Debating on playing in a tournament but .....

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by spectraflamed, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. spectraflamed

    spectraflamed New User

    Nov 4, 2006
    ..... after hearing all these horror stories about sandbagging etc... I think I might just skip it. I play solely for fun I do not need trophies or recognition I just want to play and have fun. I would guess I am about 3.0 player (maybe 3.5) and I wonder if it is worth the hassle to play in a tournament. It seems no one is ever happy or has fun. I still might try in the spring but I am not as excited as I once was. I mean what is the point of playing in a tournament (paying whatever amount in time and money) to get my butt kicked in the first match by a sandbagger. If I knew I would be able to play a fair amount of tennis (ie. more than 2 or 3 sets) I think I would be more excited.
  2. carrwash13

    carrwash13 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2004
    Tournaments let you know how good you really are and make you a better player. When the pressures on it makes you play better. And sandbagging isn't a problem. I've only had problem maybe twice in my life of many many matches. Just do it.
  3. Ash Doyle

    Ash Doyle Professional

    Feb 19, 2004
    I've never seen sandbagging personally ever, but 99% of the sandbagging that is talked about on here is with league play; not tournaments. I love playing tournaments, and I can't wait for them to start up again in my area. Go for it. You won't regret it.
  4. oldguysrule

    oldguysrule Semi-Pro

    May 2, 2005
    I love playing in tournaments, win or lose. Over the last two years, I have played in 7 USTA leagues, 3 club leagues, 9 tournaments, and 2 sectionals (USTA adult and combo). I have never had an issue with sandbagging, cheating, etc. I love playing tournaments, watching other matches, hanging out with other people that enjoy being outside and getting exercise. However, I tend to enjoy life anyway. I think the people that gripe the most tend to find something to gripe about all the time.

    Sign up for a tournament and don't think twice about it. Have fun win or lose. There is usually a consolation round for singles so you are guaranteed at least two matches. I have played one tournament where it was a round robin. I played 3 matches and won a total of 5 games. I had a blast. Another tournament I played 8 matches over 3 days (6 singles, 2 doubles). I won the singles and I had a blast. Another one I won the singles and doubles (small local tournament). The results in the rest fell in between. So I lost some and won some, and I had fun the whole time. Never in two years of serious league play have I had any problems with other players. I win some and lose some. It is all fun.

    The people that post on here are a small, small minority of the total people involved in leagues and tournaments. Get out and experience it for yourself and don't let anything stop you from having fun.
  5. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Mar 31, 2006
    I'd say go play a tournament. Pick one of the smaller local tournaments. Some tournments offer a second match, so ask if they offer a losers bracket so you get in more than one game if you do go out early. Play at the level you feel most confortable. You have to realize that even if you get a player matched at your level you may lose, that's the risk you take sandbagger or not.

    IF you don't like the tournament, but want competition, try joining a tennis ladder. You'll get some of the presure of tournament play, but it gives you more chances to play. If you lose a match, just schedule another match next week.

    It's really up to you if you enjoy it. I am 30 and I just played my first USTA tournament this year at a 3.5 level. I had a lot of fun because I chose to enjoy the experience and the competition, win or lose.

    The first match I played, I beat the guy pretty easily, I think I won 6-0 or 6-1 in the second set. Now I wasn't sandbagging, I"ve been rated a 3.5, I think the guy was playing above his level.

    In the next match I lost something like 6-2, 7-5. The guy in the second round was good and blew me off the court in the first set, but I battled back and pushed him to the brink. I was disappointed to lose, but enjoyed the experience. He beat me pretty good the first set, could he have been a 4.0, maybe, but I doubt it. For me, it was a learning experince.

    There's nothing like walking into a tournament and not knowing who you will play. It's a totally different feeling that playing your friends at the club.

    I've also played in some "open" tournaments with our local tennis associtation. I signed up knowing that I could go down if the first round, but I sqeaked through 7-5, 7-5 in the first singles tournament I played that year. I did run into a 5.0 player in the second round, I got killed, but it was an interesting challenge and I had a few moments to be proud of. I also played a double tournament and got killed in the first round. Didn't feel to good about that, but it just strengthened my resolve improve the level of play for me and my partner.
  6. BabolatFan

    BabolatFan Semi-Pro

    Oct 3, 2005
    East Coast
    Yeah it sucks to lose in the 1st round, doesn't it? You pay to test yourself there. It's like studying and taking the exam but you flunk despite knowing what you're supposed to know. You outta play alot more matches to get used to the mental part of it coz you're under pressure to hit winners.
  7. moonshine

    moonshine New User

    Mar 2, 2004
    Don't be discouraged. Playing in tournaments, especially NTRP tournaments, is an absolute blast. The vast majority of sandbagging is in league play so teams can make it to nationals. Tournaments are the most grueling - and most rewarding - experiences in tennis. Don't miss out because of what you are seeing on these boards.
  8. goober

    goober Legend

    Jun 9, 2004
    I also agree that tournaments overall really don't have that much of a sandbagging problem. I have seen a couple cases where people were playing below their level, but I would not say that it is that common.

    Actually I would say a lot of people do have fun, probably moreso on the 3.0-3.5 level than the 4.0-4.5. Many people who lose say 6-2,6-2 think they may have run into a sandbagger, when that person may be actually the same level but a strong player in that division.

    Tournament play is much more fun than USTA league play which seems to have all kinds of shannigans, politics and people really trying stack their teams so they can go to Nationals. Tournament play you just play for yourself.
  9. d wayne

    d wayne Rookie

    Feb 20, 2004
    Play the tournaments. They are a lot of fun and a good learning experience. As a previous poster pointed out, start with some small local tourneys.
    I am a solid 4.0 and had done well in a few local unsanctioned tournaments. Every time I played a USTA tournament I would get blasted in the 1st round. I usually drew a seeded player. However, even though the scores were not close, I realized that I could stay in rallies with a good player & could return big serves. At the same time, I realized that I didn't have a big weapon that could hurt a good player. The shots that go for winners or get weak replies against 4.0 players don't hurt higher ranked players.
    I started to work on trying to develop a bigger serve & have developed a fairly strong forehand, while getting my backhand to the point where it is solid. 2 summers ago, I finally won my first USTA tournament match(got a good 1st round draw), then won my 1/4 final against a young guy that had played Div II college tennis in 3 sets. Had to play the semifinal that same day & ran into a young guy ranked 27 in the USTA section. He was a better player & my 47 yo legs had trouble keeping up with 2 20 somethings in the same day. I lost 2-6, 2-6 but played a respectable match.
    The point is you may get clobbered for a while in tournaments, but they will point out what you can do & what your weaknesses are VERY clearly- I have learned from each loss & have improved after each event.
    Another benefit is that you may get to play really good players that you would never have a chance to play otherwise.
    Take a chance & enjoy it
  10. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

    Jul 10, 2006
    If the registration fee isn't exhorbitant (they are getting to be $35-$50) around here lately to play singles and you want to play, then play the NTRP 4.0 and under division, don't play the Open division tournament. Or if they don't have an NTRP 4.0 and under flight, then go for the age specific division of the tournament.

    Go play. We love tennis because we want to play tennis, so play some tournaments for the joy of playing and the experience. It will be a learning experience for sure.

    I know its discouraging to get knocked out in the first round, but that's what usually happens to half the participants and who knows you may play many matches over 2 or 3 days.
  11. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

    Nov 24, 2006
    Waco, Texas
    Another Voice to add to the Chorus

    Play some tournaments, spec. I also play for fun, and think that tournaments are the most fun to be had in tennis. You get several matches, meet new people, learn to beat different styles, travel to other cities, and the list goes on. Sure there are a few "glass half-empty" naysayers around, but don't let them discourage you from chasing your dreams, in tennis or in life.
  12. tennismike33

    tennismike33 Semi-Pro

    Sep 10, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    If you think of yourself a 3.5 then register to play in both events, 3.0 and 3.5.

    Playing in tournaments is the best thing going for me, I prefer it over playing the USTA BS becasue IMHO you get more out of the tournament scene than the USTA.

    Hanging out watching matches helps you plan out how you are going to play. Watch for people's weak shot(s), how do they play, how do their weaknesses work into your game. Last year I watched a player that I was scheduled to play, found a weakness of his, but it wasn't a strength of mine, so I looked for anoteher piece to the puzzle, found one shot he did nto execute all of the time and when we played I picked on that 1 shot. After the match he said no one has ever sliced that much to his backhand. He did nto like to move forward and bend over to hit the slice to his BH. So when I hit it I moved forward got some weak returns and a lot of balls hit into the net. GAME/SET/MATCH MR McDonnell, what a great sound!!!!
  13. goober

    goober Legend

    Jun 9, 2004
    There are also nonUSTA tourneys to consider. I play in 3-4 a year. In these tourneys people overrate themselves if anything.
  14. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

    Apr 24, 2006
    Western MA
    Don't kid yourself, this happens at NTRP tournaments too. That's why I quit losing to 30 year old 5.0's in the 4.5's so I could lose to 50 year old 5.0's in the 50's.

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