How prevalent is ratings manipulation in USTA league play?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Reddirt, Nov 11, 2013.

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Do ratings manipulations affect winners' line results in local playoffs?

Poll closed Nov 25, 2013.
  1. A. More than one line per playoff match

    27.8%
  2. B. Approximately one line per playoff match

    30.6%
  3. C. At least one line in half of the playoff matches

    5.6%
  4. D. Rarely

    33.3%
  5. E. Never

    2.8%
  1. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Brian11785.

    If those guys need to do this to feel good about themselves, I really do feel sorry for them.

    Harry Reed is 19 or 20 years old- it's not too late for him to stop cheating and walk away from these clowns.

    I don't have any empathy for the Captain.

    Hopefully some of these guys think about how shallow their efforts really were.
     
    #51
  2. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Is this enough proof that there's one case? Sure. It certainly exists, but nevertheless, 99% of the time that people come on here and say so-and-so is a sandbagging cheater, they really mean, "I'm plssed that I'm not the best, so anyone better than me must be cheating". That still hasn't changed because you've found ONE actual case of cheating.
     
    #52
  3. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    The fact that people sometimes make false claims of being the victims of crimes doesn't mean that actual crime isn't a problem.

    99%.....I don't think so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
    #53
  4. Orange

    Orange Rookie

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    A self-rated player on a team I captained once had an opponent, to whom she lost in a third set tiebreak, accuse her of sandbagging.

    I am fairly certain that the opponent didn't realize how arrogant of her it was to consider herself at the very top level of that NTRP rating, and therefore that anyone who could beat her was, by definition, sandbagging.

    At the same time, while I know it exists, I have no idea of the prevalence of ratings manipulation.

    Here is my example, in a tournament, not USTA league play: A self-rated tournament player who had won every tournament in which she had played by the time I played her had been a member of a very successful high school team that had gone to State about 3 years earlier, which meant that her rating could not possibly be on the same level as mine. I asked her about it, and she replied, "Oh, but I was injured after high school, so I just rated myself lower." Because tournaments do not count in NTRP ratings in my State, she can continually play (and win) at that level. This makes it less likely that I will want to play tournaments.
     
    #54
  5. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    While she won't generate or contribute to a C rating with her tournament play, she will generate a tournament exclusive rating (T) which should reflect a higher rating and require her to play at the appropriate level in future tournaments.
     
    #55
  6. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    I've played these leagues for 20 years and you are absolutely correct. It happens but it is rare. For me, it is annoying to hear everyone that complains so much. I know it when I see it but I don't see it that often. I've seen players that others said were sandbagging then those players get their clocks cleaned when the matches matter.

    Tennis is about more than strokes. It is usually about the mentally toughest and the legs. Once you get to a level, the strokes are not that terribly superior but being able to hit them when it matters and the ability to get to the ball in great position is more important.

    When people complain about everyone else cheating, me thinks thou dost protest too much. If could be you just are not as good as you think.
     
    #56
  7. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    Don't let anyone fool you. It's alive and well in many places, especially where the leagues are 2 teams. I've heard stories of teams getting together and playing in two states and two different leagues. They all determine the scores in both leagues b4 they ever hit the court. These are women's teams so you know the men are doing it as big as their egos get.lol It happens but what are you going to do?


     
    #57
  8. F L O B B E R

    F L O B B E R Rookie

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    I'm shocked anyone would think there isn't sandbagging going on. Granted it isn't usually top to bottom of the roster, but the teams that go to Districts/Sectionals and beyond will have at LEAST 1-2 guys on their team that are a virtual lock to get a W every time they walk on the court at the level they are in. (And they game the system to be able to do this garbage as long as they can).

    I was on a team that made it to Sectionals this year (yes we had 2-3 VERY strong players) and I heard numerous conversations about keeping ratings down.

    What I came away from this experience with was a total lack of interest in making it back again. I just want to play competitive tennis, have fun and hopefully make a few new friends with it. I want nothing to do with the "win at all costs" attitude that seems to consume so many.

    When I look at the pictures of the National Championship Teams, it isn't with admiration. I'm just wondering how many of those smiling faces cheated the system to be able to win a National Tournament against other teams that probably cheated just as much.
     
    #58
  9. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    Does it happen? Sure. But this thread had has examples cited where teams have made it to Nationals and done well, even winning, where gaming the system and ratings manipulation was not done.

    Do teams have players that are a virtual lock to win? Absolutely, and that is because they are at the top of their level (or above, bumps do happen) and there aren't that many players there with them, so they usually win. Being at the top or just above the top of your level does not mean they are gaming the system though. Some do, many don't.
     
    #59
  10. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    It is nice to see teams that don't cheat make it districts (State), Sectionals, and Nationals.

    The journey for those teams has to be so much sweeter than for the teams like the SC 4.0 18+ team-

    Congrats to the teams and players who did it the honest way !
     
    #60
  11. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    When I look at the 40+ Women's District champions pictures on the wall at Forrest Hills I wonder with admiration how many of those women GOATed J011y.
     
    #61
  12. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Couldn't help myself. :lol:
     
    #62
  13. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    GrammarGOAT.
     
    #63
  14. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=470952

    I came away with the same taste in my mouth. I played in the fall league for a team that went 2-6. Played singles line one most weeks. Couldn't have been happier.
     
    #64
  15. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Well, I just put together a team that made it to the national championship finals. I never once told anyone to misrate themselves, lie on a self-rating form (we had very few S-rated players anyway), manipulate scores, throw matches, sets, or games, register under a different name, or any of that BS. We just played tennis, played a bunch of close matches at every level, and kept on winning. While I'm sure there are isolated instances, I find it very hard to believe that there is this widespread, systematic cheating going on all over the country, because if there is, they really suck at it because they can't even beat teams that are just a bunch of guys playing tennis.

    And lest I need to remind anyone, I am the same person who was ridiculed for being barely 3.0 in this very forum:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xB4RLZguN4

    So to most of the inflated egos on here, I am both a weak 3.0 and a cheating sandbagger, depending on whether they are trying to think of themselves a 5.0 or demonize successful 4.0s.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #65
  16. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Eastern 40+ women won nationals, although I think they were from Westchester.
     
    #66
  17. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    This isn't about them. It's about J011y.
     
    #67
  18. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Remind me again...how your anecdotal evidence is more valid than the anecdotal evidence of people who have experienced this activity actually going on?

    I notice that a lot of the people who have voted "Rarely" are ones that have gone to Nationals at some point. At least three (that I am aware of) of the twelve. Who really is the group "doth protesting" too much here?
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #68
  19. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Because if there is widespread cheating, shouldn't those teams have an overwhelming advantage? I mean, that seems like a lot of effort to not even gain any advantage. As far as "doth protesting" goes, my video is right there, the same one ridiculed as barely 3.0. Do I look like a sandbagger to you?

    In fact, I'm sure a lot of the egomaniacs that were ridiculing my video in light of their own awesomeness are the same people who can't accept that you don't have to cheat to make nationals just because they can't make nationals.

    Also, of the Rarely votes, dizzl and tennisjon both play in NJ (and also DE in dizzl's case), which is apparently the last bastion of integrity in the US. LOL.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #69
  20. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Don't count me in that group. Nothing pleases me more than playing someone with "pretty" strokes or big hitters who can't maintain a rally of more than four strokes. I am in no place to judge anyone based on an ugly game....that's sort of my thing as well. Never been brave enough to post a video here to see where the lions would rate me.

    Though to be honest, having a game that looks a lot less skilled than it actually is would be the optimal scenario if I am building a nationals-bound USTA team. I mean, an opponent or opposing captain is a lot more likely to call "sandbagging" if there is a player that is hitting people off the court. But it is harder to call someone a sandbagger when his game appears to be terrible but is deceptively not so during actual matchplay. The opponent leaves the court not with a mindset of "that guy is not a ____" but with a "how did I lose to THAT guy?"
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #70
  21. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I didn't post the video. In fact, it was taken clandestinely and posted before I was even a member here. I'll embrace it, though, because people skoff at it and try to insult me to boost their own, but in 8 years of playing 4.0, the only losing season I've had was the one where I only played the 5 toughest matches on the schedule because I had tennis elbow, I've had undefeated seasons at #1 singles, and now I'm a national runner up at 4.0 (after winning the deciding doubles match in the national semifinals).

    It's like a badge of honor for me to be considered a 3.0 hack and at the same time be accused of being a 5.0 sandbagger who must have cheated to be 4.0 by the same egomaniac people, just depending on the context.
     
    #71
  22. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Can't argue with that.

    [​IMG]
     
    #72
  23. Bash and Crash

    Bash and Crash Semi-Pro

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    JRB that is awesome, we have a dubs team on my national champ squad that leaves players saying " I can't believe I lost to that 3.5 lobber, and his partner with crazy windmill strokes." Well they won 99% of their matches.
     
    #73
  24. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    I know who that is, I've heard the stories :)
     
    #74
  25. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    One could argue that the players that have gone to Nationals are in the best position to offer an opinion as they've faced the largest cross-section of players, from local to district to section and then as many as 6 different sections.
     
    #75
  26. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Not hard to find, but a recent national winning team started their journey by self-rating a level below the level for which they were targeting their nationals run (so two levels below their actual playing level). For example (not the real level), you're really a 3.5, but self-rate at 2.5, play at 3.0, get strikes, and now you've got a bulletproof computer rating at 3.0.

    Yes - teams exist that don't behave in this way. But there are definitely teams that do. Ultimately exactly how many teams behave in this way doesn't matter, as enough teams do that it spoils the experience for many, many others.

    Regardless of sport - if you're playing a handicapped league, winning is less about competing well and more about manipulating your location in the order.
     
    #76
  27. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    One of the eastern teams that won 3.5 nationals within the last 10 years was straight up ringers. Most of them were solid 4.5 players. I LoL'd with the captain when I met him a few years later when I was on the 4.5 Mens Eastern Tour.

    Deal with it. Everyone cheats. Everyone wants to win. Everyone is envious of each-others ringers.

    USTA - It's all a big LOL.
     
    #77
  28. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    There is a lot less of this crap at 40+ vs 18+

    The 40+ 3.5 guys who won SC Title had solid players and only one 3.5S out of 12 players - the other 11 were mostly B rated players - just a solid team with very good players from top to bottom.

    The 18+ team who won the SC Title has five 3.5S players (actually won is 3.5D) out of the 12 3.5 players on the team - they also have a 3.0B and he did quite well- beating a lot of 3.5 guys- so hats off to him. The other 3.0 beat a few 3.5s so badly (one win was 1&1, another 2&3 over 3.5s) , that he he DQed at 3.0 - these type of teams can win at Districts and probably some will win Sectional and go to Nationals- some might even win nationals at 3.0 or 3.5. PR seems to get a lot of attention and comments -

    But there are successful teams that don't cheat. The ones who assemble solid, smart players - the ones who can gut out wins - and yes even beat the sandbaggers.

    I personally think this is what JRB's team and Mikler's 4.5 team did - so again congrats to you and team's like yours. It is great to hear of success like this from honest teams.

    I just happen to see a lot of 18+ sandbagging at 3.5 and 4.0 in SC, but I can't say I witnessed any of this crap at 40+ in SC

    And for the record, I went 17-1 at 3.5 for the spring of 2013. 6-0 at 40+ (3-0 at State in singles ), 12-1 at 18+ (2-0 at State in singles). I got an easy draw it seems all year. The last time I self rated was 2007, and the USTA seems to be happy with me at 3.5, because I spilt sets with two 3.5C players, I also spilt sets with two 3.5S players- beating one at State.

    I lost one match at singles this year- yep the guy was self rated and in the 18+ league. . He remains unbeaten at singles - he lost one set this year, and said after the match said " I didn't expect a competitive match" When I asked, "what did you expect ?" He actually said to beat me 0&0. I am adamant I have the right to call him a sandbagger. ;) He dropped 4 aces on me in the 10 Pt TB. It was his first match if the season. I doubt I get one game off of him now.

    So to the guys like JRB and others who went to Nationals the honest way- congrats . But please understand that what Ron Charles did with his 18+ team did in fact happen. And it happens elsewhere. They didn't win Sectionals, but can you imagine being on a team that played Harrison Read when he self rated 3.5? He went 5-0 at State at 4.0, and 4-1 and Sectionals losing to another 4.0S.

    I play pickup matches with a 60+ year old guy who played at UMASS- he is so smooth, he glides around the court and makes other 4.0s look foolish - he refuses to play any 18+ leagues for the exact reasons this thread addresses - He plays tennis for fun and plays 40+ and 55+, and I've learned more about the game from this gentleman than I can ever repay him.

    Thankfully there are 100 to 1 players like this man for every Ron Charles.
     
    #78
  29. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    That was kind of my point. This Ron Charles guy not only sucks as a person, he sucks at cheating, too. To go through all the effort that he supposedly did to come in 4th at sectionals? Good job man, good job...
     
    #79
  30. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    There is no supposedly about what he did at all.
     
    #80
  31. Reddirt

    Reddirt New User

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    I understand the logic, but there is at least one other perspective on why teams going to nationals might perceive things differently. First, anyone who has gone to nationals and been successful would not want to have their hard-earned victory cheapened by the view that nationals teams are all sandbaggers - and this would seem a natural inference if ratings manipulations are seen as common at the league level.

    I, for one, would grant that someone who has gone to nationals would have a broader experience than someone who has not, but that should not discredit the observations of others who have not made it there.

    This poll was all about perception, not reality. And now we have the result. How we choose to interpret the result will largely be determined by our experiences.

    I, for one, do not think that the perception of ratings manipulation is solely based on whether you were, or were not, successful at nationals, and I feel it demonstrates a significant issue with USTA League credibility and relevance.
     
    #81
  32. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Ron,

    is he talking about you?

    It couldn't be you right? Your too good.

    Cheers-
     
    #82
  33. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this. I heard it here once where someone said that nationals are people with egos. :) I agree because you can't get to nationals without your players being a minimum of 1 level above the level you are playing and it really needs to be two levels above. I know the only state we ever won was 3.0 and we had a bunch of athletes from basketball and baseball that had been playing for 6 mo. We did have what was known as our ringer but he was a 3.5 at best playing singles and another 60 something year old man playing singles a lot, but we did throw in about 8 different people to play singles.lol I don't anticipate winning another state without it being the same case at the 4.0 level.lol Especially in GA.

     
    #83
  34. AHJS

    AHJS Professional

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    Pretty prevalent. I know a truly open level player in texas, like he wins both open singles and doubles often, who played a 3.5 tourney :/
     
    #84
  35. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I play at my level because I continue to lose at playoff level even though I bulldoze people during regular season. I do not manipulate my rating at all. The only way I legitimize myself to people who think im a sandbagger are with pure incontrovertible evidence...

    1) I have a 80-90% W/L ratio in regular season play over at least 30 matches.
    2) I lose at playoff level, sometimes really badly. I had a (1-1) loss in 8.0 Mixed playing for the sectional spot.

    3) No one dumps at playoff level, because a loss there can be worth more than a win during regular season play since you're probably playing people very high on the DNTRP scale, vs. avg/below avg people during the regular season.

    This is also 18+

    18+ Adult is the funniest league here... because you have a ton of high school kids self-rated 3.5/4.0 as well as the "lifers" who are dumping to stay low for USTA Mixed, or WTT.
     
    #85
  36. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Someone who wins 90% of over 30 matches for multiple years should be bumped up.

    As there is no money at stake, I don't know why people don't seek out greater challenges.
     
    #86
  37. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Why he would play 3.5 is beyond me.

    certain areas are good about DQing ppl who appear to be playing below their level. Some areas are really aggressive and will DQ based upon skill demonstration as opposed to record. I support this but it is somewhat arbitrary.

    In tournaments the directors are often too timid to do this although they should.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
    #87
  38. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think your assumption is people play too low because they don't know any better is naïve especially at say 3.5 and higher. The vast majority of players who have reached 3.5 or higher have at least at reasonable understanding of the skill levels and they know when they are sandbagging (playing low in order to win more often). I have seen guys who still play a lot of tennis just out of collegiate programs playing 4.0 when they are in reality in the top 25% of the 4.5 level. I have seen players tanking games to make set scores competitive. My view is 90% of the players that are playing too low are doing it intentionally.
     
    #88
  39. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I am trying to be bumped up. That's why i've told captains in the past not to put me with someone who is managing rating because if they do that while im playing it would **** me off.

    But, let it be known, I havnt done well at the playoff level. I'm less than 50%. That just goes to show you that regular season play doesnt mean anything. During the regular season ive mostly lost to the top contenders, then lost to them again in a playoff. People think im bad. All I have to point out is that I lose sometimes, just not to them... haha
     
    #89

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