Originally Posted by bobbything
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.
Nobody knows their exact rating by design. Trust me, if you applied this to the USTA, people would abuse it. The vast majority wouldn't, but those hell bent on sectionals and nationals would. Want to make sure that all your self rate players are available for playoffs? This would make it incredibly easy to manage your scores so they are available. Worried that some on your team may get a bump for ESR or end of year? Now you know exactly what you need to do and how close you are to adjust your scores. No more guessing. A tencap system would work well for a local league where people are actually trying to move up levels, but not for USTA where people are trying to stay put at their level for playoffs.
In USTA most people know where they stand in their rating level- upper, mid or lower just by how they do in their matches. That is good enough IMO.