Friday, July 3, 2015

Who has played the most USTA league matches this calendar year? - Interesting Tennis League Stats

I wrote earlier today about who has played the most 2015 league year matches, but that isn't really fair as it has a bias towards sections and areas that have early start leagues.

So I thought I'd take a look at the number of matches played during this calendar year, e.g. since January 1.

For the women, leading the way is a Maryland player with 70, then a Southern Californian with 56.

For the men, a player from San Jose has played 57 and then a Virginian with 46.

That is certainly a lot of league play, averaging around 8-12 league matches per month.  How many of you have ever played 8 in a month, roughly 2 per week?

Who has played the most USTA league matches? - Interesting Tennis League Stats

I wrote earlier this week about where players have played the most USTA leagues.  The natural next question is where players have played the most league matches.

Again, looking across the main 18 & over, 40 & over, and 55 & over leagues and in leagues that are part of the 2015 league year, some areas do stand out.

For the women, leading the way is a player from Athens Alabama that has played a whopping 82 league matches so far.  How can this be?  They've taken advantage of their proximity to Georgia and played in both states, and with both states multiple 2015 seasons that started around a year ago, there have been lots of opportunities.

Another from Montgomery Alabama has tallied 75 matches, and another female from Marco Island Florida has gotten to 73, also taking advantage of early start leagues.  After that there are others in the 60s and 70s from Maryland, Texas, New Jersey, Missouri, and Georgia, but there are more from Alabama near the top than any other.

What about the men?  A player from Madison Alabama has totaled 88 matches played, and the next two are from Decatur and Madison Alabama at 71 and 68 and then one from Columbus Georgia at 60.  Some other states with players in the 50s include California, Minnesota, Illinois, and South Carolina.

So you all have a goal now, you need to get to 70+ matches to compete with those that play the most!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Who has played in the most leagues? - Interesting Tennis League Stats

It is July and in some sections of the country, the 18 & over and 40 & over leagues are done while in others they are mid-season.  In any case, league play is far enough along that we can start to take a look at some interesting tennis league statistics.

No, I'm not able to track the rally hit point for USTA League players, I just thought it was a cool graphic.  But one stat that is always fun to look at is who is able to play in the most leagues.  Now, this is really a function of playing opportunities so it actually tells us something about where those are.

So, taking a look across the 18 & over, 40 & over, and 55 & over leagues, I found a female player that has played in a whopping 16 different 2015 leagues.  The hail from the Chicago area and have taken advantage of playing in both Chicago and Northern Illinois districts, and in each have played in a variety of early start, summer, winter, 18+, 40+, 55+ leagues and when you put all the combinations together arrive at 16.

But close behind are two other females with 15 leagues played in that also hail from the Chicago area.  Alabama, Georgia, and Maryland appear in the list with players with 13 leagues played in.

For the men, I came across a player, also in Chicago, with 13 leagues played in.  And yes, Chicago holds down most of the next spots with 12 and 11 leagues played in.  Georgia has a player with 11 also and Alabama one with 10.

So it appears Chicago provides many opportunities to play USTA League.  I was a bit surprised, I'd expected to see more players from Maryland/Virginia/D.C. show up given how easy it is for players there to play in multiple areas, but it looks like Chicago has a plethora of different seasons to choose from that adds up.

How many leagues have you been able to play in?

Friday, June 26, 2015

I went 1-3 and got disqualified from my USTA League NTRP level! Correctly predicting NTRP DQ's

Ok, it wasn't me, but I was told about a situation where a player played four matches, winning just one, and was 3-strike DQ'd and promoted up a level.

On the surface, it wouldn't seem like a 1-3 record should result in any more than one strike let alone three, but unexpected DQs can happen like I've written about before.  If we take a closer look at this one, it appears it is another as my ratings agree with and would have predicted the strikes and DQ.

In this case, the player was a self-rated 4.5 and playing in a 4.5+ league.  That alone can increase the chances of getting strikes because the player may end up playing against 5.0s, so it is similar to playing up which is often a sure fire recipe for getting strikes.  But what do my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings say about these four matches?

The first match was indeed played against two 5.0s, and with a 4.5 partner.  The 4 & 2 loss was considered more than respectable in this case and the computer says it generated a rating well into the range for a 5.0.  Strike 1.

The second match was a match tie-break loss but not against any 5.0s this time, but one opponent was a 4.5 that had appealed down so a strong one.  This match did not generate a strike, but still resulted in a very high 4.5 match rating.

The third match was a 1 & 1 win against a good and very good 4.5 playing with a so-so 4.5.  The computer looks at that and says the self-rated player had to be the reason for such a lopsided score and resulted in another very high rating.  Strike 2.

The last match was a 1 & 3 loss against some good 4.5s and resulted in a high in the range for a 4.5 match rating, but the way the algorithm works the dynamic rating is calculated from the prior ratings too and the result was a dynamic rating still over the threshold for a strike despite the match itself not being over.  Strike 3.

That is what my ratings say, what did the USTA say?  I received a copy of the DQ letter and it indeed identified the three matches I did as the strikes.

So another DQ that my ratings got right.  If you'd heard of or seen a strange DQ, let me know about it and I'll take a look.

Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 USTA League Nationals Schedule is Availalble

For teams with Nationals aspirations, it is never too early to start looking at the schedule for USTA League Nationals.  The schedule is out, and I've summarized it below.

It looks a lot like last year's, but does start a week earlier and some of the locations have changed while some stayed the same.


Date Division Level Location
Oct. 2-4 18 & over 5.0+ Indian Wells
Oct. 2-4 18 & over 3.0 Tucson
Oct. 2-4 18 & over 4.0 Rancho Mirage
Oct. 9-11 18 & over 3.5 Indian Wells
Oct. 9-11 18 & over 4.5 Rancho Mirage
Oct. 16-18 18 & over 2.5 Indian Wells
Oct. 16-18 40 & over 3.0 Tucson
Oct. 23-25 40 & over 3.5 Tucson
Oct. 23-25 40 & over 4.5+ Indian Wells
Oct. 23-25 55 & over 6.0 & 8.0 Surprise
Oct. 30-Nov. 1 40 & over 4.0 Indian Wells
Oct. 30-Nov. 1 55 & over 7.0 & 9.0 Surprise


Date Division Level Location
Nov. 13-15 18 & over 2.5, 7.0, & 9.0 Tucson
Nov. 13-15 40 & over 6.0 & 8.0 Surprise
Nov. 20-22 18 & over 6.0, 8.0, & 10.0 Tucson
Nov. 20-22 40 & over 7.0 & 9.0 Surprise

Given this schedule, I'd expect that the 2015 league year will end November 1st meaning all matches in league that count towards NTRP ratings played through that date will be included and matches after that will be part of the 2016 league year.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Last minute gift for that tennis playing father - an Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Report

Tomorrow is Father's Day and for those with a father or husband that plays USTA League, a perfect and unique last minute gift may be an Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Report.

I've done several recently for children of wives and feedback is that the fathers love them as they get to see an accurate estimate of their dynamic rating and can see how they are progressing towards a goal.

If you are interested, contact me and I'll get the report done and to you as soon as possible.

Monday, June 15, 2015

USTA League playoffs are in full swing and each section is a little unique

It is that time of year when regular season play in Spring USTA leagues is complete and playoffs have begun.  This past weekend saw playoffs occurring in some Southern states as well as the Pacific Northwest and I was fortunate to help a number of teams with reports across both and was excited to see some advance on to Sectionals.  It wasn't from this weekend, but I have actually worked with a team that is already headed to Nationals!

Because of regional and geographic differences, it is always interesting to see how playoffs progress.

For example, in the Southern section, each district is a complete state and teams may advance directly to "State" or some may play a local playoff against another team or teams from their local area to qualify.  But oftentimes there are wildcards that qualify to advance too so it isn't uncommon to see multiple teams from an area at State.  The winners from State then advance on to Sectionals, and again I think there are cases where a wildcard, say the second place team from a state, may advance on to Sectionals.

In the Pacific Northwest, we have what are called our local playoffs, but they are effectively our Districts as the winners advance on to Sectionals.  But this is typically more than just a playoff against one other team, most levels have a draw of 6 or 8 teams that must be won to advance on to Sectionals, but again, sometimes there is a wildcard that also advances.

Northern California has Districts and Sectionals, but they don't actually have different districts organizationally, they just take a subset of the areas to play Districts with winners advancing on to Sectionals.

There are a few areas in Eastern where the road is even longer though with potentially local playoffs, Regionals, Districts, and Sectionals having to be navigated to get to Nationals.

The easiest path to Nationals?  Typically that is to come from the Hawaii section.  There, you may just have to win a handful of matches in local league to get your spot at Nationals.

If you've qualified for playoffs, congratulations.  If your local league is still playing, you still have a shot to get there!