Dealing with a foot faulter in your league

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

  1. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    I was at a WTT tournament recently playing a guy when the official called a foot fault on his 2nd serve. The official intended it as a warning thinking it was a 1st serve, but it cost the guy a point instead. Later in the match he called a couple more on the guy too.

    Another time at USTA states, a couple of us asked a nearby official to monitor a player who was obviously footfaulting. The official went on to call a couple of foot faults on the adjacent court but never on the court we asked him to monitor.
     
  2. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I'll also say that if I had someone on our team who habitually called footfaults they would not be invited back to the team.
     
  3. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I think what was really positive is that his partner agreed! Gave the foot faulter little to argue about.
     
  4. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I'd be willing to entertain the idea that "50% of USTA league players foot fault" but probably less than 5% of the people ive seen actually step over the line. If you're not stepping over the line and into the court by at least a foot you're not getting any real advantage. It's not the same thing as reaching over the net by a foot, calling balls that are a foot in as out, or even playing a double bounce that has taken a foot off its second bounce.

    Sounds to me like you gained a bigger advantage by gamesmanship than he gained by foot faulting. That's just lame to me.

    You are totally in your right to call those foot faults. That just seems like a lame tactic, especially if the person isnt serving huge. To me, its like calling a times keeper over just because someone is taking longer than 15 seconds to begin their service motion. Sure, its a rule and you're within your rights. It just seems "desperate".
     
  5. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    I've never called a foot fault before, but it annoys me that seemingly 60-70% of recreational players do it. It may not seem like an advantage to have your toes on the line, but it's a skill thing. Do your serve from behind the line! It's like having your foot on the free throw line when you are shooting a free throw. You are still a bit closer, you are bending the rules if you serve that way. See if you can still hit your serve from behind the line. I make a point of making sure I don't foot fault, I wish others would do the same.
     
  6. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I used to footfault on literally every serve, but I'm pretty good now at starting a few inches behind the line so I don't foot fault anymore.

    I used to toe the line and footfault anywhere from an inch to the full width of the line (I'm told).
     
  7. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    so I assume you only call net serves where the path of the ball is dramatically effected and not those where it just grazes the top of the tape? When you play tennis you decide for yourself which established rules are important enough to be enforced and which aren't? That's just lame to me.

    I've played hundreds of league matches and only ever called one foot fault on a guy AFTER alerting him to it harmlessly in a changeover. The effect may have been the same as gamesmanship in that it went to his head and. But that's his own fault not anyone else's for not learning how to serve the right way.
     
  8. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Yes, in the grand scheme of things.

    Remember, this is rec tennis. Unless that person is intentionally foot faulting and/or gaining a huge advantage by being 1 ft. in or more inside the baseline and serving 100 mph there is no reason why you should play lawyer.

    Unless this is a playoff or an officiated match there is no reason to be a hardass over the rules, especially one that doesnt offer any significant advantage in the bigger picture of things.

    I mean, if im playing a really old lady and she takes 20 seconds between points to begin her serve motion, should I file a grievance? Of course not. I am within my right to, but I wouldnt.



    Look, it comes down to this:

    If you wouldnt call it when you're winning, you shouldnt call it when you're losing. I have never seen someone call foot faults on their opponents unless they were losing. You even admit that it must have gotten into his head and you turned the game around from that point on.

    If this guy is foot faulting and opening angles for his 100 mph serve, fine.
    If this guy is blatantly disregarding the rules, which shows in other areas of his game, fine.

    Chances are this guy was probably serving 50 mph with no spin and not being more than a foot into the court while being completely oblivious to what he was doing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  9. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    EVERYONE does this.

    Do you enforce EVERY rule to the letter of the law ALL the time? I sincerely doubt it. You'd never get around to playing tennis if you did.
     
  10. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    if you cant follow the laws of the game, then you shouldnt be playing. if you go the whole match foot-faulting and the other guy doesnt call it, it is his problem; but no one should be throwing a hissy-fit for being called out on it, (granted it is a legit call).
     
  11. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    There are 3 points im trying to make:

    1) When a cop pulls you over and gives you a ticket, how often does that cop give you a ticket for every single thing they can? If a cop gives you 5 or more tickets you must have done something really wrong. Trust me, if they want to come up with things they can cite you for, they can.

    2) Police and lines judges are "neutral parties" enforcing the rules equally across all people. How often does a player call a foot fault themselves? How often does a player call foot faults on their opponents when they themselves are winning?

    3) Yes, he is entitled to call foot faults no one disputes that. It's lame given the circumstances, especially since how his opponent broke down, was totally unaware, and then ended up losing. It would be just as lame of me to call a clock on an old lady because she's taking too much time between serves and rushing her along and causing her to overly exert herself into double faulting 4 times in a row. Would you tell that old lady to "quit playing" and give me an award for being rule enforcer of the year? Of course not.
     
  12. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    I was playing in a college doubles tournament and since it was an early round there no umpires on court. We were on the farthest court from the tournament desk and one of our opponents was a foot faulter. My partner said to him 'you foot fault everytime, I don't want to walk all the way to the TD to get an umpire so stop.' The guy continued to foot fault so the next time it was my partner's turn to serve he took the ball and walked all the way up the net and slammed the ball into the service box and said '15-love'. Our opponents asked 'what was that?' My partner said 'well if you're going to foot fault so am I'. On the next point my partner got the balls and started walking toward the net--our opponents said 'OK, OK, we get it, we'll stop'. The next time the foot faulter served he stood well off the baseline and foot faults were no longer an issue--worked like a charm. Foot faulting is cheating no matter how slight--just like calling a ball that barely catches the line out.
     
  13. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    (1)I dont see that happening in a "college doubles tournament" or in any tournament for that matter. If its college level tennis there should be chair umps... if not, at least some roaming officials.

    (2)So is walking up to the net and slamming the ball into the service box and calling out "15-love". You are totally in your right to "get a ref", but doing what you did is not only a... foot fault... but also unsportsmanlike conduct and would result in suspension in most cases.

    The response to cheating is not to cheat back harder. It never is.

    Great story, but not very believable, and if it did happen, that was a really stupid thing to do. You not only risk defaulting the entire match but also risk being sanctioned. If this was just a "college aged people playing tennis" then whatever, but to do that in a "college doubles tournament" is just beyond stupid.

    If someone is "that bad" then just call a ref. Imagine if they called a ref on you for doing that? Or if a ref just happened to look over and see those antics?
     
  14. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    you see, I have only got 1 post into the thread and here is the answer.

    How has this reached 100+ posts???

    *edit. LOL, how quickly we forget, I have posted in this thread 3 times myself!

    Just learn to serve, people. You will probably find your service improves with a more stable base, anyway...
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  15. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I find the scenario as described believable and have heard it done by others--I can hardly wait to utilize it myself someday--IT WORKED! It was more expedient then walking to the far end of the tournament site dragging an official over. I've seen much worse behavior at tournaments with the officials standing around doing nothing, just yesterday in fact.

    You don't get suspended for a foot fault, granted it was a rather gargantuan foot fault. If it were deemed bad sportsmanship then there would be a warning, then a point violation, a game, and then match. Given the situation, that the perp was warned and continued foot faulting, I think it was a cool way of making the point.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  16. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    lol, right, Because that's how everyone serves in the 4.5 leagues.
     
  17. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    wow, you know how to stir up the hyperbole don't you? Look, you said you had never seen and couldn't imagine an instance where anything positive had come from calling a foot fault. I provided an anecdote to give a contrary example. The guy had at least one shoe completely in the court or it wouldn't even have occurred to me. As I said, almost half of the guys in USTA leagues, even at 4.5 level often have at least a toe if not a foot in the court on their serve. In hundreds of matches I've called it once, only AFTER talking to the guy about it on a changeover.

    Your analogies are ridiculous, irrelevant and overblown.
     
  18. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Has anyone ever seen someone call a person for a footfault when they are winning?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  19. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Did you mean to say call a foot fault if they are winning?

    My answer is no I have not, but then I usually don't call it if I see it if its minor (and I'm 99.9% sure I personally don't foot fault because of my set-up, so it's not like I am oblivious to it), but if it was blatant enough, yeah, I'd call it if it was league or tourney and it wouldn't matter if I was up or down.

    One guy, who is nicknamed Cheater Joe behind his back, foot faults often... this was a non USTA league on a Saturday morning... organized with about 18 people but just for bragging rights... I called him on it, of course he got pissed. He beat me, but I called it before the match was decided.
     
  20. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Ha yes. I've never seen it. People can say that they would call it whether they are winning or losing but thats simply not how I have ever seen it called. Its always been a Dbag move by someone who was losing and trying to do anything they could to unsettle the opponent.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  21. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    has anyone ever seen someone who hadn't at least once been unsettled by being called out on a rules violation refer to it as a dbag move? :)
     
  22. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I've never been called for a footfault in a match. I've seen it called in 3 matches and every single time it was a total D-bag move by a player who was losing and who was getting frustrated. (called twice by opponents, once by my team) Deciding to enforce a rule only when you are losing is pretty much the definition of poor sportsmanship. And absolutely there are plenty of total D-bag moves that can be pulled while staying completely within the rules.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  23. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Sorry, but being called on a foot fault while being totally oblivious that you're doing it and then having a mental collapse leading to a loss does not sound like "4.5" to me.

    Sounds like 3.5-4.0 antics played from a losing position.

    It was also my mistake to not assume that everyone on the internet is 4.5 playoff level quality players too.

    So, the "positive" outcome was a win over a mentally insufficient opponent who has a collapse over being called for a footfault which you called after you happened to be losing. Ok.

    And then we have another person in this thread talking about how his partner in a "college doubles tournament" walks up to the net and spikes the ball down and claims the point. Also, a "positive" outcome im guessing, because he won the point.

    If you feel comfortable with calling a foot fault for players having a "toe in the court" that's all you. I agree that footfaulting happens. I agree that you are within your right to call it. I disagree with the amount that it is called and question the intentions behind those calls.

    I really believe that 95% of foot faulting should be called by refs and not by opponents who are usually losing and getting desperate.
     
  24. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    you might be more pursuasive in your arguments if you didn't completely make up what you are arguing against. I clearly said the guy had his whole shoe in the court. and you turn that into toe in the court.

    But I can see you just like to argue and don't believe a word anyone who dissagrees with you has to say. I won a state championship at 4.0 last year and have something like a 20-3 record at 4.5 this year (singles and doubles) so there is something else you can disbelieve to make yourself feel better. But go ahead and have the last word if you want. I'm done with you. Have fun arguing with your strawmen.
     
  25. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    So, what you're saying then, is that you can sometimes see toes in the court, but you'd only call it if his whole foot was in the court?

    You're the one that's saying all these high level 4.5's have their toe in the court.

    I also forgot that every time someone disagrees with you on the internet its always a strawman.

    I have a 300-0 MMA record.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I
     
  26. I Heart Thomas Muster

    I Heart Thomas Muster Semi-Pro

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    Our group used to have a tall serve and volley-er with long arms and 29 inch racquets who was 2-3 three feet inside the baseline before striking his serve. The rest of us discussed how to tell him for a LONG time cause he was a nice guy but never got around to it. However the birth of his first child removed him from our ranks and we never had to broach the subject.
     
  27. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    You've never played college tennis so I'm sure you wouldn't know--I on the other hand played on scholarship for an NCAA National Championship team. There were no roaming officials and besides they only see what they happen to see while they're roaming. This was a 26 court facility--and as I said there were no on court officials, and no roaming officials. There are times you need to take control over your own life and not just say 'I'm telling on you!'. The situation was handled on court by the 4 of us and worked out fine. The other guy foot faulted (cheated) repeatedly, my partner did it once and made his point. I don't care if you don't believe, but it did happen just as I relayed. And I've got a lot more stories from my experiences in college and on tour should you wish to learn. I think you'd be very surprised at what goes on in the real world.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  28. Zolar

    Zolar New User

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    You Bet

    Wow, I'm one of those guys who used to feel compelled to call footfaults, especially if the server had a great angle serve out wide. And almost every opponent I brought it up to had a huge negative reaction! Like, I was calling him a cheater and he didn't foot fault and what a jerk I was. I tried all kinds of ways to tell opponents with no better result. Finally, I stopped watching (it was hard!) and now don't even look anymore. Not worth the bad vibes.

    Why do people find it so hard to believe that they might be footfaulting??
     
  29. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    That video's really disturbing. It so sad that no one has ever set that old guy straight and instead allowed him to delude himself to such an extent.
     
  30. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Kool video, that chi gong **** is a bunch of bill moyers PBS bs, like accupuncture pure voo-doo. If that was for real, that old fart's delusional. Pretty funny when the old fart got his butt kicked. No one forced him to do it.
     
  31. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Why not walk to the net and hammer your serve for a winner? Still a footfault.
     
  32. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

    Multiple warehouses.
     
  33. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Think I would politely say something, if he was serving against me - after he did it 2-3 times. If a non-league match that didn't count, that would be the extent of it (surely he has heard this before).

    If in a league match - I would warn him after 2-3 times that he will be faulted in the future, if it continues. In a closely contested match, it does matter that the person is getting an extra step on you, with the serve. It's not gamesmanship, these are the rules.
     
  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm on the fence there, Spot. Is it a total Dbag move to let something slide when you are winning but enforce the rule when you are losing?

    I dunno. If I think I can beat you without breaking a sweat, I will let a lot of things slide. Like, I might not call a hindrance for shouting. I might not object to excessive grunting. But if I am losing or think the match is going to be tough, I might not want to deal with a lot of gamesmanship or nonsense.

    An example. I hate people who return Obviously Out Faults. Huge pet peeve of mine. I don't call it, though. But if I were in a tough match and my opponent were doing it and it was either interrupting my service flow or getting under my skin, I might ask them to stop.

    Does that make me a Dbag?
     
  35. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    So - you're objecting to what you perceive to be an incorrect call? I thought you always just "let that go" and accept your opponent's call every time, laughing it off to avoid a confrontation. Based on an earlier post today.... so this call is different somehow? Just curious
     
  36. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    LOL, how does this in anyway relate to the LIAR thread?
     
  37. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Cindy has indicated that she always just "laughs" when someone makes a bad call and never points it out, always accepting the call even when she disagrees.

    In this case, she has reversed and objects to someone playing a serve that she has considered "out", i.e., she gets steamed in this case when her opponent makes a call she feels unjust, but not the other.

    What's the diff?
     
  38. OrangePower

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    Well, I think if something bothers you, then it bothers you - whether you are winning or losing. If something only bothers you when you are losing vs winning, then it's psychological, in which case it's your problem, not your opponents.

    Or maybe you're saying some things bother you even when you are winning, but you're ok letting it slide despite it bothering you, since you have the match in the bag anyway? That's just human nature - avoid unnecessary confrontation.

    But about one other thing you said: Have you ever actually objected to excessive grunting? I've just never seen that happen... although I've been tempted to do it myself. One of the guys I sometimes hit with makes a sound like a baby seal being clubbed on every shot, even dropshots.
     
  39. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Can you get an audio recording of this? Would love to hear it!
     
  40. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    You completely missed that point that Cindy made. It had nothing to do with a line call. She was saying it's a pet peeve of hers when someone breaks the Code Section "A player shall not return obviously out serves", therefore making her clear a ball out of the court and delaying her second serve. Not the line call, but the delay caused by someone hitting back a ball that was obviously out, when they could have just let it go to the back fence.

    That's the diff!
     
  41. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Yes, there is more than one rule dealing with "out" calls, you have just referenced two of them. Why is an out serve different from an out line call, when it comes to getting peeved? Cindy has told us she never gets upset about an out call, but maybe to clarify - she only gets miffed when someone hits what she perceives as her fault serve - a call which technically is also not hers to make because you can't call your own serve out. If your opponent plays it, you have to be ready to continue the point.

    Seems to me, she should just cheerfully play each return, and not question them - but that's apparently not the case.
     
  42. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I laugh off things and go easy on rules in social matches to keep them friendly.

    Woodrow gets it. I will add that I do not object to Obviously Out Fault returners in social matches because . . . :heavy beleaguered sigh: . . . why go there?
     
  43. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Slow your roll, please.

    My personal approach to social matches is that *I don't object to piddling little crap, I don't enforce rules strictly, and I look to avoid confrontation or hard feelings.* I Let Stuff Go. In this manner, everyone can have fun and I won't make mortal enemies.

    In league/tournament matches, I expect folks to play by the Code as best they can.

    In a recent thread, for instance, I recounted something that happened in a league match. My opponent began celebrating as I was preparing to hit a ball. I called a hindrance and took the point, something I had never done before.

    I would never, ever, not-in-a-million-years call a hindrance on my opponent in a *social match.* She could scream, "I slept with your husband!!" and I would not call a hindrance. I would laugh and perhaps conclude she was deeply psychotic, but I wouldn't call a hindrance.
     
  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Now *that* is a hoot!!
     
  45. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    saw a 60+ singles player foot faulting massively in a seniors tournament the other day.

    His opponent hadn't noticed it but someone on another court called the tournament ref who promptly appointed a chair umpire. (who called the FF straight away)

    The player looked quite taken aback, muttered a bit but then started his motion from well behind the baseline and continued to serve quite well. Suggests he knew full well he was doing it.

    I still don't now how I feel about this, but I guess it's probably the right thing.
     
  46. North

    North Professional

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    Cindy, do you mean balls that people call out but hit back over the net anyway? Or serves you think are out but the opponent is playing them and looking for two bites at the apple?
     
  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I mean when the receiver calls it out because it is waaaaaaaay out but then she winds up and returns it anyway instead of pocketing it.

    She believes she is doing the server a favor or just wants to practice her return. I have heard these reasons given as excuses for violating the Code.
     

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