Saturday, August 25, 2007

Nothing New to Report

That other comment section was getting too long, so feel free to post any further comments here.

I took a quick glance at some of the other Sectional championships and noticed that a former Houstonian is a key player on the 4.5 champion from the midwest. "Old timers" like David Hall will remember Alan Unnerstall, who was a fixture on some of Brad Davis' teams in the late nineties/early 2000's here in Houston. I'm surprised he is able to be a contributor on a team headed to Nationals in 4.5...makes me think the Texas 4.5 team can do well again this year.

203 comments:

  1. Texas Team has a Great shot but is in a very tough Bracket in the Round Robin. They do have alot of Depth though.

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  2. Adding on to the end of the last thread aboud sandbagging. I'm interested to know what qualifies someone as a sandbagger. Is it actively seeking out people new to the league who are above level and somehow managing to get them rated below where they should be playing? There was only 1 player on my team who was new to the league, Connie Hsiao, and she lost both of her matches at Sectionals. Is it Dominique Glinzler who has been on my HTA team for 3 years (yes, computer rated as a 5.0) and for some reason was bumped down for 2007 to 4.5. Should I not let her play on the team because she was previously rated 5.0? Same for Jesselyn Reed, she moved here to Houston in 2005 compter rated 4.5 for over 3 years from Nashville, I was lucky enough to have one of my players run into her in singles league and added her to the team. She was bumped up to 5.0 for 2006 after Nationals and then back down to 4.5 for 2007. Should I let her sit on the bench because I don't think it's fair that she play 4.5 even though that's where the computer says she should be playing? Or is it the other 10 players on the team who have been computer rated 4.5 for at least 2 years now and have never been bumped by the computer.

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  3. WOW...Betsie is very defensive, it almost makes you wonder if the comments about sandbagging offend you and your team

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  4. Actually, Mr. Anonymous, I really don't care if people think some of my players are sandbaggers. I'm going to Tuscon end of September - where are you gonna be? I was just wondering what defines a player as a sandbagger. Is it by willful misrepresentation? My only point is that in my case, why would you fault me for having Computer Rated 4.5 players on my HTA team also play on my USTA league team? Is there really a captain out there who would say, "You know, you've been playing on my HTA team for the last 2 years and the computer rates you a 4.5 - BUT, I'm not gonna play you during the summer because even though the computer says you're 4.5 I know there are people who don't believe it".

    I lost 5 of may key players from the 2005 team, and only added 2 new players to essentially my HTA team this year. One of them is self rated and lost both matches at Sectionals, the other came from another Section and is computer rated.

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  5. Sandbaggers are people that are playing down from a division in which they know they dont belong. And yes, some of you are sandbaggers. Its very similar to cheating, and if i have to cheat my way to go to Nationals i would rather not go. But thanks for the interest in knowing where i will be

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  6. You're assuming that YOU know where they belong. My so called sandbaggers had competitive matches throughout the season and at Sectionals so why should they not be playing where they are? It sounds like to me that you have a fundamental gripe with the computer and your frustrations with the system are misplaced on players and captains who are playing at the level for which the computer has determined they are eligible for.

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  7. Hey, thanks for the blog, I enjoyed reading it this summer. You inspired me to create a blog for Austin. -AT
    http://austintennis.blogspot.com/

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  8. Betsie,

    Although I know nothing about womens league tennis in Texas it sounds like you have managed to set the bar in Texas regarding the talent level needed to compete and advance....well done!

    I can't believe you might only have 1-2 players bumped after going to, and hopefully winning, Nationals. My entire 3.5 team will be bumped and so will 80% of my 4.0 team (all rightfully so). In my opinion, they all belong, and most will hold their own, at the higher levels by now.

    Good luck in Tucson!!!

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  9. I like the blog, Anthony. I've added links to your site and the Houston tournament blog.

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  10. Jason, you may be surprised. My team in 05 had 6-7 players who should/could have been bumped and only 3 were. All but 1 of those players have since been bumped back down to 4.5.

    Of course, 2 of my best players on that team didn't go so that definitely hurt us. Are all your men going for both 3.5 and 4.0? Both of your teams look solid with ridiculous depth and could definitely be playing on Sunday but you should expect every round in your pool play to be like the finals in Dallas. Also, considering how much you dominated this year you may be considered the team to beat by the other Sections which might hurt you somewhat. Expect teams do some strange things with their lineups.

    The best advise I can give you is get your players out there Wednesday night if you can so they can practice on Thursday. The air is thinner/drier, the altitude higher - the ball flys. Also, the sun is REALLY bright.

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  11. Well, if every match goes the way of the Dallas 4.0 or 3.5 final for Freeman et al., I'd say he's got nothing to worry about.

    I wonder if he's going to try and keep each of his 3.5 and 4.0 bumpups and form a new team at each higher respective level. Whip them into fighting shape there. THAT would be hardcore... Jason, what do you think?

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  12. Jason, It was nice meeting you for the first time in Dallas. You must be as nice as my 1st impression of you was because if you've got a team that you think 80-100% of which will get bumped up that's pretty phenominal and I'm amazed no one has given you grief over it. I was sorry to see the post which put down the 3.5s and 4.0s. I started as a 3.5 about 12 years ago. There was a time when I asked the "then reigning" 4.5 team to practice with my 4.0 team before Sectionals and they totally blew us off. They told me their players were all busy and then we ran into them at LLTC the night of our practice.

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  13. Betsie,

    I appreciate the kind comments and I'll take your advice (which is similar to advice I've received from other experienced captains concerning the Nationals experience) and try to convince my guys to go up a day early. I was fortunate enough to play tennis in Palm Springs, CA earlier this year (along with some other guys on each team) and I could definately tell a difference in the non-humid dry air.

    I've only had one really tasteless experience with other players/captains being condesending/arrogant in conjunction with their percieved level of play verses my 3.5/4.0 guys. It happended during the HTA league season and the comments were so ridiculous I thought they were a joke (because we were winning the match) but evidently they weren't. I made a mental note, took it for what it was worth (not much) and moved on. Any self-respecting, reasonable person whose comments I would request/appreciate and whose opinions I would respect wouldn't approach these types of issues/topics in such a blatantly and blissfully ignorant manner. I would imagine most people reading this blog can imagine the 1 or 2 people associated with recreational league/tournament tennis in Houston that would actually frame discussions or issues in such a manner (if you don't know who they are you have a pretty good idea of who they might be). However, 99.9% of follks have been supportive and genuinely excited for us....contrary to the negative banter that makes its way to this blog sometimes, most tennis-related Houstonians are good people and they want to see their local-area teams do well, regardless as to which level they are playing at.

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  14. If your team breezes throgh sectionals, whether you are freeman or hollis, you are going to have sandbaggers and out of level players. Freeman gets more respect than hollis I think becuase he at least knows his players all should be playing at higher levels. Hollis is notorious for having division 1 players every season playing 4.5. Also her HTA position allows her a lot of leeway with dq's etc. She uses the same shady tactics as Benzon and Green.

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  15. Betsie will give you the argument that her team players are all computer rated and that makes them eligible to play. And yes, i agree with her on that point. But honestly, if you know that you do not belong in the level you are computer rated then you are a "sandbagger" and in aroundabout way your cheating.

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  16. I fail to see how it's cheating or even sandbagging if players play at their computer generated levels (assuming they haven't intentionally lost games/matches along the way).

    I'm not sure how Betsie's HTA position has helped her team in any way, other than perhaps giving her a better knowledge of the rules.

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  17. Ignorance truly is bliss. I haven't been on the HTA board for almost 2 years and the fact of the matter is I lost a grievance this season which cost my team a match. Grievances are sent to the HTA Grievance Committee anonymously and NTRP appeals are submitted to a committee in Austin. In fact, Allen Teague was on the committee which ruled on my grievance and he didn't even know until I was talking to him about it that my team was involved (after a decision had been made).

    Cheating by definition means that a rule is broken. What rule do you think I've broken? If my sandbaggers are breaking rules there is something that can be done. They can be protested. Since captaining at 4.5 I've only had 1 player protested and it was denied.

    So, since Freeman freely admits that 80-100% of his teams are above level and he still has them on his team, that absolves him of any rule infraction.

    My friends keep telling me to stop posting because the fact is there's nothing I can do or say to change anyone's mind. It is what it is and people obviously have very strong opinions about this subject. Really, the only thing I'm guilty of is putting together winning teams. Because, isn't that the underlying issue here. My teams win. There are other teams out there with D1 players on 4.5 and even 4.0 teams but those captains don't win. Back in 2005, Trent Broach entered the league as a self rated 4.5 player. He was an active player for ACU, a D2 Nationally Ranked team and I believe he was their #1 or #2 player. No one said anything because the Jedi Knights back then weren't going anywhere. Trent didn't even send in a self-rating player profile. Had he, he would have had to play 5.5. THAT'S Cheating.

    I think I've been given way too much credit. Next thing, someone is going to accuse me of somehow figuring out a way to manipulate the computers.

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  18. How is Trent Broach any different that Tara Shelandder on your nationals Team exactly? SHe as an obvious sand bagger give me a break.

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  19. The difference is that Tara Shelander was computer rated 4.5 when I added her to the team. Trent wasn't - he came in as a self rated player. Tara had been in the computers for 2 seasons. Holly Lindloff was also already computer rated when I added her. In fact, she played 4.0 (on a different team than mine) before I got her on the team.

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  20. I know this is a hard concept for you to understand but here are a few other examples:

    Allison Lui - entered the computers in 2006 (Self Rating Profiling is in effect). She just turned 25 years old and played Div I. Somehow she was able to bypass the profiling and play 4.5.

    Dawn Tollefson - entered the computers in 2006. Played for UTSA (D1 school) and is playing on a 4.0 team.

    Just like Trent, in the above situations, the players were mandated to follow the self-rate profiling and were able to come into the league below where they should play. My point is, in each case, those players were not on a winning team. You can bet that if they were on my team (or Hangovers in Trent's case), everyone would be all over me and accusing me of cheating.

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  21. Were I to go and add Allison and Dawn to my team in 2009, all of a sudden everyone would be up in arms accusing me of cheating and having a team full of sandbaggers.

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  22. The whole computer ratings argument/justification makes no sense. Look at Grant Murphy. He obviously tanked in the regular season, as the Hangovers wanted him to be able to go to sectionals and be able to get automatic wins. If he is computer rated 4.5 next year due to the early tanking, is he a legit 4.5? If tara shelander self rates low and tanks enough to keep her rating below 5.0, is she really a 4.5? The San Antonio guys that tanked all year in 5.0, when they get moved down to 4.5 and kill everybody, are they legit computer rated guys that are playing fair? Hollis abviously knows the ins and outs of getting out of level players, but I belive that goes against the sprit of league play. The idea in NTRP is that conceivably everybody ought to be more or less the same level. If your team is repeatedly winning sectionals and local play you quite obviously have out of level players. if you go to natioals at least 50 percent of your players should be playing at a higher level. As usual the blogger is the first to defend the ringers and sandbaggers. But then look at the statements he makes. he says he Would love to have Jason Kern on his 4.5 team. That means that guy had no business playing 4.0. He has repeatedly through out the season said what a good 4.5 Hunckler is. Then he gets absolutely destroyed by one of the Austin ringers and somehow that guy is a legit 4.5? Captains like Hollis and the blogger and the hangover crew are the reason alot of people stay out of league. At least the Jason Freeman guy recruited mostly tournament players and let them win their matches, with the exception of Ahmed who is a huge ringer. Even though his team is loaded with 4.5's, at least they played straight up throught the season and weren't recent college players teaching pros bogus self rates etc. The bottom line is that the majority of these winning teams are manipulating and exploiting the system, and thats nothing to be proud of.

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  23. Gosh - I'm very impressed that you have such inside knowledge to the ratings and tankings of my teams and players. My players play to win - period. I'm not sure where you're getting your insightful information from and what suddently makes you the expert on whether or not a team/player is playing straight up. How many of my team matches have you watched and do you have a specific match that you think one of my players tanked? I'll be sure to consult with you before I ever add another player to my team because you obviously represent the pillar of moral justice and have the lock on which level each and every player in the league should be, which ones are legitimate (forget the computer ratings), which ones deliberately tanked matches, how I have developed this very intricate and convulated system to manipulate and exploint the system to be sure every sandbagger in the women's league magically ends up on my team, and which players are "huge ringers" but that's ok because they haven't been dominating in the league long enough (and not playing at a high enough level) for anyone to take notice or care.

    You also clearly missed the entire point of my previous posts. That, or you're actually smarter than you seem and have selectively (and rightfully so) chosen to ignore it.

    I have no beef with Jason at all, it's just you're justification in how his 3.5 and 4.0 teams are any different than every other team going to Nationals truly escapes me and only further demonstrates your ignorance. I never had any former college players or pros on any of my 3.5 or 4.0 teams either because gee, that would be cheating.

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  24. I think it is safe to say that Bhollis has now supplanted Red as the person most obsessed with league.

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  25. Freeman does the exact same thing. He knows 80-90% of his players should be bumped up because they were bumped up last year and he filed protests and had them loose during the fall & spring so that they become "legal" computer rated players. He knows how to play the system, therefore nothing to say but congrats for nationals.

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  26. Well, we've beaten the subject of sandbagging into the ground. Luckily the USTA will continue using computer generated ratings and not the subjective opinions of underachievers when deciding where players belong.

    Onto a topic that is currently being discussed within the TTA.

    Currently, Nationals gives each Section just 2 choices for DQing players at Sectionals. We can dq throughout Sectionals (after each round) and take away all matches during Sectionals of any player who has three red flags, or we can wait until the end of Sectionals (winner is already decided) and dq at that time, letting the team go on but not the player who had three red flags.

    Unfortunately, with the current system there is no difference in penalty for computer rated DQs and self-rated DQs. You lose ALL your matches when you are DQd.

    The argument for each scenario are valid:

    1. If you DQ along the way, taking away results can drastically change the outcome of the weekend even if it is a computer rated player who is DQd.
    2. On the other hand, if you do it at the end and let the team advance anyways (without that player), you're not really sending the best possible legitimate team to Nationals.

    This year at Sectionals there was a record 12 DQs (last year were just 2 and both were self rated players). Apparently, with the reprogramming of the system the majority of these DQs were for computer rated players, many of which had been playing at that level for many years, and in several cases these DQs swung the results and who would advance to Sunday.

    What's your opion?

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  27. By the way - if you didn't know the Texas Section currently uses option #1 where we run the computers after every round and you lose all your matches if you are DQd.

    They are seriously considering going to option 2 for next year. And might even do it for Sr Sectionals this year. They got a lot of bad PR over the DQs during Adult Sectionals.

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  28. Option #1 is way better - ringers/sandbaggers are removed immediately, rather than allowed to continue bringing in false wins for their teams. Option #2 punishes teams playing at level, and rewards those who play below.

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  29. Option #1 is way better - ringers/sandbaggers are removed immediately, rather than allowed to continue bringing in false wins for their teams. Option #2 punishes teams playing at level, and rewards those who play below.

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  30. There should be roving judges during Sectionals, both league and tournament as well as Major Zones that should rate people up and or DQing people.

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  31. Heard this through the grapevine: some captains report scores that are not always true to the what really happened in effort to keep their players from getting bumped.

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  32. Hey Bhollis...would you justify the above comment to keep your team members from getting bumped?

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  33. Haha thats not exactly breaking news there. Any captain of a team wanting to advance to sectionals/ nationals does this. Its crucial that your ringers keep the scores close and lose from time time. Or at least that the computer believes this to be the case. Murphy losing in straights to Tor Krosby is a perfect example. Classic tank job there. Hollis is probably guilty of this as well. This allows her to claim how evenly matched her teams were with everyone else. Funny how her players always seem to pull out those close wins. WE have all played sand baggers that kepps us in the match till the very end where they somehow come up with the goods to close it out.

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  34. Who are the DQs that were computer rated? what is the story for each of them?

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  35. bhollis,

    I admire your passion but I agree with those that state that you by far are the most obsessed league participant in the city of Houston. Not to mention you seem a bit overly sensitive. I have made snide comments from time to time in these comment strings but there was no ill will or anomosity intented, just trying to stir up conversation and add a bit of humor. You make me feel that unless I make a comment praising your self-proclaimed mastery of "league captaining", then my comments are not worthy to be posted. Hell, early on I did not even post anonymously, but I am scared if you knew who I was and I made a comment you did not care for you would come after me at some league or tourney match.

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  36. I do not agree in general with the person who ripped 3.5 and 4.0 level play, but I will say that I question players that never seem to move up in level but seem to be on perennial city-level playoff teams every year. How can you be a 3.5 or 4.0 player and actually improve your game but remain 3.5 or 4.0 for 10+ straight years. There is nothing wrong with starting low and moving up but starting low, improving, and staying low I don't get that nor do I respect that. I started as a 3.5, played 2 years there, then spent 3 years as a 4.0, then 4 years as 4.5 and I am now into my third year of playing 5.0 though I am still rated 4.5 on the computer. I'd shoot myself if someone forced me to play nothing but 4.0 tennis at this point. That's an exaggeration, but you get my drift.

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  37. The worst players playing 5.0 tournaments are:
    1. Ronny Johnson
    2. Ken Sjborg
    3. ??????????

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  38. just an out there comment if so many league players are happy playing 4.5 or whatever their level than why play at a higher level in tournaments or playing open and winning.
    Also for the comment on Tara Shelander, she never should have rated 4.5 in 2005 but TTA allowed it. Allison Liu is safe at 4.5, she was not an overly strong player at McNeese State I believe.

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  39. I agree - if NO ONE played up then the tournaments would be competitive.

    Shelander (rated 4.5 in Beaumont in 2003 prior to profiling)

    Lui (rated 4.5 in 2006 - D1 school - 5.5 automatic)

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  40. My wife's team gets beat by Hollis' Allstar team year-in and year-out. I definitely would accuse her of being overly obsessed and competitive. Even though Shelander is in a different league than Lui, the rules changed and it is valid. I hate that captains are like vulchers immediately scooping up all sandbaggers but that will never change.

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  41. Liu was a #5-6 player at a pretty weak D1 school, I have seen plenty of guys playing on Top 75 D1 school get into 4.5, so should be no different for the ladies. Of course the profiling does not work if TTA and USTA ignore the blatant cheating and lying when they are initially filled out.

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  42. Yeah its obvious here that Bhollis is a believer in the Benzon ways. That its only sandbagging if a team other than theirs does it. If Shelander was on a competing 4.5 team in Houston Hollis would have used her HTA position to have her dq'ed and possibly imprisoned. Although I'd still have to say Benzon is the most psycho league competitor still. He'll be on SAn Antonio next year and they will be the ultimate compeitiors and champions with 4.5 players such as Reid Strand and Chance Morgan. If Green has any sense he'll join up with them as well. Then they can be proud national champions and true ambassadors for 4.5 tennis.

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  43. I'm not a Benzon or Hollis or fan - and let's throw Killshaw and Freeman into the mix while we're at it. I agree with a previous poster - Freeman certainly isn't a saint when it comes to captain tactics - I think people just don't care about Freeman yet because he's 3.54.0.

    But why are we discriminating in the case of Allison Lui just because she was on a weak D1 school. The grid just says Division 1 and doesn't allow for what line you played in college. Tara was playing for San Houston in 2003 which I wouldn't call a D1 powerhouse either. The unfortunate thing is that the perception (and possibly reality) of the situation is that the TTA/USTA seems to be letting some people through the cracks and bypass the grid (ala Allison Lui) and others don't get in - UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM. We can argue until our death whether or not it was fair that Shelander should ever have been 4.5 or not - the rules were different when she entered the league. The problem is that players still seem to be able to escape the rules set forth by the USTA. There's no consistency.

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  44. I agree - if we want to rewrite history and disregard when rules were in affect how about Amy Blumrosen who played at UT on Kristine Stofer's 4.0 Nationals team. She also had Kim Schroeder on that 4.0 team who played at Air Force. Stofer is actually the worse cheater and liar out there. Last year, she explicitly told Maria Taylor to not tell Tosha that she played in college.

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  45. Why are we posting so much about the women's league. That's even less important than Freeman's 3.5 and 4.0 teams. I liked it better when we were ragging on Red and Tim.

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  46. I see not much has changed with the blog.

    Just wanted to wish all the Texas teams good luck at Nationals. Congrats to Austin and I hope you guys win in Arizona.

    I for one like the energy I seen from some of the teams at sectionals even though some teams felt offended by a few of the actions and behaviors of certain individuals. I guess some of the acts did go a little too far.

    For the idiot that is attacking Betsie and even myself...stay out of the league if you do not like the league. It is one thing to accuse a nice guy like Grant of tanking..but even worse, you are insulting Tor by claiming it is obvious that he could not beat Grant.

    Players on my team do not tank. I always try to win. Sometimes I even do things I regret like not playing certain players more than one match at sectionals in order to try to win as a team. This of course is a discretional decision on my part that is not always right. It is always about the team in my mind.

    For the record, I do not have a problem with the ratings of anyone I seen at sectionals in the mens 4.5 division. Yes, some of the players are much better than me, but I will try my best to beat them if we play again.

    Once again, good luck to all and I will see you again next year.

    Tim Green

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  47. Murphy is a huge ringer. Not even close to a 4.5 player. Even the blogger who is almost as pro ringer and Benzon, Hollis and Green has admitted this to be the case. Tim Green is the last guy who is a credible source on what a 4.5 player is. His definition would include half the guys on the ATP tour, all of them if they were on his team.

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  48. Amen on that last comment. Tim Green is the last person I would want defining what constitutes a 4.5 player. Why can't all these guys get bumped up to 5.0 so that they can field deep competitive 5.0 teams and still stack them with open level ringers. From the sounds of it, there are enough sandbaggers available to build the teams. That way actual 4.5 players would have a chance to play and possibly succeed in 4.5 league.

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  49. There have been about 15 comments since the last bhollis posting. Are you know posting under anonymous in order to not come across as obsessed? Just curious...anonymously.

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  50. I Love all the Tim Green and Benzon Bashing but There team did not dominate at all this year. They came 2nd Locally and barely made it to Sunday at Sectionals. On Sunday they got beat handily by Austin 4-1 before a DQ set in which then made it 3-2. Nonetheless they DID NOT WIN this year so give it a break.They play hard but aren't that good at the Sectional 5.0 Level.

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  51. About the San Antonio comment earlier that team was Captained by Jorge Vasquez and Daniel Cambon and Alann Torres.If you want to compete bring your Game or Ringers I should say...

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  52. That San Antonio/Benzon team (I don't care who was captain) probably set a new bar for sandbagging which is why you're seeing guys like Bvunza-whatever playing at 4.5 regardless of his computer rating. I'd might as well try to work and put together a team in about three years with the Barker brothers, Tommy Ho etc. at 3.5 because that's where this trend is going to take us in as many years.

    Whatever happened to actual ON-COURT drama related to tennis action? Instead we get on this blog "Oh and in other news the Hangovers beat that other 4.5 team I forgot the name of since they have no chance to get to the playoffs 5-0 even after the Hangovers played only one person in each of the doubles slots." That does kind of make league during the season kind of boring.

    You just have to acknowledge those captains that actually went out there and fought, had good matches and improved their games throughout the season without having sandbaggers on their teams. Congrats.

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  53. Speaking of Tim Green's NTRP verifying skills, the rumor is he and Benzon felt self rated 4.5 player Nanjappa wasn't good enough to be a ringer for them. Hence they picked up Murphy and David B. instead. So when you talk to Tim about 4.5 players, take his views with a grain of salt. A guy that thinks Nanjappa is too weak for his 4.5 team obviously is out of touch with reality.

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  54. Funny thing is Scott Carr at Westside almost out sandbagged everybody. If he kept that Japanese guy for the whole season they might have snuck in there at sectionals. Jendek was unbelievable, in the same league as Murphy and David Bvunzabawba for sure. Boy would Tim and Red pitched a fit if they got beat at their own game. Maybe next year.

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  55. NOPE - just been busy today. Getting ready to go up to New York. I'm gonna be scouting some of the Jrs at the US Open for my 2009 team. They'll be 19 by then. Also, I'm thinking since Stefi had a baby I can use some of my HTA clout to get her a 4.5 rating based on a medical waiver. She has been out of the game for at least 5 years.

    And I am NOT oversensitive. I CANNOT believe you would say that about me!

    I agree - I am obsessively competitive. I have never been accused of being oversensitive though, just overly opinionated. Isn't this the blog for over opinionate tennis players who don't have a life?

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  56. I do have a question or rather a thought. What are the chances tht Mob Squad and Hangovers would merge next year? I get the feeling (totally unsubstantiated) that those teams don't like each other and it would never happen. But, I was just thinking the Mob Squad singles players and Hangovers doubles players would be a strong team.

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  57. Mob squad, Hangovers, the old SWAT team. Did players from these teams try to kill each other, seriously, a few years back. I think I remember a racquet being applied to the back of an opponent's head.

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  58. Okay...I know I shouldn't involve myself in this. But Mr. Anonymous is a real loser, and his need to remain anonymous and bash Betsie and any team that goes to Sectionals is pathetic. Sorry for the strong words, but you crossed the line when you accused Bestie, and our entire team of cheating. Your implication that ANYONE on our team would make up scores or tank a match shows that you are delusional and ignorant. First of all, we love to play tennis and compete. Almost all of us have been on Betsie's team since our 4.0 days. Most of us are nowhere near being 5.0 players, and I don't think you would find too many people to think otherwise. Myself, Ramona, Betsie, Avery, Myer, Amanda, Lori??? We play hard and try to keep improving our game, and we are nothing but solid 4.5 players. You forget that even our "powerhouse" players got married, had children and have a life. Dominique scarcely plays more than once a week. She was a 5.0 player who has played on our team for years. She got bumped down to 4.5, should we really not have her on our team? Jesselyn would rather be sailing, but loves to play with us so she can grab a margarita afterwards and hang with her friends. If either of these two committed to playing tennis, they probably would be solid or top 5.0 players. But instead, they just like to have fun and play tennis occasionally and don't care if they remain 4.5 players or get bumped. And trust me, despite your demonization of Betsie, we are ALL about fun. When Erin joined our team, she hadn't played for years and was a 4.5 player. After Nationals, she had a baby. This year she was ready to get back in shape and trained really hard. She may be a 5.0 player by the end of the year, and if she gets bumped, so be it. Chanel joined our team this year as a friend of Erin's. Chanel is awesome and we love having her smiling face on our team. There is no way you can consider them sandbaggers. The only other new person to our team this year was Connie. She lost both of her matches at Sectionals, so surely she is not one of the sandbaggers you refer to. She is a great 4.5 player, and I can't wait for her to play with us in '09. We won the Finals of Sectionals 3-2. Was this not competitive? I've been to Nationals three times and we got our asses handed to us. If Texas women are so full of cheaters and sandbaggers, why do we do so poorly at Nationals? Jesselyn came from a different section before moving to Texas. She is always commenting on how weak the Texas section is. So maybe the computers are working, and maybe your perception of what 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 players are askew. I'm a benchmark 4.5 player (or was) who can win (and lose) at Sectionals & Nationals, and trust me, you won't find one single person who would consider me a 5.0 player in ANY section. Anonymous, this may be funny to you, but I seriously think you owe our team and Betsie an apology. It one thing to accuse someone of sandbagging, but to accuse Betsie, and ANYONE on our team of cheating, making up scores and tanking is beyond offensive. We will gladly set up a team meeting so you can address any such issues with any of our players. But if you think you should be scared of Betsie, you really don't know our team very well. (That's a joke...well..sort of).
    For the record, this is our best team yet. Betsie has made no attempts to "scoop" up players. They have to get the core team's approval (i.e. they have to have fun, drink margaritas, and laugh at themselves...a lot!). And trust me, we will be back in '09. Whether we make it to Nationals or Sectionals doesn't really matter, we just try to keep our core team together. And also, if it seems we are overly sensitive, it is because we are...WE ARE WOMEN!!
    If you are still reading, and haven't fallen asleep, please note the following disclaimer:
    1) I'm pregnant and I'm not responsible for anything said here.
    2) Mr. Madi begged...I mean pleaded and begged me not to post anything. I guess he didn't want to have to read any bashing that is sure to follow. So maybe anonymous should just apologize so he doesn't make me cry.


    Cindy Madi

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  59. This is what happens when u let females on the blogs... ahahah emotional ranting and raving... This is a blog not a law dissertation. We "anonymouses" stick to our story and we just glad we aint married to ya.

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  60. Cindy,

    1) Congrats on being pregnant
    2) your husband was right
    3) you do realize that there are about 30 of us posting anonymously, so I do not know if you are addressing all of us or just one specific post.
    4) bhollis invites this on herself by posting so seriously about league and being so stubborn in her denial of gaming the system.
    5) I was joking about your husband being right, posts like yours are what make this blog fun to check out.

    Sincerely, a Mr. Anonymous

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  61. You guys have done it now. Cindy is VERY hormonal (I speak from personal experience) and you DON'T want her on your bad side (or across the net from her).

    I like taking the blog seriously and know that I bring it on myself. I realize I'm not gonna change anyones mind. Makes for fun (and sometimes annoying) banter.

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  62. HORMONAL....unsportsmanlike maybe...i have seen her clap and cheer at opponents of her friends when they double fault...why would you clap or cheer something like that?

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  63. Congrats to Cindy and her husband!!!! Keep the tissue handy and the car warmed up for the "craving" runs...My sister ran the wheels off her husband and my car.....CONGRATS AGAIN!!!!!

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  64. That's only because she was so elated to see that other people double fault as much as she does. Give Cindy a break - she's just sticking up for her captain.

    I've known Cindy for a long time but honestly can't remember her ever cheering for an opponent's unforced errors. That's not to say it didn't happen - as you can tell Cindy wears her emotions on her sleeves.

    Before playoffs and sectionals I always send out an eMail to my team that it's just as important to be good sports off the court as it is while you're playing. I am definitely guilty in the heat of a deciding match of cheering at the wrong time. It's hard not to.

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  65. If you don't cheer the opponent's mistakes when watching a teammate play than what good are you to the team? Really. It doubles the opportunity to cheer, doesn't it.

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  66. Its pretty tacky to cheer someone elses double faults etc...when a teamate or friend whens a point by earning it, then its time to cheer.

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  67. I have flipped off spectators that have cheered my mishits or double faults. Cheer my opponent's good shots and I will respect that. Cheer mistakes off of my own racquet and I will brand you A**hole. Of course, by flipping them off, I am proving myself to be the bigger A**. But the other person started it.

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  68. I go a little farther than that. An errant serve usually solves the problem.

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  69. Hey wait, I think I saw a letter that came into Tennis magazine asking if that was unsportsmanlike or not...

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  70. Damn, do other cities have this much drama off the court?

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  71. Anyone playing combo? If so, which level?

    is the atmosphere the same as summer league?

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  72. What's the worse case of unsportsmanlike conduct you know about? Other than the obvious - cheering for unforced errors (HAHAHA).

    I'd say hitting someone over the head with your racquet is the worse I know of.

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  73. Calling your opponent "tiny".

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  74. Who was it that did that? (hitting head w/ racquet?) Should i start packing a 9mm when i step on the courts these days??? What happened to tennis being a classy gentlemen's sport.

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  75. When I was in high school, one of my teammates was playing a kid that his teammates kept calling "stumpy". The kid was over 6 feet tall...hmm.

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  76. The worst overall team sportsmanship award goes to Mob Squad, and the individual award can go to a couple of their players. Not all of them have bad sportsmanship on the team, but they all get painted with the same brush.

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  77. Sorry to you and your team Betsie. You are getting ragged on where you don't deserve it!

    Sincerest Regards,
    Beth Hollis
    The Villages, Florida

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  78. Betsie brings all the "ragging" on herself. Rather it be "deserved" or "undeserved"

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  79. So what is this racket over the head thing involving the Mob Squad????

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  80. BMW combos at Giammalva a few years back. Had to do with one former teammate attacking another (Steve Almrud was the one attacked). Wasn't there but I have heard about it many times over the past few years.

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  81. And who was the other person involved?

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  82. Due to some hot tempers, the attack occured on the court in the middle of a Combo match, then some of the Mob Squad players and groupies ran onto to the court and proceeded to fight with the opposing team. Stitches were required, police was called and both teams were expelled from the tournament. Definitely not a high point in USTA tennis history.

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  83. There must have been players banned. How long was the ban?

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  84. Ok - I thought it was a joke and didn't believe the BHOLLIS poster claiming they are Beth Hollis from The Villages in FL. So being the AR person that I am I checked in TennisLink and she does exist. YIKES!!! We've got captains from FL on the blog now...

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  85. That's interesting. Who else is reading this blog from areas outside of Texas, and how did you hear about it? I know that there are readers from Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, but who else is interested in Houston tennis.

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  86. I don't know if any bans were handed out, but Mob Squad should have been handed the Golden Glove award. That is competition at its finest, talk about not leaving anything on the court.
    If you can't beat them, then at least beat them up.

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  87. Just like hockey, every good league tennis team should have a goon to handle the physical stuff and keep the other team in line. Why, that's just good league captaining 101 if you ask me.

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  88. If there was no ban handed out, that is a disgrace. Especially with those guys from Norcal getting banned for like 10 years for cheating. I would think assault with a tennis racket during a tournament warrants a ban. Are the Texas section coordinaters that clueless?

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  89. If I'm not mistaken I believe there was a police report filed.

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  90. I stumbled upon this blog shortly after the Texas Section's 4.5 Sectionals. After reading some of the posts I'd say I"m probably in the category of BHollis, Red (is his name really Red), and Dinker. My team is in the 4.5 Women's pool this year and we have TX to play so I was trying to do some research on the Texas Team. It's a great blog but you Texans are MEAN.

    The irony is I saw Betsie's team at Nationals in 2005. Funny that both our teams are going 2 years later. My team actually won it that year and now we're in the same pool this year. I honestly don't think we were necessarily the best team there - things just fell our way.

    I can't speak for this year's team, though it looks to be comparable to the 2005 team, but her team back in 2005 was pretty solid, however, I wouldn't say stacked and definitely nothing out of the ordinary. I watched some of the TX vs So Cal matches because my team made it to the Semi's and we were gonna play the winner out of that pool. To be honest, I saw Betsie mention that her team was probably the best team there that year and I have to say it's probably true. We barely beat So Cal (who beat TX) that year and even they said afterwards they were lucky to beat TX and I believe TX would have beaten us. That being said, noone on that team would have been DQd in the Eastern Section. I'm sure there were a few that probably ended up getting bumped but there were no sandbaggers (as you call them in TX). If she had her other 2 ringers there (and if they're as good as she says they are) they would have won it all hands down.

    One more thing, I've been to Nationals several times and the fact is there was a time that TX was considered a powerhouse, but that's not true anymore. Today, they are considered average at best. I'm actually thinking Southern is the section to beat in our pool - not TEXAS.
    Betsie's team in 05 was one of the best TX teams I've seen in a while. I'm thinking you Texans have TX sized egos and like to rate yourselves higher than you really are. Then when you get beat you think you're playing someone who doesn't belong in your level. In the East, we like to underrated ourselves.

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  91. I guess those players complaining about ringers have something new to worry about. The ringers will only beat and embarrass you, not beat you up and put you in the hospital.

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  92. If you can't beat them - beat them up!

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  93. To some in this blog, underrating yourself is sandbagging, i.e. cheating. But I say this with the understanding that anyone who beats me is out of level and should be bumped up.

    Otherwise, I will beat you up...

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  94. YES - It's no secret that nothing out of the ordinary for a Nationals team is a bunch of sandbaggers. Nationals is a haven for cheaters and sandbaggers.

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  95. If what the Eastern captain said is true, then as a 5.5 player I am going over there to play for a season, get bumped down to 4.5 and play for Red's team in 2009. Or maybe just change my name to Oscar de la Hoya and nobody will dare beat me.

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  96. How can you say her team was the best team there but it wasn't stacked and nothing out of the ordinary. If it was anything like the San Antonio Men's team that won it last year there's just not chance of that.

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  97. No kidding. Once you get to nationals everybody thinks like Red and Tim. You would have to be top 100 atp to raise any eyebrows at 4.5 Nationals.

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  98. To clarify: her team had great depth that year. Where most teams had 2 lines, at most, of high-end players, she had like 3 and maybe even 4 lines. But those high-end players were no better than the other Section's high end players. All top notch that could have beaten or be beaten by any of the other better teams. I have found at Nationals (and I saw where Betsie eluded to this) it really is a lot of luck and how the teams line up against each other.

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  99. If you get to nationals more than 50 percent of your team would be a strong player at the next NTRP level. If you win nationals probably your whole team are stong players at the next highest NTRP level. People who argue otherwise just can't admit they cheated to win.

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  100. How does "being competitive at the next level" mean that you're a cheater. That just doesn't make sense. Compete at the next level is a pretty broad and vague statement. I'm an avg to above avg 4.0 player (never been to Sectionals) but there have been many matches where I've been able to compete at the next level.

    If you're beating players at the next level and you don't lose more than 4 sets then something is wrong. I'd even say it's even possible to occasionally beat players at the next level but that doesn't mean you're a cheater. Maybe your game bothers them - a lot of players at the "next level" don't like the pace or style of play of lower level players. Maybe you just played the best match of your life or your opponent was having a bad day. Maybe it's windy and you're from Corpus. You get my drift. There are a lot of reasons for being competitive at the next level without being a cheater.

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  101. How does "being competitive at the next level" mean that you're a cheater. That just doesn't make sense. Compete at the next level is a pretty broad and vague statement. I'm an avg to above avg 4.0 player (never been to Sectionals) but there have been many matches where I've been able to compete at the next level.

    If you're beating players at the next level and you don't lose more than 4 sets then something is wrong. I'd even say it's even possible to occasionally beat players at the next level but that doesn't mean you're a cheater. Maybe your game bothers them - a lot of players at the "next level" don't like the pace or style of play of lower level players. Maybe you just played the best match of your life or your opponent was having a bad day. Maybe it's windy and you're from Corpus. You get my drift. There are a lot of reasons for being competitive at the next level without being a cheater.

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  102. or maybe you are Trent Broach and you were top 20 superchamp in 2000 and four year player at a ranked D2 school playing 4.5 because Red needed some 5.5's for his San Antonio 4.5 team. Whats a joke is Red was ther only actual 4.5 on the team.

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  103. My team also was at Nationals in 2005. If the post from before that read: "If you get to nationals more than 50 percent of your team would be a strong player at the next NTRP level" is true, what half of my team from that year would be considered strong 5.0 league players. The blog would be much easier toread and enjoy if you guys have facts to match your posts. We won only three matches that year.

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  104. You could also make the arguement that if guys like Red Tim and Betsie would just play fair and stop recruting ringers, league would be a lot more enjoyable. Give everybody a break Tim, lets take a look at some of your recent "4.5" players. Borne in 4.5? Ridiculous. Beaux in 2006? Hurlbert? Wanja in 2005 current D1 player at the time. Chance Morgan division one player at Southwest Texas state. Murphy and David B. this year? An insult to everyone else. Tim Green shows contempt and disrespect for all the real 4.5 players out there by consistently having sandbaggers and ringers on his teams.

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  105. That was a much improved attempt at having stats to back up your word...however I never had Beaux or Hulbert on one of my teams. The only person any real 4.5 play would consider a ringer in that mix would be Morgan. I feel I could beat the rest on any given day. Does this make me a ringer as well? Does that make anyone who has ever beat me a ringer? Come on guys!

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  106. WAH WAH WAH!!! Tim, you don't need to defend yourself. They're just jeolous that you stil have all your hair and you can still eat 18000 calories a day and still be as thin as a rail. Boy, you need to eat! Don't you know league is only meant for fat, middle-aged, bald men.

    Anonymous is probably the same dude who said it was ok for Allison Lui to play 4.5 since she's on a weak D1 team and only played line 5 or 6. Since when is Lamar or SWT a perrenial threat in D1 tennis? These guys speak out of both ends of their butt.

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  107. I don't think that guy who hit the other guy over the head with the racket has ever played for the Mob Squad except in that combo tournament. I think racism has something to do with their reputation.

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  108. Its good to see that there is an Eastern Captain as obsessed with playing these "its not cheating if I do it" team stacking games. When is tennis magazine go to start writing articles about how 95% of its readers should not even be allowed to play tennis, if we live in a world where Tim Green considers himself the standard for what constitutes a 4.5 player.

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  109. Crap, I meant to clarify that. They shouldn't be allowed because they are not good enough. If Tim Green is a 4.5, then Greg Schmucker is a 4.0, Kern is just a 3.5, and everone below that just flat out sucks.

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  110. 2 things - either your team sucks and the good players don't want to be on it or you suck as a player and no good teams want you. Either answer would justify your anger and bitterness. 95% - REALLY???

    Arguably there are some players who are playing beneath their level but I think in reality it's only a really small minority of players compared to the total # of players who play. I've seen really only a handfull of names that keep getting mentioned in Houston for 4.5 men this year and they're all on 2 teams (The D Bros, Armstrong, Hurlbert - remember they're on Kingwood - NOT Hangovers, Grant Murphy, and David B although he really wasn't a factor this year - ok and that Japanese guy who got bumped) Is there a rule out there which limits the number of superstars or maye we should have a Houston wide draft so that there is an equitable distribution of the really good players.

    Question: Are there other superstars in 4.5 out there comparable to those on Crush and Hangovers? Do they not count as sandbaggers since their teams lost?

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  111. My 95% comment was sarcastic as I think league is a joke and I come here for entertainment not insight. Your response on the other hand....sounds like you need a bit of league tennis detox.

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  112. Whiners, nothing is going to get any easier for you! Whether you admit it or not, Betsie, Tim, Red, Kilshaw, Dwyer and Freeman are the elite captains because, as you have pointed out repeatedly, they know how to play the system and they are successful at recruiting players. They do it all year long and are insanely selective with roster spots which understandably gets under your skin because you know you'll never make it on one of these rosters (neither will I). So it must be frustrating knowing you will NEVER get to Sectionals, EVER, unless you get bumped down a level. However, I've been a captain before and even if you "cheat" it is still practically imposible to have a competitive team without giving up a great portion of your time and energy.

    So, more power to the "super captains"! Now, how do I get on one of your teams? I would really like to see how the inside of one of these teams works. Have any of you played for one of these guys? Would you defend them? How was your experience?

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  113. BINGO - the voice of reason!

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  114. All the Same Captains and Teams have been making it back to Sectionals the past couple of years. From Dallas its always Branch and Conway. From Austin it's Davis and Tatu. From Corpus Lerma. From San Antonio Miller.From Fort Worth Burke and Patterson. And From Houston its Either Kilshaw or Green and Dwyer and Chang. These Captains all have something in common in which they come back every Summer to Compete against one another representing their cities. They add players every Year in Hopes to be competitive at Sectionals.

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  115. Wow, now we have someone putting out the 'racism' word against the Mob squad. I noticed that their team consisted of mostly asians. But again, if no one got banned from that incident, that is a disgrace. What was the reasoning in not banning players who were involved in that incident, especially the instigator?

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  116. i personally would never play for the memorial heat, but what about them only allowing guys like senator craig on their team.

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  117. Don't go there, it's not appropriate in this discussion. We already have the white man holding down his yellow brothers...

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  118. Are you guy kidding, to say I am not an average 4.5 is crazy. Have you seen my league record this year. I am closer to 4.0 than 4.5.

    The charges on the racket to the head incident were dropped. Why not drop that issue. Both the person holding the racket and the person who got hit are good individuals. They just lost it that day. We all have moments we regret.

    Racism has never been an issue between the MOB, Crush, SWAT or the Hangovers. Several player have played for multiple teams in this group over the years. The rivalry comes from all the teams being competitive year after year with each other. This is what makes league fun and competitive. These teams will not be going away anytime soon. If you cannot compete at the level of Kingwood, MOB, Hangovers, Yutts or MIB then I am sorry for you. Maybe this is not the level for you if you do not like it.

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  119. Tim, if you get moved to 4.0, you can play for us in Waco next year :-)

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  120. Tim, if you drop to 4.0, how about we give it up and start a golf team?

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  121. Ok, let's not concentrate on the individuals who were involved in that incident and look at the way it was handle or in this case not handled? One person assaults another person with a racket in a tournament and the league does nothing to reprimand them? What does that tell you about the people in charge of Houston tennis?!?!?! I mean the Norcal guys who cheated received 10 years ban. This was a crime committed(regardless if the charges were dropped), once again during a tournament, and the big whigs in HTA did nothing? That's incompetence. Period. I guess people in Houston will win at all cost.

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  122. Dinker

    Your excuse that those guys are good guys but just 'lost it that day' is laughable. So if I go out in public and commit a crime, I hope you'll be my judge when the time comes.

    Tonya Harding should have used that excuse. 'But your honor, I'm good individual, however, I just lost it that day and and had someone bust the leg of my competitor with a pipe'.

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  123. Again Tim Green with laughable NTRP commentary. He is usually number one in the state in 5.0 singles, and only loses in league to other ringers. He is in the top 97 percent of houston 4.5 players. This qualifies him to be a weak 4.5? Maybe he isnt a huge cheater with his teams, maybe he is just a complete idiot.

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  124. wow,
    i thought tennis was a gentlemen's sport and a symbol of etiquette. seems like there's more attitudes from guys with big egos and no balls. if you're not getting paid, then have fun with the sport. guys that play mind games, whines, cheats, are the guys who don't have the talent to win. there are many times i wish these guys would just shut up and settle it in the ring, but i love tennis and i keep it fun.

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  125. That last post gets the "post of the day" award in my book. Every time Tim states that if we don't like the level of competition, we should move down he insults all of us who have been bumped up to 4.5 over the years and willingly compete there without trying to game the system and get bumped back down through appeal to a level we no longer belong at. The fact the the entire USTA Texas section rating system is screwed up and never bumps up the top 4.5 guys to the 5.0 level where they truly belong is a travesty. Tim should have been bumped 4 years ago when he finished the year at 4.5 with a perfect 1,605 ranking points (the most you could possibly obtain) and ran off something like 6 straight major zones. He is a really nice guy but he definitely has deluded himself to feel justified in his league activity. That, and you really would have to work hard to convince me that Tuan was a nice guy back at the time of the attack.

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  126. someone snuck in another post before I posted. The post of the day is the one about Tim's laughable NTRP commentary.

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  127. Why are you guys ragging on Tim so much? He is rated as 4.5 but has consistently played 5.0 in tournaments (except for mixed where it does not make). But according to computer he is still rated as 4.5 even with all of his success.

    I see this more as a fault of the current computer system then Tim sandbagging. How many other players do you know of that consistently play 1 level up with his success and still maintain the same rating? None.

    The ratings get pushed down from the National level, so that says that the other regions are stronger than Texas. This has been evidenced by the Eastern Captain above.

    David Hall is right, stop your whining and challenge yourself to get better. The trend as I see it is that more and more 5.0 and 4.5 players are getting bumped down in Texas. USTA league is not getting easier, and you better be willing to put in some work to improve.

    Until them stop your nonproductive ragging and get on the court and play.

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  128. Well its hard to feel sorry for Green when he consistently recruits ringers for his teams. Then he makes comments like if you can't beat him you shouldn't play 4.5, since he is close to 4.0. This is the Houston Coke 5.0 singles winner lets not forget. What a condescending moron. If I can't win 5.0 singles at the biggest tournament of the year, I shouldn't play 4.5 league according to Mr. Green.

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  129. No, you should move down to 4.0 then you can have those players whine about you too, or maybe you can complain about them instead.

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  130. While Green is definitely one of the best 4.5 players around, I think the bashing of him comes from his captain tactics as much as anything else. While not close to a 4.0 like he says, he can't compete with the best ringers anymore like he used to be able to. So he just recruits players like Chance Morgan, Grant Murphy, etc and lives vicariously through them. That and he makes really absurd posts defending himself in here that don't make any sense. USTA league is waht it is, and its easy to manipulate the system with tanking, self rating etc. He is one of the best at these tactics, and seems way off base on what 4.5 league should be about.

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  131. Why do people keep making comments like "if you don't like it, you should just move down". Is it that easy? "Oh well, USTA has me rated 4.5 but I can't hang with all the ringers that make up the best summer league teams, so I guess I'll just wake up tomorrow as a 4.0 again so that I don't waste their time with my whining." Comments like that are even more annoying and definitely more condescending than our whining if you ask me.

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  132. Then just move down,

    nuff said.

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  133. All of the bashing needs to quit. I think the Tim bashing is more about his captaining tactics, not necessarily his ability to compete in 4.5, or not compete whatever the case may be. And the comments of people being racist, or insinuations about a teams sexual preference (reference to the MPTC Heat team) is absurd. That kind of comment shows just how stupid and uneducated some people really are. Tennis is not about your race, sexual orientation ETC....its about your ability and desire to compete

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  134. Sounds like it's more about your ability to shut up or move down.

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  135. That last comment is not from the same person that is complaining in the previous comments. I compete just fine where i am at.

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  136. Seems like people in Houston are walking on eggshells when talking about Houston league coordinaters and their ability to do their job compentantly. I asked about why no one was banned for that attack on the court with a racket and no one has offered replied. Are ya'll afraid to speak out negatively against the head honchos there?

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  137. I think that is because not many people know what happened, and those that do are not talking. I have heard about this incident several times ove the years, but it was never confirmed and I thought it could have been a rumor.

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  138. Was this one the reasons why Mob Squad broke up or do they think that the whities are out to get them?

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  139. Does anyone even know or care who the coordinators were at the time? It was a combo event not HTA league play so does that even fall under the jurisdiction of local league coordinators? No one talks about those involved because they don't want Tuan to come out and take them down with a well placed racquet blow.

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  140. But apparently, there was an attack on the course. It doesn't matter what started it or whatever, there was assault. I mean the police were even called to the scene (at least that was said in the other blog). So why didn't someone get banned? There could be no excuse to not have been banned. That's my point. So what is the league actually there for? They got their money and that's it?!?!? That's all they care about?

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  141. Combo's don't fall under HTA?

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  142. Again, I don't want to mention names of parties involved in the incident. I only want to know why nothing was done about it? I just can't believe that nothing was done about it. I mean what other venue or event can someone assault another (and with a deadly weapon) and nothing been done to prevent it from happening again? No penalties levied or anything.

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  143. Didn't this happen back in 2002? I am sure a lot of things have been tightened up since then so that if it occurred again there would be penalties enforced. I also think it never became that big of a deal because the two sides involved knew each other and so no one felt it necessary to take this to league officials for action. I don't personally look at it as a slight on the part of Houston's league officials as I don't even know if they were aware of the occurence other than third hand hearsay. Though there must have been USTA officials working the event to report on it.

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  144. I heard that Cheryl was on site, so both HTA and USTA were fully aware of what happened. Maybe Tuan had his racquet taken away and given a nerf one for the next attack.

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  145. Ok, I'm not trying to attack you but someone got stitches and the police were called to the scene. How is that not a big deal?

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  146. You have heard on this site how forceful Tim Green and the other top captains can be. Perhaps the HTA officials were scared of bringing on the wrath of Tim or someone of that ilk.

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  147. You're right, they must be fraid of Tim, all 125 lbs soaking wet of him. Maybe Harriet can take him in a cage match before her retirement.

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  148. I personally would want to stay clear of Tim's razor sharp elbows, even if Harriet does have a weight advantage on him as I think he is closer to 95lbs than 125lbs., especially if you shave off the arm hair.

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  149. I guess we can't have a discussion on the board without the eventual personal attacks.

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  150. The arm hair thing was a joke. If you know Tim, then you should agree that he has a good enough sense of humor to recognize that. Why are you people so sensitive.

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  151. I don't want to belabor the issue, but it was NOT Tuan who wielded a racquet in that incident. It happened five years ago. I was courside when it happened, but I'd prefer to let the issue drop.

    The Tim bashing has gotten way out of line too. I'm sure I've been guilty of just about everything he's done, and then some, as have many other captains. Also, those who keep mentioning Tim's name with Trent Broach's have got their signals crossed.

    HTown Hacker

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  152. If it wasn't Tuan Tran, then it was Thang Pham. I know it was one of those guys cause I was also at Giammalva that day and remember playing against the same guy in league the following summer. Maybe, the two of them are being confused with each other. It's not belaboring if it keeps the discussion going. This is good conversation. Talking about a Texas team that's not even from Houston's chances at nationals is not. Talking about a 4.0 teams chances are not quite as boring, but this is still more interesting.

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  153. No, it wasn't Thang Pham either. He wasn't even there that day. Tuan was there but he was playing on the next court. The guy who did it is a very likeable, nice guy who lost his head (as did Steve Almrud...no pun intended) and I'm sure he'd rather we not bring up the issue again. I'm sure many of you know and like him.

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  154. Once again, my point I'm trying to make is NOT who wielded the racket, it's the aftermath. I'm sure many of ya'll don't want to rehash incident cause I'm sure ya'll not proud of what happened. But I would be more disgraced if my league officials did nothing after the fact. It sounds like they didn't care. That's humiliating to know that the people who run your tennis scene don't care, or don't have the balls to do anything about it. They have your money already and that's all they apparently want.

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  155. Wait, why are you bringing up Steve's name and not the other party?

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  156. Nice to see the blogger showing bias here. He'll throw out Steve Almrud's name (who wasn't on his team) but not reveal his teammates name who attacked Steve with the racket. Way to go champ.

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  157. Fair enough. I mentioned Steve Almrud's name because he's a friend of mine and because he's not the one with his name blackened from this incident. Alain Tran was the other guy involved.

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  158. I did not know it was Alan. I have always thought it was Tuan, same as some of the other posters. I will agree with the blogger that from what I know of Alan, he is a nice guy and doing that does not fit his normal personality.

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  159. Tuan was there to defend his teammate, as would 95% of you guys would do. I was there and actually saw Steve instigate the fight with a shoulder blow to Alan's face. Both have moved on from the ugly incident and so should everyone else...it's all water under the bridge now.

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  160. Alain is a nice guy and that definately sounds out of character. It's weird how you can find yourself in an incident like that without a moments notice.

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  161. Good luck to everyone playing in a 200 pointer this weekend!

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  162. Also, it looks like it is going to be another long year for Mississippi State football...45-0, ouch! I guess it could be worse, I could be an Ole Miss fan :)

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  163. Freeman,

    What the hell are you doing posting 3 times in a row at 2 o'clock in the morning. Get some sleep man, league will still be there in the morning.

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  164. Your parting shot about steve instigating it is hardly fair. Actually, I saw steve bump into the guy, but it was not a "shoulder blow" (what is that anyway) and he didnt hit him in the face. He kept walking and Alan attacked him from behind with his racquet. Then all hell broke loose.

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  165. I known Alan for a while and he's a class act. He's not a troublemaker. He's not going to let someone try to punk him either.

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  166. Just got off the scale and it read 148lbs. Get your stats right.

    Does everyone now understand what I meant by both individuals being good people. Alain and Steve both are great individuals.

    As far as the level talk goes...how can I be a disgrace to anyone who has ever played or got bumped up. I came into the USTA as a 3.5 player. Back in the day I defeated Jerry Pham to win the Coke at 3.5. Over the years I have moved up to 4.5 and continue to play up in tournaments. League however is a different level than tournaments. When I won the Coke this year at 5.0 I only defeated one player with a 5.o rating (Joe S). Everyone else was a 4.5 rated player.

    With all the players playing up in league, why do I not see more playing up in tournaments? That is a real question. I hear on this blog how I hurt the USTA by causing less players to play league because of how competitive I am with my approach to captaining. What causes those same players to not participate in tournament?

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  167. The fact that with the exception of the elite guys you put on your team, the normal league guys are typically not in good enough shape to handle playing multiple matches over a 2 or 3 day period, especially in the heat of day. Much easier to play once a week at night in shortened (no ad, no third) format. You league guys may be more skilled, but the top tournament guys are probably a lot more fit. 148lbs? You must have a massive gut nowadays.

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  168. The biggest thing the elite teams have to worry about is avoiding getting their guys bumped up. They do this by tanking, putting stong players with weak ones in meaningless doubles matches to lose, etc. You won't ever see a ringer from Tim Green's team play in a tournament because it could hurt their rating. if Grant Murphy started playing 5.0 or open and winning, which he would, his 4.5 rating would be affected. This goes for other ringers on other teams as well not to just single out Green. If they did, you would see them beat most actual 5.0's. Case in point being Hurlbert, who in the coke open doubles easily beat montez and straley, two strong 5.0's. Captains dont want their players doing that kind of stuff it could jeopardize the season. That is the real reason why guys just play league matches not tournaments.

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  169. Those points once again are not factual. You could play and win every open match and it would do nothing against your rating. And in 5.0 tournament almost every player is 4.5 rated. Greg Schmucker, while he is a great singles player, he also finished number 2 in doubles in 5.0s. How many 5.0 captains will be knocking down his door for doubles. Winning all your 5.0 tournament matches is just wins over 4.5 players most of the time.

    Tournaments also will not over-ride players competing in Sectionals or Nationals. Sectionals and Nationals is a more acurate idea of ratings as a whole in the USTA. That is why when I finished the year with a perfect score I did not get bumped that year. I lost a match at Sectionals and lost matches at Nationals. I am a bench mark player. Almost no one that year got bumped because I was on top that year as a benchmark player based on league. If the USTA says I am a bench mark, that may make sense since I have been winning about half my league matches don't you think?

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  170. Again here Green makes no sense. Nationals is a good example of true NTRP ratings? The San Antonio last year is what real 4.5 players are? I need to be able to beat Chance Morgan or Trent Broach to be a strong 4.5? Tim Green who beats 95 percent of all other 4.5's is just a middle of the road 4.5 guy? If anything sectionals and especially nationals gives you a good idea or what the next highest ntrp level is, not the one they are playing at. Especailly with Morgan and Broach wha are strong 5.5 players.

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  171. And the statement you could win every open match and have it not affect your rating is false. Schornick is an example of this. He killed everybody in 4.5 tournaments and got moved up. Tournamnet play is a component of the NTRP rating.

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  172. Is Tim being compensated by site this site based on how much traffic his boneheaded comments generate? If you beat guys at open that do not have a rating you may not get bumped but if you beat established 5.0 or whatever rating most open level guys have, I am pretty sure that gets factored in. I do agree with Tim that some how he has been gifted with a free pass to stay at 4.5 as long as he likes with his benchmark status. If you are the benchmark, I don't see what could ever get you bumped, short of success on the ATP tour.

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  173. What do you think about Jason Gounds domination of 5.0's last year in 2006 going 20-0 winning all the Majors he entered including the Coke and Year End Sectionals as well in the 5.o division yet he still managed to keep a 4.5 rating according to our computer system. How was this fair to someone like Joe Schornick who dominated 4.5 yet gets bumped to 5.0.

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  174. The answer is that Jason Gound played league and Joe S did not. If you played league than that is a better comparison of like leveled players accross the US not just Texas. That is why it is the USTA not just TTA. Since Joe did not play league, they only had his tournaments to go by where he was clearly the best playing 4.5 that year. It would have been easier for Joe to stay at 4.5 had he played 5.0 or open. Open is what it is...Open. You can play open all day and be safe.

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  175. The problem I see on this site, is the people who complain are not on the super teams, because they suck. They are afraid they are going to get bumped down from the might 4.5 level to 4.0. Then the first match they play they are going to lose to a player who just got bumped to 4.0 from 3.5.

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  176. Tim makes sense. It may not be logical, but he is describing the system accurately. Gound dominated the tourney scene last year but struggled a bit a sectionals (if you call losing to Stuart Holland struggling). That one loss appears to have kept him at 4.5

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  177. First off this is a post from a 4.0 player so all those who know we're crap and can therefore not have an informed opinion please skip this post.
    Here are my views from the little bit of experience I have gained this year traveling around the state. I played in a league in Fort Worth as well as the league in Houston and have played a majority of the major zones. First, Houston tennis seems to be a higher level of tennis than the majority of Texas. 4 of the top 8 tournament players in 4.0 are from Houston and that is not necessarily even the best players in Houston (Sarosh for example). The level of competition in league play between Fort Worth and Houston is not even close. Not only the top end players but the depth of players in Houston. In 4.0, a complete Rice team was better than any team we played at Sectionals and more than likely the Heat would have been up there as well. In 4.5 obviously the quality of tennis is strong as 2 teams made it to the semis. Other cities may have a good team here or there but not nearly the competitive depth. Also while there are obviously some captains in each city on par with the Freeman's, Green's etc.; the number of people who take league seriously in Houston seems to far outway the rest of the state.
    So my conclusions are these, overall Houston has more players legitimately at the top end of each NTRP. They also probably have more "out of level" players than other places because of the competitive cauldren created in Houston. However, in the end a ton of people that are being ripped here are computer rated players legitimately. If your playing up in tournaments and winning a ton of league matches and you still remain at your level because your Section does not fair well at Nationals, where I am assuming no one throws first and second round pool matches to keep their ratings down, maybe Houston just has a lot of top level players at their level in Texas but Texas is not the best section in the nation. NTRP is suppose to represent the nation not just our section I believe.
    I am not saying however that San Antonio last year was not above level which is why a lot of them got bumped. No system is perfect but people have to realize that there is a large difference at every NTRP level between the top players and the bottom players. I would assume that a lot of the top 4.0 players would beat some lower level 4.5 players without either one of those players "cheating". Just because you start the season as a 4.5, will you be better than every 4.0 come the end of the season. Some people play 5 times a week some play 1. The system will be circumvented no matter what you do but either bash people for playing their level and beating everyone or bash players for playing above level and not getting bumped. You can't have it both ways.
    Tournament and League are two different things. Tournament rankings are more who is willing to travel rather than who is the best in the state.
    In order so you can bash me by name-- Jason Kern (sorry for the useless rambling)

    4.0 stupidity done, all real tennis players may now continue to read.

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  178. "cauldren," nice word!

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  179. Jason,

    Congrats on having a well written and informative post. A few more post that both the writers name was given and great points were discussed like the post you just wrote would make this blob much more educational and enjoyable. Don't listen to all the ratings bashing.

    Quick story: Last year when I won the Coke 5.0 doubles, my partner Aki Iino had a 3.0 rating at the time out of Colorado. He finished that year top ten in 5.0 singles in Colorado. Computer ratings obviously can be off as players improve since they are updated only yearly. Aki got his rating when Colorado bumped him down from a 3.5 to 3.0. He obviously improved faster than the system could keep up. He was bumped up to 4.5 based on his 5.0 success that year. Makes you wonder why he did not go all the way to a 5.0 rating. Its because he beat mostly 4.5 players while he was playing 5.0 tournaments. Still, a 3.0 getting bumped up to 4.5 would have set peolpe rioting in Texas. Just another example of how the system works for you guys.

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  180. I think Dallas is just as competitive with just as many obsessive captains as Houston. It's only been in the last 3-4 years that Houston has done well at Sectionals for 4.0 and 4.5. Previously - Dallas dominated.

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  181. Cary Bazan (Dallas)
    Speaking of Dallas.

    You guys inspired me to create a bitch blog for Dallas so we can complain about all of our ringers.

    http://www.dallasleaguetennis.blogspot.com/

    I will have a chance to work on this over Labor Day since our new Fall season starts this coming weekend.

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  182. The deal is League takes precedence over tournaments when it comes to ratings. The computers first run the computers for all players at the National level, then Sectional benchmarks, then Local benchmarks. Then the computer is run for all tournament players with the results from league play. Bottom line, it doesn't matter how you do in tournaments or what level you're playing compared to how you do in league. Also, for both league and tournaments there is no recognition by the computer what level you're playing in (this includes Open). It just depends on the level of your opponent. In other words, Tim can play 5.0 ina tournament but if he's not playing against 5.0 players and he's winning, the computer will still spit him out as a 4.5 unless he's winning all his matches by less than 4 games per match total.

    It's no secret that the best players in the state for the most part do not play tournaments. There are a lot of reasons for that - expense, time, families, work, personal preference, etc. - and may have absolutely nothing to do with trying to protect your rating. Plus if the best players are not playing in the tournaments and you need to play up a level in order to get a competitive match, you're gonna get bashed for playing up and winning (ala Tim Green) or you're gonna get bashed for playing at your NTRP computer rating (ala OD Bros). And if you don't play at all, you're accused of protecting your rating. It's a totally lose lose situation.

    Finally, it's been mentioned a few times already but none of the hard core "rating whiners" ever comments because there's really no argument to it. The problem is the computers not the players. I really don't think there's as much tanking, score manipulation, or player hiding as the whiners think there is. The truth is the computer program or whatever it is is not accurate. I'm not saying it doesn't happen at all but I think it's a small minority. Most players have honor and dignity and wouldn't do that. And for the record, I've never been on one of these elite teams. I'd love to but definitely not good enough. I think the captains like Green, Red, Teague, Freeman, Hollis, etc. possess that certain leadership and dedication that is needed to succeed in league. They probably find gaps in the rules and use them to their advantage at times but that's a far cry from outright cheating and I've yet to see any concrete evidence that they've ever cheated. A lot of speculation and accusations is all that's been posted so far.

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  183. One final thing - as far as I know there is no rule against adding computer rated players to your team even if they are viewed by the general playing population as a sandbagger or ringer. That's just good recruiting and captaining - that's not cheating. Is there a 4.5 captain out there that would not have added Grant Murphy to their team if he just moved to the city and was looking for a team? The problem is, players like Grant want to play on a team like Hangovers or Crush. They'd probably rather not play at all then play on your run of the mill team.

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  184. Freeman,

    We are having drills tonight at Walden on Lake Houston at 7pm if any of your players want to attend. You can get directions from www.waldencc.com . See you guys then.

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  185. The Hangovers work harder in the off-season than most other teams. Maybe that's why they're good every year????

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  186. Something tells me this has more to do with Tim hosting/conducting the drills at Walden and is not an official Hangover practice in anticipation of the season that is only what...9 months from now. If I am wrong then the Hangovers are the studs of all studs, but let's try not to fall all over ourselves again praising Tim as the greatest leader in the history of organized sports.

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  187. Yeah Green is one of the head pros at Walden don't forget. He is probably charging everybody.

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  188. Well, in addition to playing at Walden, I noticed that several of the Hangovers are playing in a pretty good "5.0" league at the Met every week. I think Whitsett, Bobo, Teague, Deluca, Ballesteros, Burkhart and maybe one or two others are in the league. Staying sharp in the offseason definitely pays off in the long run.

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  189. Thanks Tim!

    I wish I could have made it out there (maybe next week). I've been in Appeals Confernces with the IRS all day, I could use a hit.....or a drink :)

    Thanks again!

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  190. Aren't you guys tired yet of putting Tim and Red down all the time? I know it's getting old hearing it. I just made the observation that all the whiners are anonymous and Tim, Betsie, Jason, and anyone else who has been the topic of serious bashing are the only ones who sign their posts.

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  191. As you just posted that anonymously, you just proved yourself a hypocrite, didn't you? No one has been bashing Freeman. Not yet anyway. Let him get up to 4.5 and then he will be fair game.
    Red, Tim, and Betsie bring on themselves and they also defend themselves just fine. But thanks anyway, for your harsh anonymous advice to us anonymous bashers, you anonymous do-gooder you.

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  192. At least I have something to look forward to!

    However, the limited amount of bashing (if you can call it that) that has come my way has, for the most part, been fairly accurate. Except, of course, for any references to me being "unattractive" or "fat" which are obviously blatantly false, unsubstantiated claims and assetions.

    Who am I kidding, they are all true, damn-it!

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  193. I have a question for anyone reading from any City that has won a Sectional or National. Championship (summer, mixed, combo, etc...).

    What did you do with your banner? Should I put the 3.5 and 4.0 Sectional banners up at LLTC? I don't recall seeing any others up there. Any suggestions? They are starting to look silly hanging up in my front yard--just kidding, my wife already took them down :)

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  194. Hey Freeman. How do you protest a player down? What type of justification works the best?

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  195. The 4.5 Sr Women's banner is hanging (or at least it used to be) inside at LLTC. The 2005 4.5 Women's banner used to be hanging outside at MPTC.

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  196. You should have all of your players play for it, if they want it. Or perhaps have them all sign it and auction it off on ebay. Give it to your sponsors. Won't it just be stolen if you hang it up at LeeLeClear (please not prior post stating that it used to be there). Apparently Memorial Park isn't any better these days. Such thugs. Seriously Jason, I'm sure some of your guys would love to have the thing. No, that wasn't a hint.

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  197. Yeah, I am sure there is tremendous demand on Ebay for a 3.5 league banner signed by a bunch of 3.5 players. "Darn, I did not win that Agassi/Sampras autographed photo I was bidding on. Lucky me, there is a Texas Section Mens 3.5 League banner signed by all team members. Thank God I did not waste money on that Agassi photo. Skys the limit on what I'll pay for this treasure." My suggestion, throw it in your closet or give it to someone on your team who wants. No one else is going to be impressed or care to see it hanging out at LLTC.

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  198. Maybe the team should have it framed and presented to Mrs. Freeman as form of appreciation for all of the sacrifices she has made while her husband is out "herding cats" trying to get people to the matches and signed up, etc.

    Just a thought, but pulling all of that talent together is not easy. Especially at two levels in the same year.

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  199. Hey blogger, how about a preview and some commentary on the combo championships this weekend?

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  200. Just had to post one more to take it to 200.

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