Tuesday, July 25, 2017

2017 USTA League 18+ Southern Sectionals are complete, 40+ this coming weekend

The Southern section of the USTA held their 18 & over Sectionals this weekend so more teams have been identified that are heading to Nationals.

Here is the break down.

Women

  • 2.5 - Tennessee, an early start team with a roster of 9, 8 of them now 3.0s
  • 3.0 - Tennessee
  • 3.5 - Tennessee
  • 4.0 - North Carolina
  • 4.5 - Kentucky
  • 5.0+ - Tennessee

Men
  • 2.5 - Arkansas
  • 3.0 - Mississippi
  • 3.5 - Louisiana upset Alabama with 11 now 4.0s!  Won 3-2 with one upset
  • 4.0 - Mississippi
  • 4.5 - Kentucky
  • 5.0+ - Georgia or Georgia - Final not played?

Tennessee ruled the women's events, and Kentucky seems to be where all the good 4.5s are, men or women, in Southern!

Congrats to all those that played and the above teams are headed to Nationals.

Southern is back at it against this coming weekend with 40+ Sectionals.  Stay tuned for some previews.

Friday, July 21, 2017

How are the ratings predicting matches at Southern Sectionals and Dallas City's after day one?

I was just taking a look at some results after the first day of this weekend's playoffs, and thought I'd share how the ratings are doing at predicting matches.

In one of the flights for the 4.5 men at the Southern Sectionals, four matches were played and my ratings predict the courts on the team matches as follows:

  • 5-0
  • 5-0
  • 4-1
  • 4-1, the one miss where the match was predicted to go to a super tie-break

And two matches were played in Dallas at their city playoffs, those matches going as follows:
  • 5-0
  • 3-2

So out of 30 matches, there were only four upsets.

My ratings are not perfect at predicting matches, but 26-4 ain't too bad, which just reinforces how using my ratings to scout opponents can be a great help as they can tell captains when their team is favored or not and help them identify how to arrange their line-ups to maximize the chances of winning the team match.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

USTA League Playoffs this weekend - Intermountain / Utah 18+ 3.5 Districts women preview

More playoffs are on tap for this weekend.  A partial list includes:

  • Pacific Northwest 18+ Mixed Sectionals
  • Mid-Atlantic / Maryland Regionals 18+ x.0 levels
  • Southern Cal 40+ North Region Districts
  • Intermountain / Utah 18+ Districts
  • Southern 18+ Sectionals
  • Middle States / Central PA 18+ Playoffs
  • Texas local flight playoffs 18+ / 40+
  • Missouri Valley / Heart of America 18+ Districts
  • Hawaii 55+ Sectionals

And as a free preview, here are the top-8 averages for one of the flights at the Utah Districts.

Sub-FlightTeamAverage
Flight ASports Mall-Johnson/Mitchell3.41
Flight ACMTA @ Liberty Park-White/McManus3.41
Flight ASpanish Fork-Lucas/Padgett3.27
Flight ASalt Lake Tennis Club-Crandall3.21

It appears Sports Mall and CMTA are the favorites and it is a toss up which is the favorite to win.  It will come down to how the players do this weekend and if either captain is able to get advantageous match-ups in their match.  But they shouldn't ignore the other two teams, upsets do happen!

If you are playing this weekend or in any upcoming playoffs and want the above report for your flight and more, including the full roster averages and details on how a team typically stacks their courts or not, contact me for a flight report.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The road to Nationals continues - More playoffs, more teams advance

I wrote a few days ago about the Sectionals schedule for Southern, but playoffs are taking place in other sections too.  The past couple weeks have seen:

  • Northern Oregon (Portland) held their 40+ local playoffs this past weekend
  • Pacific Northwest held their 55+ Sectionals a couple weeks ago
  • Oklahoma held 18+ Districts this weekend
  • Maryland held 18+ Regionals a week ago
  • Virginia held 18+ Regionals this weekend
  • Southern Cal held 18+ local playoffs this weekend
  • Texas held some 18+ local playoffs this weekend

I'm sure there are more, feel free to leave a comment if you recently had some playoffs or have some upcoming.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

New addition to Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Reports - Average opponent NTRP level and rating

When I generate Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Reports for folks, some are disappointed to see they aren't rated higher than my report shows.  When this happens, it is often the case that they've won a lot and so expect their rating will have gone up, but their wins are close and/or they've been unlucky to play a lot of lower rated opponents.

In the reports I do, I explain the reasons for this and cite examples of matches where there were weak opponents, but I've wanted to make it more clear in the report and have added a few things that I think will help with that.

First is showing the average NTRP level for all the opponents played.  For many people, this will show their NTRP level, e.g. if a 3.5 only plays against 3.5s, their average opponent will be a 3.5.  But if you happen to play quite a few players playing up, this average can be a bit lower, 3.4 or even in the 3.3s, and seeing this be lower than your NTRP level can be an indication you played a number of players playing up.

Second is showing the average dynamic rating for all the opponents played.  This gets a little more specific as not all 3.5s (or 4.0s or 4.5s, etc.) are created equal.  It is possible you may play all players at level, but happen to play particularly strong or weak ones and this stat will tell you that.

The other thing you can do is look at the difference between these two statistics.  If you are a 3.5, and play only 3.5s and happen to play average 3.5s, your average opponent NTRP level would be 3.5 and your average opponent dynamic rating would be 3.25.  So you sort of expect a 0.25 gap between these.  If you've played stronger players, the second number will get larger and the gap will be smaller than 0.25, and if you've played weaker players on average, the gap will be larger.

Here is an example.

This is the player in my example report from last year, this player went 17-8 and went to Nationals and was bumped up from 4.0 to 4.5.  Their full chart is below.


Their average opponent NTRP level was 4.01, they played up and so playing some 4.5s moved this average up, and their average opponent dynamic rating was 3.87, just a 0.14 gap.  So either because of playing up or because they went to Nationals and were playing very strong 4.0s, this stat shows they did play strong opponents and going 17-8 against them resulted in a bump up.

With this addition, I think it will become more clear how strong your opponents have been and why your rating is where it is.  All new reports I do from this point forward will include these new stats, and as always, contact me if you are interested in getting a report.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It is July, Sectionals are starting to heat up - Will teams that win be eligible for Nationals?

It is the time of year that various Sections begin to hold their Sectionals to qualify teams for USTA League Nationals.

Southern really gets started with the following schedule:

  • Adult 18+ July 21-14 in Mobile, AL
  • Adult 40+ July 28-30 in Mobile, AL
  • Adult 55+ September 17-17 in Ashville, NC
  • Mixed 18+/40+ October 6-9 in Little Rock, AR


Southern, being the largest section with nine states and teams having to navigate local playoffs and then States with 8+ teams just to make it to Sectionals, is arguably the toughest section to make it to Nationals through and results in some tough competition at Sectionals.  As a result, some teams find my flight or team reports useful to help scout and navigate the competition there.

I recently did a flight report for a team headed to Southern 18+ Sectionals and so went looking at some of the teams there at different levels and was reminded that Southern allows players in early start leagues, that were bumped up at 2016 year-end, to continue to play at their lower level through Sectionals.

As I wrote about before, this is going to cause confusion at it means someone that was a 3.5 at 2015 year-end that signed-up for a 2017 3.5 team starting in October 2016, but was bumped up to 4.0 at 2016 year-end, can continue to play on the 3.5 team through Southern Sectionals.  This results in quite a few rosters of Sectionals teams having above level players eligible to play.

While this probably means a very high level of play at each level, this also means that teams that weren't early start teams with at-level players are at a competitive disadvantage as they can't have (now) above level players on their rosters playing there.

The other challenge is that the USTA League Nationals regulations state that these (now) above level players will not be eligible to play at Nationals.  So if a team loaded with above level players wins Sectionals, one of the following is likely to occur:

  • They go to Nationals but aren't the same team missing their best players.  They will also have a (potentially) much smaller roster which makes playing the up to six team matches in three days a lot harder.  It is possible there was a stronger team when this eligibility is taken into account that would represent the section better.
  • They elect not to go or don't have enough eligible players to to go to Nationals as a team must have at least eight players (at most levels) in order to go.  There are provisions for appealing this minimum, but I'm guessing it is not typically granted.

If they elect not to go or don't have enough eligible players, then you have to decide who is going to go.  The easy answer is the runner up that was beaten in the final, but that team could have the same issues.  How would you select the next team in line when you have two flights?  And while it may not be likely, what if every team at Sectionals has the same issues?  You can't very well go back to a team that didn't advance to Sectionals can you?

And before you say this is all theoretical and won't really happen, here are a few examples I've seen already:
  • A 2.5 team with 8 of 9 players now 3.0s.  There are provisions for 2.5 teams to still be eligible though unless the players are above the clearly above level mark.  The point is made though.
  • A 3.0 team with a roster of 15, 8 of which are now 3.5s.  If they won they wouldn't have the minimum eight eligible.
  • A 3.0 team with a roster of 12, 4 of which are now 3.5s.  This team would have the bare minimum 8 and be missing 4 of their best 6 players.
  • A 3.5 team with a roster of 16, a whopping 11 now 4.0s.  Only 5 eligible Nationals players!
  • A 3.5 team with a roster of 16, 8 of which are now 4.0s.
  • A 4.0 team with a roster of 16, 5 of which are now 4.5s.  Sure, 11 is enough to go to Nationals, but missing 5 of your best makes for a different team.

There are some other teams with 2-4 players now above level, but with larger rosters it isn't as significant a percentage of the team as above.  But clearly having above level players, and a lot of them, isn't just an exception.  And with these above level players they very well could be favored to win Sectionals.

All of this is why I thought early start ratings were actually a good thing, they would have weeded out at least some of these players from being on the rosters in the first place, but given they were abolished, players should have been ineligible to keep playing at their lower level as soon as year-end ratings came out.

But since Southern didn't go that route, we will be entertained to see who wins and what happens if one of the above teams is a sectional champ!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Easiest path to Nationals may not be through Hawaii!

I've written before about some easy paths to Nationals, notably that Hawaii has on occasion sent their local league winner straight to Nationals.  That means just playing an eight match local league!

I've come across a few others that will have similarly short paths this year, and I'm sure there are more.

For example, in Montana and Wyoming, they appear to have no local league and teams go straight to Districts.  Or perhaps they just think of their local league as being a weekend tournament.  In any case, this is perhaps just three matches played.

The winner of their "Districts" then does have to go to Intermountain Sectionals, and there they will face four or five other teams, so potentially a total of seven or eight matches played that could get them to Nationals.

Now, this is arguably a harder path than Hawaii and their local league winner advancing, as they are having to play other good teams that advanced from their district, but still, a pretty short path with definitely fewer than 10 matches played.

On the other hand, some areas in the Midwest, East, or South may have local league, a local league playoff, Districts, States, and Sectionals that all have to be navigated to advance, upwards of 20+ matches.  Such is the nature of living in (un)populated areas.

What is your path to Nationals?  How many matches might you have to play and win to advance?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 USTA League Playoffs are Heating Up - More teams qualify for Sectionals

This is the time of year when USTA League playoffs get into full swing.  This past weekend saw a bunch of local playoffs and/or Districts/States that qualified teams for Sectionals.  A sampling is:

  • 18+ Districts in Colorado
  • 18+ Local playoffs in Southwest Washington
  • 18+ States in Alabama
  • 18+ States in Mississippi
  • 18+ States in Tennessee
  • 40+ States in Tennessee
  • 18+ Local playoffs in Austin Texas

This means that some players may be done for the season, especially in Southern where they only count advancing leagues.  But some players and teams are now headed to Sectionals!

In either case, now is a great time to get a report.  Whether you are done for the year, or just want to see where your rating stands, an individual report will give you all the details and I've just updated the report to provide additional detail.  But if you are headed to Sectionals or any round of playoffs, flight reports are a great way to scout opponents.  In fact, I worked with a few teams this past weekend with flight reports that won and are advancing.

If you are interested in a report, contact me for more details.

Monday, June 26, 2017

New Feature to Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Reports - Average Match Rating by Division

I'm always looking to make the reports I generate more useful, and today someone commented that they thought they had done quite a bit better in 40 & over than they did in 18 & over or 55 & over. Naturally, I thought showing this in a report would be a great addition!

I've updated the example Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Report to show this new addition, but below is another example.

Note how there is now the average match rating by division section in addition to see the same stat for the different levels and singles vs doubles.  So this is another great way to get an idea of what is/isn't working to improve your rating.

Current NTRP: 4.5C
Starting Dynamic Rating: 4.05
Estimated Dynamic Rating: 4.32
Match Record: 17-9
Singles Record: 0-1
Doubles Record: 17-8
Sets Won-Lost: 38-21
Games Won-Lost: 283-223
Best Match Result: 4.48 on 6/5/16
Worst Match Result: 4.03 on 5/21/16
Highest Estimated Dynamic Rating: 4.34 on 8/26/16
Lowest Estimated Dynamic Rating: 4.05 on 11/2/15
Singles Average Match Rating: 4.26
Doubles Average Match Rating: 4.29
Singles Average Match Rating by Level:
4.5 - 4.26
Doubles Average Match Rating by Level:
4.5 - 4.29
8.0 - 4.32
Average Match Rating by Division:
Adult 18&Over - 4.28
Adult 40&Over - 4.29
Adult 55&Over - 4.32


What about the player who inspired this addition?  They indeed did have their best match ratings in 40+ and lowest in 18+.  55+ was not that far behind 40+ though.

If you are interested in getting a report, let me know by contacting me at ratings@teravation.net.

Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 USTA League PNW Seattle Area 18 & Over Sectionals Teams

The 18 & over local playoffs for the Seattle area of the Pacific Northwest Section were held this weekend, and with winners decided, we have teams headed to Sectionals.  Here is a review including looking at how the top teams identified by my flight reports did.

Note, the past few years the finalists from local playoffs have both advanced to Sectionals as a wildcard was available and given to the second place team.  I have not confirmed that is the case this year yet, but am assuming so.  Because of this, sometimes teams will not play their best line-ups in the final as both know they are advancing.

In the tables below the teams with byes are in bold, the teams that lost prior to the final have been struck out, and the runner up is in italics.  And the average column is each team's top-8 average before this weekend.

For the 2.5 women, the top seed was RBW-Goel and they did win it all, but the #2 seed was upset in the semis and BTA-Rotival got the runner-up.

SeedTeamAverage
1RBW-Goel2.58
2AYTC-Tennis Addicts- Truong-Hoang-Louie2.47
3PL-Sugar and Slice-Bhatia2.44
3BTA-Rotival2.44
5ETC-No Love-Otterholt2.42
6RBW-Morris2.41

The 3.0 women saw the top-seed win as well in TCSP-Slice Girls, but ETC-Whitney pulled some upsets to make the final.

SeedTeamAverage
1TCSP-Slice Girls-Cahill3.09
2RBW-Sakoda3.05
3AYTC-Serve Us a Double-Thomas3.00
4TCSP-Hit and Run-Burvill Holmes2.98
5TCSP-Sharks-Holland2.97
6RBW-Schultz2.95
7BC-OConnell2.94
7ETC-Whitney2.94
9RBW-Braza2.92
10PL-Bachar2.91
11BAIN-Lesnik2.90
11AYTC-Earles2.90

The 3.0 men found the two lowest seeds making the final, and the bottom seed winning it all, RBW-Raffetto-Cook taking out ETC-Blasko.

SeedTeamAverage
1MC-Dawgs 2-Mark3.07
2ETC-JustAce League-Kanade3.05
3TCSP-Double Shots-Dalal3.04
4CAC/SL-Hocker3.02
5ETC-Blasko2.99
6RBW-Raffetto-Cook2.96

The 3.5 women had the #1 seed make the final in RBW-Lilley, but lose to the #4 seed BC-Swingers-Bernardez.

SeedTeamAverage
1RBW-Lilley3.44
2CP-Cooley3.43
3IND-Wild Bunch-Tran3.42
4BC-Swingers-Bernardez3.41
5TCSP-Iyer3.40
6TCSP-Cervaces-Bonitas-Miller3.37
6TCSP-Remix-Wolson3.37
8AYTC-KissOurAces-Ochsner3.35
9TCSP-WildCardz-Moe3.31
10BETC-Alquiza3.29

The 3.5 men saw the #2 seed win in MC-Blasters-Vashist over TCSP-Hombres-Rogers, but neither had to pull an upset, other teams beating higher seeds for them.

RankTeamAverage
1IND-Khuc3.56
2MC-Blasters-Vashist3.48
3GC-Hummer3.46
4TCSP-3.5 Hombres-Rogers3.45
5ETC-Alonichau3.42
5PL-Firebalz-Coffey3.42
7STC-Pirates-Ferry3.39
8BTA-Higashi3.37

The 4.0 women resulted in the top-seed, TCSP-Fiebig winning over the #4 seed NTC-Vecchio.

RankTeamAverage
1TCSP-All About that ACE! Fiebig3.92
2CP-Tigers-Laun3.90
3TCSP-Smash Girls-Boone3.87
4NTC-Each Hit 4-Vecchio3.81
5FC-Rutter3.77
6PSC-Tzeng3.75
7TCSP-Pemberton3.71
8HBSQ-Vana3.70

The 4.0 men had lower seeds with the byes, and the lowest seed in PSC-Tortop made the final, but lost to the #2 seed IND-Nguyen.

RankTeamAverage
1AYTC-Jedi Squirrels-Robey3.92
2IND-Play2-Nguyen3.91
3NTC-Smack Four O'-Chen3.88
4HBSQ-Capretto3.86
4MI-Sedlacek3.86
6PSC-Smashers-Tortop3.85

The 4.5 women had the top-seed in NTC-Antczak make the final, but lose to the bottom seed STC-Holmes/Bassetti.

RankTeamAverage
1NTC-Antczak4.31
2NTC-Wilson4.26
3BELL-Anders4.24
4STC-Holmes/Bassetti4.22

The 4.5 men had the top seed in NTC-Stanley beat the bottom seed MI-Reimers.

RankTeamAverage
1NTC-Stanley4.42
2AYTC-Friendship is Magic-Grayson4.39
3NTC-An4.31
4MI-Reimers4.29

Last, the 5.0+ men had the #2 and #3 seeds play with RBW-Walsh beating MI-Larson.

RankTeamAverage
1TCSP-Dieveney4.97
2MI-Larson4.93
3RBW-Walsh4.85
4CAC/SL-Schouten4.77

Congrats to all the winners.  Good luck at Sectionals!

Friday, June 16, 2017

2017 PNW Seattle 18 & over local playoffs are underway, a belated preview

The Seattle area local playoffs for the 18+ division started a couple days ago.  I wasn't able to do any previews, but here how things stand so far.

For all of the "seeding" I note below, I'm using the top-8 average from my sub-flight reports that I generate using my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings.  Contact me if interested in the full sub-flight report for these or any playoffs or would like to get any other report.

I've bolded the teams that have byes and marked those that already lost with strikethrough.

The 2.5 women had the teams with byes be the teams with the highest top-8 averages.  The first round matches saw two equals play and a minor upset.

SeedTeamAverage
1RBW-Goel2.58
2AYTC-Tennis Addicts- Truong-Hoang-Louie2.47
3PL-Sugar and Slice-Bhatia2.44
3BTA-Rotival2.44
5ETC-No Love-Otterholt2.42
6RBW-Morris2.41

The 2.5 men did not have local playoffs as there are not enough teams/flights for that.  The sub-flight winners simply advance

The 3.0 women has a huge draw, 12 teams!  The byes went to the #1, #3, #5, and #12 (!) seeds.  The first round matches played as I write this had the higher seeds win each one.  The top-2 seeds could meet in the final.

SeedTeamAverage
1TCSP-Slice Girls-Cahill3.09
2RBW-Sakoda3.05
3AYTC-Serve Us a Double-Thomas3.00
4TCSP-Hit and Run-Burvill Holmes2.98
5TCSP-Sharks-Holland2.97
6RBW-Schultz2.95
7BC-OConnell2.94
7ETC-Whitney2.94
9RBW-Braza2.92
10PL-Bachar2.91
11BAIN-Lesnik2.90
11AYTC-Earles2.90

The 3.0 men found the top-2 seeds by the number having the byes, and the two first round matches saw minor upsets.  So the top-2 seeds are still on track to meet.

SeedTeamAverage
1MC-Dawgs 2-Mark3.07
2ETC-JustAce League-Kanade3.05
3TCSP-Double Shots-Dalal3.04
4CAC/SL-Hocker3.02
5ETC-Blasko2.99
6RBW-Raffetto-Cook2.96

The 3.5 women has a large draw with 10 teams, resulting in byes for 6 teams that went to the #1, #2, #3, #6, #7, and #8 teams.  The first round matches saw one go as expected and another had an upset.  The top-2 seeds would meet in a semi, and not the final.

SeedTeamAverage
1RBW-Lilley3.44
2CP-Cooley3.43
3IND-Wild Bunch-Tran3.42
4BC-Swingers-Bernardez3.41
5TCSP-Iyer3.40
6TCSP-Cervaces-Bonitas-Miller3.37
6TCSP-Remix-Wolson3.37
8AYTC-KissOurAces-Ochsner3.35
9TCSP-WildCardz-Moe3.31
10BETC-Alquiza3.29

The 3.5 men had no byes and no matches played yet.  The top-2 seeds are on opposite sides of the draw though so could meet in the final.

RankTeamAverage
1IND-Khuc3.56
2MC-Blasters-Vashist3.48
3GC-Hummer3.46
4TCSP-3.5 Hombres-Rogers3.45
5ETC-Alonichau3.42
5PL-Firebalz-Coffey3.42
7STC-Pirates-Ferry3.39
8BTA-Higashi3.37

The 4.0 women also had no byes and no matches completed yet.  The top-2 seeds are on opposite sides of the draw though so could meet in the final.

RankTeamAverage
1TCSP-All About that ACE! Fiebig3.92
2CP-Tigers-Laun3.90
3TCSP-Smash Girls-Boone3.87
4NTC-Each Hit 4-Vecchio3.81
5FC-Rutter3.77
6PSC-Tzeng3.75
7TCSP-Pemberton3.71
8HBSQ-Vana3.70

The 4.0 men did have two byes, those going to the #4 and #6 seeds!  No matches have been played yet but the top-2 seeds can meet in the final

RankTeamAverage
1AYTC-Jedi Squirrels-Robey3.92
2IND-Play2-Nguyen3.91
3NTC-Smack Four O'-Chen3.88
4HBSQ-Capretto3.86
4MI-Sedlacek3.86
6PSC-Smashers-Tortop3.85

The 4.5 women has no byes with just four teams, the top-2 seeds can meet in the final

RankTeamAverage
1NTC-Antczak4.31
2NTC-Wilson4.26
3BELL-Anders4.24
4STC-Holmes/Bassetti4.22

The 4.5 men are also just four teams, but the top-2 seeds are facing each other in a semi.

RankTeamAverage
1NTC-Stanley4.42
2AYTC-Friendship is Magic-Grayson4.39
3NTC-An4.31
4MI-Reimers4.29

The 5.0+ women do not have playoffs.

The 5.0+ men have four teams and the top-2 seeds (top-5 average since they just play 3 courts) play each other in the semis.

RankTeamAverage
1TCSP-Dieveney4.97
2MI-Larson4.93
3RBW-Walsh4.85
4CAC/SL-Schouten4.77
There you have it!  I'll report back later.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

An updated preview of 2017 USTA League Nationals contenders - 18 & Over 4.0

I wrote a series of Nationals previews a few months ago, now that it is June, more areas have started (or even completed) local league play, so it is time for another round of previews.

We'll start with the 4.0 level of the 18 & over division.  See the earlier preview to see what things looked like in April.

As usual, I'll be using my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings to calculate the average dynamic rating for the top-8 players on the teams' rosters.  And I'll show the section/district/flight to let you know where the teams are from, but omit the team name to keep it a little mysterious.  Contact me if you are wanting more details on your team or what the actual teams are, or if you are interested in your own report, or a team or sub-flight report.

Note that in these lists, I have not filtered out teams that are no longer in the running to advance to Nationals.  So some of these teams may have not made it out of their local league, area playoffs, or State/District playoffs, as in some areas those playoffs have already taken place.  In the next round of updates I do, I'll limit who shows up, but this way you still get an idea of what areas are particularly strong.




First the top-30 and ties men's teams.

RankLocationAverage
1FLORIDA / REGION_8 / BROWARD4.18
2SOUTHERN / GEORGIA / GA - ATLANTA - 20174.10
2SOUTHERN / GEORGIA / GA - ATLANTA - 20174.10
2SOUTHERN / NORTH CAROLINA / NC - ENO RIVER (Dur)4.10
5SOUTHERN / SOUTH CAROLINA / SC - LOW COUNTRY-LCTA4.09
6MIDWEST / CHICAGO4.08
6MIDWEST / CHICAGO4.08
6SOUTHERN / SOUTH CAROLINA / SC - LOW COUNTRY-LCTA4.08
6FLORIDA / REGION_8 / SOUTH MIAMI/DADE4.08
10FLORIDA / REGION_8 / SOUTH MIAMI/DADE4.07
10FLORIDA / REGION_3 / HILLSBOROUGH4.07
10TEXAS / DALLAS4.07
13EASTERN / METROPOLITAN REGION / Manhattan4.06
13FLORIDA / REGION_8 / SOUTH MIAMI/DADE4.06
13SOUTHERN / LOUISIANA / LA - NEW ORLEANS4.06
13TEXAS / SAN ANTONIO4.06
17SOUTHERN / NORTH CAROLINA / NC - CAPITAL AREA (Ral)4.05
17NO. CALIFORNIA / Men's 4.0 - UP4.05
17SOUTHERN / GEORGIA / GA - ATLANTA - 20174.05
20SOUTHERN / GEORGIA / GA - COLUMBUS - CORTA - 20174.04
20SOUTHERN / GEORGIA / GA - ATLANTA - 20174.04
20NO. CALIFORNIA / Men's 4.0 - SA -14.04
20NO. CALIFORNIA / Men's 4.0 - MA 24.04
20MID ATLANTIC / VIRGINIA / RICHMOND4.04
20FLORIDA / REGION_3 / HILLSBOROUGH4.04
20MIDDLE STATES / PHILADELPHIA4.04
27NEW ENGLAND / NORTHERN CONNECTICUT4.03
27TEXAS / HOUSTON4.03
27MIDWEST / NORTHERN ILLINOIS4.03
27MIDWEST / CHICAGO4.03
27MIDWEST / NORTHERN ILLINOIS4.03
27TEXAS / SAN ANTONIO4.03

Then the top-30 and ties women's teams.

RankLocationAverage
1NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - NS4.07
2NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - MP4.06
3NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - RT4.03
4NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - EB4.02
5NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - SB - 14.00
5SOUTHWEST / SOUTHERN ARIZONA4.00
7SOUTHERN / TENNESSEE / TN - NASHVILLE3.99
7EASTERN / SOUTHERN REGION / Westchester/Rockland3.99
9NEW ENGLAND / SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT / Southern CT3.98
9TEXAS / DALLAS3.98
9NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - MP3.98
9SOUTHERN / SOUTH CAROLINA / SC - COLUMBIA-CTL3.98
13MISSOURI VALLEY / HEART OF AMERICA3.97
13SOUTHERN / TENNESSEE / TN - KNOXVILLE3.97
15NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - SF3.96
15SOUTHERN / SOUTH CAROLINA / SC - GREENVILLE-FTA3.96
15EASTERN / NEW JERSEY REGION / North Jersey Day3.96
15FLORIDA / REGION_7 / COLLIER3.96
15SO. CALIFORNIA / SO.CALIFORNIA / BEACH CITIES3.96
15NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - DN - 13.96
15MID ATLANTIC / WASHINGTON D.C.3.96
15TEXAS / AUSTIN3.96
15SO. CALIFORNIA / SO.CALIFORNIA / BEACH CITIES3.96
24FLORIDA / REGION_4 / ORANGE/SEMINOLE3.95
24SO. CALIFORNIA / SAN DIEGO3.95
24SO. CALIFORNIA / SO.CALIFORNIA / LOS ANGELES3.95
24NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - LP3.95
24SOUTHERN / GEORGIA / GA - ATLANTA - 20173.95
24NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - SF3.95
24NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - MA3.95
24NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - MB3.95
24FLORIDA / REGION_3 / HILLSBOROUGH3.95
24NO. CALIFORNIA / Women's 4.0 - EB3.95

What do you think?


Sunday, June 4, 2017

An update on 2017 USTA League Nationals - A few date changes, Mobile gets two more events, 18+ 4.5 now in Orlando

I wrote about some changes for 2017 USTA League Nationals several months ago, the big change being the location change for many divisions and levels to Florida and specifically the new USTA Nationals Campus.  I did list the draft schedule at that time and it appears it is changed slightly, so here is a summary of what is listed on the USTA site.  I've bolded what has changed from the earlier summary.

Adult 18 & over

DateLevelLocationSurface
Oct. 6-83.5Surprise, AZHard
Oct. 6-85.0+Orlando, FLHard
Oct. 13-154.0Surprise, AZHard
Oct. 20-222.5WMobile, ALHard
Oct. 20-223.0Surprise, AZHard
Nov. 10-124.5Orlando, FLHard

Adult 40 & over

DateLevelLocationSurface
Oct. 13-153.0Ft. Lauderdale, FLClay
Oct. 20-224.0Orlando, FLHard
Oct. 20-224.5+Mobile, ALHard
Oct. 27-293.5Ft. Lauderdale, FLClay

Adult 55 & over

DateLevelLocationSurface
Oct. 27-296.0 & 8.0Orlando, FLClay
Nov. 17-197.0 & 9.0Orlando, FLClay

Mixed

DateLevelLocationSurface
Nov. 3-518 & over 6.0-10.0Mobile, ALHard
Nov. 10-1240 & over 6.0-9.0Mobile, ALHard

The changes appear to be a few events moving from Orlando to Mobile, and the 18+ 4.5s moving from Mobile to Orlando, and a few date changes for those events that have moved.

Note, the current schedule doesn't list the surface, so I've left those as before, and since none of the clay events had changes, I assume that is still accurate.

Summer is almost here, time for the Summer USTA Leagues

Summer officially starts later this month, but with the passing of Memorial Day, it is effectively upon us and that means it is time for some Summer tennis.

In Seattle where I am, our main leagues are primarily played between October and May and are indoor leagues.  But this time of year we do have a few leagues that are played outdoors (or can be optionally) including our One Doubles league and our 40 & over Mixed league.  I had a chance to play a couple One Doubles matches outdoors this weekend, and while the results weren't what we had hoped, we had a lot of fun.  And my 40+ Mixed team starts play next weekend, although we will be mostly indoors for that league.

In many other areas, the main 18+ and 40+ advancing leagues have been mostly played by now as they were Winter or Spring leagues, and they are wrapping up or getting ready for Districts or States shortly.  These areas may have Singles, Tri-Level, or Combo leagues to be played during the Summer.  But some areas are just getting going with their 18+ and 40+ leagues and will be busy getting those matches in as they work towards their playoffs, Districts, and Sectionals.

Now in some sections, these auxiliary leagues count towards year-end ratings, while in others, player's are now done with matches that will be included in calculating their rating.  In either case, now can be a great time to considering getting an Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Report to see how you've done so far and/or get a great idea on where you are likely to end up at year-end.

If you are still playing, or are fortunate enough to be headed to playoffs, Districts, or States, you may also want to consider team or flight reports as they can be a great way to prepare for playoffs and scout opponents so you can plan your line-ups to give your team the best chance of advancing.

Regardless of where your season is though, get out and play some tennis!

Note: I was reminded that Atlanta has a Summer league, ... that is an early start league for 2018!  Yes, in May of 2017, they are already playing matches to make playoff that can advance to Nationals 18 months in the future.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017 18 & over Georgia State Championships - What is common about the winners?

The 18 & over State Championships in Georgia were held the past few weekends and in light of my commenting on the effect of the demise of early start ratings and the confusion that could ensue as a result, I thought it would be interesting to take a look and how things played out given that Georgia has a lot of early start leagues and teams.

As a reminder, the issue is that with no more early start ratings, players play in early start leagues using their current rating, e.g. folks used their 2015 year-end level instead of an early start level for early start leagues last year.  The other change is that USTA National decided that players that were bumped up at year-end would not be eligible to play at Nationals.

Each section gets to choose at what point those bumped up players become ineligible through Sectionals though, and Southern decided to let those players remain eligible through Sectionals.  This means that a team could win Southern Sectionals and have a number of players on the roster that help the team win that would not be eligible to play at Nationals.  This effectively means a different team makes the Nationals trip, likely not as strong/deep as another team that would have a full roster of eligible players.

So we can now start to take a look at if what I predicted is indeed happening.  Here is the make-up of the teams that won 18+ Georgia States.

Women:

  • 2.5 - 6 players at level and 4 that were bumped up, if this team wins Sectionals, they'd only have 6 eligible and 5 are required to play a match, so barely enough.
  • 3.0 -  7 players at level, 4 that were bumped up, and 1 playing up, so with one playing up, the bare minimum of 8 required just to fill the courts for a match.
  • 3.5 - 3 playing up, 11 at level, and just 1 bumped up, so a fairly complete roster should they advance to Nationals.
  • 4.0 - 1 playing up, 10 at level, and a full 5 that were bumped up.  These 5 bumped up all played in the State final so having just 3 players from their preferred line-up is really a different team.
  • 4.5 - 14 at level and 3 bumped up.

So every women's team would be affected if they went to Nationals, several significantly impacted.

The men are a bit different:

  • 3.0 - 9 at level and 3 bumped up
  • 3.5 - 14 at level and 3 bumped up
  • 4.0 - 11 at level
  • 4.5 - Roster full of self-rates except for one player

The men are not impacted as much, but still losing 3 of your best players is pretty significant.

Now, for the issue to crop up, the teams above have to win Sectionals, and that is certainly not a given.  But having above level players on the roster certainly gives them an advantage over other teams that were not early start league teams and have to have only players at level.  Of course, a few other states in Southern have early start leagues so could be bringing similarly stacked teams.

I will continue to monitor, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Previewing a couple levels of the 2017 NorCal USTA League 40 & Over Districts

I wrote yesterday about the upcoming NorCal 40 & over Districts, and remarked that a few levels had a remarkable number of flights/teams.  Specifically, the 3.5 women has seven flights (28 teams!) and the 4.0 men has six flights (24 teams!).

With that many flights, it gets interesting on how to advance teams to Sectionals.  It appears the women will take the seven flight winners plus one wildcard, and the men will take the six flight winners and two wildcards.  Sectionals will then be two flights of four teams each, the flight winners playing a final.

In any case, with 28 and 24 teams respectively, you might expect to see teams of varying strength, so I thought I'd go about doing a preview using my top-8 averages for each roster using what is included in my flight preview reports.  To not give all the details away, I won't list team names, but will list the top-8 averages for each team and the flight the team is in.
Here are the 3.5 women.

RankSub-FlightAverage
1Flight 23.53
2Flight 33.50
3Flight 33.49
4Flight 43.48
4Flight 73.48
4Flight 53.48
7Flight 33.47
7Flight 13.47
9Flight 23.46
10Flight 73.45
11Flight 13.44
12Flight 43.43
13Flight 63.42
14Flight 53.41
15Flight 73.40
15Flight 63.40
15Flight 63.40
15Flight 43.40
19Flight 53.39
19Flight 43.39
21Flight 13.38
21Flight 23.38
23Flight 33.37
23Flight 13.37
25Flight 53.36
25Flight 63.36
27Flight 73.35
28Flight 23.33

We see what is quite honestly a huge range for teams at Districts, a full 0.2 is required to cover the top to bottom teams.  And these are averages of the top-8 mind you, so while the top-12 are covered by just 0.1, but it appears quite a few teams are there that, on paper at least, will be pretty severe underdogs.

And I have no idea how they distributed teams to flights, but there are a couple that stand out as stronger or weaker.  Flight 3's best three teams are all in the top-7, the best two are #2 and #3, all with top-8 averages higher than the best from flights 1 and 6.  A couple pretty good teams won't be making it to Sectionals, although there is a wildcard open, but if they beat up on each other, the second place team may not make it.

At the other end, flight 6 has no team rated higher than 13th.  Of course, now that I've pointed this out, watch the flight 6 winner go to Sectionals and win it all!

Moving on to the 4.0 men, here is what their top-8 averages look like.

RankSub-FlightAverage
1Flight 24.02
2Flight 34.00
2Flight 24.00
4Flight 53.99
5Flight 43.97
6Flight 23.96
6Flight 63.96
6Flight 43.96
9Flight 33.94
9Flight 53.94
11Flight 53.93
12Flight 43.91
12Flight 13.91
12Flight 63.91
15Flight 13.90
15Flight 33.90
17Flight 63.89
17Flight 53.89
17Flight 13.89
20Flight 63.87
20Flight 33.87
22Flight 43.86
23Flight 23.84
24Flight 13.78

The range here is a full 0.24, the lowest rated team has a top-8 average that is well, right about average, for 4.0s as a whole.  The top-8 are all within 0.06 of each other though, and two more just 0.02 back, so there are still a good group of good teams.

But like for the women, there is a very tough flight, that being flight 2 with the #1, #2, and #6 teams in the flight.  Flight 1 appears to be the easier flight here with no team higher than #12.


You might wonder how accurate these previews are at predicting who advances and that is an excellent question.  As we know, in sports, it isn't always the "better" or most accomplished team on paper that wins, and in tennis a lot depends on who shows up, what the match-ups are, and just how players play on a given day.

But last year, the 3.5 women had the #1 team from flight 1 move on, #1 from flight 2, #2 from flight 3, #1 from flight 4, #4 from flight 5, #2 from flight 6, and #2 from flight 7.  So five of the seven had the #1 or #2 team advance.

And the 4.0 men had flight 1 tightly bunched with the #3 team (just hundredths behind #1) moving on, flight 2 had the top team advance, flight 3 saw a close #3 advance, flight 4 had #2 move on, flight 5 had #1 advance, and flight 6 also had the top team move on.  So three of the six flights had the top-team, and one had a #2 team.

So these averages aren't perfect, but they are a pretty good predictor of who will advance.

What do you think?

If you are interested in knowing the actual teams in each spot above, or are on a team and want to get a flight report to scout your opponents and see where your team compares, or a team report to better plan your line-ups, contact me.