Maybe we need to come to an understanding about ratings

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I've kind of noticed a theme that runs through a lot of rating-related posts around here. Time and time again, we hear that someone says they are a 4.5 but couldn't get their serve in. Or they claim their opponent must be sandbagging because they lost badly. Even on these boards, we've seen instances where someone claimed to be a certain level, only to learn later that this was what their club pro told them or is based on some non-USTA computer.

    I think we could use more clarity and consistency when folks refer to their ratings or those of their teammates, opponents, partners. The understanding should be:

    *If it ain't a USTA computer rating, it ain't a rating.*

    Having a USTA rating doesn't make someone the be all and end all, of course. It does, however, make their observations and opinions about their level a bit more legitimate.

    Not only would such an understanding help our discussions at TT, perhaps it would help avoid the current problem of having every tennis social or event become awash with people who are pulling a rating straight out of their backsides. It's really misleading, and I don't see how it helps anyone to introduce more uncertainty into the task of matching up players based on ability.

    Yes, yes, I know that those not in the U.S. have to guesstimate their rating. That's fine -- they're unlikely to turn up at my local tennis round robin claiming to be a 4.5 but unable to keep the ball in the court.
     
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  2. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    It's also a big headache. I'm old school when tennis levels were A (advanced), B (intermediate) and C (beginner) and then Open (5.0 and above). That method was used all through most of the tennis boom and seemed to be less confusing. Their wasn't all this talk, it was either yea he/she is really good or they just started playing.

    The NTRP seemed to get stuck in the minutae and then someone decided if you want to compete, that you have to join the USTA and A, B, C and Open was abolished. Personally, I'm not a USTA member and I don't enter any USTA events, that require I join the USTA with the expensive tournament fee. There are plenty of less formal leagues and some non-sanctioned tournaments that you can join and still play/enjoy the game of tennis without all the USTA hangups So, if someone asks me at a social what level are you I just say "been playing about 35 years" I guess I'm 3.5 I don't know never been rated or pay attention to that" That's a fairly safe answer because I know that most recreational players are 3.5. Like, I say I'm old school and still play with my Wilson Pro Staff Classics 30 year old racquets"

    Probably didn't contribute much to your post xcept we seem to talk NTRP ratings a whole lot. I agree with you though that most players are not as good as what they rate themselves.
     
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  3. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    That's all that needs to be said.
    End of the day, all that matters in tennis is whether you win or lose. You can look great losing, or ugly winning, but your results are what define your level.
     
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  4. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Good point!
     
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  5. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I'm kind of new to this rating thing. I joined this tennis league network in Fort Lauderdale as I wanted to get more playing partners. They offered a partner program for almost nothing (couple bucks a month), and ladders and leagues for a few bucks more. So I joined. Part of the process was a sell-evaluation of one's playing strength based on NTRP guidelines but subject to change (by the league administrators) depending on one's performance in any particular season.

    I guessed myself to be about a 3.0 when I started. Based on my performance against who I've played I'm guessing that they'll probably keep it at that.

    I'm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As far as I know, there aren't any USTA leagues around here.
     
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  6. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Yes, I joined a similar non USTA singles league here where I live. We play at a city park once a week, I play 8 matches and then we start a new session. Works out pretty good.
     
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  7. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. Where are you? I'm in Fort Lauderdale. What's the name of your league?
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I still get a kick whenever I see a club notice board posting about BB or AA women, if you know what I mean.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    yeah, the more structured, the better for the scientists and engineers....
    I'd say around here, more than 3/4 of the players don't play any kind of organized tournaments. I guess they are the nobodies of Cindy's world.
     
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  10. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    so dont play comps that allow self rates

    everybody happy. problem solved. close thread
     
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  11. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I don't play comps as it is. But I do set up casual matches with other local players. Sometimes I come across people I don't know. It's useful in these cases to know their level - objective level that is.

    I don't know why you find the concept of this objectionable.
     
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  12. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Well for the record those levels still exist in Atlanta Georgia through ALTA competition. Only about 30,000 or so people participate in this though. So no big deal I guess.

    You still have people playing and self rating out of level. ABC's don't stop that.
     
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  13. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    you aint ever gonna get an objective level from someone who aint computer rated

    solution is fairly simple surely. if u are teeing up a match with someone, ask em if they r computer rated. if they aint, take their ratin with a grain o salt

    hardly needs a massive whinge thread id have thought
     
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  14. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I thought the bolded part was the OP was saying? So looks like we are all in agreement.

    And as for needing a massive whinge thread... well, if the thread didn't exist, you'd have no place to post your several responses, now would you? Lighten up, it's all good entertainment :)
     
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  15. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    well yeah

    brb startin thread bout how sky is blue
     
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  16. aurelius

    aurelius New User

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    I think it's easier to think about it in terms of a broader rating too: Beginner (2.5-3.0); Intermediate (3.5-4.0); Advanced (4.5-5.0); Elite (5.5+).

    Most people are intermediate with the smallest category being Elite (that don't care about this anyway).
     
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  17. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    to me cindy premise is that if you are at a level and play competative matches at that level then you belong at that level. but in order to figure that out you need to play a few matches at that level aka enough to get a computer rating.

    i think we all agree that the usta self rating system has some holes. notable is rating d3 and jr college players because some d3 players are not even 4.0 and some can be 5.5.
     
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  18. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Cindy is super into usta rating. She mentions it in every thread she makes...lol.
     
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  19. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    What I find interesting is that the guidelines that they give are getting better as I improve. What I mean by that is before I had played much tennis (1 year maybe) I looked at the guidelines and thought myself to be a 4.5 player ... which amazed me because I was at that time I was barely a 3.5 player.

    Now that I have played for almost 10 years I find that the descriptions they provide are much more accurate. As an outsider looking back on my game I can now tell I had 3.0 and 3.5 aspects to my game. Occasionally I would hit a 4.5 caliber shot but 1 out of a 100 don't make you a 4.5. I think when I looked at those ratings 10 years ago, all I thought about was the 1 in 100 shot.

    Overall, I think the guidelines are pretty accurate if they are assessed by someone who has played a good bit of higher level tennis of another payer while in match play. On paper to a novice who is self rating they are not very helpful.
     
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  20. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    cos there is no point in u callin urself a red b

    the usta ratings is a universal yardstick across the usa. look at this forum - its how every1 gauges the ability of players they aint seen before

    its useful in that sense. even if some1 is self rated, if they tell me they r a 4.0 then i know somethin about them. i gotta take it with a grain of salt, but it is still more useful than them tryin 2 describe what type of player they r without a mutually understood scale

    real problem seems 2 be that other ppl assume that a 4.0 is a 4.0. me - first question i ask if someone tells me their ratin is if they r computer rated. if u do that, then it aint a problem at all
     
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  21. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    After reading all the posts, I guess I'm a non-rated player, since I've never been rated and play tennis just for fun and haven't signed up with the USTA or USTA leagues or tournaments. Sort of an illegal, I guess, so far I'm still allowed to play tennis, so far anyway.
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Who said he was a 4.5 and couldn't get a serve in?
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Duh, it's the Adult League & Tournament board. LoL!
     
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  24. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    I agree with Cindy on this one - if you are not in the computer then you are NOT a rated player, period. IMO the good thing about this is that it includes the mental part of playing and actual - and important - match. For instance, I can play and even beat some 4.5 guys while playing for fun but on a real match I choke down to a very decent 4.0 and so that is the rating I should get, period. Saying that you are a 4.5 because you hang out with 4.5 is deceiving yourself.
     
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  25. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I play in an adult league in which the coaches and director rate you and only allow 4.0-5.0. It's non usta.
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, yes. Definitely.

    I think two things happen. First, we are all better when there is not pressure. So we may hang with a 4.0 player in practice or drills, but we can't in a match.

    Second, though, is that folks don't realize that the rating descriptions seem to assume you are playing against a computer-rated player of that level. I can look like a 5.0 in a match against a 2.5 player. Against another 4.0, I look like a 4.0 (hopefully).

    At a minimum, the ratings descriptions should point out these two things.
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Congratulations? :)

    My point is that if you are telling folks that you are a 5.0 (or 4.0 or 4.5) based on what the coaches and directors of your league are telling you and not based on a USTA computer rating . . . well, that is not accurate.

    You may in fact have skills that would allow you to be a computer-rated 5.0, but that doesn't mean you should claim to be a 5.0. 'Cause without that actual computer rating, you're just guessing.

    Frankly, the problems I am describing are more likely limited to those who are 4.5 and below. There aren't many USTA league playing opportunities for 5.0s, so that does tend to be a different orbit.
     
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  28. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I've played on USTA and a few other leagues - I played at the same level, encountered similar types/levels of players, and had similar results. The rules are also the same - you win a lot, you move up. You lose a lot, you move down. What else matters? You prove yourself at your self-rated level. And as we know, USTA players also start out self-rated. This isn't the pros.

    USTA is no more legitimate in terms of ratings or anything else than other leagues I've played in. The only difference is USTA has a national computer, and our county leagues have a county-wide computer. If your main aspiration is to go to the USTA nationals, then this might make a difference to you. It doesn't mean anything to me.

    Those who think USTA leagues are tougher than other Florida leagues have never played in them. It's possible that in some states, alternative leagues are more lax - but not here! I enjoyed playing USTA league but actually didn't prefer it for a lot of reasons.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    This is an example of what I'm talking about.

    It's simple: If you don't have a *USTA computer rating,* then you shouldn't toss around ratings numbers as though you do. It is misleading and incorrect.

    So, for example, if you are playing in your county-wide system and do not have a *current USTA 4.0 computer rating*, then you are misleading people if you say you are "a 4.0." It's like telling folks that you have "200 points" and letting them believe these are points earned on the ATP.

    Regarding the bold part . . . I think you told us that your county computer isn't updated regularly or well or something. I somehow doubt that you are familiar with the algorithm used by your local county and USTA, so I do not see how you can be sure there is no difference.

    It is quite a stretch, then, to suggest that whatever rating you have in X local non-USTA county league equates to a genuine USTA rating.

    Just be clear and honest: "I might be a 4.0, but I don't know" would be an appropriate way to characterize one's rating if one does not play USTA. Saying "I'm a 4.0" would be a fib.
     
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  30. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Tennis Anyone?*

    *Anyone, providing they hold a computer generated NTRP rating, proven their rating through fierce competition at a USTA santioned tennis league or tournament, and also certified by a USTA certified teaching professional.
     
    #30
  31. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Please, adult league play only .... tournies and mixed do not count.
     
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  32. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    the reason ppl use self rates is cos nobody on this site would understand the context o a county rating. its a convenient way 2 convey ur approx level 2 other ppl. last time i checked, usta allowed self ratin did it not?

    if u r unsure whether someone is self rated or computer rated, just damn well ask em. its not hard

    what a bunch o old women u are
     
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  33. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Wow, who cares what if the the guy just wants to play tennis? No skin off my back. I play in two singles leagues..non USTA that is. One is called a 4.0 to 4.5 league the other is a 3.5 to 4.0 league. Based on what I know about the NTRP they're more like a 3.5 to 4.0 league and the other is more like 3.0 to 3.5. Some players have computer ratings and some,like me, don't. Having an NTRP rating is not something mystical. I don't know anybody that loses any sleep over it. I figure I'm a 3.5, but when I'm playing I don't think it.
     
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  34. jservoss

    jservoss Rookie

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    I know at my tennis club several times new members have come in stating an inflated ego, the tennis pro then passes along my info, and I waste 90 minutes annihilating the guy. It has happened enough times that I told the club pro he can no longer give members my email.

    It has nothing to do with being mystical. It has to do with accurately describing your ability and not wasting other peoples time.
     
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  35. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    dood, if u gonna play ppl on spec then this is the price u pay

    in general, ppl r poor evaluators o their own abilities. i am sure there are plenty o things u do where others would describe ur estimation of ur talents as similarly incorrect

    u either play ppl who self rate n accept u are gonna get some lopsided matches, or u only play computer rated ppl. but whining that ppl self rate unrealistically is like whining that the sky is blue
     
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  36. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    What happened to USTA rating sessions, with people holding clip-boards, who I think were called "verifiers" and handed you your rating on an index card after evaluating you? Did USTA do away with these sessions in the interest of cost saving or protecting people's egos?
     
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  37. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    It's been brought up that some districts had teams go on unprecedented runs to nationals (8 of 15 years or something) in the era of verifiers. Apparently, a captain with a friend doing verifying was much worse than a computer questionnaire.
     
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  38. nhat8121

    nhat8121 Semi-Pro

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    The 4.5 pool is huge, and I've seen some 4.5s that just boggled my mind how they got there. To me, 4.5 is not that great. However, a 5.0, respect.
     
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  39. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Ain't wasting my time. Sometimes, I annihilliate a guy who claims to be 4.0 NTRP and has gone thru the laundry list to get himself rated. Sometimes, I get my butt handed to me by another guy who is NTRP rated and sometimes his not NTRP rated. It's not a waste of time the way I see it. You need to beat and play against all types of competition. I don't need a bunch of rules and guidance telling me that, I've been playing tennis long enough to know that. Now somebody in an earlier post is talking bout having having someone with a clipboard roving the courts..give me a break. Wow that's a lotta fun.
     
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  40. jservoss

    jservoss Rookie

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    I have no problem playing with players weaker than me. I have a problem when people lie about their ability just to get on the court with me.

    True story. I had a guy tell me he was a 5.5 player that has been "having some success" competing in futures and would like to practice against me. Naturally I take him up on this wonderful opportunity. We go out and I beat him 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. After playing he said we were a good matchup and that he just had a bad day, then asked if we should play the same time next week. Of course I told him to f*** off. When I got home I looked him up online, and he had definitely been signing up for a lot a futures; however, he forgot to mentioned he hasn't even won a game yet in the qualifying rounds.

    Had the guy just been honest about his level of play I probably would have hit with him anyways, but I have no respect for players that pull this crap.
     
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  41. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Hey man, if you're that good competing in 5.5s, you are truly "wasting your time" talkin on this thread. Your best bet would be to get in good with a D1 Tennis coach and try and line up practice matches with the team.
     
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  42. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Obviously, as others have stated, the A, B and C system worked just fine. Why then does a "better" system (2.5 thru 5.0) create threads like this one?

    IMO the reason is the (unrealistic) modern expectation that matches between members of the same USTA level will be decided by single break sets, ie that the matchplay will be even.

    The USTA takes pains to explain that 6-0, 6-0 matches will take place between players that are correctly rated within their system, but still the erroneous expectation of close matches persists.

    Welcome to the real world.
     
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  43. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    That makes a lof of sense! 6-0, 6-0 matches occur at every level of the game, even in professional tennis. If we had a little NTRP rating "verfier" with a clipboard going around rating these guys, what would he do?
     
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  44. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    He would collect a paycheck and make USTA dues go up probably.
     
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  45. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    So in other words we have to play in a USTA league even though we may not want to? I brought up my league and you dismissed it . I don't need congratulations, I am simply making a point. Let me expound :

    There are all kinds of leagues. I have never had anyone ask my rating, but I have heard pros and club directors do a quick ranking so they can get people together in a league.

    You want a uniform rating system even though USTA is not really the ideal way to play for all of us. In FL there are tons of alternatives. And in those leagues people describe others as a 4.0, 5.0..etc. It will never change.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
    #45
  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Powerplayer,

    All I am saying is that those who do not have a current USTA computer rating need to stop misleading others.

    USTA rating is currently the most ubiquitous and consistent rating available at the moment for most rec players, so that is what most people think of when they hear, "I'm a 3.5." The people who are claimung to be 3.5s when they have no computer rating are causing needless confusuion.
     
    #46
  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Maybe, but 3.5/4.0/4.5 ratings are very useful for people who don't have the luxury of predictable work hours to commit to USTA leagues. I have some people with whom I play with whom I met on Craigslist or tennis websites based on their claimed rating. Most of them have worked out and we have been playing for years now. There is a guy I played on Sunday who plays 4.0 matches but only those that are organized in his club and we are evenly matched. He introduced himself as a 4.0 player a year ago and that was useful info.
     
    #47
  48. goober

    goober Legend

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    This may surprise you but most rec players don't play USTA or necessarily have an official rating even if they belong to the USTA. Ratings are only meaningful in the context which they are derived from. If someone says they have an official 4.5 rating at their club and they play only at their club. Well by golly they are a 4.5 at their club. In fact you could argue that computer ratings are only valid within the context of USTA league and tournament play. Ratings are just arbitrary numbers that people shouldn't get to hung up on. I just take them as general guidelines for level of play.

    I don't feel I am misled by people when they tell me their ratings adn they are not "official". Just note where they derived their rating from- self, club rated or computer rated and you will have a pretty good idea.
     
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  49. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    No matters if you don't play in USTA sanctioned leagues or tournaments it's best not to claim you're a 3.5, 4.0 or any rating as far as that goes. You have no computer rating, a self rating has no meaning. If you self rate you are dishonest most likely sandbagging or have overrated yourself, thereby violating protocol and are being deceptive. You can play all non-USTA leagues you want, but you're just a wanna be hanging out. Until you get out of that sandbox, you we'll never be accepted by the USTA Tennis League, Tournament NTRP community. So, enjoy that non-USTA sanctioned league at least for now.
     
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  50. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    You just say " I don't have a computer rating", but I play with XXX and XXX who do and they are 4/5.x"

    It's not a huge deal. So what, some people say they are better then they are. That will never change.

    I know a tennis director who gets me matches and sets me up against 4-5.0 players and none have ever said it was a waste of time, in fact most want to play me again..a lowly guy with no USTA rating..imagine that.
     
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