Maybe I Should Start Overbooking My Teams

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I am getting so frustrated I could yank my hair out.

    Our adult season starts next week. When new ratings came out, I invited 20 women to be on my spring team. They accepted. Good. Recruiting accomplished, with a nice balance of singles and doubles players.

    In the ensuing months, I sent out a few emails, just pinging people to remind them they were committed to a team and asking that they let me know if anything changed.

    I have now had *six* of the 20 players drop off. A few had very good excuses, but a few . . . not so much.

    More infuriating, though, is how people will not be up front and say what they are doing. I have two players who accepted -- one last fall and one two weeks ago -- who have straight up started ignoring my emails asking them to register. Come on, is it really that time-consuming to reply to my email with, "I'm sorry, but I won't be able to play?"

    Why are people so dang rude? If you agree to play on a team, that is a *commitment.* The captain is holding a spot for you. It is not cool to up and change your plans right before the season starts, and it is doubly not cool to be a coward and flip the ignore switch.

    Can you imagine the howls of protest if players accepted my invitation and then as the season approached I told them, "Nah, I gave away your slot to someone better. Good luck finding a team."
     
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  2. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    the joys of being a captain never ends! :twisted:

     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
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  3. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    perfecet. You can only have 15 right? So you had 6 of 20 drop out leaving you 14 plus yourself. team full. it worked out great!
     
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  4. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
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  5. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    that sucks

    Ha, I had this scenario happen to me. I was miffed, but ended up joining a better team anyway. After a few weeks, I got an email from the captain asking me if I wanted to play singles for him. Sorry, pal :razz:

    Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Sorry to hear about your flakey teammates.
     
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  6. goober

    goober Legend

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    maybe they were holding out for better offers:lol:
     
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  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They told me they really hated Cindy and had given their names for her team only as a backup option
     
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  8. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    20 players on a team. Ridiculous. Introspection time.
     
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  9. luvn10is

    luvn10is New User

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    Not for ladies'. I'm a captain too and I routinely carry about 18 on my roster, especially in the summer. With vacations and activities I rarely have more than 10 people any given week. The only time it's a problem is playoffs and State. Then suddenly everybody's available.
     
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  10. doubleshack

    doubleshack New User

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    It should be a requirement that anyone who wants to play USTA needs to have been a captain at one time. Yes, that is impossible, but it sure would be nice. I have found, the people on my team who have been a captain in previous years, are very considerate. Mainly because they are good people, but also because they know what it is like to captain, so they are responsible team members.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Each season, the first names that pop up on the roster are those who captain.

    The captains are always the first to send any money they owe.

    I guess I have to remember that not everyone on the planet is evil. Topaz put me in touch with a great singles player, and I asked her to join. I didn't get a reply. Here we go again, I thought.

    Well, she did write back. She declined, but she did it with grace and class. Really, that's all I ask.

    Figures. She is a pal of Topaz, after all.

    Cindy -- who is seriously grinding the fillings out of her teeth at the lady who accepted and now won't even reply to a text asking about her intentions. Rude, rude, rude.
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hee!

    Yeah, part of the problem is you have to carry a roster large enough to get you through Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day and even the Fourth of July.

    Also difficult are matches that follow school closing in mid-June -- a lot of people blast out of here the next day and you start defaulting courts the last two weeks of the season.
     
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  13. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    We have a 20 person roster limit, and I need to use every single one to get through a season. We're talking about middle aged people with families and other commitments. No one is available all the time.
     
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  14. luvn10is

    luvn10is New User

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    Yeah, that used to be one of the unwritten rules on our team...until last season.

    I needed a break for the winter so I basically browbeat one of our slackers into being captain. As soon as I sent out the email naming her, 4 people quit. One of them outright called her a narcissist.

    Captain wanted us to use Paypal to pay team fees and actually refused cash and checks from a couple of people before I made her stop. Fees were $17.

    A week before the season started she kicked one of our best players off the team because the player complained about the thrice daily emails the captain was sending. And I don't mean just told her she's not going to play, cap sent an email to USTA and had her officially removed from the roster.

    The week before Xmas break, she had a major blowout with the manager of our home courts because he wouldn't give her 3 courts side-by-side. He was already doing us a huge favor by giving us the 3rd court for free, but she was mad because he wouldn't move another team that was already on the court warming up.

    She left that day without paying for the courts. When I found out I called her and she said it was her protest for how they treated 'us'. I told her there was no 'us'--she was the only one with the problem. Over the whole break she refused to pay and stopped taking our phone calls. Finally the manager told me that he wasn't going to let us play until we paid the fees. I sent her a text and she responded 'Oh, it doesn't matter. We're not playing there anyway.'

    Turns out she'd given away home court to our opponents without asking us. And because she'd sent a confirmation email to both the level rep and the other captain, we couldn't change the home courts back to us.

    Long story short, we went off and fired her. I took over mid-season, re-added the person she kicked off and we pulled it together enough to make it to the quarterfinals.

    When I sent out the invites last week about the summer team, crazy byatch captain was not on the list.
     
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  15. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Cindy...DC or MOCO?
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    MOCO.

    The whole team is scrambling to find more players. So far we've landed a brilliant singles player, a great dubs player, and a hybrid. The latter two are from Virginia.

    That means I have 18, so I am in less of a cold sweat, especially since other team members are working on two more superstars.
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    "Hybrid" conjures up all kinds of images of genetic experiments gone wild
     
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  18. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Ah bummer, I'd jump if it were DC (does your team need anymore?). But Moco has become a bit exorbitant for me given my current situation. :(
     
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  19. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I've had people commit a couple of months before the season starts, come to practices with the team (I usually start getting practices together 4-6 weeks before the first match), and then tell me a week before the first match that they are joining another team.

    I don't make a fuss over it - I don't need anyone who doesn't want to be on the team... but you can bet that they will never again be on any team that I captain or have a say in.
     
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  20. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Given that, why would it be any surprise that things turned out the way they did?
     
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  21. kelkat

    kelkat Rookie

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    What is MOCO?
     
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  22. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    OK. Reality check for Andy. I get it. Sorry.

    Never paid much attention to Ladies rosters. I can see the need for a few more ladies then men to make a roster work.
     
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  23. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    MOCO is the colloquial acronym for Montgomery County (Maryland) and it is Cindy's stomping grounds :) . Between DC and Baltimore, it's a large, diverse locale with a vibrant tennis community.

    I know many of y'all carry the roster-max, but that's not the trend around here. Not sure if it's because we're generally club-based but most of the local teams operate with 14-16 players. It makes for lots of playing time and "tight" teams. Many of them have had the same core group for many, many years.

    But the non-communication or worse, say-you-will-then-don't has got to be frustrating. I agree: I think if everyone had to be a captain at some point in their playing careers, everyone's teams would run a lot smoother. On an old volleyball team years ago, we all took turns, sometimes even having to "draw straws" to see who got stuck with it. But it sure did make for a logistically "easy" team. Everyone replied/confirmed playing times, paid on time and rarely complained about lineups.
     
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  24. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Men's 4.5 team here. I have 18 on the roster for a 14 week season. Three live pretty far away and will only play 2 or 3 matches. I have three weaker players that will only play when I am short and will get maybe 2 or 3 matches. So right there it means there are only 12 'regulars' despite there being 18 on the roster. And then factor in holiday weekends, vacation over the summer, injuries, etc as others have pointed out, and there *will* be at least a few weeks where I am scrambling for players.

    The only teams that can get away with a 12-14 man roster are those that have younger guys that don't get injured, don't have a family, and don't vacation over holiday weekends.
     
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  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I may have to start carrying smaller rosters.

    The problem is that registration for our spring adult league now costs a whopping $131.00 per player. That covers the first five matches at $17 each, but there's still $40 of administrative fees. I have had more than one player balk at that up-front cost.

    If I allow a weak or unknown player onto the team and I wind up only playing them twice, they are rightfully annoyed that they paid $68 for two matches. But as captain, I feel I have to have extra players around because some of my regulars are frequently unavailable.

    I have got to figure out a way to deal with players who squat on the roster but aren't available enough. Yes, they may make themselves available for a number of the matches, but these are often not the "right" matches. I mean, to put a weak player in the line-up, I have to find the right opponent and the right partner. If the stars don't line up, the player is annoyed that she was available but didn't play.

    Ideally, I would want a player available for 75% of the matches. Is that unreasonable?
     
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  26. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    It depends. Do you have a set day of the week and time when all matches are played? If so, then yes I think it's reasonable that a player be available for most of the matches. They know when signing up what the time-slot is.

    On the other hand, in some areas (like mine), the match days and times are determined by the home team, and can be any time within the week - weekends or evenings. Most teams can't even keep their own home matches on the same day / time because of court scheduling contention with other teams at the same facility. And the match dates are only known a week or two before the season starts, by which time most players have already signed onto teams.

    In this case, there are going to be players who have conflicts on many of the match dates, and there's nothing much that can be done about it.
     
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  27. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    ^^

    I can't imagine playing on, much less trying to run a team with an unknown match day. It's bad enough around here with unknown match times but at least we know what day we're playing.

    Just goes to show you how different league play is, logistically-speaking, around the country.
     
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  28. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    JRB is a dude ... I played him in a league match today as a matter of fact.

    However, very few men's teams around here carry fewer than 20 players. That is unless they are willing to accept several defaults during the season.

    In fact one reason both our 4.0 and 4.5 teams have done so well in this district is that our captain refuses to give up a court forfeit to anyone ... he puts out the best lineup he can muster every match.
     
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  29. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I play in two districts with set match days and they carry smaller rosters. In my home district we have a random match scheduler which necessitates a much larger roster.
     
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  30. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I feel like a girl after that asskicking. LOL.
     
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  31. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    I'm a girl and I'll gladly kick your ass. :)
     
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  32. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    Ok Cindy - I'm a captain have been for years - it is like herding cats when you are dealing with Women. They are much harder than men, they do not know how to commit to a team because many of them never learned when they were small that team is more than just a list of people who play on the same team.

    There priorities are always theirs, not their teams's priorities. They will often times complain if you slight them but never think twice when they leave you hanging 24 hours before a match without a player to play.

    I'm a little bitter too - cause it is really hard to deal with.

    BUT, try being League Coordinator - you wouldn't even believe what people expect, demand and want! But back to the men, I pretty much just schedule the matches and they play. For the women, they can't play 3 weekends of the league season, they want to play only sundays (or saturdays) or they want you to schedule their facilities, etc., etc., etc.

    It's a miracle that I have any hair left!
     
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  33. cak

    cak Professional

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    Our senior team had a roster of 16 for playing three lines of doubles. We scrambled to fill lineups most weeks, including playoffs. For our senior playoff game yesterday we almost had to forfeit a line, until one of the adult 4.0 teams changed their match time so we could fill a lineup. (Our captain was in the unenviable postion of having exactly 8 players available to fill six sets of doubles and two singles playing at the exact same time.)

    My 4.0 adult team has a roster of 19 to fill 3 lines of doubles and two singles. It's only the first month, and we've been up against forfeiting a line every match. Thus far we've pulled through with rainouts (thank goodness) and adding a player to the roster at the last minute. We have yet to have a match where the captain got to pick and chose who was playing.

    I'd say one needs at least 18 for a senior team and 18 doubles players and 6 singles players for an adult team. (Yes, three times the number that plays any particular match.)

    Note: this is Norcal, where Senior and Adult matches can be schedules any evening with the latest match starting at 8, and all day Saturday and Sunday. When you find you have a match at 6 on a Saturday you pretty much know you are in trouble. And right now, with the shortage of courts at the bigger facilities, those Friday and Saturday night matches that used to be so rare are annoyingly commonplace. Players sign up and then only are available Saturday afternoons when their children don't have soccer games.
     
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  34. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    wow, athat's crazy. We're only allowed 15 players max in our adult spring league here in NC. that's for 3 doubles and two singles. I've got only 12 on my team and haven't had any problems getting 8 out to any match.

    It seems a really bad idea to have your matches randomly on weeknights or weekends. No wonder it's hard for players to commit to being available. Why does your leauge do that? Here each league has a designated day/time. For examlpe the 4.5 leauge is always Mon/Thurs nights and the 4.0 league is always Mon/Wed nights. Players know this long in advance and it's much easier for them to make adjustments to their spring schedule in order to be available for those nights.
     
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  35. cak

    cak Professional

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    So how do you deal with overlaps? It sounds like both 4.0 and 4.5 play Mondays. What about the folks on both teams?

    I think that is why captains here have such a hard time with commitments. People sign up for two teams, and then when those teams have matches at the same time they only can play one.

    It really comes to a head when seasons overlap. Due to rain, the senior season just started playoffs, three weeks into the adult season. So people still committed to their senior team aren't available for their adult team when the matches are the same time. (Not to mention, getting court time for playoff matches is pretty tough.)

    We find that once senior season ends, we might be able to pick up a few doubles players that just couldn't fathom when they could play adults as long as their team was in contention.
     
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  36. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Tell me about it. I've been an LC off and on for several years. You really learn a lot about people and it pretty much ruins playing in leagues. Most players have no clue what an LC actually does, but they certainly feel free to say "the LC is not doing his/her job".

    And Cindy, I feel your pain regarding players bailing out. I understand that people have lives, but if they can't look at their schedules and commit to playing 3/4 of the matches then they shouldn't play on the team. I'm a very busy person myself, but I'm organized enough to know whether I can commit to a league season or not.
     
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  37. cak

    cak Professional

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    In NorCal you are in a chicken and the egg situation. Do you pick a home match time and sign up a team without knowing if you have any people to sign up? Do you sign people up with them only knowing home match times (1/2 the season)?

    There is no way a person can sign up committing to 3/4 of the matches when they don't know the day of the week or times of at least half of those matches.

    And there is no way you can sign a team up without knowing you have some number that can play at least half.

    If I can't commit to most the home matches I'll wait to see the whole schedule set before I sign up. But that leaves the captain wondering if I will be playing at all or not.

    And that doesn't even take into account those folks that don't know their schedule for the next three months before the season starts. You know, those folks that travel for work, or maybe those whose kids start baseball and don't have their schedules yet.

    Part of the problem is the length of the seasons. Does everyone have three to four month seasons? (12-16 matches before local playoffs) I'm pretty organized, but I can't possibly know all my Saturdays out for the next 4 months. (5 if you take into account sign ups start a month before the season starts.)
     
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  38. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I was gonna' say that but you took the words out of my head. It was so much simpler back in the day. If you wanted to play tennis you went down to the neighborhood, or school courts, hung your racket on the fence, sat down on the ground or on a bench if there was such a luxury and waited your turn. You played with who ever was up next. If no one was around you hit some serves or practiced against a wall until someone (anyone) showed up. If you made a few bucks you could join a club, and a kindly court monitor would see you drive in and put you into a game by the time you made it to the sign-up board. Everyone behaved nicely towards each other, no primadonnas. No one complained about the food on the club menu which consisted of a hot-dog or a hamburger and a bag of chips. If you wanted to test your tennis mettle you signed up for a tournament and took your lumps on your own. Now HAL takes care of it for you, and tennis has become a caste system based on fractions of a point.
     
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  39. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    This is not true at all. I have a couple people on my team that have other commitments (one guy is a coach on his son's baseball team, for example), and I know they won't be at 3/4 or even 1/2 of the matches (I'll be lucky to get 2 or 3 from him). However, he's been on the team for years and is one of the better doubles players on the roster, so I have no problem giving him a roster spot with the understanding that he won't be available for most matches.
     
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  40. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Like cak I am in NorCal. The league cannot dictate when matches take place because each facility has its own restrictions on when courts are available. We have some very busy facilities around here - one club in the area has 22 USTA teams currently playing, another has 18. Of course these clubs also have to accommodate their non-league-playing members, and their lessons / teaching pros, etc. If the USTA required clubs to make courts available at the times USTA wants, then the clubs would have to severely restrict the maximum number of teams they field, and some facilities would decline to participate completely. End result would be less playing opportunities for everyone in the area, and of course less revenue for USTA.

    EDIT: I should add that some teams play out of public courts rather than clubs, and those courts have their own sets of restrictions - some are not lighted and so can only be available for weekend matches, some do not allow reservations at certain times because they are set aside for public drop-in use, and so on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
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  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Cindysaurus is the apex predator in that ecosystem, pouncing on whoever crosses its path.

    [​IMG]
     
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  42. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    usually there haven't been the overlaps, in the past it's mostly been say 3.5 and 4.5 on tues/thurs and 3.0 and 4.0 on mon/wed. Not sure why things overlapped the way they did this year but I guess those playing up have to make a choice on those nights. presumably the guys playing up would be lower on the depth chart for their higher rated team so not needed as badly. we've only got one 4.0 on our 4.5 team so it hasn't been an issue.
     
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  43. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^Same here.

    The league buys unused court time from the various facilities. The league doesn't know what night of the week these courts will be available, so there is no way to have designated days for various levels.

    I have played on a few teams (Northern VA and DC) that do have designated days for various levels, and that gives you a different set of headaches.

    If the chosen day is a day when you are always unavailable, you cannot play league at all. This is a problem for women who work part time and do not have their regular days off to fit the league schedule.

    Worse is the issue of rain, however. If all day league matches are Thursdays and everyone has cleared their calendar to be available on Thursdays, you have a real problem when the rain reschedule is for a different day. That has caused our VA day league team to default sometimes.

    Back to my original point, however. . . .

    I can understand someone seeing the schedule and realizing they can't be available. What I cannot understand is players accepting an invitation to join a team and then backing out.

    I honestly think some players do not understand that this is not cool. A friend who is captaining just had her strongest player bail for a stronger team, despite having accepted months earlier. Sorry, but I think that is wrong. If you want to keep your options open and shop around and try to get on the strongest team, do that. But once you accept, you have to fulfill that commitment.
     
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  44. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Well, that's a quaint concept from a bygone era.
     
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  45. RickGoulet

    RickGoulet New User

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    For my men's 3.5 team a month before the start of the adult season I had 20 guys signed up to play on my team. I thought that one or two players might drop out, but I never would have dreamed that 7 of them would come up with reasons not to play on the team. What these people don't seem to realize is that once I thought I had the team filled I turned away some good players because I had given out all the playing slots that I had wanted to offer. So I too started to think that I should have over booked the team, but I can't figure out how to deal with the problem of people not leaving the team and ending up with too many people.

    One of the reasons that captains have to have so many players on their teams is that in NOVA people are spread over such a large area that there are always locations that people don't want to drive to. Also with some matches starting at 9:30 pm there are also players who don't want to play late matches. Add to that vacations, holidays, and too many people with jobs that require them to travel; so most people are not available for as many matches as you would think. Covering any schedule requires a lot more players than you really want to have on a team.

    For the guys who bomb out on me I'm really glad that they ended up on someone else's team. I figure that these guys are the same ones that will create problems during the season.
     
    #45
  46. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Just out of curiosity- if there is a problem with people saying they want to play and then backing out why not collect team dues up front? Thats never been an issue for my teams so maybe there is an obvious reason why that wouldn't work but it would sure seem to solve that issue for you.
     
    #46
  47. cak

    cak Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,013
    "team dues"? Not familiar with that concept. If you want to play here you sign up on the NorCal website. And that's all the money you have to pay. Now home teams need to bring a can of balls, and if there is food afterwards there you need to pony up food. But what are the "team dues" used for? (Note, on the teams I play on court time is included in your club membership, so it is free.)
     
    #47
  48. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Cak- ike I said- maybe there was an obvious reason why it wouldn't work! I play ALTA so for our league fees its only $25 for a year and that covers any ALTA teams you sign up for htat year so its a screaming deal. Then we collect team dues every season to cover court fees for matches and practices. OUr men's teams don't have coaching so they were $45 per person for spring season. The women's teams have coaching so I think they paid $90 per person. We don't really have an issue with people signing up and then dropping off before the season (except for injury...) but if I did then to me the easy way to resolve it would be to just collect that money up front.

    I really don't know how teams get assembled at tennis clubs. I thought that it was pretty much that people told the club that they wanted to play and then they would just put you on a team.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
    #48
  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,069
    We don't have team dues. You sign up through TennisLink, which charges you a registration fee and charges you for your first five matches at $17.

    Now, it would be possible to try to collect a deposit to hold a player's spot. I think doing this would be irrefutable evidence that I had lost my mind. Everyone would just laugh at the idea.

    Nah, it has to be on the honor system and some folks have no honor. Like, a friend is captaining a playoff-bound team. She asked her good buddy, a strong player, to be on the team back in December. The buddy agreed.

    A week before the season started, the buddy decided to jump ship for another playoff-bound team. All you can do is make a mental note not to offer such a person a spot on your team ever again, and start working to find a replacement.
     
    #49
  50. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Cindy- how does your team pay for practice courts if you guys don't have team dues? I'd assume with cak that the club just provides courts. Or are your leagues pretty much only matches with no practices?
     
    #50

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