Am I at risk for DQ?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Platocat, May 25, 2012.

  1. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    I just started playing tennis again this Jan after a 20 year hiatus. I had played doubles for my HS team that went to the states but was obviously very rusty when I picked up a racquet again in Jan. The tennis pro at my club ranked me as a "strong 3.5", mainly because I lacked a second serve. He never saw me play in match situation. In late Jan, I was asked to join a 3.5 summer league by a captain who saw me hit against the ball machine, which I happily accepted. When it came time to register for usta, I had to submit an appeal to play below 4.0 and that was granted.

    I have been playing 3-6 times a week over the past few months at the club and noticed that I'm consistently the strongest player against the other 3.5 players, esp in singles. It's not that my strokes are so much better but rather I think I've been better mentally than those I've played against so far. I've also had opportunity to hit with a benchmark 4.0 and have taken sets from her on occasion.

    I played my first usta match this Monday in 1st singles and beat my opponent 6-0, 6-0. She is computer ranked for 3.5 and has a good record (played mostly singles last year and only lost 2 matches; plays on 4.0 team in singles and has come close to beating 4.0 players). She admitted that she did not play well that day. I will likely play against a benchmark 3.5 on 6/4 and that may be a better indication. If I continue to do play well, am I at high risk of getting DQ'ed early in the season? I would never throw a game but will use the opportunity to work on tougher shots, coming up to the net (which I hardly ever do), and doing a spin 2nd serve instead of the dink one that I currently have. I really hate the thought of getting DQ'ed, not only for myself but also for the team. My team will probably finish in the middle of the flight and there's little chance of going to the playoffs based on what I've seen so far.
     
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  2. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    What USTA league is this and where are you located generally?
     
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  3. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    If you keep double bageling players that are also playing up, you will get DQ'd in short order for sure. If your next match is that easy, it might be time to foresake 3.5 and look for a 4.0 team to play on.
     
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  4. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    From what you described you are almost certain to be DQ'd. And from what it sounds like you should be playing in a 4.0 league rather than 3.5 so the DQ would be completely justified.

    You were a strong 3.5 player with 20 years of rust on your game. Now you have been playing several times a week for a few months so at this point 4.0 sounds like a far better fit for you.
     
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  5. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    Thank you all for your replies.

    I'm in the ******* and this is a women's 3.5 league.

    I agree I am ready to be on 4.0 team and should have just signed up for 4.0 from the get go but I honestly did not realize that several months ago. I also relied on the head pro's opinion, who thought I wasn't ready to move up to 4.0 yet.

    I would feel bad for my team if I got bumped early because there are currently only 2 of us who really want to play singles and we've had 3 players injured so far already. Also, we are scheduled to play against some strong teams over the next 3-4 weeks and I would appreciate the extra experience. So far, I've been playing it "safe" in order to not give up games but can use those matches to work on shots I've previously been scared to try.
     
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  6. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    If there are matches against weaker teams, I'd almost recommend sitting them out if possible and playing the ones that are more likely to be close. DNTRP and strikes depend on both the rating of your opponent and the margin of victory, but I've found it's much more sensitive to the margin than the opponent (in other words, I've seen a couple people DQ for crushing very weak opponents but never for edging out matches against strong opponents).
     
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  7. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    That is good advice. Assuming I survive the next couple of matches (against strong teams) without getting DQ'ed, I will also ask the captain if I can play in doubles since I am definitely a much weaker doubles player.
     
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  8. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    The other thing is just to work on the things that you aren't very good at. Go out there and Serve and Volley to improve your volleys just as an example. that would make you a far more well rounded player when you do jump to 4.0.
     
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  9. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    You're completely right, and I hope to do that. Despite having played doubles in HS, I'm short and never felt comfortable at the net. I realize I need to improve that aspect of my game to consider myself a true 4.0.
     
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  10. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    That's not a bad idea, either. it's much harder to get strikes in doubles since there are 4 DNTRP ratings in the algorithm.
     
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  11. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    You may be wasting your time at 3.5


    Like alot of folks on here......they are atleast .5 higher than what they would be if they played in a stronger area of the country......I see it all the time.


    If you play 3.5 still.....punish them.....set an example that you arent to be toyed with.
     
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  12. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    If you double bageled a computer ranked 3.5 that has a winning record last year you almost definitely have your first strike.

    You are also likely a 4.0 however 1 match isn't enough to be sure as she could have had a bad day while you had a good day and your style of play may be a good counter to her style of play.
     
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  13. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    That's definitely true and I wouldn't want to presume that I would get similar results with the other matches.

    I now have a dilemma. This afternoon I received a call from my local club that a 4.0 team is interested in having me play singles (the tennis pro mentioned me to one of their players) and that someone will be in contact with me soon. While I am flattered that a team would be interested and would like to test myself against the 4.0 players, does this mean if I do well at 4.0 level, even if I sit out or play doubles for my 3.5 team, that I will still get DQ'd? Is there any point in continuing with the 3.5 team if I play 4.0 (assuming I can stay competitive) since I may only hurt the team in the long run?

    In a way, I think it wouldn't be bad to continue with 3.5, if I can, just to ease back into competitive play. It's a confidence booster that I likely won't have at 4.0!
     
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  14. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Joining a 4.0 team and winning will almost gaurantee a DQ at 3.5

    I played up and won my first 3 doubles matches 6-0,6-1 6-2,6-1 and 7-5,6-4 and I was DQ'd at my lower rating.
     
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  15. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    If you're self-rated and you play up a level, almost every match is going to be a strike against your lower level. You're now at a crossroads since you have an offer from a 4.0 team. You have to either go to 4.0 and just play (and most likely win some / lose some) or decline 4.0 and stay at 3.5 but manage which matches you play and how good your opponents are. Personally, I think you should go to 4.0 and challenge yourself, but really, only you can make that decision.
     
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  16. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    So if I accept the 4.0 team's offer, I basically should expect that I will generate enough strikes to get bumped up early, and any matches at the 3.5 level will get DQ'd, right? But my matches at the 4.0 level will still stand? Based on this, I think I need to let my 3.5 captain know the ramifications of me playing on a 4.0 team since any matches I continue to play at 3.5 will only hurt the 3.5 team.

    Geez, this is hard. If it were just me involved, I would go 4.0 but I feel like I'm letting my 3.5 team down. But there's no guarantee I wouldn't get DQ'd anyhow unless we "manage" the matches, which I'm not sure how much fun that would be to play...
     
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  17. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    I also would like to ask...for those of you who are captains, how would you take it if you have a self rated player like myself who wants to play up?
     
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  18. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    Yes, your 4.0 matches will stand even if you are DQ'd at 3.5.

    As a captain, if the team has little chance at the playoffs and you are clearly not playing where you should be, I would not have any hard feelings towards you dropping the 3.5 team and playing at 4.0. If there is a chance at playoffs I might feel differently. But you should be upfront with your 3.5 captain and hopefully come to a mutual agreement.
     
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  19. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    As a captain, I would evaluate your game and if I thought you could compete at the higher level, then I would tell you to quit my team and play up if you were considering it (if you were C-rated, I'd tell you to play both). The 6-0 6-0 match could be a good indication of that, but I can't say for sure without knowing more about the specific situation and seeing exactly what happened in the match.
     
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  20. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    My 3.5 captain hasn't had a chance to really evaluate my game since she saw me hit in Jan. I couldn't make it to any team practices this month except for one when we got a bye. During that practice, I played last year's 1st single and while we both weren't playing our best, I beat her 6-1, 6-0. The captain was more preoccupied with the doubles teams. Then at last Monday's match, she was still playing doubles when I finished mine in 45 minutes. So while she may know I'm the best singles player on the team, she may not realize my true ability. We do belong to the same club where I just won the singles league (for 3.5-4.0 but only 3.5 played) with 82% games won percentage. I should also mention that prior to the usta match last Monday, I played a computer ranked 4.0 player (who said she's really more "3.8" than 4.0) 6-0 in all 3 sets that we played.

    Having just typed the above, it's clear I should play 4.0. Just need to break it to my captain. I think we had a decent team but with some injuries and if I quit, our playoff chances aren't good.
     
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  21. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, from everything you've told us, it sounds like you should be playing 4.0, but only you know for sure.
     
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  22. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    Wow, can someone really be a 4.0 with a dink second serve? Hard to imagine.
    Seems like major grade inflation.

    Maybe the 3.5 she whiffed was really a 3.0?

    Would they really dq someone over a 3.5/4.0 dispute? The difference between a strong 3.5 and a weak 4.0 woud seem minimal. Not like she is a sandbagging 5.5 playing in a 3.5 league. (Which is ridiculous by the way. What is the point of someone who has been playing at a high level for many years playing against a bunch of beginners? I would be bored to tears.)

    To the OP, don't sweat it. Go out and play your best and if you are killing the "3.5"'s, the system will bump you up.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
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  23. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    "Dink second serve" is a relative term. I'd have to see it to be the judge. The "3.5" was a winning 3.5 that plays up at 4.0 as well. Doesn't sound like 3.0 to me.
     
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  24. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    From her description, a lob serve, no spin.

    Sounds like a place where 3.0's are rated 3.5 and 3.5's are rated 4.0. Some markets are different that others. Depends on the talent pool, I suppose.
     
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  25. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    No, the NTRP rating levels (for league players anyway) are pretty well normalized across the country because the different sections play each other in nationals. Regional differences are a myth. Tennis "hotbeds" like FL & CA just have more people at every level, not better ones.
     
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  26. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    Well, I'm not proud to admit it but yes, my second serve was a dink in every sense of the word. Can't really recall what I did back in high school but I imagine I must have had a real second serve at one point in time. So far my dink second serve hasn't hurt me too much because I have a pretty good first serve and my ground strokes are solid with lots of topspin. I have been practicing on a spin second serve this week and was able to utilize it today without too many double faults so I plan on continuing to do that. I'm definitely interested in improving my game and not just getting by with what I currently have.

    I do appreciate all the thoughtful responses. I'm learning a lot from this forum.
     
    #26
  27. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Like you, Platocat, I've learned a lot from my (relatively) short time here on this forum.

    But I've a question to/for some of the other, more knowledgeable folks here.

    Let's say the OP realizes her (self-rating) mistake, finds a 4.0 team and plays no more 3.5. But let's play this out a bit with the following caveats:

    • this first -0 and -0 drubbing of a computer-rated 3.5 "is," in all likelihood, a strike, YET
    • we all seem to agree that -0 and -0 played matches are ignored by "the computer," EVEN THOUGH
    • the opposing team can still file a grievance.
    If the opposing team files no grievance and no further 3.5 matches are played, can the OP continue on at 4.0 (again, assuming no further beatdowns or even presumed "strikes").....and would all be right with the (USTA) world? And, if so, how many strikes are on her plate?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
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  28. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    There's one strike at the 3.5 level. If she just plays 4.0 from this point forward, she has no strikes at the 4.0 level. She would need 3 strikes at the 4.0 level (i.e. 3 strikes with a DNTRP over the 4.0 strike trheshhold) to be DQ'd from 4.0. That doesn't seem likely.
     
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  29. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Best guess...

    If I were guessing, I'd say that assuming you continue to play as you are currently, you are a likely candidate to get bumped up to 4.0. That might not be a bad thing, though. People fail to realize how uch and how quickly that can improve when they are playing a lot of serious tennis. You mentioned you are playing up to 6 times a week. Well. kiddo. at that rate, if you are playing serious tennis, you will move past your 3.5 peers a lot faster than you might think. That much serious tennis hones strokes and timing a great deal. If you already have the head for the game, as you indicated, you probably ARE a 4.0 player---or on the cusp of it. Go with the flow and see where it takes you. Embrace the bump! ;-) You are one of those players who probably should.
     
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  30. Orange

    Orange Rookie

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    Angle Queen wrote:
    I have studied the DQ and dynamic rating information fairly extensively (thanks in part to the players on Talk Tennis) and have concluded that 6-0, 6-0 matches are not considered for dynamic ratings but are considered for DQs. In fact, one poster on Talk Tennis was DQed, asked which matches caused his DQ, and was informed by the people in charge that one of them was a 6-0, 6-0 match.
     
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  31. Platocat

    Platocat New User

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    Update

    I did end up signing up for the 4.0 team. This is a group that had played at the 3.5 level for many years and always dominated. Last year half of the group got bumped to 4.0 so they decided to stay together and play as a 4.0 team this year. Being new to 4.0, they are now on the losing end for a change, and it sounds like the singles players in particular are having a hard time with it. So they are happy to have me, and I am happy to just go out there and test myself against tougher opponents with little pressure. Kind of a win-win situation IMHO.

    As for the 3.5 team, the captain was extremely understanding. She had a player get bumped on her team a few years back after 3 matches so she said she wouldn't be surprised if the same happens with me. She heartily congratulated me on joining a 4.0 team. I'm still on the lineup to play singles for the next couple of matches for now.
     
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  32. F L O B B E R

    F L O B B E R Rookie

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    From what I've read here, it sounds pretty certain I'm gonna get DQ'd... BUT let me give you some background and see if I have a leg to stand on if I appeal...

    I played a number of years as a confirmed 4.0 - generally won more than I lost, but definitely not dominant. Then came kids and a significant amount of time away. Played 5 years ago (as a 4.0) in an effort to get back into it, went 1-4 and stepped away from the game again.

    Fast forward to this year. Joined a 4.0 team (had to register as a self-rated 4.0 due to time away). Been playing mostly #2 singles - have gone 6-2 so far... but here's the kicker... I won my last 4 matches by the scores of 1 & 0, 2 & 1, 0 & 0, and 0 & 0. Obviously this is why I fear the DQ.

    BUT - only 1 of these wins (the last 0 & 0) was against someone with a winning record. In fact, the combined record of my opponents that I have beaten is 10-20. And my 2 losses were by scores of 1 & 5, and 2 & 2.

    So... do I have any chance at an appeal IF I get DQ'd? Is there a chance I won't actually get DQ'd?
     
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  33. goober

    goober Legend

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    There are plenty of 4.0 women with weak second serves. I don't know if I would classify them as dink serves but I would say they are low velocity serves with not a whole lot of spin is the norm even at the 4.0 level from what I have seen.
     
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  34. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    "Is there a chance I won't actually get DQ'd?"
    Sure. Your first four matches would have generated a dynamic rating (DNTRP) for you. Subsequently, your four recent victories would each have served to increase your DNTRP for purposes of evaluating a DQ 'strike'. But by how much, and whether it would have caused your DNTRP to go over the DQ threshold after each match, really depends on your DNTRP after the first 4 matches and on the DNTRP of each of your last opponents. No way to really tell. Actually, you would have been more at risk of DQ had it been the other way around - had you played your last 4 matches first and first 4 last. But IMO it's likely you will be DQ'd - if you are beating strong 4.0s 0&0 then really you belong at 4.5.

    "So... do I have any chance at an appeal IF I get DQ'd?"
    No. DQ is not a punishment for dishonest in self-rating; it's an objective calculation that you are too good for level and in that sense unfair to other players at level. So if the computer says DQ, the fact that you were honest and reasonable in self-rating as a 4.0 is irrelevant.
     
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  35. F L O B B E R

    F L O B B E R Rookie

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    Thanks for the reply - to be honest I won't be too upset at getting bumped up to 4.5 (although I have filled in on 4.5 teams in the past and have never won a set at that level).

    My main fear is the impact on my team. We are right on the bubble for making the playoffs and I hate that the fact that my running into a couple of folks on their bad days on the same day I had good ones will be taken out on the team. Both opponents I beat 0 & 0 was truly a matter of them not being able to hit more than 2 balls in in a row - I did nothing spectacular - they both just really "stunk it up" that day.
     
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