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Old 01-31-2007, 12:45 PM   #6
Jack the Hack
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SATennis,

I believe that one of your survey questions is flawed:

"Rate your interest in a tennis rating system that is similar to golf's handicap system in that it bases your rating on the results of your play rather than someone's opinion of your play."

The current NTRP system does not use visual verification or rating clinics anymore. Since 2003, the system is based completely upon match results to generate a dynamic rating. Players may enter the system based on a self assessment, but match results ultimately generate the year end rating number in the national TennisLink computer. Therefore, this question above is flawed because NTRP is not based on opinion, but on actual match results just like the golf handicap system. The difference is that with the GHIN, you can tell exactly what your actual handicap will be by calculating course and slope ratings against your score and the number of rounds you play. With the NTRP, you may know which range you are in (a 4.5 player is actually rated somewhere between 4.01 and 4.50 in the TennisLink computer), but you don't know your exact rating to the hundredth decimal point, what your opponent's real rating is, and how the match score will eventually effect you.

The TenCap rating system advertises itself as a system based totally on play (like it's unique that way), but it is not much different than the NTRP. The major difference is that TenCap does not give you a range, but an exact number on a scale from 0 to 80 (with 0 being the best). Therefore, instead of saying "I'm a 4.5" (which could actually mean you are a 4.01 in the NTRP computer and would probably get waxed by someone that is a 4.49), you could say "I'm at 39" and you should be very competitive with other players that are a 39. The question then is how do you divise tournaments for TenCap players? Obviously, you can't have 81 different brackets for each TenCap level, so you break them down into ranges. For instance, you could have a tournament for players in 35-40 range in TenCap. These matches would be competitive, but the 35s should always beat the 40s. This is the same thing that happens with an NTRP tournament or league.

(On a related note, the ITN rating system is the only one I am familiar with that is based on skills instead of results.)

Also, your survey had several questions built around having a website where you could track match results and see upcoming tournaments. There is already a site like this called TennisLink! You may not be able to contact other players from this site or update your player profile, but that system is also free. (The USTA also just signed a deal with Active.com to let them take over the TennisLink system, so I wonder if that won't open up more features with that site in the near future.)

Since the TenCap website is managed in Kansas and you appear to be in Kansas City (the survey is for a University of Missouri-Kansas City Bloch Business School project), I wonder if you have a vested personal interest in TenCap. If so, I would think you would want to know the competing systems (NTRP and ITN) inside and out... especially if you are considering the TenCap website to be a profit venture.
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