Team Match Format

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, May 1, 2007.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    In USTA, the winner of a match is the team that wins at least 3 of 5 lines, and the winner for the season is the team that wins the most team matches.

    A friend of mine plays in another league. Rather than having the team winner for the season be the the team that won the most matches, this league does it differently. The winner for the season is the team that wins the greatest number of individual matches.

    I'm idly wondering what the impact of such a system might be if adopted for USTA. I doubt it would make much difference at the very top or the very bottom. It seems it would make a lot of difference in the middle, though. There are lots of medium-strength teams who win or lose 3-2 or 2-3. Shouldn't the team declare to be stronger be the team that won more matches overall? Shouldn't a 5-0 pasting count for more than a 3-2 nailbiter? Would it give captains an incentive to do anything differently with their line-ups?

    The current system does seem a little arbitrary as applied to the middle of the pack.
     
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  2. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    You are procrastinating again....get off the computer and get to work. Oh, that goes for me too.

    If the impact of a change would be to change a 6th place team to a 4th place team, then (no offense) but who cares?

    In a team sport, the team that scores the most points wins the game...the most games wins the league. In tennis, individual matches = points. Score 3 points (for USTA Adult) and you win the game. I am not aware of any team sport that bases it's ranking on the number of points that are scored in a season.
     
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  3. cak

    cak Professional

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    I believe team matches are the first line, but if two teams both have the same record they go by individual matches won, then sets lost, then games lost.
     
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  4. Mark Jensen

    Mark Jensen New User

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    I think you're right Cindy, the midlle teams will feel the shake up if we were to switch from Team to Individual results.

    The USTA system (Team W-L) favors teams that consistently win 3+ courts...so to be a leading team, all you need is at least 4 strong players (2 singles & 1 dubs team). This can lead to a shallow roster...as long as you win with those 4 players you can have your Aunties out on lines 4 & 5. No disrespect :)

    The other system (Indiv. W-L) favors a deeper bench. The more wins...the more wins.

    10 match season scenario:

    Leading team with shallow bench goes 10-0 but only wins each match with the bare minimum (3-2 individual)...the Individual W-L at the end of season is 30-20.

    Team with deeper roster only wins half their matches and finishes 5-5 but always wins "some" courts (say 5 Wins at 3-2, & 5 Losses at 2-3)...the Individual W-L at the end of the season is 25-25.

    You can imagine this deeper team sneaking up and biting the 2nd or 3rd place Team-winners on the behind.

    Deeply rostered teams are where it's at. I had the pleasure of being in one this Adult season. Man, talk about easy captaining!
     
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  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe gymnastics? Say the Russian and US Olympic Gymnastics teams fields 5 athletes per apparatus. You add the scores for the Russian athletes and compare that to the sum of the scores for the US athletes.

    If gymnastics scoring were like tennis, then you'd have head-to-head combination between the teams (top Russian v. top American, second-best Russian v. second-best Russian), with the winner being the team that wins three match-ups. Seems kinda dumb to do it that way. Can you imagine the stacking? :)

    Ah, this is what you get when you take a fundamentally individual sport (tennis, gymnastics) and try to convert it to a team sport . . .
     
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  6. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

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    Local leagues are free to use whichever scoring system they want. Around here, we use the team matches (1 point per week) rather than individual matches (5 points per week), although it used to be vice-versa. As a professional mathematician, I like the individual matches method better, because then all matches count, not just three of the five. Like Mark said, a team with only four stars could win the league the other way, even forfeiting two lines per week. The individual matches method counters that by making those losses mean something, and it rewards depth. I think depth is a good thing to reward.

    The first year I was a captain, we used individual matches, and the guys who went 10-0 were hot when they came in second. The first place team was 8-2, but had 38 wins compared to 34 wins for the 10-0 guys. We changed the scoring system the next year.
     
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  7. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    In Atlanta we play in ALTA league and its total number of points over a 6 week season. Its also 5 lines of doubles with no singles which makes a difference. But during the regular season it really doesn't do any good to sandbag at all. If you weaken line 1 to strengthen the rest of the lineup- you might take 4 but if another team takes all 5 against them you have lost ground. Whats interesting is that in the playoffs it is like USTA where you only have to take 3 points to advance. That makes sandbagging a more viable strategy. In fact ALTA has different lineup rules for the regular season and the playoffs.

    I love the way alta does their regular season because every line counts. We didn't drop a point at lines 4 or 5 all season and its a big part of the reason we won our division. The only problem I have with alta is that they don't have any individual ratings. In the computer someone on a team who wins every week at line 1 has the same rating as a guy who loses every week at line 5.
     
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  8. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    spot, my son and daughter-in- law play down there (Roswell). Not sure what level he is in ALTA, (3.5 NTRP). They play USTA as well, but I think they like ALTA better. What part of town r u n?
     
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  9. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I live in Decatur. I have had a ton of fun playing ALTA- but I have been very lucky in ending up on fun teams. I would like ALTA much more if they had individual ratings. Right now you can really stack a team if you try to and it can get pretty ridiculous. If I had wanted to this season I could have put my team down at the equivalent of 3.0 and we have a couple of legitimate 4.5 players.
     
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  10. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    In our local USTA league we actually score it per individual matches, not by team matches. The theory was that this was to prevent teams from stacking, but otherwise it's kind of silly system.

    At the top it doesnt matter, the top teams generally have enough overrated players that they can easily overcome the other teams.

    At the middle you are right, it does make a diffrence and that's where my team has had a field day. (we typically take 3rd which is to me, sort of like 1st if you discount the cheating teams)

    As far as strategy, it does mean that evenly matched teams should not stack as much, and good teams who are playing weaker teams also shouldnt stack. (because they want to win 5-0 to keep up with the other good teams who might be destroying the weaker teams)

    It also means that winning 2 out of 5 versus 3 out of 5 is pretty meaningless, unless you are closely contested in the standings head to head with that team. Losing 0-5 is a huge disaster (it's a 5 point gap), and losing 1-4, isnt that great either but not quite as bad. (it's a 3 point gap)

    There is still some stacking however. We stack all the time when we go against the ringer teams just to have a shot at knocking them off 3-2 (mostly for pride more than anything and perhaps to help them lose for a chance this year....)

    And even though first place is decided by individual matches doesnt mean the other teams cant feel good about themselves however they want too. (you dont get anything for 2nd or 3rd, etc....)
     
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  11. lovin'it

    lovin'it Rookie

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    I play in one in addition to USTA that is based on matches won, and total number of points with one being given per match won, so that with four lines capable of winning two points per line, the best they can get on a day is eight points, and the loser can walk away with zero to four, four if they split and lose on each line. A big difference at the end of the season can be made by those 'split and lost' four points. A team could win three lines and get six points, but if the 'loser' split on those three lines, that gets them three points, and say, they win one line, add two, and the loser walks away with five points (to the winnners six) pretty close numbers for only winning one line.

    Long story short...usta gives no benefit to a close game, I don't see how this just effects middle of the road teams, my brain can't quit go there right now, but a 'split and lost' is sure of more value in this other league.
     
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  12. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Javier- the reason that in ALTA taking 3 vs taking 2 is still important is that if it comes down to a tie at the end of the season- who won the head to head matchup is the tiebreaker
     
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  13. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Right, I said an exception for that. It's the same here, if it happens to be tied (by individual wins), it goes to the tiebreaker. But then here, it goes down to head to head individual wins, not team wins. (you might play a team twice or even 3 times in a smaller flight)

    So if you play once, 3-2 is a big deal, but other than that it can get pretty cloudy, you might lose 2-3, and then win 4-1 in the second one, and you will win the tiebreaker (6-4 versus 7-3).

    I guess I should clarify that I didnt mean it's not important as all, but it's not nearly as important as in the team win system. The diffrence in the standings between 2-3 and 3-2 is only 1 point.

    You would much rather go 2-3 than 1-4 (3 points diffrence).

    In the team win system, you could go 0-5, and still be in it if you do well for the rest of the season.

    In the individual win system if you have one 0-5 or 1-4, your going to have a really hard time (unless everyone who plays that team does something similar which would normally only happen if they were the ringer team who wins every year in which case you are not going to win anyway)
     
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  14. Caswell

    Caswell Semi-Pro

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    Our local mixed doubles league has something in the middle.

    We play four lines of doubles, worth one point each, with a fifth point going to the team who wins the most games. The overall rankings are determined by the number or points won, not team wins.

    The fifth point for games keeps a team focus on things, but it's also nice in that people fight for every game. You can be up a set and five-zero in the second and the other team is still fighting for games to try to win that fifth point.
     
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