Player re-rated himself under a new number

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by RobFox68, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. RobFox68

    RobFox68 New User

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    A DQ recently led to a lot of controversy, and I'd like to hear people's comments. A team from my club realized that a player on their opponent's team at 4.0 Regionals was rated a 4.5 in 2009, but had re-rated himself as a 4.0 for 2011 by applying using a different USTA number! Apparently this deception was well-known around the opponent's club, where he was a teaching pro. He was 8-0 in Mixed 7.0 & 8.0, and won his only two matches in Mens' Adult, all easy wins, but he avoided being DQ'ed on strikes.

    When the captain of my club's team found out about this, the player had already won two matches at Regionals, again by lopsided scores. The captain went to the tournament director, who investigated and called the captain to verify that the deception had definitely taken place. With the tournament director's assistance, a formal grievance was filed before the third match.

    The captain was confident that the offender would be thrown out of the competition and that they had already won the championship, assuming there would be reversals in the matches already played, and kept several of his best players out of the lineup to give playing time to other teammates.

    That decision backfired when the USTA ruled two days later that the offending player would in the future have to play under his 4.5 rating, but that the matches he played under his fraudulent self-rating would stand because the committee did not reach its decision until after the third match was played. The other team will be going to Sectionals with no sanction other than the loss of that player.

    An appeal was filed but was denied. My guys felt that there should have been some punishment for the team that knowingly played a fraudulently rated player.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. MayDay

    MayDay Semi-Pro

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    I think USTA made the decision and the decision stands. Life goes on. They have great faith in its members honesty, which is fine until a few bad apples ruin the fun.

    Not sure if it is against the rules, but I would plaster the factual information all over the place where ever they play and also send it to all the other captains so that they know what kind of people they are dealing with.

    Perhaps USTA should have a public peer review "Rate the Captain" kind of thing where other Captains and its own team members can submit anonymous reviews. The review should follow the players history, be viewable for at least 7 years.
     
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  3. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    having never played in a usta event, i can say i am really surprised that people go through all sorts of trouble just for rec league tennis.
     
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  4. Mike Hodge

    Mike Hodge Rookie

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    I'm not sure which is worse --- what the offending captain/player did; or the USTA's decision.
     
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  5. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    What the offending captain did is worse. They are responsible for their own behavior.

    This is an actual offense, you are not supposed to start under a different number just to get another rating.

    The fact that the league doesnt step in to punish this sort of thing more harshly however is bad. It's the reason why plenty of people just go ahead and do it.

    But still the responsibility is on you to make sure you play fair, it's not up to the league to help you refrain from being anything less then a responsible mature adult with respect for others and not a dirtbag weirdo cheater....
     
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  6. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    '4.0 teaching pro' - LOL!
     
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  7. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    Seem like they're sprinkling some sugar all over that ******** and calling it candy.

    If they're admitting he underrated himself, he should be disqualified. Time shouldn't be a factor, he cheated the system and deserves to be disqualified. He also went out of his way to do it too, which makes him look like a complete ****bag. I mean seriously? Is it that much fun playing people who are worse than you and defeating them in convincing fashion?
     
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  8. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Does that mean he's not banned for a year? Two years?

    @Larrysummers, they're Insecure and want to be able to brag about going to Nationals. Real athletes want to play people at their level and improve.
     
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  9. RobFox68

    RobFox68 New User

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    Not banned, AFAIK.
     
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  10. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    If this player knowlingly re-registered using a different number he should be banned from USTA tennis for life.

    Problem is proving he did it knowingly and deliberately.

    Although that does seem to be the case based on the circumstances.

    So in this case the USTA is wimping out.
     
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  11. jakemcclain32

    jakemcclain32 Banned

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    Lots of wimping out here. USTA wimped out with its decision, and this captain wimped out by making it easier on himself.

    It's called challenging yourself! Try it sometime!
     
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  12. Jon Hampton

    Jon Hampton Rookie

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    Is this about the Ocala team? :) Reply to here...I have juicy details.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
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  13. Mike Hodge

    Mike Hodge Rookie

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    I agree the USTA can't police everything. They'll never catch every cheater, nor should they be expected to, but when they catch one, they've got to drop the hammer. I have little respect for cheaters and the spineless.
     
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  14. RobFox68

    RobFox68 New User

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    Yes, Ocala.
     
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  15. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Thre is a teaching pro who is a legitimate 4.0 in our league. Of course, he is about tree fiddy, too.
     
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  16. Jon Hampton

    Jon Hampton Rookie

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    Tee hee. My friend, I've been fighting the battle about that player in question months before your regional match. I'm sorry that nothing was done. Please view my other post, which includes emails from our league coordinator (who, by the way, works for the facility that allowed this to happen) in response to my inquiries.

    See here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=380226

    Email me if you want more specifics: jon.hampton@gmail.com
     
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  17. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

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    I agree with this completely.
     
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  18. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Glad you chimed in, Jon. I was going to ask if this case was the same as one you mentioned earlier this season: see here.

    Shameful. Just shameful.

    This case seems most egregious but we've had a self-rate in our area that affected Districts et al. and another thread here on TT details one in a nearby state. It's time USTA National had some of this laid out for them. I think the Sections may (pure speculation on my part but work with me here) be sweeping much of this under the rug, so to speak.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, if we can give enough time-limited, e.g. Year 2011, specifics...They may Get It.

    But, then, maybe not. It is USTA after all.
     
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  19. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    What does he teach, eating? LOL!
     
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  20. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    That's what I thought.

    @Angle Queen, unless a large % of teams stopped competing and made it clear why, the USTA will continue to hand out ridiculously lame rulings.
     
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  21. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Shame, that.

    Like I said, though, you have to wonder if National really has a clear picture of what's going on. So much of what's happening is at the local and state level and those folks do have something a skin in the game. Seriously, just from here on TT alone we can come up with three specific examples of how State/Districts have been compromised by self-rates this year already.

    I'd hate to think that it'd take a mass exodus of teams to effect a change. :cry:
     
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  22. Jon Hampton

    Jon Hampton Rookie

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    Yes, it is the same person! I really wish the USTA had more man power...I mean, imagine if the USTA was akin to the ITF Doping board, where they ban players for using energy pills (see http://www.tennisnow.com/News/Robert-Kendrick-Banned-After-Testing-Positive-For.aspx. I just wish something was done about these things before it affects so many people. It just sucks to be on the losing end where I feel like you have to cheat to win.

    And, if that's the case, then maybe I'll get Federer on my team...I heard he's a 4.0 self-rate this year :)
     
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  23. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    The biggest issue in all of the USTA league is the disconnect between the National body and its Sectional groups.

    Why would you have a one group provide the structure yet then allow its members to make decisions and their own rules.

    The USTA should have very specific information regarding this type of information that needs to be enforced with steps and contacts noted and easy to find on each section/district website.

    Nevermind that people play on multiple teams in different districts and levels, while others (and I agree with this) allow you to play on one team/one level for the season.

    That there isn't a specific punishment in place for both the player, captain and in this case teammates who obviously were aware being club members is just absurd.

    Basically the captain/player should be banned for life, and all players for 2 years. That keeps this sort of stuff from happening.

    I worked in the sports world for many years and each year we would catch parents trying to cheat with young kids, via fake birth certificates, signing the roster when they weren't there etc. Then they get to Nationals, get called out and the penalties hashed out and everyone knows they were cheating. The only difference is now the parents are the athletes and cheating on their own teams. Leopards don't change their spots.
     
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  24. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Yea but his backhand is supect and he is clearly on the downside of his career. And if he has to play on clay / hartru you might as well just give up that court.
     
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  25. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Just to clarify a minor detail about your inquiry from the league coordinator. If someone had a mixed rating and wanted to play adult, they would now have to self-rate (i.e. they can't just use their M rating if their self-rating minimum is higher). That's what this person would have had to do. Then, if he rated out at 4.5, he would have had to file a self-rating appeal to get down to 4.0. This is different than the automatic appeal of a computer rating where the computer just checks if your dynamic rating is within 0.1 of the level that you want and, if so, grants the appeal and changes your rating from C to A.

    For a self-rating appeal, someone from "corporate" actually has to review your appeal and make a ruling on it, and if granted, physically change your self-rating in the computer. I don't know who exactly has this power (i.e. local, district, or sectional coordinator), but when it is granted, the rating is changed but the S is not changed to A. Therefore, if the local person's story is correct and the person played with an M rating then self-rated for adult and was granted a self-rating appeal for 4.0, then his rating would show up in the computer as 4.0 S.
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The solution to this sort of thing is so, so easy.

    Just change the rule so no player is eligible for post-season play unless they have a computer rating. Perhaps make it so the computer rating must exist for two years.

    If anyone can think of a good reason why such a rule shouldn't be adopted tomorrow, I'd like to hear what it is. It would certainly remove the incentive to do what was done in this thread . . .
     
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  27. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    from what ive read on various threads, this would really be a good plan.
     
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  28. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    You're right. That's a good idea to stop this problem. That rule does apply to Tri-level.

    It's a shame the player didn't get sanctioned in this case. I don't know why the USTA is so reluctant to do more than slap hands for issues like this.
     
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  29. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I personally think that would be a great rule.

    It's been discussed before on several threads.

    Those that object to it (not me), think it would unduly punish all new players for the sins of a few, by denying them even the dream of making postseason play in their first season, and that this might discourage new players from playing league.

    My opinion is that new players are not thinking that far ahead to playoffs, and would be happy just playing organized tennis again during the regular season.

    But as we all know, USTA is more concerned with attracting new players than with keeping the system fair, so probably such a rule will never happen.
     
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  30. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    Cindy this happened at 4.0/4.5

    If you are having people have C ratings for 2 years...why would people play league just to go through some sort of apprenticeship to make sure they aren't too good to play in the playoffs. Hell in the NE it seems that people are playing in multiple Districts to get there in the first place??

    For the most part the system works, people get DQ'd. A buddy of mine was DQ'd as a 3.5 self-rate this year. He came out won some matches easily and was bumped. He's not even the best singles player on his team.

    This is just cheating, you can't make rules to eliminate it because its always going to happen and we are talking about adults here. What you can do is make the punishment severe. Captain/Player should be banned for life, any tournaments out of the club should lose their sanction by USTA and all teammates 1-2 year ban. That makes both captain/player, club and teammates think about the actions since it effects everyone

    That way you don't ruin it for the players doing it the right way, even if they are a self-rate. And what team would take a self-rated player if they couldn't use them and then where would those players enter the sytem? It's hard enough even as a good player to find a team
     
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  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Apprenticeship? These players can do everything every other player can do except play in playoffs. Only a small percentage of league players advance to playoffs, so the self-rates would have a lot of company on the sidelines.
    And a lot of self-rated players don't get DQ'd. This is because their captain successfully "hide" them. Or because they throw games. None of that would work anymore if you just made them ineligible for the playoffs.

    Around here, good players have no trouble finding teams. In fact, they have to fend off captains with a stick.

    The good self-rates would have to play for social teams, the ones that really aren't gunning for the playoffs. What's the harm in that? It would certainly help bring a bit of parity to the league.

    I dunno. It just seems to me that so many things in league tennis are geared toward the playoffs, so the incentives to bring in ringers are very high. If ringers won't help you, captains will stop doing it. How can that be a bad thing?
     
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  32. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    Cindy you are punishing the large group of people who do it correctly to try and prevent cheating. You will never eliminate cheating.

    I can't think of another sport that would have people sign up and play but then couldn't play in the playoffs.

    A lot of self-rated players never get DQ'd because they aren't that good, regardless of where they are played. It's hard to do so if you don't come out with a huge win right out of the gate. As stated before I went 13-1 at #1 singles as a self-rate and all but 1-2 matches (which should have hurt me) played the #1 of the other team. Went 2-0 at Districts as well.

    As for finding teams, I'm talking about true self-rates, not the same cheaters that are driving this thread. As a 3.0/3.5 its hard to find a new team, at best you join a club and get tossed on a team, at worst you are in a free agent list for your local District and since you have no results are getting no calls from teams.

    As for the USTA - I'd recommend the following
    1. No playing up - your rating is your scarlet letter - care to move up, have the results to back it p
    2. One team only per season - no playing on multiple teams across different Districts - this is ludicrous and no other sport would allow it
    3. Player verification - easy - when you register you provide an SSN# - its used to verify information in everything nowadays anyways.
    4. Stiff penalties - lifetime for captain/player - shouldn't be an issue at this age

    -
     
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  33. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Sounds to me as if the decision was made by the section not the USTA. If that's the case then the decision can be appealed to the USTA. I'd keep shinning the spotlight on this one until I ran out of avenues. I also bet if I'm correct, the USTA knows nothing about the current situation.

    Trying to keep these issues quiet and sweeping them under the rug is not unusual by local and sectional decision makers. It's almost as if they would rather not harshly punish a cheater because it would bring attention to a hole in their system that they have no control over. Like reapplying for a USTA membership using a different name, then re-rating............
     
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  34. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    1. You shouldn't do this anyway. If you self-rate and play up, you are asking to get DQ'd at the lower level just by playing up.
    2. I 100% disagree. This is common practice here because there are so many districts so close together, and it is not a problem. Everyone does it to get more competition, not just the best players. There is already a rule that two teams in different districts in the same section cannot have more than 4 players in common, so you cannot have a single all-star team in every district in the section.
    3. This sounds liek a good idea.
    4. Lifetime may be a little harsh, but penalties should be stiffer (like a 5-year ban maybe).
     
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  35. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I wont address the 9 other points, but cindy's rule has no impact here. If they are a true self rate they are not worried about playoffs. The teams aspiring to make sectionals are not looking for the free agent list and legitimate new players cannot hope to randomly join the best team in the league off of a free agent list. Basically the problem of finding a team for these players is unchanged.

    Essentially the only person this rule would hurt is the player that is much better than level and joins an unexectedly good playoff team... I would accept that risk if it meant fair play.

    The teams that expect to win (we always know who they are) will not risk a roster spot for someone they cannot use. I know that in the playoffs I have never played a self rated player unless he or she was an excellent player. Teams will always go with league experience unless a player is clearly out of level.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
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  36. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Why shouldn't I be allowed to play up? I'm a computer-rated 3.5, but I do OK at 4.0. If I could only play 3.5, I would miss the challenge of playing 4.0. If I had to appeal up and then only play 4.0, I wouldn't get enough playing time. Allowing people to play up when they think they are ready (or simply to plug holes in a roster that would otherwise default courts) doesn't facilitate cheating.

    Regarding allowing people to play on multiple teams . . . I don't see the connection with this and cheating. I played on five teams this winter (which was too many, but that's for another thread). In congested metro areas, playing on lots of teams allows you to meet more people and have a more varied experience.

    If USTA thinks it is getting my SSN so that I can play league tennis, USTA has another think coming. There was some backlash when USTA wanted to do criminal background checks on officials, but there is a very compelling argument in favor of this. Collecting SSNs on thousands of league players and then cross-checking them against . . . what? How would you even tell if someone gave you a fake SSN, and what would you do with the players who have no SSN?

    Nah. Make self-rates sit out of playoffs until they have a computer rating. Problem solved.
     
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  37. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    I like that we agree to disagree

    Not a fan of punishing the majority for the actions of a few. Cheaters will always be cheaters.

    I like that not playing up because
    - it means that you'll always play a rated player of the same level at your match - even at 3.5 I hate coming out and playing against a 3.0 who isn't ready
    - provides incentive to move up - when I was a cyclist I couldn't just hop in with the Cat 1/2 until I had the results -

    As for the multiple teams, it just boggles me since you can play on a different teams in the same league. Can I play at 4 different hockey rinks on 4 different teams in 4 different leagues, sure? Do they all feed into the same Championship, no.

    The USTA has just given all of the process to the Districts, which is backwards in this case since they then run the big champs -

    the SSN# is just an idea, but I could go on Tennislink today, give some slightly different info, maybe alter my name by a letter or use my nickname, play out of a different Flight here in Denver (say West in place of Central) as a 3.0 get my C rating for next year and just rip everyone. Any simple piece of verification (DL #, etc) would keep this from happening. In youth sports we require original birth certificates

    All these ideas won't ruin tennis or keep people from playing league, here in Denver they are adding a 4pm match next year to alleviate the congestion.

    As for self-rates', again punishing the cheaters, so have them play a higher level of matches to qualify, maybe 50% instead of 2.
     
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  38. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    This is exactly why it is so difficult to get a handle on this problem. Two rational folks. Cindy I know an experience captain, maybe Jim A too. Such different thinking about the "fixes". I tend to side with Cindy on these points given my experience captaining and chairing organizations of various sorts dealing with tangentially related issues.

    So what specific concerns and at what percentage of experience by USTA players? What is the frequency of these problems? What players are affected the most? Options are then to be considered and tested dealing with those facts. I don't know any of those facts, so don't know what sort of things to consider and test for effectiveness. Hopefully USTA leadership does.
     
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  39. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Jim, let me clarify something.

    Here, a player can only play on one team in the same league at the same level.

    Players can be on multiple teams by playing in nearby leagues. It is easy to play in MD, DC and VA, and MD and VA both have many leagues organized by club or by county.

    And yes, it is nice to agree to disagree without a lot of nastiness. Cheers!!
     
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  40. fgbGirl

    fgbGirl Guest

    One good reason is this would take incentive away for teams from taking on self-rated players. It could potentially be difficult for new players to get desired playing time. The only teams that would want to take them on are teams who don't care whether they make the playoffs, which kind of wrecks the competitive nature of the leagues.

    I don't think most self-rated players are shameful sandbaggers, they just want to play tennis.
     
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  41. goober

    goober Legend

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    It doesn't matter if most self rated player are sandbaggers or not, the point is to close a loophole that many teams are exploiting. If this rule is implemented, it would only affect the top teams. In any league only the 25% of teams have a realistic shots at playoffs in most cases. The idea that self rated players would not have a place to play is ludicrous.

    I highly doubt the "competitive nature" of leagues would somehow become less. If anything the leagues would be more competitive because better self rated players would be on a lesser teams and there would be more parity and hence more competition. How does putting all the sandbagging self rates on top teams make league more competitive unless you consider having a few teams dominating a league a competitive situation.
     
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  42. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Teams would still take on self-rated players because their results would/could help propel a team to the playoffs, even if the self-rated player would be ineligible to play in them.
     
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  43. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Very good points Goober. I think it's sad that a lot of players don't want to play unless their team is "in contention". I see a lot of teams default full team matches at the end of the league season because they don't have a shot at getting to Districts. (This screws up standings, which is whole different topic.) I thought people signed up to play tennis....not play tennis only if you are in contention.

    Not allowing self-raters to play in post season championships would deter captains from looking for sandbaggers to put on their team. You're never going to stop the behavior, but it would cut down on it.
     
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  44. fgbGirl

    fgbGirl Guest

    You minced my words. I did not say self-rated players wouldn't have a place to play per se, I said it would take incentive away from some teams to take them on. As for creating more parity, I could possibly see that in a situation where there is a glut of teams to play for. But what happens when there are very few teams to choose from? This is just another barrier the burgeoning young player will have to overcome in order to join an exclusive club. The whole idea of having USTA "cred" before going to the playoffs is ludicrous.
     
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  45. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes. It would decrease the incentive for the most competitive teams to take on self-rated players. Can't argue with that.

    It would *not* decrease the incentive for other teams to take on these players. In our league, we had a 19-match regular season. Under this proposal, a self-rate on my team could have played 19 regular season matches. The self-rate could not have gone to Districts. Is that such a big deal? I had players who didn't come to Districts because they took a vacation instead. Yet they still wanted to be on the team and help us in the regular season -- because they wanted to play tennis.

    What happens is that the self-rate will try to get on a team, with the understanding that she won't be eligible for the post-season. The self-rate will still be welcome on teams that need players because their roster is too small, on teams that don't care about making the playoffs, and on competitive teams that believe they are deep enough for a playoff run without the self-rate being eligible.
     
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  46. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    the big issue is that the USTA doesn't set any guidelines.

    If I lived in the tri-state area (NY/NJ/CT) I could play in 3 different districts and similar in other areas because that is that the rules allow and potentially in more than one level, ie. 3.5 and 4.0.

    Here in Denver I can play in one team at one level, which I like by the way. It's up to me to get the results to move to 4.0

    Cindy's USTA Adult season is 19 matches and can be played on any night, in my section its 6-9 on a specific night. Even in our Flight's there are different numbers of matches. Central I plays 7 as they have 8 teams, my flight plays 6 as we have 4 teams so play everyone twice, etc. Never mind the early start stuff.

    Even in Districts they may rate the DQ's differently, some run the DNTRP after each match, others after the entire event. So by the time the Section teams get to Nationals they all have gone through entirely different league experiences to get there. I think this is what drives me nuts the most. If you are going to be the National Governing Body for a sport there should be some sort of rhyme and reason across all levels.
     
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  47. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I like one of Cindy's proposed rules and one of Jim's:

    - Self rated players cannot participate in playoffs. I realize the downside but think it's worth it overall in terms of making playoffs more fair and competitive.

    - Players may not play above their level. I want to play people at my level. I would rather not play those that are clearly much weaker and playing up, in the same way that I would rather not play those clearly much better and sandbagging.

    Of course this means Cindy and Jim both get to disagree with me!





    What we have here is a perfect opportunity to resolve the differences between Jim and Cindy in exactly the same way as the debt ceiling - i.e., in a way that leaves neither of them happy :)
     
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  48. Serveand...

    Serveand... Banned

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    hey Jim, email me if you still have that academey pro (rockymtnparts=gmail)
    thanks
    Mike
     
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  49. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    I could live with both of those...even though I played up some this year. Only got blown out, score-wise, once and that opponent far from complained. We ran each other to near exhaustion in high-heat/high-humidity conditions; I just couldn't close out my service games or win the break points. But my at-level opponents were the ones who complained..."why are you still a 3.5?" Can't write the rules right for everyone or every situation but I think both of these are reasonable.

    Self-rates who massage the system -- sure they might get caught during the playoffs, and they may only be a few, but they may have affected many more along their way. Besides, the "S" stands for just one year. No big deal if you ask me.

    There might be some sort of compromise position, say let those self-rates with only one strike participate in playoffs...but I much prefer the KISS approach. Self-rates, like ~85% of the other USTA players, stay home. That way you truly prevent the sleeper/tanker from turning it on deep in the playoff system.
     
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  50. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    Good point Angle Queen, I'll play advocate one last time.

    Now you hide the self-rates in doubles for 2-3 matches during a season and the following year they are C rated and can wreak havoc on everyone without worry.

    It sucks when they "turn it on" but they can still get DQ'd along the way, and of ten do. Keeping them at home just makes sandbagging a 2 year project with the 2nd year w/out worry. That would seem to be a captain's dream.
     
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