Stalling

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by comeback, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I was reading the thread on grunting, which bothers me somewhat. But stalling i cannot stand. It totally throws me off me game. Bouncing the ball excessively, sitting between points for a long time, toweling off, talking, all annoy me.
    But the one that gets me the most is what i call the "ball trick". It can be done a number of ways. One way is hitting a faulted 1st serve into the net then holding your hand up and slowly go to the net and clear the ball back to the back fence.
    Another "ball trick" is after you hit a dead ball back to the server; he then hits that ball back to the fence, then goes back to the fence to retireve it.
    These 2 stalling tactics really get to me. Many players probably don't even realize these 2 subtle stalling tactics when they are being done to them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
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  2. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    bounce the ball a couple of times then bounce it off of your shoe "whoops lemme go grab that.."

    guess I know how I could beat you haha
     
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  3. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I suggest meditation and yoga.
     
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  4. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Yeah that's another good one, But the server might screw himself. Both of mine are reciever based,, Yes it's a good way to get to me..i do try to not show my annoyance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
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  5. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I'm still looking into meditation. I tried yoga once and it was hot yoga. I liked the sweat but holding those positions for longer than 10 seconds was a killer. Never went back
     
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  6. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    By the way I have a solution to your situation.

    I will get back to you soon for more details.... ;)
     
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  7. bethany2

    bethany2 New User

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    At 3.5 nationals there was a woman doing this. After her opponent would fault and the ball was resting against the fence she would motion "hold up" and slooowly walk back, move the ball another inch back, then slooowly return to her position. The other player called her out on it and eventually an official was called over and lectured her on this "gamesmanship" and it stopped. Good to see the officials actually taking action on this!
     
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  8. jhick

    jhick Semi-Pro

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    I can understand excessive stalling, but to me it seems you are a bit overly sensitive about this subject.

    For the first example above, what is the alternative? Hire a ball boy/ball girl for your matches? Leave the ball on the court risking injury?

    The second tactic I don't see that often, but it wouldn't bother me as long as the time isn't excessive. Think of it this way; it also gives you a chance to recover from the previous point and focus on the next one.

    And if many players don't realize that these tactics are being done to them, then more power to them, as it likely isn't affecting their game at all.
     
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  9. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I am probably over sensitive because i try to be in shape for all matches and i'm thinking they are cheating by abusing the USTA rules.

    Between points: 20 seconds maximum, play at server’s pace.
    On changeovers: 90 seconds, ready to serve/receive.
    During tiebreaks: no break if switching after 6 points.
    Between sets: 2 minutes, may announce & leave court for water.
    Bathroom breaks: 3 minutes, unless the distance is extreme.
    Injury time-outs: 3 minutes (only one).
     
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  10. Brian11785

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    This exact thing happened at (again, 3.5) sectionals this year in a singles line my teammate was playing (and I was watching.) There were also some pretty bad calls. It all seemed very rehearsed/coached to me.
     
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  11. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    I am with the OP on this, and am down on gamesmanship across the board. Stalling is treated in Gilbert's "Winning Ugly", IIRC he speaks to what he called the 'turtle' play by Ivan Lendl. While I understand there are times to 'slow things down' ... same should be conducted within the rules and code of the sport. Anything way beyond that puts you into a gamesmanship type, aka 'weenie' and sadly for you, outside the realm of 'sportsman'.

    I have seen stalling conducted, and the handful of 'worst of' types I have every encountered, were users of this charlatan's tool. One example is a guy that runs after all balls like a deer, a true golden retriever. But has to sit forever at changeovers, and will never, ever rise until you have already walked back on the court and are standing there waiting. You can't help but get sucked into this charade, a if you address him on it ... boom, distraction. Call an umpire (which I did in one USTA match -- in which the guy erupted in anger and started yelling that the owner of the club) -- and risk disrupting the match. Even think of how annoying it is ... and again, distraction. So the weenie that embraces this approach puts winning above everything and does not care if the sporting experience is ruined. So you beat the weenie ... still less than a good time.

    Another one is 'the long walk'. I have seen this one a few times. One guy I called on it, it was ridiculous. I hit a first serve ... he heads off to fetch the ball 40 yards away on an adjacent court. I said, "whatcha doin'....' Same guy didn't hit the ball back to me during warmups ... my brain goes 'yawn' when I come across these people ... usually ensconced in USTA (perhaps because they can't create a tennis network of buddies due to their 'issues'...) Then there is the stall where the guy doesn't hit the ball to you when he needs to send you a ball .. wanders in to pick up balls literally touching the net, 'I once saw a guy break an ankle...' And so on.

    We also have the bathroom-break guys. Zen-like trance during changeover guys. All subsets of stalling.

    Look, the rules limit the time for changeovers and such. A little extra factored in for age, fitness and club tennis atmosphere is fine. But if you are a staller, you know it, and thus look in the mirror and mouth the word 'weeeeenie'. Mustard, a bun and a hungry, half-starved Grizzly Bear is all you deserve :0
     
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  12. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Being the OP of this thread, these kinds of stalling tactics are so subtle that many players don't even realize it is being done to them. Another is the towel at the back of the fence on every point. As i said i am used to playing pretty fast so stalling absolutely kills my rhythm. I start to force shots. Distractions like grunting don't bother me as much.
     
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  13. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    haha, you now know how to get to me
     
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  14. jhick

    jhick Semi-Pro

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    If the stalling is excessive, then sure, it would certainly be okay for you to bring it up with your opponent. perhaps they are not aware they are doing it. If it continues, then bring it up with the captain of the team, and then the league coordinator.

    Obviously it affects you more than most players. If most players don't realize it's being done to them, then it obviously isn't bothering them like it bothers you, so I really don't see the problem there.

    Also, since you didn't answer my first question, can I assume you don't pick up balls served into the net and just leave them on the court, hoping that you don't step on one and risk spraining your ankle during the point? Otherwise, if you do go and pick up your own net serves, then you are being hypocritical of your opponent when they do the same.
     
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  15. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I will pick up balls on my side of the net if they are in my path. But I'm was talking about when i miss the first serve long and my opponent hits it back up to their side of the net. Then they stop my 2nd serve to go back up to the net to retrieve it even it it wasn't in their way.
     
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  16. jhick

    jhick Semi-Pro

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    If you are serving bombs at me and your serve is long I typically am not going to have the time to stop my swing and I might just happen to hit the out serve into the net. If the ball is sitting on my side of the court and in my way, I will jog up and either pick up the ball and put it in my pocket or roll it off the court in a timely manner. No one I've played has had a problem with this that I know of. I've never heard it discussed in my tennis circles as a general issue.

    Now, I suppose your opponent could be really deliberate about it. That might irk me a little, but it's probably not going to bother me all that much when all is said and done. Maybe you need some work on your mental game if it's really that big of issue for you.
     
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  17. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not going to leave a ball on the court unless it is very snug against the net, and hardly ever outdoors.

    I don't need a gust of wind moving the ball, and even indoors I do not want to be aware of that ball during a point.

    If clearing those balls bothers my opponent, that's a shame.

    I would say the issue here may not be one of "stalling." It may be one of "rushing."
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Agree with Cindy. Safety comes first for older players.
     
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  19. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    The well placed shoe tie is one of the biggest weapons in tennis.
     
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  20. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    If my opponent starts to retrieve my missed first serve that isn't going to end up in a location that could cause harm, I remind them that I already have a second ball. You really can't fault someone for clearing a ball that is a legitimate safety risk, unless they're moving at glacial speeds of course.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  21. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    One thought is that we can be either passive about blatant stalling and let it bother us, or recognize it and see it for what it really is. Players usually won't use that brand of cheeze in a match when they're winning. If that's the only option they've got left, a thinking player should catch a big boost of confidence. Same as when an opponent starts getting snippy with your line calls. If you're getting blown out by somebody, they're not likely to go for that sort of psychological ploy.

    As for any player that deliberately makes a mess with a first serve ball and takes too much time to pick it up, the server should claim a let. Since the returner's action is causing the delay, the server shouldn't be jammed like that.

    As with the shrieking thread in this section, I say make the call when the stalling is blatant and see what happens.
     
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  22. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    These 2 are not accurate..
     
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  23. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    lmao...that is too funny


     
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  24. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Great timing on this one. I just went through some ridiculous stalling with the guy I played in my league last night. I've pretty much crushed this guy for the last 3 years whenever we play. He's never won a set and the best he's ever done in a set is a 7-5 loss. He hits the ball well but is at least 40lbs overweight, so his movement and stamina are bad.

    I haven't played in 2 weeks and I'm sick, and he's improved a bit, so I got off to a slow start and lost the first set 6-3. I was not happy but I gathered myself during the break. I usually like to play straight through with no change overs, and we did that in the first set, which he agreed to do.

    The second set I win 6-3..still not playing well but conciously making him move all over the place. Now he wants to take breaks, because he's losing.

    It's 10:20 and this is supposed to be a best of 3, 2 hour league.

    "Good playing man."

    Me "What? It's 10:20. That set took 20 minutes."

    He begrudingly agrees to play the next set, and does the following multiple times.

    --runs to the bathroom, killing about 7 minutes
    -- Constantly stopping and looking at his watch in between serves..theres a digital clock on the wall right next to the court. Why are you looking at your watch.
    --Retrieving balls after missed serves that are all the way against the back wall and no danger to anyone.
    ---excessive small talk and extended changeovers
    --Walking incredibly slowly to get any faulted first serve

    On top of that, he calls a bunch of my serves that are on the back line out.

    It's 4-4 at 10:55 and he wants to stop.

    I'm going to my league organizer and telling her to never schedule me to play the guy again.
     
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  25. jhick

    jhick Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, entirely different situation here than the OP since you were up against the clock and this guy was stalling to try and not finish the match. Sounds like he was resorting to multiple illegal tactics here.
     
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  26. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    I might play a little on the slow side, but I never had an opponent complain or ask me to speed up. On the opposite end there are guys who try to play super quick to throw you off. If they miss their first serve that second ball will be fired a milli-second later.
     
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  27. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Both of these are Busch League.

    I remember playing both, and I laughed to myself after every other point.
     
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  28. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    lol.... that happened to me in a doubles tourney... I was serving and the return of serve guy was fine... it was his partner who bent down to tie his shoe just before I did my service toss.

    I walked up to the net and coldly said directly to him, "if you do that again during my serve, I'm not gonna stop whether you are ready or not." I think it took him by surprise that he was so directly confronted that he acted and played pretty meek the rest of the match.
     
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  29. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Man, man. :shock:

    As would 99% of the rest of the population.
     
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  30. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I was ready to serve, return of serve opponent was ready. Shoe tie-er waited til I was ready to toss and didn't raise his hand or say a word. I stopped play as I saw him kneel down to tie it. It was gamesmanship.

    I looked him up after the tourney and he had been playing tourneys for a long time (multiple events for past 5-6 years). He knew what he was trying to do.

    Also, his response, and his partner's was very telling. Silence. No apology, no indignation, no explanation.
     
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  31. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Sure..... I got it all wrong, surely you could even teach the Dalai Lama a thing or two about being nice to people, if only you were not so misunderstood.....
     
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  32. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    LOL... Talk about stalling... what about the quick 2nd serve? I've seen guys hit their 2nd serve in doubles while THEIR PARTNER was off clearing the 1st serve ball from their side of the court...
     
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  33. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Ask them if they have a hot date after the match - and whether she has a sister.

    In golf some people don't want to wait for their turn (furthest from the hole) to putt. I assume it's nerves. Same with the guys who don't want to think about their serve.
     
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  34. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    Yeah, I do this on occassion. And without apology. Sometimes in a long singles match you get exhausted. If I want to sacrifice my first serve in order to get an extra 15 second breather then that's just good strategy, in my opinion. I guess I could just bend down and "tie my shoe" but this seems more fair.
     
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  35. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Nice try. I was talking about a tennis tournament, not a Ms. Manners class.

    The shoe tie-er understood, so nothing else was said or needed to be said or done.... except for my buddies who were watching the match, and now do it occasionally for a laugh....
     
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  36. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    HAHAHHAAH!

    I want to play you in tennis. I have so much fun working people who get bent out of shape over nothing, up. Real life tennis troll, I'd tie my shoes between every point like the nomar garciaparra of tennis lol.

    Maybe lighten up a bit haha
     
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  37. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I can handle players who try to game people or hook them just fine. It's not my way, and in my opinion, people who use those kind of tactics are mentally weak. Confronting them directly is one way to approach them, and in this case it worked. If it doesn't stop them, there are other ways.

    Not sure how you and others justify using stalling tactics, then tell the other person to "lighten up" or try yoga. Way to uphold good sportsmanship... (not), but then of course, you see it different. What ever. You trolls can have the last word.... and cheat away and tell yourself it's all good.
     
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