Is this USTA rule change for real?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by volleygirl, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Tonight at my tennis league, I was told that the USTA leagues next year are going to do away with lets on serves. If the serve hits the net and goes in you have to play it like beach volleyball did about a dozen years ago. Has anyone else heard if this is true?
     
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  2. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

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    I hope so, I think that this would be a fantastic idea. They do it in men's D1 college, and I think it would avoid a lot of problems and confusion. That being said, I have not heard anything saying that USTA will change it, and I highly doubt that there will be a change.
     
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  3. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    Wow that would be awesome my flat serve normally only clears by and inch or so ...so I am often hitting lets...which unfortunately gets me out of rhythm sometimes from having to serve back to back lets.
     
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  4. kairosntx

    kairosntx Professional

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    That would be a major change and I'm not sure which side I fall on. A let is usually easier to pick up and play than when it happens during a point, so it makes sense.

    Not just beach volleyball, but indoors as well they changed the rule years ago.
     
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  5. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I think a ball that hits the net should be a fault regardless of whether it goes in.
     
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  6. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The nice thing about playing all serves is it eliminates the phantom let call.
     
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  7. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ Absolutely. NCAA did it because of too many let calls on big points in matches without officials.
     
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  8. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    That's just stupid.
     
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  9. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    The idea of playing lets would be to reduce fake let calls. Your idea would increase fake let calls.
     
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  10. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    There may be phantom calls, but a serve requires you to get the ball over the net and into the box.

    If its not in the box its a fault and if it doesn't clear the net fully at the start of play it should be a fault.

    The server already has a massive advantage without giving him or her the benefit of sheer luck.

    There would be a premium on accuracy on the first serve so the serve fest is out and it'll eliminate the boredom of it taking to long to actually start the point.

    I don't think you should change rules because people cheat.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I dunno. I have mixed feelings, particularly with no-ad scoring, especially in doubles.

    I mean, say you are at an important point in the match and you need to break. Here comes the serve. It hits the net and dribbles over. The receiver has no chance. It just feels anti-climatic to me.

    Yeah, I know the same thing can happen once the rally starts, but it's different. If the receiver chose to stay back, a let court dribble is the risk she runs.

    Also, the receiver's partner is allowed to fetch let cords during points but not off the serve. That seems to mitigate the consequence of a let cord during points in my mind.

    It would be fun to allow the receiver's partner to play any let cord serves.
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It depends on the net. If it is tight, the net cord will cause the ball to sit up for the receiver. Loose nets will allow dribblers.
     
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  13. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    1) changing a rule to reduce cheating sounds like an excellent idea to me.
    2) the notion that the server will gain advantage doesn't hold. Most lets barely touch the net, but the effect nonetheless would be to slow the ball down a bit, an advantage for the receiver. On those lets that make substantial contact with the net, some do in fact trickle over and fall but some also deflect up into the air and then land in the service box, giving the receiver a ball he can move in on for what should be a fairly easy putaway.
     
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  14. Joeyg

    Joeyg Semi-Pro

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    When this first happened in D1, it was referred to (by people in the know) as "The UCLA Rule". Draw your own conclusions.
     
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  15. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    If this is true, it's really stupid, another human sense, hearing, going by the wayside. It goes along with everything the USTA does to "grow the game/their coffers" and despoil the great sport of tennis. This rule has sure improved the "sportsmanship" at the college level as evidenced by all the cursing-collegians at open tournaments.
     
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  16. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Even though this wouldn't benefit me at all I think it would be a great change. For me I hit mostly kickers so my serves that clip the tape are going to sit up rather than give me an advantage. But I have seen too many arguments about whether a serve barely touched the net so I think the time has come to get rid of the rule.
     
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  17. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I despise the net cord lets on serves. You play every other stroke that hits the net cord, so why not the serve? It's so logical that I'm surprised the USTA would make the change.

    Haven't heard about it being a league change, but I am totally in favor of it.
     
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  18. jservoss

    jservoss Rookie

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    I haven't heard about this rule for league tennis, but it would certainly be a welcome change.
     
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  19. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Nothing wrong with anticlimactic. One of my doubles teams won a match in a 3rd set tiebreak at sectionals when they were serving and the receiver said "ou..... no it was in, take a first serve." Nope, sorry, match over. I won a match the next day at sectionals when a ball from the other court rolled into mine. I ignored it, hit a drop shot winner, and got to hear "can we play that point again?" from the opponent after he ran full tilt to try to get it. Not the best ways to end a match, but a point's a point.
     
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  20. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I haven't heard of this proposed change, and I'd be surprised if it's going to be coming into effect anytime soon.

    But I would be in favor. Yes, it introduces a bit more luck into things, but it would go both ways - server might get a lucky ace that hits the net cord and dribbles over, but would also get more faults on serves that hit the tape and take a large hop out. Anyway, we accept this kind of chance on groundstrokes that hit the tape, so why not treat the serve the same?

    This would save arguments over let calls and take subjectivity out of it, which is a good thing in my book. As other have pointed out, this is the rule for college tennis, and they seem to be coping with it just fine.
     
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  21. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    [​IMG]
     
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  22. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    That's the rule in WTT!
     
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  23. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    You're ok accepting the added variability of no-ad scoring, but have concerns about playing let serves?

    That's penny wise, pound foolish...
     
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  24. Orange

    Orange Rookie

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    I would be in favor of the change for an unusual reason: I have great hearing.

    I often hear a let nobody else hears (particularly when I'm standing at the net in doubles). The rules require me to call it when I hear it, so I do. I am tired of people thinking I'm making it up!
     
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  25. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I love this idea if its true.

    I dont think anyone has problems with "obvious" let calls, but im sure everyone here has had a questionable let call before.

    You play out lets in points right? What's the difference on the serve?

    On a personal level, I serve a lot of lets so I like this rule :p
     
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  26. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    In the summer, I wear a fisherman's hat that covers my ears so I'm the opposite. I can't hear squat.
     
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  27. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Probably 1/2 the rules in ANY sport is to prevent cheating. Welcome to the real world.

    Anything that makes the game simpler is great in my book. This certainly makes things simpler.
     
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  28. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    If calling a let is OK on the ATP, why should it not be OK in league tennis? Whether you agree with it or not, I always assumed that calling a let is simply part of the game itself. Why would you remove part of the game? It makes sense to me to just leave it in there.
     
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  29. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    On the ATP, an impartial official makes the let call. In USTA, the person receiving makes the let call.
     
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  30. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Yup. Except note that in USTA *any* player can make the let call, not just receiver.
     
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  31. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    That's true, but in USTA there's one player (or team) that has incentive to make a let call.

    In ATP no one has any incentive.
     
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  32. Darkhors

    Darkhors Rookie

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    I think this would be detrimental to league tennis as you have to remember that the majority of players in the USTA are 3.5 and 4.0 players. Many of them aren't that fast and with slower serves, these lets are going to land very short in the box turning lets into aces galore.

    You need to understand why the ruling was made for college in the first place. They're serving at 115-125+ MPH and if you have someone cheating it's hard to argue with a let call (and add that no matter what, if they call it, it stands). Most of the people playing league aren't hitting the ball over 100+ or even 85. So why make a rule change just because they did. It's not like phantom let calls are rampant in USTA league, at least not where we play. I don't think I've ever had someone call a let that they truly didn't believe was a let.

    Let's have some common sense here and leave well enough alone.

    DH
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
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  33. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    ^^

    I'm with Darkhors on this one. Why fix something that's not a problem?

    I just see it as another deterioration of the game like a 3rd set TB and no-ad scoring.
     
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  34. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    I hate the 3rd set tiebreak.
     
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  35. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    I completely agree. Playing 4.5 ladder matches for several seasons, it seems pretty rare that somebody calls a let that I didn't hear. It's almost never on an ace either. In those few cases, I just chalk it up to him having heard something else that may have resembled the ball ticking the net. Not egregiously bad calls, and certainly not one that warrants changing the rules for.

    I can only assume that the USTA is considering this change due to pleas from their membership. I'd love to read some of the letters written by these weekend hackers trying to right the injustice they suffered.
     
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  36. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Yes, agree with you; mostly it's the receiving team that has the incentive to make the call. But I've also seen questionable calls made by the serving team (eg a short second serve that just got crushed, server's partner says "I think I heard a let").
     
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  37. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    True. But then same can be said with net cords in general - ball hits tape during rally and drops short to where a pro might have a shot of reaching but not a slow rec player. So you think we should play lets in these cases also? What makes a let serve special and different to hitting net chord in a rally?

    Not that I feel strongly about it either way... I'm happy the way it is, and would be happy with the rule change also. Just not a big deal, and if it eliminates some subjectivity, then why not.
     
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  38. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    Tough luck. The server's partner should have made a timely call.

    From The Code:

    17. Prompt calls eliminate two chance option. A player shall make all calls
    promptly after a ball has hit the court. A call shall be made either before the player’s return shot has gone out of play or before an opponent has had an opportunity to play the return shot.

    27. Service let calls. Any player may call a service let. The call shall be made before the return of serve goes out of play or is hit by the server or the server’s partner. If the serve is an apparent or near ace, any let shall be called promptly.
     
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  39. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    I played a lot of doubles beach volleyball when they changed the rule in that sport and hated it at first but got used to it. Another change they made at the same time was making the court smaller so the let serves that dribble over could be played but I cant imagine them shrinking the tennis court. I just wish theyd leave the rule the way it is now.
     
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  40. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    I actually don't think it would be that bad, though I see no reason to change. What percentage of serves are lets? A very low percentage (though obviously varies from match to match).

    And what is the point of replaying a let serve? Is it fairness - (1) to the returner to avoid losing a point when a ball hits the tape and then dribbles over, or (2) to the server when a hard serve is slowed down and sits up for the returner? Is it to take "luck" out of the equation?

    If that's the case, then why ever allow lets? Why is a let on the serve so different from a ball hitting the tape on any other shot?
     
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  41. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    Anyone have a source if this is real? If it is real, I have mixed feelings about it.
     
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  42. rabidranger

    rabidranger Rookie

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    Sounds good to me. Now if we can only get rid of phantom in/out calls....
     
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  43. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    This is a short-sighted idea that will cause pointless confusion among rec players, and it's a solution in search of a problem.

    The USTA needs to realize that not all rec tennis players are USTA members, and that the rules most people know and follow are the rules they see on TV -- the ATP / WTA rules. The pros play with lets, and so does almost* everyone else. Lets are no more controversial than any other close call in tennis; there's simply no compelling reason to eliminate them. Hookers will just find another way to hook.

    *: The WTT is a fringe league with weird rules, so let's skip that. The rule change works in college tennis because everyone in the college game has the same expectations when the match starts, and those players are high-level enough to switch easily when they play outside the college game. It won't work for the mass market, where let-calling habits are more ingrained and less malleable.

    Last thing I want in my non-USTA flex league is for club-league players to try to convince me the no-let thing is a real rule in tennis. It is not.

    So, I vote "no."
     
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  44. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    Yes. What is the source besides someone's friend on the internet?
     
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  45. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I don't disagree with you on the rule, but here's what I've seen happen:

    - Returner hits winner
    - Server's partner says "that was a let"
    - Receiver says "tough, you should have made a timely call"
    - Server's partner says "I did - didn't you hear me?"

    and you can imagine the rest.
     
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  46. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    Ah, so that's where the letters to the USTA originate from! :lol: You're probably right.

    I don't play leagues, just a pretty large singles ladder (about 50 guys in the summer 4.5 ladder... the 4.0 is even larger) at a public facility here and it seems to be pretty drama free. There are a couple known d-bags that don't get much response when looking for matches, but that's about it. From reading the horror stories here, I don't think I'd ever be interested in playing in a league. Certainly not if they force you to play super tiebreakers and play lets as in.
     
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  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I have had only one match in which a player called a bunch of let's I didn't hear.

    It was mixed,and she kept calling let's on my partner's serves as lets.

    Still,this is nothing compared to the other ways people cheat. Leave well enough alone, I say.
     
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  48. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    #48
  49. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    I can only think of one "sketchy" let called against me ever in any of my leagues so I am not in favor of the rule change.
     
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  50. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Wait a minute, there is no-ad scoring??????

    I have never played a single USTA match with no ad scoring (except in tournaments that have encountered severe rain delays).

    Even when I have gone all the way to sectional playoff I have not played no-ad scoring.
     
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