Tuesday, March 24, 2015

USTA League Flight Preview Check - 2015 Texas Dallas 40+ 3.5 Men

I wrote a combined preview and mid-season check on the 2015 Dallas Texas 40 & over 3.5 Men flight and I thought I'd check in to see how things stood now.

Here are the current standings:

Greenhill/Alzuro M3.591391130344
Canyon Creek/Gable M3.552231230314
McKinney/Jones M3.563261635311
JCC/Mellman M3.546222860456
Brookhaven/Love M3.527123269451
Canyon Creek/Nolen M3.518103371466

Greenhill has separated themselves, but if we look at the average ratings, they are not clearly superior:

Team NameAverage Rating
Canyon Creek/Gable M3.53.36
Greenhill/Alzuro M3.53.35
McKinney/Jones M3.53.35
JCC/Mellman M3.53.2
Brookhaven/Love M3.53.08
Canyon Creek/Nolen M3.53.05
That said, Greenhill has a very large roster of 18 and their average is a bit watered down by 6 players rated at 3.29 or lower.  The could field a team of 8 all at 3.43 or higher.  Canyon Creek doesn't have as many high rated players, their top-8 is at 3.37 or higher, but they don't have as many lower rated players either.

If you want to get more details on a team or an individual, contact me to get an individual or team report showing details about Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings.

Monday, March 23, 2015

USTA League Flight Preview Report - 2015 Missouri Valley, Oklahoma, Tulsa, 18+ 3.5 Men

This is the latest in the series of flight/sub-flight previews I have been doing for 2015.  Today, we take a look at the Tulsa Oklahoma 18 & over 3.5 Men.

There is just one sub-flight, and here is how it looks:

Team NameAverage Rating

The flight looks pretty tight with most of the teams with average ratings between 3.22 and 3.30.  It drops off a bit for the last two teams, but both teams have quite a few self-rated players so they could very well be stronger than the average of their players with ratings.

I expect this flight could be a pretty fierce competition unless one team has players that have improved a lot and they separate themselves from the others.

As always, looking at just the average Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating for a team doesn't tell the whole story.  How players improve during the year and who plays in a particular match and the match ups you get based on who plays which court usually are a much bigger factor in who wins, but the average is fun to look at.

If you have a sub-flight you'd like to see this report for, leave a comment here or on Facebook or if you'd like to get the report but not have it shared with the world, contact me and I can generate one for you for just $10.

When USTA League matches don't finish

In many areas of the country, USTA League matches are played indoors or at facilities that have fixed court times.  Where I play, these are usually 90 minutes, but at a few clubs, court times are just 75 minutes.  Even with the USTA League format of 3rd set match tie-breaks, this is oftentimes not enough to finish a match, especially long drawn out singles matches.

What to do when this occurs varies by section.  Some sections have adopted "timed matches" where the match is considered complete as a timed-match with the final score being what it is when time expires, and there are rules about how to determine who won the match based on the score and when one additional point may be played to determine the winner if those rules say it is required.

My section (PNW) has not adopted those rules though and we are expected to complete the match.  The problem is, we often have USTA League matches scheduled back to back, or the court is booked by someone else after our match. which makes completing the match tricky.  Some facilities have guidelines stating that a match that is nearly complete (in or starting a match tie-break for example) should be allowed to complete.  Others will have one overflow court available to be used, but at some we are expected to schedule another time to finish.

In my experience, there usually isn't a problem finishing if the court times are 90 minutes, although sometimes the next players on the court have to be a little lenient to let the last few points be played.  But in my team's three league matches so far this year, we've run into this three times!

Our first match was fine, all the courts completed in time, although the singles courts got close to using the full 90 minutes.

In our second match, one singles court hadn't finished and had just started a match tie-break when time expired, and due to a miscommunication they weren't allowed to finish.  We have now tried to schedule a time to finish a few times but still haven't.  What a pain!

Going into our third match, I was now worried about this and asked before our match if there was an overflow court.  We were told no, but that it was USTA League matches back to back after us and so we'd work something out if needed.  As luck would have it, both singles courts hadn't finished, one at 4-5 in the second set and the other about to start a match tie-break.  We asked what we could do and were told there were no courts but we could play outside (at least it was a decent day).  The players agreed they'd do that, but then someone leads us across the parking lot into another building and we wind our way around and come upon another indoor court none of my team knew existed.

At  least the conditions would be the same or similar, but there had now been a delay and with just one court, one match would have to wait for the other to complete.  We did get both completed, so the nightmare of trying to schedule another match to finish was avoided.

The lesson learned for all you captains is to be aware of not just your rule regarding timed matches or not, but also be aware of the rule or policy of the facility you are playing at regarding finishing matches near completion and the availability of over flow courts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

USTA NTRP Ratings FAQ has been updated

I've received a few new questions lately whose answers I thought would be interesting to others, so I have added them to the NTRP Ratings FAQ.

The new questions focus on how mixed results can affect your rating and what happens if you appeal your rating.

Take a look, and as always, feel free to leave a comment on the FAQ, here on this blog post, or contact me with any questions or things you'd like to see addressed on the FAQ.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Flight Preview Report - 2015 Southern, North Carolina, Metro, 40+ 4.0 Men

This is the latest in the series of flight/sub-flight previews I have been doing for 2015.  Today, we take a look at the North Carolina Metro (Charlotte) 40+ 4.0 Men.

There are two sub-flights in this flight, here is flight A:

Team NameAverage Rating
JGuy (Waddell)3.89
BSteffey (Southampton)3.89
DBowman/Waud (Weddington)3.86
PWilson (Olde Providence)3.74
MMitchell (Sardis)3.73
DZheng (Waddell)3.65
LWard (Firethorne CC)3.65
JNivens (Charlotte Indoor)3.59
BAbeles (JCC)3.56

It looks tight at the top with two teams with average player ratings of 3.89 and another close behind at 3.86.  It drops off a bit after that, but players can improve and have their games decline, so while the top-3 would be the favorites, there is no guarantee they are the ones vying to win the sub-flight.

In flight B there is:

Team NameAverage Rating
KPate (Olde Providence)3.94
DSavage (Raintree)3.92
JGiordano (Blakeney)3.84
MSansotta/Knowles (Weddington)3.75
RTiwari (Blakeney)3.75
TKasler (Matthews Tennis)3.71
ELocke (Raintree)3.65
ERelyea (Waddell)3.64
DWatson (Waddell)3.55

This sub-flight looks slightly stronger at the top with two teams over 3.9, but then looks very similar.  So a top-3 that appears to have an advantage over the rest, but #3 is not quite as close.

Given these sub-flights look so similar, it will be interesting to see if things play out per the ratings and the top-3 duke it out for the sub-flight or if a lower rated team steps up.

As always though, looking at just the average rating for a team doesn't tell the whole picture as there could be improving players, self-rated players that aren't reflected in the average, or who plays a given match and the match-ups on the court can often mean more than who the "higher rated team" is.  But it will be fun to look at later in the year.

If you have a sub-flight you'd like to see this report for, leave a comment here or on Facebook or if you'd like to get the report but not have it shared with the world, contact me.

Friday, February 27, 2015

USTA League match tie-breaks are stressful

My 40 & over team had our first match of the season this evening and three of the five matches went to match tie-breaks.  My match was over, so I got to watch them all and it only reiterated to me how stressful it is to watch, especially since I'm captaining this team this year.

I'm not a big fan of match tie-breaks, but I'd rather be playing one than watching.  Every point means to much that you are on the edge of your seat, and as a captain you stress about thinking if you did your best job getting the line-up right to give your players the best shot of winning.

I understand the reasoning for match tie-breaks, but would still rather play out third sets.  I think fitness and being able to play a full third set should matter and it would help increase the chances the best player(s) win the match and that it isn't decided by a fluke point or two.  But especially where I play, indoor facilities are used the we have limited court times and thankfully we don't do timed matches, so third set tie-breaks give a match a better chance of finishing within the allocated time.

My team was fortunate that we won two of the three tie-breaks and won the team match, so we are off to a good start.  But I'm not looking forward to having to watch more match tie-breaks this year.  So lets win all our matches in straight sets!

Monday, February 23, 2015

2015 USTA League tennis is well under way, estimating dynamic NTRP ratings is too!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, and even if you aren't, you likely know that the USTA "year" for ratings purposes runs roughly from November thru October.  However, "2015" leagues started way back in July 2014 and perhaps earlier where sections/districts have early start leagues.

The way things work, even though these early start leagues are "2015", any applicable matches played on or before 11/9/14 would be included in the 2014 year-end rating and only those matches played after 11/9/14 count towards the 2015 rating.  Similarly, any "2014" leagues that go past 11/9/14 will have those matches count towards the 2015 rating as well.

The result is that matches that are part of 2015 ratings have actually been being played for over three months now and despite it being winter and a particularly harsh one in some parts of the country, due to indoor courts and good enough weather in the southern and western states, a lot of leagues are in full flight.  Many players have played 5-10 matches already, some even more.

That means there are more than enough matches to start calculating Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings and generating associated reports.  I've actually been doing 2015 reports since December, even some reports for teams headed to playoffs where their early start or winter league finished up.  I've made a lot of refinements to my year-end calculations to further improve accuracy so I'm fully up and running for 2015.

I can generate a variety of reports including custom reports and lists, the standard offerings being individual, team, and sub-flight reports.  And if you haven't seen the examples or gotten a report in awhile, I've made improvements to all the reports giving you more data and insight.

Individual reports show detailed statistics, match by match analysis and charts, and a partner report showing how a player's matches rate when they play with their different partners.  These give a lot of insight into how each match rated, how your game is doing early in the year and which direction your rating is heading, and who you play the best with.  These reports start at just $20 and once you get a first report updates are just $10 during the regular season.

Team reports show each player's rating and team statistics along with a partner report for the entire team.  These are very useful for captains to know who their strongest players are and who to pair with each other.  They are also a great way to scout opponents to see their trends and tendencies and plan for upcoming matches, particularly in the playoffs where you may not know a lot about the opponents.  These start at $75 during the regular season due to the additional work required and number of players to be analyzed, but you get the ratings and stats for the entire team regardless of roster size and so are a lot more affordable than individual reports for an entire team.

Sub-flight reports show average ratings by team within a sub-flight so you can see who the strongest teams appear to be.  These are a very affordable way to get an idea which matches you need to make sure you have your best line-up available for at just $10 for a sub-flight.

I should note that my reports will always include all matches played to date and always include any relevant playoff matches.  You will never get reports based on stale or incomplete data and you will get the full detail mentioned above including my analysis, comments, and explanations, not just a number.

If you are interested in a report, see the examples at the links above and contact me with any questions or to get started.