Should "foot fault" rule be changed?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by papatenis, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. papatenis

    papatenis Semi-Pro

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    There is really no advantage to "slide into the baseline" when serving.
    Stepping into the court is a definite advantage.
    I don't think players "intentionally" foot fault. Bad technique, nerves or rushing are probably reasons why most of us foot fault.
    Rule should be changed so that a warning can be given for the first foot fault, then, any after that can be called "foot fault"
     
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  2. ArrowSmith

    ArrowSmith Banned

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    Ah, let's change the rules for Serena. Righhhhhhhhhhhhhhht.
     
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  3. namui

    namui Rookie

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    Disagree. Players should change (if they have foot fault habit), not the rule.
     
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  4. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    If that's what the op is implying by creating this thread, well...yes, that would be ridiculous. If, on the otherhand his intent is to suggest that what happened in that match should prompt the powers that be to have a look at the rule and discuss it, then I definitely agree.

    Stepping on the line doesn't give a player an unfair advantage over his/her opponent, especially now since S&V has gone by the wayside. It's little more than a boundary limitation nowadays. If they implemented electronic calling, you'll see players adjust their position on the line to ensure they're well behind the line - to the tune of 2" to 3" probably. Might be a little expensive for a rule that can't possibly change the outcome of a match.

    Currently quite a few players put their foot right up to the line, and because the naked eye from distances of 5+ feet can't tell if a foot is 2 mm inside the line or just "close", my guess is that quite a few foot faults are potentially being committed but not called due to the linesperson not being sure.

    In the end nothing may change, but I firmly believe that it's going to be on the table for discussion.
     
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  5. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    Bahhhhhhahahahahaha!

    Yeah, change the rules so we can serve from inside the service box. Let's just remove the net while we are at it too LOL!

    Just go see some of Edberg's games to see how many times he was charged for ff.

    A ff is a ff!

    nuff said.

    mawashi
     
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  6. flyer

    flyer Hall of Fame

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    it should be changed in the fact that it should be enforced....

    you cant just take it away or it only counts on unimportant points, then players will be like all the way over the line...

    if they just enforced it consistently it wouldnt be an issue
     
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  7. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Sure, enforcing rules are fine, but I think the problem with this rule is now that they have the means to be more accurate with the call, if they're going to enforce it, they should use the technology available to get the call right. Again, no human being can accurately discern wether a shoe is 2mm over the line or behind the line - it just can't be done. Given that reality, what do you do? I think the easiest, least expensive solution is to brief lines people to only call it if it's a blatant violation. That may well have been the case in Serena's situation, but my point is you can't just say "start enforcing it". Least of all that's how I see it.
     
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  8. MasturB

    MasturB Hall of Fame

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    Sliding into the baseline, is sliding into the court.

    The lines are just there to display the edges of the court.

    There's a reason why players serve as close to the line as possible instead of standing a few inches back. Just as hitting the ball on the rise takes away time for your opponent, hitting closest to your opponent within the rules also does as well. When Sampras used to serve and volley, he was almost at his own service line on the follow through.
     
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  9. flyer

    flyer Hall of Fame

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    well whats blatant? thats completely arbitrary, is 1 inch blatent or is 1 foot blatent?
     
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  10. COPEY

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    Blatant is when you see it on the replay, it's clearly evident to anyone with 20-20 vision.

    It's completely arbitrary now because there's no way to tell with the human eye if a foot that's extremely close to the line is actually touching it.
     
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  11. flyer

    flyer Hall of Fame

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    its arbitrary now because its called at certain times my certain lines people and then not at other times, while some just dont call it at all

    i think a good change would be that it can only be called by the chair umpire and it should be called all the time whether its 2-3 30-love or 46 56 15-30, they have the best angle anyway and be sure the chair would not call it unless they were 100% sure...
     
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  12. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    LOL well if the chair umpire can see it, I'd say that would be a fairly blatant violation. As for when it's being called or not, all you and I can do is speculate - you don't know. I'm intelligent enough to realize that guessing who's calling it or not is a waste of time. The bottom line is there are a number of variables that could influence a linesperson not calling a foot fault - one of them being that their eyesight isn't all that sharp, and possibly less so at night. Again, 2mm on the line is a foot fault - no ifs, ands, or buts...but if you can't see it, it isn't.

    It still works if you turn it around: 2mm from the line isn't a foot fault, but if you can't see it, and you call it, what recourse do players have? So you potentially get called for a violation you didn't commit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
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  13. flyer

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    they do check the line judges eye sight, great eye sight is kinda a prerequisite...

    there are a lot of variables though, and thats what makes it arbitrary

    if only the chair umpire could call it and they always did so when they saw a clear footfault, kinda like overruling a ball, that would be almost exactly what your looking for...right?
     
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  14. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Honestly, I wouldn't object to a change of that sort - the umpire calling all foot faults, so yeah, that pretty much falls under the umbrella of blatant.

    Getting back to the original question, however, from 1908 to 1960 when serving you had to keep one foot on the ground. That rule was abolished, but prior to that no one saw it coming, thought it would never happen, but it did. I'm not saying the foot fault ruling will change or be done away with, but if it does, I for one wouldn't be surprised as a result of the attention it was given at this year's Open.
     
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  15. Dave M

    Dave M Hall of Fame

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    I see what you are saying OP, but i can't agree.?A said elsewhee there has to be a boundry line somewhere, the line is the court (or when a ball hit it it'd be called out)and you aren't as we all know allowed to be there when during your serve motion.
    I just can not see the advantage to changing the rule, it works as it is.Unless someone could add to the hawk eye type tech to give u a line call like bowling ha, though how you'd tell it not to measure someone crossing the line off the ground i dont know.
     
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  16. CashDudeHomie

    CashDudeHomie Rookie

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    The rule is fine how it is. Stop being ridiculous.

    Stepping on the line to serve can be the difference between an ace and a ball going into the net.

    We don't see it called very often because it DOESN'T HAPPEN very often. Pros have done this their whole lives, and know to keep their foot behind the line. If they are pressured enough, they might make a mistake and pivot/slide their foot wrong. They must be faulted when they do it. That is also why it often happens on crucial points.

    Besides, Safin, Roddick, and Serena are the only players that do it regularly. What does that tell you? The other players are not stepping on the line.
     
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  17. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    And you know this with absolute certainty...how? You a linesperson? Or are you just assuming that just because it's not called very often that it doesn't happen often? That's called "faulty logic".

    Like it or not, it's as much speculation on your part as it is on mine. What's ridiculous is when people make absolute statements about things they can't possibly prove, but that's pretty much the status quo for a lot of people here. You seem to fit right in lol.
     
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  18. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Players should be allowed to serve from inside their opponents service box
     
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  19. jmverdugo

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    This is ridiculous, MOST players do not foot fault! (at the pro level anyway)
     
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  20. chess9

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    Amen!

    And some of these people show no evidence they took geometry in high school. I'd suggest they re-think the notion that crossing the base line on the serve gives no real advantage-after they review their geometry. LOL!

    -Robert
     
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  21. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Too complicated.

    ALL SERVES WILL HENCEFORTH BE ACES!

    -Robert
     
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  22. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Uhm, that's not true. Lots of players footfault. FED got called on one last night. I was surprised DP wasn't called as well as he moves his front foot occasionally.

    Once we get some form of electronic or digital footfault system you will see players starting their service motion a full inch further back to avoid the inevitable. Some of them almost walk into the ball....

    -Robert
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
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  23. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    So what if there is no advantage??

    It's a difficulty rule. You are supposed to be able to serve without stepping all over the baseline, that's part of the game.

    If you have bad technique, you cant control your nerves or you are rushing, then that's something you have to deal with. Otherwise maybe we should allow you to hit the ball a few inches out and still not lose the point as well.

    And there is an advantage, because some players (especially at the pro level) can handle themselves out there and dont foot fault. It's not fair that they should be able to do that, but you have other people who just flaunt the rule at will.
     
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  24. crazylevity

    crazylevity Hall of Fame

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    Repeat after me: A foot fault is a foot fault is a foot fault is a foot fault...

    Seriously now, foot faults have been part of the game since, like, forever. And if people have dealt with in for so long, people can deal with it now. Sure, every now and then people might accidentally foot fault, e.g. Federer, Safin, Hewitt, Serena. Just take your left foot an inch behind, and serve the next ball.

    What is the big deal?
     
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  25. penang

    penang Rookie

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    I had a meeting with Al and Jesse last night. They agreed to when serving, step or come into the court is okay but not going into opponent side. I was suggesting a new rule that a server can serve to any add or deuce to the opponent side. And they were like, Huh!

    They want to make thing easier for their Sister on last week incident.
     
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  26. cheecl

    cheecl New User

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    No need for any warning. No advantage? :confused: Why not step into the court when you serve?
     
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  27. JankovicFan

    JankovicFan Semi-Pro

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    Shouldn't the definition be simplified so that a foot fault is absolutely measurable? For example, never mind what the upper body is doing. Only be concerned with whether a light beam has been tripped at the baseline (down at ground level).
     
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  28. chess9

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    Yes, and quite doable.

    -Robert
     
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  29. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    You are misquoting the rules.

    That's only the situation when there is no official present and you are forced to call foot faults on your own.

    WE only are to call flagrant ones because we are way across on the other side of the net and to call a "close" one would be impossible.

    When you have a lines person sitting right there staring at the baseline and watching the server that is a different story.

    Apparently you've never played in a tournament with roaming officials. They call foot faults all the time, you dont get a warning, and it doesnt have to be flagarent. If they see it, they call it, that's their job.....
     
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  30. Stinkdyr

    Stinkdyr Professional

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    no more rules! no more borders! free $ for everybody!!!!
     
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  31. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    What should change is the size of Serena's thighs that way when it's less gigantic she can actually see where her foot is when serving.
     
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  32. Stinkdyr

    Stinkdyr Professional

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    LOL!!! good one!
     
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  33. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Next time Serena should step back another 2 inches before she serves. And she should work on her forehand and on her fitness if she wants to get serious about winning.
     
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  34. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    Ump should have called it--she did not do her job and your opponent was cheated (not your fault (pun intented), you apparently did not know). A "microscopic" (I will grant you the hyperbole) foot fault should be called (in an umpired match) just as a ball that is "microscopically" out should be called out. There is really not difference--if a "microscopic" foot fault causes a ball to "microscopically" in, then the server got an unfair advantage, however small. Clearly, there should be some sort of verification (not sure a player should have to use a challenge here--maybe all footfault call subject to immediate verification at the server's request?), but today's game has, by introducing the challenge system, given up "close" calls--the technology gives us an "absolute" way to measure (yes, I realize there maybe accuracy problems with the challange system technology) at the margins--I see no persuasive reason to make an exception for a foot fault.
     
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  35. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    There are players who are just creatures of habit. So much that if their pattern is broken they get all screwed up. I once played a doubles league match with someone I've never played against before. Prior to the match I was told that my opponent foot faults. It was blatant enough that when my partner is the one receiving and I was around the service line I can actually see half his front foot go over the base line. At first I thought no big deal because he doesn't continue forward after serving. He actually retreats back to the base line. He was serving really well though. I mentioned this to my partner. He did see what I was talking about. We wondered why we were given advanced warning about this player's foot fault. As such, out of curiosity, on his next service game, we warned him about it first. When he did it again and refused to acknowledge, we called for a linesperson. Because of this he forced himself to start his service motion a little further back from the baseline to compensate for his footfaulting. This little adjustment totally screwed up his serve. After the first double fault his serve changed dramatically. From serving effectively, he started serving conservatively. I would have never thought something like that would throw off a player's game that way until I saw it happen.
     
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  36. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Yes and they never called it when it could decide the match. 'Nuff said
     
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  37. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Is this a serious post?
     
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  38. HellBunni

    HellBunni Rookie

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    that is because we are recreational players.
    we are not professionals getting paid.

    the USTA needs membership, if they got strict, they might loss membership.
     
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  39. TensProfes

    TensProfes Banned

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    Why do people keep saying this? It just isn't true. In the same survey they used to analyze the need for HawkEye, and they determined that foot fault calls were made correctly virtually all of the time. There wasn't a single case of a false positive foot fault call in the entire study! It is an easy call to make accurately, and that was definitively proven in a scientific study. Sheesh. In fact, human umpires had a smaller margin for error than HawkEye did when dealing with slow-moving objects (a sliding foot was found to move at less than 5mph).

    The call is an easy and clear one, and things only get muddy when you try to insert a subjective element into the equation, such as "blatant". It is much easier to determine if a foot fault occurred or not than whether it was a "bad" one. As the sport currently stands, linespeople are not allowed to make ANY judgement calls of any kind. Their job is completely objective. The only officials with any subjective power or interpretive roles are the chair umpires and tournament referee. Putting more random power in the hands of lower level officials only risks damaging the quality of officiating, not improving it.
     
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  40. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    From playing USTA tennis (and I've never played with any line judges) it's clear that unless there is some repeated gross violation the match will be played.
    The USTA realizes that if your opponents start trying to call foot faults every match will end in problems and people won't play USTA tennis.

    I'm sure I foot fault at the 4.0 level. I was never taught how to serve or been shown video or had a coach teach me not to do it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
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  41. Raphael

    Raphael Semi-Pro

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    The rule should either always be enforced or they should get rid of it entirely.
    Selective enforcement is rules is just ridiculous.
     
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  42. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    How hard is this rule to adhere to?

    For chronic footfaulters it apparently is pretty damn hard?

    Why would you think that is?

    Perhaps that they feel the gain some edge if not physically at least psychologically that it is worth the risk doing it a second time.

    Change the rule? No. Back up. How hard is this to understand?

    5
     
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  43. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    Lol at some of these topics. "LETS GET RID OF THE RULE BECAUSE MY FAVORITE PLAYER IS TOO STUPID TO MOVE BACK HALF AN INCH".

    I think if you step on the 3pt line in the nba it should count as 3 pts if there is less than 1min in the game.

    You should also be able to step on the baseline if you dunk, layups dont count.
     
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  44. Andy G

    Andy G Semi-Pro

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    Or, how about every player could be responsible for their actions. Its not so hard to just move back half a step. Why do they have to be millimeters from the line?? If they choose to serve that close, then they have no one to blame but themselves. The players need to play to the rules not change the rules to fit the players. Maybe Fed's DF's should be reviewed. If they're "close enough" then they should be in.
     
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  45. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Yes, did you even read my post? How is what you said any different then what my point was? (my point was is that the idea that only flagrant foot faults are called is only the rule when there is no official)

    And I have been in USTA League matches where foot faults are called. In doubles, the person at the net can usually call it, at least if it's flagrant enough.

    There used to be entire teams in our area that were known for calling foot faults.

    I once saw a woman literally cry in mixed doubles because some guy was calling it on her. (in retaliation because her partner was calling it on him, they were both foot faulting something awful)

    So even in local leagues, if you flagrantly foot fault and you know it, you have to be responsible for yourself. Just because everyone else let's it go doesnt mean it cant be called.

    And if it is called, you can choose to cry about it, you can choose to display your lowest hoodlum behavior, or you can just move back a few inches and deal with it.

    I saw a 3.0 match today that was funny because one team just mentioned to a guy that he was going WAY over the baseline on the serve, and once he was aware of it, he actually SERVED BETTER!!! (he was tossing way too far into the court and was dropping his head to early, once he kept his front foot planted it seemed to fix the toss and he had a better energy transfer)
     
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  46. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Yeah I've never really got involved to the level your speaking about. I've played doubles and seen the foot faults but clearly not being done in any way to try and "cheat" so it's never been an issue in the matches I've played in.
     
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  47. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    Just put in a challenge system and a camera for footfault calls in a major event.
     
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  48. COPEY

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    First off, what study are you referring to? Is there a link you can give me or point me to a book or article somewhere where I could read this study for myself?

    Secondly, which is it - "they determined that foot fault calls were made correctly virtually all the time" (which means the percentage of correct calls are below 100%) or "There wasn't a single case of a false positive foot fault call in the entire study!" It has to be one or the other - not both.

    Finally, as I've said before - electronic line calling isn't new. They've played matches on courts that were "wired" to call all the lines, and it worked. Not flawlessly, which is why it was nixed for implementation at the '93 U.S. Open, but it worked. Back then there was no study, no polls or anything of the sort. Just the desire to increase the accuracy of line calling in the sport.

    As for foot faults, yes, they are infinitely easier to call compared to balls that are sometimes moving in excess of 130 mph - no argument there. My contention is, and it's along the lines of what Max Ply stated, if your foot is touching the line by 3 to 4mm, it's a foot fault, but no human I know of is going to dectect it. They could say "it looks like it's touching", but there's no possible way they could be sure. Conversely, if it's 2mm shy of touching the line it's not a foot fault - no question, it just isn't. Is it close? Very, but that doesn't make it a foot fault.

    Am I advocating changing the rules because of the "possibility" of some foot faults or non foot faults being called incorrectly. Not at all. My bottom line is it's ludricrous to believe that just because you don't hear it called often doesn't necessarily mean it's not happening or that just because it is called that it's absolutely, 100% a foot fault.

    Try positioning yourself on a tennis court in a chair where the linesperson would be that monitors foot faults (at least 20 feet away from the server, have someone place a shoe right up against the line. Direct them to make it either just touch the line or place the shoe just off the line...and I mean barely, then sit in the chair and see if you can tell if it's on the line or off. You'll be able to guess at it, you'll notice that it's obviously very close, but you won't be able to "see" a gap or accurately detect the absence of one.
     
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  49. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

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    Leave the rules alone.
     
    #49
  50. topher.juan

    topher.juan Rookie

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    Only call footfaults at scores below 30.... ha!!
    No seriously, there's no gray area in footfaulting -- if a players foot touches the line a footfault should be called, no matter what the score/stakes are. It's the player's responsibility to ensure their foot does not touch the line... this is very basic.
     
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