Serving a dead old ball from another court.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Taxvictim, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well, it seems people are quick to criticize this rule. Fine, but in that case, suggest what the revised rule should be, and how it should be worded. Then we can judge the merits of the proposed revised rule versus the existing rule, and see how they fare under various scenarios.

    It's easy to say something is wrong, but unless one can come up with a better alternative, it's best to leave the rules the way they are, and then take a good-faith / fair-play approach.
     
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  2. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    I did this above. First, I don't want a new rule. I think the correct interpretation of Rule 3 and the Code is to give a let if it's a wrong ball and if the receiver notices immediately upon striking the ball that it's the wrong ball. Obviously, Tennis Magazine and our own captive USTA official Woodrow disagree with my interpretation. So, my new rule would say this:

    Case 3.X: If the server serves a ball that is not one of the game balls, and if the receiver notices that the served ball is materially different from the game balls immediately upon attempting to return serve, then a let is to be played. Otherwise, any point played in good faith stands.
     
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  3. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Might not be the server's fault. Returner may have fetched the wrong ball from behind the curtain and sent it over to the server, not noticing how very dead it was.

    Yeah, we can come up with wacked out scenarios all day long, huh? :)
     
    #53
  4. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Props to you for trying to word this as a workable rule rather than just complaining.

    Actually what you're suggesting is pretty good and I'd be ok with it. The only potentially flaw is that "materially different" can be very subjective. It would need to be defined more specifically, and I think that will prove difficult.

    But perhaps you have something in mind - how would you define it?
     
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  5. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    I'd say if it's so different the returner asks for a let because he immediately notices that it's the wrong ball, and if he's correct that it was not a game ball, then there must be something materially different with the ball. If you serve me a yellow Wilson instead of a yellow Penn, I'm not going to notice anything is amiss if they're in the similar condition.

    And that was the case in the letter to Tennis magazine. The returner immediately knew it was a dead ball.
     
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  6. westpac690

    westpac690 Rookie

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    Jeez.... Do over.....

    This is one of the reasons why I carry a Sharpie and mark all the balls we are using. Let's you know you're not using a ball from another court, and vice versa.
     
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  7. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    ^^^I was going to suggest that but decided it was over the top. Then, after your victory, do you hit the autographed balls high up into the stands packed with adoring fans? :)
     
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  8. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Actually, marking the balls with a sharpie is a good idea.

    Where I play there's a row of courts side by side without dividers, so balls often stray across courts... and it seems that everyone plays with either Penns or Wilsons, and of course Murphy's law dictates that the folks on the immediately adjacent courts are always using the same numbered balls as I am.

    And yes, after the match, the balls will be thrown to my adoring fans, who will be eagerly awaiting them.

    (My adoring tennis-ball-loving fans are my dogs)
     
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  9. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    ^^^So, if you were receiving serve and the server looped one in that died off your racket and went into the net, and you picked it up and didn't see your Sharpie marks, and the server said "oops, wrong ball I guess, but my point, no let"...would you be peeved? :?:
     
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  10. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Apropos to identifying balls, I recall a helpful hint from a tournament I played in a few moons ago. The tournament director was a bit too busy with his own business to be bothered with running his tournament. A renowned senior player by the name of Ned Mansfield, now deceased, leaped into the breach lending a hand. He helped with starting out matches and passing out the balls. He handed out balls with the appropriate number corresponding to the court number, i.e., ball #1 for court #1 and so on. This would not work as well today, because in the good ol' days, the ball numbers went up to eight and now they only go up to four.

    When to his mild consternation Ned discovered, that there were not enough cans of balls with corresponding numbers for the courts, he marked the remaining balls with a pen and the appropriate number of pips. I thought this was quite resourceful and intelligent and remember it to this day. The first thing I try to do is note and memorize the ball number when beginning play.

    As luck would have it, the last time I played, the adjoining court was using the SAME numbered ball! I guess it would be smart, before opening balls, to ask the adjoining courts what number balls they are using? But, in this day and age, it might not be that wise, as some would probably see this as an invasion of their privacy rights and seek legal counsel.

    It's amazing that even after plying a complete match, some "players" are still unaware of what number ball they're playing with. They're usually the same ones who never open a can, nor thank those who do, and then try to pocket the balls afterward.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
    #60
  11. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    LOL on bofe counts!

    The Sharpie is a good idea. But, me, I just bring a Shar Pei. His name is Vito (short for Vittorio). He is trained to get the right ball and give the right ball. Vito's slobber is hypo-allergenic, and doubles as sunblock, anti-bacterial ointment and also really good for making your slice serve stay low.
     
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  12. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    ^Kidding^
    Vito is actually a mutt, and while I go play, he stays home and salivates as he pines for hopper rejects.
    Great post.
    It's so cool that most of the people at your tennis center/club play with Wilsons or Penns. This way you can just use Pro Penns, Princes or Dunlops to stand out (much better core, much better felt). Fido, Vito, Rover, et al will appreciate this, too, after the tennis is over.
     
    #62
  13. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    "Excuse me, sir, I never discuss my balls with strangers." ;-)
     
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  14. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Na, I don't think I'd be peeved, per se.

    I tend to keep track of 'our' balls pretty well - I usually know exactly where all three are. So if server picked up a wrong ball, it probably snuck in there without either of us noticing, and so I would assume it was unintentional on his part. Also, if it's a bad ball, it would also have had potential to affect his serve, and not just my return.

    However: If the situation were reversed, I would offer a let. So while I would not be peeved, I'd probably think just a little bit less of my opponent. Personally, I will sometimes not follow the rules exactly (to the benefit of my opponent of course) when I think it's not good sportsmanship, and this is one such example.

    Here's a similar example: Opponent serves a fault on the first serve. Before he can hit his second, his contact lens shifts in his eye, and for the next couple of minutes he fusses with it. When he is ready again, I will offer a let first serve, even though technically by the rules, it's second serve (because the delay was caused by the server).

    Some people wouldn't offer a first serve in this case, and that's ok. To each his own.
     
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  15. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    No can do. Kurgan the Doberman does not always eat tennis balls. But when he does, he prefers the regular Wilsons or Penns.

    On a related note, Kurgan rarely feasts on singles or regular doubles players, but he does find mixed doubles players to be a refreshing snack. Another good reason to never play mixed.
     
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  16. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Your opponents must never know what to expect--will you bend over backward to give them a generous call, or will you feed them to your dog?

    At any rate Kurgan sounds like The Most Interesting Dog in the World.
     
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  17. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Heh, I'm actually predictably nice to my opponents. And Kurgan is really quite the *****-cat. He just looks really mean :)

    EDIT: LOL at having *****-cat censored out!
     
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  18. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    ^^^Well, the mods wouldn't want you calling anyone a *****-hound. Seems only fair, non-discriminatory.
     
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