Do people really want USTA national champion that much?

soil

New User
I checked this year's 18+ national teams and found some interesting stories.

Texas has a 4.0 player who appealed down from 5.5. Their 4.5 team has a player who played in an ITF futures event.

Southern has a player who was DQ'ed from 4.0 to 5.5, because he will play for Div I university. His match results are like average 4.0.

Looks like tennis players really want to win USTA adult national championships!
 

onehandbh

Legend
I'm looking for a 3.0 or 3.5 team looking to go far in the playoffs.
During the regular season I will play left-handed and wear a size XXXL shirt with two 20 lbs sand bags strapped to my waist under the shirt.

For the playoffs, I will remove one of the sandbags and play right handed.

If we make it to nationals, I will remove the remaining sandbag.
 

anubis

Hall of Fame
How do you check that kind of stuff? I didn't think Nationals stuff is publicized on tennis link
 

jservoss

Rookie
You do realize that not all division 1 schools have great tennis programs. I would guess the mandatory 5.5 rating is too high for half of the D1 college players.

Also, pretty much anyone can at least sign up for futures events. I have several 4.0 friends who have gotten destroyed in futures events.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
You do realize that not all division 1 schools have great tennis programs. I would guess the mandatory 5.5 rating is too high for half of the D1 college players.

Also, pretty much anyone can at least sign up for futures events. I have several 4.0 friends who have gotten destroyed in futures events.
This is all true, and it's why the appeal system is in place. You can't set the guidelines for D1 lower or you'll potentially allow people who have absolutely no business in NTRP leagues at any level to sign up without recourse. With the guideline at 5.5 (and 5.0 the highest level league in 99% of the US), it essentially makes every D1 player a mandatory self-rating appeal that must be actually reviewed by someone before playing NTRP leagues, which I think is a good idea. Of course, that doesn't mean that a significant number of those players aren't actually at lower levels than 5.5, just that the USTA wants to have someone review every one before approving them, just to make sure. There is a D1 school around me in NJ that routinely gets clocked (I mean bagels on almost every court...) by the D3 school right down the road. Those guys are 4.0 at best and probably 3.5 once you get past the top 2 or 3.

Also, I had another captain, who was mentally unbalanced to start with, file a grievance against one of my players who was a D3 juco player. He had an average record in HS, an average record in D3 juco and in reality, was absolutely appropriately rated at 4.0 (which was the ultimate irony of the whole grievance...). His primary argument is that my guy beat a guy in a juco match who played futures when he was a junior in Russia. When you look up his record, though, he won 2 GAMES in 4 matches of futures qualifying, then went to juco where he had a losing record playing #3 and then transferred this year to an NCAA D3 school where he was 2-14 and lost to a kid with a 4.0 rating who's been playing NTRP leagues since he was in high school. OK, so he played a couple futures qualies where he got smoked and the rest of his record indicates 4.0, so there definitely are guys in those tournies that aren't anywhere close to world class.
 

mikeler

Moderator
Sure it is, and with the internet, information is not hard to find.

John
Just like local league and Sectionals, Nationals is also published on Tennis Link. Naturally with everything on that website, it's not always easy to find.
 

LuckyR

Legend
I have said it before and I'll say it again: if you win Nationals you are either a cheater or are better than a cheater, by definition.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
It's mind-boggling to me that people actually spend money to go to USTA 2.5 or 3.0 Nationals...
 

BMRSNR27

Rookie
It's mind-boggling to me that people actually spend money to go to USTA 2.5 or 3.0 Nationals...
Why? They work toward a goal all year. It's great experience before you move up a level. They get to hang out with friends and play tennis at a higher level than they've been able to play.

I think it's mind-boggling how arrogant people are about how good they are at tennis. Pretty easy to do sitting behind a keyboard.
 

maggmaster

Hall of Fame
Hey I would love to win any national title but a 4.5+ or an age group title would definitely mean more than a 3.0 title. Primarily I think because to win a 3.0 title you may already be competitive at 4.0
 

SteveI

Legend
I have said it before and I'll say it again: if you win Nationals you are either a cheater or are better than a cheater, by definition.
This is very, very true. The only way to win at that level is to find players with no USTA rating...sandbag.. sandbag.. sandbag. Find some good upper level players and get them to play down. Then you are golden for one season. The you do the same next season... and the next.. and the next
 

schmke

Hall of Fame

soil

New User
He plays for a famous school. He ranked in national top 150 by the Tennis Recruiting Network. He has also won a match in ITF futures.

This is all true, and it's why the appeal system is in place. You can't set the guidelines for D1 lower or you'll potentially allow people who have absolutely no business in NTRP leagues at any level to sign up without recourse. With the guideline at 5.5 (and 5.0 the highest level league in 99% of the US), it essentially makes every D1 player a mandatory self-rating appeal that must be actually reviewed by someone before playing NTRP leagues, which I think is a good idea. Of course, that doesn't mean that a significant number of those players aren't actually at lower levels than 5.5, just that the USTA wants to have someone review every one before approving them, just to make sure. There is a D1 school around me in NJ that routinely gets clocked (I mean bagels on almost every court...) by the D3 school right down the road. Those guys are 4.0 at best and probably 3.5 once you get past the top 2 or 3.

Also, I had another captain, who was mentally unbalanced to start with, file a grievance against one of my players who was a D3 juco player. He had an average record in HS, an average record in D3 juco and in reality, was absolutely appropriately rated at 4.0 (which was the ultimate irony of the whole grievance...). His primary argument is that my guy beat a guy in a juco match who played futures when he was a junior in Russia. When you look up his record, though, he won 2 GAMES in 4 matches of futures qualifying, then went to juco where he had a losing record playing #3 and then transferred this year to an NCAA D3 school where he was 2-14 and lost to a kid with a 4.0 rating who's been playing NTRP leagues since he was in high school. OK, so he played a couple futures qualies where he got smoked and the rest of his record indicates 4.0, so there definitely are guys in those tournies that aren't anywhere close to world class.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Dude...that is too funny....you in atl area? We need to hit some 1handbhs...lol



I'm looking for a 3.0 or 3.5 team looking to go far in the playoffs.
During the regular season I will play left-handed and wear a size XXXL shirt with two 20 lbs sand bags strapped to my waist under the shirt.

For the playoffs, I will remove one of the sandbags and play right handed.

If we make it to nationals, I will remove the remaining sandbag.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
I mean the Southern guy who is DQed from 4.0 to 5.5.
Who is on the Southern 4.0 that is DQ'ed to 5.5 because it is not showing in tennislink when you look at the team? Assuming it is the GA team as the reps
I see one DQ'ed to 4.5 (CR)
Ok found it EM -- wow how is the captain not suspended for something so blatant, kid was ranked 103 country playing 4.0 what a flipping joke and signed NLI to Ga Tech
Those scores posted were either false or the captain and player were doing some serious score management. The GA State Coordinator must have been asleep at the wheeel.
 
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fed1

Semi-Pro
And the USTA, for all the fees you pay for these leagues do nothing to police this stuff. Its almost laughable.
 

BMRSNR27

Rookie
Who is on the Southern 4.0 that is DQ'ed to 5.5 because it is not showing in tennislink when you look at the team? Assuming it is the GA team as the reps
I see one DQ'ed to 4.5 (CR)
Ok found it EM -- wow how is the captain not suspended for something so blatant, kid was ranked 103 country playing 4.0 what a flipping joke and signed NLI to Ga Tech
Those scores posted were either false or the captain and player were doing some serious score management. The GA State Coordinator must have been asleep at the wheeel.
If the player is DQ'd for self-rating wrong, the captain is suspended for a year. I've seen it happen.
 

LuckyR

Legend
Do some teams do this? Sure, but do you have to do it to get to Nationals? No. See http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2014/09/do-you-have-to-sandbag-and-have-self.html
You are correct that the specific sandbagging technique SteveI described is not required, since there are numerous other cheating techiques available.

In addition, you may not need to do anything special to get to Nationals (though the examples would be uncommon), my post said it was required to win at Nationals. The alternative would be if you are not cheating yourself, then you would have to be better than cheaters. How would you describe a team that is better than cheaters?
 

beernutz

Hall of Fame
If the player is DQ'd for self-rating wrong, the captain is suspended for a year. I've seen it happen.
Maybe if the player lied on their self-rate questionnaire, but to suggest that captains are routinely suspended when one of the players is DQ'ed is not correct. I also know of one case where a player lied about their college tennis background when self-rating at the urging of his captain and nothing was done to the captain.
 

maggmaster

Hall of Fame
Yea I have had a few guys get dqed and have never been suspended. None of them lied on their self rate form( That I know of)
 

BMRSNR27

Rookie
Yea I have had a few guys get dqed and have never been suspended. None of them lied on their self rate form( That I know of)
If they don't lie, you won't get suspended. On the other hand, if they do, you're in trouble. The fact that he got bumped from 4.0 to 5.5 suggests he lied.
 

BMRSNR27

Rookie
You are correct that the specific sandbagging technique SteveI described is not required, since there are numerous other cheating techiques available.

In addition, you may not need to do anything special to get to Nationals (though the examples would be uncommon), my post said it was required to win at Nationals. The alternative would be if you are not cheating yourself, then you would have to be better than cheaters. How would you describe a team that is better than cheaters?
My 3.5 team, 18 guys, is heading to nationals. We have 14 benchmark or computer ranked players. Our #1 singles guy is an appeal down who probably should be a 4.0. We have one other appeal who isn't even in our top lineup. We have two self-rates, one of which that plays. The other isn't in the lineup. The rest of our team is full of guys who have been 3.5 players for years and played together for years. NONE of the computer rated players or self rated players has gamed the system. A few of us were surprised not to get bumped up to 4.0 last year and we're riding the fact that we're at the top of our level to Tucson in a few weeks.

It took me four years of failed attempts at sectionals to get here, though. For someone to insinuate that I've cheated my way there is pretty insulting, though I find that everyone that gets beat along the way seems to feel that way.

I think there's a chance that we're better than some of the cheaters, but we've payed a coach a pretty penny and worked our tails off this year to get to this point.
 
My 3.5 team, 18 guys, is heading to nationals. We have 14 benchmark or computer ranked players. Our #1 singles guy is an appeal down who probably should be a 4.0. We have one other appeal who isn't even in our top lineup. We have two self-rates, one of which that plays. The other isn't in the lineup. The rest of our team is full of guys who have been 3.5 players for years and played together for years. NONE of the computer rated players or self rated players has gamed the system. A few of us were surprised not to get bumped up to 4.0 last year and we're riding the fact that we're at the top of our level to Tucson in a few weeks.

It took me four years of failed attempts at sectionals to get here, though. For someone to insinuate that I've cheated my way there is pretty insulting, though I find that everyone that gets beat along the way seems to feel that way.

I think there's a chance that we're better than some of the cheaters, but we've payed a coach a pretty penny and worked our tails off this year to get to this point.
Well done and well said. I've played localy beating most of the competition but sectionals and nationals are different. That is where you truly meet the people that are your rating. I've been to a 7.0 sectional and a 3.0 sectional. Won 2 out of 4 at 7.0 and 2 out of 3 at 3.0. The players there were not cheaters, they were just guys that have the same level of game as me and KNOW how to play.
 

LuckyR

Legend
My 3.5 team, 18 guys, is heading to nationals. We have 14 benchmark or computer ranked players. Our #1 singles guy is an appeal down who probably should be a 4.0. We have one other appeal who isn't even in our top lineup. We have two self-rates, one of which that plays. The other isn't in the lineup. The rest of our team is full of guys who have been 3.5 players for years and played together for years. NONE of the computer rated players or self rated players has gamed the system. A few of us were surprised not to get bumped up to 4.0 last year and we're riding the fact that we're at the top of our level to Tucson in a few weeks.

It took me four years of failed attempts at sectionals to get here, though. For someone to insinuate that I've cheated my way there is pretty insulting, though I find that everyone that gets beat along the way seems to feel that way.

I think there's a chance that we're better than some of the cheaters, but we've payed a coach a pretty penny and worked our tails off this year to get to this point.
I think your post pretty much proves mine.

It is easy to take comments about teams and try to apply them to individuals inappropriately, because the reality is teams go to Nationals as a group. Therefore if a team has an out of level player, that team is cheating, even if the other players on that team are playing "in level".
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
It's mind-boggling to me that people actually spend money to go to USTA 2.5 or 3.0 Nationals...
Why? They work toward a goal all year. It's great experience before you move up a level. They get to hang out with friends and play tennis at a higher level than they've been able to play.

I think it's mind-boggling how arrogant people are about how good they are at tennis. Pretty easy to do sitting behind a keyboard.
I wouldn't say arrogant since I just picked up Tennis a couple of years back after a long hiatus so I would consider myself a beginner... To me a USTA 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 nationals is like USGA having national golf tournament for 20+, 30+, 40+ handicappers... mind boggling.

That said.... it's not my money so I don't care. To me it seems the $2K or more that one would have to spend and the vacation days taken could actually go a long ways in Tennis instruction.

Edit... This whole discussion on cheating seems to me a great reason to avoid it even more...
 
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schmke

Hall of Fame
You are correct that the specific sandbagging technique SteveI described is not required, since there are numerous other cheating techiques available.

In addition, you may not need to do anything special to get to Nationals (though the examples would be uncommon), my post said it was required to win at Nationals. The alternative would be if you are not cheating yourself, then you would have to be better than cheaters. How would you describe a team that is better than cheaters?
Well, we'll see who wins. You very well may be right that winning requires having some form of cheaters on your team. But a team can not cheat and still be better than cheaters. They simply could be properly rated B/C players that have focused on improving their games and are playing a level higher and are indeed better than someone that cheated their way down a level and is also playing a level higher. But focusing on your game and improving is not cheating.

So yes, you can beat cheaters and not be a cheater yourself.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I think your post pretty much proves mine.

It is easy to take comments about teams and try to apply them to individuals inappropriately, because the reality is teams go to Nationals as a group. Therefore if a team has an out of level player, that team is cheating, even if the other players on that team are playing "in level".
A single appeal down that is now going to be bumped up at year-end is not necessarily a cheater. Trying to appealing down is a perfectly legitimate thing to do that is available to any player. Now, if the player threw matches/games in order to get their rating low enough to appeal down, yes, that would be cheating. But from what was written, how do you know any matches were thrown so how can you say labeling that player a cheater is appropriate?
 

BMRSNR27

Rookie
A single appeal down that is now going to be bumped up at year-end is not necessarily a cheater. Trying to appealing down is a perfectly legitimate thing to do that is available to any player. Now, if the player threw matches/games in order to get their rating low enough to appeal down, yes, that would be cheating. But from what was written, how do you know any matches were thrown so how can you say labeling that player a cheater is appropriate?
This is what I was going to say. The guy who appealed down and probably should be a 4.0 did it within the rules. He's a guy that played with us two years ago and struggled at 4.0 - enough so that he could appeal down this year.

You don't have to cheat to get there. It was certainly a work in progress. We'll see how that serves us once we get there.
 

goober

Legend
Well, we'll see who wins. You very well may be right that winning requires having some form of cheaters on your team. But a team can not cheat and still be better than cheaters. They simply could be properly rated B/C players that have focused on improving their games and are playing a level higher and are indeed better than someone that cheated their way down a level and is also playing a level higher. But focusing on your game and improving is not cheating.

So yes, you can beat cheaters and not be a cheater yourself.
In my experience this can happen at 3.0 and 3.5 much more so than at 4.0/4.5. People can maintain their rating and significantly improve when you are lower level. This is much less likely to happen at 4.0 and even less so at 4.5 where it is much harder to simply work on your game and become a 4.5 or 5.0 playing ability over a course of a season. So you both maybe right but your experiences are related to the level you are playing (schemke 3.5 and lucky 4.5 if I remember correctly)
 

BMRSNR27

Rookie
In my experience this can happen at 3.0 and 3.5 much more so than at 4.0/4.5. People can maintain their rating and significantly improve when you are lower level. This is much less likely to happen at 4.0 and even less so at 4.5 where it is much harder to simply work on your game and become a 4.5 or 5.0 playing ability over a course of a season. So you both maybe right but your experiences are related to the level you are playing (schemke 3.5 and lucky 4.5 if I remember correctly)
I would agree with this. I've improved to be a competitive 4.0 player from a high level 3.5 player this season, as has most of my team. When the season started, we all played a 4.0 tourney and got demolished. The last tournament, we played, and my team went .500 for the tournament and lost mostly in tiebreakers.

I will top out at 4.0. I don't have a high ceiling at this point of my life. I think I'm more the norm than the exception.
 

Avles

Hall of Fame
I wouldn't say arrogant since I just picked up Tennis a couple of years back after a long hiatus so I would consider myself a beginner... To me a USTA 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 nationals is like USGA having national golf tournament for 20+, 30+, 40+ handicappers... mind boggling.

That said.... it's not my money so I don't care. To me it seems the $2K or more that one would have to spend and the vacation days taken could actually go a long ways in Tennis instruction.
Agreed. Different strokes and all, but if I had money and time to devote to a tennis travel experience I'd definitely go to Newk's or something like that rather than fly across the country for the privilege of playing the "best" players at my sucky level...

And the idea of sandbagging and scheming for these titles is equally mindboggling.
 

BMRSNR27

Rookie
Agreed. Different strokes and all, but if I had money and time to devote to a tennis travel experience I'd definitely go to Newk's or something like that rather than fly across the country for the privilege of playing the "best" players at my sucky level...

And the idea of sandbagging and scheming for these titles is equally mindboggling.
You don't like competing? It's the competition that makes it worth it. Newks is great and all, but I love to play matches and that's what gets me excited.

When it comes down to it, no adults playing USTA leagues are really any good until you're 5.0 and above. So, why would anyone 4.5 and below go on?
 

Bionic slice

Semi-Pro
if you play enough tennis, league and or tourneys, you have an idea of what low, high and clearly above in the level you are playing is.

I'm sure if you have suffered a loss in a match that where you were basically blow off the court, not a match where you were playing bad, but maybe outclassed, out skilled where you couldn't really compete...my thoughts are... you can use those matches to raise your level, it can prepare yourself your current level upper tier players or next level or type 2 players depending on who much they are sandbagging!!!! lol
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
In my experience this can happen at 3.0 and 3.5 much more so than at 4.0/4.5. People can maintain their rating and significantly improve when you are lower level. This is much less likely to happen at 4.0 and even less so at 4.5 where it is much harder to simply work on your game and become a 4.5 or 5.0 playing ability over a course of a season. So you both maybe right but your experiences are related to the level you are playing (schemke 3.5 and lucky 4.5 if I remember correctly)
I wasn't speaking just from personal experience, but from looking at teams that have advanced to Nationals the past couple of years.

But I think your observation is correct, that significant natural improvement is more likely to occur at lower levels. So it is perhaps less likely for non-cheaters to beat cheaters at 4.5/5.0 than it is at 3.5/4.0. But I still wouldn't rule it out and make the blanket statement that to beat a cheater you have to be a cheater.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
You don't like competing? It's the competition that makes it worth it. Newks is great and all, but I love to play matches and that's what gets me excited.

When it comes down to it, no adults playing USTA leagues are really any good until you're 5.0 and above. So, why would anyone 4.5 and below go on?
If you're 5.0 and above you may have to travel a bit to find competition unless you live in a big city. So I understand the desire at the higher levels, the guys that played D3 or above tennis in college and such... Around my parts recreational players top out at 4.0 and 4.5s have to travel an hour or more to matches.

But at 2.5/3.0/3.5... there is plenty of competition so why bother with paying big bucks to travel to the opposite end of the country to play Tennis? Actually farther than that. There's a ladies 2.5 team traveling from the Caribbean to Indian Wells next week. Nice to have the money and time... good for them. I certainly wouldn't want to deal with the Ebola screening at LAX for it...

https://assets-ssl.usta.com/assets/1/15/adult_18___over_2.5.pdf
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I wasn't speaking just from personal experience, but from looking at teams that have advanced to Nationals the past couple of years.

But I think your observation is correct, that significant natural improvement is more likely to occur at lower levels. So it is perhaps less likely for non-cheaters to beat cheaters at 4.5/5.0 than it is at 3.5/4.0. But I still wouldn't rule it out and make the blanket statement that to beat a cheater you have to be a cheater.
This is true, but it's also just as true that there's much less likely to be ridiculously out of level sandbaggers at 4.0 and especially at 4.5, too. It's not inconceivable to be able to find 4.0 level players to play 3.0 (people who took up tennis late or haven't played in USTA leagues or whatever who are pretty good nonetheless). The equivalent would be to get 5.5 level players on a 4.5 team. Not only is there a scarcity of 5.5 level players in general, most are teaching pros or other types of tennis professionals or college players or open tournament players or something like that. They aren't just guys off the street looking to get into team competition for something active to do and they aren't going to have the time or inclination to wipe out a bunch of hackers to get a plastic trophy.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
National USTA championship at your level means Very little

I checked this year's 18+ national teams and found some interesting stories.

Texas has a 4.0 player who appealed down from 5.5. Their 4.5 team has a player who played in an ITF futures event.

Southern has a player who was DQ'ed from 4.0 to 5.5, because he will play for Div I university. His match results are like average 4.0.

Looks like tennis players really want to win USTA adult national championships!
Here is the deal. NO, not everyone wants the national that bad. YES, there are few captains and few teams do want it that bad. but those people are ones with boring lives. Ones with boring jobs or boring outside lives that think only about tennis like 99 % of the time and obsess about tennis all the time.

Think about it for a second. Even if you win the National,,,,,it is only at your level whatever it maybe. 4.5, 3.5, 3.0 whatever it maybe. So lets pretend some team won the national at 3.5 level,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,WHOOPY,,,,,,Whoopydoooooooooo......so WHAT. There still at least thousands players 4 more levels up better than you..........................................................................:shock:
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Here is the deal. NO, not everyone wants the national that bad. YES, there are few captains and few teams do want it that bad. but those people are ones with boring lives. Ones with boring jobs or boring outside lives that think only about tennis like 99 % of the time and obsess about tennis all the time.

Think about it for a second. Even if you win the National,,,,,it is only at your level whatever it maybe. 4.5, 3.5, 3.0 whatever it maybe. So lets pretend some team won the national at 3.5 level,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,WHOOPY,,,,,,Whoopydoooooooooo......so WHAT. There still at least thousands players 4 more levels up better than you..........................................................................:shock:
There are also hundreds of players above you if you are ranked 300 in the ATP
 

LuckyR

Legend
A single appeal down that is now going to be bumped up at year-end is not necessarily a cheater. Trying to appealing down is a perfectly legitimate thing to do that is available to any player. Now, if the player threw matches/games in order to get their rating low enough to appeal down, yes, that would be cheating. But from what was written, how do you know any matches were thrown so how can you say labeling that player a cheater is appropriate?
I apologize for being difficult to understand. When I say "cheater" I do not mean (and I have gone into better detail in other threads on the same subject) that the player/team broke the rules. I am using the word regardless if the team/player technically got around the simplistic rule scheme of the USTA or not. There are numerous posts on the Board about loopholes in the rules that you could (and plenty do) drive a truck through.

I am using the word to describe those who, often "legitimately" get around the letter of the rules for the purpose of creating a team with Nationals aspirations.

Some may disagree with the use of the word "cheater" as opposed to "sandbagger" or whathaveyou. IMO the word cheater fits since the person/team that is being cheated is the cheater himself, because it takes what would have been an accomplishment of some merit and cheapens it.
 
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