Middle States 4.5 Sectionals

schmke

Hall of Fame
Wow, close. FWIW, my ratings agree with the DQ, 3rd strike in this match, other two in prior two matches.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Wow, close. FWIW, my ratings agree with the DQ, 3rd strike in this match, other two in prior two matches.
Oh, it’s a 3rd strike dq

I’m sure people who play league understand this, but it seems strange to me that a tiebreak win constitutes a strike. It seems you really have to be careful of your scoreline

I was on a league team years ago and tanked a match when my teammates were all getting crushed. And my match turned out to be this guys third strike. It was mid season, so they had to forfeit all his wins, which reversed a few “ties”.

The captain of the other team asked me to help with his appeal and tell them I tanked, so my result shouldn’t count. I did. It didn’t matter.

And in truth, I didn’t think he was sandbagging. I thought the dq ruling was crap.
 
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J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Oh, it’s a 3rd strike dq

I’m sure people who play league understand this, but it seems strange to me that a tiebreak win constitutes a strike. It seems you really have to be careful of your scoreline

I was on a league team years ago and tanked a match when my teammates were all getting crushed. And my match turned out to be this guys third strike. It was mid season, so they had to forfeit all his wins, which reversed a few “ties”.

The captain of the other team asked me to help with his appeal and tell them I tanked, so my result shouldn’t count. I did. It didn’t matter.

And in truth, I didn’t think he was sandbagging. I thought the dq ruling was crap.
Because of the averaging of the match rating with your last several dynamic ratings, if your dynamic rating creeps too far above the strike threshold, then you can get a strike with a match rating below the threshold. I'll leave it to Schmke to confirm that's what happened here, but it wouldn't surprise me given the close score.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I’m sure people who play league understand this, but it seems strange to me that a tiebreak win constitutes a strike.
Just because a score is close has no bearing on whether it is a strike or not. You can lose a match and have it be a strike if you play a high enough rated opponent.
Because of the averaging of the match rating with your last several dynamic ratings, if your dynamic rating creeps too far above the strike threshold, then you can get a strike with a match rating below the threshold. I'll leave it to Schmke to confirm that's what happened here, but it wouldn't surprise me given the close score.
The opponent in this match was rated quite high and the match, while only his third highest match rating of the year, was still pretty high.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
So, BOTH 4.0 and 4.5 were decided by DQ's. In 4.0, the NJ team clearly had the best "starting 8", but the captain wore them into the ground and it cost him. They had 6 guys play all 5 matches and a 7th play 4 (all but the first match Friday morning). By the 4th match, I think they were a little fatigued and a 1-loss Delaware team upset them by beating both undefeated singles players in a match tb. They still had a 2 court lead heading into the final match. They won 4-1 while DE won 5-0, but on a different court, a kid playing for Eastern PA got DQ'd and his results overturned, including a win vs NJ that leveled the match count and sent sectionals to the head-to-head, which DE won. I don't disagree with overturning results for DQ'd players at sectionals, but that's a painful way to lose.

Eastern is like the b*stard stepchild of Middle States districts. NJ, Philly, and DE all have robust leagues and the players intermingle and play in 2 or sometimes 3 districts. Central and Western both have full, strong leagues. Eastern is the part of Eastern PA that isn't in the Philly suburbs. It's a bunch of small towns and mountain resorts that aren't really close to each other. They struggle to have leagues at all and often, the league consists of a "sectionals" team and a patsy there just to have a regular season. They struggle to get enough players, and they take almost anyone who wants to play league tennis. They finish last more often than not at sectionals, but they occasionally also have ridiculous ringers who aren't tested in the regular season because the league is a joke and are therefore more susceptible to DQ at sectionals. That's what happened this time. They were 0-5 at sectionals but had a kid who smoked the #1 singles player for DE who's been playing 4.0 and 4.5 all season, which was clearly a strike but not his third. In the end, sectionals was decided when the kid stuck around to play a meaningless match for an 0-4 team and got the third strike, which reversed the prior match.
 
Wow, now that would be a bitter pill to swallow. It'd take me years to get over "losing" that way... See, I can't even call it losing without quotation marks.

Another DQ happened in Florida 4.0 sectionals. In the semis, Orange county won 3 matches pretty quickly and lost a close one in doubles. But their #1 singles guy retired while up a set 7-6, 0-5, making the overall team score 3-2. Then it turns out their #2 singles guy receives his 3rd strike and gets DQ'd giving the other team the 3-2 win. Now maybe the #1 singles guy retired due to injury since he was down 0-5, but if they had him retire to preserve energy for the final then that'd be a tough way to go out.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Wow, now that would be a bitter pill to swallow. It'd take me years to get over "losing" that way... See, I can't even call it losing without quotation marks.

Another DQ happened in Florida 4.0 sectionals. In the semis, Orange county won 3 matches pretty quickly and lost a close one in doubles. But their #1 singles guy retired while up a set 7-6, 0-5, making the overall team score 3-2. Then it turns out their #2 singles guy receives his 3rd strike and gets DQ'd giving the other team the 3-2 win. Now maybe the #1 singles guy retired due to injury since he was down 0-5, but if they had him retire to preserve energy for the final then that'd be a tough way to go out.
I hope that was an actual injury. If you're at 1-1 in the second after an hour+ first set and it looks like the match could take another hour or more, OK, fine, save your energy. At 0-5, just dump a game and play a tb and see what happens if you're not injured.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
So, BOTH 4.0 and 4.5 were decided by DQ's. In 4.0, the NJ team clearly had the best "starting 8", but the captain wore them into the ground and it cost him. They had 6 guys play all 5 matches and a 7th play 4 (all but the first match Friday morning). By the 4th match, I think they were a little fatigued and a 1-loss Delaware team upset them by beating both undefeated singles players in a match tb. They still had a 2 court lead heading into the final match. They won 4-1 while DE won 5-0, but on a different court, a kid playing for Eastern PA got DQ'd and his results overturned, including a win vs NJ that leveled the match count and sent sectionals to the head-to-head, which DE won. I don't disagree with overturning results for DQ'd players at sectionals, but that's a painful way to lose.

Eastern is like the b*stard stepchild of Middle States districts. NJ, Philly, and DE all have robust leagues and the players intermingle and play in 2 or sometimes 3 districts. Central and Western both have full, strong leagues. Eastern is the part of Eastern PA that isn't in the Philly suburbs. It's a bunch of small towns and mountain resorts that aren't really close to each other. They struggle to have leagues at all and often, the league consists of a "sectionals" team and a patsy there just to have a regular season. They struggle to get enough players, and they take almost anyone who wants to play league tennis. They finish last more often than not at sectionals, but they occasionally also have ridiculous ringers who aren't tested in the regular season because the league is a joke and are therefore more susceptible to DQ at sectionals. That's what happened this time. They were 0-5 at sectionals but had a kid who smoked the #1 singles player for DE who's been playing 4.0 and 4.5 all season, which was clearly a strike but not his third. In the end, sectionals was decided when the kid stuck around to play a meaningless match for an 0-4 team and got the third strike, which reversed the prior match.
Yeah, that is tough. FWIW, it was a pretty clear 3-strike DQ, but sounds like The NJ team needed to talk to the EPD captain to "convince" him to not play the self-rate in that final meaningless match!

Also, against DE, all three lost courts were lost in match TBs!

But when did they announce the DQ? On TennisLink at least it appears the player was DQ'd from an 8am match and thus wasn't available for the 3pm match against NJ, and so NJ didn't have to face him while DE did. But did NJ know he was DQ'd and results reversed prior to their match and that they needed to win by the same score in their final match as DE did? Seems exceedingly harsh if they didn't know that prior to the match.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Yeah, that is tough. FWIW, it was a pretty clear 3-strike DQ, but sounds like The NJ team needed to talk to the EPD captain to "convince" him to not play the self-rate in that final meaningless match!

Also, against DE, all three lost courts were lost in match TBs!

But when did they announce the DQ? On TennisLink at least it appears the player was DQ'd from an 8am match and thus wasn't available for the 3pm match against NJ, and so NJ didn't have to face him while DE did. But did NJ know he was DQ'd and results reversed prior to their match and that they needed to win by the same score in their final match as DE did? Seems exceedingly harsh if they didn't know that prior to the match.
I wasn't there in person, so I don't know the exact timeline of who knew what when. The other thing that happened is that DE had a singles guy tear an Achilles in the first match that they lost 3-2. You still need to win on the court, but the DE guy who got injured was probably the favorite to win that on paper, so if that injury didn't happen, then the DQ might not have mattered anyway. What a crazy weekend.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame

This match is the difference between the top two teams in the MS 18+ 4.5 sectionals. What a roller coaster of emotions that match had to be.
that happens when you play an 18 y.o. HS Senior who is being recruited, tough 3* recruit; UTR 11 probably should not be playing 4.5; DQ match beat a 9.82 which is on high end of 4.5 as well
 

djkahn86

Rookie
Yeah, that is tough. FWIW, it was a pretty clear 3-strike DQ, but sounds like The NJ team needed to talk to the EPD captain to "convince" him to not play the self-rate in that final meaningless match!

Also, against DE, all three lost courts were lost in match TBs!

But when did they announce the DQ? On TennisLink at least it appears the player was DQ'd from an 8am match and thus wasn't available for the 3pm match against NJ, and so NJ didn't have to face him while DE did. But did NJ know he was DQ'd and results reversed prior to their match and that they needed to win by the same score in their final match as DE did? Seems exceedingly harsh if they didn't know that prior to the match.

DE found out between the 8AM match and the 1:30PM final match against CPD. CPD was ranked 3rd and still wanted to try for second. DE swept 5-0 w/ the final 2 courts coming down to TBs. This put the pressure on NJ who had been the favorite going into Sunday to win out. EPD was now without the DQ singles player and in last place. It was an epic finale with NJ being up 4-0 and it coming down to #1 dubs. The pressure got to them and they were broken to go down 4-2 in the second and couldn't recover. NJ has a few guys playing 40+ districts this weekend so maybe they can make it thru to sectionals and eventually nationals that way.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
DE found out between the 8AM match and the 1:30PM final match against CPD. CPD was ranked 3rd and still wanted to try for second. DE swept 5-0 w/ the final 2 courts coming down to TBs. This put the pressure on NJ who had been the favorite going into Sunday to win out. EPD was now without the DQ singles player and in last place. It was an epic finale with NJ being up 4-0 and it coming down to #1 dubs. The pressure got to them and they were broken to go down 4-2 in the second and couldn't recover. NJ has a few guys playing 40+ districts this weekend so maybe they can make it thru to sectionals and eventually nationals that way.
I think there are only 2 guys from that team in 40's districts. Most of their guys are younger including the 2 singles guys and the kid who played first doubles. One of the 40+ guys plays for my team and one for our (friendly) rivals. Maybe one of them will move on (hopefully the guy on my team, of course, LOL), but NJ districts are really strong. We rolled everyone at districts last year, but we lost a couple key guys to the 4.5 ranks and the other teams got significantly better, so it definitely won't be like that again.

As for sectionals, the Philly team should be seen as prohibitive favorites. I have a team in Philly that played them in districts and they are better than last year despite 11 4.5 bumps and having to split up from nationals. Their captain is a master recruiter.
 

djkahn86

Rookie
few of the DE 18+ players that made nationals are on the philly 40+ team. Sounds like they have a strong team. I am skipping NJ districts this weekend so the south team will be a little weaker than normal.
 

NoChance

Rookie
And again, I am happy to not play league tennis. I live in MS/CPD, but not close to league play. I'd rather go find people to play, and have competitive but gentlemanly matches with, and leave it at that. I love tennis too much to deal with all the league craziness.
 

djkahn86

Rookie
There definitely is a dark side to USTA tennis. Competition can bring out the best and the worst out of people.
 

NoChance

Rookie
I am also an official--I work a lot of college tennis, mostly D-1, both as a roving official, and a chair umpire.

I get asked occasionally if I would be interested in officiating league sectionals. I politely reply, "No, thank you."
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
I am also an official--I work a lot of college tennis, mostly D-1, both as a roving official, and a chair umpire.

I get asked occasionally if I would be interested in officiating league sectionals. I politely reply, "No, thank you."
for sure, juniors are rough enough as are college matches, but adults in Rec level is a whole other dimension of officiating hell.
 

tennisjon

Professional
I played those sectionals. I am surprised both teams didn't have more DQs. Lots of good D2 players. In the past current D1 players playing 4.5. Last year, the Philly team had a kid that was a junior in HS, won the PA state championships and then beat a 5 star from NJ who was state champ as well. How is that 4.5? That might not even be 5.0.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I played those sectionals. I am surprised both teams didn't have more DQs. Lots of good D2 players. In the past current D1 players playing 4.5. Last year, the Philly team had a kid that was a junior in HS, won the PA state championships and then beat a 5 star from NJ who was state champ as well. How is that 4.5? That might not even be 5.0.
I saw the match in person where the kid beat the NJ State Champ in the tournament match. The NJ kid is the better player in general, just not that night. Regardless, your point is taken. Definitely not 4.5.
 
I played those sectionals. I am surprised both teams didn't have more DQs. Lots of good D2 players. In the past current D1 players playing 4.5. Last year, the Philly team had a kid that was a junior in HS, won the PA state championships and then beat a 5 star from NJ who was state champ as well. How is that 4.5? That might not even be 5.0.
Unfortunately par for the course for 4.5 teams. I'd guess almost every district has at least one team that fits that profile. For example there is a 4.5 team that fielded 3 or 4 college tennis players whose school just went D1 plus a high schooler who finished top 4 in his state tournament. They couldn't even make it to sectionals, finishing 2nd at districts.
 

tennisjon

Professional
There are supposed to be guidelines for being a 4.5 or any level. Being a 3 star or a verified 10 UTR regardless of rankings as a junior should automatically make you at least a 5.0.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
There are supposed to be guidelines for being a 4.5 or any level. Being a 3 star or a verified 10 UTR regardless of rankings as a junior should automatically make you at least a 5.0.
So, should the NTRP guidelines and self-rate questionnaire ask what a player's UTR is and slot players at a particular NTRP level based on that? One could certainly make an argument that an objective rating is at least as good a discriminator as some of the other criteria they use (junior ranking, college experience/commitment, etc.). Of course, I'm not sure the USTA wants to make any connection to UTR in this way.

But, if this did happen, we may begin to see players throw tournament matches to suppress their UTR lest their attempts to self-rate low for USTA play be thwarted.
 

winchestervatennis

Hall of Fame
So, should the NTRP guidelines and self-rate questionnaire ask what a player's UTR is and slot players at a particular NTRP level based on that? One could certainly make an argument that an objective rating is at least as good a discriminator as some of the other criteria they use (junior ranking, college experience/commitment, etc.). Of course, I'm not sure the USTA wants to make any connection to UTR in this way.

But, if this did happen, we may begin to see players throw tournament matches to suppress their UTR lest their attempts to self-rate low for USTA play be thwarted.
I’m sure you’re aware Southern is counting NTRP tournaments for ratings beginning this year ( at least that’s my understanding). So that tournament sandbagging could have already started. You seeing it at all?
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
So, should the NTRP guidelines and self-rate questionnaire ask what a player's UTR is and slot players at a particular NTRP level based on that? One could certainly make an argument that an objective rating is at least as good a discriminator as some of the other criteria they use (junior ranking, college experience/commitment, etc.). Of course, I'm not sure the USTA wants to make any connection to UTR in this way.

But, if this did happen, we may begin to see players throw tournament matches to suppress their UTR lest their attempts to self-rate low for USTA play be thwarted.
USTA would be well advised to make some kind of change(s) to address the gap where 18 year old male junior players who have yet to sign with a college are permitted to self rate at 4.5 (whilst winning state high school tournaments, playing USTA junior national tournaments, etc.). But the first step to doing something about it is admitting there’s a problem in the first place. (Which, is not always USTA’s strong suit).
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I’m sure you’re aware Southern is counting NTRP tournaments for ratings beginning this year ( at least that’s my understanding). So that tournament sandbagging could have already started. You seeing it at all?
Yep, knew they were counting now. I haven't looked closely enough to see signs of sandbagging yet. But I was actually referring to players throwing matches in UTR tournaments to lower their UTR if this were to become a self-rate guideline.
 
USTA would be well advised to make some kind of change(s) to address the gap where 18 year old male junior players who have yet to sign with a college are permitted to self rate at 4.5 (whilst winning state high school tournaments, playing USTA junior national tournaments, etc.). But the first step to doing something about it is admitting there’s a problem in the first place. (Which, is not always USTA’s strong suit).
A 5.0 level/UTR 10 junior I know that signed up for a rival 4.5 team in my league told me that the questionnaire kept asking him if he was a top 700 junior, top 600, top 500, etc... and that he just had to stop answering yes at some point to keep a 4.5 rating. So really all the usta would have to do is actually check these kids rankings/UTRs to know they don't belong or that they are "lying" on the questionnaire. They just don't. And other teams could easily file a grievance too but no one does.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
A 5.0 level/UTR 10 junior I know that signed up for a rival 4.5 team in my league told me that the questionnaire kept asking him if he was a top 700 junior, top 600, top 500, etc... and that he just had to stop answering yes at some point to keep a 4.5 rating. So really all the usta would have to do is actually check these kids rankings/UTRs to know they don't belong or that they are "lying" on the questionnaire. They just don't. And other teams could easily file a grievance too but no one does.
Yep. This example seems to highlight one of the problems with the self-rating system - it relies on the “honor system.” If all people were inherently well-intentioned and honest, it would work fine. But we all know that isn’t the case.
 

tennisjon

Professional
There are supposed to be guidelines for being a 4.5 or any level. Being a 3 star or a verified 10 UTR regardless of rankings as a junior should automatically make you at least a 5.0.

No, I would keep what they have but add extra precautions that would auto count on a 5.0 rating.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
There are supposed to be guidelines for being a 4.5 or any level. Being a 3 star or a verified 10 UTR regardless of rankings as a junior should automatically make you at least a 5.0.

No, I would keep what they have but add extra precautions that would auto count on a 5.0 rating.
Yeah, they do have the guidelines. But in my area at least, USTA officials don’t always seem to care too much about what the guidelines actually say, when it comes to a self-rated player who is playing beneath the level the guidelines suggest they should be playing at. In those cases, I’ve heard USTA personnel suggest, in one way or another, that they’d “rather let the computer figure it out.” In other words, if a player is inappropriately self-rated, no big deal - the computer will eventually sort it out. There’s only one problem with that of course - it usually takes the computer some time to sort it out. And if the player in question is wise to managing their rating, it may never get sorted out. Whatever time it takes the computer to sort such a situation out, is time the player in question is allowed to play at a rating that most people will agree is unjust. Just doesn’t seem right. And USTA doesn’t seem to acknowledge they have a problem, much less offer any solutions. UTR, are you listening?
 
Yep. This example seems to highlight one of the problems with the self-rating system - it relies on the “honor system.” If all people were inherently well-intentioned and honest, it would work fine. But we all know that isn’t the case.
Worst part is this kid would have gotten waxed at districts (didn't play due to injury) by a couple kids he already loses to at junior tournaments. I think that's what makes it feel like they're not being dishonest. When so many out of level players are in your leagues it makes the next one to join feel like he/she's at the proper level regardless of what the questionnaire says.
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
Worst part is this kid would have gotten waxed at districts (didn't play due to injury) by a couple kids he already loses to at junior tournaments. I think that's what makes it feel like they're not being dishonest. When so many out of level players are in your leagues it makes the next one to join feel like he/she's at the proper level regardless of what the questionnaire says.
“But everybody else is doing it, so...”

100% agree with your comment.
 

winchestervatennis

Hall of Fame
Yep, knew they were counting now. I haven't looked closely enough to see signs of sandbagging yet. But I was actually referring to players throwing matches in UTR tournaments to lower their UTR if this were to become a self-rate guideline.
My mistake, i get what you’re saying.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Yep. This example seems to highlight one of the problems with the self-rating system - it relies on the “honor system.” If all people were inherently well-intentioned and honest, it would work fine. But we all know that isn’t the case.
There are definitely improvements they could make here. If you're logged into an account doing self-rating, they shouldn't have to ask you what your current or recent junior ranking is/was. They should be able to just look it up. It's all in their own data. There's no reason to make people answer questions that they should already know the answer to.

You still have to ask in case there are people who are self-rating under a different account than they played their junior tennis, but if there is junior experience on that account, just pre-fill the answer.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
Yep, knew they were counting now. I haven't looked closely enough to see signs of sandbagging yet. But I was actually referring to players throwing matches in UTR tournaments to lower their UTR if this were to become a self-rate guideline.
Southern dropped Tournaments from Ratings due to sandbagging about 10 yrs ago, so now they are bringing it back and the bagging is starting again. Shocker. Some people just want their plastic trophy and towel.
 
Southern dropped Tournaments from Ratings due to sandbagging about 10 yrs ago, so now they are bringing it back and the bagging is starting again. Shocker. Some people just want their plastic trophy and towel.
Pretty sure I read tournament matches aren't valued as highly in the ratings calculation as league matches. So at least they tried to make it harder.
 

brettatk

Semi-Pro
I'm not sure I understand how people would use tournaments to sandbag. Are you saying people would pay $40+ to play in a tournament and then play a match and lose it on purpose to help lower their rating? Seems like it would be very costly and one match here and there wouldn't effect your rating that much would it?
 
I'm not sure I understand how people would use tournaments to sandbag. Are you saying people would pay $40+ to play in a tournament and then play a match and lose it on purpose to help lower their rating? Seems like it would be very costly and one match here and there wouldn't effect your rating that much would it?
Yes. Some people have time and money to waste on things most find silly. Plus a willingness to cheat.

Also they don't necessarily have to lose first round. A lot of people play up in tournaments so you might end up playing someone with a lower rating that you're expected to beat 0 and 0.
 

brettatk

Semi-Pro
Yes. Some people have time and money to waste on things most find silly. Plus a willingness to cheat.

Also they don't necessarily have to lose first round. A lot of people play up in tournaments so you might end up playing someone with a lower rating that you're expected to beat 0 and 0.
Gotcha. So in a weak draw someone could win the tournament but end up lowering their rating by dropping enough games to weak players. Just seems like a waste but I guess it's the same principle as sandbagging in league play.
 

winchestervatennis

Hall of Fame
Yes. Some people have time and money to waste on things most find silly. Plus a willingness to cheat.

Also they don't necessarily have to lose first round. A lot of people play up in tournaments so you might end up playing someone with a lower rating that you're expected to beat 0 and 0.
Great point. If a player towards the top of his rating draws a guy playing up and beats him 5&5, thats a great result for the sandbagger.
 

tlsmikey

New User
This is why the UTR system is a bit better and should be used in conjunction with the rating. The top two singles guys are 10.2-10.5 UTR's at the moment and that puts them up there with D1 singles players in some colleges. I don't think that's anyones idea of a 4.5.

In our league, I don't think we have any 5.0 players that are a 10.0+ on their UTR to put it in perspective.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
This is why the UTR system is a bit better and should be used in conjunction with the rating. The top two singles guys are 10.2-10.5 UTR's at the moment and that puts them up there with D1 singles players in some colleges. I don't think that's anyones idea of a 4.5.

In our league, I don't think we have any 5.0 players that are a 10.0+ on their UTR to put it in perspective.
I thought D1 singles players are 12-13? 10 is probably a decent D1 womens player
 
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