ball falls out of pocket?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by struggle, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    i thought loss of point, shouldn't be a let...

    yet, a search revealed otherwise?

    c'mon.

    saw it happen in a close match (my team) and we called a let (they dropped the ball),
    i thought we shoulda just won the point. bzzzzzt, wrong?
     
  2. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    From USTA:

    Q. If a tennis ball falls out of your pocket during a point, what's the ruling? Is it a let or does the opposing get the point even though you have won the point?

    A. If you are playing social or recreational tennis, then you should ALWAYS offer to play a let (or a “do-over”) when an extra ball falls from your pocket during a point. The same is true for when your hat falls off your head. Often enough, your opponent will indicate that it was not a distraction and allow the point played to stand.

    In a tournament match where an official is present to call the lines, the umpire will always call a let in this circumstance. If it happens repeatedly, then the umpire can penalize the offending player by automatically awarding the point to the opposing player. This eliminates the possibility of gamesmanship.
     
  3. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    thanks, i saw that but it seems kinda arbitrary, especially
    the part about an official MAY penalize. whatever...

    should just be loss of point IMO.

    Keep it black and white, but all good.

    I was WRONG in my assertion, oh well.
     
  4. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

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    In an officiated match, the first time this happens it is a let. If it happens a second time, then its a loss of the point.
     
  5. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Where did you find this? The last paragraph is wrong.
     
  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm confused.

    In an unofficiated match, I thought a player could not call a hindrance/let for something she caused. Opponent can call a let if my hat falls off, but I cannot.

    No?
     
  7. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Correct. You cannot hinder yourself.
     
  8. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    Yes, only the opposing team can call the let.

    http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Rules/Distractions-and-Interferences/Calling_a_let/

    This exact thing happened in an extremely unpleasant playoff match this year. My opponent dropped a ball on an almost clear lob winner (intentionally in my mind). He then wanted to replay the point and made a big deal about it and unfortunately many other things throughout the match.
     
  9. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    What a bunch of nonsense here.

    When I play with someone and he drops a ball out of his pocket and it obviously obstructs him I am glad to play a let. But why in heaven's name would I demand a let or even get the point for free? How can a ball dropped on my opponent's side of the court possibly bother me?

    Gosh, some people are so incredibly uptight about just about anything.......
     
  10. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    i disagree its distracting.

    i like the pro rule, once a warning twice a point.
     
  11. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Yup, absolutely correct.

    A similar thing happened in one of our districts matches. A ball fell out of the pocket of one of the singles players on my team during a rally. He stopped immediately and called a let. But opponent told him it was loss of point, since he could not call the let himself. A roving official who was walking by at the time confirmed this. My teammate wasn't too happy since it really was accidental, but them's the rules.
     
  12. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    How can a ball on opponent's side possibly bother you?
    Well, how about if you're not sure that the opponent noticed it, and you're afraid he might step on it and break an ankle?
    Or maybe that really just doesn't bother you?
    Hey, it's not your ankle, right?
     
  13. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    What part of what I wrote here do you not understand"

    What if he drops his hat do you demand getting the point or a let because you are so incredibly distracted by it?

    When I play a long rally I breathe hard does that distract you as well? How about my face, perhaps you do not like my face, another point or a let?

    What possible fun is there in playing with people who are so incredibly uptight about just about anything.
     
  14. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Oh, I understood what you wrote quite well. You were very clear that you can't possibly imagine yourself calling a let when your opponent's ball drops from his pocket under any circumstance.

    It's nice of you to agree to play a let if your opponent calls it and you believe that he was impeded. But you were quite adamant that you yourself would never call the let. Go reread you post again if you've forgotten your righteous indignation at the very thought of calling the let.

    And I am calling you on it because if that's really the case, then you are under some circumstances putting your opponent at risk of injury, and that is very thoughtless.

    Perhaps you think calling a let in order to prevent your opponent from potentially breaking his ankle is 'uptight'. I prefer to think of it as being considerate.
     
  15. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Woodrow1029 is correct. If your opponent in an officiated/non-officiated match drops his hat, visor, loses a ball the 1st time, you can call a let. 2nd time is automatic loss of point.

    In a social situation, I would just say 'Stop and take 2' IF they're in imminent danger of hurting themselves.
     
  16. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    You really seem to have reading comprehension problems or you just try to intentionally paint me as some evil person.

    Whatever it does not matter, I think it says more about you than it says about me.
     
  17. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Just calling it the way I see it. Sorry you don't like it.

    Looking at your post history, it does seem like many people on this board either have reading comprehension problems or else are out to get you. I guess I'm just one of them. :rolleyes:
     
  18. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I guess what is confusing, newpball, is that you would play a let if your opponent drops a ball mid-point if it impeded the opponent.

    But you are also saying that it is impossible for a dropped ball/hat etc. to distract you. So you would never call a let or take the point.

    Well, OK. Please understand that some folks would be so concerned that the opponent might trip that they would alter how they play the point, or might focus their attention on that object rather than the ball.

    But are you really saying that you wouldn't take the point no matter how many times your opponent's hat flew off mid-point?
     
  20. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    All I am saying is that I gladly take a let if the ball obstructs my opponent.

    However I would never demand a point or a let with the argument that a dropping ball would distract me (but not my opponent), I think that is taking a cheap point. I mean what is next? My opponent is coughing and I am distracted? Or I got distracted by his big nose or he is breathing too hard? Perhaps people who get distracted so quickly and want free point should check into a monastery instead of playing tennis.

    And who would want to take a point because an opponents hat falls off, what is the honor in that? I am aware that there are people who want to win by all possible means but that's not me, I like to win points but not on silly technicalities.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  21. Baxter

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    It's not a point penalty if an opponent's hat falls off, it's a penalty of their hat falls off a second time. I've been playing for almost 40 years, and my hat has never fallen off. The odds of two unintentional hat drops in one match must be astronomical. The hindrance rule seems fair and very well thought out to me.
     
  22. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    So you get hindered if someone's hat falls off?

    Well, I don't!
    And again people seem to hate me for that.
     
  23. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    No, they're just jealous of your astounding mental focus.
     
  24. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    In terms of distraction, I don't see how a ball falling out of someone's pocket is less distracting than a ball rolling in from an adjacent court. Actually, you could contend it is more distracting because it is likely in the court whereas a ball from an adjacent court may not be.
     
  25. stapletonj

    stapletonj Semi-Pro

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    my brother wears a hat that is too loose, but he wears often for sentimental reasons. It comes off during drills several times until finally, during a "point" he will flick it off the court with his racket. I keep telling him that's gonna cost him a point in match play, but he refuses to believe me.

    brothers, eh?
     
  26. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    This happens sometimes. First time in the match, it's a let. Any other subsequent time, it's a point loss. It's pretty obvious. Get shorts with big enough pockets or don't pocket a ball. I play with some guys who like to have all 3 balls on them. 1 to serve and 2 in their pocket. Even for them, very rarely does one of the other two fall out, so it's not like it's an epidemic.

    As a side note, I played against a guy one time who wore shorts without pockets (dude has no shorts with pickets in them for tennis... WTF?!) and he held two balls while he served. If he got the first serve in, he'd throw the other ball behind him towards the fence while waiting on my return. Told him to stop doing that and he got offended and said there's no rule against it. I kept calling lets on each of his first serves until he stopped. That wasn't a pretty match, but both teams had a discussion afterwards and we all agreed that it was a stupid thing to do. Apparently other players he plays against have the same complaints but they never do anything about it. Next match we had against that team, I brought an extra pair of short for the dude just in case. I made it pretty obvious I did so too and we all got a laugh out of it. Yep, I'm an ***, but he never did the ball tossing **** anymore after that.
     
  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Nah, no one hates you for that.

    You are free to donate as many points as you want and to play lets until they turn out the lights.

    So long as you understand that most everyone else in league and tournament play will expect you to understand and play by the rules and code, it's all good.

    Do keep in mind that there are many players out there who will not take a point they did not earn. So if you are trying to give them let's or points, they won't accept them.

    It is annoying to me when I lose the point fair and square (e.g. Ball hits me on the fly, my hat flies off twice, I am unsure of my call, I disagree with my partner) and my opponent insists we play a let. Dude, I lost the point, we both know it, so let's just get on with the next point. Don't make me beg you to take a point you already won.
     
  28. Eltoro

    Eltoro Rookie

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    Let me guess - the person dropping the ball was wearing adidas shorts. For some reason, they insist on having the shallowest pockets of any shorts on the market. For that reason alone, I refuse to buy adidas shorts. Too bad - good quality other than that.
     
  29. Baxter

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    I have a pair of Adidas shorts that will hold five balls in each pocket. It amazing this didn't happen more often when Reno 911 shorts were the style.
     
  30. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

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    The problem with this explanation is that it doesn't address the most common scenario, the league matches where an official is not present.

    This sort of thing always happens at the wrong time against wrong teams and leads to confrontation. I wish the USTA rule clearly stated that even when official was not present, first incident is always let and 2nd time it's loss of point.

    -Josh
     
  31. DE19702

    DE19702 Rookie

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    I was just at my sectional playoffs and this was specifically discussed. Where no official is present it's a let the first two times it happens, then you loose the point. If an official is present, they decide. You can't call a let on your side.
     
  32. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I hate to take a point just because the sun got into my opponents eyes.... or when their head was momentarily exposed to harmful rays.
     
  33. sundaypunch

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    Would it bother you if it happened on every point? Or if a ball fell out of their pocket over and over?

    There is no hinderance if someone's hat falls off. You get one "freebie". The rule is in place most likely to address the occasional idiot that does this stuff on purpose. If you play tennis long enough you will eventually run into one.
     
  34. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    No it would not, but I think it probably would bother my opponent. :)

    At any rate things like falling hats or balls that fall and obviously do not obstruct my opponent, the size of my opponent's nose, his grunting, the way he looks, if he farts, coughs or breathes heavy, or whatever, no those things do not bother me.

    I suspect that many people who are bothered by such things are just trying to find excuses for their imperfect play.

    "Oh I hit the net, but it was because my opponent's hat fell off".

    "Oh a double fault, well someone smashed the gate three courts father down, so that's why".

    "Way out, well sorry but this guy was coughing while I hit the ball".

    "Just out, it's because this guys has a strange stare in his eyes".

    "Another double fault, logical, didn't you hear that dog bark in the park nearby while I was serving?"

    Sure, there is always an excuse to be found......:rolleyes:

    It's like those folks who look at their string bed every time when they make a fault.
    Sure buddy, it must be the strings. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  35. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    I think you are looking at it wrong...

    If your opponent drops a ball out of their pocket or their hat falls off in an unofficiated match, they cannot call a let - because by definition you can't hinder yourself. So the only person that can call a let is you. If they stop the point then they are conceding it.

    From my perspective (for the most part) any of those things are more likely to affect the person that dropped them than they are me, so I'm happy to just keep playing. At the same time, if a ball falls out of someone's pocket and they are in danger of stepping on it, then I owe it to them to stop the point for their safety. It isn't a question of my being hindered by little things - except that the moment I have to start trying to decide if I should stop the point it is likely affecting my concentration already.

    If someone has already dropped a ball once or twice in a match and they are still unwilling or unable to control the balls, then I don't have a lot of sympathy for them.
     
  36. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    So then you and I agree on this. :grin:

    But then are people who are quick to claim the point because after all that hat that just dropped is obviously a tremendous hindrance to them, they play perfect tennis and well that hat is just taking away their perfect game. And all those ignorant people who say they do not want to claim the point well they should just be outcasted or even better we accuse them of having ulterior motives. :rolleyes:

    And then there are those who claim conspiracies, they seriously think their opponent is scheming the night before on how to intentionally get their hat off at will, they think they plan the night before and adjust the stitches of the hat just the right way, and then when the game starts they keep doing it on purpose of course just to distract them. Thanks for a rule they lose a point otherwise I am sure they would have lost hundreds of games from those intentional hat droppers who all do it on purpose. Newpball, you are just naive, hundreds of tennis players intentionally drop their hats all the time just to distract you..... :rolleyes:

    Obviously, as I wrote before when the ball would obstruct my opponent I would be glad to play a let.
     
  37. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Very well put.

    Not the same thing. Newpball says he would be glad to play a let, presumably after the opponent has stopped play. Notice that newpball does not say that he himself would call the let. So in the event that the opponent did not notice the ball and did not stop play, then the opponent remains in harm's way.

    Whereas in the same situation kylebarendrick would himself stop the point out of concern for the opponent. Which is the correct thing to do.
     
  38. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I completely agree with this, and have even disturbed a tournament match on an adjacent court for exactly this reason. In one match this year though, I informed someone there was a ball 1 feet behind him between serves. He actually got upset for the disruption and wanted 2 serves. I didn't care and gave him the serves but was amazed.
     
  39. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    If the ball is in harms way I would most definitely call a let. However if the ball is not in harms way and my opponent continues I would not want to claim the point because I am 'distracted'. And I neither would claim the point in this case if my opponent loses his hat, farts, looks funny or has a big nose. Neither would I demand a let when a dog barks, a cellular phone rings, someone closes a gate or other nonsense.
     
  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You seem to believe that if you are not distracted by a ball or hat on your opponent's court that no one should be.

    Pros are distracted by people in the stands moving around. Or by the glint off of a fan's wristwatch, the flash of a camera. People who are truly focused on the point will be distracted. If they tell you they are distracted, you should believe them.

    To follow on to Kyle's point, there is another issue.

    Say a ball falls out of opponent's pocket. By the Code, you either have to call it immediately or not call it at all.

    Say the ball falls out and you figure it isn't a threat because it is away from your opponent. The point continues, and opponent starts moving toward the ball. Now you are concerned about his safety, but you failed to call the let when you first noticed the ball.

    Now, I would call the let anyway to protect my opponent from injury. If I did that, my opponent could rightfully claim I had no right to call the let because of the delay, so I would have to give up the point.

    Rather than deal with all of that, I just call the let when the hat flies off or the ball falls out of the pocket. Then it is simple. We play a let that time, and subsequent times it will be loss of point.

    See how simple things are if you just play by the Code?
     
  41. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Ah, ok. So it does bother you that your opponent is in harms way. That's good. This is not what you said earlier though when you said a ball on your opponent's side can't possibly bother you. This is what I was taking issue with. I'm glad for it to not be the case.
     
  42. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    good responses.

    i just think it should black and white, loss of point
    in any circumstance, after all one could wait until THE critical moment to pull such a move. Keep it simple.....

    At any rate, i also agree that would not be the norm and the 1st time "let" followed by penalty points is likely best in the general spirit of the game, the code, honor, etc.

    all good, thx for the input.
     
  43. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Good points. When I see a ball on the court I call the let, unless it is clearly off the playing area and not moving. Because you can't always tell if/when/how it's rolling/bouncing, and whether it might end up in harms way. I would feel terrible if I saw a ball on opponent's side that he did not see, did not call it myself, and then later in the point he steps on it and hurts himself.
     
  44. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    What about old guys carrying two balls in their non hitting hand and then drop them in the middle of a point? :shock:

    (I don't know why old men can't afford pockets anymore. Or is it a statement on social security?)
     
  45. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    They drop one ball after a good first serve, right? I've heard of that and maybe even seen it in an old black and white video, but never scene it real life and I'm pretty old. That's hilarious, but I'm sure that qualifies as a hindrance these days. It was just the thing to do a long time ago. I'm surprised someone is still doing it, are they ninetyish and still playing? I guess you get away with that if you're that old and still trying to bang 'em back.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  46. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I know some old school guys who carry balls in their hand... but they all have one-handed backhands and just keep holding the ball during the entire point!
     
  47. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Or my fav, the guys that second serve with the first ball lying on their service line (doesn't bother me) but then they kick it toward the net during play and I see two balls in motion.
     
  48. Baxter

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    OMG I'm officially old school. That's depressing.
     
  49. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    @woodrow - so is the last paragraph wrong or not?
     
  50. Bedrock

    Bedrock Semi-Pro

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    Player who dropped the ball loses right to call a let.
    The opponent still can call a let.
    That is all.
     

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