Need advice on setting the Lineup

#1
I've taken over as captain for the first time. We have a tough match this week against a team I know very well. They have an experienced captain who is crafty at setting his lineup in different configurations to give his team an edge. I think our teams are pretty evenly talented with the other team having more depth by 1 or two players. My first inclination is to play them straight up. In other words, set my lineup as I do for most matches I think will be competitive. I do take input from my friends who play on the team and some of them think we should try to out maneuver our opponents by trying to guess where they will play certain guys and us changing/mixing around our usual lineup.
Example, I have played two guys at singles through the first 5 matches. One guy, Singles A, has a 5-1 record at the 2nd singles spot. The other (Singles B) is 3-3 at 1st singles. Because we know the other team well, the suggestion is, that I flip my singles guys in the hopes they match up with their singles players the way want. AND, to take our 5-1 Singles A player, put him at doubles (2nd dubs) to get us another 'lock' in doubles as we feel confident our first doubles team will win at 1st dubs. Our 3rd dubs team is where we know we will struggles due to lack of depth. There's a lot more details involved. We would also end up moving one of, if not, our strongest doubles players to 1st singles. He's a really solid doubles and singles player but I feel he gives us a sure win on a doubles court whereas at singles, that percentage is lower. I really just want to put the strongest lineup out there in the usual spots and if the other team beats us, I tip my cap to them. But I'm being beseeched that i need to employ a craftier strategy. Any advice?
 
#2
Toss a coin to determine court assignments. Seriously. The other captain is trying to figure out what you are going to do, just like you're doing. So you might shuffle things around only to find that so did he.

Your best bet is to ignore what you think he may do, since you'd just be guessing and are as likely to be wrong as right. Instead, put your best singles players in at singles, use established dubs pairings, and make your court assignments random. That way keeps you unpredictable to the other captain (and others scouting your team for future matches).
 
#3
Toss a coin to determine court assignments. Seriously. The other captain is trying to figure out what you are going to do, just like you're doing. So you might shuffle things around only to find that so did he.

Your best bet is to ignore what you think he may do, since you'd just be guessing and are as likely to be wrong as right. Instead, put your best singles players in at singles, use established dubs pairings, and make your court assignments random. That way keeps you unpredictable to the other captain (and others scouting your team for future matches).
Thanks. Our team is tied for 1st with the aforementioned Wednesday night opponent. Many players on my team came from that team and still practice with them. So there is some history there and guys want to win this match bad. We've got a practice tonight if the weather holds up so I'll talk to the guys tonight and get their thoughts but I'm inclined to take your advice Orange.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
#5
Guessing whether to flip/stack courts or not can help or bite you in the butt just as easily as OrangePower says, especially if you are playing an opponent that is unpredictable in their line-ups.

What is usually a better idea is to try and understand or gauge the strength of their singles vs doubles pairings and if you have the flexibility to move things around, decide if you have an advantage/disadvantage at singles. If you don't have an advantage and/or you are confident the other team will run out their strong singles guys at singles and you don't think you will at least split the singles courts, consider strengthening your doubles courts with your stronger players to try to ensure wins there.
 
#6
You're the captain, you make the call. If anyone questions or second guessed you, offer them the "privilege" of taking over as captain.
I don't want to operate like that. We formed this team because we're friends and we listen to each other unlike some circumstances with captains not taking input from the players. After practice tonight myself, our co-captain and whoever else will strategize over a few Modelo's. If consensus is to fiddle with the lineup, so be it. I'll make a strong case to leave things be essentially. Switch up where we align our dubs teams possibly.
 
#8
I've taken over as captain for the first time. We have a tough match this week against a team I know very well. They have an experienced captain who is crafty at setting his lineup in different configurations to give his team an edge. I think our teams are pretty evenly talented with the other team having more depth by 1 or two players. My first inclination is to play them straight up. In other words, set my lineup as I do for most matches I think will be competitive. I do take input from my friends who play on the team and some of them think we should try to out maneuver our opponents by trying to guess where they will play certain guys and us changing/mixing around our usual lineup.
Example, I have played two guys at singles through the first 5 matches. One guy, Singles A, has a 5-1 record at the 2nd singles spot. The other (Singles B) is 3-3 at 1st singles. Because we know the other team well, the suggestion is, that I flip my singles guys in the hopes they match up with their singles players the way want. AND, to take our 5-1 Singles A player, put him at doubles (2nd dubs) to get us another 'lock' in doubles as we feel confident our first doubles team will win at 1st dubs. Our 3rd dubs team is where we know we will struggles due to lack of depth. There's a lot more details involved. We would also end up moving one of, if not, our strongest doubles players to 1st singles. He's a really solid doubles and singles player but I feel he gives us a sure win on a doubles court whereas at singles, that percentage is lower. I really just want to put the strongest lineup out there in the usual spots and if the other team beats us, I tip my cap to them. But I'm being beseeched that i need to employ a craftier strategy. Any advice?
I would ask them What they want to play and where. and put them there. in that way they are happy at that spot and they will likely win there
 
#9
My .02 -

Don't put a weaker player at doubles with a stronger player. That is a method that just doesn't work well in my experience. The strongest guy on the court can't always carry the weakest guy on the court and the result is the strongest player's skills are often wasted.
Duly noted. We've done this when playing weaker teams that we wanted to get a 5-0 or 4-1 result against. But we knew those teams were not strong. Let me break it down further. I have two guys that prefer to play singles. I've been playing them there almost every week. One of those guys is 9-1 in his last 10, the other 5-5. Our 5-5 guy has beaten their 1st singles player the last 3 matches. Our 10-1 guy struggles against the same player. Our #1 dubs player is probably our second strongest singles player. The thought is to play him at singles with our 5-5 guy. #1 dubs man usually pairs with another guy who is almost just as strong in doubles. Those two are undefeated and will most likely be moved up next season. They are a lock for a win in my mind. I have split them up last few matches to strengthen our doubles courts. But I knew we could get away with it against the weaker competition and its given us a virtual lock for two doubles wins. Our 3rd doubles team is unfortunately pot luck.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#10
My only advice is don't overthink your lineup. If have guys who usually play singles, play them in singles. If you have guys who usually play doubles, play them in doubles. If you have doubles teams who usually play together, play them together. Usually, when people start thinking "maybe if I take this guy and put him with this guy and move his regular partner to this spot and put this guy in the singles spot", they lose. As to which line in the lineup to put your players, that's a crapshoot, but don't mess with people's normal roles for the biggest matches of the year.
 
#11
My only advice is don't overthink your lineup. If have guys who usually play singles, play them in singles. If you have guys who usually play doubles, play them in doubles. If you have doubles teams who usually play together, play them together. Usually, when people start thinking "maybe if I take this guy and put him with this guy and move his regular partner to this spot and put this guy in the singles spot", they lose. As to which line in the lineup to put your players, that's a crapshoot, but don't mess with people's normal roles for the biggest matches of the year.
I agree. Now I have to convince my teammates that messing with the secret sauce is a bad idea.
 
#12
I don't want to operate like that. We formed this team because we're friends and we listen to each other unlike some circumstances with captains not taking input from the players. After practice tonight myself, our co-captain and whoever else will strategize over a few Modelo's. If consensus is to fiddle with the lineup, so be it. I'll make a strong case to leave things be essentially. Switch up where we align our dubs teams possibly.
Fair enough and I think it's commendable to captain thataway. I guess I'm jaded from Monday morning quarterbacking but it doesn't sound like that is an issue for you and your team. Whatever you do I wish you luck. And please let us know what you decided, what the other team did, and how it all goes down.
 
#13
Fair enough and I think it's commendable to captain thataway. I guess I'm jaded from Monday morning quarterbacking but it doesn't sound like that is an issue for you and your team. Whatever you do I wish you luck. And please let us know what you decided, what the other team did, and how it all goes down.
I was jaded too from dealing with captains who either didn't care at all or who refused to listen to players whatsoever. That was the primary reason we started our team. So this upcoming match will be a grudge match and the winner will most likely go to sectionals.
 
#14
My only advice is don't overthink your lineup. If have guys who usually play singles, play them in singles. If you have guys who usually play doubles, play them in doubles. If you have doubles teams who usually play together, play them together. Usually, when people start thinking "maybe if I take this guy and put him with this guy and move his regular partner to this spot and put this guy in the singles spot", they lose. As to which line in the lineup to put your players, that's a crapshoot, but don't mess with people's normal roles for the biggest matches of the year.
I agree with this. If you want to adjust lines, check to see who played what lines for the other team in key must-win matches or matches against the stronger teams, assume they'll play the same lines against your team, and set your lines to give your team the best chance to win at least 3 of the lines. Don't necessarily play your lines straight up if you think the other team is deeper...
 
#15
Toss a coin to determine court assignments. Seriously. The other captain is trying to figure out what you are going to do, just like you're doing. So you might shuffle things around only to find that so did he.

Your best bet is to ignore what you think he may do, since you'd just be guessing and are as likely to be wrong as right. Instead, put your best singles players in at singles, use established dubs pairings, and make your court assignments random. That way keeps you unpredictable to the other captain (and others scouting your team for future matches).
You and I think alike, Orange: I thought the exact same thing. Randomize it and keep 'em guessing. Plus it has the fringe benefit of preventing you from over thinking it.
 
#18
I agree with this. If you want to adjust lines, check to see who played what lines for the other team in key must-win matches or matches against the stronger teams, assume they'll play the same lines against your team, and set your lines to give your team the best chance to win at least 3 of the lines. Don't necessarily play your lines straight up if you think the other team is deeper...
They are deeper. Our 2nd singles player can beat their 1st singles guy.....but I'm not confident he can beat the guy they have at 2nd. If they flip them and we don't guess right we'll most likely lose one if not both courts. I believe our first doubles beats any of their doubles teams. I'm confident our 2nd doubles beats all but one of their dubs teams. Our 3rd dubs team(s) is basically whoever is available. We have some solid players there, just no well established teams.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
#19
A while back, Schmke posted a blog on some stats on where he saw the strongest doubles teams in lineups.

I found his blog on this subject to be extremely helpful. Maybe he can repost that blog here.
 

wings56

Hall of Fame
#20
They are deeper. Our 2nd singles player can beat their 1st singles guy.....but I'm not confident he can beat the guy they have at 2nd. If they flip them and we don't guess right we'll most likely lose one if not both courts. I believe our first doubles beats any of their doubles teams. I'm confident our 2nd doubles beats all but one of their dubs teams. Our 3rd dubs team(s) is basically whoever is available. We have some solid players there, just no well established teams.
The keep 1 doubles at the top. Put 2 doubles at line 3. Play 3 doubles at line 2.

Play your singles straight up.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
#21
A while back, Schmke posted a blog on some stats on where he saw the strongest doubles teams in lineups.

I found his blog on this subject to be extremely helpful. Maybe he can repost that blog here.
I've actually written several posts on the subject or related ones.

http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2016/04/do-stronger-players-in-usta-league-play.html - Discusses whether stronger players typically play singles or doubles, but actually looks at strength of player by court too.

http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2013/08/more-interesting-usta-league-stats.html - Discusses which courts the winning team wins most often. There isn't a huge variance, but 2D and 3D are won most often which could indicate stacking, or just the winning team being deeper.

http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2015/12/2015-usta-league-team-winning-scenario.html - Discusses the rates of the different win scenarios (5-0 vs 4-1 vs 3-2) with 5-0 and 4-1 occurring more often that you'd expect if there were an even distribution.

Note all of the above are averages over very large numbers of matches. You can and will see extremes with stacking from some captains all the time or for key matches. Or some will do random line-ups to stay unpredictable. It is all still interesting to look at.
 
#22
http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2016/04/do-stronger-players-in-usta-league-play.html - Discusses whether stronger players typically play singles or doubles, but actually looks at strength of player by court too.
This was very interesting, specifically that it suggests that many teams just play straight up.
This is speculation on my part, with a bit of anecdotal experience thrown in, but I think the less competitive teams are more inclined to play straight up, while the more competitive teams do so less often.
A couple of reasons come to mind:
Captains of less competitive teams are just not as interested in the strategery of lineup setting.
And they are more motivated in getting each of their lines a competitive match, rather than going for the team win above all else.
I wonder what others' experience is.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
#23
This was very interesting, specifically that it suggests that many teams just play straight up.
I think that is true. My experience is that most teams play straight-up or close to it. And so when you look at averages across gobs of matches, you see things looking like they are straight-up.

Say there are 10 teams in a sub-flight, each team plays 9 matches so there are 90 line-ups. If 7 of the teams don't care and play straight-up, and the other 3 only stack in 3 of their matches, that is 81 of the 90 line-ups that are straight-up and the 9 stacked line-ups won't skew the averages much.

Why do teams play straight-up? I think there is still the perception with many captains that you are supposed to play the courts by strength, or players have that perception and some feel slighted if they don't play court 1, or if they are relegated to court 3, so captains leave them there. Then of course some captains don't know the real strength of their players and think they are stacking but in fact put their players in order of strength! :O
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
#24
This is speculation on my part, with a bit of anecdotal experience thrown in, but I think the less competitive teams are more inclined to play straight up, while the more competitive teams do so less often
Our men's 18+ Captain tends to play straight up almost entirely, which makes anyone who knows his stronger players easy to avoid.

Often our 1 doubles and 1 singles run into 3.5 players instead of 4.0 guys, which is why I advocate a National rule requiring "any player playing up must play in the lowest line for the match and are restricted from playing line 1.

Example a team with four 3.5 players can't fill Line 1 for singles or doubles, and must play at line 2 singles or line 2 / 3 doubles.
Example team with four 3.5 players-.

1S 4.0
2S 3.5 or 4.0
1 D 4.0/4.0
2D 4.0/3.5
3D 3.5/ 3.5

Out of nearly 20 teams locally, we advanced last year, and are in the local playoffs again this year.

In our area, it seems to be the less competitive teams tend to shift stronger players out of the the #1 lines attempting to beat deeper teams until they can no longer advance, before they play the stronger players in lines 1 then line 2.

It isn't fun or cool to play an extremely weak 3.5 player who was a 3.0 in Dec at line 1 40+ doubles then beat him and a guy on my 18+ team 0&1 and then watch the better 4.0 players on his 40+ team beat your weaker teammates at line 2 & 3 doubles, especially when the match is meaningless for all teams.

Yep it happened to me. I even wrote Schmke about it. We were off the court in 35 mins. What a waste of a night and our team lost 2-3. Neither team was advancing. Very lame move IMO. I felt terrible for my teammate on the other side of the court, but it was his lame 40 + 4.0 Captain who did this to him.
 
#25
Our men's 18+ Captain tends to play straight up almost entirely, which makes anyone who knows his stronger players easy to avoid.

Often our 1 doubles and 1 singles run into 3.5 players instead of 4.0 guys, which is why I advocate a National rule requiring "any player playing up must play in the lowest line for the match and are restricted from playing line 1.

Example a team with four 3.5 players can't fill Line 1 for singles or doubles, and must play at line 2 singles or line 2 / 3 doubles.
Example team with four 3.5 players-.

1S 4.0
2S 3.5 or 4.0
1 D 4.0/4.0
2D 4.0/3.5
3D 3.5/ 3.5

Out of nearly 20 teams locally, we advanced last year, and are in the local playoffs again this year.

In our area, it seems to be the less competitive teams tend to shift stronger players out of the the #1 lines attempting to beat deeper teams until they can no longer advance, before they play the stronger players in lines 1 then line 2.

It isn't fun or cool to play an extremely weak 3.5 player who was a 3.0 in Dec at line 1 40+ doubles then beat him and a guy on my 18+ team 0&1 and then watch the better 4.0 players on his 40+ team beat your weaker teammates at line 2 & 3 doubles, especially when the match is meaningless for all teams.

Yep it happened to me. I even wrote Schmke about it. We were off the court in 35 mins. What a waste of a night and our team lost 2-3. Neither team was advancing. Very lame move IMO. I felt terrible for my teammate on the other side of the court, but it was his lame 40 + 4.0 Captain who did this to him.
Personally I don't insert the lower players playing up to 1 singles or dubs because it doesn't seem fun for either of the teams. The guys playing up are stepping out of their comfort zone and then throwing them to the wolves seems like a pretty crappy thing to do as captain just to try and sneak a 3-2 stacking win. Just my 2 cents.
 
#26
Personally I don't insert the lower players playing up to 1 singles or dubs because it doesn't seem fun for either of the teams. The guys playing up are stepping out of their comfort zone and then throwing them to the wolves seems like a pretty crappy thing to do as captain just to try and sneak a 3-2 stacking win. Just my 2 cents.
The thing is though that you can't blame the captains, because USTA itself is ambiguous about this. In several places it explicitly says that the line assignments are not meant to represent order of strength and that it's perfectly ok to put anyone anywhere. But then the defaulting rules state that defaults have to happen from the bottom, and now with the new plus leagues (e.g. 40 & over 4.5+ which allow 5.0s on the team) the plus player has to be in line 1. So USTA really needs to make up its mind!

Often our 1 doubles and 1 singles run into 3.5 players instead of 4.0 guys, which is why I advocate a National rule requiring "any player playing up must play in the lowest line for the match and are restricted from playing line 1.
I would be for that. It makes sense, and is along the lines of what USTA already does for the plus leagues. In fact USTA should just come out and say it that lines are intended to be in order of strength. Of course there is no way to enforce this when players are at the same level (so some captains will still stack by putting their weaker at level players at a higher line than stronger at level players), but at least you won't have lower-level players at the 1 line etc.
 
#27
Fair enough and I think it's commendable to captain thataway. I guess I'm jaded from Monday morning quarterbacking but it doesn't sound like that is an issue for you and your team. Whatever you do I wish you luck. And please let us know what you decided, what the other team did, and how it all goes down.
uuuuggghhhhhh. We lost last night. what's worse is we went down hard. 1-4. to add insult to injury, we lost that way, in my mind, because of the LINEUP I set. After tuesday practice, we agreed to play straight up, for the most part. We swapped out singles players. Our best doubles player I put at 1st singles. Our normal 2nd singles stayed in place. I was hoping he would play the guy they normally play at 2nd and he would win that court as he had beaten that particular player 3 of their last 5 meetings. Our opponent flipped their singles players. The match-ups didn't favor us and we lost both singles courts. On to doubles. Since I put our best dubs player on a singles court, I put our second best dubs player with a guy who is maybe a 6/10 for 4.0 doubles. Plus he's tall so he covers the net well. I put them at 1st dubs. Our opponent put his 3rd dubs team on the 1st court. We won that match easily. At this point, I've used my best two doubles guys, and only got one court win with two doubles courts remaining. Our usual 1st singles player I paired with our 3rd or 4th best doubles player. I put them on court two. They matched up against what I believe to be the best doubles team our opponents had. Our guys lost a very tight match. On the 3rd doubles court I threw myself out there with a guy who had been playing well-of late. They put their second best team on court 3 and we lost that court in straight sets. That's how we went down 1-4. My hats off to the other team and their captain who really out-maneuvered me. If I had a do-over, I'd keep my singles courts the way they had been for the previous 6 or 7 matches. Maybe then we split the singles courts and I could have added my best dubs player back to either dubs 2 or 3 and we could have won 2 of those courts most likely. I figure had I not messed with the usual lineup we would have either won 3-2 or lost 2-3. this loss stings as we have now fallen back to 3rd place in the standings and need help to make sectionals. Probably not gonna happen though. burn
 
#28
Our men's 18+ Captain tends to play straight up almost entirely, which makes anyone who knows his stronger players easy to avoid.

Often our 1 doubles and 1 singles run into 3.5 players instead of 4.0 guys, which is why I advocate a National rule requiring "any player playing up must play in the lowest line for the match and are restricted from playing line 1.

Example a team with four 3.5 players can't fill Line 1 for singles or doubles, and must play at line 2 singles or line 2 / 3 doubles.
Example team with four 3.5 players-.

1S 4.0
2S 3.5 or 4.0
1 D 4.0/4.0
2D 4.0/3.5
3D 3.5/ 3.5

Out of nearly 20 teams locally, we advanced last year, and are in the local playoffs again this year.

In our area, it seems to be the less competitive teams tend to shift stronger players out of the the #1 lines attempting to beat deeper teams until they can no longer advance, before they play the stronger players in lines 1 then line 2.

It isn't fun or cool to play an extremely weak 3.5 player who was a 3.0 in Dec at line 1 40+ doubles then beat him and a guy on my 18+ team 0&1 and then watch the better 4.0 players on his 40+ team beat your weaker teammates at line 2 & 3 doubles, especially when the match is meaningless for all teams.

Yep it happened to me. I even wrote Schmke about it. We were off the court in 35 mins. What a waste of a night and our team lost 2-3. Neither team was advancing. Very lame move IMO. I felt terrible for my teammate on the other side of the court, but it was his lame 40 + 4.0 Captain who did this to him.
It really is unfortunate when that happens. Last year our opponent flipped their lineup in the league deciding match so I ended up playing two guys nearly 70. It was a complete waste of my time and not fun. My team lost but we got lucky and their ringer got disqualified to give us the win anyway.

But this year I have a player on my team who is overweight. He keeps begging me to be a throwaway point at singles so he can see how many games he can win. I refuse to do it even now that we've clinched the local league because it's just not fair to the other guy to show up and have to play him.

I like the intent of your rule. the only problem is what happens when a team needs to play 6 players playing up? Would you make them default one of the first two positions?
 
#29
uuuuggghhhhhh. We lost last night. what's worse is we went down hard. 1-4. to add insult to injury, we lost that way, in my mind, because of the LINEUP I set. After tuesday practice, we agreed to play straight up, for the most part. We swapped out singles players. Our best doubles player I put at 1st singles. Our normal 2nd singles stayed in place. I was hoping he would play the guy they normally play at 2nd and he would win that court as he had beaten that particular player 3 of their last 5 meetings. Our opponent flipped their singles players. The match-ups didn't favor us and we lost both singles courts. On to doubles. Since I put our best dubs player on a singles court, I put our second best dubs player with a guy who is maybe a 6/10 for 4.0 doubles. Plus he's tall so he covers the net well. I put them at 1st dubs. Our opponent put his 3rd dubs team on the 1st court. We won that match easily. At this point, I've used my best two doubles guys, and only got one court win with two doubles courts remaining. Our usual 1st singles player I paired with our 3rd or 4th best doubles player. I put them on court two. They matched up against what I believe to be the best doubles team our opponents had. Our guys lost a very tight match. On the 3rd doubles court I threw myself out there with a guy who had been playing well-of late. They put their second best team on court 3 and we lost that court in straight sets. That's how we went down 1-4. My hats off to the other team and their captain who really out-maneuvered me. If I had a do-over, I'd keep my singles courts the way they had been for the previous 6 or 7 matches. Maybe then we split the singles courts and I could have added my best dubs player back to either dubs 2 or 3 and we could have won 2 of those courts most likely. I figure had I not messed with the usual lineup we would have either won 3-2 or lost 2-3. this loss stings as we have now fallen back to 3rd place in the standings and need help to make sectionals. Probably not gonna happen though. burn
You can't out stink a skunk.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
#30
I like the intent of your rule. the only problem is what happens when a team needs to play 6 players playing up? Would you make them default one of the first two positions?
If I were King of the USTA, you would have to submit an online form like an automatic appeal in order to be able to play up. ;) It would not be automatic like today. This would prevent the 3.0 who gets bumps to 3.5 on Dec 31 from playing 4.0 on Jan 15th.

6 below level players playing up on one team that needs 8 players on a court is about 3 or 4 too many players playing up IMO.

Thankfully our local league doesn't allow more than 4 players on a team to play up , so the at level players don't have to play lower level players too often in USTA matches.

I play with players who are below my level about 20-25% of my hitting time because:

1) These guys are friends of mine
2) They are on my combo team.
3) I am trying to help them get better and I set up competitive matches vs other 4.0 /3.5 combos. The guys on my 4.0 team hitting with 3.5 guys helps them, but in league matches do you want to play against 2.5 men as a 3.0 or 3.0 men as a 3.5?

I don't enjoy playing against people in noncompetitive matches and players who want to play up and aren't competitive at the next level get something out of playing up, but what does the guy playing at level get ? He gets his time wasted. We had a 35 min match.

There is a local 3.5 guy who plays up in a local ladder with eight scheduled opponents. Thankfully, the ladder let's the higher seeded player pick the location of the match. Seeds are based off sets won/loss, games won/loss. So beating your first opponent 0&0 or 0&1 will get you moved to the top of the ladder quickly

He complains about being a 3.5 and the way 3.5 guy hit. He had 13 aces against me last year in a singles match but he still lost 0&1 to me. When I played him again, he told me he had gotten better. I beat him 0&0 .

If it those were league matches at his location, I would have had to driven 45 mins to deliver a breadstick or bagel. This is why non-competitive player's playing up drive me nuts. I don't want to drive 45 mins to beat a guy playing up 0&1 or 0&0. USTA matches are supposed to be competitive and allowing anyone to play up certainly doesn't help create competitive matches.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#31
I like the intent of your rule. the only problem is what happens when a team needs to play 6 players playing up? Would you make them default one of the first two positions?
If you have a rule like that (which is kind of a corollary to the plus rule for 5.0s playing in the 40 & Over 4.5+ league), then you should be able to use whoever you want to make up your lineup, but you have to fill in the lower lines first with players playing up. In other words, the first 2 3.5s in a 4.0 match would have to play line 3 doubles. The 3rd through 5th 3.5s would have to fill in S2 and/or D2, and finally, if you need more than 5 3.5s, only then would you be allowed to play in either line 1. Hopefully, there are not many teams with more than 5 people playing up in any given match. Around here, you have to have at least 60% of your roster at level (or above in + leagues), so you can't have a team of all or even mostly people playing up.
 
#32
Thankfully our local league doesn't allow more than 4 players on a team to play up , so the at level players don't have to play lower level players too often in USTA matches.
...
This is why non-competitive player's playing up drive me nuts. I don't want to drive 45 mins to beat a guy playing up 0&1 or 0&0. USTA matches are supposed to be competitive and allowing anyone to play up certainly doesn't help create competitive matches.
Our local rule sucks compared to yours. In Norcal, you just need 6 players at level. So there are a few "4.5" teams for example where it's basically an entire 4.0 team of 14 people playing up, and then 6 token 4.5s that they have begged to join the team just to meet the rule (and who hardly end up playing any matches for the team). Another trick they use is that the at level players can be self-rated... so sometimes they find a few new players that are actually 4.0 level but self-rate as 4.5 to help satisfy the rule.

Honestly, I would rather play a sandbagger that should be at the higher level than a weak player playing up - it's a more competitive match for me.
 
#33
Why is the 4.0 team playing up at 4.5 and not 4.0? Or are they playing both 4.0 and 4.5? That's something we don't have to deal with around here. You might have some 4.0's playing up but that's usually because their team split and half got bumped up to 4.5 and they don't want to go find another team.
 
#34
Why is the 4.0 team playing up at 4.5 and not 4.0? Or are they playing both 4.0 and 4.5? That's something we don't have to deal with around here. You might have some 4.0's playing up but that's usually because their team split and half got bumped up to 4.5 and they don't want to go find another team.
They play both. Their focus is on the 4.0 team doing well, and then they do the 4.5 team to get some experience playing at the higher level. With the example I'm thinking of, they are actually a good bunch of guys, and I respect that they want to improve. I'd have no problem playing practice sets with them from time to time. But when we have to play them in a league match, and end up facing maybe seven 4.0s and only one 4.5, it's not much fun.
 
#35
They play both. Their focus is on the 4.0 team doing well, and then they do the 4.5 team to get some experience playing at the higher level. With the example I'm thinking of, they are actually a good bunch of guys, and I respect that they want to improve. I'd have no problem playing practice sets with them from time to time. But when we have to play them in a league match, and end up facing maybe seven 4.0s and only one 4.5, it's not much fun.
Gotcha. I see your point. Might be good practice for them but it would suck for the true 4.5's who have to play them.

We've lost some guys the past year to 4.5 and thought about getting a 4.5 Low team up so we could play with them again as well as our regular 4.0 team. But it's hard enough getting some of these guys to play one match a week much less two.
 
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#36
If you have a rule like that (which is kind of a corollary to the plus rule for 5.0s playing in the 40 & Over 4.5+ league), then you should be able to use whoever you want to make up your lineup, but you have to fill in the lower lines first with players playing up. In other words, the first 2 3.5s in a 4.0 match would have to play line 3 doubles. The 3rd through 5th 3.5s would have to fill in S2 and/or D2, and finally, if you need more than 5 3.5s, only then would you be allowed to play in either line 1. Hopefully, there are not many teams with more than 5 people playing up in any given match. Around here, you have to have at least 60% of your roster at level (or above in + leagues), so you can't have a team of all or even mostly people playing up.
We have the 60% rule in our league but it only applies if your league has fewer than two teams. So once there are two legal teams another team can be 100% below level
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
#37
Our local rule sucks compared to yours. In Norcal, you just need 6 players at level. So there are a few "4.5" teams for example where it's basically an entire 4.0 team of 14 people playing up, and then 6 token 4.5s that they have begged to join the team just to meet the rule (and who hardly end up playing any matches for the team). Another trick they use is that the at level players can be self-rated... so sometimes they find a few new players that are actually 4.0 level but self-rate as 4.5 to help satisfy the rule.

Honestly, I would rather play a sandbagger that should be at the higher level than a weak player playing up - it's a more competitive match for me.
That's terrible for the 4.5C players.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
#39
Sorry your team lost RollTrack-
Sounds like your team is pretty good and it would have been a coin toss on the match if a few
players were in different lines. Hope the matches were fun and competitive for both teams.
 
#40
Sorry your team lost RollTrack-
Sounds like your team is pretty good and it would have been a coin toss on the match if a few
players were in different lines. Hope the matches were fun and competitive for both teams.
The matches were competitive for the most part. I still think we have the stronger team if both teams played straight up but there's more to it when the difference between teams is minimal. They have a good team and they have talent that is equal to us in many spots and they have more of it. I also feel like I didn't get my guys loose enough. My partner played the 1st set of our match tight. In both sets we were up a break early and lost the break and eventually both sets. I know I can be intense at times and that can make some guys tighten up. It was a fun atmosphere. I have never heard so many guys yelling 'c'mons' and being extremely demonstrative. One of the guys on the other team we had to warn for overdoing it. It was obnoxious if not plain unsportsmanlike. On my court one of the guys was making some questionable line calls. I let him know early that I saw what he was doing and he knocked it off. Funny how guys get when they really want to win. We wanted that win bad. There's some bad blood between that captain and some of my players. We know now we have a rivalry with these guys. Sucks we don't get to play them again until the fall.
 

Jim A

Professional
#41
Roll- in the end it's all about what happens on he court. Most of the teams here play straight up. However our depth is strong so it doesn't really matter. If you have a strong S2 and lower doubles that is what decides matches and stacking becomes irrelevant. Our men's season is short for 18+ (7weeks). So we have spent our drop in time over the winter trying out different pairings and getting feedback when the weather held.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#43
Roll- in the end it's all about what happens on he court. Most of the teams here play straight up. However our depth is strong so it doesn't really matter. If you have a strong S2 and lower doubles that is what decides matches and stacking becomes irrelevant. Our men's season is short for 18+ (7weeks). So we have spent our drop in time over the winter trying out different pairings and getting feedback when the weather held.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
We've got 6 more matches, 14 total. I was laughing with a teammate about it last night at intra-club singles. We'll play straight up as much as possible the rest of the way and see what happens. I play mostly singles during the summer so I won't think about it much until the rematch in the fall.
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#44
I've taken over as captain for the first time. We have a tough match this week against a team I know very well. They have an experienced captain who is crafty at setting his lineup in different configurations to give his team an edge. I think our teams are pretty evenly talented with the other team having more depth by 1 or two players. My first inclination is to play them straight up. In other words, set my lineup as I do for most matches I think will be competitive. I do take input from my friends who play on the team and some of them think we should try to out maneuver our opponents by trying to guess where they will play certain guys and us changing/mixing around our usual lineup.
Example, I have played two guys at singles through the first 5 matches. One guy, Singles A, has a 5-1 record at the 2nd singles spot. The other (Singles B) is 3-3 at 1st singles. Because we know the other team well, the suggestion is, that I flip my singles guys in the hopes they match up with their singles players the way want. AND, to take our 5-1 Singles A player, put him at doubles (2nd dubs) to get us another 'lock' in doubles as we feel confident our first doubles team will win at 1st dubs. Our 3rd dubs team is where we know we will struggles due to lack of depth. There's a lot more details involved. We would also end up moving one of, if not, our strongest doubles players to 1st singles. He's a really solid doubles and singles player but I feel he gives us a sure win on a doubles court whereas at singles, that percentage is lower. I really just want to put the strongest lineup out there in the usual spots and if the other team beats us, I tip my cap to them. But I'm being beseeched that i need to employ a craftier strategy. Any advice?
Your post is complicated and incomprehensible.

Never play "straight up."

THE THIRTY-SIX STRATAGEMS OF ANCIENT CHINA
Copyright 1991 by Gao Yuan

"Qi military commander Tian Ji often raced and bet on horses with the king of Qi, and almost always lost. One day Sun Bin went along. After careful observation, he worked out a formula to guarantee Tian Ji success. Tian Ji tried it out the next day.

Sun Bin had noticed that Tian Ji's horses lost by only a hair in all three competition categories. This time Tian Ji put his first-class horse in the second-class race, his second class horse in the third-class race, and his third-class horse in the first-class race. Naturally Tian Ji lost the first-class race but won the other two. By sacrificing one race, he came out ahead overall.

When Sun Bin was planning to ambush his archenemy Pang Juan, Tian Ji wanted to use Sun Bin's horse-racing method-that is, to sacrifice his worst column to Pang Juan's best, use his own best column to attack Pang Juan's middle column, and use his medium column to attack Pang Juan's worst column.

Instead, Sun Bin engineered a plan that took advantage of the mountainous territory to stall for time. First, Tian Ji's worst column went against Pang Juan's best, and his medium against Pang Juan's medium, while his best made a quick and decisive attack against Pang Juan's worst, wiping it out. Then Tian Ji's best joined his medium column to overpower Pang Juan's medium column. Finally these two columns joined Tian Ji's worst, and together they defeated Pang Juan's best. Although Tian Ji's worst column suffered many casualties, his troops were able to concentrate superior forces in the three successive stages of the battle, ensuring overall victory."
 
#45
Your post is complicated and incomprehensible.

Never play "straight up."

THE THIRTY-SIX STRATAGEMS OF ANCIENT CHINA
Copyright 1991 by Gao Yuan

"Qi military commander Tian Ji often raced and bet on horses with the king of Qi, and almost always lost. One day Sun Bin went along. After careful observation, he worked out a formula to guarantee Tian Ji success. Tian Ji tried it out the next day.

Sun Bin had noticed that Tian Ji's horses lost by only a hair in all three competition categories. This time Tian Ji put his first-class horse in the second-class race, his second class horse in the third-class race, and his third-class horse in the first-class race. Naturally Tian Ji lost the first-class race but won the other two. By sacrificing one race, he came out ahead overall.

When Sun Bin was planning to ambush his archenemy Pang Juan, Tian Ji wanted to use Sun Bin's horse-racing method-that is, to sacrifice his worst column to Pang Juan's best, use his own best column to attack Pang Juan's middle column, and use his medium column to attack Pang Juan's worst column.

Instead, Sun Bin engineered a plan that took advantage of the mountainous territory to stall for time. First, Tian Ji's worst column went against Pang Juan's best, and his medium against Pang Juan's medium, while his best made a quick and decisive attack against Pang Juan's worst, wiping it out. Then Tian Ji's best joined his medium column to overpower Pang Juan's medium column. Finally these two columns joined Tian Ji's worst, and together they defeated Pang Juan's best. Although Tian Ji's worst column suffered many casualties, his troops were able to concentrate superior forces in the three successive stages of the battle, ensuring overall victory."
Ha! You're replying to a year old post with an excerpt from an 'Art of War' knock off....
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
#48
my $0.02... hypothetically if i'm the best player on the team, i'd want to play straight up and play the best player on the opposing team.
i play league for good matches, and to test myself.
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#49
Sure guy. Enjoy trolling long dead threads with mystical ancient proverbs
It's not "mystical ancient proverbs". It's real life battle tactics.

Say you have to 2 teams.

Team A: 4.1, 3.1, 2.1
Team B: 4.0, 3.0, 2.0

Let 4.1 beat 2.0
4.0 beat 3.1
3.0 beat 2.1

You win 2 out 3, playing "straight up" you lose 3 out of 3.
 
#50
It's not "mystical ancient proverbs". It's real life battle tactics.

Say you have to 2 teams.

Team A: 4.1, 3.1, 2.1
Team B: 4.0, 3.0, 2.0

Let 4.1 beat 2.0
4.0 beat 3.1
3.0 beat 2.1

You win 2 out 3, playing "straight up" you lose 3 out of 3.
The problem is you don't know what the other captain is going to do.

Another problem is you don't know the exact rating of the opposing players and even if you did, there's no guarantee that everyone will play exactly at that level that day.

By randomizing your lineup [not randomly putting singles players in doubles or vice versa; just randomizing the singles as one exercise and randomizing doubles teams as the other*], you remove any self-recrimination [I should have done X] and you make yourself immune to second-guessing your choice.

*Also, I don't mean randomizing partner choices. That should be a conscious choice based on your knowledge of who plays well together.
 
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