Friend asked me and I don't know the answer. If she self rates as a 4.0 does that start her dynamic rating at the top of range or bottom? Is it easier to get bumped down as a self rate end of yr or a " c" rating? Please shed light. Thanks. If you have a bad season is it asker to get bumped down as a self rate as opposed to a C rating? Thanks

She'll start as a 0.0. Her rating will be determined by results vs B/C rated opponents as they are played out. C rating has more data computed. Takes more significant results to get bumped as a C.

Getting bumped down is not all that easy, I suggest your friend self rates at the lowest level suggested by the USTA experienced player guidelines because she can "play up" but she can't "play down" meaning if she self rates as a "3.5" she can play tournaments or league in the "4.0" division but you can't do the other way around. http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/ExperiencedGuidelines_02142011_V2pdf.pdf

Thanks. Many people had told her self rating gives you more of a cushion so if you are say 3.41 end of season you may stay 4.0 wheeas a computer rated wouls get bumped t0 3.5. I dont understand it. Isnt a 3.4 an automatic " 3.5" or does algorythm allow for certain exceptions?

^^^if her first few matches are against people on the low end of the DNTRP or against players playing up, she could bump down with lopsided losses. Just as likely as winning lopsided against folks at the top of the level. If mis-rated, it will work itself out.

Between 3.01 and 3.50 is a 3.5. --- 3.51 to 4.00 is a 4.0. How she chooses to self rate will have no effect on her year end rating and whether she gets bumped or not. The only thing her self rating affects is the level of the player she gets to play against. After each match your friend plays she will get a dynamic rating based on her results against established players. Playing poorly against low 4.0s will give her a dynamic rating in the 3.5 range. Regular beatings of high 4.0s will give her a rating in the 4.5 range. Most likely if she is being told to rate as a 4.0 she will have moderate success and get a rating in the 4.0 band. At the end of the season your friend will get a computer rating, provided she plays enough matches. This rating will be strongly tied to her dynamic rating but there are also some end of season adjustments. Whatever her rating is at that time ... that will be her computer rating. She is more likely to get bumped up or down because she does not have a long history of matches to overcome. But whatever she chooses as her self rating in and of itself has no meaning when it comes time to decide if she is getting bumped.

This is true, however there is a nuance that is missing Sometimes if you self rate as a 4.0 and play against other 4.0's and when you play it becomes clear they can win the match easily they often throw you a few games (sometimes even unintentionally) But if you play a computer rated 4.0 and lose 6-3, 6-2 because they took it easy on you the USTA computer doesn't understand that and thinks that you were competitive at 4.0 when that may not be the case. If you arent sure what to self rate at (say between 3.5 or 4.0)it is better to rate the lower level because you can play up but you cant play down and getting bumped down takes time where as you can bump up easily.

We could take this to many extremes ... including having the self rated player give away games so that they do not get the DQ. If all players play honestly then the system will work as I laid it out. If your friend follows the self rate guidelines and/or her friends are sure she should play 4.0, then she should. To do otherwise would be dishonest and unfair to her opponents.

Yeah i'm not talking about being dishonest, I'm talking about poeple who genuinely arent sure if they are one or the other and the headaches of trying to get lowered to your correct level vs the ease of playing up to your correct level if you do end up being wrong with your self rate.

Thanks. Ok taking this to another level. She self rates today at say 4.0 plays a few matches in 2012 but not enough to get rating. End of next year does computer only use 2013 results or also use 2012 matches and average 12 and 13? I thought early matches drop off?

None of us know for sure because the formula is a secret. But my understanding is below. All matches will count forever. However, the further you get away from any particular match they become increasingly less important. The dynamic rating is kind of like a running average that weights the more recent matches more heavily than the earliest matches.

Yes, all matches count "forever" as described, but in this specific case where a player still enters 2013 as an S due to not playing enough in 2012, I'm not sure that the 2012 matches would count. It is possible that the player enters 2013 with their "preliminary" dynamic rating from the 1 or 2 matches played in 2012 as their starting rating, or they may start with a blank slate as a 2013 S rated player. If anyone knows for sure, I'd love to know. And regarding the count "forever", due to the way the averaging is done, once a given match is 5 or more matches old, it starts to have a very limited effect on the current rating. For example, an individual match result that is a full level (0.5) below expected by itself will only cause the rating 5 matches later to be about 0.03 lower than it would be otherwise. However, the most recent match being a full level below expected would result in a rating being 0.125 lower.