Rowdy Spectators from the other team in an unofficiated match

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by JavierLW, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Last Summer in our Local USTA League we encountered a certain team twice, where when our match became tied 2-2 and only had one singles match left to be completed, gathered together with their friends and family to form a huge cheering section.

    Ive seen this rarely from another team, but the diffrence in this case was not only did they cheer loudly when their player did something good, they would also cheer loudly when my player did something bad, like hit the ball into the net. Ive learned from watching tennis at other events that this is just a very low and classless thing to do, but some of these guys are new to tennis and probally think they are at a basketball game.

    This is a non-officiated match so there wasnt much to do. Myself and my team doesnt cheer for each other ourselves (unless there is a really great point played out) because it's a distraction even if it's positive.

    In the second match they were also openly and loudly questioning my players line calls. (like if he called a ball out one of them would scream "WHAT!!??") Which I do believe is going over the line somewhat since they have no part in that match.

    Is there anything out there that makes this sort of behavior wrong? Ive seen rules on college tennis about rowdy fans who might do the same thing, but Im not sure how they apply to a non-officiated USTA League match.
     
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  2. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I am constantly surprised at the depths to which people will sink when watching amateur sports these days.

    My daughter player 13-14 year old girls club volleyball. Earlier this year they played a very good team from Atlanta (name withheld to protect the guilty).

    Not only did the other team's parent cheer and stomp the bleachers like insane people during the match both when their players did well and when ours made a mistake, they also made hooting sounds and stomped their feet while our players were serving. That is equivalent in a tennis match to making loud noises when someone you are pulling against is serving.

    That kind of crass behavior is something I'd never ever encountered before in watching kids volleyball. Sometimes you just have to shake your head and wonder what is wrong with some people today.

    As to your specific situation the Code says:

    17. Spectators never to make calls. A player shall not enlist the aid of a
    spectator in making a call. No spectator has a part in the match.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
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  3. randomname

    randomname Professional

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    or maybe everyone just needs to lighten up, no wonder tennis gets an image of being a prissy sport, the players think its rude to cheer for their team and get offended when others do
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Our league has "cheering guidelines." Here's the meat of it:

    ****************

    Some guidelines and suggestions for cheering:

    Be respectful. Be balanced. Applaud for winners not for those points won
    on errors by the opposing team. A brilliant shot that results in a forced error
    merits recognition. Clap only after points. Don't clap or cheer during points.
    Don't yell out during points. Don't make line calls. Don’t "coach," that is, saying things like "move your feet," "no more lobbing," etc. Turn off all cell phones. Be fair. If there are six of you cheering for one team and no one is present to cheer for the other player/team, be sensitive to that and clap for their outstanding point too.

    Also, keep in mind that when a player (from your team or the other team) asks you to stop cheering, clapping or requests that you move, please, make every effort to comply.

    There is neither purpose nor reason to cause a player or players unnecessary distress. These matches are for recreation and fun. The Golden Rule applies; treat other players the way you would have them treat you. Another consideration is; if you are on an adjacent court watching a match kindly remember to stand or sit at least 1/2 court away from the players.

    *******************

    The last bit about being 1/2 court away has become a league rule.

    Having these things in writing is helpful. You can give a quick reminder to your players or opponents' players about the "cheering guidelines" and they should know what you mean.
     
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  5. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    I guess the crowds at Davis Cup are classless as well. I say bring it on. Nothing like stabbing an opponent and rowdy fans with a very sharp victory. Also, my team always stays until the final point is over, becoming as rowdy as the situation requires.
     
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  6. Islandtennis

    Islandtennis Rookie

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    League matches are not Davis Cup. Certainly what is acceptable at Davis Cup is different from a regular ATP match, and that is different from a pro exhibition match. In a league match, you should cheer for your team but at least be respectful of the other players. This support often will your team win and bring them closer together.
     
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  7. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Are you sure league matches aren't Davis Cup? Darn, didn't know that. Cheering takes on many forms in different parts of the country and there is not much in the Code or ITF rules (The Rules of Tennis) that explains how fans are to cheer and what degree of loudnessis acceptable. I still say bring it on. If one is upset by the crowd, walk of the court.
     
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  8. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Exactly.

    Ive only been playing USTA League tennis for 6 years, but this is only the 2nd team Ive ever encountered that acts like this, and before that I would have to think back to high school to remember a time when people cheered loudly at all.

    Also this is 3.5 team (although a lot of the players are really lower 4.0 or better) it's not the US Davis Cup team.

    Cheering to pump your own players up is okay, doing it to just be obnoixious and to cause your opponent to screw up is not okay, it's not a professional sporting event. Everyone paid money to play in these matches and they have a right to a fair and decent experience.

    Also I should mention that my team rarely has a "cheering" section to compete with the other team (almost no other team does).

    When I watch my team I will cheer a really good point, but to cheer every single point is just silly in my mind and it doesnt help my players out. At 3.5 players have enough trouble staying focused in a match without the external distraction. (it's kind of like baseball where you cheer every single ball or strike, or in football where the DT stops the running back after he gained 3 yards, and they do the "Grave Digger" move or something like that, it's really silly for anyone who actually plays those sports....)
     
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  9. penpal

    penpal Rookie

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    I would imagine it is probably very difficult for the USTA to try to legislate the actions of non-participants.

    If the cheering is negatively impacting a player, it is that player's right to ask the fans to tone it down a little. This will most likely be effective.
     
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  10. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    So I need a ruling from the committee- I just got accused from coaching a couple of days ago- here were the offending statements if anyone has an opinion on whether I was actually coaching or not:

    Nice placement!
    SMART SMART SMART!!! (as a compliment, not as a reminder to play smart)
    (the people I am cheering for down 1-4) Don't worry- its still just one break down...

    I thought it was ridiculous that the other team was complaining about me coaching- but what do people here think?
     
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  11. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    I wouldn't complain about either one of those, but I can see how someone could. I'd probably just say "sorry I didn't mean it that way" and tone it down a little.
     
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  12. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I will admit I may be a complete nit when it comes to the rules, but I dont think that is coaching. You are applauding his play, not giving him advice or telling him what to do.

    "Nice Placement" is definately not coaching that sounds just like "nice shot".

    I guess one argument against "Smart...." is that you are encouraging him to feel good about a particular play and he may think of continuing it, but that is reaching.....

    In my other instance, the captain was telling the player to "settle down" because he was flustered and going for too much. I feel that depending on how you look at it, that's diffrent because there are many aspects in the match as a player where you may be going for too much either because you over-estimated your opponent, or out of just general frustration. It could be a strategy choice.

    That's something that you should work out on your own in the match, you shouldnt get a 3rd party to help you with that. Telling someone to "settle down" during the course of the match is as good as anything you might tell them when it's allowed. (here it's during the 10 minute period between the 2nd and 3rd set)
     
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  13. Mark Jensen

    Mark Jensen New User

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    Two interesting replys from another thread:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=131019

    Post #2 From kylebarendrick
    I believe (from talking to an official at Sectionals) that statements like "settle down", "keep it up", "be aggressive" are considered coaching (at least when officials are around). Each of these statements can be interpreted as saying what to do on future points. Things like "nice shot" or "way to go" refer to previously played points and are not considered coaching. Yes, this can be an awfully fine line.

    Post #3 from peter
    We actually sort of discussed this issue ("what's coaching") last weekend with a referee and it's a difficult one. For something to be coaching someone needs to be giving advice to a player *AND* the player must be receiving it! How to determine if the player actually listens or not is not that easy...

    And even references to previously played points can be coaching ("good shot" == "more of that, and less of other stuff")...
     
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  14. penpal

    penpal Rookie

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    I agree spot, it is ridiculous to consider any of the things you said coaching.

    I don't really think the line between coaching and cheering is all that fine. What you were doing obviously falls under the cheeering heading. If complimenting a good shot is considered coaching, then following to the logical conclusion, applause is also coaching.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Spot, I think it is coaching. Sorry.

    I don't understand why it is necessary to say anything. Just applaud the good points and gasp at the UEs.

    I mean, you weren't saying anything to the other player, right? So all your comments were directed to your player?

    How can that not be coaching?
     
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  16. Islandtennis

    Islandtennis Rookie

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    no message
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
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  17. lprogers

    lprogers New User

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    tennis-n-sc, I agree. Players have to learn to block out all the peripheral stuff and deal with it. The best wins are always those where the opponents or their teammates are acting like jerks. A few years ago I played a match at Sectionals like this. My partner (for that match) and I both tend to be pretty quiet players. Our opponents were surly from the time the first ball was hit. When they hit any balls close to the line, they had fans posted all over the place yelling things like "good shot" before we could make a call. If we called anything out, even if the ball was 8 feet out, the fans and our opponents would yell and complain. It was unbelievable how out of control they were acting, and it was obviously carefully orchestrated. My partner and I called for an official. The official showed up and promptly left. Someone heard her say that she wanted no part of this volatile situation. What a chicken! Anyway, my partner and I lost the first set 6-1. The nastier the opponents got, the more focused we got. I think our stoic behavior started to bother them more than their antics bothered us. We ended up winning the 2nd set 6-1 and then the match TB. This was the deciding match to give my team a 3-2 win. It was great! Those fans certainly shut up after that. There was dead silence for about 30 seconds after that match. One of our opponents started crying after she left the court. I'll never forget that match. The good guys blocked out all the unsportmanlike, low-class behavior and won this one!
     
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  18. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

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    I'm on a committee. Here's what I would say:

    "Nice placement" is a compliment
    "Smart smart smart" is also a compliment
    "Don't worry - it's still just one break down" is not coaching.

    If the grievance committee believes it is coaching, you should appeal.

    Now, if you had said,

    "nice placement, do it again" ... that would be coaching.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2007
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  19. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    That's funny. We had the same thing happen at state playoffs one year. After the match, we won 4-1, there was silence followed by crying. And it was a men's team.;) Actually, a few of the opponents came up afterward and apologized for the behavior of most of their team. I have found that once opponents or their fans realize that their behavior is having an effect, it becomes much worse.
     
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  20. max8176

    max8176 Rookie

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    Talking about rowdy opponents and audiences. This happened to me and my team last year at combo competition. I was the captain of the team and we have two teams come out from the same park in the playoff.

    Before the match started, there was already trouble. Because there was a women combo playoff before our match all courts are taken so we had to wait for the ladies to finish before we could warm up. Finally one of the courts was open and I asked my players, who had been waiting before the other team players arrived, to get on the court and warm up. After four of my players got on the court, two of the other players from the other team pretended there are no one on the court and just walk on and start hitting. My players were surprised and said something to them but they continued to ignore anyone else. Eventually I got on the court and asked them they would have get off the courts because there are already 4 people on it. I also told them I would let them warm up on the next available open court but they continued to ignore me.

    So I left the court in disbelief. At the same time I saw another of my players just arrive so I went to talk to him. Then two minutes later, the same player that I told him you have to get off the court, rushed out from the court and bumped into me and my player purposedly. At this point, I am not going to not say or do anything. I went after and asked him what is that for but he went straight into the restroom (portable). So I went to his captain, who is also the President of our community tennis club at the park, his player intentionally bumped me. But he just stood there and said what I want him to do, penalize his player.

    Once the matches were on their way, it only got uglier. Their players and audience were really rowdy and rude. I even heard some of them yelled out "go back to XXX park and form your team there" (we only practice at the park sometimes as it's crowded so usually we practice somewhere else). I was quite mad when I heard that because all of my players are members of the community tennis club and we all paid fees to join it. The fees that we paid supported the social events held by the club and the other team never complain anything when they use my team's players money for fun.

    At the end, we were tied at 1-1 and came down to the final match. I was not acknowledged there was a problem between one of my players on court and one of the audiences from the other team until someone notified me. It turned out a family member from the other team had been mocking my players on court. She would yelled out "ace, ace, ace" when my players are returning or "double, double, double" when my players are serving. She would also yelled out good shot when my players made a mistake. My players asked her to be quiet but she ignored them and continued to do it. Once I learned about it I went over to the fence and told her she could not disturb the players on purpose. She ignored me and continued to do so. At the end, my team lost 6-7, 7-6, 6-7.

    Because no officials were at the match I could not do anything about it. Actually since we had played this team three times in the season and we had troubles with them before one of my players have suggested we should hire a empire for the match. However, I felt that it might be accessive and not necessary a good move because we played out from the same park. After the match, I was a bit regret I have not done so. One of the players who lost also claimed he is never going to play for this captain (he is also on his 6.5 combo) ever again.

    In additional troubles with us, this team apparently also had problems with other teams in the flight. Since we are from the same park, other teams captains or players assume we know each other well and they would say to me "humm...so XXX park players are like this rude nowadays" or "can you ask your park people to be nice to us next time". I was very embarrassed by the comments because I always have a good relationships with other captains from our area.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    How about holding up a banana and pointing to it?
     
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  22. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    That same thought has occurred to me during this entire thread.:)
     
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  23. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

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    Excessive cheering is not allowed. I'll post some links when I get the time, but they are similar to what CindySphinx posted from her LLAR.
     
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