Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ratings Junkie

Ok, I admit it. I'm a numbers guy, a statistics guy, the type of guy who could tell you how many homers Harmon Killebrew or Carl Yastrzemski had. So I was kind of excited when I came across a thread on the tennis warehouse message boards that explained a "trick" to finding out your exact rating.

As you may or may not know, a 4.5 player has a rating that is anywhere from 4.01 to 4.50. Hopefully you can do the math to figure out where a 3.5, 4.0 or a 5.0 player's rating falls. Anyway, somebody was able to hack a way to find out your correct rating. It involves protesting your rating online and having the USTA email you the results. If you open the email via Outlook, you can then "View Source" on the email contents and embedded in the code is a line that says "ntrp-rating=" followed by your exact numerical rating. This kind of information could be useful to someone like Tim Green or any other player who has been "bumped down" via tournament results, as it would be useful to know how close he is to the 5.0 division and whether he should be careful with his results to avoid "three striking". (The word on the street is that players who recieved a rating via league play (except for mixed exclusive ratings) will not be in danger of "three striking" this year)

Anyway, I'm sure this loophole will be corrected posthaste, but those of you who are curious about your rating may want to try it. By the way, mine came back as a 3.95.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


This weekend the local Tri-Level competition will take place at Lost Forest. Tri-Level teams field three doubles lines, all from different levels. The 3.5/4.0/4.5 tri-level league offers players a chance to qualify for sectional and national championships (nationals are played at Indian Wells during the Pacific Life Open, I believe).

An early look at the rosters would seem to indicate that the local favorites are the "evil Empire" team featuring Red Benzon, Tim Green, Greg Dwyer and Jason Freeman among others.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Big Four

Let's face it, when a college basketball season is about to start, you check out the rosters of Duke and Carolina and then everyone else. In the baseball offseason, you look at the Red Sox and Yankees and then figure out if anyone else can contend with their rosters. In 4.5 league tennis in this section, there are really four big players: Alann Torres, Mike Davis, Rusty Branch and Red Benzon. Everyone else is a pretender until they prove otherwise.

With the latest ratings update, Torres has installed himself as the favorite to make it to Tuscon again next year. He's basically got everyone in place, as all of his 5.0 guys have managed to get bumped down to 4.5. Reid Strand has been much discussed and will be a huge obstacle for anyone to overcome, but he is far from being the only talented player on the San Antonio roster. Jorge Vasquez and Daniel Cambon will both be 4.5 next year, and former Nationals stud Chance Morgan still has a 4.5 rating and could well end up playing in the Alamo city.

Perennial contender Rusty Branch was hit fairly hard by the ratings, losing Jeremy Stone, Walt Williams, Clint Sumrow and Ron Morrison to the 5.0 ranks. Rusty will find replacements, but he'll certainly have his work cut out for him if he's gonna' compete with the San Antonio and Austin teams.

Mike Davis appears to have benefitted from the ratings almost as much as Torres. Everyone's favorite scrapper, Chad Case, is back in the 4.5 ranks two years after destroying almost everything in his path. Bo Bowman also returns after being DQ'd from the Austin team that went to nationals two years ago. Adding those two to an already strong lineup will give Davis' a fighting chance to compete with San Antonio.

Houston has fielded some of the strongest teams in the last few years, but the success has come with a price as many of the stars have moved on. Red Benzon's teams are always a serious threat to advance to Nationals, but he's been moved up to 5.0. Tim Green may pick up the slack, but the talent pool in Houston is not as deep as it has been in past years as many local stars have moved up. One notable bump-down in the area is Odion Dibua. If he rejoins his brother on the Kingwood team they will be a potent one-two punch, but the loss of Gary Armstrong, Glenn Wright and Tim Hurlbert leaves some extremely big shoes to fill. Even Odion's shoes may not be big enough.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The ratings for 2009 should be out either today or tomorrow. Will post an update when I hear something.