Is 9.0 mixed declining in your area?

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
In my section participation has nearly been cut in half over the past 10ish years. I feel like people aren't playing because it's just not fun for the average player but I don't know if it's an Eastern thing or a country thing.

I don't know if a few teams ruined it, or it's a lack of strong women, or what.

8.0 seems to be booming and much more competitive for the average player where unless you are a top team you'll be crushed in 9.0. Obviously if more people played then there would be more average people at each level and the matches would be more competitive.

J
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Man, just go blame it on the women again .... :p

Isn't it the case that the strongest pairings in mixed are the lower woman and the higher man? So at 7.0 the best is a 3.0W/4.0M, at 8.0 3.5W/4.5M etc. so at 9.0 you just need the 4.0W and go find a 5.0 male ... lots of strong 4.0 women out there ... maybe it is a male problem as not enough 5.0s.

@J011yroger you are "just" a 4.5 right? you must be part of the problem ....
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Man, just go blame it on the women again .... :p

Isn't it the case that the strongest pairings in mixed are the lower woman and the higher man? So at 7.0 the best is a 3.0W/4.0M, at 8.0 3.5W/4.5M etc. so at 9.0 you just need the 4.0W and go find a 5.0 male ... lots of strong 4.0 women out there ... maybe it is a male problem as not enough 5.0s.

@J011yroger you are "just" a 4.5 right? you must be part of the problem ....
The issue is that to challenge a top 5.0/4.0 you have to be at the extreme top of your rating and any average players just get destroyed.

So there are a handful of good 5.0 guys who have their pick of 4.0 women the rest of who can go to heck.

A smaller handful of good 5.0 women who get a sandbagging 4.0, and any normal 4.0 can go to heck.

And then your very top 4.5 combos pick up the slack.

Because of the levels of depth these few groups are sooooo much better than the average that it's not even competitive for the majority.

In men's 4.5 there are at least 3 levels of 2&2 beatdowns but the matches are competitive because there are 5 courts so the #3 doubles guys who are glorified 4.0s never play the #1 singles guy who is really a 5.0.

So while in (wo)men's there are 6 players between the best and worst guy/gal in mixed there is only 1 so you are much closer to a whooping.

J
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Most our 4.5 folks tend to sandbag to stay in the 4.0 ranks because it tends to be fun competitive instead of just competitive. So we have many of the 4.5 players sneaking in 8.0 mixed as 4.0/4.0, or some just grab a 3.5 and play outright. But we are the poor side of town and in Scottsdale, where the trendy country clubs and resorts are they tend to have folks that like the 4.5 or 5.0 moniker so they can say it.

Haven't had this problem yet so can only speak for guys on our team that have moved up and kept wanting to play back down "with the boys" or in the "fun" mixed wheel house.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Although you clearly did not enjoy my attempt at pre-coffee humor this morning ... your analysis is interesting.

We are currently putting together what should be a very good 8.0 team for next year (yeah, building 6 months in advance) and I will likely be pairing with a guy who should be bumped down from 5.0 to 4.5.

Having just played my first year of mixed, I am willing to state that very few women can ever be strong enough to carry a weak male partner against an opposing strong male / weak female pairing.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Although you clearly did not enjoy my attempt at pre-coffee humor this morning ... your analysis is interesting.

We are currently putting together what should be a very good 8.0 team for next year (yeah, building 6 months in advance) and I will likely be pairing with a guy who should be bumped down from 5.0 to 4.5.

Having just played my first year of mixed, I am willing to state that very few women can ever be strong enough to carry a weak male partner against an opposing strong male / weak female pairing.
See you at (hopefully not in Alabama) nationals.

J
 

cmartin

New User
Yes to the question in this area. Besides the reasons so far one team tends to get most of the stronger women (80+%) and dominates the league(s). there are 3 separate leagues within a 20 mi. radius and they enter in all with the same basic team.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
I know a lot of 4.5 women that have no interest in 9.0 mixed since they really don't want to be playing against 5.0 men. It's just a different game.

I truly wish they'd eliminate the mismatched ratings in mixed and go with 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 etc. instead.
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
I've never been asked to play 9.0, but I'd love to play with 5.0 women.
A number of years ago, as a 4.5 I played in a 10.0 mixed match with a 5.5 women who had (at the time) recently graduated from Indiana as their #1 singles player. It was fun even though she preferred to stay back at the baseline and hit ground strokes. Unfortunately the man I was against was a solid 5.0 with a big serve and net game that gave both her and I problems. We lost in 2 tight sets, one of them a tiebreaker.
 

MRfStop

Hall of Fame
In my section participation has nearly been cut in half over the past 10ish years. I feel like people aren't playing because it's just not fun for the average player but I don't know if it's an Eastern thing or a country thing.

I don't know if a few teams ruined it, or it's a lack of strong women, or what.

8.0 seems to be booming and much more competitive for the average player where unless you are a top team you'll be crushed in 9.0. Obviously if more people played then there would be more average people at each level and the matches would be more competitive.

J
Lol there is 0 9.0 leagues in my area. High level mixed is popular with ALTA. There is a girl here that is 5.5 (Div II doubles national champion) that drives up to Atlanta and plays. Never see her play an actual match though.

I really wish USTA would implement a mixed combo (7.5, 8.5, 9.5 etc) league.
 

Howard1

New User
Actually, I find it really difficult as a 5.0 guy to go up against most 4.5/4.5 pairs. I don't have a huge serve or forehand so it's not too hard for them to usually pick on my partner. If I'm not carrying hard, it's usually a loss. Also there are a lot more good 4.5s than there are good 5.0s. It's tough to make up the difference between a 4.0 and 4.5.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Actually, I find it really difficult as a 5.0 guy to go up against most 4.5/4.5 pairs. I don't have a huge serve or forehand so it's not too hard for them to usually pick on my partner. If I'm not carrying hard, it's usually a loss. Also there are a lot more good 4.5s than there are good 5.0s. It's tough to make up the difference between a 4.0 and 4.5.
Several good points here.

Not every 5.0 has a huge serve which leaves open the opportunity to more easily have the 4.0 picked on.

But also, just from a ratings standpoint, there aren't a lot of "strong" 5.0s, e.g. ratings above 4.75. The majority of 5.0s have ratings around 4.6, maybe 4.7. There are a lot of good 4.5s though, e.g. in the 4.4s. So just looking at combined ratings, even if the 5.0 is playing with a strong 4.0, the situation is an 8.5 pair (4.6/3.9) playing an 8.8 pair (4.4/4.4) so yeah, if the 5.0 can't assert themselves and keep their partner in positions they can succeed, it may be an uphill battle. And even if the 4.0 is on their way to being bumped up and the 5.0 is stronger than 4.6, their combined may still be lower.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Several good points here.

Not every 5.0 has a huge serve which leaves open the opportunity to more easily have the 4.0 picked on.

But also, just from a ratings standpoint, there aren't a lot of "strong" 5.0s, e.g. ratings above 4.75. The majority of 5.0s have ratings around 4.6, maybe 4.7. There are a lot of good 4.5s though, e.g. in the 4.4s. So just looking at combined ratings, even if the 5.0 is playing with a strong 4.0, the situation is an 8.5 pair (4.6/3.9) playing an 8.8 pair (4.4/4.4) so yeah, if the 5.0 can't assert themselves and keep their partner in positions they can succeed, it may be an uphill battle. And even if the 4.0 is on their way to being bumped up and the 5.0 is stronger than 4.6, their combined may still be lower.
Yet still uneven teams prevail.

J
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Several good points here.

Not every 5.0 has a huge serve which leaves open the opportunity to more easily have the 4.0 picked on.

But also, just from a ratings standpoint, there aren't a lot of "strong" 5.0s, e.g. ratings above 4.75. The majority of 5.0s have ratings around 4.6, maybe 4.7. There are a lot of good 4.5s though, e.g. in the 4.4s. So just looking at combined ratings, even if the 5.0 is playing with a strong 4.0, the situation is an 8.5 pair (4.6/3.9) playing an 8.8 pair (4.4/4.4) so yeah, if the 5.0 can't assert themselves and keep their partner in positions they can succeed, it may be an uphill battle. And even if the 4.0 is on their way to being bumped up and the 5.0 is stronger than 4.6, their combined may still be lower.
Yet still uneven teams prevail.

J
Schmke, you should run a multiple regression of mixed results with the total rating of the partnership and the difference between the partners to see what's more important (maybe also control for whether the man or woman is the higher player in an uneven partnership).
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Schmke, you should run a multiple regression of mixed results with the total rating of the partnership and the difference between the partners to see what's more important (maybe also control for whether the man or woman is the higher player in an uneven partnership).
And there is the detailed suggestion to look closer ...
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Several good points here.

Not every 5.0 has a huge serve which leaves open the opportunity to more easily have the 4.0 picked on.

But also, just from a ratings standpoint, there aren't a lot of "strong" 5.0s, e.g. ratings above 4.75. The majority of 5.0s have ratings around 4.6, maybe 4.7. There are a lot of good 4.5s though, e.g. in the 4.4s. So just looking at combined ratings, even if the 5.0 is playing with a strong 4.0, the situation is an 8.5 pair (4.6/3.9) playing an 8.8 pair (4.4/4.4) so yeah, if the 5.0 can't assert themselves and keep their partner in positions they can succeed, it may be an uphill battle. And even if the 4.0 is on their way to being bumped up and the 5.0 is stronger than 4.6, their combined may still be lower.
Yes, that's contributing to the decline of 9.0 I feel. Players like you who are fine doubles players and solid additions to teams realize they aren't cut out for 9.0 and don't play or stop playing.

It is almost a different sport and has taken me a long time and a lot of work to get good at it.

J
 

Howard1

New User
Yes, that's contributing to the decline of 9.0 I feel. Players like you who are fine doubles players and solid additions to teams realize they aren't cut out for 9.0 and don't play or stop playing.

It is almost a different sport and has taken me a long time and a lot of work to get good at it.

J
Appreciate the compliment but 9.0 is one of my favorite leagues to play in. Doesn't seem like it's declining at all in Southern section at least. I really enjoy the challenge even though it doesn't help my doubles game overall.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Appreciate the compliment but 9.0 is one of my favorite leagues to play in. Doesn't seem like it's declining at all in Southern section at least. I really enjoy the challenge even though it doesn't help my doubles game overall.
Maybe it's just here, that's why I was asking.

I like it a lot too, and I definitely think it helps my normal doubles at least a little, kind of like training with weights on and when you get another 5.0 man as your partner it's like taking the weights off lol.

J
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
In my section participation has nearly been cut in half over the past 10ish years. I feel like people aren't playing because it's just not fun for the average player but I don't know if it's an Eastern thing or a country thing.

I don't know if a few teams ruined it, or it's a lack of strong women, or what.

8.0 seems to be booming and much more competitive for the average player where unless you are a top team you'll be crushed in 9.0. Obviously if more people played then there would be more average people at each level and the matches would be more competitive.

J
Yea, 8.0 seem to be pretty competitive cause many of the 4.5 guys play in it. It seems like those 3.5 women can't hit anything hard but they can volley. Still I don't enjoy this since most of these women aren't exactly .....
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
I've never been asked to play 9.0, but I'd love to play with 5.0 women.
Yea that's just it. from what I have seen, 4.0 guys very rarely get into these 9.0 teams because 5.0 girls/women are not in abundance. but I would like to see more 5.0 girls that just recently played college tennis. but most of these girls seem to be too busy getting their career going and finding a husband.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
8.0 is booming with popularity everywhere. Mainly because it is easier to find people to play. Everyone from 3.5 to 4.5 is potentially eligible, which is the vast majority of rec players. The tennis is “good enough” to keep good 4.0 and low 4.5 men interested (as long as there are fun women to play and socialize with, and these guys get to strut their stuff and be the stronger player, lol). For the women, they get to play against better players than women’s league, but no so much better that it is dangerous or no fun (like with strong 4.5 or 5.0 men).
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
8.0 is booming with popularity everywhere. Mainly because it is easier to find people to play. Everyone from 3.5 to 4.5 is potentially eligible, which is the vast majority of rec players. The tennis is “good enough” to keep good 4.0 and low 4.5 men interested (as long as there are fun women to play and socialize with, and these guys get to strut their stuff and be the stronger player, lol). For the women, they get to play against better players than women’s league, but no so much better that it is dangerous or no fun (like with strong 4.5 or 5.0 men).
I played a practice match with a 3.5 woman who had never played 8.0X before, and her first remark when we were done was "that was fun!". So yeah, that last sentence is spot on for many.
 

spun_out

Semi-Pro
Maybe the 10.0, 9.0, etc. doubles (esp. mixed) need to die out so that USTA can come to its senses (not sure if this is possible) and start 9.5, 8.5, etc. doubles leagues.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Maybe the 10.0, 9.0, etc. doubles (esp. mixed) need to die out so that USTA can come to its senses (not sure if this is possible) and start 9.5, 8.5, etc. doubles leagues.
I thought my idea was brilliant. 5 courts, top ones at X.0 bottom ones X-1.5 so you would have a 5 court match with 2 or 3 9.0 courts and 2 or 3 8.5 courts.

J
 

spun_out

Semi-Pro
I thought my idea was brilliant. 5 courts, top ones at X.0 bottom ones X-1.5 so you would have a 5 court match with 2 or 3 9.0 courts and 2 or 3 8.5 courts.

J
In your system, I feel like 4.5 men would be split into playing 9.0 and 8.0. Maybe that's okay since there seems to be plenty of 4.5 men playing 8.0 so they can spare a few. In my system, 4.5 would have no choice but to play 8.5. 4.0 would have a choice between playing 8.5 and 7.5. I just feel like there is just too much discrepancy in level between 5.0men and 4.0women for the pair to be the preferred pairing at 9.0.
 

tennis4me

Hall of Fame
I played 9.0 mixed before and was able to be competitive even against the occasional 5.0/4.0 combination. But recently when I saw the lineup for a 9.0 mixed (that later on went to National), it was filled with ex-D1 College players - some of which are actively playing local men's doubles Open tournaments (and winning them). There were quite a few 5.0 men who were ex-5.5. I will definitely not be competitive in this situation.

I much prefer to have a 9.0 mixed with just 4.5/4.5 combination.

9.0 mixed doesn't seem to be declining here. In fact I see a lot more interest by high level 5.0/Open players in 9.0 mixed. In the past, I usually see maybe at most 1 or 2 5.0 men in the lineup, now I routinely see 5 to 7 5.0 men in the lineup.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
@J011yroger - 9.0 mixed was in full out hibernation in my area (Rochester ny) - until this year, when 2 captains formed local teams. The team i’m on, against all odds, has advanced to nationals. The combination of our team having to split up, and the other local team captains moving away, more than likely means 9.0 mixed won’t run here next year (again).

8.0 mixed here is WAY bigger. I think there were 6 teams 2 years ago, and 5 last year.
 
D

dblsplayer

Guest
Combined ratings for mixed should be removed and played at level, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 etc. in regular league play a player can play at level of .5 higher. Only in mixed combo do we see a 1.0 difference, usually across sexes creating ridiculous matchups with say, a 4.5 guy playing against a 3.5 lady. Wow! Hope you win that fight. The whole purpose of the ratings system is to TRY to create competitive fair, fun play.

In all the competitive sports I’ve played, only in tennis do I see stronger athletes enjoy playing and beating weaker opponents. It’s the mindset of playing on a varsity team that is a 500 club but deciding to play JV so they could win more, big deal, it’s JV.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
8.0 is booming with popularity everywhere. Mainly because it is easier to find people to play. Everyone from 3.5 to 4.5 is potentially eligible, which is the vast majority of rec players. The tennis is “good enough” to keep good 4.0 and low 4.5 men interested (as long as there are fun women to play and socialize with, and these guys get to strut their stuff and be the stronger player, lol). For the women, they get to play against better players than women’s league, but no so much better that it is dangerous or no fun (like with strong 4.5 or 5.0 men).
This is where most of the mixed gets played at our club. The stronger 3.5 women like it as it really helps advance their tennis way above 3.5 ladies doubles. 4.0 women also enjoy the challenge. Most of the men are high 3.5 to low 4.5 and are playing with their partners or good friends, so it's all fun and people know not to be *****.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
This is where most of the mixed gets played at our club. The stronger 3.5 women like it as it really helps advance their tennis way above 3.5 ladies doubles. 4.0 women also enjoy the challenge. Most of the men are high 3.5 to low 4.5 and are playing with their partners or good friends, so it's all fun and people know not to be *****.
Agree with this. My club has very few 4.5 women so scraping together a 9.0 team is difficult, but there are plenty of 4.0 women and 4.0 guys, and enough 4.5 guys willing to play with 3.5 women that we have two 8.0 teams.
 

BallBag

Professional
How do you play mixed as a low male + high female vs high male low female?
I played last year but didn't have much fun. On the low female's serve, I had to t off on the ball to get around Cool Hand Luke at the net. If that ball made it back to the low female, I looked like an A hole. If I played anything civilized, it would get put away at my partner's feet and I looked like an A hole.
 
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