5.5 vs. 5.0 - Good stuff to take away.

schmke

Hall of Fame
Didn't he sign up as a 5.0 maybe 7-8 years ago but then appealed down because he had a tough time finding sufficient competition?
Self rated 4.5 in 2011, got a 2013 year-end 5.0C (my ratings agreed with the bump up). On a recent video was signing up for USTA again and the system made him self-rate as a 5.0 again (which he seemed to be appealing).
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Self rated 4.5 in 2011, got a 2013 year-end 5.0C (my ratings agreed with the bump up). On a recent video was signing up for USTA again and the system made him self-rate as a 5.0 again (which he seemed to be appealing).
It's interesting that there were 5 different metrics:

- 5.0 based on his answers to the questions
- 4.0 [minimum] based on the chart with playing experience and age
- 4.5/5.0 based on skills description
- 4.5 based on match results
- Previously published NTRP

In the end, it all came down to "If you have a previously published NTRP level, the newly assigned minimum NTRP level cannot be lower."

This can be confusing to someone with USTA NTRP experience; I can only imagine what it's like for a newbie.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
It's interesting that there were 5 different metrics:

- 5.0 based on his answers to the questions
- 4.0 [minimum] based on the chart with playing experience and age
- 4.5/5.0 based on skills description
- 4.5 based on match results
- Previously published NTRP

In the end, it all came down to "If you have a previously published NTRP level, the newly assigned minimum NTRP level cannot be lower."

This can be confusing to someone with USTA NTRP experience; I can only imagine what it's like for a newbie.
Yes, it can be confusing perhaps, but it is well defined and straight forward. A prior year-end NTRP level trumps all the questions, as it should IMHO. A rating based on results will almost always be more accurate than a "paper" rating based on questions, even if it is from a few years ago. Presumably the age of the rating is considered should someone appeal.

And a newbie won't have a prior NTRP level, so it does come down to the guidelines/questions in that case, and I'm not sure you want fewer questions as that would lead to more generalizations and probably less accurate self-rating.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Ian self-rates at 4.5. We will see how he does. Most of his 5.0 USTA rating came from doubles. I believe he played one singles match at 5.0 and was defeated handily. Ian wrote according to current USTA guidelines, he may be 4.0
why are you being purposely incorrect?

he doesn't self-rate as 4.5. He _wants_ to be rated as 4.5 - but the system correctly tells him he is 5.0.

the guidelines do not say 'he may be 4.0'. The guidelines, as applied to a random person and not him directly, state that the _minimum_ level someone with his experience could be 4.0. You know, if someone with similar past experience (i.e playing high school ad D2 tennis) haven't touched the racket for 20 year, gained 50 pounds, and perhaps needed a refresher on the rules now. Which is obviously and very clearly scenario not applicable to Ian.
 
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Deleted member 780836

Guest
Ian looks like a 4.5 player, the results back it up. Not sure why people want to rate Ian a 5.0, at the end of the day results are all that matter. Ian lost to 4.0s recently. He does not have the consistency or enough weapons to be a 5.0, not to mention his poor stamina. NTRP rating is not a fixed number for extended periods of time, just because he was a 5.0 a few years ago doesn't make him one today, you have to work to maintain a level. Maybe some people can't wrap their head around him beating MEP? His style is tailor made to beat someone like MEP, that doesn't change their ratings, both are 4.5s.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Meh, not that it matters overall. I posted UTRs of the ET group earlier in this thread and the range is within norms for the USTA equivs. Ian is UR on UTR because he hasn't played official matches recently, so whatever hold over rating he has for USTA is probably a bit higher than where he is, and that is by his own recounting of having dropped in level and just since last year working to try and get back up. That said, given his match stats against other rated ET folks he falls squarely in a 4.5 range most likely. I don't think it is arbitrary for those wanting to have competitive matches where general leveling is a good indicator. But really, for those rec folks who just like to get out and play with anyone (within reason) then yeah, a good time can be had on court hitting around with most folks.

Interestingly, again going back to the video in my first post, Andrey was a very good college player, as well as the opponent here, so 5.0/5.5 is in line with that. BUT...if you were to look up recent stats you might be surprised. Not that they couldn't compete at the higher level, but they are not where they were in college, and USTA continues to promote if you played Dx college level you automatically equate to NTRP 5+ level, which isn't always true. A great example is Karue Sells again, who peaked at 15+UTR, which is solid ATP pro level, but currently is 12.5ish, so a considerable drop. And let's not even through out that age factor.

As far as valuing opinions, criticisms, etc, I appreciate people being considerate enough to take time and comment. I think there can be value from anyone, but also listen a bit more intently to those I have seen play and have a better understanding where they are coming from. Obviously high level players allow me to gain from their insights to playing in ways I haven't experienced yet, so again I might listen more intently. But I don't summarily dismiss anyone. Well, except maybe TTPS, though I did have some wicked good conversations a few items with him, so long as he wasn't just trolling or asking a statement instead of a question.

Anyway...cheers.

EDIT: lol. Too funny, Ian just did a video a few hours ago on having to SR because his hold over rating expired. So pretty much what I guessed earlier and said again above.

I find this video being very sensationalist, and done in a manner purposely looking for a problem where there is none. Guidelines/questionnaire/whatever is a decent attempt to help someone who knows almost nothing about tennis levels, and that does not have any means to actually play a practice match or two with a computer ranked player. Which is definitely not the case here. Ian doesn't need any of that - he can easily tell from his results that he is 5.0.

His 'surprise' that at some point guidelines suggested he could be 4.0 and later he ended up being 5.0 is frankly, well, surprising. It is stated very, very clearly that the guidelines provide _minimum_ ranking - but anyone that would want to do it honestly would know to not discount facts like, you know, actually being a tennis coach over all these years since college, and playing competitively over many years as well.

sure, the lack of 5.0 teams in his area stinks. But that is a different problem that has nothing to do with self-rating process. Perhaps all these guys that complain about a lack of 5.0 teams and therefore try to appeal down to 4.5 should, I do not know, actually stay at proper 5.0 level and form a team?
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Ian looks like a 4.5 player, the results back it up. Not sure why people want to rate Ian a 5.0, at the end of the day results are all that matter. Ian lost to 4.0s recently. He does not have the consistency or enough weapons to be a 5.0, not to mention his poor stamina. NTRP rating is not a fixed number for extended periods of time, just because he was a 5.0 a few years ago doesn't make him one today, you have to work to maintain a level. Maybe some people can't wrap their head around him beating MEP? His style is tailor made to beat someone like MEP, that doesn't change their ratings, both are 4.5s.
Yeah, the results speak loudest.

Ian answered the questions for the self-rate process and it returned a 5.0, not because Ian is a 5.0 but because his previously published rating was 5.0, no matter how long ago it was, what shape he's in, or if he's kept up with the game.

I can see the logic in that for the initial rating, as long as there is a rational appeal process where one can make one's case for a downward bump.

The only people that can't wrap their head around Ian beating MEP are those that somehow think Ian is a 4.0 because he doesn't hit a TS BH and has a slightly wonky FH.

I agree that Ian's net-centric style is an ideal matchup against MEP. If I played MEP, I would follow the same strategy.
 

PilotPete

Hall of Fame
why are you being purposely incorrect?

he doesn't self-rate as 4.5. He _wants_ to be rated as 4.5 - but the system correctly tells him he is 5.0.

the guidelines do not say 'he may be 4.0'. The guidelines, as applied to a random person and not him directly, state that the _minimum_ level someone with his experience could be 4.0. You know, if someone with similar past experience (i.e playing high school ad D2 tennis) haven't touched the racket for 20 year, gained 50 pounds, and perhaps needed a refresher on the rules now. Which is obviously and very clearly scenario not applicable to Ian.
Ian has zero wins in 5.0 singles. I was assuming he's self-rating for singles play.
 

pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
Source please?

I could see him saying that A) during rehab from his injury; B) as he was learning his TS BH and was prevented from using slice; or C) was forced to stay on the BL.

You're correct about the singles v doubles idea.

So if Ian is a 4.0 and he crushed MEP, you're inferring that MEP is a 3.5?
Nah, source doesn't matter here. Based on his wording, all you need to ask is make him give you proof that Ian is not a true 5.0. And then rebutt everything he said and move the goalpost. Then you win.

The fact that there is no 5.0 team in Wisconsin also implies that all 4.5+ players including those 5.0+ would need to appeal down to have competition. Meaning in Wisconsin, a 4.5 team might composed of 4.0 - 4.5+ players. This is a huge range of different skillsets btw. In this case, it doesn't matter Ian self-rate or not, the moment he joins a 4.5 team, he will have to compete with people who might be bumped up to 5.0 or higher in a 4.5 team, or someone who just got bumped up from a 3.5 team a year prior.

4.5 rating means really nothing, result also means nothing.

This rating system is never accurate and USTA knows this and keep it that way. I believe it should be possible for someone to create multiple accounts, and have multiple different ratings. Or try their hardest to have multiple appeal down but still retain your knowledge and level of tennis. Meaning a 3.5 in a 3.5 team might actually win against a 4.5 in a 4.5 team all because that 3.5 appeal down so much and tank the games so he/she wouldn't get rated up.
 
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S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Ian has zero wins in 5.0 singles. I was assuming he's self-rating for singles play.
Ian has zero play at 5.0 period. All of his USTA matches were 4.5 Mens/9/0 MXD doubles. He got bumped up to 5.0 at the end of 2013 and hasn't played a USTA match since.

He never stated his intention to play singles, doubles, or both. If he's joining a 9.0 MXDs team, obviously it's just dubs.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Nah, source doesn't matter here. Based on his wording, all you need to ask is make him give you proof that Ian is not a true 5.0. And then rebutt everything he said and move the goalpost. Then you win.
I watched the video: he said the chart that showed playing experience rated him as a minimum 4.0. He said he could go by the letter of the law and self-rate at 4.0. But obviously, he wouldn't in good conscience rate himself a 4.0 and he stated that.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Nah, source doesn't matter here. Based on his wording, all you need to ask is make him give you proof that Ian is not a true 5.0. And then rebutt everything he said and move the goalpost. Then you win.

The fact that there is no 5.0 team in Wisconsin also implies that all 4.5+ players including those 5.0+ would need to appeal down to have competition. Meaning in Wisconsin, a 4.5 team might composed of 4.0 - 4.5+ players. This is a huge range of different skillsets btw. In this case, it doesn't matter Ian self-rate or not, the moment he joins a 4.5 team, he will have to compete with people who might be bumped up to 5.0 or higher in a 4.5 team.

So result also doesn't speak loudest as well, because in USTA, teams can be composed of rating that can be appealed down or up.

This rating system is never accurate. I believe it should be possible for someone to create multiple accounts, and have multiple different ratings. Or try their hardest to have multiple appeal down but still retain your knowledge and level of tennis. Meaning a 3.5 in a 3.5 team might actually win against a 4.5 in a 4.5 team all because that 3.5 appeal down so much and tank the games so he/she wouldn't get rated up.
@schmke: what % of appeal downs from 5.0 to 4.5 occur and is there a significant regional variation? Even in SoCal there aren't a lot of opportunities for 5.0s [I think there was a 5.0 league with maybe 3 teams but possibly only 2, as well as MXDs 10.0]. And if a hotspot like SoCal doesn't have many opportunities, less hot spots will have even fewer.
 

pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
I watched the video: he said the chart that showed playing experience rated him as a minimum 4.0. He said he could go by the letter of the law and self-rate at 4.0. But obviously, he wouldn't in good conscience rate himself a 4.0 and he stated that.
Ian would win a lot in a 4.0 league. It might boost his morale. But yea Ian is not that kind of guy.

Btw, i'm simply being sarcastic.
 

PilotPete

Hall of Fame
Ian has zero play at 5.0 period. All of his USTA matches were 4.5 Mens/9/0 MXD doubles. He got bumped up to 5.0 at the end of 2013 and hasn't played a USTA match since.

He never stated his intention to play singles, doubles, or both. If he's joining a 9.0 MXDs team, obviously it's just dubs.
No, he had one singles loss at 5.0.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
@schmke: what % of appeal downs from 5.0 to 4.5 occur and is there a significant regional variation? Even in SoCal there aren't a lot of opportunities for 5.0s [I think there was a 5.0 league with maybe 3 teams but possibly only 2, as well as MXDs 10.0]. And if a hotspot like SoCal doesn't have many opportunities, less hot spots will have even fewer.
So, are there enough 5.0s in Wisconsin to have an 18+ 5.0 flight? Including 2018 year-end, there have been 47 different men that have had a 5.0 level. Obviously they aren't all in the same city, but perhaps if enough were in the same city and asked for a 5.0 flight, they could have one. Perhaps part of the problem is players bumped up to 5.0 assume there is no league to play in and LCs assume the same thing and no one ever tries to form one?

Note, there were just 29 5.0 women, so they would have a far harder time rounding up enough for several teams.

As far as appeal downs, California led the way with 100 that appealed down from 5.0 to 4.5 for 2018 and 2019 year-end. Next closest was Texas with 75, North Carolina with 66, Florida with 49, and then Georgia and South Carolina with 44 a piece.

For raw numbers of 5.0s, California had 819, Texas 441, North Carolina 313, Florida 306, Colorado 204, Georgia 184, Washington 180, New York 174, and South Carolina 133.
 
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S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
As far as appeal downs, California led the way with 100 that appealed down from 5.0 to 4.5 for 2018 and 2019 year-end. Next closest was Texas with 75, North Carolina with 66, Florida with 49, and then Georgia and South Carolina with 44 a piece.
Thanks!

Could you translate that into % so the numbers can be compared? CA may have the largest absolute # but they also are the most populous state with presumably the most tennis players.

Does it strike you as odd that NC has so many given that the population is relatively small compared to the Big 3 [CA, TX, & FL]?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Thanks!

Could you translate that into % so the numbers can be compared? CA may have the largest absolute # but they also are the most populous state with presumably the most tennis players.

Does it strike you as odd that NC has so many given that the population is relatively small compared to the Big 3 [CA, TX, & FL]?
NC has a pretty deep high end tennis scene, at least appears to based on their 4.5/5.0 numbers and success at Sectionals and Nationals
 
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Deleted member 780836

Guest
If I played MEP, I would follow the same strategy.
That should be a very interesting match, any plan to make it happen? If you execute s&v and remain patient when the balls keep coming back, you should be able to get it done. The logistics to make it happen could be challenging
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
@ChaelAZ,

Sorry for the hijacking. :(
lol. No worries. Very few where looking take-aways in the play.

The ratings thing...it's always what people trip on. You can tell someone the earned UTR, the earned NTRP, tell them them are on the ATP tour and they will still tell themselves and others it isn't what it is. Usually in the context that in their mind they are beating everyone.

Cheers.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
That should be a very interesting match, any plan to make it happen? If you execute s&v and remain patient when the balls keep coming back, you should be able to get it done. The logistics to make it happen could be challenging
I'm waiting for the MEP tour bus to make it out to SoCal.
 

Digital Atheist

Professional
Maybe the guidelines didn't miss anything and everyone you're winning against in your group is a lower level than the label affixed to them
I agree with some of what you have written, but this seems contradictory to me. Assuming it was the guidelines that led to the rating/label affixed to them (that seems reasonable given it is what they are for), then said guidelines have to - at least in part - be responsible for the categorisation error if your hypothesis is correct.

Edit: That assumes after a few matches if their provisional rating (i.e no rating) is inaccurate they get bumped down to the correct level, which is apparently the procedure.
 
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Digital Atheist

Professional
Just common sense really. I've played on all sorts of courts. For tapping the ball back and forth, court speed has minimal effects.
Sure, when both sides are just tapping I concur. But what about when one party only ever "taps", they've developed it to a new level, and have become accustomed to using that short "tappy" stroke to redirect more powerful shots against decent opponents? Then wouldn't the speed of the court and the bounce height at least have some effect? I think it would, and possibly even more than someone who actually takes a full swing and doesn't have to worry quite so much about the ball "rebounding" uncontrollably. Ever seen an unskilled tapper try and return a topspin serve? I bet you have. In my experience, they regularly have no control over the outgoing ball.

Edit: Just to clarify, I'm not calling @GSG unskilled, he is precisely who I'm talking about in my second sentence.
 
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jm1980

G.O.A.T.
NTRP is STILL 3.0 <--- that implies there is such a thing a 'true' 3.0, just like there is a 'true' 4.5.

Before there were any league records, the initial ratings must have been based on the ability to execute certain tennis skills, no?
Visual ratings used to be inaccurate because biases caused players with conventional strokes to be overrated and players with more unconventional games (like GSG) to be underrated. But stroke mechanics are only a small part of what makes a player win matches, specially at the recreational level
You already know a true one. Wisconsin. Wherever you don't get destroyed is not true 4.5
ROFLMAO, no offense to Wisconsin, but this may be the first time I've seen someone claim Wisconsin has a deeper tennis talent pool than freaking Atlanta
 

PilotPete

Hall of Fame
How much prize money would make it worth it?
Nothing, I'm quite far away. Can't travel currently. But even if I could, just not worth it. It's like you discover a 4 year old girl who has mad wrestling skills and want me to take her on. Not worth it.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
Nothing, I'm quite far away. Can't travel currently. But even if I could, just not worth it. It's like you discover a 4 year old girl who has mad wrestling skills and want me to take her on. Not worth it.
Lol, I also figured as much.

Your posts are so completely clueless on this topic that the only plausible explanations are:

1. You are so good (like, semi-pro good) that you are entirely disconnected from the realities of recreational tennis
2. You have zero experience playing competitively at any level of organized tennis and you are vastly overestimating your own skill

By the way, how can you claim to know what a "real 4.5" is better than posters who actually play at 4.5 if you aren't even from here?
 

PilotPete

Hall of Fame
Lol, I also figured as much.

Your posts are so completely clueless on this topic that the only plausible explanations are:

1. You are so good (like, semi-pro good) that you are entirely disconnected from the realities of recreational tennis
2. You have zero experience playing competitively at any level of organized tennis and you are vastly overestimating your own skill

By the way, how can you claim to know what a "real 4.5" is better than posters who actually play at 4.5 if you aren't even from here?
Why don't you fund yourself to go play him and get it on video. Let's have a gander, lol, not gonna happen I bet ;)
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Lol, I also figured as much.

Your posts are so completely clueless on this topic that the only plausible explanations are:

1. You are so good (like, semi-pro good) that you are entirely disconnected from the realities of recreational tennis
2. You have zero experience playing competitively at any level of organized tennis and you are vastly overestimating your own skill

By the way, how can you claim to know what a "real 4.5" is better than posters who actually play at 4.5 if you aren't even from here?
Actually, there is a #3 that @GSG himself brought up in the interview with Ian:

Ian: “Why do you think you trigger those people so much? What is it about them, or tennis, or you, or a combination that draws out such a negative reaction from some people?”

Ben: [sighs] “I would say, to some small extent, there are some people out there who probably put a lot of money into lessons [Ian throws his head back and laughs] and getting better at tennis and didn’t achieve that level for whatever reason and they’re frustrated. We had this rule in the Marine Corps, there’s always that 10% that are just not going to go along with anything you do and try to be contrarian and we have that on the Internet. I know you know about that…”

Ian: “Yes sir…”

Ben: “…so they’re looking to find fault with people..."


If someone played juniors and/or college and got a lot of lessons and trained hard and made it to 5.0+, would he waste so much time criticizing a rec player's form? I doubt it. None of the 5.0s I know of have done any criticism, and they're the best-positioned to do so.

If someone just liked batting the ball around, would he know enough to criticize a winning 4.5's play? I doubt it.
 

PilotPete

Hall of Fame
I don't recall being the one running my mouth and invalidating his skill and his rating.

What good would it be, anyway? If he beats me then I'm not a "real 4.5" according to your expertly crafted rating system
You seem to be running your mouth now and opening your fat wallet, go for it, see if you have the balls for what you want others to do. I doubt it.
 
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