It's Amazing to me how people don't know proper "tennis ettiquette"

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by JackB1, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I play lots of organized league matches and I see the following things happen over and over and it makes me crazy sometimes. I have only been playing organized league tennis a few years and quickly caught on to the proper tennis ettiquette, but there are still so many that continue to do these things and I'm not sure why.....

    -during warmups, they hit full pace, hard shots
    -during warmup, they don't attempt to hit the ball easily back to you
    -during warmups, they hit drop shots and short slices
    -during warmups, they insist on returning your practice serves and proceed to spray them all over the court.
    -during warmups, hitting ridiculously high practice lobs for your overhead practice

    -calling balls "out" long before they hit the ground
    -saying some expletive after they hit a poor lob and you are about to crush it (speaking while you are about to hit)
    -hitting hard returns on obviously "out" serves (practicing returns)
    -purposely picking up balls after your first missed serve, that were not in the way (gamesmanship)

    The list goes on, but I think these are the most common. I am not sure why it's so difficult to do these things and it just makes the experience so much nicer.
     
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  2. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    I can live with most anything but this one:
    -during warmups, they insist on returning your practice serves and proceed to spray them all over the court.

    I believe this "technique" is in the Brad Gilbert book.

    I counteract it by just warming up my serve and never letting them hit any serves. I serve, they hit it back. I pickup balls and serve again. If they hit them back again, I move to the ad side and continue to warm up over there.

    Usually they get the message.
     
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  3. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Just focus on the game!
    All the rest is noise that takes you away from the game and tires you mentally and physically.
     
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  4. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Okay, but since you brought it up... there are other ways of looking at the information you bring up:

    I agree with you that the things you mention are likely due to a lack of decorum/maturity/knowledge but there are other more logical explanations/options available to you (other than getting upset about it).

    The warmup stuff could legitimately be because players who have prepped for a serious match often don't actually need the warmup (since they already warmed up) and they look at the "warm up" as only an opportunity to learn about their opponent, so they hit random shots (like you describe) so as not to give anything away since there is no "upside" for them.

    As to the rest (the first two are either cheating or at least breaking the rules, you don't have a choice, you need to make the correct call and take the points.

    The last one is a part of tennis, it is neither cheating nor "gamesmanship", the other one is gamesmanship, of the lowest order all you can do is not let it bother you. Of course you can perform your own gamesmanship by commenting on it on the change over, with the body language that you think he is low class loser (which he is). That will put the monkey on his mental back.
     
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  5. floydcouncil

    floydcouncil Semi-Pro

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    Best quote of the thread right here!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  6. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Agreed, these are just ignorant, slovenly people who are too lazy and have an overabundance of baseless self-esteem--they are GOATs at the club bar though--how they play their tennis is how they do everything. Stay at least twelve feet away from these people so you don't get the infection. Play Senior Age Group Tournaments and you won't find any of this. Even if you lose, you will win, and go away with-out feeling sullied by all the BS of rec tennis, mostly four old farts (or soon to be) trying to one-up each other.
     
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  7. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    Or just hit your practice serves well wide so they can't reach them to return. Yes, this you don't get to practice your placement in the court as much, but for me, warming up my serve is more about getting the shoulder good and warm and a free and easy motion. Plus, while they are retrieving one of the wide serves you hit, you can serve into the box since they aren't there now.
     
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  8. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I do try and not let it bother me, because it DOES take away my focus and what I need to do.

    I am just commenting on it here to see what others think/do. It's really not HARD to NOT do these things, but the world will never be perfect and you have to accept it and move on.
     
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  9. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    this is the kind of stuff I am looking for! :)

    I will use this technique next time I encounter the "serve return sprayer" :)
     
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  10. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I usually see the better players either do this or hit with 50%-75% pace.
     
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  11. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I see some of these things sometimes, but really don't pay it much notice - water off a duck's back, ya know.

    All the warmup related stuff: I always warm up with teammates first. So the warmup with my opponent I don't care much about. I will try give them a good warmup but if we don't get into any rhythm because they are hitting funky shots away from me, it's hurting them more than me.

    Stuff that causes interruption after my 1st serve: My attitude is that I should be able to step up to the line at any time and serve my 2nd serve, regardless of what happened during/after my 1st serve. Often this happens through no fault of the opponent anyway (eg 1st serve hits net on your side and needs to be cleared, service let, etc). So I don't care if they return an obviously out 1st, or unnecessarily clear a ball. My job is to step up to the line when everyone is ready and make my 2nd serve. If I can't do that it's on me, not my opponent.

    Making early out calls, making noise after hitting a poor shot or as I am about to hit: Again I feel like I need to be able to block out any extra noise, whether it comes from opponents, or from spectators, or from the helicopter than just flew over, etc. If I can't maintain enough focus to make my shot when my opponent makes a noise then what will I do when I hear some other random noise?

    Basically I don't like making any excuses for my bad play, other than my bad play :)
     
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  12. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    If I get your meaning correctly, the "good players" are doing it to fellow "good players" who can handle their pace. We're talking about 3-4.0's who are "practicing" their winners, hitting 100%+ and spraying them, not considering that the guy on the other side of the net is not their personal ball machine and needs to warm-up too.
     
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  13. LeftyRighty

    LeftyRighty Rookie

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    I hate that too. All of those, especially going 100% on practice shots, and hitting away from me during warm ups. To me it's just tactics to try and wear me down before we even start, and I dont go for that...

    When you talk etiquette, I think of this one guy I hate seeing play. I've never played him, but I almost did, and I was nervous on how I would react if I did.

    When he makes a shot, he might yell
    "HEY GUY WAKE UP! ARE YOU SLEEP OVER THERE?"

    "I JUST WOKE YOU UP DIDN'T I? HAHAHA"

    "CAN I GET A REAL TENNIS PLAYER OUT HERE."

    "I NEED AN OFFICIAL PLEASE. THIS CAN NOT BE MY REAL OPPONENT."

    "NICE SHOT. I MEAN ME NOT YOU"

    When HE misses a shot:

    "THAT WAS NOTHING"

    "I AM JUST BORED, IM TRYING TO MAKE IT FUN"

    "I DIDN'T WANT TO TOUCH THAT BALL JUST IN CASE YOUR SKILLS RUB OFF"

    I all capped them, because he really does yell these comments very very loud. When I say loud, you can hear him over all the other matches being played on any of the 12 courts.
     
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  14. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^^^

    Just reply "Dude, can you speak up a bit, I'm a bit hard of hearing, I couldn't quite make out what you were saying."
     
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  15. Orange

    Orange Rookie

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    The OP is correct in describing most of these actions as being unsportsmanlike.

    However, in the case of the opponent who says anything just before you smash his weak lob, you may claim the point based on deliberate hindrance according to section 34 of the Code. You have little recourse for most of the other rude behavior, but when your opponent has exhibited rude behavior in the warmup, you probably should claim the point when he hinders your smash in order to help him see the error of his ways.

    Of course, you have to restrain yourself from crushing his weak lob in order to claim the hindrance.
     
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  16. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I unfortunately played a similar guy a couple weeks ago, but unfortunately he was talking to me rather than to himself. I also beat him 0 and 3 but really should have beat him 0 and 0. I had to tell him to shut up at least 5 times during the match. He also started blatantly hooking me from the first point. When I said "seriously" he gave me a 2 minute lecture on how rude it was to question his call. It would have been longer but I had to cut him off. He continued it on the bench where I had to cut him off again. He then started perpetually talking.

    "This is just a tennis match and isn't important to me"
    "You may win this match, but I am a winner at life"
    Many other non memorable lines

    At 6-0, 4-0 I got physically tired from a long day and little food and dropped 3 games which were also partially due to his amazingly blatant bad calls. This energized him and on the changeover he let me have it while also slightly physically confronting me.

    "You've never played someone who gets in your head like me"
    "I've finally broke you mentally"
    "Your a serious loser"
    A bunch of other almost incomprehensible delusional things

    He was such a crappy player that I easily won the next 2 games and went to cheer on my team while he sat on the bench sulking for a 1/2 hour.
     
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  17. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Oh, I'm sorry.

    If it's that area, it's a nuisance. Plain and simple. You could also make a judgment that the opponent is not confident in their shots and they go out of their way by blasting the ball to make winners instead of winning by systematically destroying your opponent by using a variety of weapons.
     
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  18. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

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    A good portion of tennis is mental, although I don't believe the people you described are doing it intentionally.

    This may not seem a fault against tennis ettiquette, but I hate it when players yell "come on" (or something to that nature) when their opponent makes a mistake (like a double fault). If its break point you hit a winner or a forced error sure yell whatever you want.

    If the opponent double faults you can't say "come on" since you DIDN'T DO ANYTHING. I get the point where yelling is supposed to keep your momentum and amp you up. But too many times have I seen someone hit a horrible serve 20mph rainbow, the opponent hits it long and the server yells "come on".

    Does this bother anybody else?
     
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  19. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    hit with a guy last night who did the "trying to win the warmup". not warming up for a match - just practice.

    fed a ball to him and he'd smack it crosscourt or down the line for a winner. after a couple of these, i stopped chasing after the balls he hit for "winners". i don't think he understood he did anything wrong or in bad etiquette. worse i think he thinks he hit great shots. will not hit with again.
     
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  20. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    LOL. I'm not sure I could keep a straight face if someone was saying that to me at a recreational tennis match.
     
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  21. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

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    I have a couple of those guys in my area similar to that.

    I was watching a match with the "hot head" and his opponent hit a faster paced ball down the middle and the "hot head" returned it into the net. The opponent said "Sorry I hit it so hard, I thought you'd be able to return it, i'll hit it softer next time" the "hot head" flipped out! It was hilarious.
     
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  22. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    hahaha!!!!!!!!
     
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  23. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    Tell them their wife tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios...word to Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony.
     
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  24. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    That brings up a second consideration.....

    Do you TELL someone when they are being rude and doing one of these unsportsmanlike things over and over or do you just ignore it or take your own steps to counter it?
     
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  25. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    I tell them if they are a friend or teammate that I'm most likely going to have to play with or practice against in the future. If it's a random meetup where I may never see them again, I just deal with it. Competitive match, I try to never let them know that anything they do bothers me.
     
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  26. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    interesting point jack. in my case, i don't know the guy very well and he's not a teammate so i chalked it up to inexperience and didn't say anything. but if it's a guy i play with regularly and/or teammate -- yeah i'd let him know.

    figured i don't have to hit with him again. if/when he runs out of hitting partners, maybe he'll get a clue. or maybe he finds someone who also likes to hit winners during warmups and they become best friends and dubs partners.
     
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  27. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    Haha this is good.
     
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  28. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

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    I do recall warming up in doubles and having my partner taking full strokes on our opponents serves. I told him to stop that its not proper tennis ettiquette and he never did it again.

    Sometimes people just don't know better.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You missed the worst etiquette violation out there:

    Walking onto someone's court in the middle of a point (crossing, retrieving their ball).

    I have no patience whatever for this.
     
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  30. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I have yet to see someone do this and get hit by the ball.

    I would laugh my butt off if I saw this..
     
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  31. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Kid, how old are you anyway, just curious? I really don't think she's referring to anyone getting hit by a ball, the racket would be more appropriate for such a trespass during a point. She's talking about the distraction! It is a hard rule of tennis etiquette that you don't walk on anyone else's court ever! If they are too blind or lazy to pick up your ball, maybe you can sneak over when they are on a change-over. The only one's I would forgive of such a trespass are obvious first time players, on public courts, who have never played before or only once a year, wearing flip-flops, who don't know any better.
     
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  32. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    It honestly doesn't matter how old I am. If you really think that I'm a teenager, I don't care.

    Seriously, I'm not the only one who would laugh if someone walked through the court and get hit by the ball because they didn't wait for the rally to end. Actually, I understand what Cindy meant, I've had people walk through my side of the court during a rally and it didn't end for them because I gave a piece of my mind (without screaming or anything like that), I just asked them with a stern tone.
     
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  33. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I think people come to tennis with greatly varying experiences and understandings of the rules. When I run into someone who is warming me up badly, I don't cooperate with them. If they are blasting the ball at me right from the start, I just catch it and then hit it back to them. If they are hitting "winners" in warmup, I don't make a move to go after the ball. People seem to get the idea pretty quickly. If they don't, it's no trouble to me.

    Around here, the returning of practice serves is a signal that you are done warming up your serve and are ready to go whenever your opponent is ready.
     
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  34. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    The worst was a couple years ago when I hit a ball into the adjacent court. I waited until they finished their point and saw the guy go to retrieve his balls, as there were several lying on the court. The ***** literally picked up every ball except ours, and just walked away. Biggest ****** I've ever seen on the court.
     
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Related to walking onto a court is people who make you wait for no reason.

    Like, two guys are hitting when I walk up. I wait. I don't know if they are on match point, are warming up, or rallying or what. Eventually someone misses. I think I can cross, but nooooo. The guy knows I am waiting but feeds another ball. Am I supposed to wait again?

    How about a nod to me so I can scoot across?
     
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  36. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    That could just be general obliviousness. I'm constantly amazed at how little grasp for what's happening around them some people have. Standing slack-jawed while I point them to the ball that rolled onto their court in front of them being my favorite. Some people can turn fetching a ball into a 90 process between not seeing it, not knowing which one is theirs (obviously not familiar with "One of these things is not like the others") and then slooowly rolling it back.
     
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  37. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    Ok, I'll bite. First off, each of the things the OP listed, I have personally experienced in opponents. More, from some recent matches:

    -- Guy that hits first serve into the net. Ball is laying there, less than six inches from the net. Walks in slowly to pick it up. Then shambles back to serve his second serve.

    -- Same guy also leaps in the air calling ball "out!" before it hits the ground.

    -- Another guy, 3.5 G.O.A.T. fake medical appeal down from 4.0, runs around like a maniac, tracks every ball down. But has to sit for 5 minutes at every changeover.

    -- Back to the 'another guy' ... has a knack of calling close balls out after long rallies ... saves this for important points, and calls them out on a dead run looking back over his shoulder.

    Basically, my point is these habits seemed to clump together in the same person. They reduce the enjoyment of the game whether inadvertent or 'winning ugly' habits.
     
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  38. Jpin76

    Jpin76 New User

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    It is surprising how many people do try to hit winners in warm-ups. If my opponent hits a winner cross court or down the line, I just stand there and reach into my pocket and hit him another ball. I'm not gonna tire myself out or possibly injury myself in warm-ups trying to chase down winners. I'll save my energy for the actual match. Just don't let any of that stuff bother you and it should be fine.....
     
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  39. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I think much of the time players aren't doing that on purpose--they're just not that good. ;)
     
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  40. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    If the numb nuts hit winners during the warm-up on my gentle feeds into their wheel-house, I'll sarcastically start yelling out the score and telling them they are doing a good job winning the "warm-up"--this is working on most of them, try it.
     
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  41. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    How about asking "can I cross"?
     
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  42. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Why does this one bother you? He is only hurting his own rythym for his 2nd serve.
     
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  43. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    One of my pet peeves: How about when your opponent changes the score rack when it's not a change over? (only when he wins the game of course). Bad form.
     
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  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, works fine. Except that yelling out "Can I cross?" in the middle of match point isn't cool. I don't want to interrupt other people mid-point. But at least one player should see me standing there and stop a non-point.

    Or I can just stroll across, I suppose . . .
     
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  45. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't care, so long as she changes it for every game. It's when they start changing it willy nilly that I get annoyed.

    I don't like score racks. People start treating the score rack as The Word Of God, even when it is obviously wrong.
     
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  46. GlennK

    GlennK Rookie

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    I agree. I prefer not using them but if someone starts using the rack, they better change it religiously. Then they can treat it as the word of god. :)
     
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  47. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Why not just walk outside / around the court? Why cut across?

    I realize in some places there isn't that option, but when there is, why would you interrupt someone just to save yourself a few steps / seconds?
     
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  48. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    If you wait until the end of a practice rally you've done more than your share. No need to worry if they start another.
     
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  49. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    IMO its pretty easy to tell when people are practicing/rallying versus playing out a point during a organized match. You could wait unti play stops and then speak out.
     
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  50. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I just never cut through an occupied court if there is another option. I guess I never view a tennis court as a sidewalk (but I do view a sidewalk as a sidewalk).
     
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