"Law And Order" On Court C-3

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Today, I was supposed to play doubles at 10:00 at some public courts. There are three sets of three courts, and they sometimes fill up.

    I arrived about 20 minutes early, and I found two adjacent empty courts -- one in the middle and one at the end. I set my hopper of ball and tennis bag on C-2 in the middle and used the roller to wipe up the rain puddles. Having staked my claim, I left to use the bathroom.

    Now, these courts have rather stupid rules about what to do when the courts are full. The rules say that play must begin on the hour, and if you start before the hour, someone can come and kick you off on the hour. Obviously, this system doesn't work well when there are nine courts -- who do you kick off and how do you know who has been playing longest?

    To address that obvious flaw in the rules, there is a sign-in system. There is a sign saying you are to sign in when you begin play, and if you don't then you may be "challenged." Of course, the sign-in sheet is frequently missing or vandalized. In my experience, most people just grab a court and play as long as they want, and people who come later wait or go find a court elsewhere.

    When I returned at about 9:50, an older lady -- let's call her "Sheila" because that is her name -- came up and asked if that was my hopper on C-2. I said yes, and she said I ought to move to C-3 because otherwise my balls would roll onto other courts. I said no, I would be staying on C-2 and I was expecting a group for doubles.

    Sheila said she had written her name in the book and was therefore entitled to C-2. I said I didn't know about any book, but I had cleaned the court and would begin playing with my group at 10:00 so she should just go play on C-3. So she went back over to the book and crossed out C-2 and wrote C-3. While Sheila was doing this, two singles players went onto C-3 and started playing. It was 10:00. Uh-oh.

    Meanwhile, my group arrived and we started playing. In the middle of our game, Sheila marched across our court and told the singles players that she had reserved the court by writing in the book and they needed to get off. They said they had just started and if she wanted to kick someone off of a court, she should go pick on the men who start at the crack of dawn and play for hours.

    Sheila left. A few minutes later, she marched across our court in mid-point and said she had *called the police* and they had better get off the court. The singles players laughed at her, asked her whether she was crazy, and told her they weren't leaving.

    At 10:14, the third court next to us opened up, and Sheila and her group took that court and began playing.

    At 10:30, the police arrived. It was a uniformed female county police officer accompanied by a guy in a t-shirt and jeans. The uniformed officer let the guy do the talking and wore a look on her face that said, "I could have been in homicide, but no. I get Tennis Court Detail." They talked to Sheila's group, marched across our court to talk to the singles players, and marched across again to talk to Sheila again. No one was tasered, thankfully, and the police left without doing anything.

    We all kept playing, and Sheila's group had a ball roll across our court. Sheila shouted for someone to retrieve her ball, without the patient and apologetic tone one normally uses. One of the singles players shouted, "You'd better get crackin' or that old lady will call the police!"

    And that is when Sheila dropped the S-bomb:

    **"SIT ON IT!!"**

    Yep, that's what she said. "Sit on it!" as a stinging insult? In 2009? I felt like I was in an episode of "Happy Days."

    Man. Have you ever tried to hold serve when there is a police investigation happening on the neighboring courts? I can now tell you from personal experience that the Long Arm Of The Law will make you double-fault. A lot.

    Me, I'm gonna steer clear of Sheila next week. I'd never survive in prison! :)
     
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  2. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    After Sheila told you to "sit on it," you should have had her arrested and issued a restraining order!

    PS- Find new courts to play on! ;-)
     
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  3. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    So who was truly entitled to court C-3? The singles players who walked on to the court first (as she was signing into the book to reserve the court), or Sheila who signed into the book that nobody even uses? Thats a tough call.

    Never in my life have I heard someone say "SIT ON IT".
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I say the singles players.

    The book is not a reservation system, although Sheila seems to think it is. You could not show up at 6 am, write yourself down for 10:00 am and then kick people off at 10.

    It seems to me that the singles players were correct that Sheila should have gone and kicked the men off, as they were definitely there a long time and did not start at 10:00.

    The whole system is crazy-stupid, if you ask me.

    Cindy -- who may just go out tonight and set the book on fire
     
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  5. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I can't stand the idea of any court reservation system that is either 1) not enforced or 2) asinine (like kicking someone off who arrived 10 minutes ago).

    In my area, the public courts just have a sign that says to limit play for 1 hour for singles, or 1.5 hours for doubles. The problem arises when you have multiple groups of people waiting for a court. The issue is that one group will wait by one fence door, whereas another group will wait by another door. So you have no control over which group takes the court first because there is no line. So whichever court finishes first, whoever is standing near that door will get that court, regardless of who actually arrived first. You gotta run around telling everyone you arrived first if you want to actually get the first available court.
     
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  6. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    public courts suck for this very reason. i try to avoid courts that fill up quickly and have tons of people waiting around like hawks or coming around and asking you if you're almost done. annoying.

    played last night at jefferson district courts i think and my buddy reserved them. they're outside courts but for a nominal fee -- i think it was $7 for an hour you can reserve a court and they give you a receipt to prove it too. pretty good system to me.

    as for the SIT ON IT comment. i don't know if i would've been able to stop laughing or continue to play tennis. freaking hilarious! also makes me wonder if i know this character.

    raiden -- also you got time for another hit soon? my men's league season is ovah so i need to line up my own matches.
     
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  7. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    It's only an insult if you say "Sit on it, Potsie."
     
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  8. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    My season is over as well. I'm available pretty much all next week (7/6-7/10). Email me and we'll get something together.
     
    #8
  9. seleswannabe

    seleswannabe Rookie

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    Ha! This gave me a great laugh Cindy :) What a "crank-box" as we call em' at my house.
     
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  10. Nonentity

    Nonentity Rookie

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    the best system i found so far is a racket holder reservation thingie. If the courts are full, you stick your racket handle in the 1st slot, and it means you got the next open court.
     
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  11. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Hilarious!!!! I don’t see how you were able stay focused and play…
     
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  12. Gh0st

    Gh0st New User

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    One of the reasons I don't use public courts anymore. Got tired of waiting or driving around for an hour to try and hit some balls.
     
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  13. zebano

    zebano Semi-Pro

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    wow. Thankfully I know which 2 sets of courts get full here and I avoid them (amazingly both have more courts less than half a mile away which are recently resurfaced and nobody knows uses them).


    Sit on it!! That's really the best she could do?
     
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  14. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    Someone should have responded to her to Kiss My Grits.
     
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  15. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Ya it does sound dumb. First come, first serve and if the courts are full wait in line, pay for the courts, or go elsewhere works just fine, thank you.

    I dont personally think she's out of line asking you to do them a favor though and not take the middle court if she thinks you're going to spill serves all over the place, but if she knows you I guess she shouldnt bother expecting such a courtesy.

    She should of just taken C-3 and "Sat on it".
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    :)

    No, she didn't know me. I would have cleaned up C-3 instead of C-2 had I been planning on doing a session on serving. She was just Ever So Presumptuous; demanding, never asking nicely. And shouldn't she have called the cops again after the situation was resolved rather than have them come out and do nothing?

    Besides, C-3 is the court where I fell down last week, so I have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome about using that court.

    As for "Sit on it!", she is hopelessly out of date. These days, the more common insult to scream in mixed company is probably "Bite me!"
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Did you book the court? If not, I thought the rules were that you cannot occupy the court from before 10 am, but have to show up at 10 am only and start playing.
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The rules (or, the stupid rules) are that you can start playing anytime you want. At the top of the hour, someone can kick you off. If you start one minute before the hour, someone could kick you off after you play a minute.

    This leads people to do what I did: Park themselves on a court to claim it, but not start playing until 10.

    I did not "book the court," as there is no reservation system. Only a sign-in system, where you write your name, the court, and the time you started playing.
     
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  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Why is that a flaw in the rules? It means you can kick out any player who started before the designated time. Which other players have been playing longer is not of concern. It seems to me to be the kind of argument that "I was speeding and got caught but there were cars ahead of me which were also speeding." Sorry, any one of them or every one of them can be cited.
     
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I see your point, but parking yourself on a court is the same as playing on it, as far as court occupancy goes.

    So what did you do wrong, if anything at all? Not sign in at 10 am?
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I reread the OP and I think now that Sheila is correct. The singles players should have left. They did not sign in, but Sheila did. They broke the rules, but pointed to others who broke the rules, as if that was an excuse.

    As an elder lady, Sheila knows she is not going to intimidate anyone by threatening them. She made her case, but she was rebuffed. This has happened to her many times, like the young guy who blasts music from the car late at night when she is asleep, or the financial advisor who invested her funds in risky stocks which decimated her hard-earned savings. She is fed up with people who lie to her and cheat her, and won't follow the rules. The only recourse is the police. This will teach a lesson to others not to mess with an old lady.
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Seriously? What is the alternative to claiming a court by parking on it? Should we have a footrace from the parking lot to the court when the clock strikes 10:00?


    What did *I* do wrong? I didn't do anything wrong. I sat on a court and started playing at 10.

    Now, I didn't sign the book (although one of my teammates scurried over and signed it a few minutes after 10 when the trouble started). But that doesn't mean I can't have the court. It just means there is no way to know when I took the court. Even Sheila didn't try to claim my court, as even she had the integrity to acknowledge that I hadn't started playing before 10 and had arrived before she did.

    Is your wife's name "Sheila" by any chance? :) 'Cause if it is, tell her for me that I think she should be slapped silly for *wasting* the resources of the county police with this sort of nonsense. Especially since she could have and should have called to withdrew her complaint once she got a court at 10:14.

    And yes, it is a stupid, stupid system.
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think you are making the same mistake Sheila made: The book is *not* a reservation system. It is a system for recording when players start playing. Nothing on the sign indicates that you are "reserving" a court, only recording when you started playing.

    I wish I could recite the actual wording on the sign, but it makes clear that failing to sign the book means you can be "challenged." Whatever that means.

    So what do you do if two players arrive at the same time, on the hour? I say you go by the posted rule: First come, first served.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Don't agree. She has no obligation to call again. If a burgler took your TV, and then your friend gifted you a TV, would you still not like the burgler to be punished? The point is that the person who broke the rules need to pay for it.

    I don't think you did anything wrong. Neither did Sheila. The singles players were wrong. They should be ashamed of their attitude towards an older woman.

    As far as rushing to the court at 10 am goes, that seems to be the intention of the rules. It is to prevent people from hogging courts by leaving their belongings around. You may have gone to the bathroom, but I have seen cases where people drop a cheap sweater and come back much later and say the court is theirs.
     
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  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But the singles players did not sign in. Sheila did. They were violating the rules, and did not have the decency to defer to an older woman.
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, and I should say what "the book" is. As we were leaving, we went over to see what all the fuss was about the book and what rules were posted.

    There used to be an actual ledger-type notebook, but that is long gone. Now, "the book" is a single sheet of 4 x 6 paper with a rock on it. At noon, it had four names on it.

    :huge eyeroll:
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Punished? The cops would have done nothing other than tell the singles players to leave. Once there was no longer a dispute to resolve, there was no reason for the police to be called.

    Under our (stupid) system, it is perfectly fine to leave your sweater and come back later. You can leave your sweater at 10:15. Someone can then choose to use the court at 10:16. You can then kick them off at 11:00.

    Had someone wanted to use the court at 9:45 while I used the bathroom or sat on the court, they could have. And at 10:00, I would have kicked them off.

    Stupid, stupid system. . . .
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I stopped playing on the courts in my development due to similar issues. There is a white board, but people wrote on it with permanent markers to the point that it cannot be written upon any more, nor erased. Then there were people who made booking on multiple courts, just "in case," under different names. Then there were cases when someone got in earlier and erased someone else's booking. And to top it all, most did not know that there was a booking system at all. I had the option to kick someone out, but I did that maybe couple of times. Could not bring myself to kick out a kid playing with his dad, or 4 oldies playing doubles.

    So, I only play at my club, a resort, or on private courts by invitation.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hey, here's a fun way to think of it.

    Say you are at the deli counter. There is one of those machine that issues pink numbered tickets and an electronic sign that says "Now serving Number 49."

    When you arrive, there are two people waiting to be served. You look at the ticket machine and see the tip of a pink ticket poking out. It is No. 50. For whatever reason, the two people didn't know they were supposed to take a ticket, or perhaps they figured the clerk would know they had been waiting. Or maybe they just forgot. Do you snatch ticket No. 50 and demand to be served first?

    Referencing our discussion a few months back about "black and white" people versus "gray" people . . . Are you a "black and white?" Or are you a "gray?"

    A black and white would take ticket 50. Me, I'm a gray. I'd hand ticket 50 to the next person and hand ticket 51 to the other person. I'd take ticket 52. Sheila was fiddling around with the ticket machine while other people had gotten in line.

    There could also be a gender thing at work. Why wouldn't Sheila go after the men (who we know had been playing *on three courts* for some time and hadn't signed the book) rather than go after the women, who she knew for a fact had just started to play?
     
    #29
  30. Grover Sparkman

    Grover Sparkman Rookie

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    I've never encountered a system, but that is a ridiculous system. Sheila should have just sucked it up and waited, but old(er) people aren't know for their rationality.

    But I will add that I hate public courts. There is an extremely nice set of public tennis courts less than two minutes (by car) from my house. They're in excellent shape and are almost always available. The only problem is that it is in sort of a rough area (my neighborhood is a nice area, but the area few blocks over is a bit rough), and there are kids who feel the need to hang out on the middle of the courts, and sometimes there is a bit of a "fight" to get them to scurry on. But usually a few forehands and serves with a bit of pace gets them to move (no, I don't hit AT the kids).

    I much prefer club tennis, but as money is a bit tight, I'll have to settle for public courts for now.
     
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  31. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That was someone else ....

    I was just poking around because I was bored.
     
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  32. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Does this mean you think its fair that someone can kick you off after you've been playing for 10 minutes, if for instance you were to start playing at 9:50am and someone arrives at 10am? I sure as hell don't think that is fair. If it is not known when everyone started playing, the only fair thing is for the recent arrival to assume everyone just started playing, and wait 1 hour, and then kick off a random group. Chances are someone will leave before then anyways.

    Again, I get the impression that you agree with this asinine rule. Let me ask you this...lets say group A arrives at the court at 9:50am with the intention to start at 10:00am. Then group B arrives at the court at 9:55am. Lets assume the court is empty. Both groups are in a deadlock state because if either one steps foot onto the court, they will be kicked off at 10am by the other group. As far as the rule goes, there is no priority as to which group gets the court, since neither one is entitled to claim the court until precisely 10am. Therefore as soon as the clock strikes 10am, they will have to race through the door to decide who gets the court.

    Common sense says that group A should get the court, but if group A gets the court, why the hell do they own rights to the court prior to 10am, yet are not allowed to step foot on it? Why must the court sit there being unused for 10 minutes? This is ASININE.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
    #32
  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But the old lady arrived before the singles players and also signed in. I don't see why all your theoretical situations are relevant here. In fact, FCFS is on her side, plus she also signed in, as per the rules. Even if the rules are not perfect and this is a gray issue, she should have gotten the court as a matter of respect. What joy is there in chasing away an old lady?
     
    #33
  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I didn't mean "you" as in "you, Sureshs." I meant "you" in the generic sense. Sorry if I offended you, as I didn't mean to suggest that you are a "black and white."

    Stupid English language.
     
    #34
  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hold up.

    No way does she get preferential treatment because she is older. Where did this idea come from?

    One of the posted rules says that if people under age 16 are playing and older people come along, they are supposed to finish their set (or does the rule say game, I can't remember) and then relinquish the court, no matter how long they have been playing.

    That is just wrong. If age should figure into it at all, the assumption should be that older people have *more* time on their hands, not less. The people who camp out on courts all day are the seniors. But I think age is irrelevant here.

    These rules we have are *stupid.*
     
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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    All this will be a thing of the past once wireless technology and smart devices are installed everywhere for tracking. The person who arrives first will inform a device thru his cellphone, and start playing. There will be a threshold like 5 minutes before is OK, but not 10. Everything can be verified. In fact, we would just be able to tweet our intentions to everyone else beforehand and arrive at a consensus before we arrive at the court.
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I do wonder how the two singles players beat Sheila to the court. I guess maybe she was fiddling around with the sign-in rather than just plunking her stuff on the court. It's so weird, the way she handled it. She saw my stuff there, so why didn't she just go put her stuff on C-3 rather than hanging around the area where the rules are posted?

    You also have to look at it from the perspective of the singles players. They show up. All of the courts are clearly taken except one. They take it and start playing at or around 10:00.

    Why on earth would they think it fair that someone can walk up a minute later and eject them? They know nothing about my discussions with Sheila, after all.
     
    #37
  38. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I'm not talking about the old lady vs. the singles players. I'm talking about the fact that anyone can take over a court at the start of an hour.

    Even in Sheila's case, if she wrote her name down at 9:50am, the singles players could still walk on and take her court at 10am because she had claimed the court from 9:50-9:59 due to the rules.
     
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  39. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I can't say for certain who deserves the court, but I know if I was the singles players I would relinquish it to Sheila.

    I can imagine if I walk onto a court and immediately someone comes running over and says they claimed the court and were in the process of signing in, I would believe that they arrived first and deserve the court. It doesn't make any sense that someone would show up after me and then start yelling at me to get off the court.
     
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  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    She didn't say, "I was in the process of signing in and you ran onto my court."

    What she said was more along the lines of "That's my court; I reserved it. Get off." It was so surreal. I mean, the court is right there next to the sign-in area. Sheila had to be able to see these women get there and unpack their stuff and start hitting. There was a delay between the singles players starting to play and Sheila first marching over and trying to eject them.

    My best guess is that Sheila waited for all four of her players to arrive and then went over. That part of it was weird, but had I been the person with power to decide having seen what I saw, I would have given the court to the singles players.

    I am trying very, very hard not to be biased by the fact that one of my foursome lost out on the last court last Wednesday. My friend was actually walking toward the court and an older lady brushed past her to scurry over and claim it. Could it have been Sheila? Only a surveillance tape would tell us . . . . :)
     
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  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    If they had signed in, yes. But they didn't. So she could again kick them out at 10:01.

    I had a situation once at the club where the group that was playing on my reserved court refused to leave on time because my partner was delayed. I said I wanted to start hitting some serves but they wouldn't agree. I had to call the club office and have them kicked out.

    In another situation, a guy books a court for his two daughters almost every day, but often shows up with them more than 15 mins late. As per the rules, he loses the court. But we don't insist because of the 2 girls.
     
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  42. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    So if Sheila immediately said something to the singles players as they stepped onto the court, do you think that would mean she gets the court? Thats my stance. If she sat there forever to the point where the singles players start hitting balls, then I'd say she was too late and lost the court.
     
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  43. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I would agree with that. I mean, if someone is about to take your spot in line, your seat, your court, your whatever and you say something that instant, most people will say, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that was your whatever." It's when you don't say anything that they start to wonder whether you really were there first.
     
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  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Old people do not register stuff like they did when they were younger. Sometimes they see, but they don't see. Their sensitivity to the environment goes down.
     
    #44
  45. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    According to Cindy though, the book is just a record of when everyone arrived, but is not a reservation system. This implies that the purpose of the book is to give the new arriving players the option to kick off people who have been playing the longest, but it sounds like there is no rule, but the only rule is that they can kick off ANY player on the hour. That means once the singles players start at 10:00am, they have the court until 10:59am.

    I agree that in a club with reservations, you have to relinquish your court on the hour when someone else has a reservation and has arrived. Heck in most clubs with court fees, you are not allowed to stay on past your reservation end time even if nobody else is waiting to use the court.

    I agree with the 15 minute rule, and wouldn't complain if someone enforced it on me, but I probably wouldn't enforce it on someone else.
     
    #45
  46. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    One thing I'm wondering...when Sheila said she is calling the police, does that mean she probably dialed 911? I know there is always a non-emergency number, but have no idea what it is or whether it differs by area. That would be hillarious if she called 911 to report this incident. I know my dad used to call 911 when the power went out, or for really stupid things like complaining about a neighbor or something.
     
    #46
  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What if you are in a different area and don't know the number?
     
    #47
  48. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Dont know, all I know is that you are not supposed to call 911 unless it is an emergency situation.
     
    #48
  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
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    Here's a novel idea: You shouldn't call the police because of Stupid Stuff. Unless a gang of thugs comes over, roughs you up and throws you and your belongings off of a tennis court in mid-match, grown-ups should Suck It Up and let this small stuff go.

    I know of another situation in which the police were called over tennis courts. This story was told to me by the person who called the police, one of my practice partners.

    Many people in our county believe (incorrectly) that it is illegal for a pro to teach a lesson for money at a public court. These people believe a pro is required to have a permit. Thus, these people can be resentful of pros who teach at public courts.

    Anyway, my friend was playing at a public court with two tennis courts. This pro was teaching on the other. He brings a boom box when he teaches. She didn't like how loud his music was, and he refused to turn it off or lower it enough for her liking.

    Now, I know this pro. I also do not like that he plays music (I experienced this indoors when he was teaching a clinic). It is inappropriate and it actually made it difficult for us to hear during our match. So she had a legitimate complaint.

    She called the police.

    I do not know how the story ended, but I was appalled. I just do not think you should call the police every time you encounter a numb-skull in life. Had I been with her, I would have urged her to let it go. If she had called the police over my objection, I would have left out of sheer embarrassment.
     
    #49
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
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    You dial 411 and ask for the number for the police in that area.
     
    #50

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