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.
You make some excellent points that I agree with. But what the USTA uses is a dynamic system that adjusts ratings with every match played, the USTA just chooses to update the public record once (or twice for sections with early start leagues) a year as well as just publicize the rating to the half point. So it is really the lack of transparency that is the issue.
Regarding knowing where one stands, I'm sure the USTA would argue that as long as you are rated such that you are at a level where play is competitive, you don't need to know more details. I disagree which is why I do my estimated dynamic NTRP ratings. If you want to know where you are relative to your level, let me know!
Regarding sandbagging, clearly we know that having a less transparent system with NTRP doesn't get rid of sandbagging, so I don't think that is an argument in the NTRPs favor.
Of course, we can also debate the merits of the USTA's algorithm vs the Tencap one, but that is I believe a separate discussion.