Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by JT_2eighty, Oct 10, 2009.
Nope, just repeat State champion and Sectionals runner-up here. Never made it to Nationals.
If you get to the Nationals, and you have self-rated players, you are sandbaggers almost by definition.
Which is why I get amused when people get really worked up by NTRP leagues. Winning any rated championship is like winning a 100m dash for the invalid. Good for you for doing well in your little pond, but there are still hundreds of thousands of people better than you. You should just go out and enjoy the competition and not get hung up on W/L records.
Speaking for myself, I love playing sandbaggers since that means that I get to play with a really good player that I don't normally get to play with. I see no downside for playing a sandbagger.
The stories of people who have pretty or beautiful strokes, but can't win matches against pushers or very steady people - when they finally do have a good day or weeks, they are called sandbaggers.
Doesn't common sense dictate, that at any level, those who rise to the top Nationally - would be about the best that level has to offer - I mean...National right? The mediocre players aren't going to typically win Nationals.
What do people expect the best 4.0's or 3.5's to look like when they have risen to that level of competition?
Cool. The gang one is funny. So old timey.
The poker one makes sense, especially if you combine it with the water balloon culture example of using sandbags to weigh you down. Then jettisoning them when it's time to soar. That's what I always pictured when I think of a good player playing down a level or two.
I think it needs to be said, in defense of the alleged sandbaggers, that often they do it because everyone else is...and they actually get to play people at their own level at a lower classification. Kind of a backfiring of the whole level thing...particularly bad for the honest self-rated players. I personally think that's lame, but who the heck am I? I just play other dudes with a similar playing background -- we never have to report scores. We just go grab a drink after we play, then go home tired and happy.
i don't understand what the big deal is?
so what if he is sandbagging?
don't you like playing people better than you? heck, i want to find these people!! i'm a 3.5 and i'd play exclusively with 4.5s and 5.0s if they'd let me and be willing to do that. most of the time better players don't like playing with lower players (esp if it is more than a half point), so be happy you got the chance to play this guy!!!
^it's lame from the good player's perspective, but, yes, I think the above post deserves a re-read or two.
You can be thankful you got to play and learn from a clearly better player. Probably be nice to do that without paying an entry fee, I suppose, but it's tennis with the next level, and that can be a great thing.
The goal is a pen and a shirt, not raising your game level.
Whining about sandbaggers is more important than improving one's tennis game.
What is the deal with these pens and everybody talking about them? I've never gotten a pen for playing in Championships (I have gotten badges for my tennis bag). The reasons I like playing at States (especially combo States here in SC) are because you get to play competitive (and mostly cool) people, you get a trip to the beach with your teammates, and you get to play at some top-rate tennis centers (such as Daniel Island). Are States so boring in other places that a pen truly is the primary reward?
Hahha, the pen and the shirt are like $10.
Playing someone good is worth a lot more.
And I still do not get the fascination with playing on a team at a lower level or dominating a 4.5 tournament if you have played Div I college tennis.
I get the playing with buds who happen to be at a lower level, but where's the conscience?
My crowd is more into just good ol' recreational, less structured tennis. But that takes a few phone calls and emails...and the USTA doesn't earn much from my crowd. So muntil they find a way to make big bucks from non-structured tennis, learn to embrace some sandbagging and some shenanigans.
So the teams that won nationals were they sandbaggers this year? Did usta officials bust any of them? Were they denied a pen?
I was a perfect example of this the past 2 years. Self-rated at 3.5, had a terrible season courtesy of lack of having competed, not lack of ability. Was bumped down to 3.0 for ESR, and then subsequently bumped back up with year end. Played 2 seasons of 3.5, with an OK winning %. In the meantime, spent lots of time on the court hitting with some great players and re-learning how to play the game.
Played 4.0 this last spring, and was then accused of being a sandbagger. As a computer rated 3.5. Also played 7.0 mixed. Had an opponent make a comment that she'll just act like it's 9.0 mixed.
I started to feel like I had to carry a card with my NTRP on it in order to shut people up, and it made it not as much fun to play 100% in order to avoid offending someone.
I personally love playing against great players. Win or lose. If I'm challenged to step up my game, I will grow from it.
I think that a lot of the issue stems from 2 things;
1. People expect that most of their USTA matches are supposed to be competitive, which is a false assumption.
2. The record in permanent. When you lose a match, it goes on your "permanent record" on tennislink.
haha ...ooh 5 years from now somebody will look back at your loss and proclaim, "How embarrassing! I can't believe you lost to that hack"
It's the funniest thing. It isn't about losing as much as who you lose to for some of the people that I've talked with.
I've lost some ugly matches myself, that's for sure.
You had me at stroke off.
I've had about enough of the "win a pen" nonsense.
It is good to play people better than you.
It is good try try (within the rules) to win leagues and tournaments
It is not good to lie about your playing experience when signing up for a skill-leveled competition.
If you would rather play against a cheater and get some experience from it then fine. No need to insult those that are trying to win within the rules.
Tell me, how does one distinguish between a 3.5 and a 4.0?
Basically, you cannot.
I bet if the #1 guys for 3.5 and 4.0 nationals played a match, there would be no bagels, but a barrel full of cream cheese. Not even a breadstick.
Show me the, oh never mind...I love that movie.
Show me people who win nationals and I bet I can show you people playing below their true level.
For the most part I agree - especially if you only watch one match. And I agree that people are much too quick to accuse others of sandbagging when they lose a match. That doesn't excuse people, though, from lying on the self-rate form.
No one is insulting anyone who is trying to win within the rules.
What everyone is against is people whining about how they played a "sandbagger" and lost because of two things; first, they may NOT be a sandbagger and second, playing with a better player is GOOD for you. It is not something to whine about.
You are losing perspective if you are whining about the fact that you "can't win" because of sandbaggers. Who really cares that you came in first out of all the "not so good" players (I am one of them, btw)? Unless you are playing in Open level, W/L record is not something you should be obssessed about.
Ok, this thread has gone in many wild tangents, and most do not apply to my initial rant. Not that it matters anymore. But, just to be clear, here was my original "point" or "question", which was honestly lost in my sarcasm, and the subsequent USTA discussion (remember that I, the OP, don't play in usta leagues, so I was not commenting on that at all, as I have no experience).
Ok, so my simple question (which I did not ask in a simple way) was:
What do those who play WAY below their level (i.e. a 5.0 playing at 4.0; when a higher more appropriate level does exist) get out of winning/playing a match that poses ZERO challenge to them?
So, for all who said "you should be glad to play against a challenging player, etc, etc", ok then how about the reverse question to all you awesome players out there: "How much fun do you have playing against people at least a whole 1.0 skill level below you?"
For me, when I go hit with my roommate who doesn't know how to play tennis, I try to teach him mechanics, and we rally for a bit, and every now and then I get bored and hit my normal pace and he blocks it back over the fence. Now, would I go seek that out in a competitive setting? Hell no, I don't see the point, but this is what my so-called sandbagger is doing. So then, the question lost in my OP: "What goes thru such a sandbagger's mind?" Anyone?
That is all. Like I also said, I would have loved to have hit with this guy some singles, but it was doubles and they picked on my weaker teammate, who also was a substitute that day from 3.5. Seriously if you can break 100mph on your serve (which the 5.0 clearly could and was), does it really feel that great to rip em at someone that far below you? I just don't see the fun in it. That is all I'm saying. Trust me, I love tough competition and it's the only reason I am trying to move up off this team.
I think there is a big difference between the players at Nationals (who, IMO, are not sandbaggers unless they've 'creatively' self-rated themselves)...and people who lie on the self-rate form so that they can play down.
For instance, college player at 2.5??? C'mon, that's absolutely ridiculous, and I think the people who pay and play at 2.5 would have every right to complain.
NTRP is in place to create a somewhat even playing field within each level...people who deliberately lie about their ratings are jerks and ruin the experience for those who *are* practicing and working hard.
There are several possible reasons:
First, there may not be a viable 5.0 team in the area due to low participation. The person figures some competition is better than no competition.
Second, the more likely reason, the captain asked them to play so he can stack the deck. Perhaps the captains is a good friend or he owes a favor.
Third, he is in the same boat as you. He played at the higher level and saw all the sandbaggers and got frustrated and decided to play the same game as those sandbaggers.
Whatever the reason, personally, if a 5.0 wants to play on 4.0 league, I have no problems with it, because I get more out of it then he does.
There is a higher level in our city, but the team is probably full. Sort of my dilemma in trying to get on the 4.5 team.
Very true indeed. Actually it was the captain's son, haha.
Probably also true. I guess I just got "out-sandbagged" and that is my true frustration. hehe.
Great point as well. Honestly I was also just feeling bad for the sub I asked to play, because he was so frustrated and down on himself after the game, which is what really made me mad more than anything else. If my normal partner was there, we would have enjoyed the challenge and this thread never would have been born. By the way, I have all kinds of ringers for this weekend's match lol, but we are playing a team "known" for sandbagging hard. It's a vicious cycle I guess.
These are very wise words from the young Lady from Topaz. Very wise, indeed.
the biggest issue stems from the pain of losing
pride makes us do things are not honest
I had been accused throughout the year at times of being a sandbagger, mostly I chose to get the ball in play, develop a point, and not try to play like a 4.5 when I'm a 3.0, whaddaya know it wins a lot of matches
tennis, despite it being for the most part an individual sport, rarely gives credit to the opposing individual
I played perhaps my best tennis this year in a tough 3 setter that I lost, the loss hurts but in the end it happens and it doesn't mean my buddy is a 3.5 or 4.0
That's called slowplaying in poker, not sandbagging.
I don't know how sandbaggers do it.
Last night I agreed to sub with a group of women I had never met before. I had no idea what their level of play was.
I am a weak 4.0 and these women were barely 2.5s. I was bored out of my skull! I spent two hours gently slicing the ball back cross court, not poaching anything, and just hitting overheads back into play. The format was to play a set with each of the ladies. My partner and I won every set, regardless of which one of the ladies was my partner. I certainly did not end the night feeling like I had accomplished anything. I know the ladies didn't really enjoy it either. I tried not to be a jerk, but there was just too much of discrepancy between our skill levels.
I can't imagine enduring an entire season of that.
It's is true, some people do have to play down to have an opportunity to participate.
That's me! All the "good guys" I play with say that my only problem is in my mind. Everything looks good, and when I win it looks like a sandbag...
I have to agree here. In my local league, there are only two 4.5 teams and two 8.5 combo teams. I understand that some higher level players may be rating themselves a bit low to have the opportunity to play league tennis at 4.0 and 4.5.
However, I just can't understand why a 4.0 or 4.5 player would intentionally rate themselves a 2.5 or 3.0 just to win league matches. I don't understand what in the world they get out of it. And that is the type of sandbagging that I am complaining about. When the self-rate form asks if you have played high school tennis or college tennis and you check no, that should actually be a true statement.
I doubt that there is REALLY any 4.0 playing 2.5. It may SEEM like a person handing out the beating is 4.0, but perhaps it is a decent 3.5 or a good 3.0.
Second, even if a 4.0 was playing as 3.0, he is probably doing okay. He is probably not playing that much during the regular season and playing doubles where he doesn't have to work much, and treat it as a practice session.
By the time you get to sectionals or nationals, everybody else is sandbagging so the competition should be up to par by then.
I just ask two things of people: self-rate accurately (no lying on the form) and play each match to the best of your ability. The computer can take it from there.
If someone is a D2 college player he is, by the USTA definition, a 4.5. The person in question self-rated at 2.5 and plays D2 college tennis. It's very simple, he lied on the self-rate form.
Perhaps you are a 3.0???
In that case, you have a clear and shut case for DQ. What is the problem?
I didn't mean it in a bad way,,,,, just asking because perhaps he is at a lower level, is playing up, and doesn't realize it.
To the op, Sorry if it came across as harsh.
No worries Drak. I know you are one of the more respectful and considerate posters on the board.
When I go to Florida you better hit with me or I'll cry like a whimpering 3.0 sandbagger.
Problem is he successfully threw games and even a couple of matches here and there during last season and got a computer rating of 3.0. And now that the computer has spoken, we can't file a grievance. So he's free to bring out his A-game at States and crush everyone. Pretty sick.
A possible theory, but as my on-court experience and league history has gone, I am now in the 4.0-4.5 range. I played 3.5 for a few years, the final year in which I never lost a match. So, I moved up to 4.0, have been there the past 3 years, and progressed from the lower courts to start, and now to winning most of my court 1 matches (there are 4 courts per team, usually highest skill level court 1, etc.). Even on court 1, half of the guys tell me I should move up to 4.5 (I've only lost once so far this season, and only in a third set tiebreak), but they're probably only saying that so they can win more. I was 13-3 last season in 4.0, so I don't think I'm a 3.0 (all losses I had were 3-sets).
Trust me, I want to play better people than I, as it is the only way I've improved the way I have. But I'm on the verge of going undefeated in 4.0 and ready to move up to improve more. The main reason for my OP was just to find out what people get out of playing down so low, when a higher league does exist. In the end, I think they just needed a guy, and it was the captain's son who happened to just be way better than anyone I've ever seen play "4.0", not to mention the way my partner was helpless on the court (who is more of a 3.5 who subbed for us that day).
I also have been subbing on the 4.5 teams with mixed results (3 wins, 5 losses) singles only. You probably didn't read all my other wordy posts that describe this, but if you do, then I can save my breath here. Bottom line this guy was only 2 years out of college, and since I've been playing 4.0 leagues the past 3 years, I have a pretty good idea of what the range of players should be in 4.0, and this guy was beyond anything I've seen in 4.0.
I really made the post just to see what those types get out of beating down much weaker players. I'm over it and looking forward to this week's matchup because all my good players are available.
what does the following quote mean?
"Understanding the past and not being able to let it go we seek friendship, companionship loyalty and truth; through braided graphite" - plasma
If he is computer rated, then it is what it is. He will bumped up based on his results. No sandbagging if he lost enough games (even if he threw them).
I think it means, "when you wake up in the morning load your bong with sticky green smelly weed and you'll better understand bizarre TT sig quotes constructed of Kevlar & Luxilon....."
Oh now I understand....
i would love to play against someone that much better. its a challenge and makes you want to get better. Why all the whinnining for something so silliy. tennis is supposed to be fun whether you lose or win.
Theres a former K-zoo kid in our corp league that spanks everyone.
No one whines, we just bend over and accept the spanking.
Playing against ringers n' sandbaggers in a blast.
I would have loved to "play" against him as well. But they just picked apart my partner constantly after I would hold serve. Doubles is a whole different animal. It would have been fun if I didn't have to console my sub after every point.
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