More Delay tactics

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by coloskier, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Got a question for everyone out there. There is one player that I run into occasionally who will do one of two things every match.

    1. Deliberately return out serves into the net, and then leave them on the court. Then he will wait until I am about to serve my 2nd serve, he will slowly walk to the ball and remove it, and then purposely say "2nd Serve", ruining the servers rhythm.

    2. When he serves a 1st serve into the net, he will leave it out on the court, making sure it is a distraction.

    Here is what I do to counter it.

    1. After he delays going to remove the ball from the court on his return into the net, I will say "Is this a let? I assume that this means it is a let." This really blows his stack, because I am shoving his own attempt at delaying the server rhythm by taking two serves.

    2. When he leaves the ball on the court after putting his 1st serve into the net and not retrieving it, just as he is about to hit his 2nd serve, I will hold up my hand and ask him to pick up the ball off the playable court surface.

    I detest this kind of gamesmanship. I would like to know what the official rules are for both these situations. Is he required to remove a ball in the playable court surface immediately? Is he allowed to deliberately hit balls into the net and then try to delay the 2nd serve?
     
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  2. conditionZero

    conditionZero Rookie

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    Does he really serve into the net deliberately? I wish my opponents would do that! I think it would be worth the wait for the second serve.

    If he leaves the ball on the court on his side then that should be more of a distraction for him than you. He runs the risk of stepping on it, and if your shot bounces off of it during the point then he loses.
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Ask him before the match not to return out serves into the net. Let them hit the back fence and if they stay there then great. Otherwise he'll have to clear the ball. Fortunately, everyone I play can hit the ball into the net and it stays there.
     
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  4. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    1. If he shows you that he is ready for the return then he loses the right to become unready. You can just serve then. (I think that rule was to stop his sort of antics)

    Bring a rulebook with you if he argues. If that doesnt work then dont play this guy if you can help it.

    2. Either make him clear that ball right away or if he wont get the hint ,continue to do what you are doing. (do it right before his second serve motion) You can make someone pick up any stray ball on the playing area that could cause an issue, you dont have to put up with it and get distracted. If you make him do this every single time and without exception he may get tired of having you tell him to go pick it up.

    I never let anyone serve if there is a stray ball on the court. With adults most people understand they need to clear those, but Ive played juniors before where surprisingly they are very stubborn about clearing loose balls. (because they want to quick serve you sometimes)
     
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  5. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    I hate playing people that do things like this… If the ball is at the net and not in any danger of being stepped on. I would think you should play a let if he does this just to break your concentration… I do know if the ball is on his side and he fails to pick it up and it is hit with a ball he loses the point.
     
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  6. RedWeb

    RedWeb Semi-Pro

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    I've seen people try to use this "trick" on occasion. I don't like it. If the ball is on my side of the net and its 6 inches from the net or off to the side don't be asking me to clear it. Especially when I'm serving. After a few games it easy to determine what your opponent is comfortable with as far as balls on his side of net.
     
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  7. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    That's not entirely true. He only loses the point if he cant return it into fair play. The ball is actually part of the court, like a leave or a crack or a blade of grass or any other loose items you left laying on the court.

    Most of the time though when the live ball hits the dead ball it goes off in some weird crazy direction and there is no way it's getting returned.
     
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  8. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Too bad, if it's distracting to me I can make you clear it, it's not a "trick".

    I dont have to return with stray balls laying around on the court.

    Although it's within reason, which may differ. If it's clear the ball is safely near the net I wont say anything or if it's against a fence or far enough away from the court, I wont say anything. But if it's clearly several feet away from the net and Im looking at it, you are going to be picking it up whether you like it or not.

    It's wrong to assume that just because it's your side of the court that the other guy has to put up with that.

    I played one kid this year that even wanted to serve the second serve when his first serve was still bouncing around the court right in front of me, that's crazy.... (and of course he cryed when I stopped him)

    When it comes to the game of "I dont like it", I dont like returning when there are stray balls laying around the court. So if you "dont like it", that's just too bad, not everyone can get their own way in life, that's why we have rules.....
     
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  9. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Your right, I should have stated that. Thanks for the correcting me…:oops:
     
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  10. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    It may or may not be gamesmanship - but you're allowed to manage your own side of the court, not your opponent's. I like to clear all balls unless they are right up against the net or fence - loose balls distract me, as you never know where you'll need to run. But if my opponent want to have balls anywhere on the court, not a problem. Let him/her do their own housekeeping.
     
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  11. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    Is this an official match as in a tournament or league?
     
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  12. conditionZero

    conditionZero Rookie

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    Actually the rule is:
    41. Retrieving stray balls. Each player is responsible for removing stray
    balls and other objects from the player’s end of the court. A player’s request
    to remove a ball from the opponent’s court must be honored.


    I know someone who broke her foot stepping on a tennis ball that rolled from an adjacent court. After the initial healing she spent months in therapy and years having to wear a brace, so I'm paranoid about balls on my side of the court as I tend to try to cover alot of court. I really don't care if my opponent has balls on his side, I really only say anything about it if they are behind him near the baseline because I'm afraid he may not be aware of them.


    The OP said this guy:
    . Deliberately returns out serves into the net, and then leave them on the court. Then he will wait until I am about to serve my 2nd serve, he will slowly walk to the ball and remove it, and then purposely say "2nd Serve", ruining the servers rhythm.

    Gamesmanship is gamesmanship regardless of the rules.
     
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  13. RedWeb

    RedWeb Semi-Pro

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    This subject interests me.

    Let's define stray ball. Is that any ball or a ball not being used in your match?

    Exactly, my point. For any intelligent person figuring out if a person is doing something to intentionally "game" them is pretty straight forward. I'd be interested in a referee's reaction to being called over by someone who was getting upset about being ordered around, again and again, to pick up balls on their side of the court that they have stated are not bothering them... or the referee's reaction to be called over by the OP for his scenario.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
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  14. conditionZero

    conditionZero Rookie

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    Hmmm....

    Good point. I assumed it meant any ball not being used for the actual point being played.
     
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  15. conditionZero

    conditionZero Rookie

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    My solution to this kink of situation is to ignore it. I don't think I'm affected much by other peoples head games.

    In a perfect world, of course, people playing a gentlemens sport would act like gentlemen (or women) and win with their tennis skills. All of the rules in the world won't stop people from finding away to cheat the spirit of the game.
     
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  16. ser_renely

    ser_renely Rookie

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    have you talked to the player? I find that is the best way, before or after a match. Some stuff people just don't think about at all.
     
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  17. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Well you seem to be sort of paranoid about the subject.

    Or maybe we actually agree but you dont know it. (since subjectively there are places the ball could be that it's unreasonable to have it picked up, like against the net or against the fence)

    But otherwise I dont care, Im not trying to game you. If you serve the first serve and leave the ball laying there in your service box and I have to watch you serve a second serve, I THINK YOU ARE GAMING ME.

    It's a distraction and I dont have to put up with it. So you better get used to picking up your stray serves.

    It's all about context as well, most adults I play with go and pick up the ball if it's laying around in the middle of the court, when I play with the juniors they are a lot more sloppy about it and it's usually at their own peril, because they distract themselves half the time.

    So if I was to encounter you, you'd just be the boob who wont clean up your own court, and thanks the rule I dont have to put up with it.

    That's if you mean you wont pick up balls that are right on the playing area where you could run into them, and not ones against the net or against the fence or places where we agree they will not get involved in the match or cause some sort of visual distraction when Im trying to focus on the serve.
     
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  18. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Only a knucklehead won't properly clear his own side of stray balls during a match. It's dangerous, distracting to yourself(imagine rushing in to get to a well hit dropshot but now you also have to worry about stepping around a 2nd ball - don't you guys think tennis is already a tough enough sport?) and if the ball in play hits the 2nd ball, the point's lost.
     
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  19. nhat8121

    nhat8121 Semi-Pro

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    this is what im thinking...
     
    #19
  20. RedWeb

    RedWeb Semi-Pro

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    Here we go again. Why do 2/3s of all all threads on this forum have to degenerate into insults
    and passive-aggressive comments instead of staying on topic. See examples of what I'm talking
    about below.

    Instead of throwing out that garbage simply get to the lucid point of your post. Which I believe
    was if the ball is against the net (ie: 0-12" or so from the net) or off to the side then lets
    play. If its rolled back to the serve line then pick it up. That matches what I said originally.

    Notice how my post avoids calling you names.
     
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  21. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I deliberately hit out serves into the net. I do this for many reasons:

    1- I find that the net material is less likely to "bounce" the ball back into the playing area than the back fence/wall material.

    2- If I am playing doubles my partner can very quickly retrieve the ball and get it to the server compared to going backward to the back fence/wall.

    3- There is no doubt that I have called the ball out AND that I could have hit a return if I had wanted to (it wouldn't have been an ace if it had landed in).

    Having said that, I almost never retrieve the ball a second time because of #1. I do when necessary but it is clear to everyone that the ball is well inside the playing area and should be retrieved. In addition I get it immediately an don't even make eye contact with the server until my area is ready.

    As to leaving the ball on his side in the playing area, he is the loser there. If you hit the ball on the fly or if he trips, you win the point (and maybe the match, if he can't continue).
     
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  22. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I apologize for calling you names.

    But my problem with you is:

    A) You accused me of applying some sort of "trick"!!!

    B) You inferred your statement in such a way as to imply that the sole important factor is whether YOU are comfortable or not. (it doesnt matter if YOU are comfortable with it, if > I < am not comfortable with it, you have to still pick up the ball, I dont have to put up with being distracted....)

    So if you are complaining because you've jumped on my statement just to accuse me of applying some "trick" because you read more into what I said then what was there, then your apology is accepted.
     
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  23. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    I almost always allow an opponent to leave a ball on his side of the court. It can be a little distracting, and I have the right to ask him to remove it, but ultimately I allow this to be his decision, because it's certainly to his disadvantage to have it over there.

    I never play with a ball on my side of the court. I will return "out" serves when it's impossible to make the call in time to stop my swing. When the serve comes in quickly, or is just a bit out, the return is really a "reaction" shot. In that case, I make every attempt to quickly clear the ball and minimize the server's delay. I'll offer a first serve if the delay is substantial, but I don't consider a quick jog to clear the ball to be a "substantial" delay. If my return hit the back fence and rolled toward my opponent while he was preparing for his second serve, I would consider that a "substantial" delay and offer a first serve.

    Now, as for gamesmanship... well, if your opponent is clearly, deliberately throwing off your game by s-l-o-w-l-y clearing a ball, and waiting for you to prepare to serve in order to increase the disruption, then I'd start demanding lets and a first serve. I'm going to guess this *only* happens in tournament or league play (why else would you be playing this guy), so if he balks, get an official. Unfortunately, that's how it has to be with some people.

    Unfortunately, I've noticed that people who engage in gamesmanship often thrive on it. Even if you get an official, he's definitely changed your mentality. But I still think it's important to hold your ground and call him out on the delay. That enables you to get back to tennis as quickly as possible.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
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  24. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    I like the way you think GeoffB. I wish more people had this attitude!!!
     
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  25. RedWeb

    RedWeb Semi-Pro

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    Apologies all the way around. Kumbaya, brother. Maybe we'll meet on the court someday. If so, I'll bring my "little friend" (see avatar).
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
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  26. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    I believe the rule is "a stray ball any place on the playable court surface", your side AND my side. Any ball that is in the court (inside the lines) is on the playable surface of the court, and I believe that you can call a let if it is not removed.
     
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  27. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    As it doesn't qualify "stray ball" in any way, then it should mean all stray balls.
     
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