Ideas for the Spring Doubles Season

January 28, 2010 | By

ideaFor the Spring 2010 Doubles season, we are considering some new ideas.   Comment below and let us know how you feel.

1) One idea is to extend the time from 1 1/2 to 2 hours for each match.  The formats of the matches are still best 2/3 full sets.  However if the two team split sets, and have played for more than 1 1/2 hours, a third set tie-breaker will be played instead of a full set.

2) Another idea is to play all four team lines at the same time instead of split times.  Teams will still play at the same location.  However, if there are court restrictions, then selected team matches will still be split.

3) In an effort to maximize the number of matches this season, we are thinking about moving the Mother’s Day weekend match from Sunday to Saturday.  This would allow us to play nine matches in the spring.  Some captains have expressed a preference to play 10 matches in each regular season, which would require us to start a week earlier or finish a week later. You can see all proposed matches for the year on the this year’s calendar.  Please let us know your preference for the number of matches during the regular season, keeping in mind that more matches will require starting the season earlier or finishing later.

4) To make it easier for captains to recruit and retain players, we are considering more flexibility in the team makeup similar to the USTA’s “Combo” leagues.  The way this works is that instead of our A, B and C leagues having homogenous 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 players, we would permit teams to field doubles pairs with ratings adding up to 7, 8 and 9 respectivly.  For example, the “B” league is comprised of all 4.0 players today.   This change would allow doubles teams adding up to 8.0 and allow a 4.5 and 3.5 to play together.  There will not be any limitations on the number of 5.0s in the “9.0” league, 4.5s in the “8.0” league, and 4.0s in the “7.0” league.

5) Another idea I want to propose is to eliminate the penalty in the final standings for Arlington players having to play twice.  This would require board approval.  However players would still need to play twice (with one forfeit allowed) to qualify for the post-season playoffs.

6) Finally, we are interested in your feedback on the steps we have taken in the last few seasons to ensure the integrity of skill levels within divisions. For the last several years, ACTA has allowed self-rating for those without a rating generated through USTA play. In the last two years, we have sought to ensure integrity in skill levels in the divisions by hiring pros to rate players during the playoffs, and moving players to the appropriate division when necessary based on the rating and match play results. During the last rating in the 2009 fall playoffs, the pros found no players that were egregiously out of place, and the generally close match results during the semi-finals and finals indicated comparable skill levels among the top four teams in each division. Prior to the fall season, we also held rating sessions for new players joining ACTA without USTA-generated ratings. While we believe these steps have helped ensure comparable skill levels within divisions, some players and captains feel it is onerous to get unrated players rated, and some circumvented the requirement last fall. Please let us know your thoughts on this issue.

Lastly, note the Captain’s meeting is scheduled for March 8th at the Quincy library.  Please make every effort to attend to learn how to use the new league management application.

Don’t be shy… let us know what you think!


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  1. Juan Gonzalez on Mar 11, 3:14 pm

    1. I disagree with extension of play to two hours. Even though we are suppose to be limited to one and half hours, I have always played best of three sets. I remember having to wait almost an hour to play the in the second match. On the flip side, most matches are completed with the 1 1/2 hours, so increasing the time to 2 hours will result in the courts being open before the second match. Consequently, I recommend we keep it at 1 ½ hour matches.

    2. Along the same lines, I also don’t agree with having all the matches played at the same time. For instance, in the fall, I always preferred to play the 11:30 match to avoid having to be in Arlington by 10 AM, since I commute from Woodbridge. I have had folks only available for one time slot but not the other.

    3. I agree with moving the match on Mother’s day to Saturday.

    4. I disagree with converting to a combo league similar to USTA. I have played in ACTA for at least 7 years and I think the system we have works well. The renewed rating process should help in appropriate ratings of players. Some players in the 4.0 league should drop to the 3.5 level if that is their rating. The system now works well with moving players from 4.0 to 4.5.

  2. Todd Stievater on Mar 1, 11:59 am

    I like the idea of limiting the time that a match takes – sort of. In USTA, you know that after 2 hours you’re on your way home. In this day and age, with kids, home maintainance, work, and travel, I think ACTA would do well to limit the time that a match can take. However, I hate the way USTA does it – they have specific indoor court constraints that ACTA does not. I propose the following: All four players need to agreed ahead of time what they want to do – if they want to play 2/3 FULL sets, then so be it. But if even one player wants to limit the time, then I propose a modified 3rd set: Each player serves one game, and if it is tied 2-2, then a 7-point tiebreak is played to decide the match. ACTA has the luxury of not having a hard 2-hour match deadline, but this proposal will prevent matches from going excessively long (they’d almost all finish within 2 hours).

    Also, I strongly support the idea of playing all of the matches at once. I’m sure the captains would appreciate not having to block out 4 hours every Sunday (or Saturday). Also, as a player, when we tell our captain that we’re available, we also need to block out at least 4 hours (until we’re told which match we’re playing). Plus, if we’re the second match, if the first match goes long, and our match goes long, it can easily be three hours for that match: way too much time to commit.

    I like the idea of trying to get 9 matches in, but I think ten is unreasonable. The weather in late March/early April is so unpredictable and often windy/cold, and an additional week at the end would be almost impossible to schedule due to the number of folks on vacation.

    I appreciate that ACTA is thinking about changes – I think it’s time.

  3. Mai Ngo on Feb 7, 10:16 pm

    1) No need to extend to 2 hrs. My matches are usually more than 2 hrs. Several opponents tend to make a long face when I prefer that we play 3 full sets.

    2) No. It is too difficult to tell people one week show up early and one week show up late!! If you want to start all matches at the same time, then rent only those locations that can facilitate 4 or 5 matches at once.

    3) Yes, 10 or more matches are good.

    4) Sorry, no combine ratings. USTA mixed makes a mistake for combine ratings!

    5) Yes, pls eliminate the penalty for playing Arlington residents twice. It has been a burden for captains!

    6) Why spend any money to hire a pro for evaluation, if a team consistently dominates a division, e.g. being the 1st team for 3 consecutive seasons, bump that team up one division. And if a team looses for 4 consecutive seasons, then they can go down at will.

  4. Alex on Jan 29, 1:06 pm

    Take a good look at the Calendar. Is March 13 a good date for the annual member’s meeting at the Arlington Y?