"Sandbagging" Defined

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Backboard, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Backboard

    Backboard New User

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    Let's define "sandbagging" so that we all know what we are talking about. Here is here the most common definition used by USTA League players:

    "Sandbaggers are any USTA players that beat the guys on my team. Sandbaggers always play on another team, never on my team. If my team gets beat, there must have been something unfair about the competiton _ obviously sandbagging. If my team gets beat badly, that is proof enough that the other team was out of level. If my team loses a close match, the other team (sandbaggers) were keeping it close. If my team wins a line or two, it was because the sandbaggers intentionally played to lose. AND I HAVE SUPER POWERS THAT ALLOW ME TO KNOW WHEN OPPONENTS ARE NOT TRYING"
     
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  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry you've had a bad experience.

    In three years in the league, I've never played anyone I thought was a sandbagger.
     
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  3. fe6250

    fe6250 Semi-Pro

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    That's GREAT and unfortunately a lot of people feel that is the definition of a Sandbagger. Real sandbagging is much harder to detect and be sure of, but certainly there are people who are clearly out of level - primarily in the self-rated ranks.
     
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  4. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    What's the point of this post?

    You're dead wrong. I do know people who sandbag and it has nothing to do with how they do against my team. Perhaps some people initially feel that way when they lose, but some of us who actually put some intelligent thought into it have a little more evidence then that to back it up.

    If a particular player is clobbering everyone in 3.5 AND 4.0, and all the sudden them and a mystery guy lose a set to a couple guys in 3.5 that I know that some of my weakest players have beat easily, that's suspicious.

    Especially when the mystery guy doesnt play another match (but is used in a default) and all the sudden shows up at #1 Single when he gets to Regionals.

    That's sandbagging in it's truest form.

    Also, theres the guy who was playing 5.0 4 years ago and all the sudden he self-rated for a 3.5 team because the USTA decided to lower the sitout time to 3 years instead of 5. Is he not a sandbagger?
     
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  5. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    I agree with the above original poster. Everybody thinks the other team is sandbagging. I agree there is the occasional CLEARLY out of level player but every competitive team has a few above level. When those guys lose to one of the others, they claim that the winning team is clearly cheating... after all, how could they beat our cheaters if they are not cheating.

    In reality, teams with out of level players are usually competitive with the other teams out of level players. The scores can go either way on a given day, as a result, if you are on the losing end on that given day, you deem the other team is cheating.
     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No, "everybody" who loses does not attribute it to sandbagging.

    My current team is 8-7. We lost because we lost. That's all there is to it.
     
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  7. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Call me whatever, but I thought Backboard's post was entirely tongue-in-cheek. At least I took it that way, which resulted in a nice laugh.
     
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  8. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    A little bitter aren't we?

    In my opinion, the rating system is sufficiently wide so that certain players, correctly rated, can demolish other players within that same rating. It certainly does not feel good to get that beating (and I have been on the wrong end of some beatings and went one season 0-10). I do not think that anyone feels bad about that. It is just natural that some people are better than others.

    That being said, there is a rampent cheating on some teams where players are intentionally drop sets/matches to preserve an artificially low rating. In my experience, most self-raters are pretty honest but can simply mis-rate, but occasionally people do try to game the system.

    I played against a team who's players had gone to nationals two years ago, got bumped up, lost every match at the higher level last year and got dropped back down, and then went to nationals again this year at the lower level. Were they sandbagging or just stuck between levels? I don't know.

    The problem is that it is hard to tell the difference between someone who is playing down, and someone who decides to work really hard on their game and improve. My team was tired of losing, so we hired a coach this year, worked really hard, practiced a lot, and went to sectionals . A couple of computer rated players were DQ'ed because they won too many matches too convincingly (too many 0-0 wins), even though they had not had any success in the past. We would have gone to nationals but for those DQs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
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  9. fe6250

    fe6250 Semi-Pro

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    I think the point was that people often cry 'sandbagger' just because they lost - certainly not that ALL people cry 'sandbagger' when they lose. In these cases where it is called - it is often for the wrong reason. I took the post to be humerous and full of sarcasm and had a good laugh.
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I was responding to the previous poster, who said that "everybody" who loses cries foul.

    I feel for you people at the higher levels. From reports here, it sounds like sandbagging is a problem. Not so at the lower levels.

    I wonder if there is a gender component to all of these reports of sandbagging as well . . . .
     
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  11. takl23

    takl23 Semi-Pro

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    This post is not needed. Perhaps the OP is a sandbagger....

    Cheers,

    Tim
     
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  12. ten10

    ten10 Rookie

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    My thoughts as well.
     
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  13. GokuQ

    GokuQ Rookie

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    hey if theres any former 5.0s in n. cali that has self rated as a 3.5 i'll take em.......:)
     
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  14. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    There most certainly is sandbagging. Quite a lot of it, actually.

    One of the gauges I use is looking at teams aggregate games and sets lost relative to their overall win/loss record. There's one level of sandbagging where the strongest teams are too dumb to manipulate their scores, so they dominate all those stats. Graduate level sandbagging involves actual score and match manipulation, and we've all seen plenty of that.

    Further, there really is a gender disparity here. Women's USTA league play has got so many other issues that sandbagging barely makes the top 10 greatest hits of issues that typically add drama to any particular tennis season.

    I'm beginning to think that the (significant) overlap between levels represents a choice. You can either take on the pressure and expectations of success/execution/performance at the lower level, or shrug off all of that and just "get better" (or claim to be better) at the higher. It's ALWAYS much easier to take losses you're supposed to, than win when people are counting on you. There are VERY few people who crave and thrive under that kind of expectation in USTA league play, at all levels.

    In any case, the original post is clearly pretty funny.
     
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  15. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    I think Backboard's post is funny and is meant tongue-in-cheek. I think he's trying to make a point that a lot of players can't blame a loss on themselves or their own tennis. They have to blame it on something else, such as a sandbagger. Kind of along the same lines as all the players who say that the only reason they lost a match is because their opponents made bad line calls....... especially if the match was a real close one. :)
     
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  16. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    You're probally right. I find that people who are just trying to make a point and are having good natured fun, always feel the need to create 3 different posts about the very same thing.
     
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  17. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    In reality, if you look at his posts, he doesnt mean this is a half-serious tone. He's mad because someone from one of the other sandbagger teams, claimed that his Dallas team full of sandbaggers was sandbagging against them, causing their players to get rated up.

    (he actually had a good explanation for why he feels that his team didnt sandbag, although apparently he's still upset so he has to make a point)
     
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  18. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    I didn't look at his other posts. I just saw this one.
     
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  19. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    I suppose that's why he took the time to put a smiley face in the title of the thread. I thought it was funny as h#ll.
     
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  20. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    It doesnt take any time to include a smiley face. They are right next to the text box. :)

    I thought it was funny as h%ll on some level as well, that doesnt mean that's not mad on the inside, or that we cant objectively debate what he is saying. (or make fun of HIM which I can always say is me being "tongue in cheek")

    This is an Internet forum, you type things, people read them. You cant really be sarcastic because you cant hear the tone in someone's voice, all you are left to is what you perceive from it.
     
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  21. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    I read all three posts and looked at the match in question.. (i.e. Dallas vs Lubbock 3.0 at texas Sectionals).

    Apparently, Dallas did only have 1 top line playing in a meaningless match. I also noticed that the top line involved had a doubles team that got beat in both the semi finals and finals of nationals and the matches they won were all three sets (except 1). They were merely competitive but certainly not dominant. This is NOT the kind of doubles team that sandbagging legends are made of. (Read the story of the Wimbledon competitor a few posts down)

    The team from Lubbock that beat them at Sectionals looked like they were also a pretty good team. Actually, the losses (sans Sectionals) that those players received all look like 3.5 losses and not 3.0 losses. They beat the dallas team 6-3, 6-4. That looks pretty competitive (especially when one team had nothing to play for). that does not mean that the Dallas team put 100% effort but that can be expected when they must play an afternoon match for all the marbles. If Dallas really wanted to lose, they may have allowed a 6-0, 6-0 (or thereabouts) beat down.

    I also find it irnoic that the person complaining did have 3 DQ's on his own team. The biggest irony is that only the weakest (from a computer rated standpoint) doubles team from Dallas that Lubbock would have played in the "ripple" effect.

    Dallas may be guilty of sandbagging but from the look of this, Lubbock is not the team to complain.

    My final statement is... why am I (who has no interest in this) even looking at this??? I do not know... I guess it is because this must be the most famous 3.0 team in USTA history.
     
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  22. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I agree, it's all pretty silly. Ive seen way better examples of sandbagging.

    I find it funny that most of the people on here who complain about it, are talking about the playoffs at some point, meaning that a bunch of local teams probally feel the same exact way about them. It's all pretty subjective.

    But to point at any of these things, and connect that with someone who just calls anyone who beats them a sandbagger is just dumb, nobody is saying anything of the sort.

    If it wasnt for the silly rant posts, Id actually side with the OP. The other team has no real basis for their claims that it affected their rating.

    What is more likely is that both teams would of likely got rated up, but Dallas didnt do as well in Nationals which accounted for 50% or so of their total rating and was kept at their own level. This is just a fluke in the system that happens a lot and has happened even more before DNTRP. (the fluke where the winning team doesnt lose any players, but the lucky 2nd or 3rd place team that got some wins off of them does)
     
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  23. SB

    SB Rookie

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    Ab. So. Lute. Ly.
     
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  24. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Well I have gotten alot of subtle comments in recent months from opponents that think I'm above level. And its always from people that are not solid 3.0s, but probably the lower half of the level. People that genuinely want to improve to the highest levels are not going to make excuses like that. If I get whipped in a match, I praise them for playing well. I might tell my friend on the side that my opponent will definitely get bumped, but I don't act like they are sandbagging, because really the strongest 3.0 player I've ever faced would at most fit in as a 3.5 player in the bottom 50%.
     
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  25. counterpunchingrules

    counterpunchingrules Rookie

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    quit complaining and go get better at tennis
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You know, it's funny. I can't think of anyone who accused me of being above level this spring. Those who beat me don't say it, of course. But those I beat don't say it either.

    I've decided there are two reasons for this. First, I don't have any shot that is spectacular. My best shots are volleys, and though these are effective and my technique is good, my volleys aren't anything that would be found on a highlight reel. The other thing is that I can do well against other 3.0s on account of good positioning and taking advantage of their bad positioning, which is another thing that people generally won't notice enough to complain about.

    The thing that seems to make people complain, I think, is hitting really hard groundstrokes. Which I don't do.
     
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  27. Applesauceman

    Applesauceman Semi-Pro

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    Here we go again, sandbaggers are cheaters, blah, blah, blah.

    I should practice more on the court rather than spending time on here reading posts about congratulations that are in order and sandbagging running rampant in USTA league tennis.

    This is gotta be why USTA regional directors are being compared to postal workers, having to deal with this garbage day in and day out. Can't we all just get along!
     
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  28. spiderman123

    spiderman123 Professional

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    So you do agree that there is a gender component to some other reports ;)
     
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  29. HowardH

    HowardH New User

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    I"m trying to recruit a sandbagger right now for my 3.0 team. He played college tennis but hasn't played competition tennis in a few years but is very good. If the USTA will let him self rate at 3.0 even after playing college then I will have a sandbagger on my team.

    Of course I won't allow him to lie about playing college tennis just so he can self rate at 3.0 and I really doubt that he will even have 3.0 as a self rate option after he says yes to some of the questions about playing high school or college level tennis. Oh Well!
     
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  30. spiderman123

    spiderman123 Professional

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    There could be a third reason too. Since this is your first year at playing 3.5, maybe you are not above level at all.

    People will make serious allegations only if you have had only easy victories and no losses, others are just sore losers.
     
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  31. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Tennis is an interesting sport played by many interesting personalities. The whole sandbagging issue is one where the believers and naysayers are both citing correct information.

    What I mean is this: because tennis brings out so much competitive spirit (more than any other sport I've ever played) it tends to make people see sandbaggers in every loss because they couldn't possibly lose legitimately.

    But that same competitive energy also drives people who know better, to play under their real level so they will win all of their matches.
     
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  32. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I think we just hear about it more because as a sport that is based on a skill level, there are way more players playing tennis then any other sport.

    But if you didnt split tennis up by skill level, you wouldnt have nearly as much participation as you do now.

    I just think the league and everyone should realize that probally a good 80% of the participants in league tennis are signing up to actually play in the league. Obviously most people want to win, but most teams never win yet they come back year after year. (because they are there to play tennis and do so competitively)

    So to go to great lengths to play in a lower level, or self rate yourself low just for the sake of winning a trophy is retarded.

    Like I said, those championships represent nothing more than how my club challenge ladder splits the ladder up in 8 parts. (so you can have some girl feel good about herself because she's on a top of some piece of paper even though she's #176 on the entire ladder)

    It's cool if you go Im sure, and probally by the time you get there it's remarkable if you make it thru all the other teams that are there, but you shouldnt think yourself any better than anyone else.

    Especially at 3.0 because there are probally thousands of tennis players out there that didnt go to nationals that are way better at tennis then you, and would beat you on any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    And if you look at most of these teams who coast thru their local league with very few individual wins (much less team wins) and are not competitive until sectionals, Id have a lot more respect for a team that is out of it, but is fighting just to stay in 3rd place and didnt mail it in.

    You dont need some plastic statue to prove that you have some pride in what you do, and you should be respected.

    And some people who have those statues deserve no respect because they were afraid of playing in a higher level. (because they are afraid of losing)
     
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  33. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I agree. After all, it is a numbers game. Think about it, if 99.5% of teams are legit and if only 0.5% of the teams sandbag (which is a gross underestimation, but I'm making a point here), then guess what? Those teams are going to be the best 0.5% of all the teams. And amazingly, they are going to be overrepresented at Regionals and probably be 100% of the teams at Nationals.
     
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