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 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." 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.