Why is the USTA so hated on here?

#1
One thing I always wanted to ask, since I just joined it, is why is the USTA to hated (criticized) on here? Is it really that bad? I never heard a single thing good about it, ever. Are the leagues entirely sandbaggers? Is the leadership totally corrupt or out-of-touch? The NTRP is a disaster? What should they be doing instead?

Also, are the local leagues (like the Atlanta one) affiliated in anyway with the USTA or independent? Does anyone play USTA in those places where there is an alternative?
 
#4
Check out my past posts -- I've written some responses about in past threads. Like any organization, USTA certainly has its issues. Part of the challenge is that it is an org supporting multiple lines of business and interests, and different 'product lines':
--youth/adult tournaments vs leagues
--catering/attracting new players while supporting existing players
--other programming such as wheelchair and/or community outreach.

I think the thing people forget about is any one of these programs is effectively a business operation unto itself, so the trick is how to systematize things to accommodate as many people as possible under one rubric, while at the same time having flexibility enough to also serve constituents who, while may not have the volume, are significant enough populations to be included in the overall mission of growing/supporting tennis in the US.

I'm not an apologist --there are some things I would certainly do differently if I were king. All that said, I started hitting with my wife and daughter about 11 years ago. If there was no USTA and adult leagues which *do not* require membership at a local club, I don't think I would have grown into the sport and built the massive network of people I can play with virtually any time...so for that I am thankful. The adult league programming enables people to play (mostly) like-skilled competition on a regular basis, and people can be as serious or not as they want to be about it. The fact that there is a formal league with possibility of progression adds a dynamic that just isn't achieved playing social tennis IMO.
 
#5
I think USTA leagues are the best thing ever. Getting my foot in the door was tough (didn't know anyone and no captain picked me up when I submitted my name as a free agent in 2011), but playing USTA league tennis has sated my desire for competition in a way that I could not have fathomed. Playing the various USTA leagues year-round provide constant opportunities to play/compete, and captaining teams adds another layer of competition -- you get to play GM in a real-life fantasy league. It also allows you to meet so many like-minded people, who are as passionate about tennis as you are.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
#7
As with most things, you only hear the complaints. When everything goes well people (and message boards) are silent.

For the vast majority of people that play USTA League, things go well and players get competitive matches against mostly legit/fairly rated players. There are some exceptions, and that is what you hear discussed here, but by and large, it is a good experience for most.
 
#8
@Pro Kenneth

I enjoy USTA, leagues and tournaments. I get lots of matches against comparably skilled opponents, the vast majority of whom are cool. And you never know: an opponent one season could become a teammate in the future.

Also, my tennis circle has expanded tenfold and now there's no shortage of opportunities to play, both USTA and non-USTA.
 
#9
Fatigue seems to be the reason in most cases. Fatigue with lack of options and fatigue in trying to navigate a system that almost seems purposefully a pain. Like Leech said, getting in the door is a pain, but it seems decent after that
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
#11
Not hatred so much as trying to have a sober understanding of their limitations and keep options open regarding the participation of our family. When there are better options, we vote with our feet (and entry fees). I'd estimate about 1/2 of the events I paid for last year were USTA.

The big tennis org (USTA) got a bigger share of our family tennis spending than the big shooting org (NRA) got of our shooting spending. (Probably less than 10% in 2018). Does this mean we hate the NRA? Certainly not. But it's a big, inefficient bureaucracy that has not been doing a great job meeting the recreational sporting needs and desires of our family, so we are voting with our feet and participating in more non-NRA events.

Our daughter has also been moving away from the big fencing org (USFA) with her fencing participation. Their junior and adult programs are pretty good, but there are other groups that do a better job serving collegiate fencers.

In 2019, USTA percentage of our family participation will likely sharply decline, mostly because for any given weekend, a local UTR tournament has a better chance of getting to critical mass and offering good competition for family participants. Further, as our son transitions to adulthood, the USTA advantages fall off a cliff.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
#13
@Pro Kenneth there is a really small (but quite vocal) group that dislike the USTA and will post forth on every possible thread why they dropped their USTA membership and haven't looked back.

The vast majority here, and likely elsewhere .... enjoy USTA leagues for themselves. A lot may depend on region as well.

But, we all have things that we whine about and wish could be corrected, tweaked, improved.
 
#14
Its less about the leagues and tournaments than all the other stuff USTA spends our dues money on.

The longer your with the USTA the more you'll understand and be frustrated..... it will be simple to see and completly unavoidable!
I've played USTA tournaments and leagues for 25+ years and had a blast!!

USTA does lots of good things; I love the tournaments and leagues.
They are great for getting into the game or if your new to a city!

HOWEVER, there is much more to the USTA than leagues and local tournaments and over the last 30 years they have built a mega organization that has been successful in funneling all tennis activities: leagues, tournaments, rankings, coaching, umpiring, clinics, local organizations at all levels through them!!! They control or are influencial over almost EVERYTHING, and as typical to near monopolies; the prices go up and the quality of product goes down. Year after year as you see all prices increase, and you see their CEO make more than any other sports CEO, and you see them back regulations that allow tidal waves of internationals into the college system, you see them dabble in politics and you see them build junior development programs that only benifet the very very very few....... well you get the picture.

Honestly they are NOT good stewards of the game, they try and their heart is in the right place, but they are just not organised to be.
All the local people in each state and city are more involved and try to do better, however they are handcuffed but the MEGA organization!

To summarize, USTA wants you to go through them for EVERYTHING (that's how they make money), but you don't need to USTA to play the game.
 
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#15
I do like playing USTA adult tennis for fun.

However, they have done nothing better than a horrible job in our local district and section from a junior development perspective. The list starts with:

1. Rule changes on a whim that do not grow / promote development of the sections elite or developing players (Sectional Level)
2. Allowing districts to hold their district qualifier at varying (earlier) times thus kids from one district are carrying additional points when qualifying in sectional events against other kids without that opportunity (Sectional Level). I have seen kids carrying 200 additional points due to this when applying to entry into sectional events.
3. Item 2 creates an issue where players from one district have maxed out local points but cannot qualify for the lowest level sectional event without any other recourse than to play up locally meanwhile less skilled players from the district with the earlier qualifier get in due to carrying additional points (Sectional Level).
4. Lack of response to e-mails/inquiries from Sectional USTA staff (We do pay dues and are members.).
5. Minimum effort put fourth by rude, petty, political, district office staff (One example, If players from our district apply to sectional events and get placed on the waiting list, then sign up for a local event at the same time expecting not to get in, then are contacted that there is an opening at the sectional event, our district players are informed they will be penalized if they do not play in the local event even before the local draw is made. Other districts encourage their players to play in the more advanced event.
6. Lack of communications on the web site (Not updated in years) or fliers (Not sent any more) on rule changes (in 1) from our local district thus our junior players from our district are blind-sided by these changes.
7. Our district staff don't want to put out the effort to include doubles at our district qualifier although most districts in our section do and are able to prepare with their player for the doubles that is part of the closed sectional level 1 shortly thereafter.
8. Lack of enforcement of basic rules by sectional event officials. The same players and their parents over and over exhibit blatant cheating, disruptive tantrums, continuous court supervision by "roving officials". Yet, they are never coded and the behavior repeats itself by the same players and parents (and often by the same officials) at the next sectional event.
9. A new rule starting today (not communicated by district office on their web site or with a flier.) that sectional level 2 tournaments will be a 32 player draw. This rule is obviously designed to promote depth in player development in our section.
10. Lack of encouragement or if needed requirement by local clubs to host junior tournaments. However, these same clubs benefit from these future adults when they grow up and become due paying club members and play adult USTA tennis for the clubs (District Office). I know members at the club impact this but one simple requirement would be if an indoor club wants to sponsor adult USTA teams they must host at least 2 winter Junior local events a year.
11. District office allow clubs that host tournaments to schedule matches at odd times when courts are likely to be free to maximize profit for the club and to the detriment of the junior players and their families. First match for a 10 year old at 730PM on Friday. The next match at Saturday at 730PM Saturday. Next match 8AM Sunday. The tournament director from the club posts their will be Friday play and to not sign up if you don't want to play Friday. Then post-deadline posts that there will be no Friday play.
12. Other districts allow players to sign up in local events in 2 age groups even though this can make scheduling difficult it does offer additional play for their junior players and allows them to "play up" against better players and accumulate points for sectional events. Not so in our district and no consistent rule from a sectional level creating uneven opportunities for qualifying in sectional events.
13. Other districts host compass draws maximizing play and junior development opportunities at a given event. Not so at our district where again our clubs are not encouraged to even host local tournaments.

No wonder college coaches are looking abroad for their players. Their necks are on the line and the pool of players they can pick from here in the US is coming out of the above environment.
 
#16
I do like playing USTA adult tennis for fun.

However, they have done nothing better than a horrible job in our local district and section from a junior development perspective. The list starts with:

1. Rule changes on a whim that do not grow / promote development of the sections elite or developing players (Sectional Level)
2. Allowing districts to hold their district qualifier at varying (earlier) times thus kids from one district are carrying additional points when qualifying in sectional events against other kids without that opportunity (Sectional Level). I have seen kids carrying 200 additional points due to this when applying to entry into sectional events.
3. Item 2 creates an issue where players from one district have maxed out local points but cannot qualify for the lowest level sectional event without any other recourse than to play up locally meanwhile less skilled players from the district with the earlier qualifier get in due to carrying additional points (Sectional Level).
4. Lack of response to e-mails/inquiries from Sectional USTA staff (We do pay dues and are members.).
5. Minimum effort put fourth by rude, petty, political, district office staff (One example, If players from our district apply to sectional events and get placed on the waiting list, then sign up for a local event at the same time expecting not to get in, then are contacted that there is an opening at the sectional event, our district players are informed they will be penalized if they do not play in the local event even before the local draw is made. Other districts encourage their players to play in the more advanced event.
6. Lack of communications on the web site (Not updated in years) or fliers (Not sent any more) on rule changes (in 1) from our local district thus our junior players from our district are blind-sided by these changes.
7. Our district staff don't want to put out the effort to include doubles at our district qualifier although most districts in our section do and are able to prepare with their player for the doubles that is part of the closed sectional level 1 shortly thereafter.
8. Lack of enforcement of basic rules by sectional event officials. The same players and their parents over and over exhibit blatant cheating, disruptive tantrums, continuous court supervision by "roving officials". Yet, they are never coded and the behavior repeats itself by the same players and parents (and often by the same officials) at the next sectional event.
9. A new rule starting today (not communicated by district office on their web site or with a flier.) that sectional level 2 tournaments will be a 32 player draw. This rule is obviously designed to promote depth in player development in our section.
10. Lack of encouragement or if needed requirement by local clubs to host junior tournaments. However, these same clubs benefit from these future adults when they grow up and become due paying club members and play adult USTA tennis for the clubs (District Office). I know members at the club impact this but one simple requirement would be if an indoor club wants to sponsor adult USTA teams they must host at least 2 winter Junior local events a year.
11. District office allow clubs that host tournaments to schedule matches at odd times when courts are likely to be free to maximize profit for the club and to the detriment of the junior players and their families. First match for a 10 year old at 730PM on Friday. The next match at Saturday at 730PM Saturday. Next match 8AM Sunday. The tournament director from the club posts their will be Friday play and to not sign up if you don't want to play Friday. Then post-deadline posts that there will be no Friday play.
12. Other districts allow players to sign up in local events in 2 age groups even though this can make scheduling difficult it does offer additional play for their junior players and allows them to "play up" against better players and accumulate points for sectional events. Not so in our district and no consistent rule from a sectional level creating uneven opportunities for qualifying in sectional events.
13. Other districts host compass draws maximizing play and junior development opportunities at a given event. Not so at our district where again our clubs are not encouraged to even host local tournaments.

No wonder college coaches are looking abroad for their players. Their necks are on the line and the pool of players they can pick from here in the US is coming out of the above environment.
All of the problems seem to stem from #4: "lack of response...". You are a member and they are ignoring your feedback. In a free market, you'd take your business elsewhere but the USTA is the only [?] game in town. I'm sure a clever lawyer can come up with an anti-trust argument.

Also, given how everything is UTR-related at the junior level and that USTA does not control UTR, is that an alternative?

And how do other countries handle these issues?

Regarding point 11: if the clubs didn't host the tournaments, who would? Could the tournaments even exist? The USTA can't just take over a bunch of public courts. So I would think the District Office would want to work with the club as opposed to trying to dictate terms.

And this problem is not exclusive to juniors: when I sign up for a tournament, I fully expect there will be inconvenient [for me] match times. I understand that the club can't just turn every court over to the tournament.

Your other points sound reasonable. But some of them are not criticisms of the USTA but of your district. Could you get involved with the district and try to effect change [easier said than done, I know but nothing in your post indicated that you've tried].
 
#17
Overall I love playing in USTA. It is competitive and very social. I love to play and complete locally and I have made many new friends and social opportunities.

Most of the people I know feel the same way and seem to really enjoy USTA. The only people I seem to find in real life that don't enjoy it as much are the people who are stuck at the lower end of their current level. Too good to get bumped down but not good enough to win even 1/2 their matches. Frustration and/or lack of recruiting opportunities mean they start to play less USTA. Almost all new players who are improving seem to really enjoy USTA. (I am sure its because they are highly sought after and recruited onto a lot of teams.)

My biggest gripe with USTA is the local league coordinators. Their professionalism wildly varies but some are unreachable, never respond to emails unless there is an opportunity for them to make money, scheduling errors, etc. A lot of players/captains seem to dislike the scheduling options, money reimbursements if they have to do it, collecting and sending out lineups. But I don't think this is unique to USTA and would be an issue with any league.
 
#18
These are all good points...... but from my end they are all "Effects" and not the "Cause".

I've been dealing with USTA for over 20+ years with tournaments and leagues, and I can tell you they organize and manage with a TOP DOWN approach.
And most cities tennis associations, use to be independent and could do their own thing. Set fees, organize leagues and tournaments... not anymore. Unfortunately, they can't branch off and do ANYTHING on their own..... they follow USTA guidance which is why everyone gets angry. Example, my local corridinator (in a major city) has been in her position for 10 years!!!! 10 years of doning NOTHING but collect dues and funneling them to USTA!!! They put on one husband and wife charity tournament a year! And their website, ha, its a mirror of the USTA website!

But honestly, all these "effects" are directly related to the USTA controlling all aspects of the game.
 
#20
All of the problems seem to stem from #4: "lack of response...". You are a member and they are ignoring your feedback. In a free market, you'd take your business elsewhere but the USTA is the only [?] game in town. I'm sure a clever lawyer can come up with an anti-trust argument.

You are correct that lack of response or as the other post put it "top-down approach". Feedback is not handled well and basically ignored.

Also, given how everything is UTR-related at the junior level and that USTA does not control UTR, is that an alternative?

Everything is not UTR although it is used a majority of the sectional entry slots still use USTA ranking points and ranking points are used for national events.

And how do other countries handle these issues?

I really don't know although from the number of kids coming over her to play in college it looks like they are handling it better than we are

Regarding point 11: if the clubs didn't host the tournaments, who would?

That is just it. If they don't host tournaments there are none. Yet the clubs are more than willing to host adult USTA teams and will certainly take their tennis membership fees when they are adults. They just don't want to invest in the development of their future members.

Could the tournaments even exist?

No, but the USTA can simply tell the clubs if they want to sponsor adult teams they need to sponsor junior tournaments. That is pretty simple and they make money off the entry fees. The fees have doubled over the last 5 years.

The USTA can't just take over a bunch of public courts. So I would think the District Office would want to work with the club as opposed to trying to dictate terms.

I don't agree. The clubs are USTA member facilities. Yes, they can and should dictate to all these clubs that have USTA adult tennis banners hanging from their walls.

And this problem is not exclusive to juniors: when I sign up for a tournament, I fully expect there will be inconvenient [for me] match times. I understand that the club can't just turn every court over to the tournament.

That is ridiculous. First the court time is part of the entry fee so we are paying for the court time. Secondly, we are talking about kids not adults. The clubs are using the tournaments to fill unused court time at off hours that otherwise would go idle. That is their motivation and nothing more.

Your other points sound reasonable. But some of them are not criticisms of the USTA but of your district.

Our district is the USTA. Our section is also the USTA. Both are not executing for their members.

Could you get involved with the district and try to effect change [easier said than done, I know but nothing in your post indicated that you've tried].

Yes perhaps I can get involved and I have not tried. I was going to put a blurb at the end of my rant about applying for board positions but chose not to.

However, as a USTA member I pay dues and they should be doing better and listening to their members and help grow the sport. I have never received a survey on how they are doing.

I might add that the local district did update their web site recently. They posted information on the dinner banquet and awards they presented to each other.
 
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#22
USTA's slogan is, or was, to "grow the game". That's not happening from my perspective, courts going empty, many virtually abandoned, so lacking maintenance as to be unsafe to play on. The tennis boom of the 70's is over, when many clubs and courts were constructed. Many of these courts are now going empty. Tennis is a difficult game to master. There is much faulty instruction going on that gives students no future--like the instruction to "get the racket back" with a straight arm--tennis elbow guaranteed. USTA should have a team of facility inspectors grading courts and suggesting facility improvements needing to be made. USTA should use it's clout to pressure government bodies to maintain facilities that are on the skids. USTA should hire a marketing company to espouse the great physical, mental, and social attributes of the best sport around. Dollar for dollar, tennis is one of the cheapest fun activities around. Today it does have to compete with a plethora of activities that weren't around back in the 70's like fitness clubs, smart phones and pickle ball. Empty courts should have people waiting to play day and night like they used to back in the 70's.
 

MRfStop

Professional
#23
One thing I always wanted to ask, since I just joined it, is why is the USTA to hated (criticized) on here? Is it really that bad? I never heard a single thing good about it, ever. Are the leagues entirely sandbaggers? Is the leadership totally corrupt or out-of-touch? The NTRP is a disaster? What should they be doing instead?

Also, are the local leagues (like the Atlanta one) affiliated in anyway with the USTA or independent? Does anyone play USTA in those places where there is an alternative?
The only sandbaggers I see are in Mixed, Combo, and the Atlanta teams that go to the state championship in May. Combo you can sign up a D1 college player and have them self rate as a 3.5 and smoke everyone.

USTA fails at evaluating legitimate grievances fairly.

The only reason I play USTA is because it’s the only tennis leagues in my area. I don’t hate USTA but I have been very frustrated with them in the past. ALTA does a much better job. If I lived closer to Atlanta I would play primarily ALTA even though matches are on Saturdays and some matches can be 2+ hrs away. It might be the tennis association that is ran poorly in my area but I have seen first hand USTA GA show favoritism towards an Atlanta player. And USTA GA’s HQ is in Atlanta.
 
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#24
One thing I always wanted to ask, since I just joined it, is why is the USTA to hated (criticized) on here? Is it really that bad? I never heard a single thing good about it, ever. Are the leagues entirely sandbaggers? Is the leadership totally corrupt or out-of-touch? The NTRP is a disaster? What should they be doing instead?

Also, are the local leagues (like the Atlanta one) affiliated in anyway with the USTA or independent? Does anyone play USTA in those places where there is an alternative?
USTA tries really hard to make the adult league viable and in good spirits of good fun. I just hope they spend money on the championship trophies
 
#26
What does this mean

"The USTA has lots of expenses: $13 million in rent for the National Tennis Center out in Queens.(They pay it to themselves since the USTA owns Arthur Ashe Stadium, where tickets can run into the thousands of dollars to see matches.) "
 
#27
Want to know where they put their (our dues) money?
And this is just one guy that was caught, they do their best to hide the salaries and bonus and fees for "consultants"!
https://www.showbiz411.com/2015/09/...ear-usta-calls-itself-non-profit-organization
Your dues pale in comparison to the money generated by the USO. :p Collective member dues about $18 million in 2016. USO generated about $235 million.

Salaries, bonuses and fees for contractors ("consultants" if you prefer) are all required among other items to be disclosed on a Form 990 (a publicly available document required to be filled out by tax-exempt entities).

Regarding this statement:

"The USTA has lots of expenses: $13 million in rent for the National Tennis Center out in Queens.(They pay it to themselves since the USTA owns Arthur Ashe Stadium"

Neither the USTA or any of its affiliates owns Ashe Stadium or any other part of the tennis center. All of the land, stadiums, field courts and other structures are owned by the City of NY and leased to the NTC which then pays the City of NY rent based on a fixed amount plus percent of revenue earned from activities originating at the tennis center. Rent expense charged to USTA and affiliates operations for the year ended December 31, 2016 amounted to $3,143,000.
 
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#28
When they build their new USTA stadium, individual box seat holders were move to much less desirable locations and did not even get a chance at purchasing near equivalent seats. You had to be a corporation or know somebody in USTA to able to get access to buying these box seats. I of course cancelled my USTA membership and never went the U.S. Open after that! Did not play in any USTA tournaments and always bad mouth the USTA any chance I get too!
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
#29
They overpaid Patrick McEnroe and he was a total failure at his position.
The people at the top are placed there because of politics.

On a local level captains don't receive much support or even a free hat. lol

There are some life long sandbaggers but nothing is done, no one bothers to complain because they won't likely do anything to correct it.
 

MRfStop

Professional
#31
Your dues pale in comparison to the money generated by the USO. :p Collective member dues about $18 million in 2016. USO generated about $235 million.

Salaries, bonuses and fees for contractors ("consultants" if you prefer) are all required among other items to be disclosed on a Form 990 (a publicly available document required to be filled out by tax-exempt entities).

Regarding this statement:

"The USTA has lots of expenses: $13 million in rent for the National Tennis Center out in Queens.(They pay it to themselves since the USTA owns Arthur Ashe Stadium"

Neither the USTA or any of its affiliates owns Ashe Stadium or any other part of the tennis center. All of the land, stadiums, field courts and other structures are owned by the City of NY and leased to the NTC which then pays the City of NY rent based on a fixed amount plus percent of revenue earned from activities originating at the tennis center. Rent expense charged to USTA and affiliates operations for the year ended December 31, 2016 amounted to $3,143,000.
How much of the $235 million went to Eugenie Bouchard’s bank account?
 
#32
Love/Hate Relationship with the USTA...Love the U.S. OPEN.. tournaments, leagues and computer rankings...But they really screwed up my NTRP and after sending tons of medical evidence for 2 years and appealing to anyone i can think of ; i still got zero results to this day...many staffers are annonymous people who don't know tennis
 
#33
How much of the $235 million went to Eugenie Bouchard’s bank account?
The terms of the settlement were confidential (and won't have to be disclosed on the 2018 financials because the settlement would not have had a material adverse effect on the USTA).
 
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#34
How much of the $235 million went to Eugenie Bouchard’s bank account?

2016 USO revenue was 307 million not 235 million. My bad.

2017 USO revenue was 348 million.

It will be interesting to see the 2018 number and see how they did with the addition of New Armstrong where they both jacked the prices and added a lot more reserved seats.
 
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#35
I'm sympathetic to Bouchard's accident, some '"slip and falls" ARE the responsibility of management. I've nearly fallen on floors in locker rooms that were cleaned with VERY slippery agents that should have not been allowed to walk on, slippery as ice. Eugenie had a late ending match and the janitorial people should have not allowed the floor to be walked on. She was truly injured and lost income by not being able to play the WTA tour. If you've ever tried walking on a slippery floor or on ice, you can empathize with her. She is cute, but needs to loosen up and smile more.
 
#36
Most people only know USTA for tournaments and leagues, which is where all the drama is.

HOWEVER, USTA is a GIANT so called non-profit that waste tons and tons of money.
And is constantly involved or building inefficient programs it say's benefit USA tennis..... but rarely do...... rather they typically only benefit: themselves and consultants (their friends).

And because they are a monopoly, they can always raise your membership fees to pay for their next boondoggle!
 
#37
On a message board people vent. USTA is rife with conflict of interest at the top since professional tennis is a for profit structure & the path to that level is also for profit.
Growing the game for the masses seems to clash with this mindset.
 

DonBot

Professional
#38
My biggest gripe with the USTA is their NTRP. I used to play in local leagues and tournaments and kept running into folks who were 5.0 or above former division one players playing down to 4.0. It got so bad that leagues in my area pretty much dried up and organized tennis is pretty much dead in my neck of the woods. Their infrastructure for NTRP rating challenges didn't exist. Like someone said above, I dropped by USTA membership years ago, never looked back, and it was one of the best decisions I have made in recent memory. As long as people are allowed to self-rate themselves the whole thing is going to be a scam and if you get computer rated into a category later on you are never going to move back down if you get older. Basically you should sign up as a 3.0 and let the computer just slowly rate you up as you ruin everyone's fun...that was basically my take on playing USTA leagues...
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
#39
My issues with the USTA are:

(1) The USTA website is unconscionably sh1tty. Take a look at the ITF seniors website - it's a thing of beauty by comparison; user-friendly, logically laid out, etc. The USTA website is a byzantine pile of steaming turds.
(2) The USTA doesn't give a rat's a55 about senior tennis; again, by comparison, take a look at the ITF.
(3) The USTA is an abysmal failure at its principal mission, which is to spread interest in tennis. The participation rate and viewership numbers bear this out - they've been on a one-way decline for over 25 years.
(4) Despite (1) through (3) above, the USTA manages to spend tens of millions of dollars each year in operating costs... failing miserably.

Other than that, I think they're doing a great job. Actually, seriously, I've never played in a USTA league, but they appear to do a decent job with that... so they've got that going for them. Which is nice.
 
#44
And because they are a monopoly, they can always raise your membership fees to pay for their next boondoggle!
How are they a monopoly? There are many options out there, they are not the only game in town for sure, at least not in my district/section. For me they are the best option, although I cannot help but agree with criticism, they more than fulfill my expectations.
 
#45
Every armchair tennis player thinks they can organize a league where sandbagging is impossible.
Problem with sandbaggers is not the league, but the player. Sandbaggers will always sandbag regardless of the league. Making the league more restrictive to new players (need to get rated by a coach, or a committee, or anything else really) just means no one will join the league because of its too much work.

I agree with Movefowardalways. No way to get rid of sandbagging.
 
#46
My biggest gripe with the USTA is their NTRP. I used to play in local leagues and tournaments and kept running into folks who were 5.0 or above former division one players playing down to 4.0. It got so bad that leagues in my area pretty much dried up and organized tennis is pretty much dead in my neck of the woods. Their infrastructure for NTRP rating challenges didn't exist.
Wow, that's extreme: people sandbagging 2+ levels down? The worst I see is one level: ex-Div III, relatively young guys who should be 5.0 playing down in 4.5. Probably at Nationals what you're observing is more common.

The thing is, I welcome the chance to "play up", as I rarely get the chance unless I enter an Open tournament. And it's not as if I'm constantly getting my butt kicked; maybe once/season. For me, it's not only not a problem, it's an opportunity.

As long as people are allowed to self-rate themselves the whole thing is going to be a scam
There are a lot of self-rates but the vast majority are just trying to do the right thing. At least, that's been my experience.

and if you get computer rated into a category later on you are never going to move back down if you get older.
I think you are mistaken: once you hit a certain age [anyone know what it is?], being granted a downward appeal is much easier, if not a rubber stamp.
 
#47
Problem with sandbaggers is not the league, but the player. Sandbaggers will always sandbag regardless of the league. Making the league more restrictive to new players (need to get rated by a coach, or a committee, or anything else really) just means no one will join the league because of its too much work.

I agree with Movefowardalways. No way to get rid of sandbagging.
Maybe one thing to reduce it: no post-season play until you've put 4 seasons in.
 
#48
My issues with the USTA are:

(1) The USTA website is unconscionably sh1tty. Take a look at the ITF seniors website - it's a thing of beauty by comparison; user-friendly, logically laid out, etc. The USTA website is a byzantine pile of steaming turds.
I've heard this complaint before but no one ever gives specifics. I've never had a problem with the USTA website. There are things they lack [I like the way tennisrecord displays ratings] but no site is perfect.

(3) The USTA is an abysmal failure at its principal mission, which is to spread interest in tennis. The participation rate and viewership numbers bear this out - they've been on a one-way decline for over 25 years.
You can only reach this conclusion if you can reasonably prove what would have happened without the USTA or with different leadership/decisions. Otherwise, there's no way of knowing if the participation rate and viewership #s wouldn't have declined the same anyway.

(4) Despite (1) through (3) above, the USTA manages to spend tens of millions of dollars each year in operating costs... failing miserably.

Other than that, I think they're doing a great job. Actually, seriously, I've never played in a USTA league, but they appear to do a decent job with that... so they've got that going for them. Which is nice.
I'm satisfied with what I get out of my fees. Perhaps if I dug more deeply, I'd find more things to dislike. For now, I keep p[l]aying although I could easily stop and still have plenty of tennis for as many days per week I wished to play.
 
#49
Its less about the leagues and tournaments than all the other stuff USTA spends our dues money on.

The longer your with the USTA the more you'll understand and be frustrated..... it will be simple to see and completly unavoidable!
I've played USTA tournaments and leagues for 25+ years and had a blast!!

USTA does lots of good things; I love the tournaments and leagues.
They are great for getting into the game or if your new to a city!

HOWEVER, there is much more to the USTA than leagues and local tournaments and over the last 30 years they have built a mega organization that has been successful in funneling all tennis activities: leagues, tournaments, rankings, coaching, umpiring, clinics, local organizations at all levels through them!!! They control or are influencial over almost EVERYTHING, and as typical to near monopolies; the prices go up and the quality of product goes down. Year after year as you see all prices increase, and you see their CEO make more than any other sports CEO, and you see them back regulations that allow tidal waves of internationals into the college system, you see them dabble in politics and you see them build junior development programs that only benifet the very very very few....... well you get the picture.

Honestly they are NOT good stewards of the game, they try and their heart is in the right place, but they are just not organised to be.
All the local people in each state and city are more involved and try to do better, however they are handcuffed but the MEGA organization!

To summarize, USTA wants you to go through them for EVERYTHING (that's how they make money), but you don't need to USTA to play the game.
Your right on some points but disagree on playing for fun-that’s what mixers are for. It’s all about going to sectionals and trying to win and get to nationals.
 
#50
Also I’ve been playing for 7 years and I’m playing to win. Had enough of losing to opponents saying it’s only tennis while they have smirk on face as we shake hands after matches. I’m not going to spend thousands of dollars to lose matches. When your on court playing matches you play to win and friendships go out the window.
 
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