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papatenis
09-14-2009, 10:43 PM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"

ArrowSmith
09-14-2009, 10:48 PM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"

Ah, let's change the rules for Serena. Righhhhhhhhhhhhhhht.

namui
09-14-2009, 11:13 PM
Disagree. Players should change (if they have foot fault habit), not the rule.

COPEY
09-14-2009, 11:14 PM
Ah, let's change the rules for Serena. Righhhhhhhhhhhhhhht.

If that's what the op is implying by creating this thread, well...yes, that would be ridiculous. If, on the otherhand his intent is to suggest that what happened in that match should prompt the powers that be to have a look at the rule and discuss it, then I definitely agree.

Stepping on the line doesn't give a player an unfair advantage over his/her opponent, especially now since S&V has gone by the wayside. It's little more than a boundary limitation nowadays. If they implemented electronic calling, you'll see players adjust their position on the line to ensure they're well behind the line - to the tune of 2" to 3" probably. Might be a little expensive for a rule that can't possibly change the outcome of a match.

Currently quite a few players put their foot right up to the line, and because the naked eye from distances of 5+ feet can't tell if a foot is 2 mm inside the line or just "close", my guess is that quite a few foot faults are potentially being committed but not called due to the linesperson not being sure.

In the end nothing may change, but I firmly believe that it's going to be on the table for discussion.

mawashi
09-14-2009, 11:19 PM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"

Bahhhhhhahahahahaha!

Yeah, change the rules so we can serve from inside the service box. Let's just remove the net while we are at it too LOL!

Just go see some of Edberg's games to see how many times he was charged for ff.

A ff is a ff!

nuff said.

mawashi

flyer
09-14-2009, 11:37 PM
it should be changed in the fact that it should be enforced....

you cant just take it away or it only counts on unimportant points, then players will be like all the way over the line...

if they just enforced it consistently it wouldnt be an issue

COPEY
09-14-2009, 11:49 PM
it should be changed in the fact that it should be enforced....

you cant just take it away or it only counts on unimportant points, then players will be like all the way over the line...

if they just enforced it consistently it wouldnt be an issue

Sure, enforcing rules are fine, but I think the problem with this rule is now that they have the means to be more accurate with the call, if they're going to enforce it, they should use the technology available to get the call right. Again, no human being can accurately discern wether a shoe is 2mm over the line or behind the line - it just can't be done. Given that reality, what do you do? I think the easiest, least expensive solution is to brief lines people to only call it if it's a blatant violation. That may well have been the case in Serena's situation, but my point is you can't just say "start enforcing it". Least of all that's how I see it.

MasturB
09-14-2009, 11:54 PM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
[/B]

Sliding into the baseline, is sliding into the court.

The lines are just there to display the edges of the court.

There's a reason why players serve as close to the line as possible instead of standing a few inches back. Just as hitting the ball on the rise takes away time for your opponent, hitting closest to your opponent within the rules also does as well. When Sampras used to serve and volley, he was almost at his own service line on the follow through.

flyer
09-14-2009, 11:54 PM
Sure, enforcing rules are fine, but I think the problem with this rule is now that they have the means to be more accurate with the call, if they're going to enforce it, they should use the technology available to get the call right. Again, no human being can accurately discern wether a shoe is 2mm over the line or behind the line - it just can't be done. Given that reality, what do you do? I think the easiest, least expensive solution is to brief lines people to only call it if it's a blatant violation. That may well have been the case in Serena's situation, but my point is you can't just say "start enforcing it". Least of all that's how I see it.

well whats blatant? thats completely arbitrary, is 1 inch blatent or is 1 foot blatent?

COPEY
09-15-2009, 12:01 AM
Blatant is when you see it on the replay, it's clearly evident to anyone with 20-20 vision.

It's completely arbitrary now because there's no way to tell with the human eye if a foot that's extremely close to the line is actually touching it.

flyer
09-15-2009, 12:17 AM
Blatant is when you see it on the replay, it's clearly evident to anyone with 20-20 vision.

It's completely arbitrary now because there's no way to tell with the human eye if a foot that's extremely close to the line is actually touching it.

its arbitrary now because its called at certain times my certain lines people and then not at other times, while some just dont call it at all

i think a good change would be that it can only be called by the chair umpire and it should be called all the time whether its 2-3 30-love or 46 56 15-30, they have the best angle anyway and be sure the chair would not call it unless they were 100% sure...

COPEY
09-15-2009, 12:28 AM
LOL well if the chair umpire can see it, I'd say that would be a fairly blatant violation. As for when it's being called or not, all you and I can do is speculate - you don't know. I'm intelligent enough to realize that guessing who's calling it or not is a waste of time. The bottom line is there are a number of variables that could influence a linesperson not calling a foot fault - one of them being that their eyesight isn't all that sharp, and possibly less so at night. Again, 2mm on the line is a foot fault - no ifs, ands, or buts...but if you can't see it, it isn't.

It still works if you turn it around: 2mm from the line isn't a foot fault, but if you can't see it, and you call it, what recourse do players have? So you potentially get called for a violation you didn't commit.

flyer
09-15-2009, 12:33 AM
LOL well if the chair umpire can see it, I'd say that would be a fairly blatant violation. As for when it's being called or not, all you and I can do is speculate - you don't know. I'm intelligent enough to know realize that guessing who's calling it or not is a waste of time. The bottom line is there are a number of variables that could influence a linesperson not calling a foot fault - one of them being that their eyesight isn't all that sharp, and possibly less so at night. Again, 2mm on the line is a foot fault - no ifs, ands, or buts...but if you can't see it, it isn't.

they do check the line judges eye sight, great eye sight is kinda a prerequisite...

there are a lot of variables though, and thats what makes it arbitrary

if only the chair umpire could call it and they always did so when they saw a clear footfault, kinda like overruling a ball, that would be almost exactly what your looking for...right?

COPEY
09-15-2009, 12:44 AM
Honestly, I wouldn't object to a change of that sort - the umpire calling all foot faults, so yeah, that pretty much falls under the umbrella of blatant.

Getting back to the original question, however, from 1908 to 1960 when serving you had to keep one foot on the ground. That rule was abolished, but prior to that no one saw it coming, thought it would never happen, but it did. I'm not saying the foot fault ruling will change or be done away with, but if it does, I for one wouldn't be surprised as a result of the attention it was given at this year's Open.

Dave M
09-15-2009, 02:35 AM
I see what you are saying OP, but i can't agree.?A said elsewhee there has to be a boundry line somewhere, the line is the court (or when a ball hit it it'd be called out)and you aren't as we all know allowed to be there when during your serve motion.
I just can not see the advantage to changing the rule, it works as it is.Unless someone could add to the hawk eye type tech to give u a line call like bowling ha, though how you'd tell it not to measure someone crossing the line off the ground i dont know.

CashDudeHomie
09-15-2009, 03:02 AM
The rule is fine how it is. Stop being ridiculous.

Stepping on the line to serve can be the difference between an ace and a ball going into the net.

We don't see it called very often because it DOESN'T HAPPEN very often. Pros have done this their whole lives, and know to keep their foot behind the line. If they are pressured enough, they might make a mistake and pivot/slide their foot wrong. They must be faulted when they do it. That is also why it often happens on crucial points.

Besides, Safin, Roddick, and Serena are the only players that do it regularly. What does that tell you? The other players are not stepping on the line.

COPEY
09-15-2009, 03:17 AM
And you know this with absolute certainty...how? You a linesperson? Or are you just assuming that just because it's not called very often that it doesn't happen often? That's called "faulty logic".

Like it or not, it's as much speculation on your part as it is on mine. What's ridiculous is when people make absolute statements about things they can't possibly prove, but that's pretty much the status quo for a lot of people here. You seem to fit right in lol.

drakulie
09-15-2009, 03:20 AM
Players should be allowed to serve from inside their opponents service box

jmverdugo
09-15-2009, 03:23 AM
This is ridiculous, MOST players do not foot fault! (at the pro level anyway)

chess9
09-15-2009, 03:32 AM
Bahhhhhhahahahahaha!

Yeah, change the rules so we can serve from inside the service box. Let's just remove the net while we are at it too LOL!

Just go see some of Edberg's games to see how many times he was charged for ff.

A ff is a ff!

nuff said.

mawashi

Amen!

And some of these people show no evidence they took geometry in high school. I'd suggest they re-think the notion that crossing the base line on the serve gives no real advantage-after they review their geometry. LOL!

-Robert

chess9
09-15-2009, 03:35 AM
Players should be allowed to serve from inside their opponents service box

Too complicated.

ALL SERVES WILL HENCEFORTH BE ACES!

-Robert

chess9
09-15-2009, 03:38 AM
This is ridiculous, MOST players do not foot fault! (at the pro level anyway)

Uhm, that's not true. Lots of players footfault. FED got called on one last night. I was surprised DP wasn't called as well as he moves his front foot occasionally.

Once we get some form of electronic or digital footfault system you will see players starting their service motion a full inch further back to avoid the inevitable. Some of them almost walk into the ball....

-Robert

JavierLW
09-15-2009, 04:33 AM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"

So what if there is no advantage??

It's a difficulty rule. You are supposed to be able to serve without stepping all over the baseline, that's part of the game.

If you have bad technique, you cant control your nerves or you are rushing, then that's something you have to deal with. Otherwise maybe we should allow you to hit the ball a few inches out and still not lose the point as well.

And there is an advantage, because some players (especially at the pro level) can handle themselves out there and dont foot fault. It's not fair that they should be able to do that, but you have other people who just flaunt the rule at will.

crazylevity
09-15-2009, 04:58 AM
Repeat after me: A foot fault is a foot fault is a foot fault is a foot fault...

Seriously now, foot faults have been part of the game since, like, forever. And if people have dealt with in for so long, people can deal with it now. Sure, every now and then people might accidentally foot fault, e.g. Federer, Safin, Hewitt, Serena. Just take your left foot an inch behind, and serve the next ball.

What is the big deal?

penang
09-15-2009, 05:27 AM
I had a meeting with Al and Jesse last night. They agreed to when serving, step or come into the court is okay but not going into opponent side. I was suggesting a new rule that a server can serve to any add or deuce to the opponent side. And they were like, Huh!

They want to make thing easier for their Sister on last week incident.

cheecl
09-15-2009, 05:50 AM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"

No need for any warning. No advantage? :confused: Why not step into the court when you serve?

JankovicFan
09-15-2009, 06:01 AM
Shouldn't the definition be simplified so that a foot fault is absolutely measurable? For example, never mind what the upper body is doing. Only be concerned with whether a light beam has been tripped at the baseline (down at ground level).

chess9
09-15-2009, 06:13 AM
Shouldn't the definition be simplified so that a foot fault is absolutely measurable? For example, never mind what the upper body is doing. Only be concerned with whether a light beam has been tripped at the baseline (down at ground level).

Yes, and quite doable.

-Robert

JavierLW
09-15-2009, 06:45 AM
They should use the USTA rules.

1- Only flagrant foot faults are called

2- If it is Flagrant a warning should be given

3- If there is another flagrant foot fault then the serve should be lost . if its a second serve they lose the point.

You are misquoting the rules.

That's only the situation when there is no official present and you are forced to call foot faults on your own.

WE only are to call flagrant ones because we are way across on the other side of the net and to call a "close" one would be impossible.

When you have a lines person sitting right there staring at the baseline and watching the server that is a different story.

Apparently you've never played in a tournament with roaming officials. They call foot faults all the time, you dont get a warning, and it doesnt have to be flagarent. If they see it, they call it, that's their job.....

Stinkdyr
09-15-2009, 07:31 AM
no more rules! no more borders! free $ for everybody!!!!

rommil
09-15-2009, 07:33 AM
What should change is the size of Serena's thighs that way when it's less gigantic she can actually see where her foot is when serving.

Stinkdyr
09-15-2009, 07:34 AM
What should change is the size of Serena's thighs that way when it's less gigantic she can actually see where her foot is when serving.


LOL!!! good one!

TheNatural
09-15-2009, 08:02 AM
Next time Serena should step back another 2 inches before she serves. And she should work on her forehand and on her fitness if she wants to get serious about winning.

MAX PLY
09-15-2009, 08:04 AM
Ump should have called it--she did not do her job and your opponent was cheated (not your fault (pun intented), you apparently did not know). A "microscopic" (I will grant you the hyperbole) foot fault should be called (in an umpired match) just as a ball that is "microscopically" out should be called out. There is really not difference--if a "microscopic" foot fault causes a ball to "microscopically" in, then the server got an unfair advantage, however small. Clearly, there should be some sort of verification (not sure a player should have to use a challenge here--maybe all footfault call subject to immediate verification at the server's request?), but today's game has, by introducing the challenge system, given up "close" calls--the technology gives us an "absolute" way to measure (yes, I realize there maybe accuracy problems with the challange system technology) at the margins--I see no persuasive reason to make an exception for a foot fault.

burosky
09-15-2009, 08:17 AM
There are players who are just creatures of habit. So much that if their pattern is broken they get all screwed up. I once played a doubles league match with someone I've never played against before. Prior to the match I was told that my opponent foot faults. It was blatant enough that when my partner is the one receiving and I was around the service line I can actually see half his front foot go over the base line. At first I thought no big deal because he doesn't continue forward after serving. He actually retreats back to the base line. He was serving really well though. I mentioned this to my partner. He did see what I was talking about. We wondered why we were given advanced warning about this player's foot fault. As such, out of curiosity, on his next service game, we warned him about it first. When he did it again and refused to acknowledge, we called for a linesperson. Because of this he forced himself to start his service motion a little further back from the baseline to compensate for his footfaulting. This little adjustment totally screwed up his serve. After the first double fault his serve changed dramatically. From serving effectively, he started serving conservatively. I would have never thought something like that would throw off a player's game that way until I saw it happen.

pmerk34
09-15-2009, 08:19 AM
Bahhhhhhahahahahaha!

Yeah, change the rules so we can serve from inside the service box. Let's just remove the net while we are at it too LOL!

Just go see some of Edberg's games to see how many times he was charged for ff.

A ff is a ff!

nuff said.

mawashi

Yes and they never called it when it could decide the match. 'Nuff said

pmerk34
09-15-2009, 08:20 AM
Repeat after me: A foot fault is a foot fault is a foot fault is a foot fault...

Seriously now, foot faults have been part of the game since, like, forever. And if people have dealt with in for so long, people can deal with it now. Sure, every now and then people might accidentally foot fault, e.g. Federer, Safin, Hewitt, Serena. Just take your left foot an inch behind, and serve the next ball.

What is the big deal?

Is this a serious post?

HellBunni
09-15-2009, 08:43 AM
Yes you are right.....thats the rules when no officials are present...and I believe thos are the rules that should be enforced.

In fact I played at sectionals and after my match the ump said that I was footfaulting but it was so slight that she decided not to call it.

Thats the way it should be. A microscopic foot fault shouldnt be called.....I mean whats the reason for calling it? Does a micoscopic foot fault give an advantage at all???

that is because we are recreational players.
we are not professionals getting paid.

the USTA needs membership, if they got strict, they might loss membership.

TensProfes
09-15-2009, 02:10 PM
Sure, enforcing rules are fine, but I think the problem with this rule is now that they have the means to be more accurate with the call, if they're going to enforce it, they should use the technology available to get the call right. Again, no human being can accurately discern wether a shoe is 2mm over the line or behind the line - it just can't be done. Given that reality, what do you do? I think the easiest, least expensive solution is to brief lines people to only call it if it's a blatant violation. That may well have been the case in Serena's situation, but my point is you can't just say "start enforcing it". Least of all that's how I see it.

Why do people keep saying this? It just isn't true. In the same survey they used to analyze the need for HawkEye, and they determined that foot fault calls were made correctly virtually all of the time. There wasn't a single case of a false positive foot fault call in the entire study! It is an easy call to make accurately, and that was definitively proven in a scientific study. Sheesh. In fact, human umpires had a smaller margin for error than HawkEye did when dealing with slow-moving objects (a sliding foot was found to move at less than 5mph).

The call is an easy and clear one, and things only get muddy when you try to insert a subjective element into the equation, such as "blatant". It is much easier to determine if a foot fault occurred or not than whether it was a "bad" one. As the sport currently stands, linespeople are not allowed to make ANY judgement calls of any kind. Their job is completely objective. The only officials with any subjective power or interpretive roles are the chair umpires and tournament referee. Putting more random power in the hands of lower level officials only risks damaging the quality of officiating, not improving it.

pmerk34
09-15-2009, 03:54 PM
You are misquoting the rules.

That's only the situation when there is no official present and you are forced to call foot faults on your own.

WE only are to call flagrant ones because we are way across on the other side of the net and to call a "close" one would be impossible.

When you have a lines person sitting right there staring at the baseline and watching the server that is a different story.

Apparently you've never played in a tournament with roaming officials. They call foot faults all the time, you dont get a warning, and it doesnt have to be flagarent. If they see it, they call it, that's their job.....

From playing USTA tennis (and I've never played with any line judges) it's clear that unless there is some repeated gross violation the match will be played.
The USTA realizes that if your opponents start trying to call foot faults every match will end in problems and people won't play USTA tennis.

I'm sure I foot fault at the 4.0 level. I was never taught how to serve or been shown video or had a coach teach me not to do it.

Raphael
09-15-2009, 04:01 PM
The rule should either always be enforced or they should get rid of it entirely.
Selective enforcement is rules is just ridiculous.

FiveO
09-15-2009, 04:05 PM
How hard is this rule to adhere to?

For chronic footfaulters it apparently is pretty damn hard?

Why would you think that is?

Perhaps that they feel the gain some edge if not physically at least psychologically that it is worth the risk doing it a second time.

Change the rule? No. Back up. How hard is this to understand?

5

Chadwixx
09-15-2009, 04:05 PM
Lol at some of these topics. "LETS GET RID OF THE RULE BECAUSE MY FAVORITE PLAYER IS TOO STUPID TO MOVE BACK HALF AN INCH".

I think if you step on the 3pt line in the nba it should count as 3 pts if there is less than 1min in the game.

You should also be able to step on the baseline if you dunk, layups dont count.

Andy G
09-15-2009, 04:10 PM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"

Or, how about every player could be responsible for their actions. Its not so hard to just move back half a step. Why do they have to be millimeters from the line?? If they choose to serve that close, then they have no one to blame but themselves. The players need to play to the rules not change the rules to fit the players. Maybe Fed's DF's should be reviewed. If they're "close enough" then they should be in.

JavierLW
09-15-2009, 06:32 PM
From playing USTA tennis (and I've never played with any line judges) it's clear that unless there is some repeated gross violation the match will be played.
The USTA realizes that if your opponents start trying to call foot faults every match will end in problems and people won't play USTA tennis.

I'm sure I foot fault at the 4.0 level. I was never taught how to serve or been shown video or had a coach teach me not to do it.

Yes, did you even read my post? How is what you said any different then what my point was? (my point was is that the idea that only flagrant foot faults are called is only the rule when there is no official)

And I have been in USTA League matches where foot faults are called. In doubles, the person at the net can usually call it, at least if it's flagrant enough.

There used to be entire teams in our area that were known for calling foot faults.

I once saw a woman literally cry in mixed doubles because some guy was calling it on her. (in retaliation because her partner was calling it on him, they were both foot faulting something awful)

So even in local leagues, if you flagrantly foot fault and you know it, you have to be responsible for yourself. Just because everyone else let's it go doesnt mean it cant be called.

And if it is called, you can choose to cry about it, you can choose to display your lowest hoodlum behavior, or you can just move back a few inches and deal with it.

I saw a 3.0 match today that was funny because one team just mentioned to a guy that he was going WAY over the baseline on the serve, and once he was aware of it, he actually SERVED BETTER!!! (he was tossing way too far into the court and was dropping his head to early, once he kept his front foot planted it seemed to fix the toss and he had a better energy transfer)

pmerk34
09-15-2009, 06:47 PM
Yes, did you even read my post? How is what you said any different then what my point was? (my point was is that the idea that only flagrant foot faults are called is only the rule when there is no official)

And I have been in USTA League matches where foot faults are called. In doubles, the person at the net can usually call it, at least if it's flagrant enough.

There used to be entire teams in our area that were known for calling foot faults.

I once saw a woman literally cry in mixed doubles because some guy was calling it on her. (in retaliation because her partner was calling it on him, they were both foot faulting something awful)

So even in local leagues, if you flagrantly foot fault and you know it, you have to be responsible for yourself. Just because everyone else let's it go doesnt mean it cant be called.

And if it is called, you can choose to cry about it, you can choose to display your lowest hoodlum behavior, or you can just move back a few inches and deal with it.

I saw a 3.0 match today that was funny because one team just mentioned to a guy that he was going WAY over the baseline on the serve, and once he was aware of it, he actually SERVED BETTER!!! (he was tossing way too far into the court and was dropping his head to early, once he kept his front foot planted it seemed to fix the toss and he had a better energy transfer)


Yeah I've never really got involved to the level your speaking about. I've played doubles and seen the foot faults but clearly not being done in any way to try and "cheat" so it's never been an issue in the matches I've played in.

ZhengJieisagoddess
09-15-2009, 07:02 PM
Just put in a challenge system and a camera for footfault calls in a major event.

COPEY
09-15-2009, 09:13 PM
Why do people keep saying this? It just isn't true. In the same survey they used to analyze the need for HawkEye, and they determined that foot fault calls were made correctly virtually all of the time. There wasn't a single case of a false positive foot fault call in the entire study! It is an easy call to make accurately, and that was definitively proven in a scientific study. Sheesh. In fact, human umpires had a smaller margin for error than HawkEye did when dealing with slow-moving objects (a sliding foot was found to move at less than 5mph).

The call is an easy and clear one, and things only get muddy when you try to insert a subjective element into the equation, such as "blatant". It is much easier to determine if a foot fault occurred or not than whether it was a "bad" one. As the sport currently stands, linespeople are not allowed to make ANY judgement calls of any kind. Their job is completely objective. The only officials with any subjective power or interpretive roles are the chair umpires and tournament referee. Putting more random power in the hands of lower level officials only risks damaging the quality of officiating, not improving it.

First off, what study are you referring to? Is there a link you can give me or point me to a book or article somewhere where I could read this study for myself?

Secondly, which is it - "they determined that foot fault calls were made correctly virtually all the time" (which means the percentage of correct calls are below 100%) or "There wasn't a single case of a false positive foot fault call in the entire study!" It has to be one or the other - not both.

Finally, as I've said before - electronic line calling isn't new. They've played matches on courts that were "wired" to call all the lines, and it worked. Not flawlessly, which is why it was nixed for implementation at the '93 U.S. Open, but it worked. Back then there was no study, no polls or anything of the sort. Just the desire to increase the accuracy of line calling in the sport.

As for foot faults, yes, they are infinitely easier to call compared to balls that are sometimes moving in excess of 130 mph - no argument there. My contention is, and it's along the lines of what Max Ply stated, if your foot is touching the line by 3 to 4mm, it's a foot fault, but no human I know of is going to dectect it. They could say "it looks like it's touching", but there's no possible way they could be sure. Conversely, if it's 2mm shy of touching the line it's not a foot fault - no question, it just isn't. Is it close? Very, but that doesn't make it a foot fault.

Am I advocating changing the rules because of the "possibility" of some foot faults or non foot faults being called incorrectly. Not at all. My bottom line is it's ludricrous to believe that just because you don't hear it called often doesn't necessarily mean it's not happening or that just because it is called that it's absolutely, 100% a foot fault.

Try positioning yourself on a tennis court in a chair where the linesperson would be that monitors foot faults (at least 20 feet away from the server, have someone place a shoe right up against the line. Direct them to make it either just touch the line or place the shoe just off the line...and I mean barely, then sit in the chair and see if you can tell if it's on the line or off. You'll be able to guess at it, you'll notice that it's obviously very close, but you won't be able to "see" a gap or accurately detect the absence of one.

BorisBeckerFan
09-15-2009, 11:01 PM
Leave the rules alone.

topher.juan
09-15-2009, 11:42 PM
Only call footfaults at scores below 30.... ha!!
No seriously, there's no gray area in footfaulting -- if a players foot touches the line a footfault should be called, no matter what the score/stakes are. It's the player's responsibility to ensure their foot does not touch the line... this is very basic.

NineMileSkid
09-16-2009, 04:20 AM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"

Do you really think that a fault is too severe a penalty?

tacou
09-16-2009, 08:17 AM
Stepping on the line doesn't give a player an unfair advantage over his/her opponent, especially now since S&V has gone by the wayside. It's little more than a boundary limitation nowadays.

Of course its a boundary, that's the point. Why not let a player serve from wherever they'd like? Because that would be unfair, that's why. So a boundaries must be made, and if you step over the boundary line you are penalized.

I really don't understand some of the reactions to this. It is a clear cut rule, doesn't matter when or by whom the infraction is made; it's a fault and that's that. No need to change it, don't do it and you won't be called.

penang
09-16-2009, 08:21 AM
Do you really think that a fault is too severe a penalty?

I really don't think it's severe but still a penalty. That is why you got two chances on your serve.

Always second serve is more cautious with high percentage to get the ball over the net and to make sure you don't do the similar mistake as previous first serve.

Like 100 meters Dash. Second fault start, out of the race.

Please do not change any rules just because the @#$%^# shoving ball into the throat incident. I still loves the sport of Tennis.

tacou
09-16-2009, 08:28 AM
Blatant is when you see it on the replay, it's clearly evident to anyone with 20-20 vision.

It's completely arbitrary now because there's no way to tell with the human eye if a foot that's extremely close to the line is actually touching it.

it's much easier to make a call when your on court staring at the players foot than over a TV replay from your couch. besides, I don't think the calls are being made when the foot is "2mm" over the line and the lines person is making a guess. if a lines person sees a foot fault they call it, that's there job after all.

ollinger
09-16-2009, 08:28 AM
Attorneys like to say "bad cases make for bad law." Translation -- this incident was unfortunate but is not a reason to change the rule.

tacou
09-16-2009, 08:32 AM
Try positioning yourself on a tennis court in a chair where the linesperson would be that monitors foot faults (at least 20 feet away from the server, have someone place a shoe right up against the line. Direct them to make it either just touch the line or place the shoe just off the line...and I mean barely, then sit in the chair and see if you can tell if it's on the line or off. You'll be able to guess at it, you'll notice that it's obviously very close, but you won't be able to "see" a gap or accurately detect the absence of one.

I'm having trouble with your point in this exercise. Lines people are not supposed to guess with their calls. they call it like they see it. if a person's foot is a few millimeters over the line and the foot fault is called, are you saying this is somehow unjust simply because at other times the lines person might not be as certain and consequently does not make the call?

LPShanet
09-16-2009, 01:30 PM
First off, what study are you referring to? Is there a link you can give me or point me to a book or article somewhere where I could read this study for myself?

Secondly, which is it - "they determined that foot fault calls were made correctly virtually all the time" (which means the percentage of correct calls are below 100%) or "There wasn't a single case of a false positive foot fault call in the entire study!" It has to be one or the other - not both.

Finally, as I've said before - electronic line calling isn't new. They've played matches on courts that were "wired" to call all the lines, and it worked. Not flawlessly, which is why it was nixed for implementation at the '93 U.S. Open, but it worked. Back then there was no study, no polls or anything of the sort. Just the desire to increase the accuracy of line calling in the sport.

As for foot faults, yes, they are infinitely easier to call compared to balls that are sometimes moving in excess of 130 mph - no argument there. My contention is, and it's along the lines of what Max Ply stated, if your foot is touching the line by 3 to 4mm, it's a foot fault, but no human I know of is going to dectect it. They could say "it looks like it's touching", but there's no possible way they could be sure. Conversely, if it's 2mm shy of touching the line it's not a foot fault - no question, it just isn't. Is it close? Very, but that doesn't make it a foot fault.

Am I advocating changing the rules because of the "possibility" of some foot faults or non foot faults being called incorrectly. Not at all. My bottom line is it's ludricrous to believe that just because you don't hear it called often doesn't necessarily mean it's not happening or that just because it is called that it's absolutely, 100% a foot fault.

Try positioning yourself on a tennis court in a chair where the linesperson would be that monitors foot faults (at least 20 feet away from the server, have someone place a shoe right up against the line. Direct them to make it either just touch the line or place the shoe just off the line...and I mean barely, then sit in the chair and see if you can tell if it's on the line or off. You'll be able to guess at it, you'll notice that it's obviously very close, but you won't be able to "see" a gap or accurately detect the absence of one.

The study he's referring to is the one they used in the HawkEye feasibility analysis a few years ago. They used it as part of the determination of which of several line-calling systems they would adopt (along with a lot of politics). I've seen it at a couple of administrative hearings and conferences for the sport, though I don't have a copy myself any more. And his statement about the accuracy is correct and isn't equivocal at all, as you suggest. The study found no examples of a false positive foot fault call. Because there wasn't a single case of a false positive, they determined that foot fault calls in general were made correctly virtually all of the time. As is obvious, they stated it in that way because they were drawing conclusions from a specific study about all officiating across the sport (both in terms of past occurrences, and in the future). So the statement means that because there were no examples of false positives in the study at all, it was reasonable, along with evidence of how physiologically easy it is to be accurate, to assume that virtually all such calls could be assumed to be accurate, but not all, as they hadn't observed all calls ever made. It's standard wording and quite clear as far as I can tell.

You're correct that when the early line-calling system you're probably referring to (called TEL) was discussed in the early 90's, they hadn't yet compiled the data we're talking about. The sport also hadn't yet consolidated even most of the match data they now have available, as computing power and access have improved. The TEL system, aside from its various flaws (not working in high humidity, having numerous "no-calls", etc.), was unfeasible due to its high cost and invasive nature of creating special courts, and the need to alter basic equipment (because the balls also had to have metal particles embedded in them). Those cost and practical issues were a much greater factor than accuracy in nixing TEL.

As for the procedures and instructions given to linespeople for calling foot faults, I think Woodrow is probably a better authority to consult on this than any of us. Let's hope he weighs in. But if my understanding is correct, linespeople are told to make the call any time they are confident in it (not based on any subjective factors), and not when they are uncertain. So unless the linesperson was seeing things, it's still most likely that she made the correct call, as usual.

Your assertion that a foot fault of 3-4mm can't be accurately detected simply isn't so. When sitting on the line, and looking right at it, it's not hard at all for a linesperson to see an overlap of that size. 3-4 mm is larger than it sounds and an overlap of that size easy to make out in static vision. However, if it were so close (say microns) that they couldn't see the foot crossing the line, they wouldn't call it because they couldn't see it, so the point is moot. I am happy to agree that it is possible there may well be uncalled foot faults due to their not being detectable, but I absolutely don't agree that this would lead to false positives. The human eye doesn't just see objects where they aren't, so seeing an overlap where there is none would require hallucination or similar. You don't create matter with your eyes. If you can't see it, it isn't called. If you can, it is. That doesn't lead to false positives. If anything, it implies that if there was any error, it was that Serena wasn't called for even more foot faults during the match. Same goes for Safin, Edberg and any other chronic foot faulters.

Atom
09-16-2009, 06:07 PM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"

If there is no advantage to encroaching on the baseline when serving then the obvious solution is for the server to stand sufficiently clear of the line when serving such that a foot fault will never occur. And, if there is no advantage why do they all stand right next to the line when serving. Your entire premise is complete nonsense.

West Coast Ace
09-16-2009, 06:12 PM
There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"Dumbest..... post...... ever. (by someone not named gj0001, GameSampras, Suresh, Fedace)

TenS_Ace
09-16-2009, 07:39 PM
Look, if your opponent is absolutely foot faulting, then just go up to the service box and let fly with your first serve! What's the difference? 1mm foot faulting or 15 feet foot faulting. It makes a DIRECT point to the infraction

Love40
09-16-2009, 07:58 PM
Well, I say "amnesty" to all the tennis players that have crossed the border just to have a better life!

pinky42
09-16-2009, 08:10 PM
No. Foot faults are line calls. Either in or out. They're not discretionary rulings like time violations or denying a challenge because of waiting too long.

raiden031
09-16-2009, 08:30 PM
Foot faulting should be penalized on the first occurence, no warning. I think the problem si that they are not enforced consistently, so players get really ticked when they are enforced at a crucial point. Its not the rule that is the problem, but how it is selectively enforced.

COPEY
09-16-2009, 09:13 PM
Of course its a boundary, that's the point. (1) Why not let a player serve from wherever they'd like? Because that would be unfair, that's why. So a boundaries must be made, and if you step over the boundary line you are penalized.

I really don't understand some of the reactions to this. It is a clear cut rule, doesn't matter when or by whom the infraction is made; it's a fault and that's that. (2) No need to change it, don't do it and you won't be called.

(1) That was never my point, but if it makes you feel better to assert something as ridiculous as that, so be it.

(2) Interesting in that I pretty much said the same thing. Try to take in the entire post instead of zeroing in on bits and pieces and then taking them way out of context. Here's a quote from my post:

"Am I advocating changing the rules because of the "possibility" of some foot faults or non-foot faults being called incorrectly. Not at all. My bottom line is it's ludricrous to believe that just because you don't hear it called often that it's not happening or just because it is called that it's absolutely, 100% a foot fault."

As for the last half of the last line in the above quote, I think it's highly probable to get that odd ball linesperson that will call foot faults that are extremely close, that feel it's their duty to, regardless of what they've been told. There's no way to police it, check or confirm it - he/she has the final call. I stress that I think it's the exception rather than the rule, but I'd bet money there have been a few of those.

Unlike some, I'm not defending Serena. I also don't believe the linesperson was hallucinating when she called her for the footfault. I simply don't believe in statements like, "Foot faults are easy to call accurately 100% of the time" or "If the player steps on the line, it's called - it's that simple". It's not, because first and foremost you have to see it, and there's no human on earth that could possibly see a foot fault every time one is committed.

Finally, I think my point from the beginning is this foot fault issue will probably be talked about by the ATP/WTA and other big wigs for the simple reason this is the first time in history such a call ended a match, and there's no way to confirm the validity of the call. Yes, you can "assume" the linesperson made the right call, and you can reference some study that was conducted several years ago, but the fact remains that you won't "know". What if she was a fraction of an inch shy of touching the line? With stakes that high (especially) I'd want confirmation.

(1) it's much easier to make a call when your on court staring at the players foot than over a TV replay from your couch. besides, (2) I don't think the calls are being made when the foot is "2mm" over the line and the lines person is making a guess. (3) if a lines person sees a foot fault they call it, that's there job after all.

(1) I agree - fully. The catch is it's easy to catch obvious foot faults.

(2) The reason the call isn't made is because it's so close that the only conclusion you can draw from an infraction that small is that "it's close...it's very close." The fact remains, however, that if the foot is touching the line, no matter how small, it's a foot fault. The fact that the a linesperson "probably" wouldn't call it doesn't make it a non-fault.

As for LPShanets claim that 3-4 mm is bigger than I think it is...I know exactly how big it is. I conducted the experiment myself, I have perfect vision, and I did it at night on a well lighted court, when it was overcast and when the sun was extremely bright. Shadows and glare were factors at night, and when the sun was extremely bright respectively. It was easiest to see when it was overcast, but at that distance (approx 20' from the shoe) I couldn't accurately discern whether it was barely touching or barely off the line. I imagine it's even more difficult if the person drags their foot up to the line.

(3) Again, I agree - "if". Doesn't mean that if they don't call it that a foot fault hasn't been committed.

NamRanger
09-16-2009, 09:52 PM
As stated before, I have done line judging for a few tennis matches myself (non-professional). There's no possible way I could tell someone was foot faulting unless it was very blatant and obvious.




This is absolutely ridiculous to think that a line judge from where they are sitting could get it right 99.9% of the time. Study my ***. Referees and judges in other sports totally blow calls that are far more blatant, and far more obvious than the very, very, very edge of a shoe going 2 mm over a line at most. You're telling me, that a middle age person, sitting a good fair amount of distance, after a long hour and a half or so, staring at a lane constantly, couldn't POSSIBLY miss a foot fault?




Total lunacy. Let me remind you what the human eye is capable of. You can discern lines that are 1 mm apart from about 11 feet or so; this is assuming you have 20/20 vision. Look at how far out the line judge is, and you can easily tell why that it's VERY POSSIBLE that the line judge could miss a foot fault call. Remember the dimensions of a tennis court, which is 36 feet wide when you count the doubles alley. Tack on another 10 feet or so and you can easily see how a line judge could miss a foot fault call.

skip1969
09-16-2009, 10:13 PM
why anyone straddles the line so tight when they aren't even coming to the net is beyond me, especially when you've been called already. it's one of the easiest rules to obey.

FiveO
09-17-2009, 07:41 AM
As stated before, I have done line judging for a few tennis matches myself (non-professional). There's no possible way I could tell someone was foot faulting unless it was very blatant and obvious.

I've done a ton of line judging in amateur, junior, open and age group senior events myself. My apologies, but this assertion is so far from my experience that I can only react to it as coming from an individual with less than normal vision and/or from lacking the experience or is being disingenuous.

This is absolutely ridiculous to think that a line judge from where they are sitting could get it right 99.9% of the time. Study my ***. Referees and judges in other sports totally blow calls that are far more blatant, and far more obvious than the very, very, very edge of a shoe going 2 mm over a line at most. You're telling me, that a middle age person, sitting a good fair amount of distance, after a long hour and a half or so, staring at a lane constantly, couldn't POSSIBLY miss a foot fault?

Detecting a 1/8th inch intrusion of a textured, 3D object, across the border of a straight edge of what constitutes a contrasting white field is difficult?

How one arrives at "2 mm over the line at most" based on the point of view of any of the camera angles available, seems to call into question the basis of the following:

Total lunacy. Let me remind you what the human eye is capable of. You can discern lines that are 1 mm apart from about 11 feet or so; this is assuming you have 20/20 vision. Look at how far out the line judge is, and you can easily tell why that it's VERY POSSIBLE that the line judge could miss a foot fault call. Remember the dimensions of a tennis court, which is 36 feet wide when you count the doubles alley. Tack on another 10 feet or so and you can easily see how a line judge could miss a foot fault call.

Offering a 1mm parallel line test, where equally sized, black and white lines 1mm lines will eventually merge to a solid grey as distance increases, is terribly misleading v. the visual acuity required to percieve an intrusion of a textured, three dimensional object of different, and in this specific case, highly contrasting color (tennis shoe) onto a white line from a contrasting field moving a relatively short distance, at low speed, from an all but completely static position and fixed distance.

Further, taking the numbers you provided and applying them to the context of the call in question, in that the server was serving at 15-30 to the ad court, approximately two feet from the center line and closer to the linesperson making the call, establishes the distance at about 26 feet.

Going back the misleading 1mm parallel line example, at what distance would you propose a subject possessing normal vision would be able to detect a reasonably sized, randomly shaped, 3-D object introduced to that field?

IMO the 1mm parallel line test supports the majority opinion as to how easy it is to clearly identify a footfault of the type being discussed here.

Even the science presented in "support" of the opinion offered here, while flawed at its core, produces a ratio of 1 mm to 11 feet, doubling it produces 2 mm at 22 feet, about.

IMO this example supports the majority opinion as to just how reasonable it is to accept that, motives and/or inattention aside, that it is in fact easy for an individual of normal vision, corrected or not, to detect a tennis shoe crossing even "2 mm over the line at most" from about 26 feet.



5

pmerk34
09-17-2009, 07:43 AM
As stated before, I have done line judging for a few tennis matches myself (non-professional). There's no possible way I could tell someone was foot faulting unless it was very blatant and obvious.




This is absolutely ridiculous to think that a line judge from where they are sitting could get it right 99.9% of the time. Study my ***. Referees and judges in other sports totally blow calls that are far more blatant, and far more obvious than the very, very, very edge of a shoe going 2 mm over a line at most. You're telling me, that a middle age person, sitting a good fair amount of distance, after a long hour and a half or so, staring at a lane constantly, couldn't POSSIBLY miss a foot fault?




Total lunacy. Let me remind you what the human eye is capable of. You can discern lines that are 1 mm apart from about 11 feet or so; this is assuming you have 20/20 vision. Look at how far out the line judge is, and you can easily tell why that it's VERY POSSIBLE that the line judge could miss a foot fault call. Remember the dimensions of a tennis court, which is 36 feet wide when you count the doubles alley. Tack on another 10 feet or so and you can easily see how a line judge could miss a foot fault call.


Of course the call was correct and should have been made. It was Serena serving

pmerk34
09-17-2009, 07:47 AM
I've done a ton of line judging in amateur, junior, open and age group senior events. I believe you're being disingenuous.



Detecting a 1/8th inch intrusion of a textured, 3D object, across the border of a straight edge of what constitutes a contrasting white field is difficult?

How one arrives at "2 mm over the line at most" based on the point of view of any of the camera angles available, seems to call into question the basis following:



Offering a 1mm parallel line test, where equally sized, black and white lines 1mm lines will eventually merge to a solid grey as distance increases, is terribly misleading v. the visual acuity required to percieve an intrusion of a textured, three dimensional object of different, and in this specific case, highly contrasting color (tennis shoe) onto a white line from a contrasting field moving a relatively short distance, at low speed, from an all but completely static position and fixed distance.

Further, taking the numbers you provided and applying them to the context of the call in question, in that the server was serving at 15-30 to the ad court, approximately two feet from the center line and closer to the linesperson making the call, establishes the distance at about 26 feet.

Going back the misleading 1mm parallel line example, at what distance would you propose a subject possessing normal vision would be able to detect a reasonably sized, randomly shaped, 3-D object introduced to that field?

IMO the 1mm parallel line test supports the majority opinion as to how easy it is to clearly identify a footfault of the type being discussed here.

Even the science offered here, while flawed at its core, produces a ratio of 1 mm to 11 feet, doubling it produces 2 mm at 22 feet, about.

In fact this reasoning has demonstrated just how reasonable it is to accept that, motives and/or inattention aside, that it is in fact easy for an individual of normal vision, corrected or not, to detect a tennis shoe crossing even "2 mm over the line at most" from about 26 feet.



5

Have you ever been shown conclusive video when you were a line judge calling foot faults of your calls?

jwbarrientos
09-17-2009, 08:52 AM
Keep the rule move away your f***g feet away of the line, simple.

FiveO
09-17-2009, 09:06 AM
Have you ever been shown conclusive video when you were a line judge calling foot faults of your calls?

Shifting the burden of proof is not an argument but a ploy, which at points in this exchange borders on the mentality of the unsupported conjecture of "Grassy Knoll and Remote Controlled Planes" conspiracy enthusiasts.

As in any sport using video replay review, the evidence would have to be clear, and conclusively contradict "the call" as made, in this instance green space, however slight between the outside of the server's left forefoot and the baseline. As of yet no such video has been presented.

All video of "the call" we've all be privvy to, was shot from angles which make it impossible, if only for the purposes of this discussion, to "reverse the call".

Applying the rules (including "Rule 5. The Line Umpire should give the Server the benefit of any doubt in calling a foot fault"... http://dps.usta.com/usta_master/sitecore_usta/USTA/Document%20Assets/2008/01/07/doc_13_15617.pdf) , code, customs and past practice associated with it, "the call" is correct. In addition to that, based on the very nature of "the call" and everything surrounding its type, the possibility that the linesperson got it wrong is overwhelmingly outweighed by the probability that she got it right.

In direct response to your question: I'll gladly view and accept what any conclusive video of "the call" reveals. Until then:

"The Proof", and based on the rules in other sports associated with the use of video review, "The Clear and Conclusive Proof" remains the "Burden" of the minority challenging "the call". Shifting that burden to the Majority is really no argument at all.

5

pmerk34
09-17-2009, 09:15 AM
Shifting the burden of proof is not an argument but a ploy, which at points in this exchange borders on the mentality of the unsupported conjecture of "Grassy Knoll and Remote Controlled Planes" conspiracy enthusiasts.

Oswald blew Kennedys head off.

FiveO
09-17-2009, 09:30 AM
Oswald blew Kennedys head off.

Some "enthusiasts" would attempt to compel you to produce the film of Oswald pulling the trigger and the uninterrupted flight of the projectile before accepting that too.



5

pmerk34
09-17-2009, 09:45 AM
Some "enthusiasts" would attempt to compel you to produce the film of Oswald pulling the trigger and the uninterrupted flight of the projectile before accepting that too.

A left winger killed Kennedy. His supporters wanted it to be a right wing republican. hence the idiotic theories.

LPShanet
09-17-2009, 09:53 AM
This is absolutely ridiculous to think that a line judge from where they are sitting could get it right 99.9% of the time. Study my ***. Referees and judges in other sports totally blow calls that are far more blatant, and far more obvious than the very, very, very edge of a shoe going 2 mm over a line at most. You're telling me, that a middle age person, sitting a good fair amount of distance, after a long hour and a half or so, staring at a lane constantly, couldn't POSSIBLY miss a foot fault?



No one is debating that they could miss a foot fault. They are debating that it's very unlikely one would be called when it didn't happen. A false positive is very different from a missed call. So yes, it's very possible that a linesperson could miss a foot fault. It's very unlikely that they would call one when one didn't happen. If you'd like to ignore the study, that's your prerogative, but keep in mind that the modern world generally accepts the scientific method.

LPShanet
09-17-2009, 09:59 AM
Of course the call was correct and should have been made. It was Serena serving

What exactly are you implying? :)

HellBunni
09-17-2009, 10:01 AM
No one is debating that they could miss a foot fault. They are debating that it's very unlikely one would be called when it didn't happen. A false positive is very different from a missed call. So yes, it's very possible that a linesperson could miss a foot fault. It's very unlikely that they would call one when one didn't happen. If you'd like to ignore the study, that's your prerogative, but keep in mind that the modern world generally accepts the scientific method.

I don't see how that is an issue. Before shotspot, and hawkeye, there was no way to challenge line calls. Unless the chair overruled (which isn't that often).
There was no review system. And tennis was fine all that time.

Sentinel
09-17-2009, 10:37 AM
I wonder whether I can draw a parallel to long jumps where for the tiniest of "foot faults" (crossing the line) the jump is disqualified.
With the few jumps there are, and several getting DQ'ed, it makes a big difference in outcome sometimes.

So doesn;t seem to be a big deal if FF's are enforced in tennis.

Dumbest..... post...... ever. (by someone not named gj0001, GameSampras, Suresh, Fedace)
haha, made me laff..

FiveO
09-17-2009, 11:31 AM
A left winger killed Kennedy. His supporters wanted it to be a right wing republican. hence the idiotic theories.

I sense you've missed the point.

5

pmerk34
09-17-2009, 11:32 AM
I sense you've missed the point.

5

I didn't. I just wanted to post that. :)