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View Full Version : USTA League Alternative: Request for Feedback


localtennis
09-06-2010, 03:03 PM
Iím posting about my website, localtennis.com (http://localtennis.com). I want to develop a competitive USTA-alternative player network, mainly for adult players. I launched the first version of the site about a week ago and am looking for lots of feedback, reactions and ideas.

Current goals of the site:

1) Find players at your level for competitive matches
2) Help you play as much as you want, whenever you want
3) Track results and assign player ratings automatically based on wins/losses

Perhaps the first thing youíll notice: Itís not free after a few trial matches. Ultimately, I want to keep the cost below that of USTA leagues while maintaining flexibility and adding things like tournaments (in-person or player scheduled) at no cost. That said, it all depends on what participants actually want.

I really appreciate you checking it out. Please leave feedback either here or by email: russell(at)tnsldr(dot)com. If you do join, email me after signing-up, and I can set you up with a full month of trial access instead of just the 3 matches. Just let me know the email you signed-up with.

Cheers,
Russell

kendall22
09-07-2010, 10:48 AM
You're not alone in this endeavor. You have the tennis city web sites (tennisdenver, tennissf), ALTA, tennis tour in the NW, Ultimate Tennis, USTA Flex, all of which have some success in at least 1 locale already.

goober
09-07-2010, 11:28 AM
You're not alone in this endeavor. You have the tennis city web sites (tennisdenver, tennissf), ALTA, tennis tour in the NW, Ultimate Tennis, USTA Flex, all of which have some success in at least 1 locale already.

Basically this^^^^

and more. There are already a lot of alternative leagues in many cities. You will have to scout the cities carefully to see what is out there already. My citiy already has 3 different flex leagues in addition to the USTA one, plus alternative regular league and all the club and public tennis center leagues.

If all you are going to do is have people meet up and track matches, there are a lot of completely free websites that do the same thing. In fact one guy started something similar in my area. He would only give you a portion of the players list (like 10 people) and if you wanted more you had to pay. I directed him to a local website that had over 400 members and was completely free. Never heard back from him again LOL.

localtennis
09-07-2010, 02:10 PM
Thanks, both replies give great information. I know of the myriad of other local tennis leagues doing something similar to what I want from localtennis.com (http://localtennis.com). In some ways, they're better options at this point as localtennis.com is brand new (and thus lacks many players). And, the free sites are great for finding a couple hitting partners, but I find it very hard to consistently find new partners.

What I want is to find really great/tough and fun matches and play as much as I want, not a fixed # of matches per season. I'd say I play 1x per week now (2x if I'm lucky) but want to play at least 2-3x and work in tournaments occasionally (please no single elimination...). I want some kind of guarantee that says if I play with a certain person, they're at my level. NTRP only sometimes works for this purpose. This is what I've tried to develop and keep it as simple as possible for players.

If all you are going to do is have people meet up and track matches, there are a lot of completely free websites that do the same thing.

To address your quote directly, I'd love to have more things like tournaments or "seasons" without additional fees. There are lots of possibilities depending on what players want. Also, the site currently does one additional key thing: It uses a rating system developed at Microsoft to match players based on wins/losses and who you've played. Right now, I'm trying to get a few players to try out the system and ultimately help direct future developments.

Anyways, I really, really appreciate you taking the time to write up your thoughts!

tennismonkey
09-08-2010, 07:51 AM
would love to see a system that can link players of similar skill levels together. but the problem is tennis playing levels are not static. on any given day i can range from a weak 3.0 to strong 3.5 level. makes it tough to find a good matchup.

localtennis
09-08-2010, 04:36 PM
would love to see a system that can link players of similar skill levels together. but the problem is tennis playing levels are not static. on any given day i can range from a weak 3.0 to strong 3.5 level. makes it tough to find a good matchup.

To partially address that, I don't use NTRP for matchmaking on localtennis.com. Instead the site uses a sliding scale of real numbers. Essentially, the scale is 0 to 50 but to break it into 50 "levels" wouldn't be that useful in my opinion.

All players have good and bad days. I see the localtennis.com system as much better suited to address things like players playing below their level (sandbagging) while still giving good flexibility. Not perfect, just better!

kendall22
09-09-2010, 06:54 PM
This won't work if you charge for the basic service and give free additional features. Usually it goes the other way.

A web of users like this benefits exponentially from the network effect- how do you plan to climb that curve if you're charging for the basic service and others do it for free?

localtennis
09-18-2010, 02:00 PM
A valid point. I'd say that it's a quality difference. Perhaps I've placed too much value in developing a better partnering system than what exists now, for free. Why pay when you can get something mostly acceptable for free?

So, I made some changes. Everything on the site now is free and unlimited. Hopefully that will let people try it and invest time in using the system without worrying about having to pay at some point.

Limpinhitter
09-18-2010, 02:29 PM
Iím posting about my website, localtennis.com (http://localtennis.com). I want to develop a competitive USTA-alternative player network, mainly for adult players. I launched the first version of the site about a week ago and am looking for lots of feedback, reactions and ideas.

Current goals of the site:

1) Find players at your level for competitive matches
2) Help you play as much as you want, whenever you want
3) Track results and assign player ratings automatically based on wins/losses

Perhaps the first thing youíll notice: Itís not free after a few trial matches. Ultimately, I want to keep the cost below that of USTA leagues while maintaining flexibility and adding things like tournaments (in-person or player scheduled) at no cost. That said, it all depends on what participants actually want.

I really appreciate you checking it out. Please leave feedback either here or by email: russell(at)tnsldr(dot)com. If you do join, email me after signing-up, and I can set you up with a full month of trial access instead of just the 3 matches. Just let me know the email you signed-up with.

Cheers,
Russell

I've been rained out 6 times in the past 2 weeks. What can you do about that?

But seriously. I love your idea. Why should the USTA have a monopoly on competitive recreational tennis. But, what I'd also like to see more of are amature tournaments for adults. I'm not a big fan of the NTRP rating system, or even the notion of ratings. I prefer playing open tournaments, at least I used to many years ago. The team thing is ok, but, to me, tennis is a solo sport.

Annika
09-20-2010, 07:09 PM
Let's not forget Freedom Tennis. I play my first singles match tomorrow night. Wish me luck! She'll probably be as young as my daughter! :oops:

goober
09-21-2010, 08:45 AM
I'm not a big fan of the NTRP rating system, or even the notion of ratings. I prefer playing open tournaments, at least I used to many years ago. The team thing is ok, but, to me, tennis is a solo sport.

If you had open tournaments only how many 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 players do you think would play in them? If you start playing tennis as an older adult, you should have some type of competitive outlets for your level of play.

treo
09-27-2010, 08:36 AM
IMO, for your online league to be successful, you need to offer a service that no one else provides. I suggested an idea to a person who has his own online league, but he didn't like it because he said it would open up a can of worms. The league would have a feedback system, like the popular auction site, and each player would leave feedback for each match for a variety of criteria including scheduling. If the player has too many negative feedbacks, the player is banned. The bad sportsmanship players will likely leave bad feedback in retaliation but since there are only a few bad apples, the good players wouldn't get banned.

coloskier
09-27-2010, 02:45 PM
T2Tennis here in Denver has become larger every iteration. I know it is found in many larger metropolis cities. www.t2tennis.com