Dealing with a foot faulter in your league

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by dman72, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    So let's say you have a guy in your league who has both feet inside the baseline..on every serve. You notice this during warmup and when you see the guy playing on adjoining courts.

    The guy is a good guy, not a jerk or a cheeser with line calls or anything..maybe he just has no idea that he starts with both feet behind the line, but after his toss both feet slide way over the line.

    If he had a really weak serve it wouldn't matter, but his serve has become effective...it only clears that net by about 3 inches so that's another advantage he's gaining..that his flat hard serve with no margin for error probably wouldn't be clearing the net.

    Plus, he's developing a serve and volley game and he's gaining half a step on this.

    How do you go about addressing this without being a jerk...like bringing it up right before a match (gamey) right after a match (sore loser or winner). The first time I played him I actually took a few serves from his starting position and he didn't even get a racquet on them..trying to make a point. It didn't connect.

    The last time I played this guy we split sets, so I'm hoping I win and then I might bring it up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
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  2. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    You could tell him he is foot faulting, and you may call him out on it if he does it all the time, but in the beginning just as a warning. Just gently mention that tougher players will definately call him out every single time - so he has to become more aware.
     
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  3. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I guess the best way to bring it up is after a win so it doesn't just sound like sour grapes, not that it's going to be that easy because we are pretty much equal players. Of course, if he's getting tons of easy points off of his serve because he's 2 feet inside the line, losing is not going to be handled well by me. I'm 6 inches taller then him and my height advantage is partially or fully negated by those 2 feet he's stealing (not really sure of the physics) :D .
     
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  4. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    I used to foot fault a lot (one foot), by a 1-3 inches, until one of the players in the club that I play with regularly mentioned it to me. He also gave me a tip, just start a few inches further back. It worked beautifully, and I was grateful for the help. I actually asked him to tell me every time he sees me foot fault. I think if you are polite about it, you won't have any issues, and he might actually thank you for it. Just let him know that you don't really care, but someone else might, especially if he plays USTA leagues or tournaments, so it's better to try to fix it during practice or a friendly game.
     
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  5. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    I would ignore it.

    Ive only ever mentioned a foot fault to anyone once after i was getting pissed at not being able to get this guys serve back. He would start with his feet millimetres behind the line. step into the court 6 inches or more. Jump forward and land before ever contacting the ball he was probably 16/18 inches inside the line before he hit the ball. Never happened since i mentioned it, but unless you feel its putting you at a serious disadvantage then just ignore it
     
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  6. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Foot faulting is like masterbedroom. Eveyone does it.
     
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  7. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Why don't you record his serve, then send him the video? Simply explain to him that he foot faults consistently, and provide him with evidence.

    It sounds like he is an honest player, and may not know that he is gaining an advantage with his service technique.

    Good luck, and please let us know the results.
     
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  8. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Sorry, this seems a little xtreme! Recording him while he's serving! Would you let him know he is being recorded or just catch him off guard? Evidence, are you taking him to court (pardon the pun). That would go over like a lead ballon..pardon the cliche.
     
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  9. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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    does your cell phone have video capability? how difficult/intrusive is it to record someone foot faulting?

    showing the player video evidence carries a lot more weight than simply saying, "dude, you're footfaulting!"
     
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  10. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I am confused........Does he start with both feet inside the line or does he jump in as he serves with both feet ??????
     
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  11. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I couldn't agree with this more. Even the guys you think isn't footfaulting does foot fault about 10-20 % of the time. You just didn't notice it because they don't do it often like this guy. Even if you touch the line with your Toes only, it is just as much Foot fault as if you jump in with both feet before you strike the ball.
     
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  12. prgault

    prgault Rookie

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    There are a few of us that have been playing in the local center's quad league for @ 15 years, and one of the long timers apprached me last year to tell me that lately I had been foot faulting routinely. No angst or drama, just said it, I said ok and now back up a a few inches when serving...no problem, in fact I think it helped me refocus on what I was doing overall when serving.

    P_
     
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  13. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    How many points do you think this extra few inches causes the guy to win, do you think. The one guy I complained to I would have said it was regularly helping him hold serve
     
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  14. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    There should be a follow up thread for "how to deal with 'that guy' who feels compelled to call footfaults"
     
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  15. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    He starts with both feet behind the line, his toss is forward into the court, he first slides his front foot at least 6 inches into the court, then slides his back foot into the court into a platform stance, then jumps into the serve.


    I would say that it doesn't give an advantage, but I did the same thing to him twice in a previous match (to prove a point to him and myself), and both serves were aces that he didn't even move to get...where he responded "whoah, great serve". You bet it was!!

    I was able to hit so much more down on the ball and still have it land in, it was ridiculous. It probably felt to him like I put 10MPH more on my serve. I'm 6'1 and I imagined this is what it must be like to be 6'6 with your serve. Likewise, he's 5'5 or 5'6.
     
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  16. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    I really don't care or notice, but they usually get nailed when they get to regionals.
     
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  17. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    simple solution. As soon as the front foot slides inside the line, say Footfault before even he can get slide his back foot inside. This will let him know that he is definitely footfaulting even before he gets into the swing.
     
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  18. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Rookie

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    Tell his Teaching Pro or Captain....
     
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  19. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Some of his USTA teamates already know and I think may have mentioned it.
     
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  20. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Hard to say what kind of a reaction you might get.
    The guy could thank you for pointing it out, or
    act like Kobe getting whistled for traveling (for palming the ball) on a
    time-expiring game-winning dunk.
     
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  21. purge

    purge Hall of Fame

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    or serena getting a footfault call on a matchpoint against her *whistles*
     
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  22. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    Just call it when it happens. He can gripe all he wants, but if it is as blatant as you say, there's nothing else he can argue.
     
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  23. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    I disagree with some of you--not everyone does it. It's cheating. It's like making the net lower, the player taller, the service box bigger. I ran some trig on it once, and every inch a player steals really effects the geometry of the court. Also, don't forget the ball is traveling faster.

    I usually wait for an ace and then say something like "nice serve--think you can hit that one from behind the line?". Or even better, if they question a line call on their serve, you could say "you had the length right--you just stood too close."
     
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  24. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I don't think the guy in question is knowingly cheating..(unless he's been told and refuses to change his service stance), but it's still an unfair advantage. I guess I don't care enough about winning to make things turn ugly by calling a foot fault during a silly league match, so honestly, I'm watching him during warm ups next time we play, and if he's still inside the line, I'm going to start my serve a foot inside the line. We'll see if he gets the point. My only fear with that is that it screws up my serve for the next match. :)
     
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  25. VaththalKuzhambu

    VaththalKuzhambu Rookie

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    Everyone likes to be praised, especially in tennis.

    First commend him on his powerful serves. Then casually ask him how far he stands behind the baseline before the toss. In fact, request him to demo a couple serves with you standing next to him so that you could learn. Bring up the issue after the demo.
     
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  26. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Why do people feel the need to make things so complicated? If it is blatant, then bring it up directly (and I mean like early on, not like after an ace in the 2nd set :rolleyes:). You have a right to do so, and they shouldn't get upset over you bringing it up. If they do, that's really their problem, not yours.

    All these 'I'll sugar coat my complaint in an insincere compliment' or 'well I'll foot fault too to send a message', or other like options range from inefficiently indirect to downright passive-aggressive. I tell you what, tactics like that are easy to see through and they annoy me a heck of a lot more than a simple direct approach. Maybe that's the real intent of those approaches after all, to be condescending or antagonistic rather than to simply try to resolve the issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
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  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is complicated because he may deny that it happens and ask you to prove it. Or challenge your eyesight being so good.

    Cell phone video taken discreetly during another match is a good solution, but you will look like a jerk who is taping people behind their back.
     
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  28. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    I mean these things can happen, but if the direct approach isn't going to work then I don't see how these other 'ideas' involving indirect insincere compliments about how nice their illegal ace just was or just deciding to footfault yourself will actually work ever either.
     
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  29. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    How many times has someone on this board posted something like "if that jerk calls me for a footfault then I'll call them on him too". Even mentioning a footfault to some people is akin enough to start an argument. People shouldn't freak out about it but they do. That leaves us with either ignoring them (as most people do) or trying to find a way to mention it that won't start a nuclear war.
     
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  30. VaththalKuzhambu

    VaththalKuzhambu Rookie

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    On a related note, how should one handle this if their doubles partner is footfaulting on every serve or making bad line calls often?

    Straight forward approach or subtle notification?
     
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  31. Coach Carter

    Coach Carter Rookie

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    I think this is TOUGH to deal with outside a tournament where you may have either an official or director to gripe to. People usually would take it that your belly-aching over nothing...justified or not.
     
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  32. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    With all this talk of footfaulting I decided to put my serve to the camera test for the second time. I've been accused of foot faulting due to a minor two foot shuffle. What folks don't realize is that I start 6-8 in behind the line. Yes, the front foot may in forward but I'm still behind the line.

    20 second serves -> 1 FF (This one was a really bad loss of balance line cross. If someone called me on it no problem.
    10 first serve kickers -> 0 FF
    10 s & v serves -> 2 FF (Line touches)
    20 3/4 control first servers -> 1 FF (Loss of balance with a line touch but it went into the net.

    In conclusion unless I'm trying to get to net or I have a form break footfaulting it's probably not happening.

    Get a camera, set it up and show the accused results. Nuff said.
     
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  33. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    No, I want to resolve the issue. The problem, as I stated before, is that if you tell someone before a match that they are a foot faulter, it will inevitably screw up their performance..that is if they care to not cheat. Ajusting your serve at the start of a match is a recipe for disaster, and I don't want to win that way.

    Telling a guy after a match is sour grapes unless you have beaten him..in which case, could also be interpreted as "I would have beat your ass worse if you weren't foot faulting".

    As I stated before, I will play this guy again and if we at least split sets I'll bring it up post match in a friendly manner.
     
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  34. jht32

    jht32 Rookie

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    Videotaping someone without his consent is just creepy.

    Footfaulting yourself to see if the footfaulter will "get the message" is just misguided.

    If you want to let him know, just tell him that you think he footfaults sometimes and he may want to have someone check his feet when he serves. If someone told you that you footfault, you would probably want to get other opinions or have someone watch you when you serve to confirm it.

    Footfaulting is like being pregnant. You either are or are not. There is no kinda.
     
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  35. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    I tend to serve a couple inches behind the baseline to avoid the footfault calls in most league play. If they call it and they are wrong where I'm obviously still behind the line I claim the point and move on since they ended play. Dealt with some people this year that were justusing it as a way for cheap points (not saying I don't because I do at times, but in this case it was only on 2nd serves w/no official at Districts and if the official isn't calling it when there I'm thinking there's not an issue)

    Only one person this year has been so beyond the line that I've brought it up. It was actually before the match. He was 1-2' inside the baseline by the time he hit the ball and played serve and volley. I just made a friendly reminder during the warmups. Typically I expect someone to be a couple inches inside at my level. Never mind that I couldn't come close to seeing that from the other side of the court.
     
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  36. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I heard this story somewhere, might even have read it on here somewhere, and it amused me, so..

    Guy is playing an opponent who is foot faulting. A lot. So, eventually, he makes the call.
    The opponent goes ballistic, claiming that "it is impossible to make a foot fault call as the returner and the rule should be banned"
    So, our man, undaunted, waits until it is his turn to serve and marches up to his own service line, sets up and rips an 'ace' into the other guys box. Looks straight at him and says "What? you weren't going to call a foot fault, were you?"

    I have no idea what happened next, or if this is even true, but I did laugh a lot when I first encountered the tale and wanted to share...
     
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  37. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Yup, that story is legendary, heard it from my coach, and I'm dying to use the tactic someday, just waiting for the right moment.
     
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  38. ralentor

    ralentor New User

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    I played a chronic foot-faulter just yesterday in doubles for USTA league. I noticed it during his first service game, on both first and second serves. I wasn't sure what to do about it, but since it was obvious even from the other side of the net and the score was very close, I mentioned to him on the next changeover that he was foot-faulting repeatedly, and that's all I said. For the rest of his service games, he started further back with no obvious foot faults. He double-faulted more frequently from then on, which was to our advantage. We won the 1st set 7-5 and the second 6-1.
     
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  39. Backhand DTL

    Backhand DTL New User

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    anyone who calls foot faults is a ******!
     
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  40. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    i am more like 20 1st serves ---15 footfaults
    20 2nd serves --- 18 footfaults...:)

    what would you do ?
     
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  41. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I've only come across this issue in a league dubs match where I noticed it. I just waited until after the match and told him then. No muss, no fuss.
     
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  42. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    He won't believe you. he will just think you are a sore loser.:) Only way anybody who footfaults will believe what you say is IF you Video tape his serving and his foot then show him right after the game,,,,then he will believe you. Otherwise, he will just think you are a Liar and a sore loser.
     
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  43. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    you could always learn to serve legally if it annoys you that much...
     
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  44. kingdaddy41788

    kingdaddy41788 Hall of Fame

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    How can anyone argue that footfaulting isn't cheating? Because "everyone does it"? That's a ridiculous argument. It's cheating. Pure and simple. Every bit as much as hooking someone on a line call. If you're breaking the rule, and you know you're breaking the rule, you're cheating. Period.

    I'm 5' 8" and I have no problem serving from behind the baseline. I think everyone else can do it too...
     
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  45. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Exactly. If youre footfaulting all the time, your serve actually sucks. Even if you get them in all the time and your proud of your serves, they are all actually illegal. Call the footfaults!!!!
     
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  46. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    x'2

    If you are a foot faulter, you are cheating. It's SO easy to fix-- all you have to do is move back a few inches--no big deal. If someone tells you, you are foot faulting, they are doing you a big favor, because some day it will come back to bite you badly if you compete. Or socially, people will talk behind your back and call you a "FOOT FAULTER" and you will not be invited to the right parties. If people make you aware of the problem and you do nothing to fix it, you are either stupid, arrogant or have psychological problems and should see a tennis psychologist.
     
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  47. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    You can rip a shot down the line that is out by a half inch. No one would say, "that was such a good shot, lets call it good". I don't know why anyone would look at a foot fault as no big deal.
     
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  48. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Are you joking? I'd guess 60% of rec players footfault. I really wouldn't want you on my team if you want to make a big deal out of footfaulting.
     
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  49. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    What's the name of your team, "the Mediocres"?
     
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  50. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    We play Rec Tennis. I think pretty much by definition even the good players are mediocre. If you really care about footfaults in rec tennis then you are taking yourself far too seriously.
     
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