Aaaaaaaaahhh!!!!!

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jc4.0, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    OK so I make a fairly loud sound when I hit the ball aggressively, but it's a consistent sound. I especially do it when chasing down lobs, which isn't my favorite thing to do. In today's league match, my partner and I were ahead 6-0, 5-2 and I was serving at 40-love. One of our opponents just loves to lob, in fact that is the only shot she brings. So she hits one more moonball, and I run it down. It was about a foot inside the line. I had to stretch a bit to return it, but I hit a beauty - a high, spinny ball that sailed 'way over the net person's head, and landed in the corner behind her. As I hit it, I grunted loudly because of the exertion. The other player tried to run it down, but couldn't get there. Match over, right?

    But when we went to shake their hands, they both complained that they thought I had called their shot out (they mistook the sound I made for an "out" call, they said), so "we stopped playing". They wanted to replay the point. We refused. Our position:

    1) I didn't yell "out". I screamed "AAAAAAAHHH!", which I had been doing for the previous 13 games. When I call a ball out, I say "OUT!" Clearly, and point with my finger.
    2) I didn't stop playing the ball, I hit a shot, then returned to ready position - it was their problem if they chose to give up on the point.
    3) My shot was a winner in any case. The baseline player did try to run it down, but she couldn't touch it. The net player had no chance at getting the ball, it was so high over her head - even if she jumped for it like Shaq O'Neill.

    What do you think? I felt bad that they went away thinking we aren't good sports, but we didn't think their "we stopped playing" argument held water, and we didn't think they were entitled to play the point over.
     
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  2. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    If you are talking as the ball is going towards your opponent (ie- after you hit it) then they are perfectly within their rights to call a hindrance and CLAIM the point- they don't even have to offer to replay it. But of course that gets into the discussion of whether the sound you were making was "as" you hit the ball or continued after. I'd say under the circumstances I would replay the point. But really if you were running down a lob- I'd have thought your noise from hitting the ball would be far later than when an out call would come. I mean If you were running it down and it fell within a foot of the line- the ball had to bounce up and come back down for you to hit it right? I mean thats you making contact a full second after the ball bounces... In that situation I don't see how there could be much misunderstanding. If you were at the baseline already and were making contact an instant after the ball bounced then sure- but not when running down a lob like you described.

     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
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  3. dudeman01

    dudeman01 New User

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    If your "AHH" and "out" calls sound similar, consider using your hand to clearly gesture out balls and be consistent in the way you call out balls to minimize confusion.

    Alternatively, you can also stop grunting and focus your energy more on hitting the ball.
     
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  4. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    I would side with your opponent. If it did in fact distract them, they have every right to claim a hindrance on you. It's fairly genorous that they didn't ask to claim the point, as a previous poster mentioned. You should have offered them the point, but at a minimum agreed to replay it.
     
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  5. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Their ball was clearly in - by at least a foot - and my noise was brief, it was just an breath exhalation as I hit the ball. The rule states that you can't make noise while the ball is on your opponent's side, and I didn't do that.

    When I call out, I clearly say OUT! and at the same time, gesture out with my finger. It's a DEFINITIVE call. The two sounds are completely different.

    Also there's my point that I didn't stop playing the ball - I clearly played a shot, and continued to focus on the ball until my clean winner hit their corner of the court. The only one of them who could have possibly made a play on my ball was the woman at the baseline. She tried to run it down, but failed to make contact - then she claimed she had "stopped playing", thinking I had made an out call.

    If I had made a weak defensive shot, in other words if I clearly saw the two of them stop playing, and back off an easy shot without trying to hit the ball, then I'd feel differently. I would have probably replayed the point.
     
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  6. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    jc4.0- once again... If you were chasing down a lob, wouldn't your contact (and the noise you make while contacting the ball) be significantly later than the ball bounced? I mean when I run down a lob that bounces a foot inside the service line I don't actually make contact with the ball until its near the fence since I need to let it drop back down to me. THis doesn't seem like a situation where you making noise as you make contact with the ball could ever be confused with an out call.
     
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  7. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Exactly right. This was a high, slow lob that everyone clearly saw hit well inside the lines (my body was of course behind the ball, not blocking it). I grunted as I hit the ball, a loud but brief sound that in no way resembled the word "out". I had made that sound a bunch of times during the match, so you'd think they should be used to it by that time!
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I would replay the point, even though I think you are technically correct to refuse.

    If they misheard your grunt as an out call, they could claim a hindrance. But that would require them not to play the ball. Since they did try to play the ball, I don't think they can claim hindrance and so you won the match.

    That said, I would replay the point anyway. I am a grunter. I think we grunters have to accept that sometimes our grunts will distract or confuse others. When someone in good faith tells me that my grunt or other communication caused a problem, I think it is fair for me to believe them and replay the point.

    I had an issue like this come up once. We were in a tough, close match. My partner was receiving serve, and it landed near the sideline but was in. She said something as she lined up her shot -- I can't remember what it was but it might have been something like "uh huh." She then fired a great topspin lob over the net person.

    Neither player moved -- they thought she had called the serve out. Her talking happened before she struck the ball and after the ball bounced, so I don't see how they can claim hindrance. Still, I agreed with my opponents that we should replay the point because I could see how they could have believed the sound was an out call.
     
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  9. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    If the questionable sound was an entire second after the ball bounced then thats really the important information. I do think its pretty reasonable to mistake a grunt from an out call for people who make ambiguous sounds very close to when the ball the ball bounces. But in this situation you are describing something where you were back by the fence when you made the sound. (but you don't actually say that... which is why I think that there must be something missing from the narrative)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
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  10. iankogan

    iankogan Rookie

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    jc, I happened to play a district playoffs match a week ago against your 'sound twin'. The guy would make a noise sounding a lot like 'Out!' a split second after hitting a ball. He did this randomly, mostly on 'tough' shots but not always. It was distracting and cost me a few points. I'm not saying that was gamesmanship on his part and I'm certainly not accusing you of gamesmanship, but please consider the effect your 'sound signature' might have on the other players. Anyone who played tennis for a while is 'conditioned' to react to an 'out' call. Please realize that even though it wasn't your intent, your opponents were forced to try parsing your vocalizations - which most likely was distracting, they didn't make that up...
     
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  11. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    You had a big lead, up 40-love, why not replay the point even though you were probably technically correct?

    Sounds like some of the "grunting" objections come from the losers after the last point of the match. Maybe they've been putting up with the noise and masking irritation, but can't hold it in anymore on that last point.

    Shaquille O'Neal doesn't jump all that well, but he doesn't have to, being 7 feet whatever.

    Finally--grunting ain't ladylike. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I guess the narrative is somewhat confusing. You say you make the sound consistently, but especially on lobs. Is it consistent on all shots or is it not?

    You also say that your lob grunt of "Aaaah" doesn't sound like "out." I can see how the two things could sound similar.

    Also, the "clean winner" argument doesn't carry the day here, IMHO. If you lob, I can cross and take that ball as an approach volley IF I am already on my way in or take off quickly. If I hesitate at all because I think I hear an out call, I won't get there.

    Regarding the timing of the bounce and the sound, people make out calls at all sorts of different times in relation to the bounce. Some people make out calls as they are hitting. Also, it's not reasonable to expect your opponents to ignore what they hear and wait for a finger call -- you are trying to hit the ball so your fingers are busy.

    Eh, I would have replayed the point, personally.
     
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  13. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Seriously, just replay the point.

    They may have just been sour with the loss but so what, I'd rather give them the benefit of the doubt with the potential confusion than play into the drama.

    If you make a lot of noise on the court, that's fine but go into it knowing that it can cause confusion in close situations even if that's not your intent. Be ready for it and accept that an opponent may feel hindered by the noises and you may need to replay a point here or there.
     
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  14. Satch

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    #14
  15. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Semi-Pro

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    Was the AHHHH really necessary? Grunting is called for, but I personally dislike screamers. Only on court though. ;)
     
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  16. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    If your Aaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!! sounds like Ouuuuuuuuuuttt!!!!, change it. Your opponents have a point--though a belated one.
     
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  17. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    If this is true, point is yours. You shouldn't feel bad.

    I still think people that grunt loudly are A-holes, but it seems to be allowed, even at the highest levels.
     
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  18. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I guess a case can be made to replay the point, except that I know for a fact that I didn't call the ball "out" - in fact I played the ball, and only made the "aaah" sound after their ball hit the court, as I was hitting it; I would never have attempted a serious shot if I thought the ball was out. I would have instead called "out" and quit playing myself; but this ball was clearly in by about a foot. I think the best advice is, don't stop playing the point until the point is over. Don't assume that a sound someone makes regularly when hitting the ball means "out". If you quit playing and give up on the point, that's your decision; same as if you think the ball is going out and don't hit it, but then it falls in and you lose the point. Your mistake. According to the rules, the match was over.

    Whether grunting is ladylike or not doesn't concern me at all. I'm an aggressive player - and this loud exhale helps me hit the ball better. I'm not out there to look for dates <;o}
     
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  19. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    jc4.0 Lots of people call the ball out right as they are hitting it... and on close plays where the bounce and the contact with your strings are close then I can easily see where there would be a misunderstanding and a let is appropriate.

    But if you were making contact back by the fence like you would trying to track down a lob then I don't at all see how there could have been a misunderstanding. Thats why something in your version of the story doesn't make sense.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
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  20. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Yup, just tell everyone to "bugger off". You're "doing your thing".

    When I swing I either scream "oooooooouuuuuuuttttttt" or "fffffffffuuuuuuuucccccccckkkkkkkk ooooooooooffffffffffffffffffff".

    I'm an aggressive player and this helps me hit the ball better.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You have to consider these things from the other person's POV.

    They may not be able to see that the ball was clearly in by a foot. We all know how hard it is to see these things at the opposite baseline.

    That you kept playing is also beside the point. It is quite common -- indeed, I would say too common -- for players to hit out balls. And remember, after you hit the ball, they aren't watching to see whether you relax and stop playing. They are watching the ball.

    That you only made the sound after their ball hit the court cuts against you. Out calls are supposed to be made after the ball hit the court. If you had made your sound before the ball bounced, you would actually have a better argument.

    As for the advice you give not to stop playing until the point is over . . . from their perspective, the point was over because their ball bounced near the baseline, and they heard a sound that resembled "Out."

    What I don't understand is why the opponents gave up the point. Maybe they figured they'd never dig their way out of such a huge hole. Had the score been closer, you might have had a problem on your hands.
     
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  22. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    You have completely contradicted yourself here yknow. Of course I would only make an out call after the ball hits the court, that's the rule. I also only make my noise AS I HIT THE BALL, and that in this case was after the slow moving lob hit the court and bounced up high. Why would I exhale before the ball bounced, unless I'm hitting it out of the air, which as I have explained was not the case? You can't call a ball out if it hasn't hit the court.

    The sound I made in fact did not resemble "out", it was my normal sound and they had heard it at least a dozen times up to that point. Their ball was not near the baseline, it was at least one foot in. This team simply made a mistake, then tried to cover for it by saying they "quit playing". In fact, I had hit a winner on them and there was no way either one of them could have made a play on this shot that I hit. One of them even tried to return it, failed, then later stated that she "had stopped playing". She only stopped playing when she missed the shot, then the other one said "we heard you call out". I think they were pretty desperate to win a point.

    You're right about one thing - they'd never have won this match, not in a million years.
     
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  23. AceKing

    AceKing New User

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    ^^LOL!!


    I am an aggressive player also, and I swing very hard (mostly to my own detriment). I don't grunt & don't understand why people do. I especially don't understand why someone would grunt while hitting a "high, spinny ball that sailed 'way over the net person's head".

    My lack of understanding aside, I know it's not against the rules to grunt. . . that's not really the case here. The problem here is that you made a vocalization that sounded like "out" to your opponents. If your opponents are having trouble deciphering your grunts from out calls, I'd say you should change the way you grunt.
     
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  24. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I can't change the fact that I exhale loudly when I hit an aggressive shot (and running down a lob can make me do that - you can't just tap the ball back across, you have to drive it high and deep to give yourself time to get back into position). What I maybe can do is, next time before a league match, tell people that I make a loud sound sometimes when I hit an aggressive shot, but that when I call "out" it will sound like the word "out". Which it does. Any moron could tell the difference. These guys were making an excuse for the poor match they played. They deserved to lose, and just should have sucked it up instead of trying to make us out to be the bad guys.
     
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  25. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    +1

    I think the OP is completely in the right in this case. But still I would replay the point just because I don't like walking off the court under those circumstances.
     
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  26. decades

    decades Guest

    you grab every point like it is the last you will ever play. shoulda played two.
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You used the word "I" many times. This is because you are viewing this situation only from your POV. That's a problem.
     
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  28. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    You asked us what we thought. Don't ask a question you don't want the answer to.

    I'm with jswinf and OrangePower. You may be technically correct, but defending it to death won't win you any friends. Just replay the point, win the match and skip the drama.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    As I said, I am a grunter. One of my partners is also a big grunter.

    Whenever she plays a match, she starts off by telling her opponent not to confuse her grunts with out calls. She cautions them that she will be very clear in her out calls and will also wave a finger. She has told me she gives this speech precisely because people claim they get confused by her grunts, and the confusion tends to happen on big points and can happen late in matches.

    Eh. She can give the speech if she wants, but I still think that if an opponent claims genuine confusion I would want us to replay the point. I do not think it is reasonable to expect opponents to internalize the pre-match speech and override their natural tendency to stop playing when they think there has been an "out" call.

    I don't want us to take any point we didn't earn fair and square, and if our annoying grunting is confusing our opponents then that is not fair to them.

    If I were on the other side and someone gave me the speech, I would probably respond with: "OK, I'll keep that in mind. But please understand that if your grunt sounds like an out call, we may have to replay a few points if it hinders us."
     
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  30. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    I call B.S. Exhaling is not the problem. Yelling "AHHHH" is the problem. Don't do it.

     
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  31. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Not being there its hard for us to make a firm call on what should have been done but after reading this entire thread it sounds like the OP dosnt really want to hear our real opinions and only want us to reaffirm their belief that the the point was theirs.

    OP please dont ask for opinions if you only want to hear one thing.

    On a side note since I wasnt there I dont know for sure what the right call is but I can say that I think being up 6-0, 5-2 and 40-0 serving for the match I would not have had a problem replaying the point, I find it best not to be an @ss when I am beating someones @ss.
     
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  32. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I entered this post because I did want some opinions, and I got them. I do take what you guys say into consideration, otherwise I wouldn't bother. On the other hand - everyone who responded seems to be an outright know-it-all - and you weren't even there! Talk about some toxic egos! I think this question, and its solution, has two sides.

    Also I get the impression that each of you plays tennis in neatly pressed whites, and never utters a sound when hitting a ball - the court is so silent when you're playing, a pin drop would be heard. Anytime your opponent comes up with a lame excuse to replay a point, you just give it to them, no matter how ridiculous their position.

    I'm a great sport on the court, but I don't take BS from anyone. Sure it's a friendly game, but some players like to "play" you for an unfair advantage, and if you let them get away with it - you're just a doormat.
     
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  33. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    OP: guess you didnt read my entire post
     
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  34. InsideOutBackhand

    InsideOutBackhand New User

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    I think the OP got it right the first time. I wouldn't have conceded to a replay or allow them to claim the point. As soon as the opponent attempted to make a play on the lob, they pretty much accepted that the ball was still in play. If they had a issue with the grunt, they should have called the let immediately.

    And I realize that isn't much time for them to make a decision. But I liken this to someone being genuinely distracted by a ball on the court but continue to make a play on the ball and then call a let when they miss.
     
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  35. 813wilson

    813wilson Rookie

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    JC -

    I'm confused. You say you're a great sport on the court. You were up 6-0, 5-2(40-love). Being a great sport you would have replayed the point. Here is my confusion:

    "fairly loud sound when I hit an agressive shot"
    "especially when chasing down lobs - not my favorite thing..."
    "stretch a bit" that is not exertion.
    "I didn't yell..." "I screamed...." which of those two is "fairly loud".
    Do you really "drive it high and deep" when hitting a lob?

    I'm sorry, but winning that decisively, beingthe good sport you are - play it over.

    The good news is: nobody had a change in income due to the match...
     
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  36. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I don't think there is any official rule that says you cannot make a loud exhalation when hitting the ball. That's what I do consistently on aggressive shots, but it's truly not an obnoxious sound, it's not like you hear on the tour from players like Azarenka or Sharapova, want to make that understood.

    I have heard some good arguments here for replaying a point like this - to replay it because I have pity on my opponents, who are clearly struggling to stay in the match - but honestly, if the situation occurred again, I wouldn't replay it just because they thought my grunt sound was an "out" call - it certainly wasn't, it didn't resemble the word "out". I played their shot, made a clean winner, and one of them actually tried to return my ball, but failed to do so. The net person (who did not have a play on the ball) said she "stopped playing" and that may have been the case, but they had lost the match at that point, pure and simple.

    When you're playing a league match, you have to do what you think is correct, not give your opponents a break just because you feel sorry for them.
     
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  37. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Why is it that when people post a thread like this one, that starts with a position they're likely to defend but equally they ask what others think... that when others post what they do think, that it almost always ends up with the position being vigorously defended.

    If you feel as certain as you sound below, why ask what others think in the first place (unless it's just because you want others to agree so you feel ok about your decision?)

    Edit: Oh my. I posted the above without reading the entire thread. Whilst it seems some of what I'd written has been said (especially by cknobman), then I read this:

    So wait, you're saying other people have toxic egos and are know-it-alls, and yet you think this has two sides? Read what you wrote above that I highlighted in red. Doesn't sound two-sided, does sound pretty toxic (moron / poor match / deserved to lose).

    Wow, just because people disagree with your take (despite you asking them what they thought), they must therefore be somehow extreme and pathetic? I'm as much a fan of reductio ad absurdum as the next guy, but that's ridiculous.

    If the opponents did this at 6-7 down in a breaker, I'd call it being played. If they did this when they did - sounds pretty genuine to me.

    Judging by your posts in this thread, I'm willing to bet you're not the 'great sport' you claim to be.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
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  38. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    What I don't care for is the Straw Man who is waltzing all over the place.

    "The rest of you play in tennis whites and are as quiet as a church mouse, I guess." No, I already told you that I am a grunter, and I accept that I may have to replay some points (or forfeit them outright if they are a true hindrance) because of my own bad habit.

    "I don't give out Pity Points." I didn't suggest you replay the point out of pity. I suggest you replay the point out of fairness due to the confusion you unwittingly caused. I would have said you should do the same thing if you had been the ones who were hopelessly behind with little chance to win. That's what sportsmanship is all about.
     
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  39. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Actually the reason I would replay this point would be purely based on my own self interest. In fact I think you said it yourself in your original post:

    Given that you would have won the match anyway (had such a commanding lead), a good reason to replay it is to avoid any bad feelings.

    Now if the match was tighter and the outcome potentially in the balance, then you'd need to weigh up your desire to be a good sport with your desire to ensure a win. But in this case it's an easy decision.
     
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  40. Totai

    Totai Professional

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    QFE. Well said Orange
     
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  41. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, you just saved me 10 minutes of having to write the same thing.
     
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  42. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    thanks

    I reserve the right to disagree with anyone. While I appreciate the postings here, I don't see anything here that would have changed my decision on court; I'm not being stubborn, just don't see anything that makes me change my mind.

    Thanks for weighing in, it has given me some things to think about, like maybe I'll tell people before the match that I make a sound sometimes when I hit the ball. That way, there won't be a situation where they complain that I exhale loudly when I hit the ball.

    I think that when you're playing someone who does something that annoys you (and who hasn't been faced with that, and often) - you just have to suck it up. Play within yourself, and play your own game. Stop focusing on the things your opponent is doing that makes you crazy.
     
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  43. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    #43
  44. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Thread politics aside, I'm inclined to generally agree with the OP.

    I despise grunting (particularly by the pros...it's disgusting)...but for most of us, it's human nature at some point during athletic pursuit. Earlier on in my playing, I can think of a few times, I (or my partner) stopped playing because we thought our opponents called something "out" but later discussion usually ended up with us saying something like "our bad." Consequently, we sometimes play a rally one ball/stroke more...just to make sure. If they really called the ball out the first time, they'll stop the point and call it out again.

    Given the score/situation, you might have offered to replay it...but, eh, as mentioned earlier, it probably wouldn't have changed the match outcome...just the perceived one (of ill-gain).
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
    #44
  45. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    You beat them 6-0, 6-2 and they were complaining that you made a sound when you hit a winner on the last point? I think they are bad sports.
     
    #45
  46. Winky

    Winky Guest

    I think the OP is looking for responses which reaffirm that which he already believes. ;)
     
    #46
  47. dudeman01

    dudeman01 New User

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    Yet, you are posting to seek validation to justify your behavior in a match. Umm, irony much? Yeah, you do what you want to do, but if you're somehow surprised by an opinion not to your liking, then don't put it out there.
     
    #47
  48. Sandwichman

    Sandwichman Rookie

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    Yeah, you're supposed to just replay the point. One time before I knew this rule, I was down 7-8 in the third set tiebreak, and my opponent, who hadn't grunted all match, made a noise that I thought was "out." After I stopped play and asked him if he had called it out, since it was clearly in, he said, he had just grunted. Not knowing the rule, I conceded that point. The worst part was that there was an official right next to me supervising the match.
     
    #48
  49. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    What rule are you referring to? There's no rule against grunting at any time (ask Azarenka - hers are completely obnoxious). In my case, I make the same sound every time I hit an aggressive shot, so these guys had heard that sound many, many times. They had also heard my "out" call a number of times, which sounds like this: "OUT!"

    I still say - don't stop playing a point until the ball hits the court, and is clearly ruled out. If you're not sure what you heard, keep playing...

    I don't think next time, you should concede the point if playing on a league or in a tournament. If it's strictly a "friendly" match, you could replay it, however your probably have heard all the sounds your friends make so that wouldn't be an issue. I ignore "rules" all the time when playing with my friends.
     
    #49
  50. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Put me down in the column for replaying the point.

    It is one thing if you grunt on everyshot, but if you only grunt every now and then, I can see how that could confuse your opponent.

    You can stick with your attitude and have an episode like the above every now and then or change your grunting so that either you do it more consistently or another sound that does not sound like "aaaaah".

    But I get a feeling you are going to do whatever you want no matter what anyone says here, so good luck to you.
     
    #50

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