point for opponents or not?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by seseli, May 9, 2012.

  1. seseli

    seseli New User

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    Playing doubles, our opponents hit a shot that landed close to our baseline. I thought it could have been a little long but was not sure enough to call it so I internally pronounced it good and played it. Unfortunately, my shot went into the net. Just as it hit the net, my partner (at the net) said the previous shot was long and went on to show me the mark which indeed was out (we were playing on clay). Our opponents seemed fine with it being called long, but I felt we would be getting two bites at the apple, so I said I played it as a good ball, it was our fault that I didn't make it and that it was their point.
    Now I guess the thing about partners disagreeing on a call (leading to a point for opponents) doesn't apply here as there was the evidence of a ballmark. But was I right to insist on the "two applebites rule" when my partner made the call (although a little late)? I can also imagine it is not all that pleasant for the opponents to accept a point when they know they made an out shot. If it was in singles, I would not check the mark once I fully committed to my shot so the situation would not even arise. But should the call by partner change the outcome? As I only play doubles rarely, I would appreciate your suggestions on what to do if it happens again in the future.
     
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  2. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    17. Prompt calls eliminate two chance option. A player shall make all calls promptly after a ball has hit the court. A call shall be made either before the player’s return shot has gone out of play or before an opponent has had an opportunity to play the return shot.

    Since your return went into the net your partner was too late to call it out and the point stands. Had your return been good but the oposing team hadn't yet made their shot you would have been ok.

    The one grey area is if you made a good return but it was an easy put away for your opponents you really should call it out before you realize that they have that easy put away.
     
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  3. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    In a similar situation, my opponent hit me a serve that came hard into my body and I netted the return as I tried to defend myself. I see the mark in the clay a clear 3 or 4 inches out and trotted up to point it out.

    Was I correct? He didn't argue it. This was singles.
     
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  4. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Thats getting into some grey area again because you are saying that you did not attempt to play it, just keep it from hitting you.

    I think any reasonable person would accept that it was out.

    However if you were playing a rather unscrupulous person and since you did put a racket on the ball they could make the case that you failed to make the call until after your return hit the net and therefore it is their point.

    So personally in your case I think you guys played it right, but had your opponent called for an official I think the point would go to him.
     
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  5. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I don't play that much on clay and calling lines on it is different from hard-courts, but if your partner was SURE it was out, he should pipe up and make an immediate call.
     
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  6. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Clay courts are a different animal if you can show the mark you could claim the out call, but it should be immediate double-check not play a few more shots.
    Same thing with serve which a body serve is a reactive return so seeing the mark should be allowed if mark is agreed upon by both players.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I will just never get the hang of this.

    Ball lands near a line and I am not sure it is out, so I play it. My ball goes out. I look down and see a clear out ball mark.

    What to do?

    It is not reasonable or possible for players to inspect ball marks during a rally, but that seems to be what the Code 17 requires.
     
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  8. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I don't play on clay at all, so have no opinion on the original question.

    But I am curious about line calling on clay:

    On hard court in the scenario where I think a ball is likely out but I'm not positive enough to call it out, I will play the shot.

    On clay court in this scenario, would you instead stop the point, with the understanding that if you can positively determine from the mark that it's out then the point is yours, but otherwise the point is your opponents?
     
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  9. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Because you did not call it out promptly as it landed on your court, you did the right thing by playing it. Promptly does not mean, hitting the ball, watching it go out, then looking down for the mark.

     
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  10. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Seseli, if your partner called it out promptly, then you should have taken the point. If your partner was NOT prompt with his call, then you lose the point.

     
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  11. Orange

    Orange Rookie

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    seseli--I see that you are trying to do the right thing, and I am curious about what people think as well.

    This situation brings up another question, though. Does the player at the net often look behind him to see whether the ball hits the baseline, when his partner is right there at the baseline?
     
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  12. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Orangepower, I do, because when you are busy running down the ball it is hard to call it out sometimes.


     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    This is correct.
     
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  14. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    It was goofy because I remember the ball hitting my strings as I half turned away. My intrinsic reaction is to hit the ball, which is what happened. Then my focus went to the ball as it hit the net, then to my opponent and finally to the mark on the clay. At that point, I saw the mark looked close, but out. so I walked and then trotted forward and pointed with my racquet that it was out.

    Had my ball gone over, I'm not sure what my opponent would've done. My focus probably wouldve been more on the ball. However, he was clearly waiting to hit a 2nd serve so he knew it was out. But, this is the old rule where a server can't call it out on a first serve. I'm pretty lenient so I assume I would've just had him serve the 2nd and not tried to hide behind a rule.

    Not a normal scenario, but I felt that we were following rules. It was a very clean match all around.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
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  15. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Tennis is a gentleman's game, as is golf (call penalties on ones self), thus in the "spirit" of the game, always give the benefit of the doubt to your opponent. (even on clay)
     
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  16. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I agree (including having little [none in my case] experience on clay) but partner needs to speak up in a timely fashion. As OP describes it, I'd say point to opponents.
     
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  17. seseli

    seseli New User

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    Thank you all for your opinions. I agree that my partner was a bit too late in calling it (though he said afterwards that his little delay was because he expected me to call it, not because he saw it going into the net and I trust him in this), so it seems our decision was alright.

    Yes, that's right. With slow, close shots on clay, you even have the opportunity to speedily assess the mark after the bounce, without losing the chance to play the ball if it caught the line. If it looks out and you decided not to play the ball you should of course review the mark more carefully after it. With faster shots you may take the risk to stop and hope there is a clear out mark if the bounce really looked out but you were not sure enough (and wouldn't call it out if it was a hardcourt). It is a kind of lottery as there may be some footprints obscuring the mark, so it really depends on your mood or position in the rally whether to take the risk or enjoy a longer rally :)
     
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  18. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    I usually play hard court and if it's to close to call I play it...but on clay I do the same but will look at marks after play just out of curiosity (kinda like my personal hawk eye) and I find often I play balls that were out. At first it frustrated me because I probably gave a few games away by not being more efficent with calling stuff out....but then again I joined a tennis league to play tennis and not officiate so I'd rather go for more winners anyway.
     
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