Why UTR is a deeply flawed system.

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm all for local control but allowing league coordinators to overwrite someone's NTRP level is too much power for one person to control.
I don't think @MathGeek said the LC was going to unilaterally change the person's NTRP upward. All the LC was going to do was put the person in the next highest bracket.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I don't think @MathGeek said the LC was going to unilaterally change the person's NTRP upward. All the LC was going to do was put the person in the next highest bracket.
That's the gist. The flaw in NTRP is that local USTA organizers are bound by ratings.

The difference is that UTR is just a rating body, they don't control what local organizers do. Thus, UTR ratings are just recommendations. Sandbagging players are not in control by virtue of dishonest ratings. Local tournament and league organizers are in control. They can place players according to their UTR ratings. OR NOT. Things that don't pass the smell test don't fly. The rating is not changed. It simply need not mandate how a local organizer places a given participant in their events. Other organizers are still free to honor a given sandbagger's UTR.

In USTA, the ultimate authority in competitive placement lies with the NTRP, which we've seen can be manipulated by sandbaggers. In UTR, the ultimate authority in competitive placement remains with the local organizer.
 

CHtennis

Rookie
In my experience it has not been sandbaggers for the UTR tournaments just people that havent gotten an accurate UTR so the TD can adjust and get them good matches. Although the UTR tournaments I played in didnt have a "winner" per se either. You just played matches.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
UTR is extremely inaccurate. Even Jim Courier and Lindsey Davenport have said in Tennis channel that it is just a number based on past record and isn't a accurate tool to assess who is playing better at the time of the match.
 

LJ92

New User
What number does provide an accurate tool to assess who is playing better at the time of a match? If not based on past performance, what would it be based upon?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I don't know that this says UTR is deeply flawed, but it seems to give little credit for losing competitive matches against higher rated players.

For example a player has 4 matches on their record going 1-3, in chronological order:

Played with a 7 vs a 9 and a 7 losing 6-3,6-3
Played with a 6 vs two 8's losing 6-4,6-4
Played with a 6 vs an 8 and a 7 losing 6-3,6-4
Played with a 7 vs two 8's winning 7-6,6-3

Current UTR is a 7 (6.68) which on the surface seems a bit low to my eye. Of course, just seeing whole numbers for the other players doesn't tell the whole picture.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
If the match that drops off was boosting your rating then your UTR could drop.
I think most ratings systems would be better with weighted inclusion criteria rather than every match counting 100% or being completely excluded at 0%.

For example, rather than all included matches counting equally, older matches could gradually decline in how strongly they contribute to a current rating. Perhaps after a year, they only are weighted at 75% of more recent matches, and then gradually declining to 0% over the second year.

Similarly, perhaps match results considered to be from less reliable sources might simply be weighted less than being completely excluded.
 

LJ92

New User

BallBag

Professional
I think most ratings systems would be better with weighted inclusion criteria rather than every match counting 100% or being completely excluded at 0%.

For example, rather than all included matches counting equally, older matches could gradually decline in how strongly they contribute to a current rating. Perhaps after a year, they only are weighted at 75% of more recent matches, and then gradually declining to 0% over the second year.

Similarly, perhaps match results considered to be from less reliable sources might simply be weighted less than being completely excluded.
UTR does that. Older matches count less. Shorter matches count less. And high rating spread matches count less (2.5 spread don't count at all)
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
And high rating spread matches count less (2.5 spread don't count at all)
Does this only count for people with verified ratings? It seems wrong to disregard a match with a wide spread when someone has a skewed rating due to lack of matches. How are they then supposed to get a more accurate rating?
 

BallBag

Professional
Does this only count for people with verified ratings? It seems wrong to disregard a match with a wide spread when someone has a skewed rating due to lack of matches. How are they then supposed to get a more accurate rating?
Unless its over 2.5, the match still counts but just not as much as a closer match. If it is over 2.5 then it will ignore that match until you get some results to push you into the 2.5 range.
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
Unless its over 2.5, the match still counts but just not as much as a closer match. If it is over 2.5 then it will ignore that match until you get some results to push you into the 2.5 range.
Yeah I was talking about the over 2.5 ones. But at least it gets retroactively included once they get enough matches under their belt to put them within 2.5. That seems a bit more reasonable.
 

bxr

New User
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.
I've seen a good junior player went from UTR 6 to 8 in a very short time, but I think it's more to do with the system than actual skill improvement. He has very good counter puncher style games (i.e. no pace, good timing, good speed), and he wins a lot, when he plays against a 6 or 7, he would beat most of them in a 6-4 6-4 score line, and when he plays an 8 or low 9s, he can still manage to get through with 7-6 7-5 score lines. He manages to get close scores against those in 8/9 (but not 10s) in most matches, so he decides to play more adult tournaments and it feels like he's improved, and UTR's gone up by 2 just in just a few months. UTR is right in that sense, but I'm still puzzled and perhaps not fully convinced.... UTR predicts the score line, but not so much the ability or skills one might think.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I've seen a good junior player went from UTR 6 to 8 in a very short time, but I think it's more to do with the system than actual skill improvement. He has very good counter puncher style games (i.e. no pace, good timing, good speed), and he wins a lot, when he plays against a 6 or 7, he would beat most of them in a 6-4 6-4 score line, and when he plays an 8 or low 9s, he can still manage to get through with 7-6 7-5 score lines. He manages to get close scores against those in 8/9 (but not 10s) in most matches, so he decides to play more adult tournaments and it feels like he's improved, and UTR's gone up by 2 just in just a few months. UTR is right in that sense, but I'm still puzzled and perhaps not fully convinced.... UTR predicts the score line, but not so much the ability or skills one might think.
Agree, it depends on who you play and your game style.

J
 

R1FF

Professional
UTR is a flawed system, and myutr is a poorly-designed website. This is why. Hear me out:

  • High school matches cannot be recorded unless the ENTIRE TEAM is registered with UTR. This effectively means no high school matches ever get recorded.

  • Casual club matches cannot get recorded either, which paints an inaccurate picture of a person's actual performance due to a smaller sample size.

  • There is no comment section for opponents to tag the player with specific attributes.


  • Lastly, there is very limited info that can be gained from reading someone's UTR profile, which means it is harder to research someone's game.
These issues make UTR, in my opinion, a very poor solution to the very complicated problem of player ratings.
If the problem is player ratings, then UTR is far from flawless. I checked it out today and was very surprised to see some NOTORIOUS sandbaggers in Northern California ranked WAY below their actual skill levels. That said, I appreciate that UTR doesnt allow someone's self rating to dictate things for very long, if at all.

If the problem is finding a alternative to USTA's failed rankings system, then UTR is a step in the right direction.


I don't think UTR is trying to be like a Facebook for tennis. UTR is trying to be a reliable tennis player rating database. Since UTR is already used for evaluating players for collegiate scholarships ($$$), it cant accept results from non officiated matches. Otherwise anyone can report fictional results to inflate their rating.
In my experience I havent seen many people trying to inflate their ratings. I've seen just a ton of sandbagging tho.

I was reading about the French system and it seems that the handicap is built into it.
Isnt the French system more of a "open tourney" format? Early rounds are the lower ranked players and higher ranked players get byes. Sounds like a pretty cool system that would eliminate a lot of our sandbagging issues.
 

Fabresque

Hall of Fame
One of the biggest flaws in UTR is the lack of play between adults and juniors, which is why the ratings are never reliable and can’t be unified.

Many seniors in my area (Columbus) opt to play USTA Adult league rather than do tournaments. It’s cheaper, and you get a lot of match play against experienced opponents. Along with that signing up for a local league at the club.

The problem comes when you realize that juniors with UTRs of 8-9 are going up against guys with 4s and 5s and being taken to three sets and even losing. So the juniors utr goes down and college recruiters, especially D1 recruiters end up not talking to those kids if they drop below a certain threshold. It’s a big problem that needs fixing.

Also, my HS Coach has a UTR 6 due to adult league. Keep in mind he was a D1 College player and he’s less than 30 years old, and he consistently has played AFTER college. Yes, 6 makes perfect sense.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
Also, my HS Coach has a UTR 6 due to adult league.
Do you know what your HS coach's USTA rating is if he has one? Just curious. I know a couple of juniors who chase UTR points and it fascinates me as an older player who simply plays for laughs.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
One of the biggest flaws in UTR is the lack of play between adults and juniors, which is why the ratings are never reliable and can’t be unified.
Same problem with Men playing Women. The more play there is between groups, the more "universal" UTR will be.

Many seniors in my area (Columbus) opt to play USTA Adult league rather than do tournaments. It’s cheaper, and you get a lot of match play against experienced opponents. Along with that signing up for a local league at the club.

The problem comes when you realize that juniors with UTRs of 8-9 are going up against guys with 4s and 5s and being taken to three sets and even losing. So the juniors utr goes down and college recruiters, especially D1 recruiters end up not talking to those kids if they drop below a certain threshold. It’s a big problem that needs fixing.
I do not observe UTR 5s beating UTR 9s, regardless of age. In my limited experience playing against juniors in the UTR 7-9 range, my UTR 7.8 was fairly accurate; I'm a mid-4.5.

Also, my HS Coach has a UTR 6 due to adult league. Keep in mind he was a D1 College player and he’s less than 30 years old, and he consistently has played AFTER college. Yes, 6 makes perfect sense.
Adult league doesn't cause a low UTR. Achieving less than expected results causes a low UTR. A UTR 6 is a mid-4.0: I have a hard time imagining how an under-30 ex-Div I who has kept playing can only be a UTR 6. Everyone I know that fits that description even remotely is a UTR 10 at minimum.

How seriously is he exerting himself in these leagues? Is it possible that it's social for him so he's not trying very hard?

Is this USTA league? If so, what did he self-rate at? Based on your description, he should have self-rated as 5.5.
 

R1FF

Professional
Im appreciative that UTR takes into account league results.

Lord knows NTRP doesnt take it into account.
 

MarTennis

Semi-Pro
UTR is extremely inaccurate. Even Jim Courier and Lindsey Davenport have said in Tennis channel that it is just a number based on past record and isn't a accurate tool to assess who is playing better at the time of the match.
Keep telling yourselves this. I've been dealing with it personally for 7 years. It's more accurate than everything. Yes, there are areas of anomalies, mostly between the larger pools of levels, e.g. 12 year old 12 utrs are different than 20 year old college utrs. However with in the respective pools it is a revolutionary tool.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Keep telling yourselves this. I've been dealing with it personally for 7 years. It's more accurate than everything. Yes, there are areas of anomalies, mostly between the larger pools of levels, e.g. 12 year old 12 utrs are different than 20 year old college utrs. However with in the respective pools it is a revolutionary tool.
It only works if you play tournaments and play often and at various many oppoenents. If you only play once in a while like once a month, it doesn't work. I order them to get rid of it
 

R1FF

Professional
It only works if you play tournaments and play often and at various many oppoenents. If you only play once in a while like once a month, it doesn't work. I order them to get rid of it
Well at least it works some of the time then.

USTA's use of NTRP doesnt seem to work at all.
 

MarTennis

Semi-Pro
It only works if you play tournaments and play often and at various many oppoenents. If you only play once in a while like once a month, it doesn't work. I order them to get rid of it
If you compete once a month utr is accurate. If you play once a month I don't know how any system can assess competitive level.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
If you compete once a month utr is accurate. If you play once a month I don't know how any system can assess competitive level.
yea once a month in a tournament and play several matches in that tournament Vs wide variety of UTR opponents. but if you play ONE match per month, NOT accurate. I order them to take down UTR system immediately
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
One of the biggest flaws in UTR is the lack of play between adults and juniors, which is why the ratings are never reliable and can’t be unified.

Many seniors in my area (Columbus) opt to play USTA Adult league rather than do tournaments. It’s cheaper, and you get a lot of match play against experienced opponents. Along with that signing up for a local league at the club.

The problem comes when you realize that juniors with UTRs of 8-9 are going up against guys with 4s and 5s and being taken to three sets and even losing. So the juniors utr goes down and college recruiters, especially D1 recruiters end up not talking to those kids if they drop below a certain threshold. It’s a big problem that needs fixing.

Also, my HS Coach has a UTR 6 due to adult league. Keep in mind he was a D1 College player and he’s less than 30 years old, and he consistently has played AFTER college. Yes, 6 makes perfect sense.
Two points:
1) Matches with a 2.5+ difference in UTR and the higher rated opponent wins dont count in UTR. If an 8 beats a 5 even if it is in 3 sets, the match wont be counted in UTR calculation. Even matches with a 1.0+ variation are weighted less in calculation. Read here https://parentingaces.com/going-deeper-inside-utr/
2) Consider playing summer ITA tourneys-2019 list just came out. Think they are cheaper and shorter than USTA jr events plus they are played at college campuses. There are 1-3 flights as player levels may range for UTR 7-13. They are considered opens so anyone-adults, jr, collegian can play who buys a $30 ITA summer membership. There is one in OH at Case plus some in PA and Indiana that might be a reasonable drive and cost if you get a couple HS friends to drive together and split an hotel. However, they are 3rd set tiebreak vs full 3rd if that matters to you. My son preferred tourneys with full 3rds but these are good options to get in matchplay in 2-3 days over a weekend.
https://itatennis.com/ITA/Events/EventsCalendar/2019_Summer_Circuit_Powered_by_UTR.aspx
 

psardain

New User
Two points:
1) Matches with a 2.5+ difference in UTR and the higher rated opponent wins dont count in UTR. If an 8 beats a 5 even if it is in 3 sets, the match wont be counted in UTR calculation. Even matches with a 1.0+ variation are weighted less in calculation. Read here https://parentingaces.com/going-deeper-inside-utr/
2) Consider playing summer ITA tourneys-2019 list just came out. Think they are cheaper and shorter than USTA jr events plus they are played at college campuses. There are 1-3 flights as player levels may range for UTR 7-13. They are considered opens so anyone-adults, jr, collegian can play who buys a $30 ITA summer membership. There is one in OH at Case plus some in PA and Indiana that might be a reasonable drive and cost if you get a couple HS friends to drive together and split an hotel. However, they are 3rd set tiebreak vs full 3rd if that matters to you. My son preferred tourneys with full 3rds but these are good options to get in matchplay in 2-3 days over a weekend.
https://itatennis.com/ITA/Events/EventsCalendar/2019_Summer_Circuit_Powered_by_UTR.aspx
That 1) point is no longer right, now it is only a 2.0 difference that doesn't make a result count, I got confirmation from the UTR support team yesterday. Last weekend my kid (15, 8.3 UTR) took on this HS grad (18, 10.6 UTR) in our USTA sectional championship, The 18 year-ol won 1-6; 6-4; 6-2 but my son did a fantastic job, probably the best match of his life at that point. Result? this score will not even count!!! at least for now. What needs to happen is that my kid's UTR needs to get within 2.0 reach of that other boy and then it will count. What a way to reward (or not) the lower ranked player when doing well against a stronger opponent... Let's say my kid takes 5 games off Nadal tomorrow, it will not count either... Crazy system
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
That 1) point is no longer right, now it is only a 2.0 difference that doesn't make a result count, I got confirmation from the UTR support team yesterday. Last weekend my kid (15, 8.3 UTR) took on this HS grad (18, 10.6 UTR) in our USTA sectional championship, The 18 year-ol won 1-6; 6-4; 6-2 but my son did a fantastic job, probably the best match of his life at that point. Result? this score will not even count!!! at least for now. What needs to happen is that my kid's UTR needs to get within 2.0 reach of that other boy and then it will count. What a way to reward (or not) the lower ranked player when doing well against a stronger opponent... Let's say my kid takes 5 games off Nadal tomorrow, it will not count either... Crazy system
Even when your son gets within 2.0 of his opponent, that close match will still be weighted less than a match between opponents 1.0 or less apart. Once my son lost a summer 3 setter (6-7 in 3rd) vs a player who played #2 on a top 16 D1 team-guy's UTR was 1.5+ higher than son's. My son's UTR went up .01 while his opponent's went down .2. However, when your son starts writing college coaches, he can report his best wins and/or close losses vs higher ranked opponents. If you are frustrated, consider college players who may be one or two games from beating much higher ranked opponents when match is called due to one team earning 4 points, their matches go unfinished, and their UTR stays the same. There is a lot of unintentional unfairness in tennis even in the pros-some guys get a lot less rest between matches due to weather issues or lengthy matches for example. Focus on what your son can control-his training, his conditioning, his mindset, his patterns, etc. Be encouraged that your son did so well vs a higher ranked opponent rather than discouraged his improvement is not currently reflected in his UTR. The score may not count in UTR but it will count in your son's confidence going forward, and that confidence will lead to better wins and higher UTR over time.
 

psardain

New User
You are absolutely right and this is what he is focusing on. The UTR ranking is more of an anecdote at this point but we were surprised to learn how imperfect and unfair it is. Zonals 16 this summer and National L3 and 2s this fall and winter are the real goals.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
Reading this is so painful, I need my UTR adjusted almost 2 levels up, guess I have to grind on people to get it up there, ugh, even if I play my level opponent it won't count enough. Long story, but in another thread, I explain I tanked to some kids because I felt bad and didn't know the consequences.
 

Max G.

Legend
Reading this is so painful, I need my UTR adjusted almost 2 levels up, guess I have to grind on people to get it up there, ugh, even if I play my level opponent it won't count enough. Long story, but in another thread, I explain I tanked to some kids because I felt bad and didn't know the consequences.
If it's just a match or two, it's just a provisional UTR anyway, so I don't know whether it would fall under this.

Just play matches and play your best, and I'd bet that if you play 30 matches over a year, at the end of that year your UTR will be pretty darn close to what it should be.

And if you're trying to make judgements about UTR or trying to guess what your UTR is going to be after 3-4 matches, that's not enough matches anyway.
 

Max G.

Legend
You are absolutely right and this is what he is focusing on. The UTR ranking is more of an anecdote at this point but we were surprised to learn how imperfect and unfair it is. Zonals 16 this summer and National L3 and 2s this fall and winter are the real goals.
Man, people love extremes. UTR doesn't count one match that you think it should and suddenly "it's more of an anecdote" and "it's so imperfect and unfair".

It's an algorithm. Overall it's pretty good at capturing people's levels. If your level goes up and you play a bunch of matches UTR knows about, then after a few months your UTR will reflect that.

I don't know whether the algorithm would be better or worse if it included matches that were expected to be blowouts, but I would guess the UTR people have the data to figure it out, and sounds like they figured that it would make the algorithm worse. What, you think they just make these random rules to spite people?
 

psardain

New User
Man, people love extremes. UTR doesn't count one match that you think it should and suddenly "it's more of an anecdote" and "it's so imperfect and unfair".

It's an algorithm. Overall it's pretty good at capturing people's levels. If your level goes up and you play a bunch of matches UTR knows about, then after a few months your UTR will reflect that.

I don't know whether the algorithm would be better or worse if it included matches that were expected to be blowouts, but I would guess the UTR people have the data to figure it out, and sounds like they figured that it would make the algorithm worse. What, you think they just make these random rules to spite people?
@Max G. The way you phrase this is so arrogant. You have no idea who we are and what we care about, don't make assumptions about people you don't know dude. The basic fact is that the way UTR recorded that weekend is unfair, plain and simple.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
@Max G. The way you phrase this is so arrogant. You have no idea who we are and what we care about, don't make assumptions about people you don't know dude. The basic fact is that the way UTR recorded that weekend is unfair, plain and simple.
However, calling UTR, which is based on many matches, anecdotal isn't accurate either: it works just fine for me as an adult. But I haven't delved into the intricacies since the biggest UTR difference I've ever played is 1.

Maybe the algorithm designers figure the law of large #s will kick in and things will average out in the end.
 

psardain

New User
I said it is anecdotal to us at this point, and it is in a college recruiting perspective. College recruiters have so many other ways to evaluate players. tennisrecruiting.net, UTR, college showcases, actual USTA tournaments etc. The UTR site is a good source for coaches to look at someone's results and (even if it does not factor in the actual number) see how they do against stronger players, which I know for a fact a lot of college coaches care about. A player who has consistently good results against top-level players shows that he had a lot of potential against better players, it also exhibits the qualities of resilience and toughness.
 

R1FF

Professional
UTR might have its flaws, but when comparing to USTA i dont even see the debate. UTR is so much better of a system.
 

MarTennis

Semi-Pro
That 1) point is no longer right, now it is only a 2.0 difference that doesn't make a result count, I got confirmation from the UTR support team yesterday. Last weekend my kid (15, 8.3 UTR) took on this HS grad (18, 10.6 UTR) in our USTA sectional championship, The 18 year-ol won 1-6; 6-4; 6-2 but my son did a fantastic job, probably the best match of his life at that point. Result? this score will not even count!!! at least for now. What needs to happen is that my kid's UTR needs to get within 2.0 reach of that other boy and then it will count. What a way to reward (or not) the lower ranked player when doing well against a stronger opponent... Let's say my kid takes 5 games off Nadal tomorrow, it will not count either... Crazy system
The way u t r has implemented this it amounts to a defacto confirmation system.
 

R1FF

Professional
I’d say the UTR’s biggest flaw at the moment is the fact that they’re now sanctioning events without...

1. Any designated rulebook (which is a gross oversight considering it’s the primary function of any sanctioning body in any sport, EVER!)

2. Any standards in which a event organizer has as a guideline. Literally ANYONE can contact UTR and pay a small fee to host an event. That is incredible. They leave their brand open for so much damage.

The UTR rating system is MUCH better than NTRP and how it it is used by USTA. But they have no idea what a big job they took on by actually sanctioning events now.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
I’d say the UTR’s biggest flaw at the moment is the fact that they’re now sanctioning events without...

1. Any designated rulebook (which is a gross oversight considering it’s the primary function of any sanctioning body in any sport, EVER!)

2. Any standards in which a event organizer has as a guideline. Literally ANYONE can contact UTR and pay a small fee to host an event. That is incredible. They leave their brand open for so much damage.

The UTR rating system is MUCH better than NTRP and how it it is used by USTA. But they have no idea what a big job they took on by actually sanctioning events now.
could you kindly elaborate in what sense "The UTR rating system is MUCH better than NTRP"? I'm assuming you realize that both systems:
  1. use ELO-like algorithm to calculate ranking points based on the opponent's strength and the match result,
  2. ranking calculations are good as long as there's enough data (i.e. players play many matches against officially ranked opponents),
 

R1FF

Professional
could you kindly elaborate in what sense "The UTR rating system is MUCH better than NTRP"? I'm assuming you realize that both systems:
  1. use ELO-like algorithm to calculate ranking points based on the opponent's strength and the match result,
  2. ranking calculations are good as long as there's enough data (i.e. players play many matches against officially ranked opponents),
Because of 2 reasons...

1. How it is used - the rating is fluid & current. Preventing sandbagging. Nobody gets to self rate & game the system for a whole year before their rating MIGHT get bumped up. The damage a sandbagger can do to the sport is minimal in UTR. There is no “petitioning down” like in USTA. You are what you earned. Matches played Sunday reflect on your score by Tuesday. USTA could learn a lot in this regard.

2. More degrees of measurement- Rating players 1-16 is better than 3.0-7.0 (which is basically only 9 divisions of competition). If using NTRP, a “weak” 3.5 should lose to a “strong” 3.5 something like 1-6, 2-6 right? How is that even close to a fair/fun matchup at a tournament?

Whereas at UTR events, the scores (from what I see) are ALWAYS close because a UTR 5 versus a UTR 6 is damn near indistinguishable. One is better. But the upset is conceivable. I think this 2nd point would be less impactful if USTA didnt have such a big sandbagging issue and their ratings were current.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Because of 2 reasons...

1. How it is used - the rating is fluid & current. Preventing sandbagging. Nobody gets to self rate & game the system for a whole year before their rating MIGHT get bumped up. The damage a sandbagger can do to the sport is minimal in UTR. There is no “petitioning down” like in USTA. You are what you earned. Matches played Sunday reflect on your score by Tuesday. USTA could learn a lot in this regard.

2. More degrees of measurement- Rating players 1-16 is better than 3.0-7.0 (which is basically only 9 divisions of competition). If using NTRP, a “weak” 3.5 should lose to a “strong” 3.5 something like 1-6, 2-6 right? How is that even close to a fair/fun matchup at a tournament?

Whereas at UTR events, the scores (from what I see) are ALWAYS close because a UTR 5 versus a UTR 6 is damn near indistinguishable. One is better. But the upset is conceivable. I think this 2nd point would be less impactful if USTA didnt have such a big sandbagging issue and their ratings were current.
How would you do a league though?

Imagine you play your first match of the year and your opponent forgets his contacts and loses 0&1.

Three days later and you are both kicked out of the league and your season is done?

J
 

Max G.

Legend
Because of 2 reasons...

1. How it is used - the rating is fluid & current. Preventing sandbagging. Nobody gets to self rate & game the system for a whole year before their rating MIGHT get bumped up. The damage a sandbagger can do to the sport is minimal in UTR. There is no “petitioning down” like in USTA. You are what you earned. Matches played Sunday reflect on your score by Tuesday. USTA could learn a lot in this regard.
No, the difference you're thinking of is that UTR does not do leagues. All of the problems you're mentioning are caused by the fact that there's season-long leagues grouped by ability, not by the difference between UTR and NTRP.

Since leagues are more fun for me than tournaments, to me it seems like UTR has just given up on actually making a rating system that would work for me and instead solved an easier problem (ratings for tournaments only).
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
No, the difference you're thinking of is that UTR does not do leagues. All of the problems you're mentioning are caused by the fact that there's season-long leagues grouped by ability, not by the difference between UTR and NTRP.

Since leagues are more fun for me than tournaments, to me it seems like UTR has just given up on actually making a rating system that would work for me and instead solved an easier problem (ratings for tournaments only).
This is spot on. Most of what people complain about with the USTA and NTRP is related to leagues, and UTR has not gone down this path yet. Should they at some point, it will be interesting to see how they tackle the challenges.
 
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