Foot Faulting Over the Hash Mark?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by tennis tom, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    This is the situation I encountered last night playing doubles:

    At one point our opponent started his service motion straddling the hash mark. One foot was clearly on the deuce side of the mark and the other on the ad side, is this a foot fault?

    Corollary to this, if he moves the "offending" foot to the correct side of the hash mark before he hits the ball, is it still a foot fault?
     
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  2. Wakenslam

    Wakenslam Rookie

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    Yes it's a foot fault.
     
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  3. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    ...Thanks!
     
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  4. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    If he moves the foot back to the correct side before hitting the ball, then it's ok. If he doesn't move it, then it's a foot fault.

    The only important thing is where your feet are when you swing at the ball.
     
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  5. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    Correct - Foot fault.

    As an aside what kind of doubles player serves from the hash mark? He/she is just asking for trouble if the returner is even half decent
     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think it is a footfault even if he moves his foot to the correct side before hitting the ball. If his foot is in the wrong place when he begins his service motion, that's enough.
     
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  7. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    I believe this assertion is incorrect. The server cannot step on (or beyond) the line or its imaginary extensions at any time during the service motion. Once a server has touched one of the "forbidden areas," he or she has committed a foot fault. See ITF Rule 18.
     
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  8. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    For me that's correct also
     
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  9. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, that is what I meant. I have seen a couple of guys who will stand with a foot touching the line but then pull it back a split second before starting their motion.
     
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  10. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Club challenge court--it's a jungle out there! He resorted to it late in the match when things got tight. He used to take two running steps into the court on his serve but has modified that to "only" one step now that he's been called on it by others.

    I called him on the "over the hash mark" foot-fault. It was difficult to watch the ball while receiving his serve and to also observe the shennanigans he was pulling with his feet at the same time.

    He definitely started his serve in the "set position", with one foot on each side of the hash mark and then moved them towards the correct side as he "lept" into his full motion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
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  11. shanx

    shanx Rookie

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    australian doubles?
     
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  12. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    For Doubles I serve from awfully close to the hash mark on the Deuce side. I'm a pretty big believer in hammering backhands up the middle in doubles so standing there gives me more access to the backhand of my opponent. And very few people can take a good serve with a wicked inside out backhand angle to take advantage of the positioning.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I don't think your feet can even touch the imaginary line which is an extension of the center line. But your body and racquet can be beyond the imaginary vertical plane sitting on the imaginary line.
     
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  14. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Not true .. both feet must be within the sideline and centerline extended prior to beginning your service motion. It does not matter that you move them in during your motion, they must be in the entire time.
     
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  15. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    Safin was called for this in Cincy a couple of years ago. If I recall he set up with his back/right foot crossing the hash mark while serving from deuce. He went ballistic not understanding he had, in fact, foot faulted. It was a whole thing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKagveO0Jf8

    Yes, it is a foot fault. Tell him not to do it anymore or you'll call it.

    I am thinking Safin committed the same kind of FF at the US Open but perhaps I am incorrect as I could not find the video.

    Edit: Yes, he did. It was against Spadea in 2008. Safin went nuts, called for the tournament ref, etc. Then biatched and moaned during his press conference. Safin was a head case. Tons of talent but his own worst enemy at times.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jnNJ2hnXVM
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
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  16. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    Canas did the same thing about three years ago against Federer. His back foot was touching the "imaginary extension" of the hash mark at the start of his service motion. He went ballistic and told the chair umpire to have the line judge removed, but the umpire defended the line judge and explained that the rule applies from the very beginning of the service motion (which is supposed to start with both feet at rest).
     
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  17. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

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    this is wrong
     
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  18. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    My understanding is that your motion starts when you set up at the line. Otherwise, theoretically you could set up at the service line, then run over to the base line, hit your serve and it would be legal.

    Quite a few players on the men's tour set up perilously close to the lines, others step up or lean in perilously close to the lines. And many seem to have little comprehension about the specifics of the FF rules.

    Foot faulting in casual matches happens often. I have played S&V players who served from two feet inside the baseline in their haste to get to the net.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
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  19. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Thanks FF, I was right calling him on it then. I played against him two days later and he started doing the same thing and then corrected, so I think he learned a new rule of tennis.

    This is the same guy who used to take two running steps in while serve and volleying and then loudly stamp his feet as you were about to return--a real charmer, literally makes the girls cry.
     
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  20. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Indeed. In addition to the aforementioned Safin and Canas incidents, Hewitt is also one of those who often "sets up" on the line...then twists his foot at the start of his motion. While he rarely FFed early in his career, he went to this new(er?) style a few years ago to try to get more power on his serve. On the whole, I don't think it was a successful experiment.

    Since I mostly play doubles, I'm rarely serving from anywhere near the hash line. But I'd concur that many rec-level S&V players FF (myself included when forced into singles duty after a long layoff).
     
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