It is embarrassing sometimes when you wiff a ball!