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Regarding the NTRP Rating System - No doubt about it, the system is
drastically flawed. The purpose of the system is to allow players the
opportunity to go ANYWHERE in the country and be able to compete at the same
Unfortunately, it's politics and EGO's that get in the way of the system
working as it was designed. In the Pacific Northwest section, we have
struggled for decades in giving proper skill ratings. Club pros are under
pressure by their "clients" to rate people (mainly ladies) who want to be
able to state that they are a "3.5 or 4.0 player" when in fact, they are hard
pressed to play a full level below, if playing against a benchmark player.
Many of the "Verifiers" are unqualified, it seems that the only qualification
to become a PNW verifer is to attend a rating clinic, with no professional
criteria needed. Therefore, we have peers rating peers ... in my opinion,
not a good thing. I also don't believe verifiers from within the same USTA
area as the player should be allowed to give ratings. I've observed raters
ask a player " where do you want to play" and that's where they get rated.
If the system is to work, politics must not play a part in the ratings, only
skill should dictate the level. I also don't believe you can rate a player
by watching them "hit a few balls, with 10-12 others at the same time.
Players should be give specific skill tests, similar to the USPTA, PTR exams,
testing spins, control under pressure, movement, types of serves and
placement of serves, placement of overheads, approach shot, etc.... Then and
only then can we adequately rate a player.
The system also rarely allows individuals to be re-rated at lower levels once
their rating has been "computer elevated", eventhough others of higher skill
levels remain rated below them. I have seen many players who have been
forced to sit out of league play for two years, in order to be re-rated at
the lower level ... doesn't make much sense, especially when the USTA's goal
is to grow league participation. Rarely, do ladies wish to "play down" and
that's where the problem develops.... "Mary is playing at 4.0, and I'm just
as good as she is, so I should play at 4.0" .... all it's done is skew the
system to a lower skill level. Our 4.0 ladies teams are mostly 3.5 players
playing up.... once they play at the upgraded level, they get computer rated
at that level and the saga continues ...
I don't believe anyone should be allowed to "play up". All it does is add to
the problems. I also believe the ratings are backwards, ie; currently, those
ranked from 3.1 to 3.5 must play at 3.5. Someone rated 3.6 must play 4.0 ...
how much difference is there between a 3.5 and 3.6 rated player? I think the
rating should go the opposite way ... those rated 3.0 to 3.4 should play at
3.0, 3.5 to 3.9 should play at 3.5, 4.0 to 4.4 should play at 4.0. That way,
you have true 3.0's, 3.5's and 4.0's playing against one another, with a
minimum of a 3.5 level, etc. That's just my opinion, all I know is the
system as it is, needs help .... the USTPA's 10-Cap Rating System is much
Northwest Tennis Corp.
Received on Mon Jul 31 2000 - 21:41:22 CDT