On Which Side Do You Err?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by TimothyO, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    That's not entirely true. I've met plenty of folks who are generous with their calls. A week ago I played a fellow who was definitely generous. Since I take the same approach it was a very fun match. Two weeks ago I played a guy who was not only stingy but also didn't call out the score...which would oddly change in his favor...

    OTOH people like my wife are very stingy (she seems to believe that balls that hit on the outside of the line are out...even my two sons have noticed this!)
     
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  2. SeriousSummer

    SeriousSummer New User

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    Like some others here, I think there is a lot of self-deception going on in this thread and all the similar ones--or else many of you have a very different world view than I do. I'm pretty confident that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow morning, but I'm not 100% sure even of that.

    Maybe it's my training as a lawyer (and the fact that down here in Texas we've had over thirty exonerations of people convicted on a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard), but if I only called balls out that I was 100% sure of, then most days I don't think I'd call any balls out at all.

    I think you call a ball out if you see it out, otherwise it is in. But realistically, that is going to mean some, maybe quite a few, errors creep into the game. On hard serves I usually can't see a ball out unless it is well out (more than six inches), so I play a lot of long serves. Sometimes after I play a serve, and my partner hasn't moved towards the return, I just look at him and ask, "That was out wasn't it?" If he says yes then we play the second serve.

    Balls down the side line are usually pretty easy to call and I think I get those right almost all the time. Sometimes an angled passing shot when I'm at the net is hard to see, because I have to turn around to see where they land, but that isn't a problem all that often.

    The most difficult balls to call are shots on the baseline. Both my normal partner and I refuse to back off the line most of the time, so those balls are hitting at our feet while we're swinging at the ball and hitting on the rise.

    So what's the result? Today we played three sets, 27 games, maybe close to two hundred points, and I'd estimate that we played half a dozen to a dozen long serves each, probably only missed a ball or two each on the side line and maybe each got around three to six wrong on the baseline, maybe two thirds of those cald out when they were in.

    So there may have been as many as 10% of the points where the calls were wrong. At least two thirds of those were playing balls as in when they were clearly out. That means we each probably called two to four balls out that actually were in. That's a two to four percent error rate.

    It didn't effect the outcome or the scoring in any meaningful manner. This particular partner and I have played over a thousand sets against one another, and neither of us is trying to cheat, but we both make mistakes. To be real, if you opponent has played six long first serves, a couple of out balls during rallies, and called three balls wrong against you, then you're ahead of the game and really shouldn't complain.

    I've run into very few people who intentionally cheat, but wishful thinking is always going to be an issue in line calls. As long as people are trying to get it right, I never get upset about line calls. Even if I think the ball is in, I could very well be wrong.
     
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  3. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I recall hearing/reading that such a shot is in. It has been seen numerous times on clay. Say the ball is hit from a very wide position and initially touches down just outside of the sideline. The ball compresses, rolls and/or skids such that the mark left behind shows that it touched the line before it left the ground. In this case, we can tell by the oblong footprint left behind that the ball touched down outside of the line but it overlaps the line to some extend. Fairly certain that this ball is IN.

    Rule #12 of the ITF rules of tennis states:

    "If a ball touches a line, it is regarded as touching the court bounded by that line."

    Perhaps we could get woodrow to weigh in on this question.
    .
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Now that the Code says disagreements between partners and reversed calls are always loss of point, I have had to rein in a few of my partners.

    When we take the court, I tell them that they should only call the service line for me on the serve, and they should never call the outside or center line. I, in turn, will never call that service line. In this way, the person with the best perspective will make the call and we will never have a disagreement.

    I also tell them not to make baseline calls while at net or call the far sideline if I am in position to see the ball.

    In this way, we avoid surrendering points due to disagreements, we avoid hurt feelings if a partner overrules the other, and our opponents don't think we are cheaters for calling distant balls.

    I also think it is a very good idea for the net player to focus most of her attention on the opponents and not lines her partner is in a better position to see.
     
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  5. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Reasonable, but it bears mentioning that if one partner asks his partner what the call is, that is not a disagreement, one partner saw the balll and the other did not. One call, no surrendering of points.
     
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  6. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    take your own bad medicine

    There is only one answer, and it's crystal clear: if you're not 100% sure the ball was out, then it was IN. 99.9% out = IN - it's in the rule book!

    We all play with people who make marginal calls against their opponents, who call balls out when they couldn't possibly have seen it clearly, when their partner saw it in but won't over-rule, etc. etc. These people are what's known as BAD SPORTS and should be forced to play only with each other.
     
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  7. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Most idiotic post of the year. Really? No balls called out? None? Not even the shank that hits a fence?

    Back to the real world...

    Today I played a guy that decided anything I hit remotely close to a line was out...after he was down 3-1 in the first. Even stuff INSIDE of a line was called out.

    In one case I was at net and hit a low speed, angled volley that hit just a few feet from me square ON a side line, right in the middle. He was nearby too, maybe 10' from the area. He walked over slowly and deliberately. After much consideration he eventually called the shot out...which happened to save him the game point.

    It was hard court, a low speed shot, and when he saw the look of disbelief on my face he declared the mark left by the ball was just outside the line. There was no mark. The ball bounced softly, it was a touch shot that he simply couldn't reach and he didn't want to lose that game.

    Meanwhile, yes, I was very generous with shots such as his serves. They were low and skidded a bit. But since I wasn't completely certain a number of them were in I erred on the side of caution and called them in/played them. They were very likely long but I thin one must give an opponent the benefit of the doubt.
     
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  8. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    Unless I'm certain that it was out, it was positively in.
     
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  9. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    perhaps you could detail the circumstances under which you wouldn't 'err on the side of calling it in'?
     
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  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Sounds like a very good idea except for the parts in bold. Refer to post post #42 above for my explanation on this.
     
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  11. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    +1

    Unless I'm certain it was out...it was in.
     
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  12. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Just make calls to the best of your ability and live with it. Even the pros have less than 50% accuracy on their line calls (according to hawkeye). How many times do we see mistakes from professional linespeople whose ONLY job is to look at lines the entire match. They make plenty of mistakes and aren't running toward a ball and setting up to hit it while also looking at the line(s). To expect better from club players is crazy.

    If you hesitate on a call then give the opponent the point. If you have some niggling guilt after a call then change it and give the opponent the point.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
    #62
  13. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    The ball is "IN" if any part of the ball touches the line, including the compression of the ball. You will notice on clay courts, or matches with Hawkeye, most often on the center service line, the initial impact point is out, but the side of the ballmark touches the center service line. This is "IN".
     
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  14. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Forget the percentage number, I play (rarely) against this one guy who can't wait to call "out" on any ball that get close to the line. I know this guy cheats or is blind as a bat because his partners completely behave like the ball is in, 2) a few times I play in the adjacent court at the base line next to him, I saw him making blatant wrong calls.

    Again, forget any number, rule book, etiquette, etc. They're all meaningless when a player gets competitive and wants to make shady calls or calls in his/her favor. No rule or number gonna stop 'em.
     
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  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for confirming that.
     
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  16. RollTrackTake

    RollTrackTake Semi-Pro

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    I find this rings more true in USTA matches. When I play a club league most guys are relaxed and generous. Play the same guys in USTA and the same balls they played as in are now out. I subscribe to the eye for eye philosophy on line calls. If you start calling them ultra-tight be prepared for the same right back. hopefully my opponent will loosen up.
     
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  17. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    Im generous to a Fault......Hurt myself onn numerous occassions......alot of times.....more than 2 inches. I need contacts
     
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  18. Railbird

    Railbird New User

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    Im very generous when winning or know I will win. Only hook vs better players then me when Im down a break or more. If someone hooks me, I consider it a compliment.
     
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