Is this unsportsmanlike?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Homey, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    The rating system pertains to the fact that a 3.5/4.0 man is at a higher level than a 3.5/4.0 woman. Logically that would carry over into the several components that of a player's game. It doesn't make sense that 3.5/4.0 women would be better at volleying than men, yet in general be 0.5 below those men. Especially considering the fact that it requires more a advanced skillset to compete against men of the same level because they have more weapons to counter against.

    I can point out my anecdotal experience as well. I haven't seen much S&V from the women in 7.0 or 8.0. I haven't seen much as far as poaches either. If they were great at the net as a whole, then why would opponents so often hit right to the female net player as a strategy? Doesn't add up to me.
     
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  2. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    My frustration doesn't have to do with the fact that its a woman. But with partnering with someone who's game is far below mine. I would be just as frustrated partnering with a 2.5 man.

    I guess we all perceive things differently. What I notice is that my game gives virtually every 3.5 woman a hard time because of the spin and pace. There are plenty of 3.5 guys who my game will not phase much, so I have to win because of athleticism and consistency. There's a big difference between how someone plays against neutral shots and how they play against offensive shots. Thats the biggest difference between 3.5 men and women IMO. In other words, it is far easier to force an error against a 3.5 woman.

    I think 3.5 men are more likely to overhit than 3.5 women, but they are also less likely to get poached at the same time. I think S&Ving is more common among the 3.5 men than women, even though you may point out many guys you play with don't S&V.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
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  3. abbeytxs

    abbeytxs New User

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    So every 4.0 guy volleys as strong as every other 4.0 guy? Every 4.0 guy hits the same serve as every other 4.0 guy? It is possible for two people to have the same NTRP rating and not have identical skill sets. It is quite possible for a 4.0 woman to have better hands at the net than a 4.0 guy even though he has better groundies and serve.
    I agree that there isn't a lot of S&V in mixed, but I am not judging a net player just on their ability to S&V.

    If you ever make it to Austin I will happily take you to some good mixed matches. I think you might be surprised. :)
     
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  4. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Why are you twisting my argument to mean 'all or nothing'? Thats why I use words like 'most' or 'generally', to show that there are always exceptions. I am simply countering your claim that most women are better at net. I guess we have different ideas about what is good net play.
     
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  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, hey. Whoa.

    There is a guy on my mixed team. He is 6.5 feet tall. I have partnered with him and practiced with him. I have played no-bounce doubles with him. He is a 4.0.

    I am a better volleyer than he is. I think he would agree with me on this.

    If we both stood at the service line and tried to sustain a cooperative medium-pace volley rally, he would consistently miss before I would.

    Yet he is one USTA level higher than I am. How can this be?

    Because he doesn't win men's matches with volleys. He wins them by putting a crater in the court when he hits his overhead. He wins by hitting big groundstrokes and a big serve.


    I don't agree with this either. If I understand you, that is.

    "More weapons?" A lot of guys I know have exactly one serve, as do many of the women. So how would a guy have more weapons? Same story with groundstrokes. Most people at 3.5 hit topspin and flat groundstrokes, period. So how do the men have "more weapons?"

    See, having a higher USTA rating does not mean all elements of a player's game will be better than all elements of the game of a lower-rated player.

    I have no experience at 8.0 mixed, so I can only talk about 7.0 mixed.

    There is hardly any S&V going on, from either gender. I have already explained why some women might feel that their attempts to poach are unwelcome. As far as hitting at the female net player goes . . . I think you have mentioned how difficult it is for you at net when your female player is serving. Opponents just whack the ball at you and there is little you can do, if I recall your remarks correctly.

    Does that mean you are a poor net player? Not necessarily.

    Anyway, I don't know how often it happens that opponents target the woman at net. It happens to me. But given how many guys here say they won't hit at the woman at net, coupled with the fact that 3.5 women at net are quite good at standing close to the net and blocking these balls for winners, I'd say it probably isn't a winning or common strategy. The strategy that I think is more common is pinning the woman into the corner and making her hit passing shots.
     
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  6. abbeytxs

    abbeytxs New User

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    I wasn't twisting your argument, I was responding directly to; "The rating system pertains to the fact that a 3.5/4.0 man is at a higher level than a 3.5/4.0 woman. Logically that would carry over into the several components that of a player's game. It doesn't make sense that 3.5/4.0 women would be better at volleying than men, yet in general be 0.5 below those men"

    I whole heartedly agree that there always exceptions to any rule. However, where you think there is only the occasional good female net player, I think there are far more good female net players than just the occasional.
     
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  7. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Homey - Hmmm...see what you started? :)
     
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  8. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Generally speaking.

    I usually don't feel any pressure against 3.5 women in mixed. Some of the men can pressure me. That being good placement, big serve, big forehand, etc.

    Actually nobody hits the ball to me. The problem was that they were hitting it away from me and I was unable to poach reliably.

    As I said in another thread, playing strong at the net is often dependent on what your partner does.

    It is very common for opponents to return DTL to my net partner, probably because I am good at taking those baseline shots, as well as that I S&V so much they see two net people and choose the easier target.
     
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  9. abbeytxs

    abbeytxs New User

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    Nah, its my fault. I've read this message board long enough to know that around here, boys are always better than girls.

    Mea Culpa ;)
     
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  10. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Ok have it your way. I have not noticed what I would consider good net play until I started playing 8.0 mixed. Even then, they are not nearly aggressive enough, but they can hit effective shots.
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I seriously doubt that women at the same NTRP level as men can hit better volleys, speaking in an overall sense. The men are typically much taller, stand closer to the net, poach better, and in general are more aggressive. Playing these no-bounce games or bouncing a ball off the frame don't prove much. Otherwise Bahrami would have been the ATP #1. What counts is what happens in a match. Likewise, I am skeptical about target practice competitions, like getting the ball thru a small ring. It may be an indication of basketball shooting skills, but I don't think that kind of accuracy is needed to win a real tennis match. The court is quite big enough.
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    So you're saying that (in doubles), you can hit the same passing shot at the 3.5 man at net and a 3.5 woman at net and the woman will be more likely to make a hash of the volley? Really?

    I have to say, one of my biggest problems in mixed is that the only time I get to play mixed is during a match. I get a 10-minute warm-up, and then Wham. The match starts, and I have to adjust to different pace and different spin.

    Even then, I do get the hang of it, usually around the middle of the second set. :( If I practiced with 3.5 guys as often as I practice with 3.5 women, I think I wouldn't have this unfortunate adjustment period in my mixed matches.

    The problem I have with spin/pace tend to be with groundies and returns. I don't think the spin and pace are as big of a problem when I'm at net. After all, it is much easier to volley a ball that comes with pace than one where you have to create your own pace. Right?

    That said, I do have a question of sorts for Raiden: What do 3.5/4.0 women partners bring to the table in mixed?
     
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  13. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I think that a typical 3.5 male will handle balls I hit at them while they're at the net better than a 3.5 female would usually. Not only that, but the 3.5 male can reach more shots because they are more agile, taller, faster, and has developed more anticipation because they are used to dealing with tougher shots.

    What does a 3.0 woman partnered with you add to the table?

    By partnering with a 3.5/4.0 woman, its never going to be as intense for me as playing a men's match, thats for sure. Its a more relaxing environment. I get to work on my defensive game more and work on poaching more difficult shots. The better the partner, the more fun the match, male or female. Its not about gender. Its about finding the best partner to play with. I wish I could partner with a female who was better than me. I wish I could face one in singles.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
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  14. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    In very general terms - faster shots are easier to volley IF YOU PRACTICE THIS or are used to seeing fast shots at net. For those who are not used to the pace at net, then I think it's harder at first. Do enough fast paced net balls, and one adjusts to make smaller motions and much less racket head movement.

    So it depends. Slow balls at net do reveal bad technique - no question about that.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    First, standing close to the net, IMHO, is a sign of someone who is *not* comfortable playing the net. The very weakest volleyers can be found there. They will not take a deeper position in the court; it is harder to volley there.

    Second, you are kind of assuming the ground you're standing on. The 3.5 guys I have seen the most *do not* poach and are not aggressive at net.

    Third, you are correct that what matters is what happens in a match. In my matches, my male partners seem to want me to be conservative in my net play. So that is what I do. If my partner thinks he can hold without my help, I am fine with that. How do we leap to the fact that he is a better net player than I am?

    Why have both of my regular partners complimented my net player, with one saying he'd love to trade his BH volley for mine? I refuse to believe that I am some freak of nature because I can play the net and like to do so.
     
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  16. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    tell them no. doubles is about being active and agressive at the net. i dont care what sex you are if your being conservative its not good for our team.
     
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  17. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Plenty.

    It depends on the 3.0 woman, as they are individuals. Some bring consistent groundies. Some bring excellent court coverage. Some bring precise placement and overall craftiness. Some bring a weapon, like a big serve or a FH.

    My decision to dump 6.5 combo play isn't because my partners are weaker than I am, necessarily. Nor is it that they don't bring anything to the table.

    It is because (1) I've done it for five seasons and have learned all I think there is to learn from the experience; (2) it was leading me to develop some bad habits; and (3) I only have so much time for tennis, so if I am going to play at a higher level, something has to give.

    Raiden, have you ever played 7.5 mens combo as a 4.0 guy? Don't you think your 3.5 partners bring something to the table, even though they are rated lower than you? Don't they have some elements of their game that are stronger than yours? If they do, is it impossible that a woman playing mixed with you also brings something to the table?

    My point is that your female partners probably do bring something to the table. I think it is just a matter of looking for it and appreciating it for its differences.
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Nope, I will tell them yes. The reason is that doubles isn't only about being active and aggressive at net. It is about winning points. If my partner really believes he can serve four big serves and step in and crush the return for a winner, there is no reason for me to poach or do anything but make sure if a floater comes my way that I don't botch it.
     
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  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    If they are tall enough and cannot be lobbed easily, they stand close to the net and put away the volleys. The Bryans may not stand that close, but they are playing against the top players. The easiest club doubles wins I see are those where the returner has a decent return, but not good enough for the guy standing close to the net not to put it away easily.

    It may be harder to volley from a deeper position, but why make it harder in the first place?
     
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  20. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Im surprised you say they dont poach much especially given the strength of your area.

    Sucks that you feel restricted in your play because you are told what to do. I hate when partners tell me how to play. Maybe its time to find a new team for next year where you will find a partner to let you play your game.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Nah, I doubt the grass is greener elsewhere. After all, even on this board it seems that most guys think women stink at the net. Why would future partners on some other team be any different?

    As for whether it sucks to be told not to poach, it doesn't. Hey, if you want to try to hold all by yourself, Mr. Man, go for it. Me, I can stand near the doubles alley and wait for my turn to receive serve.
     
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  22. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I never played 7.5 league, but I played in a couple doubles blocks all winter with 3.5s. I have alot more experience with 3.5s than any other level.

    Sure there are some 3.5 players that have elements of their game that are better than me. But when it comes down to it, the better the players, the more satisfied I am with the game. Its always going to be more fun with a 4.0 partner than a 3.5 partner, but its not like the 3.5 doesn't bring anything to the table. What they bring to the table will still be offset by some weakness as well. I enjoyed 8.0 mixed, but not really 7.0 or 6.0. So its not like mixed is no fun, its just not fun when the level of play you enjoy isn't there and then other teams can exploit the mismatch.

    The reason I played 6.0 and 7.0 even though it wasn't all that fun was 1) to get more match play, 2) to experience a different flavor of the game, and 3) its more social.
     
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  23. bulldawg

    bulldawg Rookie

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    Keep doing what you're doing. By doing so, you're taking control of the point. If they don't like it, they can stay on the baseline...either way, you're dictating the play.
     
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