Friday, May 01, 2009

Tennis Lineups

In high school, college, and adult league tennis the rule is that you must play your best players higher in the lineup. This creates the obvious temptation for lesser teams to alter their lineups in order to win the team match.

An alternative to the existing rule is to randomly select players for matches. This method eliminates any stacking potential. It also eliminates intrasquad competitions for placement in the lineup. No more "I should be playing ahead of him" comments.

The downside to this arrangement is that you'll see more uneven matches, when the best player from team A is matched against the worst player from team B. However, when a superior team plays an inferior team, uneven matches are the rule, not the exception. By random assignment of matches we may see a lesser player from the superior team matched against the best player from the inferior team, providing a better match for those players.

I'd like to see some league take a chance on this lineup method.