League schedule questions

There is more to the process than what is listed here, but here is a basic list of the things we attempt to do and the various variables that exist, which play an important role in determining your schedule. Many dedicated weeks throughout the year are spent putting schedules together and questions or complaints do arise, so please see the information below and feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss any questions or concerns further. Generally, people understand the reasons for things better when they can see the big picture, so we have tried to outline some of that on this page.


Why does our team have to play every team twice?
In some instances, the number of teams is such that a flight of 4 must be used. When this occurs, we schedule a double round robin to provide for 6 matches.

Why do we have to drive that far?
To avoid using flights of 4 and double round robins, we will stretch the travel a little. Feedback from players over many years has told us that players would prefer to travel a little farther to avoid a flight of 4.

Why can't we have more matches?
(See also 18 & Over League Season)
Most leagues throughout Colorado have utilized a 6-7 week schedule for at least 20 years. This is also a very standard length of season elsewhere in the country as well as in other sports because it works out very well mathematically when creating round robins. Along with that, we have a short season in Colorado in which all leagues are played and have one of the largest league programs in the entire country, which creates court capacity issues if we try to overlap leagues. We have to have our advancing leagues completed by a certain date to allow teams to continue on to Sectionals and/or Nationals. Ultimately, without starting leagues earlier in the year, when the weather isn't ideal for outdoor tennis, we do not have a sufficient number of weeks available to extend our leagues longer.

Why do play 1-2 teams twice?
Several years ago, USTA began allowing us to use 'incomplete' round robins to provide at least 6 matches. If we have a flight of 6 teams, each team will play one team twice to allow everyone to have 6 matches. If we have a flight of 5 teams, each team will play two teams twice to allow everyone to have 6 matches.

Why are we playing the strongest team twice?
It is randomly determined which teams play each other twice. Generally, the first week or two of the league is repeated. At the time of scheduling, it is impossible to know which teams will be the strongest teams, so if your team ended up against them, that was just by chance and was unavoidable.


Primary variables for determining flights
  Number of weeks for the league season

This is important because it determines how many teams can be played into any flight. To have fair standings, it is necessary that each team in a flight plays the other teams in the flight the same number of times.
6-7 week season
Flight of 8 teams - single round robin, takes 7 weeks to complete, no byes. Each team gets 7 matches.
Flight of 7 teams - single round robin, takes 7 weeks to complete, each team has 1 bye week (different week for each team). Each team gets 6 matches.
Flight of 4 teams - double round robin, takes 6 weeks to complete, each team plays every team twice, 1 bye week for each team (generally last week of season). Each team gets 6 matches.
  Number of teams in the level (i.e. Women's 3.5)

The total number of teams changes the make up of the flight break outs.
6-7 week season
12 teams 1 flight of 8
1 flight of 4
14 teams 2 flights of 7
15 teams 1 flight of 7
1 flight of 8
16 teams 2 flights of 8
  Geographic location of those teams

Most teams are willing to travel (within reason) to maintain larger flights, but we try not to have travel for a majority of the matches that is a great distance. We put the teams into the appropriate flight sizes based on where the location of their facility is in comparison to the rest of the teams.
  Number of teams from each facility

If facilities have multiple teams in the same level, we attempt to place them in different flights so they do not play each other during the regular season. Often times, this can not be done due to the other variables listed above, but it is something that we attempt to do.

3.5 level has 32 teams
League season is 6-7 weeks

In this example, we would have several options:
1. Split the teams into 4 flights of 8
2. Split the teams into 4 flights of 7 and 1 flight of 4
3. Split the teams into 3 flights of 8 and 2 flights of 4
4. Split the teams into 2 flights of 8 and 4 flights of 4
5. Split the teams into 1 flight of 8 and 6 flights of 4

Based on these numbers, we would prefer to go with #1 because it would give the most matches for every team and not have any double round robins, but other factors such as geography can change that. If there are 7 teams in the Boulder area and nothing else anywhere nearby, we may have to do #2. The result could be that there is a flight of 4 (double round robin) in south Denver.

Additional driving factors

Most players have historically let us know that they prefer single round robins over double round robins (playing the same team twice), so we attempt to minimize double round robins.
Most players have historically let us know that they would rather drive farther to have a single round robin instead of a double round robin.
We allow facilities to provide us with blackout dates during the season for reasons such as tournaments or court construction. This reduces the number of available courts, which causes the necessity to stagger matches or in some cases, to manipulate bye weeks.
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