Neighborhood vs. Clubs

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by michael_1265, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    To start with, I have played on a neighborhood team since 2007. Year in and year out, the club teams do better in USTA competition, for the expected reasons:
    1. Year-round playing
    2. Players who are committed because they have paid a premium to play.
    3. (Sometimes) A variety of surfaces.

    I accept these differences, and realize that I will only very rarely sniff the playoffs on a neighborhood team in this area.

    A few of the teams we play have both hard and Har-Tru courts, and try to gain advantage with that option also. One practice that I recently encountered, though, crosses the line. We played a top team last Sunday, in the brutal heat. They had a couple of courts available indoors, but they chose to place their #1 singles and #2 doubles, presumedly due to the fact that they thought those players would have an advantage. I think this falls into the realm of gamesmenship. It's a spring league, and the intent is to play outside, except in the case of a rainout, in which case we use indoor courts if we have the option. Why should a club team be allowed yet another advantage?

    It's not really the end of the world and I doubt anything will change if I contact my League Coordinator, but the club teams need to understand the implications of making neighborhood teams less competitive than they already are. We make up typically a third to a half of any given flight. If not for us, the flights would get fewer, and the drives to matches would get a lot longer. Certain NTRPs might not even have a viable # of teams.

    To illustrate the lack of competitiveness for neighborhood teams, here are the current standings in our 3.0 flight:
    Indoor/Outdoor Surfaces
    1. Club I/O clay/hard
    2. Club O clay/hard
    3. Club I/O clay/hard
    4. Club I/O clay/hard
    5. Club I/O clay/hard
    6. Club I/O clay/hard
    7. Club I/O clay/hard
    8. Club I/O clay/hard
    9. Neighborhood (my team) O hard
    10. Neighborhood O hard
    11. Neighborhood O hard
    12. Club (lost 5 matches to a DQ) I/O clay/hard
    13. Club I/O clay/hard
    14. Neighborhood O clay/hard

    Clubs will always have an advantage. I only complain when they work so hard to find additional advantages, to make the playing field even more tilted.
     
    #1
  2. goober

    goober Legend

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    Can the neighborhood teams recruit outside their area?

    In my section, the public court teams always go to the playoffs and the private clubs in general are in the bottom half of the standings. Public court teams recruit of all over the city for the best players. Private clubs only can use their own members.
     
    #2
  3. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    This may be personal bias, but around here I think the non-club teams are much stronger for the reason Goober states.

    One exception is ladies day league. The club teams at 3.5 seem to be in synch, as though they have all been taking the same clinic with the same pro. They also seem much more likely to take the net, regardless of their volleying skill. Which makes them dangerous against us non-club players who are less used to seeing that.
     
    #3
  4. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    Typically it is the other way around. It's all a numbers game. Clubs normally only allow club members to join club teams. This severely limits their talent pool. On the other hand, non-club teams can recruit anywhere including club players.
     
    #4
  5. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I agree with burosky as well.

    It is easier to run a club team as booking the facility is easier and everyone comes to the club at least a couple of times a week.

    But you can draw from a much bigger pool outside. I know of a local tennis pro shop that sponsors a team and they have tryouts. We don't bother with tryouts as we can barely field the team as is.
     
    #5
  6. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    Clubs normally are where u find older folks and you'll find better players at public courts. Because the better players are younger and don't have the money to join fancy clubs. That said USTA matches are more weighted towards doubles which is where older players do well.
     
    #6
  7. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Wow, a totally different situation. I guess the tennis-playing population at large is a lot smaller here. I actively recruit outside my neighborhood, but have had only limited success. Maybe it is the low cost of the clubs. The closest one to me has a $1500 initiation and is $110/month for a family with no charge for court time. That's pretty cheap by national standards, I bet.
     
    #7
  8. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    My area is cheaper than that. I play out of a club that has a $500 initiation fee & costs $200 annually for tennis ($400 for family). Free court time & discounts on lessons & clinics.

    There is also a parks & rec facility that has no initiation fee & individuals can join for $150 annually/$300 family. They've put a dent into our membership, but we have 2 clay & 4 hard courts & they only have hard courts. I think we waive the initiation fee for people who join in January & February now to battle them.
     
    #8
  9. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    In my area it seems like it has more to do with the captain and his/her recruiting ability than whether the team members have to be club members or not. Everybody has to play inside in the winter anyway and there are "public" indoor facilities to support that (not free but open to non-members, at least for USTA).
     
    #9
  10. Panic492

    Panic492 Rookie

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    In my area the "top" teams are neighborhood teams because they can recruit the top guns including club players.
     
    #10
  11. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Most accurate post in the thread.
     
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  12. goober

    goober Legend

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    LOL-How can that be the most accurate when it only applies to his area? :)
     
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  13. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Because teams are guided more by the specific interest of their captains than by the fact the captain happens to be a member of a club or not.
     
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