Originally Posted by OrangePower
Good post. I'm in NorCal Bay Area, so similar situation. Our 4.5s are not 'better' than other 4.5s, but there is a greater density of them within a manageable geographical area to choose from.
The NorCal 4.5 team that is going to Nationals is a good example. Looking at the roster, seems they are all legitimate 4.5s - no sandbaggers or self rates. But also looking at where the players are from, it looks like the captain pulled together the strongest players from several districts. You can do that when the districts are relatively close together.
And completely agree on the no self rates in playoffs. Realistically, who would that affect? Most self rated players are just happy to be playing organized tennis again, enjoy the regular season, and are not even thinking about playoffs before the season begins. The ones who would be impacted are... the intentional sandbaggers and their captains. Too bad.
I don't disagree that a blanket rule of no self rates in playoffs would address the intentional sandbaggers, but it would also punish those that are still legitimate players at level. Why not just tighten the rules on DQs to err more on the side of keeping it fair for the masses rather than erring on the side of letting the self-rate keep playing? The USTA admits that the threshold for DQ is not just the top of the level and there is a buffer to allow for natural improvement, just reduce or eliminate that buffer and the problem is likely solved.