Gender Neutral NTRP

BallBag

Professional
In @schmke latest blog post, he asked how would you feel about gender neutral league and NTRP ratings?

As it stands, even if a rogue league coordinator or tournament director wanted to create combined league or draw, he would not be able to do that. I would like to see the USTA combine the ratings and make an option for combined leagues and tournaments. Sections with large participation could probably run gendered and combined leagues. Sections with small participation could run some combined leagues to give 4.5 ladies and 3.0 men a more active playing field. For example, a local tournament set for this weekend has a large 4.0 men draw but only 2 females in the 4.5 draw. The female 4.5 draw wont be played with less then 3 players and even then its not really fun. The 3.0 men draw has 5 players and the 3.5 ladies draw has 7, put them together and you have a healthy draw.

Would you play in a combined league or tournament? Do you think this is something that would work in your district?
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
This is a hot topic on here right now. Ignoring the challenges with NTRP parity... I would *prefer* mixed gender leagues/tourneys, and I think it would work locally if for no other reason than offering some options to play where there aren't enough separate gender players. Even in the leagues with sufficient numbers I prefer more variety of opponents.

Worst case example - I played a 2018 7.5 combo league with only 2 teams. I played 6 matches, and I faced the same guy in all but 1 because he was on vacation. I only played 4 unique opponents out of all the matches. It just isn't nearly as fun, and I won 5 of 6. It had to be worse for my regular opponent.
 

BallBag

Professional
This is a hot topic on here right now. Ignoring the challenges with NTRP parity... I would *prefer* mixed gender leagues/tourneys, and I think it would work locally if for no other reason than offering some options to play where there aren't enough separate gender players. Even in the leagues with sufficient numbers I prefer more variety of opponents.

Worst case example - I played a 2018 7.5 combo league with only 2 teams. I played 6 matches, and I faced the same guy in all but 1 because he was on vacation. I only played 4 unique opponents out of all the matches. It just isn't nearly as fun, and I won 5 of 6. It had to be worse for my regular opponent.

That's my main motivation as well. I'm finishing up my first full year of playing USTA leagues and tournaments and getting new opponents is becoming less common.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I will play anyone at level play regardless of gender, age, sexual preference, language, income status, shoe size, political affiliation, religous preference, or any such inconsequential things.

Are they winning and competing well at their level, awesome
Are they losing? Demote'em
Are they killing everyone? Bump'em.

Done.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
That said, I really wanna see these pompus kncukle dragging tools get rekt by a 15 year old female, like 1 and 1 or better. :laughing::-D8-B
 

BallBag

Professional
That said, I really wanna see these pompus kncukle dragging tools get rekt by a 15 year old female, like 1 and 1 or better. :laughing::-D8-B

It wouldn't even be a 15 year old. I'm not advocating for anything that crazy.

I've been trying to get some buddies to play UTR but the prospect of losing or even competing against kids really bothers people. I, on the other hand, have been battle hardened in the most embarrassing of losses.
 

penpal

Semi-Pro
Would you play in a combined league or tournament? Do you think this is something that would work in your district?

Yes and I'm not sure.

As I described in this post, I attempted a mini-pilot gender neutral experiment. Frankly, it didn't go all that well. The social component seemed to be much more important than the competition component than I had imagined. IOW, while I think the women were just as interested in good competition as the gentlemen were, they were much more interested in finding good same-sex competitors to play with. Many of them simply did not feel as comfortable interacting with the men as the men did with the women in this particular social setting.

This isn't to say the women and men didn't get along. This was a hand-selected group and everyone knew each other and got along well. It was more like the women were used to having pre-match conversations of they type that I suppose typically take place on nights when the women play as a group, and they would sort of move off as a group, away from the men, and try to have their normal conversations. Men, in our area at least, don't tend to do that. They mostly get on the court and start warming up. It just became kind of awkward. I think the men who did try to interject themselves into the women's conversations felt like they might be interrupting/unwanted. And very few of the women would join the men in a warmup, until just before we were about to actually start playing. Ultimately, it was like we were two completely separate groups pretty much right up until the matches started.

I still think gender neutral play could work, but it's going to take some getting used to by both men and women and it's probably going to be a slow process.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
I'm all for one NTRP rating regardless of gender. Might be the only way I'll ever become a 4.5 because you know the ladies aren't gonna stand for their ratings to be dragged down to be in line with the men's. So theyd have to scale the men's ratings up.
 

topspn

Legend
I’m ok with it although I tend to ease off my shots when hitting to the woman if I play mixed doubles.
 

BallBag

Professional
Yes and I'm not sure.

As I described in this post, I attempted a mini-pilot gender neutral experiment. Frankly, it didn't go all that well. The social component seemed to be much more important than the competition component than I had imagined. IOW, while I think the women were just as interested in good competition as the gentlemen were, they were much more interested in finding good same-sex competitors to play with. Many of them simply did not feel as comfortable interacting with the men as the men did with the women in this particular social setting.

This isn't to say the women and men didn't get along. This was a hand-selected group and everyone knew each other and got along well. It was more like the women were used to having pre-match conversations of they type that I suppose typically take place on nights when the women play as a group, and they would sort of move off as a group, away from the men, and try to have their normal conversations. Men, in our area at least, don't tend to do that. They mostly get on the court and start warming up. It just became kind of awkward. I think the men who did try to interject themselves into the women's conversations felt like they might be interrupting/unwanted. And very few of the women would join the men in a warmup, until just before we were about to actually start playing. Ultimately, it was like we were two completely separate groups pretty much right up until the matches started.

I still think gender neutral play could work, but it's going to take some getting used to by both men and women and it's probably going to be a slow process.

You would still have men's and women's only leagues in districts that can support that, forcing everyone to play together would push some people out. But with declining participation, combining leagues might be the only way to sustain the critical mass needed for a viable league. I would just like to see the option available to local coordinators to use when appropriate.
 

dsp9753

Semi-Pro
I would be fine with it, but I would probably prefer a male partner in matches that I wanted to win. For the most part, men and women play differently. Granted this is completely my experience and probably not indicative of league play overall, but 5.0 and 4.5 ladies tend not to be as aggressive net players as 4.0 and 4.5 men.

As a 4.0 man, I would prefer a vast majority of 4.0 men partners to most of the 4.5/5.0 ladies I have played with. The ladies definitely start to get more consistent then me on the groundstrokes, hit just as hard if not much much harder, and have really good serves that I have problems returning. I would not be able to rally or outhit these ladies. But in general, I still think the 4.0 men, in general, have a more dynamic and dominant net presence.
 

penpal

Semi-Pro
You would still have men's and women's only leagues in districts that can support that, forcing everyone to play together would push some people out. But with declining participation, combining leagues might be the only way to sustain the critical mass needed for a viable league. I would just like to see the option available to local coordinators to use when appropriate.

I agree, and I wholeheartedly support the concept. The only point I was trying to make is that, if a gender neutral league is offered alongside traditional men's and women's leagues and very few join the gender-neutral league, then the effect is the same as not having a gender neutral league. If those of us who support the concept want it to actually work in practice, I think we might need to consider ideas as to how to make it appealing socially to both men and women. Maybe over time a gender neutral league would develop a culture all its own. But based on my very limited experience, you can't just throw a group of men and women together and expect the social component to work out naturally immediately.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
But based on my very limited experience, you can't just throw a group of men and women together and expect the social component to work out naturally immediately.
Agreed. I think this is why pairing a mixed league with efforts to recruit younger, new players is a good starting point.
 

BallBag

Professional
Agreed. I think this is why pairing a mixed league with efforts to recruit younger, new players is a good starting point.

I'm guessing a recently graduated college player might have more in common with male 4.5 and 5.0s than the ladies social league.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
I'm guessing a recently graduated college player might have more in common with male 4.5 and 5.0s than the ladies social league.
Those aren't the people to worry about. Former college players are well aware of the options for organized tennis play, and there aren't that many of them (relatively).

At any given time there are roughly 250,000 high schoolers participating in tennis in the US. Only 5% of them will go on to play in college. The USTA needs to give them an alternative to their "lost opportunity". And I'll show my potential ignorance of USTA programs here, but it would seem integrating somehow with intramural programs would be a good place to do that. Maybe they already try, but I didn't hear about anything at my university "several" years ago.

Edit: Fixed how I worded the # of participants.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I agree, and I wholeheartedly support the concept. The only point I was trying to make is that, if a gender neutral league is offered alongside traditional men's and women's leagues and very few join the gender-neutral league, then the effect is the same as not having a gender neutral league. If those of us who support the concept want it to actually work in practice, I think we might need to consider ideas as to how to make it appealing socially to both men and women. Maybe over time a gender neutral league would develop a culture all its own. But based on my very limited experience, you can't just throw a group of men and women together and expect the social component to work out naturally immediately.

You would have to do it at a different time of year than men's and women's season.

If mixed were at the same time as men's and women's nobody would play.

J
 

BallBag

Professional
So I've been thinking about how to push this forward and tournaments probably won't work. If including the Women's 4.5 draw into the Men's 4.0 draw could be done, that would make both draws unsanctioned and not eligible for ranking points. You would also need to modify TennisLink to allow females in the male draw that would require a moon landing type effort on behalf of the USTA.

A local league might be able to pull this off. TennisLink does't check who or what you are when you signup for teams, at least for mixed. We have a non-advancing, low participation singles league that runs in the summer. I could email the league coordinator to see if this is doable.

Any ideas on why this wouldn't work or how I could make this more likely to work?
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
TennisLink does't check who or what you are when you signup for teams, at least for mixed. We have a non-advancing, low participation singles league that runs in the summer. I could email the league coordinator to see if this is doable.
I may be misunderstanding you here, but TennisLink does at least *some* check when people register for teams because it's looking at NTRP. I would expect it uses other basic filtering like gender, but it's the USTA...
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
So I've been thinking about how to push this forward and tournaments probably won't work. If including the Women's 4.5 draw into the Men's 4.0 draw could be done, that would make both draws unsanctioned and not eligible for ranking points. You would also need to modify TennisLink to allow females in the male draw that would require a moon landing type effort on behalf of the USTA.

A local league might be able to pull this off. TennisLink does't check who or what you are when you signup for teams, at least for mixed. We have a non-advancing, low participation singles league that runs in the summer. I could email the league coordinator to see if this is doable.

Any ideas on why this wouldn't work or how I could make this more likely to work?

Why don't you email UTR?

J
 

BallBag

Professional
UTR doesn't have the infrastructure to run leagues and I don't think they will be creeping into USTA territory.
 

BallBag

Professional
I may be misunderstanding you here, but TennisLink does at least *some* check when people register for teams because it's looking at NTRP. I would expect it uses other basic filtering like gender, but it's the USTA...

For a mixed combo team, TennisLink will allow anyone to sign up because anyone is theoretically eligible. I don't know if it does any checks for Male or Female only teams.
 

Robert F

Hall of Fame
In amateur and recreational sports where there is no contact, it makes no sense to have gender based leagues. Skill makes perfect sense. So bring it on for golf, bowling and tennis. I'm sure on top of all the men who kick my butt, their are plenty of women that would put me in my place.

I guess in contact sports, you might be able to have gender based leagues if you introduced weight classes etc.
 
this would never work unless ratings became Universal rather than 4.5 woman equals 4.0 man etc, 4.0 would have to be equal on both sides. Or unless you just have one totally open division to all levels men and women.
 

Robert F

Hall of Fame
this would never work unless ratings became Universal rather than 4.5 woman equals 4.0 man etc, 4.0 would have to be equal on both sides. Or unless you just have one totally open division to all levels men and women.

Agreed Universal rating makes complete sense.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
TBH im actually for this because i know great female players that would love to be competitive but because there are so few female players locally, there are no women's tournaments. I would love to seem them be able to compete in men's / boys tournaments. Win or lose, everyone should have the opportunity to compete if they so chose.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Gender-neutral and transgender are not the same thing.

Just to educate those of you who may be confused.

That is all.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I will play anyone at level play regardless of gender, age, sexual preference, language, income status, shoe size, political affiliation, religous preference, or any such inconsequential things.

Are they winning and competing well at their level, awesome
Are they losing? Demote'em
Are they killing everyone? Bump'em.

Done.
that's how paddle tennis leagues work...
just create N arbitrary divisions... with equal # of players...
at the end of a season (year, or season, etc...), top X% go up, bottom X% go down.
no BS... if you think you're better, then win...there's no judgement calls, just W/L.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
that's how paddle tennis leagues work...
just create N arbitrary divisions... with equal # of players...
at the end of a season (year, or season, etc...), top X% go up, bottom X% go down.
no BS... if you think you're better, then win...there's no judgement calls, just W/L.

Unfortunately that wouldn't work in USTA.

Let's say you are a solid court 2 player but you joined a weak team for whatever reason and you are the best they have so you play court 1 every week and lose, you would get bumped down. Now take that same player and put him on a strong team where he has to play court 3 every week and he would win consistently and get bumped.

So if our imaginary guy, Hal, was playing 4.0 if he joined a good team he would be a 4.5 the next year but if he joined a weak team he would be a 3.5 next year.

J
 

BallBag

Professional
TBH im actually for this because i know great female players that would love to be competitive but because there are so few female players locally, there are no women's tournaments. I would love to seem them be able to compete in men's / boys tournaments. Win or lose, everyone should have the opportunity to compete if they so chose.
That's what I'm missing from my grand scheme. I'll be feeling rather silly if I get the local league to open up to 4.5 females in the 4.0 Men's league and no females sign up.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Unfortunately that wouldn't work in USTA.

Let's say you are a solid court 2 player but you joined a weak team for whatever reason and you are the best they have so you play court 1 every week and lose, you would get bumped down. Now take that same player and put him on a strong team where he has to play court 3 every week and he would win consistently and get bumped.

So if our imaginary guy, Hal, was playing 4.0 if he joined a good team he would be a 4.5 the next year but if he joined a weak team he would be a 3.5 next year.

J
in paddle... it's by team... not by rating.
so what division you play on is based on your team...
but in reality, a good 5.0 team is likely not gonna recruit a 3.0 to play... if they want to play the top division(s)
but on the flip side, if you wanted to say, play as a family, or a company, or whatever, and it's more social than competitive, then it's perfectly legit to have a 6.0 playing with 3.0's
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Unfortunately that wouldn't work in USTA.

Let's say you are a solid court 2 player but you joined a weak team for whatever reason and you are the best they have so you play court 1 every week and lose, you would get bumped down. Now take that same player and put him on a strong team where he has to play court 3 every week and he would win consistently and get bumped.

So if our imaginary guy, Hal, was playing 4.0 if he joined a good team he would be a 4.5 the next year but if he joined a weak team he would be a 3.5 next year.

My understanding is opponent rating is part of the equation so a strong player should be compensated in match rating, correct?

So a higher rated player it seems the score line would count more for them when winning (like 0,0 or 1,1), while the lower rated player get's a bonus for beating a higher rated palyer. Does court count in the scoring??
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
in paddle... it's by team... not by rating.
so what division you play on is based on your team...
but in reality, a good 5.0 team is likely not gonna recruit a 3.0 to play... if they want to play the top division(s)
but on the flip side, if you wanted to say, play as a family, or a company, or whatever, and it's more social than competitive, then it's perfectly legit to have a 6.0 playing with 3.0's

Hmmm, so the whole team goes up or down together?!

flat,1000x1000,075,f.u1.jpg



J
 

BallBag

Professional
in paddle... it's by team... not by rating.
so what division you play on is based on your team...
but in reality, a good 5.0 team is likely not gonna recruit a 3.0 to play... if they want to play the top division(s)
but on the flip side, if you wanted to say, play as a family, or a company, or whatever, and it's more social than competitive, then it's perfectly legit to have a 6.0 playing with 3.0's
They have that system for tennis in other countries. My dad manages a team like that. They play within the division and the best team advances to a higher division with higher payoffs (yes for rec tennis). He tries to recruit the best rec players for his team with free stringing and shoes (yes for rec tennis). The whole thing is payed for with gambling money.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
In @schmke latest blog post, he asked how would you feel about gender neutral league and NTRP ratings?

As it stands, even if a rogue league coordinator or tournament director wanted to create combined league or draw, he would not be able to do that. I would like to see the USTA combine the ratings and make an option for combined leagues and tournaments. Sections with large participation could probably run gendered and combined leagues. Sections with small participation could run some combined leagues to give 4.5 ladies and 3.0 men a more active playing field. For example, a local tournament set for this weekend has a large 4.0 men draw but only 2 females in the 4.5 draw. The female 4.5 draw wont be played with less then 3 players and even then its not really fun. The 3.0 men draw has 5 players and the 3.5 ladies draw has 7, put them together and you have a healthy draw.

Would you play in a combined league or tournament? Do you think this is something that would work in your district?

I think if they did gender-neutral NTRP ratings, they would have to switch to separate doubles and singles ratings at the same time. The NTRP gap between men and women seems bigger in singles than doubles. The few times I've played "solid 4.0 women" in singles I've bageled them. I can at least have a decent doubles match playing in with 4.0 women.
 

TurboSpin

New User
Ratings for gender-neutral leagues could be adjusted. As an example: 4.5 women are 4.0 in g-neutral leagues. Seems pretty simple, no?
Social factor is plain weird. I'm a 4.5 male and have played in non-USTA leagues with my butt kicked by plenty of high level women. No social awkwardness.
Although I've heard how no one signed up for a league because men didn't like that women were allowed to sign up. Especially when one specific lady won the previous league season.
I don't understand why this matters, but somehow men don't like losing to women. Why? Shouldn't you want to practice and get better more after losing to whoever it is you lose?
Cheers!
 

BallBag

Professional
I think if they did gender-neutral NTRP ratings, they would have to switch to separate doubles and singles ratings at the same time. The NTRP gap between men and women seems bigger in singles than doubles. The few times I've played "solid 4.0 women" in singles I've bageled them. I can at least have a decent doubles match playing in with 4.0 women.
That gap exists in the men's game as well. I know a few guys that are pigeon holed to playing only doubles because they are so much worse at singles. Separate singles and doubles ratings make more sense than gender ratings but it would make managing a team a lot trickier.

Ratings for gender-neutral leagues could be adjusted. As an example: 4.5 women are 4.0 in g-neutral leagues. Seems pretty simple, no?
Social factor is plain weird. I'm a 4.5 male and have played in non-USTA leagues with my butt kicked by plenty of high level women. No social awkwardness.
Although I've heard how no one signed up for a league because men didn't like that women were allowed to sign up. Especially when one specific lady won the previous league season.
I don't understand why this matters, but somehow men don't like losing to women. Why? Shouldn't you want to practice and get better more after losing to whoever it is you lose?
Cheers!
I haven't heard any objections from the guys I know and on the forum. I don't have much feedback from the ladies.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
Ratings for gender-neutral leagues could be adjusted. As an example: 4.5 women are 4.0 in g-neutral leagues. Seems pretty simple, no?
Social factor is plain weird. I'm a 4.5 male and have played in non-USTA leagues with my butt kicked by plenty of high level women. No social awkwardness.
Although I've heard how no one signed up for a league because men didn't like that women were allowed to sign up. Especially when one specific lady won the previous league season.
I don't understand why this matters, but somehow men don't like losing to women. Why? Shouldn't you want to practice and get better more after losing to whoever it is you lose?
Cheers!
I'll let you try and tell a 4.5 lady she's now a 4.0.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I'll let you try and tell a 4.5 lady she's now a 4.0.


Honestly most the women I have played with don't hang their pride on their rating nearly as much as guys do, though women always went through the same frustration of wanting to have competitive matches overall at whatever level they were.
 

jm1980

Talk Tennis Guru
Honestly most the women I have played with don't hang their pride on their rating nearly as much as guys do, though women always went through the same frustration of wanting to have competitive matches overall at whatever level they were.
Really? I feel like it's the opposite - in general, women care more about their ratings than men do. Men care more about their W/L record and would rather win at a lower level than be rated higher and lose.
 

Doan

Rookie
Really? I feel like it's the opposite - in general, women care more about their ratings than men do. Men care more about their W/L record and would rather win at a lower level than be rated higher and lose.

Thats what I've noticed as well and the data from the # of Men/Women who appeal up/down supports this from what I recall. I doubt this has changed for the new 2018 end of year ratings.
 

CHtennis

Rookie
Really? I feel like it's the opposite - in general, women care more about their ratings than men do. Men care more about their W/L record and would rather win at a lower level than be rated higher and lose.
Thats what I've noticed as well and the data from the # of Men/Women who appeal up/down supports this from what I recall. I doubt this has changed for the new 2018 end of year ratings.

While this is true that women in general care more about their ratings it mostly goes by skill level. Higher rated players usually prefer to be rated down and lower rated players usually prefer to be rated up. I believe @schmeke did a post on this one time but I dont remember for sure.
 

Matthew ATX

Semi-Pro
Unfortunately that wouldn't work in USTA.

Let's say you are a solid court 2 player but you joined a weak team for whatever reason and you are the best they have so you play court 1 every week and lose, you would get bumped down. Now take that same player and put him on a strong team where he has to play court 3 every week and he would win consistently and get bumped.

So if our imaginary guy, Hal, was playing 4.0 if he joined a good team he would be a 4.5 the next year but if he joined a weak team he would be a 3.5 next year.

J

So what we do here in the local gender neutral league, is have teams move up or down as a whole like in soccer. Get last place in Division 4, you move down to D5. Win D4, you move up to D3.
Obviously this only works at the local level, but it does work well at that level IMO.
 
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