Originally Posted by OrangePower
Well, one can have a lot of fun playing tennis without jumping right into league, but I hear what you're saying.
It would be great if the USTA were able to adjust players' rating more frequently. Especially in the case of new or returning players, their level of play can change very rapidly in the beginning.
I imagine there are logistical issues with releasing ratings more than once a year, but don't really have any insight into that.
USTA does try to address it by mentioning on the self-rating guidelines that players should take into consideration their likely improvement over the season when self-rating. I guess some do that, some don't. Those that self-rate too low may enjoy immediate success, which is motivating, but then their rate of improvement is slowed because they are not challenged enough. And of course once they have improved but are still rated at the lower level, they get black looks from others. Those that self rate on the high side may suffer some early defeats, but then are able to improve more quickly IMO.
So from a practical standpoint, given how things are, I still think it's best to wait a few months before self-rating.
Given how we're in the Age of the Internet and the 21st Century, it's a shame that USTA ratings can't be computed and disseminated more frequently.
For example, USGA golf handicap indexes are recomputed as soon as you turn in your latest golf round score.