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Old 07-24-2007, 08:46 PM   #39
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 403

The USTA should just scrap the numeric rating system and go with a more simple, 4-tiered system: Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced. The larger percentage of players would rest in the 2nd and 3rd tiers and you'd no longer (ever) be eligible for "beginner" after having played 2 years of league tennis. Novice level would be where your traditional 2.5/3.0 players would play; intermediate would be where your 3.5/4.0 players would play and advanced would be 4.5 and up.

I understand why the USTA adopted the NTRP program and I'm not saying scrap it; just condense it. As I understood it, the whole idea behind NTRP was to make tennis competitive and fun for more people. The problem is that a half-point graduated system that (competitively) begins @ 2.5 and ends @ 5.5 has far too many levels. IMO, condensing the ratings into 4 groups total this would better control the blatant sandbagging and self-ego stroking that occurs while at the same time, increasing the potential for creating better tennis players.

Let's face it, if you're a "traditional" 4.5 playing "advanced" under the new system, you're in there with 5.0 and 5.5 players in which case, if you want to be competitive, you'll have to practice and "bring it" each time you play a league or tourney match. If you're serious about your game, you'll take your beatings early on but you'll get better (just like guys playing ATP who start out ranked in the 500s after leaving juniors, but over the course of 4+ years, get good enough to crack the top 100, 50, 25 or even 10).

Final thought: Can you imagine how convoluted and confused the juniors program would be if they used this same NTRP rating system?
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