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I assume you already have the actual ladders so I will confine my
recommendations to the operational aspects.
Initial set up: I recommend you set up the ladder rules before you try
to organize the ladder. If you allow the ladder participants (or members) to
participate in finalizing the rules, you will get more support. Here are
some things you should include:
1. How to challenge
2. Time requirement for playing challenges
3. Requirement to accept a challenge after making one
4. Number above you that you can challenge (i.e., top 10 can only challenge
two above themselves; Below 10 can challenge five above themselves except
numbers 6 and 7 who may only challenge 3 and 4 above them respectively).
5. If there are several ladders (e.g., beginner, intermediate, and advanced
or "Red" and "Blue"), the top two players on each should be allowed to
challenge into the next higher ladder.
6. Length of a challenge match (tie breakers, pro sets, Best two of three,
7. Post match modification of ladder board (e.g., If challenger loses,
ladder remains the same; If challenger wins, challenger inserts name above
loser and all below challenger move down one position
8. Successful challengers do not have to agree to a rematch until they have
a chance to challenge someone above them on the ladder.
After you identify who will be on the ladder(s), you have to sequence the
1. Time permitting, the best way is to base the sequence on a round robin
(This avoids complaints).
2. Without a round robin or other ranking system, you will have to base the
sequence on your knowledge of the players' relative skills.
3. You can mitigate dissatisfaction by permitting an initial (one time use)
"free challenge" to be used anywhere on the ladder for a designated period of
time (one month?). If unsuccessful challengers have to go to the bottom of
the ladder there will be less free challenges at the top. New members added
to the ladder should also get the "free challenge."
Running the ladder: The ladder can almost run itself (unless the juniors
get frustrated and mess with the sequence...). Your job will be to generate
the interest and to come up with some incentives to increase participation.
If you are at the club level, increased ladder play can increase sale of
court time so the club should be willing to contribute some incentives such
as court time, tennis memorabilia, etc. You know your own members but I
think people respond more to "a scrap of cloth and metal" (Napoleon's term)
than to something impersonal like a can of balls.
Received on Fri Apr 28 2000 - 11:05:15 CDT