NTRP Bump - The hard numbers

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by JRstriker12, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,375
    Check it out:
    http://tennislink.usta.com/leagues/reports/NTRP/FindRating.asp

    FWIW- Looks like 4.5 is getting a good infusion with about 11,000 4.0's being promoted. This is something, considering there are a total of 18,000 4.5 to start.

    By far the biggest moves were at the 3.0 level, with 35,000 being pushed up to 3.5, and at 3.5 with 36,000 being pushed to 4.0.

    Oh, and just for laughs, only one 5.5 was bumped up nationwide out of 143 players. Poor player - must be lonely towars the top. ;)
     
    #1
  2. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,086
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    The number interpreted

    Threw the numbers into Excel:

    [​IMG]

    Looks like all they did was redistribute a little from the 'left' side of the curve to the 'right' side. Basically, 3.0 got smaller while 4.0 increased by a roughly similar amount, and 2.5 got smaller while 4.5 increased also by a similar amount. But 3.5 remains virtually unchanged in terms of total number and percentage.

    I'm a bit dissappointed - this would have been a good opportunity to also 'flatten' the curve a bit, by making 3.5 less in terms of total percentage.

    And as it turns out, the sum of 3.5s and 4.0s after the change is actually more than the sum before the change.
     
    #2
  3. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    I agree with you OrangePower, they really should have made this into a better looking bell curve.

    I think the ratings would be much better if they had 20k each 2.5 & 5.0, 80k each at 3.0 and 4.0, and about 100k for 3.5.
     
    #3
  4. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    I don't think this is meant to resemble a curve, it just does naturally. The reality is that the majority of players hover around the 3.5 range.
     
    #4
  5. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,086
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    The rating levels are completely artificial constructs. Meaning, there is nothing inherent about a 3.5, or a 4.5, etc. Really, the levels are just tools used to sub-divide the overall playing population into subsets, in order to ensure a certain level of competitiveness.

    So the graph can be made to look like whatever the USTA wants it to look like. Question is, what would provide the greatest degree of overall competition. From a statistical point of view, the answer to that is a normalized distribution with a relatively high standard deviation. That translates to a relatively flat curve so that there is not as much concentration in the 'middle' rating level (in this case, 3.5).
     
    #5
  6. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,375
    FYI - there are only about 3,000 5.0 players to start with- there's no way they get 20K in that group as that's a pretty high level of play...
     
    #6
  7. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    23,292
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    what is the difference between computer and Dynamic rating ??
     
    #7
  8. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    There's one possible problem here - ratings are also supposed to correspond to NTRP descriptions of a level of play, which means the distribution isn't completely under the USTA's control. This was also part of the stated motivation behind this big upward adjustment - that the discrepancy between the description of an ntrp category and the level of play observed in that category league had gotten to the point where the descriptions were clearly out of sync with the number.

    That said, the USTA could do what you suggest by getting rid of "objective" descriptions of play, and instead defining ntrp levels in purely relative terms. Ie., instead of saying that at 4.0 "You have dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate-paced shot..." the USTA would define a 4.0 as someone who usually beats a 3.5 but rarely beats a 4.5.
     
    #8
  9. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,086
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Right, well, except that many (including myself) would argue that the existing USTA descriptions of play levels are so subjective that they might as well be arbitrary :)

    Taking the bolded description for 4.0 as an example, could you, using just that description and nothing else, accurately distinguish and differentiate between a 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5?
     
    #9
  10. fe6250

    fe6250 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Messages:
    654
    Location:
    NC
    Well my trick knee does start to ache whenever a 4.5 is present...:)
     
    #10
  11. Al Czervik

    Al Czervik Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,077
    SE Michigan here. I have played 3.5 summer league three times. The first two years, they bumped 3-4 guys per team. This year, they did it to 8 guys on our 15 person team. Three or four of those bumps make sense, but not the rest. So, I guess this is not just a local thing, huh?
     
    #11
  12. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Completely on their own, no, but I do think that they become more useful when you combine them with benchmarks. I agree with the USTA that actual play at each level has gotten increasingly out of synch with the descriptions, which means that I don't find the descriptions completely meaningless.

    That said, I'd agree that they aren't especially useful and are very subjective. Nobody seems to use them for self-rating - instead, they go by previous experience and observing play. And once you get a computer rating, obviously they don't matter at all. So I think it probably would be a good idea to dispense with the idea that ratings should correspond to a written description of play, and balance out the divisions instead.
     
    #12
  13. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    You cannot answer this question with statistics. The only way to provide the greatest degree of competition is to group all players of similar ability into the same level. If that means 40, 50, or even 60% of players belong at 3.5, then so be it.

    The only reason USTA should flatten it out is if they believe the concentration towards 3.5 doesn't reflect true skill levels. This was determined to be the case, but I dont' think its for any other reason other than observations of competition at the championship events and how the players are increasingly better than they were intended to be.
     
    #13
  14. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    The ratings are completely arbitrary. It can be whatever USTA wants it to be.

    The fact is, the distribution of skill level is going to resemble a bell curve. Most natural things do. It is just like people's height, vast majority are going to fall within a foot of the average.

    The same holds for tennis ratings. Most players are going to fall within .5 of the median/average. You should just arbitrarily designate the rating (in this case, 3.5) and assign most of the people within .5 of that rating (3.0 and 4.0) and gradually fan out from there.

    They should move people freely in and out of ratings based on their records and that would ensure fair play.
     
    #14
  15. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    I agree - there's a hard limit to how much rebalancing can be done here. Trying to push it any farther (ie., just arbitrarily moving the top 20% of 4.0s into 4.5) might just result in uncompetitive divisions and lots of blowouts. Now, if 95% of players belonged in 3.5, that would probably argue for some kind of restructuring (maybe add divisions or something like that)...
     
    #15
  16. holaturtle

    holaturtle New User

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Ratings updated?

    Weird. In my area all players but 5 have been updated. We still have a date earlier in the year with S-status. My teammates were bumped up and I'm better then them so I was expecting a bump also. There seems to be no rhyme or reason on the order these are being updated I assume?? Am I not getting bumped up? or have they just not gotten to me yet since it still shows an earlier date?

    Also, if you are bumped up then benchmarked what does that mean? Some are C and some are B after the bump up. Are the B's better than the C's??

    :-?
     
    #16
  17. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,375
    The ratings may be somewhat arbitrary, but if the median is around 3.5 or 4.0 then 5.0 is pretty high up on the scale. There are not that many people who could compete (have competitve matches) at the 5.0 level. The increase in ratings aren't linear - the jump from 3.0 to 4.0 is huge, just as the Jump from 5.0 - 6.0 is huge.

    IIRC - people's ratings are updated depending on thier play - so if there were in fact 20K 5.0 players out there, you would see that in the numbers. As it is, there are barely even 20K 4.5 players out there. Even if you were rated lower, you can always play up, but most players are going to stay at a level where they can compete.
     
    #17
  18. drewski711

    drewski711 New User

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Does anyone know if the computer takes into account the closeness of matches and/or where people play when they play on league teams? Since I was one of the better guys on my team, I played a lot of 1 singles and stayed in some close matches but lost. The guys who beat my are mostly getting bumped up and the guys on my team who played doubles well are getting bumped up since they had winning records (although I can beat most of them routinely)
     
    #18
  19. KFwinds

    KFwinds Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,319
    Yep; I'm in the Chicago area and the ratings went crazy here as well. The 3.5 leagues really got cleaned out, and a good number of 4.0's got bumped as well.

    Being a 4.0 currently and having played a number of years against some of the 3.5's that were bumped I can say that this huge sweep really did nothing to promote a more level playing field in this area. If anything, it's going to be much worse (especially for the "new" 4.0's). If they (USTA) are going to do things this way they would be much better off basing people's ratings on their win/loss records.
     
    #19
  20. DrewRafter8

    DrewRafter8 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    831
    In my area, they bumped around 35% of 2009 3.0's, 30% of 3.5's, 16% of 4.0's, and 7% of 4.5's. This leads to a question of quality and a massive logjam at 3.5 and 4.0. I am not sure what my feelings are on all of the moving. I just know that we had some very quality tennis at our top level around here. 5.0 is death in East NC and they did not bump enough to make any difference here. I understand what they were trying to accomplish, bump up some of the better players in each division, but I think they failed in terms of the big picture. There are a lot of players in my area that will struggle at the new level. Some needed to be bumped, but there will be more then a few players sitting out next year from what I'm hearing.
     
    #20
  21. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,173
    There's several people making this argument - that the statistical approach is wrong, there is some real "truth" to a 3.5 vs. 5.5 rating, etc.

    Which would be fine if what was actually driving the bump process was the fundamental characteristics of a given level. The problem is, once again, the text descriptions, have literally NOTHING to do with what determines who gets bumped and who doesn't. It's all about who you beat or who you manage to stay close to in terms of score.

    In short, the approach that's used to figure out the levels is PURELY numerical and fundamentally based in statistics - so as someone said before, the bell curve can look however the USTA wants it to look. In fact, who says it even has to be a bell curve?

    There's also the argument that all this mass movement is bad. I couldn't disagree more. I haven't heard this many people this excited and/or agitated about USTA leagues in a long, long time. If anything, the USTA should adopt the approach taken by Davis Cup, European soccer leagues, and F1, where lots of people/teams move up and down freely, all the time.

    The whole problem w/USTA league play is it's stagnated, so the system's loopholes are predictable and easy to hack for people for whom league play means WAY too much. For example, teams that go to nationals now regularly have members that have to drive 50, 100, even 200 miles to get to their teams' "home" matches.

    The USTA should do some kind of change-up every year. And they should lose or flatten the bell curve.
     
    #21
  22. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,375
    IIRC - promotion/relegation in European soccer only happens about once a year. Same as the bump up/down in USTA.

    There's qualifying for Davis Cup, but not the same sort of promotion/relegation IIRC.

    Only sports that seem to have the free flowing structure where they are moving up and down all the time during the season are tennis and racing where the top "n" players or teams can qualify for certain events and there are events for lower teams and players.

    With USTA flex leagues or tournaments, it would be very easy to have that sort of fluid rating. In fact, players currently have that freedom to play at their level or higher.

    But with team tennis - it would be a nighmare with players moving in and out of rosters all the time. Win an match - bump to 4.0, lose a match or two, drop to 3.5. You would never have a stable roster.

    However, I do agree that limiting appeals and such is a good idea.

    The only fare way I could see in shrinking the huge mass of people at 3.5-4.0 is to make the ratings more fine grain - 3.0, 3.25, 3.5, 3.75........ Or to have upper and lower divsions with a "B" divsion for newly promoted players and players at the lower end and an "A" for the better players.
     
    #22
  23. MrTennis

    MrTennis New User

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Ntrp

    The B's are Benchmark players who are generally top of level because they went to Championships with their team. The local league winners go to e.g. District Championships and may move on to Section and National Championships. The C players are computer rated players in adult or senior leagues on teams that did not advance to Championships.
     
    #23
  24. MrTennis

    MrTennis New User

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Ntrp


    The closeness of the match is certainly a factor in the ratings process. The location you play on your team is not. #1 Singles counts as much as $3 Doubles.
     
    #24
  25. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,042
    Location:
    Northern California
    The benchmark players are often at the bottom of their level. If you played in a district/sectional championship match in 2009, then you received a "B" rating. You also probably got bumped, so your new B rating is at a higher level than the one you earned it at.
     
    #25
  26. LafayetteHitter

    LafayetteHitter Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,954
    Location:
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    The bump ups are widespread in my area. It's funny because on these forums there is often debate about what a 4.0 looks like (many think form should be perfect). There is a guy from my area that has terrible looking technique and footwork who just got bumped up to 4.0. Interestingly this was his first year at 3.5 and he did not do all that well. There were some others that had similar results that did not move up. This one guy did play on many teams though. Another guy I know did really well at 3.5 and moved up to 4.0 where he will probably do very well.
     
    #26
  27. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    348
    Currently there are too many loopholes in the NTRP system and that is why more than often you see player's skills out of sync with text description of his rating. I think skills vary the most at 3.5 level and that is because lot of 3.5 players don't want to move up to 4.0. I think USTA did the right thing this year by moving more people up the NTRP ladder.

    Another way to define skill levels would be based on percentile system, where top 5% of players (based on dynamic rating) are rated 5.5, next 10% 5.0, next 15% in 4.5 etc. With this system you could have two equally good players playing at 2 different levels, say 3.5 and 4.0, but you know that one playing at 4.0 has better winning record than the one playing at 3.5.
     
    #27
  28. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,606
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    I don't think this is correct. If a 4.0 can beat a 4.5, then they are more than just competitive and are in fact a 4.5. Remember that a 4.0 player is anyone >3.50 and less than 4.0, once you get to 4.0 or above you're considered a 4.5.

    The USTA considers competitive good enough on level. So, if you are competitive at a level, you are that level.
     
    #28
  29. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,375
    NTRP has nothing to do with the "looks" of your strokes. That's why pushers and junkballers after do pretty well at the 3.5-4.0 level while dudes who shadow swing so they look like Fed get crushed. Results, not image, are eveything.
     
    #29
  30. LafayetteHitter

    LafayetteHitter Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,954
    Location:
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Absolutely, now head over to the tennis tips forums where people have videos posted and try to convince those block heads.,
     
    #30
  31. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    529
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Let's just agree that NTRP is like the BCS...it's far from perfect, but it's the best we got.
     
    #31
  32. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,375
    Been there. Done that. NOT doing it any more.
     
    #32
  33. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    If you get lucky and beat a 4.5 one time and then get blown out by other 4.0s, then chances are you are still a 4.0.
     
    #33
  34. iankogan

    iankogan Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    101
    #34
  35. iplaylikeyourgrandma

    iplaylikeyourgrandma New User

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    last year's numbers?

    anyone have last year's numbers?
    I would like to compare the percentages moving up this year to last year.

    For example, this year they have 30% of the 3.5s moving up. What % of 3.5 players moved up last year?
     
    #35
  36. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,086
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Yes that would be an interesting comparison. I don't have the numbers from last year but if anyone does, please post them.

    Based purely on my subjective recollection, in my area probably 10% of all 4.0s got bumped to 4.5 last year, as opposed to around 25% this year.

    But wait, there's more...

    Last year, most of those that got bumped appealed, and most of the appeals were successful. So at the end of the day, I would say that maybe 5% of 4.0s actually ended up at 4.5 for the next season.

    This year, appeals are much more restricted. So probably most of those bumped will end up playing at the higher level. At least 20% in my area.
     
    #36
  37. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,741
    But that's what the NTRP computer rating already does - it's completely based only on match results and not on any written descriptions. That's why the only valid rating is a computer rating. Perhaps they should just get rid of those guideline descriptions altogether.
     
    #37
  38. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    297
    at our little small market club

    norcal here. epitome of 4.0. i win a lot at 4.0. lose a lot at 4.5. only play 4.5 cause they need bodies. the successful 3.5 mens team comprised entirely of over 55's saw 8 of their 12 moved to 4.0. interesting, cause as i saw the guidelines and the bell curve graph on this site, both confirmed my suspicions. they were not 3.5 players. they were too good. this move for them is a proper revauluation of the ratings. simply, they are no longer sandbagging, winning 3.5's. they are mediocre 4.0's. what they will eventually learn is, others like them also were moved up. so, they should be playing the same type of players again for the most part.
     
    #38
  39. jserve

    jserve Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    The 5.5 (now 6.0) is one of my good friends. He is pretty pissed about his new rating. He was at least able to play 10.0 mixed with us last year. Now he isn't eligible for any local leagues.

    He kinda did it to himself though. He partnered up with a recently retired professional and won all the doubles money tournaments in the PNW area.
     
    #39
  40. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Laker Land
    You are absolutely correct!

    The way things are going, the old 10.0 mixed will be the new 11.0. Same goes for any other league. Since a majority of the 3.0s got bumped up, the same guys will be in next years 3.5 leauge. There might not be enough to field a 3.0 team next year, since most of this year players got bumped up.

    One thing I did notice is there are more men than women that got bumped up.
     
    #40
  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,095
    I wish we had some numbers about whether one gender received more bumps.

    Naturally, I am more focused on the ladies than the men. But on my 7.0 mixed team, our numbers were:

    Guys: 11 men, 3 3.5s bumped up, 1 4.0 bumped down
    Gals: 8 women, 2 3.0s bumped up, 0 bumped down

    For all the hysteria about bumps, only 6 of the 19 people received a rating change.

    Honestly, I think every one of these bumps would have occurred under the old rating system.
     
    #41
  42. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,811
    Ok, this is what gets me...he went and played and won money tournaments...and he is pissed? What did he think was going to happen?!?
     
    #42
  43. jserve

    jserve Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    I play with/against him on a regular basis. He is definitely a strong player, but not a 6.0. He has a right to be disappointed and shouldn't be penalized for having a friend that played professional tennis.
     
    #43
  44. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,811
    Ok, but he made the decision to play these tournaments with that friend...just seems like he kinda 'made his bed' IMO. I guess his only options left are open and age group tournies?
     
    #44
  45. fe6250

    fe6250 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Messages:
    654
    Location:
    NC
    This is NOT the way the system works, but maybe you are discussing what SHOULD be (I can't tell).

    Remember that the system keeps track of players to the 100th of a point. So - anyone at a 4.01 level in the system is a 4.5. In theory - it wouldn't be highly unusual for a 3.99 to beat a 4.01 (4.0 beats a 4.5) and still be a 4.0 as these two players are close enough in ability that a 'bad day' or 'good day' could be the difference. Obviously, if this continues with regularity the 3.99 will get bumped up. Doubles complicates this more.

    Apologies if I'm missing the point.
     
    #45
  46. SChamp

    SChamp Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    187
    Your computer rating is what you see, 2.5-5.5. It generally only changes at the end of the year when the USTA updates the ratings. Your dynamic rating changes after every match and is also tracked to another decimal point, 3.49 for example. Your dynamic rating is calculated in this manner: the USTA has some kind of predictor factor. When a match is played, it looks at each player's dynamic rating and comes up with a predictor of the final score. The dynamic ratings of each player will be adjusted based on the results of the match. If the results of the match are the same as predicted, little change will occur in the dynamic ratings of either player. If the winning player has a better result than predicted, his dynamic rating will increase and the dynamic rating of the losing player will decrease, and so on.
     
    #46
  47. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,092
    Location:
    I wish i knew
    They have to make everything so complicated.
     
    #47
  48. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    In my area this year, roughly 70 men were moved to 4.0. Roughly 25 women were moved to 4.0. At the start of the year there were ilke 280 male 3.5s and like 330 female 3.5.s

    There is no doubt that a large number of the bumps that happened this year would not have happened last year. I mean seriously, last year I was pretty much a borderline player, and I would smoke dozens of the new men's 4.0s (I haven't improved at all in the past year either).
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
    #48
  49. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    23,292
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    How come i don't see the Dynamic Rating anywhere on the USTA site ??????????
     
    #49
  50. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,606
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    We see it the same, but the disagreement comes in trying to define "regularity". To wit....3 guys, all on the same team, all play doubles together with one common guy. In other words, Tom played all his doubles matches with either Mike or John. Tom gets bumped to 5.0 but neither Mike or John does. This happened on our 4.5 team this year and has reportedly happened to other teams at different levels as well.

    From what I've seen, any win from a lower level (4.0 for instance) over a higher level (4.5) regardless of their actual number results in a bump. The term "competitive" doesn't mean "win". It just means the lower level can hold his own. And, don't forget the out the USTA gave themselves with this "dynamic" crap. In my view, dynamic only gives them more latitude in their decisions.

    It's just a mess.
     
    #50

Share This Page