Dealing with a foot faulter in your league

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

  1. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Are you one of the guys who plays rec basketball at the YMCA and just looks the other way when the opponent double dribbles, or take 5 or 6 steps before making a layup?
     
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  2. newton296

    newton296 Rookie

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    ran into a foot faulter in a league match about a year ago. he started behind the line, then stepped over it a good foot during his motion. I thought about calling him on it but it was such an easy win for me I didn't bother. ( I won the last set 6-0 )

    if it was a close match, I would just call it on him as soon as I first saw it, he might get mad but if he is clearly foot faulting what can he say? cmon , its cheating. clear and simple. foot faulting repeatedly is just as much cheating as calling balls out that were clearly in.

    you gotta say something!
     
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  3. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Looks like it's high time I invest in a racquet cam ;-)
     
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  4. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    By my definition "good players" are good because they have the desire to be good players and learn the rules of the sport of tennis, written and unwritten, and try their best to follow them. There's nothing wrong with mediocre, by definition it means average and by definition most folks are average. Am I taking myself "far too seriously"?, I certainly hope so. Although I may never be a champion I hope to strive to be the best I can be at the sport I love, and minimally try to behave like one. And if I'm ever on the court with a champion, I hope not to make as ass out of myself by not knowing and doing the most fundamental things that are easily fixable like foot-faulting.

    At the rec level I've given up on getting excited about foot faulting, it would just slow down my practice, BUT I do note it and think less of the person doing it. At the tournament level, a roving umpire would take care of it for me, or if my opponent was doing it egregiously, I would follow the rules and inform them, then call an umpire to officiate, if they continued. Fortunately, I've never had to do that, because good players don't foot fault, or on the rare occasion they do, if called on it, they fix it. They don't cry like a baby and say something stupid and lawyerly, like "It's only a technical violation," or sociopathic like, "I'm going to shove this ball down your throat and kill you".
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
    #54
  5. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    Most people in rec leagues don't want to cheat. Just tell him. I suspect that he might actually appreceate it.
     
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  6. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Nice post. Agree with you totally.
     
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  7. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Sorry that's not been my personal experience of late, they either are insulted, indignant, indifferent or thank me and keep on foot faulting. So that's why I don't make an issue of it at the rec/league level, and in the Seniors it's not an issue. It's like disciplining other people's children when their parents won't, you run the risk of being called a ****.
     
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  8. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    Well, I'm sorry for you. That doesn't sound like fun playing in that sort of league.
     
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  9. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I am just amazed that so many people here seem to think it's ok to foot fault. I mean, WTF????

    You are cheating, people, that's all there is to it.

    LEARN TO SERVE!!!!!!!!!
     
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  10. rjw

    rjw Professional

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    +1 try to play by the rules....it's not that hard to do
     
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  11. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, BK, yup not much fun at all. I'm injured, up 20 lbs. from playing weight and have to scratch out what-ever hit I can for practice. Thinking about biting the bullet and returning to tournaments and just take the losses. I'm starting to think that would be preferable to playing with the inmates at the asylum.
     
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  12. Backhand DTL

    Backhand DTL New User

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    Foot faults are best called by umpires in real matches - not by rec players. If you are a rec player, just don't do it. Let the guy foot fault and just watch the ball instead of dwelling on his feet. It probably won't impact the match anyway and you will end up in a bad mood. In a tournament, you can always mention it to the umpire and let them speak to the opposing player. It is very "unfriendly" to call your rec friends for foot faults! LOL
     
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  13. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    I tend to think it is unfriendly to step over the line on your serve.
     
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  14. kelawai

    kelawai Rookie

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    I watched a 4.0 League one night. A guy foot faulted all the time and win the match. While shaking hands the opponent's told him foot faulted a lot. And he accused the opponent foot fault too :)
     
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  15. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

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    Majority of the time I don't call foot faults unless it's completely obvious. Like if they're taking a giant step into the court. If it's a couple of inches I don't see how you'd be able to tell from the opposite side of the court while still concentrating on the return. There was one time in mixed doubles where the female was serving from the wrong side of the court by a few inches (she'd been on the center line and stepping to the the deuce side before serving it to the deuce court). In that situation I stopped the ball and informed her and just let her play a let since I didn't want to be a jerk about it.
     
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  16. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    If the rules are important to you, then just don't play people who don't understand or abide by the rules. In a tournament or match, there should be someone there to ensure the rules are followed.

    At a decent level footfaulting shouldn't be an issue. The last time it caught my attention in a match, I just did not return the serve and left it to the opponent if he wanted to take the point or serve again. I let the ball go right past me without attempting a return so the server asked me what was up, and ended up taking a 2nd serve. Technically if the server footfaults the point is not in play anyway.

    I take each point as it comes, and don't worry too much about what happened before or what might happen. The only important point is the one you are playing right at that moment, and if it is a footfault, well it just counts for nothing. I am not interested in playing the point, and if the other guy wants to, well that is up to him. When the ball is actually in play, then I might be a bit more interested.
     
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  17. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    Here is an old thread I started:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=213716

    My issue with foot faulting is that it allows the cheater to alter the dimensions of the court. How would you feel if a player's partner pushed the net down half an inch while he was serving?
     
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  18. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    What is he pushing the net down with?
     
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  19. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Geometry. Serving a foot forward into the court has the same effect in terms of net clearance as pushing the net down.
     
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  20. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    Sorry I thought you meant a doubles partner and was just wondering. Actually a lot of guys on the seniors tour could use their belly.
     
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  21. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Standing on the adjoining court last night, I realize there's another guy committing foot faults by about 2 feet. I played him 2 weeks ago and didn't realize of course, because I'm trying to watch the ball. When his first serve was in, which wasn't often, it was very difficult to return. We split sets and I was leading the 3rd when we ran out of time.

    From now on when I play these guys, I'm standing a foot inside the line.
     
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  22. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    I have been playing tennis for a long time and i never look at where my opponent's foot is before he serves. Only time i even notice anything is if the guy serves standing inside the service line. I would complain there.
     
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  23. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    In lower rungs of Tennis I think you should only tell someone if it impacts you mentally. It's really no big advantage six inches this way or that on a serve. If you think someone is going to beat you because they foot fault on a serve, you have likely already lost.
     
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  24. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    A player at our club who has bounced between 3.5 and 4.0 foot faults on 100% (no exaggeration) of his serves and to my knowledge no one at the club has ever talked to him about it nor has an opponent in a league match called one on him.

    He has a very slow, deliberate serve warm up and hits a pretty hard flat serve but on every one he starts with his toes on the line and slides his front foot forward where his toes end up on top of or just slightly past the line before making contact.

    I remember watching him in a social match at the club and several people commenting on his foot faults but no one offered to speak to him about it. I partner with him as much as any other player in league play and I've not had the stones to talk to him about it either. I think perhaps his teammates are hoping some opponent will call one on him eventually and let him know. I believe he doesn't do it intentionally but I can't say that he doesn't gain a slight advantage by doing it.

    It just seems like such an awkward conversation to have to tell a tennis player he is a habitual foot faulter, like telling someone you know and like that they have bad breath. Who wants to have that conversation?
     
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  25. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    The first time you see him do it, let it go. Then second time, mention it nicely. If he isn't man enough to handle being told that he's obviously not following obvious rules, then screw him. (I mean "the hell with him," not have sex with him).
     
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  26. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    There's a guy at my club that foot faults 100% of the time too, but with a toe drag. Members have mentioned that the lines are becoming ripped on the baseline, in part caused by this toe drag.

    Last time I played him, he actually said "they need to do something about these lines. I feel like I'm going to trip on them every time I serve"

    I didn't have the heart to tell him that all that needs to happen is him fix his foot faulting. I just cracked up laughing at him. Don't know if he got the hint or not.
     
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  27. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    There is a 4.5 player on my team that footfaults on every single serve. He kinda shuffles both feet forwards a bit as he tosses the ball, and ends up with his front foot maybe an inch on the line. And does this consistently - it's part of his service motion.

    We've pointed it out to him, but I don't think he can fix it - it's just part of his serve. The only thing he can do is start off a couple of inches behind the line. When we remind him he does that, but then he forgets and reverts back to footfaulting.

    Of course it's against the rules... but he gains absolutely no advantage by doing this. He's never been called on it by opponents. Actually I would be very suspicious if opponents ever called it on him - I don't think you can conclusively say that he is footfaulting when you are looking from across the net.

    But if we were ever to play with linespeople and they called it on him that would be justified since it is obvious when you are looking from across the baseline.
     
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  28. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    ^^^yea, that's the thing with me. If the guy is foot faulting by an inch to play a baseline point, he's actually at a small disadvantage in recovering on deep returns into his body or deep into a corner. I don't mind taking advantage of that.

    But if someone is gaining a few inches on a serve and volley game, I'm inclined to mention it to them. That's just like false starting in a 100m track race.
     
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  29. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    Honestly, I can't even see someone's foot-fault unless it's completely obvious. Besides, I'm not even looking at the server's feet...I'm watching for contact point to split-step. Foot-faults are something I don't even think about. Now the line call cheesers.......that's a different story. That stuff infuriates me. I played a guy a couple of weeks ago that did this, and I finally had to say something the third time when I hit a screamer that was square on the line. I will not call a ball out (long/wide) unless I can clearly see that it has not caught the line, and you all know, that's not easy to do when you are trying to set up for a return or whatnot. But the last thing I want to do is be known as a cheater. I just refuse to be one. In another recent match, I reached for a ball that ended up being about four inches deep on the baseline, but I wasn't sure that it hit the ground before it hit my racquet. I immediately conceded the point.

    Winning is almost everything, but honor is everything. This is a gentle(wo)man's sport.
     
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  30. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    I thought I saw a lady with a joke t-shirt that read "Ask me if you're foot faultin'"

    There was some pun or joke. Anyway, I'd bring that shirt with me and change into it if I see a lot of foot faults.
     
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  31. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Nice. You could probably get a whole load of passive aggressive custom shirts printed for each occasion that your opponent pisses you off! Just put it on at the changeover.

    "don't ask me if I thought it was in"

    "don't call it out if you don't really know"

    etc etc
     
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  32. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    ^^Talk to the hand.

    That's my favorite.
     
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  33. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I dont know. I've never seen anything good come out of calling a foot faulter. To me, that probably has the least impact on the game, especially in 4.0 or lower. I just dont see how someone, even being 1 ft. inside the line at the time of contact can be much of any use unless the person is serving big. Really big.

    Reaching over the net, hindering, or hooking have a much greater impact.

    Dealing with it? I just "do". I'm not saying you're wrong for calling it, I just dont think its worth it to "up the ante" over something that will give barely any advantage at most levels of tennis.
     
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  34. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    I called my first ever foot fault a few weeks ago. Guy was serving from the deuce court, inches from the center line and proceeded to throw a poor toss about three feet behind him. The toss carried him well past the center line causing him to hit the ball from the ad side, and he managed to hit it down the tee, which from the angle he hit actually caused it to move away from me.

    I managed to get a racquet on it (left a sitter), but called the foot fault. Guy seemed to have no idea that he hit it from where he did. I only called it because A) it was so bad and most certainly allowed him to hit an angle that was physically impossible for him (or me to return from). And B) he called a volley winner of mine out from 40 feet away that was inside the line and didn't even touch it, two points earlier. So I wasn't feeling especially generous about letting that kind of fault go uncalled.
     
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  35. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

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    I've always promoted calling foot-faults if you can clearly see it from the other side of the net. If you can see it from the other side of the net, it's too big of a foot-fault to not call.

    My reason for calling them at all is this: if you ever see a serve from a foot faulter just barely skim above the net, and he foot-faults by that same margin, the ball would have hit the net if he was standing back those couple inches.

    I've personally never called a foot-fault. I thought I saw it, but because I wasn't 100% sure, I just backed off.
     
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  36. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    A) You cant call it after you have hit a return sitter
    B) You cant call it on the first offense ... you need to give a warning first
     
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  37. Squidward

    Squidward Rookie

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    In League, If he does it during warm-up, just give him a heads ups that he's doing it and its against the rules. AND, you'll call it. (Fair Warning)

    If he continues once the match starts, I'd give him "One" warning, then I'd call it everytime.

    We had one in our league that was known for foot faulting. When it came my turn to play him, I followed the above.

    Even poached in to the service line just to watch him do it. That rattled him ALOT!

    Eventually, he became so frustrated that he walked off and forfitted all the games.

    One of the more seasoned league players Thanked Me after the match. Said he wished someone would have done that years ago....
     
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  38. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I always thought foot faulting was kind of like snoring ....

    A lot of folks if you point it out to them they have the attitude that "I don't foot fault" or they simply don't care.

    I find it rare when someone knows they do it, have not already fixed it, yet will make a correction once it is pointed out to them.
     
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  39. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Good thread, can't believe I missed it first time around.

    I serve and volley a lot and I actually call foot faults on myself quite a bit, maybe once every couple of matches. It's pretty clear if I have done it and when I am coming in I have an unfair advantage by gaining the extra step.....I have never had a foot fault called against me I have only called it on myself.

    Regarding calling it on others I suspect unless it was blatant I wouldn't notice it unless the opponent was also serve and volleying. If an advantage was being gained I would call it every time, just as I call it on myself. I would not expect it would be a problem against anyone I have played against.

    If no advantage is being gained in a recreational match, well I probably wouldn't notice it or would simply let it go. In a league match I agree it is a tough call.

    Very interesting to hear other folks take on this difficult situation we all face from time to time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
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  40. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    A) Wasn't two bites at the apple. Called it while in the process of returning the ball. Had I waited until after I saw it was a sitter, I'd agree.

    B) Code seems less than definitive on this to me... it seems more geared to addressing people whose feet cross the baseline. This guy literally served from the wrong court while chasing an errant toss. The guy was not a habitual foot faulter, but in this case he committed a blatant and egregious fault. Maybe I didn't handle it exactly per the Code... If so I made a mistake. Curious what others would have done - both feet were literally on the wrong side of the center line by a couple feet.

    24. Foot Faults. A player may warn an opponent that the opponent has committed a flagrant foot fault. If the foot faulting continues, the player may attempt to locate an official. If no official is available, the player may call fla- grant foot faults. Compliance with the foot fault rule is very much a function of a player’s personal honor system. The plea that a Server should not be penalized because the server only just touched the line and did not rush the net is not acceptable. Habitual foot faulting, whether intentional or careless, is just as surely cheating as is making a deliberate bad line call.
     
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  41. mrsandoo

    mrsandoo New User

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    Eh, in singles I don't mind, because as someone said, the foot faulter will have trouble with a deep return, but when I come across people serving 2 feet in (no joke, there are some 4.0s that just start 2-3 feet behind the baseline and do a running serve) and volleys in doubles, that's a serious advantage. Because that player's entire strategy is built around serving 2 feet in and rushing the net.

    Of course I rarely call it in rec play. Besides if I ever play these foot faulters in tournaments, I have a free win, because USTA does enforce foot faults in tournaments, at sectionals and beyond. :twisted:
     
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  42. dizzlmcwizzl

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    You would think so but over the last three years in districts, and sectionals there has only been 1 ref that called foot faults. I find it disgraceful when a referee watches a dude foot fault by 6 to 8 inches, give the guy a warning and allow him to do that same thing for the rest of the day without a single penalty. It was almost like they were afraid of confrontation.
     
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  43. tennis tom

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  44. North

    North Professional

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    They probably are and I don't blame them, given the often nasty responses (and occasional outright verbal abuse) they get from players when they call foot faults, correct line calls, or otherwise simply try to enforce the rules of play.

    I play a lot of tournaments and, whenever I see an official firmly doing the job, I make sure to give good feedback to the TD & League to let them know that official helped the tourney run a LOT better.
     
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  45. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    I used to foot fault quite a bit and didn't even notice until people started bringing it up. If a person isn't aware they can't change.
     
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  46. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I don't think that I would ever call a footfault in a match. We play rec tennis- we don't have tennis pros watching our feet while working on our serves to inform us about footfaulting.

    That said- I will NEVER understand someone who is called for a footfault and they throw a huge fit and deny that it is happening. When you are serving you are looking up at the ball- if the other team is looking at your feet then you just need to trust them that it is happening. I've only seen 3 people call footfaults in a league match. Every time it was a contentious match where the person calling it was likely just doing it to be a D-bag. Every time the person who was footfaulting denied it and it caused a massive fight.
     
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  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah. Like the server should trust the people who can see a footfault from 80 feet away but who can't call a line right when they are three feet away from it.
     
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  48. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    The only times I have seen a footfault called the server was easily footfaulting enough that it could be clearly seen from the other side of the court with 100% confidence.

    I don't know what else could be done other than to believe them and move back.

    I also agree that the code would completely break if someone is incorrectly calling footfaults out of lack of knowledge of the rules. Just because someone is 100% sure doesn't mean they are correct. If I ever saw this then maybe I would feel differently. For me everytime a footfault has been called the server was convinced they weren't doing it even though it was obvious that they were.
     
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  49. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Footfaulting is a sign to be aware of the person's character off the court.
     
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  50. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    I've only called a foot fault in a leauge match once. It was a doubles match, we were down but I felt like we should have be able to handle these guys so I was irritated. One of the opponants was a pretty flagarant foot faulter (as are nearly 50% of players you see in usta leagues it seems). So during a changeover after one of his service games I said something like "by the way you may not know but you pretty much foot fault on every serve". He seemed in disbelief and looked at his partner who said "yeah actually you do". His next service game he of course foot faulted so I called it. After that I guess it got in his head, we broke him and it turned the match around and we won.

    So there you go. positve impact from calling a foot faulter. :)
     

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