USTA - Adult League/Age changes - DON'T LIKE IT

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by alitennis, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. alitennis

    alitennis New User

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    When the USTA announced last year your changes in the leagues with the addition of the age groups, I knew it was going to be a detriment to my age group, 18-39. I knew it was going to affect mine and my peers' opportunities to play one way or another. When the USTA sent me a survey, I shared my thoughts. I also shared them with the league coordinator of the local league for which I was playing at the time.

    Now here we are, ratings are out, and spring USTA teams are forming. And just as I thought, I cannot play on my prior 4.0 day team now. I was the only player under 40 on my team. In the Charlotte metro league, it was announced recently that 18 + 4.0 day teams will play on Monday mornings, and 40 + 4.0 get to play on Fridays. Of course there are night or weekend leagues I could choose to play in, however there are problems with that also for my age group as well.

    Let me outline my reasons I feel this is a detriment to 18-39 year olds below.

    -18-39 year old women are the busiest group of women that play in the USTA. Most women work that are in my age group, yet we could get away during the day on Fridays, as Fridays tend to be less busy for working women/mothers/stay at home mothers than MONDAY MORNINGS. I'm not sure where the logic is here. 40+ year old day players typically don't work or have school aged children to tend to. Doesn't it make sense for them to play on Monday mornings?

    -Working mothers have a hard time playing in the evenings or on the weekends because of long work hours and family committments, so Friday mornings were a decent time to be able to get a match in.

    -Stay at home 18-39 mothers (who you may think can play Monday mornings) also can't typically play in the evenings or on the weekends because of after school, sports, and other family committments, so Friday mornings were a good alternative. Also, have you ever tried to get children out the door to school on Monday mornings? It's hard any day of the week, but Mondays are the worst. So this now also alienates many 18-39 year old stay at home moms from playing because Monday mornings or weeknights are bad options for moms.

    -It's not fair that we are inherently limited in how much we can play. If I were 40, I could play two times. I could play with my age group and with the lower group, and so on. That is not fair to my age group.

    -I am a member of a club that I pay hard earned money to be a part of. I want to play with my clubmates. I can't do that because as you all know, most clubs CANNOT facilitate night teams. I bet you maybe 1 out of 15 can, if that. So I can't play with the ladies I know well and play with most of the time. If I am able to play in the evening, I am forced to play at public courts that are often times in dangerous, poorly lit, unmonitored places (at least in Charlotte), AND I have to pay extra fees for playing at public courts in addition to the league fees I am already playing. You also lose the "team spirit" when you don't play with ladies you know and play with all the time.

    What will happen is this... 18-39 year old ladies will start to fall out of the USTA because of lack of teams/opportunities to play for and poor time options to play. It will degrade competition and the good level of play we get when we face a variety of player styles, ages, etc for all of us, but particularly the 18-39 age group. Do you really want to lose a large majority of this age group? Aren't you kind of cutting yourself off at the knees by alienating your future, long term league players?

    I understand there a a few different times to play, but come on... 18+ on Monday mornings and 40+ on Friday mornings (4.0)? Don't you think that needs to be reversed for the reasons I have outlined above, and many more that I don't want to state that could seem presumptious but are likely true? I know it is likely too late to make these changes for spring 2013, but you REALLY need to think long and hard about this decision for the future years. I can't think of hardly any 18-39 day lady that I know that could swing a Monday morning. You might as well eliminate that timeslot.

    Thank you in advance for considering my points. If you feel the same way I do email your regional, state, and local USTA coordinators. You can find them on the USTA website. Have a good evening... I need to go find another team to play on now.
     
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  2. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I'm enjoying playing 40+ this fall immensely because I have yet to play a self-rated 19 year old former #1 for his high school or a self rated 23 year old former junior college player like I did last season in 18+. My experience has been that the biggest problem with self-rated sandbaggers is young people and in the 40+ league I have yet to encounter even one self-rated player, much less a self-rated sandbagger.

    I'm sorry 40+ is negatively affecting you but I think there are a number of assumptions and contentions in your post I don't necessarily agree with which make it hard for me to agree with your argument.
     
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  3. jrxl

    jrxl New User

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    Wow, you have the option of several different day/night/weekend leagues? That's awesome, I wish we had that. We have one league to choose from. With a grab bag of dates that may include weeknights, weekend mornings, weekend evenings... all in the same schedule.
     
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  4. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    That was what I was thinking. Must be nice to have these kinds of problems.

    If Friday morning is the only time you can play, find a group that wants to do that. USTA isn't the end all-be all.
     
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  5. 10sjunkie

    10sjunkie New User

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    Don't agree with any of your arguments. Let me outline my reasons why:

    1. 18-39 year olds currently are only able to play once as it is. This isn't limiting your ability to play nor your opportunities to play due to the age restructuring. It is adding opportunities for the 40-49 year olds. I, for one, am looking forward to it.

    2. You are not limited to playing only on a club team. That is your option, not obligation, to join a club and restrict your playing to only those teams. You can still play with a public park-based team.

    3. I wholeheartedly disagree that 18-39 year old women are the "busiest group of women" that play league tennis. What a luxury to be able to "get away during the day on Fridays". Trust me, not all working women have that option. And look at it this way, if this age group is the busiest group of women playing USTA, it's a good thing you have limited playing ability as you wouldn't have time for more playing opportunities (see #1).

    4. As for working mother having a hard time playing in the evenings or on the weekends, not true. I would think that working women have a more difficult time playing during the day as they usually work during those hours. Almost 100% of the women that I play with on all of my USTA teams are working women, most with children. There is no way that we are able to get away on a Monday or Friday morning to play. Evenings and weekends are when the majority of our playing time occurs.

    5. I'm sure that your league match times are not occurring on Monday mornings when your children are getting ready for school. If I had a guess, I'd say the matches will be played when they are in school so I don't see what the problem is with getting your children to school and then going to play a tennis match, regardless of what day it is.

    6. How nice that your local league coordinator has different options for you to choose from...day, evening and weekend. Not an option in most places.
     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not thrilled with the new age bracketing, but for different reasons.

    It sounds like the real problem in OP's league is that no one has thought this through. I think OP should voice her concerns to her local league and see if they can improve things.

    FWIW, OP, my league has a ladies day league. It is 18+, three doubles. Matches can be on any weekday; there is no particular day designated for the 3.5s, for instance. This is good because even ladies who only get 1-2 days off each week can participate and play the matches that fall on their days off.

    The 40+ league plays at night, 3 doubles, 2 singles. Again, we don't have set days of the week for the matches so everybody can find some matches that fall on the nights they can play.
     
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  7. RedWeb

    RedWeb Semi-Pro

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    Amen. + 10
     
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  8. rainman007

    rainman007 Rookie

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    i dont like it because we struggled to field 3 adult teams now if older people choose not 2 pay 2-3 times which i wouldnt we wont have enough for 1 team or just 1 only ........ also my area is broke into 2 sessions now odd levels play jan-mar and even ratings play mar-jun........so odd number level players will have 2 pay 15 dollars extra indoor fee for every match played
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
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  9. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    The reason why I like the changes are that old people can now choose to play younger people if they think they're good enough. It's as simple as that.

    In all honesty, most of the NTRP complaints filed against players are from old people complaining about young people.

    This new method will not only help cut down on that but also make it so the "social" and "for health" players can stick to themselves.
     
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  10. goober

    goober Legend

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    It happens, but I agree that it is a lot less frequent. I have seen self rates in their 40s that are former college players or players that play regularly but are not USTA members. Among the young crowd you get the self rated sandbaggers and among the older crowd you tend to get more of the rating manipulators.
     
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  11. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Though I'm way past 40, the reason I won't want to play a 40+ league is that I wouldn't have the opporturnity to play these guys.
     
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  12. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    They always could.

    Whatever level you are at, you aren't significantly better or worse than anyone else in that level - no matter what your age. (there are 10 USTA levels from 2.5 to 7.0)
     
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  13. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Except that 5.0+ does not apply because it for all intents and purposes does not exist. And 2.5 (and now) 3.0 are almost non-existent outside of doubles leagues.

    It's far more common to see a 50 or 60 year old think they're just as good as a 20 year old. This may be true at flight level play, but once you get to the playoffs and beyond these 50-somethings start making less starting lineups and will almost never touch singles.

    I feel the age gap between 20's and 30's. I can only imagine what kinda rose tinted goggled someone would need to honestly believe that there isnt any difference in ability between a 20 year old former high school champ at 3.5 nationals and an overweight, balding, knee braced, 50-something.

    Yes, some old people can be competitive, the same way some women can play equal to men in terms of NTRP rating.

    That just isnt the norm.

    With that said, I do enjoy playing against older players from time to time. These players are usually challenging me. It's these types of players that think they're good enough to play adult league at all levels. It's these types of players that I want to play.
     
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  14. goober

    goober Legend

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    At the 3.5 level there are ton of guys in their 40-50s that could beat 20-30 year olds. At that level skill is more important than physical play. Nationals are really not a measure of 3.5 level play. Everybody there are basically 4.0s to even weak 4.5. In singles, athletic ability and physcial prowess doesn't become a factor till upper level 4.0 and 4.5. But even then a lot 20-30 year olds will lose to older guys that are dropping down from 5.0.

    In doubles at the 3.5-4.0 levels, the older players are usually better than young players. Every person we have taken in the 19-29 crowd on our team has been a liability in doubles.
     
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  15. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Why can't you play them? I would love to play them in social or practice matches, I just don't want to play them in league matches when my team is depending on me for a win and yet I'm hopelessly overmatched from the get-go.
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    +1.

    As a captain, I can tell you that age has nothing whatever to do with who is stronger at singles or doubles. It is not something I consider when I am selecting players to invite or deciding who plays a must-win match. How good you are is solely a function of how good you are.

    I will let you in on a little secret: We older players very much enjoy frustrating younger people. Especially the arrogant ones!
     
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  17. TommieF

    TommieF Rookie

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    In the Norcal area, I have heard that two 5.0 players can play on the 40+ 4.5 team. Is this true? The format for the
    40+ is 1 singles, 2 dbls. Then playoff it goes to 2 singles, 3 dbls.
    Also... can two 5.0 players play on a regular 4.5 adult league team? Norcal area.
     
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  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I want to beat them for the glory of my team, my country, and my civilization!
     
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  19. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    2 5.0s can be on the roster. When 3 lines are playing, only 1 5.0 can be in lineup. When 5 lines, both 5.0s can play. Regular adult 4.5 does not allow 5.0s. But adult 5.0 league let's 2 5.5s roster.
     
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  20. TommieF

    TommieF Rookie

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    Have you heard of any plan to allow two 5.0 guys on the adult 4.5 team? Why allow 5.5's to play with 5.0 but not let the adult 4.5 league have two 5.0's?
     
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  21. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    I believe the idea is for the "plus" leagues to be at the top-level available as a way to have league playing opportunities for those one level "too high".

    So, if the highest league available is a 5.0 league, it becomes a 5.0+ league and 2 5.5s are allowed to be rostered and play per the earlier described rules. But because there is a 5.0 league for 5.0 rated players to play in, there is no need to make the 4.5 league a 4.5+.

    If the highest league available is 4.5, then it could be a 4.5+ league to give the 5.0s that don't have a league an opportunity to play.
     
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  22. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^^ what he said.

    In regular adult, the highest level for which there are teams is 5.0, so it becomes a 'plus' league and allows two 5.5s. In 40+, 4.5 is the highest level, so that becomes the plus.league and allows 5.0s.
     
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  23. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Around here, it's going to be interesting to see what happens to the 18+ league. The problem I think we will face is that every one of the 4.0 men's captains in NJ is over 40 and almost all of the PA as well. Some guys will do an 18s team, too, I'm sure, but how many? There's no chance in hell I'm doing 2 teams.
     
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  24. Winning Ugly

    Winning Ugly New User

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    I think we'll see this in Delaware as well. For some reason, USTA is really aging around here. Not just the captains, most of whom are great guys who have been doing this forever. The adult team I played on last year is reforming as a 40+ team and I believe nobody is being left behind due to youth. And, in doubles, where I play 95% of the time due to bad wheels, almost none of my opponents was under 40 either! I do know the singles players saw a fair amount of young guys (some of whom were just passing through on the way to the next level) so I think they will see the biggest change, probably for the better as far as they are concerned. The 55+ team I am joining has lost almost nobody in the 50-53 bracket also -- pretty much all 55-65 years old anyway.
     
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  25. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    Well the 40+ league went so badly and everyone was unhappy with it that the local coordinator said we are going back to having the regular 18+ league (fall and spring)

    and that he would have a round Robin tournament (Week) for the 40+ group
     
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  26. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    This is a non-starter for me. Our team has hard enough time trying to get enough people for the 18+ team. Couldn't even get much bites for 40+.
     
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  27. goober

    goober Legend

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    Our 40+ season went great. The 18+ teams that are filled with rating manipulators and sandbaggers didn't field a 40+ team so we had actually had a competitive meaningful season.
     
    #27
  28. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    what section and district are you in?
     
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  29. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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  30. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Here's the weird thing.

    Our league is having 40+ starting in January. Rosters are starting to fill. It is the same old crowd, divided into the same old teams. This is because there were so few youngsters at 4.0 to begin with.

    So what will happen in April for 18+? All of the teams are full. Will 40+ captains kick off some of their players to make room for some young singles players?

    The really bad thing is that I feel our team was kind of forced to play the January 40+ season. If we didn't, our players would scatter and there would be no one to recruit for the April 18+ season.
     
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  31. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    OP, I understand, regret that you find the new age rules frustrating. I don't blame you, it is annoying. One of the best hitting partners I had all summer was under 20 years old and was on our USTA team. I would not have met him with the new age brackets.

    My two cents.

    Since coming back to tennis some years ago (and thus having exactly zero hitting partners) I set out to find guys to play the way I like to play: no such thing as a "practice" or "social" match. Singles play, all out, every match matters. From there I got one of my old tennis buddies back into it, got another friend that was out of it ... back in. And played club and USTA leagues with the main intent of building a deep Rolodex of players that are intense competitors, available when I am.

    Over time the list of guys exceeds the time I would ever have available to play, and it is not uncommon to play with 5-7 different guys a month. These are guys I like, and I am open to hitting with anyone at our club or some other clubs.

    Anywho, league play is a small part of my tennis experience, and frankly contains 100% of any negative component -- aka the nuts. I can pass on it altogether if I had to make a choice, that's how ambivalent I am about the value to my health and recreation USTA and club leagues are and have been. Was a house league champ, woot, bumped up (like a FICO score IMO ... who knows how it is really calculated??) And all that.

    So perhaps this USTA age thing is a chance for you to change the parameters of how you enjoy this sport. Or go do something else with the time that is fun and where some bureaucratic 'authority' can't pull the rug out from under you like the USTA has.

    How about poker runs in a 1962 356 coupe on Indian Summer days? Skeet and trap shooting? Cross country skiing (so much less dangerous than Alpine skiing as an adult), medicine ball catch, or as they say in New England, 'what have you?' Whatever is fun, who needs aggravation?
     
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  32. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    What's up dude? I have to totally agree with you here. That's my number 1 reason for loving the 40 plus league. I to don't like running into some div 2 19 year old kicking second serve aces down the t at will in a 4.0 league. I don't mind playing them on my own time but I don't want to take two days off from work and get a hotel to run into 3 out of 5 guys like this. Let them kick each other in and we can run each other around with slices for 3 hours.lol


     
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  33. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    Yea, just wait until you get to state and you run across two or 3 players with "appy state club tennis" shirts and what not on that get you off the court in about 32 minutes including warmup. Then come back and tell us how you feel about the age brackets.


     
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  34. texacali

    texacali Rookie

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    Yup...our 40+ Winter league is pretty much identical to our Fall 18+ league. Which means our Spring 18+ will be pretty much identical also, minus players who were bumped up. Spring recruiting is already going on....not many players in our division so it will be interesting to see who gets who.
     
    #34
  35. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Why don't you simply play both leagues? April is exactly three months after January.

    If you don't want to play don't.

    Our 18+, 40+ and 55+ leagues all run at the same time.

    Late Jan- early April, then Mixed, then Combo, then Singles and Fall with the last two overlapping.

    So we will see some guys playing 18+, 40+ and 55+ all during the same week.
     
    #35

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