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View Full Version : Something needs to be done about the "crossing the net" rule


spot
01-22-2010, 05:37 AM
Ok... in the vein of Cindy's FF thread- I'll talk about the rule that I think needs to be changed in rec tennis. We all know that you aren't allowed to hit the ball before it crosses the net, and if you do violate this rule you must call yourself for the infraction. The problem with the rule is that we have all played against MANY people who routinely violate the rule, but because they never call it on themselves there is no recourse. Whether they don't realize they are crossing the net or they are just willfully ignoring the rule they get a big advantage because of this. When your only recourse is to ask "are you sure you didn't cross the net?" and they say Yes then its done.

This has the effect where the rule is only enforced against the people who are truly trying to follow the rule while for the other subset of players they are just able to continually hit the ball however they like and it leads to a competitive imbalance.

To me this is a rule that can be enforced when there is a chair umpire but in rec matches it should not be called at all. Yes this would lead to people putting their whole arm across the net to hit the ball, but once someone is playing that tight to the net they are opening themselves up to lobs anyway which hopefully would reduce the effectiveness of this. But the real goal is to make it so that all players are affected by the rules equally, and not to give benefit to the people who are most willing to put up with angry glares from the other team when there is a questionable call.

JackB1
01-22-2010, 05:42 AM
does this really happen that often?

spot
01-22-2010, 06:09 AM
For the people who ignore the rule, yes it happens that often. There are people who will do this 4 or 5 times a match since its an effective shot. It gives those players a big advantage over the people who try and abide by the rules.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 06:38 AM
I'm with you, Spot, but for different reasons.

It doesn't trouble me that some people routinely violate this rule. There are people who routinely violate many rules. That doesn't mean we should ditch the rule.

I think the reason this rule stinks is because the player who is playing the ball has no way to know whether they have made contact on the other side of the imaginary plane of the net. I mean, it's nutty. You are allowed to follow through to the other side of the net, so you must base your call on where you actually made contact? Since many of us take our eyes off the ball when we hit, we aren't even looking and we couldn't tell where the ball is in relation to the net even if we were looking intently at the ball.

The only reliable way to make that call is to be looking down the line of the net, preferably with the aid of slow motion replay.

What would happen if we just removed that rule entirely? Not much. If you play the net that close, you will get lobbed. If you close the net aggressively to play a ball on the other side, you are at risk of touching the net. I think the net touching rule is sufficient to keep people in line.

And while I'm on a roll here, I have to say that I don't understand the reason for the rule anyway. If I play a great shot that makes you pop the ball up such that it is about to die on your side of the net, my reward ought to be slamming the ball as soon as I can reach it.

Having this rule in tennis seems like having a rule in basketball that you have to release the ball before your fingertips are above the rim of the net, although your fingers can reach above the net once the ball is released. Huh?

I have called this on myself one time. I have had opponents question me about it many times when I didn't think I crossed the net. Bottom line: They have absolutely no idea where I made contact. If I ran up, was in good balance, and was attempting to keep my racket on my side, then I think I probably didn't cross the plane of the net. That's the best I can do.

There. I feel better already. Thanks, Spot!!

Taxvictim
01-22-2010, 06:49 AM
I have a regular doubles game with an older guy who appears to break this rule a lot. Because his racquet is over the net, he can hit sideways shots that run parallel to the net on his opponent's side of the court. I'm waiting for the day he actually deflects an incoming shot down into the net on his opponent's side, yet still claims he made initial contact on his side. He's a very nice guy, and doesn't believe he's breaking the rule at all, though when we started this doubles group a few years ago he didn't even know there was such a rule... after a lifetime of tennis.

But to spot's original idea, I'd like to try it. Let's just get rid of the rule and see what happens. That way, everyone's playing the same game.

spot
01-22-2010, 06:53 AM
Yeah- Cindy I think for the most part people are not breaking the rule on purpose so much as they really have no idea that they are breaking the rule so even when questioned they don't think they did cross the net. They simply aren't in position to call it effectively. And you can't just give the call to the opponents or it would be even worse. I agree that the touching the net rule is enough of a replacement.

sureshs
01-22-2010, 07:01 AM
It does happen, in situations when someone is very close to the net in doubles. They almost never agree that their racquet crossed over to the other side. It happens a lot with doubles players who routinely stand very close to the net when the partner is serving.

DBH
01-22-2010, 07:08 AM
One problem (?) with changing this rule to allow people to him the ball before it crosses the net is the following:

A player could reach across the net to hit a volley, totally mis-hit it off the frame so that the ball goes straight down (or even slightly backwards!), and it would still be a winner. Seems like a cheap way to win a point!

DBH

woodrow1029
01-22-2010, 07:53 AM
This situation doesn't happen all that often. The problem is usually not the person that crosses the net. The problem is that 99 % of the time when a player does cross the net with the racket, it is with the follow through after they hit the ball, which is totally legal.

So then the opponent asks, are you sure you didn't cross the net, and when they say no it is because they didn't cross the net to hit the ball.

kylebarendrick
01-22-2010, 07:55 AM
Leave the rule as is so at least most people try not to cross the net to hit the ball.

I agree it is unenforceable, but I don't want to give people a free pass to reach over the net and cutoff what would either be a tough dipper or one of those awkward mis-hit dropping straight down balls.

JavierLW
01-22-2010, 08:06 AM
I'm with you, Spot, but for different reasons.

It doesn't trouble me that some people routinely violate this rule. There are people who routinely violate many rules. That doesn't mean we should ditch the rule.

I think the reason this rule stinks is because the player who is playing the ball has no way to know whether they have made contact on the other side of the imaginary plane of the net. I mean, it's nutty. You are allowed to follow through to the other side of the net, so you must base your call on where you actually made contact? Since many of us take our eyes off the ball when we hit, we aren't even looking and we couldn't tell where the ball is in relation to the net even if we were looking intently at the ball.

The only reliable way to make that call is to be looking down the line of the net, preferably with the aid of slow motion replay.

What would happen if we just removed that rule entirely? Not much. If you play the net that close, you will get lobbed. If you close the net aggressively to play a ball on the other side, you are at risk of touching the net. I think the net touching rule is sufficient to keep people in line.

And while I'm on a roll here, I have to say that I don't understand the reason for the rule anyway. If I play a great shot that makes you pop the ball up such that it is about to die on your side of the net, my reward ought to be slamming the ball as soon as I can reach it.

Having this rule in tennis seems like having a rule in basketball that you have to release the ball before your fingertips are above the rim of the net, although your fingers can reach above the net once the ball is released. Huh?

I have called this on myself one time. I have had opponents question me about it many times when I didn't think I crossed the net. Bottom line: They have absolutely no idea where I made contact. If I ran up, was in good balance, and was attempting to keep my racket on my side, then I think I probably didn't cross the plane of the net. That's the best I can do.

There. I feel better already. Thanks, Spot!!

Like people have said many times, if you dont know if you crossed or not, then you should concede the point. If you dont like that then dont hug the net all the time then.

This is a rule for a reason, it's not really ideal that players sit and hug the net for most of the time where this becomes a huge issue... (it's a difficulty rule just like anything else.....)

Typically though Ive only seen a need to question someone on it is when they hit the ball almost perfectly sideways onto the next court (or into the sidenet or wall) and it looks pretty obvious that had they not reached across and hit the ball early their was no way they could make that shot.

That's the main problem with allowing people to reach over, it allows you to hit a shot that you cant usually make if you have to wait for the ball to cross onto your side first. (unless it bounces back like it did for Lopez against Roddick yesterday)

If it's just your typical smash and it's a close call it's not even worth asking about.

But also we've argued about this before, it's hard to believe that you are not aware of where the net is when you are making contact with the ball..... You're standing right in front of the thing at that point.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 09:02 AM
Javier,

When I have had issues with this rule (wondering whether I broke it), it is because I am closing hard on a ball, not because I have my breasts resting on the netstrap. :)

I submit that if the only way you know if someone makes contact is the angle of the winner they hit, then you are only guessing about their contact point. What angle should we see when a player hits a a ball right directly over the net strap?

I agree with Woodrow. True violations of this rule don't happen that often. Most opponents don't actually know the rule and those who do are in poor position to make the call. So why do we have this rule again?

Wakenslam
01-22-2010, 09:18 AM
This situation doesn't happen all that often. The problem is usually not the person that crosses the net. The problem is that 99 % of the time when a player does cross the net with the racket, it is with the follow through after they hit the ball, which is totally legal.

So then the opponent asks, are you sure you didn't cross the net, and when they say no it is because they didn't cross the net to hit the ball.

I agree. Besides, if someone is standing THAT close to the net, a very average topspin lob will cure the problem very quickly.

GPB
01-22-2010, 09:39 AM
When I have had issues with this rule (wondering whether I broke it), it is because I am closing hard on a ball, not because I have my breasts resting on the netstrap. :)

They reach that far?

(Please take that as a joke!)

beernutz
01-22-2010, 09:58 AM
Must be a doubles thing. I played mostly singles and this almost never happens.

Cindysphinx
01-22-2010, 10:23 AM
They reach that far?
)

They used to. :(

Please take that as a joke also! :)

cneblett
01-22-2010, 06:24 PM
I play with someone who when his partner is serving stands all of 6 inches off the net. He hits a lot that appear to be over the net when he makes contact. He honestly does not intend to make contact on other side, but I have seen where he has done it several times in a match

Taxvictim
01-22-2010, 06:39 PM
... it allows you to hit a shot that you cant usually make if you have to wait for the ball to cross onto your side first. (unless it bounces back like it did for Lopez against Roddick yesterday)

Off topic, but what the heck happened there? I was watching a replay of the match tonight at a sports bar and couldn't hear any sound. Why did Roddick and his crew go nuts? The ball did bounce first on Lopez's side, right?

Ken Honecker
01-23-2010, 05:13 AM
I've never had a problem with this rule. On defense I learned early on that the easist way to avoid contacting the ball on "their" side of the net or hitting the net is to simply play far enough back that you can't touch the net. Problem solved. I mean even then your are playing closer to the net than you probably should.

I will say that net awarness garnered from a zillion games of tennis helps me in volleyball. Pretty much all net sports have similar rules about the scantity of the net. And have very tight rules about when you are allowed to make contact with the ball or birdie on "their" side of the net.

Last year my daughters just about came to blows with another doubles team over just this matter. Funny thing was they both played for the same school.

JavierLW
01-23-2010, 08:19 AM
Off topic, but what the heck happened there? I was watching a replay of the match tonight at a sports bar and couldn't hear any sound. Why did Roddick and his crew go nuts? The ball did bounce first on Lopez's side, right?

Yes the ball clearly bounced on Lopez's side (although it didnt show that in the replay but you could see it from watching the point).

The ball bounced far enough back over to Roddick's side that Lopez was able to reach over the net and flick it sideways against the net on Roddick's side making it impossible to return.

I was wondering what the heck Roddick was complaining about as well. You are lead to believe that perhaps he doesnt know that rule?

But more likely he's just become one of "those players" who whines about anything that's close or out of the norm. He's just being a drama queen basically...

But hey, Id have to admit for as many times Ive heard what the ruling is on that (when it bounces on your side and goes back over to the opponents side), when it actually happens to me, my brain cant help but stop and think "okay, now what do I do???", only to watch it land on the ground. Im not used to reaching over across the net.

I think Ken is spot on, it has to do with net awareness. You're supposed to try not to reach across no matter how difficult the shot is. You already have to avoid touching the net which can be hard if you're stumbling over there at the last second, so you know where it is. It's not reasonable to try to claim you somehow dont know where the ball is in that whole picture.

If you read another one of Cindy's posts on this from a long time ago, she claims that "she doesnt know" so she doesnt care. She wont say that now because enough people will get on her case for it but that's got to be it.

Either you tryed to not reach across or you didnt care. And I agree with what Woodrow said, if you do try to not reach across you probably didnt in most cases, but I dont see why Cindy thinks that means we do away with the rule??

Also Id still stand by that if some person or group of people see this sort of thing come up all the time where it's a major huge issue, then they are way too close to the net for most of the time.

Otherwise it doesnt make sense. Generally when you are scrambling to get up there to get a ball it's really low and you have to get there before the ball falls too low or hits the ground. If the ball is low, it's close enough to the net where you should know what side it's on.

If the ball is high you should have plenty of time to make sure it's on your side of the net first. If it was traveling fast and you meet it there because you just have no time, that typically means you must of been up there hugging the net the whole time.

Taxvictim
01-23-2010, 11:19 AM
Yes the ball clearly bounced on Lopez's side (although it didnt show that in the replay but you could see it from watching the point).

The ball bounced far enough back over to Roddick's side that Lopez was able to reach over the net and flick it sideways against the net on Roddick's side making it impossible to return.

I was wondering what the heck Roddick was complaining about as well. You are lead to believe that perhaps he doesnt know that rule?

The replay made it look like Lopez made a volley, reaching over the net. Maybe Roddick just forgot how the point went down, then he saw the TV replay and freaked out. I can't find a suitable online write-up about the point, and one article makes a clear mistake and says Roddick got heated when Lopez reached over to make a volley. If the ball bounced, it's not a volley.

jswinf
01-23-2010, 01:04 PM
Several posters mention that they have no problem with the rule, and I'd agree that it's less likely to matter at higher levels of play.

But here's a what-if: an opponent hits (or mis-hits) a little semi-lob dying quail that looks like it might or might not clear the net. Anybody ever get ready to club one of those after it bounced only to have it hit the top of the net, slither down your side, and lay there and laugh at you? Instructors will say it's always better to move forward to a shot than "let the ball play you" so even if you're in the habit of playing 4 or six feet from the net, you really ought to close in and take this one in the air, right? But how to know if it's an inch on your side or an inch on the other? So I think this could come up occasionaly with a player of almost any level.

Cindysphinx
01-23-2010, 07:28 PM
If you read another one of Cindy's posts on this from a long time ago, she claims that "she doesnt know" so she doesnt care. She wont say that now because enough people will get on her case for it but that's got to be it.

What on earth are you talking about?

Either you tryed to not reach across or you didnt care. And I agree with what Woodrow said, if you do try to not reach across you probably didnt in most cases, but I dont see why Cindy thinks that means we do away with the rule??

Again, your thought makes no sense. What do you mean?

I think what I said is quite consistent with what Woodrow said. Woodrow suggested this rule isn't violated often, or as often as some people seem to think, because the follow-through is what crosses the net. I am saying that the rule should be abolished. One good reason to abolish it is that it doesn't get violated much and therefore serves no purpose (other than to give the opponents a reason to think they've been cheated when they have not).

If the ball is high you should have plenty of time to make sure it's on your side of the net first. If it was traveling fast and you meet it there because you just have no time, that typically means you must of been up there hugging the net the whole time.

OK, this is just plain wrong. Haven't you heard of *closing the net?* You can be in a perfectly appropriate net position, a floater comes, and you close hard, both to transfer your weight onto the ball and also to take time away from your opponents. You should not be waiting for these balls.

You do understand that there are considerable advantages in taking a ball as early as you can, right? That way your opponents don't have a chance to adjust, reposition, close holes in their formation. If a ball is high over the net such that you could volley it, you don't have "plenty of time" to play your shot. You need to get after it. Don't wait for the ball to come to you; go to the ball.

Cindysphinx
01-23-2010, 07:30 PM
Several posters mention that they have no problem with the rule, and I'd agree that it's less likely to matter at higher levels of play.

But here's a what-if: an opponent hits (or mis-hits) a little semi-lob dying quail that looks like it might or might not clear the net. Anybody ever get ready to club one of those after it bounced only to have it hit the top of the net, slither down your side, and lay there and laugh at you? Instructors will say it's always better to move forward to a shot than "let the ball play you" so even if you're in the habit of playing 4 or six feet from the net, you really ought to close in and take this one in the air, right? But how to know if it's an inch on your side or an inch on the other? So I think this could come up occasionaly with a player of almost any level.

Exactly. You can't know. So why do we have a rule that tasks you with knowing?

Cindy -- relieved to find that someone else understand closing the net

woodrow1029
01-23-2010, 07:34 PM
Exactly. You can't know. So why do we have a rule that tasks you with knowing?

Cindy -- relieved to find that someone else understand closing the net

But there are line calls that tasks you with knowing that are really close. Double bounces sometimes it's really hard to know if you got it or not.

kylebarendrick
01-23-2010, 07:46 PM
One good reason to abolish it is that it doesn't get violated much and therefore serves no purpose (other than to give the opponents a reason to think they've been cheated when they have not).


But if you abolish the rule, people will reach over all the time. The example above is a good one - the ball falling straight down near the net. You can't know for sure which side it is on so you pretty much have to let it bounce - at which point it is a really tough shot. Yes, some people ignore the risk of breaking the rule and just hit the ball early - and yes they get away with it. I just think the game is better if most people avoid reaching over the net for a ball, even if an actual violation is never penalized.

JavierLW
01-23-2010, 08:18 PM
You do understand that there are considerable advantages in taking a ball as early as you can, right? That way your opponents don't have a chance to adjust, reposition, close holes in their formation. If a ball is high over the net such that you could volley it, you don't have "plenty of time" to play your shot. You need to get after it. Don't wait for the ball to come to you; go to the ball.

Yes but you're still tasked to make sure you dont meet the ball before it's crossed onto your side. That's the difficulty portion of the rule.

And you should certainly have enough time to wait for it to clear the net if you're actually trying to make sure you dont hit it too early, because you're not supposed to make contact with it before it does...

So again, if you dont bother to pay attention to that they you are just disregarding the rule.

Ken Honecker
01-24-2010, 05:22 AM
Cindy I think you are missing the fact that the rule you don't like is common for every net game, tennis, ping pong, volleyball, badminton it's not like it's something they just put in there to make tennis harder for you. It's my side, your side. It's the line of scrimage no illegal recievers allowed down field.

As for the dying quail that might or might not clear the net it's the same in volleyball and happens all the time in the rec league I play in. You just watch it and get ready to make your play. And when you think about it there is a very good reason for the rule. It evens the playing field. With racquet in hand I can reach 49 1/2 inches over the net, so effectivly I can hit the ball 3 1/2 feet on your side of the net. And if I didn't wear size 13's I could get even farther. Gee talk about people worrying about getting hit in the eye. Talk about making you defend a much wider court because of the angles. My extra long arms would give me even more of an advantage then they do now.

Remember this is a game for gentle folk, who except at the highest level call their own fouls and shouldn't be any more likely to abuse the netural zone then line calls.

drupha
01-24-2010, 08:27 AM
If someone is standing so close to the net that they can feasibly hit the ball on my side of the net, I'm crushing shots at his chest. Unless the person has amazing reflexes, the reaction time that close to a hard hit groundstroke will be either to get out of the way, or in some cases a block. When the block happens, repeat and hit directly at the person again, and as you're probably ten feet closer, it will result in them getting out of the way or getting hit.

In most cases, they'll then stand far enough out of the way that they won't be constantly hitting on your side.

I understand that some people have moral/ethical issues with hitting at people, and I don't go out of my way to hit at people when they're not trying to be in the way. But my philosophy is that in tennis, you're allowed to positions yourself wherever you want to and you're allowed to hit wherever you want to. By establishing yourself at the net, you're essentially stating, "This is my territory." The player on the other side has the choice of either conceding the territory, and hitting over/around, or attempting to reclaim the territory.

So in short, I have absolutely no issues hitting at the net person, esp when he/she is close to the net. It's a conscious decision to stand there, and if they're standing that close, it's a conscious decision to be in a spot that cuts off the most angle and to minimize the chance of a net error.

jswinf
01-24-2010, 10:30 AM
We need the rule. I've mentally made up a new shot--get as close as possible to the net, reach racquet straight toward oncoming ball (forehand grip,please) with face angled to deflect the ball down into the court or the opponent's side of the net. I mean...we can't have that. You can't really enforce the reaching over the net rule but you can beef about it and make transgressors feel a little guilty and less likely to do it.

I'm disappointed with myself for spelling "racket" wrong to avoid offending people.

Cindysphinx
01-24-2010, 10:42 AM
But there are line calls that tasks you with knowing that are really close. Double bounces sometimes it's really hard to know if you got it or not.

I take your point.

But with a double-bounce, you have some visible, objective plane of reference: The ground.

The net crossing rule gives you an invisible point of reference: The plane of the net.

Regarding the comparisons to other racquet sports or net sports . . . I guess I am not persuaded that tennis should have a particular rule for unofficiated play just because other sports do. But let me ask a question about volleyball. In an unofficiated volleyball match, are players to call it on themselves if they cross the plane of the net, and are they allowed a follow-through on the other side?

I don't deny that there would be some differences in the game if people could play the ball on the other side of the invisible net plane, as Ken points out. I doubt if these changes would be a big deal, and I believe they would make no differences because the new rule would apply equally to both teams.

In fact, it could make things even more interesting. Remember back in the day when you couldn't hang on the rim in basketball? I don't really follow that sport, but I remember Darrell Dawkins smashing a few backboards by handing on the rim. They changed the rule, and now you can swing from the net like a spider monkey. It makes for some flashy dunks, definitely highlight reel material.

Well, abolishing the invisible net plane rule might also lead to some flashy, specialty shots. It's all good.

Spot! Where are ya, Spot! This is your thread. Don't leave me hangin' . . . .

JavierLW
01-24-2010, 11:42 AM
I take your point.

But with a double-bounce, you have some visible, objective plane of reference: The ground.

The net crossing rule gives you an invisible point of reference: The plane of the net.

Regarding the comparisons to other racquet sports or net sports . . . I guess I am not persuaded that tennis should have a particular rule for unofficiated play just because other sports do. But let me ask a question about volleyball. In an unofficiated volleyball match, are players to call it on themselves if they cross the plane of the net, and are they allowed a follow-through on the other side?

I don't deny that there would be some differences in the game if people could play the ball on the other side of the invisible net plane, as Ken points out. I doubt if these changes would be a big deal, and I believe they would make no differences because the new rule would apply equally to both teams.

In fact, it could make things even more interesting. Remember back in the day when you couldn't hang on the rim in basketball? I don't really follow that sport, but I remember Darrell Dawkins smashing a few backboards by handing on the rim. They changed the rule, and now you can swing from the net like a spider monkey. It makes for some flashy dunks, definitely highlight reel material.

Well, abolishing the invisible net plane rule might also lead to some flashy, specialty shots. It's all good.

Spot! Where are ya, Spot! This is your thread. Don't leave me hangin' . . . .

Then you should also:

- Get rid of the Footfault rule. Just think of all the AMAZING serves you can make if you dont have to be careful not to stumble all over that pesky baseline. You could stand on the wrong side of the center hash as well and make sure you can get everything down the T!

- Get rid of the touching the net rule. Why just stop at reaching over the net? You can get REALLY far over if you are allowed to touch it.

- Get rid of the two bounce rule altogether. Just think how great it would be if you could hit the ball after two bounces! Points would last way longer and we'd all get a lot more exercise!

- Get rid of the rule that if it hits you, you lose the point. Just think you dont even need to get a racquet on it, you can bounce it off of your head or your chest or your free hand, and it's all good! (soccer anyone?)

- Get rid of the permanent fixture rule. Wouldnt it be a lot better if we could hit balls that manage to hit the wall or the ceiling, or the scorecards? How spectacular!!!! (actually in platform tennis you can still hit it if it goes in and then off the fence)

Give me a break! You've totally lost it now. It's a difficulty rule, it already makes for the occasional spectacular point but they are spectacular because of the difficulty, not just because it looks pretty.

So again, you just have a problem with it because apparently it's hard for you to avoid doing it.

And you seem to have no clue when you're talking about when it comes to basketball. People have been dunking forever. You can still get a technical if you hang on the rim for too long, that is just because they got sick of people breaking the backboards, it never affected whether you could dunk the ball or not.

Z-Man
01-24-2010, 02:09 PM
I play 4.5, and it sees like almost everyone violates this rule. It used to aggrivate me because I'm normally the one hitting the groundstroke, but then I realized that I also volley better when I don't worry about crossing the net. So when I play people who reach over the net, I do it too. Take that, cheaters! The best is when, after they do it, you do it in a really silly and exaggerated way on a sitter and then glare right at them.

A lot of people footfault too, so every now and then I try cheating them by the same amount they are cheating me. So if they step in 1 foot, I step in 2 feet so they will know how it feels for the other person to have an advantage. This does not go over well, but I make my point. I don't have a motion that causes footfaults, and trying to footfault is a bit of a distraction, so I only do it when I'm trying to prove a point and I'm ready to rumble.

rich s
01-24-2010, 03:08 PM
For the people who ignore the rule, yes it happens that often. There are people who will do this 4 or 5 times a match since its an effective shot. It gives those players a big advantage over the people who try and abide by the rules.

How ironic..... how's this different from the advantage you enjoy with balanced line-ups?

No sympathy here........

Taxvictim
01-24-2010, 05:51 PM
Z-Man, your avatar is freakin' me out, man.

ubermeyer
01-24-2010, 10:00 PM
I can't imagine crossing the net happens very often at all... and a couple inches shouldn't make so much of a difference.

spot
01-25-2010, 03:48 AM
ubermeyer- it happens quite a bit in doubles. It seems that there are a subset of players who have decided to simply not care about this rule since they cannot be called for it and will just repeatedly reach across to hit the ball.

I have no problem at all with the crossing the net rule when there is an official standing right on the net to objectively make the call. But in reality of rec leagues some players are getting an advantage simply because the rule is "enforced" so inconsistently. Let both sides cross the net or find another way to make sure that neither team crosses the net.

spot
01-25-2010, 04:03 AM
Javier- put it this way. Lets say the footfault rules were different and the code said that since all calls on your side of the net are yours to make, the server (or server's partner) are the only ones able to call footfaults on themselves. How much do you think people would call it on themselves? Do you think they would start calling it on themselves if the other team told them that they thought they were footfaulting? Don't you think it would lead to some people blatantly breakign the footfaulting rule simply because there would be no recourse from the other team?

JavierLW
01-25-2010, 06:04 AM
Javier- put it this way. Lets say the footfault rules were different and the code said that since all calls on your side of the net are yours to make, the server (or server's partner) are the only ones able to call footfaults on themselves. How much do you think people would call it on themselves? Do you think they would start calling it on themselves if the other team told them that they thought they were footfaulting? Don't you think it would lead to some people blatantly breakign the footfaulting rule simply because there would be no recourse from the other team?

It's a lot harder (if not impossible) to tell if you are footfaulting so such a rule would be pretty much nonsense.

I know that you and Cindy are trying to claim that the cross the net rule is similar, but I DO NOT AGREE.

By definition you're supposed to TRY to make sure the ball is on your side of the net first. The net's right in front of you (you have to avoid stepping on it after all), it's not all that hard.

It's only hard when you dont even try because you put "hitting the ball as soon as possible" over actually respecting the rule and making certain it's on your side of the net.

JavierLW
01-25-2010, 06:10 AM
ubermeyer- it happens quite a bit in doubles. It seems that there are a subset of players who have decided to simply not care about this rule since they cannot be called for it and will just repeatedly reach across to hit the ball.

I have no problem at all with the crossing the net rule when there is an official standing right on the net to objectively make the call. But in reality of rec leagues some players are getting an advantage simply because the rule is "enforced" so inconsistently. Let both sides cross the net or find another way to make sure that neither team crosses the net.

I agree that it would suck if there is some inconsistency there, luckily I dont live in an area where so many people seem to constantly cross over the net where it's a big deal though.

But you could make the same argument with line calls or anything in general. If someone else is calling balls out (which happens enough that we hear plenty about it) that are really in, that is a inconsistent application of the rules. Perhaps we should get rid of the line call rule as well?

If someone is cheating, they are cheating. If someone is careless and they are constantly reaching over the net and apparently not even trying to make contact on their side then they are cheating, just plain and simple. So it's not the rule's fault, it's the cheater's fault.

(which means the same as it would for line calls, in some cases all you can do is "think less of them", that's too bad.....)

spot
01-25-2010, 06:16 AM
The rule is at fault because there is no remedy and it happens repeatedly in a match. And when it happens repeatedly to one person, they are more likely to start not worrying about whether they cross the net themselves and it goes on and on. And when some people simply don't care about a rule and are obviously ignoring it, the only people affected are the people who do their best to follow the rules.

And yes- if there were a subset of players who decided to stop calling any balls that hit the line in then I think that we would have to adjust the rules there as well. The whole point of the thread is that the crossing the net rule is being completely ignored by many players and there is no remedy for that in the code. I just can't imagine how people could have played doubles for any length of time and not come across people who repeatedly do this. THis isn't the same as a couple bad judgement calls- this is a case where some people just flat ignore the rule because they cannot be called for violating it.

AR15
01-25-2010, 06:27 AM
Must be a doubles thing. I played mostly singles and this almost never happens.

Yes, it's a doubles thing, and it happens at our club. Two people in particular were terrible offenders, and we found out neither knew this was a rule.

I played a match at MTC last year where the opposing net guy hit the ball into the net on my side, and said he did not reach over the net. Something about physics makes me think he did.

And why the reason for the rule? If the net person reaches over the net and hits the ball into the net, it is unreturnable. I can't think of another shot in tennis that doesn't give the opponent even a slight chance to return the ball.

JavierLW
01-25-2010, 06:35 AM
I just can't imagine how people could have played doubles for any length of time and not come across people who repeatedly do this. THis isn't the same as a couple bad judgement calls- this is a case where some people just flat ignore the rule because they cannot be called for violating it.

Ya, Im sorry but Ive been playing for a long time and usually I notice a couple particular people here or there that flagrantly ignore that rule. But it's not really anymore widespread then people who cheat on line calls. (and I saw it more at 3.0 or with newbies and club players then anything)

The rules and the code are such that they "assume" that all points are played in good faith by people that are honorable. That's why sometimes they seem to fail when you get someone who is not playing in good faith (a cheater).

Like I said, a cheater is a cheater. Blame the cheater, not the rule. Let them know they are doing it, make sure EVERYONE let's them know that they are doing it (we've done this for habitually foot faulters in our area, it's hard for them to hide when they hear about it everytime they step on the court).

If you're seeing EVERYONE do it in your area it's obviously because most people accept it.

Cindysphinx
01-25-2010, 06:50 AM
By definition you're supposed to TRY to make sure the ball is on your side of the net first.



That's not correct.

You must do more than "try." You must not make contact on the other side of the net, and if probably have to resolve all doubt in favor of your opponent. If you do nothing more than "try," you are probably violating the rule frequently, Javier.

Don't sweat it, though. The problem is the rule, not you.

Cindysphinx
01-25-2010, 06:52 AM
It's interesting that some say that it is lower-level players who break this rule.

I think it is broken most by high-level players. In my experience, low-level players shrink from the net and play too far back. They tend to bounce balls they should have volleyed. They don't close the net hard, or ever.

spot
01-25-2010, 07:06 AM
I don't think that everyone does it. I see some people repeatedly doing it which is just making everyone bitter about it and doubting whether they themselves shoudl follow the rule that other people ignore. Without a ref on the net, the question of whether someone crossed the net to hit the ball is exceptionally iffy. I just hate it when I see one person lose a point because they are trying to be SURE to let the ball cross the net before they make contact while the other side just puts it away without thinking twice.

Put it another way- by rule unless you are SURE of a call you are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to the other team. What percentage of people do you think would call themselves for the violation if they weren't 100% sure that they made contact before the ball crossed the net? Because I think this is a call where there is a lot of gray area. And when you hit a ball and you think that it probably crossed the net then by the rules you should be giving your opponent the point. Everyone treats this rule as "different" for whatever reason.

JavierLW
01-25-2010, 08:06 AM
That's not correct.

You must do more than "try." You must not make contact on the other side of the net, and if probably have to resolve all doubt in favor of your opponent. If you do nothing more than "try," you are probably violating the rule frequently, Javier.

Don't sweat it, though. The problem is the rule, not you.

The point is if you're trying not to do it, you likely will not hit the ball too early. And if you do hit it accidentally to early you should be able to call it on yourself because you are aware of where the net is. (otherwise you are cheating)

You're whole argument that you just swing away and hit the ball as early as possible and you dont know if you reached across the net or not, proves that you do not even pay attention. (or likely care like you mentioned in your old thread.....)

Cindysphinx
01-25-2010, 08:09 AM
The point is if you're trying not to do it, you likely will not hit the ball too early. And if you do hit it accidentally to early you should be able to call it on yourself because you are aware of where the net is. (otherwise you are cheating)

You're whole argument that you just swing away and hit the ball as early as possible and you dont know if you reached across the net or not, proves that you do not even pay attention. (or likely care like you mentioned in your old thread.....)

Eh.

Take it up with Spot.

JavierLW
01-25-2010, 08:11 AM
What percentage of people do you think would call themselves for the violation if they weren't 100% sure that they made contact before the ball crossed the net?

Again that's a question that puts into question whether someone is honest or not more then anything.

How many people will not say anything if they touch the net and they know that you dont happen to notice? You'd be pretty surprised that there are probably a lot of cheaters in that department as well. That doesn't make it right....

And there is a contingent of people who probably want to do away with that rule as well, we've had threads on here where people explain that it's even foolish to call that on themselves and "they'd never do it...."

spot
01-25-2010, 09:22 AM
Javier- I think that some people would call themselves if they are sure that they hit the ball before it crosses the net. But thats not the standard for when you are by rule supposed to call yourself on it. If you are not 100% sure that the ball crossed the net before they hit it you are supposed to cede the point to the other team. What percentage of people do you think actually follow the rules and would give the point to the other team if they thought there was a 1% chance the ball hadn't crossed the net first?

JavierLW
01-25-2010, 10:43 AM
Javier- I think that some people would call themselves if they are sure that they hit the ball before it crosses the net. But thats not the standard for when you are by rule supposed to call yourself on it. If you are not 100% sure that the ball crossed the net before they hit it you are supposed to cede the point to the other team. What percentage of people do you think actually follow the rules and would give the point to the other team if they thought there was a 1% chance the ball hadn't crossed the net first?

Yes you are supposed to cede the point.

No perhaps there are a lot of people who would not but that doesn't make it right for them to do so.

It depends on whether they respect the rule or not, or if they are running around with their nose up in the air thinking they are above the rules like some people obviously do.

However to really put them on the spot, you ask them if they made contact after it crossed the net. If they show any uncertainty, they do lose the point like like in line calls.

It's an extra effort for them to lie about it at that point and say "no". (and if they still do then they are a liar....)

Cindysphinx
01-26-2010, 07:44 PM
Spot!! Spot! Where are ya? This one is right up your alley.

I'm serving in a 7.5 combo match. I go to hit a first serve in the deuce court and shank it. It flies toward the net player, clearly hitting her on the leg. She turned toward her partner and giggled.

I walk toward my partner and ask her if the ball hit the net player before the bounce, and she says it did and it is our point. Here is the conversation I have with the opposing net player:

"Did that serve hit you before it bounced?"

"I dunno. What difference does it make? It was way out."

"The rule is that if the serve hits you before it bounces, it is our point. It is a call you are expected to make on yourself. So did the ball hit you before it bounced?"

(sarcastically) "No, it bounced before it hit me."

So much for calling these things on yourself. . . . .

film1
01-26-2010, 08:14 PM
Happen is doubles all the time. Crazy how many players don't know or play by he rules.

Ken Honecker
01-27-2010, 04:04 AM
Regarding the comparisons to other racquet sports or net sports . . . I guess I am not persuaded that tennis should have a particular rule for unofficiated play just because other sports do. But let me ask a question about volleyball. In an unofficiated volleyball match, are players to call it on themselves if they cross the plane of the net, and are they allowed a follow-through on the other side?



Yes you can follow through over the net and there are a couple of grey areas, depending on what the rules are today, what kind of a league you play in and the phase of the moon just when you can make contact on "their" side of the net. When I started playing years ago the league we played in allowed you to reach over the net if the other team had used up all three of it's hits or if they simply didn't have a play on it. I'm not sure if the over the net rules have changed like some, for example we are now allowed to kick the ball back over and now "lets" are live serves.

Last week the ref was calling the other team for reaching over the net. I tried to look it up on the offical site and read something about how you are allowed to reach over an block their "set" (2nd hit) shots which I had never heard of before.

As for not knowing whether you are over the net in tennis I might be naive but I figure anyone with a bit of playing experience knows how long their arm and racquet is, otherwise they wouldn't be making ground strokes, so they should know where their racquet is in front of them as well.

As most everyone else has said it all depends on the player, now much they cheat, and how clueless they are as to how often you run into this. If someone is crowding the net I either hit the ball through them, which is what I taught my daughters much to the chargin of their High School coach, or I hit it where they ain't depending on what seems to work.

spot
01-27-2010, 05:19 AM
In those situations I think its easier to ask the PARTNER of the person who was hit "are you sure?". Once someone is just willfully ignoring a rule like that and EVERYONE knows it then appealing to the partner is far more effective.

On the crossing the net rule asking the partner "are they sure" is worthless. I don't think that anyone would ever overrule their partner because they weren't SURE that the ball crossed the net first. Yet another example of how people treat this rule as different and not as important.

JavierLW
01-27-2010, 12:26 PM
In those situations I think its easier to ask the PARTNER of the person who was hit "are you sure?". Once someone is just willfully ignoring a rule like that and EVERYONE knows it then appealing to the partner is far more effective.

On the crossing the net rule asking the partner "are they sure" is worthless. I don't think that anyone would ever overrule their partner because they weren't SURE that the ball crossed the net first. Yet another example of how people treat this rule as different and not as important.

Actually appealing to the partner is not always effective in any sort of call, you're making a generalization there.

I agree it's a good tactic to try but it's not 100% effective.

The partner may not want to call his partner a liar, or he may be a liar himself.

Ive came across horrible line calls (like several feet) before where I ask the partner if they saw it, and in a lot of cases, they are "smart" enough to say "I didnt see it". (even though there is an apparent look of embarrassment on their face)

So again, you're dealing with cheaters, it doesn't matter what rule you are talking about, people can and will cheat. It has nothing to do with how the rules are written or which rules we follow or dont.....

spot
01-27-2010, 12:31 PM
Javier- in my experience few people will overrule their partners except in the most extreme situations. The person calling the ball out will not feel guilt- but the persons partner is already feeling shameful for not having the nerve to call a ball out when they know they should have- asking them directly and making them sheepishly say that they didn't see it even though everyone knows they did at least will ahve some benefit for you moving forward. From then on they will give you even more of the benefit of the doubt on calls and if they see their partner hook you again maybe then they will overrule. Once a person calls a ball out they have invested in the answer and its EXCEPTIONALLY rare that they are going to back off of it. Asking the other person is far more effective in my experience, but I don't claim its a magic wand by any stretch of the imagination.

Cindysphinx
01-27-2010, 01:34 PM
Well, I think it is pretty bold to look someone dead in the eye and say you know the ball bounced first when it clearly did not, and when your opponent gives you the opportunity to 'fess up in a nice way.

JavierLW
01-27-2010, 02:45 PM
Javier- in my experience few people will overrule their partners except in the most extreme situations. The person calling the ball out will not feel guilt- but the persons partner is already feeling shameful for not having the nerve to call a ball out when they know they should have- asking them directly and making them sheepishly say that they didn't see it even though everyone knows they did at least will ahve some benefit for you moving forward. From then on they will give you even more of the benefit of the doubt on calls and if they see their partner hook you again maybe then they will overrule. Once a person calls a ball out they have invested in the answer and its EXCEPTIONALLY rare that they are going to back off of it. Asking the other person is far more effective in my experience, but I don't claim its a magic wand by any stretch of the imagination.

That's what I said. It's a good thing to try but not really indicator of anything that's different from one rule to the next, either way people are being honest or they are not.

(so you cant worry about the rule getting applied "evenly"....)