Any ideas on how to stop folks from overrating when self-rating?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by g4driver, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Just noticed this after watching multiple players both men and women self-rate at X, when they are really X minus 0.5 or even worse X minus 1.0

    Case 1: Recently had a guy self-rate at 4.0 at my club trying to join a 6.5 Combo Team. The guy has never played high school or college tennis, or any league tennis whatsoever. He doesn't move and has been playing tennis for three years according to him. I have had three 4.0 players, and four 3.5 players play with him as a partner. He is clearly not even competitive at 3.0 :oops: He appealed his rating down to 3.0, but even then he is going to get killed for years.

    Case 2: Last night, I watch two guys hit singles. They were clearly 3.0s at best. I walk over and introduce myself welcoming them to the club and ask if they are new members. One guy is a member and hitting with his guest. The member says he is a 3.5 but prefers to play 4.0. He asks if I know xxxx xxxxx. I tell him xxxx xxxxx is one of my best friends, my doubles partner and that he and I are on multiple teams together.

    I look up the "3.5/4.0" guys record from 2005-2008

    2008: 2-2
    2007: 1-4
    2006: 2-8 and 0-3 Mixed
    2005: 2-7

    Clearly not a strong 3.5 player with 25% winning percentage at 3.5 excluding the mixed. He won less than six games per match in the four year stretch, excluding mixed which was even worse. Certainly not a 4.0

    Case 3: My 3.5 Captain asked me and two other 3.5s to try to help teach his wife and other beginners some basic strategy playing doubles in a mixed 6.0 league. It was a painful at times, but it was giving something back to the game of tennis in helping others. There were two women on the 2.5 team who clearly worked hard and it was rewarding to see them get better over a couple of months.

    So two weeks ago, I played a 6.0 mixed match against a strong 3.0 guy / 2.5 lady, against me a 3.5 and my 2.5 beginner female partner. The opponents put the 2.5 lady was on the Ad Side. She is clearly the weaker player, as a beginner. She can't hit deep and she is very new to tennis. After the match, the opponent lady and I were talking on the pavilion. I mention that since six out of eight Ad points come on the AD side, with only 40-5, 5-40 coming on the deuce side, you will normally put the strongest player on the AD side when there is a clear cut miss match between players. And that when playing Combo, the stronger/higher rated player should be on the Ad side, unless there is a reason to deviate from this setup.

    She then looked at me very seriously and asked "Is X stronger than me?" My reply "Yes, he is clearly stronger than you. He hits harder, deeper and makes fewer UEs." Her reply. "I just want to get bumped up." :confused: My reply "Forget your rating, bump up your game and your rating will follow. Your rating is worthless if you don't have a game to support it."

    It seems to me many lower skilled players only want to have a 3.0/3.5/4.0 rating whether they can actually compete at that level or not, while some 4.0/4.5/5.0 players want to have a 3.5/4.0/4.5 rating so they can compete. All in all I think about 80% of of the players get it right, with 15% rating themselves too high, and maybe 5% sandbagging. So, yes, I actually believe 3x the number of folks overrated compared to those who underrate. Any thoughts on how to stop people doing this to themselves and to others?

    There are way too many 3.5s who don't belong at 3.5 and 3.0s who don't belong at 3.0. The 2009 bump put a few guys into 4.0s and they are getting killed, but I think 3.5 by far has the great range of skills for men since there are so many of them. I am not sure what NTRP for women have the greatest range of playing ability, but I would suspect it is either 3.0 or 3.5

    Love to hear other folks thoughts on your experiences with this topic.

    I understand the players must adhere to the USTA rules regarding self-rating, but for players who have never played USTA tennis, high school or college tennis, I suggest these players actually play with some NTRP rated players before self-rating. It seems hitting with several USTA rated players at the rating they are considering, plus/minus a half level would give them a much better idea where they really belong. e.g. guy considering 3.5 plays at least with two 3.5s, 3.0s and 4.0s either doubles or singles, before putting himself at the wrong level for years. I have never seen a player bumped down in my experience with USTA tennis. I know it happens, but I think it should happen more often.

    is this just part of human nature? People thinking they are better than they truly are? Especially as beginners who are knew to a system and the game of tennis.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
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  2. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Good question. I think a lot of it has to do with the wording in the ratings guide. It is very easy to believe you are a 3.5 when you are not. The wording is extremely vague. I'm a self rated 4. I believe it to be accurate based on playing other people, and less on how the NRTP rating is worded. I do wonder about it sometimes though, because it seems like every other self rated player I've come across is about .5 too high. At least I think they are...maybe they aren't??!!!
     
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  3. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    maybe they thought it was a good idea at the time. and yes, it is human nature. we naturally see ourselves "higer" than what we are in all aspects.
     
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  4. Darkhors

    Darkhors Rookie

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    Part of the problem is that they got rid of the rating clinics where the club pro would put you through some basic hitting drills and games and would do the rating for you. This was a much better catalyst in my mind as it takes the ego out of the equation and it's an unbiased account of your playing ability. Now, you can just lie to the computer and rate whatever you want. Sure most people will be defaulted if they rate too low, but some people know how to work the system and when and where to play their matches so they don't get DQ'd.

    It won't change until they go back to having the club pro's do the ratings.

    DH
     
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  5. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    i don't think i've ever heard of people self rating higher.

    it's usually 1 or 2 spots lower.
     
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  6. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    You must not be in 2.5-3.5 land.

    Almost every guy who comes to my club who thinks they are a 4.0 are barely 3.5's at best.
     
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  7. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Case 1 appears to be your only example where someone self-rated too high.
     
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  8. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Don't this seem to suggest to you that 1) that segment is the Nirvana of recreational tennis. It's neither too lousy (below 3.5) nor too hard work (4.5+); and 2) people just wanna play the kind of tennis they want, and rating is all secondary and superficial.

    No?
     
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  9. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    That's my experience too. Sandbagging is way more prevalent than rating high. It doesn't make sense. What captain wants a 3.0 playing for their 3.5 team?
     
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  10. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    we still do this in Australia for ITN, although it isn't all that common.

    I have done the course for coaching a few times as well as being the 'sample player' for coaches to rate, to when I say i am an ITN 4 (NTRP 5.0), I am pretty darn certain!!!
     
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  11. Old school Paul

    Old school Paul New User

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    I have to disagree. My experience is most men want to rate themselves too low so they can win or a captain will encourage them to. Many women are very impatient to have a higher rating so they domth opposite. Of course there are cases that great this trend but after 20 years of USTA tennis this is my observation. Imam playing at 4.5 and we have already had two players who had collegiate experience attempt to play 4.5 but get bumped to 5.0. I am not talking d3 or club collegiate but d1 experience and in each case a captain was trying to slide them in and hide them. I played one of these guys in a non USTA match and it was clear to me he was going to get bumped based on my 4.5 level experience. He will be at the top of 5.0 and probably a 5.5 or better.
     
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  12. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    I self-rated as a 3.5 two seasons ago (high school team captain back in the day). I had been back at tennis for about a month (after 8 years off) when I started my first season. Being the youngest guy on the team, they played me at singles for much of the season. I got crushed, mostly for lack of consistency.

    This year, I played only doubles on a decent 3.5 team. I lost all 4 of my matches, two of them in 3rd set tie breakers, two of them in straights on some bad luck. In a #1 doubles match my captain and I went to 3rd-deuce game point in like 6 games and lost them all - it was really close, we just never got a break (we also got hooked a few times, it was shameful).

    I just signed up for mixed 7.0 this fall. The team roster lists me as a 3.0 now - early start rankings say I am being dropped to 3.0, which I find odd. At first I was annoyed, but I can honestly say I'm not mad or ashamed. Just miffed.

    A few hours ago I got back from playing 3 sets at my local men's night. I'm not going to say I dominated, but I played the best 3.5s there and won, not irregular. I told them about getting moved down, and one of the older guys says rather enthusiastically "lucky you! I tried to stay 3.0 as long as I could, but they got me a few years ago." After my partner and I won, the guy says "if you play on a 3.0 team next season, and serve like you did tonight, you're going to hear a lot of belly-aching come next year."
     
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  13. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    This nailed it dman72. Same thing here were I live.

    Case 2: So the guy won less than six games per match on average for four years with a 25% winning percentage.

    Beernutz, what USTA metric indicated he rated properly? I am curious. Is it a) winning 5.5 games per match on average. So 6-3, 6-2.5 average score for four years? or b) The 25% winning percentage? c)something I am missing. I watched this guy hit and he is clearly not competitive at 3.5 He self-rated at 3.5 having never played high school tennis, college tennis, or any leagues what so ever. So my point is he clearly self-rated too high. His 3.5 record is abysmal. He loses 3 our of every 4 times he goes on the court, and his average loss is worse than 6-3, 6-3 as he has won seven matches total in four years. I clearly thought he was a mid-level 3.0 at best.

    Case 3: The 2.5 female has won 40% of her matches over a 3 year period. So I admit she seems to have rated properly.

    To all the 4.0+ players responding, yes sandbagging is a bigger issue at 4.0+, but my point and I tried to state this in my original post is lower rated players self-rate too high, thinking they are much better than the really are.

    Then there are those people who have played tennis for years, then take a break, and have rated themselves as low as they can get away with it, effectively sandbagging. Sandbagging occurs more at 4.0+ (and to some deal at 3.5), while the 3.0 ranks are filled with folks who should be 2.5, and 3.5 ranks filled with folks who should have rated as 3.0s. I see far more 3.5s who are overrated than I do sandbaggers. Neither are good for the game, but I would rather play a sandbagger than a person who will not be competitive.

    I think Govnr and Dman72 understand where I am coming from at 3.5 land. I see both overrated player and sandbaggers, but more overrated players.

    At 4.0, I see players who played Division I college tennis put on teams to play singles. "Did you play college tennis?" "NO" If you played tennis in the SEC, or ACC, I am pretty sure, you don't belong at 4.0. Maybe I am wrong. But yep, self-rated as 4.0. Nicely done. :shock:
     
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  14. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    One thing that would help is if the USTA would re-do their NTRP descriptions. Looking at the descriptions, I would be at least a 4.0, possibly a 4.5. In reality, in competition, I get beaten handily by 4.0s, crush 3.0s, and have mixed results against 3.5s.
     
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  15. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    I agree with this - I just read them yesterday and based on their descriptions I should be a 3.5, but I am (and feel I'm properly ranked at) a 3.0 based on my league and rec matches with other 3.0/3.5 people.
     
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  16. g4driver

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    I have two 3.0S men on a 6.5 Combo team that play worse than 2.5 women. I just spent two months hitting with 2.5 women so I am speaking from recent experience. lol

    Both of these 3.0S guys are brand new to the game, having never played any tennis whatsoever, so they self-rate. I don't blame them. They just read the guidelines and bam, they are 3.0s

    If I could, I would take two of the 2.5 women I played mixed 6.0 with just a few weeks ago and put them on the team. We would be better off without a doubt. :shock: The 2.5 women are also new to tennis , but they get out and practice, take lessons and they are more athletic. Bonus: they look a heck of a lot better too.

    It is much better to be hot chick and be terrible than to be an ugly guy and be terrible. ;) I was going to write "suck" in lieu of "be terrible", but "hot chick" and "suck" in the same sentence might get me in trouble. :twisted:
     
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  17. kendall22

    kendall22 Rookie

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    It's pretty clear to me that people on non-USTA venues (clubs or public courts) will overrate themselves relative to USTA leagues when discussing their subjective NTRP level- about 0.5 on average.

    It's because they read the verbiage on levels and think they can do that- problem is they don't do that consistently.

    So it shouldn't be surprising than when a half-serious tennis player goes to a USTA league that they overrate, especially in USTA leagues where the game is to underrate a little.
     
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  18. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    The USTA standard for whether you are appropriately rated is that you are competitive at that level so that winning 25% of your matches against similarly rated competition very well could be competitive. Being competitive, as I understand it, is not based on your win/loss record but rather on your match scores and your opponent's NTRP levels. Theoretically you could lose 100% of your matches at a particular level and still be designated competitive if they were all close losses. I lost my first six singles matches at 3.5 when I first self-rated back in 2005 but it turns out I was playing very highly rated 3.5s who were all bumped up to 4.0 the next year. However, except for one match where I was beaten 3 and 2 I was competitive against each opponent, taking sets from all but one who I lost to 4 and 4. So my point is, based on the information you provided, it is not clear at all (to me) that case 2 self-rated too high based on my understanding of how the rating system works. In 2008 case 2 had a 50% win rate at 3.5 and it seems a bit of a stretch to say he isn't competitive at 3.5 if he is winning 50% of his matches at that level in a given season.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
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  19. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Soooo, why are these two terrible 3.0 dudes on your roster? If its a social group and they are good guys, I get it. But if the team captain wants to win he probably won't play them much.
     
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  20. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    There are more than two 3.5 players for every 3.0 player out there at our club. One team has at least nine 3.5 players on the team, and four 3.0 players. The 3.5s will rarely play.

    Some of the 3.0s wanted to play with their friends on the same 6.5 team, so not understanding the 3 courts per match, one team has six 3.0s on the team. Ok, I get that, and maybe some guys can't make it do to traveling. My team has four 3.0s. We needed the bodies in order to play. This league will be more about drinking than winning. Cheers! ;)

    About one-third of the 3.5 guys play on 4.0 teams, and they want to play 7.5 and 8.5, but there aren't enough 4.5/5.0s to build a team.

    So the 3.5s & 4.0s play 7.5, and the top half of 4.0s play both 7.5 & 8.5 and some 4.5s play 7.5/8.5/9.5, putting the best 3.0s on the court with a 4.5.

    So the 3.5s got asked to play 6.0s to play 6.5 Combo. With the 3.0s doing the Captaining. The 3.5s thought 6.5 Combo would be like 7.0 Mixed with less drama. ;) There are a ton of 3.0 and 3.5 women to play 7.0 mixed with, but 3.0 guys are just too small of a group. Hey guys will just go hang out a bar last night. We were there until 1230 am, so it is still fun. That is the main reason to play for most of the guys.

    Maybe one of the guys has a hot 27 year gf that he can bring to cheerlead for us. ;)
     
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  21. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    You also get people rating higher because they don't like the game at 3.0 or 3.5: "All I see is pushers at that 3.0, I do better at 4.0 where people hit the ball."

    Of course, what they don't realize is that in a competitive match, a smart 4.0 will quickly realize they like pace and give them nothing but garbage as they self destruct.
     
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  22. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    When I self rated, I went through the questionaire and answered everything honestly. The system gave me a 3.5. I tried to appeal it down and lost because I was a collegiate swimmer. I was worried until I got to playing 3.5 players and I realized I was at the right level to begin with. Bear in mind, I didn't have the understanding of levels a few months ago that I have now. I can see the big differences between even half levels and I know I have a big hill to climb to get to 4.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
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  23. Praetorian

    Praetorian Professional

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    I have to agree with some of the posters in that it's a combination of the generalization of the rating criteria, and people just generally think they are better than they are. I've seen people call themselves 4.0 because they have a "consistent and dominating" stroke like a FH or BH, as shown when being fed balls in the middle of the court, in their strike zone, but the pro at the net. Yet, as soon as they have to move 2 or more feet in either direction, it looks like they are trying to pop fly balls into left field.

    When I moved to Texas several years ago, in order to get out and meet people, I joined a tennis league. Up to this point, I haven't touched a racket in 15 years, and barely heard of this guy named Federer, that's how much outside of tennis I was. However, when I did quit tennis, I was playing in open tournaments which would be considered challengers today. I quit because I was burnt out, but that's another story.
    Seeing as I didn't play in 15 years, and was totally out of shape, I self rated myself as 3.0. However, they only had spots open in 3.5. I'm not above losing, and really only wanted to play for fun, so what the heck, I played. Long story short I went undefeated, and they kicked me out. A complaint was filed against my team, and they stuck me in the 4.5s. Still out of shape, I only about 25% of my matches. Was I a 4.5, I didn't think so, but those 3.5s would really be stretching it, if they admitted 3.0
     
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  24. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    So being a good swimmer means you'd be a good tennis player?

    When that rating system first came out in the late 70's, everybody over-rated themselves. "I do drop shots, lobs, volleys and half volleys. Not well, but I do them. So I guess I'm a 4.5."

    What I see is that people rate themselves 4.5 for competition in doubles mixers. The same people drop it to 3.5 for tourneys. I don't think it's all or even mostly dishonesty. It's just alot of mediocre players think that they're actually really good.
     
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  25. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

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    This is really strange. Over at my club and in my league, you automatically assume that if someone is self-rated, that they are playing one level too low. For example, recently, there was a self-rate 3.0 that got DQed and bumped up to 3.5, where he proceeded to continue to kill opponents 6-1 6-2 etc. When I heard that, I just thought "makes sense, he was self-rated".

    Seems the exact opposite of what I'm seeing here.
     
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  26. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    That's exactly the explanation that was emailed to me by USTA when the appeals committee denied my appeal. They stated playing any collegiate sport demonstrates athletic ability. :) It doesn't really matter since I am perfectly fine playing 3.5 to 4.0 players. I was just worried about being a 3.5 at my first USTA tourney but it turned out fine. Back then, I didn't have a clear concept of what each level meant but I fully understood after playing various opponents over the course of the spring and summer.

    It must be a pride thing for people who over-rate themselves.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
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  27. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Quite an assumption on their part! For example, Dick Cavett described how he could barely swim the 50 yards required to complete college in his day. But in high school he won 1st place for the state of Nebraska in gymnastics. Surprising that he could be so good in one sport, yet so bad at swimming.

    I've seen lots of people who had success in some sport, but are hopeless at tennis.
     
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  28. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    That is funny. I know a female swimmer (ex-swimmer) that is about the most uncoordinated person I've ever seen. She is useless at any sport that requires skill.
     
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  29. Setmatch45

    Setmatch45 Rookie

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    I would think if tennis clubs would not over rate players it would help. They call people 4.0 or ever 4.5 they play a ladder or in house league do ok than self rate at that level and wonder why they can not win a match. When I inform them of why the get mad.
     
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  30. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    My daughter captained her college field hockey and lacrosse teams (obviously, both stick and ball sports), and she can whack the heck out of a ball. But, there is no way she is above a 2.5 at tennis. Now, with some real training (not just me trying to tell her how to toss the ball for a serve), she could probably move up to 3.0 or 3.5 fairly easily. But 3.5 to start? No, no, no.
     
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  31. SLW

    SLW New User

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    Everyone in my area (Mississippi) self rates too low (sandbags). It really is sad that they stopped letting club pros assign rankings to new players. People can't be trusted to self rate, and it ruins the leagues. I've been playing in the 3.5 league for 4 years, and every year, there's always one team that is full of players who should be at 4.0 and are playing at 3.0 or 3.5. Invariably, when playing actual matches against these guys, they turn out to be the kind of overcompetitive jackasses you would assume them to be.

    Last spring, my local league coordinators actually did something nice for a change. They recognized through experience which of these teams were sandbagging, and put them all in the same division, so just one of them would be represented at the state tournament.

    My question is, how the heck does the automatic computer ranking work? Every year, you get a new ranking calculated by the USTA computers.. the problem is, it's not consistent. I know a team full of 3.0 guys who went undefeated and won the state tournament, and remained 3.0 the next season. Contrast that with my friend who was a 3.5, had a losing record all year, and was bumped up to 4.0. Huh?
     
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  32. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Every single member of a 3.0 team which won the MS state tournament stayed at 3.0 the next year? What year was this?
     
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  33. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Seems several would have been bumped.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
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  34. Fusker

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    The biggest issue I see with guys self-(over)rating is that they are getting back into the game and remember how well they used to play. Problem is, they are now in their upper 20s or 30s, and are far removed from the high school glory days. It usually results in them overrating themselves at least .5 higher than they should be on the very active ladder I play on.

    Just last week I had a match against a guy that moved out from back east. Turns out he joined the 4.5 ladder after being encouraged by the ladder director to start there - he originally wanted to join the 5.0 ladder. Two weeks after joining 4.5, he is 0-4.
     
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  35. goober

    goober Legend

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    Over rating yourself I really don't see as a problem in USTA league tennis. Where I see it most often is at clubs, craigslist/internet players looking for partners, flex league and sometimes tournaments.

    In USTA you have a captain evaluating players before they join a team. I have had plenty of self rated players who think they are 4.0-4.5 tryout for my team. The vast majority of them turn out to be 3.0-3.5 level and I tell what level to play. I suppose on a really weak team, the captain might let them join anyways, but those cases are pretty uncommon.
     
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  36. J_R_B

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    More often, I see the opposite problem. Guys who were competitive juniors who haven't played in 5 years rate themselves at the level they can play when they first start back, and in a couple months, they are kicking everyone's ass as a self-rated ringer. I played a guy like that at districts last year in 4.0. The guy was an all-county high school player who played #1 for one of the strongest teams in the state. He was now mid-20s and just getting back into the game (after not playing in college). He self-rated at 4.0 and played close matches in the beginning of the season. By districts, he kicked my ass 1 & 1, and by the end of the summer, he was regularly beating 4.5s in tournaments. It would have been better for him and everyone if he had rated at 4.5 to start and maybe taken a couple lumps while re-discovering his game but played out the year at the right level. He is one of the top 4.5s in the area this year.
     
    #36
  37. texacali

    texacali Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
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    230
    I know I am not overrated....I play at 3.5 but get my butt kicked by 3.0's and 3.5's. Of course, there is a WIDE gap in ability of the 3.0's I have played...maybe some of them underrated themselves.
     
    #37
  38. goober

    goober Legend

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    Jun 9, 2004
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    8,491
    Sure that guy may be 0-4 after a couple weeks, but I agree with JRB. After 2-6 months of practice they can easily be close to their old level especially if they are still in their 20s or early 30s.

    I played a guy that was former top 10 section and offered D1 Scholie at a small school. He didn't take it and decided to stop playing tennis. Fast foward 12 years after not touching a racquet, he starts playing again. First time I played him I won 6-3, 6-3. Second time I play him 3 weeks later, we split sets. I play him again 2 months after that and lose 6-0, 6-1. He never contacts me again.
     
    #38
  39. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Oct 18, 2010
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    Chicago, IL
    Did you know the guy or was a friend? Or just a guy you met and he blew you off after winning big?
     
    #39
  40. CDestroyer

    CDestroyer Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
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    1,354
    Just take it with a grain of salt. Like someone discussing their pay.
     
    #40
  41. goober

    goober Legend

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    Just a guy I met looking to get back into the game after a long time off. BTW I wasn't offended or anything, he was way better than me when he got back up to speed and there was little point in him hitting with me any longer.
     
    #41
  42. backttennis

    backttennis New User

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Messages:
    53
    Eight months ago, I returned to playing tennis (singles only) after not picking up a racquet for 20 years. A lot has changed. Our club is very USTA-obsessed (maybe all clubs are now?) Anyway, we have three different teams of 3.5 female players at our club, each with over 20 players. Despite this, two teams had trouble getting enough people to play in several matches this summer.

    I resisted club pressure to join USTA right away as I did not want to embarrass myself, having had NO experience in competitive play. I was told by the pros to start as a 3.5, and felt this was about right based on how I did on the singles ladder playing against other 3.5's, so gave it a shot this summer.

    What I didn't foresee was that I froze up in USTA play and found it overly serious, nerve wracking and not at all fun. I did not concentrate or play as well as usually do. I played 4 matches and only won 2, and these were against other self-rated players. I lost one match to a 3.0 who plays Number 1 singles for a 3.5 team. She has been moving back and forth for years between 3.0 and 3.5.

    So to me, it looks like I may be moved down to a 3.0. My team captain says she couldn't care less, as they have trouble finding people to play singles. But I've found the whole thing kind of embarrassing and wish I had waited before joining a team - or that I had started as a 3.0 in the first place so that I wouldn't have to worry about being knocked down.
     
    #42
  43. goober

    goober Legend

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    Winning 2 out of 4 matches is embarrassing? You are putting too much pressure on yourself. Just enjoy it. You don't have to win every match and in my experience you won't probably won't get bumped down as a self rated player. I had a self rated player that went 3-3 his first season and got bumped UP.
     
    #43
  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, hey. Don't be so hard on yourself. If you went .500 in your first season, you rated reasonably and probably will stay 3.5.

    Many of us feel what you describe when we start playing competitive tennis. You don't feel like you are concentrating or playing as well as you might. Been there.

    I don't know that there is any way around that experience, though. Had you waited a year, you might have simply delayed the inevitable. Now you have learned what it's all about, so hopefully next year will be more fun.
     
    #44
  45. backttennis

    backttennis New User

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    Thank you both for the kind words and the encouragement. However, I think in the early ratings at least, which come out in late August, I will be bumped down to a 3.0. That's the embarrassing part, as I am the only person on a 23-person team who could be knocked down. There are several who may be bumped up, but not down.

    My reasoning is that the two matches I lost were to a 3.0 and a 3.5. The matches I won were against other self-rated 3.5's, and these really don't count, I hear, especially since, in each case, it was their first USTA season, as it was mine. In one case it was her first USTA match ever. So my wins over them don't count for much except to help establish their computer-generated ratings, but my losses definitely will count to establish mine.

    If every match I had played was against an established 3.5, I wouldn't even worry about being knocked down if I had won even one match or even just had close scores.

    Oh well - too late to worry about it now. I will just have to play in the fall to try to improve my rating for the year.
     
    #45
  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^Just gotta jump in to make a quick point:

    There is no reason to be "embarrassed" about any action the computer might take. You showed up, you played your best, you tried to win, you didn't. There is nothing embarrassing about that. Unless you did something awful (cheated, engaged in blatant gamesmanship, behaved badly), you should not be at all embarrassed.

    Please don't get caught up in that whole thing women do regarding ratings. A rating is not a measure of your worth. It is a rough and often inaccurate measure of your tennis ability. Getting bumped up or down means you will face different challenges next season, nothing more and nothing less.

    There is no profit in handwringing about what the computer might or might not do. You don't know the dynamic ratings of your opponents, so guessing the result a total shot in the dark.

    The best thing to do, then, is focus on your game. I say this because this is my first year at 4.0, and there is anguish all around me. There are ladies who tried to game the system -- doing everything they could think of to maximize their chances of being bumped up -- only to wish they had focused more on their net game than managing their rating.

    If you are bumped to 3.0, look at it is a rare opportunity to fix holes in your game. If you don't volley well, for instance, 3.0 is the time to get that sorted. Believe me, those who don't fix holes in their game can really struggle when they are bumped up.

    Good luck. I wish I had been a bit less absorbed with getting bumped up so I could feel good about my game. The only thing that helps you feel good about your game is playing well, and a computer rating won't help you there.
     
    #46
  47. backttennis

    backttennis New User

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    One thing you mentioned, the computer-generated rating, is the biggest thing I don't like about USTA.

    I've noticed quite a few inaccuracies at my club already, most of which involve singles players being rated lower than they actually play. One woman at my club routinely wins recreational and USTA singles matches against most of the 3.5 players. But she's still a 3.0, although we think she'll be moved up this year, depending on how she does at districts. Her frequent doubles play on a 3.0 team may have been holding her back.

    There are some doubles players who I think are a bit overrated. They play many matches per year, lose most of them, but stay where they are. Some can't really play singles at all.

    There's a huge disparity on the teams between the abilities of the singles players and many of the doubles players at the same USTA level.
     
    #47
  48. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Chicago, IL
    Could you elaborate on that?
     
    #48
  49. backttennis

    backttennis New User

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    Jul 26, 2012
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    53
    The regular singles players on all our teams tend to be the stronger, more athletic players. Most also play doubles well when necessary.

    Many of our doubles players can't play singles against them even in practice; they barely win a game. Some are not in great shape and don't have much endurance or good court coverage. But their doubles results are okay.
     
    #49
  50. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    791
    The USTA verification program used to solve this. But it was eliminated. Maybe because of money (us verifiers were paid) or because of the successful ALTA self verification program in Atlanta. Or both.
     
    #50

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