No bump up with 100% winning record?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by robert, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. robert

    robert Rookie

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    This guy went 13-0 in singles this year. 7 of them are local playoff and Sectional. But no bump in the year end rating?

    Also he bagled the opponents in Sectional matches. How is it possible?
     
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  2. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Sounds like me almost...

    Even winning like that may not earn him enough points to move up. If I didnt play up this year, I wouldnt have moved up.

    If this person was very low on the dynamic scale and his/her opponents were also low its quite possible there is no bump.

    Also, not every league counts towards/against NTRP, and not every player at the playoff (benchmark) level is equivalent as the next.
     
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  3. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Professional

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    I've had team mates with losing records get bumped..but me and another team mate went undefeated for the season did not get bumped.
     
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  4. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    Your specific won/lost record is meaningless when it comes to calculating your NTRP rating. Your rating is based solely on the game differential from the score of the match and the then current dynamic ratings of all the players involved.

    If you play weak opponents, those rated in the lower end of your level or even players in a level lower that are playing up, and/or play with a very strong doubles partner, you can win all your matches and actually have your rating go down.

    Conversely, if you play strong opponents, if perhaps you yourself are playing up, or play with a weak partner, you can lose a match and improve your rating.

    And of course, because game differential is used, you can win a match 0-6,7-6,1-0 but actually be -4 on game differential which even against good competition could cause your rating to go down.

    So it all depends on the specifics of every match and not your win/loss record.
     
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  5. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    I think it can depend on who he is beating and by what scores, yes?

    I know my friend only lost once at the 4.0 level in singles, and a lot of the time crushed his opponents 6-2, 6-1, etc. and he didn't get bumped up. But, those "crushings" were against 3.5C ranked guys, and he's expected to do that. Against 4.0C guys his scores were much more competitive (with 3rd set tie breaks thrown in).
     
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  6. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Yet more evidence that a seriously flawed system will yield... flawed results. No suprise there.
     
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  7. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    How are any of the examples cited in this thread evidence of a flawed system or results? With the information provided, all we know is that a player won a lot and wasn't bumped and someone that didn't win a lot has been bumped. But we have no specifics and it has been described how that is possible and further it has been noted that in one case some of a 4.0's wins were over 3.5s playing up which the 4.0 is also supposed to win.

    I'm not saying the NTRP system is perfect, it isn't. But IMHO, arguing that a good rating system has to move a player up simply because they win even if it is against weak competition shows a lack of understanding for rating systems.
     
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  8. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    Typical NTRP paradox. What gets you to sectionals, districts, etc., is your win-loss record--period. Then, when it comes to NTRP, USTA says win-loss isn't important. Well, if win-loss isn't important to determining NTRP, then why is win-loss record the only thing that matters at the end of a season. You'd think they'd either incorporate some sort of win-loss algorithm into NTRP or determine who wins a particular match by who played better based on dynamic NTRP (i.e., if I'm supposed to lose 2-2 to a better player, but lose 3-3, then I get the match win, similar to a golf handicap match).

    Regardless, until NTRP starts taking into account the most important item used to determine who advances in league play (win-loss record only), the system will remain flawed. In Colorado, we literally have a couple dozen folks who won all their league matches and didn't get moved up.
     
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  9. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    After reading accounts like these in what seems to be year after year, I am no longer surprised. I bet there are a lot more instances (even more extreme cases) that are just not mentioned here.

    Maybe that would be a more interesting read. What is the most extreme case (bump up, bump down or no bump) that you know of?
     
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  10. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    This expected result is in effect what the NTRP algorithm calculates and the result being better or worse than this cause one's rating to go up or down. So one could take this and determine "virtual wins" or come up with a handicapping system where a player gets 3 games per set or whatever is appropriate given the player's current ratings.

    Being a ratings guy, this could be very interesting and a part of me would love to see it, but it would also change he dynamic of the game significantly, perhaps to its detriment. But on the surface, it would eliminate some of the ways one can win and advance but manipulate ones rating to avoid being bumped.
     
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  11. 10sjunkie

    10sjunkie New User

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    "What gets you to sectionals, districts, etc., is your win-loss record--period."

    What gets you there is your team's win/loss record, not your individual win/loss record. Your NTRP rating is your individual rating, not a team rating.
     
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  12. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    how is it flawed? What is so hard to understand that beating players that are no better than you will not make you move up?
    If your dynamic rating is 3.89 (so you are 4.0 player) and you beat a player with dynamic rating of 3.52 (so he is also 4.0) by a score of 6:4 7:6 - how is that supposed to mean you should move up? By NTPR formula, which is based on old and proven ELO rating designed originally for chess (and now used very widely in competition where you can't possibly play --all-- of the opponents: tennis, soccer, on-line games, etc), the expected result is likely around 6:2, 6:2 - so you did worse than expected, which means your ranking went down despite the win.
    Now have it happened 15 times over the course of the season and your dynamic ranking (and therefore NTPR ranking at the end of the season) will really go down and not up.

    Now, if you want to argue that in tennis we should not care about games won/lost but only about whether someone actually won a match - you may have an argument. Such a system will have its own set of problems, mainly that you will have only two outcomes of any match (a win or a loss) vs. a set of outcomes (depending on games won/lost difference) and therefore there will be way less data for algorithm to crunch. Not that such a system is unheard of - Rogers tennis ranking in Canada is based purely on win/loss (and the 'weight' of the match, some matches are treated more importantly than others). FIFA ranking (which is actually very similar) uses a hybrid method - it cares about both pure win/loss, but also takes into account goal differential (which is equivalent to games differential in tennis).

    All of those WTF-like cited cases are likely outliers anyway. The system overall is pretty accurate and serves the purpose. plus it is easy to say 'flawed system' - why don't you propose a better one? I'm sure it will have many edge cases where it will seem illogical (to an untrained eye of course).
     
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  13. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    Well, I guess what I'm really trying to get across is that win-loss record should count for at least part of one's NTRP rating.

    For the folks in the middle of their rating, NTRP is probably just fine. However, for those near the very bottom (me, for example), according to NTRP, we're supposed to lose all our matches. And, when we do lose all our matches, year after year, NTRP is happy, because the actual result met the expected outcome. So, when the end of year ratings come out, we get to stay at the same rating, because we lost all our matches, just like the algorithm predicted, and, guess what, we get to lose all our matches the next year, 'cause that's how NTRP is structured.

    Sure, we can all try to get better, but some of use are almost 60 years old, and we've gotten about as good as we can get. So, if NTRP would at least have some consideration for win-loss record, it would probably help those of use who are at the bottom of their rating level, and also help to move up the guys who win 90% of their matches year after years and stay at the same leve.
     
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  14. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Well, it flawed because, to use your (and the OP's) example the statistical chance that your example 3.89 player will meet only players of his or lower ranking 15 times in a row is less than 3 one thousanths of one percent.

    In other words that reality exists only in strawman arguments like your post, not in the real world.

    You scoff in your second bolded statement at the idea of W/L record being meaningful. My answer: if it works for Pros, why use a convoluted system for everyone else? If you lose in the first round of Wimbledon, it doesn't matter to your ATP points if it is to Fed or a Lucky Loser, you get the same credit.
     
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  15. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Wins and losses are usually related to whom you get lined up against. The ratings systems should operate independently of whom the opposition lines up against you. Therefore if you only get to play weak competition in league, that is not really your fault but you can still dominate them and earn a bump. However, if you manage to win all of these matches against weak sisters, but only barely do so, then no bump for you. Contrast that with playing line 1 singles against only the stiffest competition and earning a record of 6-4. This might show that you are ready for the next level.

    I am going to provide you with a real world example of why using wins / losses would cloud the ratings issue.

    My 4.0 team has won districts and gone to sectionals 3 years in a row. We were very good relative to our peers. On this team we had 5 guys get bumped up this week. Each of these guys had solid successful seasons and their average record for our team was something like 10-4. This seems good, but not great ... however, once you consider that most of the losses came against other very good 4.0 players at sectionals the record seems a little more impressive.

    Contrast that with 4 other guys on our roster that went undefeated this year. Their combined record for the season was something like 15-0. Not one of them got bumped, nor are they worthy of getting bumped. Why? Because we only let them play against the weak teams where we did not need the first team available to get the win.
     
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  16. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    Let's see. Assuming you play in 4.0 league, so you are going to play only 4.0 NTPR players (in fact, due to the fact people are allowed to play up, you may in fact play someone below 4.0, but --never-- above 4.0). Again assuming that all 4.0 players are uniformly distributed - i.e there's equal chance of your opponent having 3.52 dynamic ranking as someone having 3.97 (in short, meeting a player of any dynamic rating in 3.50-3.99 range is equally likely). If you ranking is 3.89, you have 78% chance of meeting someone with a lower dynamic ranking. ((3.89-3.5)/0.5). The chance of that happening 15 times in a row is actually ~0.024 - which is a bit over 2%. Not sure where you got your "less than 3 one thousanths of one percent." from??
    Note, that both of the above assumptions made the result --smaller-- that what would have happened in real life. Since you actually --can-- play someone with DR less than 3.5, and in any range there are likely more players in the lower/mid part of the range than in the upper range - so again in reality you are more likely to meet someone with a lower ranking.

    I do not scoff at the idea of using W/L record as being meaningful. I'm sorry if it appears so. I'm saying that using games difference for casual USTA play is 'more meaningful' than using just W/L results.

    Because top PROs play around 75-100 matches a year so there's way more data sample with just W/L ratio. Those that lose early have only 30-50 matches, the data sample is small, that's why it can be easily argued that PROs in 150 - 300 range are pretty much all the same level and they move so much with each result. Look at Janowicz - he had essentially one excellent week and few so-so results, and he moved from outside 100 to 26 spot. While I like him a lot - you really think he improved so much?
    In addition in ATP tournaments, the points you get depend on the round you won. You know why - because underlying assumption is that the deeper you advance the better players you meet, so your win is worth more. Of course it does not work all the time - but on average, over the course of the year, it works fine.
    But that will not work for USTA league - because players simple do not play that much. And there's no 'going deeper' in the tournament, for those that do not advance to post-season play (which is a vast majority) all the matches are worth the same.

    Again - please propose a system and we can take records of few players from USTA and I'm sure we will be able to show you that your system is equally, if not more, illogical.
     
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  17. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the term "sandbagger". I guess it is unknown in your league. Over here on planet Earth, folks are familiar with it. My numbers were assuming that someone with a slightly above halfway rating in the division (your example of 3.89) would likely have a 50:50 chance of playing someone worse rather than better (regardless of their "rating"). As you know .50 to the 15th is 3 to the -5th.

    The USTA knows that their system is flawed by allowing sandbagging, hence their decision to preempt criticism of it by stating that 6-0, 6-0 is an expected score between players of the same rating. Huh?

    Yes, if we used my proposal to use W/L to determine ranking, you are correct that somewhere between zero and 2 percent of the time it will get it wrong (in the scenario you used). But my experience is: I see way more than 2% of players in the current system at the wrong level.
     
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  18. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    not sure what sandbagging has to do with this discussion. Are you suggesting that one cannot sandbag by outright losing the match rather than winning it closely? Could you kindly clarify what your point is?

    I'm not sure why you think that 3.89 DR is 'slightly above' halfway ranking? Halfway is 3.75. 3.89 is way more that slightly above halfway. Also, next time you make an assumption that is not obvious to anyone but you yourself, please make it clear. Rather than, you know, implying that someone else does not know what 0.5^15 is.
    But if you want to discuss a case where someone is indeed at the halfway point, at 3.75. in this case he needs to get his ranking up by .25 points to get bumped. It is significantly harder to earn this .25 dynamic ranking points. Someone who started at 3.89 needs only .11 to get bumped. It really all evens out - you start at the higher DR, you need to play better opponents to move your DR up, but you only need to move up by a small amount. You start at lower DR - it is easier to earn DR points (because you are more likely to meet higher ranked opponents more often) but you need to earn more of those DR points. the system actually makes it all take into consideration which makes it, I don't know, logical?

    could you elaborate on what you mean? the expected score takes into consideration dynamic rating, not your NTPR one.
    There's no system in the world that would prevent sandbagging. None. Except having all players play in one single category. Do you really want that?

    really. you are sure of that. how exactly? do you have some stats? data? dizzlmcwizzl gave you a perfect example of why going by W/L is no better.

    If you go by W/L, and a player wants to get bumped - he just needs to play at #3 (assuming this is a 3 players team, singles only). He is likely to play weaker opponents. You are essentially saying that a player beating 3.60 DR players 10 times is vastly better (and should get moved up) than a player who plays 3.80 DR players and has 4/6 W/L ratio. really? that is logical?

    (i do think that not separating doubles and singles as far as rating is concerned is the biggest flaw of the system).
     
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  19. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I don't think NTRP is entirely based on ELO since ELO only considers win/loss/tie and doesn't use any type of game differential like number of moves whereas NTRP is just the opposite. I don't think most people here who have issues with the NTRP are arguing that it should not incorporate score and dynamic rating differentials into the formula but that it should also incorporate win/loss into it. Hybrid systems which use both exist so it is not beyond the realm of possibility to think that the USTA could also include it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
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  20. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Wow, to quote Cool Hand Luke "what we've got here is failure to communicate". I apologize for for being extremely difficult to understand.

    A couple of background things:

    1- I don't personally believe that how well any player plays the game of tennis can be quantified to three significant digits. Sure the ratings exist, but IMO the science of using rating numbers to predict outcome of matchplay is too poor to justify that level of implied confidence. In my experience the standard deviation of quality of play is so wide that 2 significant digits is suspect, if you don't believe me, ask Lukas Rosol...

    2- Regardless of the numerical system, there are players whose numerical rating does not correlate to their quality of play, on purpose, that is they give false information to manipulate the rating. That difference I call Sandbagging and can result in playing matches against better competition who have lower ratings. I was trying, unsuccessfully, to explain that nuance in my last post, first paragraph.

    3- I agree that no system will "prevent" sandbagging. As long as people are willing to throw matches completely that will be possible. But this system creates sandbaggers. Using your scenario, the player who is 3.99, will likely always play someone lower rated than they are and thus will go 15-0, as you cite. The system is completely unequipped to deal with the 3.99 who improves their quality of play, yet never "plays up" to 4.5 (as a 4.0). Never gets to demonstrate their improvement against better competition and never gets moved up.

    4- You are right that a straight W/L system will incorrectly bump people up who just randomly happened to play a bunch of players at the low end of the scale, you noted that a 3.89 (in the absence of sandbagging) would do so about 2% of the time in a 15 match season. OK you got me, you keep that guy at 4.0, I move him up (incorrectly BTW 2% of the time, your number) to 4.5 Well that 2% of the time in my system what happens? He gets killed playing 4.25s as a 3.89. Next season, he's a 4.0 Self correcting system. At least as a consolation, in a W/L system, no one wonders "why am I playing the 15-0 guy from last year?"

    5- The unaddressed issue is the opposite scenario: what about the 4.11 (playing 4.5) who goes 0-15 for the exact same reason the 3.89 goes 15-0? Does that guy get a break? Nope.

    6- How better to acknowledge that you do in fact know what a simple mathematical computation is more clearly than by stating: "As you know..."?

    7- When you beat someone or get beat 6-0, 6-0 do you think: "I think we were probably mismatched" or "logical score between correctly rated players"? Of course both are possible (what the USTA says), but in your opinion which is more likely?

    Ultimately it boils down to this: what is more likely to happen and what is more likely to kill the fun factor of league play: A) a system that thinks it can predict outcomes by rating and only moves players relatively if they behave unexpectedly and beat a "better" player, regardless of how many "lesser" players they smear the court with or B) a system that acknowledges that matchplay is unpredictable for numerous reasons (I agree cheating is one, but a rare one) and figures that the quality of opponents will even out in the end, so a 15-0 guy is likely better than his competition and moves him up?

    Either is reasonable but I feel, obviously, that B is less likely to mislabel players, especially in the long haul, as it is self correcting
     
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  21. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    link to tennislink of this happening ??
     
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  22. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    you are almost right. however the principle of the Elo system is not necessarily just win/loss/tie - it is the concept of 'expected result' and the notion of the weight of the match (sort of how important the match is). You can make this 'expected result' to be anything that makes sense for particular competition. in chess, as you correctly pointed out, it is win/loss/tie. In soccer (FIFA) it is win/loss/tie by a specific number of goals, and matches at World Cup have obviously more meaning than a friendly warm up match. In Canada Rogers rating for junior tennis it is only strictly win/loss, weighted depending on the rank of the tournament. In USTA apparently it was decided that it makes more sense to make an 'expected result' to be a particular game difference during the match.
    I agree that including win/loss into formula would make sense. Although it can be easily argued that it already sort of is - in the majority of results, when you win more games, you win a match. I would not be surprised if USTA algorithm does take win/loss into account, in addition to pure game differential. But even if it doesn't, on average, using just game differential is good enough. Gaming the system is equally easy either way - so that discussion does not belong here.

    I get the impression that most folks that bring up those edge cases where "a player such and such went 11:0 and he is not bumped. Another went just 5:6 and he got bumped" just need to realize that above all the level of competition is what really counts. If a player goes 11:0, with the average score of 6:1 6:1, but all of his opponents are at the very bottom of a given range, or perhaps some of them even playing up - that is not that significant of an achievement. It just does not show that a player is bump-up-worthy. And that is precisely what the ranking algorithm provides - a more objective picture of one's level, rather than looking at win/loss ratio only.
     
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  23. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    It appears that you think that a system where --only-- win/loss is considered; regardless of the score, and regardless of the relative strength of of players involved, is better than the system where at least level of competition is taken into consideration.

    Well, while I respect your opinion, the facts, the past experience, and the data from competition results from many sports suggest otherwise. I'm not sure how else I can present my case - but perhaps you could read up on logic behind FIFA, chess, or Rogers ranking.
     
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  24. Counter

    Counter New User

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    Here in Holland, we have a dynamic rating system that I tend to think is very good, and that combines the following three features:

    (1) For any given match, the effects on players’ dynamic ratings are determined ONLY by which player wins the match; scoreline is irrelevant.

    (2) However, the strength of the opposition in any given match IS taken into account. Basically, the extent to which your dynamic improves as a result of a match win depends upon the dynamic rating held by your opponent. Thus, to take an extreme example, if you manage to beat an opponent who has a far superior dynamic rating, then relatively speaking your dynamic rating improves a lot (and of course your opponent’s dynamic rating worsens a lot). And conversely, if you beat an opponent whose dynamic rating is far inferior to your own rating, then neither your own nor your opponent’s dynamic rating changes at all.

    (3) The system is completely transparent and therefore predictable. That is to say, at any given moment you know your own dynamic rating, as well as your opponents’. Therefore, once you know who your next opponent is, you can easily calculate how winning – or losing – your next match will affect your dynamic rating.

    Moreover, the results in this rating system actually make sense: it concurs with intuitions and reasonable expectations.

    Let me give one numerical example.
    Dynamic ratings basically vary between 1.000 and 9.000 (although slight overflows on both ends are possible), where 1.000 represents the BEST players and 9.000 the WORST players. And basically each player is given a ‘match result’ for each match he plays during the current season, and the dynamic rating of a player at any point during the season is simply the average over this year’s match results so far. (At the beginning of the year, each player gets six fictitious match results equal to his end year rating of the previous season; these fictitious match results are then erased one by one as they are replaced by real match results obtained in the current season).

    Now let us assume player A has a dynamic rating of 5.2, whereas his opponent B has a dynamic rating of 5.8 (i.e., A is supposed to be the somewhat stronger player). The ‘match result’ for each player is then calculated as follows:

    • The winner gets his opponent’s dynamic rating MINUS one.
    • The loser gets his opponent’s dynamic rating PLUS one.

    So in our example, if player A wins he gets a match result of 4.8, and the losing player B get a match result of 6.2. If B wins, however, then A’s match result is 6.8 and B’s match result is 4.2.
    Note that in this example, as always (except for the caveat noted below), the winner’s dynamic rating improves as a result of winning, and the loser’s rating worsens. But also note that in the case of a “surprise result”, i.e. the player B with the inferior rating manages to win, the effects on both players’ ratings are greater as compared to the “expected result”.

    This always works, except if the difference between the two players’ ratings is greater than 1, AND the better-rated player wins the match (as expected). In that scenario we cannot calculate the match results in the usual way, as it would imply that the winner’s rating would worsen and the loser’s rating would improve. But in that case the solution is simple: neither player’s rating changes! In other words, in such a case, neither player is assigned a ‘match result’ for that match.
     
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  25. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I really believe that if we all knew what exactly the formula was that the USTA uses and had the level of transparency you describe many more players would be happy with it. Even though I suspect that the USTA system is much more convoluted.

    Unfortunately, I have come to realize that USTA has created a National championship structure that rewards players who manipulate the system, so this level of transparency is problematic.

    At this point I wish that all USTA team tennis would become local leagues and that the ratings system became merely a way to get like ability players together on the courts rather than an attempt to normalize players across the states.
     
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  26. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    If the section is bumping a ton of people down (which it appears some may be doing) the undefeated player may not be the best around next year.
     
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  27. Winning Ugly

    Winning Ugly New User

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    Look -- if he is bageling people in SECTIONALS, then he should be good enough to move up. Period. That sort of beat down could earn you a visual DQ.

    But, here's the thing. I have it on good authority that the computer rejects 6-0, 6-0 results! (Look it up, someone who knows). Anyway, this guy's bagel win may not even have counted -- did he have any others?. And, as others have said, if his district is a bit weak and he won against a lot of lower-in-level folks, then his dynamic rating could have fallen short.

    However, if this guy goes undefeated again in 2013 and does not get bumped I'd eat a brick. Just tell him if he's up 6-0, 5-0 to drop a game or two. Seriously -- I was told this was why I did not get bumped a year ago...a double bagel win against a decent opponent never counted.
     
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  28. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    If the USTA is still dropping double-bagel matches, that, IMHO, is a big flaw in the system. I think the reasoning for dropping them is they don't tell you specifically how much better player A is than player B, only that player A is "at least" X better. And using X as the value could either hurt the winning player or help the losing player when it shouldn't.

    However, if the expected result between the players was closer than 6-0,6-0, the above bad situation won't occur and it seems more correct to at least adjust the players apart (winning player rating go up, losing player rating go down) based on the result rather than completely ignoring it.
     
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  29. beernutz

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    I agree. The rating system has to be able to account for 6-0, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-1 wins so rather than just ignoring 6-0, 6-0 wins just treat them as a 6-0, 6-1 win plus the difference between a 6-0, 6-1 and a 6-1, 6-1 win. That may not be exactly right in all cases but neither is any other part of this system. The argument that the USTA uses that not all 6-0, 6-0 wins are created equal is imo a stupid reason for ignoring them entirely (if that is in fact what is really happening).
     
    #29
  30. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, and I have it on good authority that the moon is made of green cheese!

    I have heard exaactly the opposite, that 6-0 does count towards your DNTRP.

    Not to mention we still have no link to the tennislink of this supposed undefeated person.

    All we have is you telling us about it.
     
    #30
  31. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I will say that you used to be able to find on almost every section website concerning ratings that double bagel match scores were thrown out of the dynamic rating. Almost like it was part of a formal USTA statement.

    However, now the references are increasing harder to find. There is at least one section still with a reference to double bagel scores but it may not be an updated site.

    We have had a couple folks claiming inside knowledge on here saying that they used to not count and now they do. It is hard to know what to believe, but if I had to wager I would put my money on the belief that the USTA now incorporates double bagels into our dynamic ratings.
     
    #31
  32. Winning Ugly

    Winning Ugly New User

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    Here's some evidence of your green cheese, gmatheis: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=432853. And, there's more if you search. Further, I was not the OP with the undefeated guy story, which I also felt was somewhat hard to believe given his performance at sectionals (hard to find a poor player there, although I did play one this year in a sectional doubles match.)

    But, looks like they are finally fixing it. It happened to me so I know. Granted, it must be a DOUBLE BAGEL. 6-0 sets have never been dropped.
     
    #32
  33. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Flawed system.

    :mrgreen:
     
    #33
  34. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Folks, this is pretty standard math we are talking about here. I understand many of you don't use that much math in your everyday life, but ignorance is not something to be proud of.

    Good, you don't have to believe anything. These are all based on facts, stats and numbers. There is nothing to believe.

    You say that "science" is too poor. Can you give me some scientific background for that? This is pretty much the same formulas used for every other sports (including Vegas odds) and what Nate Silver used to predict 50 out of 50 state election results. Everybody who knows anything about statistics use it, so why is the "science" poor? I am sorry but "because I said so" is not an acceptable answer.

    Sandbagging happens with any stratified system. It is not unique to this system.

    You lost me here.

    It is clear that you do not understand how this system works. A 3.99 player can ALWAYS move up based on the current system. All you have to do is do better than expected. If a 3.99 plays 3.75 (average player), the 3.99 is expected to win a competitive match (say, 6-3, 6-4). However, if the match is not competitive (say 6-1, 6-1), the 3.99 player will get bumped up.

    You really should understand how the system works before criticizing it.

    The current system is also self correcting - if you get bumped up and you are not competitive, you will get bumped down. But this system is better since people at the very top/bottom of the level won't get yo-yo'ed up and down every year. Again, learn the system and you won't wonder "why am I playing the 15-0 guy from last year."

    It is addressed. If you do worse than expected, you will get bumped down. If you are competitive in most of your matches, there is no need to bump down, just because you are unlucky and lose all of your matches.

    ????

    It would be the exact same chance as someone playing an opponent full level or more above/below. Not sure what your point is.

    Both systems have been tried. The current one was adopted because there were more problems with the old one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
    #34
  35. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LuckyR
    4- You are right that a straight W/L system will incorrectly bump people up who just randomly happened to play a bunch of players at the low end of the scale, you noted that a 3.89 (in the absence of sandbagging) would do so about 2% of the time in a 15 match season. OK you got me, you keep that guy at 4.0, I move him up (incorrectly BTW 2% of the time, your number) to 4.5 Well that 2% of the time in my system what happens? He gets killed playing 4.25s as a 3.89. Next season, he's a 4.0 Self correcting system. At least as a consolation, in a W/L system, no one wonders "why am I playing the 15-0 guy from last year?"

    Origianlly posted by gameboy
    The current system is also self correcting - if you get bumped up and you are not competitive, you will get bumped down. But this system is better since people at the very top/bottom of the level won't get yo-yo'ed up and down every year. Again, learn the system and you won't wonder "why am I playing the 15-0 guy from last year."

    Actually, those of us who are truly between ratings, but stuck at the bottom of the upper rating (what I call 3.75s, i.e., good 3.5s who are bad 4.0s) would love to get yo-yo'd every year . . . one year of getting killed, followed by a year of winning . . . followed by a year of getting killed, would be a whole lot better than three years of getting killed . . . . with a fourth on the way . . .
     
    #35
  36. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Sorry Charlie...
     
    #36
  37. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    I feel the same way. My overall record just screams 5.0 TennisPlayer!!
    http://tennislink.usta.com/Leagues/Main/StatsAndStandings.aspx?t=T-0&par1=J8wjeG7%2b987rnMRUxbVxeQ%3d%3d&e=1
     
    #37
  38. goober

    goober Legend

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    #38
  39. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    No dice already tried auto-appeal and lost again. Even sent a nice little rant to head of Southern Leagues. Think now with addition of 5.5's to 5.0 leagues I am stuck at 5.0 until I hit forty in 5 years
     
    #39
  40. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    Your challenge is that you are in a league that only plays a handful of matches and there may be a number of self-rated players you play with or against each year. I didn't check each and every one, but if you play only 4-5 matches and 2 or 3 are with/against self-rated players, you may only have a match or two that counts and that either isn't enough to move you or is too few to calculate a new dynamic rating so your previous year rating just carries over.
     
    #40
  41. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    This seems like a sensible system to me. I wonder why USTA doesn't do things this way.
     
    #41
  42. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    I got you mixed up with the OP , sry.

    I still want the OP to provide a link to the tennislink record of a player that went 13-0 and was not bumped up.

    Like they say in online gaming "screenshot or it didn't happen" :)
     
    #42
  43. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    There were two self-rate in the 5.0 league this year and I played one doubles match with him, and played twice against the other in doubles, the other 2 doubles matches played with a player who just appealed down to 5.0.

    Last year 1 new self-rate who played again this year.

    Lack of players, playing league is a huge issue, so same team continually goes to sectionals, so sample is small.
     
    #43
  44. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    The system that the USTA uses currently is not a particularly flawed one in spite of of what some naysayers continue to complain about. It is not perfect because it attempts to assess human performance and there is no perfect way to do that. Here's the deal, guys, like it or not: the USTA has modified their ratings system multiple times over the years, always in an attempt to improve it and make league play (which is based on skill level) more competitive and fairly operated. But you always have a sizeable subset of players any given year who are attempting to play at the lowest possible level in order to beat up on lesser-skilled players and stroke their own ego. This group is larger than a lot of people know or admit. Beyond that, no player at any level plays at that level of skill every match. It is ridiculous to expect that. I am a 4.0 player, but over the years I have had days when I played like a legitimate 4.5 player, and I've had my share of matches when I made average 3.5 players look good. Nobody is completely consistent with their level of performance match in and match out. The current system attempts to create a reasonable and even-handed way of keeping the playing field leveled. It doesn't always work, but as a player and captain who has played league tennis for 20 years, I can tell you for sure it is a heck of a lot better than what we've had in the past. I just grow tired of hearing people complain about the system---no matter what system is being used. Yes, some people get caught in the cogs. I know that. But for the vast majority of league players in any given year, the system works very well. Today, most league players are playing at the appropriate level. They are where they should be. The system we have is responsible for that. That is all we can ask of it. In my experience, the majority of people who go on and on about the "unfair system" are really complaining about how their level doesn't allow them to win as much as they want to. Sorry, but that's what I have seen and heard. If the system seems that poorly constructed to you, then you have a simple solution for your agony---stop playing league tennis. Play casual club tennis and stop chasing league titles. Easy fix.
     
    #44
  45. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    It's never a perfect system and it doesn't matter what is in life but people will try and often find a way to manipulate the system.

    Beating someone at Districts and/or Sectionals in a thumping only means so much. Teams can look at certain lines, take a guess as to who may be playing and throw out the sacrificial lamb.

    For most players in Denver getting bumped from 3.5 to 4.0 is typically a 2 year process. You have good results and that separates you from the pack of players you were in, likely in the midpoint of the range. Then you have to do it again....all while avoiding the bad loss.

    Unfortunately the algo the USTA uses is essentially playing the match on paper. But it's all they have. There is no way to judge how one person's style will factor against another, if someone got into an argument at work or was up all night with their sick kid. Life gets in the way.

    People who want to move up, play up. I see a lot of good local 3.5's here in CO who stayed at 3.5, even with good wins over those bumped to 4.0. Others just played up all year, went 2-10 and lost 2 and 2 most times...were bumped. Of course you can't "play down" unfortunately!
     
    #45
  46. goober

    goober Legend

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    I agree. There is nothing terrible about the algo currently used. It only is an issue with those trying to manipulate the system. So rather than trying to fix the algo forget about it- you can't fix any system if people are willing to lose matches on purpose or keep scores close. A couple years back one of the teams that went to nationals out of our region won all their matches 3-2 when they easily could have won them 5-0. When you are that much better than everybody it is easy to control the outcome. Their final match of the season when they already clenched playoffs they lost 1-4 to the last place team (one guy didn't get the "they are suppose to lose" memo) .

    So what should be done is fix the incentive. These 3 things would eliminate 90% of problems over the long run while allowing those desperate for sectionals and nationals to have their shot.

    1) No self rated players in playoffs.
    2) Any player in nationals bumped and benchmarked for 3 years, sectionals 2 years. It is kind of ridiculous a team that finishes top 5 in nationals only has 30% of their team bumped.
    3). No ESR bump downs only bump ups. Huge loop hole exploited so players that get bumped only have to remain at their new level for 6 months before going back down to their old level.
     
    #46
  47. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    This may penalize only legitimate self-rates that would have advanced to playoffs as someone willing to game the system is willing to throw a year and will just play that first year and sandbag to get a C rating then they are golden. I prefer to tighten the "allowance for natural improvement" as particularly at 3.5 and below it seems far too large.

    That said, this rule probably wouldn't affect very many, but I'm guessing the USTA resists because they think it would deter players from joining if they know from the start they can't go to playoffs their first year.

    This seems a bit extreme, and I'm not sure the point of benchmarking the player for multiple years.

    The only point of being a B is to indicate you played post-season against players outside your sub-flight/flight/league and thus can serve as a reference for calculations to try to normalize ratings for different areas. Making a player a B in years they didn't go to playoffs doesn't make sense.

    On the bump for multiple years, this can be problematic. You have situations where a good player, A, at their level is on a team with some great players and they go to nationals. Player A usually plays court 3 doubles and wins his fair share, but isn't in the top-6 doubles players. At nationals, he gets to play a match or two after they've either clinched the semis or lose in the semis. This player A, at best a very good player at his level and certainly not low-end at the next higher level is now bumped up for 3 years? That is a huge penalty.

    And this is probably pretty common with many teams that do well having a core group of players that carry the team but then have some good but not great players to fill out the roster and play in the less important matches. I was on a team that went to nationals in 2011 and had this exact situation. About half our team got bumped and the ones that didn't probably shouldn't have been. Now a few of those did continue to improve and got bumped this year, but a few still haven't. Locking those in at the higher level for 3 years is too much.

    Early start leagues/ratings are difficult to deal with and this perhaps has some merit.

    But the core issue is that the algorithm doesn't deal with sandbagging at all. There are a couple ways to deal with this.

    First, there are sections where leagues that don't advance to any nationals are still counted for rating purposes. This allows players to play all out trying to get to nationals but then sandbag in the leagues that "don't count" to keep their rating down. One approach to deal with this is to consistently across sections only count leagues that have nationals. The challenge here is you end up with less data to calculate ratings from, some players may play only 1 or 2 matches in these leagues but many more in the other leagues. Also, the real sandbaggers will still find a way like the example you cited.

    Second, one could adopt something like what golf does with its handicapping system where only your best results count and poor results are thrown out. This gets more complicated, especially with tennis where you are playing an opponent rather than just playing the course, but is a good approach to dealing with throwing matches to manipulate ones rating.
     
    #47
  48. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I 100% agree on no self-rated players in playoffs. Would only affect a small number. I don't agree with schmke that would-be sandbaggers would then just game the system differently, by throwing an entire season to get a C rating. It takes a lot more committment and planning ahead to throw an entire season for a possible payoff only a year later! Whereas self-rating too low is easy and the payoff is immediate. The other thing is that many times this is initiated by the captain and not the player - the captain asks the new player to self-rate at the captain's level, knowing that it's too low. The player himself may not be specifically intent on cheating. Whereas throwing a whole season's worth of matches obviously requires specific intent to cheat from the player in question. As far as discouraging legit players, I think that most *legit* players new to organized tennis are joining for the sake of getting back into it, playing some matches, and developing a circle of tennis friends, and not for playoff glory... so they would not be disuaded by such a rule.

    Don't think these extra rules are really needed.
     
    #48
  49. goober

    goober Legend

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    As you said this would affect a very small number of people. Only 1-2 teams usually have a shot at playoffs and those teams are most likely to have under-rated self rates. The remainder of the 90% or so self rates would not be affected.



    Multiple year bump is the only way to make sure people don't manipulate the system to get back down to their prior level in on year or less. Maybe 3 years is a long penalty but I don't think 2 years is unreasonable. I have yet to meet a player that played in Nationals that could not hold their own reasonably well at the next level. If they are lower end of the next level for several years so what? Where is it written that it is unfair unless you are at the top half of your level? All the players that I see that didn't get bumped from nationals are still are top end players for regular local league play. Currently they just form their core from these players and then fill in from players that worked their way down from the level above and get a couple new under-rated self rates. This is how teams form their dynasties that go to playoffs year after year. The whole point of the mass bump ups by the USTA from several years ago was to address this problem. The problem is that this mass bump up only temporarily alleviated the problem and actually more players that were legitmate at the lower level probably should not have been bumped. It was an inelegant solution that was a temporary fix. But still if they wanted to go that route and say do the mass bump ups every other year it would be better than what they are doing now.

    I like this idea of counting your best wins more heavily and throwing out poor results, but I think this would get too complicated. If they just counted your best wins against the highest rated opponents much more significantly I could see that positively affecting the ratings.
     
    #49
  50. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The system, of course, if flawed. However, it does give a decent approximation, since most matches within a level are pretty competitive.

    One thing about using scores however:
    Pete Sampras would never have been rated very high using this system. He would cruise through the set, get one break, and then just serve it out. Many clay-courters would probably be rated higher because 6-1 or 6-2 sets are pretty common with the serve not being as big a factor.
     
    #50

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