Calling footfaults is important

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by sureshs, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    What's obvious to you might not be obvious to me, and vice versa.

    To make matters worse, not everyone actually understands what constitutes a footfault. Just ask Serena.
     
  2. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    No Tom, don't go! Without you there would be no one for these gentlemen to argue with!
     
  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is the pleasing aroma of sweaty feet and socks which can be smelt 78 feet away.
















































    Oops this is flagrant not fragrant.
     
  4. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    OK, due to the outpouring of heartfelt support, I'll cancel my tickets to Palm Springs and spend the winter here posting. I wouldn't be able to face my reflection in those pristine grass-courts knowing I'd abandoned my posts.
     
  5. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    A friend of mine told me not to worry about my opponent's foot-faults unless they were giving him an advantage.

    To me, already being inside the court when striking the ball on serve is an advantage. Sharper angles, less time to react, not to mention the fact that they have a head start in getting to a drop shot.

    I play be the rules, and figure my opponent should as well. If I nick a ball, I call it out. If there is a double bounce, I inform them. If I catch a ball in the air, I concede the point. If I touch the net before the ball bounces twice on their side, I announce that it's their point. Whether they saw it or not (which has happened to me on a few occasions).

    I work hard at improving my serve and not foot-faulting. Why should I have to abide by a rule that they choose to ignore, or are unaware that they are violating?

    I think they should be made aware of their infraction so they can correct it. I played one guy that foot-faulted every time he served to the add court because he stepped way to the right and crossed the center mark (and yes, I would say flagrantly) due to his extreme right moving ball toss.

    I won the match, and afterwards, I took him aside and politely let him know about the issue. I told him he was not called on it during the match, but he needed to correct the problem before someone did start calling him on it and it cost him a point, a game, or a match.

    He was aware that he was moving across the center line, but didn't know it was illegal since he started completely on the correct side. He only understood that he could not cross the baseline before striking the ball.

    He, in turn, politely thanked me for bringing it to his attention in what he considered an honorable way, and left with no hard feelings that I am aware of. The next time I played him, the foot-faulting was gone and he actually served quite a bit better.

    Actually calling foot-faults during a match is hard to do in singles unless it is flagrant, but if you see it, you should call it.

    I play another gentleman on occasion that hits a very hard first serve, and a pretty darn good second as well. I wasn't paying attention to his feet because I was worried about returning his bullets. I video tape my matches and was shocked when I watched the match and saw that every time he served (first and second), his heal was the only part of his right foot that was not already totally inside the court. By this, I mean his heel was touching the inside of the baseline.

    The next time I play him, I plan to watch his feet on the first few points and call the foot-faults right off the bat (warning first time, then points, correct?). I don't want to wait until I am behind an have it appear as gamesmanship. I just want him to play by the same rules. I don't mind losing to a better player, but I do want play to be correct on both sides of the net.

    If he denies the problem, or refuses to score correctly, I plan to get the league director to come out and verify.
     
  6. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    I wouldn't necessarily call a foot fault, but I might suggest to him if he steps in 4-5" into the court, then he should lose 4-5" of the service box:) If he doesn't like that idea then he should keep his feet behind the line.
     
  7. spot

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    Make sure you tell him that you noticed his footfaulting on video tape when rewatching your last match so he can have a good story to post on this site
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  8. GlennK

    GlennK Rookie

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    That was Spot on. :)
     
  9. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I like that idea! Call the serves out by the same distance he'e f-f'ing. That might make the point clearer, tell him your reconfiguring the geometry of the court as a compensation, so as to equalize the playing field, as it were.
     
  10. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Does anyone actually inform the other side that they intend to enforce strictly foot faults before the match or do they just spring an 'October Surprise'?
     
  11. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    do you inform the other side that you intend to strictly enforce the "in" or "out" rule on tennis balls, that is, if the ball lands out of bounds, you will call it out?

     
  12. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    These two rules do not have the same status in non-refereed matches as a moment's reflection would tell you, and here is one national association's opinion:


    Foot faults may only be called by an official standing on court or by a chair umpire. Players may be
    requested to correct their foot faulting problem by a Referee or Court Supervisor, who will require
    the player to make an effort during the match to rectify the problem. The receiver may not call a
    foot fault against the server.



     
  13. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Even the USTA code makes calling foot faults the very last resort, which means basically that they are not really enforceable at all:


    Calling foot faults. The receiver or the receiver’s partner may call foot faults
    only after all reasonable efforts, such as warning the server and attempting to get an
    official to the court, have failed and the foot fault is so flagrant as to be clearly
    perceptible from the receiver’s side.
     
  14. woodrow1029

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    Not correct. After the warning, and if there are no officials present, and if it is FLAGRANT, then if he foot faults, it's a fault, not a loss of point.
     
  15. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    It maybe important. but If you are a amateur player, if you start calling footfaults, no one will want to play with you and same will happen in doubles play too. and soon no one will want you on their league or team play.
    Now, this is change if you get to national championships and so on but til then, don't call footfaults.
     
  16. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Yea and keep going til you win the match in 2 or 3 games. LOL So he wins the match on calling footfaults, is that really worth it ? and you are sitting around after the match by the fireplace in the club, your buddy asks What happenend ? I won on footfaults. LOL . and your opponent will say, you are never going to play with me or on my team.
     
  17. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    They are as enforceable as you have the balls to stand up for the rules and yourself to enforce them on the cheater--ignorance of the rules or negligent behavior is NOT an excuse to cheat.

    WHAT "national association" is that? If there is no official around, it's really not a very important match, it's social-rec tennis, only of any value and significance to the participants. If the f'f'er refuses to fix it or has a mental condition not allowing him to change, your remedies are to put up with it and write it off as exercise and practice. You can choose not to play with that person again and certainly don't have any business dealings with them--how you do one thing is how you do everything.

    If it has become legal to foot-fault, we can call it the "Serena USO Rule Modification", and there are no consequences for it then I will employ the remedy below:


     
  18. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    Thanx Woodrow,

    I meant it is loss of point if it was a second serve. Sorry for not being more clear.

    So first would be a warning, then attempt to get an official, then call them as a last resort if they are flagrant?

    Like I said earlier, I want to follow ALL of the rules.

    I remember the first time I played doubles and I caught an errant serve on the fly and called "out". My partner had to correct me.

    Oh, how I long for the blissful days of ignorant youth! Not really!

    Maybe all recreation players should be required to watch the entire "Court Calls" body of work from John Lovitz before they can enter a league. :shock:
     
  19. tennis_ocd

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    Thankfully, there exists an inverse relationship between quality of serve and degree of ff'ing making it, despite six pages to the contrary, not worth being bothered about.
     
  20. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    There are lots of competitive matches without referees and no is supporting not calling foot faults where there is a referee.

    Its you who are supporting cheating if you think you can call foot faults from 76 feet and not side on to the line.

    So you need to stop cheating if you're doing that because its against the rules.



     
  21. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Allowing a receiver to call a foot fault is like enacting a rule that the player furthest from the line should make the call.

    If anyone should call a foot fault its up to the honesty of the server to call it upon himself if he has reason to believe he over-stepped.
     
  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The lesson of this thread: if you FF now, stop it. You can't change the world, but you can change yourself.
     
  23. cneblett

    cneblett Rookie

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    I played a guy 3 years ago who foot faulted horribly. His partner was a usta official and commented that he called them in matches when we watched other guys on his team foot fault. The guy served the first game and I was going wow I can't believe how this serve is coming in. Asked my partner did you see anything odd, and he said it felt like something was wrong. His next service game I noticed he was leaping and sliding, but he started his leap with both feet past the line. I mean both heals were inside of the court then he leaped into the air. Let it go that game but mentioned it to his partner and told him we would start calling it. Mentioned it again before his next service game. He did it again to my partner and I called him on it. He said i watched my feet and I am allowed to leave them. Said yes, but both feet were inside the court when you left the ground.

    Other teammates from both teams were there and all agreed he was 2-3 feet inside the court on every single serve of match. But he honestly did not think he was or would not admit it. So I doubt calling it on yourself works.
     
  24. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The lesson of the thread is maybe get good enough that your matches are always officiated.
     
  25. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    That would happen in a perfect world.

    Unfortunately, most foot faulter don't realize they are foot faulting.

    There are many who take offense to being called for foot faulting.
     
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I would not say "I won on FFs." I would say "that guy was such a lousy server than when he was called on a FF, his entire serve collapsed once he had to keep it in his mind."
     
  27. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Bartelby, you are again proving what a fool you are by accusing ME of "cheating" because I have eyes. I see what your problem is with F'F'ing now, you are under the illusion that a tennis court is "76 feet" long--wrong!--it is 78 feet long--I hope your accuracy is better in your "competitive" matches then your writing skills, you are not making your namesake proud. I'm supplying you with the link below for the proper dimensions of a tennis court:

    http://www.expert-tennis-tips.com/tennis-court-dimensions.html

    Maybe your dilemma is caused by all the red stars you are seeing from being bumped on the head--thankfully it's just a fuzzy little ball.
     
  28. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    On that we agree my friend.
     
  29. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I freely footfault in social matches. In the few tournaments I play, I footfault until the roaming ump calls it, then I step back a few inches as Orange says and everything is fine.

    Last time I was call for a footfault in a tournament (on an ace), it actually affected my opponent. He seemed to feel "guilty". The ref kept watching me obviously expecting me to start complaining or something. When I didn't say anything, she came up to me on the changeover and explained to me how I was footfaulting, etc, to which I responded that I knew I was footfaulting and I wasn't bothered at all with her call.

    I really can't tell you why I don't just always start a few more inches behind the service line and stop footfaulting altogether. Just habit I guess. But stepping back those few inches doesn't bother me at all.
     
  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Your serves are so slow that nobody cares :)
     
  31. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I don't think I would buy a used car from you, and if I bought your house, I would make sure the property lines were surveyed properly.
     
  32. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, 78, but the reality is that you're changing the topic because you're blustering away about your perfect eyesight and twaddle like that.

    You are deluding yourself if you think that from that distance and that angle you can officiate foot faults end you're cheating because the rules don't allow you to officiate them.

    You have eyes only for seeing what you think will win you a match, end of story.



     
  33. woodrow1029

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    He didn't say the length of the court is 76 feet. He said calling it from 76 feet away. Some people do receive inside the baseline.
     
  34. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Has anyone ever been friends with someone who consistently called footfaults? I'm absolutely convinced that anyone who does this has no friends and only plays tennis so that they can force someone interact with them for a couple hours.

    Note that I am not asking if people who feel compelled to call footfaults think that they have friends. This is entirely irrelevant since calling footfaults regularly and delusion are highly correlated. I'm asking if normal people know someone who regularly calls footfaults that they would admit is actually a friend of theirs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  35. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Has anyone ever played serious tennis with someone that footfaults? I'm absolutely convinced that anyone who does this is a lazy, inconsiderate and selfish person and only plays tennis because it's the only sport they could find where they could umpire themselves...

    well, unless they are any good, of course...
     
  36. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I'd say that easily 60% of recreational players consistently footfault so I'd say that is a resounding yes.
     
  37. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    must be some bizarre cultural thing in your part of the world.

    If someone is going close here, they are warned straight away, never seen anybody have a problem with it (why would they? it is a rule!)

    and I don't just mean in open or higher level league, either, I was watching a B grade (4.0) league final the other night where one pair called a footfault on their opponents. No probs, the guy just moved back a bit and carried on.
     
  38. yourmailman

    yourmailman Rookie

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    On the idea that you cannot see a foot fault from 76 or 78 feet away ...

    You can clearly see a flagrant foot fault from behind the baseline, no problem. I don't think you have to have great eyesight to do it, either. A flagrant FF is easily seen from that distance. In fact my camera was set up against the back fence, in the corner, some 90 feet away, and the FF was definitely visible.

    I agree that you probably cannot see someone's toe touching the baseline, but when the majority, or all of their foot is inside the baseline before they strike the ball, you can absolutely see that from the other end of the court.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  39. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Very few, the vast majority of singles players receive from a step or two behind the baseline, for doubles you should stand on the service line. It is very easy in doubles for the receivers partner to see ff's from his service line. Flagrant ff's can easily be seen by the receiver.
     
  40. SoBad

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    Footfaulters are usually bad people who break other rules as well and are routinely rejected for lunch.
     
  41. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    He said "SERIOUS" tennis.
     
  42. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    why not just learn to serve properly? are you really that inept?

    a stable platform will give you a more consistent serve anyway.

    this just baffles me on so many levels!
     
  43. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    End of story for you but not for me, you haven't named the "national association" that says it "cheating" to call foot faults, name it.
     
  44. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    You don't have the right to officiate foot faults as a receiver in Australia, from what I've read, and you only have a highly qualified right to do so as a last resort in the US.

    So both associations know that you'll have problem players who think they have the right to do anything for a win by decreeing themselves de facto officials.

    So most of what has gone on in this thread about calling foot faults, including your statements, is just plain illegal according to the codes of two national associations.

    So maybe you can find some associations which give an unqualified right for the receiver to call a foot fault?




     
  45. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe you can see something if you don't intend to hit the ball back, but the reality is that you're not in the correct position to make such a technical judgement.



     
  46. winstonplum

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    Repeat foot-faulters are morons. The worst of the worst. I'm actually quite embarrassed for them. LEARN THE EFFING RULES OF TENNIS. When I played basketball and had a free-throw, did I stand on the free-throw line? When I played baseball, did I pitch from three feet in front of the mound? Absolutely horrible. I can understand if you are just learning how to play tennis and are a 2.0 hack playing with the balls you use to play fetch with Skippy, but once you start playing USTA matches, club tournaments, or even competitive matches with your friends, lean the EFFING rules of the game.

    So I tell someone they're foot-faulting. Okay. Cool. We're good. Now if you can't correct stepping a foot into the court, move back one and half feet and start your service motion. Several pros can do it. It's good enough for David Ferrer. But no. You just keep doing the same thing. Or morons that step over the center hash. It's all just embarrassing and quite shameful. I just ignore it now and realize I'm playing with a hack that is clueless and the outcome of this match means nothing; at least I'm getting some good cardio in if they can keep the ball in play.
     
  47. winstonplum

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    For the record, I'm not talking about people whose toes creep up and touch the line--of course I can't see that and would never call that, especially in a rec game. I'm talking about the person who steps flush on the line with half of his or her foot in the court or has his or her whole foot in the court. You don't need x-ray vision to see that, just functioning eyeballs.
     
  48. Oski10s

    Oski10s New User

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    I'm sorry, but we are all "de facto officials" because we call balls in or out of the service box during the serve (as well as lines during play). It is this same right as the serve receiver to call a foot fault.

    Foot fault is a service fault, it's very clear in the rule book. Maybe you should read it?
     
  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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  50. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Foot faulting isn't such a big deal. There's really not much of an advantage to having your toe skim the line.

    I understand it's a rule, but if they broke the rule and were benefiting marginally from it, I would call them out on it. But it's really nominal to null.

    I've had people foot fault on me, and I just let them have it. I still beat their asss.
     

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