Monday, November 30, 2015

What? No way! Why? Surprised by your 2015 year-end USTA rating?

The 2015 USTA League year-end ratings are out, and many players received the year-end rating they were expecting.  In fact, it appears there were no major adjustments or surprises from what I've seen/heard so far.  But some individuals may still be surprised with where they ended up.

There are always some surprises for players.  Some may have been expecting to stay where they were but got bumped up or down, while others are expecting or hoping for a bump but didn't get it.

For those that want to understand why, they can always get an Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Report that will help explain how it all works.  Contact me for more information.

Some initial thoughts on 2015 USTA year-end NTRP ratings

The 2015 USTA year-end NTRP ratings are out and while much more analysis is coming, here are a few quick observations.

I have not seen evidence or heard others indicating significant adjustments like was done last year.  For the most part, what I'm seeing for my club and others I know, as well as what folks are reporting to me, is in line with my expectations and what my ratings predicted.  Where my ratings have missed, it has almost always been just a few hundredths off.

One where I as farther off was a local player double bumped from 4.0 to 5.0 that played mostly 4.0 but did win a couple 4.5 matches.  They certainly should have been bumped to 4.5, but the double bump almost sounds administrative.

Then I missed on a few players on a team in Southern, but it was somewhat explained by their playoff results carrying extra weight, and the fact that the team from their section at their division/level did make the semis at Nationals and that can trickle back to local areas pulling ratings up.

More to come.

2015 USTA League year-end ratings are out!

USTA League 2015 year-end ratings have been or are being published on TennisLink.  I'll be taking a closer look to compare how my estimated dynamic ratings predicted year-end ratings, and also looking at stats and trends across all the sections, so stay tuned for more.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving - Black Friday sale on Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Reports

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and especially to those tennis players anxiously awaiting their 2015 year-end NTRP rating.  This is always an important time of year for USTA League players, not just because it is Thanksgiving being spent with friends and family, but because the USTA traditionally releases year-end rating levels the week after Thanksgiving, so while eating turkey and watching football, one dreams about accomplishing a goal of being bumped up or wonders if they'll stay the same level and can still play with their team from last year.

One way to get a very good idea of where your rating will end up is to get an Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Report.  These reports show what I estimate your dynamic NTRP rating to be, but also show a bevy of statistics for your 2015 season including a chart showing match by match how each match rated and affected your dynamic rating, plus you get a partner report showing how your matches rated when playing with your different doubles partners.

And in the spirit of giving thanks, I'd like to thank all my report customers by offering a Black Friday sale on reports from now through when the USTA publishes ratings, so likely through Monday 11/30.  New individual reports will be 25% off and new team reports 33% off.  Or if you want to get a report for you and a friend or spouse, you can buy an individual report at regular price and get the second one free!

Contact me if interested (, and have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2015 USTA League Mixed Nationals are complete - Southern Cal takes the points chase again

The 2015 USTA League Nationals for the Mixed divisions completed last weekend with the last levels wrapping up.

I have again kept track of the champions and Southern Cal once again wins the points chase.  Coupled with their doing so at Adult Nationals as well, it is safe to say that SoCal is the king of USTA League tennis this year.

SoCal won 4 titles and garnered 19.5 points while Southern and Mid-Atlantic with 2 titles each and 17 and 14 points respectively tried to make it close, but didn't have enough.  The other title winners were Eastern, Florida, and Midwest.

We now await year-end ratings which should be published in less than a week now!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

2015 USTA League Mixed Nationals update - 18+ 2.5, 7.0, 9.0, and 40+ 6.0 and 8.0

The Nationals for Adult play (18+, 40+, 55+) finished up a couple weeks ago, but this weekend finds the Mixed Nationals in full flight.  And as of this morning the semis are about to start.

In Tucson, the 18 & over division is playing with the 2.5, 70, and 9.0 levels.

The 2.5 level had only 4 teams and one flight, and it appears Mid-Atlantic won the flight and thus the Nationals title over Southern, Caribbean, and Florida.  Congrats Mid-Atlantic!

The 7.0 level finds Midwest playing Southern and Caribbean playing Southern Cal, two of these close with Midwest beating out Middle States (both 3-1) and Southern beating out Eastern on head-to-head despite losing more courts.

At the 9.0 level, the semis find Southern Cal playing Mid-Atlantic and Missouri Valley playing Florida.  There were just 3 flights due to 15 teams being there and Florida advanced as a wildcard after finishing second to Mid-Atlantic, also losing the tie-breaker on head-to-head despite losing fewer courts.

The 40 & over division is playing in Surprise with the 6.0 and 8.0 levels.

The 6.0 finds all undefeateds from their flights Southern Cal facing Intermountain and Southern playing Pacific Northwest.

The 8.0 level also has unblemished teams in the semis with Texas playing Florida and Southern Cal facing Mid-Atlantic.

Good luck teams!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

USTA League year-end NTRP ratings will be out soon, what if I want to appeal?

The USTA League year came to a close on 11/1 when the last Adult Nationals completed play.  As players wait for year-end ratings to come out in a few weeks, a common question I get when generating reports for players is if they'll be able to appeal their 2015 year-end rating.

Interestingly, I get questions about appealing up and down.  Not everyone wants to play at the lowest level possible, some like the challenge of playing stronger players or want the validation of having the higher rating by their name.

In any case, I received a newsletter from the USTA a couple years ago outlining changes to the appeal rules.  To my knowledge, these are the rules still in effect, and give that link a read, but the short summary is that you aren't eligible to appeal down if you played in playoffs nor are you eligible to appeal down if you played more than 10 matches.  If you played less than 10 matches, there is a varying threshold used for the auto-appeals that gets smaller the more matches you play.

The idea seems to be that if you've played in playoffs, and thus been part of the benchmark calculations, the USTA feels your rating is accurate and other's ratings were based off yours, so you shouldn't be able to appeal.  And if you play enough matches, they also believe the NTRP algorithm has enough data to give you an accurate rating.

Now, if you are a player 60 or older, there are some special rules that allow you to appeal down in some cases, or even preclude you from being bumped up.  I've written how these rules could be viewed as discriminatory, but they seem to still be in place.

If anyone knows these rules are no longer accurate or that they have changed, please let me know.

Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 USTA League Adult Nationals are complete - Southern Cal takes the points chase, 4-way tie for most titles

The 2015 USTA League Nationals for the Adult divisions completed yesterday with the last 40 & over and 55 & over levels wrapping up.  The Mixed divisions are yet to have their Nationals in the next few weeks, but we can look back at the Adult divisions now.

I have kept track of the top-4 teams and champions for each level and division and doled out points for each placement, 4 points for first, 3 for second, and so on.

Overall, Southern, Florida, Caribbean, and Texas led the way each winning 4 titles.  However, Southern Cal, while winning just 3 titles, garnered the most points based on consistently making it to the semis and beat out Southern 35 points to 34.  Interestingly, third in the points race was Pacific Northwest with 30 points who didn't win any titles at all but still was consistently making the semis enough to beat out 3 of the 4 title section's point totals.

The USTA will probably be happy to know that every section did have at least one semi-finalist in the Adult divisions, although 6 sections had fewer than 10 points with Hawaii in last with just 3.  Interestingly, you'd think Caribbean would be similar to Hawaii, but the latter finished fifth overall with a whopping 22 points!

Looking at the divisions rather than overall, in the 18 & over Southern Cal had one title but a big lead with 21 points, well ahead of Southern with 16.  Florida, Northern Cal, and Pacific Northwest were tied with 12.

In the 40 & over division, it was a far more tight and balanced race with Texas leading the way with 11 points just ahead of Caribbean and Southern with 10 each.

The 55 & over division saw warm weather states in the lead with Florida, Southern Cal, Southern, and Southwest in the top-5 with Pacific Northwest spoiling the warm weather party tying for second.

Compared to last year where Texas, Southern Cal, Southern, Pacific Northwest, and Northern Cal led the way, the top teams are not all that different.  The USTA did some significant adjustments to year-end ratings last year to "punish" some of the sections that did well so if their goal was to get other sections winning more, it didn't quite work, especially for Southern Cal which went from second to first.  And Caribbean had a lot of bumps up but still came back strong this year.  It will be interesting to see if Southern Cal get adjusted significantly this year or if the USTA leaves things as is.  One can certainly see how there may be more bumps than normal for the 18 & over division there.

The end of Nationals also brings us the cut-off date for matches to count for year-end ratings.  The USTA will no be doing their calculations to arrive at year-end ratings which are typically published the Monday after Thanksgiving.  If you are impatient or want to know more than just a level, contact me and I can generate an Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Report for you showing you details on where your rating likely is and why.  And captains are now scouting for teams for next year, my reports can help with that too.

Congratulations to all those that went to Nationals this year, looking forward to next year already.