Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Gut4Tennis, Mar 31, 2014.
g4driver: hit me up with an email. thanks.
g4driver: Please email me Thanks.
my email is my screen name at yahoo
g4driver: Sent you an email.
^^ you guys hook up yet? Let us know when you get married.
yup. either in the finals of Roland Garros or Flushing Meadows, Haven't decided which one we'll enter.
Replied to you Vizsla -
Lot of back story on his questions -
Neither of us seem to want to sidetrack this thread - hence the email vs post in this thread to him
You have a valid point---but so does Gut4Tennis. I get so sick of hearing people whine on here about how worthless a national championship is in USTA leagues---or even the pursuit of one. It always comes off as nothing more than sour grapes and bitter players who have no decent team to play on or who wants them. No, a USTA league national championship isn't the end-all, be-all of recreational tennis, but it is definitely something to be proud of and something worth shooting for. Just because some posters on here see tennis as nothing more than a recreational pastime, not everyone does. Some of us truly love the game and use it as a means of improving ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally. We use it to work on our focus, our coordination, our physical fitness, and it allows us a healthy and vital outlet for our competitive juices. These hackers that belittle the championship pursuit just come across as hard, mean little people who resent anyone and everyone else's successes. If you don't want to play competitive tennis, then don't. Don't play the sport at all if you don't want to. But grow up and stop whining about how competitive other people are. Stop trying to belittle those who chase a dream just because you don't want to chase that dream. Yes, a USTA league national championship DOES have great value to a lot of players; that's why we keep pursuing it. I doubt I will ever come close to getting one, but I still get a huge kick out of the hunt. And when you trash-talk me and those like me who love the competition, all you do is show what a bitter little person you really are.
It means nothing TO YOU.
I'm kind of spoiled in that the first season of USTA I played, we went to Nationals. It was a total blast and should be something teams strive for but not at the expense of cheating the system.
This is exactly right. You have to keep the perspective that you are pursuing a "championship" in an artificially and arbitrarily constructed rating system for which you just happen to be at the top of one of the bands. Therefore, what makes the championship meaningful is the competition in pursuit of it, not the trophy itself, and in this context, having to cheat to do it seems kind of ridiculous.
I share your love for the game, and the love of competition.
USTA and NTRP are great for getting competitive matches against others of similar ability.
But the reason pursuit of USTA championships get belittled is because the whole NTRP level thing is an artificial construct.
Let me give you an example from a few years ago. There was a massive bump-up of 4.0s to 4.5s. The top 25% or so of 4.0s got bumped up. So the following season, players who were previously mid-pack 4.0s, were now the top players contending for championships and so on. And this not because they improved, or became more focused... but rather because USTA decided to recalibrate the boundaries between the levels.
Where is the achievement in that?
Some players and captains care more about championship achievement than absolute improvement of their tennis. And that is both funny and sad.
If you have incredible focus and drive I believe being a Captain is your best chance. Eventually you'll get a team together that will make it. But you have eat & breathe it and will have at least two teams at two different levels. It may take a few years...
Always Be Recruiting
Again, the fun of it is the competition, not the achievement itself. It doesn't matter if it's based on arbitrarily defined boundaries, it's fun to compete for something and win. In the bigger picture, of course, winning an NTRP championship doesn't make you a tennis superstar or anything, but that doesn't (or shouldn't) diminish the fun that is the competition that it took to get there.
Sure it's fun to compete and win. As long as one keeps in mind that the competitive aspect of USTA league tennis is only partly based on actual tennis.
A good part (most?) of the success of championship teams comes from the non-tennis-skills of the captain and team; broadly speaking:
- Organizational skills
- Strategic skills (in setting lineup orders)
- Recruiting skills
- Ratings manipulation skills
I've listed these in order of increasing potential for controversy
It takes a great deal of skill to captain a nationals-winning team... but it's not tennis skill. As long as people don't confuse the two, that's fine and yes the competitive aspects can be a lot of fun.
Unfortunately many people can't make that distinction and end up fixating over the competitive aspects rather than the actual tennis playing aspects.
Just seeing this now...you realize this already happened, right? Perhaps the inspiration for this post?
Those other things are definitely part of the fun for captains. Except the manipulation - you don't have to cheat to be successful.
Agreed about it being part of the fun.
As for manipulation and cheating, not all rating manipulation is cheating, although some certainly is. And at any rate people are going to have different interpretations of what constitutes cheating.
Let's say for example you are a captain with a self-rated player that you are somewhat fearful might be DQ'd.
If you tell him to tank or give away games, most would say this is cheating.
Now let's say you pair him with a partner who just came back from serious injury, and as a result is not yet playing at level (and probably should not be playing at all). Your thinking is that they will as a pair perform worse than their ratings would predict, and thus lower the dynamic rating of your self-rated guy. You are clearly attempting to manipulate the system. But are you cheating? It depends who you ask.
Excellent point. In my book, tanking games in any way with the intent of causing your rating to go down is cheating and should be grounds for suspension from league play. This is obviously hard to prove ...
The second scenario you describe is certainly toeing the line, but one could argue is smart captaining. I've seen players get DQ'd that probably shouldn't because they play in the opposite situations where their rating can't help but go up due to who they are paired with. See http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2013/05/analysis-of-strange-dynamic-ntrp-dq-in.html. So one could argue a captain should try to make sure their player's aren't put in a situation to get an unfairly high rating like this player seemingly did. As long as the players are putting forth an honest effort, it seems ok to me to use an understanding of the system to help avoid DQs.
In general, keeping players out of matchups likely to produce strikes is good captaining. The scenario you are describing is more of a grey area because, for one, you are playing someone who "should not be playing at all", and I would not play someone who is injured and could risk further injury just because I need to tank someone else's rating. That's stupid and reckless, and I hope the injured player would not agree to that, either. I have, however, paired S-rated players with guys recently bumped down because I know their ratings have to be near the top of the level and, therefore, it's more difficult to get strikes with them. I don't consider that cheating at all.
possibly partially parsley
Schmke and J_R_B, my point was not to debate the specific example I gave, but rather to point out that it can be argued both ways, as can a lot of other scenarios. There's a lot of grey area in what might be considered cheating, and different people will have different views. And none of this is about actually playing tennis.
Doesn't have to be injured player. Pairing someone who is a good singles player but poor doubles player or taking you senior 60+ doubles player and put him in # 1 singles are other examples. Unfortunately the same certain team I see that go to sectionals and nationals every year just straight out tanks.
You are right, there can be arguments made for and against it. I was just trying to point out where the dividing line is for me using your examples.
We played the SW 4.0 team from El Paso in 40 & Over nationals, but more or less the same team won the section in both 18s and 40s. They were just a bunch of normal guys and definitely NOT a team of tanking ringers, so if the AZ team is tanking to keep some sort of superteam together, they're doing it wrong.
I have stopped playing USTA team tennis so I have no idea what is going on this year. I know last year a phoenix team won 4.5 nationals. All I know in prior years I saw a certain team win a lot matches 3-2 that they easily could have won 5-0, losing to a bottom tier team after they clinched playoffs, guy drinking beer during a singles match losing to a middle of the road player 6-0, 6-2, an appealed down player losing to a 3.5C player playing up (with a 50% win at 3.5) in not close straight sets. To be fair I don't think they are a nationals or bust type of team although this captain I believe has taken over 5 different teams to nationals. They seem to be content with dominating districts and going to sectionals. They probably aren't a super team. Their core is a bunch of guys that low to mid 4.5 doubles that know how to keep their rating down. How they do past districts usually depends on who they are able to get for singles that season.
Norcal is imposing a 90.00 fee for any team advancing to Districts. This is causing a lot of ill feeling which is justifiable considering the cost to play. (membership and fee). Additionally to attend Districts takes a 2hr. drive, stay overnight plus food etc. Keep your pen and your Tshirt. The general feeling is that these extra leagues are fueled by USTA greed rather than need for another league. I heard we have 23 teams now. It seems they are raking in plenty
and don't need another $90.00.
LOL. Incompetence isn't cheap you know.
but the usta has to pay for the us open series bonus and for the umpires.
just bend over and take it as they will charge you what they feel fit
First let me say that it's strange for me to be defending Norcal, because I take issue with many things that they are doing. Like all the extra leagues as you mentioned. But...
Charging extra for Districts may actually make sense. Think of it this way: it costs money for USTA to hold Districts. They have to pay the host club for use of the facilities, have to pay USTA employees working the event, etc. This cost has to be covered in some way. In the past, it was covered out of our regular league fees. Meaning that every league participant contributed towards this, whether that player ended up playing Districts or not. Now, like prices of just about everything these days, the costs to host District have been going up, and USTA has to make more revenue to keep pace with increasing cost. So the choice is either to charge everyone more (i.e. increase the league fee for everyone), or else add an extra fee for just those that actually end up playing at Districts. And believe me, if they raised league fees for everyone, there would have been an even larger outcry about that.
I would be OK for an additional fee to pay Sectionals and Nationals. I was kind of surprised there was not.
There's a $400-$500 fee per team for nationals. No joke
I was on a 9.0 team that won nationals, and our team went 17-1 in matches at nationals. Basically destroying everyone. Because of the rain that was on the way they finished on Sat making the final 4 teams play 4 times on Sat.
Thurs night - Sun or Mon day( 3-4 nights depending on when you arrive or leave)
$400-600 plane ticket (depending on how early you got it and when you leave)
$200-300 hotel (shared rooms of course, but some teams of 12-14 people will rent a home for a week and it will only be $150 per person)
$150-300 food ( depending on what you eat of course)
$50 per person for shared rental car
$30-60 per person for custom team shirt(s)
$30-50 per person for team national fee
I'm sure I'm missing some things but you get the idea. If you live in or near a city where they hold lots of nationals(Tucson AZ or Indian Wells CA) well that's lucky you
Our Section covers the fee.
At Indian Wells, a bunch of our team rented a house to keep the costs down.
sweet. how many of you in the house and what was the cost of the week rental?
My wife said "hell no" to the house idea. I think 5 or 6 of the guys and some spouses were there. It was nice having a central meet up point for the whole team. It was conveniently located in between Indian Wells and La Quinta where all the matches were.
I took a vacation to Hawaii last September. I played doubles with some local guys at Ala Moana, and I hit an ace down the t on the first point of the set. Immediately my partner whirls around and exclaims, almost in shock, "That's a 5.0 serve!!"
Humbly I mumbled, "Uh... thanks."
While inside my head I was thinking, "OMG I MUST MOVE TO HAWAII AND REIGN SUPREME ON THE TENNIS COURTS AND GAIN LEGIONS OF FOLLOWERS WITH MY '5.0' SERVE!"
Based on this experience and watching Gary Sakuma's videos, I postulate that the formula to determine your Hawaiian NTRP is as follows:
Hawaiian NTRP = Continental NTRP + 1
or in local terms
Da Kine NTRP = Haole NTRP + 1
I tried to set up a hit with Mr. Sakuma, but he was out of country at the time
We have always paid a fee at districts and sectionals. Nothing new here.
I'm sure it varies from section to section, but it sounds like some at least help or pay the full fee for teams that advance. I believe in the PNW, at least a few years ago, we were given a portion of the fee for Sectionals by our district and then were given a portion of the fee for Nationals by our section.
g4: Did you get my last email reply? Thanks
Separate names with a comma.