USTA new structure and shadow rankings

TXTEN20

New User
I’m curious how other junior competitive players across the US feel about the shadow ranking system to determine a players rankings going into the new tournament structure starting in January 2021. I know in Texas it was completely off from what our rankings currently are. The current structure is so different from the new one, it throws everything off. There are some beginner and low intermediate tennis players that are ranked way above some advanced players. This will make it very difficult for some advanced players to enter the same level of tournament they “usually” enter and play in. These problems are happening mainly for two reasons, COVID and not being able to play much this year and the proper current tournament points tables not matching the “new” tournament points table. You can’t force something that just doesn’t fit. Are other states having these problems? Anyone heard if USTA is going to do anything about it? I’m not sure why USTA just doesn’t realize we are in the middle of a pandemic and with everything these players have been going through they need to do things differently than they had planned. Every player should be able to play at the level they have been playing. Period! Although the new tournament structure itself seems to be in the right direction, these shadow rankings are NOT the way to begin a new year.
 
I’m curious how other junior competitive players across the US feel about the shadow ranking system to determine a players rankings going into the new tournament structure starting in January 2021. I know in Texas it was completely off from what our rankings currently are. The current structure is so different from the new one, it throws everything off. There are some beginner and low intermediate tennis players that are ranked way above some advanced players. This will make it very difficult for some advanced players to enter the same level of tournament they “usually” enter and play in. These problems are happening mainly for two reasons, COVID and not being able to play much this year and the proper current tournament points tables not matching the “new” tournament points table. You can’t force something that just doesn’t fit. Are other states having these problems? Anyone heard if USTA is going to do anything about it? I’m not sure why USTA just doesn’t realize we are in the middle of a pandemic and with everything these players have been going through they need to do things differently than they had planned. Every player should be able to play at the level they have been playing. Period! Although the new tournament structure itself seems to be in the right direction, these shadow rankings are NOT the way to begin a new year.
Hello, fellow Texas fam here. Admittedly I haven't spent much time familiarizing myself with the new system, but I just took a quick look at the shadow rankings and it does seem pretty screwy. My son actually lands about the same place in his age group, remarkably. But of the players above him on the national list, honestly, only three names make sense and there are some names I don't even recognize. I can see how this could make things difficult for some players who 'should' get into tourneys not be able to. I seriously doubt USTA will change anything, though. To me, the USTA is like a cargo vessel and once it gets going in a certain direction it's near on impossible to stop it or change course. ITA & UTR are much more nimble/adaptable, which has been a real advantage these last nine months. Although I can only speak for my son, I believe a lot of top players will play more ITA & UTR tournaments, anyway, simply because they can play more higher-level players and not have to travel so far from home to do it.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
This has been an issue all along with the national USTA Jr. Ranking system. Players who were grand fathered in from 12s carried points into 14s.... When they were in 16s their 14s carried over, etc. So once they were in the club (so to speak) starting in 12s they were good to go. Meanwhile kids who developed faster and more in 14s were frozen out and couldn't get in.

Thus you had kids not get into national events whose UTR were 2 points higher than other kids.

Typical for the USTA the system was broken.

I haven't attended some of the seminars as we are very close to the end of the USTA merry-go-round with my son as he is 17 and applying to colleges.

What I can say is that the national tournament structure was a sieve and a lot of talented kids fell through the holes.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
@jrtennisparent "Although I can only speak for my son, I believe a lot of top players will play more ITA & UTR tournaments, anyway, simply because they can play more higher-level players and not have to travel so far from home to do it." My son was talking to the father of a 5 star HS junior at a recent tournament that included collegians and junior. The father said his son was only playing adult events for the rest of his HS career. There are a lot more events outside of the USTA open to juniors than there were 5 years ago-keeps the cost and travel down. The only reason my son played USTA tourneys his junior and senior year was b/c he wanted to play Kalamazoo. I felt sorry for the juniors who had played all the tourneys to earn the ranking and endorsement to get in Kzoo and then the tourney was cancelled this summer. College coaches dont care what you play as long as you are in their UTR range.

@LOBALOT The USTA system has never been fair. Kids that attended regular public high school were usually ranked lower than homeschooled kids because they couldnt take off as much school during the year to play national events. Also the top sectional tourneys in each section earned the same national points even though some sections were much smaller and weaker. It was easier and quicker to win a 32 draw National 3 than to reach the SF or finals of the toughest sectional tourneys that might be a week long and 128 or even 196 draw. There used to be only one Nat 3 at Notre Dame in the summer, and then one year they added about 5 Nat 3s. I remember this player from a weak section was the 2 seed in a national tourney hosted in a stronger section. The guy was the #4 guy in his section but he was 2-28 playing matches outside his section. He lost in the 1st or 2nd round. That section's #4 was about equivalent to the #25 or #30 in the stronger section.

Some of the structure changes make a lot of sense as I believe players can play in any section. I used to feel sorry for the Kentucky players who were so close to Cincinnati and Mid-west tourneys and yet they had to play Southern sectionals in places like Arkansas or Hilton Head. However, I havent kept up with the changes since my son is already in college. Are any WCs given to kids with high UTRs but lower USTA rankings?
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
@jrtennisparent "Although I can only speak for my son, I believe a lot of top players will play more ITA & UTR tournaments, anyway, simply because they can play more higher-level players and not have to travel so far from home to do it." My son was talking to the father of a 5 star HS junior at a recent tournament that included collegians and junior. The father said his son was only playing adult events for the rest of his HS career. There are a lot more events outside of the USTA open to juniors than there were 5 years ago-keeps the cost and travel down. The only reason my son played USTA tourneys his junior and senior year was b/c he wanted to play Kalamazoo. I felt sorry for the juniors who had played all the tourneys to earn the ranking and endorsement to get in Kzoo and then the tourney was cancelled this summer. College coaches dont care what you play as long as you are in their UTR range.

@LOBALOT The USTA system has never been fair. Kids that attended regular public high school were usually ranked lower than homeschooled kids because they couldnt take off as much school during the year to play national events. Also the top sectional tourneys in each section earned the same national points even though some sections were much smaller and weaker. It was easier and quicker to win a 32 draw National 3 than to reach the SF or finals of the toughest sectional tourneys that might be a week long and 128 or even 196 draw. There used to be only one Nat 3 at Notre Dame in the summer, and then one year they added about 5 Nat 3s. I remember this player from a weak section was the 2 seed in a national tourney hosted in a stronger section. The guy was the #4 guy in his section but he was 2-28 playing matches outside his section. He lost in the 1st or 2nd round. That section's #4 was about equivalent to the #25 or #30 in the stronger section.

Some of the structure changes make a lot of sense as I believe players can play in any section. I used to feel sorry for the Kentucky players who were so close to Cincinnati and Mid-west tourneys and yet they had to play Southern sectionals in places like Arkansas or Hilton Head. However, I havent kept up with the changes since my son is already in college. Are any WCs given to kids with high UTRs but lower USTA rankings?
I agree with this. Fairness in USTA let alone tennis in general has never been present. It is a sport for the wealthy. I was simply pointing out that it does not necessarily produce the best talent for our country and many very good players fall though the cracks. The current national point system is not a good method of selecting/qualifying players for national events as it does not promote players that improve and after all that is what we should be looking for.

I also firmly believe and have seen sectional events in our section that are far stronger than national tournaments. In fact there are two lower level sectional tournaments in our section that are so popular the fields are absolutely killer each year. The events are kind of a reunion for all the tennis families and due to the festive nature attract strong fields.

I also agree that the changes the USTA is making with regard to open (vs closed) sectional events being open to players from any section is a good thing in that there will be a level system to compare kids.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
I was simply pointing out that it does not necessarily produce the best talent for our country and many very good players fall though the cracks. The current national point system is not a good method of selecting/qualifying players for national events as it does not promote players that improve and after all that is what we should be looking for.I also firmly believe and have seen sectional events in our section that are far stronger than national tournaments. ds.
Agree with the above. USTA used to-maybe still does-spend $ on identifying the best 10 y/os and sending them to camp. There were players in 12s and 14s who were blue chips just bc they were taller and more powerful than anything else. One of those guys who was TRN 30ish as a HS freshman is UTR 9 now playing D2. The guys that kid used to beat are now 3.5 UTR higher than him. The late bloomers are ignored by USTA but often they excel in college. They are not burned out at 17 or 18-they are just hitting their peak.
 

texrunner

New User
Another Texas tennis parent here. I just looked and my daughter is around 30 or so on the 18’s superchamp standing list but is about 50 ish or so (probably lower than that now) among Texas players on the shadow ranking list. She’s also 700 or so on list among everyone.

A lot of players ranked higher than she have significantly lower utr’s and a much lower ranking on the current scmz standing list (2 are even champs players I think).

We don’t live in one of the metropolitan areas, so after usta resumed tournaments we weren’t comfortable traveling, staying in hotels etc, so as a result she only has 2 tournaments from which to get her new ranking (they take your best 5 tournaments from January 2020 to this month to derive your ranking). I believe there are supers tournaments this weekend in fact but they’re in the Austin and Dallas area and again, just not comfortable with a weekend of eating out, hotels etc.

Luckily my daughter is a senior and has already announced her college commitment so she couldn’t care less about USTA. She does however want to get competitive match play so that she can have a decent shot of going to state and also be ready for college tennis. The problem might be that her new ranking will likely be so low that she can’t get into the new top level tournaments and at this point she isn’t interested in “working her way” up the rankings list. She just wants good matchplay, so will be looking for good UTR tournaments, hoping for good high school matches and local practice matches.
(I’m hoping Ita does a sprint circuit like they did this fall and winter).
 

texrunner

New User
I’m curious how other junior competitive players across the US feel about the shadow ranking system to determine a players rankings going into the new tournament structure starting in January 2021. I know in Texas it was completely off from what our rankings currently are. The current structure is so different from the new one, it throws everything off. There are some beginner and low intermediate tennis players that are ranked way above some advanced players. This will make it very difficult for some advanced players to enter the same level of tournament they “usually” enter and play in. These problems are happening mainly for two reasons, COVID and not being able to play much this year and the proper current tournament points tables not matching the “new” tournament points table. You can’t force something that just doesn’t fit. Are other states having these problems? Anyone heard if USTA is going to do anything about it? I’m not sure why USTA just doesn’t realize we are in the middle of a pandemic and with everything these players have been going through they need to do things differently than they had planned. Every player should be able to play at the level they have been playing. Period! Although the new tournament structure itself seems to be in the right direction, these shadow rankings are NOT the way to begin a new year.
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Hello, fellow Texas fam here. Admittedly I haven't spent much time familiarizing myself with the new system, but I just took a quick look at the shadow rankings and it does seem pretty screwy. My son actually lands about the same place in his age group, remarkably. But of the players above him on the national list, honestly, only three names make sense and there are some names I don't even recognize. I can see how this could make things difficult for some players who 'should' get into tourneys not be able to. I seriously doubt USTA will change anything, though. To me, the USTA is like a cargo vessel and once it gets going in a certain direction it's near on impossible to stop it or change course. ITA & UTR are much more nimble/adaptable, which has been a real advantage these last nine months. Although I can only speak for my son, I believe a lot of top players will play more ITA & UTR tournaments, anyway, simply because they can play more higher-level players and not have to travel so far from home to do it.
I will say, the current girls 18’s Texas standing list pretty much stays in line with utr...my daughters is ranking around 30 ish on the current list and her utr is about an 8.2 and the girls 3 or 4 spots above and below her are around that level, give or take no more than half a point. Not so for the shadow ranking list...there are a lot of girls above her whose utrs are at least 2 points lower, just because they played more tournaments. As I said in my reply below, we don’t live in a large city and in not going to risk my daughter or me getting covid so that she can get ranking points
 

NMTennis

Rookie
What about the new program that replaces Tennislink? I actually didn't mind tennislink that much, but this new one seems like a step backwards... Can only sort by date or distance. Also, cannot filter based on level of tournament? When I try to look at tournaments for Jan, Feb and March - all I am seeing are the small level 6 and 7s in our state and not the national levels 5s in nearby states (Southern section parent here...).
 

TXTEN20

New User
What about the new program that replaces Tennislink? I actually didn't mind tennislink that much, but this new one seems like a step backwards... Can only sort by date or distance. Also, cannot filter based on level of tournament? When I try to look at tournaments for Jan, Feb and March - all I am seeing are the small level 6 and 7s in our state and not the national levels 5s in nearby states (Southern section parent here...).
I haven’t seen any new replacement system in Texas to look at. Where do you access that?
 

TXTEN20

New User
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I will say, the current girls 18’s Texas standing list pretty much stays in line with utr...my daughters is ranking around 30 ish on the current list and her utr is about an 8.2 and the girls 3 or 4 spots above and below her are around that level, give or take no more than half a point. Not so for the shadow ranking list...there are a lot of girls above her whose utrs are at least 2 points lower, just because they played more tournaments. As I said in my reply below, we don’t live in a large city and in not going to risk my daughter or me getting covid so that she can get ranking points
Definitely the shadow rankings highly favor those that were able to play more tournaments in 2020. Due to COVID this year, it shouldn’t be a “whoever had more opportunity to play receives a higher ranking”. Seems like they could’ve come up with a more fair system. This is why champs/challengers rankings were higher at times than Supers. They were given more opportunities to play. Also, the same point charts were used to calculate champ tournaments as super B draws. I do believe that playing in a champ tournament against opponents that are usually a utr of 3 - 5 is much different than playing a Super B draw where utr ranges from high 5 - 8. And coming back from the shutdown - everyone in Supers was put into one draw where you could play up to a 10 utr. In past years, this isn’t such a big deal but where they are now going to use your wins as a new calculated ranking, it is a big deal. I doubt when the official rankings come out later in December, unless Texas made drastic changes there will still be many errors in the system. That is very sad for those that have worked so hard for years and spent lots of $$$ and time on traveling to super tournaments since there is only one a month to come down to losing your ranking to beginner players who have had multiple opportunities to play. it comes down to whoever has played the Most tournaments in 2020 will get the ranking payout, no matter what level you are currently playing.
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I will say, the current girls 18’s Texas standing list pretty much stays in line with utr...my daughters is ranking around 30 ish on the current list and her utr is about an 8.2 and the girls 3 or 4 spots above and below her are around that level, give or take no more than half a point. Not so for the shadow ranking list...there are a lot of girls above her whose utrs are at least 2 points lower, just because they played more tournaments. As I said in my reply below, we don’t live in a large city and in not going to risk my daughter or me getting covid so that she can get ranking points
 

NMTennis

Rookie
Here's the link to the program that replaces Tennislink. They added some filters that makes it more user friendly. I still prefer the lists that Southern, and the states close by (NC, SC and TN) that groups tournaments by level...

 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Here's the link to the program that replaces Tennislink. They added some filters that makes it more user friendly. I still prefer the lists that Southern, and the states close by (NC, SC and TN) that groups tournaments by level...

i wonder if USTA offered some prize money tournaments for adults, they would play more tournaments ?
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
i wonder if USTA offered some prize money tournaments for adults, they would play more tournaments ?
There are more prize $ tourneys now than there were 4 years ago. Most are UTR rather than USTA. The ITA circuits-summer, fall, and winter- were open to anyone who bought a membership including adults-a few of them were prize $. Juniors played them but probably age 15 and up. If an adult really wants to play, he/she can find a tourney to play. The UTR and/or ITA circuits are usually only 2-3 days on a weekend.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
There are more prize $ tourneys now than there were 4 years ago. Most are UTR rather than USTA. The ITA circuits-summer, fall, and winter- were open to anyone who bought a membership including adults-a few of them were prize $. Juniors played them but probably age 15 and up. If an adult really wants to play, he/she can find a tourney to play. The UTR and/or ITA circuits are usually only 2-3 days on a weekend.
i will sign up, i need some extra cash for christmas presents
 

TXTEN20

New User
The revised shadow ranking came out in December. Hardly any changes at all. All they did was take out age ups, put in 20per cent age count ups and add in doubles with a combined total. These shadow rankings are not correct numbers at all. Has anyone out there been able to correctly figure out how they came up with their “shadow ranking” number? It’s absolutely impossible. This is why they are not transparent at all on how they awarded the points. I found sooooo many mistakes, it should be wrong to put out something to the public so false! Does anyone know if going forward is USTA going to have something like tennislink so we can look at the history to determine how points are derived? This new system is like an antique compared to tennislink. USTA couldn’t have put out a better more modern product than that? I say they go back to tennislink.
 

texrunner

New User
The revised shadow ranking came out in December. Hardly any changes at all. All they did was take out age ups, put in 20per cent age count ups and add in doubles with a combined total. These shadow rankings are not correct numbers at all. Has anyone out there been able to correctly figure out how they came up with their “shadow ranking” number? It’s absolutely impossible. This is why they are not transparent at all on how they awarded the points. I found sooooo many mistakes, it should be wrong to put out something to the public so false! Does anyone know if going forward is USTA going to have something like tennislink so we can look at the history to determine how points are derived? This new system is like an antique compared to tennislink. USTA couldn’t have put out a better more modern product than that? I say they go back to tennislink.
I’m with you TEXTEN20, the rankings are pretty confusing and they seem pretty different from the old standing list (I’ve only looked at the girls 18’s).
Also is it just me, or does it seem like over the past several years, super champs isn’t what it used to be. My daughter qualified for supers when she was an 11 y/o, and I remember it being a big deal. I was looking at some of the applicants for the January level 3 and there are a couple of 1 star recruits and a few who aren’t even rated on trn. I’m just glad my child will be out of juniors soon but I feel bad for all the parents/players who traveled and worked hard to get their ranking up.
 

LiamMiguel

Rookie
The fact that USTA Texas wasn’t on that nationally used level has messed up all of our rankings. I was around 700 on 18s National Standing in early Dec 2020 but on the shadow, I was ranked 241 and I was honestly surprised. Is that 241 going to be the official ranking once the new rankings come out? Because if so, I’d be close to L1 nationals and such.
 

Samhike

New User
I am not sure why so many references to UTR are being made about usta rankings and the new shadow rankings for usta tournaments- Why would usta use another organizations rankings over its own? While I agree that UTR is generally a fairly accurate gauge of a players ability it has its drawbacks. UTR discourages jr players from playing players who have lower UTR kids pulling out of matches to protect their UTR etc.Before I get distracted by the pluses and minuses of UTR let me go back to my original statement. Usta is usta and UTR is UTR
 

LiamMiguel

Rookie
I am not sure why so many references to UTR are being made about usta rankings and the new shadow rankings for usta tournaments- Why would usta use another organizations rankings over its own? While I agree that UTR is generally a fairly accurate gauge of a players ability it has its drawbacks. UTR discourages jr players from playing players who have lower UTR kids pulling out of matches to protect their UTR etc.Before I get distracted by the pluses and minuses of UTR let me go back to my original statement. Usta is usta and UTR is UTR
I understand your point. The thing is that USTA is implementing UTR in some things. At least in Texas, last year, certain major tournaments in juniors used UTR to base all seeding and tournament placement. They’re definitely wanting UTR to be used.
 

Samhike

New User
My daughter plays in intermountain and they also used UTR for seeding in the closed national level tournaments. My issue when they implemented this was not so much that they used UTR but that it was done out of the blue with no communication or warning.My understanding, after a lengthy discussion with our sections usta jr tennis manager, is that with the new usta tournament national ranking all sections will be standardized by tournament name and selections will be based un the new NSL (national standings list). under the new system,any open national level 1-7 ,seeding will fall under national rules and the seeding will be done by the NSL. Any tournament that is closed to sections will be allowed to use UTR if the committee for that section decides to use it. I do agree that whatever system is used should be standardized across the board. My daughter will be playing in Phoenix (southwest) soon it will be her first open national level 4 under the new open system so seeding criteria standardization on the national level Will become important. Apparently Jan 6 (tomorrow) the shadow ranking list becomes the actual ranking list. Also wanted to mention and give a shout out to the usta for adding 4 new locations to each age Group in the upcoming level 2 nationals (8) locations across the country. This above all else will give many more kids an opportunity to play as it should reduce travel.
 

Samhike

New User
You can find the new rankings at usta.com/en/.home/.play/rankings.html very rudimentary though i hope they are still working on the functionality because as of right now it sucks.
 

TXTEN20

New User
So, is this how USTA plans on displaying the NSL? With no link to a player’s past record, point value earned, or transparency at all? In the current ranking list, there are so many errors and inconsistencies. I have found players who received “points” they should not have received. I have seen players that should have received “points” but did not receive them. Many times, tournaments were mapped incorrectly. It’s a jumbled mess in some cases, but that’s how players are getting into tournaments and being seeded. In Texas, it’s very messed up since we had a “different” ranking/tournament system than other states. When the shadowing ranking list came out many players who were beginner Players are ranked above advanced players that have been playing at the highest level for years. The mapping was all wrong. Using 2020 as a basis for what your NSL ranking in 2021 was wrong to begin with mainly due to COVID. Not having a full year and then only having a very limited number of opportunities really hurt players. In Texas, if you were a beginner or low intermediate player you were given many many more opportunities to play and earn points As opposed to advanced players who received much fewer opportunities. Of course, in the advanced tournaments it was much harder to earn points due to the high level of UTRs in the tournaments (utr 6-10) as opposed to the lower level tournaments (utr 2-5). This is why the NSL in Texas is all screwed up. And now, USTA won’t even show “how” they are calculating the points they are giving you. Probably to cover up all their mistakes. In the future, if they don’t do something about this, this will be a failure and kids will leave tennis due to the unfairness of this process.
 

texrunner

New User
So, is this how USTA plans on displaying the NSL? With no link to a player’s past record, point value earned, or transparency at all? In the current ranking list, there are so many errors and inconsistencies. I have found players who received “points” they should not have received. I have seen players that should have received “points” but did not receive them. Many times, tournaments were mapped incorrectly. It’s a jumbled mess in some cases, but that’s how players are getting into tournaments and being seeded. In Texas, it’s very messed up since we had a “different” ranking/tournament system than other states. When the shadowing ranking list came out many players who were beginner Players are ranked above advanced players that have been playing at the highest level for years. The mapping was all wrong. Using 2020 as a basis for what your NSL ranking in 2021 was wrong to begin with mainly due to COVID. Not having a full year and then only having a very limited number of opportunities really hurt players. In Texas, if you were a beginner or low intermediate player you were given many many more opportunities to play and earn points As opposed to advanced players who received much fewer opportunities. Of course, in the advanced tournaments it was much harder to earn points due to the high level of UTRs in the tournaments (utr 6-10) as opposed to the lower level tournaments (utr 2-5). This is why the NSL in Texas is all screwed up. And now, USTA won’t even show “how” they are calculating the points they are giving you. Probably to cover up all their mistakes. In the future, if they don’t do something about this, this will be a failure and kids will leave tennis due to the unfairness of this process.
Apparently in Florida top players don’t play usta very much if at all. One of my daughter’s Florida friends who is now playing at a D1 university only played women’s opens that were apparently quite competitive (Utrs of around 6 all the way up to some 10’s but with most players from high 7’s to low 9’s) and had pretty large draws. I’ve always wondered why Texas doesn’t have tournaments like that.
 

Samhike

New User
I’m very disappointed with the functionality of the update as well the usta just sucks what else can I say and they are allowing UTR wild cards in the new national system the division my daughter is playing in is giving 5 Wc for a 32 draw the Wc are selected by utr and the seeding is some kind of new hybrid as well using both utr and nsl 50percent higher than this and that and whatever. . I sure hope it gets better
 

NMTennis

Rookie
Problems continue to plague the new National Standings List as well as the Serve Tennis website. The Closed Level 3 in Macon, GA this weekend is using the year end southern ranking list due to problems with the national standing database.
"Players please be aware that Southern Junior Competitive Committee approved to use the Southern Ranking Lists from 1/1/2020- 1/1/2021 for seeding at this Level 3. Unfortunately, there are many inconsistencies and some errors with the new National Standing List. The Southern list includes all tournaments from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. Below is the link. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. "

And just received a email from the tournament director that they will be reverting back to Tennislink to run the tournament due to problems with the new website...
"National 3 BG 12 Macon GA Participants, We have encountered many problems with the new Serves Tennis database. We will be using tennis link to run the National 3's this weekend. Please be patient as I work to get everyone paired up in tennis link. Please use the following link and ID number to access the tournament Tennis Link Tournament ID: 700141920 Direct link to website: https://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=256124#&&s=1"

Wow...this is a smooth rollout if I have ever seen one! May be a good podcast for Lisa from Parenting Aces to look into?
 

LiamMiguel

Rookie
Whew the USTA App isn't even working anymore, it feels like they're trying to make it a lot harder on the player AND tournament organizers. Anyways, my ranking somehow moved up to 181 from like 241 in the past week and I just don't understand how that works, did like 60 people turn 19 or something??? Hopefully, it gets better this month, let's see how Texas does during Level 3's that are happening this upcoming weekend.

PS: I know I am complaining a lot about rankings even though my own ranking is going up. I am just trying to find any justification from USTA on why a few of my fellow players and friends in Texas, who were originally "Champ players", are higher ranked than my other friends and players that have definitely played more tournaments in higher-level/Super champ tournaments and done decently in them.
 

TXTEN20

New User
Whew the USTA App isn't even working anymore, it feels like they're trying to make it a lot harder on the player AND tournament organizers. Anyways, my ranking somehow moved up to 181 from like 241 in the past week and I just don't understand how that works, did like 60 people turn 19 or something??? Hopefully, it gets better this month, let's see how Texas does during Level 3's that are happening this upcoming weekend.

PS: I know I am complaining a lot about rankings even though my own ranking is going up. I am just trying to find any justification from USTA on why a few of my fellow players and friends in Texas, who were originally "Champ players", are higher ranked than my other friends and players that have definitely played more tournaments in higher-level/Super champ tournaments and done decently in them.
The main reason why some Champ players ended with higher rankings than some SC is because of the level of tournament that was assigned to all CMZ tournaments- a level 5. The B draws of a SCMZ were also assigned as a level 5. And, in August 2020, ALL SCMZ tournaments were a L5. So, if champ players did fairly well in their tournaments- quarters, semis, finals they racked in many points. The kicker is that we all know that players in CMZ UTR usually are from 3-5. But SCMZ mostly Range utr 6-10 (girls). If any champ won a CMZ in 2020 that’s an Automatic 300 points. It’s much more difficult in a SCMZ to advance in main draw and win the tournament. This point value system that was given to each tournament was not thought through at all by USTA. Also, as a side note, I feel a lot of players had points just added to their ranking for no reason. Nothing adds up at all. I can’t find one player where their points actually add to what they are mapped to receive. Looks like other sections of the US are going backwards now on this because it’s so messed up!
 

ptennisb

Rookie
Hello TXTEN20,
I am a junior player from New Mexico. I am ranked top 20 in the national rankings. I think that for my section, the rankings are actually quite accurate, with a few discrepancies. The national rankings are pretty messed up, but at the same time, they were messed up before. I am just really glad they stopped seeding by UTR. That was pretty annoying.
 

Tennis Sam

Rookie
The inability to verify the point totals they show is lame. They definitely need a link to the player activity like used to exist on TennisLink.
 

ptennisb

Rookie
The inability to verify the point totals they show is lame. They definitely need a link to the player activity like used to exist on TennisLink.
I completely agree. The old tennislink system was like a Ferrari engine in a ford focus. It was completely developed and functional, had a few glitches here and there, and looked like it was designed on a fax machine. The new tennislink system is the opposite. It looks cool, is completely dysfunctional, uncomfortable to use, and glitchy. Bring back the old tennis link!
 

Tennis Sam

Rookie
Something is VERY wrong with the new rankings. I understand there are a lot more nationally ranked players now. Anyone with a win in a Level 7 tournament or better has a ranking. There is a standard classification (Level 1-7) across all sections and districts. There are bonus points for playing players in the top 500. Points are carried up (20%) and down (100%) across divisions. Doubles play adds a bonus (15%) to your ranking too. In principle I'm fine with all of these changes. But I am still frustrated by the inability to dig into the details, and I'm not convinced the USTA implemented these changes properly.

I think it's safe to say that players ranked in the top 50 of the boys and girls 18 age divisions published on January 1 (the final lists under the old system) should also be highly ranked under the new system as well. This is not the case. I have compiled a Google spreadsheet with the top 50 boys and girls here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rHlJe-wslkFsLuCvSj50-epOcnSnK1Q-PAJV5MaLBnA/edit?usp=sharing

I have added a column for what the players' new rankings are in the first two lists published this year. I feel like there should be a third list already published, but as of Friday 1/22 the lists are still the same as last week (it would be nice if they included a publication date). Maybe I'll continue to add new columns each week while this craziness persists, but this was a lot more effort than I thought it would be. You can take a look at all the data by clicking the link above, but here are some of the changes that jump out of the page. Can anyone justify these?

BOYS 18s
Shelton dropped from #1 to #413
Paulsell dropped from #19 to #568
Roddick dropped from #20 to #1652 !!!
Crookston dropped from #26 to #466
Grear dropped from #27 to #496

Only 24 boys are still in the top 50
16 boys dropped out of the top 100
4 dropped entirely out of the rankings
4 boys' point totals remained the same from week 1 to week 2

GIRLS 18s
Pielet dropped from #1 to #150
Tanguilig dropped from #16 to #384
Snyder dropped from #19 to #269
Hui dropped from #20 to #874
Andreini dropped from #36 to #247

Only 24 girls are still in the top 50
14 girls dropped out of the top 100
3 dropped entirely out of the rankings
Only 1 girl's point total remained the same from week 1 to week 2

These aren't "shadow" rankings anymore. Technically, this week's lists (1/20) are supposed to be used for selection into the national Level 2's run the first week of February. Based on the 1/13 lists, many of the top 50 players listed in spreadsheet would not qualify to participate in the L2's! The USTA needs to get this fixed ASAP.

UPDATE - Friday Jan 22 at 12:30pm

I updated the spreadsheet to reflect the lists published this week (at 11am):

I'm not sure whether it's an improvement or not. The players' point totals are still bouncing all over the place week to week. 2 more boys (who I believe are still age eligible) dropped out of the rankings. Last year's USTA National Level 2 Tournament at Crandon Park in Feburary doesn't seem to count any more for some reason. Gavin Young, Trinity Grear, and Dillon Blake all got wins in this tournament but now have 0 singles points.
 
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texrunner

New User
Something is VERY wrong with the new rankings. I understand there are a lot more nationally ranked players now. Anyone with a win in a Level 7 tournament or better has a ranking. There is a standard classification (Level 1-7) across all sections and districts. There are bonus points for playing players in the top 500. Points are carried up (20%) and down (100%) across divisions. Doubles play adds a bonus (15%) to your ranking too. In principle I'm fine with all of these changes. But I am still frustrated by the inability to dig into the details, and I'm not convinced the USTA implemented these changes properly.

I think it's safe to say that players ranked in the top 50 of the boys and girls 18 age divisions published on January 1 (the final lists under the old system) should also be highly ranked under the new system as well. This is not the case. I have compiled a Google spreadsheet with the top 50 boys and girls here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rHlJe-wslkFsLuCvSj50-epOcnSnK1Q-PAJV5MaLBnA/edit?usp=sharing

I have added a column for what the players' new rankings are in the first two lists published this year. I feel like there should be a third list already published, but as of Friday 1/22 the lists are still the same as last week (it would be nice if they included a publication date). Maybe I'll continue to add new columns each week while this craziness persists, but this was a lot more effort than I thought it would be. You can take a look at all the data by clicking the link above, but here are some of the changes that jump out of the page. Can anyone justify these?

BOYS 18s
Shelton dropped from #1 to #413
Paulsell dropped from #19 to #568
Roddick dropped from #20 to #1652 !!!
Crookston dropped from #26 to #466
Grear dropped from #27 to #496

Only 24 boys are still in the top 50
16 boys dropped out of the top 100
4 dropped entirely out of the rankings
4 boys' point totals remained the same from week 1 to week 2

GIRLS 18s
Pielet dropped from #1 to #150
Tanguilig dropped from #16 to #384
Snyder dropped from #19 to #269
Hui dropped from #20 to #874
Andreini dropped from #36 to #247

Only 24 girls are still in the top 50
14 girls dropped out of the top 100
3 dropped entirely out of the rankings
Only 1 girl's point total remained the same from week 1 to week 2

These aren't "shadow" rankings anymore. Technically, this week's lists (1/20) are supposed to be used for selection into the national Level 2's run the first week of February. Based on the 1/13 lists, many of the top 50 players listed in spreadsheet would not qualify to participate in the L2's! The USTA needs to get this fixed ASAP.
And why are some players who aren’t even in juniors anymore still on the list?
 

Samhike

New User
Tex some of the things you mention are not changes. Like carrying points up and down. I completely agree that the usta should not have rolled this out until it was ready. The reason people are moving so dramatically on the list is because the rankings were frozen for a year due to the pandemic. Apparently the shadow list did not reflect that freeze. The really big point tournaments are falling off because the new list are no longer going to reflect the freeze. So people who chose not to play L3,4,5, 6 in their sections have taken a considerable hit to there ranking. The current list I believe reflects the freeze from November 2019. Supposedly a list will come out today that does not reflect any freeze. We still do not know what list is going to be used for the upcoming L2s and it’s already closed. Usta seems to be waffling about on the issue. It makes it difficult to choose a tournament now that you can only choose one . Also feels like the people that created this Mess are out of touch . Most of these problems could have been avoided if the usta had a more effective means of communication with its members.
 

Tennis Sam

Rookie
And why are some players who aren’t even in juniors anymore still on the list?
I'm not sure who you're referring to, but I think because they still not 19. I know, for example, Brandon Nakashima still qualified to play in Kalamazoo after his freshman year at UVA. Maybe the same is still true here.

I also think I may have figured out some of the bigger drops in rankings. The Jan 1 rankings protected your top 6 during the pandemic. So if you had tournaments in 2019 that was in your top 6, you would keep those for all of 2020. I don't think that's the case with the current rankings. So there are a lot of players with little or no play in 2020 counting towards their 2021 point totals. For example, Roddick has 0 singles points. He played several tournaments in 2020, but they were ITA and UTR events. The last USTA event he played was the winter nationals over a year ago. He played in several Super Champs, L2's, and the winter natty's in 2019 which was protected in the 2020 rankings. Not anymore.

We'll see when the Jan 20 rankings are published supposedly later today (on Jan 22). If they are as bad as what last week's lists were, though, I think there are going to be some very unhappy people when the selections are made.
 

Tennis Sam

Rookie
Looking at Level 2 - Key Biscayne, FL this is who I think will be accepted into the Girls 18 event:

Top 28 applicants from the 1/20 rankings:
14 - Tatum Evans
15 - Emma Charney
16 - Valeria Ray
29 - Julia Fliegner
33 - Maya Joint
43 - Ahmani Guichard
47 - Sydni Ratliff
48 - Rylie Hanford
60 - Allison Isaacs
63 - Kaitlin Quevedo
71 - Hope Moulin
105 - Kathryn Treiber
109 - Anushka Khune
114 - Ellie Pittman
118 - Radina Bakalov
141 - Kate Kim
146 - Sophia Wang
163 - Lilianna Chitambar
170 - Lara Smejkal
201 - Elisabeth Jones
214 - Chloe Henderson
253 - Sara Snyder
260 - Elizabeth Novak
292 - Mary Boyce Deatherage
332 - Valeria Centeno
359 - Noor Carrington
439 - Sonya Macavei
517 - Olivia Boeckman

Top 4 from the 1/1 rankings:
42 - Maddy Zampardo (#582 on 1/20)
62 - Elaine Chervinsky (Unranked on 1/20)
201 - Selah Stibbins (#1144 on 1/20)
202 - Lena Kovacevic (Unranked on 1/20)

Under the old system (using the 1/1 rankings) I think these players would have gained entry:
221 - Jeanette Mireles (UTR 10.46)
223 - Sophia Fornaris (UTR 9.88)
224 - Sydney Sharma (UTR 9.09)
280 - Emma Fernald (UTR 9.27)
296 - Anslee Long (UTR 9.28)
351 - Daniela Porges (UTR 9.07)

They will be replaced by 5 girls with UTR's in the 8's (and another with a UTR of 9.45) whose rankings on 1/1 ranged from 440 to 1330. You can judge which players you think make up the stronger field. It is what it is, I guess. New rules, new lists.

The biggest question is whether these 6 girls' point totals have been properly tabulated in the new system. Nothing I've seen so far this year gives me any confidence that the points listed for anyone are correct. Someone at the USTA should probably double check.
 
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Samhike

New User
At least some of the tournaments say WC selected by 2020 NSL . The National L4 that just happened in Phoenix selected 5WC by UTR though so who knows
 

Tennis Sam

Rookie
Are you considering that the L2 s are also Granting 4 WC based on The 2020 list .....weird
That's what all the L2 tournaments have in the notes on their Overview page:

28 players will first be selected using the most recently published USTA National Standing List (scheduled to be published Jan. 13). The remaining 4 positions will then be selected from a National Standings List that was calculated with the 2020 points tables and includes match results from November 29, 2019, through December 31, 2020. Those 4 players will be notified of their acceptance no later than January 25 (prior to then, those players will appear on the Alternate List). The purpose of using a list that includes results from 2019 is to capture players who may not have had the opportunity to compete in many USTA tournaments due to Covid-19 restrictions during 2020.

I think the field would be even worse without it. Take Trinity Grear as an example. I have no idea whether he has signed up for one of the upcoming L2's, but he was the #27 ranked boys' 18 player in the nation two weeks ago (which would have made him a seeded player at Kalamazoo). Now he's #6860. He wouldn't stand a chance of making into any of the 40+ L2's otherwise.
 

Samhike

New User
Yes it is unfortunate, so many kids are being hurt by these pandemic restrictions. Unfortunately weather you are an upcoming jr or someone who was already on top not having the ability to play nationals has hurt the sport. Equally unfortunate is the fact that no matter what they do with the selection process someone is going to get burnt. The timing for this rollout of a new system could have been better but other than a permanent freeze on rankings I don’t see how that would matter much. I do think that after a year of running this it will all smooth out.
 

TXTEN20

New User
In response to the last few Chat remarks. There IS something USTA could have done but didn’t. Obviously, 2020 was a year like no other year. The pandemic has affected everybody and everything. Instead of taking that into consideration of how that may affect the new structure and rankings, USTA rolled out their plans without ANY modifications or changes at all. I guess it didn’t matter to them how it was going to affect the actual “tennis player” Whether they be a nationally ranked player, intermediate or beginner player. I knew that once the higher Level tournaments- L1, L2 and some L3 started in 2021, it would be an unfair situation regarding players getting into tournaments and allowing players that would have never qualified to get accepted over those that should get in. When there is only a 32 draw, every spot counts. ”Shadow Rankings“ of 2020 was a bad idea to begin with! Add to that using shadowing rankings during a pandemic where there was much less opportunity to play tournaments, individual states Covid restrictions, and personal issues with traveling and USTA was still going to continue with this plan? At the very very least they could have added part or all of 2019 to make it more fair. Whats even more frustrating is USTA put out a shadowing ranking list, now the NSL that was a sub par product. There are so many errors and inconsistencies across the board - incorrect points, low to intermediate players being ranked above advanced players, missing players, aging issues, current point values being mapped to incorrect type of tournament, ranking numbers that do not match to any number at all on the new charts - how could USTA put out a product like this at all??? Seriously, all they needed to do was was use each states current ranking list (one that’s always been used) for players entry/seeding into 2021 new tournaments. As each month that goes by, the “new” point tables could be used to add points to a players record. After one year, there would be a full year of a NSL, old rankings would have fell off and it Would be fair to every player entering each tournament. Nationals would be done the same way as in years past. It would have cost the USTA a year in rolling out the NSL but not the new tournament structure and would have been a more fair way to all players. It is evident they realize this by allowing the last four spots in L2 tournaments to be taken by “an alternate” ranking list (probably a more fair list to begin with) But I and many others I have spoken to agree that not much thought was put into the outcome and the turmoil it would cause.
 

Samhike

New User
Tex20 Firstly there is no means to differentiate between a beginner/intermediate/advanced national player there is only ranking. Calling it anything else but a ranking sounds a little eIitist. I think we can all agree that standardization for all sections is a good thing and is One of the primary goals USTA Has for this new system. Yes the L2s are 32 draws but they doubled the amount of tournaments from 4 to 8 in each age division.They further agreed to let 4 into each one using the November 2020 list so 32 people will get in from the old list in each age division. I do agree that due to pandemic restrictions it was harder to find tournaments 3,4,5 to play but some sections like intermountain are used to traveling anyway. Our section in compasses 6 states and our players seemed to manage it. We were shorted a closed L3 sectional due to indoor pandemic restrictions so instead of moving the tournament elsewhere in the section, our USTA politics caused them to cancel it , so our JRs in the section are forced to compete on the NSL with sections that had at least 2 L3s this is pretty significant considering L3 was the highest tournament From March 2020 until this upcoming 2. The shadow ranking I thought was a good thing as it was a warning put out to give everyone a chance to adjust. USTA should have released it earlier and there should be some way to tabulate your points. So far I have not been able to figure out their total. Also another big issue around the bend is bonus points. If you beat a top 10 player it is an additional 225 points 11-25 is 203 points per win .Bonus points are awarded for beating people all the way down to NSL rank 500. I’m already seeing kids with over 1600 bonus points. This issue will smooth out over time but initially it’s a little hard to swallow. As to the question of how can USTA roll out a product like this? Really, its USTA. Hopefully after the L2s the rankings will smooth out a little. I don’t understand the only one tournament sign up rule seems like it just makes it harder to know what tournament to sign up for. I do think that most “advanced” players will get in somewhere and if they made any effort during this pandemic year I dont see why their ranking suffered so badly. Most of our kids seem to have only moved a few numbers one way or the other. We did pay very close attention to the changes and our jrs have been adjusting since The new standards and point tables came out like a year ago.This was no secret I remember talking about it at winter nats last year. As far as sectional ranking being used there are 17 sections are you gonna have 17 number ones and 17 number 2s . Trying to figure out that one. Maybe you are referring to sectional endorsement which was a real mess and only used in level ones. Anyway as much as I hate how poor The new list site works. I do think everyone should have known this was coming and most “advanced” players could have swallowed the bitter pill of playing in Lowly closed L5 L4 and L3s and protected their rankings. Not in all cases but I think the blame on this does go both ways.
 

texrunner

New User
Tex20 Firstly there is no means to differentiate between a beginner/intermediate/advanced national player there is only ranking. Calling it anything else but a ranking sounds a little eIitist. I think we can all agree that standardization for all sections is a good thing and is One of the primary goals USTA Has for this new system. Yes the L2s are 32 draws but they doubled the amount of tournaments from 4 to 8 in each age division.They further agreed to let 4 into each one using the November 2020 list so 32 people will get in from the old list in each age division. I do agree that due to pandemic restrictions it was harder to find tournaments 3,4,5 to play but some sections like intermountain are used to traveling anyway. Our section in compasses 6 states and our players seemed to manage it. We were shorted a closed L3 sectional due to indoor pandemic restrictions so instead of moving the tournament elsewhere in the section, our USTA politics caused them to cancel it , so our JRs in the section are forced to compete on the NSL with sections that had at least 2 L3s this is pretty significant considering L3 was the highest tournament From March 2020 until this upcoming 2. The shadow ranking I thought was a good thing as it was a warning put out to give everyone a chance to adjust. USTA should have released it earlier and there should be some way to tabulate your points. So far I have not been able to figure out their total. Also another big issue around the bend is bonus points. If you beat a top 10 player it is an additional 225 points 11-25 is 203 points per win .Bonus points are awarded for beating people all the way down to NSL rank 500. I’m already seeing kids with over 1600 bonus points. This issue will smooth out over time but initially it’s a little hard to swallow. As to the question of how can USTA roll out a product like this? Really, its USTA. Hopefully after the L2s the rankings will smooth out a little. I don’t understand the only one tournament sign up rule seems like it just makes it harder to know what tournament to sign up for. I do think that most “advanced” players will get in somewhere and if they made any effort during this pandemic year I dont see why their ranking suffered so badly. Most of our kids seem to have only moved a few numbers one way or the other. We did pay very close attention to the changes and our jrs have been adjusting since The new standards and point tables came out like a year ago.This was no secret I remember talking about it at winter nats last year. As far as sectional ranking being used there are 17 sections are you gonna have 17 number ones and 17 number 2s . Trying to figure out that one. Maybe you are referring to sectional endorsement which was a real mess and only used in level ones. Anyway as much as I hate how poor The new list site works. I do think everyone should have known this was coming and most “advanced” players could have swallowed the bitter pill of playing in Lowly closed L5 L4 and L3s and protected their rankings. Not in all cases but I think the blame on this does go both ways.
I’m not trying to be argumentative but I take issue with your comment “...if they made any effort this pandemic year.”
I guess I’d consider my daughter “advanced” as she was top 30 in 18’s on the Texas supers standing list last year, but since we live in a more rural area, we chose not to travel out of an abundance of caution and we still aren’t traveling, so there’s no telling what her ranking is. She’s already committed to a college, so this doesn’t really impact her but i can imagine how frustrating it is for the younger kids.
Again not trying to be argumentative but I think people feel like they are getting jerked around by the usta.
 

Samhike

New User
No I get it ,I was just pointing out some things as I see them. I just got off the phone with a friend who couldn’t figure out weather his kid got into the 2 or not it’s extremely frustrating.
 

Tennis Sam

Rookie
I agree with @texrunner's thoughts here. I understand the change was a long time coming, but not everyone had the same opportunities BECAUSE of the pandemic. I don't think some sections have had any tournaments since last March. So players couldn't participate in the sectional events to get points anticipating the change.

For example here are the states that had more than one top 50 player in Boys' 18s at the end of the year:
10 - CA
5 - NJ, TX
4 - FL
2 - OH, OR, SC, UT, VA, WA

Here are the states that have more than one top 50 player in the current Boys' 18s:

5 - CA, NJ
4 - TX
3 - MA, MD, SC, VA
2 - GA, IA, IL, NC, NY, WA

Florida now has no players in the top 50. California has half what it had. Georgia and North Carolina had no players before, and now they each have 2. The opportunities are not the same for players across the country. And it's not like there is no tennis being played in California either. There are plenty of UTR events. Just no USTA play.

I just want to reiterate that this discussion seems to assume they are calculating the points properly, and I don't think they are. Wins in a February 2020 L2 should give you points, and I have verified that there are 3 players in the top 50 with wins in an L2 that have zero singles points. L2's didn't even have to be reclassified in the new system.

I really hope all this stuff can get sorted out before the spring and summer nationals.
 
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ptennisb

Rookie
The L2 in Scottsdale is completely messed up as well. Somehow, people with UTR 8's might get seeded in B18s. And people with UTR 10's might not get seeded in B16's. I am confused.
 
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