Question about Tennis rules

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by omega4, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    I didn't see a subforum on Rules, so if I'm posting this in the wrong subforum, I apologize.

    My question is what is the protocol if Player A hits a ball (or serve) that is CLEARLY out but Player B does NOT call the ball (or serve) out and continues to play the point as normal.

    Does Player A have the right to immediately stop play and call his own stroke (or serve) out?

    If yes, is the point awarded to Player B or is a let declared and the point replayed?

    There are lots of rules regarding when an out IS called but I couldn't find much guidance when an out is NOT called.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    The ball is in as long as your opponent plays it without calling it. It does not matter what you believe, as it is not your call.

    If you stopped play on your opponent's non-call, you lose the point.
     
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  3. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

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    You can only call your second serve out, not your first.
     
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  4. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    But according to Gameboy, Player A does not have the right to call his own strokes, or serves in this case.

    If you are correct, then why can't a player also call his first serve out?
     
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  5. fleabitten

    fleabitten Semi-Pro

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    Does it actually say this in the rule book? Or is this just a clever way of saying you can give away a point if you want?
     
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  6. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

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    I think it has to do with the fact that calling your second serve out will never benefit you. But, calling your first serve out, especially if your opponent hits a screaming winner, can benefit you greatly.
     
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  7. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    A clever way of saying.
     
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  8. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    The USTA encourages you to make correct calls and help your opponent to make correct calls if necessary. Generally you are responsible for calling all line calls and other infractions on your side of the net only.

    If however, you have hit a ball and you see it clearly land out you are allowed to call it out as long as by doing so you immediately award the point to your opponent.

    You cannot call your first serves out, because this does not immediately award the point to your opponent. If you were allowed to call your own first serves out then an unscrupulous person could take advantage of the situation and call his own serves out every time he sees his opponent rip a great return.
     
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  9. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    OK here's the deal


    If you see your shot clearly out was clearly out you ARE supposed to call it, and yes you lose the point (your shot was out after all). This is in the rules.

    The only exception to this is a first serve.
    -If your opponent plays the first serve and his return is in you may not call it out.
    - however, if his return is out (or into the net etc) you may call your first serve out and hit a second serve.
    This is also in the rules

    This has been discussed at length and backed up with proof from the code
     
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  10. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Hit your serves and if the guy's too blind to make the right call, play it. I've played with one guy who's so bad at calling the lines on serves that I think he actually does it to have an advantage. At first it used to bother me because I'd see it out and pretty much stop playing, but he'd hit his return like nothing happened and of course win the point since I wasn't ready for him to return a serve that was out.

    After dealing with this crap and telling him about it, his reply was... well, you're serving really fast, so if it's that close, I'm clearly giving you the benefit of the doubt and saying that it's in. I told him, no, you're robbing me of points that I stop playing because I'm not a cheat and can clearly see the damn serve was out by an inch or so.

    Bottom line, he wouldn't stop doing it, so now I play ALL service returns from him. I don't care if they're in or out, I play them and THEN listen to what his call was. This has minimized the chance of him getting free points. Unfortunately, it's also made me look like a cheat since onlookers see the serve was out and I still played the return. I usually yell out to them (well, not yell, but talk loudly enough for everyone to hear) "Yep, that serve was out, but it's not my call, it's HIS and HE has to deal with the ramifications of his inabilities." ;)
     
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  11. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

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    Swank, I would say that you stopping playing is just as much at fault here. I've watched many a high school, college match and league match where they have played first serves that were out by an inch to 2 inches. There is no way to always be sure that an extremely fast hit ball has clipped the line from the servers perspective. The receiver should always give the benefit of the doubt.

    This is why people time and time again say always play a return unless it's definitely called out.
     
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  12. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    This. It is the most concise and exact way to express the rule, and covers all situations. The Code has more explanation and elaboration, eg to clarify calls on 1st serve, and encourage players to concede a point if they see their own shot as out, but the above already covers it all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
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  13. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, but I will add one thing.

    If your opponent doesn't see whether a ball was in or out and asks your opinion, you must give your honest opinion and your opponent must accept it.

    There are some people who are unaware of this rule. When asked, they huff, "Well, it was your call to make! Don't ask me!" Better is "I saw it in/out/couldn't tell (if uncertain, it was in)."
     
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  14. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    Thanks for the additional clarification, Cindy.

    So in a nutshell, the name of the game is never assume that a point is over until you, a line judge/referee, or your opponent calls a ball "out".

    Seems simple enough. Just wanted to make sure that there wasn't some esoteric nuanced protocol involved with calling balls "out".
     
    #14
  15. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Goodness me, is your father an Eagle?
     
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  16. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    To go even further, league rules in my neck of the woods (and I'm sure it's everywhere) is that if you have to ask, your call is wrong and you lose a point. Along those same lines, if you're playing doubles of any kind and you and your partner disagree or have to ask each other what the call was after a call, you lose the point. Both of you must agree on the call.

    There have been numerous times where I've had to correct a call my partner made. It sucks because you lose the point, but I feel it's wrong to cheat the other people. During times like that, it's amazing how about 85% of the opponents we play, after such a correction, they start paying much closer attention to their own calls and the calls that they'd normally call out that were really in by hair margins all of a sudden are in and a respectful "Good shot" call is made. Some players out there respect honesty and return it when they see that you're not there to cheat them. It's a two way street people.

    I lost a doubles match one time because I corrected a call my partner made. I was right on the call, but it cost us the match since it was match point for our opponents. My partner got really argumentative after the match to the point where the opponents team and captain heard it. The guys on the other team told their captain what had happened and while I wasn't backing down during the argument and ultimately just told my partner off and called him a crap ass cheat if he was going to call things wrong when he's down match point, I ended up getting thanked by the other team for making the right call. Needless to say, fast forward a few days and I get a call from the other team to come and join their team the next season and also to play another league with their team during the current season that was starting for that. Again, legit people respect honesty, even more so when it's honesty in the midst of failure.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
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  17. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Ive had this experience as well ... most recently in the finals of a tournament. I inspected a ball mark that was so close to the line that it may or may not have just barely touched it ... I awarded the opponents the point. A little later I corrected an out call by my partner. From then on the match was nothing but fun with good honest calls on both sides. We won but more importantly we parted ways with our opponents as friends who all just had alot of fun.

    Perhaps that's why I have only once run into an opponent that I felt was trying to hook me ... and this guys was notorious for it so that's just who he was.
     
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  18. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    It's great to see that golf doesn't have a monopoly on honesty and playing with honor.

    It was really sad though to see those 12 year old girls question each others calls on just about every point during that recent USTA tournament that I watched. You'd hope that kids didn't learn to treat each other disrespectfully while playing tennis at such a young age.
     
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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Actually, there is no requirement that partners agree on a call. The rule is that they cannot disagree on a call.

    If a player didn't get a good look at a ball and the partner is sure it was out, the out call is proper.

    I agree that partners should correct errors their partners make, but they had better be in good position to be sure their partner got it wrong.
     
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  20. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    You have that rule completely wrong. The actual rule is that if you ask then the opponents are supposed to tell you what they saw. So if you aren't sure on a call, instead of conceding the point you really should be asking the opponent what they saw. You have to go along with whatever they say and even if they saw it out its likely they will say "I couldn't tell..." but its still worth it to ask them just in case you are facing someone honest who will concede the point.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^Also, if you have to ask your partner, you're still not in violation of the rules.

    If you didn't see the ball or aren't sure, you can ask your partner. If she is sure, you can go with her call.

    I think you have to be careful so that you aren't constantly having conferences to see if you can gin up a way to call the ball out.

    But if I am in a bad position or am busy hitting the ball *and* my partner had a better angle/position, then I will ask my partner and go with her call.

    What will get under my skin is when you get one person raising a finger, the other person putting a palm down and then they confer and decide it was out.

    Yes, I have actually had this happen and it is infuriating because it is cheating. One time we had an opponent at the service line and one at the baseline. The baseliner couldn't reach a ball at the baseline and called it good by putting her hand down. Partner at the service line put a finger up for out. They conferred and decided it was out. The baseliner said she hadn't had a good look at the ball -- which was a fib because she saw it well enough to put her palm down.

    Anyway . . . . Unless we are talking about serve to the T or side T (where I might see it not wide but my partner can see it was long), that sort of thing is not cool.
     
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  22. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Once one of them calls it good (in this case with their palm down) the point is yours. Your opponent can't change their mind after a conference.
     
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  23. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Which is what I said. The partners must agree to a call. If you don't disagree, then you agree by definition.

    The "I couldn't tell..." BS doesn't fly with me. If you make a call, you better be able to tell. You can't make a call and then say that you couldn't tell. WTF? Also, if the ball was a winner and it barely missed or clipped the line but it caused the person who's making the call to sit there and think about it to decide, the call is basically overruled if they call it out. This is a timing thing most of the time, but if you have to sit there to guess, it's too late. The only time this doesn't apply and the call stands is if the person really walks up to the mark quickly to take a closer look AFTER the call was made and either sustains or overrules it based on what they see. I've made the mistake to call something out that clipped like a mm or two of a line and made the correction after running up to it to take a peek. This tends to happen more on serves than other shots since they're so fast, but it can happen. If the call was wrong, the point was theirs anyway. Besides, those serves are either aces or unreturnables anyway from what I've experienced, so it's no big deal to make a mistake and correct those calls. Everyone's cool with that.
     
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  24. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    This is what that rule I told you about refers to. In conflicting calls, the point is awarded as if the ball was good. There is no conference and then decide. If you have conflicting calls and you're talking it over, the point isn't yours. The ball was good regardless of how in/out it really was. Like I said, this rule was introduced for us about a year ago, so I don't know if it's everywhere... especially since we don't play silly timed matches like you guys do. I can say I've never honestly heard of that. About the closest thing we have to a "time limited" match is corporate tennis, which is played by the same rules as team tennis, so inherently it goes pretty quickly since you play let serves and there's no ad scoring.
     
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  25. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    You must be a lot of fun to play with...
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't know how we got on the subject of timed matches.

    There is a difference between disagreeing on a call and requiring that both partners agree.

    Think about it. You are at baseline, I am at net. Ball goes deep to you and you call it out. Opponents turn to me and ask what I saw. I am not sure because I didn't look, couldn't see, was screened by my partner. So I say "I dont know."

    Opponents cannot say my uncertainty means I am not 100% sure it was out, so we do not agree so it is good.

    Partners do not have to agree. They cannot disagree. Not the same thing.
     
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  27. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    This is just not true. There is absolutely no requirement in tennis that the partners have to agree on the call. Only that if they disagree or are unsure, then the point must be awarded to the opponent.

    You have four options when making calls ... I saw it in, I saw it out, I saw it but I am unsure, or I did not see it.

    If you saw the ball hit but are still unsure then point to your opponent, regardless of what your partner thinks.

    If you and your partner both make a call and disagree, point to the opponents.

    However, if you did not see the ball hit and your partner calls it out ... then there is no requirement to give the point to your opponent.
     
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  28. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Not correct. There have been numerous times when serves or other shots have been called by my partner as out (which were out) that were not possible for me to make a quick call on because of the shot placement and my concentrating more on the ball than what side of the line it hit. I play the ball, if I hear a call from my partner as out, that call stands and I stop playing. If challenged, I reply with "I couldn't tell, so my partner made the call." As long as my partner is in a position to make the call (i.e. not too far away, etc.), then the call stands. If I was to go about saying "Could have been in but it could have been out too." Then that's enough to give cause to give the point away. I don't usually play with partners who cheat out points and there's been points where I've asked my partner if a winner from me was in out our (the close ones) even though the opponents called it good. A few times, they were out and we actually were both aware of this, so we told the opponents that we saw the ball as out. Usually, the opponents thank us for that, but maintain the point was ours. Again, things like that usually build that trust that no one's there to rip anyone off.

    I think we're all saying the same thing here... so it's all good.
     
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  29. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Actually, I am. It's even better when we play doubles or mixed where the points are extended to get better shots, etc. We still go for winners, aces, etc., but people have more fun if we laugh a little during play. And then there's been where we went out to play social doubles and it turned out to be one of those where sometimes you argue over some stupid play you made. It happens, we're not all saints, but we laugh and shake it off at the end.
     
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  30. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Wrong again .... this is what I said "If you saw the ball hit but are still unsure then point to your opponent, regardless of what your partner thinks.".

    When you are returning serve you are watching the ball and your partner is calling the line.... you need not have an oppinion here. If you have run down a cross court shot and are 40 feet away from the ball you are in no position to have an oppinion and thus are not required to relinquish the point. However, if you are in position to see the ball land, have an angle from which a decision can be made and the ball is so close that you cannot decide for yourself if the ball was in or out ... point to your opponents.

    This however, is clearly not true. it is not in the code ... nor will it ever be.
     
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  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Mmmm, can't get behind this part.^

    Say I am right on top of the ball, and my partner is not. I see the ball hit but am unsure. If my partner is 100% certain the ball was 100% out, she can call it out and I do not have to call disagree. Again, we do not have to agree. If I see it in, then we have a disagreement.

    Another example: My partner is calling the service line. Often, those service line calls on long balls will look good to me. But because she is standing right there on the line watching the service line bounce for me, I stand by her call. This, even though I didn't see space and therefore am not 100% sure the ball is out.

    Similarly, every now and then I see the serve as long even though my partner on the service line said nothing (out to lunch, just missed it?). Even if I saw space, I will play the point rather than call it long. If I am going with my partner's service line call, I am going with her service line call.
     
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  32. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I point out you have to have an angle to make the call
     
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  33. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    What if, in singles, the first serve in the ad court was out, the returner fails to call it out and hits a winner. Then the polite returner asked the server if he thinks the serve was out. The server says "yes". The returner agrees. They go back to the ad court. According to the code, is it now officially first serve or second serve?
     
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  34. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Point to returner ... per the code

    If you are being a nice guy and let him go back to serving ... do whatever you want because the rules are now just a suggestion.

    In this scenario, I would give him a first serve,
     
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  35. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    I'm not sure what the Code would say, but I think it should be the server's second serve in the situation you've described. Or at least that's what I'd push for the ruling to be.

    The key is that the returner AGREES with the server that the server's first serve was out. Also, the server never had a chance to make a play on the ball as the returner hit a clear winner.

    If the returner never asked the server if his serve was out, then the point goes to the returner, in spite of whether the server thought his serve was out or not.

    I say this based on what I've learned in his thread from my original post.
     
    #35
  36. NineMileSkid

    NineMileSkid Rookie

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    I was watching a USTA match during the fall and it seemed like about half of the calls were followed by an "Are you sure?"

    I just shook my head.
     
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  37. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    Completely agreed. I was watching in disbelief as these 12 year old girls were questioning practically every call of the other. Finally, a tournament director stepped in and had someone stand there to officiate the match.

    I don't mean to suggest that golfers are completely without fault or that tennis players are honorless, since I know that isn't the case.

    It's just that I've just seen many junior tournament golfers (boys and girls) calling penalties on themselves (e.g. their ball oscillated as they were addressing the ball on the green) that no one else would have seen (other than myself).

    As a die-hard golfer, I'm extremely proud to see young golfers uphold for the most part the tradition and honor that golf is known for.
     
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