The Botched Set Tiebreak

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I had a match today on a team I don't captain. Players on adjacent court started having a huge argument. My partner asked me what we should do, and I said we should do nothing, they have to work it out.

    On and on the argument went. Finally, one of the players came over to us on our changeover and asked what they should do if they disagree on a rule. I said you have to work it out yourselves. The player said, "We've tried that. We can't agree. Is that a pro? I'll go ask him." I said, "You can't ask anyone. I have the rules in my bag if you want to look it up." She said, "We've already looked at the rule and there is no rule in what we have." I said, "Well, spin a racket and winner decides how you'll proceed." After all, we play timed matches and cannot spend all afternoon researching rules.

    After the match, they told me the problem. They were playing a tiebreak, and a player served her first service point from the deuce court rather than the ad court. They played the point. Someone realized the error. Does the server serve to the ad court or the deuce court for the next point? Do they disregard the errant point entirely and go back and do things correctly? Or does the server serve her second point to the same returner who struck the first return, thereby fixing things as soon as the error is discovered?

    I am too lazy to look it up, so I am hoping someone will know the answer. I remember reading this in the rules, and struck me as very complicated. My gut says that the server should serve to the other player, to avoid having the same returner hit two returns in a row, and the point played in good faith stands. True? False?

    In the lobby, someone asked what would happen if a player realized the service error mid-point and caught the ball and declared a let. I didn't know the answer, and thinking about it gives me a headache. :(
     
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  2. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    While also being too lazy to look it up, I would say serve on the correct side as soon as possible.

    It's amazing that 4 people can mess something like that up, all at the same time.
     
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  3. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I wonder what the fight was about. I would bet $100 that one team was saying that the point should be disregarded. That would be completely unacceptable if we had won that point and the only possible outcome worth disagreeing strongly about.

    My own match got off to something of a bad start over rules too.

    We warm up and we play the first game. My partner and I start walking to the other side to switch sides. One opponent declares, "You don't switch sides after the first game in a set." I said, "I beg your pardon?" She said, "I know the rules and I am certain you never change sides after the first game." I said, "Uh . . . . . Well, I have the rules so we can look it up, but then again we are playing indoors so who cares? We can do it your way."

    We proceeded to play her way, not changing sides after the first game in either set. Since I served second, this meant that I served my first service game on one side and my second service game from the opposite side. Weird.

    Being a Certified, Grade A, World Class Know-It-All, I whipped out my rules after the match and had a jolly old time rubbing her face in them. Especially the part where the "Continuous Play Rule" says that play shall be continuous except for the **changeover after the first game in a set.**

    She almost admitted I was right. She's going to go doublecheck and consult with the league administrator.

    I think I will have to yank her Know-It-All Certification for this. :)
     
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  4. Homey

    Homey Rookie

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    My feeling

    I almost certain you have to count the point that has already been played.

    But, once you have figured out you have made a mistake you must immediately start the next point where it should be played. Which means you would end up serving to the same person twice.

    It seems weird, but that is my vote for how to proceed. Anxious to hear what other people have to say.

    Homey
     
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  5. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I believe the point counts... and you correct the serving order immediately.

    But how could not 1 of the 4 players not pick up on it.
     
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  6. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I'm with Ripper on this...the point stands and you correct the order immediately.

    As for the second part of Ripper's post....no comment :oops:.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    We play Coman tiebreaks. All the switching can get confusing. Anyway, here's the rule:

    *************************

    CORRECTING ERRORS
    As a principle, when an error in respect of the Rules of Tennis is discovered, all points previously played shall stand. Errors so discovered shall be corrected as follows:

    a. During a standard game or a tie-break game, if a player serves from the wrong half of the court, this should be corrected as soon as the error is discovered and the server shall serve from the correct half of the court according to the score. A fault that was served before the error was discovered shall stand.

    b. During a standard game or a tie-break game, if the players are at the wrong ends of the court, the error should be corrected as soon as it is discovered and the server shall serve from the correct end of the court according to the score.

    c. If a player serves out of turn during a standard game, the player who was originally due to serve shall serve as soon as the error is discovered. However, if a game is completed before the error is discovered the order of service shall remain as altered.
    A fault that was served by the opponents(s) before the error was
    discovered shall not stand. In doubles, if the partners of one team serve out of turn, a fault that was served before the error was discovered shall stand.

    d. If a player serves out of turn during a tie-break game and the error is discovered after an even number of points have been played, the error is corrected immediately. If the error is discovered after an odd number of points have been played, the order of service shall remain as altered.

    A fault that was served by the opponent(s) before the error was
    discovered shall not stand. In doubles, if the partners of one team serve out of turn, a fault that was served before the error was discovered shall stand.

    e. During a standard game or a tie-break game in doubles, if there is an error in the order of receiving, this shall remain as altered until the end of the game in which the error is discovered. For the next game in which they are the receivers in that set, the partners shall then resume the original order of receiving.

    f. If in error a tie-break game is started at 6 games all, when it was previously agreed that the set would be an “Advantage set”, the error shall be corrected immediately if only one point has been played. If the error is discovered after the second point is in play, the set will continue as a “Tie-break set”.

    g. If in error a standard game is started at 6 games all, when it was previously agreed that the set would be a “Tie-break set”, the error shall be corrected immediately if only one point has been played. If the error is discovered after the second point is in play, the set will continue as an “Advantage set” until the score reaches 8 games all (or a higher even number), when a tie-break game shall be played.

    h. If in error an “Advantage set” or “Tie-break set” is started, when it was previously agreed that the final set would be a match tie-break, the error shall be corrected immediately if only one point has been played. If the error is discovered after the second point is in play, the set will continue either until a player or team wins three games (and therefore the set) or until the score reaches 2 games all, when a match tie-break shall be played. However, if the error is discovered after the second point of the fifth game has started, the set will continue as a “Tie-break set”. (See Appendix IV.)
    i. If the balls are not changed in the correct sequence, the error shall be corrected when the player/team who should have served with new balls is next due to serve a new game. Thereafter the balls shall be changed so that the number of games between ball changes shall be that originally agreed. Balls should not be changed during a game.
     
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  8. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

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    Without doing any specific research I'm pretty sure this is the case.
     
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  9. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Homey is correct. The point counts, even if served from the wrong side. You correct the serving position next point, after the mistake is caught. I also think that if someone stopped playing in the middle of the point, saying the server was serving on the wrong side - that side would lose the point (has to be corrected before the point begins). You have to play out the point, then correct the server situation.
     
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  10. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    All points played in good faith stand.
     
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  11. ALten1

    ALten1 Rookie

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    5'4" of nothing but truth;)
     
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  12. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I'd agree with this as well. Others posters do too, but Homey said it first. I'm not surprised that 4 people could do this, (many players are in dreamland throughout a match), but I'm surprised each side would want a protracted argument about the matter. What do you want to do, argue or play tennis?
     
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  13. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, that's why I think it had to do with erasing a point.

    Or perhaps it had to do with the error being discovered between first and second. Although I wouldn't fight over that. I would just give the server two and move on. If they only gave me one, I would just take the one and make bloody sure I got it in.
     
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  14. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Yeah but life doesn't always do what you want it to do. At least mine doesn't!
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Can you imagine if the error is discovered between first and second, there is a huge discussion about the Coman procedure and the rule, and then someone insists that it be second serve on the other service court? That's just not fair at all.

    I guess the rule figures that serving to the wrong court is the server's fault, so the server has to suffer the consequences in the disruption of her serve.

    I'll write to these ladies and ask what happened.
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, I got the story.

    Server served from the wrong side at 5-2. Opponents won the point, so 5-3. Everyone realizes the mistake. Three of the players said they should go back to the last score they could agree upon before the error (5-2). Server said the last point should stand. They looked it up and went with 5-3, but I don't know to whom the server next served.
     
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  17. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    I believe the rule is; if you are on the wrong side of court when serving or get out of order in any way, the points played stand; and whenever you figure out that you are wrong, you then fix the problem and play from there on as you are supposed to.

    So, if they served from the Deuce and should have served from the Ad side, then the next serve should be from the Deuce side, so they serve again from the Deuce side.

    spoke
     
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  18. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    The resolution (serve the correct point from the correct place) leads to a potential gamesmanship issue...

    Say you are playing in a tight tie-break against opponents with the weaker player in the deuce court (as often happens). It is your turn to serve leading 5-4. You intentionally line-up on the wrong side to serve to that weaker player. Nobody notices (it is amazing how many people can't play a tiebreak correctly) and you win an easy point serving to the weaker player. The score is now 6-4.

    At this point you say "Gee, I just served to the wrong court, I was supposed to serve to the ad-court. Oh well, the rules say the point stands and I'm supposed to serve to the correct court now." So you serve again to the weaker player and the cheater takes the set 7-4.
     
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  19. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    THat is true, but the receiving team should be on top of it too; and should have stopped the point and not returned the ball when the server lined up and served from the wrong side of the court. There is accountability on both sides
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Honestly, I think the rule should be different for tiebreaks.

    For a tiebreak, I think the server should fix the problem by serving to the other player. It is important that each receiver get to receive.

    I'll file this under "Tennis Rules That I Think Should Be Changed But No One Is Going To Listen To Me." I'll place it right next to the rule that requires a player not to hit the ball while it is on the other side of the net, and to call it on herself even though she can have no idea where she made contact.
     
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  21. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    You should of just let them talk to pro.

    Doesnt make much sense, you are adamant that you cant help them, yet you are telling them who they are allowed to talk too, and making suggestions like that they should spin a racquet?

    Cat's out of the bag at that point, just tell them the rule if you know it... (and if you dont then just say you dont and move on with your match....)

    Doesnt seem gray to me to blindly follow that rule to that extent...
     
    #21
  22. zettabyte

    zettabyte New User

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    This same basic problem is in Tennis Magazine this month (Jan/Feb 2010), page 46.

    Gist: Once the point starts, it's on and can't be stopped. Service position is corrected on the next point.

    The Code, Item 2
    Rule 27; USTA Comment 27.1
     
    #22
  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Nah, that would be silly. We play timed matches. I told them a way they could work it out, without telling them the rule or getting involved. They were free to choose to spin a racket or not. Apparently they didn't.

    In our league, it is 100% unacceptable to get some outsider to resolve your disputes. The league organizers sent out a message at the beginning of the season saying exactly that.
     
    #23
  24. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    This is true, but there are plenty of opportunities for someone to cheat in tennis. Everything I've ever read or looked up in the rules or code has stated that any points played before an error is discovered stands and play continues from that point on correctly as if, or as if it would have actually if, no error had been made.

    Usually cheaters can always get ahead, at least in the short-term. The newspapers are full of cheaters that "beat" the system for personal gain, its not pretty when/if it finally catches up to them though. Socially, who would play or associate with w/ a repeat cheater. I wouldn't want one on my team, it would be embarrassing as heck. I think your scenario would go beyond gamesmanship to pure cheating.

    In unofficiated league play I don't know what else one could do but be aware and alert. In our tiebreaks, b/c it is such an odd seeming thing for those not used to the tiebreaker format, experienced players are very vigilant about pointing out where each serve should be served from.
     
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  25. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    I agree, receiving team bears some responsibility for lining up to receive the serve from the wrong side and attempting a return of serve. No one is going to serve to someone standing on the service line with their hand up saying "Hold on!". So I like the rule the way it stands...gotta keep your head in the match even when receiving...especially in tiebreaks.
     
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