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.