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Achillesg
06-15-2005, 09:12 AM
I grew up playing on hard courts, but for the past year have been playing on the green Har-Tru courts. On the Har-Tru, about once every three sets, a serve will land and leave a four or five-inch skid mark right behind the service line (out). The receiver will call the ball out, but then walk up and examine the ball mark and see that there is no undisturbed clay between the service line and the ball mark (or that the ball actually caught the back 1/32 inch of the service line). In either situation, the receiver will then correct his call to "in" and the server will re-play the serve. Most people seem to have no problem with this protocol and most of the time the server is pleased that the opponent is honest enough to closely examine the mark to correct the call. However, this week one server in a doubles match became irate after this happened twice during one match. He said the receiver should never call the ball out unless he can instantaneously see that the ball clearly missed the service line. He said that even if the ball leaves a six inch skidmark behind the service line, the receiver should say nothing and should always play the ball unless the receiver can immediately see clear evidence that there is undisturbed clay between the back of the service line and the ball mark. I and others felt that that was demanding too much of the receiver, as you would have to concede not only the service line but the 6 to 8 inch area behind the service line. Most of us felt that the receiver should make his best good faith effort to call the ball as he saw it at the moment, always with the duty to correct a bad call. However, I did not grow up on clay, so I can't claim to be expert in the protocol. Help!

darkhorse
06-15-2005, 10:30 AM
Well, that guy is a moron. The main advantage of playing on clay is that you can usually clearly tell if a ball was in or out, even if it is after the point has been stopped..

It depends though on what you did after changing the call. Did you give him the point or did you have him play the point over?

Achillesg
06-15-2005, 10:51 AM
It depends though on what you did after changing the call. Did you give him the point or did you have him play the point over?

If the serve was unreturnable, then clearly the server is awarded the point immediately upon correction. In that case, there is no argument by anyone.

I think where this one guy argues is where the serve is successfully returned, but is called out and the play stops, then the mark is checked and the call is corrected in favor of the server. In that situation the practice at this club is to play the serve over. If it was a second serve, then the server has another second serve coming. This one guy thinks it should always be the server's point when the receiver corrects a delicate call in favor of the server. Keep in mind that the receiver is at all times acting in good faith in calling the serve in or out.

Achillesg
06-15-2005, 11:24 AM
"The Code" does say that if an "out call" is corrected on a second serve, then the server, at a minimum, is entitled to two serves, so that provides a little official help.

The code also says a point shall be replayed if the receiver returns the ball to the proper court. but, if that return is merely a "weak sitter", the player should give the opponent the point.

Geezer Guy
06-15-2005, 03:18 PM
Well, I only play on clay about 1 week a year, and then not competitively.

However, that said, if I'm serving and you call my serve out - THEN correct your call and say "take two", I'm gonna be ****ed. Especially if you seem to do it a lot. It looks like you're just giving yourself a chance to return an easier serve. (Sounds like you're not, but that may be what it LOOKS like to your opponent.) Even if you return the serve and THEN check the mark - would you check the mark if you'd hit a service return winner, or just take the point? (Again, just saying this is how it may APPEAR to your opponent.) Especially if you're playing doubles, just let your partner call the service line and go with whatever he says. If he calls a ball OUT that upon review is good, your opponents get the point.

Like I say, I don't play on clay much (yet).

papa
06-15-2005, 04:13 PM
Well, I only play on clay about 1 week a year, and then not competitively.

However, that said, if I'm serving and you call my serve out - THEN correct your call and say "take two", I'm gonna be ****ed. Especially if you seem to do it a lot. It looks like you're just giving yourself a chance to return an easier serve. (Sounds like you're not, but that may be what it LOOKS like to your opponent.) Even if you return the serve and THEN check the mark - would you check the mark if you'd hit a service return winner, or just take the point? (Again, just saying this is how it may APPEAR to your opponent.) Especially if you're playing doubles, just let your partner call the service line and go with whatever he says. If he calls a ball OUT that upon review is good, your opponents get the point.

Like I say, I don't play on clay much (yet).

Sure, many times you'll hit a clear winner and then check the line, especially if your partner makes an "out" call - actually happens quite often.

The interesting thing that hasn't been mentioned and I thought this is where the discussion was headed is when the lines are brushed it clears the Har Tru from not only the line but maybe a half-inch on both sides (brush is wider than the line). Many times a ball mark has to be "interperated" to see if did in fact touch the line. Just because there is no Har Tru left between the actual ball mark and the line doesn't necessarily mean that the ball touched the line. I actually lost a match not that long ago because I called a ball in but my partner (and he was probably right) argued the above - it was a set, match call (tied at one set each) and we went on to lose the next two points.

danniflava
06-15-2005, 05:52 PM
I've been brought up with the idea that if I can't clearly call the ball out, it's in. On clay, points should be replayed whether or not the calls were correct or not.

Achillesg
06-16-2005, 04:55 AM
when the lines are brushed it clears the Har Tru from not only the line but maybe a half-inch on both sides (brush is wider than the line).


Papa,

If you ever work grounds crew for a professional tournament with USTA chair and linesmen, you'll see them go absolutely berserk when the lines are brushed in the manner you describe. The proper way to brush the lines (for the exact reason that you mention) is to make sure ALL of the overlap is on the inner part of the court. (So the same amount of Har-Tru is brushed, but it's all on the interior of the court or service box instead of having two stripes, one inside the court and one outside.) If you do it that way, your particular problem is solved.

tennis-n-sc
06-16-2005, 05:55 AM
Achillesg, I have worked satellite tournaments and you are exactly right.

Geezer Guy
06-16-2005, 09:18 AM
... oops, sorry ...

Geezer Guy
06-16-2005, 09:20 AM
Sure, many times you'll hit a clear winner and then check the line, especially if your partner makes an "out" call - actually happens quite often. ...
The serve was good, your partner calls it out, and you return it for a winner. What happens in that case? Do you lose the point?

Achillesg
06-16-2005, 11:01 AM
The serve was good, your partner calls it out, and you return it for a winner. What happens in that case? Do you lose the point?


You play the point over, always giving the server two serves. If your return is a decent return, but not a winner, you still play the point over. However, according to "The Code" if your return is a "weak sitter", you lose the point.

papa
06-16-2005, 03:01 PM
Papa,

If you ever work grounds crew for a professional tournament with USTA chair and linesmen, you'll see them go absolutely berserk when the lines are brushed in the manner you describe. The proper way to brush the lines (for the exact reason that you mention) is to make sure ALL of the overlap is on the inner part of the court. (So the same amount of Har-Tru is brushed, but it's all on the interior of the court or service box instead of having two stripes, one inside the court and one outside.) If you do it that way, your particular problem is solved.

Yes, I know and I have brushed for some pretty good events. However, and I think you know what I'm talking about, is that as the brushes get used they tend to spread apart more and many of the folks doing the lines still like the "hi diddle, diddle, right down the middle approach" especially in when lines are done at the lower levels. Similiar thing can happen when there are a couple of ball marks together. Not trying to argue with you on this because it sounds like you know what your talking about but I was just trying to say sometimes its not just black or white.

Achillesg
06-16-2005, 06:38 PM
Similiar thing can happen when there are a couple of ball marks together. .

Very true. That's one reason I sometimes like to obliterate all the ball marks near lines when I change sides I can have an easier time calling lines.

Geezer Guy
06-17-2005, 10:51 AM
The serve was good, your partner calls it out, and you return it for a winner. What happens in that case? Do you lose the point?
You play the point over, always giving the server two serves. If your return is a decent return, but not a winner, you still play the point over. However, according to "The Code" if your return is a "weak sitter", you lose the point.
Thanks (and you tell your partner to get his act together!)

papa
06-17-2005, 11:41 AM
The serve was good, your partner calls it out, and you return it for a winner. What happens in that case? Do you lose the point?

Partner calls the ball "out" that ends it, second serve. Doesn't matter if you hit a winner.

Achillesg
06-17-2005, 12:27 PM
[QUOTE=papa]Partner calls the ball "out" that ends it, second serve. /QUOTE]

Papa,

Don't forget the context of the question, ie -the serve was really in. In that case, the call is to be corrected and the server gets two serves in the replay (if it is indeed a replay situation), not just one.

papa
06-17-2005, 02:34 PM
[QUOTE=papa]Partner calls the ball "out" that ends it, second serve. /QUOTE]

Papa,

Don't forget the context of the question, ie -the serve was really in. In that case, the call is to be corrected and the server gets two serves in the replay (if it is indeed a replay situation), not just one.

ok, let me take another whack at this. The receiver hits a winner on a serve his partner originally calls "out" but on inspection reverses himself. It goes back to first serve. Same thing would happen on the second serve also - except it would be second serve. Your opponent stops play when they here "out", or they should.

When I hear "out" called by either player, regardless of what the situation is, I don't continue - if after its determined the ball was actually "in" (other than on a serve) and the opponent was wrong on their call, its our point.

If the receiver doesn't return service under the same situation (opponent calls it out but it actually was in), the opponents win the point. If however, the receiver returns/or doesn't return service and his partner calls the ball "out" and in fact it was "out" its second service period. If it happens on second serve, (ball called "out" but was actually in), point goes to the other side.

On all other shots, when a player sees a ball "out" they should imediately stop playing the point - they cannot continue to play the point and then argue that a ball, three hits back/whatever, was "out" - you have to stop playing. If after inspection its determined that you were wrong, even though you stopped play, the point goes to the other guys.

I hope this is better.

Achillesg
06-17-2005, 06:32 PM
Papa,

Before I started this thread, I would have agreed with you on all points. But after doing some research, I think an official would come up with some different rulings. To wit:

[QUOTE=Achillesg]

Same thing would happen on the second serve also - except it would be second serve. The Code says if the correction happens on second serve, then the server gets two serves. And in fact this is only fair since the serve was good (but mistakenly called "out") the server should get a full chance to repeat a good serve.

When I hear "out" called by either player, regardless of what the situation is, I don't continue - if after its determined the ball was actually "in" (other than on a serve) and the opponent was wrong on their call, its our point. I think its only your point if the shot was either not returned by the opponent, or, even if it was returned, if the return was a "weak sitter" -either of those two situations results in your point. If it was a solid return landing in the court, then the point is played over.

If the receiver doesn't return service under the same situation (opponent calls it out but it actually was in), the opponents win the point. Agreed.

If however, the receiver returns/or doesn't return service and his partner calls the ball "out" and in fact it was "out" its second service period. If it happens on second serve, (ball called "out" but was actually in), point goes to the other side. If second serve is called out, but the call is corrected to in, see my comments above.