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anubis 11-29-2012 06:09 AM

Mixed doubles
 
Hi,
I'll be playing mixed doubles this winter, for the first time in my tennis experience. I've heard from others that mixed leagues NTRP levels are different than that of a men's NTRP level. Is this true?

dizzlmcwizzl 11-29-2012 06:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anubis (Post 7037769)
Hi,
I'll be playing mixed doubles this winter, for the first time in my tennis experience. I've heard from others that mixed leagues NTRP levels are different than that of a men's NTRP level. Is this true?

The NTRP levels are the same in adult and mixed. In that if you play 3.5 adult in the summer you are likely considered a 3.5 for mixed. *** Unless your rating has changed or unless your league uses early start ratings which should be the same but sometimes differ slightly.

What does happen however in mixed is that teams use a combine rating of the two players ... ie a 3.5 man and a 3.5 woman play together and are called a 7.0 team. OR you could see a 4.0 man with a 3.0 woman . Both combine to an average of 3.5 but this is called 7.0 mixed.

tennismonkey 11-29-2012 06:45 AM

mixed dubs is a very challenging subset of regular dubs. this is because the USTA in its infinite wisdom does not have gender neutral rating system. so a male 3.0 player is not on par with a female 3.0 player. this creates all sorts of unique situations in actual play.

if you play video games a good analogy is that it's like playing super mario brothers and beating the level and then nintendo says, hey now try beating this game UPSIDE DOWN! same game - totally different gameplay.

i find that a cheaper alternative to playing mixed dubs but still getting all the benefits of mixed dubs is to run around your block as fast as you can and then when you get home - punch yourself in the face. i have just saved you a lot of money.

anubis 11-29-2012 06:56 AM

Thanks. If I normally play 6.0 mens doubles, should I play 6.0 mixed? Or should I play 7.0 mixed (and play up)? I want the game to be a challenge.

blakesq 11-29-2012 07:44 AM

If you are playing 6.0 men's doubles, then you should be playing 12.0 mixed, maybe 11.0, where you would be playing with a 5.0 woman. good luck finding such a league.

Quote:

Originally Posted by anubis (Post 7037838)
Thanks. If I normally play 6.0 mens doubles, should I play 6.0 mixed? Or should I play 7.0 mixed (and play up)? I want the game to be a challenge.


anubis 11-29-2012 07:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blakesq (Post 7037896)
If you are playing 6.0 men's doubles, then you should be playing 12.0 mixed, maybe 11.0, where you would be playing with a 5.0 woman. good luck finding such a league.

No, I meant I was playing 3.0/3.0 mens doubles, so 6.0 men's. I'm a 3.0. I was wondering if it would be better for me to join a 7.0 mixed league, and play with a 3.5 female partner.

Mongolmike 11-29-2012 08:20 AM

I think the 6.0 is very social (I've never done it tho). You could have a 3.5 man and a 2.5 woman on the same team... obviously this could be a HUGE skill difference.... if this is the case, try not to pound too much at the 2.5 player. You have every right to do so... it's just more of a social thing.

In 7.0, it would be not uncommon to have a 4.0 man and a 3.0 woman. Sure, this is also a large skill gap, but more common is two 3.5's or a 3.5 and a 3.0 together. Still a social thing, but not near as much as 6.0. You being a 3.0, I think (if you are not a jerk anyway) you can have a lot of fun being partnered with a good 3.5 or 4.0 woman. Lot of guys let their egos cloud their view of women players, but playing with some women with good skill is a lot of fun. If you aren't a couple, there is a different dynamic... and I don't mean anything to do with flirting... I've had a blast.

Cindysphinx 11-29-2012 09:12 AM

If you are a legitimate 3.0 guy, you have two choices: 6.0 mixed or 7.0 mixed.

I would suggest 7.0 mixed. You will get to face 3.5 and 4.0 guys, and that will be fun. You will have a 4.0 female partner. She will not knock the fuzz off the ball, but she will be much more consistent than you are. You might do very well.

One suggestion, though. Please don't assume you should serve first just because you are the dude. If your serve is wonky, you two might do better having her serve first, especially if you are good/imposing at net.

I have played with 3.5 guys, and they always assume they should serve first. They are correct in all situations so far except one. That guy couldn't get his serve in to save his life. We did much better holding when I served than when he did so I obviously should have served first.

Needless to say, that didn't happen. Needless to say, we lost.

anubis 11-29-2012 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 7038055)
If you are a legitimate 3.0 guy, you have two choices: 6.0 mixed or 7.0 mixed.

I would suggest 7.0 mixed. You will get to face 3.5 and 4.0 guys, and that will be fun. You will have a 4.0 female partner. She will not knock the fuzz off the ball, but she will be much more consistent than you are. You might do very well.

One suggestion, though. Please don't assume you should serve first just because you are the dude. If your serve is wonky, you two might do better having her serve first, especially if you are good/imposing at net.

I have played with 3.5 guys, and they always assume they should serve first. They are correct in all situations so far except one. That guy couldn't get his serve in to save his life. We did much better holding when I served than when he did so I obviously should have served first.

Needless to say, that didn't happen. Needless to say, we lost.

Thank you Cindy. I'll ping my group for any 3.5 women who are OK "slumming it" with a 3.0 male partner. The winter mixed league is my only opportunity to train during the winter months, so I want to make sure that the people really want to play, not to be a purely "social" thing. In regards to serving, I actually don't like serving first, so that's not an issue.

Cindysphinx 11-29-2012 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anubis (Post 7038065)
Thank you Cindy. I'll ping my group for any 3.5 women who are OK "slumming it" with a 3.0 male partner. The winter mixed league is my only opportunity to train during the winter months, so I want to make sure that the people really want to play, not to be a purely "social" thing. In regards to serving, I actually don't like serving first, so that's not an issue.

OK, but you might as well look for a solid 4.0 woman if it is 7.0 mixed and you're a 3.0.

anubis 11-29-2012 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 7038256)
OK, but you might as well look for a solid 4.0 woman if it is 7.0 mixed and you're a 3.0.


Oh, so it has to add up to 7.0 exactly? Didn't know that, thanks.

schmke 11-29-2012 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anubis (Post 7038289)
Oh, so it has to add up to 7.0 exactly? Didn't know that, thanks.

It doesn't have to, but why not take advantage of being able to play with a stronger partner?

Cindysphinx 11-29-2012 11:24 AM

No, it doesn't have to be 7.0 exactly. The combined rating cannot exceed 7.0, but it can be 7.0 or lower.

As 4.0 women tend to be stronger players than 3.5 players, you might as well get the strongest partner the rules allow and find a 4.0.

NTRPolice 11-29-2012 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anubis (Post 7038289)
Oh, so it has to add up to 7.0 exactly? Didn't know that, thanks.

And the NTRP difference cannot exceed 1.0 between players. You cant have a 4.5 and a 2.5 playing 7.0 for example.

What is your record at 3.0 mens like? If your record is bad, I wouldnt play 7.0 because your 4.0 girl partner is not going to enjoy playing with you lol. Remember, as a 3.0 man playing 7.0 mixed you're going to be expected to play "even" with a 4.0 woman and not be a "liability" against a 4.0 man on a competitive team.

If you're just playing for "fun" and your team is for "fun" then go ahead and test yourself in 7.0. If that team is a competitive, going-for-it, team, I wouldnt even think about it unless you're at least 80% wins in 3.0, preferably at doubles.

To put this into perspective, you will be up against two 3.5 players who are likely 4.0's in ability once you get to the playoff level. In order for a 3.0 man, 4.0 woman, combo to work, your girl is going to need to play "at level" (meaning 4.0) and you're going to have to play up, way up, to a strong 3.5 or better to stand a chance.

4.0 is when players start to become much more "competitive" and a lot less "social".

Here, mixed is one of the most competitive leagues there are. You have "3.0's for life" here who go to nationals on a regular basis who play mixed exclusively.

dizzlmcwizzl 11-30-2012 01:07 AM

To be honest as a 3.0 man finding a good home in 7.0 mixed can be challenging unless you are an underrated 3.0. Many teams will take you because there is a shortage of 3.0 men for 7.0 mixed, but you wont play much unless the team is really poor or you are in reality a 3.5 in 3.0 clothing.

Mostly because 4.0 women will most likely have may other playing options and wont choose 7.0 unless they are happy with their partner. And good teams wont play folks that they expect to lose.

SteveI 11-30-2012 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennismonkey (Post 7037824)
mixed dubs is a very challenging subset of regular dubs. this is because the USTA in its infinite wisdom does not have gender neutral rating system. so a male 3.0 player is not on par with a female 3.0 player. this creates all sorts of unique situations in actual play.

if you play video games a good analogy is that it's like playing super mario brothers and beating the level and then nintendo says, hey now try beating this game UPSIDE DOWN! same game - totally different gameplay.

i find that a cheaper alternative to playing mixed dubs but still getting all the benefits of mixed dubs is to run around your block as fast as you can and then when you get home - punch yourself in the face. i have just saved you a lot of money.

Classic!!!!! Made my day!!

tennismonkey 11-30-2012 05:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveI (Post 7039296)
Classic!!!!! Made my day!!

thanks steve. sometimes i think there are lots of crickets at TW.

OP -- i think other folks are bringing up a good point. unless you are a very strong 3.0 -- your 4.0 lady partner has a lot of pressure on her shoulders.

Cindysphinx 11-30-2012 06:26 AM

No one will be shocked to hear that I disagree with almost all of this. :) FWIW, my observations are based on many seasons of 7.0 mixed, but I never played 6.0 mixed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NTRPolice (Post 7039186)
What is your record at 3.0 mens like? If your record is bad, I wouldnt play 7.0 because your 4.0 girl partner is not going to enjoy playing with you lol. Remember, as a 3.0 man playing 7.0 mixed you're going to be expected to play "even" with a 4.0 woman and not be a "liability" against a 4.0 man on a competitive team.

Nah. A 3.0 guy playing mixed will be expected to play like a 3.0 guy playing mixed. He will not be expected to play "even" with a 4.0 woman. This is because she is essentially one USTA level stronger and will be way, way more consistent.

No matter what the 3.0 guy does, he will be a "liability" against the 4.0 guy. On account of how a 4.0 guy is two full USTA levels above him. The 3.0guy/4.0woman pair can still win by ruthlessly targeting the 3.0 female opponent.

The job of the 3.0 guy will be to get his serves in and keep the ball in play. He should know he will see most of the balls, and he shouldn't try to do more than he can comfortably do. The worst thing he can do is try to play even with the 4.0 gal or guy, because he will go down in a flaming blaze of UEs.

Quote:

If you're just playing for "fun" and your team is for "fun" then go ahead and test yourself in 7.0. If that team is a competitive, going-for-it, team, I wouldnt even think about it unless you're at least 80% wins in 3.0, preferably at doubles.
Mmmm, maybe.

A playoff-bound team will probably not want many 4.0woman/3.0guy pairs. If you get on such a team, it will be fine if your expectations are appropriate. Unless you and your partner are both at the top of your rating levels, you won't play much.

Quote:

To put this into perspective, you will be up against two 3.5 players who are likely 4.0's in ability once you get to the playoff level. In order for a 3.0 man, 4.0 woman, combo to work, your girl is going to need to play "at level" (meaning 4.0) and you're going to have to play up, way up, to a strong 3.5 or better to stand a chance.
The bold part is the problem: Who said anything about "playoff level"?

Most league tennis is played at the non-playoff level. If you view everything through the gauzy haze of what happens at districts/sectionals/nationals, you will give out a lot of questionable advice that only pertains to a small percentage of USTA league players.

Will the two 3.5 players OP will face be "likely 4.0 in ability?" Most of the time, no. There are plenty of 7.0 mixed players who are at the lower or middle range of 3.5. You will probably do fine against all but the strongest 7.0 pairs. Against those strong pairs, you will lose but the sun will still come up the next day, I promise.

Quote:

4.0 is when players start to become much more "competitive" and a lot less "social".
Pardon?

Whether matches or teams are social or competitive depends on the local environment and team culture. There are plenty of individuals and teams at 3.0 and 3.5 that are very serious and competitive about their tennis, and there are easy-going, social 4.0 teams.

OP, I guess it all depends on how you define "social," but my experience at 7.0 was that everyone on the court wanted to win. From reading here at TT, I understand there are certain conventions that apply in league mixed (e.g. the guy should not crush his biggest shots at the woman at net unless she can volley), but you are perfectly within your rights to play to win.

And if you don't play to win on a team at the top of the standings, expect to be benched.

FWIW, I was bumped to 4.0, and that put an end to my 7.0 mixed career. I (and most of the 4.0 women I know) did not wish to play 7.0 mixed with a 3.0 partner. The reason is that we knew all balls would go to our partners. Some of us did not feel athletic enough to scramble and poach and somehow get in the point.

I do know one 4.0 woman who signed up for 7.0 mixed. She had a sandbagging 3.0 male partner, so they crushed the competition. The team earned a trip to sectionals. At that exact moment, the 3.0 male partner declined to attend or play any more mixed because he didn't like it. This left my friend sitting at home for sectionals because this guy was the only 3.0 guy on the team.

OrangePower 11-30-2012 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anubis (Post 7037769)
Hi,
I'll be playing mixed doubles this winter, for the first time in my tennis experience. I've heard from others that mixed leagues NTRP levels are different than that of a men's NTRP level. Is this true?

If you've never played mixed before, you'll find that it's a different kind of tennis to 'regular' tennis. Partly is because of the dynamic of having mixed genders, but mostly IMO it's that the skill levels of the players on court vary by way more than in other leagues.

For example, and as other have pointed out, in 7.0 mixed you can have 3.0 male + 4.0 woman, 3.5 + 3.5, or 4.0 + 3.0.

If you as a 3.0 play with a 4.0 woman, then you and your partner would be somewhat close to one another in skills. A 3.0 man on average is slightly stronger than a 3.5 woman, but weaker than a 4.0 woman.

However, more common parnerships from what I've seen are 3.5 + 3.5, and 3.0 woman + 4.0 man. In fact it seems the latter is the most successful. And in this case, there is a huge difference in skill between the 3.0 woman and the 4.0 male.

As a result, much of the tactics in mixed revolve around keeping the ball away from the stronger opponent, and making the weaker opponent hit as many balls as possible.

This is in contrast with 'regular' tennis, where much of your shot selection is based on percentages and what shots you can make, rather than based on the individual strength / weakness of each your opponents.

Some people like the added dimension of having to adjust for different skill levels on court at the same time. Some (like me) don't, because it requires what I view as artificial shot selection rather than solid percentage play, and in general results in not very good tennis (again IMO).

tennismonkey 11-30-2012 08:47 AM

+25 internet points to OrangePower for explaining a very difficult topic.

for mixed leagues, i wish the usta would let ladies play as .5 rating lower. so in a 7.0 mixed league you could have:

4.0 guy with 3.5 woman (counting as a 3.0)
3.5 guy with 4.0 woman (counting as a 3.5)
3.0 guy with 4.5 woman (counting as a 4.0)

this makes all of the above pairings viable and as equal as possible.


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