Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Thanksgiving Cheer

It’s time for Thanksgiving, that time of year;
We meet with friends and begin holiday cheer

As tennis goes, it is time for our break;
To see what year end rankings have at stake

Who gets benchmarked, and who appeals?
And then the plotting for next year rosters reveal

Did the fall match tankings really pay off?
Or will Todd Reed have final say, and just jerk us all off?

If the Fall gives us hints of what is about to appear;
The  Spring line ups that which players start to revere

Will Sisk and Le still be playing on one team?
Who’ll be on the roster to keep those two clean?

If tri-level gives me any indication;
Will Kingsley get bumped down  and start giving dictation?

Whatever collaboration that have up their mind;
My nod goes to them to leave all others  behind.

With Ryan and Shawn back down to 4.0;
And Clarks’s roster of players, they make it a go

If these 3 captains really pull it together;
Freeman in Houston will be calling Pete Delkus bout the weather

But that’s just 4.0, we have 4 other levels;
What else is in store and what else will be settled?

Starting as 3.0 is as low as I go;
And Bender is back to win, place, and show.

With Bender gone, 3.5 is fair game;
A chance for the country clubbers to make their own claim?  

Will it be CC ?  They’ve been there before;
But McKinney and Stonebridge will be knocking on their door

As for 4.5, its been Russo making the press;
Taking the fall with ease and less stress

A Red and Blue team he gave us this Fall;
Just needing a White team to make Pats of us all

But Reiman and Nancy still haven’t lost sight;
And are surely to be Spring’s Nemesis to fight

As for 5.0, the real clubs start to appear;
The Village and T-Bar are the ones to fear

 Shit, T-Bar don’t even botha with 3.5 or 4.0;
Cuzz they know at 5.0 they have win, place or show.

Yeah, I know, I used the same rhyme twice;
Just getting drunk on wine and old pumpkin spice

So enough of my drinking and poetry in flight;
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night.


Monday, November 24, 2014

And The Winners Are - Anyone That Got To Play

I didn’t make it out for any of the playoffs this weekend.  Ran out of time and after I found out about half the people I know weren’t playing after all I just lost interest.  But it does leave me in a less informed position about what really happened.  I followed some of the back and forth on the blog and several people did a very nice job of summarizing the key issues.   I didn’t see anything that might have been a DTA explanation of their decision making process and am curious whether any of the playoff captains got an explanation while they were on site.
In 5.0 I don’t know who the winner was because all matches were evidently cancelled.
Of the results that are posted, in 4.5 it only shows that two matches were played.  Rossouw Red beat JCC and JCC beat Rossouw Blue.  Congrats to Marc for a very dominant fall season and a convincing 4-1 win over JCC.  You go through flight play and the playoffs with an undefeated season and a 40-5 line record and I don’t think there’s any arguing with this winner.  Just can’t see the second place teams changing the outcome any here.

For 4.0, it looked like Corey’s boys ran roughshod over the fall playoffs.  And they were the second place team in their flight until a last week GTC loss when GTC emptied their bench.  With a 9-1 record heading into the last match, Corey’s squad closed it out with a 3-2 win that was closer to being a sweep than being a loss.  Congrats to Corey for what he claims is his first city championship.  In this case, I think the second place teams could have made an impact.  I suppose I would think that since I picked GTC to win it all.

In 3.5, Canyon Creek/Gable won.  I don’t really know if the second place teams would have impacted this level or not.  This level only ended up with two teams and one match.

So congrats to the winners.  I’m not really sure what to say about the rest of the weekend.  Last year there were weather issues as well.  A winter storm blew in on Friday.  A few matches were played Friday night but it was all resolved by completing the ladies playoffs on the scheduled weekend and then moving the men’s playoffs back three weeks.  All matches were played, winners were crowned, everyone got their turn on the court.  Not really sure why that wouldn’t have worked this year but maybe one of our contributors will have more insight into this.
Any more insights from someone that was there?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Playoff Predictions


4.5 Playoffs – flight 1
Greenhill Red/Rossouw: 8-0 and 36-4; JCC/Reiman: 6-1 and 29-6; Brookhaven/Harlee: 6-1 and 25-10

4.5 Playoffs – flight 2
Greenhill Blue/Rossouw: 7-0 and 26-9; Lakes/Way: 7-1 and 31-9; Village/Warren: 6-2 and 23-12

Would it be too much to ask for a Rossouw versus Rossouw final?  His Red team was pretty impressive with the way they handled their flight play business.  There are two problems with predicting fall playoff matchups – (1) the deep rosters and (2) it’s the fall so I’d guess the playing time will be spread a little more evenly, leaving teams more vulnerable than they might be otherwise.  All that being said, I’ll give the nod to the Red squad but at least half these teams have the ability to win it all.

4.0 Playoffs – flight 1
Huffines/Ratcliffe: 8-0 and 29-11; Garland1/Sisk: 7-1 and 29-11; Huffines/McIntosh: 7-1 and 28-12; Eldorado/Browning: 7-2 and 27-18

4.0 Playoffs – flight 2
McKinney/Parrish: 8-1 and 32-13; Fretz/Noel: 7-1 and 30-11; McKinney/Peterson: 6-2 and 29-11; Fretz/Jayaram: 6-2 and 29-11

GTC/Sisk dropped their last match after the playoff spot was sewn up.  Without that loss they would have been the #1 overall seed.  If Big John doesn’t decide to play his scrubs, I like them to win this flight.  I’ll even take them to win it all.  I’d say Huffines to finish second but that’s too easy. 

Oh, Corey.  This team is a tease.  You’ve got a nice top 6 or 7 but if one or two guys aren’t available you drop off pretty quickly.  McKinney/Peterson has the other problem.  A long, deep roster of #2 and #3 lines that have been oh so close before but not quite gotten over the hump.  McKinney/Parrish came out of a tough flight but getting beat so easily by CC scares me a little.  I’ll take Corey’s group and hope all his guys show up.

3.5 Playoffs - I have no predictions on the 3.5s because I don’t know any of these players.  As always, your guess is as good as mine.


Monday, November 10, 2014

And The Results Are Now In

The results are finally posted and the fall playoffs are now shaping up.  Here’s what it looks like at this point.  Fall playoff predictions will be coming after a little analysis.  Should be some good matchups.  Initial thoughts - I like Rossouw at 4.5, mostly because there are better odds picking the guy who has two teams in the playoffs.  At 4.0 I like Sisk and Noel, even though they were in the same flight.  At 3.5 I like Gardner, because he's the only one I've heard of.  Just like all local elections, name recognition can take you a long way with uninformed voters.  I also reserve the right to change my votes after I've had a chance to look this all over.

4.5 Playoffs – flight 1
Greenhill Red/Rossouw: 8-0 and 36-4
JCC/Reiman: 6-1 and 29-6
Brookhaven/Harlee: 6-1 and 25-10

4.5 Playoffs – flight 2
Greenhill Blue/Rossouw: 7-0 and 26-9
Lakes/Way: 7-1 and 31-9
Village/Warren: 6-2 and 23-12

4.0 Playoffs – flight 1
Huffines/Ratcliffe: 8-0 and 29-11
Garland1/Sisk: 7-1 and 29-11
Huffines/McIntosh: 7-1 and 28-12
Fretz/Jayaram: 6-2 and 29-11 (last on sets lost)

4.0 Playoffs – flight 2
McKinney/Parrish: 8-1 and 32-13
Fretz/Noel: 7-1 and 30-11
Eldorado/Browning: 7-2 and 27-18
McKinney/Peterson: 6-2 and 29-11

3.5 Playoffs
Canyon Creek/Gable: 7-0 and 23-12
High Point/Gardner: 7-1 and 30-10     
McKinney/Jones: 6-1 and 26-9
LB Houston/Tinner: 6-2 and 26-14     


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

‘Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vivi’ – V for Vendetta

A little dramatic if I do say so myself.  And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t actually on the fifth of November that all this started, but close enough.  It all started when someone tried to change the rules retroactively.  Some of you may recall the introduction of Murray Langston to the blog with his inaugural post of Lord of The Ratings – The Return of The Kelly.  That first post wasn’t inspired by a relationship with He Who Shall Not Be Named, nor did it have anything to do with necessarily taking a side.  The issue was the memorable attempted coup of the NTRP system.  Regardless of whether the intentions were right or wrong, or whether the merits were right or wrong for that matter, it was just a reaction to an attempt to retroactively change the rules.

The DTA, USTA Texas and USTA National are making new rules every day and most of them are fine.  The biggest issue I see is when they try to address a unique issue with a rule that they didn’t fully understand.  And they don’t realize what the full effects will be.  Take last year’s move up/split up rule.  Worked for the one situation they were trying to address but had an adverse impact on a lot more situations that weren’t accounted for.  They had to immediately change it the very next season.  No one is immune to the issue. 

Another big idea in Texas is weighted lines.  You may remember the survey that came out from USTA on the issue.  USTA Texas thinks weighting lines will somehow provide a speed bump that will slow down the traditional power teams in Texas.  They’ve already implemented this in Houston’s fall play going on right now.  Maybe I don’t get it, but if I have the best team I probably have the best singles player – and maybe the best doubles team too – how would this slow me down?  Looks to me like this will just make it easier for the best teams to dominate.

I’ve also been curious about the level of disclosure we get.  There seems to be a fear of giving people too much of a straight answer.  With tri-level having recently finished in Dallas, here’s a question.  Do you know whether tri-level results counted in your rating?  They’re pretty clear that low tri didn’t count, but do you really know whether high tri did or not?  I don’t care if it counts or not but why is this is a secret?

It would seem pretty straight forward – change the rules when you need to; do it publicly; don’t make them retroactive.