It seems that many on this board feel very strongly about players sandbagging at Norcal. I played there for several years up to a year ago due to a job transfer out of the area. I am quite familiar with the players and competition there. My observation is that people overrating themselves were more prevalent, especially in the 4.0 to 4.5 levels. In several districts I had played, every flight has a couple of teams that were loaded with players intentionally underrating themselves to win. Then, the rest of the teams (70-80%) have players that were overrating themselves so they can get some “quality” competition. I had played with and against too many players that called themselves 4.0 or 4.5 when in fact they were not any better then an average 3.5 (many just didn’t want to be labeled anything lower so they felt they belonged to a more “elite” club). I remembered the old initial rating system required a player to be visually rated by a USTA certified person. Now a player can rate them whatever they like. As a result, in every flight, there were one or two strong teams just feasting on the remaining teams with mostly overrated players. This is perhaps a bigger problem because it screws up the whole benchmarking of the USTA levels. It’s not fairly to most of the players. The strong teams had no competition, and the week teams had no hope. Pretty much every year, the same group of players went to the playoff. I think the USTA should certify and benchmark a few of their employees for each level and let them play in the respective levels in the league. Use the win/loss records from the competition against these benchmarking players directly and indirectly to correct the player rating. Move players up and down to their right levels create more competition in all flights in each level. Any thought on this?