The Unready Receiver's Partner

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Had kind of an icky match today.

    Opponents started out the match by hooking us a few times on the center service line. We didn't make a big deal, but I filed these ladies under "Folks I've Decided I Don't Care For."

    Then my partner was serving. She missed a first serve, but returner had hit it into the net. Receiver's partner strolled up to the net to clear the ball. She then turned her back and started walking back to the service line.

    As her back was turned, my partner served. The receiver hesitated, then popped the ball over the net. The receiver's partner then said, "Hold on, I wasn't ready!"

    I said, "Your partner was ready and she returned the ball which proves she was ready. There is nothing in the rules that says you have to be ready. So -- "

    "MY BACK WAS TURNED! SHE'S SUPPOSED TO LOOK UP BEFORE SHE SERVES. SHE NEVER LOOKED UP!!"

    "Look. It should be loss of point because there was a point in progress and your talking while the ball was on its way to us was a hindrance. Instead, let's play a let. First serve, then?"

    The lady then grumbled something inaudible and declined to repeat it when I asked what she said. I think they were unhappy that my partner got a first serve.

    Man. I hate it when you cut someone a break and they still have a 'tude.
     
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  2. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Your partner should have gotten a second serve, actually. Your team were the lucky ones. :)
     
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  3. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    I think woodrow is wrong, from the code:

    "29. Delays during service. ...

    When there is a delay between the first and second serves:
    • The server gets one serve if the server was the cause of the delay;
    • The server gets two serves if the delay was caused by the receiver or
    if there was outside interference."

    I think it is clear that the receivers caused the delay, not the servers. Also, it is up to the reciever to make sure her partner is ready, not the server. The server just needs to make sure the receiver is ready.

    However, on a practical matter, when serving in doubles, I always wait to make sure both players are ready after I serve the first ball, if the first ball needs to be cleared. It just avoids the unpleasantness that Cindy referred to.


     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
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  4. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Seriously? She served when one person had their back turned?
     
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  5. jht32

    jht32 Rookie

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    Clearing a first service fault from the court is not considered a "delay"
     
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  6. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    I agree, but yelling "Hold on I wasn't ready" after the ball was served, and the receiver has hit her return, is a delay, or at least an attempt to delay.

     
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  7. samarai

    samarai Rookie

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    I agree, she walked up to the net to clear a ball and was walking back to start play and you teammate started to serve without her being ready. Conversation should have stopped there. You should have second served. Man, your matches are supposed to be fun.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    IMHO, the receiver was ready. We know this because (1) she was ready, and (2) she returned the serve into the proper court. If you make an attempt to return when you are not ready, you are deemed ready.

    We also know that the receiver's partner began talking while the ball was on its way to us. That is a hindrance, and we stopped playing the point. Point for team Sphinx.

    Had the receiving team insisted on a second serve, I would have said we were claiming the point because of hindrance. I did them a huge favor by agreeing to replay the point.

    If you want to use the theory that my partner gets a first serve because of delay, then I would say the receiving team caused the delay. Had the receiver simply not put the serve back into play, then of course the server would just take a second serve.
     
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes. My partner said, "I looked up to see that the receiver was ready, so I served the ball."

    I think what happened is that the ball didn't need to be cleared, as it was up against the net. The receiver's partner hesitated before starting to clear it. So server thought they were going to leave it.
     
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  10. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    So you think the returner needs to hold up their hand before every serve even when it's obvious that their partner isn't ready?
     
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  11. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    It is the server's responsibility to make sure the receiver is ready. This includes the receiver's partner. If the receiver or partner is clearing a ball, that is not a delay caused by the receiver as you quoted it. A ball being cleared is a legitimate reason for a delay between first and second serves. Therefore, it should be a second serve.
     
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  12. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    She said the receiver hesitated, and then just popped it back. If they had played a long point, then wanted to replay it, then no. But in this case, the serve should have been replayed.
     
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  13. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    It doesn't matter if it "needs to be cleared" or not. If it is a distraction, the player has the right to clear it.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think I recall a Tennis Magazine article (as well as a thread here) in which it was clear that receiver's partner's readiness is not the problem of the server.

    Is there a cite that says otherwise?
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It only matters in that I was explaining the weirdness of why the server served when the receiver had her back turned.
     
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  16. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Woodrow, you say: "It is the server's responsibility to make sure the receiver is ready. This includes the receiver's partner". I don't see that in the rules. Please show us where in the rules it says "This includes the receiver's partner".

    I did find this from friend at court:

    "6. If receiver is ready, then his partner is deemed ready. If the receiver has
    indicated that he is ready and the server serves an ace, the receiver’s
    partner cannot claim a let because he was not ready. The receiver’s
    indication of being ready is tantamount to indicating that his team is ready."
    (INTERCOLLEGIATE TENNIS ASSOCIATION (ITA) REGULATIONS)

    So, unless you can find a rule supporting your position, I will have to go with what the rules say.

     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
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  17. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    This is the what I think is the applicable provision of the Code:

     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Heck, yeah.

    I hold up my racket the entire time my partner is clearing a ball, fiddling with her skirt, walking to position.

    I do this now that I know that the readiness of my partner is not the server's problem.
     
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  19. ChipNCharge

    ChipNCharge Professional

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    But you said the returner hesitated. To me, that was weak of your team to attempt to claim the point under that situation. The returner's partner's back was to net, for crying out loud.

    Sounds to me like you were "getting them back" for the supposed bad line calls.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    We didn't claim the point. We could have IMHO, but we didn't. The Code seems clear that a receiver who isn't ready cannot make any attempt to hit the return.

    What I don't get is why the lady who had her back turned didn't just do a split step and play the point. That's what I would have done. I guess I think it's very dangerous to interrupt points in progress for any reason other than a ball rolling onto court, but that's just me.
     
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  21. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    I read the situation wrong at first. I was thinking she said She wasn't ready just after the server hit the serve, which was the reason for the receiver's hesitation before hitting it.

    So technically, ok, the receiver is considered ready since she hit it. But, really, the server SHOULD not have served without her being ready.

    And, in this situation, the receiver's hesitation should have been an indication that she wasn't ready.


    And, Blakesq, the rule you quoted is from the ITA rules, which are different from the USTA rules. And they are worded differently to avoid blatant cheating.
     
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  22. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    I'd rather think that a little common sense can be used on the court, even if it can't be written into the rule book. Just play the game, instead of looking for chances for cheap points. Who really serves with their opponent's back to them and feels sportsmanly about it?

    You seem determined to go by the letter of the rules in all of your posts. Except for when a rule violation would result in your team defaulting a court. Then it's time for common sense to come into play?
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think it is good practice to give a clear indication when you are not ready. Why make the server read your mind?

    I have had servers serve to my partner when I was not ready. I kind of which my partners would take note of whether I am ready and hold up a racket. Unless they are planning to win that particular point all by themselves, that is.
     
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  24. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Mmm, I'm still not with you, Woodrow.

    The rule draws a very bright line. If you return it, you are ready.

    Indeed, if you make an attempt to return it, you are ready. If she just hesitated or twitched, then that wouldn't be enough. But she hesitated, and then intentionally returned the ball.

    So if you and I were roving officials and came across this situation, there's no way we would give the server only a second serve, right?

    Still, I thought the fair thing to do wasn't to claim the point, so I didn't. But I also didn't think my partner should have this big delay between first and second when we were in the process of being Nice Guys about the whole thing.
     
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  25. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

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    Cindy is right. Woodrow is wrong. Officials do not always get it right.
     
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  26. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Which is why I said, technically, by the wording of the rule, you were right. I just don't think that common sense was used.

    Additionally, we are ONLY hearing one side of what actually happened. Maybe if there was an official there, and heard the receiver's partner say "hold on" BEFORE the receiver actually hit it back. We don't know exactly what happened.

    But, correct, given the circumstances, by the rules, technically you were right.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2011
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  27. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    But this is the kind of crap that makes a lot of people (including me) not want anything to do with league play.

    A lot of people would have just claimed the point (especially if they thought they were being hooked earlier in the match), and you do get some people that do deliberately quick serve to try to get an edge. That's the kind of shady stuff that goes on in league matches, and again, it is why I refuse to play or officiate league tennis.
     
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  28. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    it takes a big man to admit when he is mistaken. I salute you Woodrow!

     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I dunno. My experience with league is that folks do try to come up with fair resolutions in weird situations. Which is what happened in this case.

    Now. The quoted scenario above is interesting.

    What if the unready receiver's partner said, "Wait! Hold on!" before her partner strikes the ball?

    I guess technically this is also a hindrance. It's like she is calling a let as the serve is on its way. It is distracting to all three players. Her partner may have been distracted, but a player cannot claim hindrance based on something her own partner does. If the receiver returned the ball and we stopped playing because of the "Hold on!", I would still say it is our point due to hindrance (and would offer to play a let because I am such a nice guy).

    Is that wrong or right?
     
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  30. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Two observations:

    1. As a server, I always check to make sure both receiver and receiver's partner are ready before I serve. I understand that technically it's just the receiver that needs to be ready, but it's habit on my part to take a quick glance at receiver's partner also. Certainly doesn't hurt.

    2. As receiver's partner, I never turn my back on the server. After clearing a ball at net, I backpedal back to the service line so that I can watch what the server is doing. If it looks like the server is about to serve before I'm ready, I'll hold my hand up and / or say something.
     
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  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I do both of these things also. Still, if both people are standing there facing me and I start my service routine with three bounces of the ball and then a toss, I don't think I would expect the server's partner to turn her back on me without saying something.

    And I don't turn my back either. Geez, if the serve hit you in the back it would be loss of point.
     
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  32. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    There, I would say you are wrong. The server needs to be sure the receiver is ready. The partner with her back turned after clearing a ball, clearly saying wait, or stop, or hold on or something similar before the receiver hits it, is clear that the server should have not served. Replay the second serve.
     
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  33. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    This is not just a case of the receiver's partner walking around, and stalling, or something like that. She was clearing a ball off the court. Common sense should prevail here. Your partner should not have served, plain and simple.

    She did, the receiver hit it, so yes, you were right by the rules. But no common sense was used by her hitting the serve without making sure the ball was cleared and everyone was ready.
     
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  34. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

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    Cindy

    I like your threads, but I don't think you were reasonable in this particular case.

    It doesn't matter that your opponents hooked you on previous points. This particular incident was unintentional and should have been dealt with common sense. It was wrong for the server to serve when one of the opponent had her back facing the net. The receiver should have simply stopped the point instead of returning it. Neither team had any moral right to claim the point or deny the 1st serve. I have been through similar situations both as receiver and server. In all the cases we simply replayed the point and the server was given two serves.

    -Josh
     
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Josh,

    I mentioned the hooking to help folks understand the use of the descriptor "icky."

    Anyway, as I said, I offered to play a let, and that is what happened. That was the fair thing to do.
     
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  36. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    The Code:

    21. WHEN TO SERVE & RECEIVE
    1. The server shall not serve until the receiver is ready. However, the receiver shall play to the reasonable pace of the server and shall be ready to receive within a reasonable time of the server being ready.
    2. A receiver who attempts to return the service shall be considered as being ready.
    3. If it is demonstrated that the receiver is not ready, the service cannot be called a fault.

    Analysis:

    The receiver is definitely ready because she attempted to return (and did) the serve. Now the issue is, does it matter whether the partner is ready?

    1. If the receiver's actions override the partner's state of preparation, then point server due to hindrance.
    2. If the receiver's actions do not override the fact that her partner is not ready, then the serve is still NOT A FAULT.

    So it's basically either point server or play a let. And it makes sense. The server may have missed that the receiver was not ready. In that case, why would she have bothered returning the serve? Clearly, there was intent to start the point. The only issue is whether the her partner being unready affects the situation in any way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
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  37. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    That rule relates to first serves. This situation was a second serve. If the receiver did not return it as they were unready, the correct call would have been to replay the second serve, not a let.
     
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  38. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    wow ... you usually seem pretty decent but this is "bush" at best and unsportsmanlike at worst.

    The server looks up to see the receiver is ready ... i DO NOT BUY that the server fails to see the receivers partner with their back turned.

    Even if the rules are technically on your side because the receiver returned the ball its still not right.
     
    #38
  39. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    I agree, there is just some ambiguity as to what the USTA defines as a let.

    The issue still remains though. Does the fact that the receiver attempted to return the serve mean that her team is ready? If it doesn't then it's pretty much black and white that a service let, replayed with a second serve, should have been the ruling.

    22. THE LET DURING A SERVICE
    • The service is a let if:
    • a. The ball served touches the net, strap or band, and is otherwise good; or, after
    • touching the net, strap or band, touches the receiver or the receiver’s partner
    • or anything they wear or carry before hitting the ground; or
    • b. The ball is served when the receiver is not ready.
    • In the case of a service let, that particular service shall not count, and the server shall serve again, but a service let does not cancel a previous fault.
    • Additional approved alternative procedures can be found in Appendix IV.
    23. THE LET
    • In all cases when a let is called, except when a service let is called on a second service, the whole point shall be replayed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
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  40. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Technically, yes, when she played the return, she indicated that they were ready. Unfortunately, even though Cindy's partner was completey wrong for serving when she did, they could have claimed the point. However, by them conceding and not claiming the point, but taking a first serve instead, to me they are admitting maybe they were wrong. In which case, I think they should have either claimed the point, or played a second serve. I don't agree with the first serve.
     
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  41. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    It doesn't take a mind reader to see the person's back is turned

    this really is pathetic ...
     
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  42. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Good point.
     
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  43. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Woodrow,

    You are technically right that the two most correct choices are claim the point or take a second serve.

    In the real world, there is a third, compromise choice: Cut people some slack already and just replay the whole point.

    I mean, there is no official present. If I dig in my heels and insist on the point and opponent digs in her heels and insists on second serve, we have a stalemate. So I guess you terminate the match and file a grievance -- a grievance my partner and I would have won.

    Better, I think, is to just get on with it and replay the entire point.

    It seems bush to say that anyone who doesn't go to the mat on every little rule violation is "admitting they were wrong." Sometimes ya gotta go along to get along.
     
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  44. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

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    So Cindy's team could have claimed the point, but since she was generous enough not to they only get a second serve? Time for Woodrow to retire.
     
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  45. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    And um . . . I'm going to defend my partner a little bit here.

    I am 100% certain she didn't serve when she did because she is Evil and was seeking to pull some kind of trick. She said she looked at the receiver and saw she was ready. She also said (at the changeover) something like, "I saw her step toward the net, but people move around all the time. I didn't know she was going to turn around."

    See, when there's a ball in the bottom of the net, what do most folks do? They leave it, or they clear it. When they clear it, they step forward and roll the ball into the side curtain or pocket it, stepping backward to their position as quickly as possible so as not to disturb the server's rhythm. They often say, "Hold up" or "wait." They really shouldn't lolligag.

    It is totally weird and unexpected for the net player to turn her back to clear a ball like that. I don't understand why some of you are being so harsh on my partner that she didn't recognize what was happening.
     
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  46. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Woodrow ... he is only interpreting the rules. When he became aware that he had made a mistake he changed the call. To me this is the mark of a good official.

    To the sphyinx ... I love your threads and usually side with your oppinions on league play.

    However, I cannot agree with any scenario where your team takes advantage of an opponent who is clearing the court of a tennis ball and then claims to be magnanomous by only taking a first serve instead of an unearned point.
     
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  47. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    That's pretty far out there.
     
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  48. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It is not an unearned point. Not under the rules/code. Woodrow, to his considerable credit, has said as much. Point to the server.

    But you are right that it doesn't feel right. And I wouldn't want there to be hard feelings. And we came there to play, not argue. And we are dealing with three people (server, receiver and receiver's partner) who screwed up. Server shouldn't have served, receiver shouldn't have struck the return, and receiver's partner should get the server's attention and not turn her back to clear a ball.

    We worked out a reasonable solution -- replay the point. So how did I become the bad guy again?
     
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  49. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    YOure not the bad guy. Your partner should not have served when she did.
     
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  50. jht32

    jht32 Rookie

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    Dangerous? Let's not go overboard here. And it's not dangerous to serve to the other team when one of the players has their back to you.

    I just cannot imagine how the server could not notice that the receiver's partner is still walking back to position and how the server could start serving.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
    #50

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