Tuesday, May 3, 2016

USTA League District/State playoffs are underway - Georgia State 18+ Tournament this weekend

The standard progression through the rounds of playoffs for USTA League leading up to Nationals is generally some or all of:
  • Flight playoff
  • Regional playoff
  • District playoff
  • State playoff
  • Sectionals
  • Nationals

Not every area goes through every one of those, in fact most only have two or three steps to get to Nationals, typically local/flight playoff of some sort, Districts or States, and then Sectionals.  But some will go through four or five steps to get there.

Naturally with Nationals generally in October, you can work backwards and see that some of those early rounds of playoffs must be played early in the year.  In those areas that use Early Start Leagues, they will have had flight playoffs right away at the end of their regular season and so many of those were played in 2015 for league advancing on to 2016 Nationals.  But playoffs start to get more serious when you get to Districts or States.

And Georgia, being the early birds they are with a bunch of Early Start Leagues and a Spring league that starts and finishes early, is at the point where what they call their State Tournament (not to be confused with regular NTRP tournaments that take place) sequence is starting this weekend.  The 18 & over 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0+ levels are this weekend in Rome and the 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5 are the following weekend in Macon.

Any time there are playoffs, it is fun to prognosticate who the favorites are and who might win.  So here, just for fun as always, are some free previews using my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings for a few of the sub-flights.  In all cases, these are the average rating for the highest rated 8 players on the rosters.

Note: The tables below were updated to not include ineligible players.

First, the two groups of the Men's 4.0:

RankTeamAverage
1CORTA/Ben Malo4.05
2USTA Atlanta/Quinn Aguirre3.99
3COTA/Sam Coon3.93
4CSRATA/Tony Mundy3.92
5CVTA/Joe Stewart3.86
6Macon/James Moss3.84

RankTeamAverage
1USTA Atlanta/Steven Hein4.08
2COTA/John Turner3.97
3CORTA/Hal Caison3.94
4SATA/Deden Rukmana3.89
5CSRATA/Kenny Brown3.88
6CVTA/Dave Dawson3.82

These groups appear very balanced with the top teams in each having an advantage but the others not far behind.  Group I Atlanta was higher before removing DQ'd players.

Second, the four groups of the Women's 3.0:

RankTeamAverage
1COTA/Susan Boleyn3.04
2Macon/Julie Boerger3.01
3CVTA/Lynn Wigley3.01
4USTA Atlanta/Karenjit Mayer2.97
5NEGTA - Danielle Allenbach2.83

RankTeamAverage
1Macon/Jenni Eddlemon2.97
2USTA Atlanta/Jennifer Bazan2.96
3USTA Atlanta/Zenaida Goins2.89
4CORTA/Kristin Lund2.88
5NOGTA/Renee Brown2.84

RankTeamAverage
1USTA Atlanta/Sandy Lashley3.09
2CORTA/Kristine McCalla3.01
3Cherokee/Laurie Farmer2.98
4Flint River/Laura Beth Tucker2.92
5SATA/Tami Murray2.62

RankTeamAverage
1Southern Crescent/Iliana Bleau3.06
2USTA Atlanta/Ashleigh Michaels3.02
3CVTA/Brenda Champion2.96
4COTA/Shelley Hulland2.85
5Cherokee/Stacey Nash2.83

Some of these groups are closer, but Atlanta, Southern Crescent, and COTA stand out as the favorites it appears.

I can of course do the above reports with a different number of top players, or do full flight reports showing the average for full rosters by level.

It is always interesting when playoffs come around to see if the ratings do accurately predict the results.  Any time play goes on in different areas with new players being added and players getting better/worse, the ratings of different sections may not be relatively accurate to each other, so these matches are a test to see if they are, and if not, this is part of how the USTA works to normalize ratings between different areas.

If I have time, I'll report back on these levels to see how the ratings did at predicting.  But if anyone wants more information on these flights, perhaps a team report on your own team or others to scout them, or you want flight reports on other flights, contact me.