Persistent Bad Calls, How to Handle?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by caro14, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I've played USTA and local league tennis since 2005, hundreds of matches including local and state playoffs and I've never had a linesperson for a match. I think that my experience is not unique which is why people think it is rare to have one.
     
    #51
  2. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Is an official considered a linesperson?
     
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  3. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    If they were making corrections to line calls they would be considered one by me. But like I said before, I have rarely seen an official even observe any match before and I've never seen an official in any of my matches make a line call. I've have also never seen an official make a line call in a match I was observing. But it could be more common than I've experienced as I've only been to our state tournament three times before.
     
    #53
  4. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    REALLY? :confused:

    Wow, I see alot of people with that quote! It's cool that I was involved. :)
    Wait, Becker earned over $146 million from tennis? How come on Wikipedia, it said that Federer is the highest earning player with over $76 million in earnings?

    Wow, I can't believe he was one of those tax evaders... :cry:
    Plus, his money is nearly gone from Child Support and Alimony and lives in a hotel... :oops:
     
    #54
  5. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Officials are basically uniformed.

    Linesmen can be anyone honestly.

    I've seen 'officials' for my local district championship last year. They were at regional and state too.
     
    #55
  6. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I can get over almost all the little things that people do in league play but the blatant cheating is the thing that really really bothers me. Its not in every match, but in at least half of my matches I expect to get hooked at least 6 times. There really is nothing which can be done about it, so I have finally learned to just accept it and move on. If I get angry, I will lose at least a game due to it.

    I guess I took 14 years off from tennis and this is the thing that changed the most. Back then, there weren't too many cheats but they were well known and in tournaments you just immediately got a line judge. I think the morality has changed because it almost seems like the people who call it clean now are the minority. The worst is when you know your partner cheats. I've corrected many bad calls in this case, but there are some you actually can't see.
     
    #56
  7. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Cheat'em back. It works every time, they fear you are better at cheating then they are so will stop. Cheating takes some practice but it gets to be fun to get even, make a contest of it.
     
    #57
  8. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    My experience has been quite different. Sure there are the occassional questionable calls, but in most of these cases I actually think my opponent is trying to call it fairly but just made a mistake.

    We've all seen on TV hawkeye/shotspot how even professional linespeople sometimes get a call wrong, and that's with the benefit of looking right over the line, focusing only on watching where the ball lands, and not running about like we are when playing. So no surprise that we as players sometimes get a call wrong, even when the intentions are good.

    And yes there have been matches where I have felt that my opponent deliberately hooked me on a call or two. But those matches are very much the exception rather than the rule - maybe 10% at most.
     
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  9. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Seriously? This is staggeringly far from my experience. Are you sure that this isn't one of those situations where you are looking at balls that may have been in and saying that you got hooked? I guess I just give me opponents the benefit of the doubt on calls and will assume that if they made a bad call that it was still done in good faith until I have a very good reason to think otherwise. No one is perfect and all of us have made bad calls in good faith. Getting hooked 6 times in half your matches is unfathomable to me.
     
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  10. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Hotel Broom closet?
     
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  11. caro14

    caro14 New User

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    I agree. I think I have played a significant amount of USTA tennis and I do not believe most people set out to cheat. Sure, people make bad calls. We all do. But, I believe in most cases it is simply human error. This experience is really only the second time I have gotten into it with an opponent over the calls. And is the first experience where I believed someone was setting out to cheat as a strategy to win. This is after four years of USTA and playing at regionals and sectionals each twice.

    As a funny aside, the first time I got into with an opponent over calls was when I was a 3.0. My opponent was new to tennis and new to USTA and thought that if a ball touched the line it was "out" and if her partner hit a ball when standing behind the baseline it was "out." That was fun. But it is easier to brush off stupidity than it is cheating.
     
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  12. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    It's these rare matches that the OP is trying to get a strategy for. I say cheat 'em back--this is NOT tennis anymore anyway--it becomes a contest of guile, guts, and courage to not be had and teach the perp you won't let them keep getting away with it. Then report them to USTA and build up their file. When they are banned from playing, they may mend their ways--but God help the poor soul, innocently hitting balls against the backboard, when he shows up and asks them if they want to play.
     
    #62
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I just look at the umpire and raise my hand to challenge the call, and then wait for the Hawk-Eye outcome. Sometimes I am right, sometimes I am wrong.
     
    #63
  14. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

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    Do a Robert Kendrick serve...
     
    #64
  15. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    So, you expect to be able to report them and build up their file when they cheat you, but you admit you are going to cheat them back. So you get reported and have a file built up on you too and then you'll get banned. Nice.
     
    #65
  16. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    YES, you're a strategic genius. These type never would report others, they want to remain under the radar. USTA would be non-commital about it because they don't want to send anyone out of the office to do any policing. They'll look into the file and see it's packed with complaints against the known cheater (3) and unlikely one by the cheater against the cheater back. They'll know what was going on, tit for tat, who you gonna' believe, ghost busters.
     
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  17. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    Gamesmanship? Maybe but if I am blatantly being hooked, I am retaliating by making a point. Is blatant hooking not a form of gamesmanship?

    Albeit, the handful of times I have actually done it, we never became close friends. I have extremely good vision and am a very experienced player. Fortunately, I rarely see the blatant cheater but I will not get in the middle of

    I am a former college player who has seen about everything. When I played in college we had lets for serves. The cheating was so blatant that every time you hit an ace or service winner, the opponent 'heard' a let. It became so blatant, NCAA now says a let serve is now played as it would be during a match.

    I am a very fair player but if I feel the hooking is intentional; I am going to make a point. If I lose the potential friend who thinks the only way they can win is by making bad calls, then is that someone I really want to have as a close friend?

    Regardless, I have had excellent success with my approach and the original poster asked how we handle it.
     
    #67
  18. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    Let's go with your theory. They don't report it but at some point they are asked about it (I don't think the USTA is going to just ban them after X complaints without talking to them). They can correctly and honestly say you were cheating them and they aren't one to complain so just played the match. You come across as the whiny one that can't deal with a few bad calls and is willing to retaliate with blatant and intentional bad calls.
     
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  19. Chelsie1

    Chelsie1 Rookie

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    Well! The very same happened to me during a league match just last month. Been playing league since 98, but have never been hooked until then. Totally familiar with close calls, bad calls, but never to the extent of this particular match. My partner wanted to quit. I insisted that we play it out and have our revenge by winning.
    (Which we did.) We ended up with a linesman from each team and there were no more bad calls after that. But I still wondered as to the best way to approach it. I was taught to hit well within the lines (or the opponent) when they start making very bad calls. I might try the "make a bad call, give it back approach", but I really don't like the idea of of an eye for an eye (ie taking one back)-I am not trying to cheat. On the other hand, I'm not one to just let it go. Close calls, bad calls I'll ask are you sure. That's not childish, that's what is suggested in The Code. But multiple, obvious bad calls-At some point I'm going to say something.
     
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  20. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    When the match I played on Saturday got heated (in the third game no less), I walked to the bench in the middle of my service game and told my opponents "nice match, you win". It definitely took everyone off guard! We talked for a few minutes, everyone calmed down, and we decided to finish the match. Strangely enough, everyone was on their best behavior from then on.

    Life is too short to bicker and fight during league tennis matches. If you want it bad enough to cheat, you can have it.
     
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  21. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I don't understand the purpose of people going out of their way to cheat in a league match. They should know that this would negatively impact their reputation and would eventually become notoroious for hooking other people. Plus, they aren't going to make a career out of this, it's just a more serious hobby to them.

    I love and believe that tennis is important to me, but not to eat and sleep it..
     
    #71
  22. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    The bad calls are rampant to the point where there is an expression where I play called USTA out, which effectively means in a USTA match you would get hooked for certain. I am not referring to questionable calls, but blatant hooks where the ball is clearly on or inside the line. I hit relatively hard and close to the lines which probably makes me a bit more prone to this, but I really believe many people now play by "when in doubt call it out".

    I might have exaggerate the amount of bad calls, but I would say for certain I expect to be hooked 1-2 times in the good matches and 5+ times with the people that are blatant cheats. I play in other leagues and almost never have any issues so I tend to doubt the "good faith" portion of USTA calls. In other case, the motive doesn't matter as you lose the point either way.
     
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  23. North

    North Professional

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    Lol. I didn't realize that expression was spreading around. Where I play, people in social matches will sometimes ask jokingly if a ball was really out or USTA out.
     
    #73
  24. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Got it...

    ...boy, USTA leagues sound like a world of fun, can't wait until summer. In the meantime, I still favor a "tough love" approach (Ya wanna hook me? Fine, lemme crease you upside the head with a 2 x 4 that's been soaking in motor oil for a couple three weeks...)
     
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  25. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    I see a lot of posts about bad line calls, but have you considered that you might be wrong in thinking that your shot was in? Line call issues are rare in matches that I have played. Sure, I may disagree with a line call or two, but I also accept the fact that I could be mistaken, after all, I am a half of a court away, and my opponent is closer to the ball. But of course, everyone has "excellent vision" on their own shots, lol.

    But I see way more line call disputes in the lower levels than I see in the higher levels. I attribute it to inexperience, not cheating. The more you see those close hard shots, the better you get at calling them.

    But if you start making retaliatory line calls, then you will get a reputation as a cheater. And frankly, I feel that people who loudly challenge their opponent's line calls are doing it for intimidation purposes. I've had people yell and moan about balls that were 6 inches out before. You are just making yourself look bad if you do that.
     
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  26. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    I think people are referring to shots where you are looking right down the line and can see it hit in but the person that calls it out is on the opposite side of the court (eg. the ball hits the line on the outside of the deuce doubles alley, but the person calling it out is standing in the ad-side doubles alley).

    I don't question baseline calls made by my opponent because I know the perception of in/out is skewed when you're on the opposite side. For that matter, I don't think I've ever questioned a call, even when I've clearly seen it land in and it's called out by an opponent who wasn't in the best position to see.

    My reaction is like AngleQueen's and that's to try to aim more for the middle. I figure if someone wants to win that badly, they can have it.
     
    #76
  27. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Retaliating against bad calls?

    What are you? 12years old?

    This is just a tennis match. Call your game and move on. If the opponent is especially egregious, report them. Life is too short to be escalating non issue like bad line calls.

    Our team has kicked out guys due to their behavior on court. These guys will get their dues.
     
    #77
  28. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    Well said, sir.

    Life's too short to cheat in league tennis or worry about those who do.

    Even if I have to drive an hour to play a league tennis match.

     
    #78
  29. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Too bad most people don't think like you, and some other people do.

    It's sad/ridiculous to see how other people act in tennis by taking it too seriously.
     
    #79
  30. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I think this is what bothers me. If you don't see the close hard shot it is IN not OUT. This is not inexperience it is cheating whether there is malice or not. The level thing might be true though as I am playing at a lower level than I did in the past.
     
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  31. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Not a Sean Connery fan I assume. FWIW, I believe I have been hooked in only two matches in the over 8 years I've played local or USTA leagues. Also FWIW I did not retaliate in kind.

    I think USTA leagues ARE a world of fun. I was just attempting to make a joke about the seriousness with which some folks address this issue.
     
    #81
  32. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    That's what I don't like about tennis ... the people. :) It's a sport full of uptight weirdos but I still like it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
    #82
  33. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    The send both players to the morgue mentality seems to be prevalent among ex-college players. They know a Hooker from the first call.
     
    #83
  34. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    They won't get there dues until someone with balls calls them on their cheating. By not calling them on it you are leaving that job to someone else to do.
     
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  35. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    And who made you the judge and jury?

    Who knows you are not the one hooking the opponent, but using retaliation as a convenient excuse?
     
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  36. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Philosoraptor, is that you?

    Fortunately, it seems like none of the players are the judge or the jury, only victims pleading their case. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
    #86
  37. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    Hooking is intentional and blatant cheating. I have only been hooked twice in 15 years on the court. I have witnessed about a million bad calls and those don't bother me much at all. But getting hooked makes my blood boil. I would never respond in kind. I'd rather head hunt or retire.
     
    #87
  38. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I DID!

    I DO!

    And, if you were there and paying attention, you would know the TRUTH too!

    This isn't a death penalty hearing--it's only tennis. On occasion you get involved with some unpleasant situations in life and it's best to deal with them head-on rather then sticking your head in the sand and pretending they don't exist or will go away.

    What do you want them to put on your tomb-stone, "NEVER MADE A PEEP"?
     
    #88
  39. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    Sadly head hunting used to be my style when I was younger and immature. A good hard flat serve at the net player in doubles tends to work well at drawing attention to the issue. This doesn't end well either, but tends to give your opponents a different goal than hooking you.
     
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  40. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Guarantee yourself the point by hitting the other players with the ball. Do it during serving a few times if the non-receiving partner hugs the T (smack them in the foot or leg). Do it on passing shots when they're at the net (hit at them), etc. Don't do this if it's girls, lol, just let those calls go and hit nowhere close to the line and that should fix the bad calls. Of course, you could do the same with guys, but if the matchup of skill is close, sometimes you have to hit for the lines to get winners or force errors on returns. In those cases, HIT THE PLAYERS. Point will be yours and you'll probably get their attention to the point where if they complain, you can say "Well, how else am I supposed to be sure you won't call it out YOU CHEATERS?!!!" ;)
     
    #90
  41. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    I can't say I agree with intentionally going hitting an opponent with a ball as a cure to cheating.

    It's one thing for a player to cheat his opponent on a tennis line call. It's another thing entirely to intentionally cause bodily harm (no matter how slight it might be) to deter such cheating in the first place.
     
    #91
  42. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    lol, I guess you've never played strong doubles then. It's not about hitting people to do harm, it's about hitting people to win the point. It's not illegal and it's not like you're hitting them in the eye with a ball. You hit at their body. I've gotten hit and hit so many people that it's never a big deal. The worse I've ever seen is when one guy got beamed by my partner in the chest with like an rocket of a forehand return from him. Guy poached/walked right in to the flightpath of the ball and took it head on. lol He got a bruise but that's about it and that was a heck of a return too.

    Anyway, doubles has always been a game about hitting at your opponent. If you can't get around them easily and guarantee yourself a point, then you go at them. If they are good, they volley it away, if they suck, they take one somewhere on the body and the point is over.
     
    #92
  43. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    someone call the WAHHHHH-bulance!

     
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  44. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    I agree but that's not what the other poster wrote.

    He wasn't trying to win a point per se but wanted to teach a cheater a lesson by hitting him with the tennis ball.

    Two entirely different things in my opinion.

     
    #94
  45. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I think you need to reread my post included below which pretty clearly states that this is not the appropriate behavior. Although I would say it is much better behavior than cheating as it is perfectly within the rules.

    Sadly head hunting used to be my style when I was younger and immature. A good hard flat serve at the net player in doubles tends to work well at drawing attention to the issue. This doesn't end well either, but tends to give your opponents a different goal than hooking you.
     
    #95
  46. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    I was commenting on your style when you were younger and immature, not on your current style (which I assume is more mature since you're older now).
     
    #96
  47. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    Yes at least slightly. I guess I might not be that mature though as I still do have fond memories of the "deer in the headlights" expression from a guy with a 100+ serve going at his chest. The truth is even this won't really hurt. I have been hit many times, but I think I have been only hurt twice with a tennis ball and both on overheads that got me in a very inconvenient place.
     
    #97
  48. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Exactly what happened in your life that made you so bitter?

    I would rather play a hooking player than you. At least all they are trying to do is to win a tennis match...
     
    #98
  49. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I grant you your wish, from now on all your matches will be against hookers, Pollyanna Freud.
     
    #99
  50. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    I ask myself that every day when I get pissed at my partner for blowing a volley or an easy overhead etc ... some people are just wired that way I think ... have to fight it every day :(
     

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