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View Full Version : When your doubles partner over-rules you


Steady Eddy
04-13-2008, 09:48 PM
We were playing doubles, I was standing behind the baseline, my partner was around the service line. A high shot landed about 1/2 foot behind the baseline. I called "out". My partner retrieved the ball, and as he hit it to the server, said, "No, the ball was good." I think it might have looked good to him because of where he was standing. But I knew it was out, because I was in a better position, and I don't call anything close out, (maybe that's why I have only been over-ruled once in my life).

I went along with it, but I still think it was arrogant and rude of him to over-rule me like that. It made him look good, and me look like a cheater. If it ever happens to me again, I wonder what I should do about it. I'm not asking what the rules are; I know, our split decision goes to our opponents. I wouldn't over-rule my partner on anything remotely close, it's disrespectful.

Has anybody else ever had this happen to them? What did you do?

JavierLW
04-13-2008, 10:01 PM
We were playing doubles, I was standing behind the baseline, my partner was around the service line. A high shot landed about 1/2 foot behind the baseline. I called "out". My partner retrieved the ball, and as he hit it to the server, said, "No, the ball was good." I think it might have looked good to him because of where he was standing. But I knew it was out, because I was in a better position, and I don't call anything close out, (maybe that's why I have only been over-ruled once in my life).

I went along with it, but I still think it was arrogant and rude of him to over-rule me like that. It made him look good, and me look like a cheater. If it ever happens to me again, I wonder what I should do about it. I'm not asking what the rules are; I know, our split decision goes to our opponents. I wouldn't over-rule my partner on anything remotely close, it's disrespectful.

Has anybody else ever had this happen to them? What did you do?

This sort of thing happens all the time.

Let's say he actually thought he saw it go in? (that's been me plenty of times) Well then if he doesnt say anything then he looks like a cheater.

The best course is to just let it go. He's your partner and you both need to focus on playing tennis, and you dont need to go thru the drama of whether one call was in or out or what either of you look like to the opponents.

If it bothers you that much, then you probally shouldnt play with him again. Or just tell him outside of the match not to overrule you because you dont like it.

OrangeOne
04-13-2008, 10:40 PM
The best course is to just let it go. He's your partner and you both need to focus on playing tennis, and you dont need to go thru the drama of whether one call was in or out or what either of you look like to the opponents.

If it bothers you that much, then you probally shouldnt play with him again. Or just tell him outside of the match not to overrule you because you dont like it.

You've suggested letting it go to avoid drama, not playing with the partner again or telling him not to do it.

Have you ever been diagnosed as indecisive and confrontation-avoiding? :)

Seriously though, I find it remarkable that the only thing you discouraged was "talking about it" - "going through the drama". Why not? These people are team-mates, shouldn't they talk? Communicate? Work out what happens in these scenarios?

To the OP: That's my advice. Be open, honest and frank with your team-mate, it'll save any issues next time.

scotus
04-14-2008, 12:05 AM
I wouldn't over-rule my partner on anything remotely close, it's disrespectful.

Why not give it a try? Overrule him on a close point, and that just might teach him a lesson.

Don't think of it as revenge but a lesson in manners.

quicken
04-14-2008, 12:21 AM
Why are you partner's with that loser?

seb85
04-14-2008, 01:34 AM
Yeah get a new partner. What a loser.

When Im playing doubles i'll back up my partner even if i think it was good- what makes my vision more correct than his?!. If it happens a few times i'll say something (but just to him, not so the opposition can hear)- maybe just say that i wasn't too sure about some of the calls and ask him if he's sure.

Seriously you are trying to beat the opposition as a team- one or two bad calls (and they go both ways in every match) don't affect the outcome of the game. There is absolutely no need for your partner to be "Mr Sporting" at your expense.

fuzz nation
04-14-2008, 04:07 AM
Hmm... I've overruled a partner only once or twice when I was sure that the ball they called out was actually in, but instead of that immediate overrule in my opponent's favor, I checked with my partner first. I did the "Are you sure there, because I got a good look and I saw it in" sort of pitch - don't want to start a war with my partner out there, but disagreements go to in favor of the opponent for sure.

Your partner certainly has a say in the calls, but that style of overruling you like that can definately make it feel like a three on one kind of scenario. I'm with you in that a ball has to be very out for me to call it out, but when my partner makes a couple of calls that they wish were out, but are too close to call, that's where it can get dicey for me. I think you pretty much need to dismiss that call since you're routinely letting any close balls go in favor of your opponents. Your partner may have had a serious brain fart there. Keep in mind also that there are probably going to be a couple of debateable calls out there in each set that you play. If everyone can just do their best with them and not get hung up on the accuracy (and integrity) of their opponents, it's a whole lot easier to have a good match.

Maybe confer with that partner before your next outing just to make sure that you're on the same page. It could help you both to have a little more faith in each other under fire.

SystemicAnomaly
04-14-2008, 04:09 AM
For many, but not all, shots landing in the vicinity of a line, the player standing in line with the line in question will usually have the best perspective.

One exception is proximity -- when the ball bounces relatively close to a player. In this case, the ball may be a blur -- it traverses that player's field of vision too quickly for his visual tracking system to accurately determine the exact bounce location.

The other exception is when a player's head or eyes are moving as the ball is bouncing. The ability to make an accurate call while the eyes/head is moving is severely compromised. Certified lines persons are trained to fix their gaze (w/o any head movement) on the outer edge of a line whenever a ball encroaches a line of interest. Studies have shown that the accuracy of line calls is poor whenever the head or eyes are moving as the ball is bouncing -- our brain often lies to us in this situation -- the first clear/stable image that our brain "sees" can actually be wrong in this case.


(Edit: Oops, I misread the OP. Thought this was in reference to serve landing 1/2 foot behind the back service line. Did not notice that he was talking about a shot landing past the baseline. Have edited this post to reflect the actuall situation)
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equinox
04-14-2008, 04:43 AM
Easy answer! Peg him in the back of the head after each over rule, and yell out was that in too?!

Moz
04-14-2008, 04:48 AM
Seems like I'm in the minority here but if my partner does a terrible call I will overrule it. Similarly if I do a terrible call I would expect to be overruled. If you see the ball definitely in and your partner calls it out, surely it's cheating to condone the bad call. What if there is no doubt and he calls a couple of absolute howlers? How long will you continue to back him up? Indefinitely?

I do think it is necessary to agree what your pairing's policy is before the match so you know how you'll handle it.

WBF
04-14-2008, 05:14 AM
Seems like I'm in the minority here but if my partner does a terrible call I will overrule it. Similarly if I do a terrible call I would expect to be overruled. If you see the ball definitely in and your partner calls it out, surely it's cheating to condone the bad call. What if there is no doubt and he calls a couple of absolute howlers? How long will you continue to back him up? Indefinitely?

I do think it is necessary to agree what your pairing's policy is before the match so you know how you'll handle it.

Exactly. If your partner calls a ball out that you see in, the *only* course of action that is not cheating is to correct them.

Some people might want to consult their partner first, but personally, I would just correct the call immediately, and then talk with my partner. (We already both agree on the policy of making corrections, we prefer honesty over potentially cheating).

This is assuming you *know* it was in. The op's situation seems a bit odd, but if both were certain, the person who saw it in made the right decision in overruling.

raiden031
04-14-2008, 05:21 AM
I have no reason to believe the OP's call was right and his "loser" partner (as several here would describe him) is wrong. If my partner makes a call and I disagree with it, I will overrule them only if I am 100% positive they made the wrong call. If I have any doubt whatsoever I will let their call stand. I see nothing wrong with this even if I am saying that an OUT call is actually good. I don't think its right to accept that we just cheated our opponent out of a point that is rightfully theirs in order to spare my partner's embarrassment for making an accidental bad call.

SystemicAnomaly
04-14-2008, 05:41 AM
Both JLW and OO made some valid points. I can see avoiding drama while play is progress but, ultimately, communication is of utmost importance for doubles teams.

I particularly liked fuzz_nation's solution for the situation. If you honestly believe that your partner made an erroneous call, by all means, say something but be tactful about it. Since you have indicated a different take on the event, sportsmanship dictates that you give your opponents the benefit of that doubt/discrepancy.

Altho' it may seem like it, you are not really calling your partner's integrity into question -- you are actually calling into question his perception of that particular event. For the 2 reasons I mentioned in my previous post above, as well as others, players can honestly make an erroneous call that they believe to be correct. If you pay close attention to the ways that our eyes/brain can be deceived, you will come to realize that an erroneous call is, quite often, not cheating at all. By becoming aware of these visual limitations & "optical conclusions", we might be less inclined to make those inaccurate calls in the future.

There is something to be said for team solidarity as others here have indicated. But when it comes to line calling, I believe that "a sense of fair play" should trump team solidarity. Moz has a valid point here. I can see a player honestly making an inaccurate call. But when their partner blindly backs them up, no matter what, this would appear to be cheating.

If a partner cannot make a definitive call, they should be honest about it and say so -- the original call should stand in this case. However, if you knowingly go along with a call that you believe to be wrong -- you are cheating.

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Geezer Guy
04-14-2008, 06:11 AM
Maybe you don't like the technique your partner used to override your OUT call, but if he saw it as IN, he certainly, absolutely had to say something. It would be cheating for him not to.

In my opinion, you're getting way too worked up over this. The most important thing is to make an accurate call, and to resolve any conflicts in your opponents favor. It's simply not that big a deal for one partner to override another on a call. Happens all the time.

To those who say they would never override their partner, even when they think their partner is wrong: I think you're cheating, and you need to grow a pair.

Steady Eddy
04-14-2008, 06:59 AM
This is a drop-in place. They take down everybody's name and then call out 4 names to play doubles. This isn't somebody I know, and play doubles with.

I'll be getting some time off work and have considered going back, except for this. One thing; the other 3 knew each other, so this over-rule makes you feel even more of an outsider. I think because it's not tournament tennis, a person should just let the calls stand.

I stopped calling anything out. Let him call all the out balls. I like one suggestion I read. When an out ball is one the opponents can't see, after he calls it out, over-rule him. I'll shake my head like I'm sooo honest, as if to say, "I can't in good conscience accept that."

Bungalo Bill
04-14-2008, 07:25 AM
We were playing doubles, I was standing behind the baseline, my partner was around the service line. A high shot landed about 1/2 foot behind the baseline. I called "out". My partner retrieved the ball, and as he hit it to the server, said, "No, the ball was good." I think it might have looked good to him because of where he was standing. But I knew it was out, because I was in a better position, and I don't call anything close out, (maybe that's why I have only been over-ruled once in my life).

I went along with it, but I still think it was arrogant and rude of him to over-rule me like that. It made him look good, and me look like a cheater. If it ever happens to me again, I wonder what I should do about it. I'm not asking what the rules are; I know, our split decision goes to our opponents. I wouldn't over-rule my partner on anything remotely close, it's disrespectful.

Has anybody else ever had this happen to them? What did you do?

First of all, it is not disrespectful unless he was making fun of you or trying to embarass you on purpose. Based on what you said above, it doesnt seem that was the case.

Both you and your partner see the game differently. You will also see calls differently, especially if they are close.

You can talk to your partner about it if it really bothers you. Tell him that if you rule on a call, that he should support your call. However, you have to be open to being wrong on a call which should provide your partner with the right to overrule you so the correct call is made. That is good sportsmanship.

If I were you? I would get over it. It happens in tennis and being overruled on a call by your partner happens.

Djokovicfan4life
04-14-2008, 09:42 AM
Of course there will always be difference of opinions on some line calls, but come on, with you standing right there and assuming that you have a reputation of fair play, he had no right to do that.

seb85
04-14-2008, 10:20 AM
Of course there will always be difference of opinions on some line calls, but come on, with you standing right there and assuming that you have a reputation of fair play, he had no right to do that.

I think this hit the nail on the head. All the talk about sportsmanship is valid, but if my partner is standing at the baseline and calls a ball right next to him in or out, I don't see what right I have to suggest that my version of events is any more correct than his. Indeed, since I am standing much further away, the probability is that I am wrong.

In this case, handing over the point to the opponents may be a soother to my conscience, but it doesn't make the decision any more correct. I do not accept that not saying anything is cheating. If my partner is 100% sure that it is out, then that is good enough for me to accept that I saw it wrong, especially since i was standing much further away.

I trust my doubles partner(s) explicitly. I only have a few people I play doubles with and KNOW that none of them cheat. Perhaps this difference from the OPs situation is crucial.

One final suggestion to the OP, tell him that he shouldn't be turning round whilst at the net, during a point; the net player should be watching the opposing court and getting in position to hit his next shot which might come very quickly from the opposing net player. I would want to know why he was more interested in calling the baseline than making a good intercept shot!

Seb

Bungalo Bill
04-14-2008, 10:49 AM
I think this hit the nail on the head. All the talk about sportsmanship is valid, but if my partner is standing at the baseline and calls a ball right next to him in or out, I don't see what right I have to suggest that my version of events is any more correct than his. Indeed, since I am standing much further away, the probability is that I am wrong.

In this case, handing over the point to the opponents may be a soother to my conscience, but it doesn't make the decision any more correct. I do not accept that not saying anything is cheating. If my partner is 100% sure that it is out, then that is good enough for me to accept that I saw it wrong, especially since i was standing much further away.

I trust my doubles partner(s) explicitly. I only have a few people I play doubles with and KNOW that none of them cheat. Perhaps this difference from the OPs situation is crucial.

One final suggestion to the OP, tell him that he shouldn't be turning round whilst at the net, during a point; the net player should be watching the opposing court and getting in position to hit his next shot which might come very quickly from the opposing net player. I would want to know why he was more interested in calling the baseline than making a good intercept shot!

Seb

Hey Seb, can you move up that post with your videos?