Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Adult League & Tournament Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35)
-   -   Match determined by a coin toss - what do you think? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=456027)

walton123 02-27-2013 04:52 AM

Match determined by a coin toss - what do you think?
 
40+ adult league, 4 position matches ( 1 singles, 3 doubles), new format for our region, simple rules sent out at start of season indicating - if tie match 2-2, go to sets and if tied go to games.

We played recently and tied on all fronts - positions, sets, and games. Neither team knew what to do as our emailed rule sheet said to go to games. We figured we would enter in tennislink, it would go as tie and be determined at seasons end. As it turns out, we were instructed by LLC the next day that a coin toss would need to be done to determine match winner. Many on our team are upset that we would now determine matches this way - as "remote" a chance of this happening (a full tie all around) it happened so maybe it isn't so remote.

We will suck this up as we lost the flip and subsequently(after the fact) the LLC emailed new rules stating this......a little late. Previous to this our league was 5 positions which could not yield ties but this season we went to 4. Seems better planning could have been done. I hear another league very close to us is using "positions won" for the season to determine standings - this seems to be more fair as at least some credit is given. We are told our rules stand for now and could be revised next year - Not sure I like this 18+ 5 position, 40+ 4 position structure and certainly not happy about this TIE being determined by flip of coin.

What does everyone think? I am interested in your thoughts.

spot 02-27-2013 05:21 AM

Was it that you guys weren't aware of the tiebreak rules or that there are no other tiebreak rules in place? Once you guys leave the courts I really don't know how else you could decide it. I believe in other leagues they have it set up such that the last team to finish would play a 10 point tiebreak to decide the tie but to me this is also rather against the spirit of the rules that all lines count equally.

It seems like the simplest solution is for your league to start using individual wins rather than team wins for your standings in the regular season. This has always been a change I have advocated for but in a league with just 4 lines it seems like the painfully obvious solution. Of course that can't happen until next season.

J_R_B 02-27-2013 05:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by walton123 (Post 7239128)
40+ adult league, 4 position matches ( 1 singles, 3 doubles), new format for our region, simple rules sent out at start of season indicating - if tie match 2-2, go to sets and if tied go to games.

We played recently and tied on all fronts - positions, sets, and games. Neither team knew what to do as our emailed rule sheet said to go to games. We figured we would enter in tennislink, it would go as tie and be determined at seasons end. As it turns out, we were instructed by LLC the next day that a coin toss would need to be done to determine match winner. Many on our team are upset that we would now determine matches this way - as "remote" a chance of this happening (a full tie all around) it happened so maybe it isn't so remote.

We will suck this up as we lost the flip and subsequently(after the fact) the LLC emailed new rules stating this......a little late. Previous to this our league was 5 positions which could not yield ties but this season we went to 4. Seems better planning could have been done. I hear another league very close to us is using "positions won" for the season to determine standings - this seems to be more fair as at least some credit is given. We are told our rules stand for now and could be revised next year - Not sure I like this 18+ 5 position, 40+ 4 position structure and certainly not happy about this TIE being determined by flip of coin.

What does everyone think? I am interested in your thoughts.

You should keep track of total points as a 3rd tiebreaker. If it's still tied, then you need some sort of skills competition like the hockey shootout to use as a tiebreaker. Maybe a fastest serve competition or something?

walton123 02-27-2013 05:32 AM

yes spot..........
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by spot (Post 7239165)
Was it that you guys weren't aware of the tiebreak rules or that there are no other tiebreak rules in place? Once you guys leave the courts I really don't know how else you could decide it. I believe in other leagues they have it set up such that the last team to finish would play a 10 point tiebreak to decide the tie but to me this is also rather against the spirit of the rules that all lines count equally.

It seems like the simplest solution is for your league to start using individual wins rather than team wins for your standings in the regular season. This has always been a change I have advocated for but in a league with just 4 lines it seems like the painfully obvious solution. Of course that can't happen until next season.

The rules for this new 40+ season(4 position season) only went so far as to tell us that if positions tied go to sets, if sets tied go to games. It never went beyond games as I believe the league felt this would be remote and just now(last night) emailed rules including the coin toss, likely as a result of our match. I agree with you that individual wins rather than team wins should be used but wish they could start that now as only a couple of matches have been played and I don't understand why we must wait. I am also upset that another league in our region plays individual wins and we don't so it seems these LLC's don't talk to each other - no consistency here and many players play in both leagues. Obviously I am frustrated - all the changes to me mean more $ for USTA and more work for captains like me! Sorry to rant.......

damazing 02-27-2013 05:35 AM

A coin flip does seem arbitrary, if you really wanted to make the line strength count for something to give more credence to not stacking line ups (although I do know that the line number played is not supposed to count for anything except for 4.5+ leagues)

You could have the team that wins line 1 doubles in a match tie situation win the match. (Assuming they re-wrote the rules to require the lines to represent strength of competition) Teams would still stack their lineups but would be at a disadvantage when it came to a tie in the match.

spot 02-27-2013 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by walton123 (Post 7239183)
I agree with you that individual wins rather than team wins should be used but wish they could start that now as only a couple of matches have been played and I don't understand why we must wait.

Because the other teams in the league would complain that the rules were changed mid-season. I think that leagues should be very hesitant to change their rules midseason and it should be saved for the most egregious situations.

tenniscasey 02-27-2013 05:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by damazing (Post 7239187)
A coin flip does seem arbitrary, if you really wanted to make the line strength count for something to give more credence to not stacking line ups (although I do know that the line number played is not supposed to count for anything except for 4.5+ leagues)

You could have the team that wins line 1 doubles in a match tie situation win the match. (Assuming they re-wrote the rules to require the lines to represent strength of competition) Teams would still stack their lineups but would be at a disadvantage when it came to a tie in the match.

I was thinking the same thing as this. This wouldn't completely force teams to put their best players on the 1 line, but it'd be clear incentive to not throw that line.

MeHere2PlayTennis 02-27-2013 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by damazing (Post 7239187)
A coin flip does seem arbitrary, if you really wanted to make the line strength count for something to give more credence to not stacking line ups (although I do know that the line number played is not supposed to count for anything except for 4.5+ leagues)

You could have the team that wins line 1 doubles in a match tie situation win the match. (Assuming they re-wrote the rules to require the lines to represent strength of competition) Teams would still stack their lineups but would be at a disadvantage when it came to a tie in the match.

Although it can't help you now, it maybe proposing a calculation change to the LLC would prevent this from happening in the future. This seems to me like a very questionable practice and in my area we go in this order, Team Wins, Team losses, Individual Wins, Individual Losses, Sets Loss, and Games Loss. I have seen it come down to one game for the entire league. Sorry this one didn't go in your favor.

spot 02-27-2013 06:06 AM

Quote:

You could have the team that wins line 1 doubles in a match tie situation win the match. (Assuming they re-wrote the rules to require the lines to represent strength of competition) Teams would still stack their lineups but would be at a disadvantage when it came to a tie in the match.
That seems way more harsh. In that situation if a team loses line 1 doubles they have to win the other 3 matches in order to win the tie? If a team's best player prefers singles then they would have to make the very tough choice on whether to play them at line 1 doubles instead? It seems like a bad plan to make that 1 line count almost as much as the other 3.

J_R_B 02-27-2013 07:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spot (Post 7239246)
That seems way more harsh. In that situation if a team loses line 1 doubles they have to win the other 3 matches in order to win the tie? If a team's best player prefers singles then they would have to make the very tough choice on whether to play them at line 1 doubles instead? It seems like a bad plan to make that 1 line count almost as much as the other 3.

I assume the idea is that would be the third tiebreaker behind sets and games, so it's not too harsh, just a way to break a tie that's at least on the court instead of a coin flip.

spot 02-27-2013 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_R_B (Post 7239399)
I assume the idea is that would be the third tiebreaker behind sets and games, so it's not too harsh, just a way to break a tie that's at least on the court instead of a coin flip.

Ah- that would make more sense and I wouldn't have a problem with that though I would prefer to just use individual wins.

I think that I would be OK with it if the road team were given the tie as the last tiebreak since presumably there is some advantage to playing at home. Every team would prefer playing at home rather than on the road even with this so it doesn't exactly misalign incentives. The biggest downside to this is when you have 2 teams out of the same facility and one plays a "road" match against the other but I think that would be a rare enough that you would just have to shrug your shoulders.

OrangePower 02-27-2013 08:16 AM

It seems silly and unnecessary to determine matches by a coin toss during the regular season. Just consider the match a tie, so half a match point to each team. If the match standings at the end of the regular season are tied between two or more teams, there are already well-tested tiebreak procedures in place to resolve that.

Of course in playoffs it's different, since you need an explicit match winner that will progress to the next round.

A couple of asides:

- Using just individual wins to determine standings also works, but it does change the dynamic of the league and teams. For example, I will often play a weak line in a match when I feel confident that the other lines will win, so that I can get my weaker players some matches. But if standings are driven primarily by individual wins rather than just using them as a tiebreaker, then there would be fewer playing opportunities for the weaker guys.

- I don't like the idea of giving more weight to line #1. USTA professes that there is no significance to lines numbers (although there are already some contradictions to that). So with the current system, I would be against anything that further distinguishes between lines.

beernutz 02-27-2013 08:17 AM

+1 on using #1 doubles court winner as the tiebreaker if # of lines, sets, and games is tied. Any policy that promotes less stacking is to be encouraged, imo. I have been in too many matches recently where the other captain put guys playing up on their #1 singles and/or doubles courts resulting in non-competitive beatdowns.

OrangePower 02-27-2013 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beernutz (Post 7239627)
+1 on using #1 doubles court winner as the tiebreaker if # of lines, sets, and games is tied. Any policy that promotes less stacking is to be encouraged, imo. I have been in too many matches recently where the other captain put guys playing up on their #1 singles and/or doubles courts resulting in non-competitive beatdowns.

I agree with your frustration, but am against half-measures - or eighth-measures, as in this case!

If we want to do away with stacking, then the whole way teams wins are determined needs to be changed - rather than giving a point per line, it would need to be something like:
5 points - #1 singles
3 points - #2 singles
5 points - #1 dubs
4 points - #2 dubs
3 points - #3 dubs
With teams needing 11 points to win the match, 10 to tie. Note that you still need to win 3 lines to win, but can tie by winning both #1 lines and losing the rest. Season standings would be based on cumulative score.

Now that would eliminate stacking IMO, but just using line numbers as a rarely-used tiebreak isn't going to motivate captains to stop stacking.

greg_in_atl 02-27-2013 08:51 AM

I play in an ALTA Sr Mens League here in Atlanta, where we play four lines of doubles. If you finish 2-2, during the regular season, then it's just a tie. However, overall standing for the season are based total individual matches won.

Here is the tie-break procedure ALTA has if you finish a playoff match 2-2: the last teams to finish will immediately play a match tiebreak (first to 10 points leading by 2 points)

To me, at least this settles things on the court as opposed to something arbitrary like a coin flip.

beernutz 02-27-2013 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7239661)
I agree with your frustration, but am against half-measures - or eighth-measures, as in this case!

If we want to do away with stacking, then the whole way teams wins are determined needs to be changed - rather than giving a point per line, it would need to be something like:
5 points - #1 singles
3 points - #2 singles
5 points - #1 dubs
4 points - #2 dubs
3 points - #3 dubs
With teams needing 11 points to win the match, 10 to tie. Note that you still need to win 3 lines to win, but can tie by winning both #1 lines and losing the rest. Season standings would be based on cumulative score.

Now that would eliminate stacking IMO, but just using line numbers as a rarely-used tiebreak isn't going to motivate captains to stop stacking.

I understand stacking is not prohibited by USTA rules and the suggestion to use a #1 court as the 4th deciding factor would not eliminate the issue. It would though make it more likely that there would be a competitive match on that court or courts which I support.

However I have no problem with your suggested revision to the 1 point per line system now in place either. The league in question uses 1 singles and 3 doubles.

spot 02-27-2013 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7239623)
Using just individual wins to determine standings also works, but it does change the dynamic of the league and teams. For example, I will often play a weak line in a match when I feel confident that the other lines will win, so that I can get my weaker players some matches. But if standings are driven primarily by individual wins rather than just using them as a tiebreaker, then there would be fewer playing opportunities for the weaker guys.

And right here you are saying that because team wins are what matters then you are OK with dumping a line to strengthen the other lines. Going to individual wins rather than team wins would be one of the single biggest things you could do to avoid teams dumping lines because there would be real incentive to take every line. A team that only won 3 points every week would not at all be guaranteed to make playoffs.

Going with team wins gives captains significant incentive to dump lines.

OrangePower 02-27-2013 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spot (Post 7239828)
And right here you are saying that because team wins are what matters then you are OK with dumping a line to strengthen the other lines. Going to individual wins rather than team wins would be one of the single biggest things you could do to avoid teams dumping lines because there would be real incentive to take every line. A team that only won 3 points every week would not at all be guaranteed to make playoffs.

Going with team wins gives captains significant incentive to dump lines.

Yes you're right.

But I was not just thinking of the situation where I dump a line to strengthen other lines (which I have done of course). I was thinking of where I can currently give playing time to people at the bottom of my roster, because I don't absolutely need them to win (although of course I hope they have a competitive match).

So going to individual wins will reduce stacking, but will also reduce opportunities for captains to give playing time to the weaker people on the team even aside from stacking considerations.

Basically it means I would have much more incentive to always put in my next best available players at line #3 (after putting the strongest at #1 and #2), versus in today's world I can put in guys further down the depth chart in at #3 to give them a chance to play.

I'd be fine with this, but just realize that an unintended consequence of moving to individual wins might be to further marginalize the weaker players in a league.

spot 02-27-2013 10:46 AM

Quote:

Yes you're right.

But I was not just thinking of the situation where I dump a line to strengthen other lines
But it has the same effect and is caused by the same incentives. You were putting out 2 weak players together knowing it made the rest of your lineup stronger. If it were team wins then you may have used the same players but instead of putting them together you would have split them and used them with stronger partners which would increase the quality of league play. Or else you would have sat them and put out stronger lines and the quality of league play would go up.

Personally I just don't see the downside. (and likely thats because ALTA uses individual wins and I think it greatly aligns incentives better) Every team needs to decide for themselves how much they want to balance playtime vs putting out the strongest lineup every week. I really don't understand the value of using team wins before the playoffs.

OrangePower 02-27-2013 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spot (Post 7239997)
But it has the same effect and is caused by the same incentives. You were putting out 2 weak players together knowing it made the rest of your lineup stronger. If it were team wins then you may have used the same players but instead of putting them together you would have split them and used them with stronger partners which would increase the quality of league play. Or else you would have sat them and put out stronger lines and the quality of league play would go up.

Personally I just don't see the downside. (and likely thats because ALTA uses individual wins and I think it greatly aligns incentives better) Every team needs to decide for themselves how much they want to balance playtime vs putting out the strongest lineup every week. I really don't understand the value of using team wins before the playoffs.

You're misunderstanding what I'm saying (or maybe I'm saying it badly).

Let's say I have 18 on my roster for adult league (5 lines). Imagine I rank them by strength from #1 through #18. And also let's say that on any given week I have at least 10 people available for that week (need 8 per match).

If my team is competitive and wants to do well in the regular season, and if every individual match counts, then each week I will put out the strongest possible lineup. In the scenario I'm describing, players #17 and #18 on my roster will get zero matches.

In today's world, there will be matches against weaker teams where I feel comfortable that I will already get 3 wins from singles #1 and #2 and dubs #1 and #2 lines. So in these matches I can afford to put in my players #17 and #18 in the #3 dubs line. They will likely still have a competitive match (since the opponents are a weak team), but are not guaranteed a win.

As you say there are always choices to make between fielding the strongest lineup and giving everyone playing time. In today's world there are opportunities like the scenario I described, where I can give weaker players matches without compromising the team's overall competitiveness. If instead we had individual matches count, I would lose some of that flexibility, and would have to make harsher decisions about allocating playing time.

That's fine for me as a captain, but players #17 and #18 would lose out. That's the downside.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse