Here is my challenge for the day. Invent a new scoring system for

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by DaveKB, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. DaveKB

    DaveKB Rookie

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    tennis.

    Anything goes, but it CANNOT just be today's basic model of two out of three sets with 6 game sets and a TB at 6-6 and alternating serves. I am hoping for creative innovation and not the same old, same old stuff!

    I have no idea how the original tennis scoring system happened, but it is kind of odd especially the 15, 30, 40, deuce, advantage terminology thing when a basic 1, 2, 3, 4 would would also work.
     
  2. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    In the 1970s NCAA tennis had 1-2-3-4 scoring with no-ad in singles and doubles, but they played best two out of three sets even in doubles, which took forever.

    I think the scoring we had last year in NCAA tennis was fine, with the reduced warm-up times to minimize delays. You can warm up with your teammates before the match, and the match can start on time and fans don't have to sit around waiting for action so much.

    Other than that, I would leave non-TV matches alone and have no-ad for TV matches during the regular season to see if we can get conference networks to show tennis. Leave the NTI and NCAAs alone. If the conference network experiment works, then we can talk. If not, there was no reason to mess with the scoring in the first place. For example, if TV networks just don't like dealing with a sport that has six matches going on at the same time, then scoring was never the issue.

    The women experimented with having match tiebreakers instead of third sets rather than no-ad scoring. During the NTI, the sixteen coaches present voted 16-0 against that format. Some of their comments are in this story. Scoring changes like that are just too intrusive, whereas some coaches were open to doubles tiebreakers at 7-7 instead of 8-8, no-ad, etc.
     
  3. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    best 3 out of 5 tiebreaks to 10.
     
  4. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    simple..do like like ping pong old recreational scoring .. first to 21 win by 2..,5 serves each .. change sides after 10... 2 serves each after 20-20.. 2 out of 3 sets...
     
  5. chris-swede

    chris-swede Hall of Fame

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    just let it all like it is...maybe end doubles after 6
    but please not another No-ad.scoring...

    this ping-pong system is not changing a lot..just a few points less
     
  6. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    First one to win 100 points is the winner.
     
  7. George Opelka

    George Opelka New User

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    Short sets, one ad, no ad, etc... What's next? Designated server?
     
  8. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Table tennis scoring, 5 serves at a time and first to 21 points wins.
     
  9. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    That's allowed if the coaches agree to it before the match.
     
  10. Hmmmmm

    Hmmmmm Rookie

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    Over at Zootennis a commenter, Russ, (link:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J4XaMSb6ka16_rt_JcduWlo7Lcl1uCz8ikfejRhDeF0/edit?pli=1) makes a pretty good case for the no ad scoring system that was used in Houston. From my point of view, I think we need to remind ourselves that although
    tennis is a sport, tennis is also in the entertainment business. If we dismiss its relevancy, then tennis is destined to remain a niche sport with lousy venues, no webcams (much less TV), and a minor league professional class that is losing money.

    You will notice that almost all entertainment events, from movies to concerts to games, finish around the three hour mark. Right now, for example, baseball is grappling with the problem of how to speed up the game. Forty years ago when I was a kid and loved baseball, games often finished in a little over two hours. Now pitchers and batters fiddle endlessly and the ratings for these games of three plus hours (sometimes four in the playoffs) have been dropping like a stone for two decades now.

    So although Colette Lewis doesn't believe that tennis has commercial viability at the college level and that it needs to accept its niche role in the American sports world, I think that's way too defeatist for my taste. Imagine telling the first pros who travelled together in beat up cars carrying their own tennis floors, nets, etc. "Hey you guys, forget it, you're not going to make any money at this, accept your fate."

    As for the experimental scoring systems, I think the men's version is infinitely better. I have no problem with the set tiebreak being at 5-5 as opposed to 6-6. I would like the doubles to go to at least 6-6 with a ten point tiebreak to decide. The no ad rule is already being used in doubles and applying it to singles wouldn't be such a radical change as the tiebreaker in lieu of a third set would be. As for the no ad scoring changing outcomes, that might happen, but as the Mitchell Frank and Peter Kobelt match demonstrated, the result was the same from two years ago when Kobelt beat Frank with regular scoring. What changes outcomes more dramatically is the surface and the venue. So if we can accept the variations of outcome from indoor hard to outdoor clay as valid, I think the no ad scoring is just as defensible.
     
  11. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    George Will has written a lot of baseball columns over the years (when he gets tired of politics., I guess). He has pointed out that umpires have a strike zone that is too small (and differs from umpire to umpire) and that baseball is being lengthened by calling too many balls. The effect, however, also increases scoring by making it harder on pitchers and easier on batters. The shorter games of our youth were also lower scoring in many cases. So baseball has a dilemma that tennis does not face: shorten games by removing offense and scoring, which removes some entertainment value for modern fans, or vice versa.

    At the NTI, UVa and Cal had a match that took one hour and 38 minutes. Perhaps we have engaged in some overkill on shortening the matches.

    Which football games go the longest? The ones with lots of scoring and overtime games. Fans think these are the most exciting. Which tennis matches go the longest? Nail-biting dual matches with third sets deciding the outcome. Would fans really rather see the UVa-Cal match instead, just because it is shorter?

    And, as I have asked before, if the Big Ten Network agrees to televise a match and devotes a three hour time slot to it, and then the match is over in less than two hours, are they going to be happy about that? They could fill in the remaining time with whatever they have on hand, but no one will stay tuned, and TV schedules will not even list whatever that content is.

    I have seen many dual matches with six straight-sets singles matches, even ones where those matches were split 4-2 and the overall effect was not a blowout. Imagine playing singles first for TV purposes and having all matches (or at least four of them) decided in less than two hours. It will happen frequently.

    A slight tape delay, suggested by other posters, might be the only way to get a good broadcast with lots of "casual fans" tuned in. The casual fans will not be watching the LiveStats that are an hour ahead of the broadcast, anyway, so it will be fine for them.
     
  12. Hmmmmm

    Hmmmmm Rookie

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    I don't know about the too many balls hypothesis, but whenever I watch the games and they superimpose the strike zone, it seems to be the regular size and umpires seem to be calling strikes balls and balls strikes in equal amounts.

    I think fans love overtime games not because they are long but because they are dramatic. Sudden death really perks up the interest. Sort of like a tiebreaker in my book.

    I bet UVA would have beaten Cal in an hour and fifty minutes if regular scoring was used. What would TV have done to fill the airtime? How about Krickstein and Connors?! But seriously, I think that's a minor problem. Ten years ago (and to some extent now) there were plenty of finals matches that finished quickly. TV then showed some doubles match or something. I'm sure the TV people are smart enough to figure out something. But since college tennis is only going to be streamed for the time being, I don't see that as a current problem. Besides who knows when a baseball game is going to end? TV handles that ok: "now back to our regular programming as we join "happy days" in progress. Or ESPN can do what it does when it shows women's softball. Back to the studio to analyze the game and update scores.

    I really don't like the current ESPN3 format of playing singles first as it really devalues doubles. From what I've read most matches at Houston came in under three hours, so playing doubles first would be a way to ensure that there is an adequate length of time being televised.
     
  13. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    First to reach 15 winners above their error count wins.
     
  14. DaveKB

    DaveKB Rookie

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    Clearly you favor leaving things like they are. As someone who does not live 10 minutes from a major tennis university and who could not routinely take time off from work (I am now retired now and long drives are still not much fun) on a Friday afternoons to watch UVA tennis, the actual length of the match is only part of it. IMO the real time problem for live attendance is the overall time commitment, including travel time for fans who might come, but do not have all day to drive to and then watch a 4+ hour match and then drive home. For me it would take over 10 hours with 6.5 hours of driving. I do have family in C'ville, so I usually make one or two trips a year to watch tennis and catch some other UVA sports. I hope to see you for the NCS and WF matches.

    Maybe if you lived in 2/3 hours away, you would better understand why some folks want a "guarantee" of shorter or about 3 hour matches. Long singles matches always involve base liners. I once witnessed a nearly 6 hour overall men's tennis match with UVA playing at UNC about 8 years ago with the scored tied 3-3. UVA's baseliner supreme Marko Miklo and a French freshman from UNC played moon ball tennis for almost 5 hours. With 40 point shots being the norm and 60 not being unusual, it was not all that exciting and besides I got major butt fatigue from sitting on a metal bleacher all that time. If one came to the net he got passed, so they both stayed back. Both guys were cramping severely near the end and lying down on the courts on change overs with trainers rubbing all body parts that might help and force feeding Gatorade and bananas. As I recall the weather was nearly perfect, but had it been 90 degrees both players might have 'expired' that day. It was very memorable, but not really very exciting as it was "only" a Sunday dual match, so who won did not really matter all that much anyway. This was definitely not Djokovic vs Nadal level tennis, but more like a couple of 14 year old baseline girls who cannot put the ball away, but never miss because they loop the ball and clear the net by 6 or 8 feet.

    No offense to any women here, but moon ball or retriever tennis is much more prevalent there and almost no one wants to watch a 4 or 5 hour women's singles match. I have involuntarily witnessed the end of a few of these at the NCAA's, which I do not think you attend. If it is hot or cold, it is absolutely miserable to watch such a match and exciting does not enter into my description. I expect all fans and all players, including the two involved, would have voted or begged for 'no ad' tennis that long day in Chapel Hill.

    If you had decided to travel to UNC for this match you would have had a nice 14 hour day counting travel. I doubt you were there and I expect for that exact reason. I do not think you attend the ACC tennis tournament, which is really fun but 4 hours from C'ville. I hope you come down to Cary this year. Good tennis and long days are common, but thank goodness for the clinch rule. The NCAA tourney has even longer days from about 9 AM to midnight on the first 4 days. Athens is usually quite 'toasty' in May so be prepared to sit in the sun all day long long. A few old guy wimps like me seek out what little shade is available.

    Sorry for this long rant and I really do not mean anything personal. I am just kind of jealous and wish I lived 10 minutes away form UVA tennis and other UVA sports!

    I just wanted to point that the length of the matches is not the entire story.
     
  15. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Points well taken, but:

    1. I don't think that many fans are making long drives to matches, and I don't think that factor is a major motivation for the changes. I understand your plight, but I just think it has little to do with the proposed format changes. The talk from the ITA/NCAA/conferences with networks has been about TV coverage and getting locals who are merely "casual fans" to show up, and the TV money seems to be the bigger motivation.

    2. The match you saw with Marko Miklo would not have been acceptable to casual fans nor to TV networks even if they had used no-ad scoring. In both cases, forty shot rallies with deep topspin shots until someone misses will always be a problem. That will not attract viewers to some conference TV network, nor casual fans from the local area. But I think that such a match is the exception rather than the rule.

    It seems to me that the ITA does not really have to do experiments. They could get someone to film matches in their entirety, then do a film study to answer questions such as: How much time would no-ad save? How much time would one-ad scoring save? How much time would be saved by playing doubles tiebreakers at 7-7 instead of 8-8? Then they could simply report on the results of studying a variety of matches. I guess that takes time and money, though.
     
  16. Enigma

    Enigma Semi-Pro

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    That would be terrible for...some people
     
  17. DaveKB

    DaveKB Rookie

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    I have said it before, but I think 'one ad' scoring and a first to 7 TB at 6-6 in doubles and doubles would solve almost all time problems. Eliminate the 15 minutes or so between singles and doubles and then only rest for one minute on every other court change.

    I think maybe 1 out of 10 or 12 games goes beyond 'one ad' now, but it would prevent that rare multi deuce game between a couple of baseliners, which is where long matches arise.

    I would also eliminate coaching or any conversation with players, except after games which I think slows things down. I saw USC's Peter Smith successfully coach Hanfmann on almost every point in the deciding match at the NCAA's in Athens. He basically told Hanfmann how to play each point at the beginning of very point. He stood maybe 15 feet from the end line extended and I thought he was in the way or at least distracting to our guy, but the chair umpire never said a word.

    If I can get you to agree with me, I think the entire tennis world will follow us :).
     
  18. Kirijax

    Kirijax Hall of Fame

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    I definitely agree about where the coach should be and how much he can be allowed to coach. Where I am, the coach has to remain seated on the bench by the ump, and cannot give advice during the game. Not all follow that rule perfectly but it does cut down on that nonsense Smith does.
     
  19. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Coaches are not supposed to slow down play, but the ITA officials rarely enforce this. I agree that the delay between doubles and singles is often excessive. It is bad for spectators at the match, and bad for TV. That has been the most positive change in this whole experiment.
     

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