What is a Ladder?

A Tennis Ladder is a competitive and social forum designed to enable players an opportunity to meet and compete with new partners of a similar level of play. Additionally, a ladder can be challenging as well, because as a player trains and improves, he or she may rise in level and standing by winning matches against players who are ranked higher.
The ScottScoopTennis Ladder goes much further.
  • Match players of similar skill together via the Web
    Anybody with an email account and access to the local area can sign up.
  • NTRP based
    It is based on the NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) which the USTA (United States Tennis Association) has designed to help create competitive matches between players of comparable ability. The scale ranges from pure beginner (1.0) to world ranked professional (7.0), and every level in between.
  • Beginners and Professionals welcomed
    SST encourages all levels from beginner up to professional to get involved in playing ladder matches right away. Even pure beginners may enjoy playing and moving up the ladder as their skill improves.
  • Play matches at 3 different levels
    A player may arrange a match within 3 possible levels: one immediately below, at the same level, or one level higher. A player may gain tremendous benefit from playing at all three of these levels. For example, when you're the higher ranked player, you develop skills necessary to get in control of and close out points, and to compete under a condition of pressure. When you play at the same level, you develop heart and courage because the points and games are so close and evenly matched. Against players that are ranked higher than you, you're under the gun from the opening bell, and you need to learn how to play above your head just to survive.
  • Battle of the Sexes
    ScottScoopTennis is one of the only forums where men and women may compete against each other in the same division whether it is singles or doubles. For this, we will introduce a concept called the Universal Rating. The USTA has estimated that a woman ranked .5 higher than a man will compete with him on roughly an equal par. When the man reaches 5.0, a woman ranked 1 point higher will be his competitive equal. This will the basis for conducting the co-ed ladder. Of course you have the option of viewing and playing in the ladder solely on a same sex basis if you choose.
  • ScottScoopTennis is fast and furious
    Other tennis systems allow for gradual chances for ranking increase in time spans of up to a year or more. In SST, it is possible to move up a level in a one match time span if you gain a win over a player in a higher Division. You may also find yourself bumped to the top of a lower division if you lose by a 200 SSTP (ScottScoopTennis Points) margin or less. These provisions not only add excitement, but help to insure that everyone will be ranked at their current level of play. When players attain the mastery to move up a division, the results will support the rise in level. Remember, you control your own destiny!
  • Teaching Pro Challenge
    Teaching professionals will also be invited to subscribe to the service, and will be so duly noted in the ladder as such. Any pro who subscribes to the service will be exposed to a tremendous amount of new potential business, as thousands of Westchester players will have access to the pro's credentials and that of his facility. Any player on the entire ladder may contact one of the pros for a lesson at any time at the pro's home court for the prescribed lesson fee. Players within a half point of the professional may challenge the pro to a match and may not have to pay the fee if the pro lost the match. This provision may not be available in all circumstances depending upon a club's policies. Be sure to inquire if the Teaching Pro Challenge can be accommodated at your club.
  • Doubles Ladder
    ScottScoopTennis also may also be used for the purposes of creating fabulous doubles competitions. The provision for this will be that the sum of the rating of the 2 partners on a team preferably should be equal to or within .5 of a point as the sum of the 2 partners on the other team, but may be as high as 1 point differential. Divisions for Doubles participants will be based upon whole integers and is comprised of the sum of the UR (Universal Rating- equal strength rating of men and women). The potential range of sums spans from 2 (1.0/1.0) to 14 (7.0/7.0). Realistically the range will go up to 12 max unless Steffi and Andre want to join. As a general guideline, you should take your approximate starting USTA Rating and double it to get your Ideal Doubles Division. For example if you're a male 3.5, or a female 4.0 (Universal Rating 3.5), simply double that number, and you should be playing in DD7 (Doubles Division 7). For this division, you will need a player of the same UR a half point higher to compete in your IDD (Ideal Doubles Division). It's a good idea to get a steady partner or few partners to play together with so you may get to know your partner's moves well to develop a strong team unity. However if you have a mindset, you may also freelance with other partners and play with stronger partners in higher divisions (if they will have you!), or you may play with less strong partners in a lower division. Scores will be kept on you in every division that you play in. As in the singles ladder, where a match win against a player ranked above you allows you to be placed above that player, a doubles match win over higher ranked players will allow both players on the doubles to be ranked above the highest player on that team. Also while at first your initial rating will place you in both the singles and the doubles ladders if you so choose, eventually your ratings for both singles and doubles could start to diverge from one another, as both ladders run independently of each other. You may stay in your IDD on a solo basis, and hook up with different partners every match, however you may only go into higher divisions with a steady and stronger partner, as your rating will not qualify you alone. To move up in level to the next IDD, you must obtain a match win in the next division with your partner, or you must obtain a 750 SST Points record against players from your division.
  • Ladder Start Ratings
    A few important issues to address are how do I know that my rating is accurate as I'm subscribing to the ladder for the first time, and how do I know that the players that I contact to play will be of the caliber that they claim. Two very good questions, and let me answer by saying that simply put; we will create a rating scale about how accurately you rated yourself called a BAR (Barometer of Accurate Ratings). We will be asking the potential Ladder Entrants that famous age old question:" What is your level of play?" Please remember that the ratings are based upon the USTA NTRP Scale, which ranges from 1.0-7.0, and in addition, we will be displaying Universal Ratings for women when they are competing on the men's ladder. Just as the NTRP ranges from 1-7, so to does the BAR, with 1 being your own self rating of yourself obtained by reading the USTA NTRP ratings guidelines, and with 7 being your USA League Tennis computer rating. Here is the BAR Scale which will help to determine just how accurate your rating is:
    1. Your own self rating of yourself obtained by reading the USTA NTRP ratings guidelines
    2. Phone conversation with a pro about your level
    3. Match results against a computer ranked player
    4. Teaching Pro Visual Rating
    5. Official USTA visual Rating
    6. ScottScoopTennis Web Rating (after 2 matches)
    7. USA League Tennis Computer Rating
    Each Ladder member after they sign up will be asked to inform us how they've rated themselves, and as a player's BAR rises, the chance that they are what they say they are also rises. For the purposes of the ScottScoopTennis Ladder, rating techniques 2-7 are acceptable for this forum with 2 being the most chance to be slightly off, and with 7 being the most accurate. We prefer that if you are planning to use method 1 that you combine it with 2 and consult a pro at least in a phone conversation. Describe your playing experience, and let the pro give you an estimation based on your descriptions as to what level you should start in the ladder. If a pro is not handy, you may email me at scottscoop@msn.com, or you may call me at 914-968-6918 x301 and I will be happy to be your pro for your phone or email rating. Each player will select a BAR code when they subscribe to the ladder. Realize that as players searching for other players, the higher the BAR code, the more reliable your opponent's rating will be, and vice-versa. A person with a low BAR code can raise it to 6 by simply playing ladder matches on ScottScoopTennis. Remember that ScottScoopTennis can give you as accurate a ranking as a USTA Rating as all of the players in a division will be ranked within the division by a combination of two different systems, the Ladder and the SST Points. So while there can be a wide range of play within even the same division (up to half a Point), the Ladder will help you locate the segment of your division where you are most competitive. And remember to challenge up once in a while to test yourself to see if you're ready for the next level.
  • Many New Partners at the tip of your keyboard
    The Ladder will enable you to meet a wide variety of new partners through 3 skill levels (and potentially more in doubles). Recommendations for the best way to proceed are as follows: play a majority of matches in your division first. Next look to challenge yourself by playing a division up. To keep things balanced, the Ladder guideline is that one match should be played in a lower division for every one that is played in a higher division. Remember that playing matches in all three divisions helps a player to improve the fastest. Everyone in the entire ladder should understand that this provision will help tennis to get played, and will help to dismantle the fraying of the team spirit that a "Tennis Attitude" can cause.
  • SST Points (ScottScoopTennis Points)
    A secondary rating index will be kept for matches played in your own division. We call it SST Points, and it's a percentage that's found by dividing your total games won by your total games played. This helps to determine your relative strength in your division. All things being equal, your SST Points should pan out at about 500 where theoretically, you should hold serve, and your opponent should hold serve as well. This index will not be computed for you in higher divisions that you play in unless you win a match there against an official player from that division. Then you will start accumulating points in the higher division. If you lose a match to a player of equal or less division by a margin of 200 SST Points or less, you will automatically be placed down to the top of the lower division. SST Points will start up for you in that division, and your higher score will remain dormant until you re-enter that division once again. Also players initially subscribing to the Ladder will enter at the bottom of the ladder of their level. The new player will remain at the bottom of their level until they start playing matches. When the player wins their first match, their positioning in the Ladder is determined strictly by Ladder wins, and they will be placed directly on top of the player they have defeated while the player that lost will be placed lower one spot (unless they have lost by 200 SST Points or less in which case they will be placed to the top of the previous division).
    There are four basic Match Formats that will be utilized by SST Ladder Participants. The amount of court time or personal time available, and the likelihood that you will get bumped off your court at the end of the scheduled time. Below are examples of court time available, and the Match Format that should or could be utilized in that case. Remember that both participants must agree upon the format before any points are played.
    1. No time limitation
      2/3 sets regular scoring
    2. 2 hours available
      2 sets regular scoring with a no ad scoring set or a 12 point tie-break played for the third set.
    3. 1 1/2 hours available
      2 sets and a tie-break for the third set, or 1 set and a tie-break for both the 2nd and third sets.
    4. 1 1/2 hours or less
      a 12 game pro set (or fraction thereof) where court ends are switched only once (after one player gets to 6 games) or not at all. The winner is the player who gets to 12 first (tie-break at 11 all), or the player who is ahead when the time runs out. If the players tie each other within the last 10 minutes, a tie- break should be played immediately. If there is any doubt whether a match can be finished or not, please utilize Match Format #4. In the event of a tie, do not report the results. There will not be any change of position.

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