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Yesterday, I was trying to explain the rating system to my playing partner.

Years ago, I played on my club's Patron's League team (the inter-club tournament) and was required to be rated by a local pro: you paid $10, went to a designated spot & the pro watched you play for a while, then assigned a rating.
Generally (I think) the pro just confirmed the ranking that players wrote down on their application, so maybe it wasn't all that different from self-rating. Still, it would seem like some sort of authoritative evaluation would be more accurate than self-rating?

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My friend formerly played ITF doubles tourneys and is now a ranked 50 and over player, having won two USTA 4.0 tourneys last year. He was rated by a local coach to be 3.0 when he started! Paying for a coach to be rated by a local pro sounds good and all, but if the coach is totally off, that just serves no purpose other than to frustrate.

I would think it is to make joining easier and cheaper, lower barrier to entry. It is also only self-rated at the very beginning I think. The USTA may adjust the ranking as you play in tournaments and leagues later.

This.  I totally agree with Paul.  Plus, once you have played a few matches the computer takes over and rates you correctly.

Did that happen some particular year?
I remember joining a mixer at Naples Beach Hotel and enjoying the mixed doubles. I was surprised
to see that they won the National 2.5 Women's championship while absolutely NONE of the ladies were at that level.
Next year they played 2.5 again, but ran into a team that had fudged the ratings even more than they had.

That's quite a few years ago, but I think they allowed the club pro to determine the USTA ratings.
And obviously the pro was inclined to rate players "conservatively."

I think the problem was that Teaching pros were not qualified enough to rate a player.  Plus the USTA Doesn't have Tennis Pros. So a local group can get a certified pro to rate them lower and win in a area thus creating a illegal business. ( false ratings to win). also they took out the head to head system so getting rated by a pro became obsolete. Even i have been rated a 4.5, self rating system.... I was put on a team in NYC of 4.0, League USTA, I ran into a old man 60, who was a strong 4.5 player for singles...... I lost the match on purpose because i didnt believe in cheating, the old man thank me for being honest.... our team still won the meet with the exception of my match.  There were other sandbaggers on my team.... that was my introduction to league tennis in NYC. But since i lost my match to a 4.5 player and my head to head leaves me at a 4.5 official. im no where near a 4.5 player. I'm closer to 6.0

V, the new Early Start ratings came out today.  Did they move you to 5.0? 

Apparently, I didn't suck bad enough this year to move me down to 4.0.

no im still 4.5

But i will not play any 4.5 tournaments or leagues. I have an easy time at 5.0

I don't understand the ratings at all as far as when you get bumped and when you stay.

Last year was my 3rd year as a 3.5 (with above .500 win % the first two years). Last year locally I went 9-1 in singles. My only loss was to a player who went 10-0 and this year at 4.0 he went 9-0. I won the rest of those matches at 0-0, 0-1, 1-1, or 1-2...with the exception of three matches.

This year we had a smaller league and I went 4-1 with my only loss to a former college player who had appealed down to a 3.5.

Here is where I get confused. The early ratings have been released and I am still a 3.5. However, there is a guy who just started this year as a self-rated 3.5 and his record this year was 3-3 at 3.5 and his early rating indicates he was bumped to a 4.0. Why is this? I beat the same 3 guys he did and we both loss to the former college player.

welcome to politics. there might be other factors like tournaments and other activities. LIke here in Atlanta if you are a working teaching pro you must play "AA" which is the highest League level for ALTA. but if you are not working you can play B level. or A level.  Now most of it matters on How many good players are in the league.  you can get bumped down to play a league if there is no members in the upper league.

so if im a 6.0 but there are no other 6.0 I can get bumped down to 4.0 so i can play a league. yeah everyone else is toast, but everyone is playing.

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