Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    I have captained a 7.5 ladies combo team for the last few seasons. As we have improved as individuals, the team has gone from bottom feeding to the top few teams.

    We have now improved to the point that I expect we will be too top-heavy to remain a 7.5 team. In other words, I expect almost all of our nine 3.5s to move up to 4.0.

    One solution to this is to simply move up to 8.5 combo as a team. I think I am going to reject this solution, though. Half the team will be new 4.0 players who are not even used to playing 7.5 combo as the stronger player. They are simply not ready for 8.5, and I think it is not appropriate for people to play so far above their level. In addition, there are only two 4.0s on the team who have played 8.5, and they would not likely leave their current team to stick with us.

    That means I will have to tell half of the team that they cannot remain on the 7.5 team. I could do this by just deciding who the strongest 4.0s are without regard to seniority or friendship, inviting them, and not inviting the rest.

    Or I could try to split the 4.0s into two 7.5 combo teams in some more orderly fashion.

    Or I could just throw the issue out for discussion and see what happens.

    My question is how to make something like this work. I mean, if we designate one team as the "competitive" team and designate the other as the "developmental" team, well . . . we know which team everyone would want.

    What makes sense here?
  2. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

    Feb 1, 2011
    Bay Area
    I think if you move up a level, then your roster spot is not guaranteed. You should probably keep the 4.0s, maybe take one of the new 4.0s if they are a superstar, and then replace the 3.5s. That's just the realities of moving up a level.
  3. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Jul 22, 2005
    This hasn't been my experience. I've now been a part of 4 teams splitting in this fashion and its always gone pretty well. Set one team as competitively run where people are not guaranteed playing time just by being on the roster. If people ask- let them know how much they could expect to play. Set the other team with a smaller roster where everyone will play quite a bit no matter what knowing that the team isn't likely to compete for playoffs. There are lots of people who just want to play more.

    But this may work better in ALTA where there are just 7 weeks and so playing time is SCARCE. I seem to recall your leagues have a ton more matches where you are more often trying to convince people to play rahter than having to sit people who would rather be in the lineup.

    The one time the split wasn't as harmonious is when it was a women's only team. There the lower line girls didn't mind playing just once or twice- they were there for the socializing and so squeezing their playtime had no effect. At that point it required more of a push to split the teams. Now they can look back and see it was the best decision but there are still some old wounds there. For the men's and mixed teams there have always been people who just wanted to play more who were excited to break off.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  4. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

    May 30, 2010
    SF CA
    I assume you will probably tell them of this pending dilemma. Then over the Summer, have a playoff for the doubles spots. Perhaps the top 5-6 goes to competitive team and the remainder goes to the 'developmental' team
  5. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

    Oct 19, 2005
    Tennis Courts!
    Just like any sports team, you split the team by developing a score card for individual results including games played, capability, skill level, consistency, etc. Decisions like this is made all the time, and while it may hurt to the players, it is the most fair assessment.
  6. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Sep 18, 2010
    You are so screwed LOL

    The most drama-free way to do this is to go 8.5. If you stay at 7.5 and dump some of your players, then feelings are going to be hurt. Splitting into two 7.5 teams will lead to a lot of grumbling if you try to field an A team and a B team.

    Another option is for you to NOT captain a team, but have a friend do it (you could be the assistant). They pick the best players and you go from there.
  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    By way of background . . .

    I played on a DC 4.0 team this summer. It was my first time on that team. The team did not do well.

    At the end of the season, the captain wrote us all a nice note thanking us for our effort, etc. He also said he would no longer captain the 4.0 level for next year. Instead, he is going to have two 4.5 teams. (His 4.5 teams do very well, once winning nationals). He invited all of us 4.0s to participate on the 4.5 team next year.

    Me, I declined. To do otherwise would demonstrate a deficit of common sense. I am a new 4.0. I lost all of my DC matches, badly. I have no business playing 4.5 level at all, let alone for a top 4.5 team.

    The question, then, is whether the current 3.5s who will be bumped up in November can be trusted to recognize they are not ready for 8.5 and decline an invitation to an 8.5 team. I think the answer is no. Players who like a team tend to park themselves on it, even if they cannot play much.

    In this way, teams are like musical chairs -- only some folks refuse to stand up with the song starts.
  8. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

    Oct 18, 2010
    I would try to improve your game so that you can play on a 4.5 team. Get some solid coaching. I moved up from 4.0 to 4.5 and looking to improve to 5.0 hopefully. It can be done, and you definitely play enough tennis for it to become a reality.
  9. ian2

    ian2 Semi-Pro

    Nov 18, 2010
    I agree with the above, as long as you WANT to keep the team together... why am I getting a vibe this might not be the case? Anyway, I'd certainly ask for the team's input prior to making this kind of a decision. BTW Cindy, your reluctance to play up may not be shared by the majority of your teammates. I don't think it's up to you to decide whether they are "ready".
  10. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Feb 21, 2007
    Um... terms of your original dilemma, you can't win this one. I'd probably do it thus. First, have a discussion, and see how that goes. If everyone agrees to go in the same direction, whatever that is, and you want to stay on as captain, then go for it. If, on the other hand, there's violent disagreement...well, personally, that would be my cue to say "Well, thanks for your input, and I hope you get this resolved...under a different captain, because I'm not going to try to herd cats."

    Second, if I were a 4.0 and had an invite to go play 4.5, I'd do it. If not being ready for it means losing some matches, then I can deal with that, and if I have to move back down, fine. But the experience of playing up and trying to become a better player, to me, would be worth the risk, win or lose...
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    Me? Play up at 4.5 when I m a weak 4.0?

    Oh, heck no. OrangePower might just murder me in my sleep.
  12. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

    Jun 27, 2012
    ask ur team what they wanna do. theyre the players, its their team, they should have input

    ur assuming that no matter what u choose, ur players will stick around. half ur team might be hangin round cos they r assumin u r gonna go up. if u decide to stay at the same level they might leave 4 a better team n solve ur problem 4 u

    but at end of day, if u gotta split the team or cut ppl, u just do it. as long as ur diplomatic its no biggie

    if u gotta cut ppl, maybe ring round other team captains n try n find the cut players another team 2 play with. cushions the blow a bit more thn jst 'thx 4 the memories, now gtfo'
  13. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

    Mar 30, 2009
  14. MesQueUnClub

    MesQueUnClub Rookie

    Jun 2, 2009
    Please play up... If OrangePower is a man of his word?
  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    If I am captain of a move-up team, I definitely get to decide who is "ready."

    I definitely would not to captain a bunch of women who are not competitive at 4.5. That is when you start having interpersonal and morale problems. People SAY they just want the experience, but as soon as they start eating bagels then everyone gets picky about her partner.
  16. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

    Jul 27, 2011
    Looks like it's time to pack your bags and make a new life somewhere far away.
  17. OrangePower

    OrangePower Legend

    Sep 7, 2007
    NorCal Bay Area
    Haha... no, I would make sure to do the deed when I have Cindy's full attention!

    Fortunately, I would never have to play Cindy... only opportunity for us to meet on the court would be mixed, and I don't play mixed - I prefer to stick to tennis :)
  18. rabidranger

    rabidranger Rookie

    Sep 28, 2009
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Only one viable solution: murder/suicide.

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