Can I call a ball out if it's clearly going out?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by LazyAzN, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. LazyAzN

    LazyAzN Rookie

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    If a ball is clearly from my point of view is going out and IS out (in the end), can I call it out before it touches the ground? For example, a person returns the ball and it is already high in the air (like SAILING) heading out. Can I call it out before it bounces? Or do I have to wait until it passes the baseline/sidelines before I can fully call it out? The reason is because I was called for calling balls out before they bounced (because they were clearly going out, not near the line), and the person wanted me to wait for the balls to bounce before I announced the ball was out.

    This might be in the wrong forum...
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
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  2. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

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    you need to wait. waiting is the correct thing to do. someday you will play someone who hits the ball with lots of spins, and you will think it is out but it goes in. don't call it out to soon because your opponent might feel cheated.
     
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  3. Pr0DiGy

    Pr0DiGy Rookie

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    I don't know if it's a bad habit, but if the ball is clearly out/isn't questionable whatsover I don't bother calling it.
     
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  4. krz

    krz Professional

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    You have to wait. Hardly spun shots that look like they are out are going to drop in. And sometimes the wind picks up.

    I mean if the balls sailing clearly out I don't even call it, actually I usually stick my racket out and knock it down to keep me from having to chase it.
     
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  5. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    You are without question doing the wrong thing. A ball is not out until it lands, and as you play at better and better levels you will see many balls that you think are going out that spin their way in. ALWAYS wait until a ball lands to call it, and as another poster said, if the ball is way out, probably not much need to call it anyways.
     
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  6. LazyAzN

    LazyAzN Rookie

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    Well, most of the balls that I know for sure are sailing out I call because one of my instructors apparently had to argue with another player that even though the ball clearly sailed out, the player wanted the point because it wasn't called out.
     
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  7. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I used to play at a club where the guys would say "out" as advice to their doubles partner not to hit the ball. So I picked that up, and some people told me to wait until it landed before calling it out. I told them that I wasn't calling it out, but was telling my partner to let it go, because it was probably going out.

    I switched to saying "bounce it". It lets my partner know to look for where it lands, but if somehow it does land in, then he's "bounced it" and everyone will understand that the point is still going.

    Actually, most of the time I just say "bounce". If a ball is going out, I wait until it lands, then I call it "out", sometimes I like to say, "way out" :D
     
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  8. LazyAzN

    LazyAzN Rookie

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    Can't that be argued though that you attempted to hit the ball and thus the point could be the opponents?
     
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  9. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Convention here is to say 'leave' or 'leave it'.... might actually be even clearer than bounce/it, although I have heard that too.
     
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  10. soggyramen

    soggyramen Professional

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    According to USTA rules you must wait until the ball bounces out to call it out or you can lose the point if the opponent sees it happen. Also don't catch it in the air when it's going out same situation.
     
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  11. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    You never know a minuscule tornado may suddenly move into the court and bring the ball down.
     
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  12. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Yup, probably if no other reason than a simple one - a loud out call in the middle of play could be classed as a deliberate distraction!
     
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  13. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    There are more than a few times my opponent called one of my shots out and after the ball bounced, they have to correct themselves. And it happened even more often some players will give up on a point because they thought my shot was out, then they found out the ball hit the line. Sometimes I can paint the line a few times in a single point also. I would take the point if someone catch the ball I hit before it bounces.
     
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  14. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Well if your playing casually with friends - you can go ahead and call it out and catch it or whatever. However if your in a tournament you can't do that. In fact if you make contact before it actually bounces out it's the opponents point. That's of course why people will peg you at the net. If you don't react fast enough it's there point even if that ball would have gone out (had you not been in the way).

    Now I could be wrong - but that's my understanding of the rules.

    Pete
     
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  15. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    And also, sometimes though rare, if your opponent hit a shot very deep and fast and you cannot backup fast enough, you might elect to hit a volley around the baseline because you can't let the ball bounce and run away from you, but the ball might be actually out if you let it bounce. This kind of decision making is part of tennis. Catching the ball just eliminate this.

    And I have seen people catch the ball only a few feet outside the baseline, with only a few feet outside, sticking out your hand and lean forward could put your hand inside the baseline.
     
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  16. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Ive heard people say this in a match before, but have never seen it in a rule before. Can you find it? (or are you just reciting it because someone told you it's a fact?)

    (and I mean the part about calling it early, obviously if you catch it, you lose the point and you are lazy)
     
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  17. Rui

    Rui Rookie

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    Don't

    The ball isn't out until it lands. That's why if you're standing outside the court and the ball hits you in the air, you lose the point.

    Calling the ball "out" before it lands is obnoxious.
     
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  18. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    As per my above post, it would be called an a distraction if nothing else! Calling out mid-point just isn't acceptable....
     
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  19. LazyAzN

    LazyAzN Rookie

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    That's pretty much it. Oh well, have to accustom to it then.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
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  20. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    The rule you quoted doesnt say that you lose the point for doing it though. If anyone says that they made it up. (unless you find it in there, it's not)

    Maybe it should, but it's not. Otherwise if you called it early AND it went out you would lose the point, and that is not the case.

    Your rule just defines when the ball is out, it doesnt say that you lose the point if you call it early.

    I think it's covered by another rule. If you call it early and it falls in, then you lose the point (if you didnt return it into play or you return it for an easy sitter). If you call it early and it goes out, it's still out.

    Again, I agree it's not a good idea to call it early, but there is no rule that says you lose the point automatically for doing it. It would be in the "The Code" and you can search up and down the Code and you wont find it.

    You can say that it should be in there, but for now, it's not.
     
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  21. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Are you ignoring my posts about obstruction / distraction?

    Calling out whilst a ball is in play is inappropriate / wrong. Full-stop. Until a ball bounces out (or into the net), it's still in-play.
     
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  22. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Yes, because you are ignoring my posts.

    1) Im not doubting that it's wrong or inappropriate

    2) There is no rule that says you lose the point if you do it, or that it's hinderence (a distraction is hinderence).

    How could you be hindered? I could call the ball out AFTER it bounced, and hit it back in play and that would be a distraction as well. But guess what, it's not your point, the rule says you have to play it over. (unless I gave you an easy sitter or I failed to return it in play)

    If I call the ball BEFORE it bounces and then proceed to hit it in, it's not any diffrent, in either case I mis-called it and the same rule applys.

    Likewise, if I called it BEFORE it bounced and it happens to go out, it's still out. You hit the ball OUT, why would you think you magically get the point? (and you cant claim you were "distracted" because the ball never came back to your side of the court)

    Again, if you (and everyone else who does this) is going to make up a rule like this, then you should go to the Friend of the Court, and post some rules where it's actually spelled out. You wont find it in there. If I ignore you it's because either you dont bother to do that, or you guys post rules that actually dont say what you are trying to claim is true.

    Defining when a ball goes out is NOT the same thing as saying you get penalized for calling it early. The Code wouldnt have that in there because if hit the Ball OUT (and you know it's out), it wouldnt be fair for you to win the point even if some rude person called it early, you know you hit it out, so it's still out, you lose the point.

    And again, since you are not reading my posts. Im not saying that this is appropriate or saying the OP should do it.

    But there are lots of things out there that you "SHOULDNT" do, and that doesnt mean there is a rule against it. (unfortually there are plenty of moronic people out there who will do it anyway, such as in my opinion the people who catch the ball in midflight on it's way out, which I think is way worse and there happens to be a rule covering it)
     
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  23. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    I've replied to a few of them. Perhaps I need to read the rules more, perhaps you need to read a dictionary! It'd be pretty hard to reply to your posts if I was actually ignoring them! :-D

    Guess what - the rule calls hinderance by a deliberate act as point over, given to opponent. Now we have the rule in front of us, you have deliberately hindered me. I've hit a lob, in the air, and it's floating. Half-way down, you call out, you then play it. At the out call, you've hindered me, and it was a deliberate act.


    The first time you did this - I'd be mad, the second time, I'd want a replay or more.

    How's that high-horse working out for you?

    And again, remarkable of me to reply to them given I'm not reading them.
     
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  24. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Nice Try. That rule describes what happens if there is hinderence.

    But you have to read "The Code" items 33-37 to find out what issues may cause hindrance.

    Specifically that they all happen while the ball is going in your direction. If you are calling the ball before it bounces, it's not going in your direction.

    You may of stopped because of it, but it doesnt matter, if you incorrectly called it out, it's a let. (by rule) It's causing the same effect.

    And as far as getting mad, or wanting to play it over even though you know your shot went out, well that could be a subject for another thread, but I think you are wrong. If you hit the ball out, it's out, you dont get a second chance just because some bonehead called it early, and it's not the same as if they had caught it. (except that they are both pretty dang annoying, I'll agree with that)

    Again, you cant claim you were hindered by this and we can debate this all you want but we're going to have to agree to disagree:

    1) If your ball went out, you cant claim you were hindered because you had already hit it out!

    2) If your ball went in and was returned to you, you cant claim you were hindered because the point is over at that point by rule (because of the wrong call), and you have to play it over.

    I could constantly make bad calls (after it bounces), and then you'd have to keep replaying the point and it would result in the same thing. You would get mad (apparently) and it would probally cause you some mental anguish and cause you to lose other points, but you dont get to claim hindrance for that.

    You only get hindrance when you could of returned the ball fairly, but I did something to stop you from being able to do that, (when the ball was on it's way to you). If you claim this is hindrance, then you would have to say that when I made a "bad call" and reversed it hindered you in the same way, but it's not because there is a rule for that. (it's a let)
     
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  25. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    True enough but what your describing is bad sportsmanship. Why your pushing so hard on this makes me think your a bad sport. That's kind of against the first rule of the code - courtesy.

    Pete
     
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  26. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Making up rules that are not there is bad as well, and bad for the game.

    Im glad you agree with me.

    Im definately not saying I approve of doing this, but I also dont approve of making up your own rules (or rules based on what you heard from someone else, or things that are read into the rules but are not there).

    But like I said, there are tons of things we can say you SHOULDNT do when you are out there, and that doesnt mean you lose the point for it. If you say you lose the point because of it (when there is no rule that says so), you are wrong because there has to be rule that assigns that penalty.

    Tennis is supposed to be a gentleman's game, but unfortuanlly there are plenty of morons out there playing it. The best thing you can do is try to not let it get to you (mental anguish), and if you have a choice in the matter, dont play that person again.
     
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  27. ShooterMcMarco

    ShooterMcMarco Hall of Fame

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    I already think its annoying if people call the ball out when its 10 feet out...what more if they call it while its still in the air? Things would get ugly, real fast ;)
     
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  28. smoothtennis

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    Bottom line...calling a ball early is seriously annoying, plain rude, and shows the player is a low level player. Good players will not be willing to keep playing with these types of players. So it hurts somebody more than they realize.

    BTW...an interesting point regarding how to DEAL with this. I have played these types before. And these are balls that are less than 1 foot out. Every single time they call it early, I approach the net, and ask for a let. They say it was out...I say they called it early, and didn't see the ball clearly. They argue it was out...this goes on for a good 30 seconds. Then again...we repeat the entire sequence after they do it again. I want them to understand everytime they do this irritating behavior, they have to deal with more irritating behaviour. You know...share the pain. This happens only about 3 -4 times...then they stop calling early.

    This is tournament play only of course. I don't see it much honestly.

    This is not a diss to the person who posted the question. They obviously had concerns or they wouldn't have asked. I remember myself...yelling "OH GOD!!!" immediately before a guy smashed an easy overhead into the net when I was new to the game. He glared at me...called me to net, and told me that it was considered very rude in tennis to yell like that. I was so ashamed of myself!!! LOL! I never did that again believe me. Heck...I just didn't know yet.
     
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  29. QuietDaze

    QuietDaze Rookie

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    This is a good thread because I hate when people call my balls out before they land. I also call balls out that are 10ft out, just to be consistent. But I just got reminded not to holler out when I make a bad shot. It's good to be reminded of the courtesy's.
     
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  30. smoothtennis

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    Right...you can yell out loud when you make a bad shot and it is OUT. But NOT when it is in, because that is very distracting. I have given points to opponents for screaming after a bad shot that was going out, but somehow went in! It is just courteous. And we 'ain't getting paid at the end of the match. So normal human courtesy is in order most of the time.
     
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  31. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    JavierLW - has been correct on several points in several posts.

    My issue with early calls, isn't so much that its bad sportsmanship, or obviously they didn't clearly see the ball out to call it out, since it isn't out yet. Those irritate me and you don't see serious players do that. That's very amateurish behavior, so is catching the ball, or blocking it with one's racquet when its clearly sailing long.

    What bother's me is the person who engages in this is very disinclined to correct their call when the ball does indeed spin and bite the edge of the baseline.

    So, they've called it out early, are very unlikely to correct themselves (they may look away and not even watch the bounce), and I'm on the other side of the net with no good answers should I ask:

    - Did you see it clearly bounce out?
    - Are you sure?

    So, I can't even meaningfully ask them since I know the answer is "no" to the questions.

    My advice: Don't do this stuff. Especially at USTA matches or tournaments. Your opponent will get irritated, so for gamesmanship value, this is a good one for those who like to irritate their opponent.
     
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  32. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    The point is not to get them to reverse their call. The point, is to let them know, their behaviour will cause as much pain and irritation to them as it does to you. Furthermore, and I am serious...I have seen these guys look away before the hit---no kidding. I want them to pay attention - I want the to start to second guess themselves for accuracy sake.

    I will also ask them calmly if they are adamant that they are seeing it right, what then is the logic of calling it out before it bounces? And why don't they call it out a second time after it actually hits out? Nobody has ever been able to adequately explain that one to me on the court. Because they don't know why they do it.

    It might go something like this:
    The main point, is that they become aware that they will have to stop the match, the flow, the game, and expain each time why they called it out early. And better yet, you have added a monkey wrench into their system of calling balls out early. They now know you want them to call it after it bounces. So now they have to call out twice if they call it early, or you do the whole conversation again. Well, even that seems silly to them to call it twice, so they gain experience just as we all have...and start doing it right. Right? :mrgreen:

    And...it's not mean, it's just a conversation right? Don't be all up their face or anything, that's no good.
     
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  33. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Yes JavierLW has made some good points. However, all side topics aside...the answer to the question is no, you shouldn't call balls out before they land out.
     
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  34. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    For what it's worth I played one of the worst opponents this season who did this on one call.

    He had already made two very horrible calls (one was a foot and a half inside the baseline and another fell right in the middle of the doubles alley, both were quickly called out)

    So I hit this ball that was still a good 15 feet in the air with no sign of where it was going to land, and I heard him say "Out!". (then my partner and I watched as the ball landed in)

    So my first reaction was to say "You called it while it was in the air!!!!". (meaning that there is no way his call was correct because he didnt even know where it was going to land at the time) His response was just a quick and abrupt "No, I didnt!!". (which lead to me saying "yes you did", and he said "no I didnt", etc, etc....)

    He kind of looked like the mechanic guy in the Seinfeld Episode where George says he stole his Twix bar, and the guy says "no, I didnt", even though he has cookie crumbs all over him.

    Anyway the problem is this individual is a tool. I think way less of him because of this, and it doesnt matter that he called it before it bounced, the problem is he is a tool and he's going to cheat anyway. If I had a choice in the matter, I would just never play this person again.

    (I almost wanted to find out how much it would cost to have one of those tournament officials show up at our next schedule League match against his team, as he was the captain as well)
     
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  35. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    In doubles this is an interesting question. Many try to say "bounce it", but since the guy you are saying it to, is probably at the net (I hope is at the net) then by the time you say "bounce it" he has already hit the ball. I shout "no!" for don't hit it and long/wide/out for landing out.

    To the OP, in singles this is a no-brainer. Don't call it out. Who are you calling it out to? Your opponent? Then give him the courtesy to actually see it land out. End of story.
     
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  36. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    I get what you're saying, perhaps I was indeed placing too much value on what indeed is correct / right, as opposed to what the rules say.

    For the record, someone should put this in the rules....
     
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  37. mucat

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    JavierLW, have you try calling anything he hit out? It is horrible people have to cheat in a game.
     
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  38. smoothtennis

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    LOL, exactly.
     
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  39. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I didnt think it would help in this particular case because this guy was a moron.

    If I do that, then he's just going to make even more bad calls and it's not going to be a tennis match anymore.

    If he wasnt a moron perhaps it might make him think twice about what he was doing, but I dont think this particular fellow would of thought that much about it.

    So it was basically just play on, and hope that he doesnt do it too often. The worst thing I feel I could do is let it get to me or my partner where it affects our play, and sometimes for me when I try to retaliate it takes away from what Im trying to do on the court.

    As it was, I did make a big stink about it every time, and I think it did affect my partners play at least. Normally I wouldnt say anything (if it was at least close) and I'll give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but these were just extreme incidents that needed to be at least commented on.

    (the one that fell in the middle of the alley, caused me to observe to him "You do know this is doubles, dont you??")

    I have thought of something for the matches though when people catch the ball in mid-flight and it's not a league or touranment match or anything.

    I still hate it when people do it, and I wonder if I was to wander (INTO) the court and catch it in midair and yell "OUT!!!", if that would make them stop doing it.

    Usually if you call them on it, they make a fuss, saying they are just playing for fun... But if you do something like what Im describing, then what are they going to do, make up their own special rule? There is no rule that says you can catch it out of bounds but not in bounds.... (you cant catch it at all)
     
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  40. Hot Sauce

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    No, you can't. I hate it when people do that.
     
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  41. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    There is a time and place for everything.

    If I am playing a match with friends, we catch balls that are sailing out or just hit them back. We don't generally call balls out before they land because we don't generally make calls out loud at all (we both usually know). We make calls on very close balls and very close serves.

    With people I am not close friends with, I will generally do what they want. I can call all balls in or out or just the close ones. I still tend to catch balls that are sailing long so I don't have to chase them. Sometimes my opponent will claim the point for himself ("the ball wasn't out before you hit it. My point!!"). I will almost always (actually always) give up the point. I usually won't stop doing it and will gladly give up the points to not have to chase the ball.

    In a tournament, I play strictly by the rules (unless I know the guy well and he doesn't mind me catching the ball, etc., but that is VERY rare. Even with friends I generally will not do this in a tournament). Tournaments are different. You are both there to win and it shows a great disrespect to your opponent (and the game itself) to pretend that the rules somehow don't apply to you.

    But as "Supernatural" pointed out, many people do these sorts of things for gamesmanship purposes. This stuff "just happens". You have to learn to deal with these "gamesmanship" folks. It helps to realize that, by engaging in gamesmanship, they are showing the "first fear". If you don't believe me, ask yourself this......do people engage in gamesmanship against opponents they can easily beat? Not usually. When your opponent starts into gamesmanship tactics it is always a sign to me that he is getting scared. He is resorting to "non-tennis" tactics to make up for HIS perceived relative lack of skill. Even better with thsese guys is, if you aren't bothered by their gamesmanship, they get even more worried and play even worse.
     
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  42. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    ....as previously quoted from The Rules of Tennis:

    26. HINDRANCE (OLD 21,25 & 36)

    If a player is hindered in playing the point by a deliberate act of the opponent(s), the player shall win the point.

    However, the point shall be replayed if a player is hindered in playing the
    point by either an unintentional act of the opponent(s), or something outside
    the player’s own control (not including a permanent fixture).


    Here's a case in point. Davenport vs. Venus Williams (I can't recall the tournament/match).

    Scenario:

    1. Davenport was hindered by beads falling out of Venus Williams' hair. CU called a let, point was replayed. (from the BOLDED and ITALICIZED rule above.)

    2. Later on, it (beads falling out) happened again. CU awarded the point to Davenport. (from the BOLDED rule above.)

    Decision:

    1. Event was considered an unintentional hindrance. Hence, a let was played.

    2. Even was considered an INTENTIONAL hindrance. Hence, the hinderer loses the point.

    In the case of calling balls out before the bounce, you can apply the same decision. After the first "premature out call > correction", you can call a let due to an unintentional hindrance. From that point forward, any and all "premature out call > correction" is considered an intentional hindrance since the offending player is intentionally calling "premature out calls" and making corrections.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
    #42
  43. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    We've been thru this already and you're a little late to the party.

    No you cant.

    If I happen to mis-call any ball (after it bounces) and do it continuously, it is just as annoying and has the same effect. (you either win the point, or it's played over)

    You dont get to win the point because that point is over once I have to correct my call.

    And it's not hindrance because there is no way you will have an opportunity to stay in the point. (the ball is never moving toward you) Because:

    a) If you hit it out, it's still OUT! (you hit it out already, it's not like you were distracted or anything and had a chance of winning the point)

    b) If the ball falls in, by rule you play it over. It's called a "bad call", it doesnt matter if it's premature at all, and nowhere in the rules does it address when you can call it out. (it just defines when it is out)

    You need to read "The Code" items 33-37 to find out what issues may cause hindrance. They all deal with issues that happen while the ball is on it's way to you and you would of had a fair chance of returning it.

    You could say that a bad call (it doesnt say early or late call), could cost you the same thing, however there is already a rule that defines whether it's a let, or your point. (it's only your point if your opponent fails to return it or gives you an easy sitter)

    In fact most bad calls are due to early calls. It's rare that you see it go out and then something in your brain decides that no, it was really in....
    (except in doubles perhaps)
     
    #43
  44. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    I would probably call all his shots hit in the middle of my side out. I believe once someone cheating in a match, it is not tennis anymore and it is just not fun and not worth it.

    And yes, catching everything obviously in and call it out would be fun too:evil:
     
    #44
  45. Adrupert

    Adrupert New User

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    I hit with tons of topspin and people always call my shots out before they land right on the baseline for a winner.

    They look stupid because they just got winnered on by a ball right in front of them, and one they called out.
     
    #45
  46. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    Depends on who you are playing. If playing with a friend, you can pretty much call it however you deem fit. If you are playing a true match with a competitive opponent, i would suggest waiting on any ball that is hit decently by opponent. If there is a tanked shot that is so obvious that it is going to land out, then call it.
     
    #46
  47. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    When you call a ball out that is still in play, you have effectively quit playing the point. When I was officiating and a warning was still part of the PPS, a warning was given and then a point was taken. The warning was removed so I suppose now they take a point. I never had a problem with it in an officiated match. As for the original post, I have to ask why do it at all. Makes no sense, is not part of tennis and is bad sportsmanship. Same thing with catching a ball that appears to be going out, but is in fact, still in play.
     
    #47
  48. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    When you are playing matches without any ref or line men you and your opponents are serving their roles. Have you seen any ref or line person calling balls out before the ball landed?
     
    #48
  49. LazyAzN

    LazyAzN Rookie

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    It's a small habit I developed by accident of raising my finger while the ball if sailing far far away from the court to indiciate the ball was flying out and is going to be out. Trying to adjust to keeping my finger down until it bounces, so...

    /thread
     
    #49
  50. randomname

    randomname Professional

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    in singles I always let the ball bounce before I call it. In doubles, Ive found that the other team always understands that im not actually calling the ball when im just telling my partner to leave it, although I always do it just after the ball crosses the net (ive never had anyone complain that they thought I was actually calling the ball out instead of calling my partner off of it)
     
    #50

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