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View Full Version : what do you do about no-show defaults in league?


GeoffB
07-24-2009, 10:23 AM
No-show defaults are handled by the tournament director in usta tournaments, but I'm wondering what people do, if anything, when they happen in league.

I actually experienced two of them last season.

The first was immediate when I got to the court (I was playing second). The opposing team's captain said that he wasn't sure if the other player would make it, and he'd rather default the match on the spot than ask me to stick around. I appreciated that, though I was irritated that I'd kept my sunday afternoon open and driven 40 minutes.

The other one happened after I'd waited an hour and a half for my match to start (I was playing second). The other team captain was apologetic, and told me he really had thought his player was going to show up, and had just received a call that the player wasn't going to be there.

These are tough for me, because I actually do sympathize a bit with a captain who has been let down by a flaky team member. But still, no show defaults really **** me off! I had to arrange a play date for my 4 year old to make it to the court, so a last minute default obviously really rankles - if it happened a lot, I'd probably give up team tennis. Two in a row, I think, is just very bad luck (it was also bad luck that there were a limited number of courts, so I didn't get to hit with anyone else, it was just a total bust for me those days).

In a tournament, no-shows get penalized pretty severely, but in team, it just says "default", since there's no way to actually identify which player didn't show...

So, what do people do about this? Just let it go?

Lakers4Life
07-24-2009, 10:30 AM
Take the win and forget about. I bet your Team Captain is happy about it. You could always use the court time for practice. Technically it's reserved for your canceled match. There is usually someone around you can rally with. Some of the people I play with still want to play even after a match.

max8176
07-24-2009, 11:20 AM
There is really nothing you can do about it. Sometimes players cannot make it for avrious reasons but sure it will be nice that they let you know ahead of time.

rod99
07-25-2009, 06:08 PM
at the state tournament in NC, if a team forfeits a line then the team is fined $100 and can't play their next match until they pay the fine.

JavierLW
07-25-2009, 07:33 PM
at the state tournament in NC, if a team forfeits a line then the team is fined $100 and can't play their next match until they pay the fine.

That's awesome!!! I was thinking they should do something like that in the local league. (or at least have to pay for your court if you were the home team and you paid for the extra court)

Otherwise the "punishment" is that the offending team loses the match 6-0, 6-0. It doesn't really matter if it's applyed to any particular person.

GeoffB
07-26-2009, 06:03 AM
Part of the problem is that a "no show" default carries no penalty, so there is no incentive for a captain to provide early notice to the opposing team - and in fact, there's an incentive *not* to notify early.

Here's the thing - if the worst that can happen is a 6-0, 6-0 loss, why not engage in a bit of brinksmanship? Maybe the opposing team will also fail to field a full team. Maybe you'll be able to scratch and get a player at the very last minute. If you default late, the consequences are no different than if you default early, and you keep open a slight chance of a better outcome.

As a result, I think a lot of captains have realized that it makes no sense, from a purely competitive point of view, to provide early notice of a default. Most players in league do have the good sportsmanship to provide early notice, but as it stands, the rules reward the captains who default at the last minute. Without a more serious penalty for a "no-show" default, this will continue to be the case.

There was definitely a time in my life when this wouldn't have bothered me. Before I had a kid, I'd surf three hours in the morning and hang out by the courts for the rest of the day. Time was no big deal. But now, if I carve out three hours to play on a weekend, that's my tennis time. So a "no show" default really ****es me off now (like I said, I've had to arrange babysitting to get to play, only to discover the opposing captain figured "it was a longshot that that player would show up anyway...")

Cindysphinx
07-26-2009, 06:14 AM
In our league, the defaulting captain has to pay the other captain for a default -- $17 for singles, $34 for doubles.

Trouble is, the penalty applies regardless of when the default is taken. The Less-Than-Nice captains do notify of defaults at the last minute.

I had that happen to me this season. I was set to play Court Three doubles starting at 8 am on a Saturday morning. Playing this match was monumentally inconvenient for me. It meant my exhausted spouse was going to have to get up early to get the kids to their swim meet, when he desperately wanted to sleep in.

So I get out of bed at 6:00 and go all the way to the match, and the opposing captain hands the scoresheet to my captain and says, "We're defaulting Doubles Three."

Come on. Had she called that morning, she would have made life so much easier for us. Well, at least I was able to leave immediately and make it to the swim meet.

GeoffB
07-26-2009, 08:58 AM
Trouble is, the penalty applies regardless of when the default is taken. The Less-Than-Nice captains do notify of defaults at the last minute.


That's a huge problem with the rule. Now, the incentive to default at the last minute becomes huge. If you're going to get fined regardless, why not wait until the last minute, on the outside change that you get a player at the last minute (or, alternatively, the other team also fails to field a full side).

To me, the difference in sportsmanship between a "no-show default" and a default with early notice is *huge*. The sport should treat the first a lot more harshly than the second.

JavierLW
07-26-2009, 09:49 AM
That's a huge problem with the rule. Now, the incentive to default at the last minute becomes huge. If you're going to get fined regardless, why not wait until the last minute, on the outside change that you get a player at the last minute (or, alternatively, the other team also fails to field a full side).

To me, the difference in sportsmanship between a "no-show default" and a default with early notice is *huge*. The sport should treat the first a lot more harshly than the second.

At least it's a penalty though.

That's yet another difference in opinion, I dont think the difference is really all that *HUGE*.

My players want to play tennis, they are going to feel put out whether they find out way before the match or right when they get there.

Either way they paid money to play tennis and they are not playing.

Id actually rather the other team try to find someone. It's in no way underhanded for them to suddenly find a player at the last minute, in fact they are doing us a service by making sure my players get to play a valid match (which is why they joined the league in the first place).

It would be a shame if it went the other way and captain's just gave up way too early and defaulted matches left and right. (defaulting is bad either way....)

But that's the difference between people who REALLY want to play, versus people who have better things to do.

And you are right, sometimes captains dont let the other team know early, because for all they know the other team does not have a full compliement of players either. It's not a big factor in leagues where defaults are fairly rare, but it matters in ones where teams tend to default A LOT.

Cindysphinx
07-26-2009, 02:52 PM
That's a huge problem with the rule. Now, the incentive to default at the last minute becomes huge. If you're going to get fined regardless, why not wait until the last minute, on the outside change that you get a player at the last minute (or, alternatively, the other team also fails to field a full side).

To me, the difference in sportsmanship between a "no-show default" and a default with early notice is *huge*. The sport should treat the first a lot more harshly than the second.

I agree, but as a practical matter the league cannot do it any other way.

The league pays up front for the bazillion courts that will be needed during the season. If a team defaults and a court goes unused, someone still has to pay for it.

Ideally, a captain would pay an even bigger penalty when they fail to give 24 hours notice of a default (say, $34 for singles, $68 for doubles). That would require someone to police notices, so I figure it will never happen.

Tenski
07-26-2009, 04:29 PM
Cindy's prety much right-on as usual. For the teams I captain, it's made clear at the beginning of the season that one of the team's goal is to avoid defaults for the reasons stated by everyone here.--inconviences the other players, incurs costs for the captain, etc. In NOVA, in my expereince, we really don't have many defaults overall and very few last-minute ones. Most captains do inform the other captain of an impending default if they know about it in advance.
Sometimes, the league coordinator can cancel a court if sufficient notice (several days) is given but this isn't usually possible. I did have one last minute default this year--player had a minor auto accident on the way to the match, couldn't get me on my cell (dumb me had it in my tennis bag). Cost me $52 (4 x $13) plus we lost the match. Last time this season before was two years ago.
Tenski

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 03:52 AM
Cindy's prety much right-on as usual. For the teams I captain, it's made clear at the beginning of the season that one of the team's goal is to avoid defaults for the reasons stated by everyone here.--inconviences the other players, incurs costs for the captain, etc. In NOVA, in my expereince, we really don't have many defaults overall and very few last-minute ones. Most captains do inform the other captain of an impending default if they know about it in advance.
Sometimes, the league coordinator can cancel a court if sufficient notice (several days) is given but this isn't usually possible. I did have one last minute default this year--player had a minor auto accident on the way to the match, couldn't get me on my cell (dumb me had it in my tennis bag). Cost me $52 (4 x $13) plus we lost the match. Last time this season before was two years ago.
Tenski

Tenski, how many defaults has your team suffered over the years?

I think my teams have done pretty well.

2.5 team (1 season): Two defaults, both due to a pregnant player being told by her doc late in the season that she had to stop

5.5, 6.5 combo (6 seasons): One default, player stuck in traffic

3.0 ladies (1 season): No defaults

3.5 ladies (2 seasons): One default, player apparently abducted by aliens

3.5 ladies day (2 season): One default, player thought 10:00 am match started at noon

We have had countless close calls, including players who travel to the wrong facility or get hopelessly lost.

PawnScum
07-27-2009, 10:18 AM
Last week, in the first week of our twilight league (two singles, one doubles) our four players showed up, plus our captain and another backup to watch. It was a half hour drive for me. For the home team, exactly one player showed up. He had no idea where the others were and couldn't reach them. We ended up playing doubles amongst ourselves next to the one singles match that went on.

And unfortunately, whoever was supposed to bring the beer and food was among the missing.

GeoffB
07-27-2009, 03:26 PM
At least it's a penalty though.

It would be a shame if it went the other way and captain's just gave up way too early and defaulted matches left and right. (defaulting is bad either way....)

But that's the difference between people who REALLY want to play, versus people who have better things to do.



I definitely want to play, trust me, that's why I'm so bummed. If I'd known about the default earlier, I would have made other arrangements for tennis. With a 4 year old and another on the way, my time is pretty limited, but I carve some out for tennis because I really enjoy it. I can reliably get about 3 hours a weekend. So if I know about a default early, well I'm bummed, sure, because I joined the league to play, but I'd still have time to arrange another match.

Eh, this is probably something the young and free just won't understand until they get old. When I was a 3-hour a day surfing/all afternoon at the courts 20-something, it wouldn't have made much sense to me either.

JavierLW
07-27-2009, 04:08 PM
I definitely want to play, trust me, that's why I'm so bummed. If I'd known about the default earlier, I would have made other arrangements for tennis. With a 4 year old and another on the way, my time is pretty limited, but I carve some out for tennis because I really enjoy it. I can reliably get about 3 hours a weekend. So if I know about a default early, well I'm bummed, sure, because I joined the league to play, but I'd still have time to arrange another match.

Eh, this is probably something the young and free just won't understand until they get old. When I was a 3-hour a day surfing/all afternoon at the courts 20-something, it wouldn't have made much sense to me either.

Im not young or free.

Whether they fine you $5 or $100, defaults are bad news, period. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

You are right, if they let you know ahead of time, that sometimes nice, but if they dont, it doesnt change the fact that it's bad, so I dont see why we should expect some extra fine.

At least in Cindy's league they have SOME fine. Many areas dont.

It is there job to make sure 8 people are there to play, so 8 people on your team are able to play (since that's what you paid for).

It's not their job to worry about whatever other personal pursuits you may or may not have had going on had they not of been so rude as to not been able to find 8 players.

I also understand (and someone wants to keep arguing this point) that when a league is on the same night every week, defaults dont happen as often as when they are at all weird random days and times, where showing up for tennis is more likely to become a hassle, then it is when you can plan for it better.

Like here if the leagues on Thursday nights, that's the night the husband is allowed out of the house, wives arent going to let them out any random night or during the day or 3am or whenever.... That's more like having a part time job at Subway, then it is being part of a recreational activity.

OrangePower
07-27-2009, 05:35 PM
Im not young or free.

Whether they fine you $5 or $100, defaults are bad news, period. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

You are right, if they let you know ahead of time, that sometimes nice, but if they dont, it doesnt change the fact that it's bad, so I dont see why we should expect some extra fine.

At least in Cindy's league they have SOME fine. Many areas dont.

It is there job to make sure 8 people are there to play, so 8 people on your team are able to play (since that's what you paid for).

It's not their job to worry about whatever other personal pursuits you may or may not have had going on had they not of been so rude as to not been able to find 8 players.

I also understand (and someone wants to keep arguing this point) that when a league is on the same night every week, defaults dont happen as often as when they are at all weird random days and times, where showing up for tennis is more likely to become a hassle, then it is when you can plan for it better.

Like here if the leagues on Thursday nights, that's the night the husband is allowed out of the house, wives arent going to let them out any random night or during the day or 3am or whenever.... That's more like having a part time job at Subway, then it is being part of a recreational activity.

At one of our recent matches, our opponents defaulted 2 lines (1 singles, 1 doubles). So 3 out of our 8-man team ended up not playing. And 2 out of those 3 had quite a long drive. I was ****ed - this was on a Sunday afternoon, and surely the other captain would have known by the morning that he did not have a full team and could at least have called to tell us.

I think there should be penalties as follows:

1. If away team defaults, they cover any court costs incurred by the home team for the defaulted line(s).

2. In addition, any line defaulted results in a fine for the defaulting team. The fine should be big enough to discourage defaults but not crippling. I would suggest $50 per line.

3. To provide an incentive for the defaulting captain to provide advance notice, the fine should be reduced if at least 12 hours notice is provided. In this case I would suggest a $20 fine. Notice should be provided via email to the other captain with a cc to the league office.

JavierLW
07-27-2009, 05:57 PM
At one of our recent matches, our opponents defaulted 2 lines (1 singles, 1 doubles). So 3 out of our 8-man team ended up not playing. And 2 out of those 3 had quite a long drive. I was ****ed - this was on a Sunday afternoon, and surely the other captain would have known by the morning that he did not have a full team and could at least have called to tell us.

I think there should be penalties as follows:

1. If away team defaults, they cover any court costs incurred by the home team for the defaulted line(s).

2. In addition, any line defaulted results in a fine for the defaulting team. The fine should be big enough to discourage defaults but not crippling. I would suggest $50 per line.

3. To provide an incentive for the defaulting captain to provide advance notice, the fine should be reduced if at least 12 hours notice is provided. In this case I would suggest a $20 fine. Notice should be provided via email to the other captain with a cc to the league office.

I wont agree to 3.

And only because lazy captains will just happily give up on finding players if they can let you know ahead of time.

Some captains work hard trying to balance being competitive and letting every play and they are going to still be put out if teams default.

Any fine you come up with should be there to encourage teams not to default at all, that's the happiest solution to any of this.

OrangePower
07-27-2009, 06:26 PM
I wont agree to 3.

And only because lazy captains will just happily give up on finding players if they can let you know ahead of time.

Some captains work hard trying to balance being competitive and letting every play and they are going to still be put out if teams default.

Any fine you come up with should be there to encourage teams not to default at all, that's the happiest solution to any of this.

Well my suggestion is not to waive the fine completely if notice is given, but to reduce it somewhat. So there is still financial incentive to avoid defaulting if at all possible, but at the same time recognize that if the default is unavoidable then at least motivate the captain to call and give notice.

Tenski
07-28-2009, 05:55 AM
Tenski, how many defaults has your team suffered over the years?

I think my teams have done pretty well.

2.5 team (1 season): Two defaults, both due to a pregnant player being told by her doc late in the season that she had to stop

5.5, 6.5 combo (6 seasons): One default, player stuck in traffic

3.0 ladies (1 season): No defaults

3.5 ladies (2 seasons): One default, player apparently abducted by aliens

3.5 ladies day (2 season): One default, player thought 10:00 am match started at noon

We have had countless close calls, including players who travel to the wrong facility or get hopelessly lost.
Cindy--Just the one mentioned so far this year. None that I recall last year, but did have one done to us (other captain told his players the wrong club).
Doesn't look like everone posting understands that there is indeed a fine in our area for defaulting and that is paying for the courts. I almost always go to every match even if not scheduled to play so I can fill in if someone doesn't show or has an emergency. Haven't had to do it very often and it only works if the genders match up.
Tenski