Anyone have a League Coordinator as the worse offender of sandbagging?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by DeanMacBaine, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. DeanMacBaine

    DeanMacBaine New User

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    In our league, this guys team wins the Fort Worth playoff every season in the 4.0 division. He has a great core of senior guys that all used to be 4.5 and are now 4.0. These guys all go to nationals almost every season as a senior team. If they get bumped to 4.5, the admittedly try to lose every match in the fall season to get bumped down for the next spring (he runs a 4.5 team for this purpose too).

    He brings unrated players on in the fall and has them go about .500 so they can be computer rated for spring and thus no dreaded DQs. As a team they also lose 1-2 matches towards the end of each season just to keep their ratings down. And they will lose to some pretty bad teams or some marginal players that should be probably be 3.5.

    Anyway, they kick ass in playoffs and win every year, usually in a 4-1 or 5-0 match every time. This year was the closest anyone has come in awhile pushing it to 3-2 in the finals but they beat the same team 4-1 in the regular season. Then they use fall league as a way to bring their ratings down. They get 3 guys bumped to 4.5 in the mid season but all are able to play on the 4.0 Senior team. Now this playoff team is going to sectionals but 0-4 in this senior league. These 4.5 guys have yet to win more than 3-4 games total against very poor 4.0s and even one 3.5 rated guy that was playing up. It obvious what they are doing. Hell if they were olympic badminton players, they'd be DQd. But what can be done about this? Again, this is the League Coordinator for all of the Fort Worth men's leagues. If this guy is so blatantly gaming the system, it basically means we all have to cheat or find 4.5 guys intentionally willing to lose games to compete.

    And should the USTA consider weighting the fall leagues differently? This guy uses it solely for bringing ratings down. I'm sure alot of the national level teams do this as well.
     
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  2. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    that's one of the pleasures of being good at tennis :twisted:
     
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  3. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Sounds like a bunch of savvy ole dudes to me. Maybe you should form a team of young hotshots that can take these guys on. It's kinda humorous someone complaining about a team of senior sandbaggers cleaning up in 4.0 USTA League Tennis. Used to be 4.5 and now as seniors they're 4.0 that's the natural aging process, man. Don't get hung up on ratings, maybe they're just good. Must be quite humbling!
     
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  4. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Is this the "Old Gang" by chance, these guys are some good players who were very good 4.5 players and back 10 yrs ago routinely went to Sectionals at the 4.5 level.
     
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  5. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Who wants to play when you have to lose x amount of games to have a good season? What a joke.
     
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  6. goober

    goober Legend

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    Losing matches on purpose is not savvy, it is poor sportsmanship and outright cheating. I know teams that are exactly like this. They get bumped up after playoffs and they lose matches next season. They get early start ratings lowered and in the fall season they lose to weak teams on purpose and win a bunch of matches 3-2 that they should have won 5-0 rotating people losing in singles to keep their ratings down. I have zero respect for them.
     
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  7. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Holy cow I saw thread title and said "YES" and clicked. Then I read your thread and though "wow what a coincidence!!"

    STEVE MILLER - Fort Worth USTA Mens league coordinator

    BIGGEST SANDBAGGER in DFW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He has been working lineups and stats for years. I have actually played on one of his teams and he is very clever in structuring lineups and making sure the right people "loose" at the right times.

    He pulled a doozy this year in mens 4.0 league. Had some college kid who played so-so in league but then in playoffs really cleaned house. We had our best singles player who went undefeated in regular season (and also won a 4.5 tournament in the consolation bracket) get taken to the woodshed in playoffs. The "old gang" singles kid literally blasted our guy off the court. At first we thought the kids was really good and just played well for "that match". Then we watched his other matches and noticed that it was no fluke. Researched the kid and found out he was a college tennis player!!!

    He runs the site for the citys mens tennis leagues: http://www.fortworthmenstennis.com/
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
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  8. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    It is not just a team of "old dudes" they have college players on their team.

    Also this is the league coordinator for all of USTA mens tennis. He does this every year and for every league (Tri-Level, Combo, senior, etc...). Literally every team he puts together goes to sectionals EVERY YEAR.

    Its a major conflict of interest and should be dealt with. You do realize any grievance or complaint you have has to go through your League coordinator? In my area it does at least, I know this first hand because I filed one once and had to go through him to file it.
     
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  9. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Guess I should have held back a little before I posted. I read the first part of the post where it said senior players and thought it a little refreshing that for once seniors were described as former 4.5 and good 4.0 as opposed to how they are usually described on TT as decripit, weak kneed, hobbling around with long baggy shorts and chopping, slicing and pushing like there's no tomorrow. It seemed incredible that a group of seniors would be sandbagging against teams of much younger 4.0s. Now, I see it for what it is, collusion, trickery and decepetion by the league coordinator. Another reason why I steer clear of USTA events.
     
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  10. goober

    goober Legend

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    I am actually not surprised because basically coordinators are often long time league players. I am sure some of them figure they can get away with almost anything if they become the LC.
     
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  11. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Supposedly this guy gets consulting fees from the Chinese Badminton team too.
     
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  12. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Agreed and USTA should not allow this.

    Really there is nothing wrong with him being a league player and I am sure there are many other captains/players besides him that sandbag in our area.

    But it is very unethical for him to be in charge of so much. USTA should not allow him to be league coordinator and captain a team as it is too tempting for someone in that situation to "game" the system.

    This league coordinator (who captains many teams in many divisions) is responsible for:
    • All mens league schedules. Times/dates/locations
    • League divisions. When there are too many teams signed up for one level they split into divisions (A,B,C) and those divisions dont play each other. Only division winners advance to playoffs where teams meet for first time. Huge hole here allowing LC to schedule his team in a "weak" division.
    • City season playoffs. Brackets/matchups/match times
    • Creating schedules for special leagues/tournaments. Combo/Tri-Level, etc...
    • Being liaison for all grievances/appeals between player and USTA

    So there is a huge conflict of interest here and a temptation to cheat when you are team captain of the very leagues your in charge of organizing/putting together/managing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
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  13. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    just curious if the kid is a college player why was he allowed to play, he has 3 yrs of league granted it was in MXD did he have a "M" rating until end of 2011?You would better contacting Todd Reed directly at TTA if you feel Steve Miller can not handle it professionally.
     
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  14. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Well that is the crux of the problem really. Why would Steve Miller handle a problem with this kid when it was Steve Millers team he played on. Steve is not going to do something to jeopardize his own team.

    That is the conflict of interest. Anyways its all over and honestly it did not matter enough to our team to complain about it. I only posted here because I saw this thread.

    Regardless of the sandbagging Steve Miller does a lot for tennis in our area and I dont know what would happen if he was not around to do it.

    I went to sectionals with him once and it was nice and I have been to sectionals without him. What we try to do is avoid playing in the same division that he registers in.

    Since he worked his rating back down to 4.0 and I worked mine up to 4.0 I cant avoid that for regular league but in Tri-Sectionals/Combo we usually just make a team in a lower division since he usually goes for the top division.
     
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  15. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Your right Steve is a nice guy and works but it does leave a bitter taste, played his team years ago when he was running a 4.5 team out of Hurst. The Old Gang ruled 4.5 until Southlake came along for a few years.
     
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  16. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Last season I had a league coordinator from a neighboring district call me to play on his team. I had never met him before but he said he had looked at detailed USTA ratings and identified the top players in other districts. He was calling the top guys from outside his district to play for him .. just enough to qualify for playoffs and sectionals.

    I did not end up playing for him but it indicated to me just a little bit about how much these coordinators can massage the system.
     
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  17. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Any captain caught instructing his players to lose in order to get/keep a lower rating should be permanently banned. Of course, who's going to do that if they are also the coordinator...
     
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  18. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Detailed USTA rating information is only available to a Sectional League Administrator. Local and District/State Coordinators do not have access to rating information. Unfortunately, as in every other facet of life, there are self-important people who try to make themselves seem important to all others.
     
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  19. goober

    goober Legend

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    Well you really don't need detailed ratings info to identify the top players in neighboring sections. All you have to to do is to have detailed look at their records and you can figure it out yourself pretty accurately. LC would also probably have the contact info on these players that others wouldn't have so he would be and advantage in that respect.
     
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  20. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Anyone can look at records in TennisLink and come to their own conclusions. LC's don't have contact information in neighboring sections. Anyone can find out contact information if they are industrious enough to take the time.
     
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  21. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    too much of a conflict of interest to be on a contending team and also the LC.
     
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  22. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    What a conundrum. I would never want to be in the position of LC and captain of the local dynasty. Seems too obviously shady. Wouldn't want to live my life knowing that people doubted my integrity.
     
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  23. goober

    goober Legend

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    Well maybe I should have said neighboring district not section. Not always easy to find people's contact info. Sometimes it is easy and sometime it can be pretty hard. But I agree it is not beyond the ability for anybody do this if they were determined to do it. I am not sure if I would want my LC doing it though.
     
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  24. DeanMacBaine

    DeanMacBaine New User

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    No kidding right. At least his team went 0-2 today at Sectionals. Though Fincher went 2-0 today. He will have to lose badly at least 2-3 more times in the over 40 league to make up for it.
     
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  25. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    LC's can be as straight as an arrow, but players & captains will make them out to be crooked villains. LC's are like everyone else, some are good and some are bad. But there shouldn't be an assumption that LC's are crooked. Captains and players in my area actually make up lies to make the LC's look bad. If you correct these people with the real story they stop talking to you. Why, because nothing ruins a good story like the truth.
     
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  26. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    True catfish, but in this case i can assure you we are not making things up. (At least for the fw mens league)
     
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  27. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    sandbaggin is the most overused term in league tennis. everybody who gets their ass handed to them is convinced the guy they played was a sandbagger

    just gotta look at recent threads in this forum with ppl *****in about 'ringers' at sectionals
     
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  28. DeanMacBaine

    DeanMacBaine New User

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    Sorry but I'm not getting my ass handed to me. I went 6-1 this season plus another 3-1 in playoffs. I even went 1-1 against the great Miller's team. And there are a few others in this very thread that have experience with this guy by playing on his team and they admitted to what goes on. So maybe you should just stay out of a thread if you are only talking out of your ass.

    This League Coordinator finds college guys, self rates at 4.0 and tells them to lose a few matches a season to keep their ratings down. His senior team took 4th at Nationals last year and I believe the same core guys won the mixed nationals too. These aren't your typical old guys. They are all very good and if they wanted to compete at 4.5, they would easily be .500 players. But when he has them losing to 2&1 to 3.5 players (or guys that are just flat awful and should be playing 3.5) to keep them from being bumped to 4.5, it's pretty F** up. This isn't just a captain I'm talking about. This is the freaking League Coordinator. He is directly cheating the system that he is put in charge to run.

    At the end of the day, he is only doing what he can to compete against the teams from Dallas and Houston that are much deeper and have plenty of guys doing the same thing. And unfortunately, the team I play on is going to have to start doing it too. I just hate that my team is full of true 4.0 players that never throw a match and we have to play against a team that loses on purpose because they don't win enough at their true level.
     
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  29. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    I believe you. Some people are LC's to gain an advantage if they can. But I don't think most are like that. I know a lot of good ones. And it's a thankless job at times.
     
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  30. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I hate to say it, but I have direct experience in this league and this is a very sad thing going on. I traditionally am not a complainer of typical sandbagging as I like playing these hot shots (any sandbagger). But this thing going on with the Spring sectionals, then the incredibly laughable Fall tennis losses to extremely weak teams is just, well, not even sure the words to say.
     
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  31. goober

    goober Legend

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    Even if he were just a captain and not a coordinator it would be impossible to prove. That is why I think the only viable solution is to bump entire teams and benchmark them for 3 years if they make it to sectionals. Instead of the ridiculous cycle where only a handful of players get bumped from a sectional/nationals team and they work their ratings down in year and rejoin their old team. Every year it is slighly different versions of the same teams going to playoffs.
     
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  32. bradfordt

    bradfordt New User

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    I also play USTA in Fort Worth, and agree with the comments about the coordinator and that the current USTA system is being exploited. It points out a flaw in the USTA ratings that a team can go to sectionals/nationals every year, yet no one on the team gets bumped up. Yes, I've had my butt kicked by players on his teams, but this is supposed to be a fair fight....
     
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  33. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    If I get bumped up to 4.0 next year (which I won't BTW) then my computer rating is actually 3.9, correct? The closer my opponents get to 4.40 (the number in which they will likely be bumped up to 4.5), they will be steadily better than I am.

    It perfectly makes sense that the playoffs are the place where the competition is most fierce. You're playing people that are the best at being 4.0s, which means they are likely as close to 4.40 as possible.

    Now, whether they are artificially tanking matches to keep their rating at 4.40, or if they got there "naturally" through practice and hard work, what difference does it make? They're still the best of what 4.0 tennis has to offer -- and that's what you should be expecting going into that match. If you yourself are not the best of what a 4.0 has to offer, then you probably won't make it that far in the playoffs.

    It's the difference between really good, and really, really good. Frankly, I'd be happy to make it to the playoffs. I know I'll never get that chance.
     
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  34. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, that's all fine and good, and our team plays straight up - and we certainly competed well and did better at sectionals than the team not to be named...LOL. However, we have guys getting the mid season bump of course. Now do we start doing the same BS so we can compete again, or do we let our guys go, and keep the top legit 4.0 talent watered down so the-team-that-shall-not-be-named can dominate once again. It's like Ground Hog Day I swear.

    We can make it more fair, but we don't want to cheat either.
     
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  35. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Actually your boundaries are a bit off:

    The range for 4.0 is from 3.51 - 4.00.
    If you are currently a 3.5, that means you are 3.01 - 3.50.

    Ratings change dynamically through the course of the season, so it's possible (common actually) that the person you are playing in the playoff has already crossed the threshold into the next level, but the bump is not made official or public until final ratings come out.

    So at 3.5 for example, you might be 'only' be a 3.45 (which is a very strong 3.5), but be playing someone who is currently at 3.65, which would get them bumped to 4.0 at the end of the year assuming their rating is still at that level by then.
     
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  36. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Because one of your two choices there is blatant bald face cheating. I didn't say we don't enjoy trying to beat these guys, because we absolutely do. BTW, everybody that gets to 4.4+ got there with tons of hard work. The question is ---- do they cheat to STAY there?

    Two years ago, I was playing a typical MZ 4.0 tourney, and came up against the #1 rated 3.5 bump up in the state of TX from the previous season. I beat him straight up, winning 9 consecutive games to end it. Now...imagine 4-5 guys like me tanking down all on one 3.5 team - seriously how fair would that be? That's just a tad unfair don't you think?

    In any case, 'ain't really a big deal to me, but it is what we all know it is.
     
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  37. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    confused again. If you claim the 'other' team is full of sandbaggers, and yours is presumably not - how is it possible you did better than the other team? It makes no sense?? Are you suggesting they are intentionally losing at Sectionals? What would be the point?
     
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  38. twos

    twos New User

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    All this talk about sandbagging but they were one of the weaker teams in their pool and all of sectionals?
     
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  39. DeanMacBaine

    DeanMacBaine New User

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    Wild Houston and Wild Austin were both pretty good teams and handed them their first two losses on Day 1.

    Fincher and Johnson both got bumped to 4.5 so after the team was 0-2 on the first day, I was told they lost the 2nd day on purpose (just like they have done all season in the Senior 4.0 matches). Andras Boscani somehow missed the mid season bump but he had to be very close since he played almost every match with Johnson or Fincher (I think Boscani was like 18-1 heading into sectionals and has suddenly started getting killed in the Senior league against less than stellar competition). Stetzer is another one that is always right on the borderline but probably the weakest of the four. He and Fincher have been sandbagging together for years.
     
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  40. twos

    twos New User

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    Sounds like you were there. If fw were a bunch of serious sandbaggers, I assume you think those other teams up there were too? I See that Houston won all the men's division. 4.0 4.5 5.0 and 5.5. That's pretty impressive. Is Houston the Mecca of sandbaggers too? I'm not being sarcastic, just wanted your take since you were most likely there.
     
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  41. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    sounds to this non USTA player that if you aint' cheatin, you ain't tryin!!
     
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  42. Vik

    Vik Rookie

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    This is my area. I remember a few years back when I got back into tennis after a 10 year layoff. I called the league coordinator to find a 4.5 team.

    I explained my situation and that I had played college tennis back in the day. Said coordinator wanted to make sure I was absolutely certain I was a 4.5 and not a 4.0. Now I know why :twisted:

    That said, the greatness of his 4.0 squads are getting exaggerated on here. I think he may have captained one 4.0 team to nationals a few years back. His team does usually make sectionals (but honestly FW is not one of the cities as evidenced by this year's sectional result). Can't comment on his senior exploits.

    Do I think he goes the 'extra mile' to make the best 4.0 team. Yeah. Is it any worse than people/teams in other cities. No. I've seen way, way worse examples of tanking in Dallas.
     
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  43. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    hah nothing beats the tanking in Dallas, except for a few select group in SA (DC), and RB down in Houston
     
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  44. DeanMacBaine

    DeanMacBaine New User

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    I played against the Houston team last year. Same core group of guys and both of the guys I saw in doubles are still on the team that won this year. I think they beat me and my partner like 0&1 or 0&2. They both said that was the best match they've played in awhile so maybe they just had a good day. I know the lesser of the two guys would probably be the 2nd or 3rd best dubs player on our team (though last year he would have been the best). The other guy though, no clue how he was a 4.0. I even checked his stats after I saw they won Sectionals this year. This other guy is undefeated at 4.0, 2-1 at 4.5, and 3-1 at 5.0. I can understand playing up a level but playing up two levels and winning 75% of your matches??? I'll let you draw your own conclusions there. If he isn't bumped then the system is seriously broken.

    Sometimes I wonder how well the USTA balances the ratings from different regions. Houston just brings some really good teams every year and yes, I do think there is some sandbagging. But I don't know those teams personally so I don't know what to think of their losses. I know Miller's team and I've seen them dominate Fort Worth and then when the ratings get to high, they go out and lose to 4.0s that would be lucky to get to the 2nd round of any 3.5 major zone.

    Again, sandbagging goes on and we expect it to a degree. But this is a league coordinator actively ordering players to lose to keep ratings lower. That is what is so frustrating. Especially when his team wins the FW division every year. One good thing about it is that it is forcing the rest of us to get stronger as a team. We haven't resorted to sandbagging yet but in the end, it may be the way to go if we ever want a chance to compete nationally.
     
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  45. DeanMacBaine

    DeanMacBaine New User

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    But one the big problems with the league is what you just mentioned. You called him to find some 4.5 team options and he was basically recruiting you for his 4.0 team. Every year when he rolls out some new players, this is how he gets them. He gets the call as a League Coordinator but takes is as a Team Captain. If the player is a good 4.0, he nabs them. If not, he passes their info along. And if they are 4.5 and willing to self rate lower, he is all over it.
     
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  46. goober

    goober Legend

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    While it may be true that bigger cities have more depth and can work the system even better, that doesn't excuse his behavior. I don't see how anybody can objectively look at it and not see it as anything other than cheating and unethical. The fact that he is a representative of the USTA makes it even more embarrassing.
     
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  47. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Bingo - hammer meet head of nail.
     
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  48. goober

    goober Legend

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    hooray it has already started. ESR were released and several 4.5 were bumped down to 4.0 mostly playing mixed. Of course they all end up mysteriously on the same team. One guy even got bumped down despite winning an open level tournament. Sure a lot of 4.0s can do that. I guess tourneys only count into year end ratings. I can already see all the tank jobs that are coming with 3-2 victories all fall season so they can all get their precious C ratings at the end of the year.
     
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  49. Littlemissball

    Littlemissball New User

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    Big time where I am at. Not even funny. Really pathetic and some people absolutely do not want a challenge whatsoever. I totally sympathize. I totally understand.
     
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  50. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,310
    I was just going through some old threads and came across this one. Clearly there are some emotions involved here so I thought I'd do a quick objective analysis from an outsider.

    I took a look at all regular season adult, senior, super senior, and adult fall leagues for Fort Worth and here is a chart showing my Estimated DNTRP for one of the named players in this thread. These charts show the individual match rating in blue and the Estimated DNTRP in red.

    To explain what we see here, every player has ups and downs and we'll see this on the chart. But it is uncommon for the range of best to worst to be larger than 0.5, and certainly rare to have more than a couple results that far apart and for them to alternate back and forth throughout a year.

    First, for 2011:

    [​IMG]

    There are some great results and some terrible results, the range being a full 0.78. And there are clumps near the extremes, with 6 matches above 3.8 and 4 below 3.5. And if we look at which leagues the highs and lows occurred in we see an interesting trend.

    The first 7 results are from the senior league 1/22 thru 3/12 and while there are two not as good match results, those were still wins and just against weak competition. The next 5 results are adult league and include one of the worst results but a good result too. The last 2 are fall league and are both poor results.

    So for 2011, some of the up and down results are due to the opponents, some could just be to normal good/bad days, but the last 2 poor results in fall league would seem to support the theory that it is played simply to keep one's rating down. Especially with each being a straight sets loss.

    For 2012:

    [​IMG]

    Here the range is 0.68, again pretty large. Here the first 5 are senior league and just the 5th was a poor result and was actually a loss. The next 5 are all adult and similarly just one poor result, this one still a win but against weak competition. The last 3 are again fall league where the performance again drops.

    For 2012, one of the results is due to the opponent being weak, but again the fall league looks suspicious, especially with them all being convincing losses including a 6-1,6-1 to a self-rated player that isn't shown.

    Note that this doesn't include any playoff results which would presumably be against tougher competition and attempted to be won which would all be good results increasing the necessity of some bad matches in the fall league to keep the rating down.
     
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