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FedererForehand
06-23-2009, 06:15 PM
I'm sure this has been discussed many times before but I just got home from a 6-4, 2-6, 2-6 loss and am in no mood to use the search feature!

What are the rules (or unwritten rules in my case) when it comes to my opponents playing my long serves or shots that are slightly out? Normally it doesn't bug me but it does when they play a ball and then hit their return long or shank it and then I get the point. I end up feeling guilty like I should have called the ball out when I knew it was out.

I am also one to play a serve if its a bit long as long as its relatively close I'll play the point, but that doesn't bother me.

Am I doing the right thing by just playing and letting my opponent make the calls?

Steady Eddy
06-23-2009, 08:23 PM
You can't call out a first serve, but you can call out a second serve, because that would make it a double fault anyway. Like you, I give my opponent a big court to hit into on the serve. So sometimes I'm sure I play serves that were out. I never play one that is way out, also, I realize that doing so might catch my opponent off guard. It is considered gamesmanship to play a serve one knows is out in an effort to catch your opponent by surprise.

topher.juan
06-24-2009, 12:03 AM
I had the same question a while ago. Answer is: if your opponent plays the ball without calling it out, it's good. No longer do I watch my bounce, I watch their prep/return, if they send it back to me without calling it out, it's in play. I'm not sure how much time one gets to make the out call though?? Is it before I hit the ball (their returned shot)? Anyhow, I was upset I lost the match because of this and had the same moral dilemma about winning points on out serves, but I got over that and now see it as their problem if they can't see the ball out, they can ask me for my opinion and I'll be truthful, otherwise, if they thought it was in (and it wasn't) and hit it out = MY POINT. Your opponent needs to work out reading serves, if he can't read them right, it's only right he loses points for that.

Check out this thread: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=264912

mikro112
06-24-2009, 12:51 AM
These are the rules for making calls according to the USTA code:

MAKING CALLS
5. Player makes calls on own side of the net. A player calls all shots
landing on, or aimed at, the player’s side of the net.
6. Opponent gets benefit of doubt. When a match is played without officials,
the players are responsible for making decisions, particularly for line
calls. There is a subtle difference between player decisions and those of an
on-court official. An official impartially resolves a problem involving a call,
whereas a player is guided by the unwritten law that any doubt must be
resolved in favor of the opponent. A player in attempting to be scrupulously
honest on line calls frequently will find himself keeping a ball in play that
might have been out or that the player discovers too late was out. Even so,
the game is much better played this way.
7. Ball touching any part of line is good. If any part of the ball touches
the line, the ball is good. A ball 99% out is still 100% good.
8. Ball that cannot be called out is good. Any ball that cannot be called out
is considered to have been good. A player may not claim a let on the basis of
not seeing a ball. One of tennis’ most infuriating moments occurs after a long
THE CODE 53
hard rally when a player makes a clean placement and the opponent says: “I’m
not sure if it was good or out. Let’s play a let.” Remember, it is each player’s
responsibility to call all balls landing on, or aimed at, the player’s side of the net.
If a ball can’t be called out with certainty, it is good. When you say your opponent’s
shot was really out but you offer to replay the point to give your opponent
a break, you are deluding yourself because you must have had some doubt.
9. Calls when looking across a line or when far away. The call of a player
looking down a line is much more likely to be accurate than that of a player
looking across a line. When you are looking across a line, don’t call a ball
out unless you can clearly see part of the court between where the ball hit and
the line. It is difficult for a player who stands on one baseline to question a
call on a ball that landed near the other baseline.
10. Treat all points the same regardless of their importance. All points in
a match should be treated the same. There is no justification for considering
a match point differently than the first point.
11. Requesting opponent’s help. When an opponent’s opinion is requested
and the opponent gives a positive opinion, it must be accepted. If neither
player has an opinion, the ball is considered good. Aid from an opponent is
available only on a call that ends a point.
12. Out calls corrected. If a player mistakenly calls a ball “out” and then
realizes it was good, the point shall be replayed if the player returned the ball
within the proper court. Nonetheless, if the player’s return of the ball results
in a “weak sitter,” the player should give the opponent the point. If the player
failed to make the return, the opponent wins the point. If the mistake was
made on the second serve, the server is entitled to two serves.
13. Player calls own shots out. With the exception of the first serve, a
player should call against himself or herself any ball the player clearly sees
out regardless of whether requested to do so by the opponent. The prime
objective in making calls is accuracy. All players should cooperate to attain
this objective.
14. Partners’ disagreement on calls. If one partner calls the ball out and
the other partner sees the ball good, they shall call it good. It is more important
to give your opponents the benefit of the doubt than to avoid possibly
hurting your partner’s feelings. The tactful way to achieve the desired result
is to tell your partner quietly of the mistake and then let your partner concede
the point. If a call is changed from out to good, the principles of Code §12
apply.
15. Audible or visible calls. No matter how obvious it is to a player that
the opponent’s ball is out, the opponent is entitled to a prompt audible or
visible out call.
16. Opponent’s calls questioned. When a player genuinely doubts an
opponent’s call, the player may ask: “Are you sure of your call?” If the opponent
reaffirms that the ball was out, the call shall be accepted. If the opponent
acknowledges uncertainty, the opponent loses the point. There shall be no
further delay or discussion.
54 THE CODE
17. Spectators never to make calls. A player shall not enlist the aid of a
spectator in making a call. No spectator has a part in the match.
18. Prompt calls eliminate two chance option. A player shall make all
calls promptly after the ball has hit the court. A call shall be made either
before the player’s return shot has gone out of play or before the opponent
has had the opportunity to play the return shot.
Prompt calls will quickly eliminate the “two chances to win the point”
option that some players practice. To illustrate, a player is advancing to the
net for an easy put away and sees a ball from an adjoining court rolling
toward the court. The player continues to advance and hits the shot, only to
have the supposed easy put away fly over the baseline. The player then
claims a let. The claim is not valid because the player forfeited the right to call
a let by choosing instead to play the ball. The player took a chance to win or
lose and is not entitled to a second chance.
19. Lets called when balls roll on the court. When a ball from an adjacent
court enters the playing area, any player shall call a let as soon as the player
becomes aware of the ball. The player loses the right to call a let if the player
unreasonably delays in making the call.
20. Touches, hitting ball before it crosses net, invasion of opponent’s court,
double hits, and double bounces. A player shall promptly acknowledge if:
• a ball touches the player;
• the player touches the net;
• the player touches the player’s opponent’s court;
• the player hits a ball before it crosses the net;
• the player deliberately carries or double hits the ball; or
• the ball bounces more than once in the player’s court.
21. Balls hit through the net or into the ground. A player shall make the
ruling on a ball that the player’s opponent hits:
• through the net; or
• into the ground before it goes over the net.
22. 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.

USTA CODE (http://dps.usta.com/usta_master/sitecore_usta/USTA/Document%20Assets/2008/05/29/doc_13_22409.pdf)

If you are certain that your shots were out, I would probably talk to my opponent about that in a friendly way. The best way to react to problems like that is, however, to prepare yourself after every serve to hit your opponents return. If he calls it out, you don't have to worry about the return, if he calls it in, you can just hit it like every other shot. Also, if he calls out balls in, that's most likely an advantage for you, because all those serves were probably close to the lines and thus an at least decent serve.

mikro112
06-24-2009, 12:58 AM
I had the same question a while ago. Answer is: if your opponent plays the ball without calling it out, it's good. No longer do I watch my bounce, I watch their prep/return, if they send it back to me without calling it out, it's in play. I'm not sure how much time one gets to make the out call though?? Is it before I hit the ball (their returned shot)? Anyhow, I was upset I lost the match because of this and had the same moral dilemma about winning points on out serves, but I got over that and now see it as their problem if they can't see the ball out, they can ask me for my opinion and I'll be truthful, otherwise, if they thought it was in (and it wasn't) and hit it out = MY POINT. Your opponent needs to work out reading serves, if he can't read them right, it's only right he loses points for that.

Check out this thread: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=264912
Well, you should always call in favor of your opponent. If you're not sure, it should be your opponents point. Your opponent has time to make the call until the server hits the ball. ;)

For myself, I do it like the following:
- On hardcourts: When I'm not 100% sure that my opponents serve was out, I play it, even if I realize after the point (by looking at the mark) that the serve was in. I don't have any moral dilemma with that because in the most cases I am ruling in favor of my opponent because here in the US, it is VERY common to call out most of the really close balls. However, I call those balls in.
- On claycourts: As I played most of my tennis-life on claycourts, I have a pretty good vision to check the mark after I have hit the return. As the marks are visible pretty well, I quickly make the call even after I hit the ball. But on claycourts, the same rule applies for me: If I'm not 100% certain that the ball was out, I play it.

topher.juan
06-24-2009, 01:34 AM
^^I agree with that. If a ball is ever too close to call, I call it in. If it's out, I take absolutely no time in calling it out; take a moment and people will consider that uncertainty. Tennis champions are uncertain about nothing. I don't care how social or "for fun" the opponent may "think" the match is, it's 100% serious for me. You've gotta shout OUTTTTTTTTT!!!! in the most authoritative cold-blooded and dead-certain way that they would be insane to ask:

"....are you sure?"

Grover Sparkman
06-24-2009, 04:36 AM
I'm pretty liberal with calling it out. Like others, if I can't tell for sure I play it, and sometimes I play it even if I'm pretty sure it was out (by an inch or two). My opponent usually recognizes this and gives me the same liberties and we have a pretty friendly match. On the rare occasion I get the guy who calls them by the letter or calls in his advantage, well, I've been known to hook on occasion.

mikeler
06-24-2009, 04:45 AM
On clay, if I play an out serve and then win the point, I tell my opponent I blew the call and give him a first serve to replay the point. If I lose the point then I do nothing.

blakesq
06-24-2009, 06:59 AM
This is a good thing. FREE POINTS!


I'm sure this has been discussed many times before but I just got home from a 6-4, 2-6, 2-6 loss and am in no mood to use the search feature!

What are the rules (or unwritten rules in my case) when it comes to my opponents playing my long serves or shots that are slightly out? Normally it doesn't bug me but it does when they play a ball and then hit their return long or shank it and then I get the point. I end up feeling guilty like I should have called the ball out when I knew it was out.

I am also one to play a serve if its a bit long as long as its relatively close I'll play the point, but that doesn't bother me.

Am I doing the right thing by just playing and letting my opponent make the calls?

raiden031
06-24-2009, 08:08 AM
I never call my own first serves out because that is against the rules.

I usually don't volunteer to call any other shot of my own out unless it is very obvious and my opponent clearly can't see it. Example, I hit a down the line shot that is out by a couple inches and I can clearly see it, but my opponent is on the other side of the court and can't tell it was out. I will give them the point.

If they ask me for a call on my own shot, I will always give an honest answer.

woodrow1029
06-24-2009, 08:19 AM
I never call my own first serves out because that is against the rules.

I usually don't volunteer to call any other shot of my own out unless it is very obvious and my opponent clearly can't see it. Example, I hit a down the line shot that is out by a couple inches and I can clearly see it, but my opponent is on the other side of the court and can't tell it was out. I will give them the point.

If they ask me for a call on my own shot, I will always give an honest answer.
It's only against the rules to call your first serve out if the receiver puts the ball back in play.

JavierLW
06-24-2009, 08:35 AM
It's only against the rules to call your first serve out if the receiver doesn't put the ball back in play.

Isnt it the other way around?

If you're serving and the returner returns the ball in play, you cant call your serve out.

If you're serving and the returner shanks the return (and would of lost the point), then you can correct their out call.

That was my understanding, maybe you made a typo.

(the understanding is that you can only correct your opponent's call when it doesnt directly benefit you)

Otherwise this wouldnt be an issue, we'd correct our opponents everytime they did this.

I accidently called let a few weeks ago when my opponent returned a ball that was well over a foot out (he does that all the time, he's known for it).

This has been discussed many times before but is there a penalty for an "improper let call?" in an officiated match?

woodrow1029
06-24-2009, 08:37 AM
Isnt it the other way around?

If you're serving and the returner returns the ball in play, you cant call your serve out.

If you're serving and the returner shanks the return (and would of lost the point), then you can correct their out call.

That was my understanding, maybe you made a typo.

(the understanding is that you can only correct your opponent's call when it doesnt directly benefit you)

Otherwise this wouldnt be an issue, we'd correct our opponents everytime they did this.

I accidently called let a few weeks ago when my opponent returned a ball that was well over a foot out (he does that all the time, he's known for it).

This has been discussed many times before but is there a penalty for an "improper let call?" in an officiated match?
Yeah.. I screwed that up. I meant what you said.. I was going to word it a different way, and then changed my sentence, and messed it up. Editing now..

woodrow1029
06-24-2009, 08:39 AM
Isnt it the other way around?

If you're serving and the returner returns the ball in play, you cant call your serve out.

If you're serving and the returner shanks the return (and would of lost the point), then you can correct their out call.

That was my understanding, maybe you made a typo.

(the understanding is that you can only correct your opponent's call when it doesnt directly benefit you)

Otherwise this wouldnt be an issue, we'd correct our opponents everytime they did this.

I accidently called let a few weeks ago when my opponent returned a ball that was well over a foot out (he does that all the time, he's known for it).

This has been discussed many times before but is there a penalty for an "improper let call?" in an officiated match?
In an officiated match, if you called let when your opponent played an out serve and put it back in play, you would lose the point as a "Hindrance"

beernutz
06-24-2009, 08:41 AM
It's only against the rules to call your first serve out if the receiver doesn't put the ball back in play.
Isnt it the other way around?

If you're serving and the returner returns the ball in play, you cant call your serve out.

If you're serving and the returner shanks the return (and would of lost the point), then you can correct their out call.

That was my understanding, maybe you made a typo.

(the understanding is that you can only correct your opponent's call when it doesnt directly benefit you)

Otherwise this wouldnt be an issue, we'd correct our opponents everytime they did this.

I accidently called let a few weeks ago when my opponent returned a ball that was well over a foot out (he does that all the time, he's known for it).

This has been discussed many times before but is there a penalty for an "improper let call?" in an officiated match?

I think Woodrow is correct. I believe another way to state what he said is that a server can call their own first serve out if the receiver fails to put it into play. This seems equitable since the server is not gaining any advantage by doing this as the receiver would have lost the point had the server not called the fault.

woodrow1029
06-24-2009, 08:44 AM
I think Woodrow is correct. I believe another way to state what he said is that a server can call their own first serve out if the receiver fails to put it into play. This seems equitable since the server is not gaining any advantage by doing this as the receiver would have lost the point had the server not called the fault.
Yeah.. Like I said, when I first typed that, I screwed it up. If the receiver puts the ball back in play, it's illegal for the server to call their first serve out. If it's an ace, or unreturnable, then the server can call the first serve out against himself.

blakesq
06-24-2009, 09:18 AM
I didn't believe you guys, but you are right, from the code, rule 26:

Service calls by serving team. Neither the server nor server’s partner
shall make a fault call on the first service even if they think it is out
because the receiver may be giving the server the benefit of the doubt. There
is one exception. If the receiver plays a first service that is a fault and does
not put the return in play, the server or server’s partner may make the fault
call. The server and the server’s partner shall call out any second serve that
either clearly sees out.


Yeah.. Like I said, when I first typed that, I screwed it up. If the receiver puts the ball back in play, it's illegal for the server to call their first serve out. If it's an ace, or unreturnable, then the server can call the first serve out against himself.

JavierLW
06-24-2009, 09:23 AM
In an officiated match, if you called let when your opponent played an out serve and put it back in play, you would lose the point as a "Hindrance"

What about in an unofficiated match? According to the code, hindrance cant be called after the fact. (either can a let)

Either way I know it wasnt correct to call let in that situation, it just kind of came out from the frustration. This is the only guy I have a problem with and it's because he consistantly hits balls that are well beyond the norm for "calling it close".

A couple of us tryed to confront him about it a week ago and he made the excuse that "well if I have to really worry about calling the ball accurately then I wont be able to return the ball". Nice.....

Also here's another one:

It is an officiated match, but players are still making their own calls, one player consistantly is returning serves that are more then 2 feet out. Is that something an official would mention or is it just fair game?

The problem I see is that there really ought to be some limit as to how far you can go with not calling these serves just because you happen to have a good return, because it is unfair to the server, and it does give you a unfair advantage. (but I guess like most rules the expectation is that you will be honorable about it)

(not that we're on the rules committee or anything, maybe just something that's missing...)

woodrow1029
06-24-2009, 09:31 AM
[quote=JavierLW;3598087]What about in an unofficiated match? According to the code, hindrance cant be called after the fact. (either can a let)

In an unofficiated match, the point technically should be his.


Either way I know it wasnt correct to call let in that situation, it just kind of came out from the frustration. This is the only guy I have a problem with and it's because he consistantly hits balls that are well beyond the norm for "calling it close".

A couple of us tryed to confront him about it a week ago and he made the excuse that "well if I have to really worry about calling the ball accurately then I wont be able to return the ball". Nice.....

Also here's another one:

It is an officiated match, but players are still making their own calls, one player consistantly is returning serves that are more then 2 feet out. Is that something an official would mention or is it just fair game?

The problem I see is that there really ought to be some limit as to how far you can go with not calling these serves just because you happen to have a good return, because it is unfair to the server, and it does give you a unfair advantage. (but I guess like most rules the expectation is that you will be honorable about it)

(not that we're on the rules committee or anything, maybe just something that's missing...)


When there is a chair umpire and the players are calling their own lines, the chair umpire can overrule clear mistakes. The chair umpire is mainly going to only overrule good balls that the players called out. When I am in the chair for a match where the players are calling their lines, I will not overrule a serve that is called good unless it is way way out (i.e. more than a foot). A chair umpire should let the close ones go, as you want to encourage the players to give the benefit of the doubt on close ones. If there is a second one that is far enough out for me to overrule, I would speak to the player and let them know that they need to call those ones out, and that if it happens again, they may be subject to a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

JavierLW
06-24-2009, 09:54 AM
[quote]

When there is a chair umpire and the players are calling their own lines, the chair umpire can overrule clear mistakes. The chair umpire is mainly going to only overrule good balls that the players called out. When I am in the chair for a match where the players are calling their lines, I will not overrule a serve that is called good unless it is way way out (i.e. more than a foot). A chair umpire should let the close ones go, as you want to encourage the players to give the benefit of the doubt on close ones. If there is a second one that is far enough out for me to overrule, I would speak to the player and let them know that they need to call those ones out, and that if it happens again, they may be subject to a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Oh okay, I guess that's where Im going with those.

Im just talking about the ones that are way out by more then a foot and are not just the occasional mistake but a pattern of behavior from one certain individual who may or may not have horrible eyesight.

(luckily while we all probably call out serves in by applying the rules, I can only think of one person off the top of my head that takes this to a level that it's really a problem)

Ajtat411
06-24-2009, 02:37 PM
If the person is know for not calling long balls out on serves, how is this a problem for you?

Doesn't it mean you can serve it harder against him. If he's too blind to make a call then it's should be your problem. You want to be fair, but you can only do so much. If it starts to effect your own game then I would just ignore this and hit even harder on the serves and be ready to play all serves in or out.

FlamEnemY
06-24-2009, 03:01 PM
Hey, I'd never cheat my hitting partner. What's the point of playing if I have to resort to such cheap tricks?

Ajtat411
06-24-2009, 03:06 PM
Talking to me?

Ajtat411
06-24-2009, 03:24 PM
Hey, I'd never cheat my hitting partner. What's the point of playing if I have to resort to such cheap tricks?

Yeah, if you're hitting with a partner then you should let them know so they can fix their serves, but if it's an opponet, it could be their form of gamesmanship. Maybe their trying to get under your skin or annoy you? Sometimes you don't know what the other person is thinking. Maybe he feels sorry for you and wants to give you a chance. Don't know.

These calls go both ways also. When the serve is coming at 100mph it's pretty tough to tell if the ball is out. These cases you give the benefit of the doubt.

If they are purposely calling balls in, it shouldn't be your responsibility to make out calls that are blatantly out. You need to play balls based on calls made by your opponet. What if he really thinks that the ball was in? You have to respect his call and play the point. Simple as that, otherwise call for a line judge. A player shouldn't have to be burdened with making calls on the other side of the net.

coloskier
06-29-2009, 10:14 AM
The biggest problem I see is an opponent who calls a serve in if it is out only because he was able to return it. I have that happen to me frequently, since I can occasionally crank my serve up into the 120's. The way you can tell they are doing it is if an out call comes after they have hit the ball but it is obvious their return is going out. After I see that happening a few times, some of their good serves mysteriously will be called out. Then we will have the discussion about calling out serves in only if you return the ball. Unfortunately, that is the only way I have found to stop it from happening again. If you are going to play out serves, then you should live and die by it. Don't change your mind because you can see your return is going out.