blackburne double strung racket ...illegal?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by slapshot1540, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. slapshot1540

    slapshot1540 New User

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    #1
  2. tennis-skater

    tennis-skater Semi-Pro

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    on their website they say its legal
     
    #2
  3. Stan

    Stan Professional

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    It's legal. A pain in the rear to string...but perfectly legal.
     
    #3
  4. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    No, the racquet is definitely NOT legal. I just read the rules. The rules clearly state that the hitting surface must be flat, and specifically that the hitting surface is NOT considered flat if the strings are in more than one plane.
     
    #4
  5. ChipNCharge

    ChipNCharge Professional

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    So are they just lying when they state on their website "...approved by the International Tennis Federation and United States Tennis Association for play by amateurs and professionals in all tournaments and championships worldwide"?
     
    #5
  6. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I'm not sure. It's a good question, but the rules specifically disallow this type of racquet. Perhaps someone could make some probing phone calls to investigate?
     
    #6
  7. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    There does seem to be a contradiction here.

    The Blackburne site has a letter from the ITF that says that the commission discussed the racquet and found that it does not contravene paragraph 4, The Racquet.

    But if you read paragraph 4, The Racquet, it gives the special case asking whether the hitting surface is considered flat and uniform if the strings are in more than one plane. The decision is "NO."

    Something seems fishy here!
     
    #7
  8. DRtenniS1112

    DRtenniS1112 Semi-Pro

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    Is it possible that the Blackburne FRAME is indeed legal when strung normally however illegal when double strung. Just a thought, I'm probably wrong.
     
    #8
  9. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I wonder if Blackburne is only presenting part of the story. If your opponent brought a Blackburne to your match, but you brought a copy of the official rulebook, an umpire would rule in your favor because the rulebook says that it is illegal.

    But what if your opponent brought a copy of the 1995 letter from the ITF to Blackburne that says that the racquet is approved? Would the umpire side with the text in the rulebook, or the letter that contradicts it? hmm...
     
    #9
  10. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Strictly on a personal level; I think a racquet should only have one string-bed. I do not care for all of

    the mechanical gadgets. All of these holes and rollers, should go.
     
    #10
  11. juani

    juani Rookie

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    They were used long time ago on the atp. Nastase beats Vilas (he retired cos an injured) in 1977 with one double strung racquet and left him with 54 straight wins on clay. Afterthat (not of that particular event) it was declared illegal.
     
    #11
  12. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    No, that's the spaghetti strings. Different concept. But it caused the rule change that says that the strings must be woven and in one plane.
     
    #12
  13. tennis4losers

    tennis4losers Semi-Pro

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    lol thats such a crazy racket
     
    #13
  14. ballplayer

    ballplayer New User

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    Well from reading the info on that website, this racket used to be banned but then the ITF apparently had to conceed that it probably does not go against the the spirit of the Racket rule.

    Although technically speaking, the racket contains two beds of strings, the strings of the actual hitting surface when coming in contact of the ball at all times are just in one plane.

    The hitting racket surface furthermore is flat and uniform and the strings of both string beds never come in contact with eachother (or so it seems from the demo clips on the site).

    What they seem to have been able to create is simply a very stable racket with an enormous sweetspot. Nothing 'weird' about it or the effects it creates, as in crazy or unpredictable shots, etc.
     
    #14
  15. abrahavt

    abrahavt Rookie

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    What are the specs of this racquet? What is its weight, swing weight etc. Is it headheavy or headlight. Couldnt find the details on the blackburne site.
     
    #15
  16. Stan

    Stan Professional

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    Well stated. I don't understand the debate. I stated it was legal earlier in the thread. 'nuf said.
     
    #16
  17. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    You stated it was legal. You didn't say in any way why it was legal, you didn't back up what sounded like a random opinion with anything. It only takes a day on here to realise the relationship between someone stating something, and it being fact - is tenuous to say the least! Given I (and presumably others) don't know you in any ways - and there's nothing in your footer etc to say that you're someone who might know formally (like an MRT, or maybe a Registered Coach, etc), how were we to just trust the fact you said it?

    BallPlayer, on the other hand, explained why he could see it was legal.
     
    #17
  18. Stan

    Stan Professional

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    I am Stan...THE MAN! If I state a fact, it is a fact. When I state an opinion it is typically correct. Stick around and you will learn.
     
    #18
  19. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Oh god. I'm laughing if you're being facetious, and scared if you're not. I'll leave it for time to tell on this one....

    As for the MRT footer - hmmm, see the sentence above.
     
    #19
  20. vinnier6

    vinnier6 Professional

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    thats just what i need, a racquet that will double my stringing cost....
     
    #20
  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    "Not in one plane" can be interpreted in two different ways - 1. There cannot be two planes at an angle to one another 2. There cannot be two planes even if the planes are parallel.

    In this case, the planes are parallel but offset from each other
     
    #21
  22. ballplayer

    ballplayer New User

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    I'm not a player myself so it's not so easy for me to understand these things, although I find them interesting. The images & clips on that site were helpful to try and visualize what happens with the racket & ball.

    Someone mentioned the spaghetti strung racket. It's a different concept of course compared to the blackburne. I've never really grasped what actually happens when coming in contact with the ball. [I know: it can give the ball extreme spin]. On the ITF site they say this:

    "Spaghetti stringing is illegal because the main and cross strings are not interlaced (or bonded). Instead, the strings lie on parallel planes and are able to move with the aid of tubular sleeves, which act as bearings, see below." [There is supposed to be an image on that page, but it's not visible]. "The freedom of movement allows the strings to deflect within the plane of the hitting surface and so rotate the ball as they recoil. The result is that players can produce extreme spin with minimal effort."

    I've not been able to find an image on the net that would help the likes of me actually understand how this really works.
     
    #22
  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    All I found was that there are 2 models with 97 and 107 head size, and the 107 one is a little above 10 oz.
     
    #23
  24. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    From the videos... the racket looks great.... if you like to consistently hit off the frame
     
    #24
  25. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Yeah - difficult to find any info on the actual frames, and the only pic on the site that is of the real racquet (that I could see) was the poor quality one on the homepage! One of the mag articles had a better pic than the site did!

    Yeah - I noted that too. Bizarre really, I mean, a very bizarre selling point. The mag articles point out some stability benefits from the second string plane, but yeah - a very bizarre product. That said, who knows, maybe every racquet will be like this in 10 years time! Or maybe not... ;)
     
    #25
  26. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    According to Tennis Magazine, February, 1999, it's legal.
     
    #26
  27. Roffey

    Roffey Rookie

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    There are two seperate planes are there not? each strung with an approved interweaving? seems legal.
     
    #27
  28. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    The racket IS legal. Blackburne appealed to the ITF to get it legalized, just as Head tried to get the ti 7 legalized. This racket was turned down, even after Head had produced it. The Blackburne was ruled legal.
     
    #28
  29. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I think the question is: why do the current rules read in a way that suggests that it is not legal? Wouldn't the rules contain a provision that explains the Blackburne case?
     
    #29
  30. Regulator

    Regulator Rookie

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    Umm seems like a gimmick!
     
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  31. FlyingBoat

    FlyingBoat New User

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    Different strings or tension for backhand / forehand?

    I wonder if you could string this racket with different strings or possibly different tension to give more power to one side and more control to the other? I could see the different tension option maybe causing a problem for the frame.

    I find my backhands are better on a more powerful tweener racket but forehands loose control. I can really zap the forehand on more of a players racket but end up with a weak backhand that I really need to throw myself into to have any pace.

    I have a short backswing two handed backand and long loopy forehand.

    It may be interesting on a Blackburne racket to have more power on the backhand side.

    Serves could be interesting as well. I like the tweener for serving and could use the power side for a hard flat serve and even use the other side for more spin or control.
     
    #31
  32. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    The two planes do not present a problem since they effectively represent only two 'sides' which make contact with the ball...much like the two 'sides' of a single string job. Technically, playing with a Blackburne with only one plane strung COULD violate the rules regarding strings through each hole. In any event, this gimmick is one of the ones to avoid--UNLESS they add powerholes, intellifibres, liquid metal, PWS and a flexpoint!
     
    #32
  33. neo

    neo Banned

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    Interesting point. I wonder if someone could develop technique based on having very different strings on two sides. One with heavy spin, and one with no spin, for example. Then he could rotate the frame and make opponent guess how much spin will come on the next ball, forcing the errors.
     
    #33
  34. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    I've hit with one after having the joy of stringing it. During my twenty minutes with it, it didn't seem special, just a little slow truogh the air. The use of a poly on one plane and a multi on the other would do some of what some folks have asked about, but I wouldn't vary the tension by too much between the string beds.:cool:
     
    #34
  35. FlyingBoat

    FlyingBoat New User

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    Do you recall if it was the 107 or 97 that you tried out?
     
    #35
  36. FlyingBoat

    FlyingBoat New User

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    I just received a 97 and a 107 blackburne last week to try out and they work great. Those few extra points I win by not shanking the ball or miss hitting returns really make a difference. I can have a lot more confidence on the top spin lobs so people coming to net aren't much of a problem any more. I can also generate the spin on dipping passing shots that have the opponents falling down on each side. I beat one opponent 6-2, 6-0 this week that I had lost to the week before and had a 6-1 set with another that took me three hard sets to beat the last time we played. So maybe I was having a good day, but I am very happy at this point.

    The 107 has been working out better for me so far with more control and a good feel with some pop. This may be because they both came prestrung and I don't think the 97 has been in production for a few years so this was likely strung a few years ago and it didn't have much control.

    I restrung the 97, which wasn't too much of an issue. I did the top side first and then the bottom without using flying clamps. The mains were easy enough to pull apart on the bottom to do the crosses, though it certainly isn't the normal weave method. I used Goshen Sheep Micro at the highest tension, which is probably too high for me. It seems a bit harsh compared to the smooth "puck" I get from the 107. I realize now that the Goshen string always gives a "ting" sound that I don't like. Just doesn't sound or feel solid. Thinking back, other members of my family that I have strung for have made the same comment about the "tinging" sound as well, though they seemed to play fine with it. The string seems a favorite here on TW. I think it plays OK, so maybe it is just the sound.

    My elbows feeling good too. I played 6 sets yesterday and the elbows no sorer then the rest of my body. Maybe my elbow pain in the past has come from twisting of the racket as some research has suggested instead of from stiff rackets. This racket is head heavy and very stable yet I am not feeling pain at this point. I was thinking of trying it with some 19g Kevlar which would be the ultimate test to see if shock is what is causing the tennis elbow or not :) . I was thinking of using the Kevlar to bring down the head weight and power more in line with what I was used to. But that was from trying the 97 earlier in the weak and having control issues. Now that I see the 107 plays so well, I am less interested in trying the lighter string, though I still am intrigued by the 19ga spin potential.

    One other point. The literature with the racket says you can restring just one side at a time, so it should be easy enough to try out different strings and see what works best. It will be nice to try the different string alternately on strokes just by switching sides rather than picking up a different racket. Though I am not sure if different tensions would cause a problem. There isn't much of a range allowed anyway going from 54 to 59 lbs. They do say that stringing just one side and leaving the other unstrung and taking it out of the stringer will cause serious warping but that the correct shape will return when stringing the other side. They say they have had very few cracked frames. If I recall correctly they said they have had only something like 6 to 12 cracked frames in the history of the racket so this must be a very sturdy stick!

    My two varsity sons haven't liked the sticks but they are more reluctant to change and haven't given them much of a try. My 80 lb JV daughter didn't go for them either, but I suspected it would be too head heavy for her and also the grip size was much larger than she was used to.
     
    #36
  37. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    A whacky contraption indeed (my local pro shop has 2 hanging on the wall) but legal. I believe, as someone already referred to) the strings are considered in the same "plane" because they are parallel to each other and the hitting surface is not "raised" in any way. Fundamentally you're hitting with a normal plane, there's just two of them.
     
    #37
  38. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

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    Got a 107 hanging on the wall with other "innovations" like the Berglein MacGregor, Wilson Profile and the Prince Mono. Everything I have says it is legal. Costs a fortune to re-string and that may be what limited its appeal.
     
    #38
  39. CaliTennis85

    CaliTennis85 New User

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    I have been playing the Blackburne DS for a few months and found the strings last much longer. Maybe not twice as long, but seems to balance out the cost a bit. Having said that, I would pay more for tires too, if it made my car faster. :)
     
    #39
  40. ThomasTerrible

    ThomasTerrible Rookie

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    No. The two stringbeds clearly are in two different planes that are parallell to each other (google "parallell planes" 'cause I can't be bothered). Therefore, the idea of two stringbeds is against the rules..
     
    #40
  41. CaliTennis85

    CaliTennis85 New User

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    I'm not sure why there are so many opinions as to if the racquet is legal. The final word belongs to the ITF & USTA. In this case, they clearly state that it is LEGAL and APPROVED for play in all competitions worldwide.

    For players using the racquets in tournament play at smaller events, it has been suggested to print a copy of the decision signed by the USTA Director of Officials. The letter can be found at: http://shop.tennisracquetsdirect.com/usta.html
     
    #41
  42. ThomasTerrible

    ThomasTerrible Rookie

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    These points are from the 2010 ITF rules:
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    "The hitting surface, defined as the main area of the stringing pattern bordered by the points of entry of the strings into the frame or points of contact of the strings with the frame, whichever is the smaller, shall be flat and consist of a pattern of crossed strings connected to a frame and alternately interlaced or bonded where they cross. The stringing pattern must be generally uniform and, in particular, not less dense in the centre than in any other area.
    The racket shall be designed and strung such that the playing characteristics are identical on both faces. The racket shall be free of attached objects, protrusions and devices other than those utilised solely and specifically to limit or prevent wear and tear or vibration or, for the frame only, to distribute weight. These objects, protrusions and devices must be reasonable in size and placement for such purposes."

    It says "a pattern" - not "one or more parallell patterns"
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    "Case 2: Is the stringing pattern of a racket considered to be generally uniform and flat if the strings are on more than one plane?
    Decision: No."


    This says it all, since it's in more than one plane.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    If that racket is approved, ITF are clearly contradicting their own rules (if it's not reviewed since 2010 of course).
     
    #42
  43. CaliTennis85

    CaliTennis85 New User

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    Many players are aware of the long history of the Blackburne DS and the ITF, USTA, Tour Events, Wimbledon etc. Many great stories.

    The ITF has probably spent as much, if not more time looking at the design of the Blackburne DS than any other racquet design. Opinions and interpretation by people and the rules set by the ITF may be consistently debated, but the ruling by the ITF & USTA are very clear. "APPROVED" for Play by Amateurs and Professionals in ALL Tournaments and Championships Worldwide.
     
    #43
  44. ThomasTerrible

    ThomasTerrible Rookie

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    Is there any source where you can read ITF's motivation on why it's approved despite going against their own racket rules? It would be good to see how they explain the two different planes thing...

    My guess is that if they aren't complete idiots, the reason the rule was created was that they mean for the different planes not to have different angles off the frame.
    This is already covered though, by the point that the two sides of the racket must play identically...
     
    #44
  45. CaliTennis85

    CaliTennis85 New User

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    Identical is correct. The racquets are strung and re-strung using a single length of string. It would not be worth the risk in a tournament to try and string it for forehand vs backhand, different strings, tensions etc.
     
    #45
  46. tailofdog

    tailofdog Semi-Pro

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    It's OK

    :twisted:
    I hit with the 107 for awhile. It,s head heavy but,
    hit's better than a lot of racquets i had
     
    #46
  47. CaliTennis85

    CaliTennis85 New User

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    I love that it is head heavy. I played Prince for years (20+) Never thought that I would ever make a brand change, but as a heavy topspin player, the Blackburne DS has added tons of power and spin with less effort. All of my racquets are the 107, never hit the 97.
     
    #47
  48. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    fed needs this racquet to help with his backhand shanks...

    right guys?
     
    #48
  49. ThomasTerrible

    ThomasTerrible Rookie

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    Yup, the player recently back at number 1 in the world, and in my view the undoubtable GOAT, needs to change his racket, because without it he would be ranked much higher than number 1.
     
    #49
  50. CaliTennis85

    CaliTennis85 New User

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    Many players are finding great improvement with the Blackburne DS. Heck, I would imagine that if Fed were to switch, he could remain #1 way into his 50's or 60's :) Seriously though, it would be fun to see one of the top ranked players using the DS.
     
    #50

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