View Full Version : is it bad sportsmanship to....

lendl lives
03-12-2004, 10:13 AM
move around on the return of serve?...against the rules?

03-12-2004, 10:17 AM
You can move around but not to the point of distracting the server I believe. What I do is give the server signs that I'm going to run around my backhand and hit a forehand (basically turning my shoulders and positioning myself).

lendl lives
03-12-2004, 10:23 AM
"distracting the server"....so its against the rules to be moving while the server can see you? ie before his head goes up.

03-12-2004, 10:32 AM
You can move a few steps and whatnot (to give the impression of coming in to net after the return), but not to disrupt the flow of his service motion (like making sounds or erratically moving around to distract his attention to the ball).

lendl lives
03-12-2004, 10:42 AM
it was my bad then yesterday...(oops)... how about squeeking your shoes loudly...lol.


03-12-2004, 11:50 AM
Yeah, that would be distracting ahhahahahha!

03-12-2004, 11:54 AM
if your shoes are squeeking loudly due to your positioning, i don't see a problem w/ it as long as it's not intentionally to disrupt the server. i think you can move around, i just dunno if you could run in circles or back and forth or such. edberg, on service returns would take a couple quick, small steps to help him stay on his feet. i don't know if his shoes squeeked loudly thou.

Bungalo Bill
03-12-2004, 04:38 PM
Yeah I would have to agree with that. Although it is a fine line and a server can easily identify when someone is trying to get in position to return serve or is just moving around to bug the server.

I guess walking around like a chicken and howling like a coyote or squeeking your shoes like your quickly blowing a whistle constitutes as interference.

03-12-2004, 06:05 PM
I'm not sure what the official rule is, but whatever it says, remember that the rules were written assuming tennis was a gentleman's game.

If what you do would cause a chair ump to cry foul (if there were a chair ump), then it is generally accepted that you will police yourself to refrain from such behavior.

In general: just use common sense. If it seems like it should probably be illegal, it probably is.

Frank Silbermann
03-13-2004, 09:44 PM
The server will often want to place his serve, based on where the receiver is standing. For example, if the receiver has a weak backhand and is well-centered to cover all possible serves, then the server will probably want to serve to the backhand. If the receiver stands way over to cover his backhand, then the server might want to punish him by serving wide to the forehad.

Therefore, the receiver with a weak backhand may decide that he doesn't want the server to know exactly where he'll be standing to receive, and may or may not move after the ball is thrown up. That way, sometimes he'll get a server to his forehand that he's ready for, and sometimes he'll get a serve to his backhand that he can easily run around. Sometimes he'll guess wrong and be aced to his forehand, or have to take a serve to his backhand; but the important thing is that the server cannot do it all the time.

So it is a fair tactic to move after the ball is tossed _if_ it's to introduce a randomizing factor that prevents the server from knowing your plan.

On the other hand, if your motivation for moving is merely to distract the server from the tossed ball, then that would be bad sportsmanship.

03-14-2004, 03:04 AM
henman often moves back & forth sideways on the opponent's second serve (mainly right before the toss), and his motive seems almost certainly confusing the server at the last second... never seen him penalized for that...

07-17-2009, 10:56 AM
Bringing anything less than your best club moves to court is certain defeat.
I switch on MJ or any modern dance muzic when need to find my groove.

07-17-2009, 11:04 AM
Here's the rule:

34. Body movement. A player may feint with the body while the ball is in play. A player may change position at any time, including while the server is tossing the ball. Any other movement or any sound that is made solely to distract an opponent, including, but not limited to, waving the arms or racket or stamping the feet, is not allowed.

Once I glance at the reciever to make sure he's ready, he couldn't distract me even if he started dancing a jig. I don't even see him. Noise is another story, of course.

07-17-2009, 03:27 PM
one of the doubles players I play against.. from mid court runs to the net while his partner serves.. like serve and volleyer does.. except his partner is serving .. is this legal even?

07-17-2009, 04:09 PM
one of the doubles players I play against.. from mid court runs to the net while his partner serves.. like serve and volleyer does.. except his partner is serving .. is this legal even?

Looks like an opportunity to me, that he starts out of position and he's still moving (so, not properly balanced) when you're hitting your return. For a start, it opens up the lob return over him, while his momentum is forward.

Also, unless he and his partner have agreed where the serve will go (so he doesn't just run forward, but also diagonally wide to cover a wide serve, or towards the middle for a serve down the T), his run will only take him to the neutral net position he should have adopted before his partner's serve. Therefore, he opens up gaps for your return - on a wide serve, his trams are uncovered; on a serve down the T you can return closer down the middle (to the server's backhand) with less chance that he'll make a good intercept as he hasn't closed down into the middle of the court.

If he were my partner, the only reason I see for such movement is that he doesn't trust my serve and fears that I'll hit him. Provided I'm serving from the correct doubles positions, I'd simply tell him to stop bu**ering about because he's distracting me, and to stand in the correct place in the service box, ready to make some proper intercepts (because the chances are he won't be ready to take many volleys so I'll be having to pick most returns of serve). And if he still doesn't do it, then I will start placing all my serves wide, so the obvious returns will be down the line (passes or lobs) - "yours, partner!".