2012 USTA NorCal Adult Leagues Survey

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by OrangePower, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Got an email asking me to take this NorCal survey:
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Adult_Leagues_Survey

    There have been several recent threads here on TT discussing 'playing up', so it was interesting to see that there are several questions in the survey about that.

    If you're in NorCal and have an opinion about playing up, here's your chance to take the survey and tell the USTA what you think.

    [FWIW, my feedback was that playing up should not be allowed. However, I added a comment that 'appeals up' should be automatically granted, so that players believing they are competitive at the next level can appeal up and then play at that level.]
     
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  2. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    Yes, I filled that out as well, and I agree about not letting people play up. I double-bageled a 4.0 over the weekend that was playing up, and I'm not even that good, I have a losing record so far this year.
     
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  3. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    I like giving people a chance to play up - I just don't want whole teams of out-of-level players. It helps when people are realistic about their abilities. Someone that is already on the border between 3.5 and 4.0, for instance, will be competitive at 4.0. Somebody struggling at their level, though, needs to learn to win there before taking on tougher opponents.

    FWIW (and I'm an average 4.0 who only plays doubles), I am 0-2 this season playing against doubles teams with a 3.5 player, and 1-0 playing with a 3.5 partner against two 4.0s. Go figure.
     
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  4. OnyxZ28

    OnyxZ28 Hall of Fame

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    I'm a 3.5B rated player who also plays 4.0. I agree with the post above me about borderline players. On the other hand, there is a 4.0 team in the South Bay consisting almost entirely of 3.5 players (the only two players not rated 3.5 are self rate 4.0s with equally bad records). They have a terrible record (won three individual matches all year) and I can see how playing them would seem like a waste of time to the rest of the 4.0 teams.

    I don't approve of an outright ban on people playing up (because that would affect me!), but on the other hand, a team consisting entirely of players playing up is also not conducive to a competitive league. I suspect the truth is somewhere in between.
     
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  5. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    Maybe if people playing up were restricted to doubles, that would likely be ok, since people's weaknesses can be masked to a certain extent in doubles. But generally the best two players on the team will play singles, and it is kind of a waste to play an average player, or even a good player at the lower level in singles.
     
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  6. smarog

    smarog New User

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    Just play your level and the rest will work itself out.
     
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  7. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    We have the 75% rule where that percentage of players must be at level. It works fine as captains aren't going to take a low level 4.0 just to get a team fielded. They will only take the stronger 4.0 players since they are limited in how many they can have. And, we don't end up with the team of wishful thinkers comprised entirely of below level people. It works out.
     
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  8. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    I was dominate at 3.5 this season. 5-0 at USTA Singles, 2-1 at doubles. I lost a doubles match as I could NOT run at all, due to a bad fall ten days earlier. My opponents were friends and I told them, either you win by default or you play a gimp. We played and we lost 4&3. Three weeks later we beat the same guys 2&2. It's life.

    Since Nov, I've entered two tournaments (Level 2, and 4) at 3.5 doubles, won one of them and lost in the finals of another. 4-4 record vs 4.0 in singles this year in ladder matches.

    The 4.0s and 4.5s I hit with have told me I have nothing to gain at 3.5. They told me to stop playing 3.5 this fall, as I will not improve any more beating up 3.5 players.

    The 4.0 Captain plays me on his strong 4.0 team, but only at doubles. I play with 4.0s and take sets off of them in singles. I have given bagels to two 4.0s in singles on his team, as I can hit them off the court with my forehand.

    There are only 5 guys on this 4.0 team that I can't beat in singles out of the dozen on the team. Some people earn the right to play up, and some don't belong. There is a big difference. The problem is the USTA doesn't differentiate between the two players at the same level. One weak and one strong. Both are allowed to play up.

    If the USTA made it a requirement to win a fixed percentage at your current level before playing up, you would not have the problem of weak competition from guys playing up. When you win 80 to 90% percent of your matches at your current level, you are competitive at the next level.
     
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  9. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Under my proposal, you would not be allowed to play up while staying a 3.5; however, you would be allowed to appeal up to 4.0 and would be granted that appeal.

    In your particular case, that seems to be an appropriate and fair resolution, since you are already a 4.0 in all but name.

    So my proposal would have you make the choice - do you want to continue beating up on helpless 3.5 players, or do you want to play at the 4.0 level where you are competitive and can continue to improve your game. But you shouldn't be able to have your cake and eat it too.

    Seems fair, no?
     
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  10. jonnyjack

    jonnyjack Rookie

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    I really like your proposal OrangePower and that thought never crossed my mind. Lots of people will sandbag the previous year and then play both the following year so they can dominate the lower level while being protected with the lower computer level.

    I already filled out that survey and I suggested again that self-rates should not be allowed to play playoffs and beyond. I doubt they would ever use my suggestion (and I know I'm not the only one who thinks the same thing) but yours is a good one.

    There's a USTA NorCal Town Hall meeting on Thursday, June 21, from 6:30-8 pm at the USTA NorCal office. I'm not sure whether I can make it or not but I'm getting tired enough of USTA never doing anything that I might just stop renewing when my membership runs out next year.
     
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  11. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    OrangePower,

    I didn't ask for cake, nor am I eating it. I am not self-rated. I have been computer rated since Dec 2009.

    Q: Who bears the responsibility for placing me at the appropriate level as a C rated player since Dec of 2009? Me or the USTA?

    Please I would love to read your answer, as I very much respect your opinion. You are a very level headed guy. I don't mean to create thread creep, and I believe I understand your point. We agree that too many players play up when they aren't even competitive at their own level. I have seen two 3.5s do this in my area, and I am shocked that any Captain would put them on a team.

    Q: But do you see my point? If the USTA NTRP were accurate and timely, I wouldn't have to appeal. I didn't magically get better between Dec 4, 2011 and Jan 20th, 2012. The last match I played that affected my rating was played in April of 2011, more than a year ago. I understand the USTA waits until Nationals are complete and then updates the entire country at the end of the year.

    Google started their homepage with a blank page. Radical idea. Yahoo's Home page still has about a 100 links. Yahoo's homepage is a maze. Google said "Let's start over".

    IMO, part of the problem is the USTA algorithm. The other part is a complete lack of effort by the USTA to regulate who is allowed to play up. I didn't write the USTA algorithm, but I have written a lot of algorithms as a cost analyst, and it is easy to see the flaws in the USTA's NTRP algorithm. Oh no, my algorithm would have included the ability to distinguish between defaults and bagels, doubles and singles player's would have two different NTRPs, and win/loss records would be a factor.

    Here's one of my favorite USTA NTRP bumps: Senior Male playing 3.5 Adult (2-5), 4.0 Adult (1-6) and 4.0 Senior (0-5) in 2010. This guy is a perfect example of why OrangePower is right about players should not be allowed to play up. But don't penalize me, because the USTA NTRP is jacked up at the borders. I haven't been self-rated since 2008 when I had two back surgeries and two titanium screws places in my back.

    I digress..this guy wins 28% of 3.5 matches and an only 8.33% of of 4.0 matches. A good algorithm certainly would not bump a 3.5 player who went 2-5 at 3.5, and 1-11 at 4.0, but hey the USTA bumped him with his outstanding 3-16 record. Why? Because his two wins at 3.5 were in the Spring of 2010, and his five losses at 3.5 were in the Fall. Those five losses didn't count. His one 4.0 win was in the spring, with six losses. So his spring record was 2010 was record 3-11, his overall 2010 Men's 3.5 and 4.0 record 3-16, and the on the ball USTA NTRP algorithm bumped him to 4.0 in Dec 2010.:shock: But hey he was "competitive at 4.0", winning more than five games twice, one of those two was is lone 4.0 win.

    You're right OrangePower, the guy shouldn't have been able to play up. The fact is not only did the USTA allow him to play up, they bumped this weak player to 4.0. So, I am getting a little tired of people telling me the USTA system works. It doesn't work. This guy is merely one example of a broken USTA system.

    OrangePower, do you really think I (and players like me) bear the burden to appeal our rating, since the USTA system hasn't bumped me in the last two years? I didn't play during the spring of 2009 when so many players were bumped. (It's merely a shift of the curve from left to right, but that's a different thread)

    Maybe the USTA could update their NTRP algorithm, and update a player's NTRP more than once a year instead of putting the burden on the player. The USTA did a survey asking these question last year, so I expect they know the have a problem. Maybe Brian Baker is the poster child for a broken USTA algorithm. After all, his father, Steve, did ask him to play on his team last summer in Nashville. I'm guessing it wasn't a USTA League. Can you imagine facing Brian Baker in 2011 on a summer league? :shock: Do you think Brian magically got better just before the Savannah Challenger that got him into the French Open?

    http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/sports/brian-baker-back-among-worlds-best-tennis-players

    I just played where the USTA deemed I fit for 2010, 2011, and 2012. I didn't sandbag and self-rate one or two levels below where I belonged. I didn't cheat. Instead, I played four days a week, and put 10 to 15 hours a week or more on the court for the past two years to get better. I have yet to play a 4.0 this season who didn't think I was a 4.0

    No, OrangePower, the responsibility lies directly at the feet of the USTA. Not mine. I don't bear the responsibility for the failure of the governing body of the organization that I participate in. Neither do other players.

    I will play up at 4.0 this fall, and none of the matches will affect my NTRP, win or lose. And the USTA will leave guys and ladies like me at my current level, and my peers will continue to shake their heads at the system that fails to get fixed. I am not alone.

    Were my USTA matches this spring competitive? Some were, including my friend who went to state for the 3rd consecutive year. And the guy with the 33-6 record from 2011. The other matches, not so much. Then there was the occasional 3.0S who beat two 4.0C rated players on a 4.0 ladder, but hey, the USTA doesn't count that, nor should they. Adding a win/loss percentage factor to the NTRP along with the DNTRP could solve a lot of issues. And no, the USTA should NOT disclose the percentage win factor for bump ups or bump downs, but there should be a factor for guys who win or lose 80% of their matches.

    Maybe if a player won maybe 80 to 85% of his matches, they should be bumped to in the middle of 2012 after the State Finals are complete. Not after Districts and Nationals, and certainly not in early Dec. But hey, it's not my algorithm, it's the one that you tell me I should appeal. I am pointing my finger directly at the USTA. If guys like me exist at 3.5, how many 4.0s should be playing 4.5, and 4.5s playing 5.0. IMO, the system needs to do a Google reset. Start with a blank canvas and make a better system. Maybe the USTA could accept some responsibility and take actions to ensure guys that are winning 85% of there matches are bumped up. And guys that lose 75% of their matches are bumped down. There are a lot of smarter people than me who could make the USTA better, and the cost would be a lot lower than people think. The USTA National doesn't see a problem with the NTRP system, but yet you post a link from Norcal with a questionnaire addressing people playing up. Do you see the paradox with the survey from Norcal since the National USTA fails to address the national problem?

    My proposal doesn't penalize a player for playing well, and having a poor USTA NTRP system. Players should not have to appeal up and be granted to play up IMO. The USTA should do this for them by bumping them earlier. Put the burden were it belongs on the USTA, not the player.

    Sorry I am not meaning to vent at you OrangePower. I have a nasty cold. I am on vacation and it has rained and stormed for the past three days. :( We agree on a lot of things, but I point my fingers directly at the USTA. They are in charge of their system, not me.

    I enjoy the discussion though. To bad the USTA doesn't.

    P.S. If I am not bumped up at the end of the year, I will only play up. But I will not do the USTA's job for them. I will not appeal up or down. They need to mow their own lawn.
     
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  12. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I like the no self rates in the playoffs idea, although I agree its unlikely USTA would adopt it...
     
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  13. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I don't disagree with what you are saying - certainly the rating algorithm can be improved and that would solve a lot of problems. In your case it should already have moved you to 4.0 and you would not be needing to play up. But unfortunately I don't have much hope of the algorithm improving in my lifetime... so this leaves us looking for alternate solutions to the problem we agree exists (players playing up at a level where they have no business playing).
     
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  14. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    I'm a 4.0C, where I currently am 0-3 at 4.5 and 2-0 at 4.0. Since I would like to play up, I'd appeal up to 4.5 but based on the current algorithm I'd have to play at least another year before I can get bumped back down to 4.0 right? The problem I see here is that if the one year going winless at 4.5 doesn't bump me back down to 4.0 where I belong, then what are the chances some team would allow me to play for them given my losing record?
     
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  15. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well, would you say that you are competitive at 4.5? (Can't really tell just based on your record.)

    If you are competitive at 4.5, then yes 4.5 is the right level for you, and you would only improve as you continue playing at that level. So I wouldn't worry about going winless for long :)

    But I hear you... as a player towards the lower end of the 4.5 scale you might not have your pick of teams the way you would with a 4.0 team as a top 4.0... but that's the same situation many other weaker 4.5 computer-rated players face. So it just means you find a weaker team that needs players and continue working on your game.

    Of course if you don't think you are competitive playing at 4.5, then you would not appeal up, and would not be able to play 4.5... which is the whole point - we don't want non-competitive 4.0s playing in the 4.5 league :twisted:
     
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