Sometimes, a girl’s gotta get something off her chest. And that time is now. That’s what happens when my Wednesday league match gets rained out – and I’m bored, lol!
Speaking of league tennis…
If you play league tennis, then no doubt you’ve played opponents who had no business being on your court. You remember the match – the one where you actually felt sorry for your opponents for acing them – for the hundredth time. Or perhaps it was you, in your normal spot on line 4, getting an unbelievably humiliating spank from players who you find out later, normally play (and win) line 1. Neither scenario sounds like a very fun OR competitive match, does it?
For those of you who enjoy the sport, but don’t play in leagues, a league match consists of either 4 “lines” or courts of doubles tennis (such as the HLTA and WHLTA League Tennis), or 3 lines of doubles and 2 lines of singles (USTA League Tennis), with player strengths in ascending order on the courts, with strongest players on line 1 (for both doubles and singles courts). And what I’m griping about in this post, are the
sad jokes matches that occur when a non-USTA team captain makes the underhanded decision to play the strongest players on the lower lines.
Line-dropping happens ALL. THE. TIME. And it sucks. It’s ridiculously unfair, and in my opinion, unsportsmanlike. Why do it? And for what? A few lousy points?? So the droppers can ensure they move up to the next level, where they’ll no doubt continue sacrificing weaker players so they won’t move back down? So the droppers can ensure they stay at the same level, where they’ll have to continue sacrificing weaker players?
Not all teams do this (thank God!!), and to those that do, I say:
If you can’t make your points playing straight up, then you don’t belong at that level. That goes for moving up a level, too. All you’re is proving that you can’t achieve your goals without duping your opponents, which pisses off both the players you sacrificed AND the players you set up for a loss on the lower lines. And what about your ringers? Do you really think they can really be proud of that
It’s just sad, and so are the people who do it.
Starting this year, the USTA has discouraged line-dropping by assigning a new point system for the Spring and Fall leagues, with line 1 is worth 10 points; line 2 is worth 6 points; line 3 is worth 4 points; and line 4 is worth 2 points. Time will tell to see if this works, but I think it will. I’m not sure what the summer league will be like, but I’m sure it will be similar.
**EDIT: This post is NOT referring to USTA teams (most of them, anyway), or those who make last minute substitutions of a stronger player to a lower line due to things like injury, sickness, or traffic problems. That’s simply dealing with an immediate problem that has time constraints. This post is referring to non-USTA teams who show up with their regular players on time and with no injuries, and who put their stronger players on lines 3 and 4. And since league members have access to all team rosters and all of the previous match line ups and scores, it’s easy to spot who “stacks”.
Do you agree with me, or do you think I’m just being hormonal? (Don’t answer that, lol!) Have you ever played a match in which one or more lines were dropped? Were you the ringer or the “sacrificial lamb”? How did that make you feel? I really want to know! Please tell me about it in the comments below :-)