Why UTR is a deeply flawed system.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Simon_the_furry, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. SDRIA

    SDRIA New User

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    I think you covered some of what I’m talking about and answered your own question well yourself.
     
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  2. Vladimir Bosev

    Vladimir Bosev New User

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    What specific attributes you mean, I am asking you because we are creating Rating based on ELO and this may be interesting to be added?
     
    #52
  3. jmnk

    jmnk Hall of Fame

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    UTR, or USTA, or ITA, or ATP or any other ranking system does factor in intangibles already. The system looks at the results, and gives you the rating. If a given player has those mythical 'intangibles', he surely can convert those to results, and therefore they will be reflected in the rating.

    Unless you are talking about those intangibles that _do not_ convert to the results. In that case, well, the said player just picked the wrong sport I suppose.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
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  4. jmnk

    jmnk Hall of Fame

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    that is indeed the major deficiency of UTR or USTA rating system that counts something other than what the ultimate goal of a sport is: to win a match. Because you can raise your rating by making a match close, as long as it is against a higher rated player. The higher rated the opponent the 'less' you have to make it competitive to still make your rating higher. Which is why in USTA, the higher your rating is the harder it gets to make it go up - because you have less and less opportunity to play against players rated higher than you. Meaning - if you are 3.5 it is easy to play against 4.0, and even against 4.5, and you just need to do decent to raise your rating. When you are 4.5 it gets harder to play against 5.0 or 5.5 - just because there are only so many of those high rated players. So at 4.5 you are stuck playing (mostly) against other 4.5 players, and, well, at that point you really have to win, close lose is not going to do much for you.

    Which is also why (I would argue) the higher the USTA rating the more accurate it is. Because it was achieved via playing the opponents of the same rating, and the results of such evenly matched players give the best reflection of actual rating.

    College ITA rating system is different - in that one you must win to raise your rating. A loss, no matter how close, no matter how higher your opponent was rated, is always going to lower your rating.
     
    #54
  5. jmnk

    jmnk Hall of Fame

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    If I may ask - who is 'we'? And why would we need yet another rating system based on ELO? Both UTR and USTA systems are already based on ELO.
     
    #55
  6. SDRIA

    SDRIA New User

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    First, intangibles are not mythical. Anyone who is somebody in elite tennis understands the importance of intangibles. What do you think separates the top ATP pros/greats from the rest of the pack who have shots that are just as good as (with some shots even being better than) some of the top ATP players/greats? It’s not about the shots anymore at that level. It’s about fully developed intangibles.

    Second, algorithms or any other results-based formula is absolutely useless when evaluating top juniors for their potential as professionals. Juniors are still young, developing players, a work in progress, and some develop faster or slower than others. Some top juniors show more intangibles than other top juniors with a higher UTR, but, for them, it is just a matter of time before the intangibles become fully developed. They each develop at their own pace. Patience is required.

    There may very well be some truth to what you say with respect to full-grown adults, but denying the reality of intangibles is ludicrous. If a “coach” or other type of “tennis professional” depends on an algorithm or ranking to size up a top juniors potential to succeed as a pro (or even on a college team), then the coach IMO is conceding that he/she doesn’t have the instinct and ability to do what great coaches have done: ID real talent, despite results, and help them develop their intangibles. Anyone who only considers results doesn’t understand the sport, doesn’t understand potential, and doesn’t understand basic human development.

    The ones who see and understand how to work with the complexities involved in junior development have a huge advantage over those who don’t. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people attempting to control junior development who don’t have the gift, and, therefore, are blind to this reality.
     
    #56
  7. BallBag

    BallBag Rookie

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    I think you guys are arguing to the same point. The intangibles you are talking about are important, its what converts tennis skills to results, trophies and really big shiny trophies. Which makes them tangibles. If you are talking about intangibles like the future ATP rating of a 12 year old then you will be very disappointed with any rating system. UTR aims to predict which two players are likely to have a competitive match, that's all.
     
    #57
  8. BallBag

    BallBag Rookie

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    [​IMG]
     
    #58
  9. jmnk

    jmnk Hall of Fame

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    So true
    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
     
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  10. SDRIA

    SDRIA New User

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    I assumed it was very obvious that I'm talking about all juniors, including the 16’s and OLDER. UTR is completely useless when evaluating ALL top juniors, including the top 16’s and OLDER, for their potential as professionals.
     
    #60
  11. Cornbread

    Cornbread New User

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    Seems like the biggest issues with UTR are that: 1. Almost an entire league in high school has to subscribe in order to results to be reported and included. Our league, the MIAA, is too lazy and doesn't report results to anybody, not even the USTA. So kids' URTs don't get a boost from HS play. So, this year we're skipping the HS season and only playing USTA and UTR matches. And 2. USTA results are included in UTR calculations, but it doesn't work the other way around. 3. If you're trying to boost your UTR significantly, it seems like playing USTA matches are more valuable than UTR matches. You're not "limited" to playing someone within 1.5 points of your own UTR when you plan USTA matches. You just pick a level (e.g., 5.0) and let the UTR chips fall where they may.
     
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  12. Matthew Lee

    Matthew Lee Professional

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    Wish UTR could've recorded my high school matches...I've got some impressive games...

    But then again, I have some terrible losses too...:oops::oops:
     
    #62
  13. Fabresque

    Fabresque Semi-Pro

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    UTR is dumb in not recording high school matches, I’ve got some matches that are good, bad, all over the place.

    5-7 6-2 10-2 W over a 7
    6-1 6-2 W over a 7
    5-7 6-3 4-6 L to a 6
    3-6 6-4 0-6 L to an 8

    I am a UTR 7 but my issue is that none of my HS matches are recorded. They also don’t record JTT matches. I hold a win over an 8 and I got revenge (8-3) over the 6 I lost to during high school season. Yet again it doesn’t count. UTR doesn’t measure this and it’s annoying, luckily I have a profile on a website (OhioTennisZone) which records my high school results, and all coaches can see them, which is good.
     
    #63
  14. Cornbread

    Cornbread New User

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    Our JTT matches get recorded every year. The results get entered in Tennis Link, and My UTR grabs them from there. Also, it's up to the HS league to report their match results somewhere, either to the USTA or UTR. Too many coaches/commissioners are too lazy to do the reporting. So the problem isn't really the UTR folks.
     
    #64
  15. Fabresque

    Fabresque Semi-Pro

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    Mine don’t, weird.

    Ok, what I’m trying to say is that UTR should let players manually put in results but they should be approved (like an official picture of the newspaper reporting the hs match score).

    I’m getting recruited by schools atm, but I don’t have a UTR, only a “Pending” UTR of 7 from like 3 matches at tournaments. Not only do I not have time to play the 15 or so matches to get an official rating, I don’t have that sort of money. One tournament here in my area costs $65, One tournament guarantees 2 matches, so 7.5 tournaments I need to play. 65x7.5 equals $487. One clinic at my club is $28. And it’s actually useful because I play multiple opponents improving all aspects of my game as the clinic goes on. There’s 2 clinics a week, meaning I could go to about 8-10 weeks or so of clinics and that would equal the amount of money I’d pay for 7-8 tournaments.

    Also one HS season of tennis in my area is about 20 matches. The season fee is $175. Way better deal.
     
    #65
  16. SDRIA

    SDRIA New User

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    The only hope I see in UTR is that it could lead to an entity that gives tennis players at all levels, especially the juniors, an opportunity to play in tournaments outside the USTA and other federations and their influence. If it’s run for profit, I believe the quality and popularity of the sport will be revived. American tennis needs someone like Lamar Hunt again this time to take control of junior tennis away from the USTA and the ITF (or any other non-profit association of hackers and amateurs who want to control a sport that they don’t know how to play just to be in a position inside the organization to receive personal benefits from a wealthy donor class) and to put it into the hands of people who know how to create an environment that produces once again high-quality American world champions. As a result, the entire tennis industry will prosper.
     
    #66
  17. Cornbread

    Cornbread New User

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    Fabresque, do they have UTR tournaments where you are? They typically cost half of what they charge for USTA tournaments. The one we're in today here in Maryland was $35.00, and you get swag for registering. (Some UTR tourneys even include prize $.)
     
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  18. Fabresque

    Fabresque Semi-Pro

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    Few and far between, there’s one about 35 minutes from where I live at Denison Univ., but that’s about it. A couple others in Cincy but yea.
     
    #68
  19. jcgatennismom

    jcgatennismom Semi-Pro

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    I have mixed feelings about the entry of HS results because UTR only calculates ratings based on 30 matches. Way back in 2015, local area HS's had the opportunity to enter match results into UTR in a pilot program.The coach decided not to enter results because all the singles' players UTRs would go down-not because of losses but because they would drop wins vs tournament players which would be replaced by wins vs much lower HS players. The few guys on the team that did not play tourneys-only played dubs which were not in UTR at the time. In our area, the singles players for the better teams were almost always 3-5 star tournament players playing 80-100 USTA matches a year in addition to HS matches. If the HS matches had been included, the results feeding into their uTR would have rotated out every 3 months or less. if UTR had been forced on the teams, the singles players would have quit. The higher UTR players played for the team atmosphere, the chance to go deep in state playoffs, and also for the 30-40% of matches that were actually competitive (vs opponents who also played high level sectionals) and were cheaper to play than USTA tourneys.However, there were plenty of other teams outside the tennis hotspot areas that would have benefited for match entry, and those guys possibly could have been candidates for NAIA and lower D2 and D3 schools.

    There is no longer a good ranking system for juniors. TRN does not include ITA summer circuit, UTR events, men's opens, Futures, etc; it does include some junior ITFs. However, it does include 12 months of results, but so many juniors and seniors play excluded events it is starting to lose its significance esp for seniors. Some players may claim to be late bloomers as their TRN goes up 50-100 rankings 2nd semester of their senior year, but part of that reason is 45-50 4 star to blue chip players fall off TRN-are labeled as UR because they did not play enough jr USTA their senior year.

    Conversely UTR assumes 30 matches of any catergory-junior, adult USTA/ITF/UTR captures the essence of the player's ability. That would an accurate assumption if matchplay was homogeneous across the year. However, in different seasons of the year, players play on different surfaces with different scoring formats vs different level of opponents. The high school player, the bench Power player, the MM player, and the D3 player might play much higher ranked players during the summer at opens and Futures. The Florida juniors may have the highest rankings May-Labor Day when more clay is played while the Eastern and ******* players may be ranked higher in the winter as they may have more experience indoors. Also just the section where players are located affects UTR; some sections have 32-64 draw sectional tourneys while others may have 128-170+ draws at sectional tourneys. Players in stronger and/or bigger sections will have their UTR turnaround twice as quick as players in smaller/weaker sections. High ranked college players who play no ads during college year may have tighter matches than they expect vs juniors in the summer when they have to go 3 hours in a 3 setter. HS kids who take tough courses and only train a couple hours a week during school year and 20-30 hrs in the summer have gone from 2 stars to 4 stars in 3 months and of course their UTR jumps. To avoid significant cycling of UTR (+/- .5), UTR should include 12 months of results. We know one guy who was in contact with a college coach who stopped contact when his UTR dropped; however the player was still going up on TRN-he got caught on the wrong end of the cycling.

    Here is a link to blog from uTR on entering high school results https://blog.universaltennis.com/2017/09/02/utr-launches-team-match-reporting-tool-for-high-schools/ At least one difference from 2015, is UTR does not include the results of a match if the higher ranked player dominates and wins against a player 2.5 UTR below. However, it is still disappointing to a player to see his UTR go down because he beat a player 2.45 below 1,0 causing a win vs a player 1.0 uTR higher to drop that was only 6-9 months old. Once during a busy summer of long state and sectional qualifiers when my son tried to fit in some local cheap opens in between, he played 18 matches in 3 1/2 weeks. he had a lot of UTR cycling-some in his favor and some out during recruiting.

    A significant part of UTR is level of player played. By only including 30 matches, there is a disincentive for top junior and college players to play opens that attract juniors, collegians, pros, and adults in the summer. There is a player on a power team who dropped .35 on UTR from playing more than a dozen summer ITA circuit matches. He replaced wins and losses vs players on top 40 D1 teams with wins against players many with UTR 2.0 lower-

    UTR will get better for all the more crossplay data exists. If UTR wants relevant crossplay, it needs to include a year's worth of matches or the guys with high UTRs may just skip summer tourneys (after Future draws drop next year) and practice among themselves. My son plays half or less the summer matches he used to. Players do not want to drop valuable wins to earn wins that drop them in UTR and could results in their placement in the B vs A flight in fall college invitationals or in their ITA regional Qualifier instead of main draw-even a .1 or .2 difference in UTR has that effect.

    Good luck to you FAbreque in your recruiting journey. I am glad that with UTR tennis may get a lot less expensive for college hopefuls.Maybe recruits wont have to play tons of tourneys to get the ranking to be seen by coaches at Kzoo because coaches will recruit players for their UTR and agree to watch them at a closer regional tourney. That's the bright side. The dark side is the 30 match limit of UTR is causing juniors to drop out of backdraws and some college players to play less summer events. We all lose when we dont have the opportunity to play the best in the area, and UTR with its 30 match limits make rob us of that chance.
     
    #69
  20. Fabresque

    Fabresque Semi-Pro

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    Now that I think about it, UTR is one of the most flawed systems out there. My friend played HS tennis and got a 3 set win over a 9 and went 3 sets with a 10. He plays in a 5.0 league and apparently his UTR is a 5???? That makes 0 sense. The system is so broken yet UTR doesn’t recognize it. Silly.
     
    #70
  21. MathGeek

    MathGeek Hall of Fame

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    Every system boiling down real flesh and blood people to a single number is deeply flawed.

    The more interesting question is which rating system is the best for a given purpose. I prefer UTR to NTRP because it is more useful for how I play tennis.
     
    #71

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