Would you be comfortable with co-ed play in a flex league?

darkhorse

Semi-Pro
I signed up a flex league the runs through the early fall, I played last season and was able to have some competitive matches. The league has several divisions for male players, but due to lack of participation, the women's division is limited to one division for all players.

For the fall season, they just added 4 of the top female players to my division, which is basically a 3.0-3.5 skill level, so they could get better competition. I found that kind of interesting, I hope they at least gave the female players the option of moving divisions or staying where they were instead of forcing them to play in the men's division, but I don't know how that decision was made.

But it got me thinking how the male players would react to this. Personally, a good match is a good match, the gender of my opponent doesn't matter to me. But I'm willing to bet a lot of the players won't reach out to schedule matches with them, it's a division of around 30 players so one could get plenty of matches.

Would any of you have a problem with this? For the female players, if you were offered to move into a men's division, would you go for it or would it make you uncomfortable?
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
As a female player, mid to decent 3.5 with a strong serve and comfort with some pace, I would be comfortable playing in a men's 3.0/3.5 division. I would hold my own until the top side of that group, and would enjoy the competition.

But, I regularly play friendly matches with some 3.5 men both singles and doubles and we trade sets. As men approach the top side of 3.5 to 4.0 I have too much difficulty with ROS right now to be competitive. I have yet to learn how to block, chip or bunt back a really hard serve.

I find whenever playing a man I haven't played before, they tend to "hold back" a little for a few games (chivalry ain't dead?) so I think the comfort level may be bad on both sides for some players. Once they have lost a game or two, they then bring the rest of their game and all is good.

I would hope the league has some rules in place so that the women in the league get some matches. But there may be no upside for some men. Too many would still be upset at losing to "a girl" and consider few bragging rights if they win.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
I signed up a flex league the runs through the early fall, I played last season and was able to have some competitive matches. The league has several divisions for male players, but due to lack of participation, the women's division is limited to one division for all players.

For the fall season, they just added 4 of the top female players to my division, which is basically a 3.0-3.5 skill level, so they could get better competition. I found that kind of interesting, I hope they at least gave the female players the option of moving divisions or staying where they were instead of forcing them to play in the men's division, but I don't know how that decision was made.

But it got me thinking how the male players would react to this. Personally, a good match is a good match, the gender of my opponent doesn't matter to me. But I'm willing to bet a lot of the players won't reach out to schedule matches with them, it's a division of around 30 players so one could get plenty of matches.

Would any of you have a problem with this? For the female players, if you were offered to move into a men's division, would you go for it or would it make you uncomfortable?


Personally I wouldn't have a problem with it. It's funny you ask. My wife had this issue a few years ago. There are no female singles leagues at 4.5. I don't know if they have one at 4.0. I mean outside of USTA where a bunch of none sense goes on. There was a woman playing in the men's 8.5 and up league. She was bringing down the overheads and no one seemed to have a problem with it, but it's something about losing to a woman that would surely cause problems. I asked the league coordinator about my wife playing the men's 4.0 league(she's 4.5). He told me it's probably not a good idea because there were some guys in the league(28 strong) that were actually 3.5 trying to play up. He stated that he had no double she'd beat some of them and then it would be a problem on and off the court. I agreed with him and told her it was a no go. I didn't want the headache. :)
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I signed up a flex league the runs through the early fall, I played last season and was able to have some competitive matches. The league has several divisions for male players, but due to lack of participation, the women's division is limited to one division for all players.

For the fall season, they just added 4 of the top female players to my division, which is basically a 3.0-3.5 skill level, so they could get better competition. I found that kind of interesting, I hope they at least gave the female players the option of moving divisions or staying where they were instead of forcing them to play in the men's division, but I don't know how that decision was made.

But it got me thinking how the male players would react to this. Personally, a good match is a good match, the gender of my opponent doesn't matter to me. But I'm willing to bet a lot of the players won't reach out to schedule matches with them, it's a division of around 30 players so one could get plenty of matches.

Would any of you have a problem with this? For the female players, if you were offered to move into a men's division, would you go for it or would it make you uncomfortable?
no issue for me... i've gotten my but kicked by lots of girls and women
if someone's ego is too fragile to get beat by a woman, that's their problem
admittedly it's painful to lose to a woman the first time...
but after that, you realize, that just being a guy doesn't make you better at tennis :p
 

darkhorse

Semi-Pro
As a female player, mid to decent 3.5 with a strong serve and comfort with some pace, I would be comfortable playing in a men's 3.0/3.5 division. I would hold my own until the top side of that group, and would enjoy the competition.

But, I regularly play friendly matches with some 3.5 men both singles and doubles and we trade sets. As men approach the top side of 3.5 to 4.0 I have too much difficulty with ROS right now to be competitive. I have yet to learn how to block, chip or bunt back a really hard serve.

I find whenever playing a man I haven't played before, they tend to "hold back" a little for a few games (chivalry ain't dead?) so I think the comfort level may be bad on both sides for some players. Once they have lost a game or two, they then bring the rest of their game and all is good.

I would hope the league has some rules in place so that the women in the league get some matches. But there may be no upside for some men. Too many would still be upset at losing to "a girl" and consider few bragging rights if they win.


It's interesting to hear the female perspective, and like I said, I hope the league approached them about the move first and didn't just unilaterally do it. You make a good point about the rules on getting the women matches, I didn't see anything on that. They could obviously just play each other, but probably wouldn't get the requisite wins needed the qualify for the playoffs (though one carried over enough wins to do so). Maybe if it becomes an issue they'll address it.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
It's interesting to hear the female perspective, and like I said, I hope the league approached them about the move first and didn't just unilaterally do it. You make a good point about the rules on getting the women matches, I didn't see anything on that. They could obviously just play each other, but probably wouldn't get the requisite wins needed the qualify for the playoffs (though one carried over enough wins to do so). Maybe if it becomes an issue they'll address it.
easy rule is to just make it a ladder.
gotta play the person above or below you to move in the ladder.
i hope utr gains more traction to make skill based tourneys vs. gender based.
in general i've found ntrp-wise, a 4.5 woman plays about the same as a 4.0 man
top 12y girls seem to be playing at the 4.5 men's level.
 

Angle Queen

Professional
Where do I sign up? LOL.

Like OnTheLine, I've played guys...who start out being, well, nice...but it quickly ends. And much better tennis ensues.

Shall I get up on my long-known soap box about how the whole USTA NTRP should NOT be defined or separated by gender? It's supposed to be about skill. I think I'm very realistic about how I stack up. I'm a low-level (probably even appealable) 4.0...and I struggle against a mid/high-level 3.5 guy especially in singles.

Seriously...I would join such a league or play on a true ladder. No need to mark any one of the 71 gender boxes, all politics aside. Tennis IS (or could be) the great equalizer. It's one of the only sports where men & women compete together at a professional (as in...they get PAID) level.

Am watching the scores of 2017 USO MxSemis: Hingis/Murray v Vandeweghe/Tecau as I type and...I've gotta make dinner too.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
No issues...

Personally I think tennis should go completely open and eliminate men's and women's divisions all the way up to the ATP and WTA. Then we can put to rest all the discussion and argument over pay equity, the greatest women tennis player ever, etc. Let play on the court decide who the best player is and award them the top prize money.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
No issues...

Personally I think tennis should go completely open and eliminate men's and women's divisions all the way up to the ATP and WTA. Then we can put to rest all the discussion and argument over pay equity, the greatest women tennis player ever, etc. Let play on the court decide who the best player is and award them the top prize money.
the equity pay is not about who works harder...
it's about who brings in the $ paying crowds because it's entertaining.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
the equity pay is not about who works harder...
it's about who brings in the $ paying crowds because it's entertaining.

Agree.. that's why I suggest a single, co-ed tournament which would eliminate the stupid "equal pay for equal work" argument put to tennis.
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
I would be surprised if one could beat a top 100 girl in the under 14s ..... but we all have our delusions of grandeur to get through life I suppose.

I'm sure there are 3.5 men that could overpower top 100 girls in the 14s. Some of the girls at the u14 nationals were UTR 7 type players which puts them as 4.0s.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
There is a big difference between an 18 year old and 14 year old. Secondly even in the video description the 5.0 admitted he was just rallying with her and not going for winners.

To be fair, there's also a big difference between a 5.0 and a 3.5 [@Moveforwardalways wrote "There are plenty of 3.5 male rec players that think they can beat WTA pros.".]
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Agree.. that's why I suggest a single, co-ed tournament which would eliminate the stupid "equal pay for equal work" argument put to tennis.

then you lose out on the revenues from women who are specifically interested in watching women only play.

or guys like me hero like to watch the women play (haley, henin, clijsters, etc,...) because while light years better than me, so much closer in playing to me, than the pro men will ever be.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I'm sure there are 3.5 men that could overpower top 100 girls in the 14s. Some of the girls at the u14 nationals were UTR 7 type players which puts them as 4.0s.
so basically you're saying "a 3.5 man can overpower a girl who is playing at the 4.0 men's level"?... not likely.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Yes. 3.5 guys beat 4.0 guys all the time.
i agree, if they're at the border
i was picturing a middle of the road 3.5 and a middle of the road 4.0... the 4.0 wins most of the time (but even then a 3.5 could win occasionally)
anywho, the point is than many men underestimate tennis trained women/girls because they presume being bigger/stronger/faster trumps tennis skill...
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
then you lose out on the revenues from women who are specifically interested in watching women only play.

or guys like me hero like to watch the women play (haley, henin, clijsters, etc,...) because while light years better than me, so much closer in playing to me, than the pro men will ever be.
Correct.... ATP/WTA/ITF/Slams are in the entertainment industry driven by revenue.

The issue I have is with all the politics that have entered sports (not just tennis). I watch and attend sporting events to relax and escape the bat$hit crazy stuff going on these days.

So I say either make all tournaments separate for men and women (many are and yes... with predictable prize money) including the slams like golf does, or put it all together.

Djoker, Macenroe and Raymond Moore probably should have kept their mouths shut instead if making ill advised, but still factual statements.

BTW.. I say the pay at the US Open this year would probably have favored the women if it was a true meritocracy. Even with Serena out, the story was more compelling. 4 Americans in the semis, a resurgent Venus, comeback story of the year, return of Sharapova.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 
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Startzel

Hall of Fame
i agree, if they're at the border
i was picturing a middle of the road 3.5 and a middle of the road 4.0... the 4.0 wins most of the time (but even then a 3.5 could win occasionally)
anywho, the point is than many men underestimate tennis trained women/girls because they presume being bigger/stronger/faster trumps tennis skill...

No doubt.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
I signed up a flex league the runs through the early fall, I played last season and was able to have some competitive matches. The league has several divisions for male players, but due to lack of participation, the women's division is limited to one division for all players.

For the fall season, they just added 4 of the top female players to my division, which is basically a 3.0-3.5 skill level, so they could get better competition. I found that kind of interesting, I hope they at least gave the female players the option of moving divisions or staying where they were instead of forcing them to play in the men's division, but I don't know how that decision was made.

But it got me thinking how the male players would react to this. Personally, a good match is a good match, the gender of my opponent doesn't matter to me. But I'm willing to bet a lot of the players won't reach out to schedule matches with them, it's a division of around 30 players so one could get plenty of matches.

Would any of you have a problem with this? For the female players, if you were offered to move into a men's division, would you go for it or would it make you uncomfortable?
Just another opponent to play, isn't it? However, on average, it seems that there is a difference in power and speed countered by consistency and precision. I see 3.5F play and they are amazingly more consistent than their male counterparts. But the males have more power and speed (again, on average). So would the same level of consistently and precision stand against this?

But I'm a noob to competitive play so what do I know.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
A lot depends on the female. If she is used to the pace and spin generated by men, then they will have no problems. You basically have to hit them of the court because they will not make make unforced errors. I have played with 4.0 baseline oriented females and they can slug it out with 4.0 men with no problems. They do have problems with 4.5 men. I have also played with 4.5+ females, and they don't any problems at all, even with 4.5 men. But these are younger 30 somethings ex college.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Do we want even less men playing tennis? Start letting adult men get beat by 15 year old girls, and those monthly club dues are dropping to $0 in revenue.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Do we want even less men playing tennis? Start letting adult men get beat by 15 year old girls, and those monthly club dues are dropping to $0 in revenue.

Men's egos really cannot be that fragile. They would spend MORE money on clinics, lessons, and gear to actually get better to have a chance.

In my region and at my club, women outnumber men by nearly 2-1 in most clinics and in league participation. I think the national numbers are more like only 3-2 women to men ....
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Men's egos really cannot be that fragile. They would spend MORE money on clinics, lessons, and gear to actually get better to have a chance.

You dont know many adult men tennis players do you? :)

Fragile egos abound at most clubs. If a typical middle aged to older adult male comes out and gets "beat by a girl", he is likely to quit showing his face around the club, act like he never liked tennis anyway, say it's a chick sport, talk about how he'd rather be smoking cigars on the golf course, etc.

Putting in work to get better at tennis won't even be on the list for consideration.
 

OrangePower

Legend
No problem, as long as the actual level (as opposed to NTRP) is roughly the same.
I play occasionally with a 5.0 lady and we have close matches (I'm a 4.5 male).
I have a bigger game than she does but she is very consistent from the baseline and is a smarter tactician than I am.
I've also had my butt absolutely kicked by female D1 players, who pretty much do everything better than I do!
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Would any of you have a problem with this? For the female players, if you were offered to move into a men's division, would you go for it or would it make you uncomfortable?

I think it depends on the league. Our club is heavily female so I have a lot of experience playing with women. If it's a doubles group and the women are at the strong end of the rating range it's probably fine. I notice a much bigger gap in singles. Ratings aside, to fit well with guys at a given level the women either need to be more skilled OR above average athletically.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Ironically I did notice the other day that the league fee is like $5 less for the women's division. Less players I guess?

Probably the opposite. My guess is likely more women so the league "costs" are spread out over more registered players.
 

darkhorse

Semi-Pro
No, there are definitely less women registered than men in this particular league, the website has all of the divisions available to see and there's only 1 women's division with about 15 players, whereas there's 32 players (the four women included) just in the division I'm in.

I should mention that this isn't club or USTA affiliated, it's run through Tennis League Network (TW is a sponsor, btw)
 

damazing

Rookie
I would be comfortable playing in a co-ed league. As it stands in my league there is a very large range of skill within the level so the adding of women to the league wouldn't change much. There would be stronger women and weaker women just like the men.
 

darkhorse

Semi-Pro
Just to give an update on this, of the four women who were moved to my division, really only two are active. I played one of the women yesterday, she seemed to have no problem with it simply because she was getting more matches in (she plays a lot of matches in the league), but it sounded like she also wasn't 100% on board with getting moved into the men's division. Since results are posted on the website I looked and she had won once in the men's division and lost 4-5 times.

I did end up winning the match pretty easily, but honestly it was more fun than some of the matches with men I've had in the league (a lot of pushers and people who can't hit more than 3 shots in a rally before a UE). The other active female player reached out to play but I wasn't available during the time she suggested but I will try to schedule a match with her as well, as I said, a good match is a good match, doesn't matter to me if it's a man or woman.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
Just to give an update on this, of the four women who were moved to my division, really only two are active. I played one of the women yesterday, she seemed to have no problem with it simply because she was getting more matches in (she plays a lot of matches in the league), but it sounded like she also wasn't 100% on board with getting moved into the men's division. Since results are posted on the website I looked and she had won once in the men's division and lost 4-5 times.

I did end up winning the match pretty easily, but honestly it was more fun than some of the matches with men I've had in the league (a lot of pushers and people who can't hit more than 3 shots in a rally before a UE). The other active female player reached out to play but I wasn't available during the time she suggested but I will try to schedule a match with her as well, as I said, a good match is a good match, doesn't matter to me if it's a man or woman.

Amen... the quality of tennis you enjoyed should be the judge of meritocracy here.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I hit with a ton of junior girls and nothing is more humbling than having a 13 year old run you around the court, but I love it. I just like to be on court. Gender isn't an issue.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
I hit with a ton of junior girls and nothing is more humbling than having a 13 year old run you around the court, but I love it. I just like to be on court. Gender isn't an issue.
This is why I say just get rid of men's and women's tennis altogether and have 1 open division. Then we can stop arguing about BOTS, equal pay, hitting hard at women at recreational doubles, etc, etc... just play tennis.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

darkhorse

Semi-Pro
This is why I say just get rid of men's and women's tennis altogether and have 1 open division. Then we can stop arguing about BOTS, equal pay, hitting hard at women at recreational doubles, etc, etc... just play tennis.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

I agree with you when it comes to the rec level, I'm not sure it would work once you get into the high level juniors/college/pro level. I'm sure there's a way to make the ratings work for both genders, I know I made that thread about UTR but it seems like that's something they wish to address. I have always felt that the real best format for league tennis (mainly USTA) is the World Team Tennis format, and with that you could change the rules so you could have mixed singles, women's dubs against men, etc. I'm not sure why that format isn't more popular, I did notice that the USTA has this "young adult" league which uses the WTT format, and my area does have a corporate WTT league. I think juniors use it a lot more now.

But you also have to consider the social aspect as well, the woman I played did say that she did prefer that aspect of the women's league she was in ("more friendly" she said). Look at golf, there's not much reason to have separation between men and women, but from the people I've talked to they much prefer that to having mixed leagues.
 

NLBwell

Legend
I'm sure there are 3.5 men that could overpower top 100 girls in the 14s. Some of the girls at the u14 nationals were UTR 7 type players which puts them as 4.0s.
Absolutely no way. A 3.5 guy would be lucky to get a game. You don't think the girls hit with their coaches? They've seen far more than a 3.5 would be able to give to them. How many shots can a 3.5 guy hit in a row during a point when being moved side to side by someone who hits harder and more accurate groundies than they do? They might be able to win some points with aces or pouncing on second serve returns, but being 3.5, they are going to miss a lot.
Here's Girls 14 Easter Bowl
Looks better than a 3.5 guys match.
Skill matters in tennis.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
A plus point of playing in coed leagues is that the women tend to bring food. I don't play any leagues (had played WTT for 2 seasons a while ago) but I hang around these leagues and their practice sessions to warm up someone or sub in a practice doubles, and then they always invite me to enjoy the food. Women tend to bring tasty and healthy food while the men show up with nothing or just beer.
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
Absolutely no way. A 3.5 guy would be lucky to get a game. You don't think the girls hit with their coaches? They've seen far more than a 3.5 would be able to give to them. How many shots can a 3.5 guy hit in a row during a point when being moved side to side by someone who hits harder and more accurate groundies than they do? They might be able to win some points with aces or pouncing on second serve returns, but being 3.5, they are going to miss a lot.
Here's Girls 14 Easter Bowl
Looks better than a 3.5 guys match.
Skill matters in tennis.

You're also posting a video of the #5 and 6 ranked girl. There will be a bit of a drop off from them to the bottom of the top 100.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
A plus point of playing in coed leagues is that the women tend to bring food. I don't play any leagues (had played WTT for 2 seasons a while ago) but I hang around these leagues and their practice sessions to warm up someone or sub in a practice doubles, and then they always invite me to enjoy the food. Women tend to bring tasty and healthy food while the men show up with nothing or just beer.

And I prefer beer over healthy food...
 
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