Let me describe a typical pre-season for me. This is my fifth year, so I know what I am talking about, at least in my neck of the woods. January 24 prospects total. Twelve players from last year’s team Four players I met last summer who expressed an absolute interest in playing Four players I have not met yet referred to me by friends Two players bumped up from the 3.0 team Two players who are still 3.0s but want to play as 3.5s I check ratings on the USTA website and find that two of my players from last year are now 4.0s. Down to 22. I send out an e-mail to all of my prospects. February 14 prospects have replied back. Two of my players from last year are not returning: One is moving and one is coaching soccer/baseball/Lacrosse, and won’t have time to play. Down to 20. An additional e-mail gets four more replies, and two of the players who showed an interest decide not to play. Down to eighteen total with two still MIA. Early March I have gotten another e-mail back, and that means eighteen total with one still MIA. Then, I hear my last MIA player is under some sort of indictment, and has left the state quickly (yes, that happened one year!). Seventeen remaining. Mid March Three of my six remaining prospects already have 3.5 rating. As the weather warms, I take the other three out separately to help them self-rate. The first is a low 3.0, so I refer him to the 3.0 captain. The second is a 4.0, and I am forced to give him up as well. The third is just right. Fifteen remaining. Late March Two players who have confirmed that they were definitely playing decide not to, leaving me with Thirteen one week before I have to declare a team. One player calls me to tell me that he ruptured his Achilles. Down to Twelve. One player e-mails me to tell me his wife said he could not play. Eleven. Another has gotten a new job that requires weekends. Ten. Two days left to declare a team. I go to the “players looking for teams” section of the local website, and find four 3.5 players to call. Two get back to me, and want to play. Back to Twelve. I declare the team to the local USTA. April Inexplicably, one player never signs up (he must have been sucked into the same rip in the space/time continuum as missing vibration dampers), leaving me with a roster of Eleven. Four players are not available on week 1, making our team default one line. Late April After acquiring three more players through word of mouth, I lose two more to injury. Twelve it is. And that, boys and girls, is USTA Roster Math. IF USTA had to pay me for this, they could definitely not afford what I would charge. Despite all this, though, and despite the fact that none of my teams have ever attained a .500 winning percentage, I keep coming back.