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

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

  1. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    Can you seriously say that deliberately losing in order to continue playing below your true level in a streamed competition is showing fairness and good sportsmanship?

    You are correct that there is nowhere in the rules that specifically forbids tanking. However, you cannot cover every circumstance in the rules and the general rule about fair play and good sportsmanship is always in effect. If a deliberate tanking situation comes in front of me in a grievance, I will rule it to be a breach of the fair play and good sportsmanship rule.

    I don't know if you are still addressing me as I never made any comment with reference to all these points. But my answer is "no", stacking is not cheating. There is nothing wrong with arranging your line-up of players any way you like as long as they are all playing at the correct level. It is deliberately playing at the wrong level (and tanking to avoid a DQ is recognition of the fact that the player is at the wrong level) that is cheating. It is like an 8 handicap golfer entering a tournament playing off 14 - or deliberately filing a false score or deliberately missing putts in order to inflate his handicap artificially so he can stand a better chance in the next tournament.
     
  2. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Ok, we have hammered this one out. The USTA instructs the captains that the assignment of courts is to be random. Line #1 does not mean your best player or team. So no, of course that is not cheating. We have discussed this ad nauseum. There is no "stacking" because there it is supposed to be random.
     
  3. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    And some would argue that playing your best doubles team at the #3 line is "unsportsmanlike," and not "not showing fairness." So we're back to square one.
    And how would deliberate tanking come before you in a grievance, if it's not specifically against the rules in the first place?
    You might as well complain about the opposing team serving underhand to you. (A practice I consider unsportsmanlike).
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
  4. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

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    I've been on the grievance committee before, and if it came up, I would vote against the plaintiff for at least 3 reasons:
    a. It's not a specific violation of league rules
    b. It's impossible to prove
    c. There is no specific punishment for it

    This is just one of the ways that the NTRP system is flawed. If you want a better system, play open.

    btw, i have seen and played against underhanded servers many times. There's nothing unsportsmanlike about it. Someone can serve backwards between their legs if they want, as long as they toss the ball with their feet behind the line.
     
  5. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Well, I didn't say that underhanded serving was against the rules or cheating, I just personally think it's unsportsmanlike. Just like in mixed-doubles, I don't serve the same to a girl that I do to a guy. Nothing illegal about serving hard to a girl, but I just don't do it. (Unless she's rated higher than I, then I'll serve to her just like I would a guy).
    It's nice to finally hear from someone who KNOWS what he's talking about. Thanks for your input!
     
  6. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    In 3 seasons of competitive USTA league mixed doubles, as well as all the tourneys I've played, I've yet to run into a guy who "holds back" when serving to my partner. There's nothing chivalrous about serving softer than your normal stuff when you are competing.
     
  7. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    I have adjudicated on something like 30 cases, quite a few of which have been brought under the general rule requiring good conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship. There is no specific rule against calling an opponent a cheating c*nt other than the general rule. Does that mean you would take no action against such a player because you cannot find a specific rule? Anyway, I do regard deliberate tanking as a specific violation of that rule.

    It certainly would be difficult to prove except that in this case 10sfreak has admitted it. It was a voluntary confession with no duress, your honor.

    Did you ever rule against grievances because you could find no specific punishment? There is usually no specirfic punishment. The grievance committee has wide latitude as to what punishment it can choose to dish out - this is not constrained by "sentencing guidelines".

    We had one case where a captain manipulated his line-up in a manner that was not specifically prohibited by the rules but did involve lying and deception. A grievance was raised under the general sportsmanship rule. We upheld the grievance. The result was appealed and the appeals committee upheld our decision.
     
  8. sue20852

    sue20852 New User

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    In my region we have used a different default scheme, whereby any single or double match may be defaulted. That is, default can occur at #1 or #2 single, or #1, #2 or #3 double. The players use the warm up minutes to assess the opponent players. If the player is moved to another slot because of a default, he is unable to assess his new opponent.

    Order of match line up is solely captains' call.

    Sue
     
  9. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Must not be USTA. National USTA rules regarding a default dictate that the default lines will be # 2 singles first, then # 1. In doubles, # 3 line first, then # 2, # 1. Sectional and local rules cannot conflict national rules. Local rules cannot conflict sectional rules. Actually, any rule change at the local level must be aprpoved by the state, local and national review committees.
     
  10. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

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    court is now in session

    Hey amarone, thanks for responding. All of the cases I have been associated with were either ratings violations or eligibility violations. Not coincidentally, they are the only ones specifically spelled out in the national grievance rules:

    http://www.usta.com/leagues/custom.sps?iType=933&icustompageid=19610

    Since I have only seen a fraction of the cases you have seen, I will defer to your superior judicial experience. What are the proper sanctions against unsportsmanlike conduct, once a conviction has been decided? Forfeit the one match? Forfeit all matches? 10-year suspension a la NorCal?

    This information should be really helpful to league players and committee members.
     
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Regarding "stacking" etc., we have total agreement here on this board that "stacking" is fine. Random order is fine. Putting better teams on higher courts is fine. It's all good. That I wish the rule or custom were something different is just my own view, and I do not believe anyone who doesn't do things the way I would prefer is a cheater.

    To the poster who is actually defending the practice of tanking . . . if there's nothing wrong with it, I challenge you to go public. Tell the league coordinator you're doing it, tell the other captains, mention it at the captain's meeting. If it's not wrong, there's nothing to hide, right? Just walk up to the other captain before the match and say "Hey, my doubles team on Court Two is going to tank this one to protect their rating. Just thought I'd mention it." I'd like to hear the reaction you get.

    If you're keeping it a secret, then that suggests you know you're doing the wrong thing.

    You know, why don't you all just play up, as a team? If you're 3.5s, play 4.0 this year. Then you'd be competing honestly, at least.
     
  12. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    There are no official guidelines that I am aware of, unfortunately. You have to judge the severity of the case, the extent of any damage, and any history involving the offending player(s). For history, we only take into account previous grievances - not hearsay such as "other captains say that s/he behaves like a jerk". Only accusations made formally that the "accused" has had proper opportunity to rebut are considered.

    Most issues of poor sportsmanship involve poor behavior - arguing, profanity, insults, maybe even suggested threats ("let's settle this in the parking lot later"). For most things like that we give a formal warning the first time, then would look to suspend the player for some period if it happened again. Actual violence would be an instant suspension. So does threatening the chair of the grievance committee - some people (well, one person) really can be that dumb.

    The committees I have been on have generally shied away from altering match results unless there is evidence that the offense really did affect the original result. In the case I alluded to earlier where a captain manipulated the line-up, we did reverse the result of the match that it affected. In cases of poor behavior, players sometimes claim that their opponents' behavior put them off and made them lose, but that is so difficult to approve. There is an argument that reversing a match result would be a suitable punishment, but then you are potentially penalizing players who played no part in the incident - including players on other teams not involved in the particular match if changing the result affects positions in the whole league.

    It is appropriate to change the match result if the offence was directly related to the match - e.g. illegal manipulation of line-ups.

    The longest suspension I have given is one year - after a second offence (and threatening the chair of the committee). My memory is a little hazy, but I think that suspensions longer than a year have to go through some extra ratification process.

    This makes it sound as if we are some sort of police making verdicts and dishing out punishment. However, the overall aim is to:

    • maximize the amount of tennis played
    • get fair results
    • try nip conflict in the bud

    As a level rep., I try get players to resolve issues without it going to the grievance committee.
     
  13. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    We're all 3.0s, who, at various times, both as individuals and as a team, have played up at 3.5 - and we've all gotten killed there. Didn't win a single match. None of us would mind getting bumped up next season, it's getting bumped in the middle of the season, and forfeiting all our matches, that we object to, and are going to try to avoid.
    We can't come close to competing at the 3.5 level, yet our team is virtually unbeatable at 3.0. Maybe there's just too big a gap between the two? Maybe there should be a 3.25 level? (We've got a 3.75 level, created recently because of this very same problem). I don't know, but I do know that having our team get DQed at the 3.0, and sending a really weak team to the state championships, is not the answer.
    Our region has a really hard time at state, 'cause the Atlanta teams always win. They're just much stronger at every level. Most people in our league think it's because the Atlanta teams "sandbag", but that's not my take. I think it's because the Atlanta area has more tallent to draw from (as they have so many more people playing tennis), matches are more competetive, so it's harder to get bumped up. By the time you get bumped up to 3.5 in Atlanta, you've really been the equivalent of a 3.5 for a very long time, so when you play the other 3.0 teams from other areas at the state championships, you can dominate them. And that's what's been happening. We play at state, and we're playing guys that are easily the equal of our 3.5s. Same thing on the women's side. The only solution I can see to this is to send the strongest possible team to state. That way, maybe our region will be able to give the Atlanta teams a run for their money.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  14. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    There is some sandbagging, but you are right about the sheer numbers effect. Atlanta had their finals yesterday and so we now have winners of the 3.0 level (Roswell Park, if anyone is interested). They came first out of 63 teams entered, which was actually one of the lowest numbers for some time. Normally Atlanta has over 64 teams, allowing them to send two teams to state.
     
  15. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

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    That's amazing. We struggle to fill 3 teams. There are always some forfeits due to lack of players.
     
  16. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    Atlanta is certainly the place to be for tennis. USTA Atlanta is the biggest USTA local league in the country, three times the size of the second place, yet it in turn is dwarfed by ALTA which is nearly three times the size of USTA.
     
  17. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    This is a very useful post as it tries to provide a solution or alternative. I was thinking about it and had another solution that may be easier, which is to use the records (or sets won) at #1 singles and #1 doubles as tie breakers at the end of the season if two teams are tied w/ the same record. This would be a small change but would certainly encourage people to put their best players in line 1. I suppose however once a team is out of competition then they could switch it up to try to get a win esp. against a competitive team...
     
  18. cak

    cak Professional

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    I'm trying to think of a team I've ever been on where the number one doubles team is obvious. Nope, can't think of one. The good teams have enough good doubles teams to take on any one of our doubles teams. And when we are having a good year we have three to four doubles teams that are fairly interchangable. Maybe singles is easier to tell, we don't have many singles players at our club.

    I don't think the system is broke. So I don't think it needs fixing.

    If you are really interested in getting close matches you give points for close matches. A 3-2 win or loss is worth more than a 5-0 win or loss. A three set match is worth more than a win in straight sets. A 7-5 set is worth more than a 6-0 set. Captains will work together to make sure their matches are set up so the most competitive matches possible are out on the courts. And the team with the most close matches goes to Nationals.
     
  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Another interesting idea!

    I do worry that it gives an incentive to tank matches, especially in areas where singles matches start after doubles matches. Singles often takes longer, so if the captain knows her three doubles teams won, she could signal to the singles players to take a dive. Yuk.

    Having the tie-breaker be performance on Court One would be an interesting twist. This has a better chance of getting the attention of teams at the bottom also. Even if I'm poised to finish 11th of 12 teams, I'd definitely pay attention to a tiebreak that might make me fall to 12th place.

    I should have that put on a T-shirt: "Gotta avoid 12th place, gotta avoid 12th place." :)
     
  20. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    Interesting, I'll agree that who the number 1 doubles team is can vary during the season especially if players are trying different combinations of partners. That being said, on game day, we pretty much know who is the best doubles team and singles player, and I can usually tell while playing and looking at the other courts if we're playing against the #1 opponent or if they switched.

    I'm somewhat against the idea of pushing the team that won 3-2 above the team that won 4-1. I feel that would introduce even more manipulation and tanking as Cindysphinx suggests. I would rather see more straight up matches though I'm against any complicated Anti-stacking rule. I think using the records at #1 as a tie-breaker would be a subtle and non-intrusive mechanism to head in that direction.

    In this season, I'm enjoying playing much more b/c we are getting better quality matches and have been facing the opponents best doubles team. My record isn't quite as good but I'm learning.
     
  21. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

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    the scoring system

    No kidding. I think that the best scoring system is one that is based on individual matches, i.e., 5 points per week rather than one. A 5-0 win is better than a 4-1 win which is better than a 3-2 win, and should be reflected in the standings. Granted, this could lead to two different outcomes at the end of the season. One team could be 9-0 with 27 match wins, while another could be 8-1 with 30 match wins. Personally, I think counting all of the matches played paints a clearer picture of a team's ability than just counting the three matches won each week. I'm sure some others see it differently.

    It's kind of like the presidential elections. Do we use # of votes cast, or electoral college votes? Using the electoral college causes candidates to ignore some states, and only concentrate on the swing states - Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004. Gore actually won the popular vote in 2000, but lost the electoral college by one vote. Hmm... maybe we should just leave things alone on second thought.
     
  22. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

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    Agreed...It's not broken, so let's go play tennis.
     
  23. cak

    cak Professional

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    The idea would be that not the best, or worst team would go to Nationals. The most average 3.0 teams would be playing at Nationals. Since going to Nationals means you are average, you may well get people attempting to move up to the highest level they can, as the trip to Nationals doesn't mean they are the best players. It does mean they have the captain most into getting close, friendly games.

    I'm only suggesting this for folks that really think play order should not be random, because they want competitive matches. That's not what the system is set up for right now.
     
  24. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Well down here in Georgia, or at least in the league I play in (which IS NOT in Atlanta!), guys generally don't serve as hard to the girls as we do to other guys. To do so would be kind of frowned upon, as down here, it IS considered chivarlous to hold back a little when serving to the ladies. Of course, Atlanta doesn't count, as it is not really even considered a "Southern" city anymore!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
  25. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    Broken may be too harsh. However the system needs a tweak and good kick.
     
  26. migjam

    migjam Professional

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    So what I'm hearing is, you play and lose to a team who is loaded with very good players and you have to play them a second time. You as a coach aren't allowed to do anything to help your team win? As long as you are playing as a TEAM and keeping a TEAM score, then a coach should be allowed to line up or coach his team in the order he wants to. It's ridiculous to tell a coach you have to play your lineup a certain way. What other team sport do you know of that does this?
     
  27. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    I don't know how you have got that impression from this thread. Many people, if not all, have stressed that there is no such thing as "stacking" and you can line up your players in any order you like.
     
  28. migjam

    migjam Professional

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    I'm addressing those (and yes there are a few if you read back through this thread) that think stacking is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2007
  29. TriCitiesTennis

    TriCitiesTennis New User

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    YOUR THE REASON TENNIS RATING IN THE USTA SYSTEM IS A JOKE.

    IF YOUR PLAYERS ARE TOO DAMNED SCARED TO STEP UP AND PLAY SOME REAL COMPETITION, THEN THAT'S YOUR OWN DISHONESTY WITH YOURSELF.

    YOU WON'T GET ANY SYMPATHY FROM ME OR ANYONE ELSE. HAVE YOUR GUYS PLAY AT THE LEVEL THEY SHOULD PLAY AT AND YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT CHEATING.
     
  30. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    Sure you can do a lot to help your team! You can organize team practices and can suggest different strategies the next time they play.

    I agree w/ you that an anti-stacking law would be unenforceable.
    My suggestion was that the USTA should tweak their system to make #1 matches count a little more by being a tie-breaker at the end of season. Teams could still make whatever line-ups they wanted.
     
  31. zzzbrianxxx

    zzzbrianxxx Rookie

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    I can't believe what I'm hearing. This sounds blatantly like cheating. I play varsity HS tennis, and it is a mandatory rule that your 2 best players MUST play #1 and #2, and your 1st dubs MUST be able to beat 2nd dubs. This of course allows for a little strategizing and mixup when you make your line, but to have your #1 play at the 3rd singles spot is crazy, and to think that any of you would condone such an action makes me seriously question your morality in tennis.
     
  32. migjam

    migjam Professional

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    I know in Southern California (Palm Springs area). They play six matches (1 set each) and each singles player 1-3 plays the other teams singles players 1-3. Same with doubles. Stacking isn't an issue because everyone plays each other.
    To be honest, how does the #1 player/power house prepare for the sub-district if all he ever plays is the other teams power houses? In my opinion, it is better for them to prepare to play all types of players because generally it is the pushers that give them trouble. And, if they never play the pushers and meet up with them in the tournament thats where the problems are.
     
  33. cak

    cak Professional

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    I'm not sure where you think this was posted, but this is NOT high school tennis. Thus the "Adult League" heading. Rules are different. A small percentage of the teams might be able to tell you if the team they have at first dubs could beat the team they have at second dubs, but most have no way of knowing. That's the problem with NTRP tennis, when the theory is having a whole league of people who are the same level, deciding who is better is pretty moot.
     
  34. zzzbrianxxx

    zzzbrianxxx Rookie

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    I understood that it was adult league tennis, but what I guess I didn't understand was that it's difficult to arrange matches between the team members. You guys NEVER have practices?
     
  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It's a totally different kettle of fish, Brian (I hope you don't mind if I call you Brian :) ).

    On our team, it is not unusual for two doubles partners to play their first time together in a match. This is because people work for a living and have significant obligations other than tennis. A high school team would practice 5 days a week, no? My league team practices 2 hours a week, and even then only half the players can attend any particular practice. If it rains or we can't find an outdoor court, we don't practice at all.

    So I can guess who can beat whom, but it is only my guess.

    Mainly, the rules allows stacking or random court assignment or whatever you want to call it is because there is no enforcement mechanism. My No. 1 player is a terror, but she's not a terror when her chronic back troubles kick in. So how could anyone accuse me of cheating if she plays on Court 3 after being up half the night with a bad back?

    Now, losing on purpose to achieve a lower rating -- I still say *that* is cheating.
     
  36. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    ZZZ, we're not talking about HS tennis - we're talking about recreational tennis, played in the USTA. There is no rule that the two best players on the team MUST play #1 and #2, etc. There are no rules governing line-ups AT ALL, so to call us "cheaters" and to question our "morality in tennis" regarding the issue of how we line our players up is just a bit over the top. Have you not read through the entire thread?
     
  37. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Cindy, assuming that the last sentence was aimed at me, please note: I was never talking about losing to "achieve a lower rating." Rather, it was to avoid getting DQed for the season - big difference, IMO. In any case, it doesn't look like any of my guys will have to deliberately tank a match, 'cause several of them just got beat by some pushers who've been playing less than a year each! I still have a couple of guys who may be in danger of getting DQed, but we'll see how the season unfolds. As for myself, I seriously doubt I'm in any danger of getting DQed, so that's not really an issue for me - the way I play, I don't have to try to tank a match to get beat! LOL!
     
  38. Sakumo

    Sakumo Semi-Pro

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    They got beat by pushers? So I'm guessing you run a 3.5 team? And then play in a 3.0 league? I'm still a little lost on how you cheat the computer. If you win all the time it's not like you would get DQed.
     
  39. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Nice save, some call it back peddling. You're trying to rationalize your "little strategy". In the real world it's called cheating. You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Stacking your line-up to achieve a team win (while still trying to win all 5 matches) verses purposely scheduling a player to lose (and you are hoping for a loss) is a huge difference. I would be very surprised if you could look everyone in the eye and deny having ever told one of your players to lose. That may or may not be the case but we know your intent. However this is the Internet, heck you can say whatever, no one knows who anyone is anyway. And you're lucky your league coordinator has not read what you posted and knows who you are. At this point you have lost credibility here. I wish you luck getting it back and participating in life with honor and dignity. I also wish you and your team luck winning all your matches and being placed rightfully though honest wins and losses in the NTRP rating.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2007
  40. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Stacking's been legal locally for the past 15 yrs, why is this an issue now?
     
  41. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

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    I think it's only an issue for those new to the USTA leagues, the most recent of which is Brian. They don't understand its legality or its usefulness.

    For the record (again) it is perfectly legal, and also very useful. A team that always plays order of strength is predictable, and therefore, easier to beat than a team that always mixes things up. The object of the game is to be hard to beat.

    Also, apologies to oldguys for awakening this thread from its coma. I was ready to administer last rites, when it suddenly resurrected.
     
  42. cak

    cak Professional

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    I don't blame the lack of defined first versus second doubles on no practice. I think it's meant to be that way. On the average HS varsity tennis team around here the players range from the junior equivalent of a 5.0 or better (as defined by they can beat 5.0 adults...) to a low 3.5. It is a given that the best player on the team will bagel the worst player on the team every time they play. The idea of these NTRP USTA teams are the best players on a 3.5 team are high 3.5s, and the worst are low 3.5s. So the best players will beat the worst players maybe 70 to 80 percent of the time, but not every time. On our teams it is not uncommon for the top three doubles teams to play each other absolutely even. My first year as captain I tried making doubles and singles ladders. The top 4 doubles teams and top two single players stayed the same, but their positions against each other changed pretty much everytime they played.
     
  43. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    Where in my post am I trying to rationalize anything?! "Back pedalling"? I'll freely admit that if my players hadn't lost, I would instruct them to do so at some point in the future to avoid getting DQed. But, it probably won't be necessary, since they wound up losing to a couple of newbies. Does any of that sound like I'm rationalizing anything? Have you even read through all the posts?
    Let me paint you a scenario:
    There's been a rule change in USTA, and your dynamic rating is now available for you to know. You are a computer-rated 3.0 player, playing in the league the USTA computer has deemed you belong in. You're playing in the last match of the season. You and your partner have won all your matches. Your team has won all of its matches 3-2. Going into this last match of the season, your team has the division sewn up, leading the second-place team by 2 matches. Now, since by the new rule change re your dynamic rating, you KNOW that if you win tonight, you're going to get DQed, thereby forfeiting all your previous matches this season, which means your team now retroactively loses all its matches 2-3. You and your teammates have practiced 3 hours/week and worked really hard to get to this point, and are now on the brink of either going to the state championships, or losing all their previous matches, depending on whether you and your partner lose or win. If you're telling me that you or anyone else on this board wouldn't tank the match, you are a LIAR!! Period.
     
  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Gah! :slams head on desk:

    10sfreak, you seem like *such* a nice guy. Honestly, you do.

    But you have a huge blind spot on this thing.

    **There is no difference -- none -- between deliberately losing a match to achieve a lower rating and deliberately losing a match to avoid a DQ.**

    If you tank to avoid a DQ, then you have -- yes, you guessed it -- *achieved a lower rating* than you would have had if you had played the game honestly. 'Cause if you get DQ'd, you get moved up a level, see?

    I am absolutely floored that you're still defending this little practive. I do understand your reasons for tanking, but that doesn't make it right. Hey, I'd like to be 2.5 so I could beat up on all the 2.5 players too. I'd just have to tank some matches to avoid a DQ, is all.
     
  45. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Georgia
    Ok, by tanking a match, you DO achieve a lower dynamic rating, but I thought you meant to actually drop down a rating. Part of the confusion on my part was that you wrote to achieve a "lower" level. See, if you tank a match and avoid a DQ, you don't achieve a "lower" level, you STAY at your present level, and that was the intent. Sorry, my mistake. Again, for the 10th time, none of us would even blink at getting bumped up to 3.5 this summer, we just don't want to retroactively lose our matches by getting DQed, as we've seen happen to others in our league every season for the last 2 years! See my post directed to "Andfor".
     
  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070

    What the -- ??

    I'll tell you right here, right now, that there is no set of circumstances I can imagine where I would tell any of my players to tank a match. You gonna call me a liar?

    And I highly doubt that a computer-rated player who wins all of her matches would get DQ'd. I mean, people go undefeated in our league all the time, and they don't get DQ'd.

    One of our mixed players was a self-rated 3.5 last year. He got quickly DQ'd after destroying his 3.5 opponents, so this year he is computer-rated 4.0. Everyone was astounded that the computer didn't move him to 4.5, but it didn't. The guy is currently *23-0* in mixed 7.0, mixed 8.0 and combo 7.5.

    He is going to play 4.0 this spring. And you know what? I will let you know if he gets DQ'd. I bet he won't. The computer understands that *someone* has to be the top 4.0 player, and this guy is apparently it.
     
  47. 10sguy

    10sguy Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    188
    FOLKS!! What is of UTmost significance here is this: When players win by a lesser margin than they really should or lose when they should really win . . . the result is pollution of the ratings of EVERY player in their league, level, division, etc. It tends to keep better player's ratings lower and lesser player's ratings higher than they should be. This has the effect of keeping most of the best players at the same level and thus winning year after year. But the worst effect of this, to me, is that the lesser player (whose rating may likely otherwise have migrated down a level) may well get tired of losing year after year . . . and just drop out of either league tennis play or possibly drop tennis entirely. In the 2006 National USTA Player Survey, the following question was posed: "Rate the USA Regulations." Well over 40 percent (approximately four of of every seven) of the Comment Responses were NEGATIVE remarks - specifically regarding self-rating, ratings or sandbagging. That is VERY significant. I believe the basic root cause of the discontent though lies with sandbagging. I further believe the solution is a league standings determination methodology which incents players and teams to play their best. There is simply far too much "wiggle room" for players/teams to manage score/ratings within the current system of team wins/losses determining league winners.

    Bottom line: By selfishly trying to manage ratings (yes, that "works" within the current system), you are depriving MANY others of the level playing field which is the ultimate objective of NTRP. We need something better!
     
  48. Sakumo

    Sakumo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    563
    Bingo. Someone has to be #1 and it's going to be that person who dominated. They won't be disqualified, they will be moved up next year.
     
  49. vinouspleasure

    vinouspleasure Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    325
    Here are my thoughts:
    - There is an unwritten rule that teams should not stack. This is not professional tennis. People's livelihood and future are not on the line. The goal of usta adult league tennis is to provide competitive matches for every player in a match. Playing your #3 doubles team against the number one doubles team of the other team does not result in a competitive match for those players.
    - Let me give an example of the point above. A couple of years ago I was playing first doubles. I left work early to get to the match. I drove 15 miles from my home to get there. I paid court fees to play the match. I spent 45 minutes on the court beating the other team's 3rd doubles team 0 and 1. I would rather have not played. I can't imagine the other team had all too much fun...
    - The usta should incent teams to not stack by awarding more points to the team thats wins #1 singles, #1 doubles and #2 doubles. I haven't thought through a sound system but for example, you receive 2 points for #1 singles, 1 point for #2 singles, 3 points for #1 doubles, 2 points for #2 doubles and 1 point for #3 doubles. Which ever team has the most points wins the match.
    - our league coordinator has told teams that stacking will not be tolerated.
    - Playing for a loss to manage your rating hurts yourself and your opponents. You don't get to play against the best competition. Your opponents are overmatched. This is an unethical practice...actually, I;m sure everyone realizes this..if everyone did this, there would be no need to have ratings as they;d be meaningless.
     
  50. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    744
    While H.S. AND College teams are required to put their #1 at #1, their #2 at #2, and with coaches having to provide the challenge ladder results as well as match results, USTA league tennis is very different.

    What I like about H.S., College, and junior tennis is that EVERYONE plays open. There is no rating system, although coaches can tell (well, most certified instructors can) what the NTRP level players are at, and then place them on a challenge ladder based on their experience.

    The players themselves can then challenge up/down.

    Anyway, back to league tennis ... as many have already posted, there is no such thing as "stacking" in league tennis. I usually play straight (ie. #1 at #1, #2 at #2), since I don't want to waste time as a captain figuring out what the other captains do. The rare exception is when I'm ticked off at my players being late, and play them based on what spot they want to play depending on who arrived first. In contrast, some captains spend incredible amounts of time trying to analyze opponent line-ups.

    I can understand some captains telling players to lose a match (with close scores) to help determine which teams reach playoffs, but tanking matches in order to prevent a DQ ... well, that's just lame.

    USTA is indeed broken though. We have college grads (former 6.0) playing 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5, depending on how their captain wanted them to self-rate. Personally, I wish USTA would suspend the captain, the player, and all the player's doubles partner. Imagine how quickly NTRP would clean up then.
     

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