USTA Players-do your teams play in order of strength?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by SJS, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. cak

    cak Professional

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    You are in a tough position. Don't throw matches and possibly get DQ'd. Do throw matches and possibly get sanctioned and banned. I'd go with the one that when you explain it, sounds ethical.
     
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  2. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    regarding the dead horse....
    1. There are some team competitions that require the lineup to be based on the strength of the players...best player plays #1 etc.
    2. If you flip or "stack" your lineup in these leagues to get a favorable match up, it is considered illegal or unethical.
    3. There is no rule in the USTA leagues regarding the way you must arrange your lineup. You best player can play 1,2,5, or 9....it doesn't matter.
    4. If there is no rule or guideline to follow, then there can be no flipping or "stacking".

    If there is no right lineup there is no wrong lineup.

    If there is no "straight up", there can be no "flipping".

    I don't know any other way to explain this to get people to stop thinking that Line 1 doubles is the best doubles team.
     
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  3. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Of course it effects everyone. But it doesn't effect them in a negative way. It effects everyone in the same way. The idea is for your dynamic rating to be accurate. The more you play, the more opponents you have, the more accurate the rating is regardless of if you are playing up or not. The only thing that really screws up the rating system is tanking a match, i.e., cheating. Which makes your interest in this ironic to say the least.

    You have a twisted idea of what USTA league tennis is all about. In your world, if it doesn't work for you, then it must not be fair. Your solution is to cheat, which is unfair to everyone else. If this solution works for you, great. I guarantee you it doesn't work for your opponents.
     
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  4. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

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    can I beat the horse a little?

    When I first started playing league about 15 years ago, we were encouraged (but not required) to play order of strength. At some point that fell by the wayside for various reasons, such as captains not knowing the exact pecking order of their teams, not enough league coordinators to enforce "violations", etc. NCAA and high schools still use that system. Also, many people think it's logical for a #1 singles player for example to play #1 in the lineup. Or maybe it's just easier to line up the team that way. It's definitely easier than scouting opponents, discovering their tendencies, and strategizing how to beat them. I have also seen where it's an ego thing - the top doubles team *wanted* to play #1 even if it was a match they couldn't win. So for all of these reasons (and probably more) I think the order of strength is used in the vast majority of league matches, but less so at the championship levels.

    Like the saying goes, old habits die hard, and I guess horses do too. I have a feeling this one's gonna be like Terri Schiavo - on life support for decades before it finally passes.

    Any naysayers (neighsayers?) out there?
     
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  5. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Oldguys, are you a league coordinator, or have you spoken at length to one? 'Cause I HAVE, and like I've written a few times already in this thread, playing up CAN AND OFTEN DOES affect others that you play negatively. Let me spell it out for you real slowly so you can understand:
    If I as a 3.0 play up in a 3.5 league, and do well, either by winning outright, or not losing too badly, my dynamic rating goes up. Let's say that two nights later, I play in my 3.0 league against a relatively weak opponent, but for some reason, I don't play too well, and get beat 6-2, 6-2. (No, I'm NOT talking about tanking the match, and yes, I'm talking about someone I would/should regularly beat 6-2, 6-2). Guess what? His dynamic rating goes up, so when he plays a make-up match the next night against a 2.5 player who's playing up and winds up losing, suddenly that 2.5 player's rating is now dynamically 3.0, and viola!, he gets bumped up and DQed in his 2.5 league he was also playing in. Sure, this was a hypothetical situation, but that can/does happen! So to say that "it doesn't affect them in a negative way" is wrong!
    I guess in your view of the USTA league tennis, if I "sacrifice" my weakest player to my opposing team's strongest player (one that we felt none of us could beat), then I'm "cheating", since I deliberately "lost" a line in order to win the match.
    Are you suggesting that it's perfectly fair to get DQed in the middle of a season, thereby retroactively losing all your matches? Go back and read through my posts, and assuming that I'm not lying, come back and tell me that the things I've seen happen to some of the players in our league is fair.
    Y'all think about it this way: What if, because of some of our players getting DQed at the end of the season, we wind up not winning our division, even though we're clearly the strongest team in the division, and our division now has to field a much weaker team at the state championships? Is that fair to the teams from the other divisions in the state? Is our division fielding the strongest possible competition for them to play agaisnt? Clearly, the answer is no.
    Like I've said, quit DQing players in the middle of the season, and this wouldn't be an issue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
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  6. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    I do believe the derby is coming up.:) A good one.
     
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  7. cak

    cak Professional

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    Now this is an amazing hypothetical situation, a 3.0 plays out of his head and beats a 3.5 having a bad day and then that same 3.0 has a horrendous day on the same day a 2.5 is having a great day. And, this amazing hypothetical situation would have to happen three times (Thus the three strikes) to the same 2.5 for them to be DQ'd. The algorithm is actually more complex than that, they average the last three games before posting a DNTRP. The DNTRP has to be above 2.8 three times.(Which is a strong 3.0, Note 2.5 players are 0-2.5, 3.0 players are 2.51 to 3.0) It is easier for 2.5s to get bumped up because so many play up, and so few have long histories to average out their DNTRP.


    So you are sending these weak players out there and telling them to lose? Or are you telling them this is going to be a really tough match, and if you win you are rockstars? Cheating is only if people go out on the court with no intention of trying to win.

    You might want to check your section and see how often this happens to computer rated players that did not appeal their rating down or were using a mixed rating in an adult or senior league. I would be behind a rule that says if you got your computer rating from an adult or senior league from a sample of 10 matches or more, and it is not an appealled rating, you can keep it without getting DQ'd for the season. I do know in our region, the number of people DQ'd with a legitimate (not appealled, not mixed, played more than three matches) computer rating is pretty close to 0.
     
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  8. Lindros13

    Lindros13 Semi-Pro

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    Based upon most of the comments on this thread, there apparently is no requirement to send out the team in the order of strength (assuming everyone on the team is at the same level such as 3.5). i.e. the #1, #2, and #3 doubles only dictates which court you go to... - so unless the players intensionally lose, then there is nothing unusual going on, right?

    But apparently it's not common knowledge amongst team captains that #1 singles does not mean the strongest 3.5 player on the 3.5 team. If that's the case, and most captains just put the strongest guy there, then perhaps a way to correct this system would be to ANNOUNCE TO ALL TEAMS and ALL TEAM CAPTAINS that they should RANDOMLY pick who plays at each spot regardless of their ability level. This way, folks on the opposing team trying to match people up can never be assured it will happen.

    However, the slight dilemna I see with that is: I think the rules require lower ranked players (those playing up - i.e. the 3.0 guy playing in the 3.5 league) to play at the end of the roster such as 2nd singles or 3rd doubles, with the actual 3.5-level players "in front" of them in the roster. If that's true, then the teams should just put the lower ranked guys at the end, and then randomly select the remaining portion of their roster - PROBLEM SOLVED, NO???

    Since both teams show their rosters at the same time, there's no guarantee that you'll match up the weaker player against the other teams best player. Now if they tank and intentionally lose a match, then there's no way to prevent that...
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Just to be clear, I also think you and your teammates are cheaters. If you don't go out and try to win -- to use your word you try to "manipulate" the system -- then you are flat-out cheating.

    Self-rated players are DQ'd after three matches with a result that is "clearly above level." Computer-rated players get far more leeway. I know many computer-rated players who went undefeated and were not DQ'd, including some who went to sectionals.

    Come on. Play your level and play honestly. It's a flippin' hobby, man. Are you really willing to toss your personal integrity out the window for something so meaningless as a tennis rating?

    Sheez. If people will come right out and admit they're cheating at a hobby that counts for nothing, can you imagine what they might do when there is money or fame or career advancement on the line?
     
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  10. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    That is not correct - you can play them anywhere.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The proposal is a good starting point, but it is based on an assumption: it assumes all teams give a flying fig about sectionals.

    My team, being a group of realists, knows we have zero chance of going to sectionals, so the rule would have no impact on anything we did. To get our attention, an anti-stacking rule would have to affect who wins the team match.

    What's wrong with this, which was suggested above? Court 1 is worth three points, Court 2 is two points, Court 3 is one point. Singles 1 is worth three points, Singles 2 is two points. That's 11 points up for grabs.

    This also takes care of the problem of captains taking a forfeit on Court 1. Our section has a new rule saying that if there is a default, it must be a default on the lowest court. Those who play strong teams on Court 3 are taking the chance that the strong team will win by default while a weak team sacrificed on Court 1 will get slaughtered.

    This rule does seem to suggest that there is a custom or assumption that Court 1 will have the strongest players. So the idea of "stacking" isn't a dead horse and is alive and well in our area.
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    For reference, here's the new rule requiring the lower court to be forfeited:

    "If a team must forfeit an individual match, it must be the
    lowest numbered position (whether in singles or doubles)
    consistent with USTA League Regulation 3.03L. Where
    one or both players that constitute the #1 or #2 doubles
    team in the match fail to show up by the end of the 10-
    minute default period, the remaining doubles teams listed
    on the scorecard must move up and play in the vacated
    position(s), with no revision of playing partners allowed.
    Similarly, if the #1 singles player has not arrived by the
    end of the default period, then the #2 singles player on
    the line-up must move up to play the #1 position, and #2
    singles is forfeited."
     
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  13. cak

    cak Professional

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    Our section has had the rule of defaulting the singles 2, doubles 3rd courts ever since I started playing USTA 4 years ago. They also go through the trouble of mentioning in the "welcome captain" email that court order it just court order, and has nothing to do with how good the players are. So it doesn't matter to NorCal where you put your strongest team/singles player.
     
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  14. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    First, let's be clear that the vast majority of players who are bumped up are not DQed and they do not have their match results reversed. It doesn't sound as if 10sfreak is playing around Atlanta, but to give some perspective: there are over 30,000 USTA members in Atlanta. In the men's/women's winter season that completes tomorrow, there were only 6 players DQed during the round-robin stage, I believe. I don't know how many people played in total, but a quick check shows that 984 were on men's 3.0 teams alone.

    Players are only DQed if the computer algorithm determines that their ability is substantially above the level at which they are playing, and therefore should not be playing at that level. The principle of that is perfectly sound, to me - you play at the wrong level, you get tossed. The only thing you can quibble about is whether the algorithm is defined fairly and correctly. I think it is - in fact, I think it should be tougher.

    Anyone who deliberately plays below their capabilities in order to avoid being bumped up is cheating, plain and simple.
     
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  15. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Spelling it out slowly doesn't make you right...

    1. As Cak said, your hypothetical situation is unrealistic and has probably never happened that way, therefore every conclusion you come to based on it is flawed.
    2. Your dynamic rating moves very slowly. You can't all of a sudden be DQ'd. If you get DQ'd, it is because you have exhibited a level of play for an extended period of time that is above the level you are playing on.
    3. There is no rule that prevents you from playing your weakest player against the opponents strongest player if you want to try to do that. So that is not cheating. It is cheating if you intentionally try to lose or tank a match.
    4. The purpose of the dynamic rating system is to arrive at an accurate rating over a period of time. In order to get DQ'd, you would have to have a rating that is above the one you are playing on 3 times. It could go over once and then come back down the next match you play. But if you are consistenly showing an ability that is higher than the level you are playing on, you will get DQ'd. The purpose of that is to prevent players that have 4.0 skills from playing in a 3.5 league.

    You want to focus on what is fair for an individual. The system focuses on what is fair for the community, that is, everyone that is playing in the league. In your example, your team is the strongest team in the division because your players should have been playing at a higher level (If they got DQ'd, it means they were too good for that level). Is that fair to the other teams?

    I will grant you one point...I don't think non-appealed, computer-rated players should get DQ'd. When this happens, nobody is happy, but it happens very rarely. The vast majority of the DQ's, which are rare as well, happen to self-raters or those that appealed their rating and should be playing higher.

    Before you decide whether to trust my understanding of this system over your league coordinator's, ask him 1. to explain to you how a dynamic rating is calculated for a computer rated player. 2. How is it calculated for a self-rated player?. 3. What happens in the calculation if a 3.0 plays a 4.0? 4. How is the calculation adjusted for doubles? 5. What is used to determine the expected rating differential between two players. (I may not have the terminology exactly right, but he should understand the question)

    These are some of the easier questions that I thought of that would begin to help you understand how the system works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
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  16. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    I went to the stable to ask Mr. Ed how to explain myself, but he wasn't much help...

    I understand that:
    1. Some captains set their lineups with their best players at #1 and so on.
    2. Some players assume that their captains do the above even if they don't
    3. Some captains follow a pattern, but not neccesarily best players at #1 and so on.
    4. The above points create an opportunity for strategy in how a captain sets his lineup.

    I do not dispute these points that you guys are making.

    The point I am making is this:
    Regardless of the above, there is no rule that requires or suggests that captains determine their lineup in anything other than a random way. However, the perception remains among players and captains that the rule does exist and they act accordingly. Therefore, in the spirit of consistency, I am simply saying that we quit referring to our lineup with terms such as "straight up" or "stacking". These terms only have meaning in a situation where the lineups are required to be filled according to ability or strength. If the captains will spread the word that your court assignment is random and line #1 has no different meaning than line #2, then more players will begin to understand this as well.

    Can we bury this horse now?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
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  17. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No, we can't bury the horse.

    You are correct that there is no rule that requires stronger players to be played on higher courts.

    We need to retain the terminology "straight up" and "stacking," however. It is a short-cut to referring to the various ways of handling line-ups. Yes, calling one option "stacking" has some mild perjorative connotations, but I can't think of a better option for describing it.

    "Sacrifice" also has certain unhappy connotations, but still the term does describe a certain legitimate practice, so we should still retain it, IMHO.

    CAK, I take your point that official league policy suggests the league allows any court order.

    I find it amusing that the rule I quoted exists, however. What can the purpose possibly be other than to provide an incentive to play your best teams on the higher courts?

    I ask the question honestly; I can't think of another reason, but maybe someone else can.
     
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  18. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I don't think USTA's intentions were for the numberings to be random. USTA's goal is to provide the most competitive matches possible. They created this layout to encourage each team to lay out their players from strongest to weakest, so that matches can be more competitive. Its not a rule, probably because its impossible to enforce. There is no way for a team to know who is stronger, when all they have is a rating that is pretty much the same for everyone.

    Obviously this breaks down when one team plays this way and another team stacks up players to increase their chances of winning. Its the teams that turned these numberings into something random, not USTA.
     
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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    For combo play, I proposed at one point that there be a rule requiring captains to put their lowest rated pairings on the lower courts. Say you're playing 6.5 combo. You have doubles pairings of 3.5/3.0, 3.5/2.5 and 3.0/3.0. In that case, the 6.5 pair would have to go on court one and the other two pairs could go on either court.

    The league coordinator didn't think this was a good idea, so I didn't pursue it. I think it might help with sandbagging, perhaps. If you know that picking a low self-rating (or cheating to maintain a low rating) means you'll not likely play court one and you'll have dull matches on court 3, maybe players would be less inclined to pick and maintain low ratings?

    It was frustrating last season, though, because my No. 1 pair hardly ever had a decent match. They were 5.5 in a 5.5 league, but they were frequently playing "sacrificed" teams of only 5.0, when the opponent fielded other pairs of 5.5 on lower courts in a (failed) attempt to win the team match by stacking.
     
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  20. Lindros13

    Lindros13 Semi-Pro

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    So then, perhaps USTA should announce to all teams that they should make their best effort to play the players in their order of strenths, as best they can determine, and rely on the honor system, period, end of discussion, put the horse under..

    In order for an honor system to best work, I think USTA, team captains, and league coordinators need to CONTINUALLY emphasize this, and perhaps even take an oath when someone becomes captain. I recall in high school years back, my coach was adamant that you have to play in order and it taught good morals to the kids. We had a challenge system if you wanted to move up and play a higher position.
     
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  21. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    As long as nationals exists, there is no incentive to follow this honor system. If you follow the honor system, you are guaranteed not to be a winning team, because you know others won't do the same.
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Eh, it doesn't matter what USTA does. We used to have an anti-stacking rule, and cagey captains stacked anyway. Making it a custom doesn't help at all; people just blow it off and do what they want.

    What could work is a side agreement among willing captains. So if there are 12 teams in a division, perhaps six would agree before the season starts not to stack when they play the other five captains who have made such an agreement. That would be fair and workable.

    There would be no enforcement mechanism, just the honor system. Any captain who agreed not to stack and then stacked would be "outed" and other captains could decide she is a snake. :)
     
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  23. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Why would you choose to retain terminology that has perjorative and unhappy connotations when there is no reason to? Why would you want to tell a teammate that they are sacrificing when you don't have to? Why would you ever refer to a lineup as anything other than random if you don't have to? The best way to conceal any potential strategy is to appear as if you have no strategy.

    The reason the rule exists is to provide a structure to handle defaults/no shows/player shortage. There has to be some order to the chaos. Your explanation of it's purpose makes sense if you are trying to justify the belief that line 1 doubles should be your best doubles team and the USTA secretly wants you to do that even though the official rule and policy is the opposite of that.

    To me, any impact on the lineup is a result of the rule and not the purpose of the rule.
     
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  24. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Or...We could just remove the anti-stacking rule, recognize that the lineups are (should) be set in a random matter, throw out the terms "straight up" and "stacking" because they are obsolete in this context, and go have fun playing tennis. Oh wait, some of us are already doing this.
     
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  25. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    http://decaturtennis.com/genpage.cgi?S1=main_selections&S2=NTRPGuide

    An interesting effect occurs when players with a published rating at a lower NTRP level choose to play at a higher NTRP level or attempt to play at a lower level. This can cause big problems in local areas and in entire level/gender files where several players and even whole teams choose to do this. If a top level 4.0 level player, who has a 3.95 rating, decides to play on a 4.5 level team. That player may very well wind up with a rating at the very low end of the 4.5 scale even though they lost all their matches. If this effect takes place continually over a period of two to three seasons in a given local area, the players in the local area may believe that they are at a certain level, because they are having compatible matches locally. When one of those teams arrives at a championship playoff event and gets beaten badly, they often complain about the rating system, but ... it is ultimately those same players who helped to define the rating trends in their area or section. Players and teams who try to willfully enter the NTRP system at a lower level of play, appeal down to a lower level of play or deliberately tank matches, upset the system flow and cause others to get moved to the wrong levels when they should not be. The Verifiers and Local Coordinators are monitoring the match results and problems of this nature are usually rectified on a seasonal basis when discovered. As tennis players, our level of play does vary a bit from match to match and at times within a match itself. Some players ratings may fluctuate up to 2 tenths of a point in either direction. The aim of the NTRP is to assign ratings to players at their median level of play each year. The NTRP Computer rating and verifier observations are the primary factors in accomplishing this task.
     
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  26. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Maybe if you weren't so predictable the other captains wouldn't have said, "Cindy always plays this team at Line 1, we can't beat that team, so let's put our best at 2 or 3."

    Here's an idea, stop setting your lineup "straight up"...mix it up a little. Play your best team at line 3. Did you know there is no rule that prevents you from doing this? Hey, you could even tell your players that Line 1 does not mean #1 player(team). Tell them that the line they play will change from week to week so that the other teams will not be able to apply the strategy of "stacking" against us.

    Maybe if enough captains did this we could remove all of the perjorative and unhappy connotations from our tennis life and just have fun playing tennis. That would be cool.
     
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  27. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Raiden,
    Thanks for sharing this link. The article is a great introduction to how the dynamic system works.

    btw, I suspect you quoted me in regards to my statements regarding playing up. There is a hidden objective behind Bob's words on this topic and the "problem" identified is not the real problem. As you think about it, keep in mind that a high 4.0 has a better chance of beating a low 4.5 than a low 4.0 has of beating a high 4.0. Kudos to you if you can identify the "real" problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
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  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't usually play my best players on court three without a good reason (injury). The reason is that my highest priority is not winning the team match. It is *getting my players competitive matches* so they can improve. If other teams use that info to "stack" against us, so be it. So long as there are still a few captains out there who will often put their toughest teams on higher courts (and there are), it's worth trying.

    I guess I resist your suggestion of random court placement because I really would prefer it if everyone didn't "stack." That would be my idea of a perfect world. If retaining the negative terminology encourages a few more captains to play their line-ups "straight," that's a good thing in my mind.

    Please know that I understand that you have a different view, and I respect your view. I understand that the league rules permit what you suggest.

    I do, however, think the rule I quoted governing defaults is more consistent with my "anti-stacking" view. Otherwise the league rule could require that Court Two always be forfeited. Or it could state that the non-defaulting captain gets to decide. But no, it's Court Three that gets forfeited no matter what.

    Hmmmmmmmm.
     
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  29. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    I would agree that the "default from the bottom up" rule encourages captains not to place their strongest team on the #3 line. Beyond that, though, it is all about strategy. If your strategy is to play strongest to weakest in an attempt to have good matches then go with what works for you.

    People who choose otherwise, perhaps in an attempt to beat you, are doing nothing wrong. You can't really fault people for trying to compete in a competetive sport.

    Guessing who is going to play where in a given match is really a crapshoot anyway. I wouldn't (and don't) lose any sleep over it.
     
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  30. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    I've not played in a "combo" league, so maybe it's different there. However, in a "regular" league comprised of everyone being at the same level (unless someone is playing "up"), I see no reason to try and determine the strongest teams and play them according to court number. As far as I know, none of the captains around here do that. And as often as we switch doubles partners, it'd be hard to know which team was the strongest any given week anyway.

    It's not like you know ahead of time how your opponents are going to line up, so it's impossible to "sacrifice" a weak player for the good of the team.
     
    #80
  31. cak

    cak Professional

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    I suspect the rule governing defaults in NorCal has more to do with simplifying the software implementation of our version of tennislink for entering scores.

    On any given day, a high 2.5 could beat a low 3.0. On any given day, any 3.0 could beat any other 3.0. I've beaten my share of undefeated players that on paper I had no chance against. Last year the 2nd best player on our 3.5 team was a 3.0. And in every match I've ever been to, there is much dissension on who exactly played their best players. Do you go by records? Do you go by big forehands? Do you go by best serves? Ratings this year? Ratings last year? I can't blame the sections for not wanting to step into this.
     
    #81
  32. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Please forgive me if you feel I have been trying to change your view. I guess I have, but it is for a reason. I believe you are new to league tennis and you have often expressed a frustration with some of the peculiarities in the system. Your frustration in this context is that your #1 team doesn't always get a competitive match because other teams are "stacking". What I am trying to communicate is that this is a frustration that you create and there is a solution to it. Stop viewing the other teams as "stacking" and get with the program. There is no "stacking" and there is no "straight" except in your mind. The idea that Court 1 should be your best players is gone, obsolete, non-existant, and regressive (I lost my thesaurus, somebody help me).

    I don't communicate very well by the written word, and you don't know me, but I really am old and wise. You may not change your point of view because some jerk on the internet told you to, but one day you will...and then you will think, "maybe I should have listened to that old guy"
     
    #82
  33. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    I have given you a reason for the default rules.
    Cak has given you a reason for the default rules.

    What you have given is a result or effect that the default rules cause. Namely, "The other team might have to default a line so I don't want to have my best players on Court 3". This is smart thinking when setting your lineup. However, it is not a logical step to align this result with some sort of anti-stacking view. Why? Because there is no stacking since court assignments are (should be, I should add) random.
     
    #83
  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I hear ya. I do.

    I also know that if I put my two weakest players on Court One, they will come to me upset that I've set them up to be slaughtered. I can talk myself until I'm blue in the face that court order means nothing, but they won't believe me.

    Keep in mind that these customs vary by region. I think if you were to go to any caption around here and ask, they would say: "The league rules permit captains to put their teams on any court without regard to strength, but most captains reserve the lower courts for their better players by long-standing custom."

    Me, I wish more captains would voluntarily abide by the custom, but there's nothing to be done for this. I won't go to random court assignments just yet, though. When my No. 1 pair comes to me disappointed that they won 6-0, 6-1 while a tougher opponent is on court two, I can shrug and say, "Hey, I did what I could to get you a good match by putting you on Court One. I can't control what the other captain did."
     
    #84
  35. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Did you even READ what I wrote?! I just told you that yes, we have had computer-rated players DQed in the middle of the season because they were winning, which messed up the whole friggin' team. Is there some part of that you don't understand? "Computer-rated players get far more leeway." Maybe in YOUR section, but believe me, not around here! Just because you "know many computer-rated players who went undefeated and were not DQ'd, including some who went to sectionals", doesn't mean it doesn't happen around here! Hello?! Did I not specifically state that?!
    Cindysphinx, how long again have you been playing? Do you play here in Georgia? Are you a league coordinator? Are you ANY kind of official with the USTA? No? Well, well, well!! How 'bout that? So you've played a few seasons, and you already know all about how the USTA rating/DQ system works, and apparently, you know exactly how things work around in my neck of the woods too, in spite of specific examples I've given to the contrary! Wow, it must be nice to be so omniscient!
     
    #85
  36. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    No, I've sent a guy to play at #1 singles, knowing full well he had no chance of winning, because even our best player hadn't been able to beat him in two tries already. So, my guy was a "sacrifice," so as to enable enough of the rest of the team to win, which we did, 3-2, capturing the division championship.
     
    #86
  37. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    You're just showing your ignorance now. I've told y'all repeatedly, that the things y'all say don't/can't happen, HAVE HAPPENED! Y'all can type at your computers all day long that the scenarios I've outlined can't/don't happen, but it has happened, and has done so to at least 1 player every season in the league I play! I don't care what doesn't happen in your neck of the woods, as I don't play there, but I'm telling all of you, it happens here!
     
    #87
  38. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Dude, you can call names, scream and yell, whatever you want.

    **If you or your players are going out and "tanking" matches on purpose to "manipulate" your ratings, you are CHEATING.**

    My 12 year old kid would know that, and she has never played league tennis.

    Now, if you are playing players on Court One who are likely to lose, that is perfectly fine so long as they don't tank the match. "Tanking" means that they don't play their best and they lose on purpose to manipulate their rating and avoid a DQ.

    If you meant something different, fine. But using words like "tank" and "manipulate" is bound to get you hammered, and you definitely used those words in your posts:

     
    #88
  39. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Then apparently, your 12 year old kid can read better than you can. I've stated time and time again, that the things you people keep saying doesn't/can't happen, HAS HAPPENED! On numerous occasions to people that I personally know! Now I've gone back and reread my posts to confirm that I did indeed write them in English, so I really don't know why y'all can't understand that point.
    Hey, if you think that I'm actually lying about what I've seen happen, then say so! And if that's the case, why even bother responding to anything I write? Either take what I say at face value, or ignore me completely. So, once again: I've seen 4 different people (3 of whom were computer-rated, 1 was playing tennis for the first time in his life, as a 2.5) get DQed at the end of a season (thereby forfeiting all their matches), for the last 4 seasons! Yep, that thing that y'all keep saying doesn't/can't happen, has happened FOUR SEASONS IN A ROW!!! It may not happen where you play, but I'm talking very specifically about where I play. Hey, if the system is going to screw people like that, what exactly do you expect them to do about it?
    And just for the record, since you're so sure that tanking a match is cheating (hell, even your 12 yr. old understands that), could you please refer me to that rule? I haven't been able to find it. Nor can I find it in our online copy of The Code. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
    #89
  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Look, I'm sorry if you don't like how the rules work in your area. Assuming every word you wrote about DQs etc. is the stone cold truth, I say you should go out and play your best in every match and it is unethical to do otherwise.

    If your argument is that it is jim dandy to throw matches, to take a dive, to lose on purpose . . . well, good luck with all that.
     
    #90
  41. cak

    cak Professional

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    I (a doubles player) was sent to play number one singles against a player that our singles players hadn't beaten. I won. If you walk on the court there is alway a chance of winning. I don't see sending people out to win against big odds as cheating. I think losing a game those players could have won if they tried is cheating.
     
    #91
  42. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Ok, then cite me the rule about tanking matches. If it's not a violation of the rules, then by definition, it can't be cheating.
    Also, in my reply that you qouted, I wasn't implying that sacrificing a player was "cheating." I was just trying to explain to a questioner that I didn't have my player lose on purpose.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
    #92
  43. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

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    are you serious?

    Ummm... plenty. Under this scenario, a team could win #1 singles and #1 doubles, winning 6 points to the opponents' 5, even though they lost 3 out of the 5 matches. Something's rotten in Denmark if this were to happen.
     
    #93
  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, so maybe the numbers would need to change so the math works out a bit better. What about the overall idea?

    Man, has this thread veered all over the place or what?
     
    #94
  45. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    I'd say it is definitely in violation of this rule, in particular the last 5 words:

    All players participating in the USA League Tennis Program, as a condition of their participation, agree to abide and be bound by the USTA Constitution and By-Laws; the USTA Regulations; the Rules of Tennis (unless modified by these USA LEAGUE TENNIS REGULATIONS); the USA League Tennis Regulations and the standards of good conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship.
     
    #95
  46. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Nobody is saying that players don't get DQ'd. They do. I believe you that 4 players in your section have been DQ'd during the last 4 years. The reason they were DQ'd is because they were playing at a level below their ability level. If they were computer rated, It is hard to accept that result. (Please read post #65 where I acknowledged this). But the unfairness to these teams in these situations is offset by the overall fairness to the multitudes who are playing at their correct level. If I have 4.0 abilities do you want me to compete at the 3.5 level?

    Regardless of your answer, we have acknowledged that DQ's happen. HOWEVER, that still does not condone tanking and manipulating the system. This is a far bigger problem to the integrity of league tennis than having a few DQ's every year. Whether you choose to accept it of not, it is unethical and unsportsmanlike. Nobody has agreed with you. Post #95 should answer your rules question. Common sense and integrity dictate that you should never have had to ask the question in the first place.
     
    #96
  47. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Actually, post #95 didn't answer anything for me. I still didn't read anything there about tanking matches, or even playing to one's best ability.And the fact that nobody has agreed with me is CERTAINLY going to change my mind - NOT!
    I disagree that tanking matches in order not to get DQed at the end of the season is a "far bigger problem to the intregrity of league tennis than having a few DQs every year." In my opinion, signing up for league play, and doing so at your computer-rated level in good faith, playing all season, then getting DQed, making all your matches for naught, THAT is the much bigger problem.
    You say that "we have acknowledged that DQs happen." You have, but you still seem to blame the player, and not The Great Computer. I infer from your posts that if a player does get DQed at the end of a season, then that player must have been "playing down," and it's my contention that that has not been the case in the situations that I've been familiar with.
    Let me ask this hypothetical question: suppose, as I've written before in my posts, that I send a pretty weak player up against the opposing team's #1 player, in order to try to ensure an overall team win. Since I didn't give the opposing team's #1 singles player an opportunity to play as competetive a match as possible, did I/we cheat? By the same token, if I put my best doubles players at #3, instead of #1, am I cheating? Why not? Sure, I'm not deliberately losing, but I am depriving the other team of the most competetive match possible, right? In other words, shouldn't "stacking" be considered cheating as well?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
    #97
  48. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    In the Southern Section, over 85% of DQ's occur to self-rated players. I suspect this holds true nation wide. It is almost unheard of for a computer rated player to be DQ'd during the regular season. It does happen at state, sectional and national playoffs.
     
    #98
  49. volleyman

    volleyman Semi-Pro

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    Just had the captains meeting for the Durham, NC leagues today, and the league coordinator was very clear: there is no such thing as stacking. All courts are considered of equal value: the court numbers are just there to keep the results straight.

    However, by numbering the courts, they fall into the cultural expectation that 1 is better than 2 is better than 3. This expectation is particularly rampant in tennis, where many folks bring the expectations from their high school, club and college teams with them to the Adult leagues.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
    #99
  50. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, I know there's really no such thing as "stacking," but I use the term when I'm not playing my best players at the strongest positions. I realize that since there are no rules regarding who must play where, there can be no such thing as "stacking," but, the word is part of tennis jargon, so that's why I use it.
     

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