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Ironwood
07-21-2009, 12:00 PM
Many of the male players I face off with in competitive adult doubles, foot fault regularly. We call our own lines and of course no one mentions foot faults. Everyone drags their toe across the service line on occasion and at this level of play it's immaterial. But one of the better fellows I play with on a regular basis, and a good friend, sets up on the line and takes one full step in before striking. He has a terrific slice serve and there is no question his one stride advance enables sharper angles. I have raised his foot faults with him several times in a friendly jest on court. He is appologetic, watches the line for a serve or two then reverts to his foot faut service. It occured to me that he has honed his serve for years one full stride inside the service line and any other positioning puts him out of sync. He is a good sportsman otherwise and a likeable guy. But he cheats big time on his services. It doesn't seem to bother most others and I don't wish to be seen as anal on court. How can I effectively deal a serious service offender

samster
07-21-2009, 12:10 PM
You should consider starting serving 1 foot inside the baseline. A taste of his own medicine.

mikeler
07-21-2009, 12:20 PM
Call a foot fault and say 2nd serve. I know several people who do it regularly. They are nice people, but that does not mean it is acceptable.

wasta
07-21-2009, 12:54 PM
No they are not "nice people." These kind of people are scum of the earth.

Ironwood
07-21-2009, 01:09 PM
Samster...I've tried serving to him a few times taking a full step in as he does. I can't hit the corners as my positioning is out of sync, and neither he or the others seem to notice or at least nothing is said to me. I guess, I just have to carry on and set up as best I can to receive his serves.

blakesq
07-21-2009, 01:17 PM
or...you can call foot faults on him every time you see him do it, and then say "2nd serve", or "double fault", whatever the case may be.

Samster...I've tried serving to him a few times taking a full step in as he does. I can't hit the corners as my positioning is out of sync, and neither he or the others seem to notice or at least nothing is said to me. I guess, I just have to carry on and set up as best I can to receive his serves.

blakesq
07-21-2009, 01:19 PM
I love your understatedness!

No they are not "nice people." These kind of people are scum of the earth.

Racer41c
07-21-2009, 01:20 PM
I did this once and it worked, don't ask me how I think of this stuff.

The top guy on Tuesday nights foot faults really bad. He has the same motion as everyone else, but he lands with both feet about a foot inside the court before he hits the ball.

So I was returning one day and he bombed one up the T. I didn't move for the ball but instead I put up my hand (stop sign). He looked at me funny so I said "I can't tell if your serving or practicing your toss because your standing inside the court" which of course led into a big discussion about foot faulting which I didn't have to participate in.

charliefedererer
07-21-2009, 01:46 PM
Tough one if you are the only one in the campaign to correct his foot faults. It sounds like you've already discovered that in life being technically correct is not going to win the day if everyone else is against you.
You need to consider the following:
1. Ask your partner to look for foot faults on every game this guy is serving. Ask him specifically if he is stepping over the line and by how much. If your partner is at least aware of the frequency and flagrancy of the foot faults, you might finally have at least one ally.
2. Since you say he is a "good sporstman" appeal to him after a match to work on his foot movement when he practices his serves. (The problem is because no one sees themselves serving, he probably would be shocked at how far he is striding into the court as he fixes his gaze on the ball.) The reason I say to tell him after your next match is to warn him that you are going to start calling "foot" faults whenever he steps greater than one foot into the court before striking the ball. Try to get him to agree it would be a fair warning to give him time to work on his serve in practice. It would be hard for him or others to criticize you if you give him a fair warning and then give him the extra foot (if not the extra mile).
3. Mention to others in the league what you've observed about his foot faulting and that the next time you play him, you and your partner are going to call foot faults for any violations over a foot.
4. Once you've set the precedent, there's bound to be some more discussion in your league, and more allies in your cause.
5. Over the next couple of months/seasons you can reduce the foot fault distance incrementally.
6. Don't do any of the above if this guy is the CEO and you all work for him, or if he is a judge or he works for the IRS (or whoever collects the taxes up there in Canada).

cork_screw
07-21-2009, 01:52 PM
I know it's in the rule book and it's part of the game to call it. But I don't see it being a big "cheat" if someone foot faults. They'll learn how to avoid it next time by making alterations to their serve and stance and they won't do it next time. I never make a big deal about it. It's less of an issue if I lose and someone foot faults than if they start making bad calls on balls being in or out. For me foot faulting doesn't have a huge advantage if it's a fraction of a few inches.

goober
07-21-2009, 01:52 PM
Get a video camera and film him. Show him how much he is foot faulting every serve. If he is a good sport as you say, he should try to change and not take it the wrong way.

Ajtat411
07-21-2009, 01:53 PM
If you really don't care, just let it go and think of it as a good way to practice your returns. His tough serves will only make you a better player. His "cheating" is really forcing you to hone your return skills. It's really a blessing in disguise. It is really annoying to have to look for foot faults against another player. Just play your game and improve yourself.

LetFirstServe
07-21-2009, 02:32 PM
It seems you dont care *that* much about his foot faults to make it a big deal and he's your friend. That means you need to make fun of his foot faults as much as you can and tease him about it. Don't need to be that hard on him....perhaps just make "Foot Fault" his nickname. Also, when there are other people on the adjacent courts playing try to embarrass him a little with his foot faults. :)

Just don't be so hard that he won't want to play with you anymore. Only you know how sensitive your friend is.

On the other hand if he is apologetic and knows about it and watching, I think these days he is already trying not to and practicing serving correctly if you say he's a good sportsman.


No they are not "nice people." These kind of people are scum of the earth.

hahahahaaha!

tennistomcat
07-21-2009, 02:49 PM
People seem to have such a casual attitude about people in league foot faulting - Just mention it to the opponent & make him aware. What would people do if it was the citywide league tournament & the guy had a bomb for a serve & was getting many free points (aces, service winners)? Obviously when the guys serve is a weapon & you have a doubles partner who can help make the calls. But what can you do if you're a singles player playing this guy & this is the final match that determines if your team makes sectionals? What can you do? Just curious?

mrw
07-21-2009, 03:47 PM
Recently, while nursing a bruised arm, I visited a mens 55 tourney. I was amazed by the amount of foot faulting I saw and even more amazed by the number of serves that were easily more than six inches long or wide and were played as good.

Even in a casual game I call foot faults and am eagle eyed on line calls.

Are USTA tournaments that laid back or am I just anal retentive?

kaibaNYC06
07-21-2009, 03:54 PM
I think if you're gonna call foot faults on people, you should be calling it across the board. It seems kinda lame if the only reason you would call foot faults on a player is if you're unable to return their serve.

Of course foot faulting is against the rules, and i personally hate it when someone foot faults (had to completely re-work my service motion back in HS). You could try casually warning them throughout the match, and if it's a tournament or leauge match you could always talk to an official or even their team captain about it.

conditionZero
07-21-2009, 05:51 PM
It seems you dont care *that* much about his foot faults to make it a big deal and he's your friend. That means you need to make fun of his foot faults as much as you can and tease him about it. Don't need to be that hard on him....perhaps just make "Foot Fault" his nickname. Also, when there are other people on the adjacent courts playing try to embarrass him a little with his foot faults. :)

This is good advice for dealing with someone whom you consider a friend.
However, if you consider him a good friend, just tell him to pull his head out of his ***** and to learn the rules of tennis!

Wilson6-1
07-21-2009, 05:55 PM
I don't call it on the other player, I just play through it. Usually, if it is a member of my team, I will approach them after the match and let him know that he is dragging his back foot and faulting. I will also let him know that other teams will probably call him on it during league play.

This has worked for me in the past.

conditionZero
07-21-2009, 05:55 PM
Recently, while nursing a bruised arm, I visited a mens 55 tourney. I was amazed by the amount of foot faulting I saw and even more amazed by the number of serves that were easily more than six inches long or wide and were played as good.

Even in a casual game I call foot faults and am eagle eyed on line calls.

Are USTA tournaments that laid back or am I just anal retentive?

You're just anal.

Actually, I never notice foot faults while I'm playing, only when I'm watching. It surprises me too. I find I'm always very concious of it while I'm serving, which probably doesn't do my serve any favors.

rasajadad
07-22-2009, 04:25 AM
In my experience, I'd estimate that at the 4.0-4.5 level 2/3 of the players foot fault. I am only bothered by it when they serve and volley. As very few of my opponents S&V in singles, I overlook the problem.

In dubs however, almost everyone plays S&V so I have a significant problem with the "full step into the court" foot faulters.

One time in a league match against two big-time FFers, I set up to serve three feet inside the baseline. When my opponents complained, I told them I'd serve from behind the baseline as soon as they did. They got the message.

Ironwood
07-22-2009, 05:12 AM
One last comment from me since I started the thread. Frankly, I have tried to get foot faults out of my head. If I stay too focused on watching his feet during his service motion I won't see the ball coming well. But, MRW don't get me started on the real issue I have with competitive seniors play....line calls. I think I see the ball well, make calls clearly and I have always been generous on close calls. I can get frustrated by balls clearly in called out, especially on serves. In the circle I play in, most bad calls tend to even up during a set or match, but I could certainly name you a few who call most of the close ones their way! There is nothing worse than giving a close call, and the very next rally not getting a close one back

Fedace
07-22-2009, 05:23 AM
Many of the male players I face off with in competitive adult doubles, foot fault regularly. We call our own lines and of course no one mentions foot faults. Everyone drags their toe across the service line on occasion and at this level of play it's immaterial. But one of the better fellows I play with on a regular basis, and a good friend, sets up on the line and takes one full step in before striking. He has a terrific slice serve and there is no question his one stride advance enables sharper angles. I have raised his foot faults with him several times in a friendly jest on court. He is appologetic, watches the line for a serve or two then reverts to his foot faut service. It occured to me that he has honed his serve for years one full stride inside the service line and any other positioning puts him out of sync. He is a good sportsman otherwise and a likeable guy. But he cheats big time on his services. It doesn't seem to bother most others and I don't wish to be seen as anal on court. How can I effectively deal a serious service offender

I agree 1 full stride in from just off the baseline is alot of court territory. If he is a little guy then it doesn't matter as much. but if he a Tall guy then his long legs will take as much as good 4-5 feet inside the baseline. Just call your Head pro or Local district Coordinator and have them send him a Email saying he has to stop footfaulting all the time or he will be Banned fromt the league. Then he will stop doing it. For me personally, i don't find any difference if i step back 2-3 feet behind the baseline to serve and step in slightly as i swing.... NO difference whatsoever to my serve so it is easy to fix.:)

Fedace
07-22-2009, 05:25 AM
Call a foot fault and say 2nd serve. I know several people who do it regularly. They are nice people, but that does not mean it is acceptable.

Only problem is after you this for couple of matches, they will hate you forever and think of someway to take revenge on you.:(

Kostas
07-22-2009, 11:24 AM
Just wear a bright yellow shirt that has wording on both sides in red lettering "I CALL ALL FOOTFAULTS".

You'll get laughs and then once the match starts it's not a big surprise. :)

subaru3169
07-23-2009, 06:12 AM
Get a video camera and film him. Show him how much he is foot faulting every serve. If he is a good sport as you say, he should try to change and not take it the wrong way.

this sounds like the best advice so far with ppl you practice with

LuckyR
07-23-2009, 09:50 AM
Whether or not to call known FFs is similar IMO to the question: "in my group of friends we don't call balls wide unless they are more than 6 inches outside the lines". This isn't tennis, this is some other game. In tennis you can't cross the baseline (or hash) when serving, period.