Lower rated player playing line 1 singles

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Ipster, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Stacking stinks. It has ruined many a match for me. Just the other day I played the #1 court and we won 6-0, 6-0. I don't think the other team won 10 pts in the whole match. What a big freakin' waste of time. It completely wrecks league tennis when it happens. You captains that think this is somehow funny can kiss my arse.
     
    #51
  2. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,178
    Location:
    DE
    While this may be true mathematically chances are improving your rating in this way will only change your rating in ways in which we cannot see. IE ... not changing levels.

    The players that move up levels fall into to distinct categories ...

    1) players that play up and are competitive
    2) players that dominate thier level for a season or more.

    It is extremely unusual to see someone move up a level with a subpar record becasue their partner was a weakling.
     
    #52
  3. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,178
    Location:
    DE
    I agree that I would rather not have stacking ... but the USTA is not prepared to stop it so they ignore it. By doing so, the USTA forces captains to vary their lineups so that they are not the victims of stacking themselves.

    Someone once suggested an app to be placed on your smart phone, whereby each team enters their lineup and the computer spits out the appropriate matchups based on player ratings.
     
    #53
  4. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,369
    With my estimated ratings, perhaps I'll write this app :)

    But we all know that ratings don't tell the whole story as well. Someone who plays predominantly singles may not play doubles at the same level and vice-versa. And with doubles, some play better/worse with different partners. And specific match-ups of strengths/weaknesses against the opponent that day often override who is "better".

    That said, having some rules about not being able to play the lesser NTRP (combined for doubles) on a lower number court does have merit. And of course, the app you suggest could go farther to require that the courts are ordered strongest to weakest according to the ratings. Even with the previous paragraph I wrote, this would likely still result in more competitive matches than letting the sometime bizarre stacking we see continue.
     
    #54
  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    I disagree, rather strongly actually.

    If you are 3.5 and wish to be 4.0, but you cannot dominate 3.0/3.5 players because they hit so much junk and crap and garbage, then you seriously need to work on your technique and you are not ready to move up.

    Brace yourselves for this little rant that is coming, because here it comes.

    Ladies and others who want to move up and are within the sound of my voice:

    You need to knock it off. If you cannot beat someone who does not hit with pace, you are not as good as you think you are.

    If you miss because someone is pushing or lobbing or hitting like a 2.5, the problem is that *you* have crap technique.

    If you do manage to claw your way up to the next level before learning to deal with junkballers, pushers and slow-ballers, do you know what awaits you? Opponents who will test you to see if you can handle junk, that's what. If you cannot, you will see junk all night.

    I can tell you that if someone is beating my best strokes, one of the first things I will try is taking off pace, especially on balls my opponent needs to volley. Their poor technique will be my best friend.

    If you want to move up, play your level and play it well. Play up also. But play your level and *crush* anyone who dares to get on the same court with you and stink the place up.

    Sorry for the rant, but as a captain of 7.5 combo and 4.0 ladies, I just can't take it anymore. The next one of my doubles pairs that comes off the court after a loss to a couple of pushers, complaining that their opponent "didn't give them any pace," is gonna get an earful from me.
     
    #55
  6. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Who in their right mind wants to play junkballers? Seriously. I can beat junkballers all day long, but who wants that grind? It's not fun, it's not rewarding, it's the dark underbelly of tennis. So why would anyone willfully choose to play them if there is another path?
     
    #56
  7. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    The concept of pusher has always amused me a bit. If you are a good player you sooner or later need to learn how to beat this type of game. It might be annoying at times, but its part of the game. I am currently at a 4.0 level and this is one of the things I find annoying about this level. There is a huge huge tendency to overhit. The right shot in many situations is to loop the ball back into play not go for the 5% percentage blasting shot. I have never been close to being called a pusher, but have noticed recently some 4.0s and even 4.5s self destructing after just getting one or two extra balls back.

    In terms of stacking, I am currently one of the only 4.0s on a 4.5+ 40s team. I recently played number 1 singles against a 5.0 player ahead of many 4.5s and a 5.0. In this particular case I was the right choice for the match as I am currently in good form and was one of the stronger players available. I actually lost in a pretty close 3 set match. I am kind of on the extreme as I am a pretty strong 4.0, but I have also seen other similar cases in matches. I think people should just get over it and play tennis. There might be a match or two won do to these tactics but in the end they even out.
     
    #57
  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    If you are a 3.5, say, and you can beat 3.0 and 3.5 junkballers all day long, you will be launched into 4.0 in no time flat.

    If you instead make too many errors because you cannot handle their junk and soft shots, then you do not belong at 4.0. IMHO.

    Geez. I used to get destroyed by junk ballers in 3.5 doubles all the time. It was so frustrating, watching myself die of a thousand cuts as they hacked away at the ball.

    Then I fixed my strokes and I love hitting that slow, high cheese. I cannot remember the last time I was even threatened in doubles against such players. Lo and behold, I was bumped to 4.0. Go figure.
     
    #58
  9. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Not true, at least not true among men. (And 3.0s? They can't keep the ball in play for 3 consecutive shots in a match.)
     
    #59
  10. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Garden of Gethsemane
    I felt that everyone here is speaking another language as I have no idea about the customs of being in a USTA team.

    I'm in a team myself, but don't really care about being 4.5 or 5.0 or any of that crap.

    Everyone across the court from me will be treated and respected as an worthy opponent regardless of skill. If your bad, your loss will be swift. If your good, your loss with be tedious and painful. :cool:
     
    #60
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    Why do you say that?

    If you consistently destroy others at the same rating level (and hand out bagels to people who are playing up) giving up 1-3 games, you will be bumped up. How can it be otherwise?
     
    #61
  12. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Well if you are playing lowly rated players (within your rating level), you can beat them handily and not improve your rating. And if you double bagel them, that doesn't even count in your rating (or it hasn't in the past). Two years ago I played the #1 court at 3.5 for a season, and because other teams stacked the lineups, we faced a continual parade of terrible players. I had a hugely winning record and didn't get bumped.
     
    #62
  13. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    Winning record does not matter. If you are playing a low-rated player in your level, you need to beat them 6-1, 6-1 or better to move up. And if you can't do that, you probably don't need to move up anyway.

    I just laugh at all the goldilocks around here. If the opponent is too good, you complain. If the opponent is too poor, you complain.

    Sheesh. Sometimes it feels like people around here play tennis just so that they have something to complain about.
     
    #63
  14. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Garden of Gethsemane
    A'men brother!

    :mrgreen:
     
    #64
  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    Amen squared.
     
    #65
  16. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,886
    The 4.0 Captain I play on has two 3.5s that regularly beat all but the top four 4.0s on his team.

    A DNTRP rating is merely a number. Sometimes is accurately reflects a tennis players skill and many times it does not.

    When this 4.0 Captain puts his strongest lineups on the court, it includes the strong 3.5s not bottom dwelling 4.0s who get beat down by his 3.5s

    There is solace in been beating your teammates over and over when your DNTRP Is lower than theirs. They know they can't beat you and don't whine when you play ahead of them.
     
    #66
  17. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,071
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I can think of only two scenarios where that might be the case:

    1. The 3.5s are self-rated (and self-rated too low)
    2. The 3.5s have improved substantially recently (i.e. their rating has not yet 'caught up' to their current skill level)

    What am I missing?
     
    #67
  18. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,886
    1) The USTA NTRP algorithm is flawed at the edges.

    2) The one 3.5 is 6'4" working out a lot and getting better while the other one has lost 40 lbs and is more fit and better. (One is on my 3.5 team, the other one on another 3.5 team)

    3) All the weak 4.0s don't play much, and drink way too much beer and eat too much fat ;)
     
    #68
  19. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,426
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    IMO your explanations are spot on with the exception of the last line about eating too much fat. Fat is good for you, its the sodas you wash it down with and the fries cooked in it that will kill you. [/end of low carb rant]
     
    #69
  20. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,087
    Location:
    Iowa
    Very well said. I like the sport, but the number of strange and uptight people that play it amazes me.

    I get a little scared when people bring bags like the below:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    #70
  21. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    This is not an accident. Tennis, specifically, is very akin to combat (unlike many/most other sports) thus the Mental pressure is very high and players are incentivized to look for "excuses" as a crutch for the beatdown to their egos associated with the game.
     
    #71
  22. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,426
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    What he said. Throw in the fact that tennis at almost all levels is self-officiated and you have further incentivised players to see things the way they wish they were rather than they way they actually are.
     
    #72
  23. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    588
    Have to admit that I am one of those who plays up to play singles and many times I play on the 1st court. Mostly because the teams I play on have very few opportunities to find singles players and the ones who do play (even those better than me) have issues with playing the number one court. I do not so hence I play the number one court often.

    I give it my all and sometimes do okay; and sometimes, I hit a players that is really a number one court player and ready to move up and then it is sad! They have always been gracious while they whip my a##!
     
    #73
  24. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,071
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Fair enough; so all indicators are that they are really 4.0s in skill, just not in official rating.

    So makes sense that they be playing 4.0.

    I hope they are not also playing 3.5, since that would be blatant sandbagging!

    Goes back to the OrangePower "can't have your cake and eat it too" proposal for dealing with players wanting to play up: You can play up a level higher than your rating, but then you are not allowed to play at your rating. Basically you get to choose which level of competition is most appropriate, but you get to choose only one.
     
    #74
  25. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    I'm not sure I understand why this is sand bagging. If this was a self rated system than yes it would be sand bagging, but given the USTA has set the ratings it seems quite appropriate to play at that level.

    I am in a similar situation and going to play mostly at the higher level, but will play a couple matches on a lower level playoff bound team. I don't feel bad about sand bagging, but am going to limit my play because most of my matches at this level are boring.
     
    #75
  26. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,071
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Well, I guess it depends on how you define sandbagging. A common definition, and the definition I use, is "to conceal or misrepresent one's true position, potential, or intent."

    If you know that you are competitive at the higher level, which seems to be the case, then you are misrepresenting your ability when you play at the lower level. USTA ratings are set up with the intent of providing competitive matches. You yourself mention that you find matches at the lower level boring. So you are acting against the spirit of why we have ratings to begin with.

    Now, if you were self-rated, and you obtained a self-rating by misrepresenting your experience or under other false pretenses, then that would be cheating in addition to sandbagging.

    But in your case, there is no cheating involved, only sandbagging :)
     
    #76
  27. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,071
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I should add to the above, I personally have no problem with sandbaggers. I enjoy the challenge of playing (much) better players. In fact I would rather play a sandbagger than a lower-rated player playing up.

    So I'm not criticising, just calling it like it is.
     
    #77
  28. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    I'm still not sure if it sand-bagging by your definition as I am making no intention of being deceptive. I am quite open about my rating not being accurate. That being said I don't think it matters too much. Whether it is sand-bagging or not it is kind of lame to play down.

    I also agree that it is more fun to play better players. I've had one USTA match this year in the 40+ league which was 6-0,6-0. I'm slotted to play on a team in the regular league but if I get a few more matches like this I might just play exclusively at the higher level.
     
    #78
  29. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,369
    I don't think you've said anything to indicate that your 4.0 rating was achieved in a questionable way. However, given that we know some people will game the system to keep their rating low, when someone like you can clearly compete at 4.5 but is rated a 4.0, and admits being a 4.0 is not accurate, suspicions arise about why you have an inaccurate rating and "sandbagging" will be quickly attached.
     
    #79
  30. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,886
    One guy just committed to losing weight last year which really helped his movement on the court. To drop from 240 to 200 has made him better just from a speed perspective. He still has a weak backhand, but his net game and serve overcome his biggest weakness. The other guy got divorced and simply starting playing more last year.

    Both guys are still on 3.5 teams, but the reality is there are a lot of bottom dwellers at all levels that don't get bumped down when they clearly don't challenge people at their current level. I can name a lot of 3.5, 4.0 and 4,5 players who should be bumped down.

    These two guys are not misrepresenting themselves as much as both oh them worked hard to get better and their improvements are paying off while some of these 4.0s don't play much and really don't challenge strong 3.5s on the way up or 4.0s are playing and improving.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    #80
  31. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,369
    One has to think this is fairly common, someone improves their game since the last time they played USTA and are then playing above their rating. The improvement may be due to playing more, lessons, getting fit, whatever.

    I and many others don't have issue with this type of scenario and I don't think one can reasonably assume that a rating system should know in advance that these players improved and should be bumped up, nor would it seem fair to bump anyone that improves mid-season, although improvement above a certain significant level, perhaps should result in a mid-year bump which doesn't happen today unless someone is self-rated.

    What many people have issue with is not these "natural" above rating players but those that deliberately try to manipulate their rating to get it lower than it should be so they can play at a level below their skill level.

    Regarding your comments about lower end players that don't get bumped down, the USTA does seem to err on the side of not bumping players down. This is perhaps in response to concerns about sandbaggers and manipulators, not wanting someone that just ekes below a threshold to get bumped down only to dominate the lower level the next year. But the side-effect of that is that genuinely weaker players that don't play enough to really get their rating low enough get stuck at the level they are at. Since they are weaker, they may not get in that many matches the following year which means they again don't move down enough, a vicious cycle.
     
    #81
  32. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,335
    You can put me in the camp that would want to play the sandbagger ahead of the guy who's playing up. Much prefer a challenge.
     
    #82
  33. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    On a slightly ironic note, I played in a USTA match last night where the team was playing up, and definitely put their best players at #2 doubles in the hope of winning one match. That turned out to be a close match, but the #1 doubles that I was playing was far from close. I guess I now better understand the frustration as this was a waste of time, but league play is far from perfect so I guess I will take the good with the bad.
     
    #83
  34. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,426
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    It was a waste of time for you but maybe not for the team playing up as they got the opportunity to play against better competition than they usually face. Depending on the DNTRPs of the participants and the scores they might even improve their ratings when losing both sets.
     
    #84
  35. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,335
    I'm sure asimple is reall happy for them!! haha.
     
    #85
  36. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,071
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Depends on the actual score. If the team playing up got bagels and breadsticks, then most likely there is not going to be any significant change to the DNTRP of anyone involved.

    But if it was closer, then you're right, the losing team could have improved their rating at the expense of the winning team.

    If not close, then it is a waste of time and not the reason why we play USTA. We play / should be playing for competitive matches not for one-sided affairs.

    Actually I must admit that when I come across a much weaker player in USTA (and I play mostly singles), I tend to lose focus and/or get bored and/or work on my 'B' game, so the score ends up being less lopsided than it should. Probably this hurts my rating but doesn't really matter since I'm resigned to staying 4.5 without any chance of ever getting to 5.0.
     
    #86
  37. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    I'm not sure that they gained too much in terms of play as we won 6-0, 6-1 pretty easily. Given my low rating they probably also didn't gain too much in rating. It wasn't that bad of a match though as they were nice guys, and I had a practice match after anyway. It could have been much worse.

    I agree it is fun to play up a bit, but there is a certain level where it goes from fun into being a ball boy. I've had that experience twice and do not want to repeat it.
     
    #87
  38. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,369
    The USTA does have provisions for rules on the level make up of the players on a roster, but I think it is at a section's discretion to implement it. In the PNW section, for Adult 18+ and 40+ leagues, at least 50% of a teams roster must be "in level" at the time of each match.

    This of course doesn't stop a team from having a roster of 16 or more, 8 of which are playing up, and running out those 8 for a given match, as I don't believe there are rules for who from a roster can or must be played (except for the "plus" leagues of course).
     
    #88
  39. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    Due to my improving fitness, I have had a lot of lopsided matches recently. I have made a huge effort to not play my 'B' game, and instead try to focus on losing as few games as possible while practicing my weaker strokes. If not I just don't have motivation to play the next time. I've also noticed that when I start with this style sometimes the weaker player completely implodes making the match go much quicker.
     
    #89
  40. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,178
    Location:
    DE
    It has happened a couple times on these boards where a team needed another at level player so they could meet this criteria. At least twice I can remember a TT player signed up to be on the roster of a team that he never expected to play for, just so that team could meet the roster requirements.

    I think it would be cool to be on the roster of a team in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Boston and Puerto Rico all in the same year.
     
    #90
  41. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,156
    The person was a 2.5 last year and is still a 2.5 this year? That's pretty sad.
    Well, she's on the team and the captain has to play her somewhere to keep her happy (probably a friend of hers). A lot of times, none of the women on the team want to play singles. From the opposing captain's point of view the solution is to play her where no one else wants to play. Not really fair to you, but that's the breaks. Go have fun in your next match.
     
    #91
  42. dpg

    dpg New User

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    The simple way to prevent stacking is to add weight to each courts. Section of USTA in NJ has a scheme. I forgot exactly how, but something like, S1 for 3 points, S2 for 2 pts, D1 for 3 pts, D2 for 2 pts, D3 for 1 pts. You can stack if you like, but a team with most pts win the match.
     
    #92
  43. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,156
    Good way to prevent stacking, however, it will encourage sandbagging even more, by making the best sandbagger even more important.
     
    #93
  44. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,071
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    True, but at least then you'd know where (what line) the sandbaggers are :)
     
    #94
  45. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    I'll make one last post so I don't turn this thread into my personal match reporting. I played my second 4.0 league match yesterday, and I'm not sure exactly how the team knew but they clearly sacrificed the singles match I was playing. My opponent was an extremely nice guy so the match was somewhat enjoyable, but I would have preferred to sleep in.

    Sadly, as much as I tried I did end up playing my B game. The victory was still extremely lopsided, but ended up pushing the ball in and not hitting my real strokes.
     
    #95

Share This Page