Originally Posted by schmke
The flaw in your thinking is that if some players are winning, then some are losing too. So they'd move down and so there isn't a mass move up of ratings. The system more or less stays balanced.
Perhaps what the issue is that 40+ players tend to play more doubles and are relatively better at that, so a 4.0 "singles" player would easily beat one a 4.0 "doubles" player and there is the perception the 40+ doubles guy is overrated.
I dont really care either way, but when you are only playing people in the 40+ league, it's not a true representation of all the players in the game as you are only competing against a select demographic. From what I have seen in my area all the better 40+ players are staying in the 18+ leagues as they want the extra competition. That probably further dilutes the level of tennis needed to win. As I see it people will start playing up a .5 level and will slowly increase their rating.
You are right that if those in the 40+ league only play in the 40+ league that you will end up lacking any connection between the leagues and you lose the ability to accurately compare their ratings. But as long as enough to play in both leagues they serve as the connection.