PDA

View Full Version : Clay Court Confusion


Cindysphinx
05-01-2009, 04:46 AM
In my last 4.0 match, we were playing on clay. My partner was near the baseline in the deuce court; I was at net in the ad court. Opponents hit a ball wide to her which landed near the deuce sideline.

She called the ball out. I didn't get a good look at it, but it could well have been in. I wasn't certain enough to overrule my partner, who was right there in position to make the call.

Opponents expressed disgust at the call. After my partner had started walking back to the baseline to serve again, one of them asked her to check the mark. She said they had delayed in making this request and could not ask her to check the mark. She went over and said she didn't see a mark. Me, I stood there saying nothing and doing nothing because I didn't know what to say or to do. My partner then asked me if they had waited too long. I shrugged.

OK. What is the proper protocol for checking marks on clay and for making requests? I know the opponent is not permitted to come across to the other side to inspect a mark (Thanks, Martina Hingis!). What happens if the players disagree about which is the correct mark? How promptly must the request to check be made? What if the request to check the mark is refused? What if I don't know what the mark means? If I call a point-ending ball good, can I go over, inspect the mark, declare it out, and then take the point? Would my opponent be justified in strangling me to death on the spot if I attempted such a thing?

Here's what the Code says:

Calling balls on clay courts. If any part of the ball mark touches the line on a clay court, the ball shall be called good. If you can see only part of the mark on the court, this means that the missing part is on the line or tape. A player should take a careful second look at any point-ending placement that is close to a line on a clay court. Occasionally a ball will strike the tape, jump, and then leave a full mark behind the line. This does not mean that a player is required to show the opponent the mark. The opponent shall not cross the net to inspect a mark. See USTA Regulation I.N.8. If the player hears the sound of the ball striking the tape and sees a clean spot on the tape near the mark, the player should give the point to the opponent.

I have played on clay a lot, and often the courts are so banged up that it is difficult to find or interpret ball marks. No one has ever asked me to check a ball mark (other than my own partner!). Nor have I ever asked an opponent to do it. Now I am wondering whether I should start making such a request, as there have been many, many occasions where I heard the ball smack the tape and the opponent called it out anyway.

Thud and blunder
05-01-2009, 04:59 AM
Don't worry; pros get confused too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMr04du5__0

watch from 2:50...many comical aspects, including Soderling pointing to a mark about a metre from where the ball actually landed, "show me again", "I don't remember, but I showed you", "I wasn't looking, show me again" etc...

jrod
05-01-2009, 05:01 AM
Sorry but I don't think this situation is all that complicated. When we play on clay the etiquette we use is always check the mark. If it is unclear, we replay the point. The first part of this is consistent with policy whereas the second part is not always.

mikeler
05-01-2009, 05:07 AM
What is the proper protocol for checking marks on clay and for making requests?

I would make the request within a few seconds, but if somebody made a request for me to inspect a mark after say 15 seconds, I would always afford them a look.

What happens if the players disagree about which is the correct mark?

You mean partners or opponents? I would leave that call to your partner since it is hard to call a ball wide from the other side of the court. If opponents disagree it comes down to the person making the call. That person gets the final word.

What if the request to check the mark is refused?

Never had this happen.

If I call a point-ending ball good, can I go over, inspect the mark, declare it out, and then take the point?

This is more of a gray area since you don't call balls in. Most of my opponents are OK with doing this since they understand the intent is to get the call correct. A few believe that the call is the call and if you screw up then it is your fault which I believe is the rule.

larry10s
05-01-2009, 05:08 AM
i play on clay alot. if there is a question about a call you should promply ask the player to circle the mark. if they cant find it it shouild be your point. they can say i dont have to show you the mark(they are correct) the ball was out. this to me is either gamesmanship or cheating. if i feel i have been robbed on purpose i have been known to call a good ball out and when they say show me the mark i replky i dont have to .they usually get the message.

Nellie
05-01-2009, 05:12 AM
To be honest with you, I would try to look at mark, but since any courst we would play on would have thousands of marks (and the hard-tru green does not leave good marks except of hard hits) I can never really see anything.

mikeler
05-01-2009, 05:38 AM
I always use my shoes to get rid of ball marks within a few inches of the line to make the calls easier. You'll see Nadal do that a lot in his clay court matches.

FloridaAG
05-01-2009, 06:19 AM
I always use my shoes to get rid of ball marks within a few inches of the line to make the calls easier. You'll see Nadal do that a lot in his clay court matches.

Ditto - I especially do this with any mark that has caused an issue - ie. someone asked me to check etc.

Atown
05-01-2009, 11:33 AM
Don't worry; pros get confused too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMr04du5__0

watch from 2:50...many comical aspects, including Soderling pointing to a mark about a metre from where the ball actually landed, "show me again", "I don't remember, but I showed you", "I wasn't looking, show me again" etc...


Another good clip is from the 1977 US Open.

Jimmy Connors ran around to the other side of the court and erased a ball mark when his opponent (Corrado Barazzutti) thought that an incorrect line call had been made.

http://www.fandome.com/video/92137/Mark--What-Mark--Theres-No-Mark/

Steady Eddy
05-01-2009, 12:53 PM
Another good clip is from the 1977 US Open.

Jimmy Connors ran around to the other side of the court and erased a ball mark when his opponent (Corrado Barazzutti) thought that an incorrect line call had been made.

http://www.fandome.com/video/92137/Mark--What-Mark--Theres-No-Mark/I don't blame Connors. Who says that the mark Barazzutti wanted them to look at was the correct mark? That's the real question, isn't it? Which mark is the right one, not to inspect a mark. From the umpier's chair you can see that an out mark is out. That's not the point. It's which mark is the right mark. Tennis people haven't figured this out yet?

volleyman
05-02-2009, 10:49 AM
i play on clay alot. if there is a question about a call you should promply ask the player to circle the mark. if they cant find it it shouild be your point. they can say i dont have to show you the mark(they are correct) the ball was out. this to me is either gamesmanship or cheating. if i feel i have been robbed on purpose i have been known to call a good ball out and when they say show me the mark i replky i dont have to .they usually get the message.

The ball doesn't always leave a mark on clay. I've seen soft shots with little spin leave no visible mark.

So, sometimes they can't actually show you the mark.

kevrol
04-30-2015, 05:45 AM
What if the request to check the mark is refused?

Never had this happen.



Had this happen last night down 9-8 in a tiebreak. Guy refused to look. Infuriating as I went over and looked at it because match was over. Ball was in. Barely in, but in.

IA-SteveB
04-30-2015, 05:57 AM
I will never get why people get so worked up about one point. That is one of the weirdest aspects of tennis to me.

tennis_ocd
04-30-2015, 06:38 AM
I will never get why people get so worked up about one point. That is one of the weirdest aspects of tennis to me. Agree that a point's just a point but I can understand why not bothering to check the mark would infuriate. At least go through the motions and find one that's out ;)

IA-SteveB
04-30-2015, 08:21 AM
Agree that a point's just a point but I can understand why not bothering to check the mark would infuriate. At least go through the motions and find one that's out ;)

That made me laugh. Thanks.

tennis tom
04-30-2015, 08:41 AM
I will never get why people get so worked up about one point. That is one of the weirdest aspects of tennis to me.

Why even bother keeping score then?

tennis_ocd
04-30-2015, 10:26 AM
duplicate msg

tennis_ocd
04-30-2015, 10:27 AM
Why even bother keeping score then? So they know where to send the money... and women know who to worship. I think we can agree that Cindy's opponent's time for challenge has expired.

Orange
04-30-2015, 10:29 AM
What is the proper protocol for checking marks on clay and for making requests?

I would make the request within a few seconds, but if somebody made a request for me to inspect a mark after say 15 seconds, I would always afford them a look.

it would be very difficult to check a mark after having walked back to the baseline, as in the OP's situation, or after 15 seconds, when the server is ready to serve. I have asked an opponent to check the mark only a few times, and I did it within about 2 seconds because I did it only when I was fairly certain it had been in. Nobody I have played has ever looked for a mark, failed to find one, and conceded the point.

What happens if the players disagree about which is the correct mark?

You mean partners or opponents? I would leave that call to your partner since it is hard to call a ball wide from the other side of the court. If opponents disagree it comes down to the person making the call. That person gets the final word.

Not only does the person making the call get the final word, she gets the only word. In my opinion, the only appropriate statements for the opponents to make if they disagree with a call are "are you sure?" and "could you please check the mark?" I recommend using the former not at all and the latter very sparingly.

What if the request to check the mark is refused?

Never had this happen.

If I call a point-ending ball good, can I go over, inspect the mark, declare it out, and then take the point?

This is more of a gray area since you don't call balls in. Most of my opponents are OK with doing this since they understand the intent is to get the call correct. A few believe that the call is the call and if you screw up then it is your fault which I believe is the rule.

I play on clay about 4 days a week, and fortunately have had few of my calls questioned and few occasions to question others. It is much more pleasant to recognize that my opponents might sometimes make mistakes and that they are closer to the ball than I am, and to prepare to win the next point.

North
04-30-2015, 01:36 PM
Sometimes opponents call the ball out on clay even though there was a loud smack of the ball on the tape marking the line in question. Couple of times I have mentioned, after the out call, " Wow, did you hear the ball so loud hitting that line?" Both times the opponent said yes they heard it loudly. Both times I noted that that means the ball hit the line so it was good. Both times the opponents said they still saw it out - lol. I don't bother to ever mention it anymore.

McLovin
04-30-2015, 01:48 PM
Here's what the Code says:

Calling balls on clay courts. If any part of the ball mark touches the line on a clay court, the ball shall be called good. If you can see only part of the mark on the court, this means that the missing part is on the line or tape. A player should take a careful second look at any point-ending placement that is close to a line on a clay court. Occasionally a ball will strike the tape, jump, and then leave a full mark behind the line. This does not mean that a player is required to show the opponent the mark. The opponent shall not cross the net to inspect a mark. See USTA Regulation I.N.8. If the player hears the sound of the ball striking the tape and sees a clean spot on the tape near the mark, the player should give the point to the opponent.

First, I realize this thread is 6 years old (almost to the date). However, I do not know if Cindy missed page two of Item 21 within The Code, or if it was added recently (doubtful as I've always known this to be the rule), but here's the answer to your issue:
A player is not required to show an opponent the mark. The opponent shall not pass the net to inspect a mark.
See http://s3.amazonaws.com/ustaassets/assets/1/15/2.%20the%20code.4.pdf

struggle
04-30-2015, 02:31 PM
Softer shots on har-tru don't always leave marks.

Even then, the marks are not necessarily accurate, for line calling purposes.

Most times though, we need to use them as best as we can. I use them and
expect others to try. It's all we have sometimes, other than hearing the tape
and funny bounces (which on clay happens even when you don't hit the tape
or a nail).

IA-SteveB
04-30-2015, 03:06 PM
Why even bother keeping score then?

Well, geez, I wouldn't take it that far. I just think it is odd that people get so worked up about a questionable call and let it ruin their game and day/night. It just doesn't seem worth it to me. I can see if you are getting hooked constantly but some people are set off pretty darn easily. Just an observation.

Cindysphinx
04-30-2015, 06:56 PM
First, I realize this thread is 6 years old (almost to the date). However, I do not know if Cindy missed page two of Item 21 within The Code, or if it was added recently (doubtful as I've always known this to be the rule), but here's the answer to your issue:

See http://s3.amazonaws.com/ustaassets/assets/1/15/2.%20the%20code.4.pdf

Ha! A walk down memory lane.

I think maybe the Code was revised. Notice that the bit I quoted also contains the part you quoted.

LapsedNoob
04-30-2015, 07:13 PM
i play on clay alot. if there is a question about a call you should promply ask the player to circle the mark. if they cant find it it shouild be your point. they can say i dont have to show you the mark(they are correct) the ball was out. this to me is either gamesmanship or cheating. if i feel i have been robbed on purpose i have been known to call a good ball out and when they say show me the mark i replky i dont have to .they usually get the message.

I learned that tactic from a certain Mr. Agassi.

edathompson2
05-01-2015, 06:37 AM
If I call a ball out and it was a close line call and the opponent calls me out for it, this is what usually happens "I saw the ball out, did you see something different?".

1. "I thought it looked in" I take the point. If they are not sure that I made a ball call and I thought I made good one, I take the point

2. "Yes, that ball landed in". I give them the point. They are pretty confident and I made fast line call that I "thought" was out.

If later on they don't reciprocate, I call them out on it. If they don't acquiesce, I get the point back later on.

tennis_ocd
05-01-2015, 07:44 AM
If I call a ball out and it was a close line call and the opponent calls me out for it, this is what usually happens "I saw the ball out, did you see something different?".

1. "I thought it looked in" I take the point. ..... Careful. Once you ask I think you must abide by their reply.

ewcrider
05-01-2015, 08:21 AM
Not checking the mark is irritating. It also bothers me when my opponents clear the mark (wipe it away with their foot) right after calling it out.

Ironwood
05-08-2015, 06:51 AM
I think I see the ball well and make calls fairly, and I find it incredulous some of the calls that are made in even friendly club play. And usually at critical points and by the usual suspects...we all know club players, even those who are good friends, who are different people on court and infuriatingly call in their favour. I also play Pickleball, which is either on indoor wood gym floor or outdoor hardcourts....and line calling is no better there, I can tell you!

osutennis24
05-08-2015, 03:07 PM
I love circling the marks...why? Because I always check the mark to make sure it was out when calling it, so when I get called out on it, I get to circle it like i'm saying "stfu and play the next point"

MethodTennis
05-08-2015, 03:27 PM
In my last 4.0 match, we were playing on clay. My partner was near the baseline in the deuce court; I was at net in the ad court. Opponents hit a ball wide to her which landed near the deuce sideline.

She called the ball out. I didn't get a good look at it, but it could well have been in. I wasn't certain enough to overrule my partner, who was right there in position to make the call.

Opponents expressed disgust at the call. After my partner had started walking back to the baseline to serve again, one of them asked her to check the mark. She said they had delayed in making this request and could not ask her to check the mark. She went over and said she didn't see a mark. Me, I stood there saying nothing and doing nothing because I didn't know what to say or to do. My partner then asked me if they had waited too long. I shrugged.

OK. What is the proper protocol for checking marks on clay and for making requests? I know the opponent is not permitted to come across to the other side to inspect a mark (Thanks, Martina Hingis!). What happens if the players disagree about which is the correct mark? How promptly must the request to check be made? What if the request to check the mark is refused? What if I don't know what the mark means? If I call a point-ending ball good, can I go over, inspect the mark, declare it out, and then take the point? Would my opponent be justified in strangling me to death on the spot if I attempted such a thing?

Here's what the Code says:



I have played on clay a lot, and often the courts are so banged up that it is difficult to find or interpret ball marks. No one has ever asked me to check a ball mark (other than my own partner!). Nor have I ever asked an opponent to do it. Now I am wondering whether I should start making such a request, as there have been many, many occasions where I heard the ball smack the tape and the opponent called it out anyway.

1. You can only cross the net to inspect the mark when invited to do so by the opponent.
2. If you can both agree on a mark you can have an official read the mark for you
3. if you disagree and explain and agree on the shot angel and spin that was hit most refs will help select a mark and read it.
4. end of the day mark or not if there is no ref and no agreement on mark and even if there is and its cant be interpreted/disagree on read then the person that calls it, call stands

Bagumbawalla
05-09-2015, 01:05 AM
I am suggesting each team purchase an infra-red camera (cooled with liquid nitrogen). Mark or no mark, it should be sensitive enough to pick up the residual heat from the friction of the ball on the court- if checked soon enough- end of dispute.