Last Updated: 4-22-09
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How the Ladder Works
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HOW THE LADDER WORKS
Quality-based Player Ranking System
The Tennis.Engine.com computes player rankings based upon a proprietary algorithm that evaluates every match played for the life of the ladder. The system is designed to rank each player based upon a combination of performance (derived from match results) and activity (how many matches played and against whom).
When a new match is entered, the Tennis Engine adjusts your ranking based on the following factors:
1. Current match win or loss
2. Current match performance (% of games won)
3. The strength of each of your past opponents
4. Your overall match winning percentage
5. Your overall game winning percentage
Furthermore, the ranking of every player who has played you or your opponent will be affected by the outcome of your match.
Winning or losing a close match with a highly rated player could boost your ranking, whereas a close match with a lower rated player could reduce your ranking. Decisive wins over lower rated players could be less rewarding than close wins over higher rated players. Confused? Simply put... winning matters the most, but after that it's all about whom you play and how close you play them.
The rankings are based on each player's current Index value (i.e. the third
ranked player has the third highest Index). Each player's Index is a combination of their Strength Rating and the number of wins. Each player's Strength Rating is viewable in their player profile.
Your Strength Rating (SR) is the measure of your ability to:
1. win matches against the field of participants
2. win a high percentage of games in all matches
3. perform well against higher rated players
Your Strength Rating will improve with more matches won and a better percentage of games won. The strength (SR) of the opponents you play is also factored into the calculation (Each player's SR is located inside his profile along with other information).
Your SR will fluctuate as other participants compete. It might rise as players whom you have defeated accumulate wins over other players. Inversely, your SR might dip if players who have beaten you suffer losses.
The online league is updated every time a match is entered.
LADDER RULES & GUIDELINES
SETTING UP MATCHES
- Players may issue challenges to any other ladder members. However, most matches should be against players in your general position on the ladder. It doesnt matter that the people at the top of the ladder are much better than you, and the bottom players much worse.
Because player position at the start of the ladder season, before any matches have been played, is largely random, use NTRP ratings to choose appropriate players to challenge. Once matches have been played, players will be arranged on the ladder according to their results. Both NTRP rating and ladder position can then be used to select players to challenge.
Tips for playing lots of matches:
1) Don't wait for players to call or e-mail you. They're all anxiously waiting for you to contact them!
2) Don't wait until the last minute to try an set up a match. A lot of potential opponents will already be on the court by then.
3) Contact multiple players. Send e-mail challenges to 4 or 5 players at a time. This helps ensure that your playing schedule will match that of at least one other person.
4) If a player doesn't respond to your challenge don't assume they aren't interested in playing you. It's more likely that they simply missed/neglected your message or already had plans. If you receive a challenge but can't play, it's good courtesy to reply and suggest a possible alternative time.
- Players must make every effort to make and accept proper challenges both upward and downward.
- If a challenge cannot be agreed upon with a particular player, try someone else. Players that repeatedly refuse to accept challenges will automatically fall to the bottom of the ladder due to inactivity.
- Players may be contacted via e-mail or the phone.
- The Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder doesn't compete with or replace existing leagues and tournaments. If players participating in these events are ladder members they should enter their results in the ladder scoring system.
Tip: It's a good idea to e-mail a player the day before playing a match to confirm that you're both on the same page regarding the time and place for the match. This is particularly important if the match was set up far in advance.
- The time, day, and location for a match must be mutually agreeable.
- If required, the challenger shall reserve the court.
- Although most matches are played on free public courts, if there is a charge for court time, it will be split between the two players. Be sure your opponent is aware of court time charges before you set up the match or get to the court.
- Both players must bring an unopened can of standard tennis balls to the match. (No multi-colored or X-out balls, please!) The winner gets (or keeps) the unopened can.
- If a player shows up for a match without a can of new tennis balls and looses the match, he must pay the opponent $3.00. This rule is not open to excuses or negotiation. It's imposed automatically. The guilty player's opponent does not need to feel sheepish about enforcing the rule.
- Scoring should be conventional: 2 out of 3 sets, regular scoring with a 12 point tie breaker (first to 7 points by a 2 point margin) used at 6 games all.
If the ladder match is also part of a league or tournament that uses an alternative method of scoring (eg. pro set), that method of scoring will be acceptable. However, you and your partner must agree on a way to convert the match score to the conventional 2 out of 3 set system used for the ladder. Non-conventional match scores cannot be entered into the ladder scoring software.
If both players agree, a tie-breaker in the format of their choosing can be used in place of a third set. However, the score of the tie-breaker must be converted to that of a conventional set to be accepted by the ladder scoring software.
- Each match must be 2 out of 3 sets, ie the winner is the first player to win 2 sets. No partial matches can be entered into TennisEngine. No ad-hoc scoring systems are permitted. If a match can't be played to completion, it must be finished at a later date.
- If a player is more than 20 minutes late for a match without a valid reason, their opponent can declare a default and win the match 6-0, 6-0. It's best to plan to be at the court at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start of your match.
- If a match is interrupted for any reason, it may be continued to completion at another time agreeable to both players from the point at which it was suspended. Players should attempt to complete suspended matches before they initiate or accept new challenges.
- When a player retires from a match for any reason, sufficient games will be added to the set score of the non-defaulting player to complete the match in their favor. For example, if player A is leading player B 5-0 in the first set and player A defaults due to an injury, player B wins the match 7-5, 6-0.
- A player is not permitted to play more than one official ladder match with the same opponent on the same day. Of course, "off the books" matches can be played but both players should be clear about which match is the "official" one that's entered in TennisEngine.
- Unless otherwise stated, all competition will comply with USTA playing rules and the Code of Tennis.
If you can't be bothered to read these, at least to the following:
- If you have any doubts as to whether a ball is out or good, you must give your opponent the benefit of the doubt and play the ball as good. You should not play a let.
- It is your obligation to call all balls on your side of the court and to help your opponent make calls when the opponent requests it, and to call against yourself (with the exception of a first service) any ball that you clearly see out on your opponent’s side of the net.
- Any “out” or “let” call must be made as quickly as possible.
- Do not enlist the aid of spectators in making line calls.
- If you call a ball out and then realize it was good, you should correct your call.
- To avoid controversy over the score, the server should clearly announce the set score (e.g. 5-4) before starting a game and the game score (e.g. thirty-forty) prior to serving each point.
- If the receiver cannot hear the server's announcement of the score, he must ask the server to speak louder. You can't wait until the server believes he has won the game to try to reconstruct the scoring point by point.
- If players cannot agree on the score, they may go back to the last score on which there was agreement and resume play from that point or they may spin a racket.
- Do not stall, sulk, complain, or practice gamesmanship. Try to look like you're having fun, even if you're playing badly. Your opponent does not want to see you looking miserable, at least in a friendly match, and you're likely to play better if you try to present a positive state of mind.
AFTER THE MATCH
- The winner should enter the match results on TennisEngine.com within twenty four hours of completing the match.
- The match results and subsequent new rankings will be computed and displayed immediately.
- To enter match results:
1) Go to TennisEngine.com and log in with your username and password.
2) At the bottom of the player listing click the "Enter Match" icon.
3) Fill in the form, re-check for accuracy, and click "Enter this Match."
If a match score is entered incorrectly, or is duplicated, a player cannot correct the error themselves. To make the correction, send an e-mail to email@example.com explaining the error and what change needs to be made. Don't send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once a match is entered in TennisEngine it will not be deleted if one or both players later decide they want the match "off the books." Players should agree before they set up and play a match whether it's on the record or just practice.
CHANGING PLAYER STATUS
If a player is unable to play because of injury, illness, or an extended vacation, they should send an e-mail message indicating this to email@example.com. They will then be designated as "inactive" on the ladder. Other players should not submit challenges to inactive players. When inactive players are able to play, they should send an e-mail notification and their inactive designation will be removed.
There are very few restrictions for ladder play. However I recommend that participants not play the same opponent in back-to-back matches. While this recommendation cannot easily be enforced, it is contrary to the spirit of ladder participation to play exclusively with only one or two partners. Obviously, any system can be abused if participants attempt to "beat the system." The main goal here is to have a good time and reward personal accomplishment with some small public recognition. Let's have fun!
THE "LOCAL RULES"
Although Tennis in the Burgh and the ladder sponsors will work hard to make the Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder as enjoyable and rewarding as possible, we assume no responsibility for any actual or perceived negative consequences befalling anyone choosing to participate in the ladder.
All participants agree to relinquish any and all decisions regarding the operation of the ladder or the awarding of prizes to Tennis in the Burgh and Tennis Village.
By participating in the ladder you agree to abide by all ladder rules and procedures posted on the Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder Web site (ie. the page you are reading now). Changes in rules will be promptly posted on the Web site but may not always be communicated to you individually.
We will keep track of legitimate player complaints. Players that have multiple complaints lodged against them will be advised. If complaints continue, the player will be disqualified and removed from the ladder. Player disqualification is at the sole discretion of Tennis in the Burgh and cannot be challenged or appealed by the disqualified player. By the time a player is disqualified they will have received ample warnings. The disqualified player's registration fee will not be refunded. FYI, no player has ever been disqualified from the Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder.
All players are urged to amicably settle disputes between themselves.
If this proves impossible, each player should submit via e-mail a description, no longer than 500 words, of their view of the dispute to: firstname.lastname@example.org. This report must be received within 48 hrs of completing the disputed match. Reports will be automatically forwarded to the other player for their comments and possible rebuttal.
Tennis in the Burgh's decision in resolving the dispute will be final and cannot be appealed by either player.
BY JOINING THE LADDER YOU AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING
By registering and playing in the Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder, I hereby, for myself, my heirs, executors, and administrators, waive and release any and all rights and claims for damages I may have against Tennis in the Burgh or John Valentich, their agents, successors and assigns for any and all injuries or losses which may be suffered by me in connection with my participation in the Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder.
By registering and playing in the Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder you relinquish your right to sue John Valentich, Tennis in the Burgh or Tennis Village for any negative event (perceived or real), even if it occurs through their negligence or oversight, that might arise through you participation in the ladder.
Once you have registered for the ladder your $10 registration fee can't be refunded for any reason.
Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder Prize Sponsors
Gamma-Fischer Head Wilson K-Swiss Babolat Penn
The 2009 Pittsburgh Tennis Challenge Ladder season begins on Saturday, May 16th and ends on Sunday, October 18th.
All ladder members who play at least 5 matches receive a tennis T-shirt from Tennis Village in Shadyside. E-mail me when you've played 5 matches to get your T-shirt coupon. You must pick up your T-shirt at Tennis Village, it won't be mailed to you. (All T-shirt requests must be made within 7 days of the end of the ladder season.)
[The following rules haven't been finalized and may or may not change. Check back for updates.]
Prizes will be awarded to the 10 individuals who play the most matches by the season's end on October 18th as follows:
#1 - 3 Players: Tennis Racquet
#4 - 6 Players: Tennis Shoes or Tennis Bag
#7 - 10 Players: Racquet Stringing
Ties in the number of matches played will be broken using the following criteria:
1st: Total games won in head to head matches
2nd: The players' overall match winning percentage
Prize rules and regulations:
To be eligible to win a prize (except T-shirts) an individual must play at least 15 matches during the ladder season.
Prizes must be claimed in person at Tennis Village. Winners will be notified by e-mail by October 18th. Prizes must be claimed by November 4th, 2006. If you don't claim your prize, you loose it.
The specific manufacturer and model of tennis racquet, bag, shoe or string is subject to availability at Tennis Village. Prize winners who appear first at Tennis Village to claim their prizes will have the greatest selection.
All tennis racquet stringings must be done at Tennis Village.
The cash, in store, value of a tennis racquet stringing can't exceed $28.00.
If you win a racquet stringing but don't need a string job before November 4th, go to Tennis Village and request a racquet stringing gift certificate.
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