Originally Posted by Mike Y
I personally think that ratings should be more volatile. There are too many people that go 9-2 for 3 straight seasons without getting bumped up. If you win 80% of your matches in any one season, you should get bumped up. If you then go 2-8 at the higher level the next season, then you should get bumped back down. If you go 5-5, then that is your appropriate level. It just seems like there are too many people who just camp out at the higher end of their level for years, and then get all disappointed when they finally get bumped up, even though that should have happened years ago.
I've said this for years but the USTA should go to a dynamic rating system. Where I live, there's a rating system called Tencap. They use it in a few other cities as well. It adjusts on the fly as you complete matches. It's kind of like a golf handicap. The lower the rating, the better the player. And they have divisions that encompass rating ranges. For instance...
The Men's Blue Division is for players rated between 22-28; which is typically a 4.5 level. If a 28 rated player plays a 22 rated player and wins 6-4, 6-4, their rating will go up accordingly and the losing player's rating will go down accordingly. Vice versa, if the 22 rated player wins, but let's say it's in three sets, their rating could still go down (because the match was close).
I've been playing Tencap for about 10 years and the system is far more accurate. And you can see exactly where you are relative to other players. This is one of the problems I see with the USTA's rating system. Nobody knows where they fall within their respective rating spectrum. I've been a 4.5 for years, but I have no idea where I am relative to other players.
One of the concerns with the Tencap system is that they thought it would encourage sandbagging to keep a rating where it is. But I've honestly never seen that happen.