Monday, October 29, 2007

News and Notes (Nats and Ratings talk)

A new poster requested a new post, so who I am to turn down a request. Here is what were were talking about.

"I couldn't agree more with wanting the best players to represent TX and it seems like TX has more stringent rules. The talk about Oberto in this post is a player I think is a good sectional/nat level 3.5 but will lose at higher level 4.0 matches so I think he should be safe but I will be shocked if this current system doesn't DQ him"

In related news the last week of Nationals took place this weekend and Bob Bender's Dallas Senior 3.0 team faired the best finishing 3rd and losing to eventual champ from Southern in a close match, congrats on your season. The super 4.0 Women's team from Greenhill that had about 50 players that read like an all-star group of Dallas did not fare as well finsihing 1-2 in pool play. Also finishing 1-2 in pool play was the Houston 4.0 mens team which did lose a close match to eventual champ (Nor Cal).

The one I find most interesting is the 4.0 mens group not only because that is my current level but more so because I heard how amazing they were from players at the 4.0 sectional tournament as they dominated that weekend, winning 5-0 in the final over High Point. But then they get to NATS and get beat in their first two matches.

I am still waiting on results to roll in from this weekend so let me know your thoughts on the TX section and the Dallas area as well in the meantime.


  1. I think you have to design the system for the benefit of the average league player,
    If you take an arms-race mentality towards amassing the best team to take on other divisions it will only serve to alienate and de-motivative the average player, If you want to get together and all star team, voted on by the captains or by record or what ever that one thing, but to call a 4.5 a 3.5 just to win against the southern div is asinine, that is only going to benefit a hand full of players, and what do you win besides bragging rights?

    The ratings are already seriously skewed high as it is, have you seen what passes for 3.5 at your average metroplex tennis center league?

    I think the only answer is to have player move both up and down,
    this will not keep a 3.0 from playing in a 3.5 league, but at least they will know where they belong,

    I don't know the Numbers, But it seem like the majority of men try to come in at the 3.5 level, so the USTA may have some sort of quota for the number of players it wants to rate up, that's why it seem the most activity on this front is on the 4.0 level,

    last thought as a section the only national Tiles worth winning are probably the 5.0 and open because they are the least susceptible to manipulation.

  2. Cary, thanks for creating post.

    Reposting as this is a more appropriate post for my comment...if you read in previous post, no need to reread.


    As it appears dominating teams from Texas are not competitive at the national levels then maybe this is a sign that we are prematurely moving too many player up.

    Maybe we should be moving players down that are losing 6-0, 6-1 or have shown they don't have the ability to win at a specific level as they may be "clearly below level".

    There are way to many players who have not won a single match in several years at a specific level but are still being allowed to play at that level. I feel these players are contributing as much of more to the problem that has been discussed over and over again.

    Also, once a player is moved down, then they would need to prove themselves before being allowed to move back up. I would think players that have less than a 50% win/lose record should be moved down. If this was done at all levels AT THE END of each season I'm sure we would see a whole new strategy.

    Many teams who play with their lineups to intentionally give up an individual match to try for a over all team win would need to rethink that strategy as the lose could potential result in a player being moved down. I say, play your best players against the other teams best players and may the "best" team win. To me, the game should be won/lost on the court, not by a coach's strategy. Sorry coach's...some of you are very good a playing with the line ups but this distracts from the true spirt of the game. Just my opinion.

    If players had to earn/prove their level, then I think there would be more incentive for players to strive to reach and stay at the higher levels verse players trying to sandbag to win at a lower level.

    Guess a good analogy would be that most NCAA basketball team would rather be invited to the NCAA tournament as a 16 seed verse playing/winning the NIT tournament. Isn’t the winner of the NIT considered to be the 65th best team???

    Another sport's analogy would be that in stock car racing the BUSCH (lower level) series allows the CUP (top level) drivers to race at their lower level. While this reduces the BUSCH series regulars the chance to win , it give them the opportunity to gain valuable experience racing against the best drivers in the world. Most, if not all BUSCH drivers welcome the CUP drivers in their series.

    In closing, I say, lets make individuals earn there ranking and continue to prove themselves year after year or be at risk of being forced to move down.

    Just my thoughts....

  3. I do think the USTA need to revaluate as league tennis has grown exponentially since its inception. I like the idea of having to "earn your rating" I guess that is one thing I like about tournament play although I never have the time to play any of them. If any of you know me you know I am all about getting new players on the court because that is the environment that I was introduced from in CA but it does become hard when I bring in a new player at 3.5 and they get double bageled. How do you keep that player interested in playing league tennis? How about a reverse DQ? You get double bageled 2x then you can immediately go play 3.0 tennis. I often tell players to rate at 3.0 to play on my 2nd team mainly because I don't have enough guys in the group to start a 3.0 team but many of them get their rating adjusted to 3.5 because they "lose well" a few times.

  4. Cary,
    De Los Santos was AWOL for the 4.0 Houston team. Otherwise the 3-2 losses turn into 3-2 wins. I really think that is waht happened because they were stacked

  5. I did read that info that they did not have that player but if you are missing one player and it wrecks your chances then you are not a "super" team as this team was quoted as being. I do know how that can mess with a team's mental makeup knowing that you are not set up they way you planned, my Spring team had an "A" lineup we used for big matches and I found out a week before sectionals that I was missing one of those players so it does change things especially with short notice. I am not sure you can guarantee with this presence they would have won NATS and why speculate because missing players and injuries is part of league tennis and any sport for that matter.

  6. newbie,

    I do like your notes about "coaches/captains" even though I am one of them. I have always had my goal to build teams that are strong from top to bottom so I don't have to worry about lineup decisions. Also because players love to 2nd guess lineup decisions after a loss so I would love a system that had the best matchups possible and it was up to the players to "win" the match as opposed to "strategy". I will say at the higher levels sometimes you might move certain players around to avoid playing certain players who are style problems, for instance if I had a big hitter who gets frustrated I don't think it should be required to play a "pusher" just because he happens to be the best singles player on the other team. Also certain doubles teams may match up better with more agressive or defensive type doubles so these might be some of the problems that could come up in this type of format if everything was just based on performance.

  7. For those of you who are tired of reading about the DQ rule, no need to read any further.


    Being that this is a team league, I have to agree that you have to position your team to win at the team level and determining the best match ups is good strategy for team tennis.

    My real problem is when this strategy interferes with the mid-season evaluation as a player may be incorrectly evaluated due to a team's strategy of playing their lower line against the top line of the other team. Take out the mid season evaluations and then this problem goes away.

    In my opinion, the only true and fair way to evaluate a player is to allow them to play an entire season as opposed to only a few matches. Also given that some teams have lots of depth, some players only play 2 or 3 matches a season which further adds to the difficulty in evaluating a player's opponents.

    If a player wins 6-0, 6-0 against a player who does not show ability against other opponents, should that really be counted as a "strike" against that player. To make that assessment, wouldn't you need to allow both players to play a full season (more than 3 or 4 matches).

    Look at the case of the OC player who is, was due to DQ a singles specialist beating his opponent 6-0, 6-0 at the #1 singles line where his opponent appears to not be a singles player as he has only played on the #3 doubles line prior to and after that match.

    Not sure everyone has the ability to play both doubles and singles at the same level. I realize this may not always be the case but my point is that due to the possibility of line up changes whether intentional or not, it makes it very hard to consistently judge a player on a limited number of matches.

    Who knows, the Westlake player could be a very good player but was having a bad day. How can a computer make the evaluation of how good or bad a player was playing on a specific day?

    And would clearly above level make you think a player would need to be moved up 2 levels since above level would mean 1. Funny how the DQ'd OC player lost his first 4.0 match. Maybe he wasn't clearly above level. Does he get to be reinstated back to 3.5?

    Finally, what is the name of your recruiter? I may need one. What fun discussing something we cannot change...but it is better than working.

  8. Hey Newbie,

    Time for more DQ talk, there is another one at 3.5 (James David Lee) of Canyon Creek. This really doesn't affect anything since Canyon Creek was in 2nd to last place. The final strike came against one of my players Brad Garrett. This time it looks like they allowed James to rack up 5 strikes before sending him to 4.0. All his opponents seem to be average or above average. I was not at our match v. CC so I didn't see him play but these results look pretty convincing. So that leaves Kelsey and Oberto still on DQ watch.

  9. Back to your post, I think there is a problem with non-singles players contributing to DQ strikes but if you are playing down at 3.5 that is going to be a possibility since many teams are made up of senior level players who although can be strong at singles may lose out big to a comparable opponent who is 40 years younger. My old section did away with mid season ratings this year as did No Cal and I agree why do we need these ratings. I generated a mid season 4.0 rating off of 3 matches in the Spring, one was a blowout while the other results were 6-4, 7-5 and the other was a 3rd set tiebreaker. Not sure why I couldn't continue playing at my current level till the end of the year. doesn't make much sense.

  10. As it relates to James David Lee, I'll know first-hand about him on Sunday. If he plays #1 Singles this Sunday, it'll be me against him. My goal is to put up a better showing than I did last Sunday against Kelsi. I should have beaten Kelsi, serving at 5-3 in the second set, but I allowed outside distraction of people yelling, shouting due to a party that was going on to distract me and un-nerve, plus with the fact that I failed in closing out the set, which I have been known to do from time to time.

    But credit Jeromi, he made some great adjustments to playing me and that first and second serve of his was hitting on all cyclinders.

  11. Nevermind. I didn't realize that James had been disqualified. That's a shame. I love going up against the best a team has to offer. :-(

  12. Here is the DQ player information for any Statisticians that are out there that can figure out any patterns,
    I can't find any clear pattern to the so called "strikes".
    Looks like 6-0 and 6-1 set are the kiss of death,looks like you have to have a hand full of those to get DQ'ed,
    Next, Looks like Jeff Wier got screwed here, why did his plug get pulled so early? a complaint perhaps?
    Any theories or formulas please post.

    James David Lee - (DQ)* Nicholas M. Walton 6-2, 6-0
    James David Lee - (DQ)* Robert Dewitt 6-2, 6-2
    James David Lee - (DQ)* Taylor Ryan Hoss 6-1, 6-3
    James David Lee - (DQ)* Jerone Hammond 6-0, 6-3
    James David Lee - (DQ)* Bradley R. Garrett 6-0, 6-2

    Dewayne T. Ahner - (DQ)* J. Trae Bowman 6-1, 6-3
    Dewayne T. Ahner - (DQ)* Alan Fishman 6-1, 6-1
    Dewayne T. Ahner - (DQ)* Shawn Sexton 6-2, 6-3
    Dewayne T. Ahner - (DQ)* Rick Wooten 6-0, 6-0

    Jeff Wier - (DQ)* Nilesh Mistry 6-1, 6-1
    Jeff Wier - (DQ)* Jacques Delira 6-4, 6-2
    Jeff Wier - (DQ)* Dustin G. Lamb 6-0, 6-0

    (2007 SPRING)
    Jan Eschler - (DQ)* Don Muncy 6-1, 6-0
    Jan Eschler - (DQ)* /J. Trae Bowman
    Art Hongsakul /Kerry Hall 6-4, 7-5 #2 Doubles
    Cary Bazan/Jan Eschler - (DQ)*
    David Brian Williamson /Sergio A. Rogina 6-1, 6-1 #2 Doubles
    Jan Eschler - (DQ)* Martin H. Garvie 6-1, 6-0

  13. There doesn't seem to be a pattern, outside of the fact that the scores are very lopsided. The only conclusion I can see is that a complaint or two must have been filed. In the case of James D. Lee, he beat Jerone Hammond, who at times is considered a 3.5 Ringer, with a 4.0 skill level, and he beat him 6-0, 6-3.

    One of the reasons, I don't think Jeromi Kelsy will be DQed is because he has lost a 3.5 match, meaning he is beatable at the 3.5 level, so might be considered safe.

    Or one of these players might be what USTA terms as a "Benchmark" player, meaning that if you beat one of these guys, eyebrows are raised. I don't know if this is true or not, but I played a benchmark player in the Fort Worth Major Zone tournament late this summer (Paul Lookabaugh), and the score was like 3 & 1, and he told me that beating him and John Kraemer (Same score) that badly, would "guarantee" a bump up at the end of the season.

    Just a thought.

  14. I think for Lee, the last 3 matches were the strikes, I don't think beating Walton and Dewitt didn't do much (no offense) although Dewitt is a decent players. I think the Hammond was a big strike, my player B. Garrett is a first year player but has a lot of match play and has a couple of good wins including a straight set win over Lipsie. Hoss from Spk hasn't played lately but has some past match experience and a decent record so that hurt him.

  15. from what I know the benchmark player used to be the only players who could produce strikes on self rated players but this has since changed. I watched Steve Harrigan get DQ'ed at 3.5 for beating Jim Warner 7-5, 6-2, we assumed Jim was a Benchmark player so that is why that close score produced a strike. I think this can be a problem because as talked about before in singles v. doubles players, if I have a sectional level 3.5 playing doubles all year and throw him out against a top level self rated player the guy can't beat him worse then 6-3, 6-3 or he could gain a strike.

  16. comparing the Jeff Wier stats makes me sick that he was DQ'ed, you aren't allowed to beat Jacques 4 and 2, that is crazy, I have seem him meltdown in matches and I am not sure if that is what happened but that may be the reason for the 2nd set not being close.

    Regarding Jan's DQ last season, the first strike against Muncy was crazy since he admitted he pretty much drew the short straw and didn't even want to play singles that day against us. The doubles match I played in with him came down to us playing well and our opponents having an awful day, they struggled to keep the ball in play and then I feel they just gave up early in the 2nd set. The thing that got me is when they faced legit solid 3.5 doubles players Hall/Hongskul they won in a tight match and from what they told me (I wasn't there) that match was even closer then the score indicated.

  17. I have never heard of a "benchmark player" before,
    How do you gain that status?

  18. From the USTA website
    "Q. Will I be told exactly which matches earned me "three strikes"?

    A. Yes, with notification of disqualification you will be provided with a printout of all your matches and the NTRP level generated for each match. "

    Has anybody seen one of these?

  19. BMark:
    Benchmark players are players who competed in the USTA League Tennis National, Section Championships and/or Area Playoffs. They produce ratings for all league players based on direct or indirect match results.

  20. When Jan was DQ'ed I got an email that said he had 3 out of category results but no breakdown. Ask Don if he has anything different. I would be interested to see these results that show you are 3.75 above, etc

  21. The way I interpreted it,
    Is that it would be mailed to the player,
    If you see Jan ask him if he ever got anything,
    If I see Dwayne I'll ask him,
    I almost want to get DQ'ed now so I can see what My Dynamic Rating is.

  22. This is what the USTA Website describes, as to what disqualifies a player.

    Dynamic NTRP ratings will be run by the computer to determine if any players are “clearly above level” using the current Disqualification Procedure Guidelines. Players will be disqualified if they achieve the currently established “clearly above level” status three times based on all matches reported in the national database for Adult and Senior Divisions.

    This includes all match play in Adult and Senior divisions in all sections. Remember, you must reach this disqualification level three times during the championship league year in order to be disqualified.

  23. One other thing on the DQ / WTF front,
    Benjamin Stephen Oberto def. Stephen L. Levine 6-0, 6-0

    Stephen L. Levine is listed as 4.0,
    but playing 3.5
    see link below

  24. yep Levine was 4.0 and got dropped at mid season time so you know that has to be a strike as well as his match with me. So I think he just needs one more and he is out. Garland has two big 4.0 matches left to go, I will be curious to see if he makes it into the lineup.

  25. Cary,
    De Los Santos was AWOL for the 4.0 Houston team. Otherwise the 3-2 losses turn into 3-2 wins. I really think that is waht happened because they were stacked

    judging from the results I would say neither eddie showed up.... (EDLS & EJ)!!!!!


  26. you are right, EJ played one match and it wasn't close and he had a good record all season. Who knows?? I know you can't convince your entire roster to go to AZ but it sucks that one missing player changed things so much. In league you sometimes are only as good as your 9th, 10th and 11th best player.