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View Full Version : Those serves are long right??


Mike Danger
02-28-2007, 08:43 PM
Does anyone else call close serves out?
I notice alot of people think serves just behind the line are in. I always call them out. Like ive noticed when i serve some times I think its long but they dont call it, some times I've even called my own out and they say it was in, OK!
Most of the time when i call a served out no one ever argues... AND, now i dont usually play doubles, but last time I did, I checked with my partner and he said that they were definately out. The same kind of serve My opponent would typically play.

So I just want to make sure im not calling in balls out. I mean if i see the ball completely blocking the line, I.E. you dont see any white under the ball...

Maybe if you had mac cam, you could argue it tagged the line, but it would be tough.

Phunky_Phorehand
02-28-2007, 09:42 PM
I take pride in my line calls. I believe that its a diservice to your opponent to play balls that you believe are out. I do however think that it does give me an advantage when the things I call out he is calling in, but then I just shrug my shoulers and say "hey, it HIS resposiblity to call HIS court".

Solat
02-28-2007, 09:52 PM
you are not meant to overrule your opponent on your service its in the rules

armstrong
02-28-2007, 10:06 PM
you are not meant to overrule your opponent on your service its in the rules

Not entirely true. The only serve you are not supposed to make calls on yourself is the first serve.

AndrewD
02-28-2007, 10:26 PM
Not entirely true. The only serve you are not supposed to make calls on yourself is the first serve.

The ONLY time the server is allowed - by law- to make a call on their serve is when it is a let. Any player on the court, receiver, receiver's partner, server or server's partner, can call a let.

In EVERY other instance the ONLY player who is entitled to make a call on the serve - regardless of whether it is a first or second serve- is the RECEIVER (assuming there is no chair umpire or linesman/men).

That is, as Solat said, a basic rule of tennis. Although, really, common sense should tell you that 1) the receiver has the best view of where the ball lands so they make the call and 2) If the server was allowed to call their serves out then they'd also be able to call them in and that would lead to an untenable situation.

Raiden.Kaminari
02-28-2007, 10:39 PM
The ONLY time the server is allowed - by law- to make a call on their serve is when it is a let. Any player on the court, receiver, receiver's partner, server or server's partner, can call a let.

In EVERY other instance the ONLY player who is entitled to make a call on the serve - regardless of whether it is a first or second serve- is the RECEIVER.

You are incorrect

Not entirely true. The only serve you are not supposed to make calls on yourself is the first serve.

Armstrong is mostly correct.


The Code 26
Service calls by serving team.
Neither the server nor server's partner shall make a fault call on the first service even if they think it is out because the receiver may be giving the server the benefit of the doubt. There is one exception. If the receiver plays a first service that is a fault and does not put the return in play, the server or server's partner may make the fault call. The server and the server's partner shall call out any second serve that either clearly sees out.

To the original poster.


The Code 6
Opponent gets benefit of doubt. When a match is played without officials, the players are responsible for making decisions, particularly for line calls. There is a subtle difference between player decisions and those of an on-court official. An official impartially resolves a problem involving a call, whereas a player is guided by the unwritten law that any doubt must be resolved in favor of the opponent. A player in attempting to be scrupulously honest on line calls frequently will find himself keeping a ball in play that might have been out or that the player discovers too late was out. Even so, the game is much better played this way.

Personally, I never call close balls out ... I play the ball. But that's the difference between 4.5+ level players and 4.0- level players. I find that 2.5 and 3.0 players often call balls touching the line (even barely) out. 4.5+ players usually try to beat each other with great shots.

MrCLEAN
03-01-2007, 07:25 AM
If I see them out, I call them out, regardless of how close it was. If I don't see it out (even if in reality it was) I call it good.

I've never understood opponents who get mad because you DON'T call their serve out (when they think it was). The rule is clear, you call it good if it was good OR IF YOU ARE NOT SURE. By definintion you will end up playing some out balls because you were not CERTAIN of the call. It's up to the opponent to be ready to play.

tennis-n-sc
03-01-2007, 07:51 AM
Raiden, nice and informative post.

tennis-n-sc
03-01-2007, 07:53 AM
Does anyone else call close serves out?
I notice alot of people think serves just behind the line are in. I always call them out. Like ive noticed when i serve some times I think its long but they dont call it, some times I've even called my own out and they say it was in, OK!
Most of the time when i call a served out no one ever argues... AND, now i dont usually play doubles, but last time I did, I checked with my partner and he said that they were definately out. The same kind of serve My opponent would typically play.

So I just want to make sure im not calling in balls out. I mean if i see the ball completely blocking the line, I.E. you dont see any white under the ball...

Maybe if you had mac cam, you could argue it tagged the line, but it would be tough.

The rules say "Any ball not seen clearly out is deemed to be good." I would think that your opponents are adhering to the rule and you may not be.
I would refer you to Raiden's comments above.

onehandbh
03-01-2007, 08:37 AM
Personally, when returning serve, if the serve lands just outside the
line and I don't see any green (or whatever color the court you play on is)
between the ball and the line then I call it in. If I see *ANY* green then I
call it out b/c then I am sure it's out. I believe that if the serve appears to
be adjacent to the line it's possible that a small part of the ball grazed the
line or skidded on the line as it landed and especially on serves over 100 mph.
I apply the same rule for all other shots near the lines.

larlarbd
03-01-2007, 09:18 AM
Personally, when returning serve, if the serve lands just outside the
line and I don't see any green (or whatever color the court you play on is)
between the ball and the line then I call it in. If I see *ANY* green then I
call it out b/c then I am sure it's out. I believe that if the serve appears to
be adjacent to the line it's possible that a small part of the ball grazed the
line or skidded on the line as it landed and especially on serves over 100 mph.
I apply the same rule for all other shots near the lines.

Thats the way I do it & I beleive thats the honest way to go . It's pretty fair in my judgement that if I don't see some green behind the white (as he mentioned) it's IN - I don't call it out.

Supernatural_Serve
03-01-2007, 09:36 AM
I give server's more than the benefit of the doubt when it comes to line calls on serves.

Why?

Because I am so focused on hitting the ball, I can't be certain the ball was out, so it is in.

Caswell
03-01-2007, 09:56 AM
This is one of the great things about playing on Har-Tru. Forget about the marks - the ball takes a terrible bounce when it hits the tape.

It's always fun to point that out to players from other clubs who are used to hard courts and take close line calls in their own favor. I've found players that will still manage to hook with clay marks (using marks from recent points in their favor), but no one can argue with a ball that either bounces straight up or hardly bounces at all.

larlarbd
03-01-2007, 10:08 AM
Thanks Raiden - Very Informative Post - Resolves the issue.

Kevo
03-01-2007, 10:53 AM
I agree with what the others have said about giving the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes I think the ball is out, but I didn't clearly see that it was. I call those good.

As for the original question. I fairly frequently think my serve is out even though it gets played by the opponent. Sometimes it would even mess me up. I one day hit a bunch of serves in practice to my doubles partner and asked him on several occasions, "Was that good?". Turns out that I just don't see the ball as well as I thought I did. He told me that some of the serves were actually inside the line. I think what happens is kind of like what you see on TV sometimes. You'll be watching a match and think that the ball is out, but on the slow mo replay you see it was clearly inside the line. I think the difference is when you actually see the bounce. That bounce is the visual clue where the ball hit the court. On TV we are limited in that we don't always get the frame where the bounce occurs. In slow mo, we see all those frames.

Now think about when you serve. You have to look through the net to see the bounce. What if your eye catches movement through the net and you don't actually see the bounce, but the ball moving past a cord of the net. You might interpret that as the bounce, but the ball may not have actually bounced yet. It bounces a split second later slightly lower than what you saw, and that's the difference between inside the line and outside the line.

Anyway, I changed my "trying to be fair" philosophy of calling my own serve out on occasion, and I simply play the ball unless I hear an out call. After all, I am not in nearly as good a position to see the ball as the returner.

gully
03-01-2007, 11:11 AM
I play one guy, a 5.0, who will give me, I'm sure, at least a foot on that service line, and once in a while, a little more. He doesn't call the lines too close in the rallies, either.

If he plays a serve I thought was way out, and I'm not ready for him playing it, I just ask -- was that good? He'll tell me to take two.

Of course, that's the nice thing about a friendly match -- no crap going on, just the desire to play. I watch my wife play doubles and I feel palpitations when her opponents start calling the serves out before they bounce, or out if they hit only two-thirds of the line, or if they land somewhere other than where they were expecting, etc.

Raiden.Kaminari
03-01-2007, 11:12 AM
I agree with what the others have said about giving the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes I think the ball is out, but I didn't clearly see that it was. I call those good.

As for the original question. I fairly frequently think my serve is out even though it gets played by the opponent. Sometimes it would even mess me up. I one day hit a bunch of serves in practice to my doubles partner and asked him on several occasions, "Was that good?". Turns out that I just don't see the ball as well as I thought I did. He told me that some of the serves were actually inside the line. I think what happens is kind of like what you see on TV sometimes. You'll be watching a match and think that the ball is out, but on the slow mo replay you see it was clearly inside the line. I think the difference is when you actually see the bounce. That bounce is the visual clue where the ball hit the court. On TV we are limited in that we don't always get the frame where the bounce occurs. In slow mo, we see all those frames.

Now think about when you serve. You have to look through the net to see the bounce. What if your eye catches movement through the net and you don't actually see the bounce, but the ball moving past a cord of the net. You might interpret that as the bounce, but the ball may not have actually bounced yet. It bounces a split second later slightly lower than what you saw, and that's the difference between inside the line and outside the line.

Anyway, I changed my "trying to be fair" philosophy of calling my own serve out on occasion, and I simply play the ball unless I hear an out call. After all, I am not in nearly as good a position to see the ball as the returner.

Vic Braden has an interesting essay on this subject. What was really interesting was when people tried to view 100+ mph serves. The rate of errors was incredible as the speed of the serve increased, in addition to the viewing angle.

Anyway, back to the original subject.

Some players simply don't see the ball, but call the serve good. These are the players that follow the Code.

Some players don't see the ball, and call serves out. These players don't understand that the Code states they should call the serves good.

I was in a tournament recently, and had that issue. The other players kept calling serves out, so my partner and I had to keep slowing down our (100mph+) serves until they actually started calling serves in (at about 60mph). We eventually beat them, but we discovered they did this to every opponent they met (in other tournaments). Next time I see them in a tournament, I will ask for an umpire to call our serves.

gully
03-01-2007, 11:13 AM
Personally, when returning serve, if the serve lands just outside the
line and I don't see any green (or whatever color the court you play on is)
between the ball and the line then I call it in. If I see *ANY* green then I
call it out b/c then I am sure it's out. I believe that if the serve appears to
be adjacent to the line it's possible that a small part of the ball grazed the
line or skidded on the line as it landed and especially on serves over 100 mph.
I apply the same rule for all other shots near the lines.This is a good principle for any line call. See green between the ball and the line and it's out. No green--ball is good.

Raiden.Kaminari
03-01-2007, 11:43 AM
This is a good principle for any line call. See green between the ball and the line and it's out. No green--ball is good.

Unfortunately, that really doesn't work when your opponent has a really good serve.

You have to remember at the higher levels, there is compression / de-compression. If you're able to see the compression point, then you can make great calls. But if you're viewing it from a decompression perspective, you make horrible calls.

All goes back to Vic Braden and The Code.

Vic Braden's analysis was that most people focus on the decompression point (depending on their view angle), compared to the compression point. Then, depending on their view angle, would see different things.

So if my opponent has a really good serve, I don't focus on line calls; I focus on getting the ball back. Unless the ball was out by a foot (and not inches/centimeters)

TenS_Ace
03-01-2007, 09:08 PM
I use the "ole" rule, if it's 99% out it's still in...;)

Surecatch
03-02-2007, 11:44 AM
Does anyone else call close serves out?
I notice alot of people think serves just behind the line are in. I always call them out. Like ive noticed when i serve some times I think its long but they dont call it, some times I've even called my own out and they say it was in, OK!
Most of the time when i call a served out no one ever argues... AND, now i dont usually play doubles, but last time I did, I checked with my partner and he said that they were definately out. The same kind of serve My opponent would typically play.

So I just want to make sure im not calling in balls out. I mean if i see the ball completely blocking the line, I.E. you dont see any white under the ball...

Maybe if you had mac cam, you could argue it tagged the line, but it would be tough.

I've thought about this too and I look at it this way: There is no way I can be a superior linesman when I'm also playing a match. You really can't look too closely in the hopes that your call will be correct without question. You're watching the ball as you're setting up to return it....all you can really do is "get a sense" of whether it's in or out and call it honestly that way. Probably many of the balls that look out using this philosophy actually do catch the line a hair. But if you're too worried about making perfect calls, your game and match will suffer.