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View Full Version : Strings of different gauges,Illegal!


tennisputz
08-06-2009, 05:59 AM
I have read in many threads of players stringing hybrids with different gauge strings. How many of you are using an illegal racket setup. According to ITF rules governing rackets and subsequent case rulings:
1985 - Wording of the Rule - 3 cases added

Case 1. Can there be more than one set of strings on the hitting surface of a racket? Decision. No. The rule clearly mentions a pattern, and not patterns, of crossed strings.

Case 2. Is the stringing pattern of a racket considered to be generally uniform and flat if the strings are of a different gauge? Decision. No.

Case 3. Is the stringing pattern of a racket considered to be generally uniform and flat if the strings are on more than one plane? Decision. No.

Justification for the amendment

The Committee recommend these three Cases and Decisions which clarify principles incorporated in Rule 4.

diredesire
08-06-2009, 08:18 AM
I think they mean if a patch job was done, the strings should be the same gauge. I think these rules are a little open to interpretation ;)

I'd like to get an official ruling on this, as the string bed WOULD be very "generally" uniform.

jrod
08-06-2009, 08:29 AM
Was this ruling in response to banning spaghetti stringing?

I've never seen any issue with hybrid stringing where crosses and mains are different gauges. In fact, my current set-up does employ a thinner gauge on the x's (1.2) than on my mains (1.35).

dsa202
08-06-2009, 09:13 AM
Was this ruling in response to banning spaghetti stringing?

I've never seen any issue with hybrid stringing where crosses and mains are different gauges. In fact, my current set-up does employ a thinner gauge on the x's (1.2) than on my mains (1.35).

Yes is was.

jrod
08-06-2009, 09:46 AM
^^^ I don't think so. The spaghetti stringing incident apparently took place in 1977-78 time frame according to the ITF. Here is a link with a little historical write-up:

http://www.whatsalltheracquet.com/archives/001984.php

I have no idea what the ruling is targeting that the OP referenced...

tennisputz
08-06-2009, 11:43 AM
To me, the ruling is pretty clear. ITF governing bodies know that the strings vary from 15 to 19 gauges and therefore mixing the gauges is clearly illegal. I don't know how else one could interpretate the ruling. I don't think they meant a 15 and 16 were close and Ok, but a 15 and 18 were not. Spaghetti strings had nothing to do with strings of different gauges. I likewise was shocked when I first read this ruling.

Sublime
08-06-2009, 12:39 PM
Babolat, Wilson, Prince, Gosen, Head, Ashway, and on and on all sell hybrid packs with different gauge strings for the mains and crosses.

In fact this hybrid from Babolat (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageACBAB-BPHTVS17.html) is supposedly used by Nadia Petrova on tour.

tennisputz
08-06-2009, 12:45 PM
^^^^
Okay, when are strings considered to be considered of different gauge. Any clue?

Sublime
08-06-2009, 12:51 PM
I don't know. A thousandth of a millimeter is technically a different gauge, that's why I don't see how that rule is enforceable as strings are not uniform in gauge (especially natural ones). Also gauge changes with tension.

I agree the ruling is pretty clear, but it seems to be openly violated.

TenniseaWilliams
08-06-2009, 01:00 PM
Rule 4 was completely written in 2004, and again in 2006, removing the 3 cases mentioned by OP.

History of Rule 4 - The Racket (http://www.itftennis.com/technical/rules/history/racket.asp) from the ITF website.

tennisputz
08-06-2009, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the clarification. So it took them 20 years to clear this up. I'm glad I'm not cheating.

BreakPoint
08-06-2009, 10:00 PM
With this Note, I'm surprised that poly strings haven't been banned yet:


NOTE: The spirit of this rule is to prevent undue spin on the ball that would result in a change in the character of the game.The stringing must be made so that the moves between the strings will not exceed what is possible for instance with 18 mains and 18 crosses uniformly spaced and interlaced in a stringing area of 75 square inches (484 sq. cm).

Autodidactic player
05-16-2010, 08:06 AM
With this Note, I'm surprised that poly strings haven't been banned yet:

I think that the difference is that Poly strings don't create more spin they merely allow players to swing harder and thus create more spin. The spaghetti string pattern actually created more spin from the same strokes than would have been created using a traditionally strung racket. Shaped strings (hex, pentagon, rough, twisted etc) come close to violating this rule but I guess they are OK because the added spin is not "undue."