Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 USTA League year-end bump percentages by state - Interesting tennis league stats

USTA League year-end ratings are out for 2014 and consensus is that there have been a lot more bumps up than down.  As fun as it is to look at the strange situations that we hear about or hear the complaints from players being bumped up, that doesn't necessarily represent the majority, so naturally, I had to see if the data supported this.

Without further adieu, below is a chart showing the percentage of players bump up and down by state.  Apologies for it being so tall, but with 50 states plus D.C. and a total across the league, it was unavoidable.

Update: I added a second chart sorted by bump up percentage at the bottom.

Nationally, there were more than twice as many bumps up than down, 14.3% to 6.4%.  So the feeling that there were more bumps up than down was more than true.  Now, this isn't uncommon.  Last year there were 8.2% up and 4.1% down, but this years ratio is higher, 2.24 vs 1.99, but the sheer number of players bumped one way or the other is higher this year with nearly 20% of players being bumped this year vs just over 12% last year.

So is the perception that some sections were hit harder than others true?  The chart below is by state so isn't a perfect tool to determine that, but we can get a great idea.

If we ignore North Dakota (very few players so a statistical anomaly), the state with the highest bump up percentage and highest ratio is Puerto Rico.  Ok ok, it isn't a state, but work with me.  PR had just over 22% of their players bump up and just 5.4% bumped down.

But PR didn't have the highest ratio.  That award goes to Washington which had 21.5% bumped up and 4.8% down, a ratio of 4.5 compared to 4.1 for PR.

Next was Oregon with 20.3%/6.1%/3.31 and Utah with 18.5%/4.5%/4.2.

Given how the sections did at 2014 Nationals, it probably isn't surprising to see WA and OR so high as the Pacific Northwest section "won" the 18+ division points title, tied for the 40+ lead, and finished 4th overall.  So it appears the USTA really did focus bumps on at least this section that did very well at Nationals.

But what about the others?  Texas won the overall points title and they were just 11th on the list with 15.9%/6.5%/2.5.  These numbers are above the national average but just barely so they were not singled out like PNW was.

The Northern and Southern California also did well at Nationals and California was 12th on the list with 15.8%/6.3%/2.5, very similar to Texas and not singled out.

A couple states from Southern were higher on the list, Louisiana with 17.9%/5.8%/3.1 and Tennessee with 17.6%/5.5%/3.2 and Southern also did very well at Nationals.

On the other end of the spectrum, one state did have more bump downs than up.  Ignoring Alaska (another anomaly), it was Delaware with 9.3%/9.5%/0.99.  Others with low bump up percentages include Wisconsin (7.8%/7.5%/1.03), Nebraska (8.8%/6.9%/1.27), Vermont (9.4%/6.1%/1.54), and Colorado (10.7%/7.5%/1.42).

It is interesting that Colorado was so low while Utah was so high given that they are both in Intermountain, so whatever the USTA did was not necessarily applied to entire sections.

In any case, it does appear that the USTA has in general gone out of their way to bump more players up than in the past, and to do so somewhat in sections that did well in Nationals, although PNW and Caribbean were hit harder than other sections.

Here is a chart sorted by bump up percentage, highest first.