Today, Universal Tennis and TopDog Sports (TDS) announced a new partnership which will allow members to easily find level-based play and have all their scores count toward the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR).
Now, players all over the United States and in some international territories will have their TDS league and tournament match results count for UTR and receive a global tennis rating that will allow them to track their progress, know their current level, and play in more competitive matches.
Universal Tennis had the chance to speak with Mike Friedman, the CEO of TopDog Sports about their decision to integrate UTR into TDS.
Tell us more about TopDog and the types of leagues that are part of your network. Why did you decide to create TopDog Sports?
We decided to create TopDog because we saw a need to assist organizations in providing fun activities for their players. Over the years, the software has continued to develop to provide even more functionality. We now have customers across the United States and even a few international clients.
What is the mission of TopDog?
Our mission is to provide organizers with the tools that they will need so they may offer a variety of quality events for their players. We want to make the technology work for them so they may concentrate on providing opportunities for players to participate.
How do you think integrating UTR will benefit your members and players?
TopDog is very excited to be partnering with UTR. We feel that if our players have a verified UTR, they will be able to find more evenly matched opponents allowing for competitive and high-quality matches.
What types of programs are available to customers on the TopDog network?
We have quite a variety of low-cost programs available to our customers. We run many leagues both for individuals and teams. The leagues are played in a variety of formats such as flex, box and round robin. In addition, we offer ladders and tournaments. There is a platform that provides all tournament and league creation needs such as online registration, scheduling, and more. For teams, we offer team management tools such as player availability. There are a variety of communication options which make it easy for players, captains, administrators and organizers to stay informed. The ability to make court reservations, book lessons and match with players your level are all offered online. All of our programs share one database which allows for all activities to be displayed on an individual’s “Player Profile”. The “Player Profile” is one of the most unique aspects of TopDog, with some players having a profile on TopDog reaching back over a decade.
Anything else we should know?
We encourage anyone interested in seeing what TopDog has to offer to visit our website, www.topdoglive.com. We are excited to fuse UTR ratings into our growing community of tournament and league members. Players should enjoy knowing their TDS matches will take a more prominent route in modifying their UTR rating.
TopDog League Members can download the UTR App for iPhone or visit MyUTR.com to claim or create their free player profile on UTR.
Want to get your club or league using UTR? Visit MyUTR.com/for-clubs to learn more and get started.
The program rates players based on the score of every match entered into the system. The program gives a player an individual singles rating and a doubles rating. It will also rate each doubles team. This program has many benefits for the individual player, club manager, section and Association. Works great for tennis, pickleball and other racket sports.
How the Program Works
The dynamic rating can change with every match played. Since every match is taken into account the rating should be an accurate indication of the players’ level of play. Every match played is entered into the system, but is not given equal weight. There are four different levels of play. “Daily, Practice or Social” matches will be given the least amount of weight in determining a players rating. “Non-official league or tournament” matches will be given a little more weight. “official League” matches are given more weight than the “Non-official” matches. Finally, matches played during a “official Tournament” are given the most weight.
The weighting factor is determined by the owner of the program and can be changed at their discretion. Flexibility is the key to this program. You also have the flexibility to put in more or less than four weighting categories.
When a singles match has been played, the players fill out a card showing the scores of that match. These results will then be entered into the system. The date of the match, players’ names score of match and type of match are entered. The computer will show the players’ ratings prior to the match and will also show their new rating based on the result of the match just entered.
Doubles Rating (and new mixed ratings
A doubles match is entered into the system in the same manner as a singles match. The computer will calculate a rating for each doubles team. In addition a doubles rating for that individual player will be calculated. If a player teams up with a different partner their individual doubles rating may change. The doubles rating for a team will only change when that team plays together. There is no limit to the number of different partners a player may have.
Calculations of Ratings
Ratings are calculated based on the prior ratings of the players, the score of the match and the type of match played (which determines weighting). For every match, there are expected outcomes of the match based on the ability of the players. If the actual results of the match are the same as the expected values, then the players will not have any movement in their rating. If the outcome does not meet the expected value, then the players’ ratings are adjusted accordingly. With the program there is a great deal of flexibility in determining movement of ratings. The amount of movement can be adjusted by the owner of the program so that players ratings will change more rapidly or more conservatively.
Player A (rated 3.652) plays Player B (rated 3.482). Player A beats Player B 6-2,6-2 in a social match. The program would expect that players with these ratings would have had a closer match (6-3, 6-4 for example) Since the match was not within the expected range the ratings will change. Based on the weighting for a social match, Player A’s rating changes to 3.682 and Player B’s becomes 3.452. If your organization decides that this is not enough movement, it can easily be adjusted.
Jim (4.500) beats Bob (4.732) 6-4,6-4 in a Tournament. In this example, the higher rated player lost the match. Based on the score and the weighting for a Tournament match, the program changes Jim’s rating to a 4.575. Bob drops to a 4.657. Jim’s first victory over Bob does not place his rating above Bob’s.
Suppose these two players played again in a tournament and Jim once again prevailed 6-4, 6-4. The DCTR program will now rate Jim as 4.635. Bob’s rating falls to 4.597. Jim’s rating is now above Bob’s.
Benefits to Players
Players will be able to see how the results of their match affect their rating. Feedback will be immediate upon entry of the match into the system. In addition, players will know that their rating reflects how they have performed in all of their matches instead of just a few. The DCTR system will take into account “best of three set” matches as well as five set matches, split set matches, and pro sets. It is very easy for the player to go through all of their matches and see how their rating has changed over time.
Benefits to Club Managers / Community Professionals
The DCTR system will make forming teams very easy for club managers and professionals. It is possible to print out a report which shows the current ratings for all members of a club active in the system. Forming teams becomes very objective, based solely on ratings.
Divisions for in-house tournaments can also be based on the ratings. If a club has a “club championship” tournament, players can objectively be placed into different divisions based on their ratings. As it is now, it is sometimes difficult to tell a person that they should play in the “C” division instead of “B” and vice versa.
There are a variety of reports available to the owner of the program. In one report the Rating program will print out address labels. The report can be limited by opting to print only the labels of singles players (or only doubles players.) In addition, the list of available players can be defined by age groups (including juniors) or rankings. This will make it very easy for a club to send out promotional information for which they want to target a specific group.
An option available to players is that they can enter the time of day they would like to play matches into the system. The owner of the program can produce a report which shows players of similar ability that are also available at this time. This is a tremendous service to offer to a player.
In the program a player can be assigned to a specific group. This designation may represent all players that take lessons. Or it may be the group of players that take lessons from a specific professional. It may be used to designate people who frequently make purchases from a shop. Another possibility is to designate players who played in a tournament. It is then possible to produce reports using the “group” designation.
Another report available in the system is called “Statistics.” This report shows how many matches were played per week. The report is broken down into “singles” and “doubles” and also by gender. This report will be very helpful to club managers who want to see if a promotion had any effect on the amount of play.
There is one other report that bears mentioning at this time. This report is called “Points.” In this report it is possible to award points based on number of matches played and success in those matches. “Success” can be defined as simply doing better than expected rather than actually winning a match. This is a great method for recognizing the achievements of players that may not necessarily be at the top of the ratings.
Benefits to Organizations
The benefits to the your organization is increasing membership. For players, it is hoped that the ratings will be seen as a very accurate assessment of a players’ skill level. Players will accept their rating as accurate because they will be able to review their history and see how that rating was obtained.
It is possible for players who are not a member of your organization to play matches against members and have that information put into the system. However, they will not be able to view their rating or see how their rating changes over time. This should serve as an incentive to become a member. When the player decides to become a member, you will have some background information on their ability.
The system keeps a “player profile” on all players in the system. You may choose to print out these profiles on a regular basis and make them available to members. “Player profiles” may be especially important to Junior players. These reports can be produced for the players or their parents and could even be made available to colleges wishing to recruit players.
It is anticipated that the ratings will create enthusiasm among players. Ratings will be assigned that are accurate and fair. In addition, there is the opportunity for club managers and other professionals to benefit from the information provided by the program. Finally, it is hoped that all the benefits to players will increase membership in your organization.
TopDog Software has released our new Team management program. It’s called “Scheduled Play“, this new program will make it easier to manage any group of players.
You can find the “Schedule Play” program by going to your player profile and clicking on the “Groups” tab.
If you have any suggestions or comments, please pass them along to us.
~ Pickleball Championships ~
July 22, 23 & 24 – 2016
The Pickleball Champions Series is excited to be presenting – the BSG-Pickleball Championships. For the first time, pickleball will be coming to the Pettit National Ice Center! This will be a qualifying tournament for the 2017 State Games of America pickleball tournament to be held in Grand Rapids, MI | Aug. 3-6, 2017.
BSG-Badger-(trademarked)Where: Pettit National Ice Center, Milwaukee, WI [map]
Courts & Ball: 16 Indoor Concrete Courts | Lime Green Jugs Ball
When: July 22-24, 2016 | Times Below
Events: Men’s & Women’s Open Singles (3.0 & up). Men’s & Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles (3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0 / some levels may be merged)
Early Bird Registration: April 15, 2015 – June 22, 2016
Regular Registration: June 23, 2016 – July 17, 2016 (fee increases)
Registration Closes: Sunday, July 17, 2016 | 11:59 pm **PCS reserves the right to close registration early.
Format of Play: Our goal to give all players the maximum amount of games. Format may vary between divisions… e.g. round robin or draw
Fee: $40 per person for 1st event. Each additional event is $10
Hotel Accommodations: Get the tournament group rate HERE
State Games of America qualifing: Wisconsin & Illisnois residents: General Information
EVENTS SCHEDULE ** schedule is subject to change
FRIDAY, JULY 22nd | 5 pm start (times are final as of July 17th)
MEN’S & WOMEN’S SINGLES-OPEN
SATURDAY, JULY 23rd | 8 am start (times are final as of July 17th)
Morning Session starts at 8 am. Includes: WOMEN’S DOUBLES: 3.0 – 3.5 / 4.0 / 4.5 – 5.0 & MEN’S 3.5
Afternoon Session starts at 1 pm. Includes: MEN’S DOUBLES: 4.0 / 4.5 & 5.0
** some men’s divisions may be moved up to the morning session.
SUNDAY, JULY 24th | 8 am start (times are final as of July 17th)
MIXED DOUBLES: 4.0 / 4.5 / 5.0 – 8 am start time
MIXED DOUBLES: 3.0 / 3.5 – 1:00 pm start time
** Singles will be bracketed by skill level after registration deadline. For example: In the past we’ve had 18 men register with skill levels ranging from 3.0 to 5.0. Instead of five divisions, we divided the 18 players into 3 seeded divisions of 6 players. The tournament coordinator’s goal is to create seeded brackets that result in the best possible competition for the players. All divisions are subject to be merged.
Be honest, are you playing more tennis or watching more tennis? Personally, its our favorite time of the year. The French Open is getting close to finished and we have already started debating Wimbledon. (Is Roger “saving” himself for one last big show?) When we aren’t watching tennis, we are out enjoying the beautiful weather and playing (in our minds) just like the pros. Are you a “tried and true” player like Williams or Djokovic? Or are you an “up and comer” like Muguruza or Thiem? Either way, it’s time to sign up for some local tournaments or get involved with a team league to strut your stuff. TopDog Sports is here to help. We have online tournament software which makes it easy to organize a tournament, allow people to signup and pay online, create draws and/or brackets, and finally record results. We also offer online league management software which allows you to form a league, recruit teams and players online. You may also process payments online, produce league schedules and post results.
Spring is in the air and it’s time for our thoughts to turn to the French Open. Anybody who has had the opportunity to experience a match at Roland Garros…we here at TopDog tennis are jealous!
We just live vicariously on our hard courts and pretend we have the great strokes, fantastic fitness and mental toughness of the pros. Well, at least we can buy the same outfits that they wear. Which brings up an interesting question…who will make it to the worst or best dressed list? Are pirate pants truly a thing of the past? Looking forward to seeing what shows up on court.
Once a Team League has been setup in TopDog Sports, the league professional is free from tedious clerical tasks. Players sign-up for team leagues online, pay with a credit card (optional) and appropriate reports are generated for the league professional. The online League Scheduling is generated automatically. Once a league has been scheduled, players (and captains) can enter their match availability. Captains will no longer wonder who is available to play matches. Captains can post that they are looking for players to fill out their rosters. This information is available to all visitors whether they are logged in or not. Captains can specify singles or doubles, rating level, male or female and can add notes. Captains enter their match scores and confirm the scorecard created by their opponents. Captains can set their team lineups on-line, enter write-ups for each match and enter any team notes they want to share with their players. League standings are generated automatically.
Topdog Sports League management software can be used to manage your round robin leagues, Interclub leagues, team leagues, Box leagues and school leagues. Interclub or interscholastic leagues can be set up for singles, doubles or any combination (for example one team match can consist of two single and three doubles matches) Topdog Sports generates blank scorecards that reflect the desired format. In-house leagues can be designated as singles, doubles with fixed partners or doubles switching partners and schedules will be automatically generated. The standings for the league can be generated based on a variety of parameters, win-loss record, number of points, etc.
Using TopDog Sports tournament management software
Top Dog has been managing tournaments for over 20 years. Our tournament software program allows you to register your entrants, collect fees, create draws (brackets), communicate start times, and record tournament results. Tournaments can be run as single elimination, round-robin (with or without playoffs), or consolation draws. You can also use our tournament software for Gran Prix series type tournaments . It will calculate player points based on tournament participation and results. Players can then be viewed in ranking order.
The USPTA Jr. Gran Prix State Championships will be held September 17-18, 2016 at John Newcomb’s Tennis Ranch in New Branunfels. The top two point earners in each age division as of August 1, 2016 will qualify to represent East Texas in the State Championships.
The USPTA Jr Grand Prix Circuit, sponsored locally by Stripes, kicked off its 2016 season at Al Kruse Tennis Center on March 18-20. Despite some challenging weather, Todd Norton (tournament director) and Susan Torrance (Director of Tennis at Al Kruse) managed to pull off a successful tournament. The Grand Prix Circuit is an excellent opportunity for juniors to get some great playing opportunities and earn points toward a trip to sectionals at John Newcombe’s Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels on September 16-18, 2016. The top two singles points winners in each age division will be invited to participate on the team that travels to the Championships. All players who attend the Championships must be non-Qualified (not Champs or Super Champ players).