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View Full Version : Question for anyone who has called lines


galain
01-27-2006, 12:03 AM
I know there are a few board members who have called the lines at big tournaments - I've always enjoyed reading about their experiences from so close to the action.

During the course of this Oz Open (and any tournament, naturally), there have been some dubious line calls. Obviously, you can't be 100% perfect all the time. What's it like, though, when you make a call that gets overruled? Are you more nervous calling that line for the rest of the time you're stationed there? Do you have to stop yourself from jumping the gun next time? Have you ever had a player try and intimidate you? (and if so, did it work?)

I guess a lot of this comes down to individual personality as well, but I've always thought it seemed like a tough job and in the heat of the moment things could get really interesting down on court.

Yours!05
01-27-2006, 12:08 AM
I know there are a few board members who have called the lines at big tournaments - I've always enjoyed reading about their experiences from so close to the action.

During the course of this Oz Open (and any tournament, naturally), there have been some dubious line calls. Obviously, you can't be 100% perfect all the time. What's it like, though, when you make a call that gets overruled? Are you more nervous calling that line for the rest of the time you're stationed there? Do you have to stop yourself from jumping the gun next time? Have you ever had a player try and intimidate you? (and if so, did it work?)

I guess a lot of this comes down to individual personality as well, but I've always thought it seemed like a tough job and in the heat of the moment things could get really interesting down on court.Where's AndrewD?:)

ta11geese3
01-27-2006, 12:29 AM
I've never called lines, but I have been to a few tournaments before. And it seems that on serves, line calls are... arbitrary. If it's around the line, then they'll let it go, unless they feel like calling it. I got the sense that at the pro level, it's not so much if you hit inside cleared, defined, boundaries, but rather you hit around guidelines which can get you in trouble sometimes =X

Either that or the view from way up is tricking my eyes. I doubt it though.

Deuce
01-27-2006, 01:22 AM
And how come none of you ever invited McEnroe or Connors to kiss your ass?

Sure - you would have been fired immediately, with little hope of ever doing the job again during your lifetime... but I think it would have been more than worth it.

Plus, someone would have probably made a movie about you.

unit-0
01-27-2006, 05:53 AM
Hi I have called atp and wta tournaments and I can tell you the people out there are doing there best under adverse conditions. The heat, attention span ,the pressure on the lines people from the crowd and the players, not to mention the replay,s. I have noticed in the last couple of years the speed of the ball has greatly increased. There was a few over rules by the chair umpire that where wrong and the lines person was right which causes second guessing by the lines person( undo pressure) and increases that line persons question of ability from the players and the crowd. I tip my hat too the lines people. Bring on electronic lines for major tournaments on the main courts. Whay happened at the sharapova match was sad too see, which in my oppinion caused her the match. If a lines person gets over ruled by the chair the lines person looks at the chair and eats it up because the chair is never wrong.( tongue and cheeck).

galain
01-27-2006, 05:27 PM
Thanks unit-o. At Baghdatis' first round match against Ginepri here his army of Greek followers would call out "LIAR!" whenever a close ball was ruled against their man.

I thought that was a bit harsh and can imagine it rattling people if it happened all through the match - no matter how tongue in cheek it might have been.

Yours!05
01-27-2006, 06:24 PM
I read that Line Judges for Slams come from all over the world. It seems to be a hobby for some - something to do as a break from work.
From what I've observed Chair Umpires are more likely to be influenced by "pressure" than random, ever-changing lines people. I watch with horror as time after time they abandon the simple protocol, always noted by commentators, of not overruling on the far side of the court. Sometimes even the favoured player looks surprised by it. And they're as often wrong as right. They are supposed to be "professional" and yet seem to be hasty and panic-driven. I also guess much of what they do is with an eye to where their next assignment will come from. And, much too frequently, they demonstrate unfamiliarity with the rules of tennis.
However there's no doubt that the sort of fan chanting we're seeing and hearing could distract anyone into a bad snap judgement. Hawk-Eye will deal with that. The several Chair Umps have been totally inconsistent in their "attempts" to stop chanters yelling between serves too.
I doubt Baggy will be able to convert his soccer fans into tennis pundits any time soon, LOL, so I guess "Liar Liar" and much else will continue.
I felt sorry for an elderly American couple in front of us who kept getting up and glaring quietly at them during the Roddick match. Probably paid lots of money to come and support Davenport and Roddick that day.
I'm thinking also that tourneys should consider a partial refund for patrons whose enjoyment is absolutely ruined by close proximity to such groups.
Dreaming on...and hoping I'm never close to this bunch, or the Swedes, or the Fanatics - though the latter two do tend to know tennis.

galain
01-27-2006, 06:35 PM
Thanks Yours05.

I need to make an amendment to my earlier post - I might Gimelstob, not Ginepri.

I agree that what we have here in terms of supporters are cut more from the cloth of soccer fans than tennis fans and I've seen it too, where they've been a bit too boisterous for their neighbours. But what do you do? They bought their tickets as well....

I class the Swedes a little differently. They really seem to be out to have a good time and I've not heard them being anywhere near as malicious with the comments as some of the Croation fans or even some of the local Aussie fans.

And there has to be something said for a cute bikini clad Swedish girl asking you to put sunscreen on her back and taking the time to teach you to chant in Swedish!

treo
01-27-2006, 06:40 PM
I've heard that pro linespeople judge by a different standard than USTA rec league rules. For Rec players any ball in doubt is fair. At the pro level doubt is not in the equation - it is either good or out. This makes the calls almost arbitrary. I think they need to use the same rules as us and any ball in doubt is good. If the ball is an inch out it could still be played rather than having it wrongly called out and turning the match.