Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Jet Rink, Feb 15, 2005.
Cheating is cheating, doesn't matter the level or type...
I have only called someone for footfaulting once during a 4.0 doubles tourney after server just smashed a decent return of mine down on top of my partner as he was a foot inside the baseline when he hit his serves. I let him play two, but it did disrupt him and made him pretty mad but his partner didn't get upset as he probably knew it was true. We beat them 6-3, 7-6 to get to the finals. I didn't like doing that and haven't since but felt it unfair for him to be smashing balls on my partner when I hit a decent return and wondered how he got on top of the net so fast.
Last time I watched him play as he was on my mixed team and he wasn't foot faulting anymore.
Are you kidding me ?
I do it in competitive matches. I mean it's cheating.
In practice or casual hits I won't.
Also, against people a lot older than me, 35+ kinda range, - if they foot fault I dont call them on it for fear of being labelled a "little brat"
It really seems to me to depend on the tenor of the match. If everyone is taking things seriously and not talking to opponents during changeovers, and where you are head-hunting on overheads, then yeah, call the foot-faults.
But if you all are friends and are chatting it up during the changeover and you give close line calls in your opponents favor and it's sort of hit-and-giggle, then I wouldn't. You don't want to single-handedly change the tenor of a match because "the rules are the rules". For all you engineers out there, I know you're probably having a coronary right now, but yes, the rest of us think it's okay to bend things here and there to keep the peace. You wouldn't tell the truth if your wife asked if she looked fat (and she in fact was fat), would you?
There's a guy in my regular group that was a real stickler for the rules, and this particular group that I play with is very social, so I took him aside and told him that he's right, but that he should keep it to himself so as not to get alienated. But if these guys play in tournaments, you can take each one aside afterwards and tell them that you don't really care if they footfault, but that you're looking out for their interests when they are playing in tounramets, where people DO care.
You ought to read the rule on foot faults in non-officiated matches. It is interesting.
If we are playing a league match or tournament>>>YES I would call them on it.
Heck, I would say 75% of the players at my club foot fault all the time. This topic has been discussed at length before. One standard retort is "So what if someone steps across the baseline during their serve? Is it going to make much if any difference?" The answer is "No, it is probably not going to make much, if any difference in the majority of cases." Another excuse "There is no way someone on the other side of the net could possibly see if their opponent is foot faulting." I disagree with this assertion particularly in a double match where the returner's partner can see many foot faults.
Nonetheless it is a rule and players should be aware that they are foot faulting and stop doing it. But I have seen people get very defensive and offended if you say they are foot faulting. I don't even mention it when playing non-competitive matches because it is not worth the ensuing arguement.
If it's obvious, I call it. Period.
Isn't it not allowed to call foot faults in non-officiated matches?
Check that: USTA Comment 18.6: When may the reciever or the reciever's partner call foot faults?
In a non-officiated match, the receiver or the receiver's partner may call foot faults after all efforts (warning the server and attempting to locate an official) have failed and foot faulting is so flagrant that it is clearly perceptible from the receiver's side.
I guess the point is to warn the other player after the point is played out, and don't stop play because the server could legitimately lay claim to the point due to a deliberate hinderance. Also, it would probably be good to warn the other player you are about to start calling foot faults and cite the rule to justify yourself after your warnings have not been heeded. And then be prepared for your opponent to try to bean you.
Consistent and flagrant foot faulting should be called after efforts to warn the offending player and locating an official have failed.
I'm sure that i've footfaulted on ocassion, typically my front foot creeps an inch forward onto the line. I now stand back a little further and have tried putting my foot in a bucket and had people stand on my front toes during service practice.
I see many shocking FF's in night tennis, players getting half metre or more starts into the net. Very hard to call them on it. I've reminded players about FF rules and not accused them of the offence. Good idea to casually bring it up in conversation during the season. Keeps it in the back of people minds. Same with giving the benefit of the doubt to opposition on calls.
if their just little it doesnt matter too much
I HATE foot faulters (especially those that serve and volley)! I have the belief that it is cheating in the same way as bad line calls. I have to relay two quick stories about this:
I was playing a doubles match where both of my opponents were bad foot faulters. What I did when it was my turn to serve was to stand 3 feet inside the baseline to start my toss (as a joke). My opponents objected, but I told them if they continue to foot fault, then I would too. Of course, neither of them had a clue how bad it was. We then called an official over to call the foot faults.
In another match, I had a guy who was foot faulting AND quick serving me really badly. I tried everything. I asked him to slow up a couple of times, I held up my hand. I even held the third ball and would hit it over the net after I got set. Mid way through the second set (down a set and a break,) I had had enough and told him he had to choose between foot faulting me or quick serving me, but that he couldn't do both. Ended up winning in three.
who said anything about cheating?!? i agree with prior posters...if its a recreational game and their serves are not that good, i let it go...at that level, it's more important to think about strokes and the game instead of the rules, and nit picking the line...
here's another take...
if i am playing a tournament...YES...not because a few mm makes a difference, but if you get your opponent to start thinking about all of the time it will ruin his concentration, and take a psycological toll on him/her...
I agree with this completely, and if someone is stupid enough to call it on you then call it on them couple of times, that will stop it real quick.
I believe it up to the players to make the calls even foot faults. If the opposing player does not call it then he at fault.
Stealing a few inches...I can let that slide. But when guys with 'travelling' service motions cross over the centre line, and then bang one down the middle from the wrong court (ie they are now serving ad-court to ad-court), you've got to take a stand. I play a guy who does this regularly, with good pace and placement - virtually unreturnable.
Sometimes I think people call footfaults more as a defense against losing than as a lofty moral principal. [I'm not saying that footfault-callers lie about seeing the violation, I'm saying that they tend to notice it more when they're losing or when they fear losing]
We have a guy in our club, 4.0-4.5, who always calls it when he's either down or in a tight match. He never calls it when he's beating someone soundly. Problem is, he rarely beats people soundly, so calling foot faults is his MO. Once I was playing with him against a stronger team and midway through the 1st set...(we're down a break)....he tells me that one of our opponents is footfaulting and we should try to get in his head. I analyze the guys feet and cannot see any clear violation. I noticed that he came close -- very close -- to footfaulting, but not close enough to bother.
Sadly, some people who call footfaults spend way too much energy watching for violations. [Funny thing is: if they're tatering someone's serve, they don't seem to notice violations quite as much] Point is: noticing and calling footfaults is something people develop in the same way that someone develops, say, a powerful backhand or slice, i.e., it's one of their weapons; it's something they depend on to navigate a tight corner. I never footfault because I had a very anal father who simply would not allow it -- so I don't get the opportunity to see the DFC ("desperate footfault caller") as much as I would like. Ultimately, though, I don't notice or call footfaults because I haven't trained myself to depend on it. If someone can beat me by crossing the line by a few inches, they can probably beat me without it. Rule following is its own reward and I don't sweat the small stuff. If someone needs to cheat, than it just makes me play harder to erase their advantage. I see it as a challange.
FYI: when acting in capacity as an instructor, I always enforce all the rules like a hawk ...(I think it would be irresponsible to do otherwise...and I fully support parents who point these things out to highschool coaches and clinic instructors. Kids should learn how to do things the right way. As for adults who know better, if ever there was a case of "bigger fish to fry"; besides: let God Save them...I'm just there to play tennis for fun)
Well, guys, the rules are the rules. If you don't play by the rules are you playing tennis? Is the golfer who nudges up his ball buried in the sand a cheater? If no one sees it, did he cheat? If you see it, did he cheat? If it doesn't matter (non-tournament play), did he cheat?
Really, I've never seen so much moral equivocation. This is straightforward. Footfaulting is a breach of the rules, and if you know you do it, it is cheating.
I never call footfaults myself, but rather, after the match if I have an opportunity, I will use it as an instructive moment. One of the women in my club went after another woman who is a notorious footfaulter and it turned into a nightmare. These issues can be handled sanely, unlike the fellow who complained to the OP. Unless it's a pro match, talk to the person gently after the match. Be helpful, not ugly. The problem is, most guys are very ugly about it. They've just lost the match, and they run off screaming at the guy and calling him a cheater, or some such nonsense. I once witnessed one lawyer calling another lawyer a cheater after he allegedly footfaulted in a very old match! They were arguing in a federal courthouse about it. Incredible stupidity....
This sounds like a good story, Robert. Can you give us some details? I love such tales from the tennis court, and have heard some good ones involving the dress code from the place where I often play, among other such important hot-button tennis issues.
Well, the fight has now been patched up but the footfaulter now starts her serve about one foot from the baseline! The problem was she always takes a step forward as she serves the ball, so she was always a good foot or 15 inches inside the baseline, a pretty egregious fault. She's a sound and good player with a horrid serve.
Anyway, the other woman told her in no uncertain terms after one of our mixed doubles matches that she thought her faulting was terrible cheating and the footfaulter started crying! Good grief! And then the yelling started. The complaining woman told the footfaulter she was a self-indulgent baby, or something like that and that just set the woman off like a Roman candle. I had to restrain her, but she managed to fling her racquet at the other woman. The club pro was on the adjacent court and came over to try to smooth things over, but I'm afraid it was past the point of no return for the day. The complainer left while I consoled the footfaulter. Then she left. Apparently, they talked about it on the phone and patched things up because they've been playing for awhile in the same group and wanted to continue doing so. These two women, by the way, are both professionals with PhD.s!!! You would not believe such behavior could happen, but intelligence is no bar to incivility.
It's just a bloody game, but it IS life. Some need to get a life, however.
Most excellent story, Robert! Man, I love this game...
Hopefully, you're just trying to be "clever". In our neck of the woods, you'd have a difficult time getting a hit with anyone. We play by the rules here.
(One guy -- a notorious cheater and jerk -- has become the one "serial member" of every club around. Once those "locals" get wise to his act, they stop playing him. He's stubborn though. Rather than act his age -- instead of his shoe size -- he coughs up a new Initiation Fee and Membership Fee at his "next" club. He operates on about an 18-month cycle ... and he's running out of clubs.)
As for my opinion ... if you haven't seen my sig after all this time.....
Well, it isn't called because most footfaulters know they footfault, and don't care. If you know you footfault, you can't call your opponent for ff'ing because they'll just call you on it in return. If you don't ff, but play with a partner that does, you can't call it on them because they'll call it on your partner.
And anyway, there are a few rules in tennis that just are not usually enforced at the recreational level. Footfaulting, catching balls in mid-air that are very clearly going long, hitting an opponent with a serve, to name a few.
this guy you are talking about seem like a bad cheater and jerk so that is completely different than occasional and seldom little foot faults which we let slide even in our USTA summer men's leagues. But if someone starts with foot inside the line or across the service line before he even begins the motion, then we would say something, but otherwise, little footfaults we don't bother until we get into playoffs in the regional level. thank you for your concern.:grin:
I see them everywhere. The winner of the Men's Club Championship at my tennis club was doing it yesterday, but just barely.
I can't stand foot faulters. If you step a foot over the line during the service motion, your serve has like a 10% better chance of being in. That is significant enough to change the outcome of a match. Don't ask me for the formula, though, that's just my estimate. FWIW about half of the people I watch at the clubs foot fault on a regular basis.
BTW an old fart USTA ref called me on foot faulting a while back (I'm pretty sure I wasn't but if I was it was barely stepping on the line, not over) but anyway, I'm really concious now of where my feet are, and that the front one doesn't slide forward any during my service motion.
Calling Foot Faults
I've been playing league tennis for nearly 15 years and I've never called foot faults. Not to say I've never seen it - just the opposite. I think so many players are guilty of foot faulting - I'd guess-timate at least 25% of all league players.
I just never call it because A) I've never seen it give someone an advantage and B) they usually have more pressing issues than foot faulting.
What's your take on foot faulting?
I don't care if someone footfaults- usually its because of poor form on the serve and not because they are getting an advantage. But if someone wants to call them they are completely entitled to do so. I know that I footfault when I don't concentrate on using my legs on my serve- if someone is going to call me for footfaults then thats 100% their right to do so.
It bothers me more how badly people react when they do get called for footfaults.
If it is a tournament, I will call it. A rule is a rule. People who foot fault in tournaments or league play tend not do it on "accident".
If you are playing with a buddy or just for fun (nothing on the line), I will not call it if the server does not come to the net. Generally, I will not call a foot fault even if the server comes to the net because: a) we are playing for fun, and b) it gives me an extra challenge to pass or lob the return.
The last time I had this called on me was in juniors, and I laughed at him. He threatened to get an umpire. I said "That's a good idea. That way I might get some better calls." Funny that he didn't mention foot faults again.
I have never called foot faults ever. I have never been accused of foot faulting either, but if I were to be put in that situation, I would just serve from like 2 inches further back, no big deal.
Completely agree with the first part. While it might give specific players a little help with their serves, these serves are typically far less intimidating than someone who actually knows how to serve properly. I have never come across anyone who foot faults who has a great serve.
Regardless, if someone else wants to call it, I see no reason for them not to.
I think the warning and need to find an official is a good idea. If you consider the lengths some people would go to to win, you can only imagine what these players might do with free reign to call out "foot fault" willy nilly regardless of whether the player is foot faulting. They either get the point, or get the player riled up. Counter this with individual slight advantages that in most if not all cases would not decide a match...
So many recreational players cheat on foot faults. They easily gain 6 inches to a couple of feet in reduced distance on the serve.
Roddick was called for a footfault in his Davis Cup match against Tursonov. It was on set point if I recall correctly.
...and now back to your regular programming...
I've never seen anybody do it that much. A few inches, sure, but I've never seen 2 feet.
I didn't mean they step in 2 feet. I was talking about how the positioning helps them to reach out further during the swing.
My wording was vague. I meant "regularly foot faults", or "foot faults more than the occasional accidental foot fault".
spot: But CAM didn't tell us whether he was foot faulting or not. If he was, I would agree with you, if not, I would disagree.
WBF- if the player wasn't footfaulting then the opponent was outright cheating. If a player is willing to outright cheat to win then it doesn't matter whether its footfault calls or line calls. How the rules deal with someone who is willing to cheat outright is a whole different discussion.
Well if the player was footfaulting then he was outright cheating....
... and threatening someone on the court is (or should be) grounds for automatic and possible suspension.
Jump to conclusions much? Because. . .I mean. . .it would too much effort to ask:
1. if our player was indeed footfaulting, and
2. if the other player was a problem player,
right? Apparently too much to ask.
But good for you for not reading my post, and just pulling out the negative. Bravo, sir. . . bravo.
Our player was not footfaulting. And as stated in my previous post, the other player's team stated that he (their player) was a problem player.
Not if the other player had already nailed him twice at the net, lauched a ball onto the freeway in anger, and been cursing during the entire match with several children present. Plus, the other player had been muttering things that we all could hear, the least of which were derogatory comments about our player.
I don't think our guy was right to say what he said (thusly why our captain went running out there), but you can only get pushed so far. It was a despicable display on the part of the other player, and it was so bad that his teammates couldn't even watch.
Sorry CAM- even with all that your guy is still the ******* and should be suspended for THREATENING VIOLENCE because of a footfault call.
I never call foot faults because instead of accepting the call your opponent always argues that he didnt cross the line. Also, like previously stated, foot faults almost never help the server in any way
I'm sorry Cam- even if the opponent is a complete jerk and is a total *******, they are still entitled to call footfaults. I don't see it as any different from your teammate doing all that because he didn't like a line call. Even less respect because he has no idea if he footfaulted or not. There is absolutely no one that can be so sure that they didn't footfault (unless they are serving from way behind the line) to react the way you describe.
CAM- I am saying that when I am serving I am looking at the ball- I certainly can't see my feet while I am serving. THought I guess I shoudl be impressed by your ability to both serve and watch your own feet at the same time.
I did read your whole post The guy is a Tool who plays headgames. But that doesn't mean that he isn't allowed to call footfaults. Just like tools are allowed to be sticklers for all sorts of rules that normal people just let go. Your teammate flipped out because he didn't like getting called for a footfault. That makes him the wrong one in my book. It might be a jerk move to call the footfaults- but its a move the jerk is allowed to pull.
i don't call them. i don't really look for them, so i generally don't even know whether or not it is happening (unless it is really obvious). it doesn't seem to give much of an advantage, and doesn't really bother me.
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