Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, May 9, 2010.
Not according to some here who call people who foot fault "cheaters".
Well... I would like to think they would warn you before claiming points, and if there was doubt about the foot faults in question have a third party make future calls. If that is not possible then you would have to live with the opponents call like any line call you might not agree with.
I've never heard or seen any match where an opponent could a) call foot faults and b) take serves away and with it a point on a second serve call. That's why the USTA has the rules as they are. I couldn't imagine anyone going to play a USTA match after he/she gets off work and allow the opponent to yell "FOOT FAULT" at them an entire match LOL.
That's a ridiculous statement, you're projecting. I've never heard of anyone calling a foot fault when it didn't actually occur.
If someone called a foot fault on you, you should thank them for informing you or your negligence.
What kind of hell would you make your opponent pay? What if it were a roving-referee at a tournament--what kind of hell would you make them pay?
Isn't that what this whole thread is about..?
Agreed, it is just negligent behavior and not mayhem. Those who think it's just a technical violation and are resentful if called on it, would probably feel alright if someone parked a few inches into their driveway preventing them from exiting and making it to their league match.
They would probably go back in their house and stay home that day and not do or say anything about it--since parking "just" a few inches into someone's driveway is a technical violation and surely wouldn't inconvenience anyone and surely wouldn't result in their being towed away and fined.
OK, but what if the guy you were playing in a tournament the week before and you called for a footfault parked in your driveway the next week preventing you from making your match this week AND he said "NEE-NER-NEE-NER"?
I think in this case the USTA would mandate that you sleep with his wife if I read the rules correctly.
Sure, if she was cute.
Nope, no exceptions.
In fact I know this guy who purposely footfaults every week, then................
Yep, been called on it once.
I was playing mixed doubles in 3.5 league about 8 years ago and the guy receving the ball called me on it.
At the time I didn't think I was foot-faulting but did know that I had a tendency to move my left foot 2-3" slightly before making contact with the ball. I'd stand an extra 2-3" from the line just in case.
I recall taking exception to the call because how on earth is someone standing that far away that is supposed to be watching the ball toss going to know whether or not I was foot faulting. I actually did tell them that if the net person were calling it that I'd take it more seriously.
I always end up about a foot into the court but never go to net and I'm under 6' so it's not it's an advantage in any way shape or form.
I still don't think I was footfaulting at the time but it did make me look at my serve and gradually I've made it so that my left foot stays much more planted and that I don't have to stand that extra 2-3" behind the line. Planting my foot has also helped with getting a little more power into the serve and generally staying a bit more balanaced at ball contact.
I've recorded myself serving and have never (even then) found myself to footfault but I suppose that could have been due to actually concentrating on not doing it.
Yes, every rule should be followed but I do hope that people remember that this is a game and the majority of us are in fact not very good at it. I'm more concerned about opponents giving me the benefit of the doubt when they are making a line call from 30 feet away then I am with them foot faulting.
Regardless of whether you think you are right or wrong, if you **** them off then some of those close calls will not go your way. Pick your battles.
If you always look for evil in others, that is what you will find.
Look within yourself and root out the evil there.
I don't know how to respond to this statement. What would you call someone that is not playing within the rules? I understand it is not intentional... but does the police officer care if you didn't realize you were doing 50 in a 35 zone?
Don't get me wrong I have never called someone on a footfault though during my time I should have many times. I just felt even with that advantage I was going to beat them anyway.
My problem is that there are those... (and obviously a few posting here), feel that if you do call them on a foot fault that they are hard done by. That the person calling the infraction is the person in the wrong... (how dare they call me on a foot fault, I don't foot fault).
If you are a foot faulter, fix it... if your opponent calls you on it, make an adjustment, the line is there for a reason. If you cross the line on a bowling alley and the buzzer went off I don't think you would be trying to argue the point. There is a lot of room behind the service line to setup... so there shouldn't be an issue.
Ripper agree with what you say. Most foot faulting is not deliberate cheating it is just negligent behavior.. The key factor to me is the statement the player makes about his character when confronted with their errant behavior. Do they get defensive, combative, choke, fall apart?--or do they go forward and fix it?
I completely agree. Foot faulting is against the rules, but is not (usually) an attempt to cheat and gain unfair advantage. And when confronted with evidence of foot faulting, an honest player will accept it, and either fix it or accept the penalty.
But the problem is in providing the evidence. For example, if there is a line judge present and he/she calls a footfault, this should be accepted completely (unless your name is Serena). But when the footfault is being called by opponents on the other side of the net, it is much harder to accept, not because of doubting their sincerity, but because they are not in position to really see it:
1. They are typically concentrating on the ball / service motion, not the server's feet.
2. They are looking across the baseline from a distance, rather than down it.
3. They can't judge from there whether the server's feet are perhaps an inch off the ground versus actually touching the ground
Unless of course it is flagrant. Which is where all the argument comes in
Agreed... but they are in a better position to see it than the server. And I would suggest in a doubles match the receivers partner has a very clear view.
But I would offer... that like line calls you have to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt. Make an adjustment and move on.
This is somewhat an academic discussion, since in 5 years of league and tournament play I've never once had a footfault called on me, nor have I called a footfault on anyone else, nor have I witnessed any other footfault calls made by/against team-mates.
But apparently some people's tennis lives are much more dramatic and exciting than mine
I hear you... but I have the awful personal fault to have at least a few people agree with me before I can let an issue go.
Honestly, I've only had the one guy (story above) question my foot placement on the serve. It hasn't really come into play in any of my USTA matches or even competitive tournament play.
The only reason I'm sticking to my guns on this and being so bull-headed about this is that before our USTA district matches, the 3.0 teams were playing and there was one match where, even though the roaming officials were walking around, an opponent called a foot fault on his opponent for a game's worth of points. Because these people were so new to the game, nobody questioned it, but our 3.5 team (all of whom got moved up to 4.0 the next year) were there with our mouths wide open at the line caller's arrogance. We didn't want to say anything, but the attitude of entitlement by the caller was ridiculous.
I say, unless a foot fault blatantly helps the server's game out, play the point and try to win it fair and square. To win on technicalities is bush league and I am VERY dead set against it. Play the game, not the rules of the game.
tennis has foot judges for reason. because of opposition bias and angle distance is to far to call an correct 100%.
Get an official. Come finals chronic and flagrant footfaulters will be caught out big time.
I think you are missing the point.
While I would never call a footfault on an opponent, I realize that an opponent is well within the rules to call (or caution me for) a footfault.
When you take the court, you (implicitly) agree to play by the rules. Perhaps you (wisely) overlook certain rules, but that does not mean that your opponent is required to do the same.
If he makes this call, you have to deal with it in one way or another. Easiest way (in my opinion) is to back a few inches off the baseline, apologize, and continue play.
another thing, if i was ever called without a warning given first. the opposition better make sure their own foot isn't anywhere near that line.
That shouldn't be an issue. Per the code, you cannot just call a footfault. First you would have to warn the player. Second, you would have to attempt to get an official. Failing both of those remedies, only then could you call a footfault and then only if it is "flagrant". The code is pretty clear that flagrant means it is clear to the receiver.
So to hfmf's example, the player calling the footfaults was in violation of the code since there were officials available at Districts. If they were concerned about their opponent's footfaults, they should have gotten an official to watch the match. They had no right to make that call on their own.
In NorCal our local league rules allow us to call for court monitors, which are typically one player from each team, who can call footfaults. I have seen plenty of really egregious footfaulters clean up their act quickly when monitors were brought onto the court.
As I said above, when I am playing a match I don't look for or call footfaults - it isn't worth the argument and I don't want to lose focus on the match. I would just like to see people respond to a FF warning with some humility rather than hostility.
If an official is called in or someone is agreed upon to act as a stand-in official, where are they located in respect to play? Do they stand at the net-post or in line with the baseline on the server's side?
you are mistaken Kyle. YOu can call a footfault immediately. This what the code says:
"24. Foot Faults. A player may warn an opponent that the opponent has
committed a flagrant foot fault. If the foot faulting continues, the player may
attempt to locate an official. If no official is available, the player may call flagrant
foot faults. Compliance with the foot fault rule is very much a function
of a player’s personal honor system. The plea that a Server should not be
penalized because the server only just touched the line and did not rush the
net is not acceptable. Habitual foot faulting, whether intentional or careless,
is just as surely cheating as is making a deliberate bad line call."
Where it says "may", it means an option, that player does not have to do it. If the code said "shall", then that means the player is obligated to follow the code as stated.
Nope, you must warn and you must locate an official. From Friend At Court:
Thanks Cindy, I stand corrected.
Hey, it's not your fault. The wording in the Rules/Code is often not as clear as it could be.
I was adjacent to league mixed doubles match on Friday and all them foot faulted at one time or another.
Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, should be questioned long and hard regarding her views on foot faulting, past and present.
NO POLITICS EVEN IN JEST!!!!!
I agree, me bad. The foot-faulting issue is sensitive enough to effect vital national security interests. It's best left to the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the CIA for review and interpretation. This is complex. Maybe unmanned high-flying drones should be employed for pin-point accuracy?
What about the sideline? I see a player in doubles who routinely stands with his back foot outside the doubles sideline. ie wide of the court on his ad side serve.
I searched and can't find where it states the server is allowed to stand in regard to the imaginary sideline extension. Is it legal, or a foot fault?
One of my opponents in a recent 4.0 match was footfaulting like crazy. I didn't raise it, warn her or even tell my partner.
'Cause I didn't want to be That Guy.
Besides, she is really nice and maybe someday she'll help me get on a team. But not if start calling her for footfaults!
Seems like they made it up like they do with most things in your leagues.
The code addresses something similar where you can call it if it's flagrant and after you've tryed to contact an official.
Ironically though Ive been in a situation twice now where the opponents were either calling it on me or my partner, and luckily it was in a tournament and I was the one getting an official.
(usually the speel goes like this: "They are calling foot faults. Maybe we are doing it, and maybe we are not, Im not sure, but I dont trust those guys to call it.....")
www.usta.com (it has the rules on it somewhere)
You cant go over the baseline, the imaginary extension of the center hash mark, or the imaginary extension of the doubles sideline.
But "the sideline" is different depending on if it's singles or doubles. In doubles you can serve from behind the doubles alley, but in singles you can not.
Ah just the opening I was looking for.
Does this apply to a part of the body (most likely foot) touching the ground or does it apply to any part of the body encroaching in a three-dimensional sense into the space?
In other words, there are players who stand close to the imaginary extension of the center hash mark and as they serve they will bump against an imaginary vertical plane aligned with the center line. Some players noticeably bring their racquets in through the opposite side to create an angle.
Is this a violation.
You cant touch the ground on the line, or the imaginary extension of the line.
You can float in the air all you want. (with any of those lines or imaginary lines)
I had a guy at a tournament that thought I was "foot" faulting because I had a bad habit of bringing my right foot up and swinging it over the center hash on ad court serves. (but not touching the ground)
I went and got an official once he started to actually call it.
The rules are pretty clearly on www.usta.com, Im not sure how someone could say they "searched for them but didnt find them".
I don't even know how people can call foot faults. I'm always watching the ball and my opponent. If you can hit return winners while looking at your opponent's feet, you need to go up a level or two.
Another example of why I am skeptical of club players calling FFs correctly.
It has more credibility in doubles when the net man on the receiving side has a better view.
Can the net man call a FF or does it have to be the returner? (I think either can call)
Either can call of course. I would think you'd have a right to be more suspicious if the returner is calling it.
Unless the server is venturing several feet into the court or walks right into the court or is starting the whole motion while standing on the line (I know one guy that does that just to start an argument).
I know everyone says that everyone does it, and I know that you shouldnt do it.
But if depending on how you want to define "flagrant", that eliminates a lot of people. I know of only 3 or 4 people in my amateur tennis career that I would consider to be flagrant, and EVERYONE knows they do it, and THEY know they do it, and it does get called.
(it's flagrant because they either jump way into the court to get a head start or one guy is a lefty and he spins around and steps across in a sort of continuation of a circle which gives him a huge amount of lefty slice)
I agree. Bringing up foot faults in a tennis match often results in a nuclear response.
I had an opportunity to watch some really spectacular foot faulting the other day. The opponent server lined up right on the middle hash and would step over the middle to serve every time to the deuce court.
It wasn't even close he would cross the middle going into the same side that he was serving to all prior to throwing up the ball for the toss.
I probably should have said something, but since they were already hooking us on line calls I figured it would be a big fight for no benefit. (We had been breaking his serve every time)
That's exactly when you should be able to exercise your right to call it.
You cant do anything about the bad line calls, but foot faulting is actually your call to make.
From section 18 of the USTA rule nook
18. FOOT FAULT
During the service motion, the server shall not:
a. Change position by walking or running, although slightmovements of the feet
are permitted; or
b. Touch the baseline or the court with either foot; or
c. Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline with either
d. Touch the imaginary extension of the centre mark with either foot.
If the server breaks this rule it is a “Foot Fault”.
Thanks for your answer. The guy is definitely foot faulting then.
And when I said I did a search and couldn't find it, I meant on these boards. I could have sworn I read it somewhere here. That's why I asked in case the one who may have posted that info could answer.
I called one on myself Wednesday night.....the serve was a service winner(not returnable)
Our opponents said don't worry about it take the point, I said 2nd serve - it was blatant....
As for calling it against opponents I would only do so after multiple warnings and if the server was a serve and volley player and was gaining a clear advantage from the repeated violations....
Otherwise I would let the friendly recreational league match go on....most of the players in my mixed league foot fault a lot.....
It is a tough call tho, good thread.
I wonder if local league basketball players have heated debates on the nature of lane violations....
Nah, basketball players argue about 3 second calls and offensive fouls.
I can't tell you how many times illegal defense is called on the courts where I play. That is a tight call, but usually called correctly IMO.
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