Maybe we need to come to an understanding about ratings

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

  1. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    This is a tempest in a teapot. Many don't play in official USTA tourneys and leagues, but it would be the very rare player in the US who nevers plays against an opponent with a legit USTA rating.

    If I am unrated but my Sunday morning tennis buddy is USTA 4.0 and I beat him half the time, guess what? I can make a legit claim to be 4.0 as far as communications with a guy I meet at the resort courts in Hawaii on vacation next time.
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I haven't played a tournament since 1978.
    I still play tennis, and player's always ask me my level, whether they played with me or not.
    Mostly say "4.0".
    I beat EVERY member of MarinCounty''s No1 4.0 team, only lost twice at night to their no.1 singles, and beat him daylight maybe 15 times. Never lost a set to the other 11 guys.
    Still say I'm a 4.0.
    What else can I say if someone asks me my level.
    I see real 4.5's hit all the time, play doubles with them, and I KNOW I'll lose matches to them.
     
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  3. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    You're the one confused, if you think that USTA ratings are the only "real" ratings. I suspect it's because you're in that particular league, and have otherwise only played at casual club ladders. What an ego!

    We're not "confused" in our leagues here - and would invite any USTA players to a challenge match at our level.
     
    #53
  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Usta ratings *are* the only real ratings that use the half point system that I am talking about. By "real," I mean "commonly understood."

    There are other systems, of course. Many clubs apparently have their own system. That is fine.

    If your are on vacation and someone asks your rating, isn't the correct answer "I don't have a rating, but I play with a bunch of 4.0s back home."

    Or if you play a non-USTA county league and someone asks your level, isn't the answer "I don't have a USTA rating, but I think I am around 4.0"

    What is so hard about just being truthful? The folks who insist on obscuring things (not referring to everyone here, just one or two people) are acting like having a computer rating is such a big deal that it is necessary or justified to fib.

    As far as whether your local league pseudo-4.0s could prevail over usta comuter 4.0s . . . Who cares? I am a 4.0 (a legit one) and some 4.0s can beat me and some cannot.

    I don't understand why some folks wriggle so hard rather than just admit they do not have a computer rating. I don't have a golf handicap, so why would I wish to go around suggesting that I do?
     
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Ideally yes, but on Craigslist you will see "me 4.0, you be at least 3.5" and on many tennis websites, your profile allows you to enter or select a number, not write an essay. That is the only thing that can be used in the search criteria. If you leave it empty, people are not going to find you, even if the site allows you to leave it empty, and many don't.

    If my regular partners are on leave, and I see a "me 4.0" on Craigslist with a mention of the same area I live in, I will reply to that guy. I don't care if he plays USTA 4.0 or not. Most of the time, I have found that such people will be 3.5 to 4.0 and we have a good time.
     
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  6. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    When I first started playing tennis again several years ago, before I had a network of people to play with, I would look for hitting partners on craigslist. I knew roughly what my level was, based on playing a friend who had a USTA rating. So I would look for people advertizing themselves as at that level. Ended up being pretty much a waste of time - I ended up meeting up with 4-5 people IIRC, and all were much weaker than I had expected.

    Ironically, they were probably all around the same level as each other, so presuming they were looking for partners only on craigslist, it would have worked out well for them since it appears that whether by luck or design they are all using the same scale. But whatever scale was being used is not equivalent to NTRP, so it's misleading to those used to NTRP.

    Point is, it's useful to have a common language, and for lack of anything more universal, NTRP is it.
     
    #56
  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Craigs list is not the universe.

    Bottom line: Be as honest as you can. If your rating is not official, just say that.

    Sorry to be such a stickler, but there is enough misinformation and kvetching about sandbagging etc without having people muddy the waters more by saying they are 4.0 when it is based on what their pro told them, or the country club rating conversion chart, or a home grown algorithm.
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    USTA is also not the universe. If someone is not playing USTA, how can he sandbag a USTA tournament? Why does it matter to you at all? Many people have real jobs and do not want to promise that they will be available at a certain time and then not show up. When I played WTT a few years ago, I said I would play home matches only. Many don't have the time or like to travel to other clubs.
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That can happen too. I was in the pro shop once, and a guy walked in to buy a racket. Owner asked him his level, he said 5. He thought the scale was from 0 to 10 so it was safe to say 5. Another time a guy kept sending me email begging to play. I assumed he had seen the level on the website. It turned out he had never played tennis before but thought that it was just a matter of swinging the racket.
     
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  10. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Nothing is wrong with just stating "my rating is 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 or whatever" period end of story, that's an honest answer! No need to elaborate and go into any further disussions just because somebody asks your NTRP rating. Besides when you enter a league or tournament the block where you enter the rating won't accept anything else but a rating, you don't have xplain it as if you're guilty of something.
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I would be more concerned about whether a guy who is going to play with me is a serial killer/cannibal rather than whether his rating is sanctioned by USTA (as Hannibal Lecter said, I will be having a friend over for dinner)
     
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  12. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Interesting thread, as they all are for me. Reading through it, I think I have come to agree with what I now take to be Ms Cindy's main point:

    I agree with this. If your rating isn't a USTA computer rating, then just say up front that it isn't, and reveal the origin and development of your rating.

    As I mentioned in a previous post in this thread, there aren't any USTA leagues in the Fort Lauderdale area, so it's all based on self rating according to NTRP guidelines, starting out, and is then adjusted by league adminstrators according to performance. Maybe not as accurate as computers, but pretty accurate, I think.

    It is of course easy to overestimate one's abilities. Knowing nothing about these ratings, when I first got into the league I'm currently involved in I, as did all the other players, had to self-rate my level based on the NTRP guidelines. So far, it's worked out really accurately, I think. In my own case, I had to weigh the beauty (imho) of my shotmaking with the fact that I'm playing guys who are, on average, about 30 years younger than me. Guys with (imho) relatively ugly games who I would have (imho) beaten mercilessly 40 years ago beat me now because they're stronger, faster, quicker, and have more stamina.

    So, (and I think I saw this in somebody's sig) I'm one of those old guys with, like, 4.0 + strokes who compete effectively only at a 3.0 (or less) level. :)
     
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  13. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    How to tell if your opponent might be a serial killer/cannibal:

    1. If he insists on meeting at night at courts that have no lights, he might be a serial killer/cannibal.

    2. If he tells you he plays with a Head Extreme (shrunken edition), he might be a serial killer/cannibal.

    3. If his tennis bag really looks more like a rifle case, he might be a serial killer/cannibal.

    4. If his energy drink looks kinda thick, deep red, and starting to clot, he might be a serial killer/cannibal.

    Otherwise, I think you're safe.
     
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  14. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Yea, okay fine, but is he a valid 4.0?
     
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  15. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    While all the posts in this thread have merit, imo, this one is especially clear and, imo, makes a most important point that ratings are relative to whoever you're playing against.

    I have no way of knowing how my 3.0 compares to a 3.0 in, say, San Diego. But I do know how it compares to the 3.0s in my local league. And that's all that matters. To me anyway. Unless I actually get competitive again, and then I might have to rethink all of this. :)

    jc4.0, where are you in Fort Lauderdale? I would like to watch you play. Maybe I'll learn something.
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    There is nothing wrong with just stating "my rating is 3.5 [4.0, 4.5 or whatever]" **if you are computer-rated.** That's my point.

    It does matter. When I am considering a new player for my teams, I don't appreciate hearing, "Yes, I'm a 4.0," only to find out the player meant they play with 4.0s, their pro told them they are 4.0, they wish they were 4.0, their BFF is 4.0 so they must be also. . . .

    Most importantly, though, is this: If non-computer rated players go around declaring they are 3.5, then people tend to believe them. Whatever tennis prowess this person then displays becomes equated to what a legit 3.5 is, even though their actual computer level might be 3.0 or 4.0. Either way, it clouds the general consensus of what the levels are and mean.

    It's bad enough that we have the poor NTRP guidelines for self-rates. Let's not make it less.

    Not everyone misrepresents their rating, of course. It happens more than you might think, though.
     
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  17. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well, most likely, since he does get the automatic +1.5 cannibal bonus.
     
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  18. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    This is one of the more ridiculous threads I have read here lately.
     
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  19. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    And you're free to just not pay any attention to what you consider ridiculous posts and threads. For myself, I've found interesting and informative posts in every thread I've looked at here at Talk Tennis.
     
    #69
  20. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Great! I'm glad you find this and all threads interesting.
     
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  21. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Why wouldn't people believe them? Why assume they're lying? And if they wanna lie about it, what do I care? It's not up to me to change someone's behavior. Maybe they're patholigical liars, life goes on. It shouldn't cloud anyone's judgment if their tennis prowess doesn't match they're rating at least if they have any critical thinking skills. Plenty of bonafide 3.5s, 4.0s for you to play well at least in my tennis circle, anyway. Wanna call yourself a 3.5 or 5.0, feel free. If you win your matches, I guess you are what you claim. I don't need a bunch of rules and guidelines and number crunching to tell me what my level is. If the 4.0 USTA league iworks for you, good for you. If non USTA leagues work for you, that's fine too. It's just recreational tennis, afterall!!
     
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  22. goober

    goober Legend

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    ... and if you go join a club league your computer rating doesn't mean anything to them if none of them play USTA.

    I have talked to and played many players looking to join a USTA team. It only takes one question to know if their rating is computer based or not. I guess I am not seeing what the big deal is. It really doesn't matter to me because I have to play with anyone trying out for team regardless of whether they have a computer rating or not. I will then find out exactly how good they are after hitting with them.
     
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  23. jht32

    jht32 Rookie

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    What about USTA computer-rated players who haven't played any USTA in the past couple of years. Their skills could have improved or degraded drastically. Can they still state their USTA ratings in full conscience? What is the approved time limit?

    You would also need to clarify if your USTA computer rating is mostly from doubles or singles play, as you can be a 4.0 doubles player, but maybe a 3.5 or 4.5 singles player.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
    #73
  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think Cindy is pissed off only at those that don't have a computer rating but want to play USTA leagues.
     
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  25. goober

    goober Legend

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    I hope not because that is part of being a captain. Sure it would be nice if everybody that came to you had a computer rating and record that you could look over and have a good idea of their level of play without even seeing them. The problem is the vast majority of players with computer ratings are already established with teams. There is not a lot of lateral movement unless a team breaks up or someone is just unhappy with their team.

    You need to go through all these unrated players to find the gems. Of the top 5 players on my team only one had a computer rating when he joined my team. The rest were all self rates that I had to find after playing dozens of other players that were out of level. Unless you are forming a super team that is being bulit for playoffs or come from a dynasty team, computer rated players are not lining up to join your team in most cases.
     
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  26. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Doris: Hi Stanley, nice of you to join us this morning, oh incidently what is your NTRP rating?

    Stanley: It's 4.0!

    Doris: Is it a self-rating?

    Stanley: Yes!

    Doris: Were you evaluated by a certified USTa teaching professional?

    Stanley: Yes!

    Doris: Do you compete in USTA sanctioned Tennis Leagues or Tournaments?

    Stanley: Yes!

    Doris: Is your 4.0 an official USTA computer generated NTRP rating?

    Stanley: Yes!

    Doris: Sounds, great Stanley. One last question, happen to know the Software version of the program used calculate your computer generated NTRP rating?

    Stanley:......It was done.....well....I'll have to verify that.

    Doris: I'm a little tentative abou this Stanley. I'm sorry Stanley, but you can see why I'm concerned can't you??
     
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  27. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    This is bothersome to me because the USTA desperately needs some competition. As it stands they're allowed to sit back and charge players exorbitant amounts of money at times just so that person can have a rating and play in tournaments while they do little to nothing to actually give back to the communities supporting them.

    Competition would force them to either a_ lower prices or b) actually do something besides own a crappy website that allows people to set up tournaments and stuff or c) do a little bit of both.
     
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  28. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Cindy, et al

    I am done posting on this thread. I don't think the TT Posters or even the tennis community as a whole will ever come to "an understanding about ratings." We'll just discuss and re-hash the same issues.

    It's nothing personal I just don't agree.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No problem.

    As for me, the next time I am a guest at the country club near my house, I will cheerfully say I am a Red A player. Even though I'm not. They'll figure it out. :)
     
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  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Hmmm......... OK
     
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  31. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    For your USTA teams you mean? Like you wouldn't scour tennislink anyway to see what they were rated.

    Honestly, this is just shows how meaningless your argument has become. It is boiling down to semantics. You could simply ask them "have you played usta 4.0?". If this is the biggest problem you are dealing with, it just proves my point that you are really obsessed with ratings. Nothing personal, but this is so small and inconsequential and so easily solved that I can't even believe it is an issue.
     
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  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    What's the problem? I guess there is no problem. Folks can call themselves whatever they want regardless of the actual facts, and it is up to others to do a background check.

    As for me, I am enjoying life as a RedA, even though I have never gone through the ladder/challenge system that results in country club players having ratings. Makes perfect sense, no?
     
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  33. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    A southern district 4.0 or Northern Cali one?
     
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  34. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's a simple question to ask. You care so much about this stuff that I know making a 2 minute check up on tennislink is not a big deal. Less time than responding to this thread.

    I mean seriously, this is beyond First World Problems.
     
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  35. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Just to be safe, go buy $500 of the new Nike gear on TW. :)

    I like this - a lot.

    I'm still not buying the USTA ranking is that accurate, or the 'a 4.0 is a 4.0 anywhere' argument. Clustering happens.
     
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  36. backttennis

    backttennis New User

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    When I played before (back in the dark ages) they used the A, B, C ratings at the clubs where I played. I was fine with that, but I find it's now not in existence.

    20 years later I go back to playing tennis and find a lot has changed. My club is now totally and absolutely USTA obsessed. Understandably, as this is the key to their financial survival. The USTA clinics go on all day, for all ages and all levels, indoors and out, with 6 different pros. You can't get away from being considered a number even if you want to! It's the pros and management who do it as soon as you join the club so that they can include you in everything and get you in there spending $$$.

    When I took my first lesson, I was assigned a rating by a pro and it stuck. I started getting emails with lists of other 3.5's to play, 3.5 singles clinics, 3.5 doubles clinics, etc. etc. My name and email were also given to the three USTA captains and I started getting emails and phone calls about joining their teams.

    My only complaint about it is that USTA ratings and teams have made the clubs more cliquey and competitive than they used to be. Some captains and teams don't like each other. And many players focus too much on clinics, in my opinion, so they are less available to play recreational singles matches. And whatever happened to women's singles? Everyone seems to prefer doubles! I hear it's because many women find USTA singles matches too nerve-wracking.

    But I've found a group of people who I play with, and USTA is not my main tennis focus by any means - far from it. I guess I'm old school, but I am having the most fun just playing recreational singles matches.
     
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  37. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Great post, couldn't have said it better myself. You've stated pretty much the reasons why I resist signing up for anything connected with USTA. They have taken the fun out of Tennis as far as I'm concerned. The tennis community has gotten hungup on NTRP ratings, I agree. As far as clinics I save my $$money. Wanna learn a stroke you can find a lot on youtube and practice on a backboard or during a league match (non-USTA that is). I wasn't going to comment anymore on this thread but than I saw your post and had to comment.
     
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  38. backttennis

    backttennis New User

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    Great post! I've also learned by studying strokes and the serve on Youtube and listening to different pro's instructions. Then I go out and practice it.

    USTA was a good concept in the beginning, I think - have people from different clubs play each other so you don't have to join every club in the area to experience it - and I'm sure it's helped clubs stay in business and produced some good players. But the drawback is that it became too serious and competitive, and that has taken away some of the fun.
     
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  39. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Actually, ALTA has over 80,000 members who participate in league play. ALTA ratings are too complex. They have AA, A, B, and C FLIGHTS but within the AA flight they have 2 level for AA1 and AA2. Within the A, B, and C flights they have 8 levels so you have A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8. Altogether for all flights they have roughly 26 levels which is insane. ALTA also rates teams. If you team makes the play-offs, the whole team is bumped up to the next level. The discrepency on a team can be vast. You frequently see a former college player playing on a B team because it is the only team in his neighborhood. But, I still like ALTA as it offers a good organized league.

    I think USTA was good when you had to have a pro rate you but self rating was horrific. I have not played USTA in over 6 years but there were loads of "under-rated" players when I left. We won the city at 4.0 USTA level and 11 players were bumped to 4.5 on both teams in the finals. That's 11 out of 16 players in the starting line-up that were bumped.
     
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  40. spiderman123

    spiderman123 Professional

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    It is not what you are within but what you do that defines you.
    -Batman

    It is not what you look like but how much you win that defines your level.
    -OrangePower
     
    #90
  41. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Just a quick question since this is about ratings... how do you find out if you are bumped up or down? I'm not obsessed, just curious since this was my first year of USTA leagues. Does USTA email you, or do you need to Tennislink yourself (in December?), or do they contact your team captain? Thanks.
     
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  42. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    You can go onto the USTA website about 5:00 pm on the Monday after Thanksgiving and look it up. They will not be e-mailing you :(
     
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  43. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Thank you... guess a simple computer generated email is too complicated for their computer to handle..... sigh.....
     
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  44. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Actually, trying to send out emails would probably cause their system to crash terminally... sad but true... as it is, on the day ratings come out, the system can't handle all the traffic, and it is only sporadically available and dog slow.
     
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  45. goober

    goober Legend

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    I wonder though if they announced that emails of your ratings would be sent out as soon as they are released, would the crashes and slowing down of system for 2 days not happen since most people would just wait for the email rather deluge the website by checking on their ratings through out the day?
     
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  46. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Who really knows, but I think many people go to check not just their own ratings but also that of their friends / teammates / opponents etc... so I don't think sending out emails would cut out enough of the traffic to help.
     
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  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    If they sent a mass email to me listing every player my level in my district, it would greatly reduce my need to do searches. I could forward it to my teams, and that would help even more. Just send it to every captain.
     
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  48. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Then they're obviously not 4.5.

    I don't think that's good. I live and play tennis in Fort Lauderdale. As far as I know there aren't any USTA leagues in Fort Lauderdale. But there are other leagues with hundreds of participants. All of these leagues use the NTRP guidelines. A player self-rates at the start, then his/her rating is modified depending on performance. It seems to work pretty accurately. Yet there are no computers involved that I know of.

    Keep in mind that most any human could compute what the ATP or USTA computers do. It's just that the computers do it a lot faster.

    Not necessarily, imho. As I mentioned, the local tennis scene in Fort Lauderdale is predominantly non-USTA, yet the relative ratings of players are based on NTRP guidelines, and modified according to performance, and seems to be a very accurate predictor of match results across different rating levels.

    So far, in my experience, the non-USTA yet NTRP motivated rated players that I've encountered seem to be rated in accordance with the few USTA rated players that I've encountered.

    So, I guess I have to say that I don't think there's a problem. The NTRP ratings, where they're honestly attributed and modified, are pretty accurate.

    Where these ratings seem to get corrupted is under the auspices of the USTA regarding various 'gamings' of the system. From what I've read here at TalkTennis, the USTA seems to be an organization involving lots of gaming/corruption, politics and unnecessary drama. So, I'm sort of glad that it isn't an important presence in Fort Lauderdale.

    I'm a (NTRP guidelines based) 3.0 in my local non-USTA league, and I'm willing to bet money that I can beat any officially computer rated USTA 3.0 player.
     
    #98
  49. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Powder Springs, GA
    You wrote these in back-to-back threads:


    It's examples like these that are the reason for this thread.

    Either your claim that your local league 3.0 can beat any USTA 3.0 is incorrect, or your claim to be a NTRP 3.0 is incorrect.
     
    #99
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Well, yeah. At last somebody gets it.

    TomT should not tell people he is a 3.0 because he is not a USTA computer rated 3.0 player.

    He is a Broward 3.0, assuming that is a legitimate Broward rating.

    Conflating the two concepts is what gives us statements like "I'm a 3.0 and I can spank any USTA 3.0." 'Cause if you can spank any USTA 3.0, you are by definition not a USTA 3.0.
     

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