New USTA survey: Lots of Mixed Dubs questions

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
On Friday received an email from USTA for a new survey ....

Seemed to really focus on Mixed. Did anyone else get it and perhaps kept a copy of the questions (I did not but wish I did!)?

Main questions was on format and potential changes
Variations:
Going to X.5 levels (6.5/7.5/8.5 .... )
Going to straight levels 3.0/3.5/4.0 so balanced pairs

Additional questions on max spread between levels:
Maintaining current max spread of 1.0
Going to a max spread of 0.5
Going to balanced pairs

Anyone else get it?
What are your thoughts?
Would you like any of these potential adaptations?
Do you have one idea that you think would be good for certain levels and not other levels? (e.g. This would work at 7.0/8.0 but not at 6.0 or 10.0)
 

TennisOTM

New User
I also got a survey email on Friday, but I did not get any questions about mixed league. Maybe they only come up if you first indicate that you played mixed in 2019 (I did not). The questions I got were way more general than these, like whether you would recommend league to others, what suggestions do you have, etc.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
On Friday received an email from USTA for a new survey ....

Seemed to really focus on Mixed. Did anyone else get it and perhaps kept a copy of the questions (I did not but wish I did!)?

Main questions was on format and potential changes
Variations:
Going to X.5 levels (6.5/7.5/8.5 .... )
Going to straight levels 3.0/3.5/4.0 so balanced pairs

Additional questions on max spread between levels:
Maintaining current max spread of 1.0
Going to a max spread of 0.5
Going to balanced pairs

Anyone else get it?
What are your thoughts?
Would you like any of these potential adaptations?
Do you have one idea that you think would be good for certain levels and not other levels? (e.g. This would work at 7.0/8.0 but not at 6.0 or 10.0)
I got it. I pretty much just blasted the 40+ playoff format change in every comments section.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
On Friday received an email from USTA for a new survey ....

Seemed to really focus on Mixed. Did anyone else get it and perhaps kept a copy of the questions (I did not but wish I did!)?

Main questions was on format and potential changes
Variations:
Going to X.5 levels (6.5/7.5/8.5 .... )
Going to straight levels 3.0/3.5/4.0 so balanced pairs

Additional questions on max spread between levels:
Maintaining current max spread of 1.0
Going to a max spread of 0.5
Going to balanced pairs

Anyone else get it?
What are your thoughts?
Would you like any of these potential adaptations?
Do you have one idea that you think would be good for certain levels and not other levels? (e.g. This would work at 7.0/8.0 but not at 6.0 or 10.0)
I've advocated X.5 levels for Mixed for years.

If it is done where a roster is limited to 0.5 apart, e.g. a 7.5 team has 3.5s and 4.0s, a 6.5 team has 3.0s and 3.5s, it helps mitigate the issues with wildly varying abilities on court that you get today with a 4.0 male and 3.0 female on the same court, but still gives teams the ability to form a team with players from two different levels and still gives players the chance to play at multiple levels.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I agree with @schmke and also indicated that I like the max 0.5 spread. I also like the 0.0 spread of a mixed 3.0/3.5/4.0 etc league idea

I also blasted the new 40+ format in every single comment section :)

The max 0.5 spread may make the 9.5 much more robust than the current 10.0 leagues for mixed
 
....sounds like a new way for usta to make more money by inventing more formats...which x-change does usta stock sell on--nyse or nasdaq?--got to add it to my portfolio, should be a ten-bagger.
 
Well, I missed the survey in my inbox, so I went and took it now and copied the questions for you @OnTheLine :
Q1: What is your age?
Q2: What is your gender?
Q3: What is your NTRP level?
Q4: Are you a captain or co-captain?
Q5: Did you play in a Mixed Doubles League?
Q6: For Mixed Doubles, which format would you prefer? Current (6.0/7.0/8.0/etc. with max 1.0 spread), format of 5.5/6.5/7.5/etc. w/max spread of .5, straight level format (3.5, 4.0, etc.)
Q7: Please provide your reasoning for your response to Q6: Better social experience, better competitive experience, more participation, other:_____
Q8: Did you qualify to play in Adult 55 & Over League? (I answered no, so don't know if there were follow-up questions on that league)
Q9: Please check any additional recreational sports you play.
Q10: Why do you play tennis? Competition, fitness & exercise, social, improve your tennis game, other: ______
Q11: How often do you play tennis? 1-3x/year, 4-9x/year, 10-20x/year, 21-49x/year, 50+x/year (I assume they meant any tennis, not just USTA matches, so weird the bar is so low)
Q12: Do you take tennis lessons or participate in group drills?
Q13: In 2019, which USTA leagues did you participate in? Check all that apply
Q14: Do you plan on participating in 2020 USTA League?
Q15: What section do you play in?
Q16: What state do you play in?
Q17: How likely is it that you would recommend USTA league to a friend or colleague?
Q18: What do you like most about USTA league?
Q19: What would you improve about USTA league?
Q20: As a player or captain, what digital solutions would improve your USTA league experience?
Q21: Please provide any additional comments about USTA leage.
 

TennisOTM

New User
I've advocated X.5 levels for Mixed for years.

If it is done where a roster is limited to 0.5 apart, e.g. a 7.5 team has 3.5s and 4.0s, a 6.5 team has 3.0s and 3.5s, it helps mitigate the issues with wildly varying abilities on court that you get today with a 4.0 male and 3.0 female on the same court, but still gives teams the ability to form a team with players from two different levels and still gives players the chance to play at multiple levels.
Intermountain has been offering an X.5 league season after the regular X.0 league season is finished for several years. I don't know if they limit partners to 0.5 apart, but it seems like that would naturally happen even if you don't have a rule for it - because any pair who is 1.0 apart would have to play under-level. E.g a 3.0/4.0 pair would have to play in 7.5, a 3.5/4.5 pair would have to play in 8.5, etc., so if you choose to have those pairings you're at a disadvantage anyway. Disallowing a 1.5-difference pairing would make sense though.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Intermountain has been offering an X.5 league season after the regular X.0 league season is finished for several years. I don't know if they limit partners to 0.5 apart, but it seems like that would naturally happen even if you don't have a rule for it - because any pair who is 1.0 apart would have to play under-level. E.g a 3.0/4.0 pair would have to play in 7.5, a 3.5/4.5 pair would have to play in 8.5, etc., so if you choose to have those pairings you're at a disadvantage anyway. Disallowing a 1.5-difference pairing would make sense though.
Yes, I am also in Intermountain ... our X.5 mixed league in the Late Summer/Fall allows a 1.0 spread between partners .... I would prefer the 0.5 spread, I think it would make the matches more balanced/competitive/interesting.

And note: you are right .... a lot of pairings become under-level in this league! and a 3.5/3.5 pair rarely beats a 3.5/4.0 pair!
 
Scene: Conference table
Actors: USTA consultants or marketers
and.....action..."How can we get more people to play and therefore pay for leagues?.....ummm Let's do more leagues, I meant the NFL is doing 17 regular season games, let's do more mixed, but will they go for it? I dunno, let's send out a survey!"
 

dsp9753

Semi-Pro
Our Mid-Atlantic mixed combo allows for 1.5 spread (for example 4.5 with 3.0 in a 7.5 league). Although it is possible, it seems that almost no one does. I am assuming the higher level player does not want to play with someone who is 1.5 levels below them.

I have played a 6.5 mxd league with a 2.5 lady before (when I was a 4.0). It was mostly so I could play with a friend but I found we were winning the matches easily. My ability was too high and if I tried really hard, they could not attack my partner even if they wanted to. They could not hit the ball well/quick enough to avoid me at the net and my returns were on average much better then their serves.
 
Although I think the X.5 league makes for a more balanced match, I voted for the current mixed format (X.0 with up to 1.0 spread). My reasoning is this: we currently have the long-running X.0 mixed doubles leagues in the fall, with high participation (11 7.0 teams, 8 8.0 teams). Last year they added combo mixed, but only for 7.5 and 8.5 in the spring, but have only gotten about 4 teams per level both years. I don't want to lose the X.0 league and be left with just a X.5 league with low participation. Hard to say what would happen if they moved the X.5 to the fall when X.0 normally is and replaced the latter completely...would participation be as strong as X.0 leagues were?

Also, I feel like X.5 has less flexibility. For example, I'm on a 7.5 combo mixed team now that has nearly all 3.5s and a couple 4.0 women. So the 2 matches I've played have been as a 7.0 team playing against a 7.5 team - I was hoping we'd be somewhat competitive, but we've pretty much gotten crushed. On the X.0 teams I've been on, we've practically never had to put up an under-level team.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I am guessing that they are not looking to create more leagues, but more like the change to 40+ looking to change an existing league .... just my sense and could be totally wrong

Our area already has mixed
mid-march - early June
Mid-July - Mid October
40+ is all done in 1 weekend in September

I suppose there is some time in the winter ... but as we are only outdoors, even here would be a little tough.

Our current combo mixed X.5 league has nearly the same participation as the regular X.0 league ... perhaps in part because it is a lovely time of the year to play.
 

Doan

Rookie
In our district - X.0 league is in Winter and Spring. X.5 league in the Fall. So participation is high for both. The 1.5 level difference allowed here for X.5 league should really be changed. Whilst its rare you will have one or two teams that are really serious about winning the 7.5 league because they have a 4.5M/3.0F on the roster. There was a 4.5F/3.0M once that was a mother/son duo that did very well - although it was a 3.0 self-rate.

4.5M/3.0F will almost always get you one win. Although last year the the only two 7.5 teams that had this combo put out a lineup where they played each other. Therefore the best 4.5 won.
 

Lex

Semi-Pro
I expressed my displeasure of the 4.5+ leagues getting the worst time slots for matches. One team that recruited me had all matches at 5pm on Sundays. Uh, no thanks. Some of us have to travel very early on Mondays.

it seems like we always get the worst match times. Maybe, due to less players in those levels?

i haven’t joined USTA this season. I may not renew at all.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I expressed my displeasure of the 4.5+ leagues getting the worst time slots for matches. One team that recruited me had all matches at 5pm on Sundays. Uh, no thanks. Some of us have to travel very early on Mondays.

it seems like we always get the worst match times. Maybe, due to less players in those levels?

i haven’t joined USTA this season. I may not renew at all.
Around my parts 4.5 and 5.0 leagues all have their matches late on Saturdays .... I think in part because many of the participants are teaching pros and have lessons/clinics through the morning and afternoon. Many fewer participants if you tell a teaching pro they can either make a living OR play league. (note our matches are only scheduled for Saturdays)
 
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Lex

Semi-Pro
Around my parts 4.5 and 5.0 leagues all have their matches late on Saturdays .... I think in part because many of the participants are teaching pros and have lessons/clinics through the morning and afternoon. Many fewer participants if you tell a teaching pro they can either make a living OR play league. (note our matches are only scheduled for Saturdays)

I wish our matches were on Saturday.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
The current format for mixed is insane. My most fun matches are in 7.0, when everyone on the court is 3.5. Why anything else is allowed is beyond me.

If they send me a survey, I will tell them that.
 

zipplock

Semi-Pro
I answered Qs 19 and 21 stating we get very little value for our annual membership/league fees, provided evidence of other organized events that cost half the price.

Posed the question that if they really care about bringing more people in, there must be something of value offered. I don't expect them to consider this.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
1. I don’t know why people hate USTA or feel like they get so little out of their dues/fees. If you are in a major metro area, playing any kind of tennis is expensive to the point that USTA fees are the least of your concerns after paying club dues and court fees, etc. Even local non-USTA leagues have fees. I mean seriously, what do you expect the USTA to do for you for a mere $45 per year? That’s $3.75 per month. What are you expecting to get for that?

2. If they are not going to require all players to be the same level, I would prefer the X.5 format. Having a 4.0 on the court with a 3.0 or 4.5 with a 3.5 just isn’t as fun.
 
Well, I missed the survey in my inbox, so I went and took it now and copied the questions for you @OnTheLine :
Q1: What is your age?
Q2: What is your gender?
Q3: What is your NTRP level?
Q4: Are you a captain or co-captain?
Q5: Did you play in a Mixed Doubles League?
Q6: For Mixed Doubles, which format would you prefer? Current (6.0/7.0/8.0/etc. with max 1.0 spread), format of 5.5/6.5/7.5/etc. w/max spread of .5, straight level format (3.5, 4.0, etc.)
Q7: Please provide your reasoning for your response to Q6: Better social experience, better competitive experience, more participation, other:_____
Q8: Did you qualify to play in Adult 55 & Over League? (I answered no, so don't know if there were follow-up questions on that league)
Q9: Please check any additional recreational sports you play.
Q10: Why do you play tennis? Competition, fitness & exercise, social, improve your tennis game, other: ______
Q11: How often do you play tennis? 1-3x/year, 4-9x/year, 10-20x/year, 21-49x/year, 50+x/year (I assume they meant any tennis, not just USTA matches, so weird the bar is so low)
Q12: Do you take tennis lessons or participate in group drills?
Q13: In 2019, which USTA leagues did you participate in? Check all that apply
Q14: Do you plan on participating in 2020 USTA League?
Q15: What section do you play in?
Q16: What state do you play in?
Q17: How likely is it that you would recommend USTA league to a friend or colleague?
Q18: What do you like most about USTA league?
Q19: What would you improve about USTA league?
Q20: As a player or captain, what digital solutions would improve your USTA league experience?
Q21: Please provide any additional comments about USTA leage.
Note the politically correct way they phrase Q8: not "how old are you?", which would be possibly insulting, but "did you qualify for 55+?", like "qualifying for Nationals" or something.

Or am I reading too much into it?
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Since most rec tennis players are 3.0-4.0 it makes most sense to run mixed as 3.0/3.5/4.0 for those levels. Higher level mixed, where there are fewer women to choose from, should be x.5

So you would have these mixed leagues:
3.0
3.5
4.0
8.5
9.5
 

dsp9753

Semi-Pro
I think I would personally prefer .5 combo with only a .5 max difference between the players. I also agree that it becomes less fun when one player is significantly better then the other play. 1.0 difference.

But i think if they did this, x.0 leagues would then slowly die. I am assuming most people will not want to play the x.0 league when they can just play the x.5 league and be closer in skill level to their partners.
 

EddieBrock

Professional
I agree there shouldn't be such a big difference in levels between the players. In college I played intramural mixed doubles and it was some of the most fun I've had playing. I tried playing a practice mixed doubles match with my local league and it was one of the most horrible experiences. They guys were screaming at each other and their female partners. In fact you could pretty much replace the women with potted plants since they basically did everything possible to get out of the way and if they didn't they got an earful. The women players were at a very low level and they guys seemed like they'd played in college. So I won't go anywhere near a mixed doubles league again unless they do something about the level difference.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
IMO they'll never go from 1.0 to 0.5 difference. Reason being - flexibility and the more flexible the pairings are the more potential players there are.
 

dblsplayer

Rookie
Still prefer straight levels. The only problem with .5 leagues is two at level players could always be playing a higher combo. For instance, currently at 9.0, two 4.5's could play a 5.0 and a 4.0. With .5 leagues, those same two players could now be playing a 5.0 and a 4.5; same difference at every .5 combo level.

When playing at level, someone can still decide to play up at .5 difference, but they could never choose to play down.
 
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schmke

Hall of Fame
IMO they'll never go from 1.0 to 0.5 difference. Reason being - flexibility and the more flexible the pairings are the more potential players there are.
Probably some truth to this. Right now a 3.5 can play 6.0, 7.0, and 8.0. With a levels on the 0.5 and 0.5 diff, they could only play 6.5 and 7.5. Not all 3.5s play 3 levels, but some do, and if they no longer can, that is lost registrations ($$$) to the USTA.
 

Doan

Rookie
I think I would personally prefer .5 combo with only a .5 max difference between the players. I also agree that it becomes less fun when one player is significantly better then the other play. 1.0 difference.

But i think if they did this, x.0 leagues would then slowly die. I am assuming most people will not want to play the x.0 league when they can just play the x.5 league and be closer in skill level to their partners.
If MidAtlantic keeps the current schedule with x.0 and x.5 leagues not overlapping I think participation will be the same. They could even keep x.0 as-is but change x.5 to a max .5 difference and I think the x.5 leagues might grow with more players registering. IMO its something they should experiment with.

Catering to the hard-core 3-level players (3.5 at 6.0/7.0/8.0, 4.0 at 7.0/8.0/9.0) or trying to expand total # of players at x.5 ?
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Probably some truth to this. Right now a 3.5 can play 6.0, 7.0, and 8.0. With a levels on the 0.5 and 0.5 diff, they could only play 6.5 and 7.5. Not all 3.5s play 3 levels, but some do, and if they no longer can, that is lost registrations ($$$) to the USTA.
I don't think they would ever go from 1.0 to 0.5 even if they go to an X.5 format. You still want to allow 4.0/3.0 to play 7.5 if it means forfeiting a court otherwise.
 

TennisOTM

New User
I think there are two main reasons why you see 1.0-difference partners in mixed leagues. One is that it can be an advantage, for example a strong 4.5 guy who can dominate the court in 8.0 matches. The other is that spouses / friends who happen to be 1.0 difference from each other and want to partner together for fun.

The first reason is eliminated in the X.5 league format. You get no advantage from a 1.0 difference pairing because they'd have to play under-level. For the second reason, I don't see why you'd want to disallow it. If a 4.5/3.5 husband/wife want to partner together in 8.5 league for fun, why not allow it? They'd likely lose a lot to 4.5/4.0 teams, but if the 3.5 is higher-end it could still be competitive and enjoyable.
 

Doan

Rookie
I think there are two main reasons why you see 1.0-difference partners in mixed leagues. One is that it can be an advantage, for example a strong 4.5 guy who can dominate the court in 8.0 matches. The other is that spouses / friends who happen to be 1.0 difference from each other and want to partner together for fun.

The first reason is eliminated in the X.5 league format. You get no advantage from a 1.0 difference pairing because they'd have to play under-level. For the second reason, I don't see why you'd want to disallow it. If a 4.5/3.5 husband/wife want to partner together in 8.5 league for fun, why not allow it? They'd likely lose a lot to 4.5/4.0 teams, but if the 3.5 is higher-end it could still be competitive and enjoyable.
I don't think anyone is saying remove x.0 leagues - so they can still play together in 8.0 league. They might even be able to do both 18+ and 40+ 8.0.
For any 4.5/3.5 pairing that would be competitive at 8.5 the 3.5 would need to be very close to a bump up anyway - so they would miss out on 1 season of 8.5. Possibly 2 seasons at the most.
 

dsp9753

Semi-Pro
I think there are two main reasons why you see 1.0-difference partners in mixed leagues. One is that it can be an advantage, for example a strong 4.5 guy who can dominate the court in 8.0 matches. The other is that spouses / friends who happen to be 1.0 difference from each other and want to partner together for fun.

The first reason is eliminated in the X.5 league format. You get no advantage from a 1.0 difference pairing because they'd have to play under-level. For the second reason, I don't see why you'd want to disallow it. If a 4.5/3.5 husband/wife want to partner together in 8.5 league for fun, why not allow it? They'd likely lose a lot to 4.5/4.0 teams, but if the 3.5 is higher-end it could still be competitive and enjoyable.
For the same reason I think playing up should be disallowed in league tennis. People want to come play competitive league matches. That is the purpose of USTA. What fun is it for the opponents when they have to play a not at level pair and easily beat them.

There have been matches where I have to play 2 3.5s playing up and my partner and I would beat them 6-0 6-0 in 30 minutes. It usually takes me 30 mins one way to a match.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
For the same reason I think playing up should be disallowed in league tennis. People want to come play competitive league matches. That is the purpose of USTA. What fun is it for the opponents when they have to play a not at level pair and easily beat them.

There have been matches where I have to play 2 3.5s playing up and my partner and I would beat them 6-0 6-0 in 30 minutes. It usually takes me 30 mins one way to a match.
I tend to agree with you in principle.

In general, my rule of thumb is that one should not play up until one is winning the majority of their at level matches, and can do so with the lowest level players on their team.

If you cannot be competitive at the higher level (e.g. scorelines in the 6-3 or better range) then you have no business playing up.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I tend to agree with you in principle.

In general, my rule of thumb is that one should not play up until one is winning the majority of their at level matches, and can do so with the lowest level players on their team.

If you cannot be competitive at the higher level (e.g. scorelines in the 6-3 or better range) then you have no business playing up.
Unfortunately, not everyone has your thumbs ...
 
I tend to agree with you in principle.

In general, my rule of thumb is that one should not play up until one is winning the majority of their at level matches, and can do so with the lowest level players on their team.

If you cannot be competitive at the higher level (e.g. scorelines in the 6-3 or better range) then you have no business playing up.
It's very tough to set rules of thumb like this. I'm currently in a tri-level league (3.0-4.0), and our team's 4.0 players have had very sporadic availability. As a result, I've had to play up on the 4.0 line 3 times.
- Once with a former 4.0 who appealed down to 3.5 after being out with a surgery; played against a mid and low 4.0; we won in a 3rd set tiebreaker
- Played with a fellow mid-3.5 against a mid 4.0 and recent bump-up to 4.0; we lost 6-3, 6-4
- Played with the same partner as first match, but against two higher-end 4.0s and lost 6-0, 6-2

My point being it depends a lot on who you are playing against, since each level can be a fairly wide range. The same team that we lost badly against in the last match hasn't dropped more than 4 games against other 4.0 pairs in the league.

You're never going to guarantee 100% of matches are competitive. The USTA NTRP system does a pretty good job of it, considering the number of people participating in USTA leagues. If there were more people participating, you could further dissect to finer levels to allow for more competitive play. Another thing to consider is - if players weren't allowed to play up, how many fewer teams would there be? Pros and cons, but I wouldn't advocate to completely disallow playing up.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
It's very tough to set rules of thumb like this. I'm currently in a tri-level league (3.0-4.0), and our team's 4.0 players have had very sporadic availability. As a result, I've had to play up on the 4.0 line 3 times.
- Once with a former 4.0 who appealed down to 3.5 after being out with a surgery; played against a mid and low 4.0; we won in a 3rd set tiebreaker
- Played with a fellow mid-3.5 against a mid 4.0 and recent bump-up to 4.0; we lost 6-3, 6-4
- Played with the same partner as first match, but against two higher-end 4.0s and lost 6-0, 6-2

My point being it depends a lot on who you are playing against, since each level can be a fairly wide range. The same team that we lost badly against in the last match hasn't dropped more than 4 games against other 4.0 pairs in the league.

You're never going to guarantee 100% of matches are competitive. The USTA NTRP system does a pretty good job of it, considering the number of people participating in USTA leagues. If there were more people participating, you could further dissect to finer levels to allow for more competitive play. Another thing to consider is - if players weren't allowed to play up, how many fewer teams would there be? Pros and cons, but I wouldn't advocate to completely disallow playing up.
Totally agree with you .... however your results on average follow my "rules of thumb" .... you are playing competitive matches at the higher level.

I think the USTA has the ability in their system. They could prevent someone from registering for a higher level if that players dNTRP was below a certain threshold. (say a 3.02 would be prohibited from registering for a 4.0 team but a 3.22 would be allowed to do so)

I also would not prohibit all playing up .... especially in less tennis-robust areas. But I hate seeing a just bumped to 3.0 player playing at 3.5. Hate it.

Any rule or change should grow the game of tennis not shrink it. (yes, calling out that stupid change to 40+)
 

dsp9753

Semi-Pro
It's very tough to set rules of thumb like this. I'm currently in a tri-level league (3.0-4.0), and our team's 4.0 players have had very sporadic availability. As a result, I've had to play up on the 4.0 line 3 times.
- Once with a former 4.0 who appealed down to 3.5 after being out with a surgery; played against a mid and low 4.0; we won in a 3rd set tiebreaker
- Played with a fellow mid-3.5 against a mid 4.0 and recent bump-up to 4.0; we lost 6-3, 6-4
- Played with the same partner as first match, but against two higher-end 4.0s and lost 6-0, 6-2

My point being it depends a lot on who you are playing against, since each level can be a fairly wide range. The same team that we lost badly against in the last match hasn't dropped more than 4 games against other 4.0 pairs in the league.

You're never going to guarantee 100% of matches are competitive. The USTA NTRP system does a pretty good job of it, considering the number of people participating in USTA leagues. If there were more people participating, you could further dissect to finer levels to allow for more competitive play. Another thing to consider is - if players weren't allowed to play up, how many fewer teams would there be? Pros and cons, but I wouldn't advocate to completely disallow playing up.
Each level is a wide range. I absolutely believe that the lowest of each range and highest of the lower range absolutely overlap. But USTA already has a system to make the matches somewhat competitive. We are given a rating and we are supposed to play that rating. Playing up defeats that purpose.

I can't know how not playing up affects certain leagues. Maybe we could just introduce something as simple as filling out a special permission form that you and the captain request that you can play up. Shrug. Not sure what the answer is but I know that sometimes I get frustrated when I play people who play up and I get a very poor quality match.

I do not get annoyed with people at level and beating them by a high margin. Either they had a bad day, or I had a good day, something in between, but I know that they were good enough to be at level. People playing up on the other intentionally want to ruin my day! :p
 
Totally agree with you .... however your results on average follow my "rules of thumb" .... you are playing competitive matches at the higher level.

I think the USTA has the ability in their system. They could prevent someone from registering for a higher level if that players dNTRP was below a certain threshold. (say a 3.02 would be prohibited from registering for a 4.0 team but a 3.22 would be allowed to do so)

I also would not prohibit all playing up .... especially in less tennis-robust areas. But I hate seeing a just bumped to 3.0 player playing at 3.5. Hate it.

Any rule or change should grow the game of tennis not shrink it. (yes, calling out that stupid change to 40+)
Yeah, that's an interesting idea. The only problem is how shy the USTA is on sharing dNTRP data...I guess they could just have an Y/N indicator on eligible to play up without showing the actual underlying dNTRP. I think the concern is that if they show actual dNTRP it makes it easier to sandbag to your desired level (on the opposite end of the spectrum from those wanting to play up).
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Yeah, that's an interesting idea. The only problem is how shy the USTA is on sharing dNTRP data...I guess they could just have an Y/N indicator on eligible to play up without showing the actual underlying dNTRP. I think the concern is that if they show actual dNTRP it makes it easier to sandbag to your desired level (on the opposite end of the spectrum from those wanting to play up).
I agree ... it could be simple .... player attempts to register for an above-level team ... hits the register button and it either goes through or it says "I'm sorry you suck too bad to play on this team" (or something nicer). Would be just like the appeal button. At no point in the automatic appeal process does the system disclose the dNTRP ... just a yes or a no.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I did the same. I put in the comments the wins should be decided on the court that night not some formula that nobody understands or like.
You were way too nice. I said this was by far the dumbest thing that I've ever seen from the USTA and that it was hard to even reconcile in my mind that someone actually thought that something so stupid as having a contest that requires a winner have a format with an even number of courts was a good idea and that whoever made that decision needs to be removed from the decision making process at the USTA.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I agree ... it could be simple .... player attempts to register for an above-level team ... hits the register button and it either goes through or it says "I'm sorry you suck too bad to play on this team" (or something nicer). Would be just like the appeal button. At no point in the automatic appeal process does the system disclose the dNTRP ... just a yes or a no.
Someone from Atlanta needs to chime in here. They have "low level" leagues there (like 4.0 Low or 4.5 Low). How is the eligibility for low leagues communicated? This would be similar, except that it would be the people not eligible for low level that could play up.
 

Doan

Rookie
Totally agree with you .... however your results on average follow my "rules of thumb" .... you are playing competitive matches at the higher level.

I think the USTA has the ability in their system. They could prevent someone from registering for a higher level if that players dNTRP was below a certain threshold. (say a 3.02 would be prohibited from registering for a 4.0 team but a 3.22 would be allowed to do so)

I also would not prohibit all playing up .... especially in less tennis-robust areas. But I hate seeing a just bumped to 3.0 player playing at 3.5. Hate it.
haha that was me last year playing 4.0 for the first time. Did lose a set 6-0 in 2 of the 6 matches at 4.0 - keeps you humble :D

I play in a league which uses topdoglive. This shows peoples dynamic ratings and updates as you play matches. You can still play up - but as everyone's ratings are shown there is no stacking allowed. This does tend to create less blow outs.
 

taydbear7

Rookie
You were way too nice. I said this was by far the dumbest thing that I've ever seen from the USTA and that it was hard to even reconcile in my mind that someone actually thought that something so stupid as having a contest that requires a winner have a format with an even number of courts was a good idea and that whoever made that decision needs to be removed from the decision making process at the USTA.

I'm a nice guy in general. The old adage "nice guys finish last" :(
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Someone from Atlanta needs to chime in here. They have "low level" leagues there (like 4.0 Low or 4.5 Low). How is the eligibility for low leagues communicated? This would be similar, except that it would be the people not eligible for low level that could play up.
I haven't checked recently, but they used to post lists, similar to the early start lists, of those who were "low" eligible. Typically just a PDF made available on the Georgia USTA site.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Note the politically correct way they phrase Q8: not "how old are you?", which would be possibly insulting, but "did you qualify for 55+?", like "qualifying for Nationals" or something.

Or am I reading too much into it?
I think you are reading too much into it.

The reason Q1 and Q8 are both included is because you can’t assume everyone who is 55+ qualified for 55+ last season. Some will have turned 55 since December 31, and some areas offer a limited number of leagues that exclude certain NTRP levels.

It also potentially means that people who aren’t comfortable answering Q1 can still provide feedback.
 
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