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View Full Version : How much time is allowed between seeing a shot close to the line and actually calling


Caloi
04-29-2009, 12:26 PM
it out?

Today, I saw a passing shot go passed me but knew it was either just barely on the outside of the line or just out. I walked over and called it out only after I saw the ball mark about an inch outside the line.

Did I screw up? Nobody said anything but I felt kind of bad making them wait for a few extra seconds. I made the call since my partner was further than I and was not in any position to make the call.

Don't knkow "The Rule" but figured there'd be a few people with an opinion...

woodrow1029
04-29-2009, 12:38 PM
it out?

Today, I saw a passing shot go passed me but knew it was either just barely on the outside of the line or just out. I walked over and called it out only after I saw the ball mark about an inch outside the line.

Did I screw up? Nobody said anything but I felt kind of bad making them wait for a few extra seconds. I made the call since my partner was further than I and was not in any position to make the call.

Don't knkow "The Rule" but figured there'd be a few people with an opinion...
Clay court or hard court?

Caloi
04-29-2009, 12:41 PM
Clay court or hard court?

Hard court, nary a ball mark before we played on it.

Cindysphinx
04-29-2009, 12:52 PM
If you did that to me, I would be unhappy with you. I mean, I don't think you could get an umpire to get out of the chair to inspect a mark on a hard court, so why should players be able to do it in an unofficiated match?

That said, I am awaiting a ruling from Woodrow . . . :)

woodrow1029
04-29-2009, 01:02 PM
Too late. On a hard court, you need to make the mark immediately on a point ending shot. If the opponent goes with it, then, it's ok. In a match with a chair umpire, or with a roving umpire on court, if you walk up and look at the mark before calling it out, most likely they are going to award the point to your opponent.

JesseT
04-29-2009, 01:06 PM
If you did that to me, I would be unhappy with you. I mean, I don't think you could get an umpire to get out of the chair to inspect a mark on a hard court, so why should players be able to do it in an unofficiated match?

That said, I am awaiting a ruling from Woodrow . . . :)

really depends on the circumstances. If he did it in 5s or so, that's fine.

I look at it this way: had he phrased the question "I didn't know what to call, took time to look at the mark and then made the call, that would be okay, right?" I just omitted the out/in assumptions. And had he'd changed it from out to in, you'd be cool, right? :D

Tennisman912
04-29-2009, 01:07 PM
On a hard court I agree that is unacceptable. You are just hoping to find a mark to try to justify the ball as out. Most hard courts don’t have much of a consistent mark. In your example if it really hit an inch out you would know it was out as there would be some space between the ball and the baseline when it hit. Remember, if there is any doubt or you did not 100% for sure see it out, the ball is in. If you are unsure, it is in. You are supposed to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt. On a hard court if you have to think about it more than a second, then walk over to think about it more, it was in.

On clay you can inspect a mark and it is obvious if it is in or out. Just remember the way a ball bounces in an elongated shape (like in your avatar if it is not a shadow). Some (ignorant) people seem to think if any part of a mark is past the line the ball it out. Not true and I hope you understand what I mean here.

Good tennis

TM

Caloi
04-29-2009, 01:22 PM
I'm thinking this is the first time I've ever hesitated in making a call. As it were, I was at the net, my partner hit a return that pulled him way off the court. His return was met with their net person hitting very close to the net and the ball went over my left shoulder. I was lunging (praying/guessing) and lunged toward the middle of the court and looked over my right shoulder, completely turned around. The ball was long at the baseline. I looked at my partner and he was unsure, so I walked to the spot and called it out. The point was a bing-bang-boom point and it took me maybe three or four seconds to get to the ball mark.

Like I said, I felt bad about the delay, and probably would never delay again. I tend to give many points away as they were too close to call out. That's how I like it. I always call it as I see it but this point, as fast as it was, it just seemed to make sense to check the mark.

JavierLW
04-29-2009, 01:25 PM
really depends on the circumstances. If he did it in 5s or so, that's fine.

I look at it this way: had he phrased the question "I didn't know what to call, took time to look at the mark and then made the call, that would be okay, right?" I just omitted the out/in assumptions. And had he'd changed it from out to in, you'd be cool, right? :D

If he didnt actually see it go out then it's not cool for him to take any time to sit and wonder about whether it was out or not.

You're right it would be cool if you changed it to "in", that's because by the rules any doubt must be ruled in favor of your opponent. It's not like in or out are two mutually acceptable outcomes here.

The question is whether it's okay to check a mark to make your own call on a hard court so you can call it out? (when you clearly werent sure to begin with)

woodrow1029
04-29-2009, 01:27 PM
really depends on the circumstances. If he did it in 5s or so, that's fine.

I look at it this way: had he phrased the question "I didn't know what to call, took time to look at the mark and then made the call, that would be okay, right?" I just omitted the out/in assumptions. And had he'd changed it from out to in, you'd be cool, right? :D
5 seconds is definitely not fine on a hard court to look for the mark and make a decision.

OrangePower
04-29-2009, 01:59 PM
Maybe it depends on the court, and whether it shows marks. Harcourts typically don't, and especially at the pro level where the courts are clean and in good condition. But I've played on some hard courts that are so dusty and dirty that marks are just as clear as on a clay court (yeah, the joys of public courts). So in this case wouldn't the protocol for clay courts apply?

JesseT
04-29-2009, 02:07 PM
If he didnt actually see it go out then it's not cool for him to take any time to sit and wonder about whether it was out or not.

You're right it would be cool if you changed it to "in", that's because by the rules any doubt must be ruled in favor of your opponent. It's not like in or out are two mutually acceptable outcomes here.

The question is whether it's okay to check a mark to make your own call on a hard court so you can call it out? (when you clearly werent sure to begin with)

That's fair. It's clearly a strong topic for many folks. Personally, if I don't see a pattern over the course of a match, I really don't care.

JesseT
04-29-2009, 02:12 PM
5 seconds is definitely not fine on a hard court to look for the mark and make a decision.

I assume that's regardless of in or out? or is that only for an out call?

Cindysphinx
04-30-2009, 04:11 AM
To OP: In the situation you describe, there might be another way to deal with it. You can simply ask your opponents' opinion (and you must accept their opinion).

They may have seen it out, and then you're off the hook. Or maybe they didn't get a good look at it, in which case you could agree with them to inspect the mark. Or maybe they will say it is in, and it will be in.

Be careful that you are playing with people who have read The Code, though. I once asked a lady for her opinion in a situation like what you describe, where both my partner and I were in an awkward position. She got all huffy with me and said it was my job to call the lines on my side. Sheez.

mikeler
04-30-2009, 04:42 AM
To OP: In the situation you describe, there might be another way to deal with it. You can simply ask your opponents' opinion (and you must accept their opinion).

They may have seen it out, and then you're off the hook. Or maybe they didn't get a good look at it, in which case you could agree with them to inspect the mark. Or maybe they will say it is in, and it will be in.

Be careful that you are playing with people who have read The Code, though. I once asked a lady for her opinion in a situation like what you describe, where both my partner and I were in an awkward position. She got all huffy with me and said it was my job to call the lines on my side. Sheez.


I wish I'd known the Code better years ago. So when these people say "It's your call" in a rude manner I could say the intent is to get the call correct. They know the ball is out but don't want to call it on themselves.

mikeler
04-30-2009, 04:45 AM
On a hard court I agree that is unacceptable. You are just hoping to find a mark to try to justify the ball as out. Most hard courts donít have much of a consistent mark. In your example if it really hit an inch out you would know it was out as there would be some space between the ball and the baseline when it hit. Remember, if there is any doubt or you did not 100% for sure see it out, the ball is in. If you are unsure, it is in. You are supposed to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt. On a hard court if you have to think about it more than a second, then walk over to think about it more, it was in.

On clay you can inspect a mark and it is obvious if it is in or out. Just remember the way a ball bounces in an elongated shape (like in your avatar if it is not a shadow). Some (ignorant) people seem to think if any part of a mark is past the line the ball it out. Not true and I hope you understand what I mean here.

Good tennis

TM


I would say on clay that the mark is usually obvious but it does depend on how the clay courts are maintained. I've played on some clay courts that show every single ball mark very clearly. The club I play at, the clay shows most marks, but on soft floating shots it can be difficult to determine where the ball lands.

Rule26
04-30-2009, 05:08 AM
If you mess up for a few seconds trying to be honest in a non-tournement situation it's not such a big deal.

Couple of thoughts - When some people have played the psychological game of trying to put doubt in my calls I've found a few phrases have sometimes helped - depending on the people I'm playing with:

1) Hey, maybe I'm only as good as calling shots out or in as good as I am as playing the game, but seriously you're not that much better either .. let it go.

2) Gosh I'm sorry (sarcastic), I don't debate calls with hookers. I honestly try to make an accurate call, by the way let's just get this part straight - the outside of the lines are in right?

3) How about I spot you a couple of games per set too .. as long as you think you need a handicap?

charliefedererer
04-30-2009, 05:33 AM
I thought I was really good at line calls. Then I see how many times the Hawk-Eye challenge shows the ball just in or just out by a couple of pixels. But it really has just reinforced my tendency to call very close ones in favor of my opponent. If you can't tell whether it just missed the line, THE BALL IS IN.
(Interestingly even the Hawk-Eye has an average error of 3.6 mm, according to the manufacturer.)