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View Full Version : Is my playing group butchering tennis etiquette/rules?


HunterST
11-23-2010, 09:07 AM
When I play in my league, there's almost always one example of violating the rules per match. For example these things happened:

1. My partner was serving. He hit his first serve into the net and as he was preparing for the second serve, a ball from another court rolled over. My partner stopped, got the bal, and hit it back to the other players. No one even considered if he should be given a first serve. I thought about saying that it should be a first serve, but I wasn't sure if it was my call.

2. We were engaged in a long, drawn out point. Right when one of my opponents was hitting a volley way long a ball from the other side (we had an especially shanky group next to us) bounced on to the court. However, the team didn't notice the ball! After the point they saw the extra ball and then said that we should play a let. I once again knew that this was wrong. You have to call a hindrance immediately, not see it later and then say "hey! that was a hindrance!"

3. Finally, I hit a serve, that would have been an ace. The returned said "oh! Nice serve" his partner then said "No, it was definitely out." The returner then said "Oh, he called it out. Second serve."

I mean c'mon! I don't usually argue because these matches are basically just for fun, but after writing them all out I'm realizing how irritating it is! I think I'm going to start calling them out.

li0scc0
11-23-2010, 09:16 AM
#1 - There is no need for a first serve. The delay was not long enough. Had the delay been longer, then yes, first serve (just going on what it sounds like, if the delay was longer than I am thinking then yes, first serve)
#2 - I agree with you, they have to call it immediately. That is your point
#3 - Your point. Ace.

struggle
11-23-2010, 09:23 AM
1) generally, yes, 1st serve. if he had to go retrieve the ball, then yes.
sometimes it's ok to stay in rhythm and retrieve the ball after the point,
but if the server, or anyone, had to interrupt the normal rhythm then 1st serve, IMO.

2) Your point. Not worth a real argument though, IMO.

3) Ace

J_R_B
11-23-2010, 09:38 AM
The only one where there is a question is #1. If he had started his 2nd serve motion when th ball rolled over, then definitely a let (and a first). Otherwise, it depends on whether it is a hinderance (like, how far did he have to go to retrieve it and how ling did it take?). If he was standing at the baseline picking out a ball or something and the ball rolled to his feet and he just had to bump it back, that's definitely not a hinderance. Regardless, in social matches, whenever a ball rolls over form another court, I will always offer a first to the opponents to keep it friendly.

tennis tom
11-23-2010, 09:38 AM
"Is my playing group butchering tennis etiquette/rules?"

YES

HunterST
11-23-2010, 09:41 AM
Thanks guys. I guess what is most irritating is that all of these guys have been playing like 6-10 years and some of them have been playing as much as 20. You'd think they'd understand the rules a little better!

I've only been playing two years, so I'm sure they wouldn't believe me if I started arguing that the rule was that you had to call a let immediately or something like that.

tennis tom
11-23-2010, 11:36 AM
Most club players are morons with huge egos, ignorance is it's own reward. They could be playing for 100 years and they will not have learned anything new in about 99 years. If you are going to try to educate them on the rules, be prepared and have the rule book and the citation in hand. Otherwise they will argue 'til the cows come home that they are right.

I've found if you have it in writing, they quickly back-down and unapologetically turn around pretending nothing ever happened. It's even worse when they get senile and addled. They can't remember the score, don't pick-up balls having forgotten the ball boys got the day off, don't close gates behind themselves and never bring balls.

Use dufuses like this for practice, trying not to get too worked up about scores and out-comes. It is difficult to remain Zen when being within 12 feet of a-holes but it builds character for real matches.

DE19702
11-23-2010, 12:54 PM
As usual, Tennis Tom is right. Here's another one I just experienced:

First point of a new game. Player is ready to receive. I hit a hard ace with no possibility of a return. Player stops with a puzzled look on his face and starts questioning the game score. Is it 4-1 or 4-2? Never questioned the score before getting ready to return serve. Now all of a sudden after I hit an ace he is saying he is confused about the game score and he wasn't ready. I gave him a little grief about it but still gave him the benefit of the doubt and reserved the point. Next service game, he starts serving before I even get into position and I am forced to tell him to reserve the point. This b.s. never stops!

goober
11-23-2010, 01:01 PM
Thanks guys. I guess what is most irritating is that all of these guys have been playing like 6-10 years and some of them have been playing as much as 20. You'd think they'd understand the rules a little better!

I've only been playing two years, so I'm sure they wouldn't believe me if I started arguing that the rule was that you had to call a let immediately or something like that.

The group I play with have all been playing tennis much longer than I have been playing. Me= 5-6 years, them = 10-25+ years. I have no problem in arguing rules with them. Of course I am not belligerent about it. I would definitely said something in #2 and #3. #1 would depend on how long the delay actually was. You don't get a second serve just because a ball rolls on the court. It has to be an unreasonable delay which is subjective. In any case, the opposing team would have to offer you the let in my book.

Maui19
11-23-2010, 02:48 PM
Most club players are morons with huge egos

Wow. That hasn't been my experience at all. It sounds like the golf community, where the public golfers think that country club golfers are all a-holes. Yet it is on the public courses where fights break out, the courses are trashed by the players, shouting matches are common, and the etiquette of the game is trampled.

OrangePower
11-23-2010, 05:50 PM
Most club players are morons with huge egos

What a fortunate coincidence, then, that all of us here on TT fall into that small minority of club players who are not total morons. :roll:

hrstrat57
11-23-2010, 06:03 PM
When I play in my league, there's almost always one example of violating the rules per match. For example these things happened:

1. My partner was serving. He hit his first serve into the net and as he was preparing for the second serve, a ball from another court rolled over. My partner stopped, got the bal, and hit it back to the other players. No one even considered if he should be given a first serve. I thought about saying that it should be a first serve, but I wasn't sure if it was my call.

2. We were engaged in a long, drawn out point. Right when one of my opponents was hitting a volley way long a ball from the other side (we had an especially shanky group next to us) bounced on to the court. However, the team didn't notice the ball! After the point they saw the extra ball and then said that we should play a let. I once again knew that this was wrong. You have to call a hindrance immediately, not see it later and then say "hey! that was a hindrance!"

3. Finally, I hit a serve, that would have been an ace. The returned said "oh! Nice serve" his partner then said "No, it was definitely out." The returner then said "Oh, he called it out. Second serve."

I mean c'mon! I don't usually argue because these matches are basically just for fun, but after writing them all out I'm realizing how irritating it is! I think I'm going to start calling them out.

I'd find some different dudes to hit with....if you can't straighten these folks out.

penpal
11-24-2010, 06:57 AM
What's weird is that I notice I get more worked up when this kind of stuff happens in friendly matches than I do when it happens in so-called competitive matches. All to do with my expectations I suppose. In a USTA league match or a tournament I half expect these kinds of shenanigans, but among a group of friends with whom I play regularly I expect a more civil and giving attitude.

Still, like tennis tom said, just treat these moments as a learning opportunity - a chance to practice maintaining your mental fortitude.

beernutz
11-24-2010, 07:32 AM
When I play in my league, there's almost always one example of violating the rules per match. For example these things happened:

1. My partner was serving. He hit his first serve into the net and as he was preparing for the second serve, a ball from another court rolled over. My partner stopped, got the bal, and hit it back to the other players. No one even considered if he should be given a first serve. I thought about saying that it should be a first serve, but I wasn't sure if it was my call.

2. We were engaged in a long, drawn out point. Right when one of my opponents was hitting a volley way long a ball from the other side (we had an especially shanky group next to us) bounced on to the court. However, the team didn't notice the ball! After the point they saw the extra ball and then said that we should play a let. I once again knew that this was wrong. You have to call a hindrance immediately, not see it later and then say "hey! that was a hindrance!"

3. Finally, I hit a serve, that would have been an ace. The returned said "oh! Nice serve" his partner then said "No, it was definitely out." The returner then said "Oh, he called it out. Second serve."

I mean c'mon! I don't usually argue because these matches are basically just for fun, but after writing them all out I'm realizing how irritating it is! I think I'm going to start calling them out.

#1 depends on if the server's second service motion was delayed. Per the Code: "The time it takes to clear a ball that comes onto the court between the first and second serves is not considered sufficient time to warrant the Server receiving two serves unless this time is so prolonged as to constitute an interruption. The Receiver is the judge of whether the delay is sufficiently prolonged to justify giving the Server two serves." So it isn't your call in that case.

#2 is not an issue of hindrance. You don't have to be hindered to call a let when a ball from an adjacent court rolls on to your court. Any player on your court can call a let in that situation but they have to do it as soon as they become aware of it and they forfeit the right to make a let call if there is an unreasonable delay in making the call.

#3 Per the Code: "Partners’ disagreement on calls. If one partner calls the ball out and the other partner sees the ball good, they shall call it good. It is more important to give your opponents the benefit of the doubt than to avoid possibly hurting your partner’s feelings." Since you said this was an ace, meaning the receiver didn't touch it, the point was yours per the Out Calls Corrected section of the Code.

It sounds like you just need to print off the Code (go to http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/2010FriendatCourt.pdf and print off pages 45-51 in the Friend at Court which are physically pages 57-63) and put it in your bag. Your exact situations were all clearly addressed in those 7 pages.

Totai
11-24-2010, 08:16 AM
you are just playin for ***** and giggles with a bunch of guys you have known for a while? No use creating any tension in your relationship over a hinderance call imo

tennis tom
11-24-2010, 08:50 AM
What a fortunate coincidence, then, that all of us here on TT fall into that small minority of club players who are not total morons. :roll:

No coincidence, we are among the fortunate few who can read and write and have gathered here searching for tennis TRUTH--did a hair of that Costco Penn touch that line?

For the sake of this thread I may have been speaking a bit hyperbolically--but this is the internet and we have total freedom to say what we want, short of "Run, you're computer's on fire!".

Tennis can't live in a vacuum. Outside those fences lies the real world, bratty kids at the gates of the tennis cathedral lying in wait to attack and destroy the holy sanctuary with their skate-boards, feral children turning off lights at set-point, and pre-pubescent horn-toads taking up-skirt shots of the queens of tennis.

We who have been entrusted with the holy-grail of Tennis, "The Code" must protect the TRUTH before the game returns to the cave:

http://www.missourivalley.usta.com/News/2006_04/324145_Passion_Shots_The_Inner_Sanctum/

OrangePower
11-24-2010, 09:39 AM
No coincidence, we are among the fortunate few who can read and write and have gathered here searching for tennis TRUTH--did a hair of that Costco Penn touch that line?

For the sake of this thread I may have been speaking a bit hyperbolically--but this is the internet and we have total freedom to say what we want, short of "Run, you're computer's on fire!".

Tennis can't live in a vacuum. Outside those fences lies the real world, bratty kids at the gates of the tennis cathedral lying in wait to attack and destroy the holy sanctuary with their skate-boards, feral children turning off lights at set-point, and pre-pubescent horn-toads taking up-skirt shots of the queens of tennis.

We who have been entrusted with the holy-grail of Tennis, "The Code" must protect the TRUTH before the game returns to the cave:

http://www.missourivalley.usta.com/News/2006_04/324145_Passion_Shots_The_Inner_Sanctum/

I hear ya. One of the places I play at is adjacent to the local skate-boarding hangout. Not easy to concentrate on your game while being subjected to second-hand pot-smoke inhalation.

HunterST
11-24-2010, 10:24 AM
you are just playin for ***** and giggles with a bunch of guys you have known for a while? No use creating any tension in your relationship over a hinderance call imo

It's a league organized by my club. I'm friendly with them, but I we're certainly not friends. The only time we see each other is to play tennis.

Larrysümmers
11-24-2010, 10:31 AM
how long is the minimum to get a first serve after you miss your first serve and get a new one? i can understand you are in the point and a ball comes flying through er something like that. but like 5 seconds to fetch a ball er whatever doesnt seem long enough

Larrysümmers
11-24-2010, 12:15 PM
i see, i never really call lets when playing in matches. for balls flying in the middle of the point i do sometimes, but i have never taken 2 to get a ball for someone and stuff like that

Cindysphinx
11-24-2010, 12:44 PM
I believe the Code is pretty clear that if the receiver caused the delay, the server takes two. If the server caused the delay, the server takes one.

The Code also says that the time it takes to clear a ball from an adjacent court does not require that the receiver give two serves.

I've kind of noticed that stronger players (8.0 mixed) are very generous about giving two if a ball rolls in from another court.

In contrast, few seem to extend this courtesy in league matches at 3.5 until the delay is of ridiculous length.

Me, I never ask for a first serve unless it is a very clear case of delay caused by the receiver.

Todd6060
11-29-2010, 10:35 AM
3. Finally, I hit a serve, that would have been an ace. The returned said "oh! Nice serve" his partner then said "No, it was definitely out." The returner then said "Oh, he called it out. Second serve."


The receiver's partner has a better view of the service line, so if he called it long without hesitation I think that's reasonable. I return a lot of long serves and depend on my partner to call those long.