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Old 10-31-2011, 10:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by OrangePower View Post
What do you see as the value of standardization across areas?

99% of players only ever play within their section. There is just a small % that get to mingle with players from another section at Nationals, or that live close enough to a neighboring section to play in two sections.

So for the huge majority of players, what impact does it have on them if other sections have different rules / regulations?

On the other hand, having different rules / season calendars / etc, allows each section to tailor things based on the weather / preferences / demographics of its residents.

Kinda like every state can have different laws, tax codes, etc.

The USTA is a National Organization, not a state, or sectional or local.

Standardization at the highest level makes all the rules the same for everyone. I am not advocating limiting local leagues from have rules and tailoring the game for the communities and players, but rather having the USTA have a minimum list of procedures that every section and local community must follow.

I have played USTA in four states. The lack of standardization means for me: in one state my USTA singles matches count toward my NTRP, but in another state they don't. Why? I have no idea. Neither does anyone at the USTA it seems. There is no good answer from the USTA. Someone just thought it isn't a good idea to count a player vs player match in SC, when they do in VA. This makes no sense whatsoever. But it is standard with the USTA.

I fly airplanes for a living. I fly with pilots who are based in several different states. Thankfully we work off the same standards. The California pilots have a few more taxes taken out due for things the rest of our guys don't have to pay for, so that is similar to a local league rule I guess.

When flying however, I know what to expect from the California pilot and he knows what to expect from me as an East Coast pilot. We might fly one flight together from Seattle to Denver and never see each other again. But during that one flight, I don't have to ask this guy anything about what he plans to do. I know what standard he will follow.

Standardization puts everyone on the same sheet of music. In my line of work, that standardization makes flying the backbone of safety. How does that relate to tennis? Well, if the USTA makes a series of mistakes, there isn't any metal bent or lives lost, so what the USTA does or doesn't do will not affect the potential loss of life. But what the USTA could learn from organizations that do consistently apply the same rules around the country to their constituents is a much more informed group of players who know what to expect.

Here's an example that really made me think the USTA's current system is broken:

It's complete garbage that a player in one state can register for the USTA with a new name, and a new USTA number, one or two levels below his current NTRP, win matches on a local team, advance to the playoffs and continuing winning, then go to state and keep winning, before someone notices he really doens't play like a 4.0. Then when it is discovered he is a really a 5.0 with a different USTA number and another name, none of his wins are vacated, and the teams he beat keep the losses. National rules would fix this type of garbage. This is the kind of standard that is needed. This happend in Florida according to some of the posters on this forum. I have no knowledge of this, but if true, it is pathetic, the USTA didn't vacate this guys wins and ban him from USTA play for at least two years.

As far as each local area tailoring tennis to their local communities, there nothing wrong with that at all. But how does having a standard applied consistently hurt anyone?

If the USTA made a set of rules and regulation at the National level, and those rules were followed by each Section then by local communities, you would not have one state with ESRs, another without ESRs. You wouldn't have some states counting Single's leagues and other not. The grievance procedures would be the same everywhere.

I've worked in the military and for two large profitable companies (one international and one national), and I never seen the lack of standardization that I see in the USTA. It's just my opinion that the USTA needs to apply some of the same major decisions nationally, not just by Section.

ESRs? Why do some states use them and other don't?
NTRP? Why do some states count this and others don't?
Grievance procedures? Not totally familiar, but it seems this have so many flavors it they might give Baskin Robbins and good run for their money.

I don't think I am asking for the moon. Do you think I am off-base with my thinking?

Sorry for the rant in advance. Not sleepy tonight.
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