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This will be my first season captaining a 4.5 team of friends that just want to get more playing time and enjoy hanging out with each other. We will keep the team small so that we each play often. I think we will have a middle of the pack kind of team and have explained that to everyone who has joined. I know for a fact that there are two real all-star teams here in town, so it will be difficult to finish ahead of them, but on the flip side, I think there may be a few weaker teams too. 

Has anyone here ever captained a team?  Would love to hear your experiences and advice.

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I have no idea what that is.


I captained the past 2 years in combo leagues. A small close knit team is a nice thought, but unless you have 8 guys that are committed to the schedule and put tennis first on game days, I'd recommend at the very minimum 12 people on your team - especially if there is no flexibility given for rescheduling matches. Being in a small community with very few teams, defaulting has never been a huge issue, because we're allowed the flexibility of rescheduling if one of us don't have enough players - which happens frequently. When I lived and played in Baton Rouge, rescheduling wasn't acceptable unless there was rain. So, when I moved to a smaller community, it was a bit shocked at how lax the leagues were.

So, I guess the best advice would depend on your particular circumstance.


Rescheduling here in N NM is only possible if both teams agree, and it is mostly frowned upon.  Actually, the local USTA coordinator recommended 11 guys for the team based on how gungho most of my team is.  We are up to 9 now and I understand that the coordinator has some more names for us.  The hard part is when we have a match up in Santa Fe and it is an hour each way - people suddenly are not available.


Are you guys playing the 1 singles & 2 doubles format, or 2 singles & 3 doubles? I guess this would have a lot to do with the number you'll need.

I'm not familiar with the 4.5 formatting // Nevermind, Just looked it up. I would say go with 12 or 13 if possible. The issue we always account for is getting everyone qualified for state, yet still winning. There's a thin line between having too many, and not having enough.

And I hear ya on the long away matches. We only have 1 team in our town, so we have to play neighboring towns, which are all 45 min to an hour away.

If the other captains don't show up to the captains meeting we can make them come to us for every match, but I'm not that much of a jerk...  lmao.

you will always want your best players on the court.  you should make sure the team is a legit 4.5 . a lot of players tend to overrate themselves by .5 of a rating point, only to get a very rude awakening. like todd says, it's always good to have a few extra players on the roster.

perhaps one of the better ways to figure out your lineup for the match is to form a challenge ladder and they can duke it out during the week. team practices are in my opinion a waste of time since most players work. but again every team captain is different. you will have the final say on what works for you.

good luck.

Thanks Chan - yep, all 8 of my guys are true USTA 4.5 players.  This is kind of a small town so everyone at this level has played everyone else.  That being said, there is a range within the group.  The top 4.5 guys will get a little more playing time, but I am going to do the obvious and try to prepare for each team week by week. 

I think your idea about a ladder is good, but mostly we are dubs players.  I think we have 4 or maybe that can play singles.  The tricky part for me is going to be creating doubles teams because none of these are really set in stone.

Around here, many players underrate themselves to get in to 4.5/5.0.  Otherwise, there's no league for them to play in.

 its called Mens open tournaments or age divisions

Not really.  Tournaments and leagues are two different things.  League matches are "one off" matches usually played at night or on weekends.  Tournaments often require you to take time off from work, and require travel if you want to play regularly.  Further, if you are 30/40/50 something (with a few notable exceptions), you aren't going to compete well against the 6.0+ 20 somethings with ATP points in men's open. 


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