Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend Update

Congratulations are in order for the Fort Worth Tri-Level team, as they won a squeaker over Jason Freeman's Houston team by pulling out a 10-8 third set breaker in the 4.0 line. Legendary captain Bob Somabut came up big ON the court this time, and spanked a backhand winner on match point to seal the deal.

Fort Worth will be headed to Indian Wells to compete at Tri-Level nationals, playing aside Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova and the rest of the stellar field in the beautiful Coachella Valley. Best of luck to Joel Pickett's crew. He was a class act throughout the weekend.

It was a good weekend for some of my fellow Metropolitan Racquet Club members in the major zone held in San Antonio this weekend. Rob Collins, who was seeded sixth, took home the Open Singles crown, beating Adrian Valdez along the way and not dropping a set. Top seeded Matt Drake took home the 4.0 crown and his first major zone.

The Houston area had a good showing overall. John Patch took the 4.5 singles and Tim Green won another 5.0 singles major zone, though the field had only five participants. Hats off to Cy-Ridge alumni Jason Owsley and Tommy Do, who reached the semis in the 4.0 doubles. Do also made it to the semis of the singles.

184 comments:

  1. Scott Foster and Jason Pieters also from Houston got to the finals in the Men's Open doubles. Jason Pieters won the mixed open doubles partnered with former UT player Ristine Olson. In the women's Congrats to Zercoe/Reed taking home the 4.5 doubles,also Ava Deline took home the 4.0 singles. Houston really had a great showing this past weekend in San Antonio.

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  2. Who played the 4.0 line that lost to Somabut? Was it Vu and Rios or did Dwyer or Montes play? There not ringers if they lost to Bob unless Bob had Federer as his partner.

    Why were the 3.5 guys late? Ridiculous.

    Pieters is damn good.

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  3. Bob is an average 4.0 player. How could ringers lose to Bob. Bob was a nonfactor last year. Unless we are talking about his grandson.
    Who lost to Bob?

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  4. Bob was probably better than average, but definately not at the top end. He did get moved up though.

    Houston gets fucked because they have to use end of year ratings in tri-level and other cities can use mid-years. Bob could not have played 4.0 in Houston. Still don't believe he won though. Montes or Rios must have had one of their bad days.

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  5. Bob is 63 years old, him getting bumped to 4.5 is why the system is broke.

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  6. It was Rio and Vu on the 4.0 line.

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  7. Did anyone watch the 4.0 match? What happened?

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  8. I believe Pete called it (via FB). He's a choke artist. Referring back to some previous posts on Pete. Great strokes. The dude's got the game but what may keep him down at 4.0 for at least this year is his consistency and shot selection. When the chips are down can you deliver the goods. That's why in case there ever was any question, at 4.0 Vu is at another level than Rios.

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  9. From what I heard it was a combination of bad play from vu and rios. they struggled all weekend trying to gel together. Rios will not stay 4.0 for the whole season. He is an appealed player playing on a 4.5 team.

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  10. Wow, I guess both Vu and Rios should stick with singles. Apparently they are not good at doubles. Both players in singles would be unbeatable but doubles is a different story. I believe Alex E. from last year Tri Level destroyed Bob in the finals like 6-1, 6-1.

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  11. It was Kris Knutson and Alex Ellingsen who beat Bob 1,1 last year at Tri levels.

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  12. congrad
    To Patch and Green for winning 4.5s and 5.0s.

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  13. Vu and Rios didn't click this weekend like I expected them to. They have vastly different styles and are both comfortable mainly on the ad side, so I think in this case the whole was less than the sum of their parts. They're both very talented at both singles and doubles, however, and should be tough to deal with this season.

    The Houston 4.5 line was fun to watch. Greg Jones and Orlando Galvan seemed to have great chemistry both on and off the court and fit in well with the rest of the team, even the benchwarmers and "lowly" 3.5's. They had their hands full in the finals, dropping the first set before bageling Ft. Worth in the second and taking the breaker.

    Dallas league will be very competitive this year, and they should have several good teams. There are, frankly, more high-powered captains in Dallas in the 4.0 world (Somabut, Pickett, Sisk and Arcaria) which makes for a higher brand of competition.

    I got to meet John Sisk, the much-criticized Dallas captain, over the weekend as well. He had one quality that almost all successful captains have: he was very likable and I'm sure has no trouble charming potential players into joining his squad. I'll be curious to see how things turn out in big D.

    I'm always a pessimist, but I think the Houston 4.0 team will be an underdog to whichever team emerges from Dallas. Right now I don't see a Houston 4.5 team that will be a factor on a statewide level, but a lot can change in the next couple of months.

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  14. Hey Lance, who won the WTT National qualifier this past weekend?

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  15. Piasho Vantho's 4.5 team won from Houston and Julie Diep's 4.0 team won from Houston. There were teams from Missouri and Virginia Beach that participated as well as teams from Houston.

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  16. There doesn't seem to be an obvious "super-team" developing in Houston 4.5 for the summer but, like hacker said, a lot can happen in the next couple months. It will be interesting to see what develops. Not even sure who the top couple favorites would be at this point. Ideas?

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  17. BOBBY FOX REPORT:
    just looked at last night's singles results. fox 4.0 vs mccool 5.0. fox was up 6-4, 5-3 and mccool retired? what type of chicken sh$t is that? mccool is rated 5.0, but he's really a top 4.5 player. i'm impressed with fox so far. quitting at 5-3 in the second set? really? are u that afraid to take a lost? is mccool the jay cutler of tennis?

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  18. Hmmm. I just looked up the match report. Fox won 4-6, 3-5. Doesn't that mean that McCool was up 6-4, 5-3 and McCool retired?

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  19. I wonder how the retooled ratings of the last 2 years has affected the women's side. It seems it has done a good job of leveling out the 4.0s and 4.5s for the most part (with the exception of Danny Vu - but a few will always slip through the cracks). Also, the other cities. Thoughts from any of the women captains and/or Dallas/Austin/San Antonio

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  20. McCool was up on Fox. McCool cracked all his rackets and had to retire.

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  21. why would you crack all your racquets if you were one game away from winning. what's ironic is he ended losing. i guess he didnt do the math

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  22. I guess he wasn't living up to his name.

    I had to slide it in there....

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  23. Well that didn't take long. Bobby Fox is now 4.5, still S, perhaps he saw the writing on the wall.

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  24. More like, trying to slip under the radar at 4.5 when in fact he should self-rate as as 5.0

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  25. He broke both strings in both of his rackets and only had 2 with him so don't start incorrect rumors and information until you have all the facts straight and he couldn't find his teammates to borrow other rackets because we were on other courts playing.

    Brian

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  26. Well, these Anons are good at shooting their mouth off without any repercussions. :-(

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  27. Un-F'ing believable. So now you can finally see match results from the Tri-Level tournament but they've got the wrong players for each match. They actually have women listed for the men's matches.

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  28. If anyone cares about the tri-level results (since tennislink is royally screwed up...kinda' ridiculous if you ask me): These are from memory and I may have some of the opponents wrong.

    In the first match against SA:
    Dugas/Jones beat Miller/Williamson? easily
    Vu/Rios beat Mabrito/Lowry in 3
    Wagner/Martinez beat Fagala/Schafer in 2

    Against SE Tx:
    Jones/Galvan beat Morris/Fox 61, 64?
    Montes/Dwyer beat Price/Sanders 76, 62
    Wagner/Arenas beat Pearson/Mack in 3

    Against Dallas
    Jones/Galvan beat Pham/J.Nguyen 64, 61?
    Vu/Rios lost to Caceres/Flora in 3
    Martinez/Arenas lost to Canaday?/Leslie? in 2

    Finals:
    Galvan/Jones beat Kiron/Moore in 3
    Vu/Rios lost to Somabut/Le in 3
    Martinez showed up late so we defaulted 3.5

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  29. WTF is the deal with TennisLink. Why would you launch a new website with one of the major components not functioning. Was it not tested or something? Wow - that's pretty pathetic.

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  30. I could be wrong but is Vu trying to manage his scores? and screwed up by losing a close one. The scores seem too competetive, remember 4.0s is the new 3.5s and Vu is a 4.5 plus.

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  31. Any comments on the bay area racquet club tournament this weekend?

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  32. what bay area tournament?

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  33. OK, so my league committee mole reports that Freddy cancelled the playoffs because all his teams stink.

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  34. I wonder if Catherine is cancelling leagues tonight. It might rain.

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  35. I wonder if Freddy was behind the new 8.0 playoff format last summer so that his team could make it into the city playoffs.

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  36. Would the HTA really take the decision to cancel matches out of the captains' hands? That doesn't seem like something they'd do.

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  37. lost forest tourney deadline is mid-night today

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  38. Too early to get predictions for summer league? Early favorites? This year's sleeper team? Top singles and doubles players? Just want to get some activity going on here

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  39. It's gonna be another down year for Houston. The 4.0 team probably has a slightly better chance to make it past Dallas than the 4.5 team. It will depend a lot on how Rios develops his game and if he can keep his 4.0 "A" rating. Vu will be a solid singles line but not sure after that. 4.5 team will be decent but not great.

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  40. Rios should get a test against Mason Creek singles team if he plays line 1 tonight. They have a pretty solid team.

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  41. I saw Rios at the Tri Level event in Kingwood. Rios is maybe an above average 4.0. We have twenty better 4.0 players in the Dallas area. Maybe more.

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  42. LOL @ 11:15am

    Rios and Vu sucked that weekend no doubt. 20 better players in Dallas? Freeman would have just recruited one of them if that was true.

    Rios will be DQed at 4.0 long before his 4.0 team goes anywhere.

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  43. rios this, rios that. sounds like a self promoter. if he can pull off a win against katy mason tonight, then he should be 4.5, otherwise stick with 4.0 and prove yourself

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  44. Rios will be DQ'd within two weeks. The Dallas captains do a better job of protecting their players.

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  45. If Rios plays Carpenter or Davila, he will lose 2 & 1. He has a better chance against Lindloff or Kim, but neither of those 2 are top tier singles player.

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  46. lindloff and kim are both very good singles players. they just get beat by top players. however, they are no pushover and will mostlikely beat rios.

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  47. Rios is one of those dudes who keeps it close with 5.0s and 4.0s.His serve wins him games and his backhand loses him just about as many no matter who he plays against.

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  48. Looking for players for a 4.5 Summer team to play out of Lee LeClear. Please contact Bobby Kane at bobbykane76@gmail.com for more information.

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  49. Team will also include Mike Martinez and Greg Moran.

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  50. So "The Big Bangers" are splitting up? Hmmmm....

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  51. I wouldn't say "splitting up." Expanding.

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  52. So how did Pete fare against Mason Creek?

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  53. pete and the entire team got crushed my mason creek. no one got more then 3 games per set.

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  54. 2 losses at Tri-Level and a whooping vs MC tells me Rios may be safe as a 4.0 for the 2011 season

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  55. PEOPLE WITH EGOS LIKE RIOSES DON'T PLAY 4.0. THERES TOO MUCH CHANCE OF EMBARRESMENT. THEY PLAY UP AND LOSE INSTEAD OF RISKING PEOPLE FINDING OUT THERE NOT THAT GOOD.

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  56. Ouch. Kind of harsh! Pete's a good guy. I wouldn't blame him if he opts to play the higher level / better tennis. Let's not jump to conclusions. Maybe 11:08 should not make such bold statements without using spellchecker first.

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  57. here's the test. if rios can beat goldberg, then he is a 4.5. my money is on goldberg

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  58. You're probably right. Goldbert is a wall.

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  59. If Goldberg is your standard for 4.5, then Rios is a 4.5. Because I don't think Goldberg will get much more than 4 games against Carpenter, which Rios did.

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  60. lol, i doubt goldberg will lose to rios. goldberg has played more experience players and has beaten a few of them. plus goldberg is too consistent for rios. goldberg 6-3, 6-3

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  61. goldberg just won bay area, Rio does not have a chance

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  62. Then I guess Rios in NOT a 4.5...

    Mystery solved!!!

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  63. Pete Rios got a pretty bad beating from Donny Bishop a few weeks ago.

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  64. Ummm whoever said Rios is a 4.5? There's a reason he has a 4.0 rating. That being said he has huge potential and as stated before with work on his consistency and shot selection will surely be a 4.5 down the road. I think the real question is and has been whether or not he will be an impact player in 4.0 (assuming he doesn't get DQd)

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  65. To 11:47 from yesterday - the real test is if he can beat Goldberg then he would most definitely be a 4.0 impact player.

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  66. Just to play devil's advocate: I don't remember Goldberg being good enough to be a top two singles guy on Freeman's top 4.0 teams.

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  67. Goldberg played singles on the 2k6 team that made it to semi-finals in 4.0. He lost in a tight breaker to some dude from Corpus that was a self rate from south of the border.

    In 2007 he was doubles mainly b/c there was a ton of folks (Sarosh, Kern, etc) that were better selections for singles.

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  68. the question is not that goldberg is good. goldberg is a good 4.5 player and a good benchmark. the question is rios a 4.0 or 4.5 player? well i dont think he can beat goldberg. however, i think he can beat most of top 4.0 player and some average 4.5 player. his rating is 4.0, so take advantage of the 4.0 success. 4.5 is another animal and he will get chomp down by the top 4.5s. he'll be lucky if any 4.5 summer team will use him in singles

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  69. 9:23 - you can't go by past results since the ratings have been turned upside down. If he were still 4.0, Goldberg would be a true impact player at 4.0 in 2011.

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  70. Thanks for the compliments Mr. Anonymous. If I had your name I would thank you personally. I hope and working on to be a top 4.5 player in leagues and tournaments in 2011. I agree with the 9:56am posting.

    Goldberg

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  71. My new tennis rating system

    BGRP == Brian Goldberg Rating Program


    1.0 BGRP -- Players characteristics

    Loves to grind from baseline, good off of both wings

    Willing to venture to net, but loses effectiveness there

    Mentally strong and un-intimidated by top players

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  72. Goldberg is the new Kallus

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  73. Goldberg discussion...this blog has descended to new depths...@1:58 You really need to factor UGLY serve in your BGRP.

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  74. goldberg is a nice guy, and would be a good 4.0 player, but at least freeman still has vu.

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  75. Cool new hire league committee. What was old is new again. Any bets about how long before she offers to resign again. Hasn't she resigned 4 times from HTA employment already?

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  76. Huh? Who? What?

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  77. I am a new captain and a bit confused. The league coordinator didn't return my call; so I was wondering if anybody on here understands the rules. I thought there was a rule that I had to get matches made up or maybe just scheduled by 2 weeks after the match was supposed to be played. The other captains that I tried to reschedule with just laughed. This is a pain in the a$$.

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  78. If someone joins the usta, skips the self-rate, then plays a levels tourny, will they get a "T" rating? If so, how long before the "T" rating appears on tennislink? Then would the player be able to join a usta summer league team with only a "T" rating?

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  79. I don't think you get a T rating until YER for that year so you wouldn't be able to play USTA league until the following summer

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  80. The other thing is, and I may be wrong about this, but I thought M and T exclusive rated players still need to Self-Rate to play USTA League. This was a huge hole in the system that the USTA fixed. In other words, if you tank in tournaments this year and end up with a 4.0 T rating you would still have to self-rate next year to play USTA league

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  81. @632a - Not sure what the rules spell out on this topic, but typically makeups happen at the end of the season in my experience.

    For example if you play on Thursday's then both teams will be booked on Thursday through the season and it is a PITA to get folks together on another night due to courts, other league or personal conflicts.

    PS - I am not sure if there is a league coordinator at this point in time, so you might use this place for guidance...

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  82. Good. I hope you're right, that would be a huge hole.
    Thx
    (7:22)

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  83. Lance Loken, perhaps you can speak to this. Didn't JJ Deleon and Dan Solis end up with 4.5M ratings at the end of the year and are now 4.0 self rates? That seems like a huge loophole and a little shady to me.

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  84. My understanding of this new ruling on Ms and Ts is that Ms and Ts have to self-rate and furthermore, they can NOT self-rate below their most recent M or T rating. I wonder what happens if an M or T crosses an age threashold. In other words I'm a 5.0 M D1 college player at age 42 and don't play for 3 years. Technically I could self rate 4.5 at age 45 so why should I be required to self-rate as a 5.0 3 years later.

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  85. Can someone she some light on the 4:22 posting from yesterday

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  86. Yeah, I'd like to hear more about Solis and Deleon. I see where they are now 4.0S players but can't tell what their 2010 YER was

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  87. If you go back and look at the excel spreadsheet Christopher Towle posted when the ratings came out, they are both listed as 4.5M.

    Does 4:22 mean Catherine is back at HTA? I liked her, personally.

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  88. Apparently the loophole is fixed for M but not T. So we still need an explanation for JJ and Dan.

    http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/2011%20USTA%20League%20Regulations%20FINAL.pdf

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  89. Dude - Good thing you saved it now we need to run the spreadsheet again and xref the Ms to see who else did this.

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  90. The reason Ms and not Ts is because with Ts you are playing same sex matches. If all of your tournaments are Mixed then you would drop into the M category and have to self-rate the next year.

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  91. Lance, you're pretty active on the site. No comment on JJ and Dan. Better yet, JJ, Dan?????

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  92. Does the USTA or HTA have any way to automatically catch players that use a secondary address to create a new USTA account, and then try to establish themselves at a lower level via "T" or "S" rating? Could they match on name, SSN, or b-day? Or is it simply up to other players/captains to discover the charade?

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  93. I believe it's an honor system. Captains and players need to keep a vigilant watch over this type of thing. I think someone caught on that Ed Hess had an alternate USTA number last year. The tennis community is small and tight and I'd be very surprised unless someone is new to the area that anyone could get away with this with noone noticing.

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  94. I don't think it is shady for JJ and Dan to self-rate as 4.0. I think they are 4.0 players overall, but with good partners, they can hang pretty decently in many 4.5 doubles matches. They are a good example of that group of players whose doubles skills are almost 0.5 higher than their singles skills. The question is, when self-rating, should you focus on the best of your singles ability, or the best of your doubles ability, given good partners?

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  95. The answer is there is a glitch in the USTA rating system. Just as TennisLink was broken when they released the new website, the USTA instituted a new rule which is not being regulated. And the fact is according to the way the computer is rating players these days, JJ and Dan should be 4.5. I'm not saying it's shady because the issue as to where to self-rate is very grey these days but according to the rules they should not have been able to self-rate as 4.0 if their YER is 4.5M.

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  96. My guess is you can self-rate whatever you want as long as you are with in the profiling guidelines. Actually according to the rules if you choose to play USTA league you must play at the higher level between your YER M rating and your self-rate. So it sounds like this does not get caught until you try to sign up for a team and nothing wrong was done by self-rating below your M rating. The real question is if this is the honor system or if it is really caught in the sign-up process. Guess we'll find out if JJ and/or Dan try to play on a 4.0 team in the summer. So - NO - JJ and Dan have not done anything wrong YET!

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  97. there's some good 4.5 players at lost forest tourney this weekend. this will be a very good indicator of who's who for upcoming summer league.

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  98. Perhaps they appealed their 4.5M rating down to 4.0 and then self-rated 4.0.

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  99. with all this rating talk, seems to me summer recruiting is heating up and captains are trying to find figure ways to get an advantage

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  100. Yes, 1:07 does pose a scenario that would work and be legit. Any other scenario would be a computer glitch that needs to be fixed, the USTA doesn't need to rely on honor when it has rules and data. I can tell you the USTA is researching the matter. And Ed Hess did not cheat, he was told by the USTA to create a new registration to get around another system glitch.

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  101. If they were able to get a 4.0 A then there's no need for self-rating (ala Pete Rios). NEXT....

    I think it's back to this point. The rule is you play the higher of your self-rate and latest M rating. It doesn't say you can't self-rate below your M rating.

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  102. Instead of speculating let's hear from JJ and Dan.

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  103. An appeal would get a 4.5M to a 4.0M, not a 4.0A.

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  104. So back to it's either a glitch in the system or it will hopefully caught if they try to sign up on a 4.0 team

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  105. It sounds like NumbersGuy is on top of it and has put in an inquiry.

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  106. Can you play HTA league with a T rating without self-rating?

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  107. Hmmm probably Yes. BTW why all the Qs about tourneys? You onto something?

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  108. Good question 2:09, the USTA Regs are silent on that, the changes for 2011 just address the self-rating that M-rated players now have to do. Looks like nothing's changed for T's, they don't have to self-rate (I could be wrong). But I think the effect is no different than being an S, a T can still be DQ'ed. But I think it's only for S-rated players that ALL prior matches are forfeited; for A and T only the last match is forfeited.

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  109. Can't play HTA or USTA non-mixed, non-combo league with an M or T rating. Go look, you won't find anyone signed up in the Spring with anything other than B, C, A or S.

    This isn't new info. It's been this way since December 1, 2010.

    There is no glitch. JJ and Dan are perfectly fine. I have no first hand knowledge but I'm confident they simply appealed their 4.5M rating to a 4.0A (not 4.0M, but the "M" still attaches to the 4.5M-appealed rating), forcing them to self-rate when signing up for the Copperfield team. There has been several players do this, you just haven't seen them because they haven't signed up for a team yet and they haven't played on any 2011 teams.

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  110. Good try. According to the TTA website JJ and Dan both have S next to their names which means they self-rated and didn't appeal. If they appealed it would say 4.0A wouldn't it.

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  111. Hi all,
    Sorry for responding until just now but have been out on the road all day with work. JJ and Dan had M ratings and were allowed an opportunity to appeal as they registered for my 4.0 team this spring. When they registered, they were provided the opportunity to self-rate as they had a 4.5M rating for mixed only and therefore appealed and were allowed to self rate as a 4.0. Not sure why anyone would challenge these two guys as they are not 4.5 players.

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  112. Looks like JJ and Solis just got caught. Hopefully, they will not play 4.0s or if they do they should be called out as cheaters, just like everybody else that cheats. What is worst cheating or tanking?

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  113. Maybe if they self-rated after their successful appeal (as required), they kept the 4.0S instead of 4.0A.

    The meta point is that, with the more complex rating rules, the USTA is gonna need better codes.

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  114. So if I want to go down a level, I can play just mix for a year and then I can self rate to whatever level I want to play.
    Lance,
    Is this correct.

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  115. I don't play on Copperfield or give a crap about Solis and JJ. However, no one has presented any evidence that anyone is cheating.

    Some marginal 4.0/4.5 player appealing and playing 4.0 is not what is wrong with USTA tennis. It's Davis Cup players lying on their self-rate and being allowed to play 4.5 the whole season once the lie is uncovered that is the problem.

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  116. Year 1: Get a T rating.
    Year 2: Play HTA without self-rating and get a C rating.
    Year 3: Play USTA league without self-rating.

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  117. To 4:29:

    Yes. It happens in any and every league. Sometime because the players suck and sometimes it's because they tanked. Mixed has nothing to do with it.

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  118. Honestly, why not just play fall HTA and lie on your self-rate? No one is going to complain in fall league and once you are computer rated 3 months later, you are gold.

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  119. JJ and Dan didn't cheat. As I said, when they registered for the 4.0 spring season the computer asked them to self rate and so they self rated as a 4.0. Based on what happened, I guess a person could play mixed only for a year and obtain a "M" rating and then self rate the following year. This is the 1st time I've seen it.

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  120. First of all, as previously stated we can't go by how it used to be as far as ratings go. There are a lot of players who would say they shouldn't be where they currently are but obviously the USTA is making it easier for players to get bumped up and hardrd to get bumped down (that's a good thing, isn't it). There is NO ONE immune to the current state of the current rating system.

    Second of all, as prevsiously stated, anyone who knows JJ and Dan knows they are good guys and not cheaters. One of the following scenarious has occured.

    a) The computer is flawed (wow imagine that) - Dan and JJ should not have been allowed to self-rate below their M rating when they signed up for Lance's team

    b) the system is working as designed and we will all find out in a month or so to see if JJ and Dan are able to sign up for a 4.0 team

    c) JJ and Dan appealed their 4.5M rating to a 4.0A rating and then were able to sign up on Lance's team as a 4.0S player.

    In any case, it sounds like the USTA (at least I hope) is/will investigate this as no doubt these are not the only cases of this happening.

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  121. Lance, you somewhat contract yourself. At 4:22 you said, "therefore appealed and were allowed to self rate as a 4.0." then at 4:40 you said, "the computer asked them to self rate and so they self rated as a 4.0". Did they appeal to get their 4.0 rating or self-rate when they signed up. There's a big difference.

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  122. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the USTA F'd up. I honestly believe this was an oversight by JJ and Dan and they didn't even know about this new M rule. What's scary is to think of all the M players out there, in other cities and sections, in which the tennis community is not so diligent. Lots of players are about to Self-Rate to a lower level.

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  123. Lance, unfortunately, or fortunately, you're not God and you don't decide who is a 4.0 and who is a 4.5

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  124. What in the world did that statement mean? I had nothing to do with their ratings

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  125. Lance Loken: 4:22 pm "Not sure why anyone would challenge these two guys as they are not 4.5 players." Last I checked you're not the one to decide who is 4.5 and who isn't.

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  126. Honestly, what happened is not rocket science:

    They appealed their 4.5M ratings (like anyone else can). The appeal was granted to 4.0A. The computer then also forced them to self-rate since their rating was based on mixed. They self-rated 4.0 to yield a 4.0S rating.

    So for the clueless out there -- Appealing your rating is not cheating. Unless you have evidence that they lied on their self-rating, shut your pieholes.

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  127. Well the proof is in the pudding out of the mouth of Lance. It's not obvious from his 4:40 statement that they did appeal. He clearly indicates when they signed up they were asked to self-rate. He says nothing about appealing down first.That kind of thing can easily be verified by the USTA office.

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  128. Lance Loken: 4:40 "the computer asked them to self rate and so they self rated as a 4.0". Who's clueless?

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  129. ok you gutless wonders that stand behind your anonymous blog quotes, I'm done with you. I will talk to anyone that is man enough to show themselves and talk to me man to man. If you want to hide behind the anonymous shield and bash people, then have at it. I won't dignify your comments. I did nothing wrong, nor did any of the players that are on my team. When you are man enough to talk to me, then email me at lance@lanceloken.com.

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  130. Lance, you're the gutless one. Why don't you just answer the question. Did they Appeal or did they Self Rate?

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  131. I am not Lance. How hard is it to read his 4:22 posting? They did both.

    They appealed first to 4.0. Then they had to self rate when signing up for a men's league because they had a mixed only rating.

    Sheeesh....

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  132. JJ is a solid 4.0 doubles player (don't know Dan), but would get beat more time than not at 4.5. There will always be that overlap of 4.0s and 4.5s that could be at either rating. If it were me, I'd choose to play 4.0 in that scenario. Why choose to be at the bottom of the heap when you can hover toward the top? Especially speaking for all of us 40+ who are maintaining our strokes but not our speed or hand/eye coordination.

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  133. USTA LEAGUE
    MAJOR REGULATION CHANGES FOR 2011
    3. Players who play exclusively in the Mixed Doubles Division and choose to participate in the Adult, Senior, and/or Super Senior Divisions the next year must enter those divisions by self-rating with the minimum rating being the higher of the self-rating or mixed exclusive rating.
    According to the rule they should not have self rated to 4.0. They could only self rate to 4.5 or 5.0.
    Htown could you explain the rule?

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  134. I am sure Dan and JJ are great, wonderful, terrific, and nice guys but they did self rate to low according to the rules. Now if we want to make exceptions for nice guys, I'am all for that.

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  135. Don't ask me...I'm clueless. It sure does seem odd, but it's quite possible that they appealed down first. If it doesn't get cleared up next week I guess I could call Todd Reed for a clarification.

    I think JJ will be one of the top 4.0's in the city, especially if all of the 4.0 bump-ups from the last couple of years have weakened the overall talent pool as much as I suspect.

    The new rule which forces a player to self-rate at his last published rating is huge. HUGE. The USTA really is taking a lot of steps to try to thwart the top captains. Will it work? I don't think so. The top captains focus more energy and time into creating top teams. They will continue to dominate. Does anyone wanna' bet against any of these guys: Miller, Torres, Davis, Tatu, Freeman, Benzon, Somabut, Branch? They'll be back year after year (there are a few people threatening to break into that list).

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  136. It is a south of the border conspiracy!

    DeLeon and Solis are latino names.

    If there name was Nguyen or Tran then folks would be calling them out.

    I say persecute them!

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  137. JJ and Dan didn't cheat. As I said, when they registered for the 4.0 spring season the computer asked them to self rate and so they self rated as a 4.0. Based on what happened,
    3. Players who play exclusively in the Mixed Doubles Division and choose to participate in the Adult, Senior, and/or Super Senior Divisions the next year must enter those divisions by self-rating with the minimum rating being the higher of the self-rating or mixed exclusive rating.
    Now let me think about this JJ and Solis choose to participate in a Spring Adult division, so they must self rate. So they self rated, now this is the part where they did something wrong. You must self rate with the minimum rating being the higher of the self-rating or mixed exclusive rating.
    Their M rating was 4.5 which is greater than 4.0. So I am thinking they should have not self rated at a lower number than 4.5 but I could be wrong.

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  138. The system will not allow you to rate lower than your last published rating. Even if you select a lower rating it will spit out a message to you that you MUST rate at your last published rating. The only scenario that works here is that They won their appeal from their M rating to 4.0 A and then forced to appeal. It's been said a few times already.

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  139. Negative, you are incorrect the system does not spit out message to people that are self rating. They joined a 4.0 Mens league and had to self rate because they had an M. They are supposed to self rate at a higher rating. They did not, the USTA self rating system does not stop you from entering a lower self rate than you are supposed to enter. That is why it is called self rate. Self rate is strictly based on the information the individual enters. If you put in false inforamtion you will get your desire self rate. The whole purpose of self rate is for the person to self rate himself. USTA does not have anyway to stop people entering whatever information they want. This is the purpose of the blog to police/enforce rules. This clearly needs to be investigated.
    If JJ and Solis appealed their rating they would both be issued an 4.0A, not a 4.0S.

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  140. It's been "Speculated" that that is what happened but never confirmed. There is a contradiction between what Lance said at 4:22 and at 4:40. Again. this can easily get cleared up by the USTA so no speculation required. Did they appeal to get 4.0 or did they self-rate to get 4.0. It's really not complex.

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  141. 4:22 - This is the message you get if you try to choose anything lower than your last published rating. It will think about it and then give you this message.

    Player Self-Rate Questionnaire Completed
    Selected self-rate cannot be lower than the last published NTRP level. You have the right to appeal.
    XXXXXXX (XXXXXXXX)
    Must select minimum NTRP Level of 4.0
    • Select, then save Appropriate Self-Rate, if you wish to rate above minimum.

    OR

    • Appeal Self-Rate, if you feel other factors may impact your playing level.

    *** The consequences of cancelling out of the process completely without saving is, that the system will assign the minimum NTRP level of 4.0. Once the system assigns an NTRP level, this level can later not be automatically appealed DOWN, only UP. ***

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  142. 4:22 - That is correct! If they appealed which I believe they did they would have a 4.0A but off an M rating which will still force you to self-rate when you sign up for men's league in which case they got a 4.0S.

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  143. That is what it says if you have a B bench rating or C computer rating. If you have a M mix rating the system will let you self rate. You can not play league with a M rating you must self rate. The computer will let you self rate yourself. Alex Ellington did the same thing last year. He had a 4.5 M he joined an adult league and had to self rate. He self rated himself at 4.0. In 2010 this was legal. In 2011 the USTA want to prevent this so they made a new rule you cannot self rate at a lower level.
    If you don't believe me email USTA.

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  144. USTA will let you self rate if you have a M rating. That is what it says it does not say if you have an M you must Appeal and then self rate. This is clearly someone attempt to help out Solis and JJ. They made a simple mistake and probably did not even know about the 2011 rule and self rate. How could they this is a brand new rule. I know of a couple of guys in the past that did the same thing but it was allowed and now it is not. Everybody give them a break.

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  145. JJ please clear this up did you appeal your rating or did you join an adult team and had to self rate yourself?

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  146. Lance is quick to call out someone as gutless however when asked point blank if JJ and Dan self-rated or appealed we don't hear a word. I think we have our answer.

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  147. Whoever did the self rate made the mistake. I am sure it was just a mistake. Lance is a nice guy.

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  148. I agree with Lance. For those Anons who threw bombs and hide, if you are not gutless, then sign in and show us your names.

    As far as the "new" League Coordinator gossip, I would label that as "No good deed goes unpunished". As it is explained to me from my sources in the League Committee. An ex-HTA coordinator goes out her way to help with a new project. Instead of thanking her for doing the work, the gutless wonder threw a bomb in the blog about her.

    For these anons who were so critical about any HTA coordinators that come along, why don't YOU serve as one? Perhaps you can show all of us how it should be done. The HTA league communities can all learn from your great job!

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  149. As far as all these players ratings, why are you so jealous about other players ratings? Do you have doubts about your own ability? Or do you have doubts about the ability of the players in your team?

    I noticed that the anons of this blog sound extremely petty about all 4.0 rated players in the HTA League. It seems to me that these anons are from the same team who are worried that they cannot advance to the City Playoff. LOL!

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  150. No it's about all teams and players playing on a level playing field and we all follow the same rules. DUH

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  151. And who the heck is Hayabusa anyways. You may as well be Anon butthead

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  152. It is about calling out cheaters.

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  153. "I am so ignorant, I can't tell the difference between throwing anonymous and standing up with my name", so speak the Anon butthead @ 11.23AM.
    "I am an upstanding citizen to call out cheaters, but I have to hide under the rock!", so speak the Anon cheaters caller @ 7.21PM.

    The other anon @ 11.02AM, shows his pettiness for belly-aching about a fellow Houston tennis player's rating, who may or may not be playing in the level playing field. While somewhere in another part of the USTA league, you have the whole team consists of pros just unlike the Dibua's brothers.

    If you are so concerned about a level playing field for everybody else (by pure altruism!), may be you should also visit other cities and states and try to make right what (you consider) wrong.
    Call me doubting Thomas on your motives. I think you (yeah the same anon, you) are just wrought with fear over other 4.0 players in the HTA since you won't have your 4.5 players anymore in the USTA season. So, as your character would normally do, you throw gutless bombs after gutless bombs. Reading as far back as I can, I finally realized that, this blog is full of your gutless bombs, fretting over others fortunes.

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  154. Hayabusa is Freddy...

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  155. Throw another guessing bomb are you @ 8.12PM? LOL!

    Try again.

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  156. Shut up Freddy! Nobody cares.

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  157. Poor Freddy. What did he do to you to be your whipping boy?

    You are a nobody, and it looks like that you do care!

    I won't shut up, since I am not Freddy.

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  158. Hi, my name is Butthead and I'm going to call you Anons gutless for not signing your posts.

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  159. So the point is JJ and Solis can cheat because other players do it in other cities. Sounds reasonable to me.

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  160. For some reason, Butthead thinks it'w wrong for anyone to ask questions and demand answers when there is seemingly an inconsistency between the rules and a select 2 player's actions. Apparently it means we are jeolous and doubt our own abilities. Wrong Butthead, it means we want everyone to follow the same rules. I haven't ruled out the possibility that Dan and JJ may have appealed their rating prior to self-rating but to date there has been no confirmation of that.

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  161. Copperfield is one of those clubs that likes to skate under the radar hardly noticed. They'll push the rules just like everyone else, point fingers at all the other teams in the meantime, and then when it is called out they raise their hands in the air and say, "Who me? How can you accuse me of that? Everyone else does it and why would you care about us - we never do anything anyways. Wah wah wah". Just like when Letan tried to pull a fast one last year with a 5.5 player (forget his name). If I remember right they also had one of their Pros, Steven Coyle, rated as a 3.5 at one time.

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  162. Congrats to the Dugas bros for winning Lost Forest. And to James Bui for winning the singles and mixed, looking incredibly solid all weekend, especially in the singles final.

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  163. good win for the dugas and j.bui. which team will dugas and james be on for summer? creekbags for chancellors?

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  164. I heard they plan on just playing Mixed and then self-rating as 4.0s for next year.

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  165. I called the USTA Texas office this morning to confirm/clarify everything up as far as JJ and Dan are concerned for the upcoming USTA season.
    USTA had already received Harold's protest as well as nimerous other calls from all over the USA related to the same issue. Bottom line is that Tennis Link is screwed up and the USTA is trying to fix it. New rule for 2011 is that anyone with a M rating must self rate when playing for a men's or ladies team. HOWEVER, what Tennis link is currently missing is that you can't self rate lower than your most recent M rating. This is different than in the past. The guys are allowed to play out the spring season as a 4.0 player and then will be back to a 4.5 rating come the USTA season.

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  166. Once again - Stellar job by the USTA

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  167. Even though several of us anon took heat for posting that JJ and Dan did not follow the rules, justice prevails. .

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  168. JJ and Dan followed the rules. Had nothing to do with the anonymous postings. Tennislink is screwed up with this issue and a lot of other issues.

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  169. I don't think JJ and Dan deliberately broke the rules. Let's give that a rest. This rule is new to the USTA and not everyone knows about it. This was a case of an opportunity presenting itself (JJ and Deleon being allowed to self-rate at 4.0) and they took it. Not impressed with the USTA these days. First the launch a broken website then they institute a rule that TennisLink cannot enforce.

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  170. Hmmmm - you're probably right. They didn't knowingly underrate themselves, however, I dare say upon figuring out about the new rule I wonder if they would have stepped up and righted the wrong.

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  171. They did not know about the new rule and I called immediately this morning to the USTA office to get everything cleared up and resolved. I didn't even know about this new self rate rule.
    Now let's move on to bigger and better matters...

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  172. Actually, it's been mentioned on the Blog a few times but I don't think anyone really understood its impact and how it would effectively change things.

    A post from back in January is below. They inadvertently inserted the T ratings but we've discovered that does not apply.

    Most importantly, I think the USTA has finally done something right this time. They have effectively eliminated one of the biggest rating loopholes to date. That being the M and T exclusive ratings as well as the Self Rate rule. In summary (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong)

    1. If you have a year end M or T rating you still need to self rate the following year and your rating can not be less than your last year-end rating. You have to file an appeal if you want your rating lower than your M or T rating

    2. If your self rate expires you can not self rate lower than your last S rating and you have to file an appeal if you want your rating lower than your last S rating.

    January 13, 2011 11:08 AM

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  173. So with the new rules, even if I have not played USTA in 7 years and was last computer rated at 4.5, then I cannot self rate as a 4.0. Is that right?

    How long does a computer rating remain valid before I can self rate?

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  174. It lasts forever, or as far back as they have records still in existence. You would have to appeal to get a 4.0. Good luck with that.

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  175. Maybe that self-rate piece of it was mis-information. Here is what the USTA has issued as major rule changes:

    MAJOR REGULATION CHANGES FOR 2011
    1. If an Adult or Senior League consists of only two teams in a level of play, each team
    must maintain its roster with at least 60 percent of its players at the designated NTRP
    level of play.
    2. A player may play only one NTRP level above the player’s current NTRP level in the
    Adult and Senior Divisions.
    3. Players who play exclusively in the Mixed Doubles Division and choose to participate
    in the Adult, Senior, and/or Super Senior Divisions the next year must enter those
    divisions by self-rating with the minimum rating being the higher of the self-rating or
    mixed exclusive rating.
    4. Each Section Association shall designate a committee to handle Self-Rate Appeals
    for those that appeal their assigned self-rating.
    5. Any player who is 70 years of age or older prior to, or during, the calendar year in
    which such player plays his/her first local league match and has achieved the same
    rating level or lower for the three prior years, without benefit of appeal, will be granted an
    appeal if they are promoted at year-end.
    6. A Super Senior player is eligible to advance to National Championships competition if
    that player has played on that same team in at least three (3) matches through Section
    Championships. No defaults received by the player during all league competition shall
    count for advancing. A retired match shall count for all players involved.

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  176. Wonder what happens if you move into a different age group. 7 years later you are over 45 and played D1. Self-rating would make you a 4.5

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  177. What Harold protested? It had to be Harold Gardner since he writes most of the negative comments on this blog.

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  178. 11:08 is a good example of the kind of bogus information that gets passed off on this blog as USTA policy.

    I've searched usta.com and seen no sign of any kind of "eternal" self-rate rule. I chllenge the poster to provide a URL for a USTA statement to that effect.

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  179. It's not obvious but that post was back in January. The poster had cut and paste it from another chain. This was Jan 13 so the poster obviously had heard some rumblings of changes in the system but admittedly reports that there was some misinformation in the process.

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  180. http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/2011%20USTA%20League%20Regulations%20FINAL.pdf

    Rule #3 - Dont blame Lance cheating. This rule has been in effect for 2 months. It's been addressed and is being corrected. If you want to blame someone, blame the USTA for implementing new rules but not updating the system.

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  181. In principal the USTA has made a lot of drastic changes to the rating system and my initial thoughts are that they have all been for the better. In practice, Yeah, it would be nice if they had done their due diligence to make the transition more seamless but overall - good job.

    There are a lot fewer loopholes and opportunities for players to underrate themselves. I think there is and will be a lot more parity in the leagues at all levels. As HTOWN said the perrenial leaders (Freeman, Benzon, Hollis...) will continue to have great teams because that's what they do. They are willing to put in the time to research and recruit the best talent and their reputation preceeds them so they are able to attract the better players. There are fewer ringers, sandbaggers, underrated players who slipped through the system (whatever you want to call them). There are fewer sure wins / locks, etc. Their job is definitely more challenging now and the liklihood of an upset is much more daunting. Trips to Nats is not a guarantee anymore as it has been in the past, but I fully expect them all to be in the mix. Should any of them prevail this year I would think these days the victory should be more satisfying than ever before.

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  182. Any comments about the upcoming Abilene MZ tournament draw and matchups?

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  183. So, sign-up for summer league has begun. Let the trash talk begin

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  184. who are the top summer 4.5 teams?

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