How sure must you be?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Majik, May 22, 2010.

  1. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    How sure must you be when calling balls out? I mean, it seems a little pretentious to say you're 100% sure of anything. Afterall, you're going on your memory of what you thought you saw. It seems there is a slight chance that you're seeing what you want to see. So if we're not talking about 100% certainty, then what is acceptable? When we ask the opponent whether he's "sure" or not, what are we asking him to do but to reevaluate the basis of his decision, did he actually see court when the ball touched the ground, or how the ball came up off the court far from the line, etc.
     
    #1
  2. damazing

    damazing Rookie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    247
    If you are not sure then the ball was in. If you have no doubt, like if you are standing beyond the baseline and the ball bounces past your feet then you can be sure the ball is out.
     
    #2
  3. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,707

    As long as one hair on that ball hit the line, it's GOOD!
     
    #3
  4. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,990
    Location:
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    fed knows that all to well
     
    #4
  5. darkhorse

    darkhorse Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    321
    My personal rule is that if I don't immediately call it out, it's in. If I have to stand there and think about for more than a split second, then I can't call the ball out.
     
    #5
  6. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,005
    Location:
    No Man's Land
    sometimes on serves, you have to play the ball and then only realise it was long, i often do that on close serve calls.
     
    #6
  7. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    802
    I was in this boat yesterday where by the time I realized the ball was out it was far too late to call it...

    to the OP at times I would say my opponent was working at 0.01% as there were a few balls hit towards the sideline where I could still see the color of the court between ball/sideline :)
     
    #7
  8. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,141
    I'd say it's like "if you have to ask how much the yacht costs, you can't afford it." (I don't have a yacht.)

    If you have to think about whether it was out or not, call it in. Or rather, don't call it anything. Sometimes I've had an opponent make a strangled cry when I hit a shot near the line and I stop playing, thinking it was called out, and they say "no, I called it good." The proper call for good is (silence) and play the ball. If you can't reach it, OK, call it good then.
     
    #8
  9. North

    North Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    937
     
    #9
  10. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,707

    If it disrupts the rhythm of the server, you should offer to play a first serve.
     
    #10
  11. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    803
    I sleep well

    Please, for the love of god, call the ball GOOD if you cannot with 100% certainty call it in. If you hesitate for even a fraction of a second, then the ball is GOOD. If your opponent doesn't give you the same courtesy, don't play with them anymore. If you're playing on clay, you can ask for a second look at the mark - but that's probably not going to resolve it. Half the time, the person can't even identify the correct mark. Just err on the side of your opponent, and you'll sleep well at night (and have more good people to play with).
     
    #11
  12. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    Is that what the USTA states, "100%" certain? The difficult calls are those that are close and are moving too fast. Very rarely does your eye actually see the instant when the ball touches the ground. Instead you go by trajectory, or when the ball comes up off the ground giving say a 4 inch skid. So in those instances, I think it is pretentious to think you're certain by 100% because you're only going on partial information, trajectory etc. Still you have some certainty that the must have been out even though you did not actually see the crush of the ball as it hit the ground. So for me the question remains.
     
    #12
  13. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    803
    Yes, the USTA actually says that if the ball is 99.9% out, then it's "in". It's true that sometimes when the ball lands right at your feet it's difficult to see. If you didn't see it, then the ball is "good". If there is even a tiny shred of doubt about the call, give your opponent the benefit of doubt. Wouldn't you want your opponent to do that for you?
     
    #13
  14. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,005
    Location:
    No Man's Land
    yeh, i generally only call out when 100% sure its out, sometimes i play on when i am not sure and the opponent stops the point, as he saw it out. Then its a little awkward as i am ready to carry on the rally and he has stopped, so i kind of act like i knew it was out all the time, sometimes i call a feeble "yeh that was just out" and hope he hasnt noticed i am crouched in the ready position bouncing on my feet.
     
    #14
  15. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    What I don't want is for my opponent calling obvious good balls out, or balls that clearly paint the line out. Apart from that he may call it out if he wishes.
     
    #15
  16. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,255
    Location:
    So Cal
    Well said. I have a friend I play with almost every week. He'll occasionally do the 'stare' - bugs me a little - but I think all in all he's pretty 'forgiving' with his calls - as I am - so I don't worry about it.

    I agree 100%

    And atheists!

    If he does and
    wins either congratulate him on his great hooking skills - or refuse to shake his hand. He might get the message.
     
    #16
  17. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    803
    New contacts?

    Y'know this is what we all wish, that our opponents could see the calls as well as we do. I think we've all endured having a clear service ace called wide, even when it cleaned the line... but I say, just play on, and call your side of the court as well as you can. Some people need better eyes, or better attitudes. Don't ever be one of them!
     
    #17
  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    If it was close, it was good.
     
    #18
  19. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,632
    Location:
    Newtown, PA
    You have to be 100% certain that you saw it out. Of course no one's eyesight is infallible.
     
    #19
  20. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    If you have any doubt, then its good. Thats not a difficult way to assess the situation. If you have to think more than this and are still calling it out, consider yourself a line hooker.

    Sorry but this is a terrible analogy. I want to know what everything I buy costs, doesn't mean I can't afford it. BTW, I can't afford a yacht, but thats irrelevant.
     
    #20
  21. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,141
    ^^^^C'mon, it might not be a great analogy, but it's not that bad. The point's not really the cost but the certainty.



    If a question remains, it's good.
     
    #21
  22. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,707
    The code says if there is ANY doubt, you award the point to your opponent.

    I play on my club's challenge court a lot and use it for practice to improve my technique and prepare for tournaments. I'll be serving in doubles and I can see my first serve long. I can see the gap between the service line and the ball by inches. The returner isn't sure and is looking at his partner for help. His partner right on the line is looking dumbfounded. I know my serve was long and I just go into my service motion for a second serve. I made the call for them, relieving them of the responsibility.

    For me it's practice and just not worth the hassle of convening a meeting at the net to discuss it. I just want to get on with it. If it were a tournament, I would "play the call",--my opponent's call. I have good eyesight from playing for years. Some people don't have good eyesight--drinking doesn't help one's eyesight.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
    #22
  23. Delano

    Delano Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    I'm going to agree with the majority of the comments here - there *is* certainty in this situation: you must call the ball good. I agree that the question remains on whether the ball was actually in or out, but no question remains on how you should call it.
     
    #23
  24. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2,423
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Not necessarily - if you see it 2 inches out, the ball is out.

    I'd like to amend it to this: if it's close and you did not see the ball out, it was good.
     
    #24
  25. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,707
    Well put Delano!
     
    #25
  26. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    Is it legal to put baby power on the edges so you can actually see the mark if it's out? It would not take much, perhaps normal dust accumulation would also work.

    Sometimes it take a second to process the information before you feel sure it was out. First glance it seems in, but then you remember actually seeing a sliver of court in front of the ball and you realize it was out. It's not an instant process, but it should not take more than a second.
     
    #26
  27. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,577
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    When I make an out call, I'm 100% sure that it was out as I saw it. There is the occasion when I'll call out and then change the call to in and give the point to my opponent as initially I "saw" the ball as being out but then realized it to actually have touched the line.
     
    #27
  28. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,792
    Just try to be honest and call what you think you see. That's all anyone can ask or expect if you ask me.
     
    #28
  29. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    8,754
    I'd say you have to be almost certain. In everday play, I call pretty liberally in favor of my opponent, even being told sometimes that I played out balls.

    In tournament play, I call a little bit tighter, but my standard is "did I honestly believe it was out." I know that a ball that lands super close to the line can be a fraction in or a fraction out. It's almost a gut instinct (and years of having called my own balls and looking at similar shots over and over again) as to how I call it. I'm sure there are a few times when I honestly thought it was out, but it may have been in by a hair. I'm not trying to cheat anyone. I'm not saying, "it could have been in or out, so I'm going to call it out." I'm saying "I genuinely believed it to be out, there was something about it that distinguished it from balls that are just a fraction in," so I call it out.

    IMO, the call has to come almost immediately. On non-clay courts, you can't really pause and then call it out. And, we've all wanted to. We've all had those calls where you kinda of feel that it was out, really think it was out, but just didn't get that good look or that automatic feeling. So, you groan to yourself and indicate to your opponent that it was in.

    And, for me, balls that land parallel to me on the side lines are a really tough call. If I'm at the baseline and the ball hits the sidelines somewhere ahead of me, then it's fairly easy, but when it's straight to the side of me, it's a tough call. In normal play, when I'm playing against guys I know and generally trust as honest players, if I call that shot out, and I get a bad look, I'll just ask them what they thought and change the call.

    Being a good line-caller takes honesty, focus, and experience. Everyone will make mistakes.
     
    #29
  30. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    I'm wondering if there is a technique to get your eyes to synchronize with the ball touching the ground. I mean most times it's just a wash and all you see is a trace going by and another trace after it bounces. You go by where the angle of the two traces must have touched the court. But occasionally, your eye is in sych with the ball touching the ground and you can actually get a mental picture of the ball crushing against the court so that you can see court between the ball and the line. Maybe there's a way to synchronize your eyes with the ball touching the ground. Does anyone know?
     
    #30
  31. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Majik,

    I thought the same thing a few months ago. How can anyone be 100% sure about ANYTHING. But, as someone pointed out to me, the code is clear, you must be sure. If you see the ball bounce in the center of the court, then, I think you can consider that you saw it "in" with 100% certainty. If you see the ball bounce near the outside of the baseline, you must have the same type of certainity to call it "out".

     
    #31
  32. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW

    IMO the issue is not the player's "certainty" of where they saw the ball land, it is in the myth that you can even see where the ball lands. Ever since HawkEye showed all of us that 99% "out", is "in" I don't even look at the ball anymore. I look for the space between the ball and the line, if I don't see it the ball is "in" and if I do (whether immediately or a little late) the ball is 100% "out".
     
    #32
  33. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,707

    There are many programs and methods to improve vision. You could spend much time or your whole life devoted to the topic. I've read books by a Dr. Michael Kaplan, a renowned Vision/vision doctor. There are video training tapes and yoga for the eyes. There are special vision therapists that can teach you how to improve your vision with eye exercises.

    If you google eye exercises, I'm sure you will find a plethora of programs, tools etc., I've delved into many of them. In the end, I feel for me, playing TENNIS is the BEST eye exercise! Trying to give the best call I can, and erring on the side of my opponent, if I'm not sure, (unless he's a complete a-hole), keeps my vision sharp and healthy.
     
    #33
  34. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,412
    You're still not understanding. In the situation you're describing, THE BALL IS IN!!! You have to be absolutely 100% positive that there was blue space between where the ball landed and the line.

    IF you're in a situation where the balls are going so fast and you have to guess based on the trajectory, guess what. It's in.

    Nothing makes me angrier than when someone says "ooh I think that was out."
     
    #34
  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,762
    For balls coming at a low angle to the ground, players often don't see the ball, but extrapolate the trajectory. That extrapolation is often wrong. They call it in when it is out.

    You see the same thing for heavily topspin balls. Many club players call it out even though the spin brought it in.

    So many people don't see the actual bounce, but do a mental dead reckoning.
     
    #35
  36. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    I was thinking something like throw a hand or nod your head at the instant the ball lands, like you're about to grab the ball at that instant. I'm wondering if this may sync your eye up with the actual bounce. Is this a technique from our preditory instincts?
     
    #36

Share This Page