Opponent's Kids Turned Off the Lights

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Wakenslam, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Wakenslam

    Wakenslam Rookie

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    In a T2 playoff match, my friend and her partner were up 6-2, 5-3. One of the opponents' husband and three small children (ages about 3, 5, and 9) were watching the match from the car. Late in the evening, after dark, my friend is about to serve for the match when all three kids walk all the way around the courts to the other side where the light switch is, turn off the lights, giggle and run back to their daddy waiting in the car. Dad cranks it up and they take off. Needless to say, my friends were pretty upset. They got no apology, nothing. They had to wait 15-20 minutes for the lights to come back on before continuing play. Thankfully she held her serve.

    Could they have claimed the match when the lights went out?!?

    USTA rules are followed by this league.
     
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  2. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    It was prolly just an innocent mistake by the kids. We all know how kids can be ... even when they are 45.
     
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  3. cak

    cak Professional

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    This is a tough one. You would think they could claim the match, they could even try to claim the match. But to do that they would have to walk off the court and count on the governing body (is this a USTA sectional league?) to side with them. It's quite possible the governing body would not want to deal with it, and require them to meet again and play out the rest of the match.

    They still can file a grievance against the team. The opponent, the opponents' husband if he is a USTA member, and maybe even the captain can get reprimanded. But I doubt it would be much more than that.

    It was extremely bad sportsmanship. The mother of the children should have forfeited that final game. And then she should have gone home and told her family what she had to do because of them. That's how you teach children (if not errant fathers) good sportsmanship.
     
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  4. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    I have a feeling this is a pretty one-sided story. I can't imagine the mother was too proud of her offspring doing something like that. I would further bet that Dad didn't take them out for ice cream for this behavior....he probably didn't want their beating to be in the public eye.

    I know of no USTA rule that would allow for a forfeit. My outside opinion is that the players need to play the point as a let due to outside factors (what's the difference if a players kid did this vs. the timer simply running out?). If the delay is long enough, re-warm up & finish the match from the point of stoppage.

    Don't be a jerk about it, your kid may very well do this some time in the future.
     
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  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Around here, it would be treated as a power outage. I don't know the exact rule, but I believe you wait for a period of time, and if the situation doesn't resolve then the match is rescheduled.

    These things happen.
     
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  6. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    "nice parenting" (para-phrased for language content) would have been my response, before waiting for the lights to come back on/beating them down.
    all the while, keeping up the small talk about "nice parenting".
     
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  7. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I doubt 3-9 year old kids would think about turning off the lights themselves. teens yes.. but not 3-9 yr olds..

    Gotta be the Dad telling them to do it.
     
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  8. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    I agree. Not many kids at that age would even consider messing around with adults they didn't know. Add my vote for adult complicity.
     
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  9. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    These were not un-involved by-standers, they were related by blood to the losers. What do you think would happen at a Davis Cup Tie, if one of the team members of the team being beaten, turned out the lights?

    When home fans of Davis Cup teams get too un-ruley, the chair gives warning, issues point penalties, and forfeits matches if the fans are too un-ruley and play becomes un-safe.

    In this case there is no USTA official on-site so a complaint could be made afterward and the incident duely noted. Some penalty enforced in retrospect for this team on it's future matches, like game penalties from the start.

    I can see the father, tracking the match, seeing his wife was loesing, saying to his kids, "Wouldn't it be funny if you guys turned out the lights, kiddies, and prevented mommy from losing?". I don't think these kids concocted this idea on their own.

    If it took 15 minutes for the lights to come back-on, and they were serving for the match, if were was an official present, they would have been awarded the game for team interference. If your five minutes late for a tournament you are penalized a game, 15 minutes, you forfeit the match.
     
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  10. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    While T2 says that they follow USTA rules, they do not fully. I think that they mean that they follow USTA rules with respect to the playing of matches. On peripheral matters there are several differences I noticed just on a quick skim.

    However, no set of rules can cater to every situation and USTA rules would not cover what happens if a spectator turns the lights out. The match was completed, so I would either leave it at that or report the incident to the T2 organizers so they have a record of it in case a pattern occurs with respect to this particular player/husband/kids.
     
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  11. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    someone needs to email the guy who does the ruling calls in tennis mag. im sure he'll know haha
     
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  12. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    It's really simple...

    ...beat the living crap out of the little *******s who turned out the lights, then win the match..."Don't get mad...get even..."
     
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  13. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    You people really think that an adult would do something this immature in a meaningless league match???? If you do, it is probably becasue you would consider doing it yourself. This is sad.
     
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  14. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Seriously? That's a little presumptuous. It's my experience that kids under ten are generally reluctant to mess with adults they don't know. Plus, no apology from the Dad?
     
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  15. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    YES! What planet do you live on Dr. Freud? It's meaningless to you obviously, but not to the participants.

    No I wouldn't consider doing it, where do you get your logic from? What's sad is your uniformed opinion. Get a life.

    I only wish it happens to you during one of your "meaningless" matches.
     
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  16. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    It's my experience with kids under 10 that they are very curious. And if they happen to see a switch, a 9 year old might bait his 3 or 5 year old brother or sister to go ahead and flip the switch because "who knows what will happen." 9 year old then laughs his arse off because 3 or 5 year old is about to get his hide taken off. Dad then zips them home for their lickings out of view of anyone who might call DSS on him.

    I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to these parents. If you don't see it, you are just blind and pathetic...and you take league tennis way too serious.

    I would laugh this off & win the match thankful that my kids didn't embarrass me. I wouldn't go posting a one-sided story on a message board whining about it as a concocted plan for mom to get help from her kids in her league matches.
     
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  17. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    The kids of some of the parents who were at my meeting, near the end, but not done, switched the lights off. This seems to be a popular thing they have learned from school it seems. I was angry. No one else was.
     
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  18. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Polski, your opinions are absolutely stupid. If there's an "ignore" feature on this forum, I'm putting you on it. I've never done that on any forum, but you have proven that you have nothing intelligent to say and I won't be missing a thing.

    Adios
     
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  19. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    ^^the feeling is mutual
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Kids flip switches. That's what they do. They have been doing it as long as switches have existed.

    News flash: Kids also press buttons. So when you get on an elevator and every single button is pressed even though the only people on the elevator are parents and kids, *the kids did it.*
     
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  21. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Another newsflash: Parents are responsible for the actions of their children until they turn 18. I'm glad I've never had children and don't intend to. I would not want them having to mingle with the current generation of ferals. We live in an age of tyranny by children and it's their gutless parents fault.
     
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  22. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    Too bad you don't have the guts to raise your own kids. I'm sure the world would be a better place. :-?
     
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  23. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I have plenty of gutz to raise MY kids--if--I'd made the choice to have them. I just don't want to have to raise everyone else's too! The majority of kids today have little or no parental supervision--I think the thread here made that point crystal clear.
     
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  24. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    I thought about this thread this morning at my own league match. There were two moms on the park grounds looking after their young kids while dad played his match. I asked myself this:

    1) Does the mother of the kids of the adult player really want their spouse out on the court longer than absolutely necessary?

    2) Would extending Dad's match by another set (30-45 minutes) really be what these mothers are looking for on a Saturday?

    Based on my casual observation, none of the mothers that were there seemed to be very interested in the match their husband was playing. It more or less looked like the moms were thinking, "God, I can't wait for this friggin match to end so he can help me with the kids."
     
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  25. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    ^^^I thought you were going to say one of your opponents was a gentle man in beard, robe, and sandals, and he was about to lose when the sun went out, and you heard him yell "Oh, Dad, c'mon, stop that..."
     
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  26. Wakenslam

    Wakenslam Rookie

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    Thanks everyone for your responses. I have my own opinion about why the kids decided to turn off the lights at that particular moment - the dad put them up to it. Of course I could be wrong. I've had kids turn off lights on me a few times during practices. The difference is that the parents have always apologized profusely, which is what I would do if my 7 year old was the culprit. In this case that didn't happen. That reinforces my opinion about the scruples of these two parents.

    So I guess this would be considered a power outage, and play would just resume when the conditions returned to playable? I'm still wondering if there's a USTA rule about a spectator intentionally doing something to render a court unplayable (in order to break the momentum of a match.)
     
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  27. brad1730

    brad1730 Rookie

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    The dad put them up to it, or at least was complicit. Most kids would get the "why are you kids leaving the car? Mom's about done, and we are about to leave. Get back in here."

    Either that, or this dad has REALLY checked out.
     
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  28. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    No this is not a power outage, it's possibly a deliberate interference with play by family members of the team that was about to lose.

    I'll copy my previous post about my opinion on possible recourses available to you if you wish to pursue the matter:


    __________________________________________________

    "These were not un-involved by-standers, they were related by blood to the losers. What do you think would happen at a Davis Cup Tie, if one of the team members of the team being beaten, turned out the lights?

    When home fans of Davis Cup teams get too un-ruley, the chair gives warning, issues point penalties, and forfeits matches if the fans are too un-ruley and play becomes un-safe.

    In this case there is no USTA official on-site so a complaint could be made afterward and the incident duely noted. Some penalty enforced in retrospect for this team on it's future matches, like game penalties from the start.

    I can see the father, tracking the match, seeing his wife was loesing, saying to his kids, "Wouldn't it be funny if you guys turned out the lights, kiddies, and prevented mommy from losing?". I don't think these kids concocted this idea on their own.

    If it took 15 minutes for the lights to come back-on, and they were serving for the match, if were was an official present, they would have been awarded the game for team interference. If your five minutes late for a tournament you are penalized a game, 15 minutes, you forfeit the match."

    __________________________________________________
     
    #28
  29. ProgressoR

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    It is not an outage.

    It's an outrage.

    Do not stand for it.
     
    #29
  30. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    But TennisTom, this isn't Davis Cup. This is tennis in a park. Perhaps if we go to the videotape, we can catch one of the members of the losing team tugging on her ear giving the dad the OK to send the kids over to cut the switch in hopes of postponing the inevitable. What do you think? They should have immediately called the cops, hauled them down to the station, fingerprinted them, booked them, and given them 6-9 months of hard labor and 100 hours of community service.

    Sure it was unfortunate. Premeditated? I highly doubt it. Laugh about it and move on. Life's too short to get your panties wrinkled over such a trivial matter.
     
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  31. Gemini

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    The fact that you mentioned that after the lights were turned off the kids jumped back in the car and then dad sped away (paraphrasing) makes me think that dad had a hand in this. Maybe dad thought it would be a cute joke at the time, especially if the kids did it but he should have known better if it was his idea. Also, if I'm the parent that's on the court, I can't help but be curious as to why my kids are "lurking" near the switch. My nephews are essentially grown now but many times when they were younger (pre-teen years) they've been wondering around outside of the courts and I've been distracted by the fact that they're just hanging out. There've been numerous times when I've had to raise my voice to keep them out of mischief.
     
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  32. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    An example of moral relativism rationalization at it's best.
     
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  33. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Of course not, that would be a tad harsh. Punishments like that are only meted out to murderers or serial killers in our society.

    More appropriate would be sentencing them to a chain-gang, doing community service, hand-cuffed to Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
     
    #33
  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    If your parents had thought the same, you would not be here.
     
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  35. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    My parents weren't thinking and I doubt if many of today's crop of single-"parent's" are doing any thinking either.
     
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  36. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I don't have any children either but I'm assuming by putting parents in quotes you're trying not to lump all single-parents in the same pile?
     
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  37. spot

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    I don't think that legally that they would be entitled to claim the match. There isn't any provision that would make this different than a timer going off and the lights turning off- because the lights could be turned back on immediately (even with the warmup time needed...) play could resume.

    That said I think that your opponents needed to concede the match. The lights were turned off to give them an advantage by someone in their family and there is no way it could be construed as an accident. I would be far too embarrassed by the situation to make them sit and wait 15 minutes to serve it out- they should have conceded right then and there
     
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  38. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I don't know tom and don't speak for him but I'll gladly put many of today's single parents into the same pile. Based on my reading of the census statistics, I'm talking about the large number of people who become single parents intentionally or through carelessness, which I think is generally a pretty stupid decision.

    Obviously some people become single parents through divorce or death of a spouse but from what I've read, even with divorces at a pandemic level, that accounts for far less than a majority of all current single parents.

    To the OP, I am somewhat surprised that the team on which the parent of the offending kids played was apparently given a pass about their kid's actions. If that had been me I would have questioned them into embarrassment about what their kids had done. I really wouldn't care that much that they concede, although I would have if the situation were reversed, but they dang sure were going to have to admit that those were their kids, the kids got into their dad's car and left, that the dad did not get out and apologize about what the kids did.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
    #38
  39. Panic492

    Panic492 Rookie

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    Just wondering, what are the breakdown of the statistics of single parents you reference by source i.e. divorce, dead spouse, unmarried partner...Also what is your source? I don't really care but I find it a bit interesting. Thanks!
     
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  40. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Google is your friend, there's tons of stats on the subject, if you find the topic interesting.
     
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  41. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids

    [​IMG]
     
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  42. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    I'm just wondering how the single parent debate got into this thread. Didn't the OP clearly state that Mom was playing & Dad was charged with the care of these kids? What the heck do single parents have to do with this scenario?
     
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  43. beernutz

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    http://www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/p60-237.pdf
    Table 2
    Have fun!
     
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  44. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]
     
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  45. Gemini

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    Single parents have absolutely nothing to do with it.:???: The conversation generated out of comments relating to the parenting skills of the mother/father of the kids that turned off the lights.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
    #45
  46. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    “Put out the light, then put out the light”
     
    #46
  47. Winky

    Winky Guest

    Simple solution to this problem: don't have kids. I have taken my own advice in that regard :D
     
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