Limiting self-rated players in Adult league postseason?

leech

Semi-Pro
schmke posted an informative blog post about the make-up of the 3semifinalist teams at 18+ 3.0 mens Nationals, and found that over half of the players were self-rates: http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2016/10/what-does-it-take-to-win-usta-league.html

It is my understanding that the USTA prohibits self-rated players from participating in TriLevel Nationals. Why doesn't the USTA apply a similar rule for Adult (or even Mixed) league playoffs? Perhaps limiting a team to three self-rated players eligible to play in postseason matches would level the playing field? Otherwise, it seems that a team full of computer-rated players would have little chance of competing favorably with teams loaded with self-rated players.

Does anyone know the process the USTA uses to adopt rule changes?
 

Csizzle

New User
The only upside that I can see for allowing self-rated players into the postseason would be that sometimes the rating systems imposed by the USTA are not always accurate, for example, all club tennis players that are included in the TOC national tournament are automatically placed in the 5.0 division, regardless of whether or not they qualified based on performance, or by other means (wildcard spots).
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
The problem is that 18+ league is full of people who probably cant go to nationals even if they qualify. I want to say an S-rate who is sandbagging is already committing to go nationals, whereas the avg. 18+ c-rate league player probably cant go. I'd be willing to bet that 65+ adult league has much more c-rates than s-rates at nationals. When you're 65+ and semi-retired, going to nationals is easy. When you're 21 and starting your career, or 25 and starting a family, it's not. Getting people to check in on Friday is quite an exercise. Not many 18-39 year olds can just disappear from "real life" on a Thurs morning and come back Mon night a few grand poorer on a months notice. You'll probably lose half your regular season roster before you even make the commitment to your section head. You can certainly lose more people after this phase as well. This is the point where tennis isnt "casual" anymore. If you're not running your team like it's the military at this point, you might end up being one of the teams who cant register for play when they demand to see all your players upon check-in. You're only allowed to play short if a player gets injured during competition. I guess they might make an exception if a player gets injured between the plane landing and registration, but I wouldnt doubt for a second that they ask to actually see that player at check-in, so dont try it.

Anyway...

All this would ultimately do is force s-rates to sandbag for about one year before they actually play. It wouldnt change anything except the very first year they rolled this in.
 

GlennK

Rookie
I think 3.0 men's is not a good level to look at. I would think most of the men in that division are just starting out so yes, they would be self-rated.

Does anyone know the overall percentage of men's 3.0 players that are self-rated versus computer rated?
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
I think 3.0 men's is not a good level to look at. I would think most of the men in that division are just starting out so yes, they would be self-rated.

Does anyone know the overall percentage of men's 3.0 players that are self-rated versus computer rated?
@schmke can probably answer this.

In the meantime, every player that starts USTA league has to self-rate. Even if you're a 5.5, you're going to have to start out as a 5.5-S for your first year. A legitimate 3.0 or 3.5 probably does have the best chance of improving faster than the computer can bump them--if that's what you meant. There probably arnt very many legitimate 2.5-S players, as those are actual beginners with no sports history of any kind. I think the lowest you can self-rate is 3.0 if you've played sports, but it's been a long time since i've actually seen the application.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I stick to local events (with occasional events that happen to be in a spot I have traveled to for another purpose), so I don't really have a horse in this race.

But more rules are not likely to help the situation. You just can never really have a perfect handicapping system. You will never make everyone happy. Any system can be gamed. More rules will not perfect the system, they will just reduce participation. Participation in tennis already seems to down, as demonstrated by the number of overbuilt and underused facilities in the south.

Competitive events depend on critical mass: both enough participants for interesting divisions, as well as enough inflow of cash for the labor and costs to run it all. I'm already kinda sick of all the USTA rules and games, and I anticipate participating more in competing organizations events (local orgs) rather than the USTA stuff. Just not worth it a lot of the time.

Recreational sports are supposed to be fun. Any more than a couple percent of time and effort discussing the rules takes all the fun out of it. Fishing and shooting competitions are getting to be the same way. Organizers and advocates for more rules should note: it's a free market out there, and participants will vote with their feet.

See ya baby!
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I think 3.0 men's is not a good level to look at. I would think most of the men in that division are just starting out so yes, they would be self-rated.

Does anyone know the overall percentage of men's 3.0 players that are self-rated versus computer rated?
@schmke can probably answer this.
From what I wrote about last week (http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2016/10/checking-usta-league-self-rated-men-by.html and http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2016/10/checking-usta-league-self-rated-women.html), then men had a little over 3K self-rated 3.0s and women around 9K. There were just over 51K computer rated 3.0s with new year-end ratings at the end of both 2014 and 2015.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
It's because the USTA wants to encourage more people to sign up, and won't put up any barriers to doing so.
I don't know the answer to this, but (and I've said this elsewhere here) this sounds a lot like golf course owners not willing to deal with slow players for fear of losing that foursome's business, but not thinking about how many of the people held up by them will never go back due to the lack of policing of slow play.

I don't know what, if any, impact it would have, but how many people who are legitimately rated will walk away because of so much self-rating that seems to always be just a little lower than it should be. Do you get more people involved via the mentality you mention than you lose by allowing a wild west scenario?

Like I said, I don't know the answer, but this type of thought process can easily turn into a "penny wise, and pound foolish" type scenario.
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
I don't know the answer to this, but (and I've said this elsewhere here) this sounds a lot like golf course owners not willing to deal with slow players for fear of losing that foursome's business, but not thinking about how many of the people held up by them will never go back due to the lack of policing of slow play.

I don't know what, if any, impact it would have, but how many people who are legitimately rated will walk away because of so much self-rating that seems to always be just a little lower than it should be. Do you get more people involved via the mentality you mention than you lose by allowing a wild west scenario?

Like I said, I don't know the answer, but this type of thought process can easily turn into a "penny wise, and pound foolish" type scenario.
I agree with you. It definitely hurts participation in my area.
 

OrangePower

Legend
I don't know the answer to this, but (and I've said this elsewhere here) this sounds a lot like golf course owners not willing to deal with slow players for fear of losing that foursome's business, but not thinking about how many of the people held up by them will never go back due to the lack of policing of slow play.

I don't know what, if any, impact it would have, but how many people who are legitimately rated will walk away because of so much self-rating that seems to always be just a little lower than it should be. Do you get more people involved via the mentality you mention than you lose by allowing a wild west scenario?

Like I said, I don't know the answer, but this type of thought process can easily turn into a "penny wise, and pound foolish" type scenario.
Completely agree with your thinking. And I believe preventing self-rates from participating in Sectionals/Nationals is the right answer.

How many players will it impact negatively - how many self-rates is it likely to dissuade?
Well, we could consider what percentage of players make it to Sectionals/Nationals at all, but that's misleading, since probably more teams have aspirations for Sectionals/Nationals than actually get there. So let's assume that teams who make it to Districts/State started the season with grand aspirations, whether they realize them or not. And let's also assume that all the self-rates on such teams may potentially have been dissuaded had they known up front that they could not play in Sectionals/Nationals. This probably overstates the number, since many of those self-rates would still play anyway.

Anyway, we need to know:
1. What percentage of all self-rates are on teams that make Districts/State. This is a (probably overstated) estimate of the percentage of all self-rates that might have been dissuaded from playing were they to be barred from playing Sectionals/Nationals.
2. What is the number of those self-rates above compared to the number of all other players (C rated plus non-Districts/State self rates). This tells us how many are negatively impacted (to various degrees) by the current system.

@schmke can probably answer these questions...
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
I don't know the answer to this, but (and I've said this elsewhere here) this sounds a lot like golf course owners not willing to deal with slow players for fear of losing that foursome's business, but not thinking about how many of the people held up by them will never go back due to the lack of policing of slow play.

I don't know what, if any, impact it would have, but how many people who are legitimately rated will walk away because of so much self-rating that seems to always be just a little lower than it should be. Do you get more people involved via the mentality you mention than you lose by allowing a wild west scenario?

Like I said, I don't know the answer, but this type of thought process can easily turn into a "penny wise, and pound foolish" type scenario.
Large conglomerates have entire departments to analyze such things. If a golf course analyzed its users as much as social media does, im pretty sure they could make the right decision. Imagine if a golf course had the logistics of UPS. If a golf course was managed like this, it could place golfers into the best time slots they would likely accept based on avg. time per round, typical time of day played. It could also maximize green fees based on ability to pay. It could retain frequent customers by letting them get just enough irritated without never coming back. It could allow/pair new customers with the most tolerant regulars, to be most accommodating to new golfers while taking the least risk of losing a regular based on the regulars # of complaints filed, as well as the regulars with the highest acceptable round time #. It could even have the beer cart working the most efficient route around the course, based on GPS data collected by proximity of beer cart and golf cart time spent. It could also dynamically price beer based on sobriety level.

I mean, you could get really serious with this ****.
 

Jim A

Professional
I don't see self-rates impacting participation in our area. Overall, USTA tennis is a way to have a fun, competitive experience for the large majority of us. We had a great year but are more known for our grilling and post-match spread. I had one guy pissed at one of our selfrates (he was a 3.5M in 2015) but there is some issues behind that overall and might have had something to do with him being better than their self-rated player :)

The issue isn't the self-rating, it's rating management regardless if you are an S or C rated player. There will be the handful of players who come in as an out of level self-rate sandbagger and a good chunk of those will bubble up at the end in Sectionals/Nationals.

I think the main thing is that if a team has that thought process, keeping yourself at 3.5 or whatever your level is would be fairly easy. If you avoid blowing out the lesser teams you will likely stay under the threshold. I'll see players who will win a true D3 line team in a way that is 7-6, 2-6, 1-0. They have won the match but are 10-12 in games won/lost. To change this you have to correct the overall algorithm to put more weight on the matches closest to your level. That way you don't lower your dynamic and then blow someone out 6-0, 6-3 at Districts/etc yet are still well below the threshold to be bumped. Keep yourself fairly low in your first 3 matches of the year and you are on your way!
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
I don't see self-rates impacting participation in our area. Overall, USTA tennis is a way to have a fun, competitive experience for the large majority of us. We had a great year but are more known for our grilling and post-match spread. I had one guy pissed at one of our selfrates (he was a 3.5M in 2015) but there is some issues behind that overall and might have had something to do with him being better than their self-rated player :)

The issue isn't the self-rating, it's rating management regardless if you are an S or C rated player. There will be the handful of players who come in as an out of level self-rate sandbagger and a good chunk of those will bubble up at the end in Sectionals/Nationals.

I think the main thing is that if a team has that thought process, keeping yourself at 3.5 or whatever your level is would be fairly easy. If you avoid blowing out the lesser teams you will likely stay under the threshold. I'll see players who will win a true D3 line team in a way that is 7-6, 2-6, 1-0. They have won the match but are 10-12 in games won/lost. To change this you have to correct the overall algorithm to put more weight on the matches closest to your level. That way you don't lower your dynamic and then blow someone out 6-0, 6-3 at Districts/etc yet are still well below the threshold to be bumped. Keep yourself fairly low in your first 3 matches of the year and you are on your way!
Which is why blanket bumps is the most effective fix for the problem.

If you want to be on a team that wins you should all be bumped up so teams can't manage their ratings while also winning.

But everyone on here seems opposed to it.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
They really need to do something. In our league this year there's a guy who is 28-3 as a self-rate 3.0. Has played 3.0, 3.5 singles (6-0 record with closest match being 7-5 6-2), 7.0 mixed, 6.5 & 7.5 combo. Maybe make any league you play in subject to dynamic dq until you obtain a computer rating. Here they only dq you in the spring so as long as you don't dq in the spring you can sandbag the entire rest of the year. It really is a problem.
 

leech

Semi-Pro
In our league this year there's a guy who is 28-3 as a self-rate 3.0. Has played 3.0, 3.5 singles (6-0 record with closest match being 7-5 6-2), 7.0 mixed, 6.5 & 7.5 combo.
Surprised a self-rated 3.0 playing 3.5 (singles, at that) didn't get DQ'd. I advised one of my 3.0 self-rate friends not to play 3.5 b/c of the risk of getting bumped mid-season and hurting his 3.0 team (turned out he got DQ'd anyway based on his 3.0 results, which was not surprising...he was a 3.0 self rate in 2015 who played mixed only and somehow didn't get a 3.5M rating for 2016 despite going 5-0 in 7.0). Then I encounter several 3.5S dudes in playoffs who demolished strong opponents in singles, yet don't get DQ'd. And know of another 3.5S who had played 4.0 and had gone 7-1 in 4.0 playoffs, and he's still managed to avoid getting DQ'd (I don't mean "managed" as in sandbagging...pretty sure he played all out, based on his results). Confusing system to navigate.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Surprised a self-rated 3.0 playing 3.5 (singles, at that) didn't get DQ'd. I advised one of my 3.0 self-rate friends not to play 3.5 b/c of the risk of getting bumped mid-season and hurting his 3.0 team (turned out he got DQ'd anyway based on his 3.0 results, which was not surprising...he was a 3.0 self rate in 2015 who played mixed only and somehow didn't get a 3.5M rating for 2016 despite going 5-0 in 7.0). Then I encounter several 3.5S dudes in playoffs who demolished strong opponents in singles, yet don't get DQ'd. And know of another 3.5S who had played 4.0 and had gone 7-1 in 4.0 playoffs, and he's still managed to avoid getting DQ'd (I don't mean "managed" as in sandbagging...pretty sure he played all out, based on his results). Confusing system to navigate.
There can be surprising non DQ's on the surface, but they are usually explainable and the result of close enough scores, playing with strong partners, playing weak opponents, or even playing other opponents playing up. Occasionally I've seen some that aren't explainable and it almost looks like coordinators aren't checking for strikes or do so very infrequently.
 

OrangePower

Legend
Which is why blanket bumps is the most effective fix for the problem.

If you want to be on a team that wins you should all be bumped up so teams can't manage their ratings while also winning.

But everyone on here seems opposed to it.
The problem with a general rule for blanket bumps is that reaching say Sectionals can be harder or easier depending on the league, level, and area.

For example, in my local area there are a lot of 4.5 teams. To reach 4.5 Sectionals, you first need to come out on top of 10 other teams, and then win Districts where you need to win out over three other teams who went through a similar path. If my team made it to Sectionals, we would be the best out of 30+ teams, and I could see the merit of a blanket bump, although even then there are players on the team that really should not be bumped based on merit.

But on the other hand, a friend of mine played on a 55&over 4.5 team, where there were just 4 teams total in the area, and the winner went straight to Sectionals (no Districts given the number of teams). So the Sectionals team had to best just 3 other teams - big deal. And due to the shortage of 55+ 4.5 players, there are many weaker players on even the winning teams.

So I think you are not addressing the real problem. NTRP is there to ensure competitive matches. Bumping up people who do not merit it does not meet that goal.
What you are after is giving more people a shot at postseason glory. If that's the objective, then the better answer is to:
1. Not allow self-rates to play postseason
2. Not allow players who made Sectionals last time to play postseason

Personally I think the whole postseason thing is a mistake - without a postseason at all, the focus would be purely on playing competitive matches during the regular season, which is what 90% of players actually care about.
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
They really need to do something. In our league this year there's a guy who is 28-3 as a self-rate 3.0. Has played 3.0, 3.5 singles (6-0 record with closest match being 7-5 6-2), 7.0 mixed, 6.5 & 7.5 combo. Maybe make any league you play in subject to dynamic dq until you obtain a computer rating. Here they only dq you in the spring so as long as you don't dq in the spring you can sandbag the entire rest of the year. It really is a problem.
They really do need to do something about combo, mixed and singles. I know a guy who has only lost one match in three years at 7.5 combo. That lone loss was in the sectional final at #1. It was also the only point they dropped the entire tournament at sectional. They went 14-1.

And they all just threw matches in spring league. I have no idea why because if 7.5 isn't a challenge there is no way 6.5 could be fun.
 

roadto50

New User
There can be surprising non DQ's on the surface, but they are usually explainable and the result of close enough scores, playing with strong partners, playing weak opponents, or even playing other opponents playing up. Occasionally I've seen some that aren't explainable and it almost looks like coordinators aren't checking for strikes or do so very infrequently.
Pretty much this.

They really do need to do something about combo, mixed and singles. I know a guy who has only lost one match in three years at 7.5 combo. That lone loss was in the sectional final at #1. It was also the only point they dropped the entire tournament at sectional. They went 14-1.

And they all just threw matches in spring league. I have no idea why because if 7.5 isn't a challenge there is no way 6.5 could be fun.
So what about the guys they lost to? Are they sandbagging? Did they get bumped?

You guys are completely ignoring the fact that there is a huge difference between the top of any rating and the bottom of said rating. It's like there is an illusion on TW forums that if all the sandbaggers disappeared I can make Nationals.
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
Pretty much this.



So what about the guys they lost to? Are they sandbagging? Did they get bumped?

You guys are completely ignoring the fact that there is a huge difference between the top of any rating and the bottom of said rating. It's like there is an illusion on TW forums that if all the sandbaggers disappeared I can make Nationals.
I pointed out a sectional event. There wouldn't be someone at the top of that rating versus someone at the bottom of the rating...
 

roadto50

New User
I pointed out a sectional event. There wouldn't be someone at the top of that rating versus someone at the bottom of the rating...
You said he lost one match in 3 years. That implies you are including Sectionals and the regular season, the latter which has wide range of skill even at the same rating.

Also, to the second statement, you are not taking into consideration the pool of talent. Sure everyone is at the "top of that rating" at Sectionals. But do you really think a guy who played in a league with 2 teams against the same players over and over and automatically made Sectionals is going to be as good as the guy who had to go through 10 teams to make it to Sectionals? How accurate is the rating of the guy who beats the same 4-5 people over and over?

In my experience, the teams from smaller leagues always got blown out at Sectionals (not always obviously)

Not saying this is specifically the case of the guy in question. But I am merely pointing out there's a lot that you can't tell from record alone.
 
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kevrol

Hall of Fame
Surprised a self-rated 3.0 playing 3.5 (singles, at that) didn't get DQ'd. I advised one of my 3.0 self-rate friends not to play 3.5 b/c of the risk of getting bumped mid-season and hurting his 3.0 team (turned out he got DQ'd anyway based on his 3.0 results, which was not surprising...he was a 3.0 self rate in 2015 who played mixed only and somehow didn't get a 3.5M rating for 2016 despite going 5-0 in 7.0). Then I encounter several 3.5S dudes in playoffs who demolished strong opponents in singles, yet don't get DQ'd. And know of another 3.5S who had played 4.0 and had gone 7-1 in 4.0 playoffs, and he's still managed to avoid getting DQ'd (I don't mean "managed" as in sandbagging...pretty sure he played all out, based on his results). Confusing system to navigate.
Here you can't get dynamically DQ'd from any league other than our "Spring" league - One Level 2 singles/3doubles match. Singles is played after that league finishes and you can not be dynamically DQ'd.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
There can be surprising non DQ's on the surface, but they are usually explainable and the result of close enough scores, playing with strong partners, playing weak opponents, or even playing other opponents playing up. Occasionally I've seen some that aren't explainable and it almost looks like coordinators aren't checking for strikes or do so very infrequently.
I can PM you the name and you'll see there is no way the guy I'm talking about shouldn't be DQ'd other than the fact that here only spring matches count.
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
You said he lost one match in 3 years. That implies you are including Sectionals and the regular season, the latter which has wide range of skill even at the same rating.
Yes there can be big difference but that focus should be the success in playoffs.

I actually made a mistake it appears he lost two matches in three years. He was:

11-1 in local league
14-0 in districts
7-1 in sectionals.

That kind of success cannot be legitimate.

Also, to the second statement, you are not taking into consideration the pool of talent. Sure everyone is at the "top of that rating" at Sectionals. But do you really think a guy who played in a league with 2 teams against the same players over and over and automatically made Sectionals is going to be as good as the guy who had to go through 10 teams to make it to Sectionals? How accurate is the rating of the guy who beats the same 4-5 people over and over?
Who does it matter? In both cases the team is better than their local competition. Why should a team have an inalienable right to win each year?
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
You said he lost one match in 3 years. That implies you are including Sectionals and the regular season, the latter which has wide range of skill even at the same rating.
Yes there can be big difference but that focus should be the success in playoffs.

I actually made a mistake it appears he lost two matches in three years. He was:

11-1 in local league
14-0 in districts
7-1 in sectionals.

That kind of success cannot be legitimate.

Also, to the second statement, you are not taking into consideration the pool of talent. Sure everyone is at the "top of that rating" at Sectionals. But do you really think a guy who played in a league with 2 teams against the same players over and over and automatically made Sectionals is going to be as good as the guy who had to go through 10 teams to make it to Sectionals? How accurate is the rating of the guy who beats the same 4-5 people over and over?
Who does it matter? In both cases the team is better than their local competition. Why should a team have an inalienable right to win each year?
 

JavierLW

Hall of Fame
schmke posted an informative blog post about the make-up of the 3semifinalist teams at 18+ 3.0 mens Nationals, and found that over half of the players were self-rates: http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2016/10/what-does-it-take-to-win-usta-league.html

It is my understanding that the USTA prohibits self-rated players from participating in TriLevel Nationals. Why doesn't the USTA apply a similar rule for Adult (or even Mixed) league playoffs? Perhaps limiting a team to three self-rated players eligible to play in postseason matches would level the playing field? Otherwise, it seems that a team full of computer-rated players would have little chance of competing favorably with teams loaded with self-rated players.

Does anyone know the process the USTA uses to adopt rule changes?
I am all for this plan. I live in the ******* and play 3.5 and two years in a row in my city, teams came out of nowhere full of self rated players just to get to Nationals. Sure they get moved up the next year, but meanwhile the existing teams that have been working their way up for years dont get to go.

The other aspect about this is really what is this league all about? Rather than focusing on the playoffs the league should push to get more teams and the experience in my opinion should be a LOT more about the local leagues then the playoffs. The playoffs are great and they are a good goal to have and work toward, but it should not be a team's only reason for existence and the league needs to stop accommodating teams that do this. (in some areas the people that run the league encourage it)

So this rule would not hurt the playoffs in any way like people may think. Especially if they put more focus on the local leagues and actually work to get more teams everywhere.

And as far as people who sandbag a year to get around it, then so what? If they want to put that amount of work into it then God Bless them, but at least it's more difficult (and boring) then.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I can PM you the name and you'll see there is no way the guy I'm talking about shouldn't be DQ'd other than the fact that here only spring matches count.
Should be bumped up, but Spring matches don't indicate a DQ was in order.

What is a little odd is they played 3 Mixed matches last year but do not appear to have gotten an M rating which very well should have been 3.5 and would have dictated self-rating again for 2016 as a 3.5.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
He actually played 5 mixes matches last year. 3 in league and then 2 at District Championship. That is odd. Still no way this person should be playing as a 3.0.
 

roadto50

New User
Who does it matter? In both cases the team is better than their local competition. Why should a team have an inalienable right to win each year?
Just FYI, I personally have no problem with preventing self-rates from playing in the postseason. It will provide a more consistent playing experience. But that consistency is still relative. A team that played in a league of 2 that would never make it to sectionals if they played in a league of 20 would still get blown out, self-rates or not. And they would think everyone else is managing ratings.

Case in point, when I played at 4.0 sectionals, people complained our entire team should be playing 4.5. When I played in 4.5 sectionals, people complained we were really 5.0s sandbagging. Not a single player on my team was self rated. And we are the last people on Earth to "manage ratings." Could it be that we had to play through a pool of 300+ players to get to sectionals? If you don't think this matters then you are the type of person who will never stop complaining until every player in the USTA has a win loss ratio of 1.
 
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Startzel

Hall of Fame
Just FYI, I personally have no problem with preventing self-rates from playing in the postseason. It will provide a more consistent playing experience. But that consistency is still relative. A team that played in a league of 2 that would never make it to sectionals if they played in a league of 20 would still get blown out, self-rates or not. And they would think everyone else is managing ratings.

Case in point, when I played at 4.0 sectionals, people complained our entire team should be playing 4.5. When I played in 4.5 sectionals, people complained we were really 5.0s sandbagging. Not a single player on my team was self rated. And we are the last people on Earth to "manage ratings." Could it be that we had to play through a pool of 300+ players to get to sectionals? If you don't think this matters then you are the type of person who will never stop complaining until every player in the USTA has a win loss ratio of 1.
Thanks for confirming my suspicion that you're a sandbagger.

Does telling yourself that you're only out of level because you play in a larger area make you feel better about cheating?

I just don't get it. I know it, you know it, your opponents know it. So why are you unwilling to just admit it. The usta is not going to take away your wins.
 

roadto50

New User
Thanks for confirming my suspicion that you're a sandbagger.

Does telling yourself that you're only out of level because you play in a larger area make you feel better about cheating?

I just don't get it. I know it, you know it, your opponents know it. So why are you unwilling to just admit it. The usta is not going to take away your wins.
Does playing up and complaining about others being too good make you feel better? Maybe if you played at your level instead of playing up, you wouldn't think everyone is cheating. Just a thought.

Yea, going 7 and 1 at 4.5, having appealed up and denied makes me a sandbagger. Got it.

Like I said, people like you live in a fantasy world where everyone should have a win loss ratio of 1. OMG he is undefeated! Must be a cheater!!!
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
Does playing up and complaining about others being too good make you feel better? Maybe if you played at your level instead of playing up, you wouldn't think everyone is cheating. Just a thought.

Yea, going 7 and 1 at 4.5, having appealed up and denied makes me a sandbagger. Got it.

Like I said, people like you live in a fantasy world where everyone should have a win loss ratio of 1. OMG he is undefeated! Must be a cheater!!!
When have I played up and complained about others being too good?
 

roadto50

New User
When have I played up and complained about others being too good?
This entire thread is you complaining about a guy with 2 losses. I am not going to call out a guy with 2 losses over 3 years as a cheater managing ratings. So if USTA doesn't bump him up, what should he do? Stop playing so you can make it to sectionals? Get real. At every level you are going to have guys go undefeated or close to undefeated, self rate or not. And when those guys get bumped up, the guys who lost to them will go undefeated. If the system doesn't DQ or bump them up, you are just complaining.

In my case, I appealed up. I got denied. Should I get a name change, make a new account at 5.0?
 
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Angle Queen

Professional
This topic is an old and oft discussed one, here on TT and in our locale.

When I first started on my mantra of no-go (further) for self-rates, a lot of people thought I was crazy. Now, not so much.

As I see it, there are three groups affected:
  • self-rates, who...on their own or with direction...are trying to sandbag,
  • self-rates, who...sincerely assess their own skills or use the defined rules and rate accordingly (often to their detriment), and
  • the rest of the already C-rated USTA population (who have no knowledge or aren't in cahoots with those in the first category).
I don't think many here would argue that the first group is the one really being targeted by a no-S in post-season rules. And...that it's the second group we'd both like to protect and encourage to play USTA. While in my heart-of-hearts, I believe there are way more in the second category, I unfortunately think that ratio diminishes as the stakes (level of championship) is raised.

I would hope a sincerely-rated player will understand why they can't participate in post-season play and perhaps USTA could offer a choice:
  • self-rate and be prohibited from post-season play and accept whatever the computer does to you (auto-appeals still allowed) OR
  • self-rate, be allowed to play in post-season and accept a mandatory bump-up (to something high in the next NTRP**), regardless of if you actually played in the post-season or not or what their actual NTRP was.
**To double-down on that mandatory bump up, I'd artificially make their 'number' in the 50+ percentile of that next group (i.e. say a 3.8 for an S-rated bumped up to 3.5)

Maybe it's time to throw the gauntlet down and make it hurt...if they're trying to cheat the system.
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
This entire thread is you complaining about a guy with 2 losses. At every level you are going to have guys go undefeated or close to undefeated, self rate or not. And when those guys get bumped up, the guys who lost to them will go undefeated. If the system doesn't DQ or bump them up, you are just complaining.

In my case, I appealed up. I got denied. Should I get a name change, make a new account at 5.0?
lol no one is going to believe you actually appealed up when your entire argument is that you should be able to play at a level you always win at.

Secondly, you can't get bumped or disqualified while playing combo. Do you have any idea what you're talking about?
 

roadto50

New User
lol no one is going to believe you actually appealed up when your entire argument is that you should be able to play at a level you always win at.

Secondly, you can't get bumped or disqualified while playing combo. Do you have any idea what you're talking about?
Should I upload a screenshot for you? But what would be the point. You'd say I photoshopped my appeal. Guys like you are so convinced everyone else is cheating, that it can't possibly be that you are not as good as you think are. Once you are at that level of delusion, nothing anyone can do to convince you otherwise.

You can get bumped or disqualified if Mixed is the only league you are playing. It's only when you play mixed and adult that mixed doesn't count.

I don't get why it's so hard for guys like you to understand that at every rating, there will be an undefeated player.

And can you answer the question? If a guy wins every match, doesn't get bumped up, what's he supposed to do?
 
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Startzel

Hall of Fame
Should I upload a screenshot for you? But what would be the point. You'd say I photoshopped my appeal. Guys like you are so convinced everyone else is cheating, that it can't possibly be that you are not as good as you think are. Once you are at that level of delusion, nothing anyone can do to convince you otherwise.

You can get bumped or disqualified if Mixed is the only league you are playing. It's only when you play mixed and adult that mixed doesn't count.

I don't get why it's so hard for guys like you to understand that at every rating, there will be an undefeated player.

And can you answer the question? If a guy wins every match, doesn't get bumped up, what's he supposed to do?
1) you can't be disqualified in mixed. 2) what does mixed have to do with combo?

More importantly why would anyone want to play at a level they always win?

If I was in that position I would just play up. I don't get what enjoyment you have beating up on weaker players.
 

roadto50

New User
1) you can't be disqualified in mixed. 2) what does mixed have to do with combo?

More importantly why would anyone want to play at a level they always win?

If I was in that position I would just play up. I don't get what enjoyment you have beating up on weaker players.
Then go for it when you find yourself in that position. No one's stopping you. In the meantime don't be making blanket statements that everyone who is going undefeated is cheating or sandbagging. That mentality isn't going to help your game in the slightest. And it's an insult to people who actually spend time trying to improve, whether its going from a low 3.0 to a high 3.0 or from a low 5.0 to a high 5.0.

I am clearly not going to convince you and looking at your other posts, you seem to be under the impression there is a massive conspiracy to sandbag and you are the only honorable guy in the USTA. Good luck to you.
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
Then go for it when you find yourself in that position. No one's stopping you. In the meantime don't be making blanket statements that everyone who is going undefeated is cheating or sandbagging. That mentality isn't going to help your game in the slightest. And it's an insult to people who actually spend time trying to improve, whether its going from a low 3.0 to a high 3.0 or from a low 5.0 to a high 5.0.

I am clearly not going to convince you and looking at your other posts, you seem to be under the impression there is a massive conspiracy to sandbag and you are the only honorable guy in the USTA. Good luck to you.
I'll never understand why your feelings get hurt when you know you're cheating.

This forum has convinced me to start cheating as well. I would feel like a loser if I tried to claim my future successes were legitimate.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
I've previously proposed another alternative to a blanket ban of self-rates for playoffs:
  • At the end of the local league, calculate ratings for all self-rated players and immediately change their level accordingly.
That way, if you self rate as a 3.5 and the computer calculates a 3.5 rating for you at the end of the season then you are allowed to participate in the playoffs. If the computer calculated a 4.0 rating, then congratulations you've been promoted (but you are done with this team).

I would hope a sincerely-rated player will understand why they can't participate in post-season play and perhaps USTA could offer a choice:
  • self-rate and be prohibited from post-season play and accept whatever the computer does to you (auto-appeals still allowed) OR
  • self-rate, be allowed to play in post-season and accept a mandatory bump-up (to something high in the next NTRP**), regardless of if you actually played in the post-season or not or what their actual NTRP was.
**To double-down on that mandatory bump up, I'd artificially make their 'number' in the 50+ percentile of that next group (i.e. say a 3.8 for an S-rated bumped up to 3.5)

Maybe it's time to throw the gauntlet down and make it hurt...if they're trying to cheat the system.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I've previously proposed another alternative to a blanket ban of self-rates for playoffs:
  • At the end of the local league, calculate ratings for all self-rated players and immediately change their level accordingly.
That way, if you self rate as a 3.5 and the computer calculates a 3.5 rating for you at the end of the season then you are allowed to participate in the playoffs. If the computer calculated a 4.0 rating, then congratulations you've been promoted (but you are done with this team).
This is essentially reducing the threshold for strikes to be the top of the level rather than several tenths higher than that. Although perhaps you are saying don't even DQ during the regular season, only check at the end of it?

I've said before that the thresholds for strikes are too high. While the USTA is going out of their way to not punish players for improving, a side effect is they make it easy for those that have deliberately self-rated too low to not be DQ'd. I would be all for tightening this up to catch more.

Of course, even having lower strike thresholds or doing what you suggest won't stop the cheaters, they'll just work harder to stay below the threshold so they will remain eligible after the regular season. So whatever might be done should continue to be in effect during playoffs, as it is harder to hide or throw games when there is tougher competition and you have to win to advance.
 

OrangePower

Legend
Just eliminate playoffs... problem solved.
Put the focus back on the regular season - making matches as competitive as possible, and getting everyone more matches.

The whole postseason thing, in addition to encouraging sandbagging, also encourages larger teams, stockpiling of players, and a high concentration of strong players across a smaller number of teams. All detrimental to the regular season.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
I wasn't proposing any changes to 3-strikes DQs. One thing I like about my proposal is that it helps more than just playoffs. We see a lot of players that self rate at a level, avoid getting DQ'd, play well enough to earn a bump. Unfortunately, before the annual ratings come along they have a chance to dominated mixed, dominate combo, etc. If you use the data from their first league to override their self rating then there is at least some control.

You are absolutely right that people can still manage their scores. It would be a little harder to stay below the lower threshold and frankly there isn't much you can do to prevent full-on cheating.

This is essentially reducing the threshold for strikes to be the top of the level rather than several tenths higher than that. Although perhaps you are saying don't even DQ during the regular season, only check at the end of it?

I've said before that the thresholds for strikes are too high. While the USTA is going out of their way to not punish players for improving, a side effect is they make it easy for those that have deliberately self-rated too low to not be DQ'd. I would be all for tightening this up to catch more.

Of course, even having lower strike thresholds or doing what you suggest won't stop the cheaters, they'll just work harder to stay below the threshold so they will remain eligible after the regular season. So whatever might be done should continue to be in effect during playoffs, as it is harder to hide or throw games when there is tougher competition and you have to win to advance.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Just eliminate playoffs... problem solved.
Put the focus back on the regular season - making matches as competitive as possible, and getting everyone more matches.

The whole postseason thing, in addition to encouraging sandbagging, also encourages larger teams, stockpiling of players, and a high concentration of strong players across a smaller number of teams. All detrimental to the regular season.

Why someone would sandbag to win 3.0 or 3.5 playoffs is beyond me. Like winning a medal at the Special Olympics. Yay, I'm the best among a cadre of crappy tennis players... go me!!!

I agree with the concept of eliminating playoffs at lower levels of USTA competition. League should be more about establishing your ranking and finding like-skilled players to set up lifetime relationships with for playing tennis. From 3.0-4.0 you are a rec tennis player with modest skills. A trophy is pointless as it only labels you a winner amongst a sketchily defined subgroup of players who are also generally of modest skills.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Just eliminate playoffs... problem solved.
Put the focus back on the regular season - making matches as competitive as possible, and getting everyone more matches.

The whole postseason thing, in addition to encouraging sandbagging, also encourages larger teams, stockpiling of players, and a high concentration of strong players across a smaller number of teams. All detrimental to the regular season.
If you eliminate post season play, you will invalidate the NTRP system altogether. The accuracy of NTRP ratings depends entirely on competition at divisional, sectional, regional, national, etc, levels. That's how the computer is able to make sure that southern, NorCal, and Texas players of the same rating are the same class of player. Without that, the ratings are only locally determined and essentially lose their meaning.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I wasn't proposing any changes to 3-strikes DQs. One thing I like about my proposal is that it helps more than just playoffs. We see a lot of players that self rate at a level, avoid getting DQ'd, play well enough to earn a bump. Unfortunately, before the annual ratings come along they have a chance to dominated mixed, dominate combo, etc. If you use the data from their first league to override their self rating then there is at least some control.

You are absolutely right that people can still manage their scores. It would be a little harder to stay below the lower threshold and frankly there isn't much you can do to prevent full-on cheating.
So, you are sort of advocating bringing back early start ratings (which they just did away with) and actually using them for more than just early start leagues, but any subsequent leagues the same year. I can see merit in that, but since they just did away with early start ratings (because they thought it was too complicated), I don't see them doing what you suggest as it would probably be considered more complicated. For example, what if a subsequent league starts before the first league is done?
 

OrangePower

Legend
If you eliminate post season play, you will invalidate the NTRP system altogether. The accuracy of NTRP ratings depends entirely on competition at divisional, sectional, regional, national, etc, levels. That's how the computer is able to make sure that southern, NorCal, and Texas players of the same rating are the same class of player. Without that, the ratings are only locally determined and essentially lose their meaning.
That's a fair point, but:
- There are other ways to calibrate ratings across sections, for example, via Tri-Level Nationals. In general Tri-Level is much better suited to postseason play since it all follows a tournament format and there's no actual regular season. If Tri-Level does not provide enough data points, then why not have other similarly-structured events (tournament structure from the get-go at the local level, where ultimately representatives of each section end up competing against each other).
- Mixed does not count towards 'regular' ratings, so no actual benefit to having Nationals etc from a calibration perspective; similarly, no need for Combo postseason. And if all we wanted to do was calibrate, surely 18+ postseason would be sufficient. Does including 40+ and 55+ really make calibration that much better?

The cynic in me believes that while USTA benefits (in terms of roster registrations) from pushing postseason play, it actually does more harm than good for most of us in terms of our day-to-day tennis experience.
 
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