local grievance, 1st time?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by walton123, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. walton123

    walton123 New User

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    As captain this is 1st time I am dealing w/a local grievance against a player on my team.
    To date we rec'd complaint and were asked to respond back. Next I was informed that this was sent to grievance committee. How do I know and/or can I find out who is on this committee?
    I do not feel the complaint which accuses our player in a timed match situation of stalling and not adhering to timed match procedures has validity and believe it should be dismissed. I actually believe it never should have gotten this far .........this type of thing makes USTA play unpleasant and creates work for captains/players.
    Any expert grievance handlers out there..............?
     
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  2. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    #2
  3. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    I'd be willing to bet that a good portion of these are no good. Many of the people that file them are sore losers. :) The only thing they have left is to try and pencil whip you. I see quite a bit of this in Alta.



     
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  4. walton123

    walton123 New User

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    1st time grievance.......

    Thanks chatt town, I agree.
    I am most miffed that in this case the local league coordinators did not null/void/dismiss the complaint without merit before it even got to an official grievance. I feel the LLC's have some jurisdiction to shut this stuff down sooner than later..........am I right?
     
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  5. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I would not worry about it ....

    Most likely scenario ... the complaint is without merit and there is no evidence to prove such a thing anyway. The committee makes a show to discourage other offenders and records the name of your player for posterity in case there are other complaints in the future.

    Worst case scenario ... your player was playing games with the time. How is the other captain going to prove this? The only worry I would have is if this player has had multiple complaints about this issue.

    Bottom line for your grievance committee ... there is no real harm in saying they are considering the complaint. In fact, if word gets out maybe it has a deterrent effect on others. But there is no way they have any hard evidence to make such a decision and award a defaulted court to your opponent based on one complaint alone.
     
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  6. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Check your "local" USTA page. You should be able to find the names of the grievance committee members there. If not, their names should be on the paperwork.

    Also, im going to say that almost all "grievances" are denied anyway.

    The grievance process is a highly legalistic process and people forget this. If you cant prove your case in a real court of law you wont be able to make much ground in the USTA appeal system.

    Unless your player was cited by an official timekeeper or umpire they arnt going to get very far. They will almost certainly need "official" testimony to even have a chance.

    Even if the whole team just writes emails saying how this player took extra time to towel off between points, was slow at retrieving balls, and took an extra 30 sec per change over it wont do anything. That is not nearly enough for a grievance to stick.



    Unless of course your player did something way out of line, like driving to a nearby corner store to get more water in the middle of the match...
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
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  7. walton123

    walton123 New User

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    Thanks :)

    Thanks NTRPolice & dizzlmcwizzi.
    I feel as you do but just have not yet been through this so am finding it a major pain........the complaint/grievance was filed by another player, match not officiated. It really becomes a "she said/she said" scenario.
    I will be glad when it is over. Small community and I know all the players/captains/tennis club folks so it is uncomfortable.
    Love tennis but not this stuff........happy volunteering!
    Your comments made me feel better :)
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I guess I see this differently.

    Stalling is a big no-no in timed matches. IMHO, it is straight-up cheating. When I am leading in a timed match, I play at a normal pace -- sometimes a little quicker than normal. I do not wish to cheat, to win by cheating, or even be accused of cheating. By focusing on winning points one at a time instead of running out the clock, I feel I maximize my chances of winning.

    Now. I have seen blatant stalling by opponents. In that match, my partner and I lost a long first set 6-7. From that point forward, our opponents began stalling. This began with a bathroom break. Then they began taking a conference between each point. I was literally standing there waiting to serve while they stood with their backs to me talking between points. I considered blasting a serve right at them, but thought better of it.

    As a captain, however, I would take seriously any grievance filed against one of my players. If I were you, I would call the player and her partner and ask them what happened. There are some players who believe stalling is "smart strategy," and as captain I would want to disabuse them of that notion.

    On the whole, I support the sorts of grievances filed in the OP. There are some people who are chronic cheaters (stalling, line calls) or chronic poor sports. The only way to get their attention and makes them think twice is with a grievance, even an unsuccessful one. Once a pattern of grievances has been established, the league can finally act.
     
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  9. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    ^^^agree with the last paragraph. They likely don't care if this grievance is upheld. They just want it on the record to persuade the actions to not happen again in the future.

    They'd need video evidence to prove stalling. Very doubtful they have it. Outside o video proof, the whole claim is he said vs he said.
     
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  10. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Every team I've been on has always pushed this tactic. Everyone knows this shortcut to winning matches. Why deny it? Everyone slows down when the clock is ticking. I personally do not do this because I usually win handily anyway and don't need to resort to this.

    Sandbagging and playing the clock is feverishly accepted and encouraged.

    Anything to win.

    4.0 USTA Glory and Rec Tennis Immortality.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't know how serious you are, but I disagree that most people push this tactic.

    Over the years, I have had a few partners suggest that we take our time when we are ahead and the clock is running down. I reply, "Let's just play." I then go stand at my position for the next point. If my partner wants to stand at the bench swigging water and toweling off while three people wait for her, she can suffer the weight of the angry glares from the opponents all by herself.

    Here's the thing. If we are really far ahead, what is the point in stalling? We are likely the better team and we will win if we just play.

    If we are barely ahead, stalling backfires. I have had opponents try to stall, only to have us reel off a few points and suddenly pull ahead. Better to disregard the clock and just play, I think.
     
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  12. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    In timed sports, this is exactly what you do when you are ahead. We aren't used to tennis being a timed sport. It changes the entire dynamic of the game.

    Some people will think it is smart to use every second allowed if they are trying to run out the clock. Going beyond this is cheating as Cindy said. It is no different that hooking on line calls.

    Everything comes back to players acting as their own officials. If you feel someone is cheating, a grievance is really your only option. It is probably not to get the results voided, but to get it on the other players record. I would guess the problem would disappear if they get several of them.
     
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  13. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    There ya go. Proves my point. Most seasoned USTA GOAT players are aware of this rule and use it.

    It's no big deal to admit it.
     
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  14. walton123

    walton123 New User

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    more info.........

    for what it is worth - our player with only a few minutes to play to break tie of 2nd set (she won 1st set) stopped to look at the rule sheet in order to determine what to do next - time out play one more point for winner of set 2 and if she lost play additional point(sudden death) to determine match. complaint is based on accusation that breaking continuous play to confirm rules was stalling......
    I understand the "concept" of filing grievances to get things on record but at what point does someone having a bad day on the court waste a whole lot of other peoples time..........
     
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  15. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    with time expiring she stopped playing a tight 2nd set???
     
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  16. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Well, it is stalling if she only had to play one or two points to determine the match. I would be irritated also if I were the opponent.
     
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  17. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    IMO the grievance thing is a complete waste of time. In our league, the coordinator is a full time employee of the club with the team known as the most blatant cheaters, examples of poor sportsmanship, you can't make up some of the stuff they pull.

    In any case, the same characters get away with the same stuff year after year and there is no way to police these clowns except personal, on the spot action using the usual methods.
     
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  18. beernutz

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    So the other team is arguing that they could have played a 7 point tiebreak in the few minutes of time remaining?
     
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  19. walton123

    walton123 New User

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    thanks for all the feedback.........

    yes, beernutz - exactly..........
    1st tiebreak for 2nd set began and tied then time ran completely out........that is when the stories diverge but the other player (the one filing the grievance) left the court.........
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Huh?

    What are the rules in your league? Our rules say that if the players get to 6-6 and then have a tied score in the set tiebreak when time lapses, they would play a sudden death point to determine the winner.

    If your player stopped between points to consult the rules while match time remained *and* if she took longer than 20 seconds to do so, then she violated the Continuous Play Rule. If I were on a grievance committee and I heard this, I would rule in favor of your opponent.

    If your player wishes to consult the rules, she had best do this on a changeover or set break. No way should one player lose her chance to compete because your players can't be bothered to know the rules when they step onto the court.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No offense to you personally, Walton123, but I would totally rule against you based on what you say in this post.

    I mean, there were "a few minutes" left in the match yet your player won't just play the match to conclusion. Instead, she wants to peruse the rules. At that point, the rules did not matter. All your player had to do was *play.* Once time is called, that is the time to consult the rules and see who won and whether a sudden death point needs to be played.

    I can see that players may need to consult the rules if there is a genuine disagreement during a match, and this may take more than 20 seconds. It doesn't sound like that was the case. Your player, it seemed, decided to use the last minutes of match time to study up on the rules, and that cannot possibly be blessed.

    I hope your league gets this one right.
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Anyway . . . In your OP you asked what you should do.

    I suggest emailing your player and asking her exactly what happened. Write it up in an email to the grievance committee and have your player confirm to you that it is accurate before you send it. Then send it to the grievance committee, cc to the player.

    I suggest telling the truth and being professional. Do not encourage your player to play fast and loose with the facts to make herself look better.

    If the grievance is upheld, you both will have learned something.
     
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  23. walton123

    walton123 New User

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    I see I was not clear.
    At 10 minute(before the 2hours up) players should have stopped, finish game then choose appropriate match end - 2nd set incomplete as they were at 4-4 but under 3minutes remained(not the full 10minutes). What needed to happen next was begin 9pt tiebreak which did happen after check of rules (you can stop and determine appropriate match end procedure).....that tiebreak went to 1-1 then timed out, next should have been 1pt to determine set 2 and if opponent won that play 1pt (sudden death) to determine match....but opponent walked off as agitated that our player checked rules at the 4-4 mark in second set w/less that 3 minutes to go......
    points were long, time was short and nobody stopped at 10min mark which might have avoided all of this.
     
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  24. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I'd lawyer up.
     
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  25. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]
     
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  26. walton123

    walton123 New User

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    thanks tennis tom and joedali..........

    you guys are funny and have added just the levity I needed this week for many of the crazy things I am dealing with.........the least of which is this tennis situation.
    I love tennis, just not sure I love being a captain anymore!
    Thanks for letting me vent. I will continue to read this forum.
     
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  27. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    We're talking a matter of seconds here...

    This appeal will be denied so hard.

    As I said, it's not like you have an entire team of people writing in to complain about a player who takes a trip to 7/11 in the middle of a timed match.



    Most grievances are just people... grieving about a loss.

    The only types of grievances ive heard of that stick are extreme cases of misconduct. What is extreme?

    1) Player fills up large bucket of water and pours it on the court to stall play.
    2) Player is a self-rate using a duplicate account, alias, blatant lie regarding player experienced provided.

    If there are no officials involved the offense has to be pretty extreme for it to be granted by the grievance committee. To file an appeal for "breaking continuous play" to check the rules regarding a tie breaker or sudden death point is just laughable.
     
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  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ah, I see. You're in one of those timed match leagues where they decide to stop play at an arbitrary point before time is called and then set out an elaborate system for the players to finish the match.

    Me, I have never been a fan of such systems because they give you the bizarro results you had in this match. Players are and should be focused on winning points, not watching the clock. If they fail to keep track of time (or fail to remember the bizarro rules), they can miss the Magic Cut-off. Then there is no way to fix things within the rules.

    I think the way our league does it is better. You play, and you keep right on playing until time is up or someone wins. If there is a tie, you play a sudden death point. Easy, peasy.

    Anyway, it's hard to know what was upsetting to your opponent without hearing her side of the story. Perhaps she simply didn't understand the rule herself? Or maybe the players agreed they would just keep playing despite the 10-minute rule and then your player changed her mind?

    Let us know what happens. I can't see how or why she would file a grievance if the events were exactly as you say. Something else may have happened that we/you don't yet know about.
     
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  29. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    You will not find the names of a grievance committee. The reason is that the USTA does not want you contacting them directly, nor going after them if you don't like their decision. The only person you will know about later is when the grievance decision comes out is the chair of the grievance committee.

    If a captain wants to file a grievance, they can, the LC cannot tell them not to. They can try to dissuade them, but they cannot preclude them from doing so. If they file the grievance, it has to go through the process of the committee.

    Just submit the facts as you know them and leave it at that. Most grievance committees know the rules and will rule accordingly.
     
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  30. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    You sure you're looking in the right place? lol.
     
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  31. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    There are psychos playing tennis? ;)
     
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  32. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Yes and no, Spokewench. The members of our District's Grievance Committee are posted on the District website (even though the logo at the top of the page is of our Section). But I agree with you on the local level, at least here in the metro Richmond area. Our "leagues" are broken up over three different LLCs (yes, the legal definition of Limited Liability Corporations....and having nothing "official" to do with USTA)...and none of their websites list any specific info on who the Committee members are.

    Shame on them, I say. Transparency is the name of the game. We're not talking National Security here. It's sad that reality pushes them towards secrecy but really? Some Districts/Sections are very upfront about their grievances and sanctions. I wish they all were. Maybe it'd knock down some of this nonsense that's bandied about.

    I happen to know four of our varied LCs and think they do a fine job given all the parameters they have to work in. And, because of my interaction with them, I know quite well at least one member of our local grievance committee (I also think I found it somewhere, on some website, but can't reconfirm it at the moment)....and know that individual to be a fair and representative person of our very vibrant tennis community.

    Again, I'll say, I wish all the inner workings of USTA were more open.

    To the OP, Spokewench gave you the best advice: state your case as best you can, with as much corroboration as you can...and let the chips fall where they may. This issue isn't so much one of self-rate...but rather one of the rules. Given what you've explained, I doubt serious harm was intended...just that the spirit of the Rules may not have been accomplished.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
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  33. Islandtennis

    Islandtennis Rookie

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    That's ridiculous. You have every right to know the names of who is on the grievance committee. They should be posted in your local rules. Look if you haven't. If they are not there, then contact your LLC and ask for the list. If for some strange reason they do not respond, contact your District Coordinator. It would be inappropriate to contact the individual members though. Just communicate through the grievance chair and you should be good.
     
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  34. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I'm pretty sure the committee is made up of Judy, Carol, Joanne, Meredith, Betsy, and ole' Gertrude.
     
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  35. goober

    goober Legend

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    oooh secret grievance committees- could I be put on double secret probation? Well I guess it makes sense since the stakes of recreational tennis are so high. :)
     
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  36. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Spokewench is correct. Grievance committee members get involved in contentious situations, and they should not be subjected to harassing communication if they rule against someone. And believe me, more people than you think will stoop to very low levels if they don’t get their way. Physical threats, showing up on the committee member’s doorstep, calling them at work…….you name it.

    Another reason that some leagues don’t post their grievance committee names is because the committee changes frequently. Some committee members serve faithfully for years. Others have a bad experience in a grievance and suddenly become “unavailable” when other grievances come along. It’s a passive way of getting out of serving on the committee without actually quitting, and it happens all the time. That means local coordinators have to constantly add new members to the committee.

    I have served on many local grievance committees and a district level committee. I also have an unlisted phone number. :)
     
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  37. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Why as captain are you involved ? From what you have said ,one from your team and one from the other team had a tiff and the other team player filed a grievance ? Are captains of teams pseudo-players representatives ? Are you being considered to be sanctioned ? Where was the referee in all of this ?

    It seems to me the player walking off the court and refusing to play on fell on there own sword about continous play rule and forfeited the match,,,like shaking hands -match over.

    From what I remember about this,,the player saying the other is stalling must stay on the court and be ready to play to call one on stalling...........

    If your now the target of this,,I'd contact your family lawyer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
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  38. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    League matches are not officiated. Grievances can only be filed by captains, coordinators, and championship committee members.
     
    #38
  39. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Where,,,did ? you -learn,,to punctuate ?
     
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  40. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    From accent this...

    :)
     
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  41. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Oh, I dont play in leagues,,thanks for the info.
     
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  42. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I cant believe people are saying that grievance committee members are "unlisted" because of harassment. That's just hilarious.

    Look, when someone goes to trial for something, literally everyone's who is involved has their name listed somewhere. Only in very extreme cases are names withheld. I'm talking about career criminals who have nothing to lose knowing the names of the prosecutors, judges, arresting officers, even the damn clerks.

    And people on "grievance committees" are supposedly withholding their names because of potential backlash from players involved in grievances.

    I mean, when you play a USTA league match, they have your first and last name as well as your captains. I suppose all of these "sore losers" are looking you up in the telephone book and calling your house about a bad line call you made a month prior.

    Maybe USTA should blank out names from tennislink so people dont know your real name because they might harass you if you beat them.

    LOL.

    Chances are, if you cant find the names, you're looking in the wrong place. Think of it like finding the sex offenders in your area. You cant just call the local police station and expect them to start giving all this information to you. You have to look in the right place.
     
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  43. goober

    goober Legend

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    If I ever found myself in a situation in league tennis that involved these types of people, I would quit the league. This is suppose to be recreation, lots of other ways to enjoy tennis without these kinds of shenanigans.
     
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  44. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    The names of the committee members who serve on a specific grievance do list their names on the grievance decision. Their contact information is not listed. Only the chairperson's contact info is listed. However, all of the members of local grievance committees are generally not listed on league websites.

    You can laugh all you want about the harassment issues. I'm not saying people are scared for their lives. But they do want to avoid confrontation so they don't want their names posted everywhere. Frankly, it's hard to find anyone to serve on grievance committees year after year. Most people won't volunteer their time for such a thankless job. You have to have a very thick skin to do any work in USTA leagues, paid or unpaid.

    I never dreamed that people would confront grievance committee members, but they do. Even in a large metropolitan area, the tennis community is small and everyone knows each other.
     
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  45. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    You would be amazed about how seriously people take their grievances; they take their tennis pretty seriously too. Not everyone is willing to let bygones by bygones and not everyone is as rational and you might think.

    And, yes, I am a chairperson on an appeals grievance committee
     
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  46. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I grieved after losing Districts and our team lost 3-2. I grieved and I grieved for weeks on end. I called my Dad and grieved a little bit to him. Then I grieved to Harrison Ford when I helped him setup his wireless network. I grieve to anyone that cares to listen actually. I grieved to Dennis and he socked me in the face for being an idiot and taking league tennis so seriously. Then I woke up and realized what a jackass tennis folks make of themselves taking rec tennis so seriously after watching softball league games on 9th and 27th street and seeing grown men act like they're Derek Jeter, trying to impress me as my dog drops perfectly placed blobs on the sidewalk. No one is watching you, Mr. 4.0 tennis guy. No one. Even when you catch them looking at you when you make a decent GOAT shot. No one is admiring you. But go ahead and believe it if you want.

    It's a sad cruel world.
     
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  47. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    You just brought my world crashing down :(

    damn you Dali

    [​IMG]
     
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  48. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    3fees must have been some strong espresso to get all those spaces, ,,,,, , and ........ in there. Oh wait, that's the new style! ;)
     
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  49. walton123

    walton123 New User

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    still waiting.......nothing to report

    thanks to all for feedback, still waiting for response from committee....highstakes world of Adult USTA!
     
    #49
  50. walton123

    walton123 New User

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    still waiting.......nothing to report

    :confused:
     
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