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-   -   Stuck playing in a flex league I'm too good for..... (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455341)

Brian11785 02-20-2013 08:39 AM

Stuck playing in a flex league I'm too good for.....
 
I have been playing in flex leagues for a couple of years now, working my way up from

winning only one match in my first 3.0 season to
winning the city 3.0 tournament to
winning only one set my first season in 3.5 to
going 4-2 my second season in 3.5 (beating a guy in straight sets who'd previously beat me 6-1,6-1.)

All of this progression happened in LeagueTennis.

With a sweet $10 season deal they had going this spring, I decided to sign up for UltimateTennis this time.

The last time I played Ultimate was last summer, I went a respectable 6-1 with a loss in the second round of the 16-person playoffs in 3.0. However, I won several three setters and my rating was a little shy of causing me to be bumped up. All of this happened around the time I was getting demolished in 3.5 LeagueTennis (as mentioned above.)

In the months after that season, I took a few lessons, worked on some weak areas, improved my strengths and found a racquet/string setup that gave me a lot of confidence. Hence, the turn-around and 4-2 record in the fall season of LeagueTennis 3.5. And I think I'm now better than I was in the fall.

I sent an email to UltimateTennis telling them this....that I'd finished with a winning record in 3.5 LeagueTennis, along the way beating a guy who regularly does well in Ultimate 3.5. Basically requesting to be bumped up to 3.5...seemed reasonable.

I was sent a form copy-and-paste-from-the-website letter response denying my request.

So.....here I am. Stuck playing 3.0 for one more season.

Should I:
(a) Attempt to double bagel every person that I play.
(b) Play the whole season with my Jimmy Connors and/or Chris Evert American Star Wilson woodies.
(c) Be a cold machine on court and forward my opponent Ultimate's response at the first sounds of "sandbagger."
(d) Both a and c
(e) Create your own.

???

spot 02-20-2013 08:46 AM

Sounds to me like ultimate tennis was right to deny your request. Just because you did well in another league doesn't mean they should bump you. Go out and prove you don't belong. IF you truly dominate then you will get bumped up 2 levels but that is very difficult to do.

I guess this thread would have a lot more validity if you had already crushed your first 2 opponents.

Brian11785 02-20-2013 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spot (Post 7226485)
Sounds to me like ultimate tennis was right to deny your request. Just because you did well in another league doesn't mean they should bump you. Go out and prove you don't belong. IF you truly dominate then you will get bumped up 2 levels but that is very difficult to do.

I guess this thread would have a lot more validity if you had already crushed your first 2 opponents.

I am not really mad or offended and understand why they would be hesitant to take my word for it.

I know the thread title is a little snarky, but I honestly see this as sort of a challenge.

I can keep this thread updated, regardless of how it goes.

OrangePower 02-20-2013 08:52 AM

Hmm, weird situation.

You are effectively a 3.5, know you are a 3.5, and you want to play 3.5 rather than sandbag at 3.0. So you are trying to do the right thing.

But UltimateTennis won't let you play at 3.5 and insists you play 3.0. I'm not familar with Ultimate but seems silly that they won't let you play up especially since you can demonstrate a history of success at 3.5.

Anyway, I would either (1) not play at all, or (2) play, and treat the matches just as I would any other match - play with your regular equipment, try play your best at the outset of each match, and if you happen to get bored or lose focus (sometimes happens when opponents are much weaker), try work on some different strategies (serve and volley, chip and charge, etc).

And if your opponents accuse you of sandbagging, just be honest with them about the circumstances.

J_R_B 02-20-2013 08:55 AM

Crush them! And hear the lamentations of their women...

Brian11785 02-20-2013 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7226497)
Hmm, weird situation.

You are effectively a 3.5, know you are a 3.5, and you want to play 3.5 rather than sandbag at 3.0. So you are trying to do the right thing.

But UltimateTennis won't let you play at 3.5 and insists you play 3.0. I'm not familar with Ultimate but seems silly that they won't let you play up especially since you can demonstrate a history of success at 3.5.

Anyway, I would either (1) not play at all, or (2) play, and treat the matches just as I would any other match - play with your regular equipment, try play your best at the outset of each match, and if you happen to get bored or lose focus (sometimes happens when opponents are much weaker), try work on some different strategies (serve and volley, chip and charge, etc).

And if your opponents accuse you of sandbagging, just be honest with them about the circumstances.

This is the right answer I think.

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_R_B (Post 7226511)
Crush them! And hear the lamentations of their women...

There actually are a good number of wives who come along for these matches. Imagining giving some guy a beatdown, then, as I'm walking away, asking his girl "You leaving wit' me or him?"

asimple 02-20-2013 09:05 AM

I'm a bit surprised as I was under the impression that Ultimate pretty easily bumps people up. I actually sent a complaint about this and a few other things last year. A few of us started another league as Ultimate didn't fit us anymore. I really liked Ultimate and wish we didn't have to do that though.

During the fall season, I was kind of in the same position you are because they bumped the good players out of the league and added some from the lower division. I picked one of your options and set my goal to lose as few games as possible. This is actually more difficult than you would think and actually good practice. I was somewhat successful at it, but lost more games than I would have liked.

I've also seen people use false names in Ultimate, so you could actually play both.

spot 02-20-2013 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asimple (Post 7226521)
I'm a bit surprised as I was under the impression that Ultimate pretty easily bumps people up..

That was my experience. I had a season where I was truly dominant and in line for at least a bump if not a double bump but in the last match I broke strings on both my racquets and had to borrow a random one from someone there and it was a disaster. I think I was up 6-2 4-1 at the time and proceeded to lose the match in a third set tiebreaker. I just emailed them and they moved me up.

But I do understand why they wouldn't do it. In Atlanta at least Ultimate Tennis has a higher level of play than some of the smaller singles leagues (though USTA ratings are higher) so I think they were right to tell him to go prove it on the court in their league. I really do think that he may end up having more work to do than he thinks.

And if he really is that dominate and wins the whole thing at his level then that would probably make them start bumping up people in similar situations.

Cindysphinx 02-20-2013 11:52 AM

Try to get through the season with more double-bagels than anyone has ever compiled ever.

Go for a Golden Set.

Dominate, crush, demoralize.

When your defeated opponents complain to you, cheerfully tell them that you asked for a bump up but were denied.

That said . . . it takes real mental toughness to get bagel sets. A momentary lapse and before you know it a game has slipped away. If nothing else, this will be good practice in not playing "down" to the level of your opponents.

fundrazer 02-20-2013 12:13 PM

Given your response to the one post, I'm guessing his reference to Conan totally went over your head.

Brian11785 02-20-2013 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fundrazer (Post 7226876)
Given your response to the one post, I'm guessing his reference to Conan totally went over your head.

Had to look it up. Too old for me. More likely to catch a Conan (O'Brien) reference.

ttocs013 02-20-2013 12:42 PM

If this is Atlanta then they were most likely correct in not bumping you (although why they wouldn't do it after a request is unknown to me).

UltimateTennis is a much deeper league than LeagueTennis (I've played both at 4.0). I'd say just play your matches, win them with breathing room, and move up to 3.5 next season.

This happened to me when I was a 3.0 (or 3.5, can't remember) as well and I took the maximum amount of points and got bounced in the 2nd round of playoffs. **** happens.

Good luck though, Going back to try to make 4.5 after a 2 year singles hiatus in Ultimate. I will probably get destroyed.

Brian11785 02-20-2013 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ttocs013 (Post 7226921)
If this is Atlanta then they were most likely correct in not bumping you (although why they wouldn't do it after a request is unknown to me).

UltimateTennis is a much deeper league than LeagueTennis (I've played both at 4.0). I'd say just play your matches, win them with breathing room, and move up to 3.5 next season.

This happened to me when I was a 3.0 (or 3.5, can't remember) as well and I took the maximum amount of points and got bounced in the 2nd round of playoffs. **** happens.

Good luck though, Going back to try to make 4.5 after a 2 year singles hiatus in Ultimate. I will probably get destroyed.

I'm in Dallas, but it is the same here. 3.0 in UT is a bit stronger than LT at every skill level. I still think I should win out in the regular season (like I said, I went 6-1 last summer, before my improvement; lost in the second round of the playoffs 7-6 in the third set after leading 4 games to 1...but that's another story.) I'll likely lose in the playoffs against someone in my situation or a conscious sandbagger (My first season making the 3.0 playoffs was eventually won by a guy who'd won 3.5 in the past but they were allowing to play down after an injury.....Ugh.)

Govnor 02-20-2013 12:48 PM

That is very frustrating. I feel bad for you. Maybe you could bribe someone?

Buford T Justice 02-20-2013 03:20 PM

Your other option, as you haven't played UT in a year, is to wait another year. At that point, you'll have to requalify preferably by playing another benchmark player at your desired level. UT will then take that qualifying match as "proof" of your proper rating level. They seem quite reasonable on this.

This happened to me as I didn't play in the league for a couple of years so my old level was no longer considered accurate.

Ultimately though, all you have to do is end the season with a 10.0 rating or higher and you'll move up two levels. If your area has the minus levels, youll move from 3.0 to 3.5 (and skip the 3.5- level). If you are notably better than everyone else in your league, this will not be that hard to do. It basically means you'll win matches 6-2, 6-2.

jaybear1909 02-20-2013 03:49 PM

Glad to see I'm not the only one having this problem with UT. I played 2 seasons of 4.0-, the first going 5-1 and losing in the quarterfinals. Second season I went 7-0, but only had a 5.33 rating. UT's standards are 5.5+ moves up, below 5.5 stays the same level. Basically, .17 rating is keeping me from being moved up.

The first and second season, I played many of the same opponents. I had a few good matches (played a guy that has played many seasons including 4.5 a few seasons ago, and beat him in 3). 3 straights and 3 3-setters.

But get this: my 7th match, the opponent withdrew from the league. So I was left to play a sub, if one joined. Problem was, no sub joined and I ended up having to win by default on that one, granting me 12 points instead of 14 had I won in straights (which I had the season previous to this opponent). Had I played that match I would have had the .17 rating necessary.

UT wouldn't listen and kept sending me automated responses. I eventually just created a new account and put myself at 4.5. That way, if I lose, it's because the opponent was better than me, and I won't have any more of these move-up problems.

I feel your pain.

Buford T Justice 02-20-2013 03:58 PM

IMO, the way UT rates players and determines move ups or move downs is very well thought out. It addresses the idea that how much one wins by matters. I've had similar seasons to Jaybear where I won all matches and moved up 2 levels and another season where I won all matches and didn't. I've also had a season where I went 1-6 and stayed at the same level. Again....because the losses weren't bad enough to warrant a drop down.

The simplest way to show that one is much better than everyone else is to win the league. In many cases, finishing runner up or making the semis means one moves up if there is a good sized field. ln these cases, no matter your season rating you move up.

Buford T Justice 02-20-2013 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaybear1909 (Post 7227163)
But get this: my 7th match, the opponent withdrew from the league. So I was left to play a sub, if one joined. Problem was, no sub joined and I ended up having to win by default on that one, granting me 12 points instead of 14 had I won in straights (which I had the season previous to this opponent). Had I played that match I would have had the .17 rating

Even if you played a sub (and UT allows you to find and pick your own sub....basically any other player in your league) the match would not have counted towards your rating.

https://www.ultimatetennis.com/suppo...ng-calculation

jaybear1909 02-20-2013 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buford T Justice (Post 7227186)
Even if you played a sub (and UT allows you to find and pick your own sub....basically any other player in your league) the match would not have counted towards your rating.

https://www.ultimatetennis.com/suppo...ng-calculation

What I meant was, had I played the original player to sign up, I would have had the rating. I'm assuming I would have won because I had beat him comfortably the season prior and had gotten a lot better as well.

It sucks the sub wouldn't have granted rating. That's kind of dumb in my opinion.

jaybear1909 02-20-2013 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buford T Justice (Post 7227179)
IMO, the way UT rates players and determines move ups or move downs is very well thought out. It addresses the idea that how much one wins by matters. I've had similar seasons to Jaybear where I won all matches and moved up 2 levels and another season where I won all matches and didn't. I've also had a season where I went 1-6 and stayed at the same level. Again....because the losses weren't bad enough to warrant a drop down.

The simplest way to show that one is much better than everyone else is to win the league. In many cases, finishing runner up or making the semis means one moves up if there is a good sized field. ln these cases, no matter your season rating you move up.

I agree, but it's much easier said than done. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I play much better against better competition. At 4.0- I was playing people that were athletic, but didn't really have put-aways. They were consistent and I'd end up beating myself (or going to 3 sets when I should have won in 2). I've improved even more since last season, but still feel like I wouldn't do amazing (UT's standards for move-up) just because I wouldn't be able to get into those matches.

For example, I play a 5.0 friend often. He's beaten me 49/50 sets (give or take), but every time we play, I know it's him beating me and not myself. I play my best tennis and get better doing it. When we first started hitting, he beat me 6-0/6-1 easily. Now I can force a tiebreak and have chances to win the set (for instance, yesterday I was up 4-2 serving. He ended up coming back to beat me in the tiebreaker).

At 4.0- I play people that hit slow, push balls and in general just aren't any fun. This makes my level drop tremendously.

Personally, I see no harm in moving up. Worst case someone gets a free bagel. I'm sure they won't complain. The problem would be when wanting to move down. Then sandbagging comes into play.

EDIT: As Cindy said though, it is good practice against playing down. That is my #1 hurdle in tennis.


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