Awful behavior on the courts

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Woolybugger, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    At last weekend's Texas Zone Area Tournament (ZAT) 12 boys, I saw some appalling behavior from the junior that leads me to ask - Why does tennis bring out the worst in people?
    1) 3 different kids crying, sobbing, after losing an early-round match.
    2) Parents coaching from the stands against the rules. One dad was yelling at the opponent, an 11yr old boy, for calling a ball out after 2 rallies had passed. The opponent broke down, sat on the court and cried while his kid just stood around. Went on for 10mins until he regained his composure and continued. The yelling dad was unapologetic.
    3) Kid arguing with the official about a line call. I saw it was clearly in by 1 foot, kid kept arguing was out. Official stood his ground. Kid lost the match 2 point later and cussed out the official in spanish, shook his fist and stormed off the court. His dad patted him on the back.
    4) Dads standing behind the back fence secretly coaching their kids.

    Parents.... what are you teaching your kids?
     
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  2. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    Do not be surprised. It looks like you are beginner tennis parent. Cheating in junior tennis is a huge problem around the world.
    Just teach your kid be honest and play with confidence.
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    1 is not awful behavior, just disappointment. Federer cried in public after losing to Nadal in the AO, and after losing to Blake in the Olympics singles. Vera Zvonereva was known for crying in her early days.

    2 is first the kid's fault for calling a ball out after two more shots had been played. He cannot do that, and someone has to tell him it is not acceptable. But shouting at the kid is not acceptable, but would the kid have retracted otherwise?

    3 It is OK to challenge an official's call - pros do it all the time. That is why Hawk-Eye was invented. Keeps the official honest. Rest of the behavior is not acceptable.

    4 is not acceptable
     
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  4. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Suresh, after 20,000 posts it is considered honorable to stop trolling.
     
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  5. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    Sorry to tell you this, Woolybugger, but what you describe as appalling is just a day at the office - particularly at the higher level tournaments. Sadly, the four items you listed are EXTREMELY COMMON. :( I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes - way, way, way too many times. :(
     
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  6. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Those four points are just the begining...
     
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  7. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Suresh in the junior thread, must be a slow day.
     
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  8. Wuppy

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    #8
  9. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Crying, being emotional and acting up is part of being a kid. They are not to blame. It's the parents that we should be worried about. Bad behavior by parents shouldn't be tolerated - by other parents, TD's, or the USTA. Shouldn't be... but it is. Don't expect it to change.
     
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  10. anhuynh16

    anhuynh16 Hall of Fame

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    I assume this is one of your child's and your first tournaments? Well I'm also in Texas but in supers. Let me tell you know, it's a lot worse in supers. You WOULDN'T want to know details haha
     
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  11. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    Kids are going to behave as poorly as their parents will allow. Officials need to pull the trigger on warnings and point penalties much earlier and not try to talk so much to the kids because then the kids feel like they can talk their way out of situations. If a parent becomes involved in a match verbally the kid receives a warning or point penalty. This will keep things under control most of the time.
     
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  12. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    Well said.
     
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  13. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    Yes, my kids are new to competitive tennis and I'm beginning to see that tennis is very adversarial, dog-eat-dog, win at all costs. No wonder there's so much cheating, bad behavior and mind games. It starts when young and goes all the way to the pros, and vice versa - kids pick up what the pros do and think it is cool to throw tantrums, smash racquets and yell at umpires.

    Many of you say the bad behavior is common, and is even worse than what I've witnessed. Question to you is - will you perpetuate the normal or go against the crowd and do the right thing? Why can't players treat each other with respect and consideration while still playing their best tennis? Does common decency and manners get left on the sidelines during the game?
     
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  14. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Wait until college tennis. Even when there's a chair, it's bad.

    Parents and coaches just have to hold the kids accountable for their actions and emphasize winning or losing with dignity and class. Until everyone is united on that, there will be jerks at every tournament.
     
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  15. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    It's been my experience that cheating stems from bad parents/academy/coaches.

    Really sad to see college kids cheat, I mean they are now adults, no excuse for that behavior.
     
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  16. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Truth on a bagel with lox.
     
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  17. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I played as a junior, and am now a grad student. So, I've been in matches in the juniors where the behavior was simply diabolical. The other posters are right. You're going to get more childish behavior in the 12s and 14s. Once you get into the 16s, you'll see that the kids start to get a bit more feisty. Once you're in the 18s, truly anything is possible. I've seen thrown chairs, broken net straps, verbal abuse...at the audience, racquets thrown into trees (although the kid's parent whom I still know made him go into the site's facilities, request a ladder and go get it himself before he played another point. Gave props for that one), and any kind of cheating you can imagine.

    You know the "if you can't agree on the score, go back to the score you both recall" rule? Yeah, server is up 30-0 having served two aces, hits an unreturnable serve for 40-0. Opponent calls out 40-30 just prior to the serve. Official is called. I'm on the next court having just won my game. My opponent, who is a fantastic guy who I still hit with whenever I'm at home, just stare in amazement as after 10mins of deliberations, they start the game over at 0-0. Server's parents are in uproar, returner's parents are siding with their kid. Server loses the game 0-40, but luckily wins the match since the official is now watching.

    The point of my story is this: you cannot change your opponents' behavior. You can change your kid's behavior. You teach him and instill in him values of respect and sportsmanship above all else. If there are two cheating calls, let the first go with a stare to show you know it was a bad call. Question the second. Official on the third. Cheaters crack once called on their mistakes by an official watching. You simply need to enforce those tools at your disposal because as you said: it's ugly out there. It isn't this bad in college tennis, although I have seen some pretty petty behavior. I'm sad to say that it usually stems from their junior experiences. Luckily, our guys are great and don't pull this kind of nonsense...probably because the coach is massive and could twist them into a pretzel if they tried to :D

    Oh, and most importantly: cheaters do get what's coming to them. Parents, tourney directors and coaches quickly learn who is a great sportsman/woman, and who is not. Seen it numerous times, and you'll really see this in the bigger tennis areas like Florida and California where even if your kid loses to a cheater, an academy director or coach will talk to your kid about an offer instead. That is not uncommon; no one wants to be associated with a cheater. The thing about college tennis is since many kids are international, that's a lot harder to screen for the non-US students.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
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  18. HIGH-TECH TENNIS

    HIGH-TECH TENNIS Rookie

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    Nothing changes if nothing changes. It's very distressing, to be sure---but suggest you get used to it because it might be hard to believe but it is true: this goes on at every single one of the higher level tournaments. :(
     
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  19. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    I am sorry you had witnessed bad children and parents' behavior early. I have attended from junior team tennis to national level 1 tournament matches,...between the 2 daughters, about 10 years now.
    Here is my 2 cents:

    1. Crying when lost are commonly seen when they are younger. Tennis match can put a lot of pressure on individual youngster. Parent-child competition or team tennis is a good start for less pressure competition.

    2. Cheating occurs at every level but it is not that bad. You also see a lot of great tennis gestures and etiquette at every level ie. clapping at your opponent's great shot, handshake at the end win or lose because both sides had tried their best, etc.

    Teach children to follow the right examples.

    3. My observation is kids who cheated and would not tell the truth when being confronted......often ended up losing the next point.
    Guilt played a role in that.

    However, I had seen bad ones that would lie or make up stories about the points won when asked by ref, changing scores, etc. Those are "pathological liar" and they will have problems in their lives in the future.
    Better be someone else's kids than yours!

    Teach your children to try their best and to win "fair and square".
    Btw, finals in high level tourneys have chair umpires. Cheaters cannot cheat their ways to the top.

    4. Parents misbehavior is everywhere and in every sport. I do not think tennis is worse. Parents should all try to behave and set good examples for the children.

    5. Parent coaching happens at every level. If you see it, confront the person or tell the ref.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
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  20. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    just a tiny bit of olive oil, three slices of the best tomatoes, one slice of red onion and some freshly ground black pepper.

    I was thinking how 'down to a science' the hooking is in college ball. Seems like the coaches know it, too, the way the players hook on the far line but not on the line the chair can see. If they devoted some of their court sense to playing rather than hooking, I think it would just about even out.
    Officials seem so tuned out of it, too, almost like they are bought and paid for. I'm not 'officially' sayin' that, naturally. Just what it looks like sometimes.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
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  21. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Sounding off on a forum is a step in the right direction as you'll get some guidance and options.

    I would encourage you to file a grievance with the section. The repeat offenders must be put on notice. If another kid is victimized by the same chronic cheater (kid or parent), have that parent file a grievance. Just the facts and no emotion. I've seen this work. Preface your grievance with something along the lines... "the following grievance is entirely my opinion and is based on my interpretation of the match" or something along those lines.

    If that approach is to radical for your liking, have your coach reach out to his coach. These coaches are professionals and don't want to be associated with having a clientele renowned for cheating.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  22. High Rustler

    High Rustler New User

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    We all know what the rule books say, but this in inherently subjective topic. My $.02 as a tennis parent, I just keep MY mouth shut during the match. I will silently do the fist pump to my child when he wins a big point, and occasionally I will make a motion that means let ball drop before you hit it, or swing through your shot (he will bunt from time-to-time), is that illegal coaching? That's about it. I don't correct score whether against, or for. I don't verbally cheer the other player. If the other kid shows a lot of integrity on the court I will say so AFTER the match, to both the parent and the kid, which I do 1/2 to 1/3rd of the time.

    My kids know better than to cry, throw tanthems, etc. They will occasionally "Grrrrrr" loudly or holler at themselves on a bad shot but thats about it. They will make bad calls BOTH ways. I haven't yet seen a match that didn't have a bad call in it, both my son and the other player. Both have been hooked, and it's a shame, but there is nothing that can be done about it, so we move on.
     
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  23. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    EXCELLENT ADVICE!

    Your sectional wants to hear from you when a boy/girl cheats, curses, throws their racquet, hits someone outside the court with a ball, etc., etc. etc.

    Why? That kid is a bad reflection on their own section.

    My son once played a kid who had a terrible reputation.
    ( younger kid, we didn't know him or his reputation).
    Parents came running up to me before the match to forewarn me,
    and I just said thanks, but there is nothing I can do.....

    The match started, and guess what? There was a ref on his court before it even began.
    Why? That many parents complained about this boy.

    Now, that is one positive experience in a sea of many bad experiences...
    And you know what Wolybugger, there have been a lot of terrible things I have witnessed in junior tennis
    ( an 18 year old getting angry and hitting the ball out of the court into a little girl's head sitting in the bleachers)

    So, I am not telling you that by reporting bad behavior to your section,
    that it is a magic pill, and all the bad behavior will be gone.
    It won't.

    But, it is a dent into bad behavior.
    And if all the good parents work together, the dent can be bigger.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
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  24. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    High Rustler,

    "We all know what the rule books say, but this in inherently subjective topic."

    I truly am mystified by what that means?

    We all know the speed limit, but we break the law and speed anyway?

    We all know it is illegal to text while driving, but your son does it anyway and kills a pedestrian?

    Rules are rules for a reason.

    "...and occasionally I will make a motion that means let ball drop before you hit it, or swing through your shot (he will bunt from time-to-time), is that illegal coaching?"

    Yes, hand signals = illegal coaching.
    And if I witnessed you doing that, even if your kid was on a different court than mine, I would report you to the tournament director.


    I haven't yet seen a match that didn't have a bad call in it, both my son and the other player.

    Not one match?

    And I would say most of the kids do make good calls. My son has never had a call questioned, and I am going to venture that a lot of parents would say the same. So, saying your son has had some bad calls himself should raise a red flag for you.

    These kids are not going to be professional tennis players. Sorry.

    So, the lessons they learn here will carry over into the work place and their family life (spouse).
    Help them to make good, fair decisions by talking to them in advance about the values of honesty and integrity.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
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  25. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Bad Calls, Honest Mistakes

    Every "bad call" is not cheating, there is something called an honest mistake. Sometimes they just don't see it they way we do. In fact, watching a match from the sides we have a much better view of whether a ball is long or not than they do. I get so frustrated watching my daughter play serves that are 6 inches long instead of calling it out but unfortunately, given her height an perspective, that a very difficult call to see, so she gives them the benefit of the doubt, as she should, and plays it. It works out becuase most of her opponents will play her serve when its obviously long(to us on the side lines). The kids on the court actually have a better view of whether of whether balls are wide or not than we do, unless we are sitting behind the court.

    In any case, I find it difficult to believe that your son has never been accused of making a bad call. My daughter has on several occasions that I have witnessed run into players accusing her of making bad calls where the ball was clearly out from both my and her perspective, but the other accusing player was erroneously convinced otherwise. On some of these occasions my daughter let her self be intimidated and gave into her opponents demands. Like I said, every "bad call" is not cheating, i think honest mistakes and false accusations are just as if not more common.
     
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  26. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I agree that every bad call is not cheating. Bad calls are just part of the game. It happens in all junior athletics. Whenever I hear a parent or kid complaining about how they got hooked by their opponent, I just walk away as I find it to be a real turnoff.

    It's the responsibility of the parent to teach junior how to deal with Harry the Hook. When my kid used to go down that path (never happens anymore), I just cut him off.
     
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  27. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    tennis5: great advice. thanks you!
    high rustler: hand signals is illegal coaching. there is nothing subjective about it. just go ask any ref at a tournament and he will tell you so.
    alohajrtennis: absolutely agree that honest mistakes happen, line calls and score keeping. we should give ppl benefit of the doubt instead of accusing them of cheating.
     
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  28. Mitch Bridge

    Mitch Bridge Rookie

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    Cheating is the worst part of junior tennis. We all collectively need to work on helping our kids handle it in a manner that is acceptable behavior-business-like. The parents and/or coaches that tell their kids to cheat "because everyone else cheats" are impossible to deal with, so we need to help change the behavior of the kids. Beating cheating kids is an excellent remedy!
     
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  29. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Yes, I agree every bad call is not cheating.

    I was responding to a poster that said they hadn't "seen a match that didn't have a bad call in it, both my son and the other player."

    In regards to your daughter playing out serves and giving the opponent the benefit of the doubt, I think that is good sportsmanship.

    I am sorry that you find it difficult to believe that my son has never been accused of making a bad call.

    He is not the kind of kid where the ball lands an inch out, and he calls it out.

    If it is near the line, he plays it. Probably, also due to the speed of the ball as it moves very fast with the older boys.

    He also has won numerous sportsmanship awards.

    But that's ok..... When I first tried to tell the board about the rule changes coming up, others found that "hard to believe" too.

    Too the point where I was accused of being an USTA insider and also making it up...

    Of course, now none of the young kids will ever experience a Winter National or an Easter Bowl in their junior lifetime,
    so unfortunate that it was "hard to believe" when we really needed the parents on this board to spread the word.

    So, this is just a typical day on this board.

    Which is why I don't post as much here anymore either.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
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  30. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Tennis5 - relax, I wasn't attacking you or your child. I'm just staying in addition to the 'cheater', there's another personality type out there - the kid with the Ego who thinks his balls are never out and that the other kid must be cheating. Even when his balls are obviously six inches out, he walks up to the net and says "are you sure ?" and gives the stink eye. When he loses, its cause the other kid hooked him. Always aggreived. Maybe your kid has not played this kid yet but he will. Even though he doesn't cheat your child may at some point be accused of cheating, no matter how close he plays the balls. It has nothing to do with him.
     
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  31. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, that's illegal coaching.

    Just stay out of the matches.
     
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  32. High Rustler

    High Rustler New User

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    I do not think you are being realisitc tennis5. Do you really beleive your kids make perfect calls?
     
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  33. High Rustler

    High Rustler New User

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    Really? Never one match with a "are you sure?" Is that what you are saying? I suppose the "red flag" is that I tried to honest and objective.
     
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  34. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I do not think it is a typical day on the Board for someone to say, as you do, that "none of the young kids will ever experience a Winter National or an Easter Bowl in their junior lifetime..."

    In fact, I think you are the only one who posts stuff like this.

    Tournaments like Winter Nationals and Easter Bowls are not entitlements....even for those who win sportsmanship awards. They are special achievements that require special talents and special work ethics.

    Any young players out there who think you have these attributes......go for it. The journey, itself, will be its own reward!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
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  35. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    I must be doing a poor job communicating what is in my head and then typing it out here as everyone is confused by my writing today...
    I am sure that it could be labeled some type of learning disability and if I was a kid I have extra time on my tests.....

    No, my son does not make perfect calls. If the ball is near the line, he plays it.
    It might be two inches out, he plays it.

    Never an issue with the opponent on that, however, my son plays a lot of out first serves and that is an issue.
    (Now, he would tell you the ball is coming so fast, it is hard to see.)
    So my son returns an out first serve ( 6 inches out) to his opponent, but his opponent is not expecting it...
    Then the opponent is late hitting it and says to my son, "But, my serve was out".
    And then my son will say, "Well, I played it".

    Curious if this is a common problem that other kids have in terms of having difficulty telling if the first serve is in or out?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
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  36. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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    ---------------
     
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  37. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    Very common. I think its just a matter of geometry and perspective. If you look at it from their perspective, unless they almost a full grown adult, it nearly impossible to be sure some of the balls that was just out was actually long - they are looking at it head on and can't be sure the back of the ball didn't hit the line. What is obvious from the sideline is not obvious when you are looking at it straight on from a height of 5'. Simply put, they just don't have a good angle to make the call. Kudos to them for playing it.
     
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  38. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Sorry, this is my bad. The thread is about cheating, and I went way, way off topic about the rule changes
    ( That I posted months in advance of passage on this forum and relatively few people acted on it in terms of voicing complaints).

    Yes, Mr. Bill, of course, the Winter Nationals and Easter Bowl are not entitlements, you have to earn your right to get in there...
    That is unless, you are a PD player and you get a wild card in... ( and folks check out how some of those worked out for the last 16's Nats)

    But, my comment which I guess I didn't do a good job explaining was that none of the young kids of parents on this forum will ever experience a Winter Nats or Easter Bowl in their junior lifetime because they will be gone relatively soon, and probably won't reappear till 2018, at the earliest.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
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  39. dirkpitt38

    dirkpitt38 New User

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    Nicely said. My son played a cheater at a tourney at IMG and the offical came up to him and gave him tons of praise for keeping his cool and winning the match. Just amazing what some people will do to win a 10 and under match.
     
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  40. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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    //.......................
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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  41. hound 109

    hound 109 Rookie

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    Please advise how my talented junior with a great work ethic will be able to compete in a Winternational in 2014? (or 2015-2017?)

    (Jeez.....you've got to have huevos grandes to attack a person at the same time you don't have your facts straight.)
     
    #41
  42. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I said, "Tournaments like Winter Nationals..."

    The only person attacking anyone here is.........you.

    No wonder you got kicked out of the Longhorns thread..........post #177, College Forum
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
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  43. hound 109

    hound 109 Rookie

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    "Kicked Out"?

    I'm just waiting for someone to give me a logical reason why i should be proud my alma mater is recruiting 20 year olds.......who are non-americans. All I'm reading are posts by the same 3-4 people who have an agenda (wanting scholarships & team members to be 100% older non-americans). I'll post again in there. The OP who asked me to leave.... also asked me a question in the same post. Some of those (so-called) Longhorns seem pretty confused right now. :)

    Back tennis5s original comment. (that you attacked him/her on) The only two L1s that will be available for US juniors (with draws over 16) starting in 2014 will be in late July & early August. Leaving an 11 month window (no spring, no winter). If a talented 14 y/o or 16 y/o gets got hot the final 4-6 months in the year & is suddenly one of the top 2-3 kids in the country.....he has no where to prove it, no where to show it. The other 3-4 L1s that they've created is reserved for the top 10 from the previous 12 months & the 4-6 wildcards reserved for Boca dudes. & this is good for American tennis?

    Back to the OP.....at the last L1 & L2s that i attended, behaviour is about the same as the sectional tournaments that I've observed. I see about 10% of the kids cheating or quasi cheating & another 10% with boorish bahaviour. The other 80% of the kids (& parents) are great.
    .
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
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  44. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    994
    It's unfortunate that many juniors will not be able to experience national play. My kids where able to play many of the nationals back in the early 2000.

    Besides competition with kids from all over the U.S., it was a great way for our family to turn those trips into a family vacation. Through those national tournaments, we were able to see most of the U.S., including Hawaii.
     
    #44

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