Saturday, January 2, 2010

Year End Appeals

Based on the uproar that occurred due to the year end ratings, I conducted a search to see how many people in Houston were granted an appeal on their rating. I expected a low number of positive appeals, but never expected anything like this. Out of a total of 3,847 players in Houston a total of 40 were successful (1.0%). In the male category, there were 17 out of 1,508 (1.1%) and in the female bracket, there were 13 out of 2,339 (0.6%).

Males successful appeals by level
3.0 rating (1)
3.5 rating (7)
4.0 rating (9) --Ron Fisher, Ron Latta, Ngoc Xuan Nguyen, Tim Purcell, David Romero, David Wallis, Kenneth Weber, John Woodley, Ronald Zeringue

Females
3.0 rating (2)
3.5 rating (5)
4.0 rating (4) --Christel Dekker, Wendy Elsey, Lisa Littlefield, Trisha Luong
4.5 rating (4.5) --Maria Herrera, Darla Shaub

Just some food for thought. Happy New Year!












84 comments:

  1. It is going to be a down year in Houston for 3.5 and 4.0 but the field should be more competitive from top to bottom.

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  2. The 4.0 level will be weak. The 4.5 level will be competitive for a few teams while the remaining teams will get the butt spanked. I feel bad for the 5.5 rated players as they have nothing to play for other than open tennis.

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  3. At least the 4.0 division will be competitive - weak is not necessarily a bad thing.

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  4. 4.5 is going to have too wide a range of talent. If someone can centralize the talent at 4.0 into one team then they have a good shot at nationals. The entire state was hit and Houston still has the talent at a city level where the smaller teams do not.

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  5. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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  6. How do you know how many players have tried to appeal their ratings?

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  7. Its nice having the different posters bringing different perspectives. Loken and Towle have some nice statistical/technical posts which I think are entertaining. Dwyer has the insight and deep understand of league and the participants. Its a nice mix.

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  8. I don't know the number of people that attempted to appeal their rating. I only know the number of people that were successful because they will have an "A" beside their name and rating. I downloaded all of the names for the 2009 year end rating and that is how I came up with the total number in Houston.

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  9. I had done a similar analysis across Texas. I concur with Lance's numbers for Houston. For the rest of Texas (ex Houston), I only looked at the men and found, out of 6800 players, 36 successful appeals (0.5%). Houston has fared slightly better than the rest of the state, but still a tiny percentage. As Lance says, there's no way to know how many tried. Also, not everyone who will try has tried - the numbers creep slightly up each week.

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  10. Thanks for the pussy list

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  11. The 4.0 A's I see listed are not that strong.

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  12. I guess that is why they won their appeal.

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  13. Now that the rosters are coming in, any news, thoughts, or predictions on Tri-Level

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  14. Hurricanes are the team to beat. Looking at the other teams Shock and Awe and Lost Forest, they just don't have the firepower to make it interesting.

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  15. USTA screwed up badly. Participation will be down. Why get killed by top 4.5's?
    How can they arbitrarily change the rules (on bump ups and appeals) and call the system fair and balanced. It is a joke. It may have been imperfect before but now it is completely scammed. They don't even apply the same changed rules to all levels as evidenced by the 4.5 level not having bump ups like other levels.

    It's like the NFL suddenly deciding that a touchdown is worth 11 points rather than 6. As if that's not bad enough they also only make this decision for teams in the AFC. The NFC still only gets 6 point touchdowns. Suck it up NFC. Quit whining and just get better.

    What a joke! I hope the USTA revenues falter badly. Instead of promoting tennis they are destroying it.

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  16. The USTA will not have any negative financial impact; because the US Open is the primary revenue source. [The US Open generates approximately 80% ($200 million dollars) of the revenues of the USTA.] There will be a huge impact on the local organizations like the HTA. I suspect there will be a 10 to 15% revenue hit to the HTA from folks who opt out of league participation over the rating frustration.

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  17. So far all we seem to be hearing from are the 30% who got bumped up. What about the 70% who didn't? Perhaps they'll start playing tournaments now that they see their chances have improved, and tournament revenues might actually increase. League may be another story however.

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  18. That's a good comment from the last poster and I will go ahead and answer for myself. Now that I've gone from the pits of hell of 4.0 to the bottom cellar of 4.0 I might actually play a few more tournaments to see how I do. I'd imagine some of the other players that stayed at 4.0 might do the same as well.

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  19. I think participation will be way up in leagues and tournaments this year. It was about time some of these sandbagging 3.5s and 4.0s got bumped up.

    Teams like Westside, JCC, Rolido Boys and Lost Forest should reap the benefits of the bumpups.

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  20. There is no doubt participation will be up with the ratings bump. The poster above nailed it when he said that you only hear the top 30% complaining. It is almost like these guys think they have some kind of right to be king of the castle year in, year out. The bottom portion of the 3.5 and 4.0 world (us 70%ers) are sick of being the dormat of the tennis world. Things will be more competitive now and the old sandbaggers will get a dose of the medicine they've been dishing out for years as bottom feeders of their new found level.

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  21. Some more random statistics for those who are so inclined.

    Nationally, out of some 300,000 players, 0.5% have successfully appealed their YE09 ratings so far. Very similar to Texas. The outliers are Hawaii at 2.1% and Northern at 0.1%, but these are two of the three smallest Sections so probably not statistically significant.

    When I ran the numbers I was surprised to see how big Southern Section is with 103,000 players, fully 1/3 of the total USTA membership. If you think it’s tough to get to Nationals from Texas, imagine how it must be from Southern. Why wouldn’t the USTA break that into two or three Sections, and combine some of the others? On the opposite extreme is Caribbean, with 2,700 members, with Hawaii, Northern, and Southwest close behind at 3,800-4,900. Texas is 4th largest at 21,500.

    I was also surprised, well not really, at how concentrated the players are into just a couple of levels. Nationally, fully 2/3 of the players are concentrated into just two levels, 3.5 and 4.0. So we have two National titles (per gender) at stake for 2/3 of the players, with one at stake for 9% (4.5), and one for only 1% (5.0). Seems to me that’s a bit inequitable, but I suspect the 9% and the 1% might see it otherwise.

    Got a jillion more useless statistics I can gen with this database, let me know if there’s anything you’re interested in, things are slow at work. For example, from my match database (10,000+ matches), what % of USTA matches do you think go to a match tiebreak? Of those matches, what % do you think were won by the team/player that won the 2nd set?

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  22. At this point guys, there is no point in complaining, because what's done is done.

    Now it will be interesting to see if new team powers will arise from this.

    Lost Forest, Sienna, Bear Creek in 4.0 didn't get too affected by the bumpups and have majority of their team intact (assuming Freeman doesn't poach them. Could they be Sectionals bound?

    In 4.5, Deucebags, Sienna or Copperfield could now rise from the ashes and look to sectionals.

    The "self-rates" are now the be wildcards out there.

    4.0 - Lost Forest looks like the early favorite, at least until Freeman shows his team.

    4.0 Darkhorse - Westside has a lot of "strong" 4.0's if they can get everyone on one team.

    4.5 - Deucebags looks strong.

    4.5 Darkhorse - Copperfield could be sneaky good. Alot of players, although none are dominant. Is Adam Kent still a 4.5?

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  23. Sienna lost everyone that won for them but they did have 50+ players on their roster so I'm sure Some are left that can play. I suspect nothing will change - Hurricanes, Chancellors, Lakeside and Sienna will be the teams to beat. Question is which second teir teams will make the playoffs (Rolido Boys, Westside, Lost Forest, Copperfield, SAP)?

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  24. Sienna has no shot at sectionals in 4.5 (how about city playoffs to start). Deucebags, Hurricanes, Westside, Copperfield, Ssssswing and Kingwood are still only teams with real chance - once again, nothing will change.

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  25. I'm loving numbers guy.

    Mike go ahead and save your money. Losing in the round of 64 instead of 128 still means you have plenty of time to lose at shuffleboard.

    Stick to talking about women's tennis.

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  26. How did SAP and Copperfield get regulated to Tier 2 in 4.0?

    SAP went to Sectionals. Copperfield was one individual win away from Sectionals including an upset win over the Hurricanes.

    Of course, Hurricanes, SAP, Copperfield and Lakeside were all devastated by bumpups. Again, unless these guys can poach off other teams they are probably out of the elite.

    I'm sure Freeman will have some self-rates hiding to change the 4.0 or maintain depending on perspective.

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  27. Alot has been made of the bump-ups. Here is the reason the bump-ups.

    I agree with the posters above. All of the bumpups have opened it up for other teams to emerge.

    Seriously, every year before the season starts you could pencil in Men's 4.0 Hurricanes and Men's 4.5 Hurricanes for Sectionals.

    Now it is wide open. Hurricanes I'm sure will be in the thick of the things but they are no longer a sure thing.

    Good luck.

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  28. I can understand Lakeside, Chancellors and Hurricanes being in the top grouping of teams but how did Sienna make that list?

    Maybe Numbers guy can do some magic and tell us who the team to beat is going to be in Houston 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 this year.

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  29. - sienna 4.5 only has trevino
    - duecebags needs two singles player; hasker and bui got bumped
    - hurricanes need one more singles player; omon and sumrall got bumped
    - schwwwing needs two singles player; carpenter got bumped
    - copperfield needs one singles player to replace holmes
    -kingwood has the players, but they have conditioning issues
    - blacksheep needs two singles players; bradley got bumped

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  30. Ooh 8:43, now that would be a prediction of the future, and NumbersGuy deals much better with the past. But here goes. The short answer is the Hurricanes will be the team to beat because they always are. Ratings make no never-mind to Jason because he recruits self-rates (44% of last year’s squad was), and this year will be no different.

    FWIW, here’s how the 4.0 teams that made it to Citywide fared. Hurricanes were decimated, losing 89% of their 4.0 players to 4.5. Copperfield lost 59%, LLTC-SAP 57%, Chancellors 56%, Sienna 58%, Lakeside 44%, Bear Creek 43%, Lost Forest 31%. You could conclude that Lakeside, Bear Creek, and Lost Forest are in decent shape, but it depends on who they lost and how talent-deep they were to begin with. The interesting team to me will be Westside Phoenix, who were pretty strong and deep last year (better than their record, I thought) and lost only 27% to 4.5.

    And the answers to yesterday’s trivia questions are:

    - 30% of USTA matches go to a third set (25,000-match database but I’d guess only 10,000 unique matches). If the first two sets were determined by coin flips, 50% would go to a third set, not really that much higher. So there are a lot of pretty even matches out there.
    - I had suspected that the winner of the 2nd set would typically have momentum and a bit of an edge. Turns out, split sets (surprise!) indicates a match that can still go either way. 51% of the third sets are won by the guy who won the first, 49% by the guy who won the second. That’s 50-50.

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  31. Sumrall did not get bumped and is still 4.5, so the Hurricances have Odion and Sumrall for singles. They have to pick up some strong doubles team to complete the roster. This would give them the edge over the other 4.5 teams because all of them need singles players.

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  32. Hurricanes 4.5 lost Tim but gain Red.

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  33. Deucebags will be better in 2010 even after they lost Hasker. Tran has been recruiting since sectionals last year. Plus, they will be picking up some of the 2009 Hurricane team.

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  34. "lost tim but gain red", that's a bad tradeoff.

    hasker and bui were the big part of the duecebags last year. the doubles were always a toss up.

    why would anyone want to play for hurricanes. they treat you like a number. i wouldn't be surprised that everyone leaves that team. except sarosh

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  35. It will be a competitive summer league. Whether you like the Hurricanes or not they will be in contention to advance to Sectionals. Deucebags are not far behind. i'd like more input from the numbers guys as to he thinks will be the team to beat.

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  36. But don't the 4.5 Hurricanes have to deal with the 3 people on a team rule after going to nats? This should handicap their ability to repeat in MMX.

    Unless they pull a Red and move the team to San Antonio or something like that.....

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  37. How does the 3 person team affect the Hurricanes? Looking at Sumrall and Odion and whoever the 3rd may be I'd say they have a legitimate shot at being contenders.

    Let's not forget that Houston went back to back in 4.5 and 5.0 in 2008 and 2009 to Nationals. The breaking up of a team doesn't necessarily mean they can't regroup. You will see a lot of 2008 guys on the court again in 2010.

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  38. The rule reads that no more the 3 players can be on the same team the following year after going to nationals.

    So you lose some to 5.0 bumps, then you can only have 3 players on the same team.

    From there you have to pick up other from different teams or bump ups.

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  39. As stated in an above post, look for 2008 members from 4.5 and 5.0 to fill in the blanks for Hurricanes rosters. Chris are you doubting a Hurricane repeat to Sectionals?

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  40. Look at Betsie's history for a quick lesson.

    Just stating what has happened in the past. How many 2k8 people are avialalbe? I don't doubt Captain February's ability to find non-documented players I just think a shoe in for a repeat is going to be tough.

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  41. Nice to know you've looked at the womens results from the past. Houston men in 4.5 have seen more Sunday appearances at Sectionals and More National appearances than any other city in the last 6 years. Nothing will change. You will be in Shock and Awe come summer time for mens league tennis at 4.0,4.5 and 5.0.

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  42. Dare I say it, Mike Salinas will dominate 4.5 singles this season.

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  43. Betsie has to sit out a year because there's just not enough 4.5 talent in the women's league. In contrast there should be plenty of men to repeat.

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  44. The deal with the Canes is how many times can you CR_P on people before they stop coming back.

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  45. Christopher always writes with such distain when he references Freeman and Benzon. I love it!

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  46. This year will be unpredictable at best because of the ratings mess. Don't ever underestimate Jason though.

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  47. @202pm - Do I? I don't mean to.

    Maybe I am wrong, who knows. It is all speculation.

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  48. Freeman will win 4.0 in a cakewalk. Let's face it, there are no other competent captains out there.

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  49. Freeman's 4.0 was very lucky to get out of City this year. They ended up in a 3 way tie (2-1) (Hurricanes, Chancellors, Copperfield).

    And only barely edged out on counting sets. Individual wins were tied.

    Did the other teams have equal talent and thus were out-captained. Or did the other captains do more with less?

    4.5 pretty much overwhelmed everyone with superior and deeper talent.

    His 4.0 and 4.5 teams have been built by brute force of having the best players.

    4.5 - Omon, Odion, Matt, Ricardo, Andreas.....etc

    4.0 - Bruce Inting, Scott Foster, Aaron Green, Sebastien and Greg Dwyer

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  50. jason created hurricanes b-team. so all he has to do is move his a-team roster to b-team roster and move his b-team roster to his a-team roster. he's pretty clever.

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  51. The 4.0 Canes in 2008 were also lucky to get out of Houston. It came down to a 3rd set tiebreaker against Sienna.

    The Freeman-Benzon teams are never as good as everyone thinks. They won't be that good this year, bet on it. Benzon will force his way into the lineup now that he is a 4.5 or bail for San Antonio or some other city when he sees he has been out-recruited in Houston (just like Towle said above).

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  52. I haven't commented since the mass bump. But here are a few thoughts:

    1. Anyone who thinks that the bump was about correcting for sandbagging is seriously deluded. Our 4.0 team, that went 5-5 last summer, had 7 players bumped. This mass bump was solely about replenishing the dwindling ranks of 4.5. (Note that very few got bumped from 4.5 to 5.0.)

    2. The mass bump makes it even easier for Freeman to win at 4.0. Why? Freeman can just recruit unrated ringers to self-rate at 4.0 like he always does. Now, the remaining 4.0s are even weaker and have little chance of competing with these folks.

    Also, the remaining 4.0 teams have no experience playing in tight competitive situations like city playoffs. If Freeman's team doesn't go to Sectionals, it will be only because he doesn't field a team.

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  53. I Love it. I'd like to see another Captain step up to the plate. It would make good for the blog. Put up or shut up is what I say. Until someone dethrones the Hurricanes they still are considered the favorites. Look at other big cities like Austin it's either Davis or Tatu. In Dallas it's Branch. In San Antonio it's Miller or Torres. Same Captains year in and year out. Although, Tran did manage to get Deucebags to Sectionals last year.

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  54. If Jason doesn't make it to Sectionals it's because he doesn't live in TX anymore. A large piece of his recruiting was finding/meeting good tournament players. He doesn't have that recruiting tool anymore.

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  55. Jason fucked up his 4.0 team last year because he was not around. They should have went to Nationals.

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  56. I pick the Hurricanes to send 4 teams to Sectionals this year. 4.0, 4.5, 5.0 and a 4.0 women's team. Jason has branched out into the women's league now.

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  57. Numbers Guy,

    I love the statistics you have above. Can you determine how many players were bumped up that actually contributed to the teams winning big matches. Looking at the names I'd say each and every team lost 90%+ of their production (top guys). This is probably to hard to do but you've impressed me so far.

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  58. 4:02, interesting and relevant question, might be doable with some Excel trickery. I'll take a look tomorrow.

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  59. How can you guys not understand that Freeman is Captain February. As 2:15 pm anon said "His 4.0 and 4.5 teams have been built by brute force of having the best players."

    Now the question always comes down to can he put the right line-ups on the court in the big matches?

    Across the board, Houston works harder than anyone else in the state to find a way to win and it always seems to be a team that involves the trio of evil (Freeman, Red, Dinker). Those are the current facts until someone goes out and changes the future (come on somebody, please!). As they say "there's a reason the hotels are so big in Vegas".

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  60. well, if you're disabled u have it pretty tough in the dating game

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  61. Just looked at tri level rosters and looks like the Hurricanes have a solid roster. Hardly any participation from the mens side. Womens tri level has 6 teams. Look like the Natural Guts may be the favorites in the womens side. It's going to be a chilly weekend.

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  62. Good luck with that weather.

    I played last month in DAL when it was 30 degrees and somehow the joy was not there. Maybe they can move it inside and play on the Wii?

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  63. The EVIL TRIUMVIRATE !!!!

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  64. OK, here’s my first set of results toward answering the question “what % of their production did each team lose to YE09 bump-ups?”. The first set of results is for 4.0 Citywide Playoffs, a small easy dataset to play around with. I only counted the round-robin matches, as the Final was just an exhibition.

    Hurricanes won 10 lines, and exactly zero of those were won by players who are returning to 4.0 in 2010
    LLTC-SAP won 10 lines, and 1 was won by players returning to 4.0
    Copperfield won 10 lines, 1 was won by returners.
    Lakeside won 10 lines, 3 were won by returners
    Chancellors won 8 lines, 0.4 were won by returners (I’ll explain 0.4 in a minute)
    Sienna won 6 lines, 1.8 were won by returners
    Bear Creek won 4 lines, 0.4 were won by returners
    Lost Forest won 2 lines, 1.4 which were won by returners

    When a doubles line was won by a team consisting of one returner and one 4.5 bump-up, I assumed the bump-up contributed slightly more to the victory, so gave the returner 40% of the credit. Incorrect I’m sure, but had to assume something.

    So as 4:02 yesterday hypothesized, all teams lost the lion’s share of their production – overall, of 60 lines won, 9 were won by players returning to 4.0, i.e. overall they lost 85% of their production. 90% was a heckuva good guess, 4:02!

    Lakeside fared the best on an absolute basis, Lost Forest fared the best on a relative basis. But the difference between retaining 3 lines and retaining zero lines is probably inconsequential (no certainty teams can retain these players anyway) – all these teams got hammered and will have to have great recruiting seasons if they want to do well in 2010. If Captain February does not win, it’ll be because he got outrecruited by Captain December.

    If this was interesting, let me know and I’ll see what I can do with 4.5 Citywide data, then 4.0 and 4.5 regular seasons.

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  65. Good job Numbers Guy. How many of the lines won were won by self-rated players?

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  66. Great job in getting the stats, and I would be interested in seeing the same analysis for 4.5 & 5.0.

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  67. In Citywide 4.0, 14.5 out of 60 lines (25%) were won by self-rates. Significant, but not as high as I might have suspected.

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  68. In 4.5 Citywide Playoffs, here’s what I find. The loss of production is not nearly as high as in 4.0, of course, since a much smaller percentage of 4.5s were bumped up.

    Hurricanes won 23 lines, and 13 were won by players who are returning to 4.5 in 2010
    Deucebags won 13 lines, 5.4 were won by returners – interestingly they got hurt worse than Hurricanes by this measure
    Ssshhhwings won 11 lines, 8 were won by returners
    Lobsters won 10 lines, 6 were won by returners
    Black Sheep won 9 lines, all 9 were won by returners
    Crush won 9 lines, all 9 were won by returners

    Overall, 37.4 out of 75 lines (50%) were won by those who are returning to 4.5 in 2010.

    Since there were so few bumps from 5.0 to 5.5, I’m not sure than analysis is worth doing for 5.0.

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  69. The numbers tell the story, the Hurricane teams will be out of serious contention this year. The 4.0 team lost ALL of their players that won a line in the city playoffs, and the 4.5 team lost 56%. In addition the 4.5 & 5.0 teams are limited to having only 3 players from the 2009.

    Their domination is over.

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  70. Ok so which team are you thinking will be next to be dominant?

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  71. I wouldn't be surprised to see Crush make a reappearance

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  72. 2:24, I wouldn’t be counting Freeman out just yet. He lost 78% of his 2008 4.0 team and still made it to Sectionals in 2009. He lost 79% of his 2007 team and still made it. He lost 53% of his 2006 team and still made it. No doubt his “lost production” was higher still. Losing 89% is just slightly more challenge. And if self-rates are the key, think about this. If he picks up the same-quality self-rates as he did last year, they will stand out even further from the 4.0 pack than 2009’s did. Now that’s scary. 2010 is the Year of the Self-Rate, I predict. If I can just finish reverse-engineering my USTA model to where it will give a good forecast of an imminent DQ, maybe I can sell it to him.

    On another topic, all you new 4.5s who are talking about how you’re going to stop playing USTA, sooner or later you’ll figure this out so I might as well say it here. All you need to do is form a 4.5 team (or enter a bunch of tournaments, but that’s more expensive), tank all your matches, and in 2011 you’re back to 4.0. Look at the 2009 record of a certain new 4.0, initials KLK, for a tutorial. What could be simpler, and you’re sticking your thumb in USTA’s eye to boot. Shame on me for even thinking anyone might do such a thing…

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  73. On another subject, does anyone have any comments about the Flextennis singles league (deadline is the 22nd)? I was thinking about joining because of its flexibility, but don't know the true level of competition.

    Would you recommend the HTA Singles league on Monday or the Flextennis leauge? Any thoughts are appreciated.

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  74. My $.02 -

    Flex tennis. Play a 1/2 level above your NTRP rating.

    The competition is normally good.

    There is also Ultimatetennis and leaguetennis which are the same thing. Leaguetennis has gender and mixed doubles and has prizes for local stores (read - Academy). Ultimate tennis is sponsored by KSwiss so winners get GC's to the kswiss store.

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  75. i'm loving some of the stuff numbersguy is coming up with.

    numbersguy, if you would like to contribute articles to the blog instead of posting in the comments section, shoot me an email: houstonleaguetennis@gmail.com

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  76. Good analysis, Numbers Guy. I agree that 2010 will be the year of the self-rated at 4.0.

    As a 4.0 who got bumped to 4.5, I had the same thought as you about forming a "tanking" team. The funny thing is going to be if several teams get formed and they have to play each other. I can see it now "Oh crap, I'm up a break!, I better default ASAP."

    Now, that's the true spirit of USTA league tennis. ;)

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  77. All of this talk about tanking assumes that the USTA will follow it's normal rating methodology. This year the USTA decided to screw their so-called "sacred" ratings methodology and just bump a massive number of people up.

    What makes you think that they are going to allow the computers to just bump all of these folks back down? My guess is that they will adjust the computer ratings for the next few years to not allow all of those 4.0s back down or the USTA will be back in the same situation as before: not enough 4.5 for robust leagues.

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  78. All of this talk about tanking assumes that the USTA will follow it's normal rating methodology. This year the USTA decided to screw their so-called "sacred" ratings methodology and just bump a massive number of people up.

    What makes you think that they are going to allow the computers to just bump all of these folks back down? My guess is that they will adjust the computer ratings for the next few years to not allow all of those 4.0s back down or the USTA will be back in the same situation as before: not enough 4.5 for robust leagues.

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  79. f.y.i.The Downtown Club at the Met will be hosting the Texas Cup featuring U.T. and Texas A&M Mens teams in a duel match Friday Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. The same weekend the Met will be hosting the Alumni Tennis Challange Tournament.For more information on both events please contact keith christman at 713-652-0700 or keith.christman@ourclub.com

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  80. Sounds like a fun event to come out and watch. Both TX and ATM are 2 top teams in the Spring.

    Hey Ward,

    Any predictions as to who will emerge as the next dominant 4.5 team. With the hurricanes out of the picture I'm sure you have some valuable insight that we'd like to hear about.

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  81. No one cares what Ward thinks about 4.5 tennis.

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  82. Usual Suspects win this weekend at Tri-Level. No Surprises:

    Freeman and Hollis

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