Question about line calls

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Austinthecity, May 10, 2010.

  1. Austinthecity

    Austinthecity Rookie

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    Personally, I always give the person the benefit of the doubt. However, I've played on clay and had people pause (for example on a serve or a "winner"), walk up to the mark, and then call it out because they could clearly see the mark.

    I never thought anything of it until I was hitting with the USTA coordinator earlier. He said that calls have to be instantaneous and you can't use a mark as a delayed call. He said the same thing happened to him at nationals except he was already sitting on the bench for changeover when his opponent finally decided the mark was out. He looked to the umpire and the ump said the call had to be instantaneous as well.

    Is this true? I always thought one of the "benefits" of clay was to go back and check marks..
     
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  2. Panic492

    Panic492 Rookie

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    The reason the "tour" does not use the hawk-eye camera on clay is because marks can be checked by the ump who comes down from the chair to look at the mark to determine in or out.
     
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  3. Austinthecity

    Austinthecity Rookie

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    Yes, good point.

    However I was mainly talking about league matches where you call your own lines and such.
     
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  4. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    From "The Code" on ball marks:
    http://www.usta.com/sitecore/conten..._Involved/officials/2009_Friend_at_Court.ashx

    22. Calling balls on clay Courts. If any part of the ball mark touches the line on a
    clay Court, the ball shall be called good. If you can see only part of the mark on the
    Court, this means that the missing part is on the line or tape. A player should take a
    careful second look at any point-ending placement that is close to a line on a clay
    Court. Occasionally a ball will strike the tape, jump, and then leave a full mark behind
    the line. This does notmean that a player is required to show the opponent the mark.
    The opponent shall not cross the net to inspect a mark. See USTA Regulation IV.C.8.
    If the player hears the sound of the ball striking the tape and sees a clean spot on the
    tape near the mark, the player should give the point to the opponent.


    IMHO - The player should play by normal rules, give a benefit of a doubt and try to make a call as soon as possible. However, in cases where the player isn't sure, or the opponent asks if the player is sure, they can inspect the ball mark.

    In your example, there was actually an umpire on hand for the match. I'm surprised they didn't ask the ump to come down and inspect the mark.
     
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  5. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    It depends on how long it took you before you decided to check the ball mark. I don't think there is a set limit as to how much time you have but already sitting on the bench during change over? I think that is just ridiculous.
     
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  6. randomname

    randomname Professional

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    I've always felt like it depends on if the mark-checking was made in good faith, I'm fine with it as long as it wasnt something they tried to make a play on and then they decide that they should go back to see if the ball was in or not.
     
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  7. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned this: a serve that hits the tape will only leave a mark slightly behind the tape. That doesn't mean it should be called out. I'm surprised pro tennis doesn't use hawkeye on clay court matches. After only a few games, there are so many marks on the court that it's difficult to tell which one goes with which shot. I think that calls should be instantaneous in all matches.
     
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  8. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    It's not actually that hard to keep the correct mark. Once you umpire a few matches on clay and get the technique down, it's not bad. Chair umpires margin of error checking ball marks is better than Hawkeye's.
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Same here. I just want the call correct. If it takes my opponent walking 3 steps forward to check a mark before making the out call I have no problem with it.
     
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  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    On a professionally maintained court, the marks are easy to spot. At the club I play at, soft shots don't always leave discernible marks. When I've played at swankier joints, you can see every single mark.
     
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  11. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    hence Nadal drags his foot on the lines to clean them off. makes it easier to see a "fresh" mark.
     
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  12. Sherlock

    Sherlock Rookie

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    To sum it up for the OP, treat using the ball mark on clay similar to how the pros use Hawkeye. You make the calls like normal, and if it's close you can check the mark to make sure, the same way the system works for the pros. Your opponent cannot return the ball, look at the mark for a while and then decide to call the ball out. He needs to stop the point immediately. If he stops the point and the ball was actually in, he loses the point.
     
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