Tennis rules and etiquette query

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by IA-SteveB, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I hope I don't rub anyone the wrong way by posting this, but I am looking to understand more about the average every day tennis player. It seems like a lot of people around here are very uptight about rules, regulations and what they perceive as proper tennis etiquette in virtually any situation that could possibly present itself.

    Is club culture (not to be confused with Boy George's Culture Club) really like this in your areas? In almost two years playing league, rec and tournament play I have yet to ever encounter people arguing about calls or the proper way to handle things. No one pulls a rule book from their breast pocket and quotes section 23 article A for proper resolution of a tennis conflict. I never meet any weird uptight people on the courts yet I come here and it seems like they are in the majority.

    I just can't see how the sport can be fun for people who can be set off by any little thing. If someone returning a practice serve right back at you or making a bad call can immediately set your mood and derail your game, don't you have to wonder why you are playing the game in the first place? You see stories of people losing composure for the rest of the match because of a bad line call. People almost come to blows over court reservations or lack thereof. If someone does something in warmup that is slightly off from your perceived correct way of warming up, they are an idiot who shouldn't be on the court.

    Don't get me wrong. I like this forum a lot and there are some quality members who offer great insight. It just seems silly with some of the situations you see posted and it almost always leaves me saying, "Really?!?!" I am not going to go as far as to say that I must live in an easy going community compared to some, but I can't imagine tennis culture as a whole is as uptight as I perceive it by reading posts here. Maybe it is because this is a central point of communication for tennis players so I will just see it in more concentration than just experiencing real world club settings
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Couple of things.

    Honestly, two years isn't very long. Give it time. :)

    Second, remember that people do not come to this board to post stories of how their match went normally. Normal is boring. No one writes a news story about the plane that didn't crash. You will get a very skewed perspective if you assume this board is representative of amateur tennis.

    I've been posting here a while now, and Tom's post about the altercation over a public court -- complete with video! -- was a first. A TT newcomer might conclude that this sort of thing is normal in tennis or on TT, but she would be very wrong.

    Also, don't conclude that everyone is going postal over everything. I think it is very rude to return obviously out faults. I notice people who do this, and I roll my eyes. But I don't start an altercation about it. I write it off as having a newbie on my hands and I guess we all made frequent etiquette errors as newbies.

    Take last night. One opponent made *four* bad calls from the baseline on clay. These were baseline calls, so how can I know she was wrong? Because she was behind the baseline struggling to make a difficult shot and was in poor position, I could see where the ball landed, and most importantly, we heard it smack the line. Benefit of the doubt? Nope, not her. I didn't say a word. We just went on to beat her. Bad line calls happen. Most of us just look the other way on it. The few who don't? They start threads here. :)

    If you're not having conflict or problems on court, great. Keep following the Code, cut your opponents a break when they mess up, assume the best about everyone and you'll be fine.
    [/QUOTE]
     
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  3. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Use the morons for practice, laugh at them under your breath, don't make an issue out of it because it takes up valuable court time that could be used for hitting balls and getting better, sign up for a tournament to mingle with some real players, get a t-shirt, go to the party--come here to practice keyboarding, spelling and prostrate exercises, laugh at the morons who come out of nowhere about the third page.
     
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  4. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    So Mister "easygoing" , we're "weird and uptight" to you, huh? I've never been so insulted in my life. I'm coming to your court and holding it all day by myself @#!
     
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  5. jservoss

    jservoss Rookie

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    Arguing about calls I see all the time. Hardly ever do I see people argue about rules and the "code," thats for TT only.
     
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  6. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    Well I will take it to the city parks dept and ....... wait, that's a different thread. :)
     
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  7. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    [/QUOTE]

    Points well taken. Thanks for the insight.
     
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  8. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Steve, you have to be careful interpolating what you see on a forum as a reflection of 'real life'. This forum is a place where people can ask for clarification of rules or The Code even if they've never had to apply those rules, or likely ever will apply them, in real life.

    Take for example the recent forum topics about whether or not it is ok to return first serves or how much pre-serve ball bouncing is too much. I've played tennis over 40 years and played multiple leagues for almost 10 years and I've never had either of these things happen to me to the extent that I'd even mention them to an opponent much less call a hindrance or make a rule issue out of them. However I did post in both of those threads because I have an opinion about both of those topics. That is what these forums are for.

    Forums thread topics, like Cindy said, also tend to be about unusual events or obscure topics, rather than the mundane matches we all regularly play. Also the vast majority of forum participants here are lurkers which you can see reflected in the fact that the number of thread views is always many times larger than the number of thread replies.

    Furthermore, thread replies often are dominated by a few participants here as there are people here who post on average over 10 times a day, 365 days a year. The views of those who post a lot tend to skew things so you have to discount them as they tend to post their opinions over and over again. [/my opinion]
     
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  9. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    It is only entertainment.

    Some posters think they are rock stars or they own the place. Many I use the ignore tactic or chuckle at the ridiculousness...tho 10 years ago a lot of it might have offended me.

    The most important thing Steve is I like your racquet set up in your signature.

    Take it to your mother's house is a keeper btw....

    Time to go hit a few balls with my magical new MP Radical setup courtesy of some excellent helpful posters on TT!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You're right, that is full of win! So perfect, so suitable for any argument!

    We all need to resolve to use that zinger at least once during a match. Then come here and tell the tale. :)
     
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  11. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Btw if you are from IA you do live in a more easy going community.

    I had no idea how friendly people in the MW were until we moved my son out to college in Ohio. People ask you how you are and actually care about your response.

    My son played in the NCAC ( d3) pretty friendly college league overall with the exception of a couple of teams.

    I would miss the ocean and the mountains for sure but the MW is outstanding. My son had a few tennis trips into Iowa and told me it was the best. On my list of places to check out for retirement.

    Thanks Steve!
     
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  12. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Even better at work...

    "I am taking this human resources"

    " I don't care if you take it to your mother's house"

    Ha ha ha!!!
     
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  13. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Let's not mix up different things.

    Tennis rules are rules, you really cannot argue much against it. Everybody is free to play tennis anyway they want but most people would expect that you adhere to the rules of tennis.

    There is also a code, these are not the rules of tennis, they are more like guidelines. Generally you would want to follow the code, most of it is common sense but there are a few grey areas.

    And then there is etiquette.

    It does happen and not infrequently. However it takes two to tango. For most people tennis is recreation and there are cases where the wisest thing is to simply let it go. But be prepared to be scolded for it if you mention it on this forum. When I just joined here I got half of the community against me for offering a let when an opponent is adamant about something, for instance when I see a ball coming from my opponent as clearly out. I was called ignorant, not wanting to play by the rules and other stuff.

    I agree with that.

    Every Saturday morning on my local court we have these four older men playing doubles and one guy is a case. He gets literally upset by everything including with players from the other courts. Plus he is foul in the mouth and in the presence of children. Someone once explained to me that when people get old they do not change but their inhibitions disappear and they show their real self.

    Well I have to admit, I share some of this sentiment.

    The biggest thing that bothers me is that people who present themselves as forgiving, letting go, conflict resolving etc get scolded for not knowing how to play by the rules.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  14. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Your mamas house should be voted ttw goat reply. Too bad the video is gone.
     
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  15. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    Never laughed so hard from this site as that video comment.


    I see what you're saying Steve but this site is obviously hyperbole to the max. I think alot of people just like playing devils advocate. It makes for good reading though and the fs section has been awesome.
     
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  16. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I appreciate all of the great comments, everyone. I really do.

    I have to admit, I don't care if you take it to your momma's house is hilarious. I did catch that video.
     
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  17. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    I wonder if that huge black guy knows he's up for a YouTube Emmy on tt..
     
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  18. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    so you are suggesting that if one is 'behind the baseline struggling to make a difficult shot' than his call must be bad? So you saw where the ball landed, from across the net, but she didn't being right there perhaps three feet from the spot? Did you ask for a mark? Did she show it to you?
     
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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    When you play on clay, there is a loud smack when the ball lands on the tape. Dead give away.

    But no, I didn't challenge her. She wished the ball out. Happens all the time.
     
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  20. silentkman

    silentkman New User

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    When I play on Clay I can tell the majority of the time how the ball bouces if it hits the line. I don't hear a loud smack, if half the ball or less hits the line the ball will bounce differently(skid). Maybe I can't hear anymore, but I'm always watching the path of the ball.
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I know who you are talking about ..........
     
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  22. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Who are you guys talking about?
     
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  23. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Actually I think it was "I don't care if you take it to your Mama's house...." for purpose of signature accuracy arche3.

    Wonder if that is still up on u tube? Might nose around a bit later....
     
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  24. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I almost never see this kind of baloney in my leagues/matches/social situations. In fact 90% of the drama that people talk about here doesn't exist in my area.
     
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  25. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Thanks man. Fixed it. I never got to see it.
     
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  26. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Played in a league about 10 years ago that had all kinds of drama...unbelievable squeezing, blatant foot faults NTRP obsession etc....just stupid crap...not to mention lousy tennis overall.
    It wasn't a previous experience I had ever had, walking away was easy.

    Found a friendly league instead still some lousy tennis at times but everyone smiles, hands you tennis balls and calls everything close in. Most of the time nobody even remembers what the score was.....No more drama. I can't believe folks put up with the crap I read in this forum....just walk away, so easy.

    Maybe a lot of it is made up stories told by trolls I dunno....I think I am just going to stop reading it all and then a gem comes up like momma's house.....

    Priceless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
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  27. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    I could be wrong, but I think it may have been, "take it to your mothers house", which personally I find funnier, donno why haha.

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...
     
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  28. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    Well, you have the people that complain. And you have the people that complain about the complainers (i.e. the OP). And you have the people that indirectly complain about the complainers that complain about the complainers (that'd be me).

    It's a viscious cycle.
     
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  29. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    then you have tt. a league of our own :twisted:
     
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  30. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Is it the people who are mindful of the rules/etiquette who are uptight, or is it the people who complain about the rule hawks?? I think the latter. ALL games have an etiquette. The first time I played poker decades ago I was holding my cards and my hands happened to drop below table level, out of sight. Three people promptly spoke up. I came to understand that a good awareness of the etiquette of any game makes it MORE enjoyable, not less, MORE relaxed, not less. Learn the etiquette!
     
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  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    +1.

    It's weird, though. I don't understand the desire to go through life not understanding the "rules" of whatever you are doing.

    One thing that can be unsettling about international travel is that you may not know the rules and ways of communication. So you can unwittingly offend people or misunderstand their intentions because you don't know the rules and customs. For me, this is not a comfortable way to be, so I try to learn the rules before I go unfamiliar places.

    Yet there are people at TT -- even people in this thread -- who seem happy to play tennis without bothering to know the rules of tennis. I can think of one person who plays tennis and captains teams who clearly has never once looked at The Code. She *blasts* obviously out serves 100% of the time yet is oblivious to people giving her the stink eye.

    The Code is short and written at about a sixth grade level. You could read the whole thing on one trip to the bathroom. Yet people will not read it and will take offense when others comment on their etiquette violations.

    Weird. Very weird.
     
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  32. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    What I have learned on this board is that what goes around comes around.

    I have had almost no conflicts/drama on my USTA or casual matches at my club. Everybody is pretty laid back and you never hear anyone raise their voice. There are a couple of people who are not very popular due to their attitude, but nothing like what is discussed around here.

    It seems to me, most of the conflict around here happens due to the "stand your ground" mentality. Some around here take ANY kind of slight/bad call/conflict as affront to their very being and actively raise the conflict when ignoring it would make thing just go away.

    You reap what you sow.
     
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  33. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I fall into this camp. Learning the rules and customs of tennis moves the game along, you get to play more points and have more fun and exercise.
     
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  34. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Interesting to see how this goal (a good one!) and rules/customs clash in many of these threads -- 90 seconds between changeovers; repetitive serve tosses; demanding all balls be picked up; demanding your personal single sticks be installed; hitting at net person; etc., etc. All legal but perhaps frowned upon to down and out-right rude by many.

    Is the rule book thumper demanding a full 90 second sit-down or 5 tosses each serve correct? Heck, I've heard one grown man complain quite exasperatingly that calling out the score when one is winning is rude and annoying. It's a fine line.

    edit: Add blasting return winners on first serves out by 12 inches. Perfectly legal ... it will even speed up play.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
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  35. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I don't think I am necessarily complaining about the complainers. I find it amusing more than anything. :) I like coming to the forum to see what wacky situation people are questioning today.
     
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  36. paul500w

    paul500w Rookie

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    Some times it seems the SAME people get into the same issues. Starts to make you think they are the issue. I normally don't have an issue when playing tennis. I am laid back unless I feel the person is doing it to bother me.

    HAVE FUN, YOU ARE PLAYING TENNIS. lol
     
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  37. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    It's the consistency of knowing and following the rules that will help move the game along in an enjoyable competitive manner--rather then having 10 minute breaks at the net ignorantly ranting and raving about who's right while disturbing everyone else's games at the tennis complex.
     
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  38. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    The vast majority of my tennis interactions have been positive. I have been playing since 2007, and these are the guidelines I aspire to.

    1. Have a decent appreciation (if not an encyclopedic knowledge) of The Code, and make an effort to understand the unwritten guidelines that make the match easier.

    2. Have a little common sense, and do unto others as you would have others do unto you. For example, don't sprint back to service line and expect your opponent to be ready, based on the "pace of the server" rule. Remember that the word "reasonable" is used.

    3. Don't be a wanker. If I am serving and call "ad-out" instead of "30-40", just live with it, be happy that you have a break point, and stop being so smug about pointing out the factual error, when it has no impact on the actual score.

    4. Realize that people are not perfect. One or two bad line calls during a match will should not ruin your day, and are likely not an indicator that the person on the other side of the net lacks integrity. Systemic cheaters, though, should be treated as such, within the limits of civility.

    Oh, yeah, one more, for guys only: If you get hit by the ball in any place other than the head, the face, or the soft bits:shock:, do NOT acknowledge the pain (if there is any, since it's only a tennis ball, ya big wuss), smile, say "It's all good", and proceed without any drama. Why did you think tennis would be different from any other sport??????????:twisted: I was so embarassed for one of my opponents last year who looked ready to cry when his wife hit him in the back with a 50mph slice..........
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
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  39. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No, *you're* the wanker! :)

    Seriously, just call the actual score instead of using ad-out interchangeably with 30-40.

    Now and then there will be a scoring dispute. If we are reconstructing things and trying to remember what happened on each previous point, it helps to know how many points have been played. Ad Out = 7, 30-40 = 5.
     
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  40. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    I'm beginning to understand why ball machines are so popular.

    There's really only one rule: don't be a d**khead. Apparently it's quite difficult to follow.
     
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  41. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    I often play against perceived jackholes only later to find out I like them just fine.
     
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  42. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    Some people would certainly agree with you:-?

    My point is that if I call ad-out mistakenly (not by habit), just let it go.
     
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  43. Bdarb

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    yeah it makes it soooo difficult when you say a score which is the same as the score.:roll: I bet 5-40 drives you batty too..
     
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  44. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    fwiw, I get infinitely angrier at my inanimate ball machine than any hitting partner. Double feeds; damp ball jamming; adjusted low feeds that suddenly hit the net after I run around to hit.... and my favorite is the two minute delayed feed that suddenly fires out as I'm picking up my netted balls.

    I have so much higher expectation for the machine that some human.
     
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  45. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    ^Plus it gets tired. Hated the batteries going dead and having to ramp up the pace and continually adjust it.
     
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  46. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Yeah and I might mention it once per match if the opponents gets it wrong...
     
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  47. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I get kind of mad when ball machines hold a court waiting for a human partner to show up. That irks me to no end. I had a video somewhere...
     
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  48. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    which begs the age old question, how many players and or ball machines does it take to hold a court??
     
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  49. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    This should heat things up.

    30-40 is ad out btw.....
     
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  50. Bdarb

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    I agree sir.
     
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