Texas Men's 4.0 18+ Sectionals - Aug. 14-16

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Does Houston have Austin Krajicek in their lineup this year since they couldn't win nationals with Hunter Emmott?
 

cknobman

Legend
Is anybody else heading to Dallas for this? Looks like Houston and Dallas will be the teams to beat this year. No surprise.
LOL I can't ever remember Dallas and Houston not being the teams to beat.
Houston usually has the best teams out there and Dallas has to do some serious recruiting/sandbagging to keep up.

I've made it to sectionals from Fort Worth 1 time and we were pummeled.
 
San Antonio used to hold their own in 4.5 but Houston and Dallas has been there for awhile. We haven't kept up the last few years. Last year, Amarillo was a surprise but those kid ringers in singles were unreal.

In 4.0, Fort Worth is suppose to be good. My money is on Houston. Dallas was suppose to be all world but they had 3 DQs.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
FWIW, using my ratings and looking at the average for the top-8 of each 18 & over 4.0 team, the top-10 rated teams hail from:

Dallas - 4
Austin - 3
Houston - 1
Corpus Christi - 1
Fort Worth - 1

And for the 4.5s:

Dallas - 5
Austin - 3
Fort Worth - 1
Houston - 1
 

wings56

Hall of Fame
FWIW, using my ratings and looking at the average for the top-8 of each 18 & over 4.0 team, the top-10 rated teams hail from:

Dallas - 4
Austin - 3
Houston - 1
Corpus Christi - 1
Fort Worth - 1

And for the 4.5s:

Dallas - 5
Austin - 3
Fort Worth - 1
Houston - 1
What will be more interesting to see, is how much correlation is there in dynamic rating and performance at sectionals. I have a feeling it is going to be less than expected.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
FWIW, using my ratings and looking at the average for the top-8 of each 18 & over 4.0 team, the top-10 rated teams hail from:

Dallas - 4
Austin - 3
Houston - 1
Corpus Christi - 1
Fort Worth - 1

And for the 4.5s:

Dallas - 5
Austin - 3
Fort Worth - 1
Houston - 1
Assume you factored in the 3 DQ's on the Dallas #1 team
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Assume you factored in the 3 DQ's on the Dallas #1 team
I did not go remove them for this quick report, but two of them seem to be administrative DQ's? They actually had lower ratings from their Fall season so would have pulled the average down ironically.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
I did not go remove them for this quick report, but two of them seem to be administrative DQ's? They actually had lower ratings from their Fall season so would have pulled the average down ironically.
Yes, two were admin grievance DQ''s bumps, Gilson is a hard one to figure but appears to be a Dynamic DQ since it came after the District Level
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
2 were grievance DQs of computer rated players. So much for the theory that Texas doesn't police their teams.
Yep, that was what it looked like. Likely the self-rate for the prior year was deemed to be incorrect so they throw the C out the player got and promote them to what they should have self-rated at. I've seen C's have this happen to them before, so the C isn't quite as golden as you might think if the self-rating was not done accurately.

But kudos to Texas for upholding the grievances. Now if they'd just do something about the Fall league where some players (perhaps a minority, but it happens) blatantly throw matches to get their rating down and avoid a bump!
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Yes, two were admin grievance DQ''s bumps, Gilson is a hard one to figure but appears to be a Dynamic DQ since it came after the District Level
Gilson does appear to be a dynamic DQ ("D" rating as of 7/28) and I have him with 2 strikes and close on a third, so not a complete surprise.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
2 were grievance DQs of computer rated players. So much for the theory that Texas doesn't police their teams.
If guys with ill-gotten C ratings by throwing fall matches were DQ'd by grievance, then it does look like the embarrassing Hunter Emmott at 4.0 farce shamed them into cracking down on the worst of the blatant cheating. Good for them.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Looks like McClanahan got dinged for playing in Tennis On Campus nationals, which is now a 5.0 guideline, since, um, there is an interview with him at the ToC nationals on the USTA website. So f-ing stupid.

http://www.usta.com/College-Tennis/Tennis-On-Campus/hitting_the_books_students_keeping_studies_top_mind_in_cary/
Don't overlook that he'd even managed to get a 3.5C from Fall league last year by (presumably) throwing his four 4.0 matches played then. Had they not caught him and DQ'd/promoted him to 5.0, he could have been playing 3.5 this year!
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Same with Aguilar. Played on Baylor ToC team in nationals. 5.0. Boom.

Plus there are many players on this team (starting with captain Le plus Arcaria, Wilson, DelaPaz, Voss & others) that were perfectly average 4.5 players who all suddenly forgot how to play and lost badly in every match last year and "coincidentally" all got rated down to 4.0 in the same year and all "coincidentally" showed up on the same 4.0 team this year.

Seeing stuff like this makes me laugh that cheating is so rampant in TX that you have to spend entire seasons losing on purpose to even have a chance at winning at a level where you don't belong, so while Texas may be in the beginning phases of cracking down on the most blatant cases of self-rating cheating, they have a long way to go and remain a complete joke. I realize Tony Le feels like he had to do this to compete with Jason Freeman, who is the USTA's biggest habitual cheater and has been for years, but frankly, the USTA would be very wise to start by banning these two clowns permanently from USTA (and by shutting down the fall leagues).
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I agree it makes a farse of league play when it is a given who will win the local flight and advance to Districts/Sectionals before the season even starts and is unfair to the 90+% of players that just want to play and have a chance to compete.

On the Fall leagues, the simple answer is go ahead and have them, but don't have them count towards year-end ratings. My understanding is that Houston has actually done this (can someone confirm?) so perhaps they will now be handicapped at Sectionals by not being able to take the same type of team they did in the past.

The challenge is that any rating system works better with more data, so there is a desire to include the Fall leagues as it gives you more data and gets players rated that might not be otherwise. And for the 90+% of players this works fine. It is just those that choose to throw matches that cause the big problems.
 

cknobman

Legend
The 4.0 Hurst Mayhem team is stacked with better than 4.0 players. I think they will win.
I know many of those players personally and they are great players (some of them former 4.5 players that go up/down often).

With that said I don't think they are good enough to win sectionals.
 

NTexas

Rookie
just looking at rosters from the Dallas league in tennislink, drilling down you see the Tony Le roster with 3 guys now 4.5 or 5.0
Tony Le built this team to win this year and he did a great job, even though he had a few guys get dq'ed, he still has a strong team.
 

Bionic slice

Semi-Pro
Should be interesting and very hot. I think the heat could play a factory for teams with smaller rosters.
I also think it sucks that high school players can play on mens 18 and older when they are not 18 years old yet.
 

aussta54

New User
Yep, that was what it looked like. Likely the self-rate for the prior year was deemed to be incorrect so they throw the C out the player got and promote them to what they should have self-rated at. I've seen C's have this happen to them before, so the C isn't quite as golden as you might think if the self-rating was not done accurately.

But kudos to Texas for upholding the grievances. Now if they'd just do something about the Fall league where some players (perhaps a minority, but it happens) blatantly throw matches to get their rating down and avoid a bump!
Take a look at that team's entire fall record and tell me what you think lol. With that said, I did hear that Texas section won't be counting fall anymore. Could just be a rumor, but I've heard it from multiple sources.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Take a look at that team's entire fall record and tell me what you think lol. With that said, I did hear that Texas section won't be counting fall anymore. Could just be a rumor, but I've heard it from multiple sources.
I heard that Houston was already not counting it, and that other districts may not be in the future (perhaps all of Texas) either.
 

atatu

Hall of Fame
I captained 4.5 teams in Texas for years and went to Nationals back around 2002, and as recently as last year was playing on a Sectionals team, but after seeing what you have to do to win the last couple of years (Amarillo) I played on a beer drinking team this year. Instead of going to Dallas in August, I went with some friends to play a tournament in New Orleans last week. Honestly, this year has been the most fun year playing league.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Tony Le built this team to win this year and he did a great job, even though he had a few guys get dq'ed, he still has a strong team.
By "building", you mean having an entire 4.5 team throw every match last fall? Yeah, great job there...
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I captained 4.5 teams in Texas for years and went to Nationals back around 2002, and as recently as last year was playing on a Sectionals team, but after seeing what you have to do to win the last couple of years (Amarillo) I played on a beer drinking team this year. Instead of going to Dallas in August, I went with some friends to play a tournament in New Orleans last week. Honestly, this year has been the most fun year playing league.
I got bumped to 4.5 this year, so I didn't have to captain a team and I wasn't going to be a playoffs level player at 4.5, so I joined a last place team and just played for fun. It was the most stress-free and fun season in years and my partner and I even won a couple matches along the way.
 

cknobman

Legend
I agree with @atatu & @J_R_B playing with absolutely no aspirations of playoffs or farther is so much fun.

On my team we had half the team get bumped to 4.5 and the other half stay at 4.0.
No one wanted to break the team up so in the spring we played 4.5 knowing we would get killed.

Every match was fun because we did not care. People got to play singles that never have prior.
Heck we even won 2 of our matches :)
 
Texas has the 3.0 and 3.5 this weekend. I see JRB's infatuation has a team in 3.5 too.

In all seriousness, it is bad form to call people out by name on a forum like this. Also, I know who several of those Dallas players you mentioned are. Only one of the ones you mentioned is really a decent 4.5. If Dallas is using most of those guys against Houston, then the JRB infatuation can go ahead and book another trip to Tucson.

I recognize a couple of names on his 3.5 team on par with most of those names you mentioned.
 

wings56

Hall of Fame
By "building", you mean having an entire 4.5 team throw every match last fall? Yeah, great job there...
I have mixed feelings about this. Even with all of that "building" there is still a great chance they won't win it. Even if they do, probably not win nationals. This is something that almost has to be done just to compete.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I have mixed feelings about this. Even with all of that "building" there is still a great chance they won't win it. Even if they do, probably not win nationals. This is something that almost has to be done just to compete.
No, it doesn't, at least not in places where cheating at the top is not as rampant as it is in Texas (& Southern & So Cal 4.0, at least last year). There has never been anything like this ever in Middle States or Eastern. There have been isolated cases of self-rating someone who was clearly inappropriate, but multiple players systematically tanking entire seasons to get a powerhouse team at a level you shouldn't be at? Setting up shadow teams in different areas to tank matches (or whatever it is they were doing in SC)? That's preposterous and and has never been done around here, and frankly, the whole idea would be laughed at as a joke if it weren't actually happening elsewhere. Middle States came in 3rd in 4.0 nationals last year with a bunch of guys who did absolutely nothing like this at all, so you can go to nationals and compete with a clean team, and clearly, this type of cheating is not rampant across the country (or else, other places are doing it very poorly...), but the two finalists were So Cal and Texas, and they were by far the two dirtiest teams in the competition.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I have mixed feelings about this. Even with all of that "building" there is still a great chance they won't win it. Even if they do, probably not win nationals. This is something that almost has to be done just to compete.
I would disagree that this has to be done to compete. Does it have to be done to win? Perhaps, but not always.

See http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2014/09/do-you-have-to-sandbag-and-have-self.html where I looked at a handful of teams at the 4.0 level in 18+ and 40+ last year that were going to Nationals to see their make-up and how many players were self-rated or had been 4.5s the year before. It seemed pretty clear that more than a few teams were getting to Nationals without sandbagging or having self-rated ringers. So if the definition of "compete" is to get to Nationals, you certainly don't have to throw matches the prior year to manage your rating down to do so.

Now, are these teams necessarily the best and going to win Nationals? Perhaps not, but only 1 of 17 teams going does win it so unless you are going to say only 1 team out of the nation is "competing", that can't be the criteria.

And this has been discussed before with the "Best 10 foot long jumper" analogy, but the nature of a tiered system where the thresholds are somewhat arbitrary is always going to have the dynamic where there is some team that doesn't cheat but has things fall in place in a given year. This would typically be a group of good players at their level get together and decide to focus on making a run at playoffs and perhaps beyond, so they practice regularly and get better and develop chemistry between their doubles players and by the end of the year may be playing at the very top or even better than their rating level. Not every team can or will do this so every team cannot have the expectation of making playoffs and winning there. The range for a level is simply too large for every player/team to have a chance to win. The stars have to align and players work at it to have that opportunity.

Now there is probably some upper limit to what level a team can get to naturally doing what I described above. So for another team that doesn't follow that process to beat them, they have to cheat and this is the unfortunate part of league tennis with a tiered system. The lure of Nationals creates the desire to assemble a good team, and some are willing to bend or break the actual rules if not just the spirit of them to have players on a team that should not legitimately be playing at that level. Is this required to win? Absolutely it might be as by definition there is an upper limit to what can be done naturally/fairly and so to beat that you have to cheat. But that doesn't make it right and I don't know why someone would have mixed feelings about it. Play fair and by the rules and if the stars align for you and you can have the right scenario to win it all and hold the artificial title of "Best 10 foot longer jumper", awesome. But don't say you have to cheat to compete as that can just be a never ending cycle and where does it stop? This is just recreational tennis with artificial levels after all.
 

wings56

Hall of Fame
I'm in Texas so I've heard all the stories. I'm not in Houston or at 4.0 so Im not sure of the mechanics on that there but I will say sectionals at 4.5 is insanely more difficult than I thought it would be.
 
Houston fall league hasn't counted in several years. I believe San Antonio is the only league that it still counts on equal footing with the spring.
 
Bad news for you Texas haters. Looks like Houston win 3.5 and Dallas won 3.0 in TX. For their sake, I hope they don't draw Middle States or PNW. They might get a stern talking to.
 

Bionic slice

Semi-Pro
If the Houston team doesn't win it all it will be a shocker. Hey schmke, any thoughts on the true levels of the texas 3.5 teams that just played?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Prior to Sectionals, Texas was loaded with a bunch of teams with top-8 averages over 3.5. Interestingly, Houston was not one. Now ratings could certainly have changed based on results this weekend and I just haven't looked at those yet.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
And ratings have changed. Many of Houston's self-rates had only played a match or two, and once they played more matches with real meaning, their ratings shot up and they now have the highest top-8 average in Texas. Who is behind them? The San Antonio and Dallas teams they beat in the semis and finals. Interestingly, San Antonio's after is 0.01 higher.

But they may not be the slam dunk to win Nationals you might think.
 

Matsui

New User
those players on the houston team only played 2 matches in the spring to stay under the 3 strikes and your our DQ system

im all for the USTA saying NO SELF RATED players are allowed in post season play. they can play in regular season but not advance to any playoffs.
 
And ratings have changed. Many of Houston's self-rates had only played a match or two, and once they played more matches with real meaning, their ratings shot up and they now have the highest top-8 average in Texas. Who is behind them? The San Antonio and Dallas teams they beat in the semis and finals. Interestingly, San Antonio's after is 0.01 higher.

But they may not be the slam dunk to win Nationals you might think.
Why? Any DQs or is PNW lying in wait?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Why? Any DQs or is PNW lying in wait?
Hah, still smarting from the blatant ratings manipulation from last year being exposed? Like I've said repeatedly, I'll write the same thing about any section where that sort of thing happens again if I find it or am made aware of it. It is nothing against Texas as a whole.

But no, PNW, by the numbers at least, is not the section lying in wait. NorCal, SoCal, and Southern seem to be the big competition this year. But these are traditionally strong sections so probably no surprise there.
 

atatu

Hall of Fame
Interesting that the USTA Texas gave out five wildcards at the 4.0 men's level for a total of 20 teams, but zero wildcards at the 4.5 level for a total of 12 teams.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
Interesting that the USTA Texas gave out five wildcards at the 4.0 men's level for a total of 20 teams, but zero wildcards at the 4.5 level for a total of 12 teams.
I have never figured that out, why not given 4 WC's and make it an even 16 teams, Dallas, Houston, and Austin always have 2 solid teams every season
 

atatu

Hall of Fame
Pretty funny, Beaumont has two guys playing singles who played for D1 Lamar as recently as 3 years ago, one guy played Futures in Hungary, I wonder if the other captains are freaking out.
 
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