Join PUT-OFF!!??? (Merged Foot Fault Threads)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Jet Rink, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    Kaptain Karl has a great little bit at the bottom of his posts: "Join PUT-OFF: Players Unwilling To Overlook Foot Faults."

    Foot faults have always driven me nuts - especially at the club tennis level. Heck, we slave over line calls but overlook obvious and gross foot faults.

    Yesterday, I put my PUTOFF membership privileges to use: I called a foot fault on an opponent in a pick-up dubs match.

    The place went dead silent. I weathered the withering looks of no less than eleven players (three courts = four players per - self), then play resumed.

    Not only did the players on my court adjust, but I noticed players on the other courts did too.

    After play, a player from an adjacent court came up and thanked me "for having the guts to call a foot fault." I of course deferred to my good friend, the Kaptain. Your influence reigns!


    Jet
     
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  2. RoddickRulez

    RoddickRulez Guest

    good job
    ive done that a couple times and they were awe stricken
     
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  3. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Hallelujah!!!

    All it takes is a handful of us with a little ... gumption. Way to go, Jet Rink!!!

    - KK
     
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  4. tykrum

    tykrum Rookie

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    I hope you didn't call a fault, because you can't do that from across the court. If you just said please watch your foot faulting or something, then good for you. I'm pretty sure you have to at least have a roaming judge that is agreed prior will have the authority to call foot faults. I really don't think foot faults are that big of a deal though, and thats why most people don't bother with them. To me, they are more of a little ticky-tack rule of tennis meant to keep people from serving from the service line.
     
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  5. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Ah-haa!!! Another foot-faulter (IOW, "cheater") exposed.

    - KK
     
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  6. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    The only people I know who think a player cannot call foot faults ... are foot faulters.

    From The Code, VIII, 2, B, 3 (emphasis mine):
    A player may warn his opponent that the opponent has committed a flagrant foot fault. If the foot-faulting continues the player may attempt to locate an umpire. If no umpire is available, the player may call flagrant foot faults.

    Foot-faulting is not "ticky-tack." It is cheating.

    (In the future, I'll try to be less wishy-washy in stating my views....)

    - KK
     
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  7. Cruzer

    Cruzer Professional

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    I applaud your efforts Kaptain. I consider foot faulters and cheaters to be the same however whenever I have mentioned foot faults to someone either as a warning or a fault when they have served they act like you are trying to steal their wallet. I hesitate to call foot faults anymore because generally it is not worth the acrimony it creates.
    This topic has been discussed at length before and it seems the overwhelming majority (at least on this board) don't care. It is interesting from my own observations it seems the better the player the more often (i.e. all the time) they foot fault. I won't get into a debate about whether calling foot faults is ticky-tack or not (it is not) and BTW it is very easy to call foot faults in doubles when you are the receivers partner so that arguement about not being able to accurately call foot faults from the other side of the court is crap. To the legions of foot faulters/cheaters; if foot faults don't matter then why is there a rule against it?
     
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  8. raftermania

    raftermania Banned

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    hehe, you should ask Lleyton his opinion on P.U.T.O.F.F. (See Aussie Open '05 final) and while you're at it, see if he has any affiliation with the K.K.K. :mrgreen:
     
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  9. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    At Hewitt's level it's easy to repair the problem (and IIR, he did after two calls).

    The truth is, I am so careful to NOT FF, if I ever inadvertantly did, I could fix it on the very next serve. It would not bother me. I play by the rules.

    I do remember one officiated Final when a FF was called on me ... before I had even made contact. (I knew "something wasn't right" in my toss, and was in the process of catching it as the FF was called.) We all -- including the red-faced linesman -- got a good laugh out of that one. And the Umpire (rightly) granted me a Let.

    - KK
     
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  10. tykrum

    tykrum Rookie

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    I just don't see serving from half an inch inside the court as cheating. Serving from two feet in the court or standing across the center line is though, and I believe that is what they mean when they say flagrant in the rule book.
     
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  11. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    tykrum.

    it would be great if the majority of footfaulters were only touching the line when they served or moving in half an inch (in those cases it would be a bit harder to call from over the net) but, in my experience, they are usually far worse than that. The ones Ive come across tend to have half of their foot to their entire foot inside the court before they strike the ball. Even in social tennis thats a strict no-no.

    Im a little more lenient that the Kaptain and will let the first one go as an aberration (there's no money at stake in our matches) but the second one they get the choice of playing two or having me call the ball as a fault. The third one and each one after is a strict fault, no exceptions. In every instance the guy who foot faults knows he does it so isnt surprised to hear the call, just surprised that someone is willing to call it.

    I called lines at the Aus Open for 10 years and when it comes to foot faulting there is no distinction made between grades of the offense. It doesn't matter if you just touch the line or are a foot inside, its a footfault. The reason they use the term 'flagrant' is in the assumption that it is hard to see a minor infringement from the other side of the court.

    Regardless, 99% of players footfault although I would guess 95% dont know they do or dont think they do. But if, when you strike that ball, any part of either foot is touching the line or over then its a foot fault.
     
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  12. Mies

    Mies Rookie

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    Speaking of Foot Faults .........I have a nice story:)

    I was at the Rosmalen grass tournament and I was watching Coria play Clement in the quarter finals. Coria got 2 or 3 FF's called on him. He was, as is expected of him, totally p'ed off at the lineswoman, giving her dirty looks as he switched court sides. At one point, he got an FF again. His reaction was the following: He went back and stood about 2 meters back from the baseline and gestured dramatically at his foot and at the baseline, all the while intensely looking at the lineswoman asking her if this then, was far enough from the baseline not catch a FF. He actually served from there (he was already winning though), but I can't remember if he won the point.

    Somewhat later in the match Coria, Clement and the umpire got in a fight (I have pictures of it as I was on the front row near to the umpire) but thats beside the point :).......

    And now for something completely different: the actually subject. I don't really mind if someone just touches the line with their foot (it's not really worth the hassle and its a difficult call from the other side of the court) but if they actually step on or over the line, I will complain. Especially in league matches. The added effect is also, that some people get angry for you calling FF's and that is of course in the advantage of the oponent: me :) ........

    Foot faults are bad!!!!

    Regards,
    Maurice
     
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  13. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    To clarify, the foot fault I called in my starting post was indeed in a dubs match and I was at the net AND the guy was not one, but two foot lengths into the court before he hit the ball (!).

    Andrew D. is right on though - it's got to be 95% of club players that are foot faulting (not every serve, but committing a fault during service games nonetheless). Stand and look down the center of a few courts and you'll be amazed at the number of faults (usually un-called) committed.

    The Kaptain is correct - a rule's a rule. And besides, it's so easy to correct a foot fault.

    Jet
     
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  14. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    It is cheating. Read "The Code" and you will see where it specifically states that foot faulting is cheating. Now that we have relieved you of your ignorance, if you do it again, you are a cheat. You don't strike me as the type who wants to cheat. Flagrant can mean continuous foot faulting as well as it can mean by a large margin. And if foot faulting can be seen from 78' feet away, it is definitely flagrant.
     
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  15. Brettolius

    Brettolius Professional

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    hey mies, it would be cool if you posted those pics you were referring to in your story. i'd love to check 'em out.
     
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  16. tykrum

    tykrum Rookie

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    I'm really sorry, I have to clarify myself again. I just really take offense to being called ignorant, and don't think I am in need of being relieved of anything. I meant cheating as in breaking the rules of the game to give oneself a distinct advantage in a certain aspect of the game. I fully understand that touching any part of the line, or stepping over the center of the court, while in the act of serving is against the rules and should be called a fault if there is a roaming judge etc. I'm just saying that an opponent calling a foot fault that is not flagrant is not part of the code, and trying to call a person on their foot touching the line is pretty weak. If someone is two feet in the court or across the middle of the service line, then go ahead and warn them. I really haven't seen a decent learned player that does this. But otherwise, give them a break until you play a match that really matters with officials.
     
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  17. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Hello!!!???

    This is precisely what foot-faulting is...!

    And "flagrant" -- as already posted -- can be "repeatedly" or "grossly" ... or both.

    - KK
     
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  18. tykrum

    tykrum Rookie

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    How is stepping an inch inside the court a distinct advantage over my opponent? This is getting dumb, forget it, I don't care that much anymore.
     
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  19. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Tykrum - I did not mean referring to your ignorance as an insult, I apologize for that, we are all ignorant of many things. You do assert that serving from half an inch inside the court is not cheating and that is just plain flat not true. You seem to be confusing the criteria for the CALLING of flagrant foot faults with whether foot faulting, flagrant or not, is cheating. It IS cheating, flagrant or not.
    Once again, I did not mean to insult your ignorance, but I do mean to criticize those who persist in argumentative and willful ignorance when they are being presented with facts. I hope you are not one of them. Good luck.
     
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  20. bleach

    bleach Rookie

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    I don't call others FF's, I try not to notice unless it's really bad. But the idea of FFing does bother me, as does any other type of cheating. Yes, it is cheating even if it's done by accident.

    I have a couple of questions for those that think footfaults are nitck-picky rules.

    What about a player that slightly touches the net?
    What about reaching over and hitting a ball before it passes the net?
    What about playing with a illegal racket? (not that I was reconize one)
    What would you call if the server "swung and missed" at his serve? (not that it happens much)
    or heck, what about calling a serve out that "only nicked" the back of the line?

    The point is that the rules were created for a reason. As soon as you start excusing one rule, the rest of the rules start getting abused.


    True story:

    I was playing in a city doubles tourney many years ago (unofficiated). One of our opponents was this large ex-football-player/weight-lifter type with a known bad temper and short fuse. He did this running/slidding/jump serve that had him 3-4 feet (minimum) inside the baseline by the time he hit the ball. Needless to say with his size and power, that made for a very effective serve. After a couple of points we told him that he was FFing and to stop. He went off the handle, calling us names, making threats, trying to intimidate us (it was working to). He just wanted to play tennis without all the #*$@$& rules (his words). So when it was my partners time to serve the next game, he started his serve standing about 4 feet inside the baseline. The guy goes crazy. My partner (also a hothead) explains that he is hitting the ball from the same point the he was and let's not start up with any of those #@$^&*@ rules. I think a light went on in the guy's head and he agreed to stop the FFing and we played a normal game. In the many time I played against this guy after that, he never did the extreme FFing (if any) again!
     
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  21. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    bleach - E-mail me. I grew up in Huntspatch -- went to Grissom HS -- played on the Tennis Team.

    - KK
     
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  22. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    How to make friends and not call people cheaters

    I don't believe you should call a foot fault unless you're looking side on right down the servers baseline. Since you're on the other side of the court i believe you can't call it with 100% accuracy. That's why they have foot fault judges in competitions. ;)

    If it concerns you greatly and is flagrant, consistent or obviously feet well inside the court, gently ask the person to watch their foot faults. Most players are not even aware they foot fault and if asked nicely will correct their serving position to compensate. Some beginners don't even know of foot fault rules!

    Unlike TW's self proclaimed "The Code" Rules Queen Camilio, i don't believe people have any intention of cheating with foot faults. i.e "To violate rules deliberately, as in a game".

    I believe you can change their behaviour and inform them of the rules better with the carrot approach "asking them nicely to watch themselves for foot faults" than by using a stick approach of "confusing and annoying them by calling a foot fault on them unexpectedly, effectively branding them deliberate cheater!"

    Camilio pack that worn out rule book away for one second and try the conciliatory approach. I bet you'd have more success with my approach in changing their behaviours in current and future matches. Than your bad approach of calling people cheaters!

    Failing that Camilio, i suggest you print hard copies of "The Camilio Code" and stake out your nearest tennis club to sell those copies.
    I wish you great success! ;)
     
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  23. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Equinox - You seem to think I handle this situation on court the same as I do here. If so, you are mistaken.
     
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  24. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Nonsense! When I'm "playing up" as my partner is receiving, I have a very clear view of the dopes who are stepping on ... over ... and some idiots, even with both feet. (These are examples of "flagrant".)

    Oh Boy! I can just hear We Are The World playing in the background....

    Maybe in OZ, but here -- in all parts of the US -- I believe most players *DO KNOW* they FF. They just don't care ... which, in my book, makes them cheaters.

    This IS true ... about half the time. (The other half are jerks about it, in my experience.)

    I've been amazed at the numbers of (apparently experienced players here on TW) who don't know the rules.

    And the music returns....
    I cannot remember if it was this thread, but *I* quoted The Code, which distinctly says to remind the player first. (And I believe the one being ambushed is the Receiver ... not the (cheating foot-faulting) Server.)

    Your "Blame the victim" loyalties are misplaced, IMO. Your “music” strikes a sour note with me.

    - KK
     
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  25. Saito

    Saito Professional

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    This has to be the most entertaining post I've yet to read on these forums..... next to the one about banning some guy who some people seem to really dislike from these forums....

    But this topic does have a serious side, and I also believe in P.U.T.O.F.F.

    raftermania,
    LOL I'm still wondering if anyone else got your post!!!

    KK,
    LMAO, man you rock!!! I was cracking up for a couple of minutes after reading your last post. Good stuff man. Keep it up. :D
     
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  26. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    I use this same screen name on multiple forums -- some politically oriented. I've been "KKK-ed" so many times I don't react anymore.

    Truly, the first time it happened I congratulated the poster for his "letter" play. It's clever.

    - KK
     
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  27. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    What? Even if it's true?
     
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  28. Saito

    Saito Professional

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    KK,

    I don't think raftermania was making a play with the initials of your screenname, but rather a comment towards the incident involving Hewitt and the linesman from the US Open.... i think it was the US open (correct me if I'm wrong) :confused:. But yeah, I can see how people would do that to you.... but whatever right? :)
     
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  29. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    Are you people clear that you are allowed to be in the air over the baseline when you hit the ball ? It's not clear to me in this discussion that you are. It's a foot fault when your foot touches inside the court during the service motion. This is what makes calling foot faults very difficult; difficult enough that I think you use the "benefit of the doubt" approach. I've never played anyone who foot faulted to the extent that it was absolutely clear to me that they had. Watching games, I see many (most?) people foot fault, but as was already pointed out, not to the extent that they benefit from it.

    The spirit of the rule is to prevent people from moving well into the court and then serving - don't you think ? I believe the rule is written the way it is simply because you have to draw the line somewhere.

    I think calling foot faults borders on gamesmanship - which granted is a part of tennis as well.
     
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  30. Noelle

    Noelle Hall Of Fame

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    I was watching some guy practice his serve while I was with my trainer about four weeks ago. He had a trainer with him as well, and the trainer didn't even bother to tell him that he was foot-faulting at the very beginning of his motion. This guy would slide his front foot about a half-meter into the court, then bring his back foot up to it in a pinpoint stance and then fire off his serve from there.

    If that doesn't give him any benefits during a game.... :(
     
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  31. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Saito - "Oh..." Then I guess I didn't "get it" either, when raftermania posted that. ::sigh::
    ____________

    I'm comfortable that most people here know this.
    "Almost" correct. It's a FF when your foot touches any part of the baseline or the court inside the baseline prior to your racquet making contact with the ball. It's also a FF to step "across" the center mark prior to making contact with the ball.
    Wow! Where've you been???
    Like Noelle posts, I see people ALL THE TIME who step on, or over, the baseline prior to even tossing the ball. I also (frequently) see Servers who ... FF with front foot / Toss ball / FF with back foot / Hit serve. Tell me those cases are not "clear" FF's....

    - KK
     
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  32. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    I believe that the lines are inside the court - or ?

    I guess I've been playing with people who are basically honest. Every once in a while - especially if it's a tournament where points are gathered, I meet someone for whom winning is the only thing, but mostly the people I play are fair minded.

    I guess if I were to play someone who really moved into the court, I would say something as well, but actually I only know one guy (and he's a big beefy guy too) who does this, and I've never played him in a tournament. In a friendly match, I really wouldn't bother. Those are practice/social for me and why trouble the water when it's just for the fun of it ?
     
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  33. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    ”Touché!”

    Ahh! This is probably the “key” to why we see this differently....

    <Off Topic> Even my “friendly” matches ... are not “just for fun.” Did you see the Tennis Magazine piece on McEnroe last year? (In that, Mac was asked a question about how “fun” some aspect of his career was.) Mac said something to the effect that he’s never “had fun” playing tennis.

    I think I understood Mac. I love tennis. I enjoy the challenge, the art, the psychology, the workout, the physics, the competition and winning. But when I’m on the court -- I’m having a great time -- but I’m not “having fun.”

    Does this make *any* sense...? </Off Topic>

    - KK
     
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  34. bleach

    bleach Rookie

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    As KK stated there are other types of FF's than touching the inside of the court (although this is the most common).

    If you step on or across the imaginary extension of the center mark prior to making contact, it is a footfault. (happens all the time, rarely called)

    If you touch an area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline (doubles/singles). (happens in doubles rarely, but never called)

    Or if you change position by walking or running (I've seen folks that might be violating this, this IMO would be the hardest to call).

    I will state that I doubt many people foot fault on purpose in order to gain an advantage. But like a statement in "The Code" says (or something like it): If a person stops foot faulting with the presence of a line judge, what does that say about his honestly?
     
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  35. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it makes sense to me, but it also tells me that maybe you should take up another sport. Or else, change your attitude. I was the same way...once. Then, one day, I decided that I would have fun, no matter how competitive the matches got. You know what? My game improved-just by the atitudinal change. That's me. This probably won't work for everyone. I don't want to be like Mac on the court-such a tortured soul, even now, in seniors matches. He's a tool.
     
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  36. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Wow! When I grow up, I want to be just like you!
    ___________

    "Different sport" huh? Reviewing the sports I've competed in seriously....
    ... Tennis (continuously, from 7-32 ... again 45-48 [now])
    ... Judo
    ... Swimming (Breast / Fly)
    ... Cross Country (Jr High & HS)
    ... Diving (3m Spring Board / 10m Platform)
    ... Running (10,000 meters)
    ... Karate (Okinawan / Kenpo / TKD / Silat)
    ... Softball (three teams / three leagues)

    Decided I needed a sport I played "just for fun."

    Golf!!! (I lived right ON a golf course. Why not?) Trouble was, I heard that less than 10% of golfers could break 100 -- and instantly I had a goal. In five months I was regularly shooting between 93 and 96. (But golf takes too long to play.)

    "Hmmm, Volleyball looks fun." ... And five months after joining a Community Volleyball League, I was traveling to every BB tournament my team would agree to enter ... and many more they wouldn't. (Just went and found a team needing a 7th or 8th player.) "Blink!" ... and I'm Coaching in Jr High & HS.

    The only sport I've done for years and never competed in??? Skiing. (My married friends who taught me came from ... Him: Pro Freestyle, Her: Swedish Ski Team, specializing in Downhill.) They said I should compete. But I've never skied a single gate(!!!). I love free skiing....

    Finally ... realized I'm one of those people who "just loves competing." (My wife thinks I'm "broken". She's right....)

    These last three years, I'm loving tennis again. (And coaching HS again. Geez!!!)

    Now: back to the topic....

    - KK
     
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  37. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    You can have fun AND be competitive. Bet you didn't know that. And you SHOULD want to be just like me, that's IF you ever grow up.
     
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  38. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Are you nuts??? I refuse to grow up. (Just ask my wife.)

    - KK
     
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  39. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Okay, but you won't be able to be "just like Phil".
     
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  40. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Life -- and tennis, and whether or to follow the Foot Fault rules (to establish *some* pretense of sticking to the topic) -- is about choices.

    [KK heads for a remote mountain peak to meditate on the pros and cons of being just like Phil....]

    - KK
     
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  41. ChrisNC

    ChrisNC Semi-Pro

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    And yet, there's something very positive to be said for that.
     
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  42. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    Wow! 41 posts for calling a foot fault. :D

    For the record, it's breaking the rules and if you can see it across the court, it's a problem, no?

    Ease up on the Kaptain. He's working hard for all of us! :)

    Jet
     
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  43. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Well, I have more to add! :)

    More or less.

    This thread needs to be stickied and read and re-read by the 90% of tennis players who foot fault!

    I played a team match this weekend and could not believe the foot-faulting going on.

    Foot-faulting is cheating. If you do it knowingly you are a moral leper. :) Ok, the electric chair is out, but, please give some thought to obeying this rule.

    Btw, one of the guys this weekend from the opposing team (6'3" or so) was about a foot inside the baseline on his serves. At changeover I almost suggested he'd be more comfortable serving at the net. :) But, we were winning, so I sold my soul to the devil.

    -Robert
     
    #43
  44. thehustler

    thehustler Rookie

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    One question about FF's

    The last tournament I played in my final opponent was doing a ton of foot faults. Only problem is that I can't see them 78 feet away. How do I know he was doing this? Because I watched his prior matches and he was doing it constantly. How do I call a FF, when it could be that one time he didn't do it? Do I just warn him just based on instinct? But what if he were to stop for a bit and do it again and I really can't tell from that far away? I'm sure I could get a line judge, but what I'm asking is how do I prove or call him on a FF when I'm that far away?
     
    #44
  45. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    If you can't tell that he's doing it, you can't call him on it.

    Now, from watching prior matches you know that he does it a lot, you could find an official before the match and ask him to keep an eye on things, and let him call the FF's when he see's them. Other than that, just put it outa your mind. If you don't, it'll mess with ya.
     
    #45
  46. frekcles

    frekcles Semi-Pro

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    Foot faults

    The other day while waiting for my kids to finish their tennis tryouts I was settled down on a bench to watch a doubles match. It was very competitive with serve and volley by all 4 people. But I noticed that of the 4 people playing 3 were foot faulting all the time. Not just some of the time but ALL THE TIME during first and second serves. And what I don't get is why the other playing partners don't call them on that. I mean one guy is so bad that after he hits the ball he is already two feet inside the baseline.

    If you were playing with any of the foot faulters would you call them on that if it's obvious that they're doing it? It was just a casual doubles play and not a competition but what would it do to the atmosphere of the game?

    Your thoughts?:D
     
    #46
  47. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    If a person has a lousy or weak serve, I don't want to tell them anything.
     
    #47
  48. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Seems like the worst players have that habit, and their serves are generally not terribly effective in any event. Ultimately I think it hurts them more than helps as they tend to wind up in "no man's land" with serve returns landing at their feet.
     
    #48
  49. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    if 3 out of 4 are doing it tell the 4th to get in on the act

    if you think about it unless they are stepping a foot into the court what difference does 10 cms make? its pretty trivial and its not deliberate

    play on

    if its a tourny then by all means the ref should enforce the rules, but like most sports there are times when not all rules are enforced just for ease of play.
     
    #49
  50. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    Heh last year, I went to a high school tournament. The #1 seed doubles had a guy who had a pretty big serve that footfaulted. I sat about 2 yards away, watching with my doubles partner, and I told him, "see that? that guy has a good serve, but he FOOTFAULTS." I said footfault a little louder to try and get the player to hear it. I don't think he footfaulted for the rest of that match lol.
     
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