Sunday, June 17, 2007

Random Musing

A computer ranked friend of mine who's been whipping up on the competition this season asked me the other day if he should "tank" a match. He was worried about a three strikes violation. Putting aside the ethics of the situation (I DO have SOME ethics, believe it or not), I told him "You have nothing to worry about".

My own personal opinion is that the "three strikes rule" is virtually nonexistent for computer rated players. The Black Sheep have found out that self-rateds are a different animal, but I'm here to tell you that not only are computer rated players untouchable from a protest standpoint, but they also don't need to throw games/sets/matches to keep their ratings for the current season (the following season is a different story).

Check out the records of a few of these folks that I stumbled upon this morning while checking out some teams across the state:

Chad Case, 7-0 against top competition in the very tough Austin 4.5 league. Closest match thus far was 13 games to 6.

Jason Kern, who plays on our own Hurricane team in addition to his Fort Worth team. 10-0 in doubles with just one set surrendured. Additionally is 15-0 in doubles in tournament play this year.

Ronnie Blake, rated 4.0. Undefeated in his 4 4.5 matches in addition to an 8-0 4.0 record with nine of his sets being 6-0 or 6-1.

Thomas Skowronek, playing for the Austin 4.0 champ. 8-0, no sets lost, closest match 12 games to 6.

You get the picture. Rule #1: If you're computer rated, you can kick a$$ and take names and you have NO worries about a three strikes violation.

27 comments:

  1. I don't think there were any 3-strike DQs for 2006 in the Section. I do know that there have been a record # of self-rate DQs for 2007. The only rule change I've heard of as far as being easier to get DQd at Sectionals is that they did lower the threshold for red flags. In other words, it used to be that the computer had to deem you .25 (I don't know the exact #) above level to cause a red flag and that number is significantly lower now. Might be 1/2 that.

    In the case of Arun, here's my speculation on what happened. This is just my opinion. I wouldn't be surprised if the 2 game suspension was punishment (ala Maria Taylor) for leaving off information or not accurately filling out his profile, and trying to self-rate as a 4.5 player, even though he didn't play any 4.5 matches. But due to his injury he was OKd to play 5.0. It just so happens there are only 2 more matches left in the season.

    Also, don't rag on Tosha, she has a committee which reviews these appeals. It's not just her making these decisions. Like I said, there's no precedence for a lot of these cases so it appears to an outsider that there's no consistency.

    For the record, the Section looks very closely at injury cases. I've heard of many cases where players with ACL and MCL related injuries (and the like) were not granted a waiver. They were told, play at your normal level and if your matches are not competitive the system will move you down.

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  2. The other thing that a lot of people don't realize is that it only takes 4 games to be considered a competitive match. So, when I took a look at Arun's results, they didn't seem that out of whack. He had a few questionable results, but overall, for someone who has never seen him play or doesn't know most of his opponents, I can understand why a computer has not kicked him out. Same for just about everyone else you've mentioned.

    That is why it is so hard to get a 3-strike DQ. Lopsided wins can be offset by close matches.

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  3. Jason Kern can also play some singles. He just won Tyler, and never dropped a set. May do the same thing in doubles. Freeman also won 3.5 singles. Both of his teams will be tough at sectionals

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  4. So, who is gonna emerge from the 4.5 Men? I think it's a shame Kilshaw's team might not even make it to playoffs. I really do. They would represent Houston well at Sectionals. Mob Squad is always a perrenial threat but I honestly think Kilshaw's team is better.

    QUESTION for you diehard captains. Would you rather have a team with 2-3 ringers (ie. "guarantee" wins) or a team with mega-depth. 4-5 solid lines that would win 85-95% of the time. I've had both scenarios, and I think I'd rather have depth. Especially when you get to Sectionals when you're facing teams with just as many ringers. However, last year's Women's 4.5 team comes to mind. They road the coattail of Maria Taylor, Carol St Clair, and So Youn.

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  5. Mob Squad broke up. Too many egos. Dwyer got sick of babysitting them.

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  6. Why choose? I like to have mega ringer depth. Can't argue with my results last year....

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  7. What's the big deal with the San Antonio Team last year? Yes, they did have Trent Broach but looking at the roster most of the team was computer rated. The team did have depth but more than anything they had key players from which where experienced League Players. Alot of people need to realize that League Play is very competitive and NOT your average NTRP Club Rating.
    Why does the Hurricane 4.0 Team have all the dominating 4.0 players in the state of Texas on their Team.(2 From Fort Worth 1 from Port Arthur and 1 from San Antonio). Freeman's team is an All Star Cast but do I blame him for assembling such a Good Team ? No way. He has played in 12 different Leagues this Year and 9 Tournaments. He's dominating the 3.5's and 4.0's. All he has done is recruited very well but I'm sure everyone out their knows that Freeman's Teams are the Teams to Beat.
    No matter how many Ringers or how much Depth you have on your team you have to have the players who are match tough to endure the 3rd set Tiebreakers in doubles which are Brutal and the Back to Back Matches over a 3 day period at Sectionals.
    The Kingwood 4.5 Team will be in the Playoffs and they will be very tough to Beat. With the addition of the Dibua brothers and Adam Paschal from the Colorado Section look for them to make an impact.

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  8. I think that 3 strike rule stinks. Atsushi Fukunaga had competitive scores with Kudva and he's supposed to beat Monty Lindloff and Chris Sandbloom handily. Anyone in a above average 4.5 team wouild have had those same scores.Then he beat Burmman and Tim Marco 4,4. Are those not competitive scores?

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  9. I don't agree - Kingwood is in trouble. The problem Kingwood faces is schedule at this point. Assuming they beat Hangovers 3-2 in their 2nd meeting, that still means they have 2 lines to make up to catch the Hangovers in lines won. They've got to play the YUTTS twice while the Hangovers only play them once and MIB twice. YUTTS is a much better team than MIB. If Hangovers sweep MIB (which is definitely possible) in both matches it's not a given that Kingwood will be in the playoffs. Kingwood would have to only lose 1 line total in both matches against YUTTS. Jedi Knights have a much easier schedule in 4.5I and a better chance of gaining the Wildcard. It's a shame Cheryl always puts Mob Squad and Kingwood in the same division. Both teams are worthy.

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  10. Can we please stop talking about the mob? They aren't even playing.

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  11. Two teams from each division make playoffs. Kingwood is in unless they collapse.

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  12. I prefer depth as opposed to ringers because in my opinion it is more important to give yourself 5 shots at winning 3 lines as opposed to only 3 shots at winning 3 lines.

    However, the problem with too much depth is you run into ego problems and playing-time issues. It only works if you have "team" oriented guys.

    Oh yeah, the Tyler tournament was called off due to bad weather. I was in the 3.5 final, on-serve at 4-3...we flipped a coin for it and I lost : ) Jason Kern is playing the singles final today in Dallas against Mark Jenkins.

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  13. Freeman is spot on...depth is the key to winning at sectionals. You need a chance to win at all 5 lines. One ringer in singles is always a great bonus however. Also, the more of your team that is tournament tough at playoff time, the better. Kingwood along with the Hangovers will be in the playoffs for anyone wondering. Its a question of who will be 1 and who will be 2? Was Arun really suspended or does he have 2 red flags currently? By the way...we lost a line to both the Yutts and Copperfield in the make-up matches.

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  14. So how does it affect a player if you are rated Benchmark and blowing the competition away?

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  15. Topspin Assasin's AssasinatorJune 18, 2007 at 5:04 PM

    In my experience, the most important ingredient to winning league tennis is to have a team full of complete A..holes captained by an even bigger A..hole. Any A..holes care to disagree?

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  16. Important Disclaimer...I am not an A..hole. But I have played against a bunch of you.

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  17. I agree with Freeman, I would much rather have depth than a ringer or two. What happens if your ringer is not able to show. You are out that one line. At least with depth, if you have a player who is a no show, you do not have to worry about throwing a line away.

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  18. Believe it or not every line in League Play is Important in League whether its 3 Lines in 5.0's or 5 Lines in 4.5's. Things Happen and Even the Good Doubles Teams CHOKE in a 10 point Tiebreaker.

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  19. Hey Topspin - you sound like you've really got some deep rooted issues. Were you that kid on the playground who was always the last one picked for kickball? Did you not make your High School sports teams and had to settle for drama instead?You're not gonna go postal on us one day, are you????

    Sorry you suck and you're not good enough to be an A-hole like the rest of us, playing on an even bigger A-hole's team.

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  20. Dear Mr. Topspin,

    Please don't use my name lightly. I am sensitive and can get a bit runny some times especially when the competition gets tough. I am very competitive and will stretch the rules to the max to win as long as it is within the rules. You see, I am not the one you should get mad at. Those who set and enforce the rules are the ones for you to complain to. Why don't you send emails to the USTA and TTA and encourage your local representatives who attend those meetings to try to get the rules tightened up a bit. Until they more clearly define what a 3.5 , 4.0, 4.5, 5.0 etc. player is, you will always be upset. Just make sure that you focus your frustrations on those that make and enforce the rules.

    Sincerely and with Gas,

    A-Hole

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  21. First, I find all this A-hole talk to be a black eye for what could be a good Blog. As to the benchmark question. I had a few lucky years as a benchmark were I won almost all of my matches. Since I was a bench mark, everyone I beat that year stayed at or move down a rating. One year Andrew Borne was one of the few to have wins over me and he was bumped up. The benchmarks are what they sound like...a basis for which others are rated. This year I am still a bench mark. If you are a benchmark and are blowing away the competition then the competition is were the problem lies. The competition should need adjusted.

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  22. No offense Tim, but I don't think Borne got moved up because he beat you, he got moved up because he was a 5.0 playing 4.5. I don't think it had anything to do with beating you. If that were true, Kory Brown would be a 5.0.

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  23. Dear Mr. Dinker,

    My previous comments were meant to lighten it up a little. The bloggers were getting too serious. Let's all ease up a little. I still stand by what I said, in that, those who are complaining should complain to those who make and enforce the rules. Don't take their frustrations on you and others who win or try their best to win. You Mr. Dinker, have nothing to hide. In fact you have been one of the most honest players out there. You haven't covered up the fact that you play successfully in 5.0 tournaments. Clearly, if those who make and enforce the rules thought that you were 5.0, then you would be rated there. Therefore, either everyone who plays in 5.0 tournaments are not 5.0 or TTA is confused. This is why I say that a more clear definition of what each rating level is, is in order. It is up to USTA to get that accomplished. Until then, the subjectivity of eveyone's level of play is wide.

    Sincerely,

    A-Hole

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  24. Topspin AssassinJune 19, 2007 at 1:14 PM

    Just to clarify. My A**hole comments had nothing to do with my frustrations at not being able to win in league. I usually don't even play summer league. Namely because of all you A**holes. I just don't care that much to deal with all of the drama of USTA league tennis. Fortunately, I have a great career, a great family, and lots of hobbies. You guys have.....league. Good for you.

    Dinker Green, lossen up, I am only trying to soil your blog with sarcasm, nothing more. You are actually an alright guy when it comes to everything other than league tennis.

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  25. I just posted about Atsushi in another section of this forum, I got the spelling wrong but you are 100% right.
    6-3 6-4 with 7 deuce points with Kudva
    6-4 6-4 with Burmman and Tim Marco and 5 deuce points according to his captain.
    The major issue is there is no appeal, no one to review a self rated bumped player. The computers have the final say and the Tennis Matrix has issued it's ruling. This is a major problem.
    Atsushi deserves the respect of an appeal. But again, the USTA has a problem and does not seam to care.
    Welcome to the USTA justice system.

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    I think that 3 strike rule stinks. Atsushi Fukunaga had competitive scores with Kudva and he's supposed to beat Monty Lindloff and Chris Sandbloom handily. Anyone in a above average 4.5 team wouild have had those same scores.Then he beat Burmman and Tim Marco 4,4. Are those not competitive scores?

    June 18, 2007 12:29 AM
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  26. yeah, atsushi would have lost against many other 4.5 league players like deluca or dibua

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  27. I will bet my money on atsushi against those two

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