Originally Posted by spot
It actually is rather easy to manipulate the roster rules of ALTA, but because there are no nationals then there really isn't as much incentive to game the system. Why have no fun for 7 weeks of the regular season just so you can do well in 3 weeks of playoffs?
I've never played ALTA (I'm in Norcal), but I've played in the past a similar team promotion/relegation based league. It had no playoff at all, just a regular season. Top teams in each level at the end of the regular season get promoted (as a team), bottom teams get relegated. Since there was no postseason, the whole point was to get competitive team matches in the regular season, and to end up (as a team) at the right level for the team where that's going to be the case.
Since there was no ratings of individual players, there were some outliers - players much stronger or weaker than the average at that level. But at the team level that would even out; most teams had all the guys more or less the same, but some teams had more spread between the stronger guys and the weaker guys. If you ended up playing someone weaker/stronger, so be it and no complaints.
All in all it worked great; good tennis, emphasis on team wins rather than individual wins, and no rating algorithms to worry about
But then again, most people want playoffs and nationals