Monday, May 30, 2016

It is almost June, where are the USTA League players that are getting Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Reports?

We are nearly a full five months into the 2016 calendar year, and in another five months the last Nationals will be finishing up bringing a close to the 2016 USTA League year.  At this "halfway point", I thought I'd take a look back at where the folks are that have gotten Estimated Dynamic NTRP Rating Reports this year.

The "heat map" below shows a green dot for the reports that have been done, the darker/larger the splotch the more reports there have been in that area.

There is fairly good representation from the different sections, states, and areas.  But there are some main metro areas where a lot of tennis is played that are represented very well including Seattle, San Francisco, Washington D.C. the Carolina's, Philadelphia/New Jersey/New York City, and Tennessee has really stepped up this year with several hot spots.

A few less populated areas show up too including Puerto Rico, Northern Michigan, North Idaho, and Vermont.

If you don't see your state/city highlighted on the map and would like it to be, contact me about getting a report of your own.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Congratulations to the PNW/Seattle teams headed to 40+ USTA League Playoffs - Go Columbia Silver Lake!

This weekend was the last one for regular season play in the 40+ division of the PNW/Seattle USTA League and with the completion of it, teams will soon be notified by our League Coordinator that they have qualified.

But it is easy enough to figure it out, and so I'd like to make a special shout out to those teams from the club I play at (Columbia Silver Lake) that appear to be headed to playoffs:

  • 3.0 Women - Garside finished 2nd in their sub-flight
  • 3.5 Men - Garside finished 1st in their sub-flight
  • 4.0 Men - Schmidt finished 1st in their sub-flight
  • 4.5+ Men - Tinsley finished 2nd in their sub-flight

Good luck teams!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New addition to Sub-flight/Group Reports - Find out if opponents stack or not and if so how!

I've been generating sub-flight or group reports for awhile now.  These are a great way to get a nice overview of how all the teams stack up in a sub-flight during the regular season, but an even better way to scout opponents in playoffs when you likely know very little about the team.

What you get with a sub-flight report is now three different tables.  All of the tables use my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings for doing the calculations.

First, you get a table showing the average rating for each team's complete roster, plus the average by level.  This lets you see how strong a team is top to bottom as well as if their overall average is pulled down by players playing up or not.  Here is an example from a recent group at a district playoffs.

Team NameAverage Rating2.5 Avg3.0 Avg
Team 12.822.62.84
Team 22.822.542.85
Team 32.742.362.8
Team 42.742.532.81

Second, because some teams have really large rosters, the full roster average doesn't tell the whole story, especially in playoffs when teams are going to play their stronger players.  Thus, there is a table showing the average ratings for the top-8 players.  This tells you how the teams compare at their best and here is an example.

Team 22.99
Team 12.91
Team 42.91
Team 32.86

Last, and what is new to this report is something to help you know how a team plays their lines/courts.  This shows an overall weighted average based on who has actually played, plus a weighted average by court.  Using this, you can tell if a team tends to play straight-up or if they stack, and which courts they play their stronger/weaker players on.

Team NameAverage Rating1S2S1D2D3D
Team 12.852.972.812.822.862.84
Team 22.853.252.852.872.792.68
Team 42.772.762.482.942.882.66
Team 32.762.6902.82.842.76
From the above, we can see team 1 was arguably the deepest, but not as strong at the very top.  They also played singles straight-up but were pretty balanced in doubles actually playing stronger players on court 2 by a bit.

Team 2 played straight-up and played really strong players on 1S.  Team 4 also played straight-up while team 3 did mix it up a bit.

If you are interested in doing some scouting of your local league or playoffs with a report containing the above, contact me!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

How did the teams do at the USTA League Georgia State 18+ 4.0 Men's Tournament?

I wrote a preview of the 4.0 Men level at the Georgia State 18+ tournament held this weekend, so with it completed it is time to see how my ratings did at predicting the results.

In the first group, the ratings said Malo was the strongest team by several hundredths, and indeed they won the group going 5-0.  In fact, the final standings nearly perfectly mirrored the order I listed with just the middle two teams swapping spots, the ratings having Coon a hundredth ahead of Mundy, but Mundy finishing 3-2 to Coon's 2-3.  However, Coon did go 14-11 on courts while Mundy went 13-12 so perhaps the ratings were wrong!

In the second group, the ratings also picked the winner in Hein, and astoundingly in this case nailed the order for the entire group from #1 to #6.

So who won it all?  Hein did, and the pre-tournament ratings had them with the highest top-8 average of them all so predicted that right too.

Do my ratings always predict playoffs this accurately?  No, certainly not, but they do a remarkably good job at predicting individual and team matches.  Of course, who actually plays and what match-ups the captains get goes a long way to determining who wins a match.  But in this case at least, the ratings were exceptionally accurate.

Stay tuned for more previews, or contact me to get your own.

Following the USTA League Georgia State 18+ Tournament 4.0 Women

I did a preview of the 4.0 Women at the Georgia State 18+ Tournament so it only makes sense to see how things went with all the matches played except for the final which is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

In Group 1, the upset of the tournament occurred in the first match with Junkins beating Bolin 5-0, and that propelled them to the group win ahead of Bolin who got it back together to finish 4-1.

Group 2 had Putnum pull the upset from the #4 spot winning the close ones with two 3-2 wins including one over the top seed Beavers.  Note that every court went as expected against Beavers though so Putnum had the line-up and match-ups they needed to pull it off.

Group 3 finally had the favorite going in, Alderman, come out on top going 4-0.  But they did have two 3-2 wins over the #2 and #3 seeds in their group, so pretty much as expected.

In Group 4, the favorite, Miller, did go 4-0 and advance on to the semis with three 4-1 wins and one 3-2 win over the second favorite in the group that included two match tie-break wins, so that one was close.  But 3 of the courts went as expected, and each team had a very minor upset in the two matches expected to be the closest.

One semi had Junkins facing Putnum, which going in would favor Junkins, and they did come through winning 4-1.  In fact, with the line-ups used, Junkins was favored to win each court and in fact the one court loss was a retirement.

The other semi had Miller facing Alderman with the match being a near dead-heat using the pre-tournament top-8 averages.  The match was close with Miller winning 3-2 with 3 matches as expected and one for each team an upset win.  However, one win for Alderman was a retirement, perhaps after the win was already determined.

So that leaves Junkins facing Miller in the final tomorrow.  Who is favored?  Based on current top-8 averages, Miller would be the favorite.  But who is really favored depends on who plays and on which courts, and of course who wins will depend on who plays best tomorrow morning.  Good luck ladies!

As always, if anyone is interested in a team or sub-flight report to scout opponents and plan for matches or playoffs, I'm here!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

USTA League Georgia State 18+ Tournament Part 2

The post I did on the 18 & over Georgia State Tournament was very popular on Facebook with a number of comments and a bit of smack talk about who the favorites were for the 4.0 Women.  Due to popular demand, here is a preview of those groups.

Again, these are using my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings to calculate top-8 averages for each roster, and this time, I'm excluding players that were DQ'd during the year and ineligible.  Note I did update the prior post to reflect that too.

Here are the Women's 4.0 groups:

1USTA Atlanta/Danielle Bolin4.15
2COTA/Kellie Borders3.97
3NOGTA/Stacy Junkins3.94
4USTA Atlanta/Candace Cole3.85
5Southern Crescent/Debbi Seelye3.83

1USTA Atlanta/Rene Beavers3.94
2SATA/Danielle Sussman3.92
3COTA/Tonya Bell3.91
4EVTA/Dede Putman3.87
5Cherokee/Tamara Watkins3.83

1USTA Atlanta/Tammy Alderman4.01
2SATA/Leslie Shields3.93
3NEGTA/Linda Heimbigner3.85
4USTA Atlanta/Samantha Pappas3.83
5CVTA/Carol Pearson3.78

1CORTA/Alexis Miller4.00
2Cherokee/Susan Cruickshank3.91
3Southern Crescent/Sharon Greiner3.91
4USTA Atlanta/Renee Dutton3.85
5CVTA/Marsha Thompson3.80

It appears Atlanta/Bolin is the prohibitive favorite if they bring and play their best.  After that, it is closer and fairly balanced.  Will the favorites win each group and Bolin take it all?

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.

If I have time, I'll report back on this level plays out 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.

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:

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

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:

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

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

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

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.