Persistence pays off. Playing more pays off more.

I’ve been eying the win trend since the League began. Let’s take a look at what could have been for Ivan the Terrible in SPiN Toronto’s Season 5 (I’m coining nicknames for everyone. I’ll blame Mark Buck, MoC for TO’s SPiN League, for the inspiration.

Ivan finished the season impressively in third place for division 2. His set win % was actually a league high 80+%. It’s pretty clear he was one of the – if not THE – player to beat in Division 2. So why did he finish in 3rd?

Looking at Ivan’s match history, the truth reveals itself. He played consistently but only over the course of the second half of the season. Let’s compare Gocho’s history (who placed 2nd) versus Ivan’s (who placed third):

[each vertical collection of circles represents a player’s standings points for a given League day]

Main observation? Gotta play to win.

The goal of the league was always about building a community of players who can call a place home for Sundays. Share a few laughs and revel about what could have been. The scoring system Smashscore devised was designed to reward participation with just enough competition to make it interesting. It’s a tough balance but I think we struck it.

I had the pleasure of playing Ivan. One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet but boy was he a slippery rat that day. All 3 of our sets was decided within 2 points. If I’m a betting man Ivan will make a strong case for top spot.

The Denier Streaks again

The Denier has been absolutely dominating Toronto’s SPiN League Div1 competition. He is single-handedly setting SPiN League records including an eye-popping match win streak that spanned two Seasons of undefeated play.

[Denier, if you’re reading this, get an image avatar up please before I hack into your account and put up a picture of SailorMoon!]

Season 5 Standings

He was a perfect 72-0 in Season 5 and went – check that –  60-0 in Season 4. That’s a combined 132-0 consecutive win streak – AND COUNTING.

As ridiculous as this may seem, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t top Denier’s single-season record of 79 wins in Season 3 (although he was up-ended twice that year). But here’s the biggest eye-scratcher of them all: the Denier currently holds a ridiculous 59 set win streak. 59. If you extend that back to Season 4, add another 4. That’s an all-time record of 63 straight sets won.

Can anyone guess who snapped Denier’s set win streak this past season?

Here’s watching Season 6 as it unfolds in the fall. If he continues winning at a pace like this, I will be forced to recruit some ringers to disrupt his flow.

Introducing the SPiN League in NYC

In Feb of 2015, we welcomed our brethren, New York City’s finest, SPiN NYC to the League. It’s where it all began. The history. The idea. The story.


We couldn’t be more happy to bring the League concept across the border and begin building the type of community we have here in Toronto. After a test season in Feb, and a successful follow-on in April, the League format has translated nicely.

At the end of the day I’m really happy to see a regular community forming in NYC. It’s what we set out to do. It’s why we did what we did: give an opportunity for people to have a good time and meet new people – by doing something familiar. No more awkward pauses and meetups. Just pick up a paddle or whatever suits your fancy, and compete in a wicked atmosphere.

One day I hope to head down to NY and when I do, I’ll be sure to meet up with the regulars. You can count on that.

The Scoring system – the format that cares.

After every weekly event, your standings results gets posted and recorded as a base point reference for how much you stand to win or lose in the following weeks. It’s designed to handsomely reward upsets and reduce the amount of points the ‘favourites’ win in later weekly events (this also prevents leaders from winning too much against lower seeds).

Here’s a quick view into how the scoring works when a LOWER seeded opponent scores an upset (the ‘unexpected’ result):

Score System - Upset

The ‘point difference’ is the standings score difference between you and your opponent. If you score the upset, the ‘winner’ column represents the points you win; the ‘loser’ column represents the points your higher seeded opponent loses.

The system is loosely based on the official USTTA and TTCAN ranking system… and as everyone knows, it’s not perfect. That said, we found it worked really well for us, especially when each season starts anew.

Here are the points exchanged when the HIGHER seeded opponent wins (the ‘expected’ result):

Score System - Expected Result

So don’t give up if you’re (way) behind. The system is designed to lend you a hand, reward those that play more (and not necessarily the best players), and put the brakes on the leaders. I’d like to call it: a system that cares.

Now if only we can make our system trigger a care bear stare after every upset win. Now there’s an epic thought… and not completely inconceivable…