Monday, September 17, 2018

Simulating 2018 USTA League Nationals - 18 & Over 4.0 Men

My fifth simulation of USTA League Nationals using the new format for 2018 is the 18 & Over 4.0 men.  You can see all simulations here.

This event has the 17 teams.

Using my ratings' top-10 averages, the actual schedules, and running things through a million iterations, the following is observed.

The range of top-10 averages is actually not too large for this group, 3.89 at the low end to 4.06 at the high and the distribution is pretty consistent in that range.  This could make for a very competitive Nationals.

With the actual schedules the USTA set up, there are ways for more than 4 teams to finish undefeated, meaning a team that doesn't lose could be sent home without making the semis.  The chances are pretty slim, just 0.07% chance of 5 teams finishing undefeated, so it is unlikely, but there is actually an extremely slim chance of 6 undefeated as 2 of the million simulations had this occur.  Note that there is no way to guarantee just 4 with 17 teams.

In an ideal world, there are the 4 undefeated teams and there is no controversy, but the simulation says there is just a 2.7% chance of this happening.

That means though that there is an over 92% chance of having a tie for 4th place.  The most likely number of teams in the tie is 4 (28%), but the chances of 3 to 6 is 85% respectively, so there is a good chance of a good sized tie.  The largest number the simulation shows is 14!

When there is a tie for 4th, the first tie-breaker is courts won/lost and in 17% of the cases the 4th and 5th teams will be tied on courts meaning it will go to head to head, but the teams are unlikely to have played, so it will go to the sets tie-breaker probably most of that 17% of the time.  The number of teams in this tie-breaker will usually be two, but 17% of the time it will be 3 or more.

It is also interesting to see how many wins the 4th place team has most often, and 97% of the time they'll have 3 and just 2.7% of the time they'll have 4, but in over 4,000 of the million simulations, 4th place had just 2 wins!

Since the highest rated team could have the toughest schedule, they won't necessarily be the team most likely to make the semis.  In this case, the top teams have relatively tough schedules and they have a good shot at the semis with the top-4 all being between 65% and 85%, but the team with the best chance of making the semis is the #7 team due to them having an easier schedule.

That is a lot of interesting but unspecific information, so lets just get to it to see who the simulation says the favorite is.  That would be Florida and Texas.

If you'd like to get more details of the simulation and each team's chances, or are interested in a flight or team report to help scout your opponents, contact me.

Simulating 2018 USTA League Nationals - 18 & Over 3.5 Women

My fourth simulation of USTA League Nationals using the new format for 2018 is the 18 & Over 3.5 women.  You can see all simulations here.

This event has the full 17 teams.  Note that the schedule as I write this has an error with SoCal playing Texas twice and NorCal with just three matches, I'm assuming that gets corrected and NorCal plays Texas.

Using my ratings' top-10 averages, the actual schedules, and running things through a million iterations, the following is observed.

The range of top-10 averages is pretty large for this group, from 3.38 all the way to 3.66, but the highest rated 9 teams are all at 3.50 or higher so it shouldn't be a runaway for the top teams.

With the actual schedules the USTA set up, there are ways for more than 4 teams to finish undefeated, meaning a team that doesn't lose could be sent home without making the semis.  The chances are pretty slim, just 0.25% chance of 5 teams finishing undefeated, so it is pretty unlikely.  Note that there is no way to guarantee just 4 with 17 teams.

In an ideal world, there are the 4 undefeated teams and there is no controversy, and the simulation says there is a pretty good 19% chance of this happening.

That means that there is an 81% chance of having a tie for 4th place.  The most likely number of teams in the tie is 3 (37%), and oddly the chances of a 5-way tie are better than 4-way (27% to 18%), but still a good chance of a good sized tie.  The largest number the simulation shows is 11.

When there is a tie for 4th, the first tie-breaker is courts won/lost and in 18% of the cases the 4th and 5th teams will be tied on courts meaning it will go to head to head, but the teams are unlikely to have played, so it will go to the sets tie-breaker almost all of that 11% of the time.  The number of teams in this tie-breaker will usually be two, but 20% of the time it will be 3 or more.

It is also interesting to see how many wins the 4th place team has most often, and 81% of the time they'll have 3 and 19% of the time they'll have 4, but in 16 of the million simulations, 4th place had just 2 wins!

Since the highest rated team could have the toughest schedule, they won't necessarily be the team most likely to make the semis.  However, for this event, the top-2 teams apparently don't have hard schedules or are that much better as they have a 99% and 98% chance of at least being in a tie for 4th.  However, the next most likely is the #9 team due to a very easy schedule, the #3 and #5 teams have a good shot at the semis, but the #4 team has a tough schedule and just a 23% chance.

That is a lot of interesting but unspecific information, so lets just get to it to see who the simulation says the favorite is.  That would be Texas.  Who are teams outside the top-6 by the ratings but might surprise?  Look for Northern to have a good shot.

If you'd like to get more details of the simulation and each team's chances, or are interested in a flight or team report to help scout your opponents, contact me.

Simulating 2018 USTA League Nationals - 18 & Over 3.5 Men

My third simulation of USTA League Nationals using the new format for 2018 is the 18 & Over 3.5 men.  You can see all simulations here.

This event has only 16 teams, Southwest is missing from the schedule as I write this, so we'll simulate with 16 rather than the normal 17.

Using my ratings' top-10 averages, the actual schedules, and running things through a million iterations, the following is observed.

The range of top-10 averages is pretty large for this group, from 3.36 all the way to 3.64, but the highest rated 9 teams are all at 3.49 or higher.

With the actual schedules the USTA set up, there are ways for more than 4 teams to finish undefeated, meaning a team that doesn't lose could be sent home without making the semis.  The chances are pretty slim, just 0.13% chance of 5 teams finishing undefeated, so it is pretty slim chance  Note that there is no way to guarantee just 4 with 16 teams.

In an ideal world, there are the 4 undefeated teams and there is no controversy, and the simulation says there is an 8.4% chance of this happening.

That means though that there is nearly a 91% chance of having a tie for 4th place.  The most likely number of teams in the tie is 3 (29%), but the chances of 4 or 5 is 27% and 22% respectively, so there is a good chance of a good sized tie.  The largest number the simulation shows is 9.

When there is a tie for 4th, the first tie-breaker is courts won/lost and in 11% of the cases the 4th and 5th teams will be tied on courts meaning it will go to head to head, but the teams are unlikely to have played, so it will go to the sets tie-breaker probably that 11% of the time.  The number of teams in this tie-breaker will usually be two, but 12% of the time it will be 3 or more.

It is also interesting to see how many wins the 4th place team has most often, and 91% of the time they'll have 3 and 8.5% of the time they'll have 4, but in 25 of the million simulations, 4th place had just 2 wins!

Since the highest rated team could have the toughest schedule, they won't necessarily be the team most likely to make the semis.  However, for this event, the top-2 teams apparently don't have hard schedules or are that much better as they have a 99% and 98% chance of at least being in a tie for 4th.  However, the next most likely is the #6 team, the #3 thru #5 teams have tougher schedules and have a 70%, 79%, and 57% chance of at least being in a tie for 4th.

Interestingly, the #11 team has a 60% chance of at least tying for 4th, so they seem to have a pretty easy schedule.

That is a lot of interesting but unspecific information, so lets just get to it to see who the simulation says the favorite is.  That would be Texas.  Who are teams outside the top-6 by the ratings but might surprise?  Look for Southern to have a good shot.

If you'd like to get more details of the simulation and each team's chances, or are interested in a flight or team report to help scout your opponents, contact me.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Update on USTA League Nationals schedule changes - An error to be corrected for the 3.5 women?

I wrote last week about some schedule changes made for Nationals.  After looking some more, I've deduced a few more things.

First, several of the events now have just 16 teams as it appears a few teams have elected to not go to Nationals so no team from their sections is there, and that likely necessitated the schedule changes.

But, in at least one case, there is still an error as on TennisLink at least, the 18 & Over 3.5 women has NorCal playing just 3 matches while SoCal plays 5!  Given that SoCal is playing Texas twice, I'm guessing there was a data entry error and NorCal should be Texas' opponent for one of those.  I expect this will be corrected soon, especially since I've written about it now!

USTA League 40 & Over Sectionals affected by weather and not complete yet

Several sections held 40 & Over Sectionals this weekend, or were scheduled to, but weather got in the way.

Mid-Atlantic appears to have delayed theirs due to fears that Florence would move north and rain everything out (it appears that didn't happen), and Texas played theirs but despite going to short sets, exceptionally short in some cases, was not able to get everything completed.

I believe Mid-Atlantic has rescheduled theirs for the end of the month which doesn't give teams much time between Sectionals and Nationals.

I was told Texas is still working on what they will do.  Perhaps they try to pick a team based on the matches played, or find some way to finish the matches still to be played.  Either is pretty tough, but to my knowledge, to send a team they need to pick one.

I'll write more as I learn more.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Simulating 2018 USTA League Nationals - 18 & Over 4.5 Women

My second simulation of USTA League Nationals using the new format for 2018 is the 18 & Over 4.5 women.  You can see all simulations here.

This event has the full set of 17 teams.

Using my ratings' top-10 averages, the actual schedules, and running things through a million iterations, the following is observed.

The range of top-10 averages is pretty large for this group, from 4.23 all the way to 4.48, but there is a big group in the middle with 7 between 4.33 and 4.37.

With the actual schedules the USTA set up, there are ways for more than 4 teams to finish undefeated, meaning a team that doesn't lose could be sent home without making the semis.  The ratings are top heavy enough that the chances are pretty good of 5 teams finishing undefeated, 11%, but there is actually a chance for 6 to finish without a loss!  In the million simulations, it only happened 393 times so not a huge chance, but a lot higher than the 4.5 men.  Note that it would have been possible to have a schedule that precluded 6 teams from being undefeated, but with 17 teams, there is no way to guarantee just 4.

In an ideal world, there are the 4 undefeated teams and there is no controversy, and the simulation says there is a 38% chance of this happening.

That means though that there is a 62% chance of having a tie for 4th place.  The most likely number of teams in the tie is 5 (44%), but there is a 16% chance there is 6 or 7 in the tie.  In some really rare cases, the simulation showed there could be as many as 10 teams tied for 4th!

When there is a tie for 4th, the first tie-breaker is courts won/lost and in 9% of the cases the 4th and 5th teams will be tied on courts meaning it will go to head to head, but the teams are unlikely to have played, so it will go to the sets tie-breaker probably that 9% of the time.  The number of teams in this tie-breaker will usually be two, but 16% of the time it will be 3 or more.

It is also interesting to see how many wins the 4th place team has most often, and just 51% of the time they'll have 3 and 49% of the time they'll have 4, this is a top-heavy event with favorites expected to advance.  And in just 2 of the million simulations, did the 4th place team have just 2 wins.

Since the highest rated team could have the toughest schedule, they won't necessarily be the team most likely to make the semis.  But in this case the top rated team does have the best shot at being at least in a tie for 4th at 98%.  The surprise is the 3rd highest rated team has a really tough schedule, they have to play both the #1 and #2 teams, and only a 36% chance of being at least 4th.  The 6th and 7th rated teams are much higher at 76% and 69% respectively.

Similarly, lower rated teams aren't completely out of the running.  The 13th rated team actually has a 5% chance of at least tying for 4th.

That is a lot of interesting but unspecific information, so lets just get to it to see who the simulation says the favorite is.  That would be Southern, and the team outside the top-5 with the best shot would be Missouri Valley.

If you'd like to get more details of the simulation and each team's chances, or are interested in a flight or team report to help scout your opponents, contact me.

Simulating 2018 USTA League Nationals - 18 & Over 4.5 Men

My first simulation of USTA League Nationals using the new format for 2018 is the 18 & Over 4.5 men.  You can see all simulations here.

This event has only 16 teams, Hawaii is missing from the schedule as I write this, so we'll simulate with 16 rather than the normal 17.

Using my ratings' top-10 averages, the actual schedules, and running things through a million iterations, the following is observed.

The range of top-10 averages is pretty large for this group, from 4.31 all the way to 4.53, but the highest rated 7 teams are pretty close, 4.47 to 4.53.

With the actual schedules the USTA set up, there are ways for more than 4 teams to finish undefeated, meaning a team that doesn't lose could be sent home without making the semis.  The chances are pretty slim, just 0.05% chance of 5 teams finishing undefeated, but there is actually a chance of 6 to finish without a loss!  In the million simulations, it only happened 3 times, but still, it is possible.  Note that it would have been possible to have a schedule that precluded 6 teams from being undefeated, but with 16 teams, there is no way to guarantee just 4.

In an ideal world, there are the 4 undefeated teams and there is no controversy, and the simulation says there is a 10.5% chance of this happening.

That means though that there is nearly a 90% chance of having a tie for 4th place.  The most likely number of teams in the tie is 3 (32%), but there is a 54% chance there are 4 to 6 teams in the tie.  In some really rare cases, the simulation showed there could be as many as 11 teams tied for 4th!

When there is a tie for 4th, the first tie-breaker is courts won/lost and in 15% of the cases the 4th and 5th teams will be tied on courts meaning it will go to head to head, but the teams are unlikely to have played, so it will go to the sets tie-breaker probably that 15% of the time.  The number of teams in this tie-breaker will usually be two, but 13% of the time it will be 3 or more.

It is also interesting to see how many wins the 4th place team has most often, and 90% of the time they'll have 3 and 10% of the time they'll have 4, but in 226 of the million simulations, 4th place had just 2 wins!

Since the highest rated team could have the toughest schedule, they won't necessarily be the team most likely to make the semis.  And in this case, the 3rd highest rated team and the highest rated team have basically the same chance of at least being tied for 4th at 97%.  The 2nd highest rated team has a tough schedule and only has a 78% chance of finishing 4th.  The 4th highest rated team is even worse though, just a 44% chance while the 5th place team has an 87% chance.

Similarly, lower rated teams aren't completely out of the running.  The 13th rated team actually has an 8% chance of at least tying for 4th, and the 10th rated team a 19% chance.

That is a lot of interesting but unspecific information, so lets just get to it to see who the simulation says the favorite is.  That would be co-favorites in this case, Southern Cal and Florida.  Who are teams outside the top-5 by the ratings but might surprise?  Look for Southern and Caribbean to have a good shot.

If you'd like to get more details of the simulation and each team's chances, or are interested in a flight or team report to help scout your opponents, contact me.