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Should high 3.5 men be playing 6.0 USTA mixed doubles?
I just signed up for USTA 6.0 mixed doubles here in Lexington, KY, and of the six teams, five are made up almost entirely of 3.0 men and women. However, there is one team which has three 3.5 men, two of whom play up at the 4.0 level during the regular men's USTA season (and quite successfully at the 4.0 level). This team is loaded with ringers and sandbaggers, 18 total on one team, while other teams have about twelve players. I can't imagine some of their more marginal players getting to play more than once or twice the whole season.
To me, this is not a "legal" issue, since if the high 3.5 men are paired with a 2.5 female partner, this is legal under USTA rules. Rather, it's more a matter of sportsmanship or lack thereof. The captain and the sandbaggers are obviously gunning for the sectionals. An analogy: I have a USTA 3.0 rating in my first year of USTA play, and I am also playing in the 3.5 singles league with the local Parks and Recreation. I am about right at the 3.5 singles level with the parks league, since their level of competition is lower than USTA. However, I suppose I could sign up for the lowest park singles league, 2.0 or 2.5, and have a good chance at winning a trophy. I don't think USTA rules govern the Park league, so it would be legal, but very unsportsmanlike, so I would never consider doing it.
The bottom line is I just don't want sandbaggers ruining my fun. I want to play folks at my level, and if I get smoked by a sandbagger, then there is a problem because it affects my enjoyment of the game. What do you all think?
You will run into this no matter where you go for USTA league play. I play 4.5 and there are 5.0 guys in our league. I have seen them write down wrong scores, throw matches and such just to keep from getting rated out. When a 5.0 guy is standing on the baseline and hits a shot that is going to be out by 10 feet or more, well, it is pretty bad to say the least. There is really no way to avoid it. If your opponent's are doing very well at the 4.0 level it is only a matter of time before they get bumped to 4.0. If you see them throwing matches or writing down bogus scores file a complaint.
Sucks you have to deal with it, but some people want to win too much...
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