2021 18+ 4.0M USTA League Nationals Predictions

Another way to go, if you could truly get all the captains on board from the beginning, is to simply default all of your lines when you play them. Each team that does that is kicked out of the league for that season, but at the end of the season his guys have zero matches played and all are ineligible for playoffs. Pretty dramatic so you’d better be serious about your convictions. The teams in our league did that one Fall season against a captain whose team was clearly tanking, just declined to play them. It worked.
 

tennis_tater

Semi-Pro
that is excellent example. Since apparently everything was done 'by rules' but definitely not by the spirit of the rules there's not much USTA can do.
he self rated improper,y. At the time of his self rate,the guidelines in place called for either a 5.0 or, at minimum, 4.5rating. So it wasn’t done in accordance with the rules.
 

ACTG

New User
Answer is simply to limit the number of self rates and appeal downs any one team can have (like say 3). Yeah growth and all that but if you have 15 People magically dropping out of the sky wanting to play as self rates one year, let the league coordinator divide them up. Usually when there are an influx of self rates in a league in a given year, it’s by one captain like this IM asswipe making a run to nationals.

It’s going to just continue to happen until someone steps in (which they won’t). Agree the leagues are fun but like someone else said, that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
he self rated improper,y. At the time of his self rate,the guidelines in place called for either a 5.0 or, at minimum, 4.5rating. So it wasn’t done in accordance with the rules.
hmm, I do not know the details so perhaps. It seems strange though that no captain would file an official grievance if it was so easy to demonstrate that the player in question self-rated improperly. I was under the impression that self-rate was technically per rules, although definitely not per spirit of the rules.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
It's in their intended system assuming he didn't tank or have to hide to get his rating. I really don't see how those comparisons make sense to you? One requires dishonesty while the other doesn't. You play honestly, you receive a rating, you try to improve and win as much as possible. What's the problem? None of your technically this or technically that bears any resemblance to a guy who plays all his matches to the best of his ability and receives an honest rating from USTA. You really have to jump through hoops to make the two situations similar. It feels like your argument just boils down to "both players are wildly out of level and are therefore both equally against the spirit of the rules regardless of the circumstances behind them being out of level" which I completely disagree with.


Agree (to disagree). We definitely view this very differently.
this is very interesting. I certainly see your point. That being said I honestly do not find these two cases that dissimilar. And yes, I definitely am in the camp of "both players are wildly out of level and are therefore both equally against the spirit of the rules regardless of the circumstances behind them being out of level". If player started a given year at high 4.0, and improved through that year to be above 4.0 by the end - all good, that's perfect. But that is not the case here.

What do others think? Is it fair to have a player that has been 42:5 while playing 4.0 _and_ 4.5 levels through 2020 year still play on 4.0 team in 2021 _which is technically allowed only because USTA did not publish new rankings at the end of 2020_?
 

leech

Semi-Pro
Two years ago, his singles ringer, Jihoon Noh, was a 3 star on tennis recruiting - a top 2 Utah rated junior, top 5 sectional player, and top 300 national player. I understand he walked on BYUs team, then ended up playing club at BYU and played at club nationals before playing on Fowkes 4.0 team. Look at his self rate matches during the regular season how the kid played the minimum matches and dropped a lot of games in doubles, then was hidden and protected until nationals where he was unleashed and destroyed everyone (except for the other 4.5 ringer he played on one leg while fighting cramps the during the match) giving Utah a clear 1-0 advantage over EVERYONE they played. And that 1-0 advantage with a player who should have been self rated a 5.0, gave Utah the title that year.

Bottom line - a kid who is younger than 25 without serious physical injury who played juniors representing “Team Utah” and zonal competition representing the Intermountain Section should not be allowed to play 4.0 league. Not only was the captain complicit in this, but the state and section was as well.
Wouldn't this under-30, top-10 Sectional juniors player have had to self-rate at 5.5 minimum, per this chart?:

Wonder why none of the opposing captains filed a ratings grievance against Fowkes. 48 hours after Sectionals, the USTA will not entertain ratings grievances, unfortunately.
 

Creighton

Semi-Pro
Another way to go, if you could truly get all the captains on board from the beginning, is to simply default all of your lines when you play them. Each team that does that is kicked out of the league for that season, but at the end of the season his guys have zero matches played and all are ineligible for playoffs. Pretty dramatic so you’d better be serious about your convictions. The teams in our league did that one Fall season against a captain whose team was clearly tanking, just declined to play them. It worked.
This is what I don't understand, why do any of the other teams in the league agree to play them.

Of course this would backfire, he would just create a "b" team to play them.
 

TennisOTM

New User
One interesting aspect of this captain's strategy is that his teams do not completely blow out the local league. If you look at their local league play stats, they are definitely the best team but not by a ridiculous margin (9-1 record, 40-10 in individual matches, 61% games won). Because he uses the self-rate ringers so sparingly to avoid DQ, if you play this team in the regular season you are almost always going to be facing legit, if above-average, 4.0 players and have a competitive match. Even if you do happen to face one of the ringers, he'll be partnered with an average player so you'll still probably have an enjoyable match, which is what most league players care about.

There may be one or two local captains who really want to make 4.0 sectionals and are annoyed that they can never get past this team, but I'd wager that the vast majority of local players don't care, and are just happy to have more players in the league to play against (and this captain certainly provides that - many of his players would not join league if not for his recruiting). I'd guess that 90% of local players have no idea that this team just won Nationals, let alone anything about the ridiculously good singles players that he used in the tournament.
 

McLovin

Legend
There may be one or two local captains who really want to make 4.0 sectionals and are annoyed that they can never get past this team, but I'd wager that the vast majority of local players don't care, and are just happy to have more players in the league to play against
I think this applies for maybe a season or two, then people become tired of being other team's punching bags. It's one thing to play people who are having a good night, another to consistently come up against a team that you have absolutely no chance of beating.

As I told the girls on my daughter's high school team the few years I coached them:
We're here to have fun. But, everyone knows that winning is more fun that losing...​
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
One interesting aspect of this captain's strategy is that his teams do not completely blow out the local league. If you look at their local league play stats, they are definitely the best team but not by a ridiculous margin (9-1 record, 40-10 in individual matches, 61% games won). Because he uses the self-rate ringers so sparingly to avoid DQ, if you play this team in the regular season you are almost always going to be facing legit, if above-average, 4.0 players and have a competitive match. Even if you do happen to face one of the ringers, he'll be partnered with an average player so you'll still probably have an enjoyable match, which is what most league players care about.

There may be one or two local captains who really want to make 4.0 sectionals and are annoyed that they can never get past this team, but I'd wager that the vast majority of local players don't care, and are just happy to have more players in the league to play against (and this captain certainly provides that - many of his players would not join league if not for his recruiting). I'd guess that 90% of local players have no idea that this team just won Nationals, let alone anything about the ridiculously good singles players that he used in the tournament.
Kind of interesting, teams in Dallas and Houston have done this for over a decade at least. Teams will have 20-30 players on the roster, the correctly rated, although really good players will do the hard work in the regular season and at city playoffs. The 4-8 super ringers will only play twice regular season and lose on purpose, maybe even lose on purpose in city playoffs if the team clinches a place at sectionals, then unleash themselves later on the way to nationals.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
Agreed, what a joke. There is no way anyone that plays 4.0, not from Intermountain, is going to win a national championship for the next 5 years. A player on their team confirmed the following: this guy pays for lessons 3 times a week, hotels, food, and drink (granted these kids could only legally have sodas, but coach only allows water either way).
If he ups it to adult drinks I will self rate as a 2.5 woman. He can skip the lessons.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
I don't understand why tennis players keep insisting on keeping "ratings by questionnaire." It is a bad questionnaire at that. Force players to play a few rated matches to get an established rating before they can play in a league that only allows players below a certain rating.

This is what chess does and it is an obvious solution.
 

Max G.

Legend
I don't understand why tennis players keep insisting on keeping "ratings by questionnaire." It is a bad questionnaire at that. Force players to play a few rated matches to get an established rating before they can play in a league that only allows players below a certain rating.

This is what chess does and it is an obvious solution.
That's what USTA does too. They give people a computer rating after having them play a few rated matches (in a league, because where else would they get rated matches?)
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
That's what USTA does too. They give people a computer rating after having them play a few rated matches (in a league, because where else would they get rated matches?)
They could play a match against a rated player in a tournament or really anywhere. They shouldn’t play in a league or any rating restricted event until they have a rating.
The view that you can only play a rated match in a league is almost certainly why usta tournaments are such a failure.
 

Creighton

Semi-Pro
I don't understand why tennis players keep insisting on keeping "ratings by questionnaire." It is a bad questionnaire at that. Force players to play a few rated matches to get an established rating before they can play in a league that only allows players below a certain rating.

This is what chess does and it is an obvious solution.
This would be a cheaters paradise.
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
I don't understand why tennis players keep insisting on keeping "ratings by questionnaire." It is a bad questionnaire at that. Force players to play a few rated matches to get an established rating before they can play in a league that only allows players below a certain rating.

This is what chess does and it is an obvious solution.
People would just tank the rated matches to get the rating they want
 

Anonuncle

New User
Do you have more information, it seems you are aware of things going on over there? I'm just curious about the college thing, it wasn't really settled or was it?
I do not but glad I fooled you into thinking I have all the knowledge.


Made a poll to see folks thoughts on what is/isn't acceptable tactics.

What do the projections say about how the results will come out?
 

Tiafoe

Rookie
There was a player on a team at 3.5 Nationals several years ago that was on a D2 or D3 team at the time, and he destroyed everyone he played at Nationals. I'm not even sure if he was breaking any rules. He was computer rated because he played a couple matches the previous season in mixed doubles (if I recall correctly).

It looks like USTA will just continue to be flawed because the system can be gamed in so many different ways. My guess is USTA doesn't have the manpower or motivation to research the background of players that might be abusing the system.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
There was a player on a team at 3.5 Nationals several years ago that was on a D2 or D3 team at the time, and he destroyed everyone he played at Nationals. I'm not even sure if he was breaking any rules. He was computer rated because he played a couple matches the previous season in mixed doubles (if I recall correctly).

It looks like USTA will just continue to be flawed because the system can be gamed in so many different ways. My guess is USTA doesn't have the manpower or motivation to research the background of players that might be abusing the system.
That is silly, wow, it would be painful to play 3.5 level competition in a tournament, just awkward.
 

Max G.

Legend
They could play a match against a rated player in a tournament or really anywhere.
They shouldn’t play in a league or any rating restricted event until they have a rating.
As far as I've encountered, all USTA events are rating restricted. (Which makes sense, because nobody particularly cares to join an event where you might face either a total beginner or a D1 college player). Except open events, but "Open" is treated as "better than the top restricted rating level" so it's not a good way for anybody to get a rating (unless they're above 4.5)
 

JOGA87

New User
Guys, I have really enjoyed reading these threads from the stands, but after attending 4.0 nationals I would love to provide some perspective. I captain the 4.0 Southern Men that went to Surprise - and I'm by no means a USTA lifer. I have 4 whole seasons of USTA under my belt as a captain. I am very literally the opposite of the captain of the Utah Intermountain Team we played in the finals. I coach high school tennis as a volunteer here in the Atlanta area, and have what I consider a very good feel of what level players are based on skill set (I've sent multiple kids over 9 years to D1-D3 Universities). The problem with what we experienced down at Nationals is more than simply "Old man loser is so obsessed with winning meaningless recreational league he pays for kids lessons and travel." Because what he does is not technically against the rules, despite it being VERY against the spirit of play. The problem USTA faces with a guy like him is 2 fold.

1. The rating system is pointless. If I wanted to add my best 18 year old high school players to my Winter 4.0 roster here in Atlanta, there is absolutely nothing stopping me. And frankly, I wouldn't be lying on any of the questions. None of the kids have signed any LOI yet, they're technically not college players - despite the fact that some have been heavily recruited and might already have offers pending. To give you an idea how different Atlanta and Lindon clearly are though: If I added any of them, there would be complaint after complaint in any match they played in. I would have men in their 50s scouring Instagram and Facebook to see if they've won tournaments, if they have done any college visits, etc...aside from screen shots of their tennisrecruiting pages. These kids out in Utah are clearly not complained about. Which brings me to point 2:

2. Sections are not even. We played 20+ matches in order to compete at nationals for the southern region. Utah played like 9. Apart from the obvious difference in matches and the sheer difficulty in winning more: comes in the USTA computer ratings. 20+ matches gives the computer ample chances to disqualify players. We had one after sectionals - a guy who did not play high school tennis and is currently in his 50s. Yet, Utah plays 9, many of which are meaningless walk overs - and the kids only have 2 matches on the biggest stage before nationals and cannot possibly face disqualification. You basically can hide your studs when the match count is that low. It is exactly what Utah's captain does. Not only does he do that to perfection, he apparently has loads of kids for the next few seasons geared up to run it back.

Those are the two basic issues: and that doesn't even get in to all the things others have discussed. Team Texas had a player at 4.0 nationals that HAS VICTORIES at 5.0 Nationals. I can't even begin to understand how a guy like that is not disqualified from 4.0 tennis. Hell, I played one season of 4.5 and I lost all 3 matches and got bumped to 4.5 before I appealed. The lack of uniformity is bizarre. I get you can't change some circumstance: for instance, the rest of the state of Georgia hates Atlanta tennis. The records of ATL teams at state paints a pretty clear reason for that. But what USTA can control is equal match count. You don't have enough teams to play a full 20 slate? Play everyone 5 times. And mandate higher match counts for players so the computer can get a feel for this. The two kids on Utah I played at 1 Doubles in the finals are college level players - High level D2 caliber. Particularly the taller kid - who served over 120 regularly. Sure, Northern had high level players, so did we - but check our scores, they're largely competitive and representative of the apparent need to have that kinda team to even compete at national events. And frankly, most the teams there were just happy to be at nationals, we met a ton of good people - we went in expecting nothing. We were told by some (cough guys on here cough) we wouldn't finish top ten - and why would we not believe that? None of us are USTA experts and we truly don't have elite singles players. But I learned real fast there are teams who scout, and build teams to win this thing annually. Guys who drive across big states to play for certain teams who have a shot to win. I play with my friends - our team undoubtedly had the best time out there (aside from the one Jersey Shore kid from Eastern who maintained drunk for 72 hours). Our team might be "flawed" in the eyes of many via ratings, but I didn't recruit - the majority of our team played junior tennis together or ran into one another in singles leagues in ATL, and we play more outside of USTA than we do in the leagues. Frankly ALTA is more fun because we can just go play and don't have to worry about old regular USTA men threatening us to report players. Clearly the largest problem with the system is that people are WAY too wrapped up in these leagues. Whether it be to police teams, or create unbalanced ones. I don't pretend to know how to fix it, again, I'm new here - but I don't plan to be back at nationals anytime soon: and I'm cool with that. We made a final, knowing nothing, and I'm damn proud of our guys - loads of clutch tie break tennis played out there. But if USTA doesn't address guys like Utah, just know we are all playing for second.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
Guys, I have really enjoyed reading these threads from the stands, but after attending 4.0 nationals I would love to provide some perspective. I captain the 4.0 Southern Men that went to Surprise - and I'm by no means a USTA lifer. I have 4 whole seasons of USTA under my belt as a captain. I am very literally the opposite of the captain of the Utah Intermountain Team we played in the finals. I coach high school tennis as a volunteer here in the Atlanta area, and have what I consider a very good feel of what level players are based on skill set (I've sent multiple kids over 9 years to D1-D3 Universities). The problem with what we experienced down at Nationals is more than simply "Old man loser is so obsessed with winning meaningless recreational league he pays for kids lessons and travel." Because what he does is not technically against the rules, despite it being VERY against the spirit of play. The problem USTA faces with a guy like him is 2 fold.

1. The rating system is pointless. If I wanted to add my best 18 year old high school players to my Winter 4.0 roster here in Atlanta, there is absolutely nothing stopping me. And frankly, I wouldn't be lying on any of the questions. None of the kids have signed any LOI yet, they're technically not college players - despite the fact that some have been heavily recruited and might already have offers pending. To give you an idea how different Atlanta and Lindon clearly are though: If I added any of them, there would be complaint after complaint in any match they played in. I would have men in their 50s scouring Instagram and Facebook to see if they've won tournaments, if they have done any college visits, etc...aside from screen shots of their tennisrecruiting pages. These kids out in Utah are clearly not complained about. Which brings me to point 2:

2. Sections are not even. We played 20+ matches in order to compete at nationals for the southern region. Utah played like 9. Apart from the obvious difference in matches and the sheer difficulty in winning more: comes in the USTA computer ratings. 20+ matches gives the computer ample chances to disqualify players. We had one after sectionals - a guy who did not play high school tennis and is currently in his 50s. Yet, Utah plays 9, many of which are meaningless walk overs - and the kids only have 2 matches on the biggest stage before nationals and cannot possibly face disqualification. You basically can hide your studs when the match count is that low. It is exactly what Utah's captain does. Not only does he do that to perfection, he apparently has loads of kids for the next few seasons geared up to run it back.

Those are the two basic issues: and that doesn't even get in to all the things others have discussed. Team Texas had a player at 4.0 nationals that HAS VICTORIES at 5.0 Nationals. I can't even begin to understand how a guy like that is not disqualified from 4.0 tennis. Hell, I played one season of 4.5 and I lost all 3 matches and got bumped to 4.5 before I appealed. The lack of uniformity is bizarre. I get you can't change some circumstance: for instance, the rest of the state of Georgia hates Atlanta tennis. The records of ATL teams at state paints a pretty clear reason for that. But what USTA can control is equal match count. You don't have enough teams to play a full 20 slate? Play everyone 5 times. And mandate higher match counts for players so the computer can get a feel for this. The two kids on Utah I played at 1 Doubles in the finals are college level players - High level D2 caliber. Particularly the taller kid - who served over 120 regularly. Sure, Northern had high level players, so did we - but check our scores, they're largely competitive and representative of the apparent need to have that kinda team to even compete at national events. And frankly, most the teams there were just happy to be at nationals, we met a ton of good people - we went in expecting nothing. We were told by some (cough guys on here cough) we wouldn't finish top ten - and why would we not believe that? None of us are USTA experts and we truly don't have elite singles players. But I learned real fast there are teams who scout, and build teams to win this thing annually. Guys who drive across big states to play for certain teams who have a shot to win. I play with my friends - our team undoubtedly had the best time out there (aside from the one Jersey Shore kid from Eastern who maintained drunk for 72 hours). Our team might be "flawed" in the eyes of many via ratings, but I didn't recruit - the majority of our team played junior tennis together or ran into one another in singles leagues in ATL, and we play more outside of USTA than we do in the leagues. Frankly ALTA is more fun because we can just go play and don't have to worry about old regular USTA men threatening us to report players. Clearly the largest problem with the system is that people are WAY too wrapped up in these leagues. Whether it be to police teams, or create unbalanced ones. I don't pretend to know how to fix it, again, I'm new here - but I don't plan to be back at nationals anytime soon: and I'm cool with that. We made a final, knowing nothing, and I'm damn proud of our guys - loads of clutch tie break tennis played out there. But if USTA doesn't address guys like Utah, just know we are all playing for second.
Well written, thanks for the first hand account. Sometimes I think it's a bonus to play many matches, but in this case I see your point, if a team like Utah is really good, they don't need the practice nor the risk to the ratings. Where it is a bonus is I've seen "wild card" teams that had to win a city tournament in Dallas or Houston to go to TX state beat the ones that got a pass straight to state because of the extra pressure packed practice a month before state.

In TN a local guy formed two teams to play each other to qualify for TN state, so they gamed the system which is something that could happen with more match requirements, but it's still a good idea. In other words they kind of had a pretend season playing each other over and over knowing already who was going to win and go on.

Perhaps the Morman circle of secrecy applies to Utah, just a different environment? I know in TX there would also be plenty of "watchers" and official complaints, for sure, but must have been a stroke of genius to keep that 5.0 nationals victory guy safe until nationals.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
This would be a cheaters paradise.

People would just tank the rated matches to get the rating they want
Creighton did not say why he though it would be a "cheaters paradise." But if he meant this because of what Vox wrote I think you guys should consider two very important points:

1) Everyone knows throwing games in order to lower your rating is cheating and very few people will do it let alone start out their USTA career by blatantly cheating and very few captains will ask people who are starting out to cheat.

But here is the important point

2) The current system makes cheating easier. My proposal would have the same floor as the current questionnaire establishes, but it would then have your actual level determined by playing matches. If you are so unethical that you will literally throw games then the current system will not prevent you from doing that anyway.

If someone is going to throw games they can do that now and easily avoid dqs. USTA does not even try to see if someone is purposefully throwing games. They have decided that it would be impossible to determine this with high enough probability to make that allegation. You can disagree with their assessment but I have to at least concede they have a point. It would be hard to say that player intended to hit a ball out here or there as opposed to just being off their game that match. Did they call the opponents ball out when they were 100% sure it was out or did they just not see it well enough to say with 100% certainty it was out? We see legitimate upsets all the time and certainly we see people win more games than we thought they would all the time.


The reason people get DQed is simply because of 1 above - they know that is cheating and therefore refuse go full in on it. If a player and captain are full on ready to throw games right from the start then the current system has no check against them. If their actual skill is even 4.2 they can win against someone 3.98-4.0 (at the very top of the 4.0 level) 75% of the time! If they play even a high end 3.8 opponent they will win 90% of the time. So if they get on the court with anyone that is rated from the middle to bottom of the level they can completely control the match and win when they want and throw as many games as they want and drop their rating - and still win the match if they choose.



For example, when I looked at it a few years ago, specifically looking at how often the favorite wins a match grouped by different gaps between the players, it revealed this which looks very much like you'd expect.

GapWinning %
0.00 - 0.0553%
0.05 - 0.1563%
0.15 - 0.2575%
0.25 - 0.3584%
0.35 - 0.4590%
0.45 - 0.5593%
0.55 - 0.6595%
0.65 - 0.7596%
What happens now is someone signs up doesn't know what their level is and then finds out they might get dqed. And then they see how that might hurt their team because their team would forfeit those games. And suddenly people more incentive to try to manage their rating to avoid a DQ.


I would bet 99% of DQed players would have started at the correct level if they played a few matches to get an established rating before they joined a league. The reason I say that is because if the players and coaches were so dishonest as to throw games they would not have been disqualified under the current system either.
 

Creighton

Semi-Pro
Creighton did not say why he though it would be a "cheaters paradise." But if he meant this because of what Vox wrote I think you guys should consider two very important points:

1) Everyone knows throwing games in order to lower your rating is cheating and very few people will do it let alone start out their USTA career by blatantly cheating and very few captains will ask people who are starting out to cheat.

But here is the important point

2) The current system makes cheating easier. My proposal would have the same floor as the current questionnaire establishes, but it would then have your actual level determined by playing matches. If you are so unethical that you will literally throw games then the current system will not prevent you from doing that anyway.

If someone is going to throw games they can do that now and easily avoid dqs. USTA does not even try to see if someone is purposefully throwing games. They have decided that it would be impossible to determine this with high enough probability to make that allegation. You can disagree with their assessment but I have to at least concede they have a point. It would be hard to say that player intended to hit a ball out here or there as opposed to just being off their game that match. Did they call the opponents ball out when they were 100% sure it was out or did they just not see it well enough to say with 100% certainty it was out? We see legitimate upsets all the time and certainly we see people win more games than we thought they would all the time.


The reason people get DQed is simply because of 1 above - they know that is cheating and therefore refuse go full in on it. If a player and captain are full on ready to throw games right from the start then the current system has no check against them. If their actual skill is even 4.2 they can win against someone 3.98-4.0 (at the very top of the 4.0 level) 75% of the time! If they play even a high end 3.8 opponent they will win 90% of the time. So if they get on the court with anyone that is rated from the middle to bottom of the level they can completely control the match and win when they want and throw as many games as they want and drop their rating - and still win the match if they choose.





What happens now is someone signs up doesn't know what their level is and then finds out they might get dqed. And then they see how that might hurt their team because their team would forfeit those games. And suddenly people more incentive to try to manage their rating to avoid a DQ.


I would bet 99% of DQed players would have started at the correct level if they played a few matches to get an established rating before they joined a league. The reason I say that is because if the players and coaches were so dishonest as to throw games they would not have been disqualified under the current system either.
This where your lack of experience really hurts you.

In the past you had to go to a rating clinic to get rated by tennis pros. There was so much cheating in that system, they abandoned it.

So yes, lots of people will cheat is you openly allow them to sandbag a few matches. You see how much people cheat in the current system by rating. That would only be worse if you got rid of what little objectivity exists within the system.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
This where your lack of experience really hurts you.

In the past you had to go to a rating clinic to get rated by tennis pros. There was so much cheating in that system, they abandoned it.

So yes, lots of people will cheat is you openly allow them to sandbag a few matches. You see how much people cheat in the current system by rating. That would only be worse if you got rid of what little objectivity exists within the system.
Creighton the problem is you don't see the difference between some coach subjectively rating a player's ground strokes and actually playing a match and recording the objective score. Remember if the person playing the self rate does not play their best then the self rate will be rated even higher! So the only way this objective measure puts the self rate at too low a level is if the self rate starts out bound and determined to throw games. And if that is how the person is going to play then we should admit there is nothing we can do for the reasons I went through above.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Guys, I have really enjoyed reading these threads from the stands, but after attending 4.0 nationals I would love to provide some perspective. I captain the 4.0 Southern Men that went to Surprise - and I'm by no means a USTA lifer. I have 4 whole seasons of USTA under my belt as a captain. I am very literally the opposite of the captain of the Utah Intermountain Team we played in the finals. I coach high school tennis as a volunteer here in the Atlanta area, and have what I consider a very good feel of what level players are based on skill set (I've sent multiple kids over 9 years to D1-D3 Universities). The problem with what we experienced down at Nationals is more than simply "Old man loser is so obsessed with winning meaningless recreational league he pays for kids lessons and travel." Because what he does is not technically against the rules, despite it being VERY against the spirit of play. The problem USTA faces with a guy like him is 2 fold.

1. The rating system is pointless. If I wanted to add my best 18 year old high school players to my Winter 4.0 roster here in Atlanta, there is absolutely nothing stopping me. And frankly, I wouldn't be lying on any of the questions. None of the kids have signed any LOI yet, they're technically not college players - despite the fact that some have been heavily recruited and might already have offers pending. To give you an idea how different Atlanta and Lindon clearly are though: If I added any of them, there would be complaint after complaint in any match they played in. I would have men in their 50s scouring Instagram and Facebook to see if they've won tournaments, if they have done any college visits, etc...aside from screen shots of their tennisrecruiting pages. These kids out in Utah are clearly not complained about. Which brings me to point 2:

2. Sections are not even. We played 20+ matches in order to compete at nationals for the southern region. Utah played like 9. Apart from the obvious difference in matches and the sheer difficulty in winning more: comes in the USTA computer ratings. 20+ matches gives the computer ample chances to disqualify players. We had one after sectionals - a guy who did not play high school tennis and is currently in his 50s. Yet, Utah plays 9, many of which are meaningless walk overs - and the kids only have 2 matches on the biggest stage before nationals and cannot possibly face disqualification. You basically can hide your studs when the match count is that low. It is exactly what Utah's captain does. Not only does he do that to perfection, he apparently has loads of kids for the next few seasons geared up to run it back.

Those are the two basic issues: and that doesn't even get in to all the things others have discussed. Team Texas had a player at 4.0 nationals that HAS VICTORIES at 5.0 Nationals. I can't even begin to understand how a guy like that is not disqualified from 4.0 tennis. Hell, I played one season of 4.5 and I lost all 3 matches and got bumped to 4.5 before I appealed. The lack of uniformity is bizarre. I get you can't change some circumstance: for instance, the rest of the state of Georgia hates Atlanta tennis. The records of ATL teams at state paints a pretty clear reason for that. But what USTA can control is equal match count. You don't have enough teams to play a full 20 slate? Play everyone 5 times. And mandate higher match counts for players so the computer can get a feel for this. The two kids on Utah I played at 1 Doubles in the finals are college level players - High level D2 caliber. Particularly the taller kid - who served over 120 regularly. Sure, Northern had high level players, so did we - but check our scores, they're largely competitive and representative of the apparent need to have that kinda team to even compete at national events. And frankly, most the teams there were just happy to be at nationals, we met a ton of good people - we went in expecting nothing. We were told by some (cough guys on here cough) we wouldn't finish top ten - and why would we not believe that? None of us are USTA experts and we truly don't have elite singles players. But I learned real fast there are teams who scout, and build teams to win this thing annually. Guys who drive across big states to play for certain teams who have a shot to win. I play with my friends - our team undoubtedly had the best time out there (aside from the one Jersey Shore kid from Eastern who maintained drunk for 72 hours). Our team might be "flawed" in the eyes of many via ratings, but I didn't recruit - the majority of our team played junior tennis together or ran into one another in singles leagues in ATL, and we play more outside of USTA than we do in the leagues. Frankly ALTA is more fun because we can just go play and don't have to worry about old regular USTA men threatening us to report players. Clearly the largest problem with the system is that people are WAY too wrapped up in these leagues. Whether it be to police teams, or create unbalanced ones. I don't pretend to know how to fix it, again, I'm new here - but I don't plan to be back at nationals anytime soon: and I'm cool with that. We made a final, knowing nothing, and I'm damn proud of our guys - loads of clutch tie break tennis played out there. But if USTA doesn't address guys like Utah, just know we are all playing for second.
this is well written.
I have a question though. On one hand you say:
"
To give you an idea how different Atlanta and Lindon clearly are though: If I added any of them, there would be complaint after complaint in any match they played in. I would have men in their 50s scouring Instagram and Facebook to see if they've won tournaments, if they have done any college visits, etc...aside from screen shots of their tennisrecruiting pages. These kids out in Utah are clearly not complained about.
"
which implies that you do think other captains in Utah region _not_ complaining/filing grievances is a problem. Which I fully agree with.
But then you say:
"
Frankly ALTA is more fun because we can just go play and don't have to worry about old regular USTA men threatening us to report players. Clearly the largest problem with the system is that people are WAY too wrapped up in these leagues.
"
which implies that you think captains that actually do file grievances make the league not fun. Also, why would you _worry_ about the your players being reported if all your players are playing at proper level?

you kind of can't have it both ways. There's absolutely _no way_ to create rules that cannot be exploited somehow, without unduly making it extremely difficult for new players to join. Which is why grievance system exists, but it only works if captains/players actually do use it to report players out of range. I'm not going to say 'it is opposing captains fault that there are players way out of level on a given team' - but sort of yes. I have hard time believing that USTA would do nothing if _multiple_ captains/teams complained, failed grievances, and refused to play teams with players clearly wrongly self-rated.
 

JOGA87

New User
this is well written.
I have a question though. On one hand you say:
"
To give you an idea how different Atlanta and Lindon clearly are though: If I added any of them, there would be complaint after complaint in any match they played in. I would have men in their 50s scouring Instagram and Facebook to see if they've won tournaments, if they have done any college visits, etc...aside from screen shots of their tennisrecruiting pages. These kids out in Utah are clearly not complained about.
"
which implies that you do think other captains in Utah region _not_ complaining/filing grievances is a problem. Which I fully agree with.
But then you say:
"
Frankly ALTA is more fun because we can just go play and don't have to worry about old regular USTA men threatening us to report players. Clearly the largest problem with the system is that people are WAY too wrapped up in these leagues.
"
which implies that you think captains that actually do file grievances make the league not fun. Also, why would you _worry_ about the your players being reported if all your players are playing at proper level?

you kind of can't have it both ways. There's absolutely _no way_ to create rules that cannot be exploited somehow, without unduly making it extremely difficult for new players to join. Which is why grievance system exists, but it only works if captains/players actually do use it to report players out of range. I'm not going to say 'it is opposing captains fault that there are players way out of level on a given team' - but sort of yes. I have hard time believing that USTA would do nothing if _multiple_ captains/teams complained, failed grievances, and refused to play teams with players clearly wrongly self-rated.

I'm happy to expound this - there is absolutely no reporting in the Intermountain district as is evidenced by the repeat nature of this captain's success. But what I also find pretty horrible behavior in USTA leagues in general is the over-policing of teams. For instance, our first season as a team was filled with issues - complaints from other captains. I formed this team and we were all in our early 30s, and had never played USTA as adults. We all had 3.5 ratings from junior USTA - and we elected to play 4.0, feeling as if our 3.5 ratings were not accurate. We ended up beating the reigning state champs week 1 of our regular season and all hell broke loose. I got 4 emails from division captains asking who we were - I had grown men come and video tape our matches. To tell it plainly, it gave us a really awful introduction to USTA. And none of us played any college tennis and were well removed from High school by that point. So as I stated above, the issue is not just the captains creating blatantly unbalanced teams, but also those who are far too invested in the success of others to enjoy their own team. We play tons of ridiculously rated players in this area, I've never filed a grievance, but that is just my nature.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
I'm happy to expound this - there is absolutely no reporting in the Intermountain district as is evidenced by the repeat nature of this captain's success. But what I also find pretty horrible behavior in USTA leagues in general is the over-policing of teams. For instance, our first season as a team was filled with issues - complaints from other captains. I formed this team and we were all in our early 30s, and had never played USTA as adults. We all had 3.5 ratings from junior USTA - and we elected to play 4.0, feeling as if our 3.5 ratings were not accurate. We ended up beating the reigning state champs week 1 of our regular season and all hell broke loose. I got 4 emails from division captains asking who we were - I had grown men come and video tape our matches. To tell it plainly, it gave us a really awful introduction to USTA. And none of us played any college tennis and were well removed from High school by that point. So as I stated above, the issue is not just the captains creating blatantly unbalanced teams, but also those who are far too invested in the success of others to enjoy their own team. We play tons of ridiculously rated players in this area, I've never filed a grievance, but that is just my nature.
Well, to be honest, I do not find anything terribly unexpected here. Your team had fairly young former junior players, and you have beaten state champs. Obviously folks were suspicious. I do not know what 'We all had 3.5 ratings from junior USTA' means since juniors do not really have USTA (in the league sense) ranking - could you elaborate on what you mean? And again, if you self-rated yourself properly - who cares if people are asking questions, or videotape your matches?
 

JOGA87

New User
Well, to be honest, I do not find anything terribly unexpected here. Your team had fairly young former junior players, and you have beaten state champs. Obviously folks were suspicious. I do not know what 'We all had 3.5 ratings from junior USTA' means since juniors do not really have USTA (in the league sense) ranking - could you elaborate on what you mean? And again, if you self-rated yourself properly - who cares if people are asking questions, or videotape your matches?

Candidly I think the fact that recording matches to file complaints is considered normal in USTA circles pretty much hits the nail on the head of what is wrong with these leagues. You misinterpret my intent - I don't care that they recorded it, I find that kind of behavior in recreational tennis, much like that of this Utah captain pathetic. We enjoyed the man hiding in our bushes near our home courts, it was utterly bizarre. When I care about something it actually has consequence: I care that one of my players who has played USTA for 25+ years finally gets his shot at nationals gets disqualified after sectionals. Especially when we show up and there are ringers on nearly every team. Those flaws I take issue with, the rest is completely irrelevant - they're just first hand experience from someone who has both not been involved in these leagues long, and managed to see the disfunction across all tournament levels. The concern here should be on the part of USTA - because that kind of behavior is going to result in people not playing. It is behavior that does not exist in any other league here in Atlanta. In ALTA if there is a superior team, they win, they move up collectively as a team, that's the end of it: I think USTA could benefit from that type of collective bump outside of making nationals. As for our ratings, for whatever reason a few of us had attached computer ratings and did not need to fill out the questionnaire despite having not played any adult USTA leagues. I suspected that was carry over from junior leagues.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
I'm happy to expound this - there is absolutely no reporting in the Intermountain district as is evidenced by the repeat nature of this captain's success. But what I also find pretty horrible behavior in USTA leagues in general is the over-policing of teams. For instance, our first season as a team was filled with issues - complaints from other captains. I formed this team and we were all in our early 30s, and had never played USTA as adults. We all had 3.5 ratings from junior USTA - and we elected to play 4.0, feeling as if our 3.5 ratings were not accurate. We ended up beating the reigning state champs week 1 of our regular season and all hell broke loose. I got 4 emails from division captains asking who we were - I had grown men come and video tape our matches. To tell it plainly, it gave us a really awful introduction to USTA. And none of us played any college tennis and were well removed from High school by that point. So as I stated above, the issue is not just the captains creating blatantly unbalanced teams, but also those who are far too invested in the success of others to enjoy their own team. We play tons of ridiculously rated players in this area, I've never filed a grievance, but that is just my nature.
Well, to be honest, I do not find anything terribly unexpected here. Your team had fairly young former junior players, and you have beaten state champs. Obviously folks were suspicious. I do not know what 'We all had 3.5 ratings from junior USTA' means since juniors do not really have USTA (in the league sense) ranking - could you elaborate on what you mean? And again, if you self-rated yourself properly - who cares if people are asking questions, or videotape your matches?
Yes, exactly why I am intrigued by this behavior. How freaking strange is it for adult men to have this make believe tennis playground where it is so important that they win, if some new blood comes along they freak out. They are probably alarmed because they themselves are doing something outside the spirit of USTA and can't believe someone new beat them. I don't think you did anything wrong.

JOGA87, come on, that should be unexpected, it's silly! I don't think he cares about people videotaping, it's just funny to him and myself. Man, I promise this would make a hilarious comedy mockudrama if tennis was more mainstream. Imagine a 50 year old guy videotaping other people playing tennis to prove they are out of level. Or, a 50 year old guy paying for the youths of Utah to train in tennis and travel all expenses paid. This is so bizarre.

Imagine working for the USTA and receiving email after email and videotapes, how muddy the waters must be. I'd be inclined to think those videotaping are the ones who are really gaming the system, they want to make sure their valuable sandbagging window doesn't close before someone beats them, even if the winning team, as was in this case, is legit.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
Candidly I think the fact that recording matches to file complaints is considered normal in USTA circles pretty much hits the nail on the head of what is wrong with these leagues. You misinterpret my intent - I don't care that they recorded it, I find that kind of behavior in recreational tennis, much like that of this Utah captain pathetic. We enjoyed the man hiding in our bushes near our home courts, it was utterly bizarre. When I care about something it actually has consequence: I care that one of my players who has played USTA for 25+ years finally gets his shot at nationals gets disqualified after sectionals. Especially when we show up and there are ringers on nearly every team. Those flaws I take issue with, the rest is completely irrelevant - they're just first hand experience from someone who has both not been involved in these leagues long, and managed to see the disfunction across all tournament levels. The concern here should be on the part of USTA - because that kind of behavior is going to result in people not playing. It is behavior that does not exist in any other league here in Atlanta. In ALTA if there is a superior team, they win, they move up collectively as a team, that's the end of it: I think USTA could benefit from that type of collective bump outside of making nationals. As for our ratings, for whatever reason a few of us had attached computer ratings and did not need to fill out the questionnaire despite having not played any adult USTA leagues. I suspected that was carry over from junior leagues.
ALTA is special unfortunately for the rest of us, but fortunately for you, I don't think there is another city with anything close to it. Dallas has a version, but it's really a female dominated organization with only mixed doubles for men to participate in.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Candidly I think the fact that recording matches to file complaints is considered normal in USTA circles pretty much hits the nail on the head of what is wrong with these leagues. You misinterpret my intent - I don't care that they recorded it, I find that kind of behavior in recreational tennis, much like that of this Utah captain pathetic. We enjoyed the man hiding in our bushes near our home courts, it was utterly bizarre. When I care about something it actually has consequence: I care that one of my players who has played USTA for 25+ years finally gets his shot at nationals gets disqualified after sectionals. Especially when we show up and there are ringers on nearly every team. Those flaws I take issue with, the rest is completely irrelevant - they're just first hand experience from someone who has both not been involved in these leagues long, and managed to see the disfunction across all tournament levels. The concern here should be on the part of USTA - because that kind of behavior is going to result in people not playing. It is behavior that does not exist in any other league here in Atlanta. In ALTA if there is a superior team, they win, they move up collectively as a team, that's the end of it: I think USTA could benefit from that type of collective bump outside of making nationals. As for our ratings, for whatever reason a few of us had attached computer ratings and did not need to fill out the questionnaire despite having not played any adult USTA leagues. I suspected that was carry over from junior leagues.
I'm not saying that 'recording matches to file complaints is considered normal in USTA circles'. It's not normal, or usual, or often. But trying to gather evidence before filing a grievance and/or to verify the facts - because there are _some_ suspicions of not entirely 'behavior per spirit of the rules' - I see nothing wrong with that. And having a newly formed team, with presumably large majority of self-rated players that used to play junior tennis, beat a previous state champion team can certainly raise suspicions. By no means I'm implying your team did something incorrectly - but I certainly see it _looks_ interesting.....

Again, you can't have it both ways. You can't complain that Intermountain region captains did nothing to questions players on that Intermountain team, and then be equally appalled that captains in your region were concerned and considered (and/or filed grievance).

As far as " one of my players who has played USTA for 25+ years finally gets his shot at nationals gets disqualified after sectionals.". How is that possible? A player with 25+ years of USTA history surely has computer ranking - and he _cannot_ be disqualified. Could you elaborate?

As far as "As for our ratings, for whatever reason a few of us had attached computer ratings and did not need to fill out the questionnaire despite having not played any adult USTA leagues. I suspected that was carry over from junior leagues." Can someone explain what has happened here? I've never read about juniors having automatically USTA ranking.... @schmke?
 

Creighton

Semi-Pro
As far as " one of my players who has played USTA for 25+ years finally gets his shot at nationals gets disqualified after sectionals.". How is that possible? A player with 25+ years of USTA history surely has computer ranking - and he _cannot_ be disqualified. Could you elaborate?
@syshy111 I believe got bumped to 4.5 and when he appealed, he became a 4.0A so was subject to strikes.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
As far as "As for our ratings, for whatever reason a few of us had attached computer ratings and did not need to fill out the questionnaire despite having not played any adult USTA leagues. I suspected that was carry over from junior leagues." Can someone explain what has happened here? I've never read about juniors having automatically USTA ranking.... @schmke?
Not that I'm aware of. If we are referring to the Southern team that played in the 18+ 4.0M final, many had C (or appealed down and A) ratings, several were self-rated in 2018 and self-rated as 3.5s or 4.0s, and there were a few self-rates, some new, but some that had to self-rate due to expired ratings.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
This entire thread is to my point that people naturally are inclined to think anyone that beat them somehow had an unfair advantage. But USTA rules seem designed to pour gasoline on that impulse.

... The problem with what we experienced down at Nationals is more than simply "Old man loser is so obsessed with winning meaningless recreational league he pays for kids lessons and travel." Because what he does is not technically against the rules, despite it being VERY against the spirit of play. The problem USTA faces with a guy like him is.....

If I added any of them, there would be complaint after complaint in any match they played in. I would have men in their 50s scouring Instagram and Facebook to see if they've won tournaments, if they have done any college visits, etc...aside from screen shots of their tennisrecruiting pages. These kids out in Utah are clearly not complained about.

I get you can't change some circumstance: for instance, the rest of the state of Georgia hates Atlanta tennis. The records of ATL teams at state paints a pretty clear reason for that. ..... But if USTA doesn't address guys like Utah, just know we are all playing for second.

Yes, exactly why I am intrigued by this behavior. How freaking strange is it for adult men to have this make believe tennis playground where it is so important that they win, if some new blood comes along they freak out. They are probably alarmed because they themselves are doing something outside the spirit of USTA and can't believe someone new beat them. I don't think you did anything wrong.
This whole thread has had a certain focus on this new Utah team.

What is right and wrong under these rules is insanely subjective. That is the problem.

I care about something it actually has consequence: I care that one of my players who has played USTA for 25+ years finally gets his shot at nationals gets disqualified after sectionals. Especially when we show up and there are ringers on nearly every team. Those flaws I take issue with, the rest is completely irrelevant -
I'm sorry but the whole idea of trying to appeal your rating is nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense. It does nothing but make people think players are manipulating the system. I am not saying that people who appeal their rating do anything bad or weird. It is completely normal under the rules of this system. But it is just insane that USTA allows this and makes it routine. Then these people have to worry about being DQed! And then you have some additional incentive to manage your rating. And then we are on the path to crazy town.

People can continue to post here about how they think the teams that beat them violate the spirit of the rules but they do nothing wrong even though the entire state think otherwise. But here is the truth. As long as the rules remain so subjective and hidden these sorts of views will continue.

Publish the full dynamic rating.
Don't allow Self rates. Force people to play matches against players with established ratings if they want to play in a league restricted by rating.
Don't allow appeals.

Objectivity and transparency.

And suddenly people will see why other teams won, and understand they played within the objective rules. There will always be people that say those that beat them had some sort of improper advantage but that will be greatly diminished if the rules are objective and transparent.
 
Last edited:

Creighton

Semi-Pro
And if that is how the person is going to play then we should admit there is nothing we can do for the reasons I went through above.
At this point I don't even know what you're arguing. If you claim your ideas wouldn't change anything about the players who are intentionally cheating, then what benefit would it be to change the system to something you suggest?

The current system works fine for players who play in good faith. The only issue with the current system is when people are intentionally cheating.
 

Ian10s

New User
Guys, I have really enjoyed reading these threads from the stands, but after attending 4.0 nationals I would love to provide some perspective. I captain the 4.0 Southern Men that went to Surprise - and I'm by no means a USTA lifer. I have 4 whole seasons of USTA under my belt as a captain. I am very literally the opposite of the captain of the Utah Intermountain Team we played in the finals. I coach high school tennis as a volunteer here in the Atlanta area, and have what I consider a very good feel of what level players are based on skill set (I've sent multiple kids over 9 years to D1-D3 Universities). The problem with what we experienced down at Nationals is more than simply "Old man loser is so obsessed with winning meaningless recreational league he pays for kids lessons and travel." Because what he does is not technically against the rules, despite it being VERY against the spirit of play. The problem USTA faces with a guy like him is 2 fold.

1. The rating system is pointless. If I wanted to add my best 18 year old high school players to my Winter 4.0 roster here in Atlanta, there is absolutely nothing stopping me. And frankly, I wouldn't be lying on any of the questions. None of the kids have signed any LOI yet, they're technically not college players - despite the fact that some have been heavily recruited and might already have offers pending. To give you an idea how different Atlanta and Lindon clearly are though: If I added any of them, there would be complaint after complaint in any match they played in. I would have men in their 50s scouring Instagram and Facebook to see if they've won tournaments, if they have done any college visits, etc...aside from screen shots of their tennisrecruiting pages. These kids out in Utah are clearly not complained about. Which brings me to point 2:

2. Sections are not even. We played 20+ matches in order to compete at nationals for the southern region. Utah played like 9. Apart from the obvious difference in matches and the sheer difficulty in winning more: comes in the USTA computer ratings. 20+ matches gives the computer ample chances to disqualify players. We had one after sectionals - a guy who did not play high school tennis and is currently in his 50s. Yet, Utah plays 9, many of which are meaningless walk overs - and the kids only have 2 matches on the biggest stage before nationals and cannot possibly face disqualification. You basically can hide your studs when the match count is that low. It is exactly what Utah's captain does. Not only does he do that to perfection, he apparently has loads of kids for the next few seasons geared up to run it back.

Those are the two basic issues: and that doesn't even get in to all the things others have discussed. Team Texas had a player at 4.0 nationals that HAS VICTORIES at 5.0 Nationals. I can't even begin to understand how a guy like that is not disqualified from 4.0 tennis. Hell, I played one season of 4.5 and I lost all 3 matches and got bumped to 4.5 before I appealed. The lack of uniformity is bizarre. I get you can't change some circumstance: for instance, the rest of the state of Georgia hates Atlanta tennis. The records of ATL teams at state paints a pretty clear reason for that. But what USTA can control is equal match count. You don't have enough teams to play a full 20 slate? Play everyone 5 times. And mandate higher match counts for players so the computer can get a feel for this. The two kids on Utah I played at 1 Doubles in the finals are college level players - High level D2 caliber. Particularly the taller kid - who served over 120 regularly. Sure, Northern had high level players, so did we - but check our scores, they're largely competitive and representative of the apparent need to have that kinda team to even compete at national events. And frankly, most the teams there were just happy to be at nationals, we met a ton of good people - we went in expecting nothing. We were told by some (cough guys on here cough) we wouldn't finish top ten - and why would we not believe that? None of us are USTA experts and we truly don't have elite singles players. But I learned real fast there are teams who scout, and build teams to win this thing annually. Guys who drive across big states to play for certain teams who have a shot to win. I play with my friends - our team undoubtedly had the best time out there (aside from the one Jersey Shore kid from Eastern who maintained drunk for 72 hours). Our team might be "flawed" in the eyes of many via ratings, but I didn't recruit - the majority of our team played junior tennis together or ran into one another in singles leagues in ATL, and we play more outside of USTA than we do in the leagues. Frankly ALTA is more fun because we can just go play and don't have to worry about old regular USTA men threatening us to report players. Clearly the largest problem with the system is that people are WAY too wrapped up in these leagues. Whether it be to police teams, or create unbalanced ones. I don't pretend to know how to fix it, again, I'm new here - but I don't plan to be back at nationals anytime soon: and I'm cool with that. We made a final, knowing nothing, and I'm damn proud of our guys - loads of clutch tie break tennis played out there. But if USTA doesn't address guys like Utah, just know we are all playing for second.
Please get your facts straight before calling out a player. No one from Texas 4.0 team played at 5.0 Nationals. He did play in 4.5 Nationals and get a beatdown like he should and then won a match where a guy tanked to him so he could lower his level since they were basically out of it.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
At this point I don't even know what you're arguing. If you claim your ideas wouldn't change anything about the players who are intentionally cheating, then what benefit would it be to change the system to something you suggest?
Because 99% of people are not intentionally cheating. Others think they are cheating because the rules are subjective and the only objecive information - dynamic computer ratings are hidden.

About the only clear rule is you shouldn't throw games. No one admits doing that but the rules put players in situations where they are have incentives to do this.

And I don't think USTA can really police people that will throw games. Schmke says otherwise but I question how exactly he would do that to any significant extent. Sure he might catch a few people but of the 1% that would throw games he would only probably catch about 5% of that one percent. In other words you have to just swallow the fact that players may throw games if they completely lack ethics. But you can remove incentives to throw games.

The current system works fine for players who play in good faith. The only issue with the current system is when people are intentionally cheating.
The rules are subjective so there is no consensus on what is good faith. People in Georgia distrust Atlanta because they lose there. People in atlanta say well that is just because they always lose and that is to be expected. But is anyone surprised that when that Atlanta team gets their behind handed to them by some team in Utah they say the USTA should do something and they violated the spirit of the rules? Is this surprising to anyone?

Creighton you are smart I think you can see how this works.

I'm saying rules that are objective and transparent greatly reduces the problem.
 

RyanRF

Professional
Sandbagging issues are inevitable in skill-capped competition.

The only solution is to not take it too seriously. The more everyone hypes up nationals (i.e. this thread), the more motivation there will be for some people to game the system by misrepresenting/concealing their skill level and the levels of their teammates.

Or you could be ruthless and make a rule forcing all nationals participants to automatically get bumped up next year. :happydevil:
 

JOGA87

New User
Because 99% of people are not intentionally cheating. Others think they are cheating because the rules are subjective and the only objecive information - dynamic computer ratings are hidden.

About the only clear rule is you shouldn't throw games. No one admits doing that but the rules put players in situations where they are have incentives to do this.

And I don't think USTA can really police people that will throw games. Schmke says otherwise but I question how exactly he would do that to any significant extent. Sure he might catch a few people but of the 1% that would throw games he would only probably catch about 5% of that one percent. In other words you have to just swallow the fact that players may throw games if they completely lack ethics. But you can remove incentives to throw games.



The rules are subjective so there is no consensus on what is good faith. People in Georgia distrust Atlanta because they lose there. People in atlanta say well that is just because they always lose and that is to be expected. But is anyone surprised that when that Atlanta team gets their behind handed to them by some team in Utah they say the USTA should do something and they violated the spirit of the rules? Is this surprising to anyone?

Creighton you are smart I think you can see how this works.

I'm saying rules that are objective and transparent greatly reduces the problem.
Gonna shoot you straight here. Your condescension is really appreciated: because what it demonstrates is a very systemic problem within the USTA world. Atlanta cheats Georgia - and so I feel no pity for Atlanta when they “get their behinds handed to them” by Utah. We lost two matches in 3rd set breakers mind you - but that Utah team had a literal cake walk through nationals. Sure we pushed their two weakest doubles lines to third sets - but had no shot to win the other lines.

Any basic understanding of competitive play can draw a distinction between that team and any other team at that tournament. It also has absolutely no comparison so Atlanta against the rest of Georgia unless you believe the tennis community in Utah significantly deeper than any other place in the nation. It’s a ridiculous premise. I’m not even upset we lost: it happens, but to pretend that team had any business playing 4.0 is pretty hilarious.

As for the Texas guy who came in to defend your player - I repeated information provided to me. That guy was other worldly. Good for you guys for getting him into a 4.0 league.
 

Creighton

Semi-Pro
Because 99% of people are not intentionally cheating. Others think they are cheating because the rules are subjective and the only objecive information - dynamic computer ratings are hidden.

About the only clear rule is you shouldn't throw games. No one admits doing that but the rules put players in situations where they are have incentives to do this.

And I don't think USTA can really police people that will throw games. Schmke says otherwise but I question how exactly he would do that to any significant extent. Sure he might catch a few people but of the 1% that would throw games he would only probably catch about 5% of that one percent. In other words you have to just swallow the fact that players may throw games if they completely lack ethics. But you can remove incentives to throw games.
How do you remove incentive to throw games in any system where losing games will result in a lower rating?



The rules are subjective so there is no consensus on what is good faith. People in Georgia distrust Atlanta because they lose there. People in atlanta say well that is just because they always lose and that is to be expected. But is anyone surprised that when that Atlanta team gets their behind handed to them by some team in Utah they say the USTA should do something and they violated the spirit of the rules? Is this surprising to anyone?

Creighton you are smart I think you can see how this works.

I'm saying rules that are objective and transparent greatly reduces the problem.
Your suggestion doesn't change anything if your suggestion is to just let the cheaters cheat.
 

Creighton

Semi-Pro
Sandbagging issues are inevitable in skill-capped competition.

The only solution is to not take it too seriously. The more everyone hypes up nationals (i.e. this thread), the more motivation there will be for some people to game the system by misrepresenting/concealing their skill level and the levels of their teammates.

Or you could be ruthless and make a rule forcing all nationals participants to automatically get bumped up next year. :happydevil:
I absolutely agree that at some point in the playoff scenario, every player that plays at that level should automatically get bumped up. This would open the opportunities for other players to have a turn as the best players at at a level.If you're not good enough for the next level, you'll eventually be bumped back down.

The real problem is these non playing captains like the Texas and Utah guys. If these guys were good enough to play on national championship teams, they would naturally get bumped up like their star players. Instead they just stagnate at an artificial level and just ruin it for everyone at those levels because they never find a bigger pond to play in.
 

Ian10s

New User
I absolutely agree that at some point in the playoff scenario, every player that plays at that level should automatically get bumped up. This would open the opportunities for other players to have a turn as the best players at at a level.If you're not good enough for the next level, you'll eventually be bumped back down.

The real problem is these non playing captains like the Texas and Utah guys. If these guys were good enough to play on national championship teams, they would naturally get bumped up like their star players. Instead they just stagnate at an artificial level and just ruin it for everyone at those levels because they never find a bigger pond to play in.
I
Gonna shoot you straight here. Your condescension is really appreciated: because what it demonstrates is a very systemic problem within the USTA world. Atlanta cheats Georgia - and so I feel no pity for Atlanta when they “get their behinds handed to them” by Utah. We lost two matches in 3rd set breakers mind you - but that Utah team had a literal cake walk through nationals. Sure we pushed their two weakest doubles lines to third sets - but had no shot to win the other lines.

Any basic understanding of competitive play can draw a distinction between that team and any other team at that tournament. It also has absolutely no comparison so Atlanta against the rest of Georgia unless you believe the tennis community in Utah significantly deeper than any other place in the nation. It’s a ridiculous premise. I’m not even upset we lost: it happens, but to pretend that team had any business playing 4.0 is pretty hilarious.

As for the Texas guy who came in to defend your player - I repeated information provided to me. That guy was other worldly. Good for you guys for getting him into a 4.0 league.
I just wanted to make sure you knew it was not true. Granted he was a good player but he did follow all the rules and was indeed a computer rated player who had improved a lot. Congratulations to your team for making it to Nationals. Southern section is always tough.
 

Ian10s

New User
I absolutely agree that at some point in the playoff scenario, every player that plays at that level should automatically get bumped up. This would open the opportunities for other players to have a turn as the best players at at a level.If you're not good enough for the next level, you'll eventually be bumped back down.

The real problem is these non playing captains like the Texas and Utah guys. If these guys were good enough to play on national championship teams, they would naturally get bumped up like their star players. Instead they just stagnate at an artificial level and just ruin it for everyone at those levels because they never find a bigger pond to play in.
If you did any research at all you'd notice that a lot of non playing Captains get bumped as well. Guess you never looked.
 

Creighton

Semi-Pro
If you did any research at all you'd notice that a lot of non playing Captains get bumped as well. Guess you never looked.
How if they don't play?

I just wanted to make sure you knew it was not true. Granted he was a good player but he did follow all the rules and was indeed a computer rated player who had improved a lot. Congratulations to your team for making it to Nationals. Southern section is always tough.
And there is nothing legitimate about LT. You don't go from a 3.5 to a 5.0 caliber player in 3 years.
 

Ian10s

New User
How if they don't play?



And there is nothing legitimate about LT. You don't go from a 3.5 to a 5.0 caliber player in 3 years.
I've seen plenty of players go from 3.5 to 4.5 in 3 years. That's called improving. LT plays 5 times a week in multiple Flex leagues and improved. No one said he was a 5.0. 3.5 to 4.5 in 3 years is definitely attainable.
 
Top