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Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 03:44 AM
Had a team match yesterday, and there was a confrontation on one of the courts about footfaulting.

Our gals had won the first set and were up 3-0, 30-all in the second when the opponents accused one of our players of footfaulting. The ensuing hostility caused our gals to fall behind, but they ultimately won.

After the match, the opposing captain took me aside to explain Just How Very Bad the footfaulting was. Our players, in turn, thought the footfault complaint was (1) wrong, as the player in question has a nice jumping service motion that some people mistake for a footfault, and (2) gamesmanship, since it was raised so late in the match. Bottom line is my ladies won and that's that.

I was thinking about the footfault rule, and I am starting to think it is the most lame, most unworkable, and most poorly conceived part of the Code.

In general, the Code tasks players with policing their own behavior. There are many examples. Players are to overrule their own bad calls. Call their own double hits. Call their own double bounces. Call when the ball touches them. Call when they tip a ball. Call when they reach over the net or touch it. Decide whether the opponents hindered them. As I sit here, I can only think of one situation where the Code gives the opponents the ability to call a rules infraction: Footfaulting.

Giving the opponents the right to call a footfault makes no sense to me. As anyone who has ever worked as a line judge can tell you, you need to be looking down the baseline to observe a footfault. An opponent is much more likely to know for sure whether there was a double-bounce in the mid-court than whether someone footfaulted at the opposite baseline. Not only that, if you gave most rec players a test where they had to watch footage from a distance and tell whether someone was footfaulting, most people couldn't do it because they don't even really know what a footfault is.

Then, to make the footfaulting Code provision just that much more likely to cause an argument, the Code tells the opponents that they must warn before they can call a footfault. Do you have to warn your opponents that they can't double-hit? No. All the warning achieves in real life is a verbal altercation and invitation to warn just to throw off the server.

If that weren't bad enough, the Code then lets the opponents unilaterally decide that they will start calling faults and thereby taking points from their opponents if the "flagrant" footfaulting continues. There is no definition of "flagrant," so this is subjective and left entirely up to the judgment of the receiver. In other matters such as a double-bounce or double-hit, the call is not subjective -- it either happened or it didn't. Can you imagine if line calls followed this principle, with balls being out only if they are "flagrantly" out?

Is it any wonder that so many arguments and tit-for-tat behavior occurs with the footfault rule?

I think the Code should be changed. In unofficiated matches, players should decide after the warm-up how footfaults will be handled. They can agree to abide by the current Code provision, with each team able to call flagrant footfaults after a warning. Or they can agree that they won't call footfaults. If the players forget to make an election, then no one can call footfaults. Making this decision after the warm-up allows each team to watch the other team serve (or decline to take warm-up serves) so they can decide how likely it will be that footfaulting might become an issue.

What do you think?

tfm1973
01-19-2010, 04:36 AM
17 years of usta tennis and i've never had a major problem of any sort involving foot faults. i was called for a foot fault by a roving judge once in a tournament. that's really the only instance i can remember.

in league matches i see A LOT of foot faults by both men and women. but they are:
1 -- by just a few inches at most
2 -- no benefit is gained by the server
3 -- it's not done intentionally

i figure at any level where foot faults TRULY MATTER -- there are judges who are there to make sure the rules are adhered to.

jrod
01-19-2010, 04:58 AM
Foot faults (FF) in league and club play are extremely common and almost never called. I don't think there is any real advantage gained by the foot faulter, but the fact of the matter is if you called them on it, you would likely have gained some leverage either in making them think about it, and/or just getting in their head.

I've never called anyone on a FF, but get continue to be incredibly annoyed by those who don't know how to serve without foot faulting.

Steady Eddy
01-19-2010, 05:00 AM
Once I was watching tennis on TV and one of the players was being called for footfaults. The announcer said that when that happens the player should stand about a foot behind the line so as to remove any chance of that happening again. Why not? Those inches aren't going to make that big of a difference, and then you can put the issue to bed.

rasajadad
01-19-2010, 05:17 AM
The other complicating factor is that the vast majority of players who foot-fault firmly believe they do not foot-fault.

jrod
01-19-2010, 05:29 AM
The other complicating factor is that the vast majority of players who foot-fault firmly believe they do not foot-fault.


E X A C T L Y....and if there is one thing I can't stand it's arguing with morons.

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 05:29 AM
Right.

Which is *exactly* why the footfault rule should be scuttled.

It doesn't matter.

Most receiver's won't call it anyway.

Most footfaulters think they aren't doing it, so having their opponent call it is only going to anger them.

If it is a match where it truly matters, there will be roving officials or line judges.

So why do we keep this lame rule on the books, then?

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 05:35 AM
Once I was watching tennis on TV and one of the players was being called for footfaults. The announcer said that when that happens the player should stand about a foot behind the line so as to remove any chance of that happening again. Why not? Those inches aren't going to make that big of a difference, and then you can put the issue to bed.

Why not back up a few inches?

Because having someone accuse you of cheating and then changing your serve position messes with your head. I was playing Districts and the roving official came up to me after one of my serves and said, "Be careful not to footfault with that front foot."

That was it. I could think of nothing when I served other than my feet. I served horribly for the rest of the match.

I'm not complaining; fair is fair. But it is not so simple to get a footfault accusation out of your head, even if it is a legitimate one spotted by an official. It must be maddening when possibly called by someone far away from the baseline who has every incentive to call a footfault.

origmarm
01-19-2010, 05:37 AM
It needs to be kept because at some point you have to draw the line, otherwise where do you draw it? Do you serve from the service line? Can you run 2 steps into the court? Where do you call it?

The "flagrant" part of the rule is designed to address your concerns to some degree in that frankly up to a certain level you are correct, it really doesn't matter. As such unless it's "flagrant" you don't need to (and really shoudn't as you can't be sure) call it.

Flagrant is a judgement call, but then so is everything else (for example if a ball is in or out). If you are not sure, don't call it. If you are sure, call it.

Panic492
01-19-2010, 05:45 AM
Maybe your gals should have called foot faults on their next 2 serves just to make a point about how silly calling them really is. There is no way you can tell unless you are sitting-looking down the baseline.

jrod
01-19-2010, 05:51 AM
Maybe your gals should have called foot faults on their next 2 serves just to make a point about how silly calling them really is. There is no way you can tell unless you are sitting-looking down the baseline.


DEAD WRONG. Not all FF's are created equal. Some are so blatant and obvious you could call them from a distant court.

ttbrowne
01-19-2010, 05:53 AM
If you really believe your opponents couldn't see it and called it surreptitiously, call one back.

sureshs
01-19-2010, 05:58 AM
17 years of usta tennis and i've never had a major problem of any sort involving foot faults. i was called for a foot fault by a roving judge once in a tournament. that's really the only instance i can remember.

in league matches i see A LOT of foot faults by both men and women. but they are:
1 -- by just a few inches at most
2 -- no benefit is gained by the server
3 -- it's not done intentionally

i figure at any level where foot faults TRULY MATTER -- there are judges who are there to make sure the rules are adhered to.

Those few inches are important. Makes a lot of difference in the geometry of getting the ball over the net.

Topaz
01-19-2010, 06:00 AM
The rule exists for a reason...there needs to a be a line or boundary at some point where you can't cross on your serve, or else people will serve from inside the court.

And that boundary needs to be enforced.

The enforcement, not the rule, is usually where issues occur.

And when serving and volleying, yes, a few inches can make a difference.

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 06:00 AM
It needs to be kept because at some point you have to draw the line, otherwise where do you draw it? Do you serve from the service line? Can you run 2 steps into the court? Where do you call it?

The "flagrant" part of the rule is designed to address your concerns to some degree in that frankly up to a certain level you are correct, it really doesn't matter. As such unless it's "flagrant" you don't need to (and really shoudn't as you can't be sure) call it.

Flagrant is a judgement call, but then so is everything else (for example if a ball is in or out). If you are not sure, don't call it. If you are sure, call it.

If you want to keep the rule, then agree with your opponents that you will play by the footfault rule and either side can call footfaults.

Me, I would watch my opponents in warm-up. If I think there will be a problem -- and there never has been in the past -- I would insist that we play by the footfault rule.

Really, people aren't going to start serving from the service line. If someone wants to cheat, there are much easier and more effective ways to do it.

origmarm
01-19-2010, 06:00 AM
DEAD WRONG. Not all FF's are created equal. Some are so blatant and obvious you could call them from a distant court.

Indeed. Hence the "flagrant" designation. Most of the time you can't tell but I've seen players take a full step into the court or even in one case jump and land with BOTH feet in the court before hitting the ball.

jrod
01-19-2010, 06:00 AM
^^^ ok, so it's pretty clear to me that Cindy has a point, but on the other hand, removing the rule altogether doesn't sit well with me.

I wonder if the right way to exercise the FF rule is in an attempt to rattle your opponent(s). Perhaps this is how it should be used...with discretion but also with intent. Perhaps this is why the rule is the way it is?

Topaz
01-19-2010, 06:02 AM
@Cindy, ok, but what if they serve from inside the baseline? And serve and volley? That would make a huge difference and give a sizeable advantage to the server.

Again, there has to be a rule as to where that boundary is...the rule isn't the problem, the enforcement is.

And if you scuttle the rule, then serving from the service line wouldn't be cheating, would it?

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 06:04 AM
The rule exists for a reason...there needs to a be a line or boundary at some point where you can't cross on your serve, or else people will serve from inside the court.

And that boundary needs to be enforced.

The enforcement, not the rule, is usually where issues occur.

And when serving and volleying, yes, a few inches can make a difference.

Fair enough.

Topaz, have you ever noticed that an opponent was footfaulting? Did you warn and then call? If not, how is the rule achieving anything other than making you feel resentful.

Yes, the issues occur with enforcement. But if that is so, then that means the rule itself is a bad rule.

You know, we tolerate the fact that Bad Line Calls Will Happen. The Code gives you no remedy for a bad line call other than asking, "Are you sure?" We know we have no way to enforce good line calling. Can you imagine if the rule allowed you to warn (ask if they are sure) and then on the next one you could just take the point?

Nope, it is time to start accepting that there is no good way to enforce the footfault rule so we should encourage people to stop trying.

origmarm
01-19-2010, 06:07 AM
If you want to keep the rule, then agree with your opponents that you will play by the footfault rule and either side can call footfaults

If people want to play like that I think it's fine. I would think the way to do this if you wanted to go that way would be to agree which rules you weren't going to enforce rather than which you were. I see some people play "first serve in" for example and while I don't do it, I don't see a problem with it.

I tend to agree that the motivation is not cheating. It doesn't change the rule though, you have to have a starting point for the serve, in the same way that the court has dimensions and the ball has to land in the lines. If you don't start calling it when you are sure that it's outside of the rules then you might as well just hit all the balls "a bit out" so long as you are not meaning to cheat...

As long as both parties agree it's not a biggie but I don't think you can get upset when people want to play by the rules, especially in USTA (or other) sanctioned play

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 06:09 AM
If someone hooks you, you can just live with it. Or you can hook them back.

If someone serves from the service line, you can see the ball as out.

Really, can't we write a rule for what happens in 99% of matches and not the 1% of matches where someone serves from the service line?

origmarm
01-19-2010, 06:09 AM
You know, we tolerate the fact that Bad Line Calls Will Happen. The Code gives you no remedy for a bad line call other than asking, "Are you sure?" We know we have no way to enforce good line calling. Can you imagine if the rule allowed you to warn (ask if they are sure) and then on the next one you could just take the point?

Well I think personally that it's the same. If someone calls marginal balls out or marginal footfaults out in both cases you lose the point and have no "remedy" to it. At least with a footfault you can just stand back and make it next to impossible to hook you on if you feel you are being cheated.

jrod
01-19-2010, 06:09 AM
....Nope, it is time to start accepting that there is no good way to enforce the footfault rule so we should encourage people to stop trying.


Cindy- I think I disagree with this. If I am comfortably winning the match, I don't care if FF's are occurring. If it's a tight match and my opponent is FF'ing, I have the option of calling them on it. Even if I just warn them, I've likely accomplished my goal of getting them to think about what they are doing. If they ignore my warning(s), I then have the option of calling them on it. If it escalates, then I've probably won the match, but not in a way that I find very satisfying.

Topaz
01-19-2010, 06:10 AM
Cindy, if I notice it during a match, I will usually say something at the end, regardless of outcome. At our level, most people either don't know or are unaware. One of my clinic mates FFs regularly, and our instructor is constantly making her aware.

Because, if/when you advance to districts, the roving officials *will* call you on it. So, when I do mention it to others, I also say 'you know, if you ever go to districts, the officials will call it'.

And I leave it at that.

Just like bad calls will happen, so will foot faults. At our level, it isn't so much of an issue, but we play with the same rules as the pros, and at their level, it does make a big difference to have those few extra inches.

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 06:11 AM
Or maybe the footfault rule should be that a footfault call is a let, not a fault.

So if you call a footfault -- which you have to do before the serve bounces -- then the server takes another serve. This goes on as long as it takes for the server not to footfault or for the receiving team to get exhausted and just let it go so they can actually play some tennis.

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 06:13 AM
Cindy, if I notice it during a match, I will usually say something at the end, regardless of outcome. At our level, most people either don't know or are unaware. One of my clinic mates FFs regularly, and our instructor is constantly making her aware.

Because, if/when you advance to districts, the roving officials *will* call you on it. So, when I do mention it to others, I also say 'you know, if you ever go to districts, the officials will call it'.

And I leave it at that.

Just like bad calls will happen, so will foot faults. At our level, it isn't so much of an issue, but we play with the same rules as the pros, and at their level, it does make a big difference to have those few extra inches.

Right. That is what I would do. Let them know afterward, or not.

So why do we have a rule that allows the receiver to, as Jrod explained, get his opponent thinking about it? We don't have other rules that can be used like this to get into someone's head.

origmarm
01-19-2010, 06:13 AM
Or maybe the footfault rule should be that a footfault call is a let, not a fault.

This I can see being an alternative option that would work

Topaz
01-19-2010, 06:25 AM
Right. That is what I would do. Let them know afterward, or not.

So why do we have a rule that allows the receiver to, as Jrod explained, get his opponent thinking about it? We don't have other rules that can be used like this to get into someone's head.

We all use the same rules, but we don't all have the same level of enforcement. In the pros, calling FF is not the responsibility of the opposing player, so the gamesmanship aspect is not an issue. On the league level, unfortunately, it is a different issue.

If people call it out of gamesmanship, again, there will only be a certain point (up until districts) that they can get away with it. I don't really see it any differently than people who hook on line calls, yet you are not proposing we get rid of those rules, too?

It is what it is. Play tennis and don't sweat the small stuff! :)

JRstriker12
01-19-2010, 06:28 AM
If you really believe your opponents couldn't see it and called it surreptitiously, call one back.

This is another reason why people don't call them. No one wants to turn a match into a foot-fault call nuclear war with tit-for tat calling. Calling one back just because you got called is the wrong thing to do, but this is what will happen in most matches.

In league play, I haven't seen anyone who's footfault was flagrant enough to make me want to call it. I have seen people who take a whole two steps inside the baseling before serving, but 1. I was lucky to not have to play them and 2. Their serve was ineffective even with the footfault.

athiker
01-19-2010, 06:34 AM
In general, the Code tasks players with policing their own behavior. There are many examples. Players are to overrule their own bad calls. Call their own double hits. Call their own double bounces. Call when the ball touches them. Call when they tip a ball. Call when they reach over the net or touch it. Decide whether the opponents hindered them. As I sit here, I can only think of one situation where the Code gives the opponents the ability to call a rules infraction: Footfaulting.

Giving the opponents the right to call a footfault makes no sense to me. As anyone who has ever worked as a line judge can tell you, you need to be looking down the baseline to observe a footfault. An opponent is much more likely to know for sure whether there was a double-bounce in the mid-court than whether someone footfaulted at the opposite baseline. Not only that, if you gave most rec players a test where they had to watch footage from a distance and tell whether someone was footfaulting, most people couldn't do it because they don't even really know what a footfault is.

What do you think?

Let me start by saying I've never had an issue with footfaulting in a match, never seen it called or noticed an opponent doing it, only by another teammate that I observed in practice that I mentioned in another thread.

I do think it can be seen by someone other than looking down the baseline. The opposing net person should be able to see a "flagrant" footfault IMO. Agreeing ahead of time not to call footfaulting is not workable IMO and I disagree that no advantage is obtained from footfaulting a few inches. I hit the netcord on serves fairly often and if I could just scoot a little closer it would be like I was a little taller...basic geometry. Near misses might clear and "lets" certainly become good serves. Anyone disagree that a taller player has an advantage in serving?

As someone mentioned, would you allow an opponent to serve from the service line? No? How about between 3 feet in from the baseline? No? How about 6 inches in from the baseline? 4 inches? Maybe? So should we draw a line 4 to 6 inches inside the baseline and say anything over that line is a footfault? Wait!...we already have a line drawn on the court that determines where a footfault occurs...the baseline! :) I'm obviously tongue-in-cheek here, but I think the "flagrant" language in the code is meant to simply address that a footfault should not be called unless one is sure...ie. it is flagrant and obvious. That works for me.

I agree most of the rules and code are designed to call things on oneself and only an outright cheater would intentionally serve from several feet inside the baseline but isn't deciding if an opponent hinders you the same as deciding if an opponent footfaults?

If someone called me on a footfault, I would of course think about my feet for the next serves, but I would also move back a few inches and get on with the game. That would be the price of my footfaulting. I would also wonder if I had unknowingly been doing this for a long time and wonder if no one was willing to tell me!

If the other team called a fault when I was not faulting just to get in my head or steal a point, well they are cheaters. Cheaters have plenty of opportunity in tennis to cheat and its tough to create any rule to stop them.

I guess the last thing is just b/c some rec players do not know what a footfault is or, any other rule, is not a reason not to have the rule. The question of who's point it is when a heavily backspun ball lands on your opponent's court and spins back your side untouched seems to pop up regularly. Many don't seem to know the correct answer, but I don't think anyone would say change the rule. I would say simply try to promote the reading of the rulebook, and publicising of the rules via USTA publications, section coordinators, etc. Believe me, a ton of people don't know the rules of golf! :)...but the rules remain.

equinox
01-19-2010, 06:40 AM
The rule exists for a reason...there needs to a be a line or boundary at some point where you can't cross on your serve, or else people will serve from inside the court.

And that boundary needs to be enforced.

The enforcement, not the rule, is usually where issues occur.

And when serving and volleying, yes, a few inches can make a difference.

FF should never be called by the receiving player in singles or doubles. There focus is on the ball not the feet. Arguably the net player would be in a better situation to call a clear FF. One really needs to be standing sidewards looking down the baseline to call accurately.

imho calling a FF does more harm than good to general harmony of playing tennis. If the FF is both flagrant and consistent then a simple polite tactful advice at the changes should solve the problem.

i suggest taking note and leaving ff calls to the sideline officials and finals series.

Topaz
01-19-2010, 06:48 AM
FF should never be called by the receiving player in singles or doubles. There focus is on the ball not the feet. Arguably the net player would be in a better situation to call a clear FF. One really needs to be standing sidewards looking down the baseline to call accurately.

imho calling a FF does more harm than good to general harmony of playing tennis. If the FF is both flagrant and consistent then a simple polite tactful advice at the changes should solve the problem.

i suggest taking note and leaving ff calls to the sideline officials and finals series.

In local league play there is nobody else other than the receiving player(s) to call FF.

If a receiving player does call a FF, they haven't broken any rules at all in doing so.

So, while you can certainly have the opinion that a receiving player should never call FF, there is no rule stipulating that at all.

athiker
01-19-2010, 06:52 AM
Oh, I also wanted to say forums like this are great about learning and discussing stuff like this too so I'm glad you brought it up Cindy.

For example, I never played competitive tennis in H.S. or College...just casual play. No one ever told me it was good form to simply catch our opponents warm-up serves and then take your serves with the caught balls, and so forth. I had a vague feeling that it wasn't quite right to try to time them and hit a real ROS, kind of like in baseball, so I would typically just block them back. Now I know, from this forum.

I had a Compass match the other night, and we caught each other's serves. First time for me, but it was obviously normal for him...I would've loved for someone to have told me this earlier...who knows how many I unknowingly irked over the last couple years?

Now when he fell behind and started to try to have a conversation with me during my service, it was I that got a little irked, but that's another story...he finally stopped that and it was a good friendly match.

equinox
01-19-2010, 06:56 AM
In all my tennis i've only ever seen one major flagrant footfaulter.
6.4" S+V making contact 1/2+ metre inside the line. 3/4 court at contact point!
It was so shocking we had to advised him to be more becareful of FF and he still did it just not as quite bad. That player was certainly aware he was cheating.

I don't consider a foot half on/off either side of the line to be flagrant or obvious. Certainly not enough of an advantage to bother calling or reminding the player about the FF rule. most of these players are lazy and not aware they're breaking rules.

Taxvictim
01-19-2010, 07:01 AM
Or maybe the footfault rule should be that a footfault call is a let, not a fault.

That already is the rule, for the first offense. You have to give a warning, and that warning results in a let, not a fault. (Though some read that part of the Rules and Code to say the point stands, I don't think that's a correct interpretation.) If the foot faulting continues, the opposing team can call a fault. That's the best possible way to play it, so no changes in the rules or the code are necessary.

I hate foot faulting when I see it. It's not just crossing the line. Taking multiple steps while serving is also a foot fault, and that is very easy to see from the opposite side. So is crossing the center hash mark, or starting the service motion with a foot touching the imaginary extension of the court boundary.

Those of you who say it doesn't make a difference are wrong. When the server's toss is slightly off and you let him move his feet anywhere to adjust his swing, you have given him a huge advantage, even if he doesn't serve and volley. Really aggressive servers who launch their whole bodies forward, yet drag a toe across the line before contact, get big advantage from not being called for their rule breaking, even if it's just an inch.

This is an athletic competition with a fixed set of rules, and players have to perform athletically within the parameters of the game. Just because the rule is difficult to enforce in a polite social setting doesn't mean it should be ignored.

All that said, I have only once warned an opponent he was foot faulting. It was between points, and he was standing over the hash mark when he served.

equinox
01-19-2010, 07:03 AM
In local league play there is nobody else other than the receiving player(s) to call FF.

If a receiving player does call a FF, they haven't broken any rules at all in doing so.

So, while you can certainly have the opinion that a receiving player should never call FF, there is no rule stipulating that at all.

Maybe in your district. In my district you're to find an official to make any ff calls. not a problem for tournaments or finals matches with an impartial match supervisor.

Only thing a ff call does is create ill will between players, which will be paid back with a bad call or payback ff call.

Topaz
01-19-2010, 07:06 AM
Maybe in your district. In my district you're to find an official to make any ff calls. not a problem for tournaments or finals matches with an impartial match supervisor.

Only thing a ff call does is create ill will between players, which will be paid back with a bad call or payback ff call.

Then our area leagues do differ.

But as many have pointed out, the FF rule exists for very clear reasons, and none of them are to create ill will.

equinox
01-19-2010, 07:16 AM
fair enough topaz.

I like to see everyone to test how long it takes to get called on footfaults.

Slowly and discretely move forward until you're standing on the serve line. I believe one could get to 3/4 before there starting position was queried.

Interesting test of peoples tolerances in both social and comp tennis.

Matt H.
01-19-2010, 07:32 AM
I’ve had two instances of gray area rules.

One being taking forever to serve, and the other extreme foot faulting.

I disagree about not being to see foot faults. I’ve played, and witnessed matches with guys having their entire foot cross over and plant inside the baseline during the serve wind up.

Generally it doesn’t get called during the game, but during the changeover you point it out, ask for them to correct it, and move on.

As for the time issue, I lost my cool during that match. He was spinning his racquet because “he was trying to find the right grip” while bouncing the ball upwards of 20-30 times while standing at the line to serve.

I asked both my captain and the opposing captain about getting a clock, but no one cared.

drakulie
01-19-2010, 07:33 AM
What do you think?

You need to tell your players to stop foot-faulting.

Kostas
01-19-2010, 07:37 AM
Why should we consider changing (or eliminating) a major rule just because you had one ***-hat exploiting to an extreme?

This isn't any better than if we decided to never have an official USTA match without a team of qualified line judges on each court because you had ONE opponent who blatantly hooked you on more than 50% of the points.

Let me ask you this:

Would you rather be exploited by some **** exploiting the foot fault rule or by some **** exploiting the LACK of a foot fault rule?

The former is easily remedied IMO...

cak
01-19-2010, 07:48 AM
Is NorCal the only area that allows players to call court monitors during a match? I've been called out onto the court to call both lines and footfaults. (The actual rule is the players call the line or footfaults, the court monitor may over rule calls.)

JRstriker12
01-19-2010, 07:56 AM
Is NorCal the only area that allows players to call court monitors during a match? I've been called out onto the court to call both lines and footfaults. (The actual rule is the players call the line or footfaults, the court monitor may over rule calls.)

Just wondering does NorCal have court monitors at matches outside of the district/playoff rounds?

In the Mid Atlantic, I haven't seen a court monitor in league play, only at USTA tournaments. In most cases, the best you can do is to alert the captains if things go down hill too far.

Topaz
01-19-2010, 07:58 AM
Just wondering does NorCal have court monitors at matches outside of the district/playoff rounds?

In the Mid Atlantic, I haven't seen a court monitor in league play, only at USTA tournaments. In most cases, the best you can do is to alert the captains if things go down hill too far.

I believe wee can actually have someone come to the court, though usually there isn't anyone available (especially for those 9:30pm matches). Remember your captain is usually also playing.

There are always going to be 'hookers' or people who break rules, whether intentionally or not. At the local level it is tough to enforce...but I think most of us would agree that the *majority* of the time, things like this are not an issue.

gameboy
01-19-2010, 08:25 AM
Seriously, before talking about a rule change I think you need to ask the player to step away from the baseline so that a foot fault call is not even a concern.

I put my toe about 6 inches behind the baseline so that I have some room for error. Why risk a FF call?

drakulie
01-19-2010, 08:26 AM
Cindy only likes to cite rules and have them adhered to when they suit her needs.

Racer41c
01-19-2010, 08:35 AM
Really, can't we write a rule for what happens in 99% of matches and not the 1% of matches where someone serves from the service line?

So if there's no rule does it still apply to the 99%? Or if there's no rule and no inforcement, everyone starts serving from inside the court?

One of the top guys I play with foot faults all the time. He's got a very low and very forward jump in his motion. The problem is, he lands at least 50% of the time before he hits the ball. He's the best server in this group of 50 guys and giving him another foot and a half isn't right. So we give him a hard time and he steps back and bombs a couple aces to shut us up. It's all in good fun.

The point is, if your faulting your faulting. Quit being a head case, get over it, step back and bomb away.

Ripper014
01-19-2010, 08:50 AM
The rule exists for a reason...there needs to a be a line or boundary at some point where you can't cross on your serve, or else people will serve from inside the court.

And that boundary needs to be enforced.

The enforcement, not the rule, is usually where issues occur.

And when serving and volleying, yes, a few inches can make a difference.


Sorry Cindy I cannot agree with you this time... I have to go with Topaz on this one.

I have played a lot of league tennis over the years... and have faced more than my share of foot faulters... have I ever called one... NO. Should I have probably... but we play at a recreation level and it is not life ending to win or lose.

I find it interesting that we as a community would even argue rules... are we not as respectable a group of sports men and women as golfers who call infractions on themselves.

I currently play tennis with someone that swears he does not foot fault but is at least 4 feet into the court by the time he strikes the ball. He thinks he is in the air... I am pretty sure most people are not going to complain if you inch into the court... so I am assuming your player was probably well into the court.

The fix is simple as mentioned by Steady Eddie step back... As the captian of your team maybe you should evaluate your players without their knowledge so you can get a sense of how far they do get into the court... if they do. I myself am aware my lead foot shifts a bit in my service motion so I start about 12 inches from the line.

Serving is a skill and you are required to serve 39 feet from the net... not 38 feet not 37 feet.

And it must be really bugging you Cindy... you are up really early today.

athiker
01-19-2010, 09:09 AM
If someone hooks you, you can just live with it. Or you can hook them back.

If someone serves from the service line, you can see the ball as out.

Really, can't we write a rule for what happens in 99% of matches and not the 1% of matches where someone serves from the service line?

Thinking about this a little more...we call our opponent's balls in or out (for obvious reasons) and if we think our opponent is cheating us, we might get upset and "hook them back" (I fortunately haven't had this happen in reality.). Can't the same be said/done for footfaults? It should be pretty easy in a doubles situation to have your partner take a look at your feet a few times to check if you are really footfaulting or if the other team is cheating. At that point, either due to bad line calls or fake footfault calls, a player would have to make the personal decision whether to cheat back to "even the score".

In either scenario...opponents hooking you on line calls or calling dubious footfaults the temperament of the match is going to go downhill so what is the difference?

It seems like the current "code" to give your opponnent the benefit of the doubt in both line calls and footfaults (only calling flagrant faults) covers almost all matches pretty well. The other small % of matches are going to go downhill regardless. If someone calls a fake footfault, I have to believe they would be calling close balls or balls on the line out as well.

blakesq
01-19-2010, 09:26 AM
Cindy,

Were your players footfaulting?

Ripper014
01-19-2010, 09:29 AM
Thinking about this a little more...we call our opponent's balls in or out (for obvious reasons) and if we think our opponent is cheating us, we might get upset and "hook them back" (I fortunately haven't had this happen in reality.). Can't the same be said/done for footfaults? It should be pretty easy in a doubles situation to have your partner take a look at your feet a few times to check if you are really footfaulting or if the other team is cheating. At that point, either due to bad line calls or fake footfault calls, a player would have to make the personal decision whether to cheat back to "even the score".

In either scenario...opponents hooking you on line calls or calling dubious footfaults the temperament of the match is going to go downhill so what is the difference?

It seems like the current "code" to give your opponnent the benefit of the doubt in both line calls and footfaults (only calling flagrant faults) covers almost all matches pretty well. The other small % of matches are going to go downhill regardless. If someone calls a fake footfault, I have to believe they would be calling close balls or balls on the line out as well.

I would also like say that it did not sound like they claimed any points but noted that you were foot faulting. I do not believe it was done with bias but perhaps only because they felt your team was taking an unfair advantage.

Kostas
01-19-2010, 10:11 AM
Cindy,

Were your players footfaulting?

Actually I was just thinking this same thing...

Cindy are you mad that your players were breaking rules that you don't *feel* are important or that you don't think they were FF'ing and the other team shouldn't have the ability to call it?

kylebarendrick
01-19-2010, 10:28 AM
Just wondering does NorCal have court monitors at matches outside of the district/playoff rounds?

In the Mid Atlantic, I haven't seen a court monitor in league play, only at USTA tournaments. In most cases, the best you can do is to alert the captains if things go down hill too far.

The Norcal "court monitors" are generally one player from each team. This option is in our local league rules and eliminates most arguing over line calls or footfaults. A player is allowed to ask for a "line judge" which can either be one impartial person acceptable to both players (rarely happens) or one non-playing person from each team. Those monitors can confirm or overrule line calls (when asked) and can call footfaults.

I have been called on court both to call lines and to call foot faults. The latter case was funny: I had been watching the match and both players had been foot faulting by a foot or more on most serves. They finally started arguing about it and asked for a line judges. Strangely enough, once they had people on court to make the call they both managed to keep their feet behind the line.

Finally, the best definition I've seen of "flagrant" is "so obvious that it can be easily seen by the opposing player or team".

JavierLW
01-19-2010, 10:50 AM
What do you think?

Rather then blame the rule, blame the people who:

1) Will refuse to call it even if it's obvious, somehow feeling that it's taboo or mean spirited or whatever..... This is what causes people to get offended when it is called.

2) The people who take it personally when it is called.

3) The people who are doing it, yet they dont believe it. (and you always have to wonder if REALLY they just fall under category 2 and they are just offended more then anything)

4) The people who do call it but either get the actual rule of "what a foot fault" is wrong, or they call foot faults that are not foot faults.

We've seen plenty of your posts, you think if "everyone" is getting away with something (like hitting balls before they pass onto your side of the net) that somehow it's a bad rule..... That's not the case....

And you move a foot behind he service line, not "inches" because for most people that removes any chance that you're going to go over and if they still call it it's unlikely they know what they are talking about unless you have an extremely strange looking serve.

sureshs
01-19-2010, 11:10 AM
There are always going to be 'hookers'

Cindy's opponents were hookers? Where/what does she play? :-)

Kaptain Karl
01-19-2010, 11:33 AM
Cindy, your teammates should learn to serve properly. Then it wouldn't be problem.

FF should never be called by the receiving player in singles or doubles....Not correct. The Receiver can certainly easily see a flagrant Center Line FF. (I've seen a bunch of Lefties crowd the Center Line and FF when serving into the Deuce Court. And vice versa for Righties in the Ad Court.)

If the Server's "windup" is when they step 18 inches or a foot across, yes, call it! (First time give an informative warning. After that, if they're gonna keep cheating, call it.)

I remember one time in a HS match, our opponent would step a foot into the court with his front foot just as he tossed the ball ... then he'd do a crossover step with his back foot(!). By then he was over 2 feet inside the court!

My partner and I cautioned him after his very first point. He ignored us and did it again.

My partner called the FF and he went *ballistic*. His partner said, "But they're right. You DO FF." He almost punched-out his own partner...!

We won that match pretty easily as their teamwork completely fell apart.

His partner apologized profusely and said he was telling his Coach he didn't want to play with that guy anymore.

It is only funny in hindsight. That guy was a BIG guy and we thought he was going to hurt his own partner.



P.S. See my Sig.

- KK

North
01-19-2010, 11:58 AM
Cindy, your teammates should learn to serve properly. Then it wouldn't be problem.

Not correct. The Receiver can certainly easily see a flagrant Center Line FF.
P.S. See my Sig.

- KK

Definitely. The receiver can see any "flagrant" FF. That's how I define flagrant. If the FF is SO noticeable that it is obvious to me concentrating on the ball when I am receiving, then it truly is flagrant. It usually means the opponent steps a foot, or more, into the court before hitting the ball. (Though occasionally it's someone crossing the center hash mark - which a lot of people don't even know is a FF.)

The first time in a match I notice it, I give a warning and let the opponent know. After that, I call the FFs. If I see it during the warmup, I will mention it and let the opponent know. I try to be courteous and just let people know I believe the game is better played when respecting all the rules. Having said all that, I've only seen truly flagrant FF a handful of times in tournament play.

Eviscerator
01-19-2010, 12:37 PM
Had a team match yesterday, and there was a confrontation on one of the courts about footfaulting.

Our gals had won the first set and were up 3-0, 30-all in the second when the opponents accused one of our players of footfaulting. The ensuing hostility caused our gals to fall behind, but they ultimately won.

After the match, the opposing captain took me aside to explain Just How Very Bad the footfaulting was. Our players, in turn, thought the footfault complaint was (1) wrong, as the player in question has a nice jumping service motion that some people mistake for a footfault, and (2) gamesmanship, since it was raised so late in the match. Bottom line is my ladies won and that's that.

I was thinking about the footfault rule, and I am starting to think it is the most lame, most unworkable, and most poorly conceived part of the Code.



I disagree with most of what you said. First of all you assumed the other team only started to call the foot faults as a means of gamesmanship. In reality there could be many reasons why they took so long to call it.

1) Your player only started foot faulting in the 2nd set.
2) They only started to notice it after someone else (teammate) pointed it out to them.
3) They tolerated it up to that point and decided they had enough.

Etc.

Secondly, how can you expect a person or team to call it on themselves :confused: The server is paying attention to the ball in the air, so there is no way for them to look down at the point of impact to call it on themselves. If it is a doubles team, the servers partner should be looking ahead ready for the ball to come off the returners racquet.

BTW - I've instructed good players who do not realize they foot fault, and it is difficult to break them of the habit depending on their service motion, and how long they have been doing it.

As to the rule, I assume you do not disagree with a foot fault being a rule, rather the way it is left to the opposing team to call it in an unofficated match?
`

Fedace
01-19-2010, 12:42 PM
17 years of usta tennis and i've never had a major problem of any sort involving foot faults. i was called for a foot fault by a roving judge once in a tournament. that's really the only instance i can remember.

in league matches i see A LOT of foot faults by both men and women. but they are:
1 -- by just a few inches at most
2 -- no benefit is gained by the server
3 -- it's not done intentionally

i figure at any level where foot faults TRULY MATTER -- there are judges who are there to make sure the rules are adhered to.

USTA is going to change the rules soon. in amateur USTA tennis, as long as the server starts his motion behind the baseline,,,NO Footfault can be called EVER.....

what are you doing later ? we should get together... lol:)

tennisdad65
01-19-2010, 12:48 PM
USTA is going to change the rules soon. in amateur USTA tennis, as long as the server starts his motion behind the baseline,,,NO Footfault can be called EVER.....


yep.. you will be able to toss the ball real high into the court, run in about 5-6 steps and spike the ball. :)

JRstriker12
01-19-2010, 01:06 PM
yep.. you will be able to toss the ball real high into the court, run in about 5-6 steps and spike the ball. :)

Word, I think I could work that rule so I could hit my serve from the service line with a high toss.

I"d like to see some proof that this change is coming, otherwise I call shenanigans.

Tennisman912
01-19-2010, 01:10 PM
I have two comments. First, I consider the gamesmanship aspect of this very small. It is the rules. Why? People don’t call foot faults against those who just barely nudge the line because they are hard to see from the other side of the court (although if an official saw it, they could call it). I have never seen someone called for just nudging the back of line, has anyone else? Because we can’t tell for sure and let’s face it, at most recreational levels it doesn’t matter much if they are just touching the line. But the Foot faults are (and should be) called against those who are flagrantly foot-faulting and it is obvious to the opponent from the other side of the court. These are the people who are gaining an advantage because getting a foot closer to the net is an advantage for anyone, even at recreational levels. Why? The higher and the closer to the net I volley the ball, the more options I have. As someone else suggested, if they are not called, where do we draw the line? If this is acceptable, why can’t I serve from the service line? A bad foot fault is the same to me as serving from the service line. It is awfully arrogant to get mad when someone calls you for a foot fault that is fragrant, like your opponent is making you do that. It was your choice to learn incorrect technique.

It is gamesmanship on some level on your part to think you can flagrantly foot fault because you are gaining an advantage if it is flagrant. Enforcing a rule is not gamesmanship. Fix it or live with the consequences because it will be called sooner or later in competition. You should be happy it was at the local level and not at the state or regionals. This should really be a nonissue in my opinion.


Second, topaz and others have said “most people either don’t know or are unaware of it.” Because you don’t know or are not aware of it, doesn’t make it excusable. Yes, I know you brought it up for illustrative purposes and don’t advocate this but it is your responsibility to play by the rules (as I am sure you feel). They are there for a reason. If you picked up a gun and pointed it at someone and pulled the trigger, the “I was not aware of it” being loaded excuse is not going to save you. It is your responsibility to know and follow the rules, in every situation. I didn’t know doesn’t cut it IMHO. That is a cop out for taking responsibility for yourself.

I have only been called for a foot fault once in competition by a roving official (and pay very close attention to it usually). I made a very minor adjustment and moved on. No big deal. If moving back an inch or two to be safe completely throws off your game, you have bigger problems to solve IMHO. Tennis is supposed to be a gentleman’s (and ladies) game. We should take the high road. Isn’t that what you want your children to learn? Do you want to teach your children that it is OK to ignore the rules, because we think we are not gaining an advantage or not getting caught? What kind of example are we setting? The rules are not that complicated or that hard to follow.

Good tennis all

TM

spot
01-19-2010, 02:14 PM
Ok- first of all on my team probably half the guys footfault chronically and at least 5 footfault so badly that it would be brutally obvious even playing singles from across the court. Personally I am sure I footfault. When I do it its a symptom of me not getting my feet set and chasing a serve so I know I don't get any advantage from it. From my perspective I have zero problem with it if the other team calls me for it- I would need to move back. I haven't ever called a footfault on someone and likely never would. And while I do think that calling someone for a footfault is usualy done for the wrong reasons- that doesn't mean the other team isn't perfectly entitled to call it. Footfaulters are breaking the rules- move back to eliminate the problem rather than getting rid of the rule completely. I've just never understood the people who are so SURE that they aren't footfaulting when it is called on them. I am not looking at my feet- if you say I am footfaulting then I'll move back.

The issue I have with the rule is that it says you may call a footfault if you are SURE there was a violation. Thats great as long as people actually adhere to it. The problem I have with the rule is what to do if a player thought they understood the rule but really didn't know. If someone absolutely believes that there was a footfault but its because of a misapplication of the rules then the rules really have no remedy for that whatsoever.

So much of this in my mind needs to come from spectators. If Cindy's player was footfaulting then Cindy needed to assure her that she was footfaulting and tell her to move back. If the opponents were calling it incorrectly then her teammates would need to tell their player that she was calling it wrong.

cak
01-19-2010, 03:51 PM
I have been called on court both to call lines and to call foot faults. The latter case was funny: I had been watching the match and both players had been foot faulting by a foot or more on most serves. They finally started arguing about it and asked for a line judges. Strangely enough, once they had people on court to make the call they both managed to keep their feet behind the line.

I've also been called out to call both (and keep score!!). The time I was called out for foot faults we (a person from their team, a person from my team) were called out because they felt someone on my team was foot faulting. Which they were, their toe touched the line on every third serve or so. They stepped back a few inches and viola, they didn't foot fault any more. However, the ladies who called us out were also stepping on the line. And when we called it on them they were furious. Especially at their team member, who confirmed that yes indeed, they were stepping on the line on their serve.

West Coast Ace
01-19-2010, 03:53 PM
Those few inches are important. Makes a lot of difference in the geometry of getting the ball over the net.You and I agree on something. It does improve the angle serving down. Walking up to the net and hitting one shows the extreme case.

As others have alluded to the easy way for the OP to never have to worry about this is to watch all her teammates in practice matches, make sure they don't footfault. Then when a team brings out the gamesmanship play to try to throw them off, just tell them everyone's serve has been checked out, no one on the team footfaults, and please get ready to play or we'll assume you're retiring from the match.

Fedace
01-19-2010, 05:37 PM
yep.. you will be able to toss the ball real high into the court, run in about 5-6 steps and spike the ball. :)

No NO,,,, this rule will also say that no more than 1 foot can be touching the line and CANNOT be inside of the line.....:)

Kaptain Karl
01-19-2010, 05:52 PM
yep.. you will be able to toss the ball real high into the court, run in about 5-6 steps and spike the ball.That would be both hilarious ... and sickening. I'd probably go back to Mtn Biking and give up on "that" version of Tennis....

- KK

Taxvictim
01-19-2010, 06:29 PM
No NO,,,, this rule will also say that no more than 1 foot can be touching the line and CANNOT be inside of the line.....:)

Then the arguments about foot faulting will be whether the guys foot was still touching the line, or whether both feet were touching, and the server would argue that there's no way the receiving team can see the back of his foot. SSDD.

Reminds me of Yogi Berra's idea to move first base out three more feet to avoid the close calls.

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 07:00 PM
Cindy only likes to cite rules and have them adhered to when they suit her needs.

Drak,

Please try not to be a [bleep]. The rest of us adults are having a nice, intelligent discussion. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

I wasn't on the court, so I cannot know what actually occured. Obviously.

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 07:02 PM
Cindy,

Were your players footfaulting?

Blake,

How on earth could I possibly know this without the benefit of video replay? I was busy playing my own match on an adjacent court.

My players say she was not footfaulting. Opponents say she was. Stalemate.

Cindysphinx
01-19-2010, 07:06 PM
So much of this in my mind needs to come from spectators. If Cindy's player was footfaulting then Cindy needed to assure her that she was footfaulting and tell her to move back. If the opponents were calling it incorrectly then her teammates would need to tell their player that she was calling it wrong.

Nope, spectators are *not* allowed to aid in making calls or resolving disputes in our league. Our rules state: "No spectator, teammate, or team captain, may intervene, offer an opinion, or become involved in any way, in any match that has not yet been completed, except for the calling of “Time” by the Visiting Team Captain or designee, either to begin or end match play on all courts."

My involvement was *solely* that the opponents complained to me after the match and my players complained to me after the match.

drakulie
01-19-2010, 07:33 PM
I wasn't on the court, so I cannot know what actually occured. Obviously.

So why are you starting a thread and complaining about it?

Secondly, why the need to change the rule if you "don't even know what actually occurred?"

Fact is, you whine>>>>>>>>> A LOT.

cll30
01-19-2010, 07:46 PM
"Habitual foot faulting, whether intentional or careless,
is just as surely cheating as is making a deliberate bad line call."

Panic492
01-19-2010, 08:18 PM
Cindy- I think I disagree with this. If I am comfortably winning the match, I don't care if FF's are occurring. If it's a tight match and my opponent is FF'ing, I have the option of calling them on it. Even if I just warn them, I've likely accomplished my goal of getting them to think about what they are doing. If they ignore my warning(s), I then have the option of calling them on it. If it escalates, then I've probably won the match, but not in a way that I find very satisfying.

I'm sorry but while within our right to call FF's, I cannot in fairness call them (whether I think they are over the line or not) FROM 78 FEET AWAY trying to see a matter of inches. Gimme a break.

JoelDali
01-19-2010, 09:30 PM
So why are you starting a thread and complaining about it?

Secondly, why the need to change the rule if you "don't even know what actually occurred?"

Fact is, you whine>>>>>>>>> A LOT.

This is serious stuff.

Best. Thread. Ever!

http://reason.com/assets/mc/psuderman/2009_10/internet-tubes.jpg

gameboy
01-19-2010, 10:49 PM
Cindy, have you seen the player in question serve before? If she has tendency to foot fault, it should be obvious just by looking at her service practices.

If she does not even come close to foot faulting in her practices, you may have some basis for grief.

origmarm
01-20-2010, 01:30 AM
yep.. you will be able to toss the ball real high into the court, run in about 5-6 steps and spike the ball. :)

Sort of an enhanced "Brian Battistone" type serve! Yeah!

spot
01-20-2010, 04:44 AM
Nope, spectators are *not* allowed to aid in making calls or resolving disputes in our league. Our rules state: "No spectator, teammate, or team captain, may intervene, offer an opinion, or become involved in any way, in any match that has not yet been completed, except for the calling of “Time” by the Visiting Team Captain or designee, either to begin or end match play on all courts."

My involvement was *solely* that the opponents complained to me after the match and my players complained to me after the match.

Cindy- I am talking about where I see the failure of the rules and the remedy. I agree that the spectators should not be making calls. But in the situation where the serving team is SURE that they are not footfaulting (though I think this is ridiculous unless the net player is looking back) and the Receiving team is SURE that the other team is footfaulting then there is no "nice" resolution possible. The only way to resolve this is if the spectators are willing to tell their own team the "bad news" that they are doing something wrong. The other team telling you that you are calling the rule wrong is never going to work. But if someone is calling footfaults wrong and their own teammates tell them that they were wrong then the behavior will change. If someone is actually footfaulting and doesn't believe it and their own teammates tell them that they actually are then its a whole different world. In my opinion telling your OWN team that they are violating a rule doesn't AT ALL violate the spirit of the rule you posted.

Fedace
01-20-2010, 05:09 AM
Then the arguments about foot faulting will be whether the guys foot was still touching the line, or whether both feet were touching, and the server would argue that there's no way the receiving team can see the back of his foot. SSDD.

Reminds me of Yogi Berra's idea to move first base out three more feet to avoid the close calls.

no no, as long as they are not touching the line and both feet is behind the line when the motion starts, it is ok. and when you strike the ball, only 1 feet touch the line but cannot be over the line..:)

Rabbit
01-20-2010, 05:29 AM
Cindy only likes to cite rules and have them adhered to when they suit her needs.

You say that like it's a bad thing... ;)


A buddy of mine who runs a local tennis center was playing doubles a number of years ago. One of his opponents was foot faulting flagrantly, stepping like a foot inside the baseline before hitting the ball. My buddy mentioned it to him and the reply was "We're not calling foot faults". My buddy said "OK".

When his serve rolled around, he walked from the baseline to the net, spiked the ball over the fence and said "15-0". The foot faulting opponent, mortified, said "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!". My buddy replied "We're not calling foot faults, right?"

Foot faulting is against the rules. I believe that the USTA has said in league matches, it has to be flagrant. I can understand that, but most of the time, I think it's fairly picayune for one player to call it. Mostly it's done to get inside someone's head. That said, the easiest way to prevent someone from getting inside your head is to not foot fault

drakulie
01-20-2010, 06:09 AM
^^Rabbit, it's funny you mention that. I did nearly the same thing.

I played a league match once against a guy who flagrantly foot-faulted. He would start his serve about a foot inside the baseline and by the time he had struck the ball, he was nearly 2-3 feet inside. Everyone in the league would complain but nobody ever said anything. (In noticed this myself when watching him play).

Anyway, the day came where we had to play. After the warm-up, I told him I would be calling foot faults, and told him he would need to make sure he was behind the line when he served. He sort of brushed me off.

Anyway, he served first and did the same service motion, flagrantly foot faulting, and when I called it, he said I couldn't make that call from my side of the net. I said, "OK".

When I served, I walked straight up to the net, and did same thing your buddy did. When my opponent complained, I told him, "you can't make that call from your side of the net". People watching were cracking up. :)

I served the entire first game like that. He got the point.

Funny thing is, when he tried to serve behind the service line, it completely threw his serve off, and he was unable to hold. He was b!thcing and complaining the match shouldn't count, and that he would be filing a complaint with the director. LOL It never held up.

sureshs
01-20-2010, 06:21 AM
You and I agree on something. It does improve the angle serving down. Walking up to the net and hitting one shows the extreme case.

As others have alluded to the easy way for the OP to never have to worry about this is to watch all her teammates in practice matches, make sure they don't footfault. Then when a team brings out the gamesmanship play to try to throw them off, just tell them everyone's serve has been checked out, no one on the team footfaults, and please get ready to play or we'll assume you're retiring from the match.

The advantage is not so much speed or spin or placement, but the confidence gotten by just getting decent serves in. These days I am making a conscious effort to stand up on my toes before striking the ball (let us just say jumping is out of the question). It is making a huge difference - I feel I am dunking the ball into the court instead of hitting it and taking a chance of it going in. Same advantage can be gained by stepping a few inches forward.

sureshs
01-20-2010, 06:27 AM
[QUOTE=drakulie;4300444Funny thing is, when he tried to serve behind the service line, it completely threw his serve off, and he was unable to hold. He was b!thcing and complaining the match shouldn't count, and that he would be filing a complaint with the director. LOL It never held up.[/QUOTE]

That is also correct.

Asking someone to stop FFing has couple of consequences. Some players, even pros, get rattled and lose points. Happened to Feliciano Lopez yesterday. Some recreational players have the problem that they cannot serve if they step back. As it is, their serve is precarious. Add one more variable, and it collapses.

sureshs
01-20-2010, 06:30 AM
I have begun playing sets against this leftie guy. When serving from the deuce court, he stands very close to the center of the baseline, and his ball toss and arm swing are completely in the ad court. It is like someone serving to me from the same side of the court.

Isn't there a rule that no part of the body or ball can cross the imaginary vertical plane passing thru the center of the court?

Cindysphinx
01-20-2010, 06:48 AM
Cindy- I am talking about where I see the failure of the rules and the remedy. I agree that the spectators should not be making calls. But in the situation where the serving team is SURE that they are not footfaulting (though I think this is ridiculous unless the net player is looking back) and the Receiving team is SURE that the other team is footfaulting then there is no "nice" resolution possible. The only way to resolve this is if the spectators are willing to tell their own team the "bad news" that they are doing something wrong. The other team telling you that you are calling the rule wrong is never going to work. But if someone is calling footfaults wrong and their own teammates tell them that they were wrong then the behavior will change. If someone is actually footfaulting and doesn't believe it and their own teammates tell them that they actually are then its a whole different world. In my opinion telling your OWN team that they are violating a rule doesn't AT ALL violate the spirit of the rule you posted.

If an opposing captain comes to me after a match and tells me my player was footfaulting and my player comes to me after a match and denies that she was footfaulting, what am I supposed to do if I wasn't watching the player? Scold my player? Argue with the opposing captain?

The answer, I submit, is nothing.

The four players had an issue about footfaulting during the match. I did not see any of the events in question. They resolved it on the court without spectator interference, as they were supposed to do.

Now, do I think the player was footfaulting? I think the question is irrelevant -- I started the thread to discuss the merits of the FF rule -- but I do have a few thoughts.

The player in question, as I said in OP, jumps when she serves and has an excellent topspin serve that frustrates many opponents. Any opponent who doesn't understand the FF rule might think she is footfaulting when she is not because she lands in the court *after* she makes contact.

The objective data points from historical experience are that this player has played at Districts on three different days. On the first day, she was called for FF 2-3 times for her back foot sliding too far forward (pinpoint stance). She went out and practiced that night. On the second day, no FF calls. The next year at Districts, no FF calls. In team practice before Districts that year, I observed all of my players and she did not FF. Do I think she was likely committing "flagrant" footfaults during the match in question recently? No, but I am only guessing.

Does that perhaps help focus us back on the real issue here, which is whether the FF rule as currently written is the best solution, or whether something else might work better?

I do know that if I were playing a match and my opponents complained about me to my captain afterward (FF, line calls, stalling, whatever) and my captain scolded me about it without having any idea what really happened, I would not take kindly to it at all.

ukhan
01-20-2010, 06:52 AM
The extent to which players footfault varies a lot. Some merely touch the line whilst others take a step or two forwards. In one of matches recently, the first serve percentage fell considerabley for a senior player who regularly footfaults by a big margin after he was warned. I think there is no harm in implementing the rule.

Fedace
01-20-2010, 06:54 AM
^^Rabbit, it's funny you mention that. I did nearly the same thing.

I played a league match once against a guy who flagrantly foot-faulted. He would start his serve about a foot inside the baseline and by the time he had struck the ball, he was nearly 2-3 feet inside. Everyone in the league would complain but nobody ever said anything. (In noticed this myself when watching him play).


Funny thing is, when he tried to serve behind the service line, it completely threw his serve off, and he was unable to hold. He was b!thcing and complaining the match shouldn't count, and that he would be filing a complaint with the director. LOL It never held up.

Drak, i find this hard to believe, did you make this up ?? At such a Advanced level like 4.5 and above, i have never seen any guy start his Motion inside the baseline. Yes, i have seen guys step in little bit and touch the baseline before they strike the ball but NEVER seen anyone start the motion inside the line.................that is like a Beginner tendency......:???:

tennytive
01-20-2010, 07:00 AM
That is also correct.Some players, even pros, get rattled and lose points.

Serena Who??

In golf there are ladies tees… what's next, a ladies service line 6 to 12 inches in from the baseline because some players don't like the rules as written?

Cheating is cheating. Play by the rules or don't play.

sureshs
01-20-2010, 07:05 AM
Serena Who??

In golf there are ladies tees… what's next, a ladies service line 6 to 12 inches in from the baseline because some players don't like the rules as written?

Cheating is cheating. Play by the rules or don't play.

Actually, I see more men than women FFing.

spot
01-20-2010, 07:09 AM
Cindy- I don't think you did anything wrong. I am just talking generally.

You have a situation where one side was calling footfaults- the other side thought the other team didn't know how to properly call footfaults. To me the only solution would be for a spectator at the time to tell their own team that they were wrong. Maybe its just different in my league but there are always a lot of people sitting around watching the other matches. To me the only way to clarify things would be for someone to tell their own team that they are in teh wrong. People are very hesitant to tell their own teammate that they are doing something wrong. If your teammate has a misleading motion that some people mistakenly think is a footfault then them hearing that from their own team would cause them to change behavior. If your player was footfaulting then hearing that confirmed from their own team would go a long way towards mitigating the uglyness.

I just go back to a match where we had a guy player MELT DOWN because the other team was calling him for footfaults and he didn't believe he was doing it. He clearly was- the other team was clearly within their rights to call him but he was still acting like the other team were total jerks for calling him. In retrospect me telling the player from my team that he actually was footfaulting would have gone a long way toward resolving a very ugly match. We were trying to let the people resolve it by themselves and it just got UGLY.

I am not criticizing you whatsoever- I am just talking about the ONLY way this can be resolved. The opposing team telling you that you are doing something wrong is never going to fix anything. It has to be someone from your own team who has the nerve to tell you that you are doing something wrong.

spot
01-20-2010, 07:18 AM
But in order to stop footfaults being called in marginal situations I suppose the rule should say that you can only call footfaults if its so blatant that it can be seen from the other side of the net and you are SURE the other team is footfaulting. If that were the rule then I'm sure there would never be any disagreements.

Cindysphinx
01-20-2010, 07:33 AM
But in order to stop footfaults being called in marginal situations I suppose the rule should say that you can only call footfaults if its so blatant that it can be seen from the other side of the net and you are SURE the other team is footfaulting. If that were the rule then I'm sure there would never be any disagreements.

Spot,

No, no spectators at our matches. Few venues have viewing areas, and spectators aren't allowed on the bench unless all players agree. At this venue, there was one unused court, which had a pro teaching a lesson and I doubt he would have stopped to referee. :)

And I understood that you weren't accusing me of anything, but unfortunately there are a few people here who were.

Anyway, thank you for re-focusing us on the real issue. The issue is not whether FF should be allowed or whether it is important etc. The issue is whether the current Code provision is the best we can do. I say it is not.

Interestingly, your suggestion is the current rule. "Flagrant" and "blatant" are pretty similar. I'm not sure it would advance the ball.

As I said in the middle of this thread somewhere, I am starting to think a solution might be to allow the receivers to call a flagrant footfault as a let, not a fault, so the server must repeat the serve. Why?

The server gets no advantage from having footfaulted, because he has to serve again. The receiver has no motivation to call footfaults as gamesmanship or to hook, because the server gets to repeat the serve. The receiver is motivated not to call FF that are hard to see or are not blatant, because the server gets to repeat the serve anyway. But if the receiver really does think the server isn't taking the FF problem seriously or is gaining an advantage or whatever, the receiver can call as many FF as necessary until the server gets it right.

So, to all the footfault purists out there, why isn't that solution better than the current rule?

Cindysphinx
01-20-2010, 07:38 AM
Actually, I see more men than women FFing.

I think the genders FF equally, but differently.

I see a lot of men trying to toss into the court like the pros, but their feet never leave the ground so they are standing on the line when they make contact.

I see a lot of women who start in proper position behind the line but who swivel their front foot forward during their motion. For Districts, I had to convince one of my players to start her service motion one foot behind the baseline because of this.

pinky42
01-20-2010, 08:01 AM
Anyway, thank you for re-focusing us on the real issue. The issue is not whether FF should be allowed or whether it is important etc. The issue is whether the current Code provision is the best we can do. I say it is not.

Things are fine the way they are. If anything, I would remove the warning.

As I said in the middle of this thread somewhere, I am starting to think a solution might be to allow the receivers to call a flagrant footfault as a let, not a fault, so the server must repeat the serve. Why?

The server gets no advantage from having footfaulted, because he has to serve again.

The server does get an advantage. If it was a second serve and he FFed, he would have lost the point. If it was a first serve and he FFed, he would have a second serve, not another first serve. A let would start him over with a first serve. In fact, FFing on purpose on the second serve becomes a viable tactic to get a let call and a new first serve. Remember, a let causes the entire point to be replayed.

The receiver has no motivation to call footfaults as gamesmanship or to hook, because the server gets to repeat the serve. The receiver is motivated not to call FF that are hard to see or are not blatant, because the server gets to repeat the serve anyway.

Irrelevant. The code assumes that all calls are made in good faith. If the receiver is hooking or calling FFs that he is unsure of, then he's not adhering to the code and your problem is with your opponent, not the code. Don't get thrown by the word flagrant. The guideline is the same as for any other line call. You only call something against your opponent if you are 100% sure. Not 100% sure the ball was out? Assume it's in. Not 100% sure your opponent FFed? Assume he didn't.

spot
01-20-2010, 08:01 AM
Cindy- I was really just trying to recall the current code from memory and restate it to point out that if people really did follow the code then this wouldn't be an issue. if footfaults were only called when they were blatant and the opposing team was SURE that it was a footfault before they called it (and the serving team accepted it) then the footfault call wouldn't be so controversial.

To me if you think that the opposing team is getting an advantage from their footfaults then you are perfectly within your rights to call it. (personally I Haven't ever done so but I think its allowed) by your rule of calling a let, then if a team is convinced that they are not footfaulting and the only pentaly for continuing to footfault is a let then I'd say that they have zero reason to change their service motion whatsoever. How would that stalemate get resolved? The receiving team keeps calling footfaults and the server doesn't change anything. I just don't get why the current situation is so bad- if the opposing team is calling footfaults then just move back.

spot
01-20-2010, 08:12 AM
No warning would be a disaster. Could you imagine the outrage if someone was called for a footfault on match point without even a warning?

cak
01-20-2010, 08:17 AM
I think foot faults and tosses are linked. If you are having a bad day getting the toss in the right place you may be foot faulting on a service motion that normally would not be a foot fault. Especially on serve where you jump to meet the ball. If the toss is not high enough you often come down before you meet the ball. I try to catch those tosses, but certainly have days where I'm foot faulting where I normally don't even come close.

I would guess your team mate was having one of those days. If the other team wanted to just take points, it's much easier to hook lines than come up with the whole foot faulting idea.

That said you have no proof, so I think doing nothing but listening was the right thing to do.

As I mentioned, NorCal deals with this by allowing court monitors. I'd hate to change the rules when there are other ways to deal with it. Especially since, right now, it would look like USTA is caving in to Serena. Though I bet she would have loved that let rule at last year's US Open.

blakesq
01-20-2010, 08:19 AM
If someone is being called for footfaults, I think the real issue will always be whether that player footfaulted or not. If the issue was resolved on court, then thats the end of it. If the opposing captain took you aside after the match to "explain Just How Very Bad the footfaulting was", you should have told her, it was resolved on the court, the matter is over, and walked away. At least, now with 20-20 hindsight you should do that in the future, and I should too! :)

drakulie
01-20-2010, 08:48 AM
Drak, i find this hard to believe, did you make this up ?? At such a Advanced level like 4.5 and above, i have never seen any guy start his Motion inside the baseline. Yes, i have seen guys step in little bit and touch the baseline before they strike the ball but NEVER seen anyone start the motion inside the line.................that is like a Beginner tendency......:???:


Nope. Not made up, and if you have never seen anyone do this at high levels, you haven't seen enough high level matches. foot faults are very common in all levels. However, they tend to diminish when officials are around.

drakulie
01-20-2010, 08:54 AM
As I said in the middle of this thread somewhere, I am starting to think a solution might be to allow the receivers to call a flagrant footfault as a let, not a fault, so the server must repeat the serve.


How about if we also change the rule in regards to balls that land out of the playing area?? Any ball that lands out, but is not out by what you define as, "a lot" is called a "let"?

Or how about if we change the rule to any player who allows the ball to bounce twice, but was really trying hard to get to the ball, is a "let"?

Or how about if we change the rules to any team that is late (one of your favorite subjects) for their team match, gets a "let".

How about we add, "do-overs" for those players who got aced but weren't really ready. :roll:

Play by the rules already and move on, whiner.

sureshs
01-20-2010, 09:19 AM
Cindy is a gray person, not a black-and-white person.

Eviscerator
01-20-2010, 10:23 AM
If an opposing captain comes to me after a match and tells me my player was footfaulting and my player comes to me after a match and denies that she was footfaulting, what am I supposed to do if I wasn't watching the player? Scold my player? Argue with the opposing captain?

The answer, I submit, is nothing.

The four players had an issue about footfaulting during the match. I did not see any of the events in question. They resolved it on the court without spectator interference, as they were supposed to do.

Now, do I think the player was footfaulting? I think the question is irrelevant -- I started the thread to discuss the merits of the FF rule -- but I do have a few thoughts.

.

I do not think people are trying to give you a rough time, it is just that most do not agree with your proposal to agree in advance to not call foot faults. Assuming you have a competitive team, you will not be able to have any such
understanding with the roving umpires at the higher levels.
As to you not knowing if your player/s are foot faulting, it is your responsibility as captain to figure out if they are or not. If they are, suggest corrective measures and get them to stop before they come back to haunt your team the next time they are called on it.
If they are not, then have the rule book and explain to the other captain that the ball is being stuck prior to their feet hitting the line or the court.
`

Cindysphinx
01-20-2010, 11:30 AM
That's true, Eviscerator. Most people are behaving like adults. One person in particular is not. On account of how he is a child, not an adult.

That said, I do not think my role as captain is to "figure out if my players are footfaulting." How would I do that? We do not have team practices. I do not think it would be well-received if I required them to attend a session where I evaluate their serve to see if they footfault. And as CAK says, people might serve and FF differently in a match.

Nope, my players are responsible for following the Code and rules. If I see a problem, I will address it. But first I have to see it. (I told my partner the other night to stop returning obviously out faults during a match, and she did).

BTW, you're right, Spot. I'm a gray. Pleased to meet you! :)

And I am not sure how you would resolve a stalemate either . . .

Tennisman912
01-20-2010, 12:31 PM
Cindy,

Why don’t you have a pro from your club or at the visiting facility watch (or any advanced player you might know) and let them tell you what is happening if you are playing on another court. If they are close to you on court, you could also steal a glance to watch your teammates on occasion. You could also have someone video tape your players in question. If these players foot fault consistently, they probably do it in practice as well (so you should already know they may be susceptible to this) so a special foot fault intervention is not necessary.

You also said you don’t think as captain you need to “figure out if my players are foot faulting.” You are wrong on that account IMHO. You are captain and it is your responsibility to be aware of anything that affects your team on the court. If foot faulting is an issue, it IS your job as captain to help fix this problem. Being captain is a thankless job but it is something you chose to do and need to be take responsibility for.

If you aren’t willing to help yourself by helping your team make sure they are following the rules, then you have absolutely no right to complain about any team at any level calling or complaining about your team foot faulting. You just have to live with it as you can’t say it isn’t your problem to fix and then complain about it when it happens. When asked like this last incident are you going to say “I don’t think as captain I need to figure out if my players are foot faulting” what the opposing coach might say or think? I hope you see how it really is your problem as captain. It is like helping a member of the team fix a FH or volley problem. You don’t need to make this as complicated as you are IMHO. Assuming it is a problem, which is probably likely.

Best of luck

TM

spot
01-20-2010, 12:36 PM
I couldn't disagree any more that its important to know which of your players are footfaulting on a regular basis. I think its only your problem as a captain if your players are footfaulting, being called for it, and reacting inappropriately. Its the inappropriate reaction that you need to fix. Seriously- if I personally took it on myself to try and fix everyone's footfaulting then I would drive myself crazy.

Cindysphinx
01-20-2010, 02:36 PM
TM and Spot,

I think we live in different tennis worlds.

Our team has no home club. There is no such thing as "home club" or "visiting club." The team does not have a pro; some individuals such as myself take clinics or lessons, but this is entirely apart to what happens to the team.

My team (and I would say this is true of most teams around here) is a collection of random women who know each other in various ways. There is no club pro. There is no team practice session. There are no situations -- none -- in which I or any teammate comes to any match in which they are not in the line-up.

Keep in mind that I am not complaining that this other captain or her players thought my lady was footfaulting. I wasn't there, so I don't know. The players addressed it on court, just as they should have. The player in question can decide to consult a pro or advanced player, or not. She can go around and ask everyone she knows what they think of her serve. If she asks me, I will say, "I don't know if you footfault or not. I also don't know whether I footfault or not."

I do of course advise my players of rule changes, etc. I send them a link to the Code and rules each season. Whether they choose to read it and be informed is entirely up to them, and I feel confident that my duties as captain do not involve holding FF evaluation sessions.

And Spot? I won't go so far as to say that my players reacted inappropriately. If the lady doesn't think it she is FF and thinks it is gamesmanship, I think it is perfectly appropriate for her to argue whether she is committing a "flagrant" foot fault. I might not do that; I would probably ignore it, or back up, or both. But I don't have a problem with my players taking the position that the opponents are wrong. 'Cause the opponents might have been wrong and probably were wrong if they say this particular player was committing a "flagrant" foot fault.

Kaptain Karl
01-20-2010, 05:35 PM
Foot faulting is against the rules.True.

...I think it's fairly picayune for one player to call it. Mostly it's done to get inside someone's head.Here, we don't agree. If it's flagrant and the player doesn't call it, they are crazy, IMO. (See your first sentence.) I've called it. I've seen several people call it. Only occasionally have I viewed the player calling the violation as doing it as a ... ploy.

That said, the easiest way to prevent someone from getting inside your head is to not foot faultWhew! This is correct.




At such a Advanced level like 4.5 and above, i have never seen any guy start his Motion inside the baseline.You need to get away from your keyboard and go play more tennis. Unfortunately many top players still FF ... unless the Roving Official is around.




But in order to stop footfaults being called in marginal situations I suppose the rule should say that you can only call footfaults if its so blatant that it can be seen from the other side of the net and you are SURE the other team is footfaulting. If that were the rule then I'm sure there would never be any disagreements.That *is* the rule. You just described "flagrant".

- KK

Fedace
01-20-2010, 07:50 PM
^^Of course , guys footfault at all levels. but starting out with the foot inside the baseline and just touching the baseline as the motion progresses are 2 different things.
first is a blatent footfault, i don't give a darn footfault and the latter is footfaulting unknowingly while motion is progressing...

equinox
01-20-2010, 11:53 PM
damn doesn't everyone practice serving with feet in a bucket..

Rabbit
01-21-2010, 03:57 AM
Here, we don't agree. If it's flagrant and the player doesn't call it, they are crazy, IMO. (See your first sentence.) I've called it. I've seen several people call it. Only occasionally have I viewed the player calling the violation as doing it as a ... ploy.

I understand your point. But (and you knew that was coming), and I can't attribute it to just this locality as I've played all the way up to, but not including, nationals, I've never seen or heard anyone roving judges included call FF. This includes adult and now senior league tennis in both mixed and regular. From what I was told for league play, unless it's intentional then it is not to be called.

I have seen players do it, but the player who've done it have quite a reputation for employing gamesmanship and any tactic to get inside their opponents head. As recently as last summer, there was a situation in mens' combo. One of my teammates, a younger one, was serving in a close match. The captain of the other team, playing on the court next to him, remarked "You know you're foot faulting....". Our guy looked befuddled and said "What?" "You're foot faulting and you need to stop..."

Whatever the intent was, the result was that he stepped his game up and he and his partner won the 2nd set 6-0 after winning the first 7-5. After the match, their opponents opined that their captain was "trying to get in his head".

There certainly may be those sticklers for the rules who can and do notice an errant shoe tip. I cannot and don't see it as that much of an advantage. I see it more as an adversarial thing and a reason to start nitpicking. I do agree it's a rule, but not one the receiver should enforce 100% of the time.

How can you return serve if you're watching the server's feet?


You need to get away from your keyboard and go play more tennis. Unfortunately many top players still FF ... unless the Roving Official is around.

Amen to this. There are players as high as D1 who foot fault on a regular basis. 4.5s are for sure not shining examples of pure and proper form on any stroke.

The best way to learn not to foot fault IMO is to play on a clay court. If you drag your back foot, you'll feel it hit the line. If you step over, then you pretty much know you're foot faulting.

The easiest fix for this is something I started doing about 10 - 15 years ago while playing mostly on clay. Plant your front foot, and when you serve, make your back foot step to your front foot. If you jump into your serve, you'll still be OK. But this does two things, 1) it keeps that back foot from coming around, and 2) it makes your shoes last a lot longer becaues you're not dragging that toe.

spot
01-21-2010, 04:02 AM
Yeah Cindy- we are in different worlds. In Alta its 2 courts and 5 matches of doubles so there are tons of people watching both before and after your particular match. We are all watching and if someone is badly footfaulting from the sidelines we all know it and will often make fun of our own teammates for doing it.

And I do think that your player reacted inappropriately. She wasn't looking at her own feet- the other team is in FAR better position to know whether a violation was committed. She was arguing about a call she didn't even see. THink about that- it would be like arguing that a ball was in when she was laying on the ground not watching where it landed. She was acting like the other team shouldn't be allowed to call a footfault when clearly the rules say that the other team is allowed. If on the warning your player asked "Are you SURE- you have to be positive that my foot touched the court before I made contact with the ball" then your player would have handled it properly in my eyes. If your player was "Arguing" about calls she didn't agree with and DIDN'T SEE then yes I do think she was being inappropriate.

jrod
01-21-2010, 04:08 AM
....The easiest fix for this is ... Plant your front foot, and when you serve, make your back foot step to your front foot...

Actually, there is an easier fix: don't move your feet. Fed's serve is a good example of what I mean. I gave up the pinpoint stance years ago in favor of the platform stance. It suits my age (53) and my innate lack of coordination much better and the FF is completely avoided if you set up your stance properly.

origmarm
01-21-2010, 04:25 AM
Actually, there is an easier fix: don't move your feet. Fed's serve is a good example of what I mean. I gave up the pinpoint stance years ago in favor of the platform stance. It suits my age (53) and my innate lack of coordination much better and the FF is completely avoided if you set up your stance properly.

Weird that you mention that as I always pinpoint and never move my front foot. when I platform I tend to move to meet the toss to an extent i.e. move my feet. When I pinpoint my front foot stays in one spot and I "launch" to the toss slightly. To be honest I find the stance changes it little, it's this business of "stepping through" the serve that they used to teach that causes the most problems.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 04:29 AM
damn doesn't everyone practice serving with feet in a bucket..

OK, now that was funny!! :)

Spot, my player wasn't arguing that she stayed behind the line and so didn't footfault. My player was arguing that the opponents don't understand what a FF is because of her unique, jump-serve motion. It is very hard to compare the feet to the ball contact when judging from the front and from far away.

As for whether she should argue, who can say who got snippy first? My players say that the opponents also accused them during the match of hooking. Opposing captain also complained afterward that my players were Making It Rain by returning balls randomly rather than sending them back to someone who was prepared to catch them (but my players say the other team was doing that to them!).

Bottom line: I have to defer to my players on whether they are justified in arguing a point. If I later learn they were dead wrong on a rule, I will tell them. I have done this many times, sending e-mails to the team to clarify certain Code issues when I see my players screwing up. The mere fact that a match got hostile does not mean my players were wrong or that I should go all Kenneth Starr and launch an investigation.

JoelDali
01-21-2010, 04:30 AM
The bottom line is Footfaults are destroying 3.5 mixed tennis. Its devastating enough that women have to face big serves but that extra 3 to 4 inches is the real killer.

My team of attorneys are working on a plan to take the fight to these people.

All we can do is hope. Just hope.

http://cdn.cloudfiles.mosso.com/c148211/Believe%20in%20God%20spray.jpg

jrod
01-21-2010, 04:30 AM
Weird that you mention that as I always pinpoint and never move my front foot. when I platform I tend to move to meet the toss to an extent i.e. move my feet. When I pinpoint my front foot stays in one spot and I "launch" to the toss slightly. To be honest I find the stance changes it little, it's this business of "stepping through" the serve that they used to teach that causes the most problems.

Actually, I think a great deal of FF is caused by errant tosses. If you get the toss in the right place, the feet behave much better. I suspect this is true regardless as to what your choice of serve stance is....

Rabbit
01-21-2010, 04:31 AM
Actually, there is an easier fix: don't move your feet. Fed's serve is a good example of what I mean. I gave up the pinpoint stance years ago in favor of the platform stance. It suits my age (53) and my innate lack of coordination much better and the FF is completely avoided if you set up your stance properly.

Well that is an idea. I'll give it a whirl, but I'm so dadgummed old school about my serve....

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 04:34 AM
Here's a question for the FF purists out there.

Do you ever call a FF on yourself?

As Jrod says, a lot of FFs are caused by errant tosses. If I chase a toss, or if the wind blows it mid-swing, I can feel as though I probably footfaulted. This will usually result in a miss, but some of these FF serves do go in. If this happens to me, I don't stop the point and call a FF on myself.

How about the FF ****s? Have you ever called a FF on yourself or your partner?

Rabbit
01-21-2010, 04:35 AM
Here's a question for the FF purists out there.

Do you ever call a FF on yourself?

As Jrod says, a lot of FFs are caused by errant tosses. If I chase a toss, or if the wind blows it mid-swing, I can feel as though I probably footfaulted. This will usually result in a miss, but some of these FF serves do go in. If this happens to me, I don't stop the point and call a FF on myself.

How about the FF ****s? Have you ever called a FF on yourself or your partner?

Nope, never.....we do call Belly Faults on each other though.... :)

jrod
01-21-2010, 04:40 AM
...Do you ever call a FF on yourself?
...


Is this an existential question?

In order to call a FF on ones self, one has likely not served in the first place....

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 04:46 AM
Is this an existential question?

In order to call a FF on ones self, one has likely not served in the first place....

You toss. You chase the toss. You think, "Geez, that one almost got away from me. In fact, there was a toe drag that definitely shouldn't have been there."

Watching your feet isn't the only way to know you FF.

origmarm
01-21-2010, 04:54 AM
Here's a question for the FF purists out there.

Do you ever call a FF on yourself?

I have called one on myself in the past when I've lost my balance and taken a step into the court. It doesn't happen often, in fact I can only remember one occasion.

I will also call balls out on myself also if I see them well down a tramline for example if the opponent is on the other side of the court. I don't feel happy if I feel I've won unjustly in any way.

jrod
01-21-2010, 05:13 AM
...Watching your feet isn't the only way to know you FF.


I was being facetious....

spot
01-21-2010, 05:48 AM
Cindy- your player was arguing that she didn't footfault WITHOUT the benefit of being able to see it. As I said- if she said "Are you SURE that I touched the court before I made contact with the ball" then thats the way the code allows you to disagree with a call your opponent has made. Its the way to make sure they know the rule properly. In your words she was arguing that she didn't footfault but I just can't see how its possible for any 3.5 player to ever argue that since we really don't KNOW. I do think that calling footfaults tends to be a jerk move- but its still a move that opponents are entitled to make.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 05:49 AM
I was being facetious....

Oh.

Cindy -- humor-impaired, apparently

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 05:58 AM
Cindy- your player was arguing that she didn't footfault WITHOUT the benefit of being able to see it. As I said- if she said "Are you SURE that I touched the court before I made contact with the ball" then thats the way the code allows you to disagree with a call your opponent has made. Its the way to make sure they know the rule properly. In your words she was arguing that she didn't footfault but I just can't see how its possible for any 3.5 player to ever argue that since we really don't KNOW. I do think that calling footfaults tends to be a jerk move- but its still a move that opponents are entitled to make.

Spot, I don't know whether my player phrased it the way you suggest, but she may well have. It would be the logical thing to say if you think your opponent simply doesn't know what a FF is.

Here's my question to you: If my player phrased it as you say and the opponent says, "Yes, I'm sure you FF and I am well-versed in what a FF is, thank you very much," what then? In other words, does a player ever have to accept another player's assurance that she can call a FF accurately from that distance, that the player understands what "flagrant" is, and that the player understands jumping v. dragging?

I don't see anything in the Code that says the player accused of a FF has to knuckle under and accept the receiver's interpretation. There are *lots* of people who will swear up and down that they know or understand a rule only to be completely wrong.

Now, if the receiver then begins to call FFs, the Code says that this can be done and I think if my player refuses to accept the fault call then she will wind up defaulting. But I think she can protest until the cows come home if she thinks the other player in fact doesn't know what she is doing.

So when the other captain comes to me after the match and says my player was argumentative blah blah blah, I am just going to shrug because those four players handled it the way they handled it.

drakulie
01-21-2010, 06:16 AM
Here's a question for the FF purists out there.

Do you ever call a FF on yourself?

As Jrod says, a lot of FFs are caused by errant tosses. If I chase a toss, or if the wind blows it mid-swing, I can feel as though I probably footfaulted. This will usually result in a miss, but some of these FF serves do go in. If this happens to me, I don't stop the point and call a FF on myself.

How about the FF ****s? Have you ever called a FF on yourself or your partner?

My goodness, the posts keep getting whackier and goofier.

Yes, I have called a foot fault on myself based on the fact I don't look at the ball when I toss,,,,,,, I'm looking at my feet. :roll:

Best way to ensure you don't foot fault is to practice serving behind the line and play by the rules. If that doesn't work, start playing a sport that doesn't have a foot fault rule.

AutoXer
01-21-2010, 06:21 AM
Cindy: You admit you don't know if your player footfaulted or not. Why the call for a rule change then? It simply appears that your player got called for a foot fault and disagreed with the call. That is not enough of a reason to change the rules in my opinion.

spot
01-21-2010, 06:40 AM
Here's my question to you: If my player phrased it as you say and the opponent says, "Yes, I'm sure you FF and I am well-versed in what a FF is, thank you very much," what then? In other words, does a player ever have to accept another player's assurance that she can call a FF accurately from that distance, that the player understands what "flagrant" is, and that the player understands jumping v. dragging?

YES. I do think that they have to accept it because thats what the code says. The opponents are allowed to call footfaults. Your player has NO REASON to dispute that she is footfaulting because she isn't looking at her own feet. She needs to move back at this point because the opponent is making a call that she is 100% entitled to make by the rules. If ypu don't agree with an opponents call but its their call then once they tell you that you are sure then thats all you are allowed to do. How is this even grey area. Why is it hard to just move back?

(And in my opinion phrasing it like I did would not come anywhere close to being considered an "argument" which was your term)

And like I said- I think the rules fail because someone can be 100% sure that the opponent is footfaulting because they don't understand the rule and the code does not have a remedy. They trust that people should only call it if its both blatant and they are SURE. The only way I can ever see this being resolved would be for the players own teammates to let her know that she was calling the rule wrong- the other team tellign her that simply isn't going to get the job done. So at that point the player once again just has to move back.

rasajadad
01-21-2010, 07:41 AM
Not to go OT, but here's a footfaulting strategy that worked for me:
I was playing doubles against two guys who are both over 6'3" and both served and volleyed. Both these guys were OBVIOUSLY footfaulting on every serve. After a polite warning at the beginning of the match, I went to plan B. On my next service game I set up three feet inside the baseline and served a couple of points from there. I offerred that I would stop footfaulting if and when they did.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 07:49 AM
Cindy: You admit you don't know if your player footfaulted or not. Why the call for a rule change then? It simply appears that your player got called for a foot fault and disagreed with the call. That is not enough of a reason to change the rules in my opinion.

Fair enough.

I think the rule is poorly conceived, inconsistent with the approach taken in other parts of the Code, and does more harm than good. I explained why in my opening post.

If others are happy with the Rule as is (or simply think it is the best we can do), I can understand that although I still disagree.

sureshs
01-21-2010, 08:01 AM
YES. I do think that they have to accept it because thats what the code says. The opponents are allowed to call footfaults. Your player has NO REASON to dispute that she is footfaulting because she isn't looking at her own feet. She needs to move back at this point because the opponent is making a call that she is 100% entitled to make by the rules. If ypu don't agree with an opponents call but its their call then once they tell you that you are sure then thats all you are allowed to do. How is this even grey area. Why is it hard to just move back?


Let us take a hypothetical scenario. I call a FF on you from the other side of the court because the code allows me. You move back on your next serve. I call a FF on you again. By the rules I am entitled to do it since I decide what is flagrant. You move back a few inches. I again call FF. You say you have moved back. I claim you moved forward again during serving and anyway it is my call, not yours. What are you supposed to do?

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 08:03 AM
YES. I do think that they have to accept it because thats what the code says.

I'm still not with you there, Spot. The Code does not say the player has to accept the FF call. The Code is silent on what the accused player is to do, but the Code makes clear that players shouldn't FF:

Foot Faults. A player may warn an opponent that the opponent has
committed a flagrant foot fault. If the foot faulting continues, the player may
attempt to locate an official. If no official is available, the player may call flagrant foot faults. Compliance with the foot fault rule is very much a function of a player’s personal honor system. The plea that a Server should not be penalized because the server only just touched the line and did not rush the net is not acceptable. Habitual foot faulting, whether intentional or careless, is just as surely cheating as is making a deliberate bad line call.

Contrast this to the Code provisions on line calls. The Code is specific that the hooked player *must* accept the call:

Opponent’s calls questioned. When a player genuinely doubts an
opponent’s call, the player may ask: “Are you sure of your call?” If the opponent reaffirms that the ball was out, the call shall be accepted. If the opponent acknowledges uncertainty, the opponent loses the point. There shall be no further delay or discussion.

Now. There are the rules, and then there is common sense.

*Of course* if someone says you are FF you can deal with it by simply moving back. If they raise it nicely and appropriately, that's the easiest way to handle it. If they are not nice, if you think it is gamesmanship, if you adjust your serve and they still claim it, if your partner says you aren't doing it as was the case here . . . . that can make a person take exception. Again, I wasn't on the court, so I cannot say whether my players were justified in being angry. My own approach to tennis when I think my opponents are trying to get into my head is avoid conflict because conflict will throw me off and they will have achieved their goal.

I can certainly imagine situations in which a player wrongly or rudely accused of a FF would be justified in taking exception. I would need to know a lot more about what happened and how before I could take sides, so I am not taking sides. My players' complaints about the opponents other antics makes me think there was a lot more going on here than someone's foot touching the line, but again, I don't know so I can't say.

spot
01-21-2010, 08:06 AM
Sureshs- I think you move back until you are POSITIVE that you couldn't have footfaulted and the only way the opponent could call you for it is if they are deliberately cheating. If you are accusing your opponent of deliberately cheating then I don't think there is any remedy in the code for that. How is that different than the opponent calling a serve out that landed in the middle of the box out of spite? If an opponent is going to deliberately cheat then thats a matter that needs to be reported to the league. But the code relies on people making a good faith effort to make the correct calls in many areas- not just footfaults.

sureshs
01-21-2010, 08:08 AM
Guys, take a look at my new thread. Slightly tangential, but highly relevant to this discussion (no, not a contradiction). Even an umpire is commenting on it.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=307894

spot
01-21-2010, 08:10 AM
Cindy- what calls do you think that you are allowed to dispute beyond "are you sure"? I think you are reading the code waaaaay too literally if you think that line calls are the only ones you are not supposed to dispute beyong "are you sure"- the line call was just an example. When a player genuinely doubts an opponent’s call, the player may ask: “Are you sure of your call?”. If you question whether the ball bounced twice before they hit it then after you ask "are you sure" then there isn't any other remedy. If you are asking whehter the player hit the ball before it crossed the net (to me the worst rule in rec tennis and the one that should be eliminated) then all you can do is ask "are you sure" and accept their call. There isn't anything special about footfaults that make it OK for people to be jerks about it when they are called for it.

origmarm
01-21-2010, 08:10 AM
I think the rule is poorly conceived, inconsistent with the approach taken in other parts of the Code, and does more harm than good.

I just don't think we've suggested a better alternative yet. With the possible exception of calling a let instead of taking the point.

sureshs
01-21-2010, 08:15 AM
Sureshs- I think you move back until you are POSITIVE that you couldn't have footfaulted and the only way the opponent could call you for it is if they are deliberately cheating. If you are accusing your opponent of deliberately cheating then I don't think there is any remedy in the code for that. How is that different than the opponent calling a serve out that landed in the middle of the box out of spite? If an opponent is going to deliberately cheat then thats a matter that needs to be reported to the league. But the code relies on people making a good faith effort to make the correct calls in many areas- not just footfaults.

If you stand so far back that you are positive and I am also positive that you could not have moved forward under any possible biomechanical condition, chances are it is very abnormal and is costing you in rhythm/groove, even if not speed or spin. Would you ask Usain Bolt to step back 6 inches from the starting block?

The difference between someone calling your serve out is that it does not involve this much change in your routine. Moreover, clay courts and even hard courts leave a ball mark. Also, both the players are looking, while here your opponent can claim that you are not looking at your feet. So the circumstances are completely different.

As Cindy said, in cases where the player jumps during the serve, calls have to be made very caefully. Many club players don't jump forward, so there is a temptation to think that if they do, they are footfaulting. If they land inside after the strike, it is not a FF. I have seen spectators near the service line comment (privately) about a FF, and it was not a FF at all.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 08:16 AM
Cindy- what calls do you think that you are allowed to dispute beyond "are you sure"? I think you are reading the code waaaaay too literally. If you question whether the ball bounced twice before they hit it then after you ask "are you sure" then there isn't any other remedy. If you are asking whehter the player hit the ball before it crossed the net (to me the worst rule in rec tennis and the one that should be eliminated) then all you can do is ask "are you sure" and accept their call. That is all you are allowed to do to question an opponents call- that is not just about line calls.

Well, we definitely agree on the rule about hitting the ball on the other side of the net. That rule really is the worst rule.

Anyway, you can dispute any call beyond "Are you sure?" People can and do all the time. I'm not reading the Code "too literally." I think the Code is quite specific and wanted to emphasize that line calls are the one area where players really do need to stick to the script, as it is the rare match in which someone doesn't think someone made a bad line call.

Example: I hit a short but extremely high lob and I quickly yell to my partner "Short!" Opponent lines up to hit lob, which takes a while to fall. Instead of hitting it, he catches it and claims the point as a hindrance. I would not respond to this with "Are you sure?" and then refrain from further discussion. No, we would have a little talk about the meaning of the word "hinder" and whether that was a good faith interpretation of the hindrance rule.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 08:19 AM
I just don't think we've suggested a better alternative yet. With the possible exception of calling a let instead of taking the point.

Fair enough.

Ya gotta give me props for trying, no? :)

Postscript: The accused player called me yesterday, still upset about these events. She suggested that perhaps players in the league need a refresher on what a FF is and how it should be handled. I said I would write to the league administrator, and I did so. He said he will address the issue in an e-mail blast.

Which I am sure every captain will forward to her players and every player will study carefully.

Blade0324
01-21-2010, 08:24 AM
THis is a pretty interesting discussion. I don't think that FF rules should be changed or removed in non officiated matches. In my section we are not allowed to call a FF on an oponent in a league match, we can only tell them that they are doing so and ask that they watch it. We don't have any means to claim a point or anything. As a result people who are told they are FF'ing usually don't care. I have quit paying any attention to that part of their game and as a result my returns have become much better. Also, for those that have ever been called for a foot fault a good way to keep this from happening is to back up a few inches from the line when serving to avoid any possibility. I say from experience that this is no big deal. Several years ago and sectionals I was called by an official for a foot fault and ever since I have simply backed up enough so as to avoid it. No bid deal and then there is nothing to think about at all. For anyone that is letting this petty little thing affect there game this would be an easy way to eliminate it.

sureshs
01-21-2010, 08:25 AM
FF is unique because:

1. Both players cannot see it unlike a serve in the middle of the box
2. Unlike a ball called out by the opponent, which the hitter cannot really be sure of, the server can be reasonably sure that she did not footfault because she had stepped back, while the opponent calling it is on the far side of the court!

spot
01-21-2010, 08:50 AM
FF is unique because:

1. Both players cannot see it unlike a serve in the middle of the box
2. Unlike a ball called out by the opponent, which the hitter cannot really be sure of, the server can be reasonably sure that she did not footfault because she had stepped back, while the opponent calling it is on the far side of the court!

Right- so the player being accused of footfaulting should be even MORE willing to accept an opponents call because they have NO IDEA whatsoever if they actually did footfault. Thats what I don't get- how people are so sure that they didn't footfault that they are willing to argue about it.

Unless you are accusing your opponent of delibrately cheating then give them the benefit of the doubt and move back.

sureshs
01-21-2010, 08:55 AM
Right- so the player being accused of footfaulting should be even MORE willing to accept an opponents call because they have NO IDEA whatsoever if they actually did footfault. Thats what I don't get- how people are so sure that they didn't footfault that they are willing to argue about it.

Unless you are accusing your opponent of delibrately cheating then give them the benefit of the doubt and move back.

You are just using my point #1.

#2 is the reason why a server would question a call. A tennis court is how long, 78 feet? And the returner is a couple of feet behind, and mostly looking at the ball toss to figure out the serve.

From 80 feet away, while looking at a small yellow thing 9 feet up in the air, can you also simultaneously look at something happening in the ground and decide with confidence? Think about it.

OrangePower
01-21-2010, 09:01 AM
As several have pointed out, the existing FF rules are hard to work with.
As several have also mentioned, we can't think of any better way to do it!

It's just hard to account for without linespeople, because none of the players on the court are in a good position to make the call, and any solution is going to have to be some kind of compromise.

I can live with the existing rules.

I could also live with this:

* Player must start the service motion with the feet stationary behind the baseline and on the correct side of the center hash.

This would be much easier to call, and with this rule I don't think a player would gain any advantage by footfaulting. Actually footfaulting under this scenario probably means the player has an incorrect service motion and is not serving as effectively as he/she could. For example, not getting off the ground, rotating or weight-transfer too early, etc. And the extreme example of a high ball toss followed by several steps into the court and a volleyball type serve can be dealt with by ruling that the service motion in this case is not considered started.

Obviously this is still not perfect but would be much easier for everyone to understand and call.

spot
01-21-2010, 09:06 AM
Personally I have never seen a footfault call in a rec singles match- only doubles. (plus atlanta the main league is all doubles) Then the receivers partner is absolutely in position to see and people still act like you violated their mother when they are called for a footfault.

And yes- there are people who footfault so blatantly and consistently that you could easily see it from across the court if you decided to look. Many people footfault on EVERY serve so if you wanted to call someone on it you could absolutely do so.

cak
01-21-2010, 09:14 AM
And the extreme example of a high ball toss followed by several steps into the court and a volleyball type serve can be dealt with by ruling that the service motion in this case is not considered started.

There is a young lady at my club that used to be a volleyball player, and had a serve where she tossed the ball, took several steps and jumps. (All behind the baseline, not a foot fault.) The pro teaching our clinic pointed out it was an illegal service motion, and it could be called against her by an official. Apparently, some where there is a rule that you can't take either one step or two steps (I couldn't understand the Pro at this point) as part of your service motion. So this just makes it a bit more complicated, as the "several steps" would make the serve illegal anyway (And can anyone actually find that rule somewhere?)

OrangePower
01-21-2010, 09:16 AM
Personally I have never seen a footfault call in a rec singles match- only doubles. (plus atlanta the main league is all doubles) Then the receivers partner is absolutely in position to see and people still act like you violated their mother when they are called for a footfault.

And yes- there are people who footfault so blatantly and consistently that you could easily see it from across the court if you decided to look. Many people footfault on EVERY serve so if you wanted to call someone on it you could absolutely do so.

I agree with the spirit of your post, but still think that in reality FF is not as easy to spot (haha, spot, get it?) as you say.

1. Receiver's partner is not in position to see in all cases. First off, he/she should not be watching the feet of the server. Secondly, even if you are, can you be sure that the feet are not even slightly off the ground until after the moment of impact with the ball? How do you see from across the net if the feet are still slightly in the air. And if you are watching the feet, then you can't be sure of the exact moment of impact with the ball.

2. If you decided to look... then you're not looking where you should be looking :-)

Obviously, not talking about obvious cases; the existing rule handles obvious cases with the flagrant clause. But you don't see obvious cases much as the level of play rises.

OrangePower
01-21-2010, 09:17 AM
There is a young lady at my club that used to be a volleyball player, and had a serve where she tossed the ball, took several steps and jumps. (All behind the baseline, not a foot fault.) The pro teaching our clinic pointed out it was an illegal service motion, and it could be called against her by an official. Apparently, some where there is a rule that you can't take either one step or two steps (I couldn't understand the Pro at this point) as part of your service motion. So this just makes it a bit more complicated, as the "several steps" would make the serve illegal anyway (And can anyone actually find that rule somewhere?)

Yeah I also thought there might be an existing rule like that, but too lazy to try find it :-)

Anyway, my new proposed must-start-motion-behind-the-line rule together with this rule would be a viable possible alternative way to deal with FFs.

spot
01-21-2010, 09:20 AM
I don't think the rules are designed to catch borderline cases where someone barely crosses the line. ITs only there to catch something so flagrant it can be discerned with 100% certainty that the person violated the rule. And there are MANY players that fall into that category even at the 4.5 level.

Thats the thing- I think the rule is only there for the people who are leaving no doubt that a footfault is occuring and they are repeatedly doing it. In those cases the current rules are fine. The only times when its an issue is when people take it as a personal affront that they were called for a footfault even though they have no idea if they were actually footfaulting or not.

Personally I have never seen someone called for a footfault who wasn't footfaulting blatantly. (this doesn't mean that the person KNEW they were footfaulting) Maybe the person calling them for it was bieng a jerk for doing so- but the person was absolutely footfaulting repeatedly. Not to say that this is the way that it has to be- only that this is the way I have seen it personally.

Blade0324
01-21-2010, 09:24 AM
This is long but here is the rule from USTA. It is pretty tough to determine by someone that is not a linesperson or official that is really watching only for FF.

18. FOOT FAULT
During the service motion, the server shall not:
a. Change position by walking or running, although slight movements of
the feet are permitted; or
b. Touch the baseline or the court with either foot; or
c. Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline with
either foot; or
d. Touch the imaginary extension of the centre mark with either foot.
If the server breaks this rule it is a “Foot Fault”.
Case 1: In a singles match, is the server allowed to serve standing behind
the part of the baseline between the singles sideline and the doubles sideline?
Decision: No.
Case 2: Is the server allowed to have one or both feet off the ground?
Decision: Yes.
USTA Comment 18.1: Where may the server stand? In singles,
the server may stand anywhere behind the baseline between the imaginary
extensions of the inside edge of the center mark and the outside
edge of the singles sideline. In doubles, the server may stand anywhere
behind the baseline between the imaginary extensions of the inside
edge of the center mark and the outside edge of the doubles sideline.
USTA Comment 18.2: What does the rule mean when it says
that the server may “not change position by walking or running”?
One key to understanding this rule is to realize that the server’s feet
must be at rest immediately before beginning to serve. The delivery of
the service then begins with any arm or racket motion and ends when
the racket contacts the ball (or misses the ball in attempt to strike it).
To define walking or running with precision is difficult. This rule
is intended to prevent the server from taking advantage of the receiver
by serving while “on the move” and requiring the receiver to
guess the position from which the serve will be launched, and the rule
should be enforced with that intent in mind.
RULES OF TENNIS 15
• A server who takes more than one step with either foot after
the “feet at rest” position described above is at risk for
being called for a foot fault. The serve becomes a foot fault
when, in the judgment of an experienced official, the server
has materially changed position before or during any racket
or arm motion.
• A server whose footwork changes significantly from one
serve to the next is at risk for being called for a foot fault.
• Serves that look like the running volleyball serve violate the
rule. Serves in which the server runs or walks from a point
well behind the baseline to the baseline are also illegal, as are
serves in which the server walks or runs along the baseline
before choosing a spot from which to deliver the serve.

Kaptain Karl
01-21-2010, 09:26 AM
... I've never seen or heard anyone roving judges included call FF.Wow. You must play in Sections with a great number of high-integrity people. (Or they are just very very tolerant of cheaters.)

(I have never played in Leagues. Which seem to be the source of a LOT of arguments.) But I have seen and heard FF's called in my Senior tourneys ... and at our big season-ending tourneys in interscholastic competition. (My 2nd job is: HS Coach.)

I recently learned I'm known for "getting in opponents' heads" in Doubles. (I really didn't know until a friend told me.) I think Dubs is both Competitive ... and Fun. I like to have 30-second conversations on the changeovers. I've been told my joshing does mess with people.

I'll say things like, "Okay. You're up 3-0 on us. Give up yet?" or "That nasty Slice serve that pulls us into the netting is being made illegal next month. I'm pretty sure I read it in a USTA e-mail."

Now, with my buddies??? I really will try and mess with them. If one guy's having an AWESOME serving day, I'll ask, "Joe, do you inhale or exhale as you toss the ball?" or "Your grip change to the more extreme seems to be working" or "Why does that light distract me on my toss, but it doesn't seem to distract YOU?" (They know I'm messing with them and they try to do similar stuff with me. It's part of our fun.) But I didn't know my teasing about "giving up yet" was considered as gamesmanship until recently. (Not gonna stop either.)

...I do agree it's a rule, but not one the receiver should enforce 100% of the time.
Late in a match last season, my #2 Dubs players had just noticed how badly one of their opponents was FF-ing.

"Coach, have you SEEN that guy's FF!!??? Do something!!!"

"Let's see, you're UP 6-3 5-2 and NOW you want to risk ******* them off and having them play better just to shut you up?"

"Uh, never mind, Coach."

IOW, I certainly agree you shouldn't enforce it every single time.

How can you return serve if you're watching the server's feet?If the guy's serve seems like it's coming from the wrong side of the Center Line you bet I'm going to risk not seeing the ball as quickly as I should and sneak a peek to see if he takes a giant step with his front foot as he tosses the ball. (That's "flagrant".) If he doesn't do what I thought was happening, I'm gonna slap my *self* upside the head and see the ball sooner to help me Return better.

The best way to learn not to foot fault IMO is to play on a clay court. If you drag your back foot, you'll feel it hit the line. If you step over, then you pretty much know you're foot faulting.Here's another tip, from Kreise -- which also helps control a tendency to toss too randomly: Stand in the box from a case of balls to serve (Platform) ... or put your front foot with the toe just barely wedged into the corner of the box (Pinpoint). It's dramatic how quickly this helps get your toss and feet under control.

The easiest fix for this is something I started doing about 10 - 15 years ago while playing mostly on clay. Plant your front foot, and when you serve, make your back foot step to your front foot. If you jump into your serve, you'll still be OK. But this does two things, 1) it keeps that back foot from coming around, and 2) it makes your shoes last a lot longer becaues you're not dragging that toe.I adopted this as a teen, when Mom told me I had to buy my own tennis shoes from then on. My buddies tell me I still look a bit like a *dancer* striking a pose, because my back foot movement is so ... precise.




I gave up the pinpoint stance years ago in favor of the platform stance. It suits my age (53) and my innate lack of coordination much better and the FF is completely avoided if you set up your stance properly.This made me smile. (And it made me think he's messing with us. He's probably VERY coordinated. Watch out for jrod, if you meet him in the Draw...!




Do you ever call a FF on yourself?Silly question.

If I chase a toss, or if the wind blows it mid-swing, I can feel as though I probably footfaulted.This is a secondary "peeve" of mine. Catch your bad tosses, people! Don't chase them!!! (I have a good and "big" serve. And I catch more tosses than anybody I know ... which is maybe four in a set.) I'm astonished at the "Well I threw the sucker over there. I'll be embarrassed to have to start over, so I'll just launch my body stupidly after that toss which will make me look really dopey and attempt a serve from there" attitude.




Cindy: You admit you don't know if your player footfaulted or not. Why the call for a rule change then? It simply appears that your player got called for a foot fault and disagreed with the call. That is not enough of a reason to change the rules in my opinion.Here, here!




FF is unique because [Blah, blah...]Do you even *play* this game!!???

- KK

jrod
01-21-2010, 09:41 AM
....
This made me smile. (And it made me think he's messing with us. He's probably VERY coordinated. Watch out for jrod, if you meet him in the Draw...!
...


Your far too generous KK...oh, really enjoyed your examples used on your buddies. I'm definitely going to use these in the future!

OrangePower
01-21-2010, 09:45 AM
...
Here's another tip, from Kreise -- which also helps control a tendency to toss too randomly: Stand in the box from a case of balls to serve (Platform) ... or put your front foot with the toe just barely wedged into the corner of the box (Pinpoint). It's dramatic how quickly this helps get your toss and feet under control.


Trying to picture how this exercise would work, but having trouble. Pinpoint serve. Both feet are over the baseline (but off the ground) by the time I make contact with the ball. Wouldn't that mean tripping over the side of the box? Sounds dangerous. And how does it help in letting me know if my feet really were off the ground until after contact is made?

kylebarendrick
01-21-2010, 10:12 AM
1. Receiver's partner is not in position to see in all cases. First off, he/she should not be watching the feet of the server. Secondly, even if you are, can you be sure that the feet are not even slightly off the ground until after the moment of impact with the ball? How do you see from across the net if the feet are still slightly in the air. And if you are watching the feet, then you can't be sure of the exact moment of impact with the ball.

The most common type of "flagrant" footfault I see is the the server stepping into the court with one foot before hitting the ball. This isn't a case of touching the line - at least half of their foot is over the line and inside the court. They are not jumping either - Stevie Wonder could make the call. Servers that do this generally footfault on almost every serve - it is part of their normal motion. This type of foot fault is also easy for the receiver's partner to spot.

You are right, though, the receiver's partner should not normally be watching the feet of the server. All it takes, though, is for them to notice (even out of the corner of their eye) one or two serves that look like footfaults. They can then choose to watch the server and clearly see the fault take place.

In the end it doesn't really matter. There is nothing wrong with the rule - just as there is nothing wrong with the 2-bounce rule. We need rules that define where you have to serve when you stand or how many times the ball can bounce before you hit it. The problem is matches without officials. In these matches, regardless of the rule, you are counting on your opponents to know the rule and make calls with integrity. It doesn't matter if it is a footfault or a line call. Your opponent has calls that they are responsible for making. You really have no recourse if you disagree with the call (except in Norcal where we get to bring teammates onto the court to make calls).

If someone calls you for a footfault, your first action should be to make sure you aren't footfaulting. Only after that can you challenge their integrity.

decades
01-21-2010, 10:20 AM
yes it should actually be enforced once in a while.

OrangePower
01-21-2010, 10:20 AM
...
(except in Norcal where we get to bring teammates onto the court to make calls).


Hey, I'm in Norcal and I didn't know that... learn something new every day :-)

I've been playing league for several years now and have never witnessed a case where someone was enlisted to help make calls. But I've seen a couple of times where it could have helped!

sureshs
01-21-2010, 10:37 AM
Do you even *play* this game!!???

- KK

I try, I do. This week has been terrible with the rain.

Eviscerator
01-21-2010, 10:39 AM
That said, I do not think my role as captain is to "figure out if my players are footfaulting." How would I do that? We do not have team practices. I do not think it would be well-received if I required them to attend a session where I evaluate their serve to see if they footfault.

(Note that I have not read any other response so if I am being redundant, that is the reason)

I guess it depends on the type of captain you are. If it is a competitive team, not just a exercise and shoot the breeze type of a team, I would think you should have a practice or two. Get a local pro to do a group lesson once every two weeks or once a month.
Regardless, even if you do not want to go that route, and cannot watch them because you are playing, have someone you trust that understands what a FF is, observe different players during a match to see if they are doing it.
If so either help them, or suggest they get a lesson or two. Either way you are being pro active to help prevent this from happening again in the future. The solution I have suggested will be much easier to accomplish rather than trying to change a rule most people agree with.

Ripper014
01-21-2010, 11:30 AM
You are just using my point #1.

#2 is the reason why a server would question a call. A tennis court is how long, 78 feet? And the returner is a couple of feet behind, and mostly looking at the ball toss to figure out the serve.

From 80 feet away, while looking at a small yellow thing 9 feet up in the air, can you also simultaneously look at something happening in the ground and decide with confidence? Think about it.

When a server tosses the ball up and slides into the court by 3 feet before contacting the ball... yep I can see it. Even on a normal motion I may be looking at the ball... but I still see the whole picture. That is why while concentrating on a returning serve I can still visually pick up a ball coming at me from another court.

As mentioned the person who has the worst vantage point is the offender, or their partner if they are playing doubles... your partner is facing the wrong way, and the server has no clue. Looking at the ball and my feet while serving is something I admit even I cannot do.

sureshs
01-21-2010, 11:34 AM
When a server tosses the ball up and slides into the court by 3 feet before contacting the ball... yep I can see it. Even on a normal motion I may be looking at the ball... but I still see the whole picture. That is why while concentrating on a returning serve I can still visually pick up a ball coming at me from another court.

As mentioned the person who has the worst vantage point is the offender, or their partner if they are playing doubles... your partner is facing the wrong way, and the server has no clue. Looking at the ball and my feet while serving is something I admit even I cannot do.

3 feet slide is not what is being talked about. I think that should have been obvious since the very first post. Give people some credit.

spot
01-21-2010, 11:47 AM
sureshs- Cindy didn't see her player either so we don't know what we are talking about. MANY rec players you can absolutely with 100% certainty know they are footfaulting even from across the court and they will still have no clue they are doing it.

sureshs
01-21-2010, 11:57 AM
sureshs- Cindy didn't see her player either so we don't know what we are talking about. MANY rec players you can absolutely with 100% certainty know they are footfaulting even from across the court and they will still have no clue they are doing it.

I agree. But as I said before, watchers near the baseline were convinced that a jumping person was FFing, when in fact he was striking before landing on the ground. I don't think a person at the opposite end would have any chance of calling it properly.

Why do you think chair umpires don't overrule foot fault calls but defer to the line judge?

spot
01-21-2010, 12:05 PM
Sureshs- and if you can't tell with 100% certainty that a person is FFing then by rule you aren't allowed to call the FF. In rec tennis the rule is literally prohibited from being used in borderline situations. There are PLENTY of brutally obvious footfaults that are unmistakable from the other side of the net- that is what the code allows you to call.

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 12:41 PM
Sureshs- and if you can't tell with 100% certainty that a person is FFing then by rule you aren't allowed to call the FF. In rec tennis the rule is literally prohibited from being used in borderline situations. There are PLENTY of brutally obvious footfaults that are unmistakable from the other side of the net- that is what the code allows you to call.

We are going in circles.

I submit that a player 78 feet away cannot with 100% certainty know whether a jump serve that begins behind the baseline is a flagrant foot fault without the aid of slow motion replay.

The problem with the rule is that allows the FF to be warned/called based on the receiver's long-distance interpretation of something most of us aren't used to interpreting.

I believe the receiver in this case genuinely and honestly believed a FF was happening. I also believe the chances are quite high that she was wrong because she probably hasn't seen many jumpt serves.

kylebarendrick
01-21-2010, 12:45 PM
Do you know a lot of 3.5 women with jump serves?

fruitytennis1
01-21-2010, 12:48 PM
Do you know a lot of 3.5 women with jump serves?

Good point..might as well add 4.0 since cindy has now gone up

Ripper014
01-21-2010, 12:58 PM
Ok... my point is that she probably did foot fault... and it was observed not by the person recieving the serve from 78 feet, but by her partner who did nothing but watch the server from 60 feet away. I assume and I could be wrong, but submit that at some point the opponents believed that she was foot faulting and took special care in watching her before calling her on it.

I have never seen anyone call a person in recreational league or tournament play for a foot fault that was only a few inches into the court.

My guess is that the woman accused was well into the court, by at least a foot.

Ripper014
01-21-2010, 01:00 PM
3 feet slide is not what is being talked about. I think that should have been obvious since the very first post. Give people some credit.

I was not speaking of this instance in general.. though it could of been. But by what I thought was a general statement being made by you.

You are just using my point #1.

#2 is the reason why a server would question a call. A tennis court is how long, 78 feet? And the returner is a couple of feet behind, and mostly looking at the ball toss to figure out the serve.

From 80 feet away, while looking at a small yellow thing 9 feet up in the air, can you also simultaneously look at something happening in the ground and decide with confidence? Think about it.

Ripper014
01-21-2010, 01:04 PM
Do you know a lot of 3.5 women with jump serves?

Ripper doesn't know anyone with a jump serve... other than volleyball players.

spot
01-21-2010, 01:12 PM
I think that while the woman in question may believe that she has such unique serve that no person on the other side of the court could ever tell that she is footfaulting, I think its more likely that she is footfaulting but doesn't quite realize what her jump serve looks like since she has never seen it herself.

As I said- I have never seen anyone called for footfaulting who wasn't BLATANTLY violating the rule. I have some people BLATANTLY violating the rule and being adamant that they were not doing so several times. They always have a reason in their head why they don't think they were footfaulting even though someone else was looking at their feet and telling them that they were.

I'd say that there are MANY people with Serves- Jumping or otherwise where its is trivially easy to call them for a footfault from across the net with 100% certainty. Neither you nor I know whether the server was actually violating the rule- I'll side with the person looking at her feet rather than the one looking at the ball.

kylebarendrick
01-21-2010, 01:19 PM
Most people called for foot faults never even take into account the fact that they might actually be foot faulting. They are upset simply that the call was made.

Server: "What, we're calling footfaults now? There's no way could you have seen it. It isn't like it makes any difference. You're just upset that you're losing and can't return my serve. This is nothing but gamesmanship!"

Receiver: "But you footfaulted"

Server: "That has nothing to do with this!"

sureshs
01-21-2010, 02:18 PM
Sureshs- and if you can't tell with 100% certainty that a person is FFing then by rule you aren't allowed to call the FF. In rec tennis the rule is literally prohibited from being used in borderline situations. There are PLENTY of brutally obvious footfaults that are unmistakable from the other side of the net- that is what the code allows you to call.

I get what you are saying. I am saying that there are other situations where what I said applies. Since we don't know what Cindy's woman was doing, we cannot conclude either way.

spot
01-21-2010, 02:23 PM
rights sureshs- the ONLY people who were actually looking at the servers feet have said she was flagrantly footfaulting. Until I have any reason to disagree with them why would I?

sureshs
01-21-2010, 03:36 PM
rights sureshs- the ONLY people who were actually looking at the servers feet have said she was flagrantly footfaulting. Until I have any reason to disagree with them why would I?

You should not disagree, but you should be skeptical for the following reason (as Cindy mentioned): those who claimed to have seen the flagrant footfaulting complained after being down a set and 0-3 in the second. Doesn't that raise any suspicion at all? They were also the opponents, of course. So how much credibility will they have in Cindy's eyes?

I have seen players casually state the score as 30-15 when it is 15-30. I have seen players declare the game over at 40-30. This forum is full of stories about sandbagging, bad line calls, and messing with people's heads. Why would we assume that Cindy's opponents are above such behavior? Cindy did the right thing in sticking for her players, absent any evidence.

Kaptain Karl
01-21-2010, 04:12 PM
Why do you think chair umpires don't overrule foot fault calls but defer to the line judge?You are being ridiculous. I remember in one of the Masters level matches Pete Sampras caused an overrule. The Linesman called "Foot fault!" so prematurely Pete was able to *catch* the toss and ask the Linesman something like, "You sure about that?"

Of course the Chair overruled.




... those who claimed to have seen the flagrant footfaulting complained after being down a set and 0-3 in the second. Doesn't that raise any suspicion at all? They were also the opponents, of course. So how much credibility will they have in Cindy's eyes?Man! You are really picking nits.

It is entirely possible it took the opponents all that time to figure out *how* Cindy's teammates were doing "so well." If I noticed FF's at that late stage, I'd be ticked-off I hadn't seen it earlier.

- KK

Cindysphinx
01-21-2010, 06:55 PM
^That the FF issue wasn't raised until opponents had their backs against the wall is interesting. Not dispositive, just interesting. I was never quite sure what to make of that particular fact.

I don't know how relevant it is, but the server who was accused of FF served and played poorly thereafter. I think the 3-0 lead evaporated and opponents went ahead 3-4 before our players re-grouped and finally won the second set 6-4.

It seems very likely that the server was serving however she was serving throughout (in other words, I doubt she decided to FF halfway through the second set). More likely is that the opponent either:

(1) saw it earlier but said nothing, which suggests it wasn't flagrant,

(2) were looking for a way to break our momentum,

(3) were feeling desperate and just looking for any nit to pick, which also suggests it wasn't flagrant, or

(4) there was some bad blood and resentment over other things like line calls, so opponents were retailiating by suddenly viewing a possible FF as a flagrant one.

And as KK suggests, it could be simply that the opponents were not observant in the first set and suddenly became more observant. I think this possibility is the least likely, personally. If someone is FF so badly that it is flagrant, I can't think of a benign and credible explanation for a set-and-a-half delay.

Things that make ya go "Hmmmm . . . "

spot
01-21-2010, 07:31 PM
How about that she was flagrantly footfaulting the entire match but they didn't notice until later in the match?

And I agree that the most likely scenario is that they noticed the footfaulting earlier and only decided to start calling it later because they were already ****ed at your teammates for what they consdiered to be bad line calls. But just because someone is calling it for the wrong reasons does not mean that they are not entitled to call it. There are many things that are enforced differently when things are going cordially as opposed to when things are contentious. As I ahve said many times just because calling a footfault may be a jerk move, doesn't mean that people are not allowed to call it.

There are often flagrant footfaults that I notice and am SURE about that I choose not to call. Maybe because you say your teams don't watch each other play that you don't realize quite how prevalent flagrant footfaulting is? Maybe its different up there than here in Atlanta but I'm guessing close to half of people here are chronic flagrant footfaulters.

Tennisman912
01-21-2010, 08:25 PM
The biggest hmmm is that you are still arguing in defense of your teammates and looking for any excuse to side with your teammates instead of trying to solve the problem: do they double fault fragrantly/consistently? All the rest is BS just trying to justify why they may have called the FF and not the fact that they probably are foot faulting. The why or timing is irrelevant if they are foot faulting. You have already admitted to not seeing any of the offending actions of either team and as captain, having very little insight into whether the player is a chronic foot faulter even though it has been an issue a few times in the past over a few years.

Lets look at the facts. First, let’s face it, not many 3.5 ladies are hitting an effective jump serve or I have never seen it. Also, a 3.5 lady doesn’t exactly have total body control/awareness so you have to grant how likely it is they have absolutely no idea where they are when they hit the serve. On that same vein, no one knows for sure when serving if they are over the line when hitting the ball as they can’t hit the ball and look at there feet at the same time. No one can. They can only be sure they started behind the line when they started their motion.

The argument the opponents don’t understand a jump serve is also pretty suspect and weak IMHO. Possible yes, but probable no, in my book. It is quite simple: where are her feet when she makes contact with the ball? She is either behind the line/near enough that it isn’t obvious or she is hitting it while still in the air (obviously not a double fault) or she is well inside the line and flagrantly foot-faulting. And realistically, the chances of her hitting a serve leaning well into the court and completely in the air consistently at the 3.5 level is not very high, but possible. Not really much gray area in my book. So an opponent (mine or yours) has a much more realistic view of whether your players are FF than the server no matter what she thinks. The other issues are irrelevant to me at this point. But it stands to reason either opponent has a much better chance of seeing and calling a flagrant foot fault than the server “who is sure they are not foot faulting.” When they call the foot fault is also irrelevant. Because if they are foot-faulting, it is a legitimate call anytime. Yes, I certainly would have mentioned it sooner if it was flagrant, but maybe they didn’t notice and even if they did, again, if they call it, they call it. If a player loses her head for half a set because someone called a foot fault, she has more important things to fix along with her serve issue (or potential issue) IMHO.

After all, I have played social matches with players in the 3.5 range who have played full sets before realizing I was even left handed. I am not against you and your team and for your opponents, but I am for common sense. Beg, borrow or steal a video camera and put the video up here. I find it very difficult to believe you have no access to someone who can observe and tell if FF is a problem. You take clinics as I recall. If this player or players aren’t regulars, have them come for a clinic and talk to the pro ahead of time to keep an eye out and never mention it to them why they are really at the clinic/hitting session other than normal stroke improvement. Indoors there has to be a pro or someone qualified to observe the offending players at any facility if you ask and explain why you need to know.

Still think this isn’t your problem whether they are foot faulting or not as captain? You said this lady called and is still upset about this. Make life easy for yourself and address the issue once and for all or just accept it when opponents call foot faults. Granted, I agree it shouldn’t be your problem, as any player who has any doubt about FF should want to correct the problem on their own instead of just saying they don’t FF. But people have to take responsibility for that to happen and that is asking too much these days.

Best of luck.

TM

Tennisman912
01-21-2010, 08:30 PM
Origiman said,


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindysphinx Here's a question for the FF purists out there.Do you ever call a FF on yourself?
I have called one on myself in the past when I've lost my balance and taken a step into the court. It doesn't happen often, in fact I can only remember one occasion.

I will also call balls out on myself also if I see them well down a tramline for example if the opponent is on the other side of the court. I don't feel happy if I feel I've won unjustly in any way.”

Why in the world would you hit a ball toss that you actually have to take step into the court to hit and then hit it? Then call a foot fault on yourself. Why not let it drop or catch it and serve again? I don’t get that at all as it just doesn't make sense to me. Not criticizing just curious as to your reasoning for that.

Good tennis

TM

pinky42
01-21-2010, 08:39 PM
I believe the receiver in this case genuinely and honestly believed a FF was happening. I also believe the chances are quite high that she was wrong because she probably hasn't seen many jumpt serves.

Item 40 of the Code already addresses this. If you believe there is a pattern of bad calls (the FFs in this case) you are permitted to request an official.

origmarm
01-22-2010, 12:54 AM
Why in the world would you hit a ball toss that you actually have to take step into the court to hit and then hit it? Then call a foot fault on yourself. Why not let it drop or catch it and serve again? I don’t get that at all as it just doesn't make sense to me. Not criticizing just curious as to your reasoning for that.

Good tennis

TM

Heya TM, it's not normally that I'm chasing a bad toss, it's typically when I play on this court relatively near my friend's house where the surface is not that good. When I move the back foot towards the front to set the pinpoint stance, the back foot will catch on the uneven surface of the court and throw me off balance slightly, but not enough that I make the call to abandon and start again. At this point when I attempt to drive off with the legs and throw myself into the motion the feet aren't quite set right and the "hop" doesn't quite come off correctly so I'll "land early" with the front foot in the court. Given that I'm focused on the ball I'll actually have hit it but I'll feel myself land first and as such I'll know that I've foot faulted.

Make sense? I've only had it happen once or twice.

equinox
01-22-2010, 01:00 AM
This is the rule concerning footfaults in my country.

Foot faults may only be called by an Official either allocated for that purpose or a person performing
a Chair Umpire function. Players may be requested to correct their foot faulting problem by a Referee
or Court Supervisor. The receiver may not call a foot fault against the server.

spot
01-22-2010, 03:51 AM
pinky42- thats great for tournaments. But for rec league tennis there simply isn't an official to request.

spot
01-22-2010, 03:51 AM
equinox- just out of curiosity how do you pick which team gets to have someone functioning as a court umpire?

sureshs
01-22-2010, 04:30 AM
You are being ridiculous. I remember in one of the Masters level matches Pete Sampras caused an overrule. The Linesman called "Foot fault!" so prematurely Pete was able to *catch* the toss and ask the Linesman something like, "You sure about that?"

Of course the Chair overruled.




Man! You are really picking nits.

It is entirely possible it took the opponents all that time to figure out *how* Cindy's teammates were doing "so well." If I noticed FF's at that late stage, I'd be ticked-off I hadn't seen it earlier.

- KK

That is a possibility that someone else also mentioned. But there is also a possibility that this is a case of sour grapes and wanting to create an excuse before being beaten badly. Cindy cannot know either way.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 04:34 AM
^That the FF issue wasn't raised until opponents had their backs against the wall is interesting. Not dispositive, just interesting.

Never seen that word before. For those whose literature skills are not as good as Cindy's,

dispositive: adj. Relating to or having an effect on disposition or settlement, especially of a legal case or will.

I bet Cindy was one of those studious girls who took the English class reading assignments really seriously in school.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 04:48 AM
^That the FF issue wasn't raised until opponents had their backs against the wall is interesting. Not dispositive, just interesting. I was never quite sure what to make of that particular fact.

I don't know how relevant it is, but the server who was accused of FF served and played poorly thereafter. I think the 3-0 lead evaporated and opponents went ahead 3-4 before our players re-grouped and finally won the second set 6-4.

It seems very likely that the server was serving however she was serving throughout (in other words, I doubt she decided to FF halfway through the second set). More likely is that the opponent either:

(1) saw it earlier but said nothing, which suggests it wasn't flagrant,

(2) were looking for a way to break our momentum,

(3) were feeling desperate and just looking for any nit to pick, which also suggests it wasn't flagrant, or

(4) there was some bad blood and resentment over other things like line calls, so opponents were retailiating by suddenly viewing a possible FF as a flagrant one.

And as KK suggests, it could be simply that the opponents were not observant in the first set and suddenly became more observant. I think this possibility is the least likely, personally. If someone is FF so badly that it is flagrant, I can't think of a benign and credible explanation for a set-and-a-half delay.

Things that make ya go "Hmmmm . . . "

I agree. Having seen how tennis players rationalize their behavior, I can easily believe the following scenario: the opponents were looking for an excuse so that they could blame your team for cheating after the loss. One of them starts "looking" for FFs. She thinks she spotted one. She convinces herself she is being fair and "spots" another one. She tells herself these are flagrant. She conveys this to her partner. She says "I also kind of saw this." Now they both decide it is intolerably flagrant and create a scene. I have see such behavior over line calls - convincing yourself that you are being cheated till it becomes a truth by its own.

Women are specially notorious for creating such ongoing psychological drama during tennis matches, which is why I don't like mixed doubles.

spot
01-22-2010, 04:59 AM
Sureshs- what percentage of 3.5 players do you think footfault consistently?

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 06:49 AM
Never seen that word before. For those whose literature skills are not as good as Cindy's,

dispositive: adj. Relating to or having an effect on disposition or settlement, especially of a legal case or will.

I bet Cindy was one of those studious girls who took the English class reading assignments really seriously in school.

Hee!

I kind of like the word "dispositive" because I have never been able to think of another one that works as well, and even someone who has never seen it before will understand it from context. I remember looking it up a long time ago and, to my horror, discovered it was not in the dictionary.

I kept using it anyway. So if it is now in the dictionary, I feel much better. :)

Cindy -- whose spellchecker underlines "dispositive" in red

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 06:52 AM
I agree. Having seen how tennis players rationalize their behavior, I can easily believe the following scenario: the opponents were looking for an excuse so that they could blame your team for cheating after the loss. One of them starts "looking" for FFs. She thinks she spotted one. She convinces herself she is being fair and "spots" another one. She tells herself these are flagrant. She conveys this to her partner. She says "I also kind of saw this." Now they both decide it is intolerably flagrant and create a scene. I have see such behavior over line calls - convincing yourself that you are being cheated till it becomes a truth by its own.

Women are specially notorious for creating such ongoing psychological drama during tennis matches, which is why I don't like mixed doubles.

Well, I'll look the other way on the dig against women players, but there is a certain personality type that does this.

I know one lady whose teams are usually competitive and often win the division. On three separate occasions, I have observed that she will raise a stink if she or a teammate loses a match.

The first time, my singles player upset her singles player. She complained that my player was cheating on line calls.

The second time, my singles player beat her singles player. She complained that my player was cheating on line calls.

The third time, she was my teammate rather than opponent, and she complained after a doubles loss that her opponents were cheating on line calls.

I guess the only explanation for her losing is that someone cheated her.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 07:03 AM
Hee!

I kind of like the word "dispositive" because I have never been able to think of another one that works as well, and even someone who has never seen it before will understand it from context. I remember looking it up a long time ago and, to my horror, discovered it was not in the dictionary.

I kept using it anyway. So if it is now in the dictionary, I feel much better. :)

Cindy -- whose spellchecker underlines "dispositive" in red

Weren't you a paralegal? I thought you picked it up then.

These days people just use online dictionaries or just google to begin with.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 07:05 AM
Cindy, have the FFing ladies ever been called out in previous matches? That info is missing and can shed light on this matter.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 07:07 AM
Sureshs- what percentage of 3.5 players do you think footfault consistently?

Not a lot. But again, I don't focus on this. In doubles, it is easier to focus on it, but I avoid doubles if I can.

spot
01-22-2010, 07:13 AM
Sureshs- I'd say that at least 50% of 3.5 players footfault regularly. Probably far more than that. When you haven't ever had a lot of 1 on 1 coaching who would correct this behavior then it happens all the time.

For our teams we have 2 courts and 5 lines of doubles so were all there drinking beer watching the other matches once ours finishes. Take a look at people's feet and you will be shocked at how often people are footfaulting. They are looking up at the ball- they have no idea they are even doing it.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 07:23 AM
Lets look at the facts. First, let’s face it, not many 3.5 ladies are hitting an effective jump serve or I have never seen it.

This 3.5 lady hits an effective and technically correct (IMHO) jump serve. The fact that most 3.5 ladies do not does not preclude the possibility that this one does.

Also, a 3.5 lady doesn’t exactly have total body control/awareness so you have to grant how likely it is they have absolutely no idea where they are when they hit the serve. On that same vein, no one knows for sure when serving if they are over the line when hitting the ball as they can’t hit the ball and look at there feet at the same time. No one can. They can only be sure they started behind the line when they started their motion.

Huh? I don't see what her status as a 3.5 has to do with this.

She considers her serve to be her Big Weapon. She practices it a lot. She is constantly fiddling with elements of it, trying to make it just that much more effective. I have my own personal opinion of the merits of this (namely, that it might be a better idea to address the other deficiencies in her game that keep her at 3.5 rather than trying to squeeze that last 3 mph out of her serve), but it is a very good service motion.

Second, I think knowing you don't FF on a jump serve is very easy. Start behind the line. Toss the ball. Jump and hit. Land wherever you land. If you jump, land and then hit, the serve will be quite jacked up and awkward.

If a player loses her head for half a set because someone called a foot fault, she has more important things to fix along with her serve issue (or potential issue) IMHO.

Good question. Why would someone fall apart just because they are warned about a FF and still be upset about it the next day?

I think this player in particular is very invested in her serve. As I said, she spends a lot of time working on it and takes great pride in being able to do something so well that people of our level struggle with. I think this episode shows the downside of this approach, however. If you take great pride in your serve and someone says you are FF, this could be taken as a personal affront. The FF call means that all of your time, money and effort developing your serve was wasted because you are doing it wrong. Instead of having a weapon, you are just cheating. Ouch.

I don't think it is a good idea for anyone to become quite so invested in and proud of a shot. Any shot can go south in a match, so what will you do when that happens? Being invested in the serve is an even bigger problem because someone can call you for a FF, real or imagined, whereas no one can ever question the legality of any other weapon stroke you might possess.

Beg, borrow or steal a video camera and put the video up here. I find it very difficult to believe you have no access to someone who can observe and tell if FF is a problem. You take clinics as I recall. If this player or players aren’t regulars, have them come for a clinic and talk to the pro ahead of time to keep an eye out and never mention it to them why they are really at the clinic/hitting session other than normal stroke improvement. Indoors there has to be a pro or someone qualified to observe the offending players at any facility if you ask and explain why you need to know.

You won't just take my word for it, so I guess I will explain further.

This player belongs to a swank private club. She takes lessons there. I take lessons at a different club. I take my lessons during the day; she works and cannot take instruction during the day. She takes her lessons on weekends; I have family obligations and cannot join her.

Indoor court time here runs $43 an hour at the nearest county facility, with a lesson fee on top of that. The pros there are a joke; I would never seek their advice on anything.

My pro does not work for free, especially to evaluate this lady who is not his student. If I wished to arrange for a lesson with him to work on FF, someone would have to pay him $70. He would happily evaluate my serve during one of my private lessons, but that wouldn't do a thing for my friend. My friend, presumably, could ask one of her club pros to evaluate her serve, for free or as a favor. I know she has received much instruction on her serve; presumably her pro would tell her if she were FF. As a non-member, I I cannot darken the door of that facility unless I am taking instruction or have paid a guest fee and court time to play with my friend.

Regarding the idea of setting up a clinic and not telling my players why . . . Let's just say that my players are much too savvy to attend a mystery clinic for $45 without telling them why they should come. My players either don't take instruction because they think they don't need it or can't afford it, or they take instruction only with their chosen pro. I have proposed working with a pro before, and there were never any takers.

Still think this isn’t your problem whether they are foot faulting or not as captain? You said this lady called and is still upset about this. Make life easy for yourself and address the issue once and for all or just accept it when opponents call foot faults.

TM, please don't get me confused with my friend. *She* got called for a FF. *She* is upset. *She* can decide what if anything to do about it.



Granted, I agree it shouldn’t be your problem, as any player who has any doubt about FF should want to correct the problem on their own instead of just saying they don’t FF. But people have to take responsibility for that to happen and that is asking too much these days.


My job ends at making sure they are informed of what the rules and Code are, and I have done that. What she does about her service motion is totally up to her.

If she asked me, I would tell her to forget the whole thing, do what everyone else does and simply try not to FF, and work on her net game.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 07:27 AM
Cindy, have the FFing ladies ever been called out in previous matches? That info is missing and can shed light on this matter.

I think I said earlier that this lady has played three matches at Districts. In the first match, she was my partner and was called 2-3 times for FF (pinpoint stance with back foot sliding forward and touching the line).

In the second match on the same day, I can't recall if she was called for a FF (she was my partner again , and I just don't remember if all of the FFs were in the first match or not). She went home that night and practiced keeping her back foot where it should be.

In the third match the next day, she wasn't called for a FF.

The next year at Districts, she wasn't called for a FF.

She has played two singles tournaments and one doubles tournament since, and she wasn't called for a FF.

spot
01-22-2010, 08:03 AM
Cindy- I think she may be focusing on where her feet are when she sets them before starting her motion and at contact, not where her feet go after she tosses and looks up at the ball but before she jumps. Thats where I see a TON of people footfaulting. They don't realize where their feet are going after they initially set them.

I'm just saying if she has been called for footfaults that often then I think its crazy for her to think that she wasn't doing it in this match.

equinox
01-22-2010, 08:10 AM
Lol @ cindys use of the term "Jump Serve"..

A player doesn't consciously "jump" when serving. Feet leaving the ground happens naturally when combining friction from the legs pushing against the court surface and reaching up to fully extend the arm at contact.

I've observed 3.5 ladies "jump serves" which are completely ineffectual and contrary to good balance in the service action.

haha, start drinking redbull cindy then you will really fly away cuckoo style.

equinox
01-22-2010, 08:26 AM
Cindy- I think she may be focusing on where her feet are at contact, not where her feet go after she tosses and looks up at the ball but before she jumps. Thats where I see a TON of people footfaulting. They don't realize where their feet are going after they initially set them.

I'm just saying if she has been called for footfaults that often then I think its crazy for her to think that she wasn't doing it in this match.

Yeah she's probably chasing a bad toss. I do this too often. Quite interesting to video and watch the feet dance around after a bad toss.

Once a player has been warned they should have a very good idea of the problem foot and the solution to fix it. Simple stand further back or away from the centre baseline.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 08:33 AM
I think I said earlier that this lady has played three matches at Districts. In the first match, she was my partner and was called 2-3 times for FF (pinpoint stance with back foot sliding forward and touching the line).


Ahhh - now I am no longer sure I can support you. She has a history.

The benefit of doubt goes to your opponents now. We have to assume they were correct.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 09:03 AM
Ahhh - now I am no longer sure I can support you. She has a history.

The benefit of doubt goes to your opponents now. We have to assume they were correct.

Right. She has a history. A history of addressing the problem.

BTW, I asked the opposing captain how she was FF. She said my player was FF with both feet.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 09:06 AM
Lol @ cindys use of the term "Jump Serve"..

A player doesn't consciously "jump" when serving. Feet leaving the ground happens naturally when combining friction from the legs pushing against the court surface and reaching up to fully extend the arm at contact.

I've observed 3.5 ladies "jump serves" which are completely ineffectual and contrary to good balance in the service action.

haha, start drinking redbull cindy then you will really fly away cuckoo style.

I know, I know. I use the term "jump serve" as a descriptive term so you will know what I am talking about. I want to distinguish this type of service motion from what a lot of low-level players do (walking into the court, swiveling the front foot onto the line).

spot
01-22-2010, 09:08 AM
Well- next time she plays would you do us a favor and watch her a few serves to see if you think she does footfault? I mean I still don't get why anyone in this thread would be confident that she doesn't footfault. The only people looking at her feet said she was.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 09:16 AM
^I know it is tempting to want to get to the bottom of this, but that will never happen.

As CAK said pages ago, someone can be FFing one day and not the next, for any number of reasons. We will never know whether she was committing a flagrant FF or not that night, regardless of what I do or do not observe in the future about this player.

Oh, another fact that I just recalled about my post-match discussion with the other captain (who was one of the opponents calling the FF). She said the reason she was calling the FF was to help my player. If this player ever goes to the playoffs, the captain said, she's going to get in a lot of trouble. So this captain's motives were altruistic, according to her.

Such drama! ;)

Joeyg
01-22-2010, 09:53 AM
I kind of find it funny that Cindy says "what drama" about anyone else. To me, the vast majority of her threads are filled with drama.

It seems as if every time she steps on a court, it turns into a soap opera. Please don't stop, though. Your threads are almost as fun as Dr. Fraudace's are.

ksteph
01-22-2010, 10:01 AM
Cindy,

Were your players footfaulting?

No she wasn't.

I know I'm a little late (been watching tennis), but I had a front row seat when my opponent pointed out the FF. It wouldn't have been questionable if my opponent said something before the second set. I just think my opponent was mad that we were kicking their butts kicked, and she needed to distract us a little.

I have played league tennis for 6 yrs and this was the second time I heard someone complain about footfaults. If a player is footfaulting, so be it, but to use FF for gamesmanship is a no, no.

spot
01-22-2010, 10:08 AM
You were looking at your partner's feet while she was serving during the points to see if she was footfaulting? A front row seat doesn't do you much good if you are facing the wrong way.

drakulie
01-22-2010, 10:12 AM
You were looking at your partner's feet while she was serving during the points to see if she was footfaulting? A front row seat doesn't do you much good if you are facing the wrong way.


Being that she is on Cindy's team, this type of strategy doesn't surprise me.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 10:19 AM
Being that she is on Cindy's team, this type of strategy doesn't surprise me.

Wow. Now you'll be nasty to Ksteph too? What has she ever done to you?

Pathetic.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 10:21 AM
I kind of find it funny that Cindy says "what drama" about anyone else. To me, the vast majority of her threads are filled with drama.

It seems as if every time she steps on a court, it turns into a soap opera. Please don't stop, though. Your threads are almost as fun as Dr. Fraudace's are.

Well, yeah.

I mean, do you guys want me or anyone else to start posting threads like, "Had a nice match yesterday. Nothing much happened. That's all for now!"

sureshs
01-22-2010, 10:22 AM
No she wasn't.

I know I'm a little late (been watching tennis), but I had a front row seat when my opponent pointed out the FF. It wouldn't have been questionable if my opponent said something before the second set. I just think my opponent was mad that we were kicking their butts kicked, and she needed to distract us a little.

I have played league tennis for 6 yrs and this was the second time I heard someone complain about footfaults. If a player is footfaulting, so be it, but to use FF for gamesmanship is a no, no.

Cindy's friends are popping up here as well. Now we can cross-check some of her statements.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 10:24 AM
Cindy's friends are popping up here as well. Now we can cross-check some of her statements.

For clarity, ksteph is on my team and was the partner of the player accused of FF. These two have played before (IIRC?) and have taken instruction together.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 10:25 AM
Being that she is on Cindy's team, this type of strategy doesn't surprise me.

Seriously, how does the non-serving partner know whether the server was FFing or not? I have seen come cases when the partner will look at the server till the serve is done. Works at lower levels. I have myself done that with a guy whose serves were erratic and dangerously close to my head. I would look at him a few times as he served to send him a signal not to hit me.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 10:26 AM
For clarity, ksteph is on my team and was the partner of the player accused of FF. These two have played before (IIRC?) and have taken instruction together.

Is she the one called Stephanie?

spot
01-22-2010, 10:26 AM
Ksteph- I really wasn't trying to be mean. I do think that its highly likely that your opponents were just calling your partner for Footfaults because they were being jerks. But if she was footfaulting then I think they are still allowed to call them even though they are being jerks by doing so.

But if my partner was getting called for footfaults- after the first couple times I think I'd be pretty inclined to go back to the baseline and look at their feet as they are serving to see what the deal is and if I could help them figure out what to do. I don't need to be looking at the returner if the point isn't going to count.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 10:28 AM
Seriously, how does the non-serving partner know whether the server was FFing or not?

By turning her head around and watching the server serve and then swiveling the head around, or by playing two back.

ksteph
01-22-2010, 10:29 AM
drakulie and spot, the poster asked a question and I answered it. Not that I have to answer your pathetic questions, but if you both need to know, I have played against my partner. So I would now if she had a problem with footfaulting. I'm not about to start e-beefing with people I don't know, but have your facts straight before you start talking about ish you don't know.

ksteph
01-22-2010, 10:30 AM
Is she the one called Stephanie?
Yes I am....

ksteph
01-22-2010, 10:34 AM
Ksteph- I really wasn't trying to be mean. I do think that its highly likely that your opponents were just calling your partner for Footfaults because they were being jerks. But if she was footfaulting then I think they are still allowed to call them even though they are being jerks by doing so.

But if my partner was getting called for footfaults- after the first couple times I think I'd be pretty inclined to go back to the baseline and look at their feet as they are serving to see what the deal is and if I could help them figure out what to do. I don't need to be looking at the returner if the point isn't going to count.

I appreciate this spot, but my partner and have played together and against each other. She has never been called for footfaulting before in a match, so why now?

drakulie
01-22-2010, 10:47 AM
drakulie and spot, the poster asked a question and I answered it. Not that I have to answer your pathetic questions,

Get your facts straight. I didn't ask you a question, rather, made a statement.

I suggest you tell your partner to stop foot faulting, and secondly, stop looking at your partner when she is serving before you have a tennis ball take out your eye.

Tennisman912
01-22-2010, 10:55 AM
Cindy,

First, reread the sentence you quoted about 3.5 ladies hitting effective jump serves. It says not many do and not that none do. I never said is wasn’t possible your player was.

Regarding, your second quote about what her 3.5 status has to do with body control/awareness, it is pretty simple. The less advanced a player is in any sport, the more likely they are to have no “feel” for where they are at different points of their stroke, swing, or whatever movement is called for. The more feel you have, the easier and the quicker you can make changes and improve. If a player has been at the same level for years, it is a pretty good indication they (among other things) probably don't have much feel for what is happening with their strokes. It is just like less advanced golfers. When you are trying to help a less than excellent golfer and ask them where they’re clubhead was when it went off plane or where they hit the shot on the clubface, many less advanced golfers cannot tell or know the answers to these questions. Ask them to take a more inside swing path and they can’t do it consistently because they don’t have the feel to make that adjustment and tell they have made it. Why? No body feel/awareness/control.
Tennis is the same. A 5.5 for example would have some feel in real time for where the racquet head is and how the face is oriented and so on. They could also make minor adjustments on the fly as needed and feel the results as they happen. That is all I am saying.

Valid points about why she loses her head and how invested in her serve she is. I agree with you 100% here. It “has to be” them cheating and not her FF to save her fragile psyche. But as invested in the shot as she is, she is going to be very defensive of a “perceived problem (FF)” exactly because she spends so much time on it. In other words, she will never accept the fact she may in fact foot fault, even with video evidence to the contrary to try to save face. Not exactly the type of witness I want in my corner though.

You said” Second, I think knowing you don't FF on a jump serve is very easy. Start behind the line. Toss the ball. Jump and hit. Land wherever you land. If you jump, land and then hit, the serve will be quite jacked up and awkward.”

And knowing you don’t foot fault on a jump serve is not easy, especially for the server. If she doesn’t move her feet at all and springs into the shot maybe, IF she starts behind the line. But if she takes a step of any kind, consciously or unconsciously, (most likely into or toward the court to get momentum going forward or to chase a bad toss) she is probably stepping into the court and then jumping IMHO. Especially if the opposing captain said she had both feet into the court. That says to me she probably is moving both feet, increasing the chances she is foot-faulting. So in my estimation, she is doing the opposite of your assertion in the quote above. As soon as she steps into any part of the court and starts her motion it is a ff. Maybe she thinks moving the feet around is OK and it doesn’t matter where they are as long as she hits the ball while she is still in the air (and obviously not in the court). That is incorrect and is a ff. This is the most likely scenario of what is happening here.

The fact you say she is always fiddling with it and making changes also greatly increase the chances she is foot-faulting. It also makes it harder to have much feel/awareness for where she is and what she is doing if she is always making changes with it.

I also disagree completely that you can’t see this type of FF from the other side, especially the opposing net player. It is quite obvious if the baseline is not completely visible when she starts her motion. If it isn’t to the net man, the server started on the line. Simple. If it is really bad Ffing, it only gets more obvious IMHO. I would hope you could tell if someone’s foot is on the baseline or inside it.

Best of luck with your drama filled team.

TM

spot
01-22-2010, 10:58 AM
ksteph- Cindy says she has been called for footfaults in multiple other matches.

And I'll just say that nowhere do you say that you were looking at your partners feet to see that she was not footfaulting during the match. The only people who were actually looking at her feet say she was footfaulting.

ksteph
01-22-2010, 11:01 AM
Get your facts straight. I didn't ask you a question, rather, made a statement.

I suggest you tell your partner to stop foot faulting, and secondly, stop looking at your partner when she is serving before you have a tennis ball take out your eye.

Like I said before, I'M NOT GOING E-BEEF with people I don't know. I suggest you get a life and keep that BS to yourself.

EKnee08
01-22-2010, 11:09 AM
^^Rabbit, it's funny you mention that. I did nearly the same thing.

I played a league match once against a guy who flagrantly foot-faulted. He would start his serve about a foot inside the baseline and by the time he had struck the ball, he was nearly 2-3 feet inside. Everyone in the league would complain but nobody ever said anything. (In noticed this myself when watching him play).

Anyway, the day came where we had to play. After the warm-up, I told him I would be calling foot faults, and told him he would need to make sure he was behind the line when he served. He sort of brushed me off.

Anyway, he served first and did the same service motion, flagrantly foot faulting, and when I called it, he said I couldn't make that call from my side of the net. I said, "OK".

When I served, I walked straight up to the net, and did same thing your buddy did. When my opponent complained, I told him, "you can't make that call from your side of the net". People watching were cracking up. :)

I served the entire first game like that. He got the point.

Funny thing is, when he tried to serve behind the service line, it completely threw his serve off, and he was unable to hold. He was b!thcing and complaining the match shouldn't count, and that he would be filing a complaint with the director. LOL It never held up.

I agree with both you and Topaz. However, sometimes an opponent calls footfaults for gamesmanship.
I once played a tournament and my opponent in the semis was a guy I regularly faced in a club league and beat 9 out of 10 times.
This guy had never called a foot fault in all the years we played and never mentioned it to me off the court either.
Throughout the tournament match, my opponent took no rest at all during changeovers and just walked directly to the other baseline trying to intimidate me and hurry up my game as well as hoping to tire me out. (he is a marathoner)
In our match, which was my first tournament in over 10 years, I started off very slowly due to nerves and lost the first set. He never called a foot fault. As I gained my sea legs, I turned it around and started to dominate him and won the second set handily. Again, during this set, he never called a foot fault or warned me that I was foot faulting unlike Drak's case.
When we walked off the court for the bathroom break during the second and third sets, he complained to me that I was taking too long during changeovers and foot faulting. Interesting that if I did these things, it never bothered him until he was in jeopardy of losing. Without saying anything further to me he sought a tournament referee and asked him to officiate the rest of thematch. I blew my opponent out in the 3rd set, at 6-1 and the official did not call me for anything-foot faulting, taking too much time, etc.
After the match, the official just complimented me on my playing and told me that the better player had won.
In this case, my opponent was engaged in pure Gamesmanship trying to rattle me.

P.S.-I had never been called for foot faulting by anyone before this match or in all the years after this match (However, thats not to say that I never footfaulted. I'm sure, I must have been guilty once or twice)

ksteph
01-22-2010, 11:10 AM
ksteph- Cindy says she has been called for footfaults in multiple other matches.

And I'll just say that nowhere do you say that you were looking at your partners feet to see that she was not footfaulting during the match. The only people who were actually looking at her feet say she was footfaulting.

To be honest, I just started to notice when my oppenents when they footfault and I never called them on it (if it's really obvious, I will say something). I just want to play a competitive match. I really don't think my opponents would've mentioned anything about footfaults if they leading or have won the match.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 11:30 AM
ksteph- Cindy says she has been called for footfaults in multiple other matches.

And I'll just say that nowhere do you say that you were looking at your partners feet to see that she was not footfaulting during the match. The only people who were actually looking at her feet say she was footfaulting.

Just to correct the record . . .

She has played multiple matches in officiated situations. Only on the first match of the first day was she called for a FF. She went out and practiced and believes she addressed the problem (chasing bad tosses).

drakulie
01-22-2010, 12:02 PM
Like I said before, I'M NOT GOING E-BEEF with people I don't know. I suggest you get a life and keep that BS to yourself.


Stephanie, I suggest you get a new partner before her foot fault if so blatant she steps on your fragile back and breaks it with her big foot.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 12:20 PM
Drakulie likes to take on two women at once

ksteph
01-22-2010, 12:46 PM
Stephanie, I suggest you get a new partner before her foot fault if so blatant she steps on your fragile back and breaks it with her big foot.

I'll keep that in mind Drake :/

Kaptain Karl
01-22-2010, 05:04 PM
After all, I have played social matches with players in the 3.5 range who have played full sets before realizing I was even left handed.Oh man!!! I cannot tell you the number of times I've approached by Varsity players in a doubles match and asked, "Have you figured out yet if the Righty or the Lefty is the stronger player?"

"One of them's a Lefty???"

[Coach slaps his forehead and heads off to find a court with some Intelligent Life Forms....]



... a player 78 feet away cannot with 100% certainty know whether a jump serve ...Sheesh!!! Stop with the "Jump Serve" stuff.

No good player jumps into their serve. Even a 3.5 should know this.

The force of your drive up to the ball can / does lift you off the ground, but anyone who *jumps* into their serve will be stuck with a mediocre serve forever.

... that begins behind the baseline is a flagrant foot fault without the aid of slow motion replay.But that player's partner certainly can.

The problem with the rule ...There is no problem with the rule.





This is the rule concerning footfaults in my country.Your opening makes me smile. I imagine the rule being different in each country.

"In MY country, you're only allowed to shoot the Foot Faulter after the second offense."





Women are specially notorious ...Even you cannot be such a cretin as this post suggests....




Lol @ cindys use of the term "Jump Serve"..

A player doesn't consciously "jump" when serving. Feet leaving the ground happens naturally when combining friction from the legs pushing against the court surface and reaching up to fully extend the arm at contact..Whew! THANK YOU, equinox.

- KK

Rabbit
01-23-2010, 08:04 AM
I agree with both you and Topaz. However, sometimes an opponent calls footfaults for gamesmanship.


I'm going to politely disagree with you. It's been my experience from the age of 14 until now at 51, that most of the time an opponent calls foot faulting or plants the seed "watch your foot faults" as gamesmanship.

I have never called it, and I've played guys who took a full step inside the court. Hell, I always saw it as a challenge, to break their serve when they were stepping inside the court. And, most of the guys who make that big a foot fault have flawed service technique anyway and don't have that great a serve. They just get a head start to getting to the net.

Rabbit
01-23-2010, 08:16 AM
Wow. You must play in Sections with a great number of high-integrity people. (Or they are just very very tolerant of cheaters.)

No, I think it's a combination of a couple of things. One is we usually have bigger things to worry about in a match than whether a guy steps on the line or not. :)

And two, as you get older, you worry less about the small things. FFing has been so common over the years, that unless it's really flagrant and an advantage, folks in my section at least don't sweat it.


(I have never played in Leagues. Which seem to be the source of a LOT of arguments.)

You are a wise man it seems. Unfortunately, it's the only game in town around here if you want to play on a regular basis; or at least play different folks.


I recently learned I'm known for "getting in opponents' heads" in Doubles. (I really didn't know until a friend told me.) I think Dubs is both Competitive ... and Fun. I like to have 30-second conversations on the changeovers. I've been told my joshing does mess with people.

I'll say things like, "Okay. You're up 3-0 on us. Give up yet?" or "That nasty Slice serve that pulls us into the netting is being made illegal next month. I'm pretty sure I read it in a USTA e-mail."

Now, with my buddies??? I really will try and mess with them. If one guy's having an AWESOME serving day, I'll ask, "Joe, do you inhale or exhale as you toss the ball?" or "Your grip change to the more extreme seems to be working" or "Why does that light distract me on my toss, but it doesn't seem to distract YOU?" (They know I'm messing with them and they try to do similar stuff with me. It's part of our fun.) But I didn't know my teasing about "giving up yet" was considered as gamesmanship until recently. (Not gonna stop either.)

Well you and I are kindred spirits it would appear. My buddies and I have "regular" routines we go through. Here are some you can try:

Out? Yeah, you're right most of it was out.
Did you belly fault on that last serve?
When you toss, do you breath in or out?
(3 - 4 games into the 2nd set after winning the 1st) Yeah, you know I might have hooked you on set point.
(after hitting a winner) Don't you ever come back to <insert court locality here>
(after a fault) Wow, you had me...
(after a double) You had me again...
(playing mixed to [to the girl]) wow, you had me at hello....
(also in mixed) yeah, you're pretty....for a girl....
(also in mixed when hitting a good drop shot to the girl...while she's running) BAYWATCH FOR ME DARLING!
(when your opponent misses a drop shot attempt for the 6th time) Somewhere, there is a village looking for an idiot...
(after winning a set of dubs in a tiebreak) Hey, you guys want to split up to make it more even?
(after winning 7-6, 7-6) Wow, I haven't kicked anyone's *** like that in a long time.
(after winning 6-0, 6-0) Wow, I haven't kicked anyone's *** like that in a long time
Late in a match last season, my #2 Dubs players had just noticed how badly one of their opponents was FF-ing.

"Coach, have you SEEN that guy's FF!!??? Do something!!!"

"Let's see, you're UP 6-3 5-2 and NOW you want to risk ******* them off and having them play better just to shut you up?"

"Uh, never mind, Coach."

IOW, I certainly agree you shouldn't enforce it every single time.


In another post, I detailed exactly the same experience one of my teammates had. It did make him mad and he did play better....winning the second set 6-0.

Cindysphinx
01-24-2010, 10:50 AM
I played some doubles with the player who was accused of a FF yesterday. The subject didn't come up. All four of us are busy working on stuff we have learned in various clinics/lessons.

I didn't play a lot of attention to this lady's feet -- I have my own problems to work through. But I have to say, I don't see a thing in the world wrong with her service motion and don't think she FFs habitually and certainly not flagrantly. I am just not seeing it. She is using a platform stance with the feet pretty close together to start, facing toward the net a bit more than my own stance. She tosses, bends her knees, explodes and strikes the ball. It looked fine to me.

I think the most charitable explanation for the dust-up is that the opponents just didn't understand what they saw, knew that it was unusual, and concluded it must be a FF.

She served well against me yesterday, so I'm glad to see she has put the whole thing behind her.

blakesq
01-24-2010, 01:00 PM
Cindy, you said: "don't think she FFs habitually and certainly not flagrantly." My question to you is: "Did you see her footfault". :confused:

sureshs
01-24-2010, 01:20 PM
I think the most charitable explanation for the dust-up is that the opponents just didn't understand what they saw, knew that it was unusual, and concluded it must be a FF.


That is a reasonable conclusion. I would buy that over stating with certainty that they observed flagrant FFing. In your position, you were correct to stand by your player. She does not have a history of FFing (as you stated and then corrected), she has an unusual serving motion, and the calls were made when the opponents were getting blown away, not earlier. A weak case to believe them. Of course, if there were witnesses or a video, it would be different. Just because the rules allow them to call a FF does not mean you have to accept it without doubts. The match was concluded and the results posted. If the opposing team had some other recourse, they should have used it. All this is after the fact, like the captain coming over and complaining. Why should you go by that?

sureshs
01-24-2010, 02:23 PM
Oh man!!! I cannot tell you the number of times I've approached by Varsity players in a doubles match and asked, "Have you figured out yet if the Righty or the Lefty is the stronger player?"

"One of them's a Lefty???"

[Coach slaps his forehead and heads off to find a court with some Intelligent Life Forms....]



Sheesh!!! Stop with the "Jump Serve" stuff.

No good player jumps into their serve. Even a 3.5 should know this.

The force of your drive up to the ball can / does lift you off the ground, but anyone who *jumps* into their serve will be stuck with a mediocre serve forever.

But that player's partner certainly can.

There is no problem with the rule.





Your opening makes me smile. I imagine the rule being different in each country.

"In MY country, you're only allowed to shoot the Foot Faulter after the second offense."





Even you cannot be such a cretin as this post suggests....




Whew! THANK YOU, equinox.

- KK

Reported for abusive language.

Kaptain Karl
01-24-2010, 02:31 PM
No, I think it's a combination of a couple of things. One is we usually have bigger things to worry about in a match than whether a guy steps on the line or not. :)

And two, as you get older, you worry less about the small things. FFing has been so common over the years, that unless it's really flagrant and an advantage, folks in my section at least don't sweat it.Hmm. If I remember correctly, I'm older than you. (53)

We have one regular playing partner who FF's *every* time. He has a vicious lefty Slice (but he's not that quick with his first two steps after the serve.) He's also very sensitive about being called for FF's. I'd rather get the practice returning his serve than not ... so I ignore his FF's.

Yeah, I know. Call me inconsistent....



Well you and I are kindred spirits it would appear. My buddies and I have "regular" routines we go through. Here are some you can try:

Out? Yeah, you're right most of it was out.
Did you belly fault on that last serve?
When you toss, do you breath in or out?
(3 - 4 games into the 2nd set after winning the 1st) Yeah, you know I might have hooked you on set point.
(after hitting a winner) Don't you ever come back to <insert court locality here>
(after a fault) Wow, you had me...
(after a double) You had me again...
(playing mixed to [to the girl]) wow, you had me at hello....
(also in mixed) yeah, you're pretty....for a girl....
(also in mixed when hitting a good drop shot to the girl...while she's running) BAYWATCH FOR ME DARLING!
(when your opponent misses a drop shot attempt for the 6th time) Somewhere, there is a village looking for an idiot...
(after winning a set of dubs in a tiebreak) Hey, you guys want to split up to make it more even?
(after winning 7-6, 7-6) Wow, I haven't kicked anyone's *** like that in a long time.
(after winning 6-0, 6-0) Wow, I haven't kicked anyone's *** like that in a long timeI'm taking notes. I like these!

- KK

Cindysphinx
01-24-2010, 05:22 PM
Cindy, you said: "don't think she FFs habitually and certainly not flagrantly." My question to you is: "Did you see her footfault". :confused:

I don't understand the question.

If you are asking, "Did you see her FF on the night she was accused of a FF?", the answer is no, of course. I was playing my own match.

If you are asking, "Did you see her FF yesterday during practice?" the answer is no, but I didn't scrutinize every serve she hit.

Did I answer the question you intended?

EKnee08
01-25-2010, 05:42 AM
I'm going to politely disagree with you. It's been my experience from the age of 14 until now at 51, that most of the time an opponent calls foot faulting or plants the seed "watch your foot faults" as gamesmanship.

I have never called it, and I've played guys who took a full step inside the court. Hell, I always saw it as a challenge, to break their serve when they were stepping inside the court. And, most of the guys who make that big a foot fault have flawed service technique anyway and don't have that great a serve. They just get a head start to getting to the net.

We are on the same page. It can be done as gamesmanship pure and simple as was the case that I cited.

kylebarendrick
01-25-2010, 07:52 AM
It is absolutely done as gamesmanship. One way to prevent that, though, is simply to keep your feet behind the line.

Joeyg
01-25-2010, 09:33 AM
I play dubs with a guy that foot faults horrendously. Since this is 4.5/5.0 dubs and he is serving and volleying, I feel that this gives him a decided advantage.

I have no problem calling him for foot faults if my partner is returning serve. As for it being "gamesmanship", jeez he is breaking the rule.

Fedace
01-25-2010, 09:36 AM
I play dubs with a guy that foot faults horrendously. Since this is 4.5/5.0 dubs and he is serving and volleying, I feel that this gives him a decided advantage.

I have no problem calling him for foot faults if my partner is returning serve. As for it being "gamesmanship", jeez he is breaking the rule.

What would you do if he starts his motion from about 3 feet behind the baseline, would you still call footfault on him?

drakulie
01-25-2010, 10:01 AM
I play dubs with a guy that foot faults horrendously. Since this is 4.5/5.0 dubs and he is serving and volleying, I feel that this gives him a decided advantage.

I have no problem calling him for foot faults if my partner is returning serve. As for it being "gamesmanship", jeez he is breaking the rule.

GAMESMANSHIP
I suppose this would also apply to calling shots that land outside the playing area, "out".

Joeyg
01-25-2010, 10:06 AM
Drakulie,

I don't think it is gamesmanship on my part to ask someone to play by the rules. Especially if he is gaining an advantage. I am a proponent of playing by the rules. If you or anyone else has a problem with that, so be it.

Dr. Fedace,

Your comment is too ridiculous to comment on. However, it is nice to see I am off of your fake "ignore" list.

spot
01-25-2010, 10:50 AM
Even if someone is only calling the Footfault because they are enganging in total gamesmanship and they would never call it otherwise- If the server is footfaulting I do not think their motivation for calling it gives the server justifcation to break the code by getting into an argument with their opponent over a call that they are entitled to make.

spot
01-25-2010, 10:54 AM
10 chars... mistake posting

Ripper014
01-25-2010, 12:02 PM
GAMESMANSHIP
I suppose this would also apply to calling shots that land outside the playing area, "out".

Nope... it would be when they start calling balls that land inside the lines out.

Rules for any game are there to ensure that everyone is playing on an even playing field... those that play outside those rules are cheating (ya I know kind of a strong word). But it is up to the person that is being offended how much they are willing to put up with. I don't think you can blame someone for asking them to play within the rules of the game.

It is the offender that is wrong... not the person that asking the offender to stop. Why are we making a victim of the person who is playing within the rules, and supporting the person who accused of breaking them? IF they are breaking the rules... then you are within your right to enforce them.

Just sounds to me like there are a lot of foot faulters replying in this thread.

equinox
01-25-2010, 03:31 PM
By turning her head around and watching the server serve and then swiveling the head around..

Ever thought of auditioning for a shampoo advertisement?

Get yourself an agent right now!

drakulie
01-25-2010, 06:30 PM
Drakulie,

I don't think it is gamesmanship on my part to ask someone to play by the rules. Especially if he is gaining an advantage. I am a proponent of playing by the rules. If you or anyone else has a problem with that, so be it.



Joey, I was being sarcastic. I agree with you completely.

Nope... it would be when they start calling balls that land inside the lines out.




That too.

In fact, anything anyone does in a match with Cindy would be considered gamesmanship.