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Cindysphinx
05-20-2009, 02:42 PM
Hey, I am having an issue with a partner. I love her to death. She is a wonderful person. I mean, there is not an evil bone in her body. I look forward to playing with her; she has a sunny disposition and is perpetually happy. But here's what happened today (practice match with friends).

About five times when I was receiving serve today, she called the serve long. In each case, I was surprised that she called it long. I couldn't be sure, but I started to wonder if those serves weren't catching the back of the line. I tend to ignore the service line completely when I'm receiving and focus instead on not screwing up the service return (again), so I certainly didn't think I could overrule her. Maybe they were just barely out?

I have not seen her err on other calls (baseline calls, sideline calls, center line service calls).

In my experience, one tell-tale habit of the Tight Line Caller is that they tend to find it objectionable when you don't call the line tight and are always asking you whether "in" balls were "out." Like, if I don't call a serve long, a Tight Line Caller will miss the return and say, "Wasn't that deep?" over and over again in a match. 'Cause they see close balls as out. This partner doesn't question me about my service line calls even when it was painfully close or I gave benefit of the doubt, which I take as a good sign.

I'm not sure what to do about this, though. The thing that makes it really curious is that I don't get this feeling from other partners. In other words, I can go many matches with other partners without being frequently surprised at the service line out calls. So how come the only time I'm getting that feeling is with this partner?

I can either ignore it and just trust her, tell her I want to call my own service line, overrule her a few times, or tell her I think she is calling the service line too tight. Choices Two, Three and Four will upset her deeply. I know I wouldn't like it much at all.

Is there an issue here I need to address? Any thoughts on what to do about this without offending her needlessly?

Cindy -- who will save for another day the problem of the person who promises to call the service line for you and then repeatedly forgets

FloridaAG
05-20-2009, 02:46 PM
Why not just discuss it with her (not in the middle of a match) - Maybe at a practice. Or after a match, tell her you thought a few of those serves she called out were in.

Doesn't seem like it should be such a big deal

seleswannabe
05-20-2009, 03:25 PM
You are in a lose/lose situation. Unless you want to take a firm stand against her poor calls I think you just have to live with it or not play with her. Sorry, that stinks for you.

kylebarendrick
05-20-2009, 03:33 PM
A ball that looks "in" to the receiver may be clearly "out" to their partner standing on the service line. Having the ball come directly towards you prevents you from seeing the gap between the ball and the line that may be visible to your partner.

mikeler
05-20-2009, 03:34 PM
Play on clay and then you'll know for sure whether the calls are correct.

BullDogTennis
05-20-2009, 03:36 PM
i mean honestly, you are a 3.5 woman playing doubles right? i mean maybe im looking at things completely wrong, but the ball cannot be served that hard, it should be pretty easy to know if it was in or out. if they are going in, you need to let it go the first time(anyone can mess up one) the next time let it go with the other team, but talk to her about it. then if she does it again over rule her.

ACK4wd
05-20-2009, 03:38 PM
Which guy do you want to be? The guy on the right or the guy on the left?

http://www.toptenz.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/barney-fife-andy-taylor.jpg

why: some people just stick by the rules - it's easier to just play the game - win or lose than it is to spend hours debating how to interpret rules to a political end

OrangePower
05-20-2009, 03:42 PM
A ball that looks "in" to the receiver may be clearly "out" to their partner standing on the service line. Having the ball come directly towards you prevents you from seeing the gap between the ball and the line that may be visible to your partner.

I second this. It's possible that your partner is calling in balls out, but also possible that you're seeing them wrong. Before confronting your partner, how about you ask a non-playing observer to discretely watch the service line next time you're playing, and let you know afterwards whether the calls were good or not?

gocard02
05-20-2009, 04:07 PM
Just curious, in a previous thread, you said that you follow the letter of the rule. You saw the serve in, she saw it out. The rule states that you must replay the point. What's the confusion?

Cindysphinx
05-20-2009, 04:21 PM
Just curious, in a previous thread, you said that you follow the letter of the rule. You saw the serve in, she saw it out. The rule states that you must replay the point. What's the confusion?

Well, I wouldn't characterize my position as "follow the letter of the rule." I'm a grey, not a black and white. You may have me confused with Drakulie there.

But I do think it is important to get line calls right and give benefit of the doubt, when I see the ball clearly from a good position. And as others have noted, part of the difficulty is that she is in a better position. It's just that my alarm bells aren't clanging with other partners the way they were with her.

Anyway, there are lots of options that are options but that don't help much. We play on hard courts often; I cannot dictate whether we will be on clay. Nor can I easily grab an observer and tell them what to watch for, assuming there were observers (there weren't).

No, the serves are not coming that fast. Which is why I am surprised this is coming up. These two opponents had nice serves in the upper end of 3.5, no doubt. But that just means you give more leeway and benefit of the doubt, not less.

I've never been especially good at having The Talk with people about stuff like this. It's just so uncomfortable and awkward, and someone always goes home upset . . . .

blakesq
05-20-2009, 05:57 PM
The problem is geometry. If you are receiving a serve, and the ball catches the "back" of the line, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the receiver to see the ball in or out. The receiver's line of sight is blocked by the ball, and hence, you cannot call a ball in or out if it catches the back of the line, or if it is just barely out. Thus, you should rely on your partner.


Just curious, in a previous thread, you said that you follow the letter of the rule. You saw the serve in, she saw it out. The rule states that you must replay the point. What's the confusion?

cak
05-20-2009, 06:33 PM
It sounds like the problem is she's calling the balls tighter than other partners, or even other lines she is not in the absolutely correct position to call. But in this case, she is standing directly on the line, and is taking advantage of that to call balls that are close but out, out. You may be able to remedy this by talking her into standing closer to the net, or even stand her at the baseline when you are receiving so her view of the line isn't so good. Or you could trust her.

tfm1973
05-20-2009, 06:43 PM
figure you could bust out your video camera and tape some practice matches. point out to her the ones that you thought she made wrong?

otherwise during a match you could just overrule her and say that you saw it in. if her feelings get hurt . . . um i don't even know how to handle that. i guess guys don't have this problem. "hey partner. sorry i saw it clip the back of the line. nice serve guys."

do ladies really have to worry about these kinds of things?

Steady Eddy
05-20-2009, 08:20 PM
Again, you support your partner. If she calls it "out", then it's "out". If it looks good to you, remember, it might be out anyway. Besides, there's no harm if she's wrong because 2nd serves are easier to return anyhow.

kylebarendrick
05-20-2009, 08:53 PM
Eddy, for the record, a ball that "might be out" is "in".

Steady Eddy
05-20-2009, 10:07 PM
Eddy, for the record, a ball that "might be out" is "in".Ordinarily, that's right. But this isn't about calls that you have made, this is about a call that your partner made. And as you say, your partner wouldn't call it out, unless she knew it was out. She's in a better position to call the service line. So just let her make the call.

iamgoat
05-20-2009, 10:08 PM
A ball that looks "in" to the receiver may be clearly "out" to their partner standing on the service line. Having the ball come directly towards you prevents you from seeing the gap between the ball and the line that may be visible to your partner.

perfect explanation. consider this.
i often think that serves are in, only to find that after the match someone tells me that i was being soft with my calling of serves.

Cindysphinx
05-21-2009, 06:32 AM
do ladies really have to worry about these kinds of things?

Tsk, tsk. You're married, aren't you? :)

Seriously, I know men have these issues also. How do I know? From reading TT!

tfm1973
05-21-2009, 06:39 AM
cindy -- even in mixed doubles if my partner calls a ball out but i saw it in. i'll overrule her in a heartbeat. any calls i'm not 100% sure, i keep my big fat mouth shut though. i learned that from being married too. :)

i think the point for me is this. if my partner in doubles (male or female) is making bad calls (intentional or unintentional) -- then it makes me look bad. i do a good enough job on my own of looking bad. so i'll call it like i see it at any time.

Cindysphinx
05-21-2009, 06:42 AM
cindy -- even in mixed doubles if my partner calls a ball out but i saw it in. i'll overrule her in a heartbeat. any calls i'm not 100% sure, i keep my big fat mouth shut though. i learned that from being married too. :)

i think the point for me is this. if my partner in doubles (male or female) is making bad calls (intentional or unintentional) -- then it makes me look bad. i do a good enough job on my own of looking bad. so i'll call it like i see it at any time.

So you would have overruled her on the spot the first time? Despite the issues with being certain despite your bad vantage point? I mean, all I want is some comfort that benefit of the doubt is being given and we're calling the lines liberally, not tightly.

I wish I could figure out a subtle way to signal that I'm uncomfortable without going straight to The Dreaded Overrule.

tfm1973
05-21-2009, 06:46 AM
overruled the first one? yes. but only if i'm about 100% sure it was good - give or take 1%. and maybe at next changeover or break in games talk to my partner. i had a partner in mixed who i talked to about line calls and she told me flat out that she's not very good at seeing the lines. she also thought a ball hits the line it was OUT. :shock: true story.

Cindysphinx
05-21-2009, 06:51 AM
overruled the first one? yes. but only if i'm about 100% sure it was good - give or take 1%. and maybe at next changeover or break in games talk to my partner. i had a partner in mixed who i talked to about line calls and she told me flat out that she's not very good at seeing the lines. she also thought a ball hits the line it was OUT. :shock: true story.

Lordie!!

I had a (different) partner who was making some dodgy line calls once. These were balls I wasn't in a position to see, and she was looking right at them. I was thinking, "I would have guessed that ball would have landed in, but I guess I can't be sure from way over here." After the match, she told me she was glad she wasn't whiffing the ball because her glasses were fogging up. That explains a lot, eh? If she had told me, I could have "helped" her with those calls.

OK. Maybe the way to go is a pre-match conference. I could casually say . . . . um . . . "Hey, Suzy. Remember last time we played and that lady got so angry with us about some of our line calls? Let's both keep an eye on the lines, and if one of us thinks there is any chance a ball was in, we'll have a quick conference and change the call to good."

Maybe that would go over . . .

PimpMyGame
05-21-2009, 06:54 AM
I have no hesitation in overruling my partner if I know they made a mistake, I'll do it twice if necessary and ask the opinion of my opponents if I need backing up. I also think that when it's done on court, in a match, it's more effective than having to approach the person later to discuss it. That discussion invariably ends in an argument.

tfm1973
05-21-2009, 07:07 AM
I have no hesitation in overruling my partner if I know they made a mistake, I'll do it twice if necessary and ask the opinion of my opponents if I need backing up. I also think that when it's done on court, in a match, it's more effective than having to approach the person later to discuss it. That discussion invariably ends in an argument.

+1. i think conviction plays a big part of it too. if you saw it OUT or IN and overrule your partner -- say it with confidence.

if my partner tells me sorry but your call was wrong. hey works for me.

if my partner tells me sorry but i think maybe possibly it looked like your call was wrong. well then i might be a bit peeved.

and PMG is right -- in a match with your opponents watching, your partner is less likely to fuss. cuz then they look like a jackazz. :)

Cindysphinx
05-21-2009, 07:24 AM
Well, yeah. But we're not talking about the "wrong" line call. The one where you are 100% sure they are wrong about the call and the ball was in. We've discussed that issue here at TT to death, and we are all in agreement that you are supposed to overrule your partner. Except for the people who disagree! :)

This is a different question. I'm thinking of the gnawing doubt that your partner is calling the lines Too Tight. It is based on the observation that "close" balls are being called out more often than usual.

PimpMyGame
05-21-2009, 07:32 AM
Well, yeah. But we're not talking about the "wrong" line call. The one where you are 100% sure they are wrong about the call and the ball was in. We've discussed that issue here at TT to death, and we are all in agreement that you are supposed to overrule your partner. Except for the people who disagree! :)

This is a different question. I'm thinking of the gnawing doubt that your partner is calling the lines Too Tight. It is based on the observation that "close" balls are being called out more often than usual.

I understand you question Cindy and apologise if my answer isn't clear, but it still stands. If I think my partner is calling too tight then I will overrule, which gives them 1000 volts up their backside. You generally only need to do it once, twice maximum. You will be amazed how quickly they "recalibrate", even if it's just when they're partnered with you.

Cindysphinx
05-21-2009, 07:36 AM
I understand you question Cindy and apologise if my answer isn't clear, but it still stands. If I think my partner is calling too tight then I will overrule, which gives them 1000 volts up their backside. You generally only need to do it once, twice maximum. You will be amazed how quickly they "recalibrate", even if it's just when they're partnered with you.

LOL!! Yes, that is exactly the sensation. Couldn't have described it better.

I think I'll still go with the pre-match conference first, though. That would be 100 watts up the backside. More like using an Easy Bake Oven instead of going straight to a Thermadore convection oven.

raiden031
05-21-2009, 07:48 AM
Cindy, this is one instance where I would never overrule my partner. There is no way you can see the ball landing on the line with any amount of certainty. My eyes tell me that every single partner of mine who makes service line calls is a cheater, when the reality is that I don't have the angle to see the ball as well as them. There are times I have asked my partner where it landed and they said 8" out, yet I swear it hit the line!

The good news is that this inability for the returner to see where the ball hits will often lead to giving a freebie to your opponents, instead of cheating your opponents, which is a good thing. So it is bias against yourself and not against your opponents. This is why the server should not stop play if they think their first serve is out, because 1) the rules say so and 2) the returner can't see it well enough and the same will occur when they are serving to you and giving you freebies.

Nellie
05-21-2009, 07:51 AM
Personally - I would not make a big deal of it except, maybe, to make a small remark along of the lines of "You must have better eyes than me because I cannot see for sure whether that ball is in or out and I was going to play that serve." You are unsure whether the balls are in or out. Who knows - maybe, your partner has a better view. Also, line calls seem to be one of those things that work out in the end - if your team calls tight, the other team calls tight and it is all even, so I don't stress to much about it. Heck - I have enough to occupy my mind with thoughts about technique and strategy.

My problem is that I serve with a lot of spin, so opponents often call the serve out before it lands, only to see it bounce well in the service box, by at least 6 inches. It is really annoying when they (1) ask for a let or (2) maintain with the bad call. Grr....

PimpMyGame
05-21-2009, 08:06 AM
Cindy, this is one instance where I would never overrule my partner. There is no way you can see the ball landing on the line with any amount of certainty. My eyes tell me that every single partner of mine who makes service line calls is a cheater, when the reality is that I don't have the angle to see the ball as well as them. There are times I have asked my partner where it landed and they said 8" out, yet I swear it hit the line!

The good news is that this inability for the returner to see where the ball hits will often lead to giving a freebie to your opponents, instead of cheating your opponents, which is a good thing. So it is bias against yourself and not against your opponents. This is why the server should not stop play if they think their first serve is out, because 1) the rules say so and 2) the returner can't see it well enough and the same will occur when they are serving to you and giving you freebies.

raiden, there are a couple of points that I disagree with but I accept that it may just be down to the level of tennis that I play, or even cultural differences (I'm in the UK).

Firstly, for serves that I see in our doubles league I estimate that I can see at least 80% as in or out. These serves may be between 50 and 90 mph. Therefore I know if a partner of mine is building up a pattern of "tight" calls because too many will go against my gut reaction.

Secondly, our league is competitive but nonetheless social. The average player will express frustration if calls are not right but at the same time will not attempt any hooking or gamesmanship. Therefore by gauging my opponents' reactions to calls and comparing them to my "personal" call I know very quickly when my partner is calling too tight.

Finally by not correcting bad/too tight calls the match can descend to low levels of "tit-for-tat" calling but by doing the right thing you earn kudos from your opponents and I guarantee their calls will be more favourable to me.

raiden031
05-21-2009, 08:11 AM
raiden, there are a couple of points that I disagree with but I accept that it may just be down to the level of tennis that I play, or even cultural differences (I'm in the UK).

Firstly, for serves that I see in our doubles league I estimate that I can see at least 80% as in or out. These serves may be between 50 and 90 mph. Therefore I know if a partner of mine is building up a pattern of "tight" calls because too many will go against my gut reaction.

Secondly, our league is competitive but nonetheless social. The average player will express frustration if calls are not right but at the same time will not attempt any hooking or gamesmanship. Therefore by gauging my opponents' reactions to calls and comparing them to my "personal" call I know very quickly when my partner is calling too tight.

Finally by not correcting bad/too tight calls the match can descend to low levels of "tit-for-tat" calling but by doing the right thing you earn kudos from your opponents and I guarantee their calls will be more favourable to me.

I agree that if your opponents express doubt in your partner's calls, you should begin to as well. But I find that most of the time I swear it hits the line, yet both my partner and opponents are perfectly fine with the out call, which leads me to accept that I cannot see where the ball is landing as well as either my partner or our opponents.

I absolutely agree that you should correct bad calls or question them, but only if you have little doubt that the call was bad. But there is nothing more annoying then a server who stops play because their first serve is out, because when they are returning they will return just as many of my out serves anyways.

PimpMyGame
05-21-2009, 08:15 AM
But there is nothing more annoying then a server who stops play because their first serve is out, because when they are returning they will return just as many of my out serves anyways.

QFT, play until you hear the call!

sureshs
05-21-2009, 08:27 AM
The problem is geometry. If you are receiving a serve, and the ball catches the "back" of the line, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the receiver to see the ball in or out. The receiver's line of sight is blocked by the ball, and hence, you cannot call a ball in or out if it catches the back of the line, or if it is just barely out. Thus, you should rely on your partner.

That is not true. In ALMOST ALL of the situations when I have called out a service as a returner, my partner (and everytime he/she is a different person) has also called it out almost at the same time.

On the flip side, most of the disagreements I have had as the non-returner is when I have called the ball out, but there was no call from the returner.

If anything, from my experience, the returner is erring on the safe side.

But it may just be me.

drakulie
05-21-2009, 09:05 AM
About five times when I was receiving serve today, she called the serve long. In each case, I was surprised that she called it long. I couldn't be sure,

Cindy, seriously>>> get a coach.

sureshs
05-21-2009, 09:07 AM
Cindy, seriously>>> get a coach.

How would a coach improve line calling?

drakulie
05-21-2009, 09:26 AM
How would a coach improve line calling?

It won't, but maybe it will give her something to do, rather than post ridiculous thread, after ridiculous thread.

She is a walking contradiction.

She clearly stated she doesn't even look at where the ball lands when she is returning serve, and yet questions her partner's call??? In essence, questioning her partners integrity????? :roll: Her own partner???? I could only fathom what it would be like being her opponent. <<ouch>> She needs a serious reality check.

Additionally, will say in one thread play by the rules (which she clearly doesn't), and then in another say bending the rules is ok (in certain circumstances).

This is a captain of a tennis team?

Sorry, but her threads, along with her posts display the character of someone who in no way shape or form should be leading a tennis team. She needs to take lessons, learn the rules, and if good enough and asked, kindly accept to be part of a team, rather than Captaining one.


Hey, I am having an issue with a partner.


About five times when I was receiving serve today, she called the serve long. In each case, I was surprised that she called it long. I couldn't be sure, but I started to wonder if those serves weren't catching the back of the line. I tend to ignore the service line completely when I'm receiving and focus instead on not screwing up the service return (again), so I certainly didn't think I could overrule her. Maybe they were just barely out?

sureshs
05-21-2009, 09:31 AM
^^^ I think you misread it. She does not pay attention to the lines when she is returning, so she is not sure how her partner can be sure when the partner is returning. Seems consistent logic to me.

sureshs
05-21-2009, 09:33 AM
Though I must say I enjoyed her poke at you in the black, white and gray post. I enjoyed it a lot actually.

drakulie
05-21-2009, 09:41 AM
^^^ I think you misread it. She does not pay attention to the lines when she is returning, so she is not sure how her partner can be sure when the partner is returning. Seems consistent logic to me.

She is referring to the person in question as her partner, additionally, states she doesn't feel this way when playing with other partners. Therefore, I'm taking this as she is playing doubles, and her "doubles partner" is checking where the serve lands when Cindy is returning, which coincidentally, a good partner should be doing. She clearly states in the OP she (Cindy) is returning serve, and her partner was calling some serves long.

Anyway, I strongly feel, based on her continuous posts/threads>>> she has no clue what she is doing out there, and has no business Captaining a team.

I missed the "black/gray/white" post you are referring to. Where is it?

sureshs
05-21-2009, 09:42 AM
^^^ I think you misread it. She does not pay attention to the lines when she is returning, so she is not sure how her partner can be sure when the partner is returning. Seems consistent logic to me.

Read it again, and this time I am not sure. If she is projecting herself on her partner, she would be willing to override her as she does not pay attention, but she said the opposite.

sureshs
05-21-2009, 09:44 AM
She is referring to the person in question as her partner, additionally, states she doesn't feel this way when playing with other partners. Therefore, I'm taking this as she is playing doubles, and her "doubles partner" is checking where the serve lands when Cindy is returning, which coincidentally, a good partner should be doing. She clearly states in the OP she (Cindy) is returning serve, and her partner was calling some serves long.

Anyway, I strongly feel, based on her continuous posts/threads>>> she has no clue what she is doing out there, and has no business Captaining a team.

I missed the "black/gray/white" post you are referring to. Where is it?

You are right I think. She is the receiver in this case. But her logic was so backwards that I seemed to have adjusted for it by making her the non-receiver in my head.

sureshs
05-21-2009, 09:45 AM
I missed the "black/gray/white" post you are referring to. Where is it?

#10 ............

It has been a while since there has been a fight, what with the great Mojo leaving the building. Need to spice it up around here.

Cindysphinx
05-21-2009, 09:51 AM
#10 ............

It has been a while since there has been a fight, what with the great Mojo leaving the building. Need to spice it up around here.

I'm glad you enjoy "fights" Sureshs, but I do not.

I plan to ignore Drakulie and anyone else who behaves similarly. There will be no fight. I have not read his recent posts, on account of how fast I start scrolling when I see he has responded to me.

A few folks here seem to understand what I am saying. Those who don't wish to discuss it should Run Along Like A Good Little Boy.

drakulie
05-21-2009, 09:53 AM
You are right I think. She is the receiver in this case. But her logic was so backwards that I seemed to have adjusted for it by making her the non-receiver in my head.


LOL. True.

#10 ............

It has been a while since there has been a fight, what with the great Mojo leaving the building. Need to spice it up around here.

Oh, yes. I read it now. She gives herself the luxury of saying she is "gray" because she refuses to learn the rules.

As for NBMJ, yes>>> I miss him too. :evil:

drakulie
05-21-2009, 09:54 AM
I'm glad you enjoy "fights" Sureshs, but I do not.

I plan to ignore Drakulie and anyone else who behaves similarly. There will be no fight. I have not read his recent posts, on account of how fast I start scrolling when I see he has responded to me.

A few folks here seem to understand what I am saying. Those who don't wish to discuss it should Run Along Like A Good Little Boy.


Uhmmm, I do understand what you are saying quite clearly. Suresh is the one who was a bit confused ( I don't blame him after reading the garbage you post).

ttbrowne
05-21-2009, 10:51 AM
The problem is geometry. If you are receiving a serve, and the ball catches the "back" of the line, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the receiver to see the ball in or out. The receiver's line of sight is blocked by the ball, and hence, you cannot call a ball in or out if it catches the back of the line, or if it is just barely out. Thus, you should rely on your partner.

Right! I was in a 4.0 USTA match and my partner was recieving, The serve clearly caught the back of the line, he missed and I walked back to recieve and he then called it a fault. I hated to do it but I said no, it was in.
Funny thing was the other team wanted to give him another chance at the ball even though they thought the serve was good!!!! So they served to him again!
Crazy stuff.

OrangePower
05-21-2009, 11:05 AM
Back on topic...

As many have already posted, if as the receiver you're sure that a serve was in but your partner called it out, you should overrule your partner immediately. However this is not the situation here, since you're not sure either way but just have some doubts.

How about asking your partner, after some of these calls, something along the lines of "I was so intent on the return that I didn't even see where it landed! How much did it end up missing by?" This way you are not questioning her call, but you're making her think about it and mentally review where she saw the ball land. If she's not able to give a clear response, then maybe you need to sit down and have a chat sometime. But if she replies with confidence without having to think about it too much, then she's probably calling it right.

sureshs
05-21-2009, 11:50 AM
When I play doubles and am the non-receiving partner, I stand on the service line and face the other half of the court. As the server starts serving, I manage to watch him/her impact the ball, and also quickly see the ball bounce. I don't think it would be feasible in a pro match, but I find that I need both views to accurately judge whether the ball is in or out. The overall trajectory, plus what happens near the service line. I am then usually completely confident about the call and will try to overrule my partner if he/she contradicts me.

I am thinking now if just focusing on the service line will work.

JavierLW
05-21-2009, 12:13 PM
When I play doubles and am the non-receiving partner, I stand on the service line and face the other half of the court. As the server starts serving, I manage to watch him/her impact the ball, and also quickly see the ball bounce. I don't think it would be feasible in a pro match, but I find that I need both views to accurately judge whether the ball is in or out. The overall trajectory, plus what happens near the service line. I am then usually completely confident about the call and will try to overrule my partner if he/she contradicts me.

I am thinking now if just focusing on the service line will work.

I think you are right because I practice the same thing (watching the whole trajectory of the ball, not just staring at the line).

Half the time when you are looking at the line if it's a good enough serve, you just see a yellow blur go across the line and obviously you cant call it out, but that doesnt mean it wasnt out.

Maybe it's true that you have a better shot at it then the receiver, but it's still silly to me that everyone thinks it's an actual rule that it's YOUR JOB to call that one. Ive had partners make horrible line calls going the other way as well.

sureshs
05-21-2009, 12:29 PM
I think you are right because I practice the same thing (watching the whole trajectory of the ball, not just staring at the line).

Half the time when you are looking at the line if it's a good enough serve, you just see a yellow blur go across the line and obviously you cant call it out, but that doesnt mean it wasnt out.

Maybe it's true that you have a better shot at it then the receiver, but it's still silly to me that everyone thinks it's an actual rule that it's YOUR JOB to call that one. Ive had partners make horrible line calls going the other way as well.

But in a pro match, the line judge looks only at the line, isn't it?

LuckyR
05-21-2009, 12:49 PM
The problem is geometry. If you are receiving a serve, and the ball catches the "back" of the line, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the receiver to see the ball in or out. The receiver's line of sight is blocked by the ball, and hence, you cannot call a ball in or out if it catches the back of the line, or if it is just barely out. Thus, you should rely on your partner.

This post is correct, of course, but begs the question, why is Cindy having this concern with this partner out of the presumed many partners she's had? Especially when all of the other lines are being called correctly. My guess is that this player is calling the lines correctly and many other partners call them generously.

Cindysphinx
05-21-2009, 12:55 PM
There are times I have asked my partner where it landed and they said 8" out, yet I swear it hit the line!



Ha!

We need a name for that particular phenomenon, meaning the tendency of a player to grossly exaggerate the distance by which the serve missed. The closer the call, the greater the distance indicated when the player says, "No, man, it was out by [gesture indicating 8"] this much. Not even close!" :)

skiracer55
05-21-2009, 12:55 PM
...not an easy one to answer, but here are my thoughts:

- As someone said at the beginning, start by talking with your partner. It's as simple as "You're calling a lot of serves out that I see | feel like are in...what's your take?" You could get a range of answers all the way from "I'm right on the service line, and I see it better than you do, but if you think I made a mistake, please overrule me." to...I dunno. But I say start there. She's your partner, you really get along well with her, all partners have issues at one point or another, bring it out in the open, and I'll bet you'll come up with a solution that'll make everybody happy.

- I believe, along with a lot of other posters, that the server's partner potentially has a better look at close serves...if he or she is looking at it. I have a blown out left eye (plastic lens replacement, hit in the eye with a bunji cord...long story...), so I already don't see all that well in some situations, as in low light. So if I'm playing doubles, my rule is that if it looks like it caught any part of the line, it's good.

If my partner, on the service line, says "Nope, it was out, I saw it," then I'm fine with that. On the other hand, is the other team going to start screaming bloody murder? I dunno, honestly, what the rules are re who calls what and how soon...I'm talking about The Code, I guess, and especially in the reverse scenario. I call a serve out, my partner says "Uh uh, Richard, clearly in," I just say "Sorry, your point" if I fanned on the return, or "Sorry, please play the serve over" if I hit a return.

- Third, I hear what you're saying about "tight" line calls, sort of, but to an extent, there is no such thing. The ball is either in or out. Since we don't have Shot Spot, however, it comes down to the eyes of whomever made the call. What it sounds like you may be saying, and I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, is that people who call lines "loose" like I do, tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the other side if I can't see it clearly. I've heard people tell me I give away a fair number of calls in some matches; so be it. I once made a bad call (inadvertently) in a junior match that cost the other kid the match; I'll never do that again, especially now that I've got this eye problem. If I'm sure it's out, even a little bit, then the call is out. If I'm not sure, I have to give it to the other guy. I suppose that calling lines "tight" means something like "I'm not absolutely sure, but it sure looked like it was out, or might be out...so it's out." Opposite philosophy, I suppose. What we'd all like to do, of course, is make the right call, every time. None of us wants to cheat the other team, but we don't want to cheat ourselves, either. Fair enough. I just know that my eyes are no longer good enough to be absolutely sure on a few close calls over the course of the summer, so those balls are in. That's my philosophy, everyone else's may vary...

Cindysphinx
05-21-2009, 01:03 PM
Secondly, our league is competitive but nonetheless social. The average player will express frustration if calls are not right but at the same time will not attempt any hooking or gamesmanship. Therefore by gauging my opponents' reactions to calls and comparing them to my "personal" call I know very quickly when my partner is calling too tight.


This is interesting, PimpMyGame. I don't think I factor my opponents' reactions into my assessment of whether we are perhaps not giving benefit of the doubt as a matter of course.

In fact, I think the louder and more quickly the opponents flip out over a dubious call, the more likely I am to stay out of it unless I saw it differently and thus am planning to overrule.

I mean, you know how it goes. Partner calls a close ball out. Opponents charge the net aggressively, scowling, making their case, questioning my partner. That this happens in a match won't make me think my partner is calling lines too tight. Some opponents are just the type to question everything and assume you are hooking them from jump street. I have a former captain who seemed to think the whole world was out to hook her, to the point of telling her players to expect to be hooked by such-and-such team and to make sure to hook them back. So if someone like that is questioning a call, that doesn't mean the call was wrong or even that a reasonable opponent would think it was wrong.

When it (opponents questioning a particular partner's calls) happens over a series of matches, that would give me pause though.

Ajtat411
05-21-2009, 01:09 PM
I had this same situation come up in a practice match earlier this week.

My partner was returning serve and I was up at the service box watching the incoming serve and saw that the ball was out about 2 inches. My partner continued to play the ball since it was coming at a decent speed.

If you're the returner, it is very difficult to see balls that land OUT within 2-4 inches if the ball is coming at a fast speed and at a flat trajectory.

When I returned serve there were a couple times when my partner called the ball out even though I thought the ball looked in on the line. These were all line calls.

When you're focusing on returning serve, it is difficult to see line calls that are within inches of being in or out. Usually as a returner I give the benefit of the doubt to the server. When I'm at the service box looking at the line, I'll call it out even when it's 1 inch out because it is what it is. I have the best view of the ball and I'm not moving around like the others.

skiracer55
05-21-2009, 01:23 PM
This is interesting, PimpMyGame. I don't think I factor my opponents' reactions into my assessment of whether we are perhaps not giving benefit of the doubt as a matter of course.

In fact, I think the louder and more quickly the opponents flip out over a dubious call, the more likely I am to stay out of it unless I saw it differently and thus am planning to overrule.

I mean, you know how it goes. Partner calls a close ball out. Opponents charge the net aggressively, scowling, making their case, questioning my partner. That this happens in a match won't make me think my partner is calling lines too tight. Some opponents are just the type to question everything and assume you are hooking them from jump street. I have a former captain who seemed to think the whole world was out to hook her, to the point of telling her players to expect to be hooked by such-and-such team and to make sure to hook them back. So if someone like that is questioning a call, that doesn't mean the call was wrong or even that a reasonable opponent would think it was wrong.

When it (opponents questioning a particular partner's calls) happens over a series of matches, that would give me pause though.

...a kind of a different dimension. Looking back at your original post, I gotta say that it sounds to me like your partner isn't conciously hooking the other team...she honestly believe the ball is out, and maybe it is, and as I and others have said, have a talk with her and my money says that you and she will clear the issue up just fine.

As far as hooking generally...it's an ugly thing, and it's what periodically causes me to give up tennis and go back to putting in 100 plus miles a week on my road bike. I want to win as badly as the next player, but I'm not willing to cheat to do it, and if somebody else has to win that badly that they have to resort to cheating...well, I'm going to pick up my marbles and go elsewhere. I really see little or no hooking in the matches I play, which are Men's Open and Men's Age Group tournaments. It's just that when I see or hear about this kind of thing happening in today's tennis, of which NTRP is a large sector...well, all of a sudden, tennis has stopped being a game for me, and has, instead, turned into a knife fight in a phone booth...

Cindysphinx
05-21-2009, 01:32 PM
No, I don't think she is hooking on purpose. No way.

Just to set the record straight and defend her honour . . .

Xisbum
05-21-2009, 03:06 PM
defend her honour . . .

Are you English?

alice301
05-21-2009, 03:50 PM
Sorry, but her threads, along with her posts display the character of someone who in no way shape or form should be leading a tennis team. She needs to take lessons, learn the rules, and if good enough and asked, kindly accept to be part of a team, rather than Captaining one.

cut it out.

1. we're all learning here
2. i don't want to captain a team, so if someone else wants to, god bless 'em.
3. we all go a little mad sometimes.

SuperJimmy
05-21-2009, 04:05 PM
I think it's overall a trust issue. If you are not paying that close attention, instead focusing on the return, and your partner has a better view, why not trust her judgement? Calling the lines tight does not imply the calls are wrong. It might imply the partner has very sharp eyes.

Can you imagine a case where you get your partner thinking about it so much that they start calling out balls in? Heck, some opponents purposely say "are you sure about that", just to see if they can rattle you...even if they knew the right call was made. They will absolutely love it if they see you start questioning your own partner.

Also, I did have a slightly long observation I was going to post, but decided to keep this part short...from what I remember of your previous threads about your doubles partners and their lines calls...several of the situations you have described are very similar (in terms of which player has the better view of the ball, and making the call on the ball). It seemed to me that regardless of who was in better position (and in one case you werent even looking at the line), somehow it was always the partner that made the questionable call. I just think that more of that trust has to be built.

drakulie
05-21-2009, 04:17 PM
cut it out.

1. we're all learning here
2. i don't want to captain a team, so if someone else wants to, god bless 'em.
3. we all go a little mad sometimes.


Cut what out??

The OP has clearly stated she does not look at where the ball is landing, yet questions her partners line-calling on the service returns??? :roll:

What am I missing here??

Then, she creates a thread to get sympathy/advice from posters here on how to handle this situation. To add insult to injury, she is a Captain of a team?? Please.

Like I said>>> she has no clue what she is doing out there and has absolutely no business being the captain of a team.

If she does not look/see where the ball lands, she needs to shut her trap and allow someone who did see it, make the call. This is not rocket science.

PS: If you want to learn something, I strongly advise you not to learn from this poster.

Steady Eddy
05-21-2009, 05:40 PM
...your partner has a better view, why not trust her judgement?
(in terms of which player has the better view of the ball, and making the call on the ball). It seemed to me that regardless of who was in better position (and in one case you werent even looking at the line), somehow it was always the partner that made the questionable call. I just think that more of that trust has to be built.
In doubles, the partner of the receiver calls the service line. That's it! And it's in The Code. This won't prevent a willful cheater, but it prevents these types of discussions. "How sure are you?" "Kinda sorta, you?" "Yeah, like I really thought it was out, but it's possible I could be wrong." "Okay, how sure are you on a scale from 1 to 10?" "Like a 7". "Okay, if it's only a 7, then I'm going to stand by my call."...

Awful!! We don't need those sorts of conversations delying the match! How much court time will it take to complete a match? Some calls might be wrong. It probably won't get fixed if everybody talks about their feelings after every point. It's her call, good, bad or ugly.


This is not rocket science.
Absolutely!

skiracer55
05-21-2009, 06:21 PM
...and this is about hooking, not about who can see what and when. Has nothing to do with the original post or issue, it's just an....observation.

I'm 61, have been playing tennis, coaching it, and so forth, since I was about 10...which my guess is, most of you have not. Doesn't make any of us Bad People, just make us different. Back in the 60s, when I was growing up on a tennis court, everybody's hero was Rod Laver. He was a little dinky guy with a Popeye forearm and an incredible heart who had just won the 1962 Grand Slam. Understand that he won it again in 1969, and nobody since has won it.

The players back then, Laver included, were a different breed. In his first autobiography, Laver said that the year after his first Grand Slam was magical! He had won the munificent sum of $100,000 and was trotting around the world as the Grand Slam champion of a game. Know who else was an Aussie player at the time? A guy named "Nails" Carmicheal. Know why they called him "Nails"? Because even though he was the #4, or something like that, player in Oz, that wasn't worth enough money for him to be able to travel the circuit, so...he was pounding nails, on a construction site, until he could get enough bucks together to go out and, you know, play tennis again. Some of his Aussie mates gave him some encouragement and some money, and he got back out there, and had a grand tennis career.

All of the old Aussies...and the corresponding Americans and other players on the tour of that era, had the same qualities, in this order:

- Honesty, and fair play, to a fault. They were gentlemen, in the full sense of the word.

- Matesmanship. Mantesmanship is an Aussie term, which I learned from my former coach, Dave Hodge. An Aussie, Dave was a prodigous talent, could have been an ATP star in singles, IMHO, but always felt like team play and doubles was the ultimate tennis competitive cauldron...and that the solidarity one has with one's mates...your buddies on court, and in life...is what really counts, when it all comes down to it.

- Doing your best as an athlete, always, with no excuses. I could write a novel on this one, but it pretty much stands on its own, for now.

- Playing tennis the way that the grand game of tennis deserves...with elegance, with grace, with dignity.

There is no room in that ethic for any discussion of, or issues with, cheating, hooking, or whatever you want to call it. And that's basically the arena in which, in the remaining days of my life long career in tennis, I intend to spend on a tennis court.

Two summers ago, I played a second round Men's Age Group match (I forget which one it was, but I think it was Men's 50) in the Denver City Open, one of the big tournaments in the Colorado summer circuit. My opponent was Gary Maccholz. I was probably a 5.0 at the time, he was definitely at least a 5.5. We both played our hearts out, and he won, something like 6-2, 6-2. There was a curious moment in the second set where when I was 2-5 down, 15-40 down, I called his first serve, a winner, good. He said "No, Richard...that was out by two feet...second serve." And proceeded to drill me off the court on the next point to win the match.

I was crestfallen. I had played a great match, and had gotten schooled. I was ready to take up bowling until two things happened:

- My then coach, Sam Winterbotham, then Head Coach of the CU Mens' Tennis Team, came up to me and said "Well done...you did everything you could, everything I've taught you, he just won the last point."

- Gary came up to me and said "You have a great game...want to hit some balls next week?"

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Of course, I took Gary up on his invitation, and we have been buddies and hitting partners ever since. He's passed on to me all kinds of useful info from his time as one of Peter Burwash's instructors, and has gotten me a ton of Adidas stuff for no money, because he's one of the national reps.

So I lost a match, which wasn't great...but you know what? It was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had on a tennis court, and there wasn't any discussion of line calls or anything else having to do with the NTRP Lawyer's Rule Guide.

I've since continued to play Men's Age Group tournaments, and it's been a uniquely rewarding experience. All the guys I play grew up on a tennis court in about the same era I did, and they all play hard, play fair, and play a great, elegant game of tennis. And that's what I'm looking for...how about you?

JavierLW
05-21-2009, 08:55 PM
In doubles, the partner of the receiver calls the service line. That's it! And it's in The Code. This won't prevent a willful cheater, but it prevents these types of discussions. "How sure are you?" "Kinda sorta, you?" "Yeah, like I really thought it was out, but it's possible I could be wrong." "Okay, how sure are you on a scale from 1 to 10?" "Like a 7". "Okay, if it's only a 7, then I'm going to stand by my call."...

Awful!! We don't need those sorts of conversations delying the match! How much court time will it take to complete a match? Some calls might be wrong. It probably won't get fixed if everybody talks about their feelings after every point. It's her call, good, bad or ugly.


Absolutely!

No it's not just "it".

Here's the exerpt from the Code:

---
25. Service calls in doubles. In doubles the receiverís partner should call the
service line, and the receiver should call the sideline and the center service line.
Nonetheless, either partner may call a ball that either clearly sees.
---

Which person calls which line is a suggested guideline. It's not impossible though that the returner's partner doesnt see a ball clearly that is out. Especially if they are just staring at the line intently because if the serve is good enough they may just see a big yellow blur go across the line.

Im not arguing they have a better chance in general of making the correct call but that's not always the case with everyone.

What happens to some people is they only know about the first part of the rule. I have this happen all the time, I dont clearly see a ball and my partner gets mad at me for not calling it out. (because he says it was out....)

Well tough! He should of called it out if he saw it out then. Either player can call any ball out they want if they clearly see it go out.

Either player can correct the other player as well if they clearly saw it go in.

Which is what I dont understand about the OP's point here. If she clearly saw it go in, why cant she just say something? She's too scared to bring it up so she's going to cheat?

But if she's not sure if it went in or not but she "thinks it might of went in", then why is this even a discussion. Certainly she should not confront anyone about something she isnt even sure about.

And if she did see it clearly go in that destroys her whole argument about being "gray" because she's stealing a point from the other team. Hopefully the other make believe gray people dont want to be associated with a point stealer.

It's fine to pretend you dont care about the rules when they supposably dont affect the game, but when you do it to steal a point that you didnt earn that's low.

That's not being like Andy Griffith, that's more like being Peggy Bundy.

Steady Eddy
05-21-2009, 10:12 PM
No it's not just "it".

Here's the exerpt from the Code:

---
25. Service calls in doubles. In doubles the receiverís partner should call the
service line, and the receiver should call the sideline and the center service line.
Nonetheless, either partner may call a ball that either clearly sees.---

Looks like even the Colonel made a mistake. This is like the rule in pro tennis that allows the Umpire to over-rule a linesman on one they think is clearly wrong. That doesn't help.

It's fine to pretend you dont care about the rules when they supposably dont affect the game, but when you do it to steal a point that you didnt earn that's low.

That's not being like Andy Griffith, that's more like being Peggy Bundy.
No, I'm not John Dillinger plotting to "steal a point". It works against me too. I'm returning and the server hits a 100 mph serve, but it's a foot out, no call comes from my daydreaming partner. Know what? I'm not going to give a late call. I take my lumps. Sometimes I say to my partner "That serve was in?", as a reminder that they should be helping me out. I can't call it out 'cause I'm concentrating on the return and assuming (praying?) that they'll do their job. Since it takes a while to realize my partner didn't make the necessary call, any call I'd give would be a late call. I don't do late calls, per The Code. (I hate 'late callers') Mistakes will happen. But it's better played that shots are what they're called, not what they "really" are. (That's in The Code too.)
That should nip this problem in the bud. You've got to nip it, nip it, nip it! (Oh, that's not Andy.)

Steady Eddy
05-21-2009, 10:22 PM
I'm 61, have been playing tennis, coaching it, and so forth, since I was about 10...
I called his first serve, a winner, good. He said "No, Richard...that was out by two feet...second serve." And proceeded to drill me off the court on the next point to win the match.

Cool. I like seniors tennis, the calls are fair, and there's no unpleasantness during the match. I wonder why that is? Is it because as people age they learn that some things are more important than winning? Or is it a generantional thing? Maybe these guys were like this even when they were juniors? I have a story for you. I think you'd remember Whitney Reed. He was a great player of the 60's. In one year he had wins over Laver and Emerson. Anyway, on match point his opponent double faulted. Reed told him, "It's no fun to win that way.", and let him play the point over!

MNPlayer
05-22-2009, 07:22 AM
Cool. I like seniors tennis, the calls are fair, and there's no unpleasantness during the match. I wonder why that is? Is it because as people age they learn that some things are more important than winning? Or is it a generantional thing? Maybe these guys were like this even when they were juniors? I have a story for you. I think you'd remember Whitney Reed. He was a great player of the 60's. In one year he had wins over Laver and Emerson. Anyway, on match point his opponent double faulted. Reed told him, "It's no fun to win that way.", and let him play the point over!

At the higher levels, the old guys/gals might be more relaxed. But in the NTRPA 3.5/4.0 USTA league matches where I play, the older folks are often the most persnickety ones. This is not "senior tennis", just adult league, but many of these people also play senior league. Actually I guess I've seen this mostly in 3.5 now that I think about it. There always seems to be at least one argument about line calls, foot faulting or something like that. The young guys will get frustrated, maybe even throw a racket, but not start too many arguments.

For some reason, tournaments (also NTRP) have been different. I have had great experiences playing tournaments so far. All my opponents have been very gracious and friendly, win or lose.

JavierLW
05-22-2009, 08:04 AM
Looks like even the Colonel made a mistake. This is like the rule in pro tennis that allows the Umpire to over-rule a linesman on one they think is clearly wrong. That doesn't help.




Oh Im sorry, I didnt know you were going to "add to the rule.....". I dont have the official "Steady Eddy" version in front of me.

You're wrong, it doesnt say anything about overruling, it's saying that either player can make that call if they see it. You should "read the rule", not "add to it".

Hopefully woodrow is around and he can confirm that, but we've probably scared him away by now.

(oh ya and as far as the other stuff, I was refering to YOU as in the OP, not you as in Steady Eddy, no worrys....)

skiracer55
05-22-2009, 05:51 PM
Cool. I like seniors tennis, the calls are fair, and there's no unpleasantness during the match. I wonder why that is? Is it because as people age they learn that some things are more important than winning? Or is it a generantional thing? Maybe these guys were like this even when they were juniors? I have a story for you. I think you'd remember Whitney Reed. He was a great player of the 60's. In one year he had wins over Laver and Emerson. Anyway, on match point his opponent double faulted. Reed told him, "It's no fun to win that way.", and let him play the point over!

...and yeah, I know who Whitney Reed is, and what he did. Per what makes seniors tennis great, it's all of the above that you mentioned...let's hit some balls sometime, mate, and have a couple of coldies afterwards...

Steady Eddy
05-22-2009, 06:17 PM
Oh Im sorry, I didnt know you were going to "add to the rule.....". I dont have the official "Steady Eddy" version in front of me.

Unfortunately, such a guide has not been published...yet. I like The Code, I generally follow it, but there are a few situations where I know better than The Code. How does one come to know this? It takes years of playing, but it is the place I am at now. :) I contribute my knowledge to this forum as a sort of public service.

You're welcome.