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View Full Version : Any thought on the coman tiebreaker


ttwarrior1
08-18-2010, 08:22 PM
Been playing tennis for 30 years and never heard of it until tonight, my double opponent said that in our 2nd set tiebreaker we are supposed to switch after
1,5.9.

I said huh as well as my opponent, this is not a usta league and we have no set rule on the tiebreaker except for a ten point tiebreaker to determine the match if a set a piece.

I also find it unbelievable how people screw up about where to stand and the score when playing a tiebreaker.

Switching after 1,5.9 sounds ridiculous to me and ill never play it.

Topaz
08-18-2010, 08:34 PM
The Coman tiebreak makes it possible for doubles teams to continue serving from the same side they have served from for the rest of the match. It has been used in our USTA play for several years now.

When I explain it to players I stress that the *only* difference is when you switch sides...other than that, it is the same as a 'regular' tiebreak.

ttwarrior1
08-18-2010, 08:36 PM
what if its not a usta league tourney, who decides which tiebreaker you use????

Topaz
08-18-2010, 08:38 PM
You and your opponents. Again, it isn't a different type of tiebreak...it is just a different time of switching sides.

ttwarrior1
08-18-2010, 08:43 PM
what if nobody can agree on which one , my opponents wanted the coman, we wanted the normal

Topaz
08-18-2010, 08:45 PM
Perhaps flip a coin or spin a racquet? If it is a social match, then it is up to you guys to work it out.

InsideOutBackhand
08-18-2010, 08:46 PM
The philosophy (as I see it) behind a Coman Tiebreaker is that it more closely resembles the serving conditions of the preceding set.

Where as a traditional tiebreaker maintains the serving order, the Coman tiebreaker maintains both the serving order and sides players serve from. It avoids the situation where a player suddenly finds him/herself serving into the wind with the sun beating down on their face during a tiebreaker despite never facing those conditions during the actual set.

Kick_It
08-18-2010, 09:14 PM
I've done it in national tournaments - they've stated it up front before the match begins that all tiebreaks will be coman.

Once I got used to it, it worked out pretty well.

polski
08-19-2010, 02:12 AM
what if nobody can agree on which one , my opponents wanted the coman, we wanted the normal

what are you, 12?

Cindysphinx
08-19-2010, 04:54 AM
It also seems to help people remember the tiebreak score in doubles because you know you will always serve from a certain side.

I do think it is silly for indoor matches (and almost all of our matches are indoors) because there are no sun/wind issues. But there can be lighting issues or issues with the surface, so it is perhaps more fair too switch more frequently than in a regular tiebreak. I mean, it's not optimal for one team to run off with a 5-1 lead because they're not dealing with the weird bounces or bad light on one side of the court before the players switch side.

pyrokid
08-19-2010, 05:13 AM
We have to do these too.

I really have no problem with them, OTHER than the fact that it seems boring to watch because of all the silly switching.

athiker
08-19-2010, 05:54 AM
Good idea and definitely more fair if sun/wind/other conditions but it does start to feel silly switching so often. On calm cloudy days I'm tempted to suggest just forget it and stay on the same sides, but never have.

Related question...when is it okay to take a quick break and grab a drink? I believe the pros do it when they change at every 6 cumulative points, but it seems too quick with the Coman...every other switch? I've never had an issue and no one else seems to know or care when I ask...just curious if its in "the code". It seems we end up doing it after 9 and then randomly either 4 more or 8 more depending on conditions.

I had a 2nd set TB go to 12-10 the other day and it was a hot day. Sometimes we have a 10 point TB to in lieu of a 3rd set, still played Coman style, so that one can go even longer. 2 games in regular play is a minimum of 8 total points, so I guess around 9 is okay?...or should it be none and "tough it out"?!...2 regular games could easily go 12 points or much higher.

spot
08-19-2010, 06:36 AM
For Doubles I can't for the life of me see why the Coman tiebreak isn't standard. In doubles if your team would prefer you to serve only from one side the whole match because of the sun then the rules allow for that- why on earth should you have to suddenly change sides just in the tiebreak?

Switching after 1,5.9 sounds ridiculous to me and ill never play it.

LOL... stamp your feet, take your ball and go home! Change doesn't have to be scary.

tennisee
08-19-2010, 06:50 AM
I've never played a Coman - I don't know if they're used here (Australia) but reading this reminded me of one time when I was having a real problem with the sun (singles) and being down in the second set I threw a game so I would start the 10-point tiebreak (in lieu of third set) serving with my back to the sun for the first six points; a real advantage which I guess the Coman would diminish.

FloridaAG
08-19-2010, 06:56 AM
I dislike them - waste of time etc.

AR15
08-19-2010, 07:01 AM
There is no difference other than having to remember when to change sides.

In my area, we play Coman tie breaks for USTA matches, and standard tie breaks for our local league matches.

I don't see what the big stink is all about.

SlapShot
08-19-2010, 07:16 AM
In Minnesota, a fair percentage of our matches are indoors, so for breakers, I leave it up to my opponents. We usually just switch at 6 - for those who grew up playing it that way, it's just easier.

Outdoors, however, I always request coman for doubles. In singles, I don't worry about it, since you've been serving on both sides the whole time.

polski
08-19-2010, 08:16 AM
I dislike them - waste of time etc.

Agreed, definite waste of time. Especially in a match with two heavy hitters where rallies are short. It feels like your just walking in circles.

As for the above question about taking a break, each changeover should be treated like a changeover in the old format. 90 seconds to switch sides, do with it as you please...this is another reason it is a waste of time.

Xisbum
08-19-2010, 08:38 AM
Related question...when is it okay to take a quick break and grab a drink? I believe the pros do it when they change at every 6 cumulative points, but it seems too quick with the Coman...every other switch? I've never had an issue and no one else seems to know or care when I ask...just curious if its in "the code". It seems we end up doing it after 9 and then randomly either 4 more or 8 more depending on conditions.

I had a 2nd set TB go to 12-10 the other day and it was a hot day. Sometimes we have a 10 point TB to in lieu of a 3rd set, still played Coman style, so that one can go even longer. 2 games in regular play is a minimum of 8 total points, so I guess around 9 is okay?...or should it be none and "tough it out"?!...2 regular games could easily go 12 points or much higher.

I went to the hospital twice with heat exhaustion, second time very close to heat stroke, so I drink when I'm thirsty. If the opponent(s) wants to question that, fine. I'll give up a penalty point any day to stay healthy.

At our level, USTA rules or not, common sense in a situation that could threaten one's health should prevail.

My opinion, of course. Can't speak for anyone else.

Cindysphinx
08-19-2010, 09:11 AM
Agreed, definite waste of time. Especially in a match with two heavy hitters where rallies are short. It feels like your just walking in circles.

As for the above question about taking a break, each changeover should be treated like a changeover in the old format. 90 seconds to switch sides, do with it as you please...this is another reason it is a waste of time.

I thought the switching in a tiebreak was not a "changeover." Am I wrong?

Here's our "Continuous Play Rule:"

Continuous Play Rule: The continuous play rule shall
be observed. This means that no more than 20 seconds
may elapse between points within a game or between
games not involving a change in ends, and no more than
90 seconds may elapse between games where a change
of ends is involved (with the exception of the change of
sides that occurs after the first game in any set, in which
case play is continuous). (Note: the above time intervals
are measured from the instant the point is completed to
the time when the next server begins his/her service
motion.)

A tiebreak is a game, not the period of time between games. So you only get 20 seconds to switch in a Coman and can't sit down and chill for 90 seconds.

Correct or incorrect?

[edit: The parties can agree to something else if they want if the circumstances warrant, of course. I do find it problematic when folks take 90 seconds in a Coman when it is done as part of a strategy to stall in a timed match.]

cll30
08-19-2010, 09:16 AM
I play outdoors and like it for doubles.

polski
08-19-2010, 10:58 AM
I thought the switching in a tiebreak was not a "changeover." Am I wrong?

Here's our "Continuous Play Rule:"



A tiebreak is a game, not the period of time between games. So you only get 20 seconds to switch in a Coman and can't sit down and chill for 90 seconds.

Correct or incorrect?

[edit: The parties can agree to something else if they want if the circumstances warrant, of course. I do find it problematic when folks take 90 seconds in a Coman when it is done as part of a strategy to stall in a timed match.]


Is it a game? There are way more points being played than a normal game, yet it counts as 1 game on the scoreboard.

Is it a set? There are way fewer points being played than in a normal set, yet a 10-pt breaker counts as a set when rules dictate so

I don't know the answer.

We have been observing the 90 second rule in our leagues. However, usually the 2nd changeover is the only one that takes the full 90. By then, we've played a game & 5 points without much break so water is needed. After that, it usually just switches sides without much delay unless we have had some long points and need a drink.

Panic492
08-19-2010, 02:32 PM
In addition to USTA leagues for the past few years, the vast majority of tournaments I have played have used the Coman tiebreak. I hated it in the beginning but I am fine with it now. It actually makes factors such as the wind and sun more fair.

NLBwell
08-19-2010, 09:53 PM
Coman tiebreaker:
And we're walking, and we're walking...

ttwarrior1
08-20-2010, 01:13 AM
played a coman tonight,lmao and it made no sense since they decided to have the other player serve first instead of the normal side unless they shouldn't of done that

Topaz
08-20-2010, 05:08 AM
Again, the only difference in a Coman tiebreaker is when you switch sides. That's it. Everything else is the same.

If the TB is a match TB being played in lieu of a 3rd set, then you can change the order of the servers.

Not really all that difficult...

Cindysphinx
08-20-2010, 08:57 AM
played a coman tonight,lmao and it made no sense since they decided to have the other player serve first instead of the normal side unless they shouldn't of done that

They clearly decided that the disadvantages of getting used to serving from a different side was outweighed by the advantages of changing their service order.

Funny thing. I know women who insist on serving from the same side the entire match. Even if I am the stronger server, they will want to serve first to start the second set if that's what it takes to make sure they serve from "their" side. Even if we've been winning my serve and losing their serve.

This makes no sense to me. We are playing indoors. I don't get it.

Angle Queen
08-21-2010, 06:16 PM
In general, I have no problem with the Coman tiebreak. Took some getting used to but it seems to work, especially (as has been noted in this thread) for doubles.

Our local rule-of-thumb on "delays" during tiebreak changeovers is: you can drink...but you cannot sit down. With our hot, hot summer, those drink breaks are much appreciated.

They clearly decided that the disadvantages of getting used to serving from a different side was outweighed by the advantages of changing their service order.

Funny thing. I know women who insist on serving from the same side the entire match. Even if I am the stronger server, they will want to serve first to start the second set if that's what it takes to make sure they serve from "their" side. Even if we've been winning my serve and losing their serve.

This makes no sense to me. We are playing indoors. I don't get it.Indoors...I'm with ya. Outdoors I can sometime see the merit in maintaining service side. My partner doesn't mind serving into the sun but dislikes (and struggles) to serve into the wind. I'm kind of the opposite...so we tend to play it so that we serve to our preferences. But these days, it's more about who's "feelin' it" for who serves first both at the start of the match and at sets. Luckily, we tend to win our service games so there's nothing that would tip the first-server task to one or the other.

tennis tom
08-22-2010, 07:44 AM
IT SUCKS!!!

Tennis used to be a game which had a component of endurance to it, witness the 70-68 Isner-Mahut Ultra Marathon. In my opinion it was still quality tennis to the end. They were running on fumes and exhibited what was left and what the mindbody can endure--and they both had a lot left! Now people have to cross-train, get on a chipmunk machine, to build up the endurance that tennis once offered before the tie-breaker.

The tie-breaker was invented to make tennis more compatible for TV network program scheduling, and for no other reason. It also works well for people who bill by the hour $150 and higher and have to make a tee-time for further networking and insider information. O,r if one has a busy social calendar of luncheons and spa apointments.I HATE tie-breakers, but I'm on my own time--thankfully.

Players can't even remember the score, let alone the tie-break rules "du jour". I've given up on keeping track and now leave it up to the "others" to keep track of the intricate migrations. I try to keep very good track of the score otherwise, but when it comes to the tie-break, I could care less. It's a job I leave to others.

The coman is the worst ever since it takes any rhythm out of the game by the constant walking around in circles--it's more like a foot race or a Chinese fire drill then tennis.

The coman SUCKS! Whoever invented it has a very sick mind and should be shot at sunrise.

Angle Queen
08-22-2010, 05:15 PM
Tennis used to be a game which had a component of endurance to it, witness the 70-68 Isner-Mahut Ultra Marathon.Hands down agreement. I hate tiebreaks in lieu of a full third set. That said, Coman is still OK.

The tie-breaker was invented to make tennis more compatible for TV network program scheduling, and for no other reason.We went to it because many of the local clubs have 90-minute limits on court bookings. Rubbish excuse, IMHO, but it is what it is.

The coman is the worst ever since it takes any rhythm out of the game by the constant walking around in circles--it's more like a foot race or a Chinese fire drill then tennis.Ha. I'll think of fire drills (in cars, at stoplights...wonder how many of the younguns here even know what that is) next time I'm in one of those things. Still, for doubles, despite all the walking around, I actually find it easier to keep score and it doesn't break the rhythm of the poor bloke stuck serving from both ends at 7, 13, etc.