Early Start Ratings are gone for 2017 leagues and the PNW section elected to not allow bumped up players to play at their early start level at Sectionals. Southern on the other hand is allowing players to play through Sectionals at their early start level even though they can't play at Nationals at that level.
What is new is that in another PNW newsletter today, they provided a link to a page saying more about the subject and going so far as to suggest teams think about the implications of bump ups and make sure they have players of appropriate levels to accommodate potential bumps.
For example, an 8.0 Mixed team may have a roster full of 4.0 men and women. If any of those players were to be bumped up to 4.5, they would be ineligible to play at Sectionals as they would have to play with a 3.5. So the suggestion is to have a 3.5 or two on the roster so the bumped up 4.5 can still play. Now the 3.5 still has to have played their two matches to be eligible for Sectionals, so they may have to play as a "7.5" pair or the team needs to have a corresponding 4.5 for them to play with. Note that if a 4.5 were to be bumped up, they could not play at all going forward as a 5.0/3.0 combination is not valid for 8.0 Mixed.
This can lead to some interesting recruiting and team formation. Do you get strong players for their level and risk them being bumped up at year-end and wreaking havoc on the roster? Do you avoid having just just players at one level to give some flexibility? Or do you avoid having only the "best" players to try to ensure you don't have problems?
To try to help players with this, I've been publishing some hypothetical early start lists for several different areas, and will likely publish more, and folks can use these to see if I project players to be bumped up at this point. You probably wouldn't want to get a complete roster of players projected to be bumped up!
But the early start lists I publish don't show the players that may be just a hundredth or so away and could be bumped up at year-end, nor can you tell how close a player is that is going to Sectionals and could have their rating go up. So if you'd like more information on a player or list of players, contact me and I can help with recruiting, player lists, team reports, or just regular individual reports to help you see where players are likely to be rated and their risk of being bumped up at year-end.
How are you going to form your early start team?