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.


  • 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.