View Full Version : player was late to a match- how to handle it?

03-27-2007, 11:11 AM
I had a player who showed up 45 minutes late to a match this past Saturday when I was out of town. The match was across town and supposedly the traffic was bad. He was set to play line #3 so he wouldn't have to go on until the 1s or 2s finished up so he was a little unlucky that our top line just crushed the other team. The team we were playing against were very accommodating and let us put the #4 line on the court ahead of the #3 line so we didn't have to default any points but if the other team had been sticklers for the rules we would have been in major trouble.

my first reaction would be to sit this player for this weekend. The problem is that the guy is out the next 2 weeks after that and benching him for a month seems pretty harsh.

Any advice on what I should do?

03-27-2007, 11:19 AM
What is this..? USTA or..?

Geezer Guy
03-27-2007, 11:22 AM
If I was the captain and this was his first offense, I'd probably just let it slide with a warning. Especially if you've not had any other problems with him.

If he's a habitual problem, I'd take action.

03-27-2007, 11:33 AM
Left it go but if it happens again, don't play him, and don't have him on the team next year if he does it twice in once season. Likely traffic was bad or he got a late start since he knew he wasn't playing right away anyway. So let it go this time.

03-27-2007, 11:34 AM
Its actually an ALTA match in atlanta- there are 5 lines of doubles.

Its the first time he has ever been late. There was one other problem in mixed season where the opponent was being very confrontational about calling footfaults so the match got ugly and my guy basically retired the match but I don't think that what happened in a different league with a different captain should probably carry over.

03-27-2007, 12:37 PM
Let it go since this was his first time being late.

03-27-2007, 05:40 PM
Its actually an ALTA match in atlanta- there are 5 lines of doubles.

FIVE lines of doubles!!!! It's true, ALTA is heaven.

03-28-2007, 02:39 AM
Things happen in life. What if he was in a car accident and somebody was killed, would you bench him then? :) Besides, don't you have subs? Anyway, we have subs and if somebody is late, they're out and the subs are in. If he's chronic, then have a talk with him and tell him either he leaves the house 2 hours early or if he doesn't show up on time, you can't play him anymore. That'll put a scare in him and let him know the early bird gets the early court.

03-28-2007, 04:21 AM
I had a player arrive late for a match recently. She caused us to take a default on Court Three, and she caused hurt feelings when I had to bench a weaker player to field strong doubles teams. It is the first default we have ever taken. The match was on a Sunday afternoon, so it wasn't rush hour traffic. I was not happy about this.

Here is the message I sent to her the day after the default:



I heard about the difficulties we had at the match yesterday. I hope you're not beating yourself up about it. Repeat after me: "It's only league tennis, it's only league tennis, it's only league tennis." It's certainly not worth risking a speeding ticket or an accident, that's for sure. Also, you did the right thing to call and let us know you were having some problems. Had you not called, we could not have changed our line-up to put our strongest players on Courts One and Two and thereby pull out a team win.

The league will assess us for the other team's court costs of $30. You can send a check to me at: [address].

Hoping to see you at practice this Saturday,


She wrote back to say the check was in the mail, that she was very sorry, and that she was relieved everyone had treated her well.

You know, my old mixed captain had a brand new player get lost and cause a default. She ripped him a new one over it. She sent a huge long tirade to him, the whole team, and the *league coordinator* about how awful it was, how he had cost the team a victory, how it had better not happen again, blah, blah.

When I saw this message, I resigned from the team without playing my first match. I don't wish to be associated with that.

It's only league tennis.

03-28-2007, 06:31 AM
FIVE lines of doubles!!!! It's true, ALTA is heaven.
That could be somebody's version of hell too :D

03-28-2007, 09:34 AM
I've been on both sides of this coin. For me, I just keep it in perspective that we're there to PLAY. . . so even if a guy's late, I'll play. It's hard to believe anyone really would feel good about a paper win by jumping on the rules. It's also hard to believe someone would want to be intentionally late, run the risk of not playing and having a paper loss. Best let this one slide with a warning or pep talk.

03-28-2007, 11:36 AM
...is definitely in order, followed by a loss of allowance and phone priviledges for the next month. I mean, if people can't can't make it to a tennis match on time, what's going to happen to the world?

03-29-2007, 09:34 AM
Let it go - anyone can get caught in traffic in Atlanta, albeit that is a reason why the more prudent of us would set off earlier than needed.

03-29-2007, 08:13 PM
Yeah I'd say let it slide this time, but let him know it can't happen again. Then if he does do it again, bench him good.

03-31-2007, 08:05 PM
FIVE lines of doubles!!!! It's true, ALTA is heaven.

Yeah Cak, 5 lines SOUNDS good, but since you're only assigned 2 courts, that means that the players on line 5 could wait 3 or 4 hours before playing, depending on how long the previous matches take. And since there are no
3rd-set tie-breakers (you've got to play the full third set), a match can go on quite a while. I've had to wait 3 hours before stepping on the court, then wound up having to play 3 full sets. And it gets pretty hot and muggy down here in Georgia! One neat feature of ALTA tennis is that the home team brings snacks/drinks. I've been to some matches in which the home team was boozing it up at 8:00 in the morning! LOL! They lost to us, but you could tell they were having a good time!