Monday, February 20, 2017

What about by NTRP level? More interesting league stats on bumps for players that go to Nationals

I've written about some general stats and stats by gender for the bump rates of players on teams that go to Nationals, now it is time to break it down by level.

And this is where it starts to get more interesting as players improve at different rates at different levels, in fact you'd expect the lower levels to have more bumps up as there is more room and a better chance players will improve quickly.  As you can see below, that is generally, true, but there are a few surprises.

As before, we'll start with 18+ and look at players on Nationals team rosters.

Here we do see that the level with the most bumps up is the 2.5 level with nearly half of the players on Nationals rosters being bumped up.  But somewhat surprisingly, there is a higher percentage of 3.5s bumped up (43.1%) than 3.0s (38.7%).  After that, it does drop as you might expect, but still 18% of 4.5s and 15.8% of 5.0s get were bumped up.

Here are the same stats for 18+ for those that played in matches at Nationals.

Looking at those that actually played at Nationals we see the ~5% increase across the board, but the 3.0s still have a smaller percentage bumped up than the 3.5s.

Moving on to 40+.  First the rostered players.

Here we don't see a clear trend that lower levels end up having more bumps up with 3.0 thru 4.0 all being right at 33-34%.  There is a drop at the 4.5 level though.  This does make sense in a way as you'd expect the 40+ crowd to be more likely to be at their right level, even at the lower levels, and it is more consistent in the number of players that improve regardless of level.  That is until you get to 4.5 where there are fewer players capable of getting to 5.0.

Then for completeness, the 40+ players that played at Nationals.

We again see the ~5% increase, although perhaps surprisingly the 4.0 level jumps all the way to 40%.

I know, your next request is to see by level and gender.  That is coming!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

More analysis on being bumped if you go to Nationals - Men vs Women - Interesting Tennis League Stats

I wrote yesterday about the bump percentages for players that are on teams that go to and play at Nationals.  I only looked at the high level stats and naturally it can be broken out a variety of different ways.

The first is by gender as you wouldn't necessarily expect men and women to be bumped at the same rates.

Here are the same charts as the previous analysis, but split out by women and men.  First the 18+ on Nationals rosters.

Here we see that the women have a far larger number of players rostered on Nationals teams, but the percentage that are bumped up is quite a bit lower at 28.6% vs the 34.7% for the men.  Either the men are more likely to be improving, or the men in 18+ have more of a tendency to sandbag.

Then those that played at Nationals.

The women still have more players that played at Nationals, but the gap in what percentage  are bumped shrinks a bit as the women go up to 35.4% and the men nearly get to 40%.

Moving on to 40+.

Women's rosters are still bigger, but not the same way they are in 18+.  And here the women are the ones bumped up at the far higher rate, 32.5% while the men are barely over a quarter at 26.1%.  This may be stereotyping, but it appears women in the 40+ crowd are more likely to still be improving while the men are more likely to have plateaued.  Or maybe over 40 women are more likely to be sandbaggers?

And looking at those that played at 40+.

Both bump up percentages go up significantly, the women to 37.6% and the men to almost 30% at 29.7%.

What do you think?  What observations do you have?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

If you go to USTA League Nationals, will you be bumped up? Interesting Tennis League Stats

A fairly commonly held belief is that if a player goes to Nationals, they will, or should, be bumped up.  We know this doesn't happen though, and it causes much consternation among a few that think it is unfair that someone goes to Nationals and doesn't get bumped up and so has a chance to go back again at the same level.  There are of course other rules that preclude the same team going back at the same level, e.g. the move-up/split-up rule where only three members from a team that goes to Nationals can be on the same team at the same level the following year.

But back on topic, I did some research to see how many Nationals players actually do get bumped up so we could see some real statistics on the subject.

First, I took a look at all the players on the roster of an 18+ Nationals team that held a 2015 year-end C rating and ended 2016 with a C rating.

This revealed that 67.3% stayed the same level, 31.2% were bumped up, and perhaps surprisingly, 1.5% were bumped down!

Now, some teams have large rosters and not everyone is at the top of their level and "Nationals caliber", and not all players will actually go and play in a match.  Here is how it looks if just those that played in a match are included.

Here the bump up rate goes up to 37.2% while the stay rate is 61.9% and just 0.1% of these are bumped down.  This probably makes sense, the players on a roster that don't play are likely lower rated so removing them the rate goes up, but the bump up percentage is still below 40% which goes against the perception that if you go to Nationals you will be bumped up.

Second, I did the same for 40+.  Here is the rostered player chart.

For those on Nationals rosters, 67.8% stayed the same, 29.5% were bumped up, and 2.7% were bumped down.

Then the players that played at Nationals.

Of those that played, 63.9% stayed the same, 33.9% were bumped up, and 2.1% were bumped down.

These 40+ numbers probably make sense, the bump up rate is lower in the first place as those 40+ are less likely to be improving as much and the bump down rate is higher as there are older players more likely to be on the decline.  And we see a similar small increase in the bump ups looking at the players that actually play.

Note, that this analysis did not include self-rates, and the self-rates that make it to Nationals could very well have higher bump up rates.  I'll try to do this analysis soon.

Also, even just the 18+ and 40+ analysis above can be sliced a variety of different way including by gender, by level, and also looking at the teams that made the semis.  If there is interest, leave a comment here or on Facebook and let me know what you'd like to see!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Poll results on what people think about the location/surface changes for 2017 USTA League Nationals

I wrote a blog with some poll questions asking for feedback on what people think about the location and surface changes for 2017 USTA League Nationals.  It has been a week, so let's take a look at the results.

Here is how the votes came in on the change of location.

We see that nearly half the respondents say they like it as it makes good use of the USTA National Campus.  But right around a quarter think it is a mistake and Arizona/California offer better weather, and a few others don't like it as they thought it it was good as is.  Just over 12% think it is good as it reduces the travel for some that have had to make a long trip in the past and 10% don't care, perhaps Nationals isn't a goal or priority for them.

Here is how the changes impact folks desire to go.

Nearly two thirds of folks that voted have not had their desire to go affected, but of those that have been affected, a few more are less likely to want to go than those that are more likely.

Clay is going to be used as a surface at some events, here is what people thought of that.

The response with the most votes was that this makes players less likely to go, likely a result of nearly all USTA League play outside of Florida not using clay.  But nearly as many think it is about time!  Then nearly a quarter don't care, and 15% take the positive approach of enjoying the opportunity.

Last, here is where people would like to see Nationals played in the future.

This is interesting as nearly half said using the National Campus in Florida is good, but over 36% think California should still be a site that is used.  Florida is #2 ahead of Arizona, and Other beats out Alabama which is at just over 5%.  But of the existing sites, the West coast pulls in over 58% while the East coast pulls in just over 36%.

Some of the Others were interesting, they included:

  • Las Vegas
  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • Bigger cities with more to do
  • Rotating between all sections

It is worth noting when taking these results in that the majority of respondents were from East of the Mississippi.  Given this, there was still strong support for the West coast sites.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The USTA publishes a nice summary of 2016

Those of you that get e-mails from the USTA probably got one yesterday with a link to a 2016 year in review.  It includes some boilerplate statistics on participation (not as many stats as I give you though 😀) plus a mention of plans for 2017 Nationals to include the new USTA National Campus.

There are several "up close and personal" stories on several of the teams/individuals that went to Nationals.  It then includes a short blurb on each Nationals event/level, some sounded eerily like the recaps I did after many of the events.

They also include the Nationals schedule for 2017 which matches what I wrote about recently.  So you can begin to plan your own road to Nationals for this year!

All in all, a nice summary of the year.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Poll: What do you think of the location/surface changes for 2017 USTA League Nationals?

I wrote last week about some changes for 2017 USTA League Nationals.  Specifically, California will no longer have any host sites, Florida picking them all up, many at the new USTA National Campus, and some divisions/events will play on clay.

I'm interested in what everyone thinks, so here are some poll questions.

What do you think of the majority of the 2017 USTA League Nationals being in Florida/Alabama?

Don't like it, why change a good thing?
It is a mistake, the weather is better in Arizona/California
Don't really care where Nationals are
It is about time, was a long trip for many in the East/South
I like it, good to use the new USTA National Campus

Does the location change cause you to want to go to Nationals more or less?

No change

What do think of the possibility of playing Nationals on clay?

Makes me less likely to go
Don't care
Never played on it, would be fun!
About time, should use it more

Where would you prefer Nationals to be in the future?

Please Specify:

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

It is 2017, ready for USTA League Nationals yet? Draft schedule has Florida as the new destination and clay is in play!

It is the third day of 2017, but it is never too early to start thinking about Nationals.

I came across what appears to be a draft schedule for Nationals this year, and there are some things that will be familiar, but some that are perhaps surprises too.

First, what is familiar.

All Nationals will be played in October and November as has been traditionally done.  Additionally, 18 & over generally is first, early in October, 40 & over is later in October and early November, and 55 and over and Mixed are predominantly in November.

Now, the surprise.

Last year, Nationals were predominantly in the desert Southwest with eight of the events held in Arizona, five in Palm Springs, and three at a new for 2016 Mobile, AL.  But in 2014 and 2015 they were entirely held in Arizona or California.

The shift should have been a sign though, as for 2017, California has been completely replaced by Florida!  Of the 14 events scheduled (18+ and 40+ Mixed are all single events rather than two of each) a full eight are being held in Florida and there are none in California.  Mobile still pulls in three and Arizona gets the other three.  See the table below for the schedule.

But the surprises aren't limited to the locations.  Some Nationals will now be played on clay!  According to the draft schedule, 40+ 3.0 and 3.5 as well as all of 55+ will be played on clay while the rest will remain on hard courts.

Now, perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise and we should have seen it coming.  In fact, some of you probably had as there were rumors that the new USTA National Campus in Orlando with its 100 courts would be a natural host for some Nationals events.  And indeed it is, hosting six of the 14 events in 2017.  And since it has both Har-Tru and Europen red clay courts, having the seniors use it probably makes sense.

But the clay courts will likely be a big advantage for players from Florida who are able to play and practice on clay the whole year.  Not many other areas have clay courts in any significant amount let alone play league matches on them.

Here is the schedule, or you can see the draft schedule for Nationals PDF the USTA has.

Adult 18 & over

Oct. 6-83.5Surprise, AZHard
Oct. 6-85.0+Orlando, FLHard
Oct. 13-152.5WOrlando, FLHard
Oct. 13-154.0Surprise, AZHard
Oct. 20-223.0Surprise, AZHard
Oct. 20-224.5Mobile, ALHard

Adult 40 & over

Oct. 13-153.0Ft. Lauderdale, FLClay
Oct. 20-224.0Orlando, FLHard
Oct. 27-293.5Ft. Lauderdale, FLClay
Nov. 10-124.5Orland, FLHard

Adult 55 & over

Oct. 27-296.0 & 8.0Orlando, FLClay
Nov. 17-197.0 & 9.0Orlando, FLClay


Nov. 3-518 & over 6.0-10.0Mobile, ALHard
Nov. 10-1240 & over 6.0-9.0Mobile, ALHard

What do you think?  Are you glad to see the majority of Nationals in Florida?  Or did you like having them in Arizona and California?  And will playing on clay be a nice addition or is it an unfair advantage for some and will take away from the competitiveness of Nationals?