squeaking shoes on purpose

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by tennisdad65, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I was watching a singles match and one of the guys had very squeaky shoes. Also, it definitely looked like he was purposely taking small dragging steps while getting back to the center after a shot. This resulted in lots of annoying noises while his opponent was getting ready to hit.

    It seemed very obvious to me that he was trying to distract his opponent. However, it did not seem to phase his opponent at all. :)

    What is the rule on this? is this allowed?
     
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  2. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I had a match a few weeks ago where the opposing player would stomp his feet has as I was starting my swing. I was irate and should have called a hinderence on him because he was obviously trying to creat a distraction. So bush league.

    It does not sound like your player in question was doing anything improper because their motion was natural to the game.
     
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  3. eeytennis

    eeytennis Semi-Pro

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    I have noticed that as well. I think it's legal though.
     
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  4. travelerb

    travelerb New User

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    If I were playing someone like this, my thought would be go ahead and shuffle your feet around during a match and avoid proper footwork. Might just catch him squeaking left when I hit it right.
     
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  5. tennismike33

    tennismike33 Semi-Pro

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    The squeaky wheel gets the grease again. I squeak too, I come to net and occasionally when I split step I hear my sneakers squeak, it isn't on purpose but it happens.
     
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  6. weaver

    weaver Rookie

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    my shoes are always squeaking, and right before the person hits because i split step... and i don't do it on purpose...
     
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  7. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    If you are referring to the rule pertaining to "hindrance", keep in mind that if the hindrance is coming from your opponent you have to make sure there is deliberate intent.

    A lot of players have nuances that can be construed as hindrance. Some are done deliberately but some are just that - a nuance.
     
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  8. Um...?

    Um...? New User

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    Great explanation. Foot squeaks in general will always be a tough one to call as deliberate. Mostly because foot movement prior to, during, and after a shot is necessary.

    Unless your opponent is acting like he's trying to stomp a divit, or moonwalking across the service box, it's always going to be a very difficult call to make.

    Now I have an older friend that I play with that likes to squeak and tap his racquet on the ground right as I'm about to serve. It's actually good practice for me to block it out and focus on my serve, but recently he's backed off doing it as he was called out in one of his club ladder matches for hindrance. :mrgreen:
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
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  9. Urban_Azin

    Urban_Azin New User

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    I hate sqweeky shoes!!! those ghetto a** B****es needs new shoes!!!
    and its annoying watchin ppl play with sqweeky shoes like IVONAVIC in the AO (DISTRACTING):evil:
     
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  10. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    Interesting point. Do you know who determines whether there was deliberate intent?
     
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  11. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Actually the interesting part of the hindrance rule is that it defines "intent" as anything that you do that you have control over, not necessarily just anything you do to purposely distract your opponent.

    An example of this would be a opponent of mine who has a bad habit of shouting out things like "OH NO!!!" when he feels he's hit either a easy put away or sometimes when he hits it out, only to watch it fall in.

    Even though he didnt mean to distract me that is clear hindrance because he supposably should have enough self control to keep that from happening.

    Getting stung by a bee or reacting to something outside of your control is something that isnt hindrance. They really should of used the word "voluntary" rather than "intent" because that's clearly what they were going for.

    In the OP's situation it's hard. If the person was doing something to make his shoes squeek on purpose then it could be hindrance, but shoes squeeking probably isnt all that uncommon so it's hard call to make.

    If they were slapping their thigh or stomping their feet though even if it's just a habit, I think it's hindrance if it distracts the other player. (because it's unnecessary and within their control)
     
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  12. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    You are right. Intent alone is not enough. That is why I stated "deliberate" intent. Who determines it? In an unofficiated match if it was your opponent doing it, it would be you. However, just as Javier said, it would be quite difficult to prove deliberate intent. If there is a disagreement, that is when you call for a lines person. If it was an officiated match, either you or the official can determine it. If the official doesn't call it, you can't just call hindrance on your opponent though. You still need to go through the official then the official will make a decision. Usually though, if the official doesn't call it, most likely it isn't a hindrance.
     
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  13. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I have very busy footwork, and my first day or two with new shoes, especially indoors, my shoes squeak like hell. I feel bad about it, but it goes away after the first hit or two after I knock the newness off the sole of the shoe.

    J
     
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  14. duketennisgal

    duketennisgal Rookie

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    Squeaking shoes is pretty normal I would think. My shoes always squeak when I'm making small steps and when I'm coming forward into the net, getting ready for my split step. I think that's something that the opposing player should be able to easily block out, if not they have serious concentration problems.
     
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  15. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^^

    Same here. I've noticed that my shoes squeak when I take very small steps. Don't do it intentionally, and suspect it bothers me more than my opponent. I try to not squeak, but can't seem to stop doing it.
     
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  16. duketennisgal

    duketennisgal Rookie

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    I wouldn't bother trying to stop, it's natural.

    It amazes me some of the things that people will complain about. I've had people complain that somebody was standing at the gate so they couldn't play a point, somebody bouncing a basketball on the basketball courts that are across from the tennis courts bothered one opponent.

    If people can't focus on their own game without blocking out distractions that's their own problem and they should probably try to work on their focus and concentration a bit more.
     
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  17. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    I'm not, in fact when I squeak, it is confirmation that I'm not getting 'lazy feet'.
     
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  18. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    The official won't do anything until the other player says something, especially in an unofficiated match with a roving official.

    If the other player complains, the official will make a decision on whether or not it is actually loud enough to be a hindrance or not. If it is, they will say something to the player. If it continues, the next time would be a let and you would replay the point. Every time after that it would be considered deliberate and it would be a hindrance loss of point.
     
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  19. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I would say that in this case it's allowed as it's pretty difficult to call hindrance from the basics of what you've described. The squeaking is a result of excessive force and friction as you push off and then come to an abrupt stop. Shuffling back to the center of the court can cause this.

    Something that would be an obvious hindrance is the squeaking of your shoes as you wait to return serve. I remember Capriati doing that very thing during a US Open match and no one saying anything about it.
     
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  20. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    I can tell you for a fact that it is a code violation. I guy in my league a couple of years ago used to do it, so I had to look it up.
     
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  21. weaver

    weaver Rookie

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    I know people who "sqeak" their shoes when returning because they are getting ready to return and splitting before the return to get ready... As far as I'm concerned that should be legal...
     
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  22. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    99% of the time it is legal. That's why it is very rarely called, and even less frequently before the non squeaker complains.
     
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  23. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Right, I agree perhaps in this situation.

    But as long as people think that somehow you cant call hindrance in an unofficiated match because you can. (you are supposed to warn them first however)

    Some situations are obvious. Like my opponent who is yelling out things when the ball is going out. Again all that matter is that he "choose" to do something that he clearly should have control over.

    Squeeky shoes may not be obvious because people play all the time with squeeky shoes. Even if someone is doing it in such a way that it's on purpose (making them squeek, not just to distract you), it would be hard to prove it.
     
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  24. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Can you share with us where you "looked it up"? We want to learn too!
     
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  25. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Your "facts" are WRONG
     
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  26. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    Split stepping is only the instance of a single squeak which I'm not referring to. I'm talking about someone shuffling their feet multiple times (back and forth usually) while a person is somewhere in the process of serving prior to striking the ball. Capriati did this years ago and I've seen the occasional junior player do it once they realize that it can be annoying. If your shoes squeak when your recovery after a shot, there's nothing wrong with that.
     
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  27. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Sometimes...the shoes are just squeaky. And when a person moves, the shoes squeak. Asking the person not to move in a tennis match is...well, kinda unrealistic.

    And some courts tend to be 'squeakier' than others as well, for instance, I played on a really slick indoor court this weekend, and I was squeaking like you wouldn't believe (my shoes are also worn down). Absolutely none of it was really under my control and none of it was 'intended'...but I'm not going to *not* prepare for the ball just because I think my shoes might distract my opponents. I believe someone else also said it...if that bothers a person, they have much bigger focus problems that they need to fix.

    I think you'd always have a hard time trying to prove 'intent' if you think someone is doing it deliberately while you're serving as well. Some people split-step, and some people move their feet more than that while getting ready to receive the ball. In my opinion, it is just too minor of an area to get too worked up about. *shrug* Your mileage may vary...
     
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  28. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    I've seen the purposely squeaking while you are trying to serve thing. When a person does it, it's pretty clear that they are shuffling thier feet on purpose o make noise to distract you. That's pretty bush-league and I"m pretty sure you can call a hinderance on it. I had a friend who did that during our friendly matches as a joke. It never bothered me enough to affect me.

    Out side of that, it would be pretty hard to call anyone on that sort of thing during a point since it may be hard to distinguish choppy footwork with intentional noise-making.
     
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  29. Moz

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    I was called on it once by an umpire. I had to remove my shoes and play a point to prove that it was actually my feet squeaking.
     
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  30. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    What??? He had you play without your shoes on? Wow...though, you do seem to draw the ire of umpires!
     
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  31. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    My shoes squeak all the time. I actually like hearing them.

    If I don't hear them, I know I'm not moving my feet enough .. taking smaller steps vs. big steps.

    I don't intentionally do it or to distract myself or anyone though.

    But it is a good on-court tool/reminder for me.

    It's "da shoes". :)

    Also, I believe I've read it on tennis mag from contributing instructors that hearing one's steps to ensures good footwork.

    Now if I know my opponent doesn't do it normally while receiving but is purposely doing it to distract me, then that is entirely different.

    r,
    eagle
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
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  32. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    It's in the Code. #34 I think under "Movement/noise intentionally done to distract" or something similar. I also appreciate you editing my posts. Very nice!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
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  33. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Where does this translate to being a fact that it's a code violation?

    34.
    Body movement. A player may feint with the body while the ball is in
    play. A player may change position at any time, including while the server is
    tossing the ball. Any other movement or any sound that is made solely to distract
    an opponent, including, but not limited to, waving the arms or racket or
    stamping the feet, is not allowed.

     
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  34. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    No, I was joking! (in hindisight it would have been easy to spot if it had actually been funny, but wasn't)

    I get on fine with umpires apart from the racquet between legs code violation!
     
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  35. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    I believe this is what covers it:
    any sound that is made solely to distract an opponent, including, but not limited to, waving the arms or racket or stamping the feet, is not allowed
     
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  36. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Ha! My bad...but you never can be sure with you Moz...I wouldn't put it past you to throw your shoes at an ump and play barefoot!!!
     
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  37. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    So again, where does that translate to a code violation?

    If it's DELIBERATELY DONE TO DISTRACT, then it is a hindrance and loss of point, but not a code violation.
     
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  38. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    I think you're splitting hairs here, (or maybe I don't understand your question,) but the OP asked if sqeaking your shoes is allowed. I'm saying according to The Code - no, it's not.
     
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  39. HyperHorse

    HyperHorse Banned

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    Oh geeeeeeez, if it really bothers you THAT MUCH...
    Why not... grunt like a caveman?? That should balance things nicely.. :D
     
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  40. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Yes it is allowed as long as it's not intended to deliberately hinder your opponent. Shoes squeak all the time. It's so hard to tell when it is deliberate.

    And it's not splitting hairs. There is a big difference between a hindrance loss of point and a code violation.
     
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  41. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    :shock: did not think this would be such a squeaky topic..

    I did watch the same 2 guys play again even more carefully, and this time 100% confirmed my previous observation, that the guy is doing it on purpose, and his friend just plays on without any problem :).

    There is no squeaking when he goes to the net (split step) and volley. There is no squeaking during his service return and there is no squeaking when he takes small steps to hit ground strokes, and running all over for balls. It is only when he is moving back to the center after hitting a groundstroke that he does it, precisely at the time that his friend is getting ready to hit.

    I agree that it is very difficult to prove, but I think a ref would warn the guy in a ref'ed match.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
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  42. migjam

    migjam Professional

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    Hate to tell you, but it isn't the shoes that are squeaking.
     
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  43. himynameisminh

    himynameisminh Rookie

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    Well said!

    I played a duo in doubles that didn't do this exact thing; however, one of the players, when awaiting the return at net, would strafe in a perimeter of the service box as soon as I or my partner was getting ready to serve. It irked us A LOT, but we didn't call a hindrance. His partner did nothing of the sort.
     
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  44. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Its completely legal to move when the other side is serving.

     
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  45. bleach

    bleach Rookie

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    If the purpose of the move is to distract the server, then it is a hiderance.... but of course that is a subjective decision.

    I played a match where everytime I tossed my serve the "up-man" would start shuffling his feet (causing squeaking). I tossed and caught a couple of times, each time he would "squeak" just as I tossed. Finally I served and hit the up man. I told him I was sorry, but I was distracted by a squeaking noise coming from "somewhere". Then I called the score (taking the point) and moved to the other side. The look on his face as priceless and the mysterious squeaking never returned.
     
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  46. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    This is from THE CODE:

    "34. Feinting with the body. A player may feint with the body while the ball
    is in play. A player may change position at any time, including while the server
    is tossing the ball. Any movement or sound that is made solely to distract
    an opponent, including, but not limited to, waving the arms or racket or
    stamping the feet, is not allowed."


    Thus, moving during the service is allowed, even IF one of the purposes is to distract the opponent. The only time it is NOT allowed is IF the purpose is SOLELY to distract the opponent.

    I love it when guys try to call a hindrance on me for moving during the serve, I tell them to just pay attention to the ball, i can move whenever I want. Of course, I am not waiving my arms or stomping my feet, I am simply changing position, moving from one side of the non-service box to another, or moving towards the net.






     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
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  47. Dark_Angel85

    Dark_Angel85 Rookie

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    the 'small dragging steps' i think refers to the little steps players do before setting their motion for the shot. totally legit

    many players including the pros have squeaky noises when they run on hard-courts. very loud sometimes... so i doubt there's a ruling against it
     
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  48. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    I suppose there are worse sounds an opponent can make --some of these are accompanied by smells. :-/

    Would someone really go through all that extra footwork just for the sake of squeaking?
     
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  49. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Bumping this thread after being called for having squeaky shoes (New Adidas Barricade 7s). My shoes squeak during play but the challenged squeaks were after my partners serve & my movement to cut off the middle or fake a poach. Any further thoughts on this... it definitely wasn't intentional. It was mentioned during a changeover. Thanks for input & advice ;-)
     
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  50. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I think squeaky shoes during a point is fine, and inevitable.

    Some people I know at a local park squeak their shoes on purpose right when I'm about to serve/at the toss. And I do warn them if this match meant something, it's gamesmanship and I will call hindrance.

    One squeak is fine with me, I'm going to believe in the good will of people and the ONE squeak is coming from the split step.

    But if they get all happy feet and I hear "squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak", it's hindrance and I'll go out of my way to remind them on every single point.

    The squeaks doesn't bother me, but I'll fight fire with fire. If they want to throw me off my game by distracting me, I'll throw them off their game by reminding them it's hindrance. And we all know what happens when a tennis player is prohibited from their on court habits :). Their game falls apart.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
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