New New USTA League Age Ranges and NTRP Ratings.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Chas Tennis, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Feb 17, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    To me how the USTA computer NTRP ranking system works has already been mysterious and sometimes it does strange things.

    This year there are new age divisions. Some players over 55, for example, at 4.0 level, have the option to play in 18 & over, 40 & over and 55 & over divisions. They would likely have better records in the older divisions than they would get in the 18 & over Adult Division. Let's say a player only plays in 4.0 55 & over and wins nearly all of their matches. If they bump up to 4.5 it would make it very difficult to compete again against 4.5 18 & over. Not only that, but in my area when you bump up there often are no USTA leagues or leagues with only 2-3 teams that are not nearly as good as the bigger leagues.

    The NTRP system is based on the principal of skill level as indicated by win-loss record against the pool of all tennis players. Has any special consideration been given to the the effect of the new USTA age divisions where the record might be based on the record against a much smaller, age selected, pool of players, say, already in the bottom half of their NTRP level, that is, the lower 50% of all 4.0 players?

    I spoke to one player from Asia. In his county there was a significant effective division among tennis players at age 40 - not many matches were played between the age groups. I don't know if that is an accurate picture but I much prefer a skill/results system like the NTRP.

    Does anyone know how the NTRP system might factor in the new USTA age divisions?
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  2. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

    Jan 20, 2010
    Minor clarification here, the NTRP system isn't based on win-loss record at all. It is based on game differential and does take into account the opponents rating at the time the match is played.

    If a 4.0 55+ is indeed playing lower end 4.0 players in their 55+ league, they may have a very good record but their rating won't necessary go up and so they likely won't be bumped up to 4.5, or at least won't be simply due to winning.

    Having said that, in order for a 55+ 4.0 and a 20 year old 4.0 to be rated appropriately, there need to be at least some matches where the older players play in the 40+ and 18+ leagues. If this doesn't happen, there is a risk that segregated groups of players have their ratings based solely on play against the same group and a comparison of ratings with other players becomes less meaningful or accurate.

    Good question, and I don't know specifically what if anything is done, but I imagine through benchmark calculations at year-end and other adjustments the USTA can choose to do, they can factor something in if they feel it is needed.
  3. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

    Apr 30, 2012
    The problem I have with this new division of age groups is that the 40+ guys have the option of playing both 18+ and 40+ and most of them do just that while the rest of us under 40 don't have anything to play in the winter months until the new year. It's bs if you ask me. I don't think you should be allowed to play 18+ if you're playing 40+. In other words, you shouldn't be allowed to play double leagues at the same time. Pick one flight and stick with it for that season. You can't double up.

    A lot of my friends and I end up just playing our own ladder leagues which aren't USTA rated because we don't have anything else to play in the off-season, while the old farts take all our slots.
  4. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Feb 17, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    How does the "our slots" thing work?
  5. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Mar 31, 2006
    You seem to be ignoring that the reason for the age split is a lot of the older guys are at a disadvantage against the spry young guns at singles. A lot of the 40+ guys would like to play singles and not be relegated to dubs only. They may be able to match the younger guys stroke for stroke, but give up a bit in speed and footwork.

    As for playing in multiple groups, anyone can do this - you can play your level and you can play up (4.0/4.5). You can play in Combo doubles and mixed at the same time. Don't know why it should be different for any age group.

    Don't know about where you are, but after the men's season in the spring, there's flex league, combo dubs, tri-level and mixed - so you can play USTA the whole year basically.
  6. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

    Dec 14, 2010
    Augusta, GA
    for us the ran the fall league 18+ and 40+ at the same time. 40+ played thrusday nights 18+ played saturday morning

    but then their seems to be a lack in interest for the 40+ league so for the winter spring season that is starting in january will be 18+ saturday mornings

    and sometime in march i think they are going to have a round robin week for the 40+ league
  7. OrangePower

    OrangePower Legend

    Sep 7, 2007
    NorCal Bay Area
    Heh, let's be honest about the *real* reason USTA added 40+

    It's not about giving 40+ players a shot to play singles against other deteriorating physical specimens, although that's a nice side-benefit.

    The real reason is that there are more 40+ players willing to participating in league than 18-40 players, because of a variety of reasons (younger people in general more involved with family and career at that stage of their lives and have less free time, etc).

    So this gives more playing opportunities to those that are most likely to take advantage of it, which ultimately generates more revenue for USTA.
  8. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

    Jul 27, 2010
    On the deuce side, looking to come in
    I'm with ya, Chas Tennis.

    I've continually railed on the the whole NTRP thing as supposedly being gender- and age-independent. It ain't. And there's no other way to say it. It just isn't.

    I'm 47. I actually play singles and doubles. But not by truly by choice. My personality drives me much more to doubles...but, apparently, my skill-set and my "wherever you need me, captain" attitude got me into far more singles matches than I'd have liked, even at my age and in the 18+ (Adult) Division.

    What I've come to realize, particularly from reading this forum, is that there are a lot more men in my age group (let's be generous and call 'em 40s and 50s)....that would really like to compete...on paper and "for real"...than me and many of my like-minded female compatriots. If I really want to play some singles, work on some strokes...I'll do it off-the-books, please.

    I still think NTRP should count EVERYTHING. All the age categories and all the mixed stuff too. There's bound to be a way to work out the algorithm (Mike...feel free to jump in here). As a aging player, I'd have no problem with be bumped down if my "results" warranted it. On the contrary, it might actually make me a commodity.

    For example: With this year-end ratings, our club had ~half dozen older ladies get moved down from 4.0 to 3.5. Some were recent bump ups in the mass movement of 2 years ago or had only recently aged into the prior "Seniors" group with moderate success. Well, the rest of us caught up with them and now they've been moved down. Are they ticked? Maybe, from a psychological standpoint. But realistically, they've got the world at their feet. They can play 3.5 and 4.0...and more than hold their own at both, especially now with the new 40+ group having a singles component too.

    Bottomline: I hate all these divisions and categories. I'm willing to slug it out with an 18-yr old who can pound the daylights out of the ball....or a 60-year old who can stand at the T, control their own side...and run the heck out of me with patience and placement. All in a day's work, all in a day's fun. And infinitely better than being home doing housework.

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