How Are Tournaments Seeded?

longboat-key-mapNext week is the pre-season CAT II tournament held on Longboat Key (Sarasota, Florida). I am playing both 70 singles and doubles, with Mr. Dartmouth Tennis, Chuck Kinyon; but am somewhat baffled by the seeds.

Expected Seedings

The seeds came out on Wednesday (and the full draws will be out on Friday). In singles, with the likes of Jody Rush, Jimmy Parker and Fred Drilling playing, I had hoped (if there were eight seeded players) that I could squeeze out a #7 or #8 seed.

In doubles, with those guys AND Hank Irvine/Evert Jonsson playing – and probably four seeded teams — I didn’t think Chuck and I would be able to get a seed.

Surprising Placements

In doubles, we DID get the fourth (and last seed); and that was over the team of Rich Tarantino and Paul Veltman, who beat us last year at World Tennis.

In singles, there ended up with a large draw of 44 players; so there were SIXTEEN seeds given out. And I did not get one! That was especially surprising, since I have winning records vs. three of the players who did get seeded.

How is it Done?

I would have to assume that in my age group that they went strictly by the USTA tournament points; because the three that I mentioned above, all play a lot of tournaments during the year. And that rationale is fine with me.

But I know for a fact, in another age group, people were called and asked “Who should we seed?”

So, how is it done? And how should it be done?

For example, Jimmy Parker had been out with an injury last year; so when he first came back, it would have been foolish to go strictly by points and not seed an outstanding player like him. So where does “human intervention” begin and end?

For the link to the Longboat Key tournament site, click HERE

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6 thoughts on “How Are Tournaments Seeded?

  1. George, I was a seeding advisor for the 65’s in Longboat and had some similar issues with Boquin and Dahm having injuries this past year. For me both have played since and have done pretty well so even though they don’t have much of rankings, they deserve to go back where they normally would. Not sure whether you inquired but what normally is the case is that there is supposed to be a day or so before draws are made so that players can make a complaint. I do the seedings for the SSGP Cat II’s in Naples and St.Pete with the help of advisors and encourage players to inquire. I would prefer the players don’t start by calling me an idiot , but there always seems to be someone that we missed or made the wrong call on up or down. So if you think you deserve better, call.

    Seeds should be done by all factors using primarily win loss record. When records are close then the tiebreaker is usually ranking. If seeder goes by rankings only, top players often get overlooked which is bad for both seeded players and top players. National rules say that you can send 8 if bigger than 16 draw but not required until seeder feels enough players to deserve seeding. The same for bigger than 32 can seed 16. Mark Taylor uses a good system of seeding any number according to size of draw, although I’m not sure it is legal (maybe only in FL tournaments).
    George, being a player who knows the players perhaps you would help me with seeding in the SSGP Cat II’s.

    Larry, i wasn’t really “complaining” as confused to the process. Had i drawn one of the top guys in the first round, THEN i might have complained! Guys like Fred Drilling and Joe Bachmann would be great resources to aid in seeding decisions; but i would be happy to help anyway i can. thanks, george

  2. Seeding isn’t an exact science and all information possible is used in the SSGP events that I do (6 total). Every player / team that enters gets their resume’ looked at. Any player can contact me via E-mail ( with input / inquiries.

    The more I know, the better it is for me and the players…….

    Mark, as i said, not complaining, just confused. thanks, george

  3. Any time “all factors” used with anything being primarily important is combined with seeding advisors and tournament committees you have opinions. The whole truth is some events go by rankings 100 percent and some seem to have them as a minor priority.

    Opinions are just that, rankings using points per round as USTA does is pretty much black and white. Because of that using only rankings is easy to justify and having opinions override rankings, which they always do, is harder.

    Players that are NOT always top players such as Larry will always feel that they are getting screwed with seeding , which we all know really is important for points per round ranking, when they are having their best year and they are bypassed in national tournaments seeding by someone who has not played much for any reason.

    Rankings in the old days were opinions and people complaining was normal because their opinion was different. Points per round has been deemed to be fair and honest by the USTA. But these fair and honest rankings are overridden by opinions in seeding. That is why Larry gets called an idiot unfairly and Mark obviously is sensitive to questions.

  4. Patrick, perhaps you misunderstood me a little. I don’t think there are many players out there who feel I am not trying to be fair in doing seeding and in general my seeding has been quite accurate. However, we may disagree in that in fact the points ranking is highly inaccurate because of weak tournaments, defaults or players who are coming back after injury. i think if you had several wins over someone but we’re ranked behind them because they got some extra points somewhere you would still want to be seeded ahead of them. Using the points system for seeding is neither fair not accurate and the USTA does not endorse it for seeding, but rather the all factors method.

  5. Larry, we both were talking a bit tongue in cheek. You said you hope players don’t start talking by calling you an idiot. We both know “sometimes ” that happens and it’s always unfortunate. I am sure most who determine seeds are trying to be fair. It is hard to see for the player who has the ranking to be one of the number 9 seeds to be looked over due to “all factors”. Then this player who is now unseeded draws a top four seed in the first round, out. The player who got the seeding receives a first round bye, plays an unseeded player in second round and so on. This happens just as often as the other does, maybe more often. And the points earned difference is large. When this happens in a Cat 1 or 2 wow what a difference.

    I now know that the national ranking system is highly inaccurate because of weak tournaments, defaults or players coming back after injury. I was also incorrect in thinking that playing was what the USTA wanted and if you got some “extra ” points somewhere you would have earned those points. It’s not any players fault if this year there is a weak draw. If another player either couldn’t or decided to not enter this tournament so be it- no points for them this week. These faulty assumptions led me to believe that rankings were based on actual results earned and not what anyone thought they should be.

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