Fake poach in doubles

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by BMC9670, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I don't play many doubles matches, but it a club social event this weekend, I was engaged in a fun cat and mouse playing the net position with the opposing returner. The returner was very accurate and would mix up cc and dtl returns, which made it difficult for me to poach. I was able to draw him into a dtl return with a fake poach a few times and get an easy volley. Then his partner says I can't do that as it's an intentional hindrance. Huh? Of course it's intentional, that's the point. Anyone ever get this before?
     
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  2. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    My standard joke when I blow a return is to point at the opposing net guy and say, "Hey, you were moving while I was trying to hit." Everyone knows that's a joke.

    This whole Hindrance thing is getting out of hand. People are trying to claim that legal movements are hindrances. In the "Court of Appeals" section of Tennis magazine last month, two experts could not even agree whether it was an illegal hindrance to have a partner move during a serve, even though the rules clearly state you can move anywhere on the court, even during the service motion.

    There was another article in Tennis magazine a few months ago about the advantages of fake poaching. Put that in your tennis bag for next time.

    The Code, section 34, says you may feint with the body at any time the ball is in play, even during the service motion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
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  3. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Yes it's legal to fake a poach. As long as you are not like waving your arms up and down or yelling with the sole intention to distract the opponent.
     
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  4. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I thought so. They were very standard movements, head/shoulder turn and a step one way and then quickly back. This person also made comments about us talking during a point - like "switch" or "I'm here" etc. All standard stuff in doubles as far as I know. And I thought I was the inexperienced doubles player in the match!
     
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  5. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Yeah, but in doubles you are not supposed to yell switch or something like that while the ball is traveling in the direction of your opponent.
     
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  6. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Right, we we're reacting to an incoming ball.
     
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  7. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    the rules say you can move AT ANY TIME, even during the server's motion. the partner was wrong.

     
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  8. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I know the rule allows movement at any time but I think there are people who push it to the very limit. I know a person at my club who, when his partner is receiving, will do a faking motion like he is moving into the serving box in front of the receiver. He also stamps his feet loudly while doing this and may even step into the service box occasionally. I am not arguing that he can't step into the box but it appears to most observers that his sole intent is to distract the server but the movement at any time rule apparently gives him this right. It is annoying and most people just ignore him but is it legal for him to do this, particularly the foot stomping?

    Personally I've never given a second thought to anything the server's partner does during the serve. I've always assumed anything short of yelling something was legal then.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
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  9. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Hmmmm.... that's not a poach. If he touches the ball before the serve bounces while his partner is receiving, then they lose the point automatically.

    The stomping the feet loudly thing is a clear hindrance, there's no purpose he can argue for doing that.

    I've played guys like that before - They can stand in the service box and wave their rackets, but if I'm serving, I don't even look at them. I hit my normal serve and if they get hit and lose the point, that's on them. I also hope
     
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  10. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Is it legal to make faces at the returner ? What about mooning him right before the return ?:confused:
     
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  11. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Right, I know it isn't poaching, but the subject came up of moving at any time during a point. He's aware that if he was touched by the serve he'd lose the point but does this little move and stomp every so often anyway.
     
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  12. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Do you have to play with this guy? If this was a friendly match and he's being a jerk like this, I'd lose his number.

    If it's in a league, etc. for something that sort of counts I'd call a hindrance on the stomping.

    I don't get guys like these. If I'm the server, I'm not looking at him being stupid, I'm looking up at the ball after my toss.

    If I'm the netman, I'm looking to poach and hope he's to busy playing mind games to be ready when my poach goes right at his feet.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Or her ..............
     
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  14. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I've stopped playing with him but for other reasons. I understand how you are able to block out distractions like the type he's attempting but not everyone is so fortunate as to have this ability. I was just looking for some consensus as to whether this could be considered a hindrance or not.
     
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  15. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Reading on here, there are so many examples of just complete idiots out there who are out there playing tennis. I have never come across anyone who does anything even close to this but if someone ever did that I think I would try and hit him as hard as I could with a few serves and see if he still does it.
     
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  16. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    I vote hindrance!
     
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  17. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

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    There was a point where Tsonga hit a bad lob and responded by doing jumping jacks in front of Federer, who subsequently missed the overhead. They laughed it off and the point was as played. Faking is part of the game, what about disguising your slice serve to make it look like a kick serve by varying your ball toss? I hate it when the returner jumps all over the place, sways back and forth waiting for the serve, etc...But I just don't look when I am serving the ball. People who try to distract their opponent are usually not that good anyhow. Unsportsmanlike conduct is not necessarily hindrance.
     
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  18. NoSkillzAndy

    NoSkillzAndy Rookie

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    The fake poach is greatly under-utilized in recreational doubles. I think it's a huge mistake to stand still at the net like a statue, which is what most people do. IMO a good doubles player will leave their opponents guessing or reacting and it will seem like they're everywhere. They do this by trying to poach or fake poach on every point. Doing this is not a hindrance but is part of perfectly legal tactics. It is a feint -- that is showing that you're going one way and then going the other.

    Most of the other scenarios mentioned in this thread are what I'd consider "bush league" and have more to do with gamesmanship than actual tactics (waving your hands, stomping your feet, etc.). I avoid playing with people who do things like that if at all possible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
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  19. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    It's legal, it's ethical, and it's within the code. I'm 6'4 and 240, and I wear the brightest shirts I have for matches, just to make sure I am picked up by the receiver's peripheral vision. I'm looking for for some bright, iron-on tennis balls graphics to put on the front of my shirt, or maybe one of those big, swirly, hypno things:twisted:
     
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  20. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    That bothers you? :confused: I do it all the time, as I prepare for my split step to return serve. I thought it was pretty common practice as most people do it around here at least...

    -Fuji
     
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  21. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Hope the air force doesn't take you out as an unknown threat.
     
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  22. Coach Carter

    Coach Carter Rookie

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    in a adult major zone or sectional here in Texas a few years back we had an opponent that continued to do this (standing about 2 feet into the service box). I had a fairly hard flat serve that was accurate...knowing the rule (hits him in the air it was my point and realizing he was just trying to be a butt)...I hit him real hard in the inner ankle. he went down hard cussing, etc and we moved on. next time I'm serving, here he comes again...I plug him same exact spot. he takes a medical timeout and goes to get official to try and have me defaulted...needless to say he stopped.

    of course my ex-wife and my partners family, thought I was being a bully...
     
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  23. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    He had to take a medical time out for being hit by a tennis ball? in the ankle?
     
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  24. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    :twisted:
    Very nice, curious what he would have you defaulted for, serves him right trying to hug the line.
     
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  25. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    If he went down due to a serve from 60 feet away that hit him the ankle, just be lucky you did not hit him in the calf, that would have KILLED him! :twisted:

     
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  26. Delano

    Delano Rookie

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    This is from the code:

    33. Body movement. A player may feint with the body while a ball is in play. A player may change position at any time, including while the server is tossing a ball. Any other movement or any sound that is made solely to distract an opponent, including, but not limited to, waving arms or racket or stamping feet, is not allowed.

    So it looks like a fake-out movement, such as a fake poach, is specifically allowed by the rules.
     
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  27. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    More evidence that the nation of hardy pioneers has not only turned into a nation of whiners, but is fast on its way to being a nation of wussies. Sad.
     
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  28. Coach Carter

    Coach Carter Rookie

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    he was REAL upset that I didn't apologize AND that we took the point. I hit the serve and was already walking to the other service side as it hit him. felt that hitting him was over the line...

    as far as the medical timeout...I guess it depends on where it hits you, etc.
     
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  29. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I've seen many of these "picky whiner" types in tennis, and I'm very calm on court. It's funny, I grew up playing basketball - played in college, where the other players, and fans talk all sorts of trash, shout obscenities, wave signs on free throws, etc. You block it out and play on or use it as motivation. I know tennis is different, but man, loosen up a bit, it's recreational tennis.
     
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