Draws For National Ranking Tournaments

October 27, 2016

The draws for all NRTs are prepared via conference call with the Men’s Ranking Committee Chair or Women’s Players Committee Chair, the APTA Executive Director, and the tournament director.

Q: How are seeds determined for National Ranking Tournaments?

A:  A 3 NRT event average will be used for determining the order of the seeds and placements. In cases where a team does not have a 3 NRT average, 85% of the two individual’s next best results will be averaged and used to make up the necessary number of events to get to the 3 NRT average. This can be for 1, 2, or 3 NRT events if necessary. If a team has played 3 tourneys together, their average will be used even if the average would be higher using the 85% rule with other partners. In instances where a player has been injured, taken a year off, or doesn't have 3 tourneys, we will go back 2 years and take 50% of their points to calculate their average.

Q:  How many seeds and placements are there in a tournament?

A:  Tournaments with 9-16 entered teams will have 2 listed seeds and up to 4 non-listed seeds; 17-32 entered teams will have 4 listed seeds and up to 8 non-listed seeds; 33-64 entered teams will have 8 listed seeds and up to 16 non-listed seeds; 65-95 entered teams will have 16 listed seeds and up to 16 non-listed seeds; 96-128 entered teams will have 16 listed seeds and up to 32 non-listed seeds.

Q:  How are seeds and placements put into the draw?

A:  There are specific lines for each seed or placement or seed/placement group. To start, we put in the number 1 disc and the number 2 disc into a hat (literally) and pull out one of the discs to determine whether the #1 seed or the #2 seed goes on the top or the bottom of the draw. Likewise for seeds 3 and 4. Seeds/placements 5, 6, 7, and 8 are put into the hat together, pulled one at a time, and placed from top to bottom in spots designated for that group of numbers. This continues until all the seeds and placements are in the draw.

Q:  How is everyone else put into the draw

A:  One person, usually the Men’s or Women’s Ranking/Players Committee Chair randomly numbers all the non-placed and non-seeded teams. Those numbers are not seen by the APTA Executive Director who has put the required number of discs representing the number of non-seeded and non-placed teams into a hat. One disc is pulled at a time. The disc’s number is announced and the Committee Chair states which team that number is assigned to and he/she indicates the next empty line in the draw where that team will go.

Q:  Are teams ever dropped back into the hat to change the opponents?

A:  There is only one instance when a team is moved during the draw process. If all four players are from the same club, then the second team pulled for that match would drop to the next empty spot. Other than that, the draw is always as it is pulled. While it is unfortunate that family members might have to play each other in the first round, or players from the same city travel to another location and play each other, taking that into consideration opens up too many issues of potential draw manipulation or at least the appearance of impropriety.

Q:  So the draw is never, ever changed?

A:  If a seed or placement drops out before the tournament, it is possible that some teams may be moved according to guidelines that are strictly followed.

Q:  Why do really good teams end up facing each other in the first round?

A:  It is possible to have many more top-level teams in a smallish draw than there are seeds and placements. In a larger draw, with more seeds and placements this is less likely to happen. Seeding more than 40% of a draw is almost manipulating the draw and would certainly be a barrier to new teams making headway.

Q:  Why do I always seem to get a bad draw?

A:  There is an expression that covers this–“Luck of the draw.”

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