Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by atatu, Nov 28, 2005.
In your section yet ? Supposedly they will be posted in Texas today....
I live in the Pacific Northwest and our section website says that they will be release "in late November", but I haven't seen them yet. (I just checked a couple minutes ago...)
Our local league Coordinator sent an email out saying they were to come out today.... but have not seen then yet.
They just came up on tennislink.
yep...at least here in the southern section.
Yep, I got bumped (up)!
simon, where in the Southern Section did you find them?
I went to http://national.usta.com/, then over on the right there's a "Find a Rating" link that takes you to the search page.
At first I was going through sctennis.com but then I realized they were just sending me straight to TennisLink.
Yeah, still a 4.5
Word must have spread like wildfire this morning. I got on the ratings link around 8:45 est and it was pretty smooth. Within an hour it was limping along at a painful pace - I am guessing due to traffic.
Anyhoo - I achieved my personal goal of making 4.0 before I turned 40 - so I am pretty stoked about that. Actually I turned 40 on 11/9 - but the last NTRP event I played in was 11/6 - so I am considering the goal achieved on a technicality. Of course my run of advancing to district and sectional championships will likely be interrupted for a while ..... but I will return!
New goal: Try not to suck at 4.0.
Yeah, I bet the appeals are flying in! ...at least there are here.
Almost everyone that gets bumped appeals here and about 80% win the appeal and move back to their previous rating. I am not going to appeal, though.
What is it like (appeals...) in your area (local).
I am completely mystified by how the DNTRP works... here's why:
I stopped playing tennis at the end of 2000 when I was 28 years old. At that time, I had an Open sectional ranking and just got bumped up to 5.0 NTRP. Now, I don't think my game is really that special... I play power baseline as my A game, and "Mr. Consistancy" as my B game if the power isn't there. I am just an average athlete, but I did play college tennis at a small Division II college. I have always considered myself a 'tweener... somewhere between 4.5 and 5.0 (or a really solid 4.5 and weak 5.0) when I'm in shape and playing a lot.
Anyway, I didn't pick up a racquet (or do any physical activity for that matter) from about October of 2000 until September of 2004. During that time, I gained A LOT of weight and was about 50 lbs over my ideal playing weight when I started playing again. At the time, I was losing pretty bad to the 4.5 rated guys in my club, so I self-rated at 4.0 in order to play a couple tournaments and get some match wins. I ended up losing in the semifinals of both tournaments to guys that were "benchmark 4.0" rated at the time (and were bumped up to 4.5 in the final ratings). For the two tournaments, my record was 5-2 and my final rating for 2004 came out as 4.0.
I was initially embarassed with the rating, but I understood that it was my own fault for self-rating at that level and losing those two tournament matches. However, I decided to get in better shape, play a lot, and see if I couldn't get bumped back up to 4.5 at least. So, this year, I lost 25 lbs, played on my club's 4.0 and 4.5 USTA league teams, and entered 13 tournaments. The results of the past 14 months of tennis are as follows:
I have won 45 league and tournament matches (4 at 4.5 and 41 at 4.0). I won all 5 of the USTA league matches I played this year, and at one point this summer, I won 15 tournament matches in a row.
I have won 6 4.0 tournaments, and finished 2nd 3 times.
I have lost a total of 8 singles matches, all in tournaments, all to the eventual champion. Of these 8 losses, 7 of them are to players that are now rated 4.5. The one player that I lost to that is still rated 4.0 won the 4.5 level at his club's end of the year tournament this year. (In addition, I also beat three of these players at other tournaments.)
At one 4.0 tournament this year, I won the final by a 6-0, 6-0 score... which prompted complaints to the tournament director (who didn't/couldn't do anything because 4.0 was my official USTA computer rating).
I have accumulated 300 points in sanctioned 4.0 tournaments, which should mean that I am the #1 ranked player in the 4.0 NTRP rankings in my section this year. The two players that I have calculated to be the #2 and #3 in the rankings were both bumped up to 4.5 in the end of the year DNTRP.
So, I am not sure what to think now...
Should I be happy that I'm still rated 4.0 so I can continue dominating tournaments and league matches?
On one hand, with this rating, I should be able to help my club's 4.0 team tremendously and it is fun to win tournaments. (My son thinks I am Roger Federer from all the trophies I've brought home.) Also, it's not like 4.0 is a bad level to be - it is above average and most players I run across can play decently well. The biggest difference between 4.0 and 4.5/5.0 seems to be that most 4.0 players have an obvious weakness (usually backhand), they do not hit very hard serves (or place their second serves well), and their consistancy does not hold up under pressure (at least as well as 4.5+ players).
On the other hand, I am continuing to lose weight and should have the remaining 25 lbs of excess fat off by mid-season next year. I'm taking sets off of 4.5 rated players in practice, and have several wins over 4.5 rated players in tournaments this year. If I started playing 4.5 tournaments, I expect that I wouldn't win as many matches as I have at 4.0, but would probably have a winning record and make it to the later rounds (semis or better) of several. I have no goals of getting an Open sectional ranking again, but I would be satisfied being a solid 4.5 rated player... and I see myself as pretty close to that level right now.
My question is why am I even having this dilemma? Isn't the DNTRP supposed to take in all of your sanctioned matches - both league and tournament - into consideration? Doesn't my record at 4.0 and 4.5 justify a bump to 4.5? Why is it that some of the players that I beat this year in 4.0 tournaments have been bumped to 4.5, but I am still 4.0?
Well, you could just play 4.0 league and enter the 4.5 tournaments, or you could even play both 4.0 and 4.5 league, assuming your section allows that (they do in Texas).
I am in Virginia (Richmond area) and went 10-1 this year at singles 4.0 and got bumped to 4.5. I moved to 4.0 from 3.5 last year after a 10-0 singles result. I never played college at any level. To be honest, I expect a regular ass kicking at 4.5 around here. I will not appeal though, but rather try to elevate my game.
Guy, I expect the Richmond area is pretty tough. Haven't they won the 4.5 nationals multiple times ?
I just went to Nationals at the 4.0 level after I went 9-0 in the regular season in doubles (I didn't play in a 4.5 league). I lost 3 matches at Nationals but two were in 3rd set deathbreakers. The end result is I didn't get bumped to 4.5 while most of the guys that went with me to Nationals did. I'm convinved the DNTRP algorithm puts a lot of weight on singles matches and how close you win your matches (I had 6 3rd set deathbreaker wins in the regular season). If you want to get bumped, win some matches at the level above your rating and win your rating level matches in straight sets and don't lose. Either that or go far in the playoffs and win all your matches because you are playing against benchmark players. Anyway, I'm not too worried. My Nationals team has to disband and can only keep 3 players (USTA rule) so I'm going to shop around NorCal with my new tennis resume
There is one particular 4.5 team here, as I understand it, that goes to Nationals consistently. Apparently the captain makes it a full-time job to achieve this goal. Year after year he manages to find (out of seemingly nowhere) incredible players (ex-college I think). Our 4.5 team actually beat them in one of the encounters this year after one of their "ringers" was disqualified. Miraculously, they promptly found another to replace him. Weird world we live in.
I played on both my club's 4.0 and 4.5 teams this year already. I was 3-0 for the 4.5 team playing 3rd doubles and I was 2-0 on the 4.0 team playing 1st singles. Unfortunately, I crashed my bike in late March and sprained my shoulder and wrist pretty bad, which kept me from playing more league matches.
I am already considering just playing 4.5 tournaments from here on out... but I am still confused about why I did not get bumped up in the first place?
(By the way, there is a little more to the story in that my club has a "4.5 and above" hit group that where you have to be officially rated 4.5 to join. They made an exception for me this year, but some other 4.0 players complained when they were not allowed to join also. The club pro then changed the rule so that you must now be rated 4.5 or belong to a 4.5 USTA team to join... in order to address me. The problem is that there is also a club rule that you must be rated 4.5 to join the 4.5 USTA team, unless there are not enough players on the 14 person roster. Last year, a couple people didn't play, which is why I was invited to join the team. However, if all the officially rated 4.5 players at my club decided to play on the team next year, I will likely be left out... which means I'll be kicked out of the 4.5+ hit group also - even though I am beating players there. Everybody that I play with - including the head pro - expected me to get rated up this year... but it didn't happen... and I can't understand why.)
My team did not do well at all, and even though I had a loss and one 3 setter (we played full 3rd sets), the majority of my wins were convincing. It all seems pretty unusual at times who gets bumped and who does not.
Look at the ratings of the guys you beat. Perhaps the 3rd doubles matches you won at the 4.5 level consisted of all 4.0 players playing up? That happens often at any level, including the 4.5 level. Also, did you win your matches in straight sets? The number of sets and games you give up counts against you. If you didn't beat any benchmark rated players then you probably don't have a chance of getting bumped.
Bleach, yes, it's ridiculous how easy it is for appeals to be granted after people get bumped up. I've yet to hear a legitimate justification for having an appeal granted.
Of my 45 wins, 10 of them were either in 3 sets or decided by the "deathbreaker". Of my losses, 2 of them were decided by a third set or "deathbreaker".
In regards to ratings of the players I beat, are you talking about their ratings at the time or now? If it is based on their ratings now:
Of the three 4.5 doubles wins, one was over two 4.5 rated guys, one was over a 4.0 player and a benchmark 4.5 player paired together, and the third was over two benchmark 4.0 players.
In my singles matches, I beat 2 guys that are rated 4.5 now, and 4 players that are listed as benchmark 4.0. Three of these wins were in a "deathbreaker", but the other 4 were with scores of (6-2, 6-2), (6-4, 6-0), and (7-5, 6-0).
I understand that some of these close matches could have been the difference, but I thought I had enough wins over quality opponents to get the bump!!!
Yours is one of the weirder cases I have ever seen. Here is a link to a website that proposes a theory on how the NTRP rating system works. I cannot vouch for it's validity.
(remove the space btw we and tennis)
I do not know why the USTA insists upon the veil of secrecy in the vain attempt to keep people from trying to manipulate the system. One could argue that the system is already being manipulated. I suggested that TW set up a dynamic chat with some USTA officials - and it never happened. This is one member non-friendly organization.
I feel your pain on the stigma and restrictions (overt or passive) associated with carrying a lower rating.
In our section (NorCal) I believe they just changed the appeal process to allow folks to appeal "up" also. So Jack, you might try appealling up to get on your club's 4.5 team.
Yeah, we played those guys at Nationals in 2002. Maybe I already shared this story, but I played #1 singles vs. Richmond and lost 60,61. The guy was a 26 year old Spanish dude who grew up with Moya and was the assistant coach at VCU. If the new USTA guidelines are followed it's going to get harder to find these guys and get them rated 4.5, however.
I completely agree with this one. My understanding is that the national DNTRP is constantly being updated as scores are entered into TennisLink. Also, DNTRP rates players to the one hundredth of a point instead of half point (.001 compared to .50). However, only USTA league coordinators are allowed access to the rolling, updated reports throughout the year. Why not make this process transparent? I would love to know exactly how the algorithm works, and would love to be able to track how my game goes up or down over a year.
In addition, I understand that the "three strikes" program for disqualifying over-level players in USTA league matches is also secret in that you won't know if you have any strikes against you until you get the third one and are kicked out. The USTA website says that it is rare for someone that has a DNTRP computer rating to get disqualified by the three strikes procedure, but I could see it happening to me if I continue to lose weight, improve, and start playing like the "weak 5.0/strong 4.5" from a few years ago (instead of the "strong 4.0/average 4.5" of right now).
You are correct in that I can appeal up, and I am considering that option. As it is, there are some advantages to having the 4.0 rating in that I can help my club's 4.0 team get to sectionals (assuming I don't get three strikes!) and there is a "grand prix" tournament series in my area that offers prize money for the top performers where I would have a better chance of making more money in 4.0 compared to 4.5. (For example, along with some other prizes, I won $50 this year for my performance in 4.0.) However, overall, hitting with the better players is the most important thing for me, so if it looks like I am going to not make the 4.5 team because of this rating (and will subsequently get kicked out of the 4.5+ hit group), I think I will file the appeal. I just wish that the bump was automatic and I didn't have to make this choice...
That link is a very good read. I'm not sure how accurate the information is but the section on Benchmark Ratings really hit home for me:
Verifiers are on site at the National Championships and visually assign preliminary Benchmark Ratings to everyone who plays. They then enter the verifier-assigned ratings of the second place team into the computer and have the computer calculate the ratings of all the other players at the National Championships based on the match scores using the second place team’s Ratings as reference points or “Benchmarks”. The computer uses the same methodology of match scores and the related Rating Differential to calculate player’s ratings compared directly and indirectly to the Benchmark players. Now the Verifiers compare the computer-generated ratings to the original verifier assigned ratings. Any significant discrepancies are evaluated and adjustments are made. Everyone who played at the National Championships now has a “Benchmark Rating”. The computer now calculates Benchmark Ratings for everyone who played at the Sectional Championships based on match results directly and indirectly using the players who played at the National Championship as Benchmarks. The computer then calculates Benchmark Ratings for everyone who played at the District Championships based on match results directly and indirectly using the players who played at the Sectional and National Championships as Benchmarks. Now the computer calculates ratings for everyone else based on match results directly and indirectly against all the players who participated in post-season play as Benchmarks. Players who participate in post-season play are Benchmark Players. This does not mean that they are at the top of there level. It only means that there rating should be more accurate because they participated in post season play.
My team lost in our flight round-robin to the eventual 2nd place team at Nationals this year at the 4.0 level. I lost my match in a 3rd set deathbreaker and we ended up losing by one court. Everyone on the 2nd place Nationals team got bumped up EXCEPT one guy who played against me in 1st doubles. I'm guessing the verifiers thought he was a 4.0 and not a 4.5? In any case, I had no clue that's how Benchmark ratings were established. Can anyone confirm this process?
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