Sunday, February 22, 2015

USTA Combo League - Combo doesn't count towards your NTRP rating, but you still want to win!

Many of the USTA sections run Combo Leagues as a secondary league when the standard 18 & over and 40 & over leagues are not being played.  These are doubles only leagues where the combined ratings of the players on the court cannot exceed the level and the level is typically on a half point boundary.

For example, an 8.5 Combo League would have 4.0 and 4.5 players on it typically, although some sections may allow more than a 0.5 ratings gap and so that same 8.5 team could have 3.5s on it and perhaps even a 3.5/5.0 combination getting to the 8.5.  These leagues thus allow friends that aren't at the same level to play together.

To my knowledge, Combo League results don't count towards your rating in any section.  Part of the reason is that there isn't a Combo Nationals like there are for 18+ and 40+ and so no way to benchmark and accurately adjust/level ratings between sections, but also that when you have leagues where players on the court are two and perhaps more levels apart, the USTA has decided the ratings are apparently not as accurate as they like.

All that said, players still want to win, and whether it is just a local league champion, District champ, or Sectional champ, being able to hang the banner at the club is still something players are after.  And despite the ratings not counting, Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Team Reports are still a great way to scout opponents.  How can this be if ratings don't count?

While there are some players that play just Combo and so don't have a rating, most players also play in the 18+ and 40+ (and 55+ too) leagues that do count and so they are carrying a rating.  So a team report can still tell you a lot about the strength of a team, who their best players are, and who partners together and what courts they play on.

So if you are playing Combo and headed to playoffs and want to get insight on your opponents, consider a team report.