Originally Posted by schmke
Perhaps my use of the word flaw was a little strong. It is just how the system behaves when two players partner at doubles all the time. The gap between their ratings will be maintained.
Without some other matches played with other partners and/or singles matches to otherwise adjust one of the individuals ratings, what alternative do you suggest for this situation where matches are always played with the same partner?
You can't just arbitrarily shrink the gap between their ratings as that too many not be correct and may not give the credit due to the higher rated partner. We've just looked at one situation where the big gap seems like an error but I'm sure there are others where a small gap would similarly be an error.
It is just the nature of a system that calculates ratings based on limited data. It isn't perfect, but it is better than many alternatives.
Again, I agree with you that that is how the system works.
Basically the current system has 600 levels (1.00 to 7.00, in 0.01 increments) but from a practical standpoint it lumps them into 10 (1.5 through 6.0-7.0). Thus if your rating change happens to cross particular threshholds you get "bumped up", though your rating has been changing every match you play.
It is my personal opinion, (and I know that many disagree with this) that given the tremendous leeway in the numerous variables that go into why we all win and lose matches: emotions, fatigue, preparation, equipment, surfaces, illness, conditions etc that to assume that it is all matchplay quality and assign 3 significant digits worth of accuracy to each player's quality is naive and simpleminded.
I like the 10 level NTRP system, but I would not have a "secret" behind the scenes rating. I would use either the 10 levels themselves, or at most 2 significant digits worth (1.0 to 7.0, in 0.1 increments).
The world is divided into two types: lumpers and splitters. The USTA are splitters, I'm a lumper. Neither is right or wrong, it's how you look at the world.