Scoring Disputes In Singles

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I have a teammate who plays singles. In at least 50% of her matches, there is a scoring dispute.

    These are not little scoring disputes. They are "Walk Up To The Net With Hands On Hips" scoring disputes. One dispute was at a second set changeover; upon resumption of play she believed the score was 1-2 and opponent said 1-4. Another time the problem was 15-30 or ad-out. She says the problem usually happens in her opponents' service games, as she announces the score clearly when she serves but most opponents mumble.

    Anyway, I play doubles, so it is rare to have a major scoring dispute because you have four people keeping track of the score. How often do singles players experience a scoring dispute, and what sorts of things can be done to prevent them?
     
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  2. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    It's likely an issue with your player if you're noticing it THAT often.

    Either that or all the singles players in your area are just very forgetful.
     
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  3. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    Rarely a problem for me, in spite of the fact that I consistently forget the score at some point in a match. I usually just take my opponent's word for it :)
     
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  4. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Get in the habit of announcing the score clearly before serving. Also get in the habit of asking for the score before receiving serve. This will force you and your opponents to keep track of the score. BTW, when playing tournaments, are scorecards used to track games? If they are, then you only need to track the game score.
     
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  5. ksteph

    ksteph New User

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    When playing singles, I usually announce the score when I'm serving and when my opponent is serving. This way, the both of us are focused on what the score is.
     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Is it considered rude to announce the score before the opponent serves if she isn't announcing the score?

    What should be done about Low Talkers? Meaning the people who mumble the score, or the people who mumble the score just as they toss the ball?

    I have to say, I find it pretty irritating when someone waits for me to serve, catches my awesome first serve and then says "What's the score?" or corrects the score I said (only to be proven wrong). I say the score well before I serve, and I think I'm pretty loud about it. Personally, I prefer to finish the point before I correct the score or demand that it be repeated if I can't get things clarified before my opponent serves.
     
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  7. ksteph

    ksteph New User

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    When I say the score, it's usually in a form of a question and is way before she serves. No one has had a problem with it so far....
     
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  8. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    If they catch your serve then they lose the point. (if it went in the box or they caught it out of the air)

    They have to stop you before you actually serve. (once they are ready, they cant become unready.....)
     
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Eh. No way was I going to try to claim the point in that situation. Not cool.
     
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  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I'd rather risk rudeness than a scoring dispute. Those are never fun.
     
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  11. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
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  12. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    I cant stand it when people do that. I dont know why it just sets me off, I guess everybody has 'pet peeves' this would be one of mine.
     
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  13. ksteph

    ksteph New User

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    I understand. I just do it so we won't have any problems. Disputes have been at a all time high this season in the leagues I play in.
     
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  14. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    I play singles in the spring and fall in USTA and doubles with friends. I forget the game score at least once a match like many others. We're human. It happens.

    When playing tennis, I always clearly announce the score before serving each first serve. When I am serving a let serve, I always announce "First" or "Second" as appropriate. When my opponent doesn't announce the score, or mumbles before attempting to serve, I simply put up one hand, stop play, and ask very politely ask "What's the score?" 99% of the time, this solves the low talkers and mumblers. Sometimes it takes two or three times to get the point across, but it is my way of being polite without getting into gamesmanship.

    It's the server's responsibility to announce the score. When they do not or the receiver can't hear the score, it's the receiver's responsibility to stop play prior to the serve and clarify the score. You can do this politely without gamesmanship to simply clarify ambiguity prior to putting a ball in play.

    http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Rules/Feature/0312_Communication_and_Hindrances/

    I don't announce the score when the opponent is serving, but will offer my input of what I believe the score to be if asked. Even when you announce the score before ever serve, you will still find yourself on occasion when you lose track of the score. It happens. When we do have a scoring question/dispute, I have yet to have anything other than a civil discussion with my opponent in 30+ years of tennis. When a disagreement occurs, I try my best to go through each point to determine the truth. If I can't clearly reconstruct the points, I concede the score to how my opponent calls it.

    If your player has scoring disputes with half the people she's plays, this speaks volumes about her or the group you play with. The $64K question is: is it your teammate or her opponents? It's easier to attract flies with honey than vinegar. Being genuinely polite in life and on the court goes a long way. Don't reward bad behavior, but don't be a jerk when you encounter it, correct it with proper actions and civility.
     
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  15. Darkhors

    Darkhors Rookie

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    The rule states that all points played in good faith stand. So the above poster is correct saying that if they catch your serve, it's your point. If you're playing in a league or tournament, your opponent should have stopped you before you begin serving. The only exception for this is if the server calls the score out while he's pretty much in his serving motion. I have seen players call the score and immediately (which doesn't even describe it properly) toss the ball and start serving. They do this to "avoid" any discrepancies being brought up.

    If I'm playing someone that isn't announcing the score, I will make a note to tell them to please say the score before they serve. If they ask why, I tell them so we don't have any disputes later in the match.

    Good luck,

    DH
     
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  16. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    This is a better approach than announcing the score yourself. I always announce the score when serving and find it annoying when an opponent does so - all they are doing is saying it before me, because I am going to say it.
     
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  17. decades

    decades Guest


    I am afraid this is inevitable as you gals get older.....simply announce the score before each point and be clear of the score on each changeover.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2010
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  18. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

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    As long as my opponent announces the score well before I serve then I doesn't bother me. I do announce the score before I serve, but I also appreciate their help.
     
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  19. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    #19
  20. damazing

    damazing Rookie

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    If my opponent mumbles the score I ask them to repeat it. I usually only have to do that twice for them to begin to speak the score louder.

    I also play my league matches at courts that have game counters on the net posts. I always use the game counters making sure to change it at every completed game. I've noticed that not all of my team mates use it and that has led to questions about the score.
     
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  21. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I forgot the score a couple times this past Sunday. I think it had to do with it being after 2 1/2 hours of singles in the 95* sun. My brain was just fried by the end.
     
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  22. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    If I'm playing against someone at the ye ol' club, who I know is a habitual score forgetter, (only when they're behind of course!)--and only call the score out when they are ahead 40-15, I will call the score out when they are in the middle of their service motion. After a couple of times they get the idea.
     
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  23. tennisee

    tennisee Rookie

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    I genuinely forget the score all the time.
    I think this happens because I am old and feeble minded. I try my best to at least remember my opponent's name, and then I say, "sorry - XXXX - Iv'e lost the score. What is it?" Sometimes I even go as far as saying, "Look - if I seem to be asking the score unaturally often I can assure you it's not gamesmanship, it's simply me trying to keep track of what's going on." I have never had an ugly moment about it.
    When I was playing in our club championship tourney and I was hyper-focussed on the game I had no trouble at all with the score. It seemed superfluous to call the score because I could remember it easily, but during regular saturday comp I drift off a bit and the score goes all the time. I marvel at the teenagers who seem to play a whole match without ever once uttering a score - Hard when you're a spectator wondering who's winning when they can seeminly go for hours without mentioning it. You have to watch who wins the last point before a change of ends and do your best to work it out from that.
     
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  24. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Yeah, I do the same thing in match play: Call it clearly before each serve, regardless of who is serving.

    The only thing I'm working through now is how to put the score front and center in your mind, as calling it out clearly does, while concurrently forgetting the score and concentrating on playing the ball well. :confused:
     
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  25. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    This thread is great. It confirms a lot of the tennis player stereotypes. Good and bad.

    I just want to take a moment and celebrate tennis players who play well, play fair, keep track of the score while communicating clearly and honestly, and enjoy the game.
     
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  26. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I have the opposite problem. I try to call out the score every point but sometimes when I am creaming someone I feel queezy calling out 4-love or 5-1 at the beginning of a game. I guess I dont want to embarass the guy if he is loosing badly.

    I often will ask the other server ... "Do you have 15-40?" or such, when they do not call out the score with regularity.
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    This is one of those situations where you might be correct under the letter of the law, but you will get into trouble in practice.

    I serve. Opponent doesn't play the ball or catches the serve and flips it back to me, saying "What's the score?"

    I come back with "That's my point. You were ready and I served and you didn't return the ball."

    Returner says, "You didn't announce the score so that I could hear it, and the rule says you have to do this. I am not ready to play until I hear that score. First serve."

    I say, "Oh, yeah? That was a great serve and you should have played it and figured out the score later."

    Returner says, "Too bad. First serve."

    Then what? Nah, I don't need the hassle. I would just continue playing. Trying to claim points under disputed circumstances leads to a lot of bad blood.
     
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  28. ChipNCharge

    ChipNCharge Professional

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    Right, like trying to claim a point penalty when someone has their cell phone silent, instead of turned completely off.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly. The rule might allow you to claim a point penalty, but it isn't worth it.

    Still, I keep my phone off just in case I run into the guy who does think it appropriate to enforce the point penalty. Who needs it?
     
    #29
  30. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Whatever, this is another case of you making up your own rules or code of what should be going on out there.

    When it's something like a cell phone or something silly but important to you, then you make a big stink about how "we have a rule....".

    If someone hits a great serve and their dumb opponent catches it and then asks for the score, that's already going to cause bad blood.... That is WAY too late.

    This is of course considering you look to see that they are ready to return the ball before you serve.
     
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  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Actually, you're wrong again, Javier.

    Players can decide how they wish to handle things on the court. I'll decide how nice, cordial and forgiving about the rules to be. When you play a match, you can decide how nasty, annoying and fussy about the rules you want to be.

    : shrug :

    The cell phone thing isn't important to me. I've never even warned anyone about their phone, let alone tried to take a penalty. I just mentioned that we have a rule because I think the subject is mildly interesting and our rule is unusual. So chill, OK?
     
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  32. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    It's no problem: "The score was 30-15 before my serve, and now it's 40-15"
     
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  33. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Nope, you said to the effect that you dont understand why someone would not turn their phone off because of your very important RULE!!!!

    Perhaps you would not call someone on it, but in the course of having a discussion here you're using this all mighty RULE as some sort of reason that should supposedly dictate someone's behavior.

    Just like when you're following people around into the bathroom because you have a RULE that says you have to exchange lineups at such and such a time, or they are taking a bathroom break and you want to make sure they are going to the bathroom or whatever? (what could possibly we weirder or ruder then that?)

    You say in another thread that you basically dont give a rip about disturbing your opponents when you put up a easy floater for them to put away. You're just going to make noise anyway because it's important for you to warn your partner. You also state that you'll get away with it because they "must" call hindrance before they attempt the shot and most of the time they wont do that.

    But you disrupted their play. There is a RULE that says they had to call it prior and Im sure you care about the RULE then.....

    This case is the same thing, there is a rule that says that once you are ready you can not become unready. That is because it is really RUDE to all the sudden try to claim a let after your opponent has already served.

    Some people think that just playing the point over somehow is "fair" and "nice" and other people dont see it that way (taking a point away that you earned is not "fair", nor is disturbing your serve by making you have to serve again). That's why we have rules.

    You can do whatever you want on the court but when you sit there and claim that such and such action is rude or wrong then that's just silly. It's only rude or wrong to you because you've made up your own little code of what's acceptable and what's not.

    It would be extremely abnormal and annoying in most circles if someone waited until after the serve to request the score and expected to get a let. (especially if you actually said the score loudly already)

    Maybe that happens all the time where you play because it's some little habit that goes around your area, but that doesn't make it acceptable.

    Maybe you dont agree with it, but too bad, it's just a game after all....
     
    #33
  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Wrong again.

    I asked Raiden a straightforward question ("Why wouldn't you turn your phone off if you know that to be the rule?"), and he gave me a straightforward answer. His answer doesn't change what I personally do (I comply with the rule because it doesn't bother me to have my phone off), but now I understand his position better.


    How weird. You manage to thumb your nose at some rules (cell phones, bathroom breaks, line-up exchanges) while at the same time you get your panties in a twist if someone decides that they won't enforce rules (foot faults, catching a ball, cell phones). I'm starting to wonder if there are two people posting as "Javier."

    Javier, just go ahead and enforce every single rule every single time and argue with your opponents incessantly about every little thing if that is how you want to spend your court time. Me, I let things slide quite often because I just want to play.

    Here's a story that might just throw Javier into a blind rage. We had our last match of the season a few weeks ago. Opponents had only seven players. The eighth player was late, so her captain called her cell phone. It turns out that the player was pulled over by the cops on the way to the match and got a ticket.

    We were entitled to enforce a tardiness penalty against this player. Opposing captain told me what was happening and started talking about the tardiness penalty. I said, "Hey, she's already having a really bad day. No way are we taking a tardiness penalty against someone who got a ticket coming here."

    Seemed like the right thing to do to me, but if someone else decided they would take the penalty in that situation that is totally up to them . . . .
     
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  35. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    Back to the original post, if it happens repeatedly to your player than it is probably their fault. Everyone forgets the score occasionally but being off by 2 games?
     
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  36. cghipp

    cghipp Professional

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    I always call the score very loudly and clearly as part of my service routine, so I rarely have a problem with that. I say it right when I walk up to the line, before I start bouncing the ball or anything, so there's time to make a correction if necessary. If my opponent mumbles or doesn't call it, I'll ask her announce the score. I haven't done it, but I WOULD claim a hearing problem if that's what it took to get her to say it loud enough!

    I hate it when my opponent calls out the score when I'm about to say it, or repatedly asks the score immediately after the point! I just find it annoying, especially when I have a very predictable pattern of saying it. I guess I like my routines...

    If there's ever a question about the score I have a terrible time visualizing the previous several points, especially in singles! I'm trying to live in the moment! I will think about it for a minute, and if I can't recreate the score and explain it to my opponent I just move on with my life. The points might not linger in my memory, but the dispute would, and I don't need the distraction. I need to stay relaxed when I'm playing. Plus, I'm not going to cling to something I can't prove, if my opponent has a more convincing argument.

    I once had an opponent who insisted on writing the score down on a scrap of paper after every game. I just knew she was going to forget to do it one time, and try to use her paper as proof! Sure enough... I don't remember if I capitulated or if I was able to convince her. I just remember that I won the match anyway!

    The same opponent, in a later match, refused to accept that one of her serves went through a hole in the net because she wasn't "good enough to hit it through a hole that small!" LOL. I do remember that I ran her butt around that court until she had to retire from the match, because of the heat. I'll admit to taking some satisfaction from that!
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, the SOP ("Scrap Of Paper") players!

    I have encountered SOP players also. Honestly, I don't think the paper method works at all. The person always forgets to attend to it, and then everyone is even more confused.

    Then there are the people who insist on changing the scorekeeping thingie after every single game. Something will happen to distract them from changing it (or they will change it and their partner will also change it), and they will go to their grave believing the scorekeeping thingie is right despite all evidence to the contrary.

    I think I'm pretty good at re-constructing points from memory. Pretty much every point ends in an error, right? So you say, "OK, the first point was a DF. Then Suzy hit her return into the net. Then Becky missed that overhead. And then we lobbed you guys. So it's 40-15." For some reason, those sorts of things stick in people's minds.
     
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  38. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Okay, I take back my love for this thread (post no. 25).

    What's the big deal? Remember the score. Call it out. Keep it kosher. Why all the nonsense. It's a game.

    Years ago, in addition to being a tennis player, I boxed. Mostly trained and sparred. The times a trainer would step into the ring or we had an officiated bout, I REALLY loved it. It was awesome having a guy there to start things off legitimately. 'Clean fight boys'...that sort of thing.

    I realize this is not possible in recreational tennis, but what if people took it upon themselves to meet at the net and start things off with a statement of some sort. Like a vow to play fair, communicate well, keep score properly and let it be about the tennis and the tennis only?!

    I think it's a little dorky, but I admire they way golfers (who do not cheat) respect and love the rules. I think there's a place in tennis for some sort of verbal or even written pre-match-ual contract. I guess it's hard for something like that to really have teeth. Ideally it's not even necessary.

    I admire the way people who practice martial arts bow to the mat as a sign of respect for their discipline....their sport. We ought to express respect for our court and opponents. Our sport.

    People who do not are the whiny, dorky tennis players that give our sport a wuss reputation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
    #38
  39. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Haha you can pretty much mark me down as that.
     
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  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I already have such a routine. After warming up, spin, strategizing with partner, sipping water, taking positions on court and everything else that has to happen before a match starts, I smile and say to my opponents: "Good match!"

    Others do this also around here.

    Maybe I'll start bowing too . . . .
     
    #40
  41. slewisoh

    slewisoh Semi-Pro

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    My kids study kuk sul so (korean martial art) and my favorite part of the class is the end, when they do all of their bows. They bow to the flag, to their master, to any black belts in the room and to PARENTS. Every encounter in the class is preceded by a respectful bow to the opponent. Hardly a week goes by without a brief lesson in respect, whether it's about respecting those who out-rank you (typically through hard work and greater skill) or respecting yourself (by eating well, studying hard etc).

    I'm only sitting in the waiting area, but those lessons have rubbed off on me too. On the tennis court, I have more respect for players who outrank me, and am more able to see the skills they possess that I lack.

    I've seriously thought about taking up the sport - tough on the body, but great for the soul.
     
    #41

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