How many sandbaggers do we really have?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by gameboy, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Software cannot grade players. Period. The only way, and many others on these boards have already said, is to not allow teams that use self raters (and 'medical exemptions' - LOL!) to go to the playoffs. That would end it - but won't happen because it's all about the Benjamins for the USTA.

    The OP's attempt at Statistics is amusing. The only way to know would be to lie detector everyone.
     
  2. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Could you provide more details about this? I assume when you say the other captain got your player DQed that he/she filed a grievance which was upheld. Do you know the basis for why the player was bumped to 3.5 from 2.5 after the grievance? Had your player played matches as a 2.5?
     
  3. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    That is a bit of imaginative hyperbole on your part, no? I have complained about sandbaggers but couldn't care less about going to nationals. That said, I have seen sandbaggers decide which teams win a district and get to go to state and at state I've seen them decide which teams go on to sectionals. In both situations, the team with self-rated sandbaggers was playing a team with 100% computer-rated and benchmark players.

    I'm not so torn up about what I saw to want to quit playing USTA league but at the same time I don't think wanting the USTA to address the situation by, for example, prohibiting self-rated players from advancing to playoffs is that unreasonable a request.
     
  4. themachinestl

    themachinestl New User

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    Our 55+ 8.0 team made it to the finals in Surprise this past weekend without a single self-rated player. Who won? The team from The Woodlands (Houston area), of course, which had three self-rated guys who played in the semis and the finals. They won one of the three courts 6-0, 6-0. I think the tennis police are doing an investigation now and several are expected to be indicted and sent to Alcatraz which the USTA recently purchased and converted into a tennis prison. Even with the multiple examples of sandbagging we witnessed last weekend (on several of the teams), we had a blast! And the winners were even good guys.
     
  5. ChaelAZ

    ChaelAZ New User

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    Surprise is my home tennis center, and the weather was excellent this weekend. I didn't catch any of the play though. We have a month of national so I've been up there often.

    Hope the facility was to your liking.

    Cheers.
     
  6. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

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    It's like how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie-pop, the world will never know.
     
  7. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I have it on good authority that the tennis police force created a cracker jack special sandbagger victims unit of Frank Drebin and Inspector Clouseau, with Maxwell Smart going deep undercover. Arrests are imminent.
     
  8. G A S

    G A S Hall of Fame

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    I really don't get how someone can be sandbagging at the lower levels, instead of advancing straight to the higher levels...
     
  9. Startzel

    Startzel Rookie

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    I give the OP credit, he really sandbagged that first couple of posts.
     
  10. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Do you mean you don't know how someone can actually get away with it, or how they could conscientiously make the decision to sandbag?

    If it's the former, that's easy: manage their score lines, don't beat anyone too badly, play the minimum number of games, and if/when you get to Nationals: tank all your matches. It's the easiest way a person who is truly one level above stay one level below.

    As to the latter: well, obviously it's people who are too afraid of a true challenge. Some people prefer easy wins over tough losses.
     
  11. G A S

    G A S Hall of Fame

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    It feels better to lose between champions than to win between losers, well that sounded uncaring and maybe uncouth.
     
  12. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    If the USTA could make the system better off, if they would

    1) make a legitimate 5.0 league
    2) put anti-tanking code in their algorithm
    3) create separate doubles and singles ratings
    4) abolish Fall Leagues that allow guys to tank and manage their rating. (This is clearly absurd).

    Item #1 4.5 players in all but the largest metro areas, have no 5.0 leagues and some tank to be avoid the bump to a homeless place ~ a USTA 5.0 Rating. When 4.5 players tank, and they stay in the 4.5 leagues, many 4.0 guys who get bumped up will run into the those "4.5 guys who manage to stay out of 5.0". They get tired of it, and appeal down to 4.0. The whole system ripples, but IMO, the USTA is responsible for not doing more to make the DNTRP algorithm more accurate and more tank proof.

    Item #2 This is a no brainer. Some matches should be thrown out, when a guy is playing hurt or simply not trying, and tanking to "manage" his rating.

    Item #3 If a guy is a 4.5 doubles player and only a 4.0 singles player, allow him to play singles on a 4.0 team, but not doubles. As a Captain, I could deal with this. If your team is so small, and you want this guy to play 4.0 doubles, then you need to replace him or use him at 4.0 singles. Some guys are simply better at singles than doubles and vice versa. As a 40+ Captain in Combo, I can manage my lineups with 4.0/3.5, 4.5/3.0 and yep, even 5.0/2.5. So if I have a few 4.5 doubles only players, or a 4.5 singles only player, this allows me to put the guy who is much better at singles, at doubles, where he isn't as good, and I will put the better doubles player at singles. We still get to play tennis, hang out with our friends and the matches would be more competitive as I don't have a ringer at singles and a ringer at doubles. Right now, the 4.0A on our team can play doubles to manage his rating, and any 4.0 guys who are easily 4.5 doubles players, can play singles to manage their rating. Neither tank and the USTA is completely cool with this approach.

    Item #4 Schmke has posted on this subject matter and given us many examples of teams using fall leagues (that count towards one's DNTRP) to "manage" their rating. A National program doesn't have 17 Subsets doing "their own thing". Standardize the rules across the board.

    In USTA leagues, none of us get paid to play tennis, although some act like they do. Most people I know want to play tennis and have fun doing so, but when a guy clearly doesn't belong at a level, move them up or down as appropriate.

    In a local ladder ran by a local store, they have four men's divisions. Open (4.5 and up), Div 1 (4.0), Div 2 (3.5), and Div 3 (3.0). The ladder had over 150 guys in it, but the problem comes when guys play where they don't belong and the results get so lopsided it isn't fun. Solution: the owners are making their own rating system, one for singles and one for doubles. When your rating gets too high or too low, you get moved to the appropriate ladder.

    The USTA has basically stated they are here to "grow the game", or in other words, collect our money, and that isn't the best thing when it comes to taking care of your current customers. Since the USTA has near monopoly power in most areas, and given courts are limited, you either play USTA tennis or do like me, play some USTA, various ladders and pickup games.

    Just my .02
     
  13. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    duplicate post
     
  14. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    You could possibly solve item #1 by having 4.5High, 4.5Low, 4.0High, 4.0Low, 3.5High and 3.5Low levels. So,the 4.5 tankers avoiding the 5.0 bump would only play the upper 4.5High players.

    But, with any league separated by levels there will always be some sand baggers. I am not playing USTA now and am only play ALTA league. But, I played decades of USTA in the past. My experience is that 95% or more of the players are in the right level but there is always a small minority willing to sandbag for the glory of winning a worthless trophy.
     
  15. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    You are right that the system works for the majority of players. But it is the exceptions that stick out and we hear complaints about, and sometimes are the reason a "normal" team doesn't get their chance to go to local or district/state playoffs.

    The high/low is effectively just adding levels which is certainly one way to narrow the levels and keep play more competitive. The problem is, not every city is like Atlanta or other large cities with a large pool of players and so there wouldn't be enough players at the new narrower levels.

    So you could allow players to play up to fill out rosters, but that in itself is another issue with the system as strong at level players are not challenged at all when they play players playing up, and it in fact provides a way to, intentionally or not, keep players from being bumped up that should.

    Ok, so just have some areas not field teams at some of the new levels. That could perhaps work, but human nature is going to be to want to play at whatever levels are available to a player. And if everyone plays at multiple levels, more courts are required and particularly where play is indoors, that may be limited.

    Last, would you have Nationals at the new narrower levels? That means more revenue for the USTA, but also means a bunch more scheduling and expanding the couple months of Nationals we have now.

    Of course, perhaps the "low" levels just don't have Nationals so you don't have some of the issues above, and it just becomes a local league for those that don't want to have to face the stronger players. You could also institute a rule that players playing up can only play in the "low" level as a way to ensure the "high" or regular level doesn't get watered down.

    So it might have some merit if done right.

    NTRP Ratings FAQ
     
  16. Flyingpanda

    Flyingpanda Rookie

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    Hey, this is only tangentially related, but how difficult is it for you to predict my rating if I'm self-rated and pretty much only played self-rated players? I'm having a hard time gauging where I'm at because of this issue.
     
  17. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Some people really don't give a rat's rear end about Nationals. I know players who have skipped the chance to go. Some people just want to play against people at or near their level, one level above them is ok, but when the a guy is 5.0+ plus playing 4.5 the 4.5s I know want back in at 4.0.

    How about the USTA just creating doing some of the things I suggested, like separating the 4.5s from the 5.0s and giving the 5.0s a league in places in places that have around a million people, but not 5 million people.

    Yep, Atlanta, LA, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Miami, Washington DC might have 5.0 leagues, but once you get out of the top 10-15 metroplexes, those leagues are slim.
     
  18. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    If you know you've played primarily self-rates, and done so before they've played many matches, there might be very little in the report/rating. But e-mail me (ratings@teravation.net) and I can let you know if calculating your rating would be worthwhile or not.

    You are right that it is hard to gauge how you are doing in this case though.
     

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