Friday, November 22, 2013

New rules for USTA League NTRP rating appeals

Year-end NTRP ratings for USTA players are due out in 10 days or so.  When these ratings come out, some players will find themselves bumped up.  Oddly enough, depending on the person, this can be considered good or bad.

Many people see getting bumped up as a badge of honor or accomplishment, and an opportunity to play tougher opponents and improve their game.  Kudos to these folks both for the accomplishment and a healthy attitude about it.

But some approach getting bumped up with fear and dread, afraid they won't be able to compete.  Some of these are simply used to doing well at the lower level and can compete at the higher level, just not with the same record.  To these folks, see paragraph above.

But for some, being bumped up is undesirable for valid reasons.  There may be limited playing opportunities for them at the higher level.  Or they may be getting older and slower and legitimately would have trouble at the higher level.  For these, the USTA does have an appeals process in place.

In the past, the general rule was believe to be that non-seniors could auto-appeal down if they were just 0.05 into the higher level and senior could be as high as 0.10 into the higher level and still get an auto-appeal granted.  Now, there were some qualifiers, benchmark players couldn't use this auto-appeal and if you played more than 5 matches, you also couldn't auto-appeal.

For 2013 year-end ratings and the 2014 league year, the USTA has modified the rules and thankfully published them.  I just received a newsletter from my section with the details and here they are.

The allowance for an auto-appeal is now based on the number of matches as follows:

Number of MatchesRange for Approval

Players that are 60 years of age or more can automatically appeal their year-end Rating down if they have been at the same or lower NTRP rating level for the three most recent valid Year-End Ratings without benefit of an appeal.

Players that are 65 years of age or more won't be bumped up, they will always be no higher than their most recent valid rating.  They can appeal up however.

The rules on appealing up are that it will be automatically granted if you are within 0.04 of the next higher level regardless of the number of matches played.

So there you have it.  What do you think?

With my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Reports, it is useful to know when and if a player has an auto-appeal granted as it helps me validate where I have a player rated.  So if you auto-appeal for 2014 and have it granted, let me know by commenting here or e-mailing me.

Note: Players that advance to Sectionals or Nationals are still not eligible to appeal their rating.  Players that only advance to local playoffs are eligible to appeal.