Dual rated people (4.0/4.5): Always the lowest?

#1
I noticed lots of people like to give their NTRP as (3.5/4.0). My experience is that whenever there are two given ratings, it is the lower one. Because it seems absurd to have both ratings, as they are mathematical so one must be one or the other. You never hear baseball players say they are "A/AA" players, or basketball players saying they are "D-League/NBA".

Is this true in all sections? I've never seen a (4.0/4.5) and thought, wow what a great 4.5!
 
#2
i interpret as saying "high 4.0"... ie. "i beat most folks in my local league at 4.0, and occasionally play up or close to the 4.5's i practice/play against"
problem is that in any NTRP level, the lowest 4.0 is gonna get crushed by the highest 4.0 (like donuts or breadsticks)
utr does a better job delineating skill levels.
ntrp is not a skill rating, it's more like a way for usta to normally distribute the curve of folks such that 3.5/4.0 is the bulk of players. i'd bet if alot of new players joined at the 3.0 and 3.5 level, suddenly i'd be bumped up a level (with no skill change)
 
Last edited:

time_fly

Professional
#4
I noticed lots of people like to give their NTRP as (3.5/4.0). My experience is that whenever there are two given ratings, it is the lower one. Because it seems absurd to have both ratings, as they are mathematical so one must be one or the other. You never hear baseball players say they are "A/AA" players, or basketball players saying they are "D-League/NBA".

Is this true in all sections? I've never seen a (4.0/4.5) and thought, wow what a great 4.5!
Tennis ability is a continuum, not a discrete set of buckets. If someone says they are a 4.0 / 4.5, it means they are competitive with strong 4.0s and weak 4.5s. A strong 4.0 will usually have a closer match against a weak 4.5 than against a weak 4.0 -- and will still get crushed by a strong 4.5 -- since the level ranges are quite wide.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
#5
I noticed lots of people like to give their NTRP as (3.5/4.0). My experience is that whenever there are two given ratings, it is the lower one. Because it seems absurd to have both ratings, as they are mathematical so one must be one or the other. You never hear baseball players say they are "A/AA" players, or basketball players saying they are "D-League/NBA".

Is this true in all sections? I've never seen a (4.0/4.5) and thought, wow what a great 4.5!
If someone says 3.5/4.0 or 4.0/4.5, it is usually:

A) They don't actually have a NTRP rating and are guessing, and then usually the lower number is what they really are and the higher number their "aspiration" to sound like they are better than they are.

B) They do have an NTRP rating and it is the lower level, but they believe they are a higher level player or on their way to being bumped up so throw the higher level in to make it sound "better".
 
#6
People who say that actually don't have ratings at all. If you have a rating, it is one or the other, not both. And, yes, people who say that are generally the lower of the two.
If someone says 3.5/4.0 or 4.0/4.5, it is usually:

A) They don't actually have a NTRP rating and are guessing, and then usually the lower number is what they really are and the higher number their "aspiration" to sound like they are better than they are.

B) They do have an NTRP rating and it is the lower level, but they believe they are a higher level player or on their way to being bumped up so throw the higher level in to make it sound "better".
I think (B) folks are easy to identify when the start threads, "how long to get to 6.0?" or claim 5.0 but never competed.
 
#7
I noticed lots of people like to give their NTRP as (3.5/4.0). My experience is that whenever there are two given ratings, it is the lower one. Because it seems absurd to have both ratings, as they are mathematical so one must be one or the other. You never hear baseball players say they are "A/AA" players, or basketball players saying they are "D-League/NBA".

Is this true in all sections? I've never seen a (4.0/4.5) and thought, wow what a great 4.5!
If you are playing someone that claims to be 4.0/4.5, I'd say it means this.

-When they play against a certain style of player that allows them to use their best shots (often) and doesn't continually exploit their weaknesses, they play (at what they believe to be) a 4.5 level (they play their best tennis at least, and develop an unrealistic sense of how good their OVERALL game really is).

-When they play against the opposite style of player, one that continually makes them win points with their worst shot and never lets them hit their best shot(s) in comfortable situations, they play more like a 4.0 (or worse).

When I hear somebody claim to be 4.0/4.5 and I'm playing to win, I'll probe a bit to find their strengths and weaknesses (pretty easy to find at this level) and just play "smart tennis". If I'm not playing to win (just a fun hitting session or fun pick up match), I'll probably feed balls to the guys strength and try not to exploit his weakness too much. Makes him feel good about himself and I get a better practice session out of it. It's really not a lot of fun to hit a weak shot to his backhand and watch him bash (yet another) ball into the back fence / net.
 
#9
i interpret as saying "high 4.0"... ie. "i beat most folks in my local league at 4.0, and occasionally play up or close to the 4.5's i practice/play against"
problem is that in any NTRP level, the lowest 4.0 is gonna get crushed by the highest 4.0 (like donuts or breadsticks)
utr does a better job delineating skill levels.
ntrp is not a skill rating, it's more like a way for usta to normally distribute the curve of folks such that 3.5/4.0 is the bulk of players. i'd bet if alot of new players joined at the 3.0 and 3.5 level, suddenly i'd be bumped up a level (with no skill change)
This made me think how cool it would be if USTA actually changed levels every couple of years—— so instead of a 4.01 to 4.49 dNTRP league they had a 3.76 to 4.24 and 4.25 to 4.74 dNTRP league.

This would definitely discourage sandbagging and everyone would just play.
But USTA is probably too lazy or there aren’t enough players.

I think generally the 4.5+ leagues are still dNTRP 4.20 and above anyways though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Traffic

Hall of Fame
#11
I think folks that have a rating will say the rating. They may say they play like 3.5/4.0 meaning, they are at the top of 3.5 playing well against 4.0.

Or, they can say they play 3.5/4.0 meaning they are 3.5 and play on a 3.5 team and also play up on a 4.0 team.
 
#12
Not to hijack, but it also cracks me up when people are artificially precise. “I’m a 3.7,” for example. LOL
You’re not hijacking at all. That’s exactly the problem with NTRP, it’s too broad. The lowest at level getting bageled by the highest player of that level? C’mon


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#18
well .... there is another type of person who says this .... those that have a wide range between their good days and their bad days.

On my good days, I can win against a middling 4.0 with a decent partner in dubs and split sets in singles.
On my average days I can win at 3.5 singles or with any partner in dubs
On my bad days .... would split sets but eventually win at 3.0

So I am a 3.5 with aspirations some days and regrets other days
 
#20
i interpret as saying "high 4.0"... ie. "i beat most folks in my local league at 4.0, and occasionally play up or close to the 4.5's i practice/play against"
problem is that in any NTRP level, the lowest 4.0 is gonna get crushed by the highest 4.0 (like donuts or breadsticks)
utr does a better job delineating skill levels.
ntrp is not a skill rating, it's more like a way for usta to normally distribute the curve of folks such that 3.5/4.0 is the bulk of players. i'd bet if alot of new players joined at the 3.0 and 3.5 level, suddenly i'd be bumped up a level (with no skill change)

Bingo, most of the time I'll say 4.0/4.5 other times 4.0 if I want to downplay my game. Basically in the tournaments I have played I'll get to the semis/finals/win the 4.0 tournament very consistently. In 4.5 I'll either lose first or 2nd round consistently. Or another way to put it, is I can beat most 4.0s if I focus, but if I "casually" play I'll lose to some 4.0s out of sheer laziness/rust.

If I win a round at 4.5 half the time but other half get whomped, am i 4.5? I feel like if I was a true 4.5, I should be winning every 4.0 tournament, but I don't. So to me it's not that I dont know math or don't have a ranking, it so that people can understand my skill level better. As mentioned a skill level is pretty broad.
 
#33
I am a 4.0/4.5. I am 4.0 lefty, 4.5 righty, but the USTA won't let me play as a 4.0 left handed. Very frustrating as I really enjoy playing left handed. It is a completely different style and skill set that I have. It is also more physical. Only way I could do it would be to play 4.5 left handed for a season but that wouldn't be fair to my teammates who are trying to win.
 
#34
I am a 4.0/4.5. I am 4.0 lefty, 4.5 righty, but the USTA won't let me play as a 4.0 left handed. Very frustrating as I really enjoy playing left handed. It is a completely different style and skill set that I have. It is also more physical. Only way I could do it would be to play 4.5 left handed for a season but that wouldn't be fair to my teammates who are trying to win.
why not just sign up as different name? like “tennis L jon”... I considered the same but my left is probably only good for 3.0-3.5. ultimately didn’t have time to do both.

that said it’s still not really fair because we have “4.5 skills” in anticipation, iq, movement, etc,...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
#35
why not just sign up as different name? like “tennis L jon”... I considered the same but my left is probably only good for 3.0-3.5. ultimately didn’t have time to do both.

that said it’s still not really fair because we have “4.5 skills” in anticipation, iq, movement, etc,...
Not that I'm encouraging such behavior as creating a second account, but why would it not be fair? If you self-rate as "L", you are going to get a rating based on your results and those will factor in the combination of your racquet skills as well as IQ, anticipation, movement, etc. I suppose if you were to self-rate at too low a level based solely on your racquet skills there could be a problem, but that is no different than anyone self-rating too low.
 
#36
Not that I'm encouraging such behavior as creating a second account, but why would it not be fair? If you self-rate as "L", you are going to get a rating based on your results and those will factor in the combination of your racquet skills as well as IQ, anticipation, movement, etc. I suppose if you were to self-rate at too low a level based solely on your racquet skills there could be a problem, but that is no different than anyone self-rating too low.
that’s true... I guess i’d have to balance the proper level, with a level that a captain would actually play me... or just need to captain my own team :p


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#37
In general, it seems "rating when playing with a self-imposed handicap" is a really weird thing.

Should I be able to give myself a second, different rating for "Me, but I don't hit topspin forehands"? "Me, but I S&V every point"? Maybe I should put both accounts on the same team, but pick which "me" plays based on how much we need that particular win?

What if I have a *really close* match when playing with my handicap, but in the heat of the moment forget it and drop the handicap for a critical point, and win it. Am I sandbagging if I forgot to S&V on break point when I'm playing under my "me, but I always S&V" account?

Dunno, just seems weird. I fully understand why the USTA doesn't allow people to give themselves handicaps to play at a lower level.
 
#38
I am 4.0 when serving underhand and giving my opponent doubles alleys. Maybe I can apply for a 4.0UA rating?

In all seriousness, I think it’s ridiculous for USTA to disallow an ambidextrous player from competing at his correct skill level on each side. A 4.0L rating could just carry with it a special rule that he had to tell his opponents in advance about his situation, and that it is against the rules for him to use his stronger side at any time during the match.
 
#39
In general, it seems "rating when playing with a self-imposed handicap" is a really weird thing.

Should I be able to give myself a second, different rating for "Me, but I don't hit topspin forehands"? "Me, but I S&V every point"? Maybe I should put both accounts on the same team, but pick which "me" plays based on how much we need that particular win?

What if I have a *really close* match when playing with my handicap, but in the heat of the moment forget it and drop the handicap for a critical point, and win it. Am I sandbagging if I forgot to S&V on break point when I'm playing under my "me, but I always S&V" account?

Dunno, just seems weird. I fully understand why the USTA doesn't allow people to give themselves handicaps to play at a lower level.
I have seen up to 3 accounts for one person playing with their dominant hand.

I don’t see anyone standing in the way of creating another account and just playing with your other hand if you really don’t have anything better to do.

Just create another account with no mention like L or anything like that and play left handed. See how long you can do it before someone rats you out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#40
I have seen up to 3 accounts for one person playing with their dominant hand.

I don’t see anyone standing in the way of creating another account and just playing with your other hand if you really don’t have anything better to do.

Just create another account with no mention like L or anything like that and play left handed. See how long you can do it before someone rats you out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
In my part of the USTA woods, it’s too hard to fly under the radar to get away with that.
 
#41
In my part of the USTA woods, it’s too hard to fly under the radar to get away with that.
Too hard, but not impossible.

Probably easiest to do after a move to a new neighborhood where no one knows you. I’m sure it could be done, particularly if you stopped playing League alltogether with your dominant hand.

I’m sure there’s handfuls of people out there no pun intended who love tennis and may have had a car accident or stroke or something, and being fairly athletic, started playing with their other hand. You still get exercise running around.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#42
In general, it seems "rating when playing with a self-imposed handicap" is a really weird thing.

Should I be able to give myself a second, different rating for "Me, but I don't hit topspin forehands"? "Me, but I S&V every point"? Maybe I should put both accounts on the same team, but pick which "me" plays based on how much we need that particular win?

What if I have a *really close* match when playing with my handicap, but in the heat of the moment forget it and drop the handicap for a critical point, and win it. Am I sandbagging if I forgot to S&V on break point when I'm playing under my "me, but I always S&V" account?

Dunno, just seems weird. I fully understand why the USTA doesn't allow people to give themselves handicaps to play at a lower level.
completely agree. it’s just an ego thing.

eventually realized it’s a better use of my time trying to accomplish a far harder challenge like playing/wining open tourneys (failed), vs beating up intermediates with my left hand.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#43
why not just sign up as different name? like “tennis L jon”... I considered the same but my left is probably only good for 3.0-3.5. ultimately didn’t have time to do both.

that said it’s still not really fair because we have “4.5 skills” in anticipation, iq, movement, etc,...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Very true, that's how I can win is that I have the 4.5 skills with the 4.0 strokes. I can beat 4.5s and lose to 3.5s depending on their weapons playing lefty. Just beat a 3.5 this past week playing lefty because I can't play righty right now due to injury. It certainly would be nice if I could play both. Would really like to play 7.0 left handed.
 
#44
Very true, that's how I can win is that I have the 4.5 skills with the 4.0 strokes. I can beat 4.5s and lose to 3.5s depending on their weapons playing lefty. Just beat a 3.5 this past week playing lefty because I can't play righty right now due to injury. It certainly would be nice if I could play both. Would really like to play 7.0 left handed.
that's how i started goofing around with playing lefty... injured right shoulder... then later found it was probably good practice for 2hbh
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
#45
i interpret as saying "high 4.0"... ie. "i beat most folks in my local league at 4.0, and occasionally play up or close to the 4.5's i practice/play against"
problem is that in any NTRP level, the lowest 4.0 is gonna get crushed by the highest 4.0 (like donuts or breadsticks)
utr does a better job delineating skill levels.
ntrp is not a skill rating, it's more like a way for usta to normally distribute the curve of folks such that 3.5/4.0 is the bulk of players. i'd bet if alot of new players joined at the 3.0 and 3.5 level, suddenly i'd be bumped up a level (with no skill change)
someone might be better at doubles than singles. Maybe a fat guy with great racquet skills.

Also, I remember someone posted a UTR heat map and the overlap within NTRP ratings was surprising.
 
Last edited:
#46
why not just sign up as different name? like “tennis L jon”... I considered the same but my left is probably only good for 3.0-3.5. ultimately didn’t have time to do both.

that said it’s still not really fair because we have “4.5 skills” in anticipation, iq, movement, etc,...
One of the top guys at our club is a 4.5 and had a hand injury. He actually played 3.5 leagues left, and was decent actually. Once his cast came off he went back to 4.0, then 4.5 again. Not sure how he managed to do it, if it was something he worked out with the LC or just did the above. I thought it was fair enough.

Funny part, that is how I met him the first time. I mentioned him being a good player and he gave me the story. Always reminds me of the scene from Princess Bride...

 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#47
One of the top guys at our club is a 4.5 and had a hand injury. He actually played 3.5 leagues left, and was decent actually. Once his cast came off he went back to 4.0, then 4.5 again. Not sure how he managed to do it, if it was something he worked out with the LC or just did the above. I thought it was fair enough.

Funny part, that is how I met him the first time.
I did that one summer when I had tennis elbow. I had already signed up for a big local singles league. I had already signed up in a 4.0-4.5 equivalent division (it didn't use actual USTA ratings at the time) when I injured my elbow. Instead of trying to get a refund to drop out or something, I just told the league coordinator to drop me to the 3.0-equivalent division, and I would play left-handed. I had never hit a ball left-handed before that, but I won enough matches to qualify for the division playoffs, although there were a couple guys who were decent 3.0 USTA league players who I couldn't beat in the playoffs. It was interesting and fun, but I never want to be in those circumstances again. LOL. I did hit every serve overhand and every BH one-handed (except one where I was off-balance and made an instinctual reaction to hit a RH 2H FH - and then immediately conceded the point).
 
#48
I had never hit a ball left-handed before that, but I won enough matches to qualify for the division playoffs, although there were a couple guys who were decent 3.0 USTA league players who I couldn't beat in the playoffs
lol. Same with this guy. A lot had to do with the advanced court IQ and footwork from being a higher level player, even if the strokes weren't correct.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#49
lol. Same with this guy. A lot had to do with the advanced court IQ and footwork from being a higher level player, even if the strokes weren't correct.
It took a couple matches to adjust to the speed of the game at that level. I would see the opponent's shot and run to a spot to hit the ball but then have to wait for it to get there to swing. Playing RH, all of those balls would be sitters that I would attack, but I didn't have a power game (I had only practiced getting the ball back in play and sometimes hitting angles, not pace, to generate winners), so I would stand there for a couple seconds waiting for the ball to bounce and then come into the strike zone before I would swing at it.
 
Top