The plague of the opposing doubles partner who 'did not see !'

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by oldhacker, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. oldhacker

    oldhacker Semi-Pro

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    Following a spell of hard graft on my serve which has delivered some extra pace, depth and placement I am increasingly being bothered by the plague of the opposing doubles partner who 'did not see' where my serve landed relative to the service line despite the fact they are were standing on the service line (ie perfectly placed with little else to do while their partner tried to return serve).

    I have learnt to accept the quirk of iffy line calls by the opposing baseline player as I realise that it is very hard to call correctly when you are on top of the ball and that the net player is not best placed even if they do happen to be looking behind them. However, I am becoming increasingly frustrated at the frequency with which my new improved first serve is being called out by the receiver when my partner and I think it is good and the opposing net player 'did not see.'

    I acknowledge that it is hard to call the service line as the returner on big serves and there is often an instinctive reaction to call a close to line serve which 'got you' out. However there is no excuse for the 'did not see' from their partner.
     
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  2. Chivo

    Chivo New User

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    Had it happen to me several times last night in a mixed doubles match. When he was returning my serve, she called several "out" after he had already returned the ball. The out calls always came when he netted or hit a return out. He shrugged his shoulders as to say he thought it was good but never over ruled her. She had a *itchy attitude the entire match, so it felt great beating them in straight sets.
     
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  3. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I have a hard time seeing that shot, as well. Cant really tell where it lands many times.
     
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  4. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Its tough, but as the net man on the returning team, just watch the service line. Don't try to watch it all the way from the server to the court, you'll miss close calls. If you watch the line, you can almost always get a good call. Once the ball is in, refocus on your preferred target.
     
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  5. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    It isn't entirely clear to me, but which line are you talking about? Is the returner calling the serves long, or wide?

    For me in doubles, the line parallel to the net/baseline, or long call, is primarily the responsibility of the returner's partner, so if it's that line that the returner is calling very tight and the partner is not seeing, then I think you've got a legitimate reason to be annoyed. The returner has a much worse angle to see that call clearly than the returner's partner, assuming the partner is playing up.

    If it's the line perpendicular to the net/baseline, to me that's usually the returner's line to call. If I'm the returner's partner, I'm not going to overrule my partner on that line very often unless I'm just very sure it was a mistake. It's hard to see that line clearly from the net, the angle is just bad.

    I do have a serve that I like in the deuce court that basically starts like it's going wide and then twists its way in due to the spin on it, so I can sympathize with occasionally having someone who isn't used to seeing that serve call it wide several times when I strongly suspect it is landing in.
     
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  6. oldhacker

    oldhacker Semi-Pro

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    I am referring to when the returner calls an 'ace' serve long, me and my partner both think it looked good but his partner (who is standing on the service line, so has the best view) conveniently 'did not see'. Happens too much and I am increasingly interpreting 'did not see' as 'I am not going to over-rule my partner.'



    It isn't entirely clear to me, but which line are you talking about? Is the returner calling the serves long, or wide?
     
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  7. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Would you like to say that you overrule your partner every time you think that they possibly maight have gotten a call wrong?
     
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  8. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Returner's partner should be standing just in front of the service line looking back. It's easier to see if there is a different color between the white line and court from that position than when standing behind the service line.

    JMO, but if your partner is not calling the service line parallel to the net when you're receiving, then he/she is not doing their job. I normally tell my partners to help me call that line and I would call the line perpendicular to the net.
     
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  9. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    the less you worry about it ,the better time you will have. Worry about calling the balls on your own side of the net, and letting the other team call the balls on their side of the net. Otherwise, you will be angry/frustrated much of the time, and is that why you are playing tennis? On the other hand, if you are playing with CHEATERS, then simply don't play with them any more.

    Also, if I were your opponents, and you were getting mad at me for not seeing your serves as in or out, then I have the perfect response "Serve the ball slower, and I can call them better!". :)

    This reminds me, on occasion, against a big server, I may have a hard time seeing the ball in or out when served to my partner, so in that case, I have to consider it as Good. When my partner returns the ball, and the serving side just watches it and says "that looked out to us", I have to say, "I couldnt call it in or out, so we to play it as being good." If the serving team starts to get mad at us, I simply say "If you want me to make better calls on your serves, start serving them slower!" :)

     
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  10. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Just a personal opinion but I really don't like looking back at the line and then quickly turning my head around and adjusting to the ball in play. Much easier for the receiver to call it (I think).
     
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  11. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    This may come as a suprise but the returner's partner's job is NOT to call lines, it is to be ready for the potential poach. Wherever they choose to position themselves is their choice and they try their best to call lines from wherever that happens to be.
     
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  12. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    It is next to impossible for the receiver to make an accurate call on a ball that is close to the service line. It is your job as the partner to make that call. Its the right thing to do for your partner and, frankly, for yourself, as I bet your partner plays a lot of shots off serves that are out, as it is really tough to make those calls.
     
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  13. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    actually, you are wrong Luckyr. It is the partner's job to call the serves out on the service line.

     
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  14. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    From 'The Code':

    24. Service calls in doubles. In doubles the receiver’s partner should call the service line, and the receiver should call the sideline and the center service line. Nonetheless, either partner may call a ball that either clearly sees.
     
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  15. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    We all agree on that (obviously), but it is not the job of the netman to position themselves for optimal line calling, it is to position themselves for optimal tennis playing.

    From my original post: "Wherever they choose to position themselves is their choice and they try their best to call lines from wherever that happens to be."
     
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  16. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    If you call lines appropriately, you will prevent your partner from playing serves that are close, but out. There is no more "optimal" way to win than to not have to hit an out shot.

    I agree that the best doubles position is to prepare for the poach when you have a line judge. Otherwise, you have to make those calls, and make them correctly. To do this you have to be on that line. It is easy to take a step or two up after you know the serve is good.
     
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  17. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Trust me, there are plenty (did I mention there are plenty?) of Rec and Club doubles players who make very sure that their partners hit extremely few "out" serves without the benefit of above average line calling accuracy.
     
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  18. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    No doubt. But I don't want to play with cheaters, and I don't want a cheater for a partner, which is what you are describing there.
     
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  19. spot

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    Seems strange that we ask the receiver to make this call all the time in singles when its "next to impossible"
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
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  20. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Right. Saying it's "next to impossible" is a huge reach.
     
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  21. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    It is next to impossible for the returner to make a good, accurate line call on the service line, singles or doubles. If you believe differently you are probably kidding yourself or you are playing 3.0 with bloopball serves. Three or four inches either way is easy, but closer than that at a decent pace becomes problematic. The angle is against you and you have no way of knowing for sure if its in. My point is that, if you have a partner who can make a more accurate line call, that person should be responsible for making it. If you guys don't believe in that, its totally up to you.
     
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  22. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Should you even take a step until you know the ball is past the opposing net person?

    "From 'The Code':

    24. Service calls in doubles. In doubles the receiver’s partner should call the service line, and the receiver should call the sideline and the center service line. Nonetheless, either partner may call a ball that either clearly sees."

    Given that the code calls for the receiver's partner to call the service line, if he did not see it out an argument could be made that it is IN. It is frustrating to work on a good serve, get it close and have it be called out due to the receiving team being unsure. "Not sure, just take two" is not the remedy.
     
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  23. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    It's not "next to impossible" for 90% of the serves you are going to face. It's totally possible. For those serves that are hit extremely hard and close to the line, they are going to be hard for anyone to call. Even real line judges get this wrong. It's best judgement at that point. "totally accurate" is just not possible all of the time.

    All this said, I will be paying more attention when I'm at the net, now I know it's my call first.
     
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  24. spot

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    Then do you think we ought to just get rid of all unofficiated singles matches since its "next to impossible" to call a shot that happens on every single point? Or should we just get rid of all unofficated singles matches at the 3.5 level and up?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
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  25. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

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    I don't much like calling serves either. Extremely fast serves and those with a lot of spin or action can be really difficult to call, and while I don't want to cheat my opponents, I hate giving up points to my opponents (although I do) on serves that I think are out but am just not sure about. For those I get mad and frustrated at myself for not being able to see it better. I like serves that are clearly in or clearly out.
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The ball was out
     
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  27. tennis_ocd

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    Thankfully, most serves are an easy call. But for the crushed, flat first serve that hits on or about the line, the receiver has an incredibly poor view. Since it can't be called out, most are simply played and it's why an observer will see many deep balls returned without comment among players of equal level.
     
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  28. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Yes I do. Will play with my fifth different dubs partner this summer tonite. Will not tolerate errors. Or blown calls.
     
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  29. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    That's good. 90% of serves are easy to call, you are right about that. But i'm not willing to make bad calls on 10% of shots because my partner doesn't want to do his job.

    Of course not, you're extrapolating my opinion to a ridiculous conclusion. In singles you call them the best you can, but in doubles it is unacceptable to have a person who can make a better call fail to do so because they are too lazy to turn their head, or to take two extra steps. And I've never seen a tennis match where every single serve was hit hard, flat, and right on the service line (which are the serves we are talking about). Most balls are easy to call, some are not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
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  30. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    You sound like the kind of doubles partner I would want to play with. If I blow a call, correct me. I will do the same. Good on you for playing by the rules!
     
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  31. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Sounds like you agree that 10% of calls are hard then. Not exactly: "It is next to impossible for the returner to make a good, accurate line call on the service line, singles or doubles."
     
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  32. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Easy when we play on clay. Hairy on hardcourts.
     
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  33. spot

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    I think that you guys are flat lying if you say that you overrule your partner on every single call you think that they might have been wrong about (at least on hard courts). Zcarzach-that means that when receiving you are overruling your partner on all of those balls that you don't think are "impossible" to call yourself since your partner might have been wrong about them. Its not enough to defer to them when you think had a better look at it- overruling when they MIGHT have been wrong is a ridiculously high bar.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
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  34. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    No that is exactly what I said. "Call on the service line" means exactly what I said, calls where the ball is on the line or very close to it. That might be 10% of overall serves, and those are next to impossible for the returner to call accurately. So, I stand by what I said.
     
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  35. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Not at all. The only way I overrule my partner is if he clearly blows the call, which is exactly what Ronaldo said. Most of my partners are smart enough to not try to make the service line call, because they know I'm watching it. They call wide, I call long, we move on down the road. I call wide on my returns, they call long. I wouldn't play with a partner who makes poor, or no, calls on the service line when I'm returning. This is the smart way to handle this.

    I think we are all overthinking this. The answer is clearly different for each player. I know what I do, and what I expect my partner to do. If he doesn't, he won't be my partner for very long. Simple. Everyone seems to get defensive when people talk about blowing line calls. Everyone screws up; the point is to make as few errors as possible. This is best done by having the net man on the service line, making those 10% of calls that are extremely difficult (perhaps impossible) for the returner to make accurately.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
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  36. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Saying that you will overrule everytime your partner MIGHT have missed a call is FAR different than only overruling when they have clearly blown a call.
     
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  37. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    So you're using the wording "call on the service line" to mean a call on a serve that is close to the service line? That really isn't how it reads, but I suspect you knew that.
     
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  38. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Clearly, I missed that. Reading comprehension fail.
     
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  39. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Yes, that is what I meant. The call on the service line means shots that are, you know, ON the service line. I said what I meant. What do you think I meant?, I'm confused how it could be misconstrued. I'm not fighting here, I'm just curious :)
     
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  40. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    If my partner did not see the ball and cannot make the call, the serve is good unless the opposing team overrules the call. And that happened last week. The other team called a ball out even though we were not sure of our call.
     
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  41. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    If they are on the service line, are they not in? :neutral:
     
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  42. tennis_ocd

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    if I'm aced I know my partner missed the call.
     
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  43. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Yes, but I won't be able to tell for sure if it is on the line or just back, so I will have to play it like it was in, unless my partner makes the call. That's why its so important to have the netman there to rule on such things.
     
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  44. spot

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    Personally I'd rather just call it the same way I do in singles and have my partner focused on reading the opposing net player. Just like I would for every other shot I make in doubles with my partner at the net. But unlike you I don't find it "next to impossible" to play singles and call serves in or out so I can certainly see why you feel differently. Maybe I'll return some serves that my partner would have called out with a better vantage point but I think thats balanced out by the increased points we will win by having the net person's undivided attention on the other team.

    Take this to the logical point. Do you think its wrong for teams to play 2 back on the return of serve because its "next to impossible" to call serves in or out?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
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  45. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    I can see we will never agree on this issue. To me, fair calls are more important than a hypothetical advantage that will be gained by not looking sideways for a split second. Frankly, if your partner's return is weak enough to allow the netman to kill you with it, you wouldn't have much of a play on it anyway.

    Calling the service line correctly isn't just about you, your team, and your points. There are many occassions when a poor service line call hurts your opponent as well. What if your opponent hits a serve two inches long and you smack it for a winner? Not fair and not good sportsmanship.

    I think 2 back is wrong because its usually a terrible tactical position to be in. The bad service calls are just a bonus :)
     
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  46. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    its not easy to call serves.


    but if its really close you are supposed to call it in.
     
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  47. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Not true. If its out, its out.
     
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  48. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    True and if you are not sure, find a mark that is out.
     
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  49. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Works on clay, which I never play on :)
     
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  50. tennis_ocd

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    anyone can call in or out. It's the accuracy of hard, flat close balls that's in question. (Match line umps align themselves along the line for a reason; if they could call this line from the baseline they'd do so.)

    To not do so in order to gain advantage is poor strategy (the service line is an ideal position until the return clears the net man and playing out balls not only gives a team the chance to lose that point but empowers the server to hit even harder.) It also verges on almost outright cheating if ignoring responsibility in an attempt, even mistaken, to gain advantage -- especially if the returner is making incorrect out calls.

    In any event, code appears clear for those that chose to follow it; partner's call if at line. That in itself is reason to do so.
     
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