USTA Benchmark Rating

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by chay337, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. chay337

    chay337 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Is it true that a benchmark player can play up and not get disqualified all the way to Nationals at the higher NTRP?

    Example: 3.5B plays in a 4.0 league and wins every match, etc.

    Doesn't seem fair, no?
     
    #1
  2. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,312
    Any computer rated player (C or B), not just a benchmark, is not subject to strikes or disqualification. The rationale is that by playing (at least) one year and getting a computer rating, the player is rated at the right level. The USTA accepts that players may improve and play better than their rating and doesn't try to establish any criteria to ferret out those that improve "too much" until year-end (or early start in some sections) at which point they must play at the higher level for early start or leagues in the following year.

    Can this system be and is it abused? Sure. But it works for the vast majority of players and trying to put a cap on how much an established player is allowed to improve could be problematic.
     
    #2
  3. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    I don't see why this is unfair, can you explain? I would admire the 3.5B player you describe for playing up and not playing at 3.5.

    The USTA algorithm is not perfect. I have been on teams with a couple of players who went undefeated all the way through a state tournament with many dominant wins and didn't get bumped to the next level. Both of them to their credit played up a level the next year even though they "legally" could have played at their actual level and dominated again. FWIW, both were very good players when playing up but did not go undefeated and both got the bump to the higher level the next year.
     
    #3
  4. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,639
    Location:
    Newtown, PA
    LOL. When you used to be able to get disqualified as a computer rated player, people complained that you could get DQ'd from a level that the computer rated you. Now that that rule is changed, people are complaining that you CAN'T get DQ'd from a level that the computer rated you. The USTA just can't win this one...
     
    #4
  5. chay337

    chay337 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Seems unfair if the player was to play at his/her benchmark level but there has to be a cutoff point somewhere, I suppose.

    Your example seems to be of players who was rated incorrectly or picked up the game quicker than average.
     
    #5
  6. chay337

    chay337 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    I will be on close to 10 teams this year and haven't heard one complain about a Comp rated players. Personally, I like it the way it is now. Wish they did something about limiting amount of self-rated players allowed to advance to the playoffs but I digress.
     
    #6
  7. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    You do know that benchmark means that a player played in playoffs, right? It does not mean that they are any better than anyone else. It just means the USTA considers their rating to be more accurate than a regular computer rating since they have played against players from other areas.

    No my example was of players who were rated correctly.
     
    #7
  8. chay337

    chay337 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Benchmark is indeed a rating for players that played in the playoffs. /NS

    That's awesome that they improved that quickly. Very few improve like that in my sections that I play in but I can think of 2 examples of players that went from 2.5 to 4.0B and 2.5 to 3.5C last year.
     
    #8
  9. NumbersGuy

    NumbersGuy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Caribbean? Sorry, just recalling another thread.:???:
     
    #9
  10. zerojoshua

    zerojoshua Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Nothing is perfect

    Last year I was a 4.0c rated player and took my team to Sectionals and lost 4 match point opportunities too take my team to nationals. Chances are someone was observing some of my matches. Unfortunately for other 4.0 players sake, what the observer didn't notice is that I had to serve left handed, due to an injury to my S1 nerve (Couldn't extend my right arm through out sectionals). My left serve is fairly wimpy, although I like to use the left sometimes to throw a lefty slice out wide or into the body..

    My TLS rating was 4.39 at the end of last year, I made it to the championships of a large 4.5 tournament in my area, beating someone that got bumped to 5.0 in the process.

    Now, I play #1 singles on one of the better 4.5 teams in my area and have recently been beating some 5.0's in a local league play. I would say I am probably in the upper 10% of the 4.5 players. When I play 4.0 matches, I just try to play nice and have a good time. Every one in my area thinks my rating is laughable and I agree, but at least I get another shot at nationals:)...
     
    #10
  11. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,312
    My understanding is that the days of USTA officials observing matches and what they think affecting ratings are in the past. So whether or not anyone saw your match doesn't matter to your rating.

    Now, if your having to serve with your off hand affected your play and results, that would be factored in to the rating calculations and your rating could be lower than it would be if you were healthy and able to serve normally.

    I wouldn't trust the TLS ratings that much from an absolute perspective, and if you remained a 4.0 at year-end, that 4.39 is waaaaaaay off. My ratings have you a lot lower, very close to being bumped up mind you, but nowhere near 4.39.

    And it is probably a bit of an overstatement to say that your match point opportunities were to get to Nationals. It appears your team went 2-3 at Sectionals and had you won the match, you would have been 3-2 with two teams ahead of you at 4-1.

    Bottom line is though that you probably didn't get bumped because of your two losses to finish Sectionals, and if they were because of an injury, you probably are a 4.5 when playing without the injury and you should be cleaning up on 4.0s like it sounds like you are.
     
    #11
  12. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,639
    Location:
    Newtown, PA
    We played the team at nationals from El Paso that won that section in both 18s and 40s and smoked them 5-0.
     
    #12
  13. zerojoshua

    zerojoshua Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Kewl beans.. One thing is for sure, I'm not psychic.
     
    #13
  14. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    13,067
    Location:
    In the future
    if you are benchmarked this year. would you be benchmarked next year too ?
     
    #14
  15. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,312
    This is another reason why zerojoshua may not have been bumped up. When year-end calculations are done, the El Paso team's performance at Nationals will cascade back to the players in their section. So if they didn't do well representing the section, the section as a whole may have their ratings drop a bit.
     
    #15
  16. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,639
    Location:
    Newtown, PA
    Exactly. What I meant (that I didn't really convey too well) is that part of it could be that it was possible that the whole section was down somewhat last year.

    Also, I should add they were great guys, especially their captain - one of the nicest guys I met out there.
     
    #16
  17. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,574
    Only if you did not play enough matches to generate a year end rating. You would not however be prohibited from appealing.
     
    #17
  18. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    984
    reading this, and comparing schmke's take vs. zerojoshua' take makes me think that this internet thing is a pretty funny thing. I mean you can verify almost anything these days, and check posters' tales against actual facts. And most of the time the facts are way less controversial than they would appear from those tales....

    good times..
     
    #18
  19. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,639
    Location:
    Newtown, PA
    You can do that and way more. I now have the entire knowledge of humankind available to me in my phone. Who'd of thunk that possible 20 years ago?
     
    #19
  20. zerojoshua

    zerojoshua Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Yea, after that loss to El Paso. We threw in the towl, for the most part.. Non the less, tennis is fun..
     
    #20
  21. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    13,067
    Location:
    In the future
    Is there anything good about Being Benchmarked ?? other than putting fear into opponent's brains ?
     
    #21
  22. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,312
    It's a badge of honor, indicates you went to playoffs last year.
     
    #22
  23. chay337

    chay337 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    It also doesn't represent how strong you are in the respective NTRP rating.

    Example: A player that was on a team of strong players and they carried him/her in to the playoffs. This player would get a benchmark rating.
     
    #23
  24. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    13,067
    Location:
    In the future
    I disagree with that. usually only the best players on the team will get to play in the playoff match. during the season, weaker player may get to play a few matches but when playoff time comes, most guys are available and captain will only play the best players because it is the Playoff time.
     
    #24
  25. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,692
    Location:
    Central Florida
    It's a curse too since it prevents appeals.
     
    #25
  26. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,639
    Location:
    Newtown, PA
    That's usually true but not always. You can dip down to the 13th or 14th man on your roster throughout a playoff run. Also, once your team is eliminated, if the playoffs are local enough, teams will "empty the bench" in the meaningless match to get everyone some experience at sectionals or whatever.

    That said, the B-rated players that are at the lower end of a range are more often there because they played in the playoffs at a lower level and got bumped. If you are a 3.5 and play in 3.5 sectionals then get bumped to 4.0, you're probably not at or anywhere near the top of the 4.0 range.
     
    #26
  27. kevrol

    kevrol Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    300
    Not so sure about that. I was on a team that qualified for playoffs in 2012. Was by far the weakest player on that team as I was playing a level up. Got bumped for 2013 and was a B player at a new level all of 2013.

    At least in this state competing in the playoffs is not a requirement for being a benchmark player.
     
    #27
  28. kevrol

    kevrol Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    300
    Meant to say I agree with that poster. Quoted the wrong post.
     
    #28
  29. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,127
    You do realize that a 4.0 player who plays in playoffs at 4.0 and gets bumped at the end of the year will be a 4.5B player? The B implies nothing about the players relative level within the rating interval.

    Edit - whoops, others made same point, didn't see that
     
    #29
  30. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    362
    This. I underrated myself when I self-rated, got stuck on a 3.0 team that went to sectionals (didn't play enough matches during season to get DQ'ed), got bumped at year's end to 3.5B. By the time the 3.5 league started in March, I was beating 4.0 guys regularly, but they wouldn't let me appeal up because of that damned "B" in Tennislink. So I stayed at 3.5, went undefeated, and wasted basically everyone's time.

    There are merits to the benchmark system, but I think the lack of ability to appeal, especially at the lower ratings and/or for newer players, is a huge flaw.
     
    #30
  31. kevrol

    kevrol Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    300
    ^You didn't have to appeal up to play 4.0.
     
    #31
  32. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    362
    In theory, sure. Unfortunately, all of the good 4.0 teams in my area at the time had an unwritten rule that they only allow guys on their roster that are "in level." As many explained it to me, it was to prevent the internal politics of having to justify to a 4.0 player why a "3.5 player" took his spot in the roster.

    In some respects, their rule makes sense; although packaged as "objective," the samples sizes for a lot of players, as well as the variety of games therein, make it difficult to predict accurately how a guy will fare playing up a level. I had the same issue when I captained my 4.0 team later; we had a few 3.5 guys (mostly athletic but newer players to tennis) that could blast some of my 4.0 guys. Yet their dynamic ratings almost always had the 4.0 ahead of the 3.5 because the sample size hadn't caught up yet.

    So even though I played most of these guys in 4.0 tournaments and beat them when I was a 3.5, I wasn't able to play on their team because (a) of their team rule; and (b) the USTA's mythical "B" prevented me from gaining a 4.0 rating, thereby bypassing their rule.

    Plenty terrible teams were more than happy to let me play 4.0 for them, but I can't stand losing and so I took a pass. Instead, I played 3.5, made it to sectionals, and had one competitive match the entire time.
     
    #32
  33. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    13,067
    Location:
    In the future
    Agree with you. that is one flaw. 3.5 player in the playoff that just got bumped will have benchmark too. that is weakness of the computer system. nothing is perfect
     
    #33
  34. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    It is not a weakness in the system because as been written in this forum ad nauseam, a B or Benchmark rating is not designed to indicate players which are at the top of their rating level, only those who have been to playoffs. I guess if you'd ever been to playoffs you'd know this because I have and when I was there I played against players who were much better than me and also those who were much worse. All of us ended up with B ratings including those who were bumped to the next rating level at year end.
     
    #34
  35. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    3,560
    Sounds like you'd do better to blame your own unwillingness rather than the USTA's policies for your failure to play 4.0 then.
     
    #35
  36. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,312
    Thank you beernutz.

    In one last attempt to explain this, I've written up the below on my NTRP Rating FAQ as question/answer 24. Pay close attention to the example in the second paragraph, this is actually quite reasonable and results in more B rated players being weaker at their level than stronger.

    Q24: I beat a Benchmark player, that will help my rating more, right?
    A24: Not exactly. As noted above, a B rated player achieves that designation for playing in the playoffs,which may make you think that means that B also means they are the "best" at their level. This is somewhat true, but there are exceptions and you cannot make the generalization that B means anything more than the player making playoffs in the previous year.

    For example, say a 3.5 team goes to playoffs and they have a 12 man roster that includes a bunch of players with dynamic ratings above 3.3, but their bottom four players are at 3.2 or below. In local playoffs, they were confident of winning against a certain team and they played two of their "worst" players on court 3. At sectionals, they wrapped up their sub-flight early and could afford to play their other two "worst" players on court 3. Thus, all four of these players have played in playoffs and get a B rating, specifically a 3.5B, even though their dynamic ratings are below 3.2, in the lower part of the range for 3.5s. Further, their four best players get bumped up to 4.0 at year-end as a result of having ratings between 3.5 and 3.7, and they get the 4.0B ratings. Their other four players end up being 3.5B rated with ratings between 3.3 and 3.5.

    The result is that all 12 players are B rated, but only four are actually the "best" at their level, the other eight are actually in the lower half of the range for their level. So one could actually make the argument that B rated players are generally weaker within their level than C rated players given this scenario which probably isn't that uncommon, especially if more of the players were to be bumped up.
     
    #36
  37. tennixpl

    tennixpl Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    SA Texas
    Never went to playoffs, bumped from 3.0/2013 to 3.5B/2014, is there another way to be a benchmark player?
    I was invited to a end of season playoff but i thought it was for a 3.0 ranking for last year. since my 3.5 results last year were mediocre to bad, losing other 3.0s in 3.5 tourneys and league.
     
    #37
  38. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    Were you disqualified (DQed)? In the past if you were dynamically disqualified during the season the USTA would give you a B rating. I did not think that was the case any longer since they introduced the D rating last year.
     
    #38
  39. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,312
    When you are DQ'd, you get the D rating immediately, but at year-end you get a B.
     
    #39
  40. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,312
    Were you a 3.0C in 2013 or were you self-rated? And are you sure you didn't play even in just a flight playoff?
     
    #40
  41. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    362
    Or, perhaps rather than stick to an inflexible system, the USTA should allow benchmarks to appeal up just as they do other computer-rated players. Even were I to play 4.0 that year, I also would have played 3.5 for the obligatory 2 regular season matches, districts, and sectionals. And when I did so, I would have been an institutionalized sandbagger, clothed with the blessing of the computer system, when I had no business playing 3.5. Frankly, with a DNTRP already well into the 4.0 range by the time the 3.5 season started, there was almost no justification to keep me as a 3.5.

    Moreover, the comparison justification for a "benchmark" player is eroded when I had 13 other benchmark players on my team to set the curve. Had I been bumped up, the system and its expected results would have been just fine.

    Even independent that, I'm certainly not saying the USTA system was the only reason I didn't play 4.0 that year. But it was a significant one.
     
    #41
  42. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    If you were on top of the 4.0 level, the unwritten rule would definitely be broken. You might have to prove yourself but it won't take that long if you should be there. There might be a bias against you but after you beat people badly enough times it will go away. I know since I did this last year.

    I'm curious, what have your scores been at 3.5?
    If your wasting everyone's time I am guessing you have been blowing out the top players
     
    #42
  43. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    362
    Oh, I wasn't at the top of 4.0. But there was no doubt I was a 4.0 in terms of DNTRP. I'm a 4.5 now, so this was two years ago. As a 3.5, I went 29-0 and lost one set at 3.5 (to a postseason guy who got bumped to 4.0 at year's end). The average games lost per match in that 29 was just under 4, including districts and sectionals. 22 were singles, 7 were doubles. I played 4.0 tourneys at the same time and beat many of the 4.0s that wouldn't let me join their teams; those scores were usually tight, though, with some going to match tiebreakers.

    Like I said earlier, I understand why many of the local teams adopted the rule. What I will never understand, especially at the lower levels and with new players, is why the USTA won't let benchmark players appeal.

    There's another guy in Las Vegas right now that has a similar issue; he's a benchmarked 4.0 because his team went to the postseason, but he's easily a 4.5 (played high school, gamed the self-rate system, got a 3.5 computer rating). He was a computer-rated 3.5 last year (insert joke here), played 3.5 and 4.0, plus some 4.0 tourneys, and here are his 2013 league results:

    3.5: 14-0 (didn't lose a set; gave up max 6 games in match)
    4.0: 9-1 (dubs loss with a 3.5; in 7 singles matches, gave up 3 or fewer total games five times)
    4.5: 3-1 (all against legit 4.5 players)

    Ironically enough, he probably didn't get bumped up to 4.5 only because the expected results for his 3.5 matches were 0 and 0, meaning he lost DNTRP points if he messed around, which he did. If he wanted to appeal his rating, he couldn't because he's benchmarked. And yet, it's painfully obvious to everyone that not only is he a 4.5, but he's a damn good one at that.
     
    #43
  44. tennixpl

    tennixpl Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    SA Texas
    I was a 3.0C.
    no league playoff as a 3.5, just a league playoff at 3.0(our league playoff for going to sectionals or whatever) in May 2013. team got crushed. No championship tournaments played.
    I do play a lot and travel between Houston/San Antonio/Austin.
    its not a complaint i would say that i am a better 3.5 and seem to win against those I should win and lose to lose who i should lose too, its just wasn't the case at the end of 2013. and i can always play up when i want to get whooped on!
     
    #44
  45. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    I'm pretty sure you can get a 3.5B rating from playing in a 3.0 league playoff if that was your feeder for 3.0 sectionals.
     
    #45
  46. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    I have to admit I had a similar experience although I was beating the guys easily. It was actually humerous when someone actually thought they were better than me after I beat them repeatedly badly (less than 4 games) because I was rated .5 point lower. I didn't play too many lower level matches especially at the end, but I think it was only a waste of time for me. The other team's sacrificed the spot and I don't think my opponents were too upset to play against a stronger player.

    The benchmark rule doesn't really change much other than stopping me from appealing down this year. The guys that are clearly out of level probably wouldn't appeal and that problem would still exist. My guess is that your 4.0A wouldn't make all that much of a difference to your situation as well.

    Personally, I don't understand the reason why people are so caught up in winning nationals at a "level" as it pretty much means you are not properly rated. I like the league aspect of tennis and frankly like the aspect of the captains stacking lineups and searching for ringers. It adds some drama which is interesting to watch.
     
    #46
  47. schmke

    schmke Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,312
    Exactly, that is why he got to be a B.
     
    #47

Share This Page