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

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

  1. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Well, you said it: you thought what the jerk did was okay. That's all I need to see.

    So we agree to disagree. You side with the minority, I side with the majority.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  2. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Yep. That's my philosophy. Like I said earlier, I haven't had anybody call me on them in 20 years, and I don't look for it from the other player, either.
     
  3. tennisinoc

    tennisinoc Semi-Pro

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    Bottom line is: Foot Faults are a basic rule in Tennis. Just like hitting the ball inside the service square for serves. If you hit the ball out of the square, its a fault. If you step on the line, its a fault.

    People need to respect the game more and follow the rules if they want to play organized tennis.

    We all practice our serves to get in the box, we should also practice to keep our feet off the line also.

    Watch Mikhail Youzhny. He knows he moves forward a lot, so he backs off the service line.

    Everyone who has this problem should just accept it and move back a bit or fix it.
     
  4. nocab

    nocab Rookie

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    I was told you can't call foot faults on your opponent. You must get an official to come watch. If you are concentrating on returning a serve you shouldn't be able to see a foot fault. And it seems you could call them whenever you wanted and you nor your opponent could prove it.
     
  5. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    nocab- you were given incorrect information. And not being able to prove it- how is that different from any call you or your opponent makes?
     
  6. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

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    i agree that it is totally legit to call footfaults, and that they should be called if it is obvious. however, since i doesn't cause me any real problems as a returner, i am not going to waste time and effort seeing if the guy is footfaulting before he serves. unless it is very obvious it is not very easy to tell if he is barely touching the line, or stepping on it, etc. if the guy is walking all over it and i am positive that he is ffaulting all over the place, then i would probably call it.
     
  7. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Easy way to sum this up: can anybody remember the last time they called a foot fault? I think the last time I did it was in juniors. . . . a loooooong time ago. :)
     
  8. IanRichardson

    IanRichardson Semi-Pro

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    i dont footfault, because i do not step when i serve, just use a knee bend. I have never played against anyone who footfaulted and gained an advantage. If someone was foot faulting and following there serve in and winning most points that way i wouldnt hesitate to call the foot fault.
     
  9. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

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    never. haven't played enough competitive tennis to call it.
     
  10. RestockingTues

    RestockingTues Banned

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    LOL. He got owned :)
     
  11. GatorTennis

    GatorTennis Rookie

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    Read the rules of the game. On the USTA website in "the code" they make an extra effort to state:

    "Habitual foot faulting, whether intentional or careless, is just as surely
    cheating as is making a deliberate bad line call."

    I've practiced my serve enough to not foot fault. It'd be nice if others could do the same. I have seen 6 inches make the difference between a good serve and a fault, so to say that foot faulting doesn't help is just not always the case. Besides, it's fun watching someone who foot faults to try not to. Monkey, football you get the picture.
     
  12. tzinc

    tzinc Semi-Pro

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    If the player starts behind the line I don't really care if they foot fault.
     
  13. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    If you are a player who DOES call foot faults:

    1) Do you call it because it's the RULES?

    or

    2) Do you call it because it is giving the server a NOTICEABLE advantage?
    ------

    I've just never seen a foot faulter gain enough of an advantage (if any) from foot faulting. If anything they are typically among the poorest of servers. Net rushers who foot fault I guess could get to net a step faster (a la Edberg) but these are often the guys who haven't figured out how to split step and blindly rush the net like some crazed bull (which is pretty funny to watch).

    I'd argue that foot faulting at the 4.0 level and below is probably pretty rampant BUT it gives very little to no advantage to the server.

    And I'd argue at the 4.5 level and higher, it's probably very infrequent with most of these players having played enough competitive tennis (high school, juniors, college, open tourneys, etc) to have that issue weeded out.
     
  14. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    Servers who inadvertantly or blatantly step on or just over the line serving. I ignore it. I can't really see it well, and I don't care. I'm too busy focusing on the ball not their feet. It also gives them zero advantage.

    Also, why even consider altering anything about a server that's not challenging you as a returner or is having a bad day. Let him keep being weak regardless whether he steps on or over that line or not.

    But, If someone has a huge serve, and they are a serve and volleyer, and they step aggressively into the court and foot fault, then I will warn them (they know exactly what they are doing grossly stepping into the court before making contact with the ball), but otherwise, I ignore all other situations.
     
  15. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Out of the hunderds of players I know (at the 3.0 / 3.5 / 4.0 levels) I do know of probally 2 or 3 that do gain a huge advantage from foot faulting, and I feel it's okay to call it on them. (in most cases they even know that they do it because everyone talks about it)

    So I think in those cases, you should call it, at least in doubles. One guy gets extra torque on his serve by stepping way into the court, and usually they get a head start on their way to the net as well.

    In singles, I think even in this extreme case it would be too hard because it's almost impossible to watch the ball and figure out if the guy is stepping over the line from way across the court.

    There are probally countless other players who dont gain any advantage from foot faulting, however if you take way their ability to do it, they will not be able to serve. (it's part of their motion and their serve is just barely working as it is so they cant just move back) If someone called it on them, I dont think it's the end of the world, they need to learn how to serve like the rest of us. (however I wont bother, their serve usually is very beatable anyway, although the rest of their game might be decent)

    I had an experience almost the opposite of what CAM described. I was playing in a 3.5 tournament out of town, against someone who I was very familer with.

    In the first set, he called me for a foot fault because he claimed that I was stepping over the center line. He also (and we had had this discussion on previous occasions) claimed that I wasnt able to even move any part of my body over the center line. (back then I had a bad habit of lifting my back foot and bring it over, but I know I wasnt stepping first, because that would of sent the ball right into the net) Anyway the first call is a let, so I just let it go.

    I beat him in a pretty well fought out first set 6-3. The in the 2nd set, on the very first game which I was serving, he jumped up and down and called it again, expecting that it was a fault.

    Now from my other post you might figure that I dont want to create a big scene with this guy, especially someone that Im pretty familar with, and especially in a match that I feel that Im handling pretty decently, but could go either way.

    So I didnt say one word to him, I walked off the court, and talked to the TD and told him that "hey, this guy is calling foot faults. Maybe I even am foot faulting, but I DO NOT trust that guy to call them".

    The TD came down and watched a few points, and said that "I know what he's doing, that's not a foot fault". My opponent continued to cry to the TD about how it still was, and eventually the TD left.

    My opponent also still tryed to talk to me about it during the match, but I gave him the "Talk to the Hand" (ala the Rock) and sent him away.
     
  16. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    I personally have never called a foot fault. However, I have seen players call foot faults in a few unofficiated USTA league matches. In these few instances, the servers were serve and volley players (4.0 level) and were stepping at least 2 feet into the court before making contact with the ball. Invariably, the servers said "I didn't foot fault" and usually an argument follows.

    I think that servers do gain an advantage from flagrant foot faults, but players are hesitant to call them because it seems to start an argument. It's tough to handle situations like this at unofficated matches, so usually no one says anything at all. Plus, very few players know the actual rule about who can call a foot fault and when they can call it. I believe that the Friend at the Court says that in an unofficated match, a receiver or his/her partner may call a foot fault, but only if the foot faults are flagrant and after the server has been warned.
     
  17. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

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    I have never called a foot fault in a match. After matches, yes. I have said "be careful in the future, I think you may have a tendency to foot fault" to an opponent because if it was me I would want to be told. I think I've done this twice and it wasn't taken the wrong way either time.
     
  18. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    That's true, you can call it.

    Mind you, like I said there are only 2 or 3 people that I know personally who are defaintely getting some sort of advantage out of it.

    But among those people, Id probally warn them even in the warmup first. Nothing says you have to do it that way, but I feel if you do, then they have no right to complain if you call it during the match. (in these rare cases though the subjects know they are foot faulting and tons of people know that they do it, and in some rare cases they even admit it)

    Ive seen USTA League teams that are known for calling foot faults. It's usually rare and it's just one, but Ive seen it happen. Usually they are annoying about it as well.

    I watched a 7.0 mixed doubles match once, where a guy was walking while he was serving (technically a foot fault). The other team didnt say anything thru the whole first set while they were winning, but as soon as this guy's team gained some momentum in the 2nd set they started calling it.

    This guy is not a very nice guy (to his partners, opponents, anyone). He immediately started calling foot fault on the opponents female player (who was a 3.0 and was foot faulting). She then started crying after he continously kept calling it.

    (the bad thing is though I warned him before the match that the other team sometimes calls foot faults, so I think he took it to the extreme)

    That's about the worst called foot fault incident that Ive seen.
     
  19. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I had one of the guys on my team get called for footfaults once. He footfaults on every serve but doesn't realize it. my team took the first set- in the second set they started calling the footfaults. the guy on the other team was a jerk- and was probably only doing it because they were losing. The guy on my team started losing it- started yelling at the guy all sorts of ugly stuff. He was convinced that he didn't footfault so he tried to claim the point. Even though the opponent was a jerk- and probably even more of a jerk for calling the footfaults, MY TEAMMATE WAS IN THE WRONG. The opponent is perfectly entitled to call the footfaults if he wants to.
     
  20. tennisinoc

    tennisinoc Semi-Pro

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    We need to uphold the integrity of our sport by playing by the basic rules and helping others to understand and play by the basic rules.

    Some golfers use their "foot wedge" and some tennis players foot fault.
    Neither is playing by the rules and playing fairly.

    I try to teach my friends who are learning sports the basic rules and try to play by them.
    Or else, we aren't playing a sport at all,
    Just whacking around a little ball where ever we like :)
     
  21. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    One of my high school teammates used to stand about 2-3 feet inside
    the baseline when he served sometimes. He already had a huge 110+mph
    serve, too. How did he do it? At certain times during the afternoon,
    the courts would have an incredible amount of glare from one side.
    You literally couldn't see the baseline. Once we found out he did this,
    we started to check for it. Pretty funny.

    Have I ever footfaulted? Sure. I used to foot fault a little bit, like a few
    inches but nobody ever called me on it. Probably b/c at the time I was
    bringing a baseball bat to the courts I usually played at. I would bring it
    with me with each changeover and put it by the back fence. Why?
    I used to be stupid. Or more specifically, there used to be a lot of car
    theft and burglaries in broad daylight at the courts I was playing at. I
    figured I'd chase after them (me stupid!!) if they tried to break into my
    car. One time a couple guys were trying to break into a car. I saw them,
    grabbed my bat and started running after them. They were about
    75 yards away. They saw me coming and started to run. I ran after
    them for about a coupe blocks. Was closing in and then they got
    in a getaway car. Man did I used to be stooooooo-pid. Could have
    gotten shot or something.
     
  22. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Jack be nimble, Jack give kick, Jack learn bullet still more quick. :shock:
     
  23. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I agree totally.

    I really hate it when people try to defend breaking the rules. (which is what you are doing when you say it's wrong to get called on foot faulting or any other rule that you deem to be frivolous)

    All it means is that you're going to create an argument about which rules we feel strongly about and want to enforce, but what rules YOU think should be let go.

    So it sounds like for some people it's okay if they knowingly foot fault, yet if I want to start out a few inches ahead of the baseline or even better a few feet, then all the sudden you'll probally want to call me out on that.

    (although unfortuanlly my serves would all go long then because Im usually on the fringe of just missing outside of the service line as it is, especially once my strings begin to loosen up)

    I agree with others assessment on this. Nobody usually calls this and that is why certain people want to make it out like you are being a jerk if you all the sudden do call them out on it.

    It's like stealing office supplys at work, everyone might do it and get away with it, but it doesnt give you the RIGHT to do it, and if you get caught and someone calls you out on it, you still need to take some responsibility for it.
     
  24. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Sneaky bastage! :)
     
  25. CGMemphis

    CGMemphis Rookie

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    I was *******ized last night curing a clinic when I JOKED about one of the players making a foot fault during some doubles drills.

    I said to the pro "hey, 6 inches in on the serve is a fault right?" we laughed, but the guy serving, who I thought was cool, looked at me and said "you are calling ME on a foot fault" and then he proceeded to have about 5 players watch with him on my serve. I took a step back and ripped two aces. I told him I was kidding around. The pro then told me people around here dont pay attention to that.

    I have noticed in my years of tennis, if you want to be considered a jerk or have the guts for the argument that follows, call or warn a foot fault. Its like the redheaded step-child of this game. Its legal to call, people don't buy that they are doing it and get childish when you make mention of it.

    He had foot faulted, we were in a clinic with a jovial spirit and it still didn't fly.

    I have never called it, I hate what ensues when you do call it.
     
  26. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    there is no way an opposing player can call a footfault from 60 feet away. Its really common anyway.
     
  27. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Of course, in doubles the net player can see them fairly easily. Still causes a fight if they say anything though.
     
  28. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Thank you. Yesterday somebody on here got pretty upset with me about the whole thing. Truth is: it is childish to call, unless it is absolutely flagrant. Like I said, I haven't called one in 20 years. And yes, people do get upset about it getting called, and it can take a friendly match straight to Negative Town. Just sets a bad precedent.

    If anything, I would wait until a changeover to mention it, as doing it on the court is pretty poor.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2007
  29. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    True in singles, hence the reason it isn't (and shouldn't) be called there. In doubles, a different story.
     
  30. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Yep. This is one of the reasons I don't play mixed dubs anymore.
     
  31. richie65

    richie65 Rookie

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    I see so many amateurs foot-faulting it starting to drive me crazy. It is obvious no one is calling or correcting the problem. I've never been called and I certainly hope I don't "cheat" and I never call anyone else.

    However, when I see an opponent foot fault it starts to really bug me, so much so as to distract my play. I still never call it though, I just brood away in silence to my detriment. It really drives me nuts when we I play league or tournaments.
     
  32. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Yep, following the rules sets a bad precedent. (kind of like how it's "embarressing" as well)

    I do agree that if you want to be nice though and dont screw up the flow of the game there are better ways to approach it rather than choose to just pull it out at some time that benefits you. That's why for me, I may mention it during the warmup.

    But Id only do that at all usually if:

    1) It's definately flagrant.

    2) Usually this is someone who is notorious for foot faulting.

    3) It gives them a huge advantage.

    However I do feel that Im being nice by mentioning this. Some people may take it in a cool manner, and some people might make a stink about it. Like all rule breakers, if they choose to cause a fuss about it, it's their fault, not mine.

    If I have a choice I wont even play someone who feels that it's "okay" to break certain rules. But if I happen to meet them in a real match that counts, it's too bad for them.
     
  33. Hal

    Hal Rookie

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    I gave a guy warning a couple of years ago. On the deuce side, he was crossing the center line with his back foot at the beginning of his service motion. He was trying to gain an advantage when serving up the middle. There was no arguing. He acted like he didn't know the rule, which was hard to believe at the 4.5 level.
     
  34. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    This is an awesome point that I totally forgot about.

    When you step over the center line, you DO get a awesome advantage when trying to serve down the middle, especially for people who have more of a flat line drive serve.

    I know one person that used to always do this, but it was a long time ago, and luckily I havent seen it much in years. He would pretty much step over before much of his service motion so it was pretty flagrant. (usually it's on the ad side though, it's probally harder to step backwards and do it but Im sure it can be done by someone with a really strange motion)

    But Im sure someone will try to argue that somehow it's NOT FAIR when you do this, but when you step over the baseline it's okay, and you're being a "JERK" if you call them out on it.
     
  35. Hal

    Hal Rookie

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    Perhaps I should have been a bit more clear. He actually started his motion with his back foot across the center line. It was amazing that he "thought" this was ok. My guess is he knew what he was doing. He was nice enough about moving over after I pointed it out to him, though.

    Or maybe I was just being "Childish" when I warned him. :rolleyes:
     
  36. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Because of being called on FFs?
     
  37. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Foot faulting is cheating and against the rules. Period! if you see it > call it.

    The same as you would call a ball that's out >>> OUT.
     
  38. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Of course it's against the rules. All I'm alluding to is: when was the last time that you called it?

    I put FF'ing up there with the whole catching the toss and not serving debate. Yes it is a violation, but I've just not seen much of it called in my time.
     
  39. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^ Cam, I wasn't responding to you. I was responding to the OP.

    When was the last time I called it? About a year ago. The guy, on his first service game was blatantly passing the line when serving. I mentioned it to him, and he continued. On my first service game I served from about two feet away from the net. Of course, I smashed the ball straight down, and it went over the back fence.

    I told him if he was going to serve inside the baseline> so was I. He got the point.
     
  40. AP328

    AP328 Rookie

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    Ok, I saw this recently at a tournament. I was watching from the lounge (indoor courts), so I was on the side and elevated. A player was clearly foot faulting. It was bad on the first serve and worse on the second. I was surprised because this was a 4.5 player. I asked someone else to watch and they agreed with me it was very obvious.

    However, I go back to what someone said earlier. If I am serving properly, I am looking at the ball over my head, not at my feet. So it is possible that the server may not be aware of their foot fault. But then, I'm an optimist. :)
     
  41. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    I would imagine you would find your fair share of foot faulters at 4.5 or below. Probably not as much at 5.0 or above.
     
  42. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sorry, they need to be aware. The same way your opponent needs to be aware of where the ball lands on his side of the court. I'm quite sure you wouldn't appreciate if your opponent calls a ball out, that was in, and then says >>> "well, I was too busy preparing for the shot, and since I wasn't looking at where the ball landed, I'm going to assume it was out. "

    You'd be surprised. If anything, a 5.0 knows better but does it any way to get any advantage they could get. Those guys are seriously competitive, and perhaps the worse line callers.
     
  43. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    No, I know it wasn't towards me. Like I said before, we're cool. :) I just know that you've played a lot, so I wanted to get the opinion of someone else who's played a lot. To me, FF's are super rare.
     
  44. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^ I typically don't really focus on them. However, if it is a league match and the guy is blatantly doing it (like stepping one foot or more inside the line), I will definitely mention it to him.
     
  45. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    The real issue is when you "remind" the other player of a foot fault, and they do it anyway. The rules really give you no teeth, except to be annoyed. It is sort of like bad line calls. You can ask them if they are certain, tell them they are wrong, and they can still hook you on shots in by 6 inches.
     
  46. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    i don't think anyone is arguing that foot faulting is wrong.

    it does appear that most people typically do NOT call foot faults and this is by design.

    USTA Comment 18.6: When may the receiver or the receiver’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 the foot faulting is
    so flagrant as to be clearly perceptible from the receiver’s side.


    you can only call it after all efforts have failed (warning or official) AND it is so flagrant. that's a lot of conditions that have to be met which indicate it's not a call you should be making very often.

    there are people i respect on these boards who have been playing tennis for a very long time who say they have rarely had to call it. and these are people who the USTA clearly figure "get it".

    rule sticklers are a funny group. they know every rule backwards and forwards. they love to sound so knowledgeable. they say, "it's a rule so it must be enforced". and you think these people must live life like it's black and white. life isn't always black and white. to me it's mostly green with white lines and i like to PLAY THE GAME more than argue about article a, section b, and paragraph z.

    happy holidays everyone. egg nog for everyone! :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2007
  47. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    The difference for me is that Even if my opponent is calling me for a footaults just to **** with me, its still the rules and I will still move back to make sure I don't footfault. I am not going to threaten to kick the guys ass. I am not going to start calling balls out. People are simply allowed to call footfaults. If you get called for a footfault then move back and just accept its your opponents call to make- don't act like a petulant child on the court.
     
  48. WBF

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    Somewhere in NY

    I would imagine, as I have posted before, that the requirements are in place to prevent abuse of this rule.

    With these rules, a problematic player would make his intentions known immediately (assuming the server knows he is not foot faulting), and with no repurcussions apart from perhaps annoying the server.

    If you could simply call them when you saw them, a problematic player could simply call a foot fault every so often in the same way they can call an out ball: it is their call. This would be a *huge* problem.

    The rule is not there to make it hard to call legitimate foot faults, the rule is there to make it hard to unfairly use the call to your advantage.

    This is my take. For anyone who is really calling a foot fault, it's very simple. As long as you can see that the server is foot faulting (flagrant = you are sure of it, just like an out ball, you must see it), you warn. If it happens again, you look for an official. The third time, you call it and take the point, or award a fault depending on which serve it is.

    PS: I'm not a stickler. I could care less if someone foot faults, if they're going to beat me, it will not be because of foot faults. Same with calls I think are very close. I just shrug them off and answer with better tennis :)
     
  49. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,970
    Location:
    Somewhere in NY
    spot: if you know how you serve, you know you don't foot fault. I never look at my feet, and I never foot fault. Why? Because I stand close to 6 inches behind the friggen baseline. I'm sure other people do things that ensure they won't foot fault (perhaps not moving their front foot?), it is not hard to imagine this being the case...

    If you were not foot faulting, and an opponent called you on it *twice*, you would probably be a bit pissed as well. Was threatening violence the best way to react? Maybe not. But far less offensive than cheating or the other players behavior.
     
  50. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    790
    i want to bring my camcorder out to my next league match or practice and see how many people i can capture on tape footfaulting. i'll post any i find on youtube and maybe blur the faces to protect the not-so-innocent. :)
     

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