Saturday, March 4, 2017

Poll: What should be done about allowing players to play up?

I recently wrote on the subject of competitive matches in USTA League play and how playing up affects that.  I offered some suggestions on how to address the issues while still allowing it, and some of the feedback in comments and on Facebook have added to the ideas, so I thought a poll would be in order to collect everyone's position or opinion.

See below for the poll, you can vote for multiple options as most are not mutually exclusive, but try not to vote for each of the few that are :)

I've included a little discussion on the options in the poll below it if you want to better understand what you are voting for.

What should be done about playing up in USTA League

Leave it alone, allowing playing up is needed and ok
Don't allow playing up at all, causes too many problems
Reduce the percent of roster that can be below level
Limit the number of below level players in a match line-up
Require below level players to play higher numbered courts, e.g. 3 then 2
Don't allow playing up in plus leagues
Eliminate the roster limit waiver for move-up Nationals teams
Please Specify:

Presently National limits the below level players at 50%, but some sections have a lower limit and apparently some a higher one. Reducing it further could be either a lower percentage or a fixed number, say three, like is done for above level players in plus leagues.

There presently is no limit on how many below level players can be in a given line-up.  If they are on the roster, they can be in the line-up.  Limiting this would probably be a fixed number like two or three.

Presently a below level player can play on any court and captains can use this to "throw" a match on court 1 while putting stronger players on 2 or 3 to try to win the team match. Limiting below level players to only play on court 3 then 2 would be similar to plus leagues where above level players must play on court 1.

You can vote for both a limit the having to play higher numbered courts to combine them and you'd have a situation where you could play two below level players, but they'd have to be both on court 3 doubles or one on court 3 doubles and one court 2 singles.  This again is like what is done for plus leagues.

The playing up problem is particularly bad in plus leagues where you can have a 5.0 playing a 4.0 on court 1. Adopting one or more other options can partially address this, but one could also just not allow playing up in plus leagues at all.

Presently, a team that goes to Nationals must split up (no more than 3 from the same roster on a team at the same level) or move-up. When they move up, the 50% roster limit is waived so they can have as many playing up as they want. This only affects a handful of teams, but perhaps it should be eliminated.

If you have another idea, write it in!