league ethics - multiple teams

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by TenniseaWilliams, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    Despite published requirements on the league sign-up forms about being a member of any team you captain, I have seen multiple teams registered in the same NTRP section by individuals and by clubs. Mostly the clubs give a surface legitimacy by at least registering a token straw captain, but sometimes they even use the teaching pro that is a "league director" as the captain. They have to label the teams #1, #2, etc.

    This is a huge advantage, and I can't see how it is defensible in any USTA league labeled competitive. Can anyone point out what I am missing here?
     
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  2. Cruzer

    Cruzer Professional

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    I think it happens to ensure that a team gets registered for a league before the team registration deadline passes. I have seen several instances where a bunch of players assumed that they were going to be on a USTA league team, usually at their club but they find out no one registered the team and the registration deadline has passed. Sometimes a club pro will register a team since he knows that there are people that want to play but are not organized enough to remember to sign up a team. These situations can have the problem of no one wanting to be the captain. There are lots of players but no one wants the hassle of being the team captain. I don't see what problem, if any exists with teams being registered by someone not on the team since the objective is get people playing tennis.
     
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  3. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    I can see a small club doing this, recruiting via sign up sheet. Casual team, equal playing time stuff. Nobody cares unless they really suck, have lots of defaults, disorganized and can't give anybody a good match. That is a different topic. Usually happens when the team his a home club at least an hour away from all the other teams, and the league director thinks they are encouraging league growth. (and they are, in the short term) Placeholders would wait to near the deadline to make sure they don't discourage normal captaining.

    More than one team per NTRP section? Means the club has quite a few players, mostly established teams. Every situation I have seen involves segregation of the players into an 'A' skills and a 'B' skills team. The 'A' team loses very few individual matches, the 'B' team wins very few, although on occasion some new members (always on the 'B' team) are actually pretty good. When they play each other and the league is very close, the lineups are unusual. The captain does a little strategic stacking against himself, then acts surprised, usually complaining to himself/herself about overly competitive people. Or with a decent lead, decides this is the perfect time to evaluate the 'B' team for the next season. Or they get put into different flights, and defer assigning the majority of good players until they can figure out which flight is weaker.

    I agree the objective is to get people playing league tennis. This doesn't help. And what about individuals with multiple teams? Remember, I'm not talking about having a team in another division, like mixed, or another playing up in the next NTRP.
     
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  4. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    A player cannot play on more than one team in the same league.

    A captain can captain more than one team, I guess, but can only play on one.

    I don't see the problem.
     
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  5. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    What happens when the two teams play each other?
     
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  6. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    USTA teams may have non-playing captains. Why is that a problem? Players may only play on one team per NTRP level within the same league and captains must choose which team to represent if more than one of his or her teams advance to post season.

    Cruzer is correct. Many players don't want the hassle of being a captain, so many captain's step up and captain teams that they don't play on because no one else will.

    TenniseaWilliams, what you are describing with "A" teams and "B" teams is club politics. Why should USTA coordinators get involved in that? If someone is willing to captain a team, they can choose whoever they want to be on the team. If they are members of a club with a lot of players at their level, they certainly can't have everyone on their team since the USTA has roster limits. And it makes sense that one team may have more depth than another. Birds of a feather flock together. That's human nature. Club politics gets really ridiculous at times. Many players and captains try to stick to "Independent" teams to avoid that stuff.
     
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  7. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    In our section it clearly states on the team registration form that captains must register as a player for the teams they register. I have no idea how much of a national rule this is. I will try to check.

    Is there a national roster limit? Does anybody know what the actual limit is? Another research topic.

    Why would captains need to choose which team to represent when they get to playoffs? There's no problem here until we get to playoffs? Is that where play becomes "serious" enough that it wouldn't be cool to have a conflict of interest?

    I don't have a problem with human nature, but this clumping behavior involves the club wanting the team to advance more than "feather flock". (sounds funny out loud) This is not intra-club politics, since it is not an intramural league. This is about gaining advantages outside of playing tennis. And independent teams may have issues during the winter leagues if they have to play inside.
     
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  8. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I play on a team where the captain also has several other teams in the same league. He cherrypicks the best players, in his opinion, for one of his teams. So this will be the competitve team and the others will be more for fun/socializing. I also notice that when the co-captained teams meet, he will schedule the roster so that the competitive team will whip up on social team (by scheduling the worst players on social team). It seems a little unfair, but the league does not mind since he has been doing this for years and no one else wants to captain. By USTA league rules, once you play on a team, you cannot switch. But new players can be added to /dropped from the team during the season.

    The other teams do not mind. The biggest problem is that his talent accessment is often wrong, so he often puts a competitive player on the social team, and this ticks off that player because no one likes being put out to slaughter with a sub-par partner.
     
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  9. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    The only reference to captains I can find in USTA National Regs is that all teams must have a captain to represent them in league matters.

    If a captain is a player on the team, then all rules regarding players also apply to captains. The fact that a captain can be listed in TennisLink as a non-playing captain leads me to believe that any team in any section may have a non-playing captains. But I could be wrong on that. Maybe Sections and Districts are allowed to decide if non-playing captains are allowed. I don't see non-playing captains addressed anywhere.

    USTA National Regs don't set a roster limit. They allow Sections to set roster limits. Our Section allows Districts to set roster limits. I imagine the reasoning is that each District has more knowledge about their league areas and can make better decisions about roster limits. Small local leagues with few teams tend to have smaller roster limits in an effort to make sure players get sufficient playing time and to allow league growth. Larger leagues tend to have higher roster limits since they have more matches and therefore need more players on rosters to get through the season without forfeits.

    I was not talking about local league playoffs when I mentioned post season play. USTA National Regs requires a player to declare a team if he or she advances to Nationals on two teams at the same NTRP level. Our Section and District have the same requirements for District and Sectional tournaments. If a captain is a player, the same rules apply. I'm not really sure about non-playing captains. I assume since non-playing captain's aren't addressed and they aren't players, they can represent as many teams as they want in post season.

    I'm not sure what you mean about "gaining advantages outside of tennis." The USTA doesn't have any affilitations with private tennis clubs so they don't get involved in how clubs choose teams. That's a club matter. And since I am a member of a club and I hear people griping about how captains choose their teams, I chalk that up to club politics and I stay out of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008
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  10. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    What if they do complain about this obvious gamesmanship? Winning is not everything, but doesn't this irritate captains in the same flight with his "competitive" team? Or is it assumed they are social players if they don't play for him? Is this captain very successful at making the playoffs in his section?

    By gaining advantages outside of tennis, I was referring to ways of winning league matches that don't have much to do with the sport of tennis. I think I agree that what happens within a team doesn't really concern league directors, since they can just join a different team next season, and style diversity can be encouraged without much harm to participation. But I would think anything that occurs inter-team, or in the relationship between facilities and teams would be in the wheelhouse of the league director.

    I certainly appreciate your thoughtful response, and obviously is more of an ethical or a gamesmanship issue than an actual rules issue. I don't think it is fair to put a comment requiring captains to register for a team, and then make exceptions, it is either fair game or not. Even without the comment, I believe it is a conflict of interest to captain multiple teams at the same NTRP level, in the same flight or not. I guess the league ignores aggressive captains/players that play in the same NTRP sections in different geographical areas to increase their odds of post season play, because it encourages participation. I think it hurts league play, complicating it for legit captains (re:CindySphinx explaining how much of a pain the 2 member rule is in MAC) and decreasing the odds of players being available for matches/reschedules etc.

    Hmmm, I better be careful, this thread may find itself in rants & raves! :oops:
     
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  11. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    If it is a rule in your section, why don't you ask your local league coordinator why the rule isn't followed. If you don't get an answer, go to the District or Sectional Leagues Adminstrator.
     
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  12. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    Doesn't seem to be a rule, and apparently the only person it bugs is me.

    My league coordinator seems motivated more by keeping everybody happy, and participation up, rather than any crazed sense of justice. Not sure this is entirely wrong, even if it bunches my shorts a little. Was kinda hoping you guys would change my mind before I did anything consequential out in meatspace...

    "The jawbone of an a** is just as dangerous a weapon today as in Sampson's time." --- Richard Nixon
     
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