USTA Survey - Age Divisions

Geezer Guy

Hall of Fame
I do like your (or someone's) idea of having the "retired people's" league play their matches during weekdays when the clubs are less crowded. Seems like kind of a win-win for both the facilities and the players.
 

GeoffB

Rookie
I think my point about senior leagues is that it negatively effects me because I cannot use the courts so they can have multiple senior leagues.

This is a fair point. The problem is that I do agree seniors have a legitimate reason to want their own league, yet I don't think it would be a good idea to disallow seniors to play in a lower age bracket, since some seniors are still very fit and completely competitive in the younger leagues.

However, this leads to the situation you described - a 35 year old has only *one* league he can play in, where as a 60 year old has *two* - he can play in either one, or both. So you're shut out on court time when the seniors are playing, but they get to join your league. I agree, it isn't fair.

Maybe a good solution for your own club is to tell players that they can participate in senior league or regular adult league, but not both, so that the younger folk aren't disadvantaged where it comes to court time. Or just limit the number of leagues you can participate in each year to a level achievable by all players at that particular facility.
 

OrangePower

Legend
This is a fair point. The problem is that I do agree seniors have a legitimate reason to want their own league, yet I don't think it would be a good idea to disallow seniors to play in a lower age bracket, since some seniors are still very fit and completely competitive in the younger leagues.

However, this leads to the situation you described - a 35 year old has only *one* league he can play in, where as a 60 year old has *two* - he can play in either one, or both. So you're shut out on court time when the seniors are playing, but they get to join your league. I agree, it isn't fair.

Maybe a good solution for your own club is to tell players that they can participate in senior league or regular adult league, but not both, so that the younger folk aren't disadvantaged where it comes to court time. Or just limit the number of leagues you can participate in each year to a level achievable by all players at that particular facility.

That's a great point.

I agree with Raiden that it would be unfair if seniors got that much more court time at the expense of those too young to participate in senior leagues.

So what you're suggesting would address that.

Or else let the club membership decide collectively how many league teams they will allow in each league, and how to ensure that court time is fairly distributed. And if the club is mostly 'old people' and they vote to have most of the court time devoted to senior tennis, then it's time to find a new club. Hey, it's a free country.

In fact I ended up changing clubs for a similar reason, although in my case it was because the club was more focused on junior tennis and the courts were always taken up by lessons, clinics and the like for them.
 

Spokewench

Semi-Pro
I do like your (or someone's) idea of having the "retired people's" league play their matches during weekdays when the clubs are less crowded. Seems like kind of a win-win for both the facilities and the players.

So, how many people at the age of 50 (seniors) are retired? Not me, i tell ya, not in this economy!
 

10sguy

Rookie
I do like your (or someone's) idea of having the "retired people's" league play their matches during weekdays when the clubs are less crowded. Seems like kind of a win-win for both the facilities and the players.

NorCal has had Super Senior-65 leagues for at least 10 years . . . AND it has always been a weekdays/daytime only league.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Wouldn't the easiest solution (assuming you think it important that everyone have the same number of playing opportunities regardless of age) be simply to say that no one person can join more than X teams (say, three).

So Raiden, a young guy, could join men's combo 7.5, men's combo 8.5 and mixed 8.0. A senior would have more options, perhaps, but the end result would be three teams. The least popular leagues would wither and die.

Personally, I don't think it is at all important to keep things "equal" for the sake of it, but there's your solution.
 

raiden031

Legend
Wouldn't the easiest solution (assuming you think it important that everyone have the same number of playing opportunities regardless of age) be simply to say that no one person can join more than X teams (say, three).

So Raiden, a young guy, could join men's combo 7.5, men's combo 8.5 and mixed 8.0. A senior would have more options, perhaps, but the end result would be three teams. The least popular leagues would wither and die.

Personally, I don't think it is at all important to keep things "equal" for the sake of it, but there's your solution.

I don't like the idea of restricting the number of teams someone can play on. I just think it makes more sense to have less pointless divisions (NTRP combined with various age groups), and more divisions that can accomodate more people. In my area there are no adult leagues from June til September, only the senior stuff. I would think adults might want to play tennis during that timeframe other than their own pickup matches on public park courts because the club courts are always full.
 

cak

Professional
I think this really comes down to the sections. In NorCal, mixed season starts in Jan, ends at the beginning of April, when adult season starts, that ends in July, when the combo season starts, that ends in October. So no adult level league during the holidays, but those under 50 have options Jan-October.

Seniors start in September and run through Jan. Senior mixed starts in June and runs through August. Some senior ladies games are on weekdays.

There are both 60 and 65 levels for super seniors here, I'm not sure when the 60s play, but the 65s play during the day in the spring.

My busiest time for scheduling courts is Jan, with the mixed starting up, seniors getting in all the rainouts, and weekday evening matches not all that viable with the cold. We have more teams during the spring, with adult and 65s, but many of the adult leagues play week night evenings. They can usually finish at least 2 of the 5 lines before dark hits and they need the lights.

Note that adult, senior, and mixed are the only national leagues. Combo and 65s are NorCal only, senior mixed goes to some championship somewhere, but I don't think it's national. For USTA, only the national leagues are sanctioned and suggested, anything else is really up to the section. I know some sections have more than one adult season. I've heard some sections have combo mixed season, and other unusual leagues.
 
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Todd6060

New User
You know, my county used to have an "ESL" league. This was before I started playing, and I believe it no longer exists. I assume ESL meant English as a Second Language, and a review of the roster showed a high proportion of players had Asian or Latino last names. So perhaps my guess was correct.

ESL normally stands for Early Start League, meaning the league starts before year-end ratings are published. Special early start ratings are used to determine eligibility.
 

g4driver

Legend
I think its silly how there are less playing opportunities for the majority age range of adult players. Or maybe it just so happens that the majority of USTA players are seniors and that's why they do this.

I realize this a very late reply to this thread, but I whole-halfheartedly agree with your comment about less playing opportunities for the majority of age range players. I want to play on Saturday, but in my area, the only leagues on Saturday are "Senior", so I am excluded as a 43 year old. Why yes, I have thought about playing "Adult" and do, but since I'm 43 and travel for a living during the week, I miss many matches Mon-Thurs, and would simply like the opportunity to play on Saturday in a league, but I can't.

So yes, 18-49 year-olds do have less opportunities to play in leagues, since a 50+ year old can play in both Adult League and Senior, but anyone 49 and under is limited to only the Adult League. Discrimination? Yes. Legal? Yes? Does this make sense? Not to me.

Cindysphinx, makes a great point about discrimination being legal. There are all sorts of legal discrimination daily. The Boy Scouts legally exclude, just as does Augusta National. It's their choice. It is also the the right of the USTA to make their rules, and unless your area that has something like Atlanta Area Lawn Tennis (ALTA), your choices are limited in most communities.

My beef with the current USTA system is this:

I'm 43, and lost two matches last fall to folks older than me (one guy was 62, my hero, and he was bumped to 4.0.) Good on him for being that fast and that consistent. So as a 43 year old, I played and beat every player younger than myself, but lost to two players who were older than myself. So what does this say about age? It's merely a number and not indicative of performance. But according to the USTA, their NTRP rating system isn't enough to "protect" Seniors and Super Seniors from younger players, so the USTA adds an additional level of protection from the younger players would beat and destroy these older players in match play. :rolleyes:

I'm not going to beat a 55 year 5.0 player. So why can't I play in a "Senior" 8.0 Mixed Doubles League that plays on Saturday? Because the USTA is jacked up that's why! So does the USTA computer know the difference between the birthday of two 4.0 men who are 48 and 52, if they have played each other twice (once in the spring, and once in the fall) in 4.0 singles match play, and each one by the exact scores thus have identical records? So in USTA Adult League Play these men are equals, but not on the USTA Senior circuit. The 48 year old is excluded. Why?

My point is this: If the league is a NTRP league, why have an age restriction?

1) Isn't the NTRP the rating or has the USTA inadvertently made a fatal error, and let the cat out of the bag that the NRTP system is grossly flawed? 2)Or is an NTRP rating accurate and the Senior and Super Senior Leagues merely a way to give seniors more playing opportunity at the expense of 49 and younger players? 3)Or maybe a little of both? Maybe it's time to change the math behind the NTRPs and the way the USTA sets up their leagues.

If it is an 8.0 Mixed Senior League, why can't a 48, 43, or 38 year old play in the league? Isn't 8.0 Mixed really 8.0 Mixed. I contend you have a NTRP rating level. Your age doesn't matter, if the NTRP rating is accurate.

So which is more lopsided a 22 year old versus a 49 year old? or a 45 year old versus a 52 year old? The first is 27 years age difference, the latter only a seven year difference. But the 52 year old needs the protection from the 45 year old because equal NTRP ratings isn't sufficient according to teh USTA. :confused:

My suggestion:

1) Fix the NTRP rating system, by hiring some mathematicians to completely overhaul the current system commencing in the fall of 2011. Let the 2011 Fall Ratings only count for the purpose of establishing new ratings and new teams for the Spring of 2012.

2) Adjust the Leagues to Weekday (Days & Nights) and Weekend allowing let anyone who qualifies at a given rating to play in that league. You would still have three leagues. Senior and Super Seniors would be able to play in all three leagues if they wanted to. And very wealthy 18-49 year olds who are independently wealthy and didn't work a day or night job could do the same. :):)

That's right folk! Get rid of Adult, Senior and Super Senior Leagues and simply the USTA format to Weekday Day, Weekday Night and Weekend Leagues. Have your Sectional and State for all three leagues. You open the field of available players and include or exclude based on level of play, not by age.

USTA you can't have it both ways. Either the NTRP are accurate and Senior and Super Seniors don't need their own league, or the NTRP's aren't accurate and the system needs to be overhauled.

Just because it has always been done this way, doesn't mean it's right. Imagine if Rosa Parks had just walked to the back of the bus in Montgomery, AL. It's time the USTA fixed the system.
 

Spokewench

Semi-Pro
2) Adjust the Leagues to Weekday (Days & Nights) and Weekend allowing let anyone who qualifies at a given rating to play in that league. You would still have three leagues. Senior and Super Seniors would be able to play in all three leagues if they wanted to. And very wealthy 18-49 year olds who are independently wealthy and didn't work a day or night job could do the same. :):)

That's right folk! Get rid of Adult, Senior and Super Senior Leagues and simply the USTA format to Weekday Day, Weekday Night and Weekend Leagues. Have your Sectional and State for all three leagues. You open the field of available players and include or exclude based on level of play, not by age.


I already stated how I feel about age group divisions in this thread, but in response to your week day, week night and weekend leagues; they don't work in all areas of the country. They may work for people who are in big city, urban areas where there are lots of people to play tennis; but they will not work in rural areas like where I live and play. It takes 1-2.5 hours to travel in the state to get to our competitors and sometimes in bad winter weather. Trying to drive after work, play, drive back would keep most people from playing in an evening league. Week day leagues would turn into 80% senior people anyway, because those are the only people who can get away from work for that long during the day. So, for USTA to set rules that only work for large urban areas would not work in the diverse national setting that USTA represents.
 

g4driver

Legend
I already stated how I feel about age group divisions in this thread, but in response to your week day, week night and weekend leagues; they don't work in all areas of the country. They may work for people who are in big city, urban areas where there are lots of people to play tennis; but they will not work in rural areas like where I live and play. It takes 1-2.5 hours to travel in the state to get to our competitors and sometimes in bad winter weather. Trying to drive after work, play, drive back would keep most people from playing in an evening league. Week day leagues would turn into 80% senior people anyway, because those are the only people who can get away from work for that long during the day. So, for USTA to set rules that only work for large urban areas would not work in the diverse national setting that USTA represents.

Please explain how a weekday day league, weekday night league, and weekend league wouldn't work. If one of these three options don't work for you, do you have a new day of the week that the rest of the world doesn't have? If you live in a rural area where you have to drive 1-2.5 hours to play tennis, when exactly do you play? You've indicated weekday days, and weekday nights don't work, so when do you play? The only option left is: the weekend. You failed to mention when you play, but logic dictates you play on the weekend. So basically, you've made my case for me. A weekend league works for those who can and want to play on the weekends. Nobody would be forced to play on any league, but people would have more options than they have now. I can't play during the week, just as you can't as you don't want to drive 2.5 hours, play and then drive back. I want to play on the weekends, but that option is exclusively for seniors only in my area.

So please explain to me if you already play on a weekend, how a weekend league wouldn't work for you. Your response has me completely baffled like the AFLAC duck shaking his head listening to Yogi Berra.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-EZf56AfYc

How does my proposal prevent or limit anyone from playing?
From the most remote towns in the western states to the most populated cities, everyone would have the same access under my proposal. Three leagues, with your NTRP as the only limiting factor. Age would not matter at all: if a 22, 42, and 62 year old were all 4.0s, they would play at the same level 4.0, not Adult 4.0 versus Senior 4.0. In my world a 4.0 would be a 4.0. You would either a 4.0, or you would something higher or lower... not a Senior 4.0 versus a non-Senior 4.0. What a great point you make for my case: Weekday day leagues would be for retirees, and those independently wealthy or non-working folks who want to play during the day. Plenty of those people around the country, although I'm not one of those people nor do you seem to be.

My point is to offer more access to more people, and not to exclude people from playing when they can play. If the USTA would recognize a NTRP rating is the same regardless of age, my plan would work.

If a Senior 4.0 isn't the same as a Adult 4.0, the system is completely broken.
 
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