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View Full Version : Feeling bad about a non-call: how would you have handled this?


OrangePower
05-24-2009, 09:30 PM
There is another thread going on about whether you can call your own serve out...

I had something similar happen in a match yesterday, but from the reverse perspective. Here is the sequence of events:

* We were the receiving team, my partner was receiving.

* I was reflecting on the previous point and lost focus momentarily as the server was serving. So I didn't track the serve all the way but turned my head to look right at the instant that the serve bounced.

* In that instant I thought I saw it land a few inches out but didn't make the call immediately because I only got a quick glimpse.

* My partner didn't make the call either and popped the ball up for an easy sitter to the opposing netman.

* As the ball was in the air, I was still thinking that the serve was probably out, but now was even less inclined to call it out, seeing as how it was looking as if our opponent were going to win the point, and calling it out late might appear to be an attempt to hook them.

* But as it turns out, the opposing netman muffs the sitter into the net.

At this point, the server looks at us accusingly and complains that the serve was out. I explained that I was not sure that the serve was out and was giving them the benefit of the call at the time of the return. We moved on to the next point.

As it turns out it would have made no difference to the outcome of the game or match. But after the match I was still feeling bad about this and was thinking that maybe we should have offered to play a let, since I really did think the serve was out although I was not sure. But then again, had the netman put away the sitter, I doubt the opponents would have turned down the point.

So... what would you have done, both at the time of the return, and after the sitter was put into the net?

Cindysphinx
05-25-2009, 02:54 AM
This has happened to me before. Sometimes, as you did, I kind of forget to watch the line closely. Or the word "Out!" gets stuck in my throat. By the time I get my act together, it feels too late to call the ball out, so we play on.

I don't feel sorry for your opponents at all. I mean, it's not like you whistled the return past them for a winner because they believed the serve was out. They had a sitter.

I probably wouldn't have agreed to a let unless the serve was way, way out, like a foot.

raiden031
05-25-2009, 04:16 AM
During one of my matches, I had set point and hit the ball nice and deep and my opponent missed it. During the set changeover, he says it was out and he missed the call because he thought it was going to land in and then waited too long and missed the call. I was slightly annoyed because I just won a set and my opponent is telling me he gave me the set point by missing an out call.

Things like this happen and if the call is not made, then the ball is good regardless of whether it was actually in or not. People can't dwell on a missed out call because once its played, thats it its in the past and should no longer matter. I just forget about it. I'd rather my opponent give me an incorrect call in my favor than hook me. I do the same for my opponents so it all evens out.

blakesq
05-25-2009, 05:13 AM
If you are not sure about a call, you have to play the ball as being in. YOu did the right thing. As long as you don't make it a habit of playing obviously out balls, you are doing fine. If the serving side makes a big stink about you playing out serves, tell them to serve slower so that you can make better line calls. That should shut them up!


During one of my matches, I had set point and hit the ball nice and deep and my opponent missed it. During the set changeover, he says it was out and he missed the call because he thought it was going to land in and then waited too long and missed the call. I was slightly annoyed because I just won a set and my opponent is telling me he gave me the set point by missing an out call.

Things like this happen and if the call is not made, then the ball is good regardless of whether it was actually in or not. People can't dwell on a missed out call because once its played, thats it its in the past and should no longer matter. I just forget about it. I'd rather my opponent give me an incorrect call in my favor than hook me. I do the same for my opponents so it all evens out.

WBF
05-25-2009, 05:18 AM
You did the right thing. You can't call it if you can't see it.

If it was clearly out, your partner is the guilty party. It might be your responsibility to call it out, but if your mind wanders and it is clearly out, he can make his own calls.

NE14Tennis?
05-25-2009, 05:43 AM
As the OP of the "out serve" thread, I am eternally grateful that most, if not all, of my opponents allow us to play a let when there is any confusion/uncertainty of that nature.
I might have said, "You know I think the serve might have been long, but I didn't call it, my partner played it, and your partner played the return. What do you think we should do about it now?" In most cases, when stated that way, your opponents would be hard-pressed to ask for a let, but if they do, I'd let 'em have at least a second serve in the interest of good sportsmanship and harmony. When my out serve was returned at my feet as I was going into my service motion for 2nd serve, my opponent was good enough to offer a let. Just because you don't have to doesn't mean you shouldn't.

kylebarendrick
05-25-2009, 06:16 AM
1. I agree that you (the OP) didn't do anything wrong. You weren't sure enough to make a prompt out call so you gave your opponents the benefit of the doubt. It is then their responsibility to play the point.
2. At the same time, if I think a serve is out but don't make the call and my opponent stops and says "that was out wasn't it?" I will usually agree and tell them to take a 2nd serve.

Nellie
05-25-2009, 07:24 AM
According to rule 11, a ball is in play, unless a fault or let is called. You were right to play if the call is in doubt, and your opponent wants to have two bites at the apple after missing the put away. However, I would play a let if the server caught the ball and declared the first serve out. Normally the server will call second serve, but I would let them have a first.

charliefedererer
05-25-2009, 07:30 AM
You made the "correct" call (although as mentioned in some friendly social settings, "extra" courtesy may leave you feeling better and earn you some good will).
What I just learned yesterday in another thread here, was that on a second serve, with you or your teamate serving, if you see that it the ball definitely landed outside the service box, you have an obligation to make the call against yourself and call it out.

Cindysphinx
05-25-2009, 07:32 AM
According to rule 11, a ball is in play, unless a fault or let is called. You were right to play if the call is in doubt, and your opponent wants to have two bites at the apple after missing the put away. However, I would play a let if the server caught the ball and declared the first serve out. Normally the server will call second serve, but I would let them have a first.

I too look more charitably upon an opponent who catches the ball or makes no effort to play it than one who tries to play it and misses.

Part of why I am somewhat stubborn about this rule is that I play with certain women who . . . um . . . have played for years and still haven't bothered to read the Rules/Code. It seems that the only way they will learn is if I enforce the rules. It gets annoying to play with people who serve the ball, you return it, they just stand there gaping, and then they say "Oh, I thought that was out. Can I serve again?" I make very clear out calls, so if you don't hear a call, you'd better play the return.

OrangePower
05-25-2009, 08:17 AM
1. I agree that you (the OP) didn't do anything wrong. You weren't sure enough to make a prompt out call so you gave your opponents the benefit of the doubt. It is then their responsibility to play the point.
2. At the same time, if I think a serve is out but don't make the call and my opponent stops and says "that was out wasn't it?" I will usually agree and tell them to take a 2nd serve.

I too look more charitably upon an opponent who catches the ball or makes no effort to play it than one who tries to play it and misses.

I might have said, "You know I think the serve might have been long, but I didn't call it, my partner played it, and your partner played the return. What do you think we should do about it now?" In most cases, when stated that way, your opponents would be hard-pressed to ask for a let, but if they do, I'd let 'em have at least a second serve in the interest of good sportsmanship and harmony.

Had the opponents not made a play at the sitter at net (just caught the ball or whatever), I would for sure have given them a let - they would be confirming my suspicion that the serve was out.

But they played it, and missed. Two bites at the apple and all that. Despite that, if I had to do it again, I think next time I would offer the let just so that I would not feel bad about it afterwards :)

Steady Eddy
05-25-2009, 08:32 AM
No, no no no, no. The opponents do NOT have a complaint here. What if the net man would have put away his easy sitter? Would they then have insisted the serve was out? No, they would have taken the point. If they thought the serve was out, then he had no business trying to put away that return. This is the "two chance" option, and it is what underlies about 90% of the rulings in The Code.

And you did the correct thing by not calling it out after seeing that the return looked like trouble. That would have been a late call, you had to let it play at that point. But what if the serve really was out? So what? Shots are what they're called, not what they are. That's a hard concept for some people to get, (like your opponents here). You can't have rallies and then after it's over, have someone say, "You know, I think the 3rd shot was out." If it hadn't been called out the point is on, it won't get called back like in football. If the netman thought the serve was out, he shouldn't have tried for a winner. He took his chance, he doesn't get another chance to win the same point.

split-step
05-25-2009, 08:45 AM
Easy matter here, no need to complicate things.

Neither you nor your partner called the serve out, therefore the serve was good and the outcome of the point stands.
End of story.

fuzz nation
05-28-2009, 07:37 AM
I'm with split-step and Eddy - call the ball out promptly or play it. That "second chance" issue should never come up. Either the ball was definitely out (and called as such right away) or it was in. Play on.

Even though a server or his/her partner might assume that their first ball was out, they shouldn't disregard the receiver's ruling. The only person that you should perhaps be apologizing to in that situation is your partner because you didn't effectively help with calling the serve.

The inclination to play a let may be well intentioned, but try to avoid that. Otherwise there's too much second guessing going on from across the net and it makes a mess of the integrity of the calls and the rhythm of the match. I've been there and given my marginal eyesight, I can be really generous with my calls sometimes. As soon as any of this assumption on my calls comes up, I like to immediately clarify that unless I call any ball out, it's in. That gives my opponents the heads-up to keep playing even if they see their ball land an inch or two out on my end.

LuckyR
05-28-2009, 08:08 AM
Given the cards as dealt, the issue lies squarely with your partner, not you. You correctly didn't make the call, as you did not feel comfortable doing so, given your poor look at the ball. Your partner either felt the ball was in or also didn't get a good look at it (perhaps because it is usully your call and this time you were asleep at the wheel). Therefore the ball is in because noone on your team accurately saw it out. The fact that the return was a sitter and that the netman missed it is just confusion. The call stands.

Now your guilty conscience is not that you made the incorrect call, but that you didn't do your job (calling the line) accurately.

PimpMyGame
05-28-2009, 08:42 AM
I think the server was directing his anger towards you when it should have been directed towards his partner. He fluffed the easy winner, calls tend to even out over a match so it's no biggie.

Steady Eddy
05-28-2009, 02:09 PM
I think the server was directing his anger towards you when it should have been directed towards his opponent. He fluffed the easy winner, calls tend to even out over a match so it's no biggie.
Don't you mean "partner"? The servers opponent was the receiver. The guy who missed the shot was his partner. :confused:

PimpMyGame
05-28-2009, 10:31 PM
Don't you mean "partner"? The servers opponent was the receiver. The guy who missed the shot was his partner. :confused:

sorry, my bad. trying to keep up with people's tennis problems and trying to work at the same time don't mix. will change my original post.