Hello everyone and welcome to the 2017 season. In this 3rd season a lot of changes have taken place to ensure that the NPL is a true test to competitive players and a valid system of ranking. This season will see an entirely revamped system that still fits within the framework that was already in place. The major shift concerns which opponents each player must face based upon his or her placement in the standings. This new measure of ranking is the way the NPL should have been designed all along. It now ensures that players compete against others at their skill level, while also providing a means to continually move up.
This system will more accurately decide top players locally by cutting out the abuses of past years. The system is user friendly, but it will require club level support. It is the goal of the NPL to create a solid groundwork so that we can bring together only the top players from the United States for the top-level tournaments. This new system offers a means of ranking that clearly determines top local talent, and adds points for performance in regional and national tournaments.
Here are the major alterations to the 2017 season:
o Doubles league has been suspended indefinitely. It cut numbers from singles league, and we are trying to find the top national players instead of focusing on the best local teams. The NPL believes that top individuals could form the national team as it does in France where the game originated.
o There will be only one shortened season. The entire season will only last 5 ½ months from the first day of spring March 20th to Labor Day weekend September 4th. The 25-week season will be divided into two long tournaments each lasting just over 12 weeks. Note: We are looking into the possibility of a winter season for the southernmost clubs.
o Within the single season the tournament will reset. The first part of the season determines top qualifiers, and the second part after the reset determines the winner. This allows players who step up their games in the first part of the season the possibility of competing against higher-level players in the second half.
o Score tabulations for tournaments and inter-regional games have altered. Only FPUSA regional and national singles tournaments will be allowed for significant point increases in player’s baseline scores. No more open tournaments will be accepted for additional points, however, NPL players that meet in any tournament may still record scores according to the new regulations for inter-regional matches.
o No more point bonuses will be granted at the onset of the season for club size.
o Additional points for more games played have changed, and marks must be attained for each half of the season in order to remain eligible for the end of the season.
o Minimum number of players will remain 5 per club. However, now individuals across the U.S. who do ‘not have’ a home club may be adopted into another club if they can meet the minimum game requirements. Any licensed group of five players who can meet the required games will be scored and ranked in the NPL.
o Inter-regional games will no longer affect a player’s baseline average scored on the baseline score. Individuals play within a home league bracket. Instead they will be counted like small tournament victories. See the Rules & Regulations page for more details.
Here is what is needed from clubs:
o League representatives will enter scores once a week as before.
o Clubs will have to submit rankings of player ability to begin their season so that scorecards may be created for each player (e.g. club president decree, tournament, etc.). NPL clubs may use their rankings and scores from previous seasons. If no list is submitted places will be randomly selected.
o Each player will receive a card based on their ranking that provides the required games they need to meet for the 1st half of the season. After the 1st half, the standings will be reconfigured for the 2nd newly scheduled half of the season. This allows the lower ranking players who move up in the first half the opportunity to play the top players in their league during the second half.
o In order to keep the system fair the League Representative will input scores once a week during the season. What is required of the League Representative is similar to scoring qualifying rounds in tournaments. This regional representative will allow everyone to see a player’s card on the website including games played and score. This will require only a minimal amount of time from a person that can work on google spreadsheets. Scores in those cards will display the local, and national player rankings. Player cards will also show requirements met and not yet met.
As I've said, I believe that we have honed our previous system into something much more valid for determining our top players. I encourage you to check out the changes on the website and to get your league registered as soon as you are able. The season starts on the first day of spring, but all leagues and players must be registered by a May 1st deadline. Good luck to you all in 2017!
David Keil, NPL Commissioner