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View Full Version : Etiquette Q: okay to retrieve balls from adjacent court between points?


Taxvictim
10-27-2010, 06:02 AM
A common scenario: our point ends and the ball rolls to the fence behind the players on the next court. When their point ends, is it okay to run in quickly to grab my own ball, or should I ask them to get it for me?

I send balls back to other courts all the time, and it doesn't bother me, but it also doesn't bother me at all if the player from the next court runs behind me to get his own ball as soon as my point ends. Some folks at the club, however, seem to get a little miffed when people walk on their courts, even if they are clearly between points and not ready to start the next point. One older guy got a little gruff with a young woman last weekend, yelling "We'll get the balls for you" twice. He sounded nasty enough that everyone made a comment about it, but at the same time the guy has played tennis for 50 years and probably has a good idea what the accepted etiquette is in this situation.

What say you? Does it bother you if someone walks behind your court, even if it is clear you are not ready to start the next point? Is there an established etiquette on this issue?

SweetH2O
10-27-2010, 06:17 AM
I've never had a problem with getting a ball from an adjacent court, or having someone get their ball from behind my court between points.

But there's different ways of doing things at different places. If an elder statesman at a club told me a first time that he'd prefer that I not, I wouldn't do it again. Still no reason to yell at a young lady about it though.

mikeler
10-27-2010, 06:42 AM
Sounds like a crotchety old man to me. At our club, balls are retrieved both ways and nobody complains.

Taxvictim
10-27-2010, 06:45 AM
I should clarify: it wasn't just that old man that prompted this question. I have overheard other members telling players, "just yell, we'll get your balls for you" or some such language. Sounds like a polite offer, but really it seems more like an instruction. Where's the Geezer when I need him?

dlk
10-27-2010, 06:53 AM
My Ball: If on far side of hash, will ask for "help." If near side, will wait for appropriate time to retrieve myself.
Their Ball: I don't mind either.

If pressed for one choice r/t retrieving court-neighbor's ball; I would prefer to retrieve, as some folks have bad timing.

blakesq
10-27-2010, 07:47 AM
I have yelled what the old man yelled, but only when people walk on our court DURING a point, or stand on or very closely to our court, staring with laser intensity at us until the point is over, then running over to get the ball.


A common scenario: our point ends and the ball rolls to the fence behind the players on the next court. When their point ends, is it okay to run in quickly to grab my own ball, or should I ask them to get it for me?

I send balls back to other courts all the time, and it doesn't bother me, but it also doesn't bother me at all if the player from the next court runs behind me to get his own ball as soon as my point ends. Some folks at the club, however, seem to get a little miffed when people walk on their courts, even if they are clearly between points and not ready to start the next point. One older guy got a little gruff with a young woman last weekend, yelling "We'll get the balls for you" twice. He sounded nasty enough that everyone made a comment about it, but at the same time the guy has played tennis for 50 years and probably has a good idea what the accepted etiquette is in this situation.

What say you? Does it bother you if someone walks behind your court, even if it is clear you are not ready to start the next point? Is there an established etiquette on this issue?

Steady Eddy
10-27-2010, 07:55 AM
In a way you're trespassing, so you should ask for permission. It's like being in someone's house and just helping yourself to a soda. It's no big deal, just a soda, but it'd be real weird to just open the door and grab a coke without asking.

Most players are happy to return your balls between points. We don't generally wander into each others courts, and I think it should stay that way.

Cindysphinx
10-27-2010, 08:15 AM
You can't win for losing.

If you fetch the ball yourself, some people don't like it. Personally, I have no problem with it so long as you move quickly.

If you don't fetch the ball yourself, some people don't like being interrupted to fetch your ball. I have to say, if the ball is lying closer to the person requesting it than me, I would prefer they just go get the darn ball rather than make me retrieve it.

I also don't mind the "laser eyes" that Blake describes. Just do not -- *do not* -- try to retrieve the ball as the server is serving or when you think the point will be over rather than when it is actually over. That's not cool.

mikeler
10-27-2010, 10:48 AM
I should clarify: it wasn't just that old man that prompted this question. I have overheard other members telling players, "just yell, we'll get your balls for you" or some such language. Sounds like a polite offer, but really it seems more like an instruction. Where's the Geezer when I need him?


Is there a written policy anywhere or just an understanding at the club?

struggle
10-27-2010, 11:28 AM
common sense tells you what to do in almost all cases regarding ball retrieval.

if someone else has a problem with that, it's their problem, not mine.

jswinf
10-27-2010, 12:05 PM
I'd say usually you let the players on the next court return the ball. If you're too quick to dash over there between points they could feel like you think they're lazy even if you're just trying to be considerate. If the next court players are switching sides and especially between sets, schmoozing at the net, I often feel like trotting over to retrieve a ball in the back of their court is the right thing to do; still, sometimes somebody will see me coming and beat me to it.

Related pet peeves, players on next court don't notice your ball or apparently think they get to keep it, they're warming up with 100 balls and your crisp new one blends in, they toss you a 3-year-old orange one, you get a stray ball and want to return it and get on with your game but the players that sent it over started a point involving 15 lobs and you're just supposed to stand there 'till they're fininshed...?

Cindysphinx
10-27-2010, 01:38 PM
^I always wonder about that. When players are just rallying or are warming up, must I stand there forever until they stop and notice my laser eyes?

http://www.codypetruk.com/laser_eyes.jpg

sureshs
10-27-2010, 02:25 PM
You ask the players on the other court to throw the ball to you by shouting "Ball on."

Cindysphinx
10-27-2010, 03:24 PM
You ask the players on the other court to throw the ball to you by shouting "Ball on."
I have never heard that before. "Ball on?"

I hear, "A little help" or "Thank you" or "When you have a minute."

blakesq
10-27-2010, 03:48 PM
Ha, funny pictures. But during warm ups, or just rallying (not playing for points) I will walk onto the court to get my ball. Of course, I do not get in the way of the players and the ball!


^I always wonder about that. When players are just rallying or are warming up, must I stand there forever until they stop and notice my laser eyes?

http://www.codypetruk.com/laser_eyes.jpg

Ken Honecker
10-28-2010, 01:33 AM
Ball Up is what we used in the 70's. Now of course I have trained the balls to never stray on my shots. How you may ask do I control errant shots by opponants. Simple don't place the ball where they have a chance to hit it. Master this and it will make play on crowded courts so much easier.

Becksx1
10-28-2010, 06:47 AM
I think it depends on the game. If a ball goes to a different court or behind a fence away from the court im playing on I will normally ask the server if he has two balls. If he says yes I will let him serve and play the point as normal but if he needs balls then I will retrieve some balls from the back fence or when its suitable from the other court. I mean if your 40-0 up and you have someone scrambling for balls or your break points down it can be annoying if you already have two balls and want to play at your pace. Obviously if you need the balls then it cannot really be helped.