USTA wants to "share" 2014 nationals with everyone

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by approachtennis, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. approachtennis

    approachtennis New User

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    In case you haven't heard, there is a new rule the USTA has implimented nationwide. Read the rule carefully, it's not what it appears to be. For any of you that are on a men's or women's 18+ or 40+ team going to nationals in 2013, good luck trying to find a mixed doubles team in 2014 !

    http://www.northern.usta.com/news/important_new_league_move_upsplit_up_rule/

    This doesn't mean 3 players from a nationals team are the max that can stick together, it means 3 players from ANY team can play on ANY team... where this really hurts people in mixed doubles leagues. In the PNW section 2014 mixed leagues have already started, and there a lot of players that simply cannot find a team to play on, because of this new rule.

    There is a change.org petition being put together: http://www.change.org/petitions/usta-adult-league-rules-committee-repeal-rule-2-06a

    Here is the official reasoning from the USTA National folks:

    "The move up split up rule is in place to prevent the same teams and players from dominating. National wants to share the national experience with as many players as possible."

    If the USTA doesn't want the same players to dominate, then maybe they should either fix the computer so more of them get bumped up, or they should change that national championships to a system where we don't even keep score? Why even keep score unless you're there to try to win the matches and the national title? This really puts a big asterisk on the national champions banner, when USTA has to remove folks from the league that were successful the prior year.

    I thought the NTRP computer system was put in place to police the system. Why should national ignore the hard work of those that do make nationals and essentially kick them out of the league for the next year. This rule goes too far. I think everyone can agree that having to have no more than 3 players from any team is a good idea, but having 3 "nationals players" on any team, when you throw in mixed there is just insane.

    For something like 7.0 or 8.0 mixed doubles there are 12 mens/womens teams that feed into that league (18+ and 40+), and an average of 12-14 players on a team. That's hundreds of nationals players that qualify each year, and if they happen to be from the same city/district, then it becomes impossible to form enough mixed doubles teams to support the new rule. :confused:
     
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  2. goober

    goober Legend

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    I don't have a huge problem with this. In fact it is one of the better moves the USTA has made.

    The move up split up rule previously didn't work (that well) because teams would form super teams with other players that made it to nationals previously or made it nationals in a different category. My other favorite was forming super teams with players from neighboring districts. Bumping doesn't work. Captains and players know how to work the system.

    Cry me a river about mixed. There are plenty of teams that would would work out. How many players from a single district have gone to nationals in any given league? You are grossly exaggerating the inability to find a team. Yeah you might not being going to nationals again. You might *gasp* have to be on a regular team not in playoff contention. Boohoo. Your reasoning makes even less sense than the USTA. Nobody is going to be kicked out of the league for a year. Go play up at the next level. Go play on a nonplayoff team.
     
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  3. approachtennis

    approachtennis New User

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    Goober, in this case we had already formed and started the mixed league before the rule came out. If you look at PNW 9.0 mixed leagues, the NW-WA district had most of the men's & women's winners this year, so it did happen. You're talking 100+ people to try to join mixed leagues with 3 max on a team, and there simply are not 30+ teams to join. In the PNW most teams are out of private clubs, with expensive initiation fees and monthly dues, there's no way to just join a club to play a mixed team. For a lot of folks in PNW, this means sitting out of mixed for 2014, as is happening now.
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm sorry, but I am with Goober on this.

    In fact, I hope it is the first of many changes to clean up Nationals and therefore rattle the Tennis Dynasties out there.

    As many here have said, the rules should be changed so no self-rate player is eligible for the post-season at all. For starters.

    And heck, if you told me that no player who competed at nationals was eligible to play nationals in the following year, I would be OK with that also.

    I think any player who competed at nationals will have no difficulty finding a team. Indeed, top notch pairs could join a team together. They would just have to accept being on a team where their teammates are not that good so that no trip to Nationals is likely.
     
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  5. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I might have misread this but it doesn't sound all that unreasonable to me.

    It sounds like it limits (but not stops) the amount of people who go to nationals 2 years in a row. I guess I don't get why this is such a bad thing?
     
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  6. approachtennis

    approachtennis New User

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    I would rather have the rule be that no nationals players can go the following year, at least that'd make it clear. It's nice to think that players would be able to find a team, but if you look at what's actually happening the the sections with early start, that's not the case. I'd much rather the USTA just make it known that nationals is only for the people that couldn't make it the year before.
     
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  7. goober

    goober Legend

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    Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or in this case the very few. Basically the problems of one district doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the national picture. Guess what all the other districts in the PNW won't have the same problem since you make it sound like your district is having since your district apparently are dominating your section. So it sounds like a team from another district will make it through sectionals this year. I guess the USTA stated goal for this rule change is already slated to work in your section for mixed.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    There may be one issue with the suggestion that players be ineligible to repeat at Nationals.

    I wonder if it wouldn't give some folks a serious incentive to sandbag. Go to Nationals in Year One, tank matches all of Year Two, go to Nationals in Year Three as an untouchable computer-rated sandbagging player. Repeat.
     
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  9. approachtennis

    approachtennis New User

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    Sounds like a great plan :)
     
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  10. goober

    goober Legend

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    That is a big flaw of the current rating system is inability to account for people deliberately losing matches. In theory people could do this ( and have done this in fact) - but it takes a special kind of tryhard to tank an entire year. It is hard for me to imagine whole teams doing this, but I suppose if enough people want it they will make it happen. But this could be countered by bumping people who play nationals and benchmarking them for 2 years.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Or better yet, just say that anyone who plays nationals loses their computer rating and must be a self-rate. They can stay at their same level, but they had better tank their matches quite thoroughly to avoid the DQ.

    Yeah. Let Goober and Cindy re-write the rules and they will be the only two people left on the planet eligible to play Nationals.
     
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  12. goober

    goober Legend

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    Yes I want to have a duel with Cindy at nationals as the last 2 people left- whoops too late you went last year didn't you?:)

    Anyhoo- I doubt this rule will get rescinded any time soon and it is a step in the right direction.
     
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  13. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Ok, so my first impulse reaction was "so what; if you've just been to Nationals, I'm not going to cry a river for you". But the OP may have a point here. I understand the spirit of the rule, but follow me here as we work through some numbers:

    OP mentioned 9.0 mixed, so mostly 4.5s playing this. Ok, so this means that at most three players from across the Nationals teams for {4.5 M 18+; 4.5 M 40+; 4.5 W 18+; 4.5 W 40+} can play together.

    Let's assume no overlap between the 18+ and 40+ teams (I have no idea whether this is true in practice for the OP, but here in Norcal for example the 18+ and 40+ winners were not related to each other and had no overlap).

    So if 15 people on average are on each teams' roster, that's 60 4.5 players who must be dispersed across at least 20 separate mixed teams. And that's not counting any 4.0s who were on Nationals bound teams who might want to play 9.0 mixed also.

    How many 9.0 mixed teams are there across PNW section, and how geographically dispersed are they? Dunno... but I can see the scenario where if the 4.5 nationals teams were all from the same metro area then there might not even be 20 9.0 mixed teams in that metro area to absorb all the players, even assuming any player could join any team (which is not realistic considering some might be private club teams).

    Ok, so having said all that, I'm still not all that sympathetic, because most of us have yet to play at nationals at all :), and because sheesh, we're talking about mixed here, so who really cares :)

    But I must concede that OP has a point.
     
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  14. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I want to go to Nationals, just once. So I feel like this maybe this gives me slightly better shot ... so yea me!

    However, it does seem odd that the USTA might miss out on a handful of league fees in the PNW because there are not enough teams around. Missing out on money does not sound like the USTA ...

    I wonder if they are feeling all right?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
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  15. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    Bravo, USTA! A step in the right direction.
     
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  16. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I'm not going to jump up and down protesting about this because I know what they are trying to do and agree in principle, but these issues are real. Just consider the numbers. There are 19 people on my 4.0 40+ nationals roster. According to early start ratings, 5 will get bumped (I know this will change, but I'll just use it as an example for now). There were 4 teams in our league. My team will have to disband & disperse, leaving 3 unless another team moves up. There are 14 people on the roster looking for a team. If all three of the remaining teams take three players, that leaves 5 players who will be left without a team. Two of the remaining teams are probably already plotting who they are going to add, but the third is an hour and a half away. I don't know that they will be looking for people down in my area, so it's likely that only 6 will have spots waiting for them. That leaves 8 people from a roster of 19 without a team to play for next year. 13 guys from the team played in the districts and sectionals, 6 did not. Those 6 players are not super strong 4.0 players. Most are guys who are friends who have been playing for the team for a while since we were bad and just like to come out and play. They will all not be able to find a team next year just because no teams will be ALLOWED to take them, not because they don't want them. One guy is kind of a part time player who will just sit out USTA and not really care (and may never return), but there will be 5 guys in this group who really want to play who can't, so this is a real issue.

    Second, the application of the rules across adult, senior, and mixed is a huge headache for captains. I don't play mixed and have no clue who went to nationals in mixed, but now I have to keep track of 7.0, 8.0, and 9.0 mixed even though I don't even play mixed to make sure I don't add the wrong people to my adult roster. I also have to keep track of 3.5 nationals and senior nationals, which I really have no interest in, either. It's not a showstopper, but it's just another headache for captains.

    Third, it is really unfair for them to apply the new rule to teams in leagues that already formed. If they formed teams based on the old rules and already played matches, it's going to be chaos figuring everything out. It would have been better for the USTA to announce the changes but make them effective 2015 if there are already 2014 leagues playing.
     
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  17. goober

    goober Legend

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    I am still not crying for you JRB-:)

    More than likely you are going to more than 5 bumps ups. But even given if your numbers are correct these 8 guys have other options. Play on the 18+ division, play mixed, combo/trilevel or latch onto a 4.5 team.


    Second you are not they only district in your section. The 6-8 or whatever districts in your section obviously are not going to have this problem since they didn't go to nationals at 4.0. In many sections, the same district goes to Nationals year after year. So these 8 guys * may* have difficulty finding a team next season. How many 4.0s are in your entire section? These 8 guys represent tiny fraction of the overall number of players. The inconvenience to them is not any worse than a 4.0 bumped to 4.5 and can't find a team because they are weak 4.5s

    Keeping track I admit might be a headache, however the USTA should have some software in place to inform you or have the LC inform you if you are breaking the rule before season starts just based on your submitted roster.

    This would not be the first time the USTA implemented a national rule before the year actually started but after ES teams have already formed.

    This may surprise you but the 99.9% of players at a specific level who did not play at nationals are probably not really going to be outraged that a handful players are inconvenienced in finding a team the following season.
     
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  18. kaibaNYC06

    kaibaNYC06 Rookie

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    Why not just make the national level players ineligible for playoffs, sectionals, and nationals?
     
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  19. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I hear ya. I'll deal with it. I'm not going to complain about a chance to play at Indian Wells.

    There's no combo or trilevel here and mixed is a different game. Most of these lower players are definitely not 4.5 ready and not interested in 4.5. Remember, I am not talking about the core players that won sectionals for us, I am talkling about the guys who are friends who were left over from when the team was a bottomdweller. Some will play 18s, but there's a similar problem there because the move up, split up applies to 18s teams as well. There are more 18s teams locally, though, so hopefully there will be enough people willing to take them.

    Again, these are not the people around here who play in every district and are asked to be on teams in every district and every age group. These are guys that have been playing for this team for several years and are not interested in traveling an hour or more to play in a different district.

    LOL. "The USTA should have some software in place". Because the USTA IT systems are always cutting edge. Again, I'll deal with it, but it's just another headache.

    This would not be the first time the USTA screwed people after a season already started? Shocking.

    I understand. My point is that the USTA is probably going to lose several people here, some for just a year, some may not come back at all. It's not like them to leave money on the table.
     
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  20. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    This works when you are in a large District. When you run a small District like mine; this is a total nightmare. I have three towns, some leagues, we can only get two teams; you can see when you start putting restrictions like these, pretty soon, you don't have any teams to play leagues at all!

    Oh well, the upside is that because we are a small District, we rarely go to Nationals.
     
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  21. Ipster

    Ipster New User

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    There are two teams so far that are registered for Nationals for 3.0 40+ who have more than 3 people on their roster that went to 3.0 Nationals last year on a Senior team. One team has 5 players and the other team has 7 players. I'm assuming under the new rule they wouldn't have been able to join together for a 40+ team.
     
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  22. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    National level players that move up a level are eligible for playoffs? Had a National team move up to 4.0 and qualified for state the next year.
     
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  23. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    According to next year's rules, those teams would not be able to play together. In my flight at 4.0 40+ nationals, there is one team that has SIX players from an Adult nationals team last year that won their flight and played in the semis. They would not have been allowed to play together like that in 18+ this year but somehow it was OK in 40+?!?
     
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  24. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    This reminds me of little kids tee-ball where they don't keep score so nobody gets their feelings hurt.
     
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  25. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    No, it's like a small-scale fix to the scenario in little league when parents and coaches would try to get away with playing kids older than the age limit to play on the team to give their team an unfair advantage.
     
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  26. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    While they're at it, they should also take control over Combo guidelines and not allow repetitive national reaching teams to play year after year at a self-rating simply because all they play is Combo and don't get a computer rating because of this.

    **** like this is what ruins state for some players. Yes, I'm a firm believer that if you were good enough in your season to make it to state, that you shouldn't be subjected to running into teams that have gotten there year after year VIA TECHNICALITIES THAT ALLOWED THEM TO CHEAT THEIR RATINGS!!!
     
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  27. robert

    robert Rookie

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    I recently heard that the rule too. It is a good rule to avoid players going to nationals years after years and even multiple nationals in same year!

    However, there is a loophole. I guess usta was trying to avoid 4.5 men National +4.5 women National team to combine for 9.0 mixed National.
    My team made to 3.0 National this year. And it prohibited us to play together in 8.0 and even 9.0 teams. That doesn't make any sense at all.
     
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  28. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    It's not a loophole. The moveup/split up rule allows you to move up as a team only in the same division that you competed. Otherwise, in any other division/age group, you can only have three nationals players from any division, any level on the team. Your adult team cannot compete as a team in mixed, even if you are "playing up".
     
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  29. cneblett

    cneblett Rookie

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    So this would mean a team which goes as a 3.5 over 40 is only able to play 4.0 over 40 but not 4.0 18? Wonder if that is what they really meant to do, because that will cause a bunch of issues in some areas.

    Understand and can agree within for mixed.
     
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  30. robert

    robert Rookie

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    So 3.0 National can play 3.5 together next season. But can't play together in 8.0 and 9.0 mixed. How is it not a loophole? I would prefer to not allowing any players in National for next year's National at all.

     
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  31. coyote

    coyote Rookie

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    I don't like this league. My 40s 4.0 team is going to Nats. I know some of the 3.5 40s players that are going to nationals and I was adding them to my roster for next year. I can't keep the few I have and these new move ups? That is ridiculous.
     
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  32. Chelsie1

    Chelsie1 Rookie

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    Spokewench,
    When we last communicated NAZ had no residency requirement, just the rule on inter-district play. What has happened?
     
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  33. goober

    goober Legend

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    Oh yeah I forgot about that. I assume that the resolution must have passed since I haven't seen any players from the adjacent big city try form superteams out the NAZ district lately. The lengths people will go to make it to sectionals/nationals is pretty amazing when you consider that it is rec level tennis.
     
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  34. J0EBL0W

    J0EBL0W New User

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    How often is your small district sending teams to nationals?

    But all of that is pointless. It doesn't prevent people from playing league, it just makes the highest players at each level either break apart from eachother or simply play one level higher (which shouldn't be a big deal since they made it to nationals at thier level...).

    I think everybody is overlooking the fact that you can always play up.
     
    #34
  35. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    The original poster was bringing up the issue with forming mixed teams made up of players that went to Nationals in men's/women's. How does one "play up" in mixed.
     
    #35
  36. J0EBL0W

    J0EBL0W New User

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    An 8.5 team playing up to 9.0...?
     
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  37. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    I don't think the USTA gives credit for this though. The split up or move up rule allows a team to move up and stay together. When you are assembling a mixed team from men's/women's team, there is nothing to move up from.

    Now, if the USTA would allow say 3 4.0s men from a Nationals team play on the same 8.0X team as 3 4.0s women from a Nationals team as long as each one of those 4.0s only plays with a 3.5 and thus is a "7.5" playing up at "8.0", I would buy that. But AFAIK that isn't how it works.
     
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  38. bruintennis

    bruintennis Semi-Pro

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    I don't like the new rule. It penalizes people for success on making it to nationals.
     
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  39. Brian11785

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    I am sure this has been suggested in the past, but it makes no sense to me to have a 3.0 (or 3.5 or even 4.0) nationals. Why give Machiavellian captains the incentive to stack teams? Why not just do away with them? Wouldn't that lower the moral hazard and rebalance the USTA team leagues more towards recreation than competition?
     
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  40. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The way I interpret the rule is that our 40+, 4.5 team cannot even compete together in 18+, 4.5 next year since we are going to Nationals next month. Is that correct?

    What stinks at the 4.5 level, is 5.0 play is non-existent so we essentially have to take a year off. Yes I know any 3 of us can play together, but forming a competitive team next year will be quite difficult. So every odd year we have a good shot at Nationals.
     
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  41. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I think that is correct. I am facing the same issue.
     
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  42. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I agree that doing away with nationals would rebalance incentive and goals in a way that would be an overall plus.

    However I would not discriminate by eliminating it for 3.0 though 4.0 while keeping nationals for 4.5. In the grand scheme of things, if we are playing anything short of open (5.5+), we all suck... it's just a question of degree. Nationals makes sense for open play, but not for NTRP-limited play.
     
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  43. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    You've convinced me.
     
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  44. bruintennis

    bruintennis Semi-Pro

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    Me too. Same boat. In addition, you would only be allowed to put 3 people on an 18 & over or 40 & over mixed team that were rostered on your 40s team that is going to nationals for next year's leagues.
     
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  45. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I think the issue is that most people play league tennis for the competition. I personally could care less about a national championship, but do think it is a lot more fun to have both the personal matches and team matches count towards something however small. I think if you took this aspect away participation would drop. My guess is participation is the goal of the USTA not finding the best "3.0" players.
     
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  46. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Question ....


    I re-read the rule and maybe I have a question. I think it says that any player that goes to any division of Nationals this year is affected.

    So, the question: We have an 8.0 mixed and a 9.0 mixed from our section who has qualified for nationals. Between those two teams we have eleven 4.5 players and a bunch of 4.0s who might play. Does this mean that for adult next summer that they must all split up with no more than 3 per team?




    Reg. 2.06A Move-up/Split-up (of National Championship Teams):
    A total of three players (two for 2.5 and 5.0+) who were on the final roster of any team or combination of teams that advanced to, or qualified for, any National Championship, may play together on the same team the following year (if their individual NTRP Levels allow).


    These three (or two) players may be from any Team, Division, Age Group, or NTRP Level (straight or combined) OR, from any combination of these.

    The only EXCEPTION is if more than three (or two) players from the same teamwish to play together again as a team, in whole or in part, they may do so if:

    - they move up one team NTRP Level (if their individual NTRP Levels allow)

    AND

    - they do not combine with players who were rostered on any other team that advanced to, or qualified for, any National Championship the previous year.
     
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  47. cneblett

    cneblett Rookie

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    As written, that is the case. Going to ask league co-ordinator today
     
    #47
  48. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Thanks ... also, do they actually have to play at nationals or does being on the roster (and eligible to play) but deciding not to go to nationals mean that this rule does not apply to them?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
    #48
  49. kaibaNYC06

    kaibaNYC06 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    288
    Location:
    HI
    It says "or qualify", so im guessing that if you made your minimum number of matches during season, you would be subject?

    Also, could this potentially hurt multiple teams? Say the sectional champions decide not to go on to nationals, would both the first and second place teams be affected?? Ex. If the first place teams decide not to go, forcing the spot onto the second place team?? Third??
     
    #49
  50. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    764
    Location:
    West Orange, NJ
    This rule is awful for mixed. You can have players of different genders of different levels make nationals, but none of them together. Now, you can not play with your partner of many years.

    On one of my 4.5 teams we had two guys who were 4.0 play in as subs because we couldn't get anyone else to play. They didn't qualify for nationals and obviously aren't going, but are technically on our roster. Now, they count as players who went to nationals and are being punished for helping out our team as a sub. Had they known this rule was going into place, they wouldn't have played and now have sacrificed their own play for 2013-2014. USTA really didn't think this through. I can understand not being able to play at your own level with more than 3 players who went to nationals, but on a mixed team or a team played out of your own level, or for those who didn't qualify for nationals, it doesn't make sense. I would go as far to say that if you don't physically play at nationals, you shouldn't be part of this rule.
     
    #50

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