Singles Sticks in Adult League Play?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by TimeSpiral, Sep 16, 2013.

?

Your thoughts on Singles Sticks in League play (select all that apply)

  1. Singles sticks should be used in league play.

    30.6%
  2. Singles stick are not necessary for league play.

    30.6%
  3. If you bring them, an opponent should NOT be able to decline.

    24.2%
  4. If you bring them, an opponent SHOULD be able to decline.

    19.4%
  5. Imagine your opponent brings them: "I would decline."

    6.5%
  6. Imagine your opponent brings them: "I would accept."

    35.5%
  7. Singles sticks significantly change play.

    16.1%
  8. Singles sticks do NOT significantly change play.

    21.0%
  9. This is an issue I do not care about.

    46.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Every court I've ever played on, including private clubs, has the net posted for doubles play. I play in a singles flex league.

    I've offered that we use singles sticks to a few of my opponents: virtually all of my opponents were not aware that the net was not regulation. I've even had one person specifically decline the use of them, because he felt it would grant me an advantage (because I'm practiced with them, and he is not). I agreed with him. Every time I brought them, I offered them with no pressure to use them, and left the decision entirely up to my opponent.

    I don't think using singles sticks is an insignificant change. The net plays much different than with doubles posts. There is this thread from 2009, but I decided to open up the conversation with a poll.

    In case you're unaware of singles stick, here you go:
    [​IMG]

    I've included a poll that allows you to select multiple options. Select all that apply.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
    #1
  2. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I personally haven't seen singles sticks in use at any of the local venues for USTA league play.

    However in the postseason, when playing districts and sectionals at USTA-supervised venues, there are singles sticks on the courts for designated for singles players.

    So I surmise that if a club/team/venue wanted to have singles sticks be used for regular season home matches, that would be entirely up to them, and the opposing team would have no say in the matter.

    But the OP is asking about flex league, and in that case I don't know. My guess is that the 'home' player gets to decide whether to use them or not. At any rate the OP is being completely reasonable by leaving the decision up to the opponent.
     
    #2
  3. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Now that you mention it, I've never seen singles sticks used in league matches. If a singles player plays in a sanctioned tournament and has never used them before or practiced with them beforehand, they will be in for a surprise, shots that would be going over would now be hitting the tape. There's a nice set of telescoping singles sticks made of aluminum you can buy to practice with that will fit in your bag.
     
    #3
  4. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    One more thing to add:

    At many if not most of the courts I play at, even at private clubs, the net height is not correct. I have a tape measure in my bag so that I can verify my visual assessment of net height. But if it's within an inch or so I don't bother about it.

    Point is, I don't think it makes a huge difference to the outcome of a match at the end of the day, and same is true for singles sticks. For pros it probably makes a much bigger difference, but not at my level.
     
    #4
  5. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    I don't think it makes a huge difference either, however; all tennis points are not created equal. The margins are thinner with singles sticks, and I think we've all had super low clearance shots, or even net cords, decide key moments of matches in league play. It may not make a difference on the majority of points, but on the points where you should lose the point, you actually lose the point instead of a freeby.

    I doubt it would be as pronounced as how different a league match would be with line judges, or ball bays, but it will definitely be different.

    When I remember, I try and play practice matches with them, so in a league match where they're not used, the net "feels low."
     
    #5
  6. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    It can take as few as four points to win a game: 15,30,40, game. If one of those points is decided due to the net being higher, because singles sticks are being used, that's 25% of that game. To me that makes a HUGE difference in the outcome. On a graded test that would be the difference between getting an "A" or a "C".
     
    #6
  7. Douggo

    Douggo Semi-Pro

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    My head is spinning from this, but how many games in a match do you suppose would follow your "HUGE difference" model?
     
    #7
  8. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    If I may respectfully suggest; I believe he was just saying that he feels they are important because of the game changing potential. I mean, it is a fact that many (perhaps even the majority) of adult league matches are not played with a regulation net. There is a reason for net height and shape regulations, right?

    You may not agree with him that it can, or would, make a huge difference, but I think we can all agree that it's a rule of tennis, and therefor, there is a compelling reason to follow the rule.
     
    #8
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Junior and Open tournaments at my club use singles sticks.
     
    #9
  10. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    You seriously have your own singles sticks that you bring to matches? LOL.
     
    #10
  11. amorris525

    amorris525 Rookie

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    What is wrong with wanting to play the game the way it is supposed to be played?
     
    #11
  12. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    There's nothing wrong with it, I suppose. I've never seen anyone in 30 years of tennis who carries their own set of singles sticks, though.
     
    #12
  13. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Yeah, why not? They're pretty affordable, at less than $25 for both.

    With all the money you spend on racquets, clothes, shoes, balls, leagues, drinks, etc ... why not drop $25 to play with a regulation net? Give it a shot. You might like it.

    Truth be told; I didn't bring them to a single match last season :neutral:
     
    #13
  14. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I've played with singles sticks plenty of times in playoffs and tournaments where the facility or organization provides them. It's fine with me. I don't think I'd ever go to the effort of getting my own set and dragging them around to regular league matches.
     
    #14
  15. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    A couple clicks, and they magically show up at your door in a box! They're really light, easy to carry, and super quick to install and break down (assuming you remember to break them down!*)

    Granted: It is more effort than zero effort ... but just slightly more :twisted:


    *I've accidentally left them on the court multiple times. One time it was for multiple days on a public court. I went back to the court and they were still there! Ha.
     
    #15
  16. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I hope you always measure net height also.
    Not that I disagree with anything you're saying, but it would be ironic if you were to use singles sticks but then have the center strap itself be at incorrect height. I think that would have more overall impact than the use of singles sticks, and in my experience is often not correctly adjusted.
     
    #16
  17. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    When I brought the sticks, I always measured height after the sticks were installed :)

    But lately I have not been bringing the sticks, and much to my same, I have not been measuring the net either, like I used to. That is being game-lazy, and I will not make that same mistake come the start of the fall season (this month!).
     
    #17
  18. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't think you could refuse to use the sticks, the net is actually too low without them.
     
    #18
  19. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    I know, right :)

    The only time I've seen them used was at district playoffs this year (but not at State). I think a league should be consistent with either using them or not using them, that's my 2 cents. If you are going to make them mandatory, make sure everyone follows the same rule.
     
    #19
  20. jonnyjack

    jonnyjack Rookie

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    I have never seen them used in league play outside of Districts/Sectionals. I keep a tape measure in my bag but don't check unless it really looks too high or low.

    I can't believe someone would decline them since that's how it should be. If the net was too high and I checked it and it was 3 inches too low and tried to adjust it, I would not let the opponent tell me to leave it. Follow the rules, haha.
     
    #20
  21. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I practice with them when I'm preparing for a singles tournament. If you never hit the ball into the net and clear it by six inches on every shot, don't bother with them you won't need them. I also practice with the tournament ball, another needless detail I'm sure most of you have no need to do.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eef0i91k2sQ
     
    #21
  22. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well, let's not exaggerate...

    Actual impact of using singles sticks:
    - Net is one inch higher as measured directly above singles sideline.
    - Net is half an inch higher as measured halfway to the middle.
    - Net is the same height at the center of the court.

    I see way more variation than that just due to improperly adjusted center straps.
     
    #22
  23. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    I think it is interesting that 8 people believe someone should be able to decline singles sticks. As others have pointed out, they are actually required for singles matches.

    I've never seen them used in a local league match, but I have seen them at tournaments, districts, and sectionals. We do have a club in our area with a court setup only for singles (no alleys) so it has the same effect as the singles sticks.
     
    #23
  24. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I should clarify that for me, that answer was conditional on someone bringing their own sticks to use in a league match where there are not sticks already there. If the play is at a playoff or tournament setting where the sticks are in regular usage for everyone in the playoffs/tournament, then no one should be able to refuse them in that case. If the sticks are not ever used in regular league matches and someone decides to show up unannounced for a match with their own singles sticks and tries to force his opponent to use them, the opponent should not be required. That's more gamesmanship than rules adherance.
     
    #24
  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I've seen doubles players using singles sticks.

    So there's that . . .
     
    #25
  26. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Hmmm, did they say why?
     
    #26
  27. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah that's almost as bad as people that want to enforce foot faults .... friggin a-holes that want to play by the actual rules of tennis have no place in the sport!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
    #27
  28. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    When I set them up it certain feels like it's raising the net more than that. Next time I use them I will measure the height at the side line before and after. That'd be interesting.

    I'm also inclined to think that the use of singles sticks has a more profound effect on serve than it does ground strokes (save maybe some down the line shots, or shots otherwise aimed at the high part of the net). Sure, this might just be my imagination, but it feels like I've served entire matches where just about every first serve miss is just barely clipping the tape.

    Lulz ... Pics or it didn't happen :twisted:
     
    #28
  29. Adles

    Adles Rookie

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    If someone shows up with singles sticks but there is no tape measure around then I would refuse to use them. Why should I take some dude's word that they are actually the right height?
     
    #29
  30. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Hmmm ... You think it's probable that someone is bringing faulty singles sticks to a match? That would be bizarre.

    The singles sticks raises the net to the exact height of the net at the doubles post--no need for a tape measure (although you should have one any way, to measure the center of the net, with or without singles sticks). The ones I've seen come with markings and simple instructions for how to use them.
     
    #30
  31. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    More amusing that, to date, six people believe they significantly change rec play.
     
    #31
  32. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    So what? Let them think that.

    I don't think the change is insignificant. Most people play singles with a doubles net.
     
    #32
  33. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    The difference is that foot faulting is assymetric. It creates an unfair advantage for the foot faulter. Theoretically, both players play with the same net.
     
    #33
  34. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    My club has singles sticks, but they are never used for adult league play.

    I really can't imagine anyone carrying their own sticks around. And if they did, I would verify every measurement with a tape. I would also think they were a little strange.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
    #34
  35. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Actually, without a tape measure, how do you know the singles sticks are placed in the correct location? And if the sticks are not in the proper location, then the net height will be incorrect, thus nullifying the need for the singles sticks in the first place.

    Singles sticks are to be placed 36" from the outside of the singles sideline on either side.
     
    #35
  36. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Plus, without a third party, calling a foot fault is really tough in singles play.

    Really? Do you find it strange if they measure the net?

    If someone brings a tape measure, do you verify the tape measure as being accurate, by calibrating it against yours? How do I know your tape measure isn't some elaborate tennis-cheater taper measure!? :twisted:

    Kidding, obviously ...


    [​IMG]
    The post that you quoted answers your questions. But maybe it was ambiguous.

    The singles sticks I've seen have markings on them that give you exact placement from the sidelines. It's derp-mode easy-sauce to make sure they're in the right location, and since one of the two players is likely to have a tape measure anyway, there is no issue if they want to use their tape measure to measure my ruler :twisted:
     
    #36
  37. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    No need for before-and-after net height measurement... it's simple math to calculate the height of the net at any point on the court.

    All you need to know is the width of the court (27' for singles, 36' for dubs), placement of net posts / singles sticks (3' outside the court on either side), height of net at center (3'), and height of net at net posts / singles sticks (3.5').

    Then you can easily calculate the difference in height over the singles sideline, halfway in the service box, etc.
     
    #37
  38. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Equations, please :twisted:
     
    #38
  39. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Sure, but I charge $100 per hr :)
     
    #39
  40. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Well played.
     
    #40
  41. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    singles sticks usually have a marking on them to measure where they go. You lay it down along the net with one end at the outside of the singles line and the line on the stick shows you where to place it.
     
    #41
  42. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    League play should have consistent rules. If they use singles sticks, fine. If they don't, I would not be keen on someone showing up and wanting to use them randomly.
     
    #42
  43. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    I assume we're talking about tennis, right? :twisted:
     
    #43
  44. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    Totally agreed, even I don't play league...
     
    #44
  45. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Just for the sake of argument, don't tennis leagues assume the rules of tennis, including things like net height?
     
    #45
  46. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    Good photo explanation, but it's a non-issue for me

    Nice job with the photo pointing out what a singles stick is - I've never seen one before. All the courts I've ever played on have the permanent net posts set up at about the location of the single sticks in your photo, so it's never before been an issue for me.
     
    #46
  47. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Thanks! Down here in Florida, virtually every court is a doubles court, and the vast majority of singles matches are played with a doubles net.
     
    #47
  48. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I've played a bit on dedicated singles courts with permanent posts... never seen net posts inside an alley. Single sticks? I still get a chuckle out of seeing guys spend the first five minutes adjusting the net strap with the precision of a fine watch maker.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
    #48
  49. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Maybe the OCD in your name stands for something other than the obvious :twisted:
     
    #49
  50. HackersRUs

    HackersRUs Rookie

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    All around you, you just have to listen.
    i am a bit surprised at the apparent novelty of this fro many posters.

    Of COURSE we put up singles sticks in singles matches, otherwise the net is too low at the sidelines. duh!

    it is quite a significant difference in height.
     
    #50

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