Originally Posted by Cindysphinx
I've kind of noticed a theme that runs through a lot of rating-related posts around here. Time and time again, we hear that someone says they are a 4.5 but couldn't get their serve in. Or they claim their opponent must be sandbagging because they lost badly. Even on these boards, we've seen instances where someone claimed to be a certain level, only to learn later that this was what their club pro told them or is based on some non-USTA computer.
I think we could use more clarity and consistency when folks refer to their ratings or those of their teammates, opponents, partners. The understanding should be:
*If it ain't a USTA computer rating, it ain't a rating.*
Having a USTA rating doesn't make someone the be all and end all, of course. It does, however, make their observations and opinions about their level a bit more legitimate.
Not only would such an understanding help our discussions at TT, perhaps it would help avoid the current problem of having every tennis social or event become awash with people who are pulling a rating straight out of their backsides. It's really misleading, and I don't see how it helps anyone to introduce more uncertainty into the task of matching up players based on ability.
Yes, yes, I know that those not in the U.S. have to guesstimate their rating. That's fine -- they're unlikely to turn up at my local tennis round robin claiming to be a 4.5 but unable to keep the ball in the court.
It's also a big headache. I'm old school when tennis levels were A (advanced), B (intermediate) and C (beginner) and then Open (5.0 and above). That method was used all through most of the tennis boom and seemed to be less confusing. Their wasn't all this talk, it was either yea he/she is really good or they just started playing.
The NTRP seemed to get stuck in the minutae and then someone decided if you want to compete, that you have to join the USTA and A, B, C and Open was abolished. Personally, I'm not a USTA member and I don't enter any USTA events, that require I join the USTA with the expensive tournament fee. There are plenty of less formal leagues and some non-sanctioned tournaments that you can join and still play/enjoy the game of tennis without all the USTA hangups So, if someone asks me at a social what level are you I just say "been playing about 35 years" I guess I'm 3.5 I don't know never been rated or pay attention to that" That's a fairly safe answer because I know that most recreational players are 3.5. Like, I say I'm old school and still play with my Wilson Pro Staff Classics 30 year old racquets"
Probably didn't contribute much to your post xcept we seem to talk NTRP ratings a whole lot. I agree with you though that most players are not as good as what they rate themselves.