No USTA year end ratings will be issued

schmke

Hall of Fame
Yep, e-mail from USTA. Just wrote a summary and my thoughts on my blog.

I think it is a mistake, it will cause more problems than it will solve, but I do understand how it is the easy course of action so makes sense that is what the USTA did.

The FAQ they posted does indicate matches played in 2020 will be used for ongoing calculations and thus be part of a player's 2021 year-end rating. So players actual rating to the hundredth it appears won't be reset, just the level a player is eligible to play at remains the same as for 2020 (unless one's rating is now expired, in which case they have to self-rate again).
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
Yep, e-mail from USTA. Just wrote a summary and my thoughts on my blog.

I think it is a mistake, it will cause more problems than it will solve, but I do understand how it is the easy course of action so makes sense that is what the USTA did.

The FAQ they posted does indicate matches played in 2020 will be used for ongoing calculations and thus be part of a player's 2021 year-end rating. So players actual rating to the hundredth it appears won't be reset, just the level a player is eligible to play at remains the same as for 2020 (unless one's rating is now expired, in which case they have to self-rate again).
Agree with schmke.

 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
What I expected, but I had hoped they would bump those that were clearly out of level (up and down) as well as give C ratings to any S rated player with at least 3 matches.

I have an S rate player that I will likely need to start hiding come Spring. crap.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
What I expected, but I had hoped they would bump those that were clearly out of level (up and down) as well as give C ratings to any S rated player with at least 3 matches.

I have an S rate player that I will likely need to start hiding come Spring. crap.
Exactly.

Self-rates are often going to improve as they play more and bump ups are not uncommon. But when that doesn't happen when it should have, and their first year essentially becomes 2 years, their continued improvement puts them at risk of being DQ'd unless they tank games and manage their rating. So the USTA has just put players in the position of having to self-opt to only play up, risk a DQ affecting their team, or cheat the system by managing their rating.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
I guess you can see some crazy strong teams come 2021.

Yeah, and then S rated players that were probably right on target that have improved a lot and may not be rated correctly.
 

red rook

Semi-Pro
I’d have rather they bumped folks up and down at the end of the year. If they say that the number of matches were down, well, that just means not many people will get bumped. But the folks who cleaned up or need a bump down who have lost all season should get bumped imo.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I guess you can see some crazy strong teams come 2021.

Yeah, and then S rated players that were probably right on target that have improved a lot and may not be rated correctly.
Don't forget that this knife cuts both ways. The bottom feeders of each level are also going to remain.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Uh, I'm surprised that this is news today. I was told this by my LLC when we restarted our leagues back in June.
Everyone heard the rumors and figured this year wouldn't be SOP .... yesterday was the first time it was in black and white with any authority.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
Don't forget that this knife cuts both ways. The bottom feeders of each level are also going to remain.
I guess I hadn't spent a lot of time thinking about this aspect. I know in our own club, we are talking about putting together a competitive team and a developmental team. The latter is more focused on evenly distributing play time to players. The former will try to put their strongest players in the line-up for each match. We have a couple players that were probably mid-upper end of their ratings that have improved. We also have a couple players (me included) that were surprised not to get bumped at the end of 2019.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I just wrote up a bunch of analysis on the effects of this decision including some stats on the normal bumps up/down and what that likely means for 2021. Check out my blog for details (see link above to prior post).
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I doubt anything will change. Appeals will be done against your last year-end rating which hasn't changed.
Yeah. Critical reading skills .... ".... difficult decision not to run or publish year end ratings ..."

Important word is run.
 

CHtennis

Rookie
I did not see the official announcement, did they say why they choose to do this? I dont understand it, why not use more data than less. I get that some places did not get to play at all but some places had full seasons completed, why not use that information. Isnt having the most accurate ratings the goal?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
The USTA is reliable - they ALWAYS do the wrong thing.
Well, they did the _easy_ thing in this case.

@CHtennis I think the reason why they did it is two-fold, but here is what was stated in the e-mail:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USTA programming across the U.S. has been severely disrupted, with play happening sporadically, or not at all in many Sections and Districts. In addition, 80% of all USTA League Section and District Championships and 100% of USTA League National Championships have been canceled in 2020.

While the NTRP system remains sound, given all of the impacts COVID-19 has had on play, the USTA has made the difficult decision not to run or publish year-end NTRP ratings for 2020.
As far as the real reasons, first, I've heard that a lot of captains of aspiring Nationals teams lobbied for no year-end ratings so the teams that were formed and didn't have a chance to go for Nationals would not be broken up and they'd still get their shot. While I understand this desire, I don't see this as a valid reason to artificially keep players that have demonstrated they should be bumped up (or down) at the wrong level.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, the USTA does year-end ratings using results from Nationals and doing benchmarking from there to try to even out the levels across the sections. With no Nationals, this couldn't be done, and there was a camp that felt if the year-end ratings couldn't be done right, they shouldn't do them. It is true that year-end benchmarking can have a significant effect on those sections that do very well or very poorly, but I also don't think this is reason to forgo year-end ratings. What I think it boils down to is they decided just using a player's dynamic rating at year-end was not acceptable for some reason, and rather than figure out an alternative they considered acceptable, they just took the easy route and "punted" and said they'll just make 2020/2021 one big rating period.

I do think using a player's dynamic rating at year-end would have been better than doing nothing like they did, one easy solution would have been to give slightly more lenient appeal thresholds, but I really don't think this would even be required since if a player moved so much in just 3-4 matches that they are out of threshold, they were probably on their way to a solid bump up already.

Right or wrong, it is what it is and we'll see what happens.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I also got a hat! I am very happy to get something. Seems nice enough and is embroidered not screen printed.

We have districts this week for 40+ and 18+ ... yes sectionals are cancelled but doing districts anyway.

While watching some matches, spoke with our LLC who indicated that they are considering reaching out to players who are clearly above level and encouraging them not to play at their C rated level next year ... even if there are no bumps. They are concerned that the levels are going to be really messed up next year.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I also got a hat! I am very happy to get something. Seems nice enough and is embroidered not screen printed.

We have districts this week for 40+ and 18+ ... yes sectionals are cancelled but doing districts anyway.

While watching some matches, spoke with our LLC who indicated that they are considering reaching out to players who are clearly above level and encouraging them not to play at their C rated level next year ... even if there are no bumps. They are concerned that the levels are going to be really messed up next year.
Ummm, easy solution, do year-end ratings and bump them up ... :eek:
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
On second thought I did get a hat from Net Generation b/c I’m registered as a coach. Maybe that qualifies as my hat from USTA. Also looks like it’s made out of cardboard.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Ummm, easy solution, do year-end ratings and bump them up ... :eek:
captain obvious.

USTA made the right move in allowing each district to follow local health dept guidelines as to whether to reopen.

In my mind, if an area is playing league that district should be subject to bumps. But as usual, no one asked me.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
captain obvious.

USTA made the right move in allowing each district to follow local health dept guidelines as to whether to reopen.

In my mind, if an area is playing league that district should be subject to bumps. But as usual, no one asked me.
The silly thing is, if they just did year-end ratings based on player's dynamic rating at year-end, it would probably all work out.

If a player didn't play at all, they dynamic rating didn't change and they won't be bumped.

If a player played fewer than 3 matches, while their dynamic rating may have changed from the 1 or 2 matches played, they aren't eligible for a year-end rating and they won't be bumped.

If a player managed to get 3-5 matches in, their dynamic rating may have changed and they'd be eligible to be bumped, but with just 3-5 matches they very well may not have crossed a threshold and won't be bumped, or if they did, it is likely they just crossed the threshold and would be eligible to appeal. And if in 3-5 matches their dynamic rating moved so far as to be out of appeal range, then they probably deserve the bump and so it is fine they can't appeal. So again, don't see the issue here.

If a player played more than 5 matches, that is arguably enough to have the dynamic rating be meaningful even without the normal year-end benchmark calculations from Nationals, and again, if someone was just barely bumped, they can appeal, so this seems reasonable.

Short of TennisLink and the year-end calculations being so inflexible to not allow for simply using a player's final dynamic rating, I'm baffled why the above wasn't a viable and reasonable option. IMHO, there would be fewer unjust bumps with the above approach than there will be egregious missed bumps that create unfair competition and perhaps even a mockery of Sectionals and Nationals in 2021 by not bumping anyone.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
I don’t have an issue with that decision, for more than half the year league play was suspended. Next tennis will be back in full force and probably with even more players because of the social distancing tennis allows.
 

LOBALOT

Professional
I got a hat in the mail too! I really don't care much for the USTA so need to figure out a good use for it. I am open to suggestions!

I think it is great that no rankings will be calculated/set. A lot of the teams in our flight brought in self rated sandbaggers that dumped matches knowing that there are no playoffs planned this year. Their thinking was dump 3 matches this year with no playoffs, get a C rating, and then good to go next year.

Now those guys will be S rated next year and risk mid season bump ups.
 

TennisOTM

New User
I think it is great that no rankings will be calculated/set. A lot of the teams in our flight brought in self rated sandbaggers that dumped matches knowing that there are no playoffs planned this year. Their thinking was dump 3 matches this year with no playoffs, get a C rating, and then good to go next year.

Now those guys will be S rated next year and risk mid season bump ups.
Reading this and realizing that a team in our 18+ flight probably tried the same thing. He had few guys who were pretty clearly self-rated too low, and he played them only in a few doubles matches where they lost several games. His normal plan would be to unleash them at singles during sectionals/nationals and trust that they'd run out of time for 3 strikes and DQ. This year with sectionals cancelled he was probably hoping they'd get locked in with C rating so he would not have to worry about DQ at all in 2021. Now he'll have to play the hiding game again.
 

Doan

Rookie
I think it is great that no rankings will be calculated/set. A lot of the teams in our flight brought in self rated sandbaggers that dumped matches knowing that there are no playoffs planned this year. Their thinking was dump 3 matches this year with no playoffs, get a C rating, and then good to go next year.

Now those guys will be S rated next year and risk mid season bump ups.
Those dumped matches aren't thrown out so are already decreasing their chances of getting strikes in 2021.


"However, matches played will continue to calculate toward a player’s rating and will be used in the 2021 year-end rating calculation and publication."
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Those dumped matches aren't thrown out so are already decreasing their chances of getting strikes in 2021.


"However, matches played will continue to calculate toward a player’s rating and will be used in the 2021 year-end rating calculation and publication."
This.

Sandbaggers are going to sandbag. The USTA's decision to not publish year-end ratings prevents these players from getting a C and being "safe", but as @Doan says, it appears these matches still count and will give the player a sandbagged lower starting point going into 2021 so while not truly safe, they are still benefiting from their efforts in 2020 and can likely not have to sandbag as strongly in 2021.

So if the USTA made this decision thinking they thwart the sandbaggers, I think it was a bit short-sighted, and the negatives of the other side-effects I've written about are probably greater than any small benefit to not allowing the handful of sandbaggers to get C ratings.
 

LOBALOT

Professional
Those dumped matches aren't thrown out so are already decreasing their chances of getting strikes in 2021.


"However, matches played will continue to calculate toward a player’s rating and will be used in the 2021 year-end rating calculation and publication."
Actually, as I understand it a strike is an individual match and not a total aggregate of results. I.e. If in the last 3 matches I beat guys 0,0 that I am supposed to beat that is not aggregating to making me strike out so to speak. However, if I beat a guy 0,0 that the software thinks I am not supposed to beat.... bing..bing..bing. I get a strike.

So my point is that these guys are going to keep their S rating next year and 3 strikes next year will result in an automatic bump up and all those wins will flip to losses. If this years matches counted they would be C rated next year and all those strikes would simply mean those big wins will lead to a bump up at the end of next year but would not lead to a dq and flip in result.
 

LOBALOT

Professional
Reading this and realizing that a team in our 18+ flight probably tried the same thing. He had few guys who were pretty clearly self-rated too low, and he played them only in a few doubles matches where they lost several games. His normal plan would be to unleash them at singles during sectionals/nationals and trust that they'd run out of time for 3 strikes and DQ. This year with sectionals cancelled he was probably hoping they'd get locked in with C rating so he would not have to worry about DQ at all in 2021. Now he'll have to play the hiding game again.
Exactly, my point. Yes, same with another team in our 18+ flight. Now our plan should be to keep this all as quiet as possible!!!!
 

Doan

Rookie
Actually, as I understand it a strike is an individual match and not a total aggregate of results. I.e. If in the last 3 matches I beat guys 0,0 that I am supposed to beat that is not aggregating to making me strike out so to speak. However, if I beat a guy 0,0 that the software thinks I am not supposed to beat.... bing..bing..bing. I get a strike.

So my point is that these guys are going to keep their S rating next year and 3 strikes next year will result in an automatic bump up and all those wins will flip to losses. If this years matches counted they would be C rated next year and all those strikes would simply mean those big wins will lead to a bump up at the end of next year but would not lead to a dq and flip in result.
S rated players get a strike if their dynamic rating is above the strike level, not their match rating.

if a 3.5 S-rate gets a 3.75 match rating in their first match of 2021, that is averaged with their dynamic rating (3.05 or 3.10 or something) for a dynamic rating in the range of 3.425 or something, which is not a strike. If a brand new 3.5 S-rate plays a 3.75 match in their first match, it is a strike because there is no existing rating to average with. For this "3.1 S-rate" to get a DQ, s/he has to play way above level for many matches in a row.
 

5sets

Professional
On second thought I did get a hat from Net Generation b/c I’m registered as a coach. Maybe that qualifies as my hat from USTA. Also looks like it’s made out of cardboard.
Yeah, cardboard just like the racquets they give us to lend to these kids we coach.
 

hwtaft

New User
Exactly.

Self-rates are often going to improve as they play more and bump ups are not uncommon. But when that doesn't happen when it should have, and their first year essentially becomes 2 years, their continued improvement puts them at risk of being DQ'd unless they tank games and manage their rating. So the USTA has just put players in the position of having to self-opt to only play up, risk a DQ affecting their team, or cheat the system by managing their rating.
But players generally know when they've improved enough to move to the next level. They always have the opportunity to play up a level and play at the level of their actual ability to avoid a bump. It's doubtful anyone is legitimately going from 3.0 to 4.0 in one year based on natural progression.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
But players generally know when they've improved enough to move to the next level. They always have the opportunity to play up a level and play at the level of their actual ability to avoid a bump. It's doubtful anyone is legitimately going from 3.0 to 4.0 in one year based on natural progression.
You are right that it is doubtful someone goes from 3.0 to 4.0 in one year, but while not common, it can happen in two years and by making the rating period 2 years, the USTA is increasing the chances it happens.

And even if a 3.0S doesn't get bumped up to 4.0 at 2021 year-end, they very well may be bumped up to 3.5 and be playing at a solid 3.5 level during 2021, but be eligible to play 3.0. Yes, they can recognize this and only play 3.5 in 2021, but many won't, either because they like winning at 3.0 or by being pressured by a 3.0 captain to play 3.0 and manage their rating. If the point of the NTRP system is to promote fair and competitive play, it would seem publishing 2020 year-end ratings for the self-rates that played enough would have been a good idea to avoid this situation and not require a player to opt to only play up.
 

hwtaft

New User
You are right that it is doubtful someone goes from 3.0 to 4.0 in one year, but while not common, it can happen in two years and by making the rating period 2 years, the USTA is increasing the chances it happens.

And even if a 3.0S doesn't get bumped up to 4.0 at 2021 year-end, they very well may be bumped up to 3.5 and be playing at a solid 3.5 level during 2021, but be eligible to play 3.0. Yes, they can recognize this and only play 3.5 in 2021, but many won't, either because they like winning at 3.0 or by being pressured by a 3.0 captain to play 3.0 and manage their rating. If the point of the NTRP system is to promote fair and competitive play, it would seem publishing 2020 year-end ratings for the self-rates that played enough would have been a good idea to avoid this situation and not require a player to opt to only play up.
I'm sure it happens at times, but in my local league I've never seen someone get disqualified by the system without it being deserving.
 
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