Picking order of players for singles team

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by imissjustine, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. imissjustine

    imissjustine New User

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    I am captain of my club's singles team this year. We have to order the team in order of merit 1 being the best etc... My problem is that as captain I have to pick the order and I'm really not sure about what to do. We are all of a similar standard and haven't played each other recently at singles. I have beaten one of the other players in the past 6-1 (we only played one set), but the assumption in the club is that they are better than me - very debatable in my opinion. If I put myself as number one is that a bit egotistical? I'm thinking of playing myself at 2 to take some of the pressure off! I don't want to come across as 'I think I'm better than you'. Perhaps we should just have a quick chat before the first match and agree the order amongst ourselves?
     
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  2. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    As captain start yourself lower than you belong. That selflessness will go a LONG ways towards eliminating any complaints later in the season. If the other players lose then go ahead and move them down but I'd think unless the consensus is that you are the best player that it would be better to go ahead and start other people up higher.

    Is it a Men's team? On a men's team you can just send out an email asking people to rank their order in singles from the top to the bottom. Then send out an email publishing the rankings and let people challenge anyone higher on the list. We did that on our men's team- it probably generated 300 emails in a couple hours and it was tremendously fun. No way in hell a woman's team could do that but everyone had fun with it on our team.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
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  3. imissjustine

    imissjustine New User

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    Thanks for that, helpful advice.
     
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  4. imissjustine

    imissjustine New User

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    It's a women's team :)
     
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  5. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Ha- much different problem then.

    For women's teams I think you will just as often find women who don't want to play the higher lines as people who will be offended if they don't play the higher lines. I don't think its probably worth broaching that subject so I'd just start out by putting yourself a bit lower and if someone is struggling at the high lines then you have a good reason to move things around.
     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, boy. What fun! Asking a bunch of women how strong they think they are!! :)

    I would send out an email to the team. Tell them you need to rank them in order of strength. Ask them to rank everyone and send their list to you confidentially. Based on that, do your ranking.

    I would say that 70% of the women I know would prefer the lower courts because they do not wish to be smoked on Court One. About 20% will want the higher courts either because of ego or because they genuinely want a challenge.

    The other 10% will be unhappy with whatever you do and will grumble about how all of their teammates dislike them and do not recognize their GOAT status.
     
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  7. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    How about this approach ... rather than asking the women to rate each other. Simply ask them to rate themselves ....

    For example: State the problem ... I need to rate the players on this team according to ability.

    Then ask the question: Among this group of women where would you place yourself on a scale of 1 (strongest) - 6 (least strong)?

    Then explain that if 3 people believe that they 3rd strongest woman and no one claims to be the stronger than 3rd you will have a random drawing to determine the first three places.

    Once you have established an order the players can challenge amongst themselves to change it ....

    I think the beauty of this system is everybody stakes their own claim. If everybody demurs and claims to be the 5th best then no one can complain that they end up being 5, 6 or 7 on the depth chart.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
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  8. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    As I think about this I dea ... I am convinced of its merit.

    There is nothing that says your ranking have to be Random ... you get 3 folks claiming to be the third best ... you pick where you want them.

    The only problem I forsee is if every lady claims to be number 1 or if every lady claims to be number 5 ... "random drawing" and let everybody know the position you were put in when every lady claimed to be the best on the team.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
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  9. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    How about this, tell them we win as a team and we lose as a team. As your captain I am trying to play lineups that help us win and all get some playing time and have some enjoyment while away from lifes more important matters. Some will get more playing time than others. While I'll try to be fair, for the sake of the team and my sanity let me make the line ups, go out there and play hard and if you don't like it let me know so I won't have you on my team next year.

    Ok, well maybe you don't tell them the last part. But hopefully this helps someone out there struggling to put together some weekend warriors for what should be competitive FUN and fellowship. While some may take it very seriously, its up to each captain to decide if how seriously they take it and how hard an individual is to manage (no one tennis team member is worth managing IMO) as a team member. Decide for your self what you're willing to deal with.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ooooh, let's have some fun with this idea and take it for a test drive, Dizz.

    OK, TT. If you had to rank where you fall in terms of strength on each of your current teams, where would you say you fall? Please specify the type of team and level, doubles/singles. And if it is mixed, rank yourself against those of your gender.

    Cindy' Ranking Of Cindy:

    Mixed 8.0: Out of ten women, I rank myself No. 1.

    Ladies 4.0 Day: Out of twenty women, I rank myself in a three-way tie for No. 3.

    7.5 Combo: Out of nine 4.0s, I rank myself No. 2.

    40+ Ladies: Out of fourteen doubles players, I rank myself about No. 11.

    I, uh, think quite a lot of myself, huh?
     
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  11. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    I dont know what tennis is like in your country but where I'm from most teams have match practices. If not get some, play each other, competitive games same scoring format as your league, should give you a better idea of where your at. If you think its tight, have a final place playoff, will simulate the tension of league matches. Keep having match practices and reordering your team through the season.

    The one thing I hate about team tennis is turning up expecting them to line up one way and having them line up different from how they had been all season, catches you off guard, youre playing at no.2 and the guy you thought you were going to play that you know serves T when it gets tight is playing your mate at no.3 and youre playing some guy you know nothing about thats nerve racking. Keep rotating, if you know the oposition think about match ups etc.
     
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  12. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    What's wrong with a 1 set round robin, just like a lot of HS coaches do. Tally up the points and then you can form the ladder. If you have a tie or any question on the top 2 players have them play again. If someone rates themselves 4.5 another 4.0, another 3.5 doesn't matter, they still have to prove they can win the round robin.
    The whole process could be done in one evening. How else can it be done without someone crying foul?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
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  13. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Last year I would have been near the top (if not number 1) for each of my teams as a high end 4.0.

    This year I would rank my self near the bottom on nearly every team as a low end 4.5.

    Easy
     
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  14. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    I dont like this, play the format your league uses, although I'd advocate this if there was a time issue
     
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  15. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Question: Do you have to order the team because:
    (a) The league you are participating in requires lineups to be determined in order of strength, or
    (b) You are doing it because you want to give preference to stonger players (but your league does not attribute any order of strength to lineup positions)?
     
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  16. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    We did a round robin like this to decide the higher two of four players who would get to represent the team in a playoff match. They played 12 games, 4 with each other player, and each player on a team serving once. Highest two number of games won went to playoffs, the other two stayed home. In the case of a tie for second and third they would play a 10 point tiebreaker. It seemed pretty fair but of course afterwards one of the bottom two was very p.o.ed and cried foul anyway saying more games should have been played.
     
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  17. TroutSc

    TroutSc Semi-Pro

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    We did an internal team ladder sort of deal. Basically the captain said, here's court 1 and 2 singles, if you want to play sings, challenge one of them and win, you will be in the line up. It quickly eliminated to talkers from the guys that actually "wanted" in the singles courts. It also gives the guys a competitive match even if they didnt make the line up. Captain still needs to "lead" as we have some folks that will challenge and beat a singles player but still won't play singles in a league match. We learned (are learning) that we need to set the ground rules, that if you challenge and pull a win, you have to play in the next league match. Can't just challenge and win for bragging rights, then only play CRT 3 dubs.
     
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  18. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    Set up a Small Challenge/Ladder, outside of practice.. where any players in question can challenge ones above them...and then you can guage your ranking off of those results
     
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  19. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I take it you haven't spent much time around women's teams?
     
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  20. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I do agree that this isn't enough of a sample size to decide anything important. Its like the small conferences in the NCAA tournament that send the team that won the conference champion to the NCAA tournament rather than the team that was dominant all season long. Send the team that did the best all year and your conference has a better chance of winning.
     
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  21. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Send out an email asking each player to rank everyone on the team, excluding themselves. You'll get a consensus this way.

    As an added bonus, you can then go ahead and rank the team any way you want, and everyone else will think the ranking is based on the rankings from the team members. Hehehe. :)
     
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  22. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Hmmm...I don't think I know my teammates well enough to rank them. I hear comments that I am the best player on one of my teams, but I don't know about that. We've got a lot of really good players.

    On my other team, I would put me near the bottom, but I keep getting picked to play in our matches, and keep winning, so I guess I shake out as the middle of the pack.

    If I got an email asking me to rank players on my team, I think I would just defer to the captain.
     
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  23. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Good thing it was rec tennis so therefore by definition not important. :) It did have the advantages of being relatively quick and of treating all four players in question the same way.

    These were the bottom four players based on their regular season playing records. Using that isn't really a fair way to rank from top to bottom if some of the players were losing on court 1 and some on court 3 but in this case they were all playing mostly the low end courts and mostly losing.
     
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  24. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    Mixed 6.0 - I would say I'm a strong #2 on my current team. On a different team, I may be a #3, or #4

    Mixed 7.0 - I'm the weakest woman on my team, but we do have a strong team and only one other 3.0 woman other than myself.

    Ladies 3.0 18+ - We have 12 on the team.

    Singles, I'm probably the #5 person. Though I think my teammates might say I'm a good #3 (tied with three others - we have a lot of good singles players this season).

    Doubles, I'm probably #2 or #3. I liked it better when I was on the bottom though - less pressure. :)
     
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  25. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    No, not women' tennis. I did coach a HS tennis team girls and boys. There's really no perfect solution, so you do what you can to make it fair and move on. You might make some adjustments along the way, maybe change the line-up with a challenge match. As a coach HS or adult you have to have some information to back your decisions or you have no leg to stand on in a disagreement. Most people understand and accept it, some won't no matter what you do. Oh well!
     
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  26. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Then if you have time play the league format. If not, a 1 set round robin will sort out the top two players and the bottom two players. Have the 1 and 2 players play the league format, have 3 and 4 play the league format. Assuming you have 4 players competing. Then you have the order 1 thru 4 or whatever the number of players on the team. Don't rely on USTA ratings as it may not mean squat if they don't clearly prove they can earn their position. 4.5 should easily beat a 3.5 in a round robin format if not someone is not rating themselves right.
    You can make adjustments as the season starts, but if you have match records you can defend your decisions.
     
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  27. Orange

    Orange Rookie

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    Do your decisions govern play for the whole season?

    I have been a singles captain, although not in a league that required ranking of my players. Nobody ever complained about which line she played.

    I would ask my players where they wanted to play. They might surprise you. One of my current players asked to be moved down.
     
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  28. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    The OP is asking how to set the order of the team before the season starts. He doesn't have the advantage of having played an entire season to decide who plays what position. Most sports are like this, very few field the same team they had the prior year. So, a round robin 1 set (pro-set, regular set, no ad) is a good method, if you have time play 1 of 3 sets, but you have to do something. Otherwise, you just pick the team because someone says they play at a certain level 1,2,3 and 4 and then someone later gets peeod because he/she thinks they should be playing 1 or 2. If you need to change the initial lineup later on you can have them do a challenge match, but you first have to get the ball rolling. uhhh Amen!
     
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  29. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    This doesn't really qualify as advice---just complaining on my part, I guess. But I have never understood nor agreed with any rule that requires a league team to order its players by "merit" or "ability". It is rank stupidity. First of all, if everyone is rated 4.0, then according to the almighty USTA computer, all those league players are close enough in skill level that any one of them should theoretically, on the right night, be able to beat any other of the bunch. Also, to follow that rule out to its ultimate end, the league title would virtually always come down simply to who has amassed the greatest body of talent on his team. The fact that we are all in the same 4.0 league should mean we are all close enough together in talent that we are all fair opponents for each other and that should be the end of it. Period.
     
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  30. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    One other thing---you didn't say (1) if you have any experience as a captain, (2) if your team is primarily concerned with having a good time, or (3) if your team is looking to win the league. My feeling is that if I am the captain and you are playing for me, I will do what I believe any smart leader does---seek input from as many people as possible and then make an executive decision based on that information and my own evaluation of it and my own opinion. Doesn't take long to learn whether or not you know what you're doing. A sitting president is considered a whopping success if he has a 65-70% approval rating. I doubt if you should expect better than that from a bunch of tennis players. After all, they get to jusge your decisions by results, and they can always stick around or go elsewhere. I captain teams and my goal is always to win the league---or make the best possible run at doing so. I make that crystal clear up-front when recruiting players. If the league title is on the line and it comes down to playing the good player who has played every match or the likeable guy who has played a couple and gone 1-1, I will go to the likeable guy and explain the situation---and then tell him I am playing the guy whom I believe gives us the best chance at winning. That's my job as captain. If people know that from the outset, they have the opportunity to stick around or move on to another team that offers (for them) greener pastures. I shoot straight with my players, and I do what I think will give us the best chance, as a team, to get a win.
     
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  31. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    Not exactly true. Someone rated 4.0 could have a rating anywhere from 3.51 to 4.0 and the very best 4.0 would be expected to beat the worst 4.0 pretty handily. So saying any 4.0 should be able to beat any other on a given night is going a bit far. The USTA simply says matches between players at the same level should be "competitive".
     
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  32. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    USTA says a match between a player of 3.51 ability and one of 4.0 should typically end up 6-1, 6-1. You call that competitive? No one knows whether a guy rated 3.75 will play "up" to his 4.0 potential on a given night or play "down" to a 3.51 level. If we are close enough in skill level to be playing in the same division, there is no need and no justifiable reason to ask captains to "rank" their players.
     
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  33. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Doesn't seem you have any real method for setting the order of the team, just pick your singles spots based on some executive decision, really? How is that fair and even competitive? As a minimum, a round robin playoff between all your singles players and then total the win/loss and decide. If you narrow it down to 2 players that are close just have them play a match to decide. You can always adjust later in the season. Any other way is not going to make sense. Playoff matches work in High School Tennis and College, it just work fine for a bunch of recreational players. That's what I would do and if I had to many complaints I would hand the job over to someone else to decide.
     
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  34. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I think you are reading this wrong. It means that on average the guy at the top of the range will beat the guy at the bottom 1 and 1, which puts the chances of the guy at the bottom winning the match close to zero even when one guy is playing badly and the other well.

    One of the playoff teams I am on now is composed of 2 somewhat disparate groups of players. One on the low end, and the other on the high end of the range. There really isn't any comparison between the 2 groups of players. Most of the guys on the low end understand their standing for playoffs though so I don't think there will be any issues. The captain is scheduling some round robins to solidify the rankings though if they weren't clear from the season. This seems to have worked out well although we have a relatively reasonable group.
     
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  35. ian2

    ian2 Semi-Pro

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    Before suggesting solutions it would be helpful to know the thinking behind this rating requirement. OrangePower is asking the right questions... I don't think they were answered unless I missed something.

    My personal opinion: this whole approach is a recipe for disaster. Almost inevitably, there will be hurt feelings, and for what? A freaking club-level recreational tennis with nothing of consequence at stake?

    Not to mention that an objective ranking is impossible to establish given the small sample size, as someone already mentioned. Even with a "true" ranking system it's a tough call... was Caroline Wozniacki ever the strongest WTA player?!
     
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  36. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Whoever wins the tournament that week is the best player - that week.
    Similarly, for women's leagues, just do the best you can to start with and if a person or team is winning their matches move them up and move the ones who lost down. It will sort itself out gradually. Make sure the players know that you will probably be moving them around. As long as everyone gets to play a good number of matches and have some fun, they will stay acceptably happy.
     
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  37. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Maybe I misunderstood your point, but yes, I have a method for setting the order for the team. It's the same method a coach uses for a basketball team---I know my players and I play with them all the time. How can someone be a captain of a team and not know who the best singles player he has is? That makes no sense to me at all. But apparently I don't run my teams like a lot of captains do. I know who my best players are because I know my team, I play with these guys all the time, and I work at this.

    While I'm not opposed to playoffs between players, I don't think that necessarily tells you anything. I know plenty of players who can beat their teammates, but who can't step up and perform under the pressure of a league match that means something. Should they play #1 singles based on a playoff match with a teammate even though they lose in league matches? Not on my team.

    An NBA coach plays the player he believes gives him the best chance to win. I do the same thing. If I don't know what I'm doing, it will be apparent very quickly amd no one will play for me again. But I have NEVER had any problem with this issue because my teams win. If a player's ego or pride is the issue, then he probably doesn't need to try to play for me anyway. I have no time for that crap.

    This is league play---we are a team. If I am the captain, I will spread playing time around as much as I reasonably can, but when push comes to shove, I will ALWAYS play the players I know give me the best chance to win. Other captains can handle this any way they want to. But I make my methods and strategies clear from the outset, and if players don't like them, they don't have to play for me. Funny thing, though---I have NEVER had any problem finding enough strong players for my teams.

    Competitive players want to win and they will gravitate to a captain and a team that makes that the top priority. If you are only in a league to get some matches in, any method of picking players will do, I suppose. But if you are trying to win a league, and you are more worried about offending someone than you are about winning matches, you probably shouldn't be a captain. And if a player cares more about himself than he does the team, I don't want him on my team anyway. But again, I play AND captain to WIN.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
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  38. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    I think captain should know the relative strength of his/her players, otherwise you have very little chance of putting together a competitive lineup (unless all your players are the best in the league).

    If you don't know, organize practice sessions (which is a good idea in any case), and have players play best-of-4 sets. For doubles, you'd have to first create teams naturally, by asking who wants to play together, but then you can switch things around later and try different combos.

    Really, it's a fairly simple process. Until then, you can just make decisions based on what you know, use intuition, or choose at random. For doubles though, I would make sure that players enjoy playing together.

    Team should have confidence in their captain, if you think they'll be second guessing you all the time, then you should probably find someone else to do the job.
     
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  39. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Well, If I understand the OP he's a new captain asking for suggestion on how to set the order for a new team.

    Your situation is different. You have the same team from the year before and probably even the year before that. Any Captain could select his team with that advantage, that's pretty much a no-brainer.

    With a new team, you have to have another method besides an "executive decision" as you call it. A round robin playoff is a better method in that case, at least it's objective and you can defend your decision.

    A playoff match tells you that when the match was on the line for a singles spot the best player won the match, that's what that tells me! If a player can't win his playoff matches to earn his spot, it's highly likely, he won't win during league play when the season starts.

    My experience coaching HS Tennis (not a whole lot of different from USTA league) , is the singles player who came out the top dog in the round robin competion was the best player when the season started, also. So,if your number one singles player loses the round robin matches, how then can the captain override that and put him in the lineup as the best player?? Very flaky!

    You can't base the selection on a team sport, especially the NBA. You're comparing apples to oranges.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
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