Bumped up to 4.0 for the 3rd time...

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by muelld, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. muelld

    muelld New User

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    When the ratings came out last November, I was bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0 for the 3rd time (all within a 7 year period). Both previous times, the computer moved me back to 3.5 (the first time after 3 seasons of limited play at 4.0, the second after just 1 season). I tend to have good success at 3.5 (particularly in seniors, where teams I was on made it to our Section championships twice).

    But I have limited success playing against the more skilled and typically younger 4.0s. I guess I need to find a 3.75 league :???:

    This time, I collaborated with several other "barely 4.0s" to form our own team. We figure that way we can play as much as we want - unlike my previous experiences joining established 4.0 teams, and only getting limited play (deservedly, because I could not successfully contribute to a solid 4.0 team whose goal was to win the league).

    I was wondering how many of you had this experience, and how you have dealt with your experience at the higher level of play.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Lots of clubs here field "A" teams and "B" teams, especially at levels lower than 4.5 where there are more players.

    The A-Team has assorted ringers, scoundrels, and seasoned veterans who seek to win the league while the B-Team usually has everyone else of the rating, and some younger guys who want to play up as well.

    The in between dilemma really gets younger guys who have doubles games which are much weaker than their singles games.

    Since the strongest players on the team usually play singles a guy can be a good amount stronger than all the singles players at his level but a good amount weaker than the singles players at the next level. But due to his proportionally weak doubles game he can't play doubles at the higher level and finds himself out of a job.

    J
     
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  3. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Smart move to form your own team. I captain, and it is just a fact of life that weaker players are going to play less, maybe a lot less.
     
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  4. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I feel your pain ... right now I think I am in 4.0-4.5 purgatory. I was not challenged at 4.0, now that I am a 4.5, I am pretty sure I am not good enough for 4.5.

    We used to have much more of that here. Players were frequently moving up one year and down the next. Some of it I think was due to players getting bumped and then "working" their way back down to the level where they think they belong.

    Recently however, I do not think that is as true. Someone on the boards referred to this as "downwards stickiness" ... but I think the USTA has tweaked thier algoritym to make it harder to move down than it is to move up.
     
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  5. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Depends on the section. Here, a lot of people were moved down. Other sections, not so. I wish I knew how they try to balance the strength of the sections.
     
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  6. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    LOL. You're plenty good enough for 4.5. It's just that you'll be 10-10 instead of 25-2, but that's certainly not "not good enough".
     
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  7. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    You are being very kind ... I appreciate it though.

    I am sure I will be ok ... and I will likely have a decent season. Honestly I was tired of only having 4 or 5 competitive in a season. So I am truly looking forward to 4.5 this year.

    However, since I have been recording and sharing lots of my match play videos I now realize just how far away I am from good enough for 4.5. It is amazing how much better I thought I was before I saw myself on video.
     
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  8. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    4.5 is a massive range my friend. I have played 4.5s and beat them in open tournaments and there are others that I cannot get a game off of. By the same token I got beaten this weekend by someone that moved down to 4.0 this year from 4.5.
     
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  9. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Super smart to form your own team of similarly situated players. If you go into the season with the attitude that you'll probably lose a lot but get a lot of personal playing time and experience...you'll probably enjoy it, learn from it and, perhaps, even win more than you expect.

    Last year, I was also on a team like that. We had 1/3 of players playing up, two more brand-new at-level folks, and an 18-yr old who self-rated "up" based on her skill set and modest HS results. We finished a very respectable better-than-middle-of-the-pack in a highly competitive league.

    Why? Probably because the rest of the league knew (or thought :p ) we were bottom feeders and put out less than their best lineups. All of our losses were of the 2-3 variety and I think we were "in" most of those matches.

    Good on you for creating your own "spot" to play and not complaining about the computer's whimsy.
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I wish I had your problem.
    I found out the reason I wasn't asked to join AlbertPark's 4.0 team was that I didn't look like any 4.0 player. I look like a 5.0 player when I'm practicing.
    Unfortunately, I actually play like a 3.5 lately.
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    AlbertPark is a wise guy
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, they are the state 4.0 champions for 2011. Of the 12 guys on that team, I"ve never lost to 8 of them, lost every time to one, and don't recognize the other 3.
     
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  13. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Winning is nice, but if all you do is constantly win at 3.5, then you're a 4.0 player. It's as simple as that. Nothing is worse than knowing a player should be in a higher tier than the level that they're at, but for some reason they're ranked lower due to an appeal, loophole, or in this case limited play.

    My suggestion, if you were amazing at 3.5 doubles and really good at 3.5 singles and got bumped to 4.0 but are losing your ass at 4.0 singles against the faster/younger guys, then play more 4.0 doubles and win there. If your older, the higher the ranking you go, the better sometimes it is to have a partner if mobility or a slight weakness is in your game. Find a strong 4.0 partner and play some competitive 4.0 tennis instead of wanting to stay at 3.5 just so you can win and make sectionals all the time.
     
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  14. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Hope you can accept a losing season as a team. Have over 50 4.0 players at this club. Even the C team has too many players for anyone to play every week.
     
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  15. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    We simply put together a team of bottom feeder 4.0s. Having said that, even though we had plenty of playing time (7-10 matches per player), getting our behinds whacked every week did get old after a while. But, it was nice not having any pressure to win.

    Like you, I'm waiting for the 3.75 league to start . . . !!
     
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  16. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Any thoughts of just blowing up the whole season to get rated down again? Our singles player got lucky and bumped down agin.
     
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  17. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think USTA needs more levels. 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 are probably 90% of the USTA levels with the vast majority of those being in the 3.5 and 4.0 levels. They need about 5 or 6 levels that include 90% of the players - like 3.25, 3.5, 3.75, 4.0, 4.25 and 4.5. Then the really bad or really good 10% would be 3.0 or lower or 5.0 or higher.

    I play in ALTA in Atlanta and they have too many level C1, C2... thru C8, B1 thru B8, A1 thru A8, and AA1, AA2, and AA3. That's 27 levels which is a bit extreme.

    But, USTA needs more levels in the middle groups where 90% of the players reside.
     
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  18. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Level play may get muddled a bit when a team is allowed to add two players of a higher level to their team.
     
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  19. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Not an uncommon situation to be in. You don't mention your age, but it seems to me that you would do better to be better or worse than where you happen to be, convenience-wise.

    If you are not elderly and willing/motivated to work on your game, many if not most would find it easy to bump their game smack dab into the heart of the 4.0 ranking.

    OTOH if you are unmotivated and elderly, you will likely solve your own problem by doing nothing in particular as your game sinks into the 3.5 realm.
     
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  20. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    Since you play in Atlanta, then the USTA leagues here have what you are looking for. There are 3.0low, 3.5low, 4.0low and 4.5low leagues that are restricted to players in the bottom half of their respective ratings. I like it a lot because it makes for more competitive matches. It also makes it easier for a team to make a jump to the next level as a group when 2-3 of its players get bumped up.
     
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  21. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    But this is only for the top-level available in a given league. So if 5.0 is the top-level available, a 5.0 team can field two 5.5 players, but a 4.5 team cannot field 2 5.0 players. So it won't really muddle things at all in the 3.5 to 4.5 levels.

    But to the other point about introducing quarter point levels, that should in theory make competition a bit more even and avoid players being stuck in the lower half of a level where they lose more than they win, but it would also result in players being bumped up or down a lot more often.
     
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  22. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    In most areas, the top-level available for the new 40 and over league is 4.5+, with 2 5.0s allowed on the team. And 40 and over counts towards NTRP AFAIK. So potential for some muddle impact at 4.5, although I don't think it will be significant. No different to 4.5 playing up at 5.0 from a rating calculations perspective.
     
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  23. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Really need another age level, 70 and above. Unfair for them to compete with youngsters 55 and up. Super seniors must play during the day though. Evening matches are past their curfew at the Home.
     
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  24. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    Frankly, that was the real goal. Ended up going 1-8 with losses to 4.0s of 0-2; 0-2; 1-4; 2-2; 2-3; 2-2; and a three setter that wend 6-4, 3-6, 0-1. Only win was 7-5, 1-6, 1-0 against a 3.5 who was playing up. Also lost to a 3.5 who was playing up 5-7, 6-3, 0-1. My guess is the single set win against the lower end 4.0 is what kept me from moving down. Both of the 3.5s who were playing up moved to 4.0. Will see what happens this year, but if I get whacked good in the first three matches, I'll stop there!
     
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  25. leech

    leech Rookie

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    I, too, have found the jump in skill level from 3.5 to 4.0 to be vast. In singles matches vs. other 3.5 players or in doubles matches where the other team's best player was 3.5, I went undefeated. In doubles matches where the other team's best player was a 4.0 (in 7.5 combo league), I went winless. I guess I'll know for sure in the Adult league this spring, but I suspect I'll have difficulty winning matches at the 4.0 level.
     
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  26. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    The idea of 3.5, 3.75, 4.0, 4.25, 4.5 is actually very valid given that is where most people are.
     
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  27. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    It can be. I've heard the same for every other 0.5 jump as well!
     
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  28. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    This is the nature of a half point rating system where in theory a half point difference between opponents should result in a 6-0,6-0 match. This is the reason why a quarter point rating system seems attractive.

    For example, someone right on the 3.5/4.0 boundary is going to be expected to beat the average 3.5 6-3,6-3 and lose to the average 4.0 6-3,6-3. In fact, they'd be the "pick" in any match against a 3.5 (that isn't themselves about to be moved up) and picked to lose in any 4.0 match (unless they get a 3.5 playing up).

    Now, not every player is average and from what I've seen estimating dynamic ratings, an individual player's rating can vary a full half point from match to match so this hypothetical player won't necessarily lose every 4.0 match and win every 3.5 one, but that will be the result more often than not unless the player improves their game.
     
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  29. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    I don't understand, you will improve just by playing at that level. Just play and let the ratings fall as they do.
     
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  30. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    I agree, I was just pointing out why it is "normal" for someone to win all (or nearly all) their matches at 3.5 and then turn around and lose all (or nearly all) their matches at 4.0. I noted this will happen unless they improve, and like you say, playing at a higher level is one of the better ways to improve so they likely will unless they have reached their peak or aren't motivated to do so or any number of other reasons.
     
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  31. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    I'm very likely one of those players "on the cusp," so to speak. Few 3.5s trouble me, yet I trouble few 4.0s. My 4.0 matches have been competitive (certainly in actual "play" although perhaps not in score) and I don't feel any of the 4.0s felt "cheated" in having to play me when I was playing "up."

    But going to a .25 rating system seems just a bit too much. We're blessed in our area to have lots of players and lots of leagues. A finer rating differentiation might work here, but in other places, where they sometimes have trouble fielding more than 2 or 3 teams per league/flight....eh? Besides, team/league play is where I've had the best chance to meet more people/players outside of my (playing) comfort zone....both higher and lower....in both age and skill level.

    I wish the algorithm more appropriately rewarded an actual "win" and/or de-emphasized the so-called predicted result. I really don't think a top-end (say) 3.5 should have to destroy a low-end 3.5 -1 and -1. That process, in and of itself, sets up such vast differences within each NTRP.
     
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  32. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    Excellent point and one I thought of as well. It appears that they do run quarter-point levels in Atlanta, but they have a huge number of participants so they can do it. Your point is valid for a few, and perhaps more than that, areas of the country where they don't have high levels of participation. To field enough teams, they may be forced to bypass the "lower" quarter-point level and have folks play up.

    Another excellent point. IMHO, accurate rating systems give more weight to "meaningful" matches/games and whether you blow out a much weaker opponent by enough or not should not be a significant factor as matches against these much weaker (or much stronger) opponents are likely not as meaningful. However, that also may make it harder for the lower level player to improve their rating appropriately when they have a competitive loss against a much higher rated player. It is hard to have a perfect system :???:
     
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  33. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    This is a myth due to one misinterpreted statement by the USTA that is now perpetuated on here endlessly. The fact is that the expected outcome of a match between two players 0.5 apart is not 6-0 6-0. What the statement said is that a 6-0 6-0 match is not unexpected for players with a 0.5 difference. But matches between any two players will have a whole distribution of possible outcomes. If the expected outcome is 6-0 6-0 only 5% of the time (or 1 on 20), then it's still not unexpected, and since there are thousands of matches in the system between players with this ratings difference, seeing some 6-0 6-0 outcomes is normal and expected. They were writing in the context of people who see a 6-0 6-0 outcome and start jumping up and down that that person is automatically misrated or worse, sandbagging. The fact is that the expected outcome (in terms of a mathematical expected value or average) of a match between two players one level apart is probably about 6-2 6-2 or something like that with 6-0 6-0 having enough positive probability that it's not unexpected or unusual to see some in the real results.

    I play 4.0. I'm probably near the top of the 4.0 range (I was 14-2 last year but wasn't bumped). I won a match against a 4.0 rated player 6-0 6-0. It was a kid who wasn't bad, but I just happened to get all the games. I also won a match 6-0 6-2 against a 3.5 playing up. The 4.0 kid was a lot better than this guy, but in the course of this match, I happened to lose a couple games. The 6-0 6-0 kid also lost 6-0 6-3 to another college kid who was bumped at the end of the year who can kick my ass all over the court. If we all played a hundred matches, I would probably win 2 or 3 by double bagel against the kid and the other kid would probably win 15-20 by double bagel. That's not how the actual record is, though, and seeing my 6-0 6-0 win in the record is not a sure sign that I am under rated or that my dynamic rating is or should be lower than the other kid who got bumped and who can kick my ass.

    You have to be careful about how you interpret statements and expectations keeping in mind that individual match results are a random draw from a distribution and not a fixed measurement of the difference in ratings.
     
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  34. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    So, perhaps a half point difference doesn't have an expected result of 6-0,6-0, perhaps it is 6-1,6-1. You don't disagree that the USTA does have a table of expected results based on rating differential do you? Is that a myth too? At some differential, a 6-0,6-0 result is what is expected and a result short of that will improve the losing players rating and hurt the winning players rating.

    You chose not to quote it but I also said a players performance for a given match can vary as much as half a point. This is because you play better/worse on any given day and how you individually match up with an opponent carries far more weight than what some hypothetical rating say should happen.

    That said, if your rating is right at the threshold between levels, that means your performance on average indicates you probably beat the lower level players, but lose to the higher level players, more often than not. Of course, if you beat some higher level players and lose to some lower level players, you can arrive at the same point so this is possible.

    This also means that if your performance goes up or down a bit from year to year, you will find yourself yo-yo-ing between the levels like the OP cited.
     
    #34
  35. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    From the USTA website, "Are all players in a given NTRP level equal in ability?
    No: The NTRP system identifies general levels of ability, but an individual will be rated within those levels at 50 different hundredths of a point. For example, a 3.5 player can fall anywhere between a 3.01 and a 3.50. That is the reason many people feel they are playing sandbaggers – they are closer to the bottom of that range while their opponents are closer to the top of the range.

    A typical match result for a player, for example, with a 3.01 rating versus a 3.49 player, both of whom are 3.5s, would be 6-0, 6-0 in favor of the higher rated player.
     
    #35
  36. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I have heard that the rating system is based on a table of expected results based on rating differential, but since it's not public, no one knows exactly how it works. What I've heard (basically here...) is that the table and the rating calculation are based on total game differentials, not match scores, so it would say something like rating difference 0.50, expected game differential = 8 or something like that. Again, no one but the keepers of the magic formula know for sure and they are sworn to secrecy upon penalty of death. this also means that you can lose matches on the court but win in the rating calculation (consider winning 1-6, 7-5, 1-0, your game score is 9-11).

    Of course, you'll beat lower rated players and lose to higher rated players more often than not (as long as the dynamic ratings are accurate), but either predicting or evaluating actual scores is much trickier. Two guys can be a full level apart and play once and the score is 6-0 6-0 and the next time it's 6-4 6-3. The higher rated player will almost always win, but the lower player can get a substantial number of games in any given match. Case in point, again, I am 4.0. I played an open tournament 2 years ago against a 5.0 B rated league player who was a mid 20's teaching pro and former national junior college doubles champ. He is way better than I ever have been or ever will be, but I played the set of my life in the second set and lost 6-1 7-6. This is a match with a rating differential TWO levels apart, and the score still wasn't 6-0 6-0. Even despite the score, I was a long way from actually winning the match, but when it comes to scores, you just never know. Last year in that tournament, I played another mid-20s former college player (D3 ranked school) who would be 5.0 if he played league tennis, and I lost 6-0 6-1.
     
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