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View Full Version : Using facility courts prior to scheduled match


raiden031
05-04-2009, 09:13 AM
I was at a match the other day and some teammates were talking about a rule about not being allowed to reserve courts at the same facility as a USTA match when you have a match scheduled. This was a different league and facility than I'm used to, so I don't really know the rule other than this little bit of conversation. Anyways I believe the premise would be that it gives you an unfair advantage if you reserve a court right before your scheduled match and spend alot of time warming up for the match.

My opinion is that this would be a stupid rule. What you do prior to your match is your own business. As long as the facility is not giving you any special privileges over your opponents, then why not be allowed to use the facility at any time or way you please outside of the timeframe of your scheduled match?

JavierLW
05-04-2009, 09:36 AM
I was at a match the other day and some teammates were talking about a rule about not being allowed to reserve courts at the same facility as a USTA match when you have a match scheduled. This was a different league and facility than I'm used to, so I don't really know the rule other than this little bit of conversation. Anyways I believe the premise would be that it gives you an unfair advantage if you reserve a court right before your scheduled match and spend alot of time warming up for the match.

My opinion is that this would be a stupid rule. What you do prior to your match is your own business. As long as the facility is not giving you any special privileges over your opponents, then why not be allowed to use the facility at any time or way you please outside of the timeframe of your scheduled match?

Wouldnt work here. Indoor court time is generally free in the summer.(because we only have 3 months of nice weather nobody wants to waste their time playing indoors unless it's against an indoor team)

I agree, it's a stupid rule. If they would of charged you for court time as well then it's a REALLY stupid rule. (they dont like money??)

GeoffB
05-04-2009, 11:10 AM
Hmmm... this rule would make a bit of sense if the facility felt it couldn't offer similar accommodations to the visiting team. This happened to me recently in a league match - I showed up about 45 minutes early to get in a warm-up, but the guy at the front desk told me that all courts were currently reserved by club members, as it was "peak time" for court use.

Now, imagine if they allowed the players on the home team to reserve courts and get in a good warm-up, but denied the visiting team access until 5 minutes before the match. I don't know of any USTA rule about this, but it would seem a little underhanded. At the very least, they'd need to inform the visiting team of this ahead of time.

So it actually does sound like a rule meant to enforce fairness. It's frustrating for players who are members of the club, to be sure, but an organization that establishes this rule may actually be showing pretty good sportsmanship. Basically, they're saying "because we're unable to offer the visiting team a warm-up court on site, we're going to create an even playing field by forcing *everyone* to find alternate warm-up facilities."

This is the sort of thing that happens when resources are constrained - of course the best thing to do is offer the visiting team a warm-up court so that this doesn't happen. But when court time is at a premium (for instance, at indoor courts in Manhattan), there's just not enough to go around.

raiden031
05-04-2009, 11:38 AM
Hmmm... this rule would make a bit of sense if the facility felt it couldn't offer similar accommodations to the visiting team. This happened to me recently in a league match - I showed up about 45 minutes early to get in a warm-up, but the guy at the front desk told me that all courts were currently reserved by club members, as it was "peak time" for court use.

Now, imagine if they allowed the players on the home team to reserve courts and get in a good warm-up, but denied the visiting team access until 5 minutes before the match. I don't know of any USTA rule about this, but it would seem a little underhanded. At the very least, they'd need to inform the visiting team of this ahead of time.

So it actually does sound like a rule meant to enforce fairness. It's frustrating for players who are members of the club, to be sure, but an organization that establishes this rule may actually be showing pretty good sportsmanship. Basically, they're saying "because we're unable to offer the visiting team a warm-up court on site, we're going to create an even playing field by forcing *everyone* to find alternate warm-up facilities."

This is the sort of thing that happens when resources are constrained - of course the best thing to do is offer the visiting team a warm-up court so that this doesn't happen. But when court time is at a premium (for instance, at indoor courts in Manhattan), there's just not enough to go around.

But its not like the club is offering a warm-up court. Its done in a completely separate transaction unrelated to the scheduled match...somebody from the home team takes the initiative to reserve a court 1 hour before the match. That is nobody else's business and they should be able to do as they please.

And I don't know if this rule would be a league rule or a facility rule.

Cindysphinx
05-04-2009, 11:44 AM
What league is this, Raiden? If it is MCTA, then it is a facility rule. MCTA's only rules on warm-up courts are that you must share any court with the opposing team if you didn't pay for it, and you can't warm up next to a court where a prior USTA match is being played. IIRC.

GeoffB
05-04-2009, 12:21 PM
But its not like the club is offering a warm-up court. Its done in a completely separate transaction unrelated to the scheduled match...somebody from the home team takes the initiative to reserve a court 1 hour before the match. That is nobody else's business and they should be able to do as they please.

And I don't know if this rule would be a league rule or a facility rule.

This could still lead to the same problem, though. Suppose a club said "because this is peak period, we will not allow the opposing team use of our courts until the official warm-up begins. In the interest of fairness, we will not provide a warm up court for our home team either. Therefore, we encourage all home team members to individually reserve courts for an hour prior to your match, so you can get in a good warm-up while the visiting team sits waiting by the side of the court..."

Ok, they wouldn't quite come out and put it that way, but that would be the overall effect. So they take the unusual step of formally denying any player who will be competing the right to reserve (or perhaps even play) the day of competition. That way, everyone is on equal footing. This sounds difficult to enforce, but I'm impressed with a private club that does this - it's the sort of situation where people sometimes surprise you with how honorable they can be, going out of their way to show top sportsmanship.

The best thing to do (short of providing warm-up courts) would be to announce in advance that there will be no warm-up courts, so that everyone can scratch for a practice court somewhere else. This might work well in San Francisco (where you can often get on a public court even if they're all booked at the private courts), but in a place like Manhattan, I suspect that the only real solution is to deprive everyone equally.

raiden031
05-04-2009, 12:40 PM
What league is this, Raiden? If it is MCTA, then it is a facility rule. MCTA's only rules on warm-up courts are that you must share any court with the opposing team if you didn't pay for it, and you can't warm up next to a court where a prior USTA match is being played. IIRC.

There was talk about TCCP doing something like this, but I don't even know if its true or not. But I figured it was a good discussion topic.

raiden031
05-04-2009, 12:44 PM
This could still lead to the same problem, though. Suppose a club said "because this is peak period, we will not allow the opposing team use of our courts until the official warm-up begins. In the interest of fairness, we will not provide a warm up court for our home team either. Therefore, we encourage all home team members to individually reserve courts for an hour prior to your match, so you can get in a good warm-up while the visiting team sits waiting by the side of the court..."

Ok, they wouldn't quite come out and put it that way, but that would be the overall effect. So they take the unusual step of formally denying any player who will be competing the right to reserve (or perhaps even play) the day of competition. That way, everyone is on equal footing. This sounds difficult to enforce, but I'm impressed with a private club that does this - it's the sort of situation where people sometimes surprise you with how honorable they can be, going out of their way to show top sportsmanship.

The best thing to do (short of providing warm-up courts) would be to announce in advance that there will be no warm-up courts, so that everyone can scratch for a practice court somewhere else. This might work well in San Francisco (where you can often get on a public court even if they're all booked at the private courts), but in a place like Manhattan, I suspect that the only real solution is to deprive everyone equally.

In these facilities that I'm referring, I think the home facility is determined based on court availability, and that teams are not really based out of a certain facility. The league agrees with a handful of facilities that all matches will be played at those facilities. So any player on any team has equal access to the facilities (assuming they have membership on an individual basis).

So one team has no distinct advantage over the other (depending on how many of their players are allowed to reserve courts). But if one team has a player who is proactive and individually reserves a court, and the other team does not and ends up without a court, then too bad.

Cindysphinx
05-04-2009, 12:49 PM
There was talk about TCCP doing something like this, but I don't even know if its true or not. But I figured it was a good discussion topic.

TCCP recently changed its rules. Now, non-members must pay a $10 guest fee per player. So if you have 8 players coming to a match wishing to warm up, you would need to pay $80 in guest fees plus the $12 for 30 minutes of court time.

Which means now we can't warm up there anymore. :(

I can't say I blame them. I was there many times when teammates decided to go out onto a warm-up court without permission because they didn't wish to pay the $12. If it were my club, I'd have been cheesed about this. Come on, folks. We're talking about paying the club two measley dollars each. Sheez. So now it has been ruined for everyone.

cak
05-04-2009, 02:30 PM
Here, where home team means you are playing at their home facility, it is quite common for the home team to be warming up when the visiting team arrives. Most facilities don't have courts for both the home and visiting teams. When we are playing away, we tend to warm up at home first.

kylebarendrick
05-04-2009, 02:49 PM
I played at Districts a few years ago and the tournament was held at a private club. Since there were matches at all levels, the place was packed and it was completely understandable when the tournament made it clear that no courts would be available for warm-up.

I was disturbed when I arrived on Saturday afternoon to see the team I would be playing, warming up. They were members of the club and had reserved one of the two courts the club had set aside for members. I asked the director about it and she said they can't do anything about it and if I didn't like it then my team should try to host Districts in the future. Of course, since we played at a public park with only 4 courts that wasn't going to happen.

I understand in a normal league match that there is a home court advantage. Part of that advantage is the ability to make sure you can warm up. However, a District/State/Sectional championship should be considered a neutral court and I considered this an unfair advantage. Fortunately, we beat them 5-0 anyway.