League age changes and effect on participation

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by john hempel, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. john hempel

    john hempel Rookie

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    Does anyone know if USTA league participation has gone up or down following the restructuring of USTA leagues with different age categories?
     
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  2. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Down. I know several teams that have disbanded and vaporized. Morale is in the gutter.

    Sadness pandas.
     
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  3. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    *Off-Topic*

    Joe, is your avatar a girlfriend or ex-girlfriend of yours?

    :oops:
     
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  4. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Roughly the same ... but the distribution has changed. We are still getting some last minute signups so in a month I will be able to actual head counts for comparison.
     
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  5. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Will have to wait for someone like dizzlmcwizzl to give us some actual numbers.

    Personally it has gone up for me ... I played on 1 spring team last year and I'm paying on 3 spring teams this year. (two 18+ and one 40+)
     
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  6. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    I was unable to get on a team because everyone I know that plays is old.
     
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  7. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    The only teams left that need players are those of the spider vein assembly (40+).
     
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  8. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I really like the new age group structure so far. For 2013 I have already played on three 40+ teams, two of them early start, and two 18+ teams, one which just finished and another which starts April 2nd. That is more league participation than I have ever done before. Throw in the local league doubles only team I am also playing on currently, and like Micky Ds, I'm lovin it.

    Participation in all those leagues has been high. The only problem I saw here was when the men's 4.0s wanted to do an 18+ season, right after a 40+ season had just completed, only two teams signed up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
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  9. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    The USTA will see it as a success in your area that they had two teams also play 18+.
     
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  10. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Whenever I hear people talk about loving the 40+ leagues to the detriment of the 18+ leagues and it just feels like people are pulling up the ladder behind them. It just seems like USTA is placating some people in the short term and is killing league tennis in the medium term.
     
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  11. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Tried to pull a 40+ team at my club. Not enough interest. No changes for me whatsoever.
     
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  12. chay337

    chay337 Rookie

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    I had the same results. We had some injuries during the 18+ leagues so less pool of players as well.
     
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  13. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Problem in our area is that the 40+ guys are playing in both 18+ and 40+ leagues and the younger guys can't find a damn team to play on because all the old farts have taken all the spots twice. Whomever came up with this rule change is an idiot! Should have been 50+ or something higher but slightly lower than seniors or some junk. 40 year olds can play just as well as younger guys if they're high rated players 4.5+. If they want to excuse the cheezy 40+ 3.5- players then they need to do age groups based on NTRP levels and not just age groups in general that apply to all NTRP levels.
     
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  14. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Ya, and you're one of those guys who I'm complaining about. If you're 40+ and you choose to play 40+ leagues, stay out of the 18+ ones and let everyone else fill them up who's not 40 yet. WTF>?!
     
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  15. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Here in Norcal the seasons for 18+ and 40+ do not overlap. We have just one 18+ season that starts in April, and the new 40+ started in Jan.

    It looks like 18+ will have pretty much the same participation as last year, so 40+ has made no difference there.

    The 40+ season had maybe a third of the participation (in terms of numbers of players) compared to what there will be for 18+. But since this is in addition to and not instead of 18+, I'm sure USTA will consider it a success.

    Of course all this is irrelevant in areas where 18+ and 40+ take place at the same time, in which case I'm sure there would be more cannibalism.
     
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  16. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I suspect that if a 28 year old player was a lot better than the 45 year old player they would have no problem finding a team. However, if it is close in ability .... captains are going to go with folks they know and trust.
     
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  17. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    My guess is that your age is not the reason captains don't want you on their teams.
     
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  18. ian2

    ian2 Semi-Pro

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    I like the idea but how well it will work remains to be seen. Where I am, the new 40+ league will be running from beginning of July through end of August. Problem is, another men USTA league (18+ essentially, though it's called Twilight and is separate from May-June 18+ league) also runs July-August. And for my level, 40+ matches happen to be on Mondays and Twilight matches on Tuesdays. I'd guess that most guys on my team will end up picking one over the other, with likely end result of 40+ league not happening for us this year...
     
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  19. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    In Arkansas at the men's 4.5 level it seems to be the same players just mixed and matched on different teams. The seasons all are running now, so we have guys playing in the various age ranges. As others have said, if you are not good enough to be competitve, you would not be asked to play. The 40 league (which at least in Arkansas is both 4.5 and 5.0) is really tough. I just turned 55, so most of our former 50 and over team just moved up intact to 55's. There is only one other 55 team at our level in the state, so we also are playing 40's, with a couple of additions to the roster. These teams are state wide, since there are not alot of area talent at that level. I'm also on an 18 and over team at my local club, and we will be playing regional matches in this part of the state. One thing that is pretty cool is my high school junior son qualifies as well, so we will be playing on the same team. Anyone can form a team, so form your own team if you can't find one to play on.
     
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  20. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    lol, you honestly think I'm going to sign up for a team that has 15 or more players on it and pay court fees to play 1 or 2 matches? lol Ya, that must be it... it's the captains not wanting me to join their teams. :rolleyes:

    The problem is that a bunch of people sign up for the teams and the captains allow it because they've been burned in the past by players not being able to play when they get put on the roster. When I say I'm going to be able to play on such a day of the week because that's the day this league team plays, I MAKE THAT DAMN DAY. I don't care what happens and unless someone dies or it rains (lol), I'm coming to play. Other apparently don't take it this way. They sign up for the team and then can't always show up and all this does is cause captains to have huge teams so they have a bunch of floodover choices on their rosters. The problem is, they also want to give everyone a chance to play, so they always rotate everyone and when you have that many players and short seasons, you pay 1 or 2 maybe 3 matches and that's about it. Sucks to pay for such limited time. I'd rather be part of a small tight team that takes some responsibility and shows up to play each week as they promissed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
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  21. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Court fees suck ! I'm glad we dont have them where I play.
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Easy solution.

    Gather up all of these young players who can't get on teams or can't get enough play time.

    Form your own team.

    Part of the issue here may be that once a captain fills a 40+ roster with 40+ players, she will not want to discard the older players in favor of younger ones. If she does that, she will be in trouble the next time she wants to captain 40+.

    My experience with captaining is that if you kick someone to the curb, you had better have a darn good reason. I have seen pods of players depart a team because one of the pod wasn't invited back. I know a captain who is about to find out about this the hard way.
     
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  23. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Good points Cindy
     
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  24. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Only one problem with that. If you have an odd number of teams, that doesn't work either because then they can't all play with a proper schedule. Ya, we have captains and players in our leagues that cause this type of issue to constantly happen. See, what usually happens is we start out with a bunch of teams because everyone wants to play and get on a team. Then we have captains complain because they don't have a ton over overflow players, so they all discuss it among themselves and with the league coordinator and then decide that it would be better to disband a couple of teams and then move everyone over to the other teams, which now overfills those teams beyond what I consider "enough players".

    Some of this happens with the higher ranked teams also because they don't have enough to fill the rosters because the players who played last season and won and are going to sectional take a season off, so now there's not enough players to fill an even amount of teams, so again, they get disbanded and consolidated to the other teams which makes them overfilled. Ya, it blows.
     
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  25. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    You are really trying to say that the biggest hesitation for you starting your own team is that you don't want to chance it that there would be an odd number of teams? Seriously? That is a problem for the league- not a problem for anyone who wants to start a team.
     
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  26. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Jesus man, where do you read that? That's just one of the things that could happen and I've seen it happen, but the bottom line is, I just don't feel like dicking with all the captaining stuff. I did it a couple of years ago and I had the same whiners on my team that sometimes couldn't make the lineup no matter what. I just don't get it. If you cannot play, why join a team and then now show up? Don't get me wrong, it's not like it happened every week, but I think if you're going to commit to a team, maybe make it a habit of actually being available during the times the team plays and if you cannot be, make it a habit of letting people know before the day that you cannot play.
     
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  27. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Let me think back...

     
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  28. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Only "one" problem. Did I say THE ONLY REASON WHY I DON'T DO THAT? (no, I'm not yelling) No, I didn't. Anyway, doesn't matter, it's not like other seasons don't open up, it's just that people horde the spots and that's all.

    Also, to get back to your excuse of letting the league coordinator worry about having an odd number of teams... we all pretty much know what the teams will be year after year and trust me when I say that it doesn't matter if I form a team or not and it's odd, the only outcome will be that the coordinator will request we move our players to other teams. It's happened before, it'll happen again and it happens every year. It just happened with the 4.5 teams.

    Anyway, it's pointless to keep badgering it to death. It's an issue and it's annoying, that's all. I don't see a reason for 40+ teams, 50+ and above was enough. Chances are good 40-50 year olds who didn't like playing lower ranked tennis or getting bounced between two NTRPs every year due to losses cried enough to the USTA that they thought it was good enough to make a 40+ league.

    Hey, who knows, maybe in 5 more years there'll be a 30+ league for those to cry about that it's too hard to play in their 30's, lol.
     
    #28
  29. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    I don't understand the issue with an odd number of teams. We almost always have an odd number of teams. You only play one team at a time, every team sets their own schedule, and depending on how many teams in your league, you may play them once, twice, whatever. Right now we have three 4.5 teams in our region. We will play the other 2 teams 3 times each, for a total of 6 team matches. I do agree about people signing up an then never being available to play. I've seen alot of that too. Sounds like you might enjoy just playing tournaments, where you only have to worry about your own matches. I've got friends that don't play team tennis, and just play tournaments. I did that up to a couple of years ago, but now need to train with my high school son every day, so can't really be gone that much.
     
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  30. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    I agree. I've captained a lot of teams over the years, most with a good deal of success, and I always build a team of fewer players but those who are hardcore and are sold out to the team. Then I don't have to worry about finding players for matches and I don't have to listen to whiners complain about their playing time. I'd rather face the rare struggle having only 10 players than the constant headache of finding playing time for 15. But then again, I put together teams to win leagues, not just create a playing opportunity for a bunch of casual players.
     
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  31. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    Makes since storypeddler. My wife captained a team and ran into lots of these issues. There are lots of headaches for captains!
     
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  32. lobman

    lobman Rookie

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    Ditto beernutz's comment.
     
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  33. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    We don't do that here because each team plays on each league day. If it was an odd number of teams, one team would always skip a week because they didn't have an opposing team to compete against. They just don't do it and I don't blame them.
     
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  34. Chip 'n Charge

    Chip 'n Charge New User

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    The problem in the Pacific Northwest is lack of available courts. Most of the USTA League play is in doors and the public tennis centers as well as the private clubs seem to be cutting back on court time that they'll allocate to league play. Consequently, teams get fewer (roughly half) the matches they used to get.

    From my perspective, USTA doubled the price and has failed to deliver commensurate product.
     
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  35. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

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    That stinks. Court time is also somewhat tight in NW Arkansas, but we are not limited in the number of matches, or limited to a specific day or time. We are all given the period of time the season runs. It is up to each team captain to get with the other team captains and schedule their matches at whatever time they can agree on, and get courts. But I can understand, as team tennis can keep the courts booked all the time with so many teams and divisions.
     
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  36. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I am curious why sections which have court availability issues and consequently do timed matches don't adopt structure changes such as requiring no ad scoring similar to what has been done for ATP doubles.
     
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  37. Chip 'n Charge

    Chip 'n Charge New User

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    If they're going to continue with the age groups, they ought to consider staggering seasons -- maybe run some through the summer so we could play outside.

    In the meantime, having tried to coordinate calendars for just 4 guys in the One Doubles program might give me pause to try it on a "flex-league" basis.
     
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  38. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    Seems like 40+ is doing well in my area. However, 18+ has died. My club had 3 teams last season, 1 team this year. I would start a team but I don't know if there's enough interest and I don't have the time with a new baby.

    I am not a fan of the format changes, but I bet the old-man junkballing pushers in 40+ love it.
     
    #38
  39. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    We really do.
     
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  40. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    USTA is trying to run too many leagues imo. Since early start 2013, I have played on two 18+ leagues and three 40+ leagues already. I had the opportunity to play up on another 18+ league team but only two teams signed up and the other one was a good hour drive away so I turned it down.

    Even on the two teams that were formed for that two-team 18+ season, probably half of the players were playing up because there wasn't enough interest from rated players at that level to start another league right after they had just finished their 40+ league. The 40+ had great participation with 9 teams and about 150 players.

    Oh yeah, Mikeler is dead on correct.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
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  41. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

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    40+ has killed 4.5. Yuck.

    The 40+ has basically ruined our 4.5 league. Last spring we had 6 full teams, great competition, everything dandy, tight race all year, guys hanging around after their match to watch the next match to keep an eye on the standings. Our leagues have all been like this since I started a few years ago. This year:

    40+: Not even 2 full teams. One team has defaulted courts every match so far and there are several 4.0s on both teams. The "league" is just a weekly 8.5 scratch match with the same team and you just hope your court doesn't get defaulted. I had no interest in playing in this league but agreed to do it because they needed players just to even get this far.

    18+: 4 teams, one of which has only 8 players (default city), and one is another 4.0/4.5 team. So, only two full 4.5 teams. Great.

    As a bonus, our 18+ league now doesn't start until mid-April and we can't even use our home courts because there are so many extra leagues going on. What has felt like March Madness in the past now just feels like an inconvenient pick-up league.

    And what the heck is the point of this? So guys in their 40's don't have to play young guys?? WTF?
     
    #41
  42. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I applaud the USTA for destroying the dreams of hundreds of USTA 4.0 GOATs. It will make them work harder for 4.5 GOAThood.
     
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  43. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    I have to agree with you on this. This is the same thing I'm seeing where I am. Sucks big time!
     
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  44. lobman

    lobman Rookie

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    Interesting that one of the rationales the USTA gave for the big change was to offer more opportunities to play for the "average" age USTA player (40+) but from these posts it seems there are some unexpected negatives. Personally, as a "super senior" under the old system, the new age categories are driving us old farts out of league tennis. Our only salvation is that sections (and maybe states?) can add some age categories but with no advancement to national championships.
     
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  45. john hempel

    john hempel Rookie

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    I have to agree with you, Lobman. The senior players have dropped out in large numbers since the senior and super senior leagues changed. A 65+ league, without a sectional or national playoff, was tried here in Tucson, but without much success. There were insufficient numbers of teams to even have a league this fall or winter. I'll be interested to see how the league demographics have changed.
     
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  46. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I just ran the numbers from the entire delaware district.

    Compared to the same period last year we have exactly the same numbers of teams and the average per team is almost identical ... there are a couple fewer players right now, but the last minute additions to rosters will even things out I am sure.

    However what is interesting is the dramatic shift to older teams. Last year 55% of the teams in our district were Adult (18+) level teams for a toal of 107.

    This year 30 % of our teams are 18+ (58 ). Meaning if you are under 40 the opportunities for you to play have been cut nearly in half.

    However, if you are 40+ you have more opportunities than ever.
     
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  47. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Ding ding ding! We have a winner!!!! See, this is what I mean. BLOWS!
     
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  48. cmartin

    cmartin New User

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    Our area has some interesting numbers.

    2012 2013
    18 and over 145 teams 95 teams
    50 + 30 73 40+
    60 + 6 14 55+

    totals 181 182

    did one of the things the league coordinators wanted (smaller size leagues for scheduling).
    ex. 18+ 3.5 women - 2012 - 28 teams, 2013 - 22 teams
    18+ 4.0 women - 2012 - 21 teams, 2013 - 12 teams

    this are our largest leagues. since our area only play once a week getting matches in by districts meant starting in Feb. (30 degree temps) and hoping for no rainouts.
     
    #48
  49. bethany2

    bethany2 New User

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    Personally I was really looking forward to play on a team with my mom. But now all of her teams are 40+ so I can't.

    Also I've found that the people on my 18+ teams mostly seemed to treat their 40+ teams as the top priority, so would be forfeiting matches or too tired to play. Pretty frustrating.
     
    #49
  50. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Your analysis is flawed. You are confusing the number of teams with in a 18 + league and 40+ league with playing opportunities per player. The number of teams only affects how many matches can and will be scheduled. The manner in which a coordinator schedules will vary also with number of teams per division, home & away scheduling vs one match per team, and input from Captains.

    In the first paragraph you state the facts. Same number of team, roughly same number of players.

    The part you missed is the shift from 55% of teams at 18+ vs 30% of team is less playing opportunities for those under 40 from last year. It is simply fewer teams in the 18+ division.

    If a 30 year old played ten matches last year and ten matches this year, there is no change other than maybe fewer teams within the same given level. e.g, maybe 11 men's 3.5 teams as opposed to 21 teams. Even if a league of 3.5 men had 36 teams in 18+, the schedule would be roughly the same number of matches with simply more 3.5 divisions.
    The playing opportunity didn't decrease for those under 40, but yes, those 40+ can play in two different leagues now, so they do have more opportunity.

    Our 40+ 3.5 league had 4 teams. Our 18+ league had 29 teams in 4 divisions.
    In 2012 there were 26 3.5 (18+) teams in two divisions

    The playing opportunities weren't reduced for the under 40 players from 2012 to 2013, just merely a different number of teams. I played 8 matches last year even though my team had 12 matches scheduled. This year I played 9 matches out of the ten scheduled.

    Why fewer matches this year? Because we had more divisions with fewer teams per division, but we played 5 teams twice and didn't have to drive 45 minutes to four teams like we did last year. Overall, our 3.5 18+ league was much better everyone.
     
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