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Post Info TOPIC: UTR Tennis Tournaments (in Britain or with British Players)


All-time great

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UTR Tennis Tournaments (in Britain)


OK with the aid of the "folk's" on Wikipedia I will try and un pick my frustrations as to why tennis is so expensive sport despite the fact it does not involve snow, polo ponies or a pack of blood hounds. Yes lots of moaning about who is getting what funding but this is the woods from the trees stuff that incrementally makes tennis so expensive and elitist. Completely disenfranchises parents and children on a cash economy and should be offered free at source to kids and their parents, as John H pointed out yet another rating after your British Tennis Rating the 10.2 you get when you start off.

So was UTR a novel idea or merely slight modification and moneterisation of an existing process free at source provided by a federation?

France employs a national rating system based on head-to-head won/lost results. This enables French tournament directors to facilitate "level-based play" orchestrating matches between players of comparable skill, often without regard to their age or gender. French tournaments often use staggered-entry draws that allow stronger players to enter a tournament in later rounds. This design enables a single event to embrace a wide range of skill levels, from club players up to touring professionals, but the French classification system ensures a high probability of even matches for entrants at all levels.

Virginia tennis professional Dave Howell launched UTR in 2008 as a private company to promote the rating system he developed and tested successfully in southeastern Virginia. Alex Cancado, a tennis player and web designer in the area, developed an algorithm to operationalize Howells rating system. Howell brought in some early followers as partners and began to concentrate full-time on getting rich through developing the UTR.

Howell modeled UTR on the French system, developing, with his colleagues, an algorithm that calculated ratings from head-to-head results with specific opponents, taking their rated skill into account. He and his colleagues also made UTR more precise than the French system by entering the number of games won in a match, not only the won/lost result.

So how do I profit maximally from this? Let's engage with that football and basketball sponsored competition that facilitates tennis scholarships for country club folk. Since 2011, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the governing body for college tennis in the U.S., has worked closely with Universal Tennis and now relies on UTR data to determine event seeding at U.S. college invitationals; seeding and selection for its 51 ITA/Oracle Summer Circuit tournaments; and seeding and selection in the Oracle ITA Junior Masters events. Now let's close the shop. In 2016, the ITA made UTR its official rating system for college tennis in the United States.

As commonly referred to on the board you can use statistics in a nu,bet of ways but extrapolation is a real good way to introduce bias. So we could make an association through extrapolation with the professional game that has no relevance to anything (all ATP and WTA players have a UTR) which would theoretically link your beginner to Serena, Rafa and Fed. It would make a nice sales pitch.

At the same time, a new ownership group assumed control of UTR, which is based in San Francisco, California. Universal Tenniss chairman and CEO is Mark Leschly, founder and managing partner of Iconica Partners, a global investment firm specializing in the intersection of technology, sports, and media, which heads the new ownership. The group's partners include Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle Corporation; Ken Hao, managing partner of Silver Lake Partners; Jan Leschly, former CEO of SmithKline Beecham, a former top-ten ATP player and former chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame; Ken Solomon, president of the Tennis Channel; the Tennis Media Company; Major League Baseball; and the Los Angeles Dodgers' ownership group.

Yes yet another cost has been passed on to the consumer.



-- Edited by Oakland2002 on Saturday 21st of July 2018 06:43:21 AM

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Satellite level

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Some very interesting points made by Oakland above.

An increasing number of articles relating to UTR; lots of comments about how tennis federations are giving away their data for free (or having it taken) with no benefit - other than to the few players looking for tennis scholarships to the US and tournaments featuring "level based play" - whereas UTR benefits financially from using the information.

Interesting article: The Universal Appeal of Tennis Ratings
medium.com/@TennisVisuals/the-universal-appeal-of-tennis-ratings-96d947f4d240

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Tennis legend

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Some may be playing just for US college ranking points.

And some (as stated by the parent before on here) say it's far easier than going via the ITF pathway.

But many are just playing because they want the chance to play a competitive match, with official ranking points that go with it. Which is what sport is all about.

The data issue is separate and a valid point.

But until the LTA (or anyone else) lays on sufficient interesting, official events (not some half-baked tennis league system which - from the ones I've seen - is a whole load of hassle and counts for nothing), then credit at least to any other organisation which facilitates events that people actually want to play in and gives them at least SOME access to proper tennis events.

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I think Credit was the perfect choice of word.

How is the acquisition of data for free a different point? It is a fundamental pillar of the argument, a product of the community who play the game being monetarised not for the communities benefit but for that of another individual.

You can extrapolate the point into different arguments, ie. generally it is an abuse. Players have not been historically aware that they are contributing to this process in the way users of face book where unaware they were being psychometric analysed by Cambridge analytica, NHS patients were unaware their data was being sold to Google by the Royal Free Hospital trust etc....9, and perhaps there are damages to pay. You may think this an exaggeration but the monetary value of big data is immense as we have witnessed from the ITF selling theirs to gambling organisations. Like most posters on here very very keen to give credit to those who build the game intrinsically and make access equitable at all levels.

That has not been the motive here, it is a simple algorythm the type of thing that is generated week in week out by statisticians looking at their own data or big data they have bought. The fiscal value of big data is massive, it us hard to collect ethically and homogeniously, that is why I pushed back when UT initialled entered the forum and posted as an organisation; advertising their product a couple of years back. I could go on and explain some of the enormous privilidges in terms of data that can be accessed if you go through due process within the organisation within which I work but that is conditional on the value it gives back to the organisations clients as the data belongs to them as in this case where the federations mere custodians.



-- Edited by Oakland2002 on Sunday 22nd of July 2018 11:14:45 AM

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Tennis legend

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You misunderstand me, Oakie. I completely agree with everything you say about data collection. And I absolutely do not underestimate its importance and would love data collection to be regulated properly and to be open and transparent.

But the NHS is extremely worthwhile, even if there has been unauthorised or unethical data collection. Facebook has been a major force for good, in many ways, even if the same.

And the UTR tennis competitions respond to a crying tennis need that is left unanswered by the LTA in the UK, even if the same.

(To the best of my knowledge, there are no UTR competitions in France).




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This is the thin end of a very thick wedge, Elegant Point's posting and the weblink attached gives a much broader perspective, "crying need" ? Ummmm this is venture capitalist driven and believe me the tears will be those of the consumer, water will be squeezed from this stone. It is well other having a close look at the weblink and digesting the implications it is a well written balanced piece.

Google buying patent data is wrong their motivation had nothing to do with the needs of the good patients of North West London it just refelected what a valuable resource we have to "mine" not dissimilar to the way the Chinese are seeking to exploit Africa to satisfy their needs for mineral resources and has nothing to do with the founding principles of the NHS. Our understanding of value and need is beyond naive, unless we are on it, we will be plundered for profit it's a bit like the East India company in reverse.

The federations have a custodial responsibility to grow the game, the concept of ratings is a good one, the algorithm is very simple it is much too valuable not to be in the hands of an organisation that is purely invested in the development of the entire breadth of the game. Just look at the structure in place at UT and their product "UTR powered by oracle" ...... to condone it is naive (I very nearly got the block capitals out but in the spirit of the forum have managed to resheath the ultimate armoury of the keyboard warrior), there is a better way.

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Club Coach

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Very interesting article about UTR, their corporate structure...and the potential avenues for them monetising this collection of tennis result data. It does sound like a potential faux pas from the ITF if they let this happen and have a private company, rather than a federation, owning the majority of global tennis result data. However the potentially sinister future objectives of the UTR's business model, probably shouldn't discourage players from entering their tournaments, when like Coup Droit states, they are clearly responding to one gap in the UK tournament market.

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Further to this gap in the market, I conducted a simple analysis of 100 male county players, from this year's county cup group 1 and group 2. It reveals some interesting statistics. While not exactly the top 100 players in the country, the dataset can be assumed to represent a random 100 players, in at least, the top 1000 players in the country.

Stats are based on year to date LTA registered competitions

27% have played in NO other competitions!

50% have played in Team Tennis (either National, Regional or County)
32% have played in county doubles leagues (Middlesex, Surrey etc)
23% have played in British Tour events
10% have played in BUCS
8% have played in other LTA sanctioned competitions
3% have played in Schools

59% have played in only one other competition format (obviously two including summer county cup)

To me, these statistics clearly show the UK tournament scene is not-fit-for-purpose and the absence of all these talented players massively dilutes the competition pathway for aspiring young players.

Happy to share the spreadsheet if anyone wants to see it.



-- Edited by Born2WinTennis on Thursday 26th of July 2018 04:44:03 PM

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Tennis legend

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Those are truly dreadful stats, Born2win.
As you say, it means that tennis as a proper sport is simply not happening.
You couldn't have a local football team that only played a one-week tournament once a year.....

(again, just for comparison, and without any stats, if you took a random 100 good French players - not elite but a good level - you'd find 99% play money tournaments (it's inconceivable not to), about 75-80% play team tennis (some won't because it takes up the whole Sunday and they have family commitments), and about 80% will play FFT championships (county, regional, 35+, etc).

I just looked at the FFT site and took three random guys, ranked at a low/middling/good British Tour sort of level, age 18, 26 and 37 - and last year they played 37, 48 and 73 competitive ranking matches (not in order)

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Hi Coup. Can a Brit play in the French system at all? So rather then playing ITF juniors could a 17 year old enter the French system at all?

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Kolohead wrote:

Hi Coup. Can a Brit play in the French system at all? So rather then playing ITF juniors could a 17 year old enter the French system at all?


Absolutely.

Very easy. Tons do. (and tons of other nationalities too). For the domestic money tournaments, all you need is a French FFT licence and that's open to anyone from any country. Same applies to team tennis. The only thing where French nationality counts is for the national championships.

Two options:

The simplest way (but slightly more expensive) is to take out membership at a club. If you don't intend to have anything to do with the club, choose a cheap club (some are very cheap)

Otherwise you can get what basically is a foreigner's licence and ranking (a classement administratif) and then you don't have to belong to a club.

This is a bit more time-consuming and I'm not 100% sure how it works now (though I could find out) - I assume you apply to the Committee Departemental (county tennis office). 

The annual licence itself costs 29 euros (I think). If you take out membership at a club, the licence is usually included, and annual membership for a junior will be very little, probably about 50-70 euros a year and gives you full rights to play etc. For a good player, there is then the question of getting a proper ranking - for anyone up to LTA 8.2, say, you could start at UNR and just play a few events to establish a ranking. If you're 6.1 and better, say, you should definitely try and get a provisional ranking. (The club President can help, or the county FFT office). 

What is the level of your 17 year-old?

If you have a contact point in France though i.e. somewhere where you go for holiday, or the airport town where you'd always fly to, or arrival town for the ferry or whatever, then I would advise joining a club at that town - you can call around a few (there will always be quite a lot, no matter where your contact point is) - you'll quickly tell who's welcoming and helpful. Especially if your child intends to play a fair bit over there - it depends a bit on the club and how much he/she's there but you feel more included, part of the system, you get to understand how it all works, people will help, make friends, etc. etc. 

If you want any more help, please feel free, either here, or private message me. 

 



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Hi interesting and something have never really considered. Lad is a 2.1 at mo. Pm me if you have any knowledge of clubs a ferry ride away as it is certainly something to consider thanks very much for the insight

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I was under the impression that French Club matches are not uploaded to the UTR system.

This is a consideration if looking to go to the U.S. for college.

Does anyone know if this has changed or if this is not the case?



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TennisMom wrote:

I was under the impression that French Club matches are not uploaded to the UTR system.

This is a consideration if looking to go to the U.S. for college.

Does anyone know if this has changed or if this is not the case?


 I know two French lads who have gone to US college who didn't have UTR rankings (although it was a couple of years ago and rules do change).

But is it possible the US system recognises the French domestic ranking (because it's very similar) and/or has an equivalency? 

(NB doesn't really matter but most of the French matches aren't club matches, they're individual tournament matches). 



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Sorry I meant all FFT matches, not just club. I dont think they are part of UTR Calculation.

ITF & Tennis Europe ones held in France, definitely, are counted.

UTR is now really what US coaches are looking at. They are not really interested in LTA ratings for a Brit. Thats what the US coaches have been asking about.



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