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2009 End of Year Ratings

December 19, 2009 04:05 AM

The 2009 ratings are out. If the initial listing holds up, then the 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 team landscape of LCTA League Tennis will change drastically this Spring. As an example, one of the Fall Senior 3.5 teams I looked up this morning had seven of twelve on the roster move to 4.0. (and they finished third in their league) I am not sure when or if the appeal process will be turned on. As of this morning it would not accept a appeal of my rating.

You can check ratings on any USTA web page. Click on Tennis Link Leagues, then on Find a Rating . On that page you can look up individual players, or by league/gender/rating.

The following was sent from the USTA:

Captains, please forward this information to your players concerning the ratings.


First, I need to partially correct something that I said yesterday. In my email, I noted that appeals would not be considered for benchmark players. When I made that statement, I did not realize that there are two kinds of Benchmark players. The kind I was thinking about are those players who played at a league tennis state, sectional, or national championship. For these players, what I said was accurate. Appeals will not be considered.

But I realized yesterday that the players who participated in the local league playoffs are also marked with a B and are considered benchmark players. But for these players, appeals will be considered (assuming that they person did not subsequently play in a state, sectional, or national championship).

Second, it is important to realize that, especially for those people who were promoted, that you cannot compare ratings in 2009 with those in 2010. As will be discussed below, there is no question but that every level, the average tennis skill will be lower than it was last year. So, if your first thought is, "There is no way that I can play at X.X rating" you need to step back and realize that the X.X rating in 2010 will not be as skilled as that same rating was in 2009.

Third is the primary purpose of this email. As I mentioned yesterday, we had a large number of players (about 30% across the LCTA) promoted to the next level. This is not unique to the LCTA, SC, or Southern, but it is something which is occurring across the nation as the result of deliberate decisions by the USTA. I am sure that many of you wonder why? Perhaps the following statement from the Southern Section will help. I don't necessarily agree with all of their assertions, but I do believe that it captures the essence of what has and will happen.

2009 Ratings Statement from USTA Southern Section

The 2009 Year End Ratings have now been published . . . What is different about this year? Who is adjusting the ratings, why, and what is going to happen?

WHO: The National Oversight Group (NOG) is charged with maintaining the integrity of the National Tennis Rating Program. NOG continually monitors and reviews the accuracy by which the NTRP operates in all aspects of USTA League Tennis. NOG utilizes feedback from National Championship Observers, staff, volunteers, team captains, and players each year as part of its
analysis of the results, patterns, and trends of this primarily automated system. (Bob's note: One of the NOG members is from South Carolina.)

WHY: Recently, heavy concern has been raised over a growing disconnect between the standards used in the Self Rating and NTRP guidelines and the actual characteristics of players on court at various levels.

WHAT: To combat this increasing discrepancy between the NTRP guidelines and player ratings, there will be nationwide movement of a higher percentage of players upward this year. This movement will be approximately double that experienced in recent years, however approximately 70% of all players will remain unchanged in their NTRP level. Players will continue to have
compatible and competitive matches although many will now be playing at a different level.

What will be the final results?

· While more players will be moved up than in previous years, the majority of the players will have NO CHANGE in their ratings.

· Such moves will tend to push entire teams up together rather than isolate specific players. (Bob's note: I have not seen any instances of entire teams moving up, but there are certainly a number of teams with a very high percentage of their players being promoted.)

· Players and teams that have seemed to dominate local leagues year after year will be moved up and allow others to have more opportunity.

· The 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 levels will be less saturated, and play will be more compatible and competitive among teams.

· There will be more players at the 4.5 and 5.0 levels, so there will be more opportunity for local play in these divisions.

· Level of play will begin to more accurately reflect skill descriptors.

· You¹ll see a lot of new faces across the net and at the championships.

Fourth, I need to remind people that when it comes to calculating ratings, wins and losses mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. What does matter is the score and the strength of the opponents (and your partner in doubles).

Finally, the NTRP system is not perfect. There have been a number of instances where someone has asked me they did or did not get promoted. In some cases, I can look at the scores of their matches and give a reasonable guess. In others, I am somewhat baffled. But I will say that, over the years, I have found the NTRP system works. Yes, there are some people at the wrong level, but I would guess that 95 to 98 percent are at exactly the right level--and that is definitely a much higher number than the accuracy of those people who are self-rated.