Ever had another captain/team get shady?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by bobbything, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. bobbything

    bobbything New User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    A number of years ago, we were in line to win our 4.5 league. However, someone complained about one of our players so the USTA kicked him out with one match remaing and subsequently, all his match wins were reversed. So, going into the last match, we were still in 1st place. We had our bye the final week, so we didn't play. However, if the 2nd place team won their final match, 4-1, they would have had the tiebreaker over us.

    The next day I looked at the scores to see if the 1st place team won or lost. Well, they won 5-0. However, they won every match 6-0, 6-0. I thought that was strange so I asked a guy that I knew on the losing team what happened. Turns out that the two captains (who were pretty good friends with one another) got together and worked out a side deal. The losing team agreed to (essentially) default all 5 courts.

    This was the first year I had played USTA (circa 2004) so I didn't know what to do. I friend of mine's wife worked for the USTA at the time and looked into it. The day before the playoffs they gave us 1st place and ruled what the other team did unsportsmanlike. We went to the playoffs won, and got to the finals of Sectionals.

    The day of that playoff, the captain of the team that tried to cheat their way in was screaming and yelling obscenities at the tournament director for reversing everything.

    It was glorious.
     
    #1
  2. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    The current rules are if you default all 5 courts in a match you default all matches for the entire season.

    The 2 captains that got together were not very smart in planning this out. They still could have lost 5-0 by actually playing the match and have one team put out the weakest possible line up and maybe just default a line or 2.

    I have seen cases where it was important for a weak team to get a certain number individual wins in the final match of the season in order for another team to get to playoffs. The captain offered the other captain some players he got from his club and one he found off craigslist (lol) to play in the final match to make sure they got enough wins.
     
    #2
  3. bobbything

    bobbything New User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    Yeah, I guess the thing was that they actually entered scores and had lineups entered in as well. But they put 6-0, 6-0 for every result. You're right, not very smart. At least make up reasonable scores. Furthermore, you can't just not play the match. Someone will spill the beans.
     
    #3
  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,694
    What kind of people are these? Were only the captains involved? Did the team members know what had happened?
     
    #4
  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    That would never, ever work with the ladies I play with.

    If I make so much as one error in inputting a score, my players are all over me. They would never agree to have any phony results put in, especially if they were the losing players.

    I hope the two captains will be suspended or banned. Did you file a grievance later?
     
    #5
  6. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Is the shady part the fact that you were using such a disqualified player on your team that the USTA had to kick him out?

     
    #6
  7. bobbything

    bobbything New User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    Eh, I'm claiming ignorance on this. Back in 2004 the self-rating guidelines were much different and it was my very first run at USTA. He fell within the guidelines but had a "big name". So, someone *****ed about it. He filled out a background check form and they DQ'd him. We were fine with it and it actually benefited everyone else because we lost all his matches. On top of it, he lost a match legitimately; so I'm not necessarily sure it was completely warranted.

    Either way, to answer your question...no. We didn't intentionally try and do anything shady.
     
    #7
  8. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,581
    What's a "big name" mean? was he roger federer or something ?
     
    #8
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,694
    Kittipong Wachiramanowong
     
    #9
  10. bobbything

    bobbything New User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    We had a brokedick Marc Rosset on our team.
     
    #10
  11. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,166
    Back in the early days of USTA, they pretty loose about when and how the scores were put in.
    We were tied with another team and they had to win all their matches in straight sets against another very good team to beat us. Amazingly, they did this. A couple months later I talked to one of the guys on the team they beat and though the team that beat us out of the playoffs did win the matches, 3 of them went three sets. Therefore, the other captain cheated and went to the playoffs instead of us.
     
    #11
  12. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,427
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    Was there ever a time when scores entered by one captain didn't have to be confirmed by another? Just wondering if somehow the other captain of the losing team was in on the collusion.
     
    #12
  13. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    Scores don't have to be confirmed. If you don't confirm or dispute within 48 hours, the scores stand.
     
    #13
  14. luvn10is

    luvn10is New User

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    73
    Yeah, that's a pretty decent name to have to run across in league play. I mean, he's no Roger but he isn't Louie the Human Resources guy either.

    In Atlanta you wouldn't have had any of these problems because that guy wouldn't have played a match. We have this chick here who plays AA ALTA. Her claim to fame is she played Serena around the turn of the century and took a set off her. When USTA's self-rating was a joke, she signed up for a 4.5 team. I don't think her name stayed on the roster a day before another captain found out and had it pulled. We take tennis way too serious here. A good captain keeps watch on them rosters.

    But when it comes to under-rating, the shadiest thing I've seen happened a few years ago, after USTA started getting stricter. One of the local juniors graduated and moved home from a college where she'd been a scholarship player for 4 years. An 8.0 captain saw her hitting one day and talked her onto her team with a 3.5 rating. The young woman dressed down her game best she could and finished that season with no complaints. She had made it halfway through the ladies' season before somebody decided to look her up.

    USTA did not take this lightly. Determined that the 8.0 captain was just as guilty they tried to suspend her but the player took full responsibility. The player was kicked out for a year and bumped up to 5.5. She appealed when her suspension was over but no dice.

    Somebody told me they saw her hitting and asked why she wasted her talents on 3.5. She said that after playing competition tennis for most her life, she liked those particular teams because there was no stress plus they partied hard. It made tennis fun again.
     
    #14
  15. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,581
    Yeah he's definitely no Roger ... I mean Roger never got a gold medal in singles ... oh wait we're arguing that Roger would be the stronger player lol :)

    I think a 40ish yr old former gold medalist playing as a 4.5 may get the sandbagger of the year award :)
     
    #15
  16. bobbything

    bobbything New User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    In full disclosure, I was joking. The guy on our team was just a local guy who everyone knew that played at Wake Forest. At the time I didn't think much of it because there were several former D1 players in 4.5. A guy that played at KU, another at American University, one from Texas A&M. But those guys had been thru the system long enough to establish themselves as 4.5s.

    Whatever. The self rate guideline are strange. It lumps a lot of factors into one broad group. Like this...

    NAIA, Div. 2 & 3 unranked college team player (commited to, playing, or played ) program with no scholarships (not much stronger than High School tennis);

    They're saying that (1) these levels are all equal, which is absurd (2) that these levels don't have scholarships (only D3 applies), (3) they're not much stronger than high school tennis. This is laughable.

    I know there are many factors and not all of them can be taken into consideration but the matrix, as it currently stands, sucks. It needs to be fixed. I'd start with breaking down this particular section a little better.
     
    #16
  17. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,542
    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    Had a guy who I have beat in every meeting (tournament or season) match show up to play see me and go to his captain to check the line up...

    we overhead him say I know you already switched the line up but my shoulder is bothering me so I really need to play doubles.
    Our captain being nice let him swap the line up around so I played someone different in singles and that guy got to play doubles.

    we still won 5-0 and the poor dude that basically sacrificed to court 1 lost 6-0 6-1

    all because the guy could not handle losing to me again?

    My teammate thought it was funny and I guess it is but I normally look forward to playing players I haven't beat as a chance to turn the table...not run with the tail tucked between my legs.
     
    #17
  18. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    so, are you a doctor that diagnosed there was no problem with the guy's shoulder?

     
    #18
  19. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,542
    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    He very well could have actually had a problem but it was just a little odd he waited till the line up was switched and he was told who he was playing to make the comment he needed to play doubles.
     
    #19
  20. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,427
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    I will acknowledge the thread hijack first off. I disagree with your interpretation of the specific self-rate guideline you posted. I don't believe the USTA is saying players who fit the criteria they list (what you call levels) are equal since the guidelines specify only a minimum rating level and a player who fits that description but feels they are at the top end of that NTRP level or above it are free to self rate at a higher level. In my 6 years of league play and from many discussions with league players from various levels, the problem of players self rating at levels which are higher than their actual ability is almost non-existent. I personally know of only one case where an older guy at my club who had 3.0 skills initially self rated as 4.0. He appealed and was moved to 3.5 where he played for a year until he got computer rated back down to 3.0.

    My biggest beef with the guideline criteria is that they aren't comprehensive enough and consequently leave loopholes that even people trying to honestly rate may fall through but especially help those who are trying to game the system.

    For example, besides the criteria you quote, the only other one which mentions NAIA, D2, and D3 players is
    "NAIA, Div. 2 & 3 college team or player ranked in top 25".

    So if I was a current or former NAIA, D2, or D3 player I have my choice of the above or:
    "NAIA, Div. 2 & 3 unranked college team player (commited to, playing, or played ) program with no scholarships (not much stronger than High School tennis)"

    which don't together comprehensively cover all NAIA, D2, or D3 players. What about an unranked college player in a program with scholarships? What about a player in a program with no scholarships who is ranked outside the top 25? Even using ranking is problematic since does the above mean the player who was EVER ranked in the top 25 or who was in the top 25 when they finished their playing career?

    For high school, the omission of a criteria for having played varsity doubles creates a loophole I've personally seen teams we faced at state take advantage of by taking really good doubles players and having them self rate as 3.0s. It made a joke out of the expectation that players were rated to their actual ability level imo.

    It may add a little bit of extra data to that document (http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/ExperiencedGuidelines_02142011_V2pdf.pdf) but I think would help solve one of the biggest problems in league play namely self-rated players rating too low. </soap box>
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
    #20
  21. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,363
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    That's awesome ! I could tell you all kinds of stories about shady captains I've run across.
     
    #21
  22. AutoXer

    AutoXer Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Cartersville, GA
    We had a captain for mixed say she didn't have enough players for all 3 lines due to work, family issues, etc and asked my captain if we could play a line the day after the match. It can be pretty casual around here about playing lines early or late. 2 eligible players on her team show up to watch the on time matches. Turns out she had stronger players than the two that spectated that she wanted to play. We beat the stronger line the next night anyway. We all thought that was really shady.
     
    #22
  23. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    531
    Captains "do what they have to do" all the time with or without players consent. That comes with a leadership role in general. It's easy to say what is "shady" and what is not, but the reality is that sometimes they break rules to improve the overall better picture.

    Firstly, I question your "4.5" claim. Unless you had a "touring pro" playing for you I seriously doubt anyone would get DQ'ed at the 4.5 "S" level and certainly not a DQ resulting in match score reversals/defaults. For someone to be DQ'ed as a 4.5 "S" they would have either be literally a touring pro or using an alternate account and/or alias. Even if they guy played D1 singles the year before, he can still self-rate as a 5.0 and appeal down to a 4.5. Even if he gets "DQ'ed" in the first year, it would be a ratings DQ and would not result in all of his/her matches being overturned.

    Secondly, captains always "do deals" amongst themselves. Sometimes this is to protect a 5 line default, miscommunication, or be "social". Sometimes they do this to protect their players or themselves.
     
    #23
  24. bobbything

    bobbything New User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    Well, to your first point regarding your "touring pro" reference, what you're saying is simply incorrect. Yes, he could self-rate at a 5.0 and appeal it down, but that's not what happened. I'd be happy to post the link to the years and you'll see what happened. We were undefeated, he got DQ'd, and subsequently, one of our 3-2 victories changed to a 2-3 loss. Take a look. You'll see that our team won 3-2, a "DQ" next to his name, and at the bottom of the page, the explanation.

    To your second point, I don't know if you're referring to my specific anecdote but I can assure you, they didn't do it to "protect" anyone. They did it to try and get 5 match wins. It was fairly obvious what was going on.
     
    #24
  25. bobbything

    bobbything New User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    Sorry, that link above doesn't work (Tennis link is cumbersome). Here is the direct link to the match referenced...

    link
     
    #25
  26. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,042
    Location:
    Northern California
    A D1 player could not self rate at 5.0. An appeal to 4.5 would be unlikely to be granted (although I'll admit that stranger things have happened).

    There really are players out there that can beat the tar out of top line 4.5s. 3-strikes DQs do result in matches being overturned.
     
    #26
  27. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    I personally know D1 player (still in his mid 20s) that self rated 4.0 in another section. How or why he was able to do this and had no grievance filed, I have no idea. He played one season there and didn't lose any matches. During the year he moved to my section. He played a couple matches in the fall season at 4.0 - doubles and one singles won both of those. He also played mixed with varying results. He basically flew under the radar. At the end of the year he had a 4.0C rating. The top team in the league took him on their roster. Since this team is full of under rated players I took notice and researched his background. I sent weblink to his college record with his team picture to LC and I got back - too bad "C" rated players can't have greivances filed against them. Those are the rules.
     
    #27
  28. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    531
    The guy played Futures. Of course he cant self-rate at 4.5. "Futures" level for all intents and purposes is "touring pro" level. He was even a rated junior, he did well in college and then tried futures. There are a lot of D1 players who dont even try futures.

    He should have played two matches and let the YER come out :p

    A D1 player can most definitely self-rate as 5.0, so long as that player isnt considering tennis as a profession. There are a lot of "5.0's" who played D1 college who go on to become something not related to sports.

    In the case of the OP, the player in question was not only a "ranked" junior, but also playing in multiple futures events post college.

    His highest level of play is "post college" which to me means "touring pro".



    Also, the penalty for a dynamic DQ is not the same in every situation.

    Either:

    1) The 3rd strike match and all further matches at that level are DQ'ed from play.

    2) All previous matches to the 3rd strike match are DQ'ed.

    It's not supposed to be all of them.

    Also, if the DQ occurs at another level of play besides the ones that earned the DQ, nothing happens. (Guy is a 4.5 playing 5.0, get's 3 wins, DQ'ed out of 4.5, but all wins at 5.0 still count).

    *They put this "restriction" in there so that situations like the OP's cant be used as an advantage to a person/team filing a grievance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
    #28
  29. bobbything

    bobbything New User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    Yeah, I'm not trying to defend the situation. He was too good for the 4.5 level. For all of us it was our first time playing USTA. We would have played 5.0 but I don't think it was available at that time; no teams registered anyway. We really had no idea what we were doing. Him and I are good friends (grew up playing together, juniors, high school), so we just asked him if he wanted to play. He passed the self rating test so we just went with it. The decision was correct to DQ him. Really my original post was to talk about a captain colluding with another to gain wins illegitimately.

    Anyway, our guy did play a few futures but he wasn't trying to make a living at it. There are always a few of those that come through our town and anyone can play in them. I played in a few in St. Joseph, MO with him. It was just for fun really. There were a lot of guys who really had no business playing in them (one guy was about 70 years old). But he did win a few matches.
     
    #29
  30. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,042
    Location:
    Northern California
    Per the actual usta self-rate guidelines "Div. 1 unranked college team or player" has a minimum rating of 5.5 up to age 30.(http://assets.usta.com/assets/646/USTA_Import/PNW/dps/doc_13_7372.pdf) It doesn't matter what their future profession is. Current "Satellite, Futures, Circuit Players" are minimum 6.5 and for former players minimum 6.0 rating up to age 35.

    Not to say that these guidelines are enforced to the degree that they should be, but thems the facts man.
     
    #30
  31. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,877
    Very shady indeed. The league director made the right call and you were right to point it out to them.
     
    #31
  32. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,803
    Here is a real case of a legitimately self rated 4.5 player being disqualified from his match results and having everything for the season reversed:

    http://tennislink.usta.com/Leagues/Main/StatsAndStandings.aspx?t=R-17&search=char%20huffman&OrgURL=http://tennislink.usta.com/Leagues/Common/Home.aspx

    This person did not play high school or college tennis. He never had a ranking of any kind. He started playing tennis in his mid-twenties, and took lessons a couple times per week. He was 35 when I met him, so he had been playing for about 10 years. His strokes looked like an average 3.5 or 4.0 player (meaning that they weren't technically sound, with flaws in the grip, shoulder turn, and follow through), and he hit a pancake-grip serve with very little pace or spin. If you saw him warming up, you'd never think he was a good player. However, in my opinion, he had world class level athletic ability and talent for tennis. His game consisted of running practically every ball down, and slice/shovelling the ball back over the net. He also had exceptional hands, and was good at blocking serves back into play, or knocking away volleys and overheads if he was drawn into the net. I believe that if he had started playing when he was 6 years old, had good coaching and parents with money, he would have been on the pro tour... but that hadn't been the case, so he was legitimately eligible to self-rate at practically anything he wanted.

    He actually started out at 4.0, but was disqualified at that level due to a grievance after his first match. The USTA could not find any reason in his playing background to merit a disqualification, but his opponent felt embarrassed by the 6-0, 6-0 loss and Charlie told the USTA he'd rather play at a higher level. Therefore, they placed him on a local 4.5 team instead that had been looking for players to fill our their roster (they were not a playoff contender - just a group of 4.5 hackers). However, as you can see, he only played 3 matches, but lost just 5 games total, and was dynamically DQ'ed up to 5.0.

    His case is an outlier for a couple reasons:

    • He is one of only three people that I have met that started tennis late in life, but was still able to reach the 5.0 level within 10 years, after the age of 35. The other two people had extensive athletic backgrounds in other sports. Charlie played no other sports (that I know of) before picking up a racquet on his own.
    • He is the only player I've ever seen get disqualified from 4.5 in just three matches - all strikes! (And I've seen former D1, D2, and high school state champions cheat the system, sandbag at 4.5, and skate through seasons undefeated... and still not get bumped.)

    It's too bad because Charlie hasn't played in the USTA League since then, and now he only hits against the backboard or against a teaching pro when he takes a lesson. His talent sits on the sidelines, and I would have loved to see what he could have done against the real sandbaggers!
     
    #32
  33. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491

    That guy is pretty impressive. I know one of the players he beat in an age group tournament and his a legit solid 5.0. Why doesn't he just skip league and play open/age group tourneys? It looks like he had good competition there,.
     
    #33
  34. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    531
    As others have pointed out, I was a bit wrong about my self-rate theory. I think the correct determination of how this happened was a combination of three things:

    1) By the book improper self-rate, according to the guidelines.
    2) He beat the wrong players, the wrong ways.
    3) Those players filed a complaint.

    That's really the only way I can see this being so bad. It really does seem like they threw the book at him. I almost want to say that this was a little bit unfortunate for him.


    In some ways this sounds a little like me (the rating side, not the style side). I have goals of being a 4.5 by the time I turn 35 and ive been blazing my way through the lower ranks. I even played up to 3.5 as a 3.0 just to expedite the process because it was getting ridiculous.

    My "self-rate" was air tight, much like his.

    I have no fears of being DQ'ed. I hope my lack of fear isnt unrealistic.
     
    #34

Share This Page