Something Needs To Be Done About The Footfault Rule

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Had a team match yesterday, and there was a confrontation on one of the courts about footfaulting.

    Our gals had won the first set and were up 3-0, 30-all in the second when the opponents accused one of our players of footfaulting. The ensuing hostility caused our gals to fall behind, but they ultimately won.

    After the match, the opposing captain took me aside to explain Just How Very Bad the footfaulting was. Our players, in turn, thought the footfault complaint was (1) wrong, as the player in question has a nice jumping service motion that some people mistake for a footfault, and (2) gamesmanship, since it was raised so late in the match. Bottom line is my ladies won and that's that.

    I was thinking about the footfault rule, and I am starting to think it is the most lame, most unworkable, and most poorly conceived part of the Code.

    In general, the Code tasks players with policing their own behavior. There are many examples. Players are to overrule their own bad calls. Call their own double hits. Call their own double bounces. Call when the ball touches them. Call when they tip a ball. Call when they reach over the net or touch it. Decide whether the opponents hindered them. As I sit here, I can only think of one situation where the Code gives the opponents the ability to call a rules infraction: Footfaulting.

    Giving the opponents the right to call a footfault makes no sense to me. As anyone who has ever worked as a line judge can tell you, you need to be looking down the baseline to observe a footfault. An opponent is much more likely to know for sure whether there was a double-bounce in the mid-court than whether someone footfaulted at the opposite baseline. Not only that, if you gave most rec players a test where they had to watch footage from a distance and tell whether someone was footfaulting, most people couldn't do it because they don't even really know what a footfault is.

    Then, to make the footfaulting Code provision just that much more likely to cause an argument, the Code tells the opponents that they must warn before they can call a footfault. Do you have to warn your opponents that they can't double-hit? No. All the warning achieves in real life is a verbal altercation and invitation to warn just to throw off the server.

    If that weren't bad enough, the Code then lets the opponents unilaterally decide that they will start calling faults and thereby taking points from their opponents if the "flagrant" footfaulting continues. There is no definition of "flagrant," so this is subjective and left entirely up to the judgment of the receiver. In other matters such as a double-bounce or double-hit, the call is not subjective -- it either happened or it didn't. Can you imagine if line calls followed this principle, with balls being out only if they are "flagrantly" out?

    Is it any wonder that so many arguments and tit-for-tat behavior occurs with the footfault rule?

    I think the Code should be changed. In unofficiated matches, players should decide after the warm-up how footfaults will be handled. They can agree to abide by the current Code provision, with each team able to call flagrant footfaults after a warning. Or they can agree that they won't call footfaults. If the players forget to make an election, then no one can call footfaults. Making this decision after the warm-up allows each team to watch the other team serve (or decline to take warm-up serves) so they can decide how likely it will be that footfaulting might become an issue.

    What do you think?
     
    #1
  2. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    790
    17 years of usta tennis and i've never had a major problem of any sort involving foot faults. i was called for a foot fault by a roving judge once in a tournament. that's really the only instance i can remember.

    in league matches i see A LOT of foot faults by both men and women. but they are:
    1 -- by just a few inches at most
    2 -- no benefit is gained by the server
    3 -- it's not done intentionally

    i figure at any level where foot faults TRULY MATTER -- there are judges who are there to make sure the rules are adhered to.
     
    #2
  3. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,566
    Foot faults (FF) in league and club play are extremely common and almost never called. I don't think there is any real advantage gained by the foot faulter, but the fact of the matter is if you called them on it, you would likely have gained some leverage either in making them think about it, and/or just getting in their head.

    I've never called anyone on a FF, but get continue to be incredibly annoyed by those who don't know how to serve without foot faulting.
     
    #3
  4. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,545
    Location:
    Arizona
    Once I was watching tennis on TV and one of the players was being called for footfaults. The announcer said that when that happens the player should stand about a foot behind the line so as to remove any chance of that happening again. Why not? Those inches aren't going to make that big of a difference, and then you can put the issue to bed.
     
    #4
  5. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Western MA
    The other complicating factor is that the vast majority of players who foot-fault firmly believe they do not foot-fault.
     
    #5
  6. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,566

    E X A C T L Y....and if there is one thing I can't stand it's arguing with morons.
     
    #6
  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Right.

    Which is *exactly* why the footfault rule should be scuttled.

    It doesn't matter.

    Most receiver's won't call it anyway.

    Most footfaulters think they aren't doing it, so having their opponent call it is only going to anger them.

    If it is a match where it truly matters, there will be roving officials or line judges.

    So why do we keep this lame rule on the books, then?
     
    #7
  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Why not back up a few inches?

    Because having someone accuse you of cheating and then changing your serve position messes with your head. I was playing Districts and the roving official came up to me after one of my serves and said, "Be careful not to footfault with that front foot."

    That was it. I could think of nothing when I served other than my feet. I served horribly for the rest of the match.

    I'm not complaining; fair is fair. But it is not so simple to get a footfault accusation out of your head, even if it is a legitimate one spotted by an official. It must be maddening when possibly called by someone far away from the baseline who has every incentive to call a footfault.
     
    #8
  9. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    London
    It needs to be kept because at some point you have to draw the line, otherwise where do you draw it? Do you serve from the service line? Can you run 2 steps into the court? Where do you call it?

    The "flagrant" part of the rule is designed to address your concerns to some degree in that frankly up to a certain level you are correct, it really doesn't matter. As such unless it's "flagrant" you don't need to (and really shoudn't as you can't be sure) call it.

    Flagrant is a judgement call, but then so is everything else (for example if a ball is in or out). If you are not sure, don't call it. If you are sure, call it.
     
    #9
  10. Panic492

    Panic492 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    107
    Maybe your gals should have called foot faults on their next 2 serves just to make a point about how silly calling them really is. There is no way you can tell unless you are sitting-looking down the baseline.
     
    #10
  11. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,566

    DEAD WRONG. Not all FF's are created equal. Some are so blatant and obvious you could call them from a distant court.
     
    #11
  12. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,620
    If you really believe your opponents couldn't see it and called it surreptitiously, call one back.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
    #12
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,057
    Those few inches are important. Makes a lot of difference in the geometry of getting the ball over the net.
     
    #13
  14. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    The rule exists for a reason...there needs to a be a line or boundary at some point where you can't cross on your serve, or else people will serve from inside the court.

    And that boundary needs to be enforced.

    The enforcement, not the rule, is usually where issues occur.

    And when serving and volleying, yes, a few inches can make a difference.
     
    #14
  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    If you want to keep the rule, then agree with your opponents that you will play by the footfault rule and either side can call footfaults.

    Me, I would watch my opponents in warm-up. If I think there will be a problem -- and there never has been in the past -- I would insist that we play by the footfault rule.

    Really, people aren't going to start serving from the service line. If someone wants to cheat, there are much easier and more effective ways to do it.
     
    #15
  16. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    London
    Indeed. Hence the "flagrant" designation. Most of the time you can't tell but I've seen players take a full step into the court or even in one case jump and land with BOTH feet in the court before hitting the ball.
     
    #16
  17. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,566
    ^^^ ok, so it's pretty clear to me that Cindy has a point, but on the other hand, removing the rule altogether doesn't sit well with me.

    I wonder if the right way to exercise the FF rule is in an attempt to rattle your opponent(s). Perhaps this is how it should be used...with discretion but also with intent. Perhaps this is why the rule is the way it is?
     
    #17
  18. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    @Cindy, ok, but what if they serve from inside the baseline? And serve and volley? That would make a huge difference and give a sizeable advantage to the server.

    Again, there has to be a rule as to where that boundary is...the rule isn't the problem, the enforcement is.

    And if you scuttle the rule, then serving from the service line wouldn't be cheating, would it?
     
    #18
  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Fair enough.

    Topaz, have you ever noticed that an opponent was footfaulting? Did you warn and then call? If not, how is the rule achieving anything other than making you feel resentful.

    Yes, the issues occur with enforcement. But if that is so, then that means the rule itself is a bad rule.

    You know, we tolerate the fact that Bad Line Calls Will Happen. The Code gives you no remedy for a bad line call other than asking, "Are you sure?" We know we have no way to enforce good line calling. Can you imagine if the rule allowed you to warn (ask if they are sure) and then on the next one you could just take the point?

    Nope, it is time to start accepting that there is no good way to enforce the footfault rule so we should encourage people to stop trying.
     
    #19
  20. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    London
    If people want to play like that I think it's fine. I would think the way to do this if you wanted to go that way would be to agree which rules you weren't going to enforce rather than which you were. I see some people play "first serve in" for example and while I don't do it, I don't see a problem with it.

    I tend to agree that the motivation is not cheating. It doesn't change the rule though, you have to have a starting point for the serve, in the same way that the court has dimensions and the ball has to land in the lines. If you don't start calling it when you are sure that it's outside of the rules then you might as well just hit all the balls "a bit out" so long as you are not meaning to cheat...

    As long as both parties agree it's not a biggie but I don't think you can get upset when people want to play by the rules, especially in USTA (or other) sanctioned play
     
    #20
  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    If someone hooks you, you can just live with it. Or you can hook them back.

    If someone serves from the service line, you can see the ball as out.

    Really, can't we write a rule for what happens in 99% of matches and not the 1% of matches where someone serves from the service line?
     
    #21
  22. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    London
    Well I think personally that it's the same. If someone calls marginal balls out or marginal footfaults out in both cases you lose the point and have no "remedy" to it. At least with a footfault you can just stand back and make it next to impossible to hook you on if you feel you are being cheated.
     
    #22
  23. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,566

    Cindy- I think I disagree with this. If I am comfortably winning the match, I don't care if FF's are occurring. If it's a tight match and my opponent is FF'ing, I have the option of calling them on it. Even if I just warn them, I've likely accomplished my goal of getting them to think about what they are doing. If they ignore my warning(s), I then have the option of calling them on it. If it escalates, then I've probably won the match, but not in a way that I find very satisfying.
     
    #23
  24. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    Cindy, if I notice it during a match, I will usually say something at the end, regardless of outcome. At our level, most people either don't know or are unaware. One of my clinic mates FFs regularly, and our instructor is constantly making her aware.

    Because, if/when you advance to districts, the roving officials *will* call you on it. So, when I do mention it to others, I also say 'you know, if you ever go to districts, the officials will call it'.

    And I leave it at that.

    Just like bad calls will happen, so will foot faults. At our level, it isn't so much of an issue, but we play with the same rules as the pros, and at their level, it does make a big difference to have those few extra inches.
     
    #24
  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Or maybe the footfault rule should be that a footfault call is a let, not a fault.

    So if you call a footfault -- which you have to do before the serve bounces -- then the server takes another serve. This goes on as long as it takes for the server not to footfault or for the receiving team to get exhausted and just let it go so they can actually play some tennis.
     
    #25
  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Right. That is what I would do. Let them know afterward, or not.

    So why do we have a rule that allows the receiver to, as Jrod explained, get his opponent thinking about it? We don't have other rules that can be used like this to get into someone's head.
     
    #26
  27. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    London
    This I can see being an alternative option that would work
     
    #27
  28. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    We all use the same rules, but we don't all have the same level of enforcement. In the pros, calling FF is not the responsibility of the opposing player, so the gamesmanship aspect is not an issue. On the league level, unfortunately, it is a different issue.

    If people call it out of gamesmanship, again, there will only be a certain point (up until districts) that they can get away with it. I don't really see it any differently than people who hook on line calls, yet you are not proposing we get rid of those rules, too?

    It is what it is. Play tennis and don't sweat the small stuff! :)
     
    #28
  29. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,367
    This is another reason why people don't call them. No one wants to turn a match into a foot-fault call nuclear war with tit-for tat calling. Calling one back just because you got called is the wrong thing to do, but this is what will happen in most matches.

    In league play, I haven't seen anyone who's footfault was flagrant enough to make me want to call it. I have seen people who take a whole two steps inside the baseling before serving, but 1. I was lucky to not have to play them and 2. Their serve was ineffective even with the footfault.
     
    #29
  30. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    Let me start by saying I've never had an issue with footfaulting in a match, never seen it called or noticed an opponent doing it, only by another teammate that I observed in practice that I mentioned in another thread.

    I do think it can be seen by someone other than looking down the baseline. The opposing net person should be able to see a "flagrant" footfault IMO. Agreeing ahead of time not to call footfaulting is not workable IMO and I disagree that no advantage is obtained from footfaulting a few inches. I hit the netcord on serves fairly often and if I could just scoot a little closer it would be like I was a little taller...basic geometry. Near misses might clear and "lets" certainly become good serves. Anyone disagree that a taller player has an advantage in serving?

    As someone mentioned, would you allow an opponent to serve from the service line? No? How about between 3 feet in from the baseline? No? How about 6 inches in from the baseline? 4 inches? Maybe? So should we draw a line 4 to 6 inches inside the baseline and say anything over that line is a footfault? Wait!...we already have a line drawn on the court that determines where a footfault occurs...the baseline! :) I'm obviously tongue-in-cheek here, but I think the "flagrant" language in the code is meant to simply address that a footfault should not be called unless one is sure...ie. it is flagrant and obvious. That works for me.

    I agree most of the rules and code are designed to call things on oneself and only an outright cheater would intentionally serve from several feet inside the baseline but isn't deciding if an opponent hinders you the same as deciding if an opponent footfaults?

    If someone called me on a footfault, I would of course think about my feet for the next serves, but I would also move back a few inches and get on with the game. That would be the price of my footfaulting. I would also wonder if I had unknowingly been doing this for a long time and wonder if no one was willing to tell me!

    If the other team called a fault when I was not faulting just to get in my head or steal a point, well they are cheaters. Cheaters have plenty of opportunity in tennis to cheat and its tough to create any rule to stop them.

    I guess the last thing is just b/c some rec players do not know what a footfault is or, any other rule, is not a reason not to have the rule. The question of who's point it is when a heavily backspun ball lands on your opponent's court and spins back your side untouched seems to pop up regularly. Many don't seem to know the correct answer, but I don't think anyone would say change the rule. I would say simply try to promote the reading of the rulebook, and publicising of the rules via USTA publications, section coordinators, etc. Believe me, a ton of people don't know the rules of golf! :)...but the rules remain.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
    #30
  31. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Location:
    Cocos Islands, WA
    FF should never be called by the receiving player in singles or doubles. There focus is on the ball not the feet. Arguably the net player would be in a better situation to call a clear FF. One really needs to be standing sidewards looking down the baseline to call accurately.

    imho calling a FF does more harm than good to general harmony of playing tennis. If the FF is both flagrant and consistent then a simple polite tactful advice at the changes should solve the problem.

    i suggest taking note and leaving ff calls to the sideline officials and finals series.
     
    #31
  32. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    In local league play there is nobody else other than the receiving player(s) to call FF.

    If a receiving player does call a FF, they haven't broken any rules at all in doing so.

    So, while you can certainly have the opinion that a receiving player should never call FF, there is no rule stipulating that at all.
     
    #32
  33. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    Oh, I also wanted to say forums like this are great about learning and discussing stuff like this too so I'm glad you brought it up Cindy.

    For example, I never played competitive tennis in H.S. or College...just casual play. No one ever told me it was good form to simply catch our opponents warm-up serves and then take your serves with the caught balls, and so forth. I had a vague feeling that it wasn't quite right to try to time them and hit a real ROS, kind of like in baseball, so I would typically just block them back. Now I know, from this forum.

    I had a Compass match the other night, and we caught each other's serves. First time for me, but it was obviously normal for him...I would've loved for someone to have told me this earlier...who knows how many I unknowingly irked over the last couple years?

    Now when he fell behind and started to try to have a conversation with me during my service, it was I that got a little irked, but that's another story...he finally stopped that and it was a good friendly match.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
    #33
  34. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Location:
    Cocos Islands, WA
    In all my tennis i've only ever seen one major flagrant footfaulter.
    6.4" S+V making contact 1/2+ metre inside the line. 3/4 court at contact point!
    It was so shocking we had to advised him to be more becareful of FF and he still did it just not as quite bad. That player was certainly aware he was cheating.

    I don't consider a foot half on/off either side of the line to be flagrant or obvious. Certainly not enough of an advantage to bother calling or reminding the player about the FF rule. most of these players are lazy and not aware they're breaking rules.
     
    #34
  35. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Messages:
    506
    Location:
    Wake County, NC
    That already is the rule, for the first offense. You have to give a warning, and that warning results in a let, not a fault. (Though some read that part of the Rules and Code to say the point stands, I don't think that's a correct interpretation.) If the foot faulting continues, the opposing team can call a fault. That's the best possible way to play it, so no changes in the rules or the code are necessary.

    I hate foot faulting when I see it. It's not just crossing the line. Taking multiple steps while serving is also a foot fault, and that is very easy to see from the opposite side. So is crossing the center hash mark, or starting the service motion with a foot touching the imaginary extension of the court boundary.

    Those of you who say it doesn't make a difference are wrong. When the server's toss is slightly off and you let him move his feet anywhere to adjust his swing, you have given him a huge advantage, even if he doesn't serve and volley. Really aggressive servers who launch their whole bodies forward, yet drag a toe across the line before contact, get big advantage from not being called for their rule breaking, even if it's just an inch.

    This is an athletic competition with a fixed set of rules, and players have to perform athletically within the parameters of the game. Just because the rule is difficult to enforce in a polite social setting doesn't mean it should be ignored.

    All that said, I have only once warned an opponent he was foot faulting. It was between points, and he was standing over the hash mark when he served.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
    #35
  36. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Location:
    Cocos Islands, WA
    Maybe in your district. In my district you're to find an official to make any ff calls. not a problem for tournaments or finals matches with an impartial match supervisor.

    Only thing a ff call does is create ill will between players, which will be paid back with a bad call or payback ff call.
     
    #36
  37. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    Then our area leagues do differ.

    But as many have pointed out, the FF rule exists for very clear reasons, and none of them are to create ill will.
     
    #37
  38. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Location:
    Cocos Islands, WA
    fair enough topaz.

    I like to see everyone to test how long it takes to get called on footfaults.

    Slowly and discretely move forward until you're standing on the serve line. I believe one could get to 3/4 before there starting position was queried.

    Interesting test of peoples tolerances in both social and comp tennis.
     
    #38
  39. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,279
    I’ve had two instances of gray area rules.

    One being taking forever to serve, and the other extreme foot faulting.

    I disagree about not being to see foot faults. I’ve played, and witnessed matches with guys having their entire foot cross over and plant inside the baseline during the serve wind up.

    Generally it doesn’t get called during the game, but during the changeover you point it out, ask for them to correct it, and move on.

    As for the time issue, I lost my cool during that match. He was spinning his racquet because “he was trying to find the right grip” while bouncing the ball upwards of 20-30 times while standing at the line to serve.

    I asked both my captain and the opposing captain about getting a clock, but no one cared.
     
    #39
  40. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    You need to tell your players to stop foot-faulting.
     
    #40
  41. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    529
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Why should we consider changing (or eliminating) a major rule just because you had one ass-hat exploiting to an extreme?

    This isn't any better than if we decided to never have an official USTA match without a team of qualified line judges on each court because you had ONE opponent who blatantly hooked you on more than 50% of the points.

    Let me ask you this:

    Would you rather be exploited by some **** exploiting the foot fault rule or by some **** exploiting the LACK of a foot fault rule?

    The former is easily remedied IMO...
     
    #41
  42. cak

    cak Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,013
    Is NorCal the only area that allows players to call court monitors during a match? I've been called out onto the court to call both lines and footfaults. (The actual rule is the players call the line or footfaults, the court monitor may over rule calls.)
     
    #42
  43. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,367
    Just wondering does NorCal have court monitors at matches outside of the district/playoff rounds?

    In the Mid Atlantic, I haven't seen a court monitor in league play, only at USTA tournaments. In most cases, the best you can do is to alert the captains if things go down hill too far.
     
    #43
  44. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    I believe wee can actually have someone come to the court, though usually there isn't anyone available (especially for those 9:30pm matches). Remember your captain is usually also playing.

    There are always going to be 'hookers' or people who break rules, whether intentionally or not. At the local level it is tough to enforce...but I think most of us would agree that the *majority* of the time, things like this are not an issue.
     
    #44
  45. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,620
    Seriously, before talking about a rule change I think you need to ask the player to step away from the baseline so that a foot fault call is not even a concern.

    I put my toe about 6 inches behind the baseline so that I have some room for error. Why risk a FF call?
     
    #45
  46. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Cindy only likes to cite rules and have them adhered to when they suit her needs.
     
    #46
  47. Racer41c

    Racer41c Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    779
    So if there's no rule does it still apply to the 99%? Or if there's no rule and no inforcement, everyone starts serving from inside the court?

    One of the top guys I play with foot faults all the time. He's got a very low and very forward jump in his motion. The problem is, he lands at least 50% of the time before he hits the ball. He's the best server in this group of 50 guys and giving him another foot and a half isn't right. So we give him a hard time and he steps back and bombs a couple aces to shut us up. It's all in good fun.

    The point is, if your faulting your faulting. Quit being a head case, get over it, step back and bomb away.
     
    #47
  48. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,863

    Sorry Cindy I cannot agree with you this time... I have to go with Topaz on this one.

    I have played a lot of league tennis over the years... and have faced more than my share of foot faulters... have I ever called one... NO. Should I have probably... but we play at a recreation level and it is not life ending to win or lose.

    I find it interesting that we as a community would even argue rules... are we not as respectable a group of sports men and women as golfers who call infractions on themselves.

    I currently play tennis with someone that swears he does not foot fault but is at least 4 feet into the court by the time he strikes the ball. He thinks he is in the air... I am pretty sure most people are not going to complain if you inch into the court... so I am assuming your player was probably well into the court.

    The fix is simple as mentioned by Steady Eddie step back... As the captian of your team maybe you should evaluate your players without their knowledge so you can get a sense of how far they do get into the court... if they do. I myself am aware my lead foot shifts a bit in my service motion so I start about 12 inches from the line.

    Serving is a skill and you are required to serve 39 feet from the net... not 38 feet not 37 feet.

    And it must be really bugging you Cindy... you are up really early today.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
    #48
  49. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    Thinking about this a little more...we call our opponent's balls in or out (for obvious reasons) and if we think our opponent is cheating us, we might get upset and "hook them back" (I fortunately haven't had this happen in reality.). Can't the same be said/done for footfaults? It should be pretty easy in a doubles situation to have your partner take a look at your feet a few times to check if you are really footfaulting or if the other team is cheating. At that point, either due to bad line calls or fake footfault calls, a player would have to make the personal decision whether to cheat back to "even the score".

    In either scenario...opponents hooking you on line calls or calling dubious footfaults the temperament of the match is going to go downhill so what is the difference?

    It seems like the current "code" to give your opponnent the benefit of the doubt in both line calls and footfaults (only calling flagrant faults) covers almost all matches pretty well. The other small % of matches are going to go downhill regardless. If someone calls a fake footfault, I have to believe they would be calling close balls or balls on the line out as well.
     
    #49
  50. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Cindy,

    Were your players footfaulting?
     
    #50

Share This Page