There oughta be a law

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jc4.0, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I don't think there is a rule that would have helped me the other day. I was playing doubles, and hit a beautiful approach shot winner from the deuce side. The ball clipped the outside doubles line and zipped past one of our opponents, who had a decent view of it down the line. However, her partner, who was at the net on the complete opposite side of the court, called "out". First of all this partner would have had to snake her head around because the ball hit behind her, near the baseline on the opposite side of the court. In other words, she couldn't possibly have had a good view of where the ball hit so no definitive "out" call was possible. I asked the opponent who was down the line from the shot, and who might have had a good look at it - was it in or out? She replied that she couldn't call it, it was too close. Meanwhile her partner wouldn't back down so the "out" call stood and we lost the point (and it was game point as well, ouch).

    If I had gotten an out call from both players I would have accepted it with no grumbling, even though I saw the ball as clearly good. But I had to express my dissatisfaction with them taking the point under these circumstances.

    I guess there's no specific rule that covers this - if one partner calls it out, it's out right? I think the player who has the best view of it should make the call. I'd never call it from 'way across the court like that, and wouldn't call it out even with a great view - unless I clearly saw green between ball and line. Even then I might check the mark...
     
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  2. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    nope because the one partner was not sure it is your point. This would constitute a disagreement in calls between partners.
     
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  3. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Eh, you can call it a disagreement, but it really wasn't. The player with the good view of it is essentially saying she didn't see it. If she didn't see it, she didn't see it. And if the other lady is going to say she is sure of her call, then you're screwed.

    Man, I hate when that happens, and it happens a lot. A player is not even looking and they are making a call they would be in bad position to see if they were looking.

    Sorry, mate.
     
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  4. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    Is the proper way to handle this to say something like "I'll accept your call this time, but in the future, you need to let the guy with the better view call the shot."? Then if THAT person isn't looking, it's in.

    I'm pretty sure this wouldn't go over very well, though...
     
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  5. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well...

    If the player with the better view said she didn't see it, then the call stands as made by the player who did see it.

    But in this case:

    I think this means that she *did* see it, but could not make the out call. In which case there is disagreement between the partners, in which case the opponents get the benefit of the doubt, in which case the OP should have been awarded the point.
     
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  6. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    I've been in a similar situation before, except it was my teammate who called a ball out, that I was just about to call good. He was at net and the ball landed basically right on the baseline. I probably should have spoke up but I let it go. It evened out later in the match when they called a ball out I had a good view of. I let let them have it.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, you're right. There's a difference between "I didn't see it" and "It was so close I didn't see it." I mean, if you saw it well enough to know it was really close, then you *did* see it. You just didn't see space between the line and the ball.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people do not believe there is a difference. Good luck convincing them in a match . . . .
     
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  8. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    No doubt it was a bad call. The "proper" way to handle it is to ask "are you sure about that call?" and if the opposing team won't come clean you chalk it up to one of those things, it happens. Talk about who the point should be "awarded" to makes me wonder who's supposed to do the awarding, the Big Tennis Kahuna in the sky?
     
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  9. DE19702

    DE19702 Rookie

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    I would argue that the person looking down the line does not always have the best view, especially when the ball lands close to them. The reason for this is that the width of the ball hides the demarcation between the line and the court, especially when the person is looking down at the ball. Looking down a line is different. A person looking across a line however, could see the color of the court between the line and the ball whereas the person looking down would have their view obstructed somewhat by the ball. Place a ball 2-3 millimeters outside the line and then look at it from different angles and you will see what I mean.
     
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  10. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I had the same thing happen... however, I was the person calling the ball 'out' - which it clearly was in our situation.

    I then asked my partner why he didn't call the ball out when it was so obviously wide and he replied that he doesn't even look at the ball striking the court he's so busy concentrating on making the shot.

    So, sometimes, the closer person truly doesn't see the ball and relies on their partner to call it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
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  11. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    A "tight" line call on game point? Say it isn't so.

    The problem as I see it is the fact that the person that called the ball "out" hasn't taught her partner how to make confident "out" calls on important points.

    I expect next time you meet this team, they will both confidently call that shot out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
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  12. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    This thread brings up a good point. Different situation: both partners have a unobstructed view to the ball, one says: "I looked right at the ball when it landed but I can't clearly call it out since from where I am standing I am not in a position to see if there is a sliver of court between the ball and the line and if I was playing singles I would be forced to call the ball in, but truly I can't tell", his partner says: "I looked right at the ball when it landed and I saw court between the ball and line, it was out".

    To me, there is no disagreement and the team can call the ball "out".
     
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  13. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    The bold bits are the bits that make me never want to play you in a match.

    People who think they can see 2-3mm across a court when there's a moving ball involved are the same people who just don't bring enough of the "if i'm not 100% sure the ball is out then it's in" attitude to tennis.
     
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  14. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    "I didn't see it" means ask someone else if they saw it.

    "It was so close I didn't see it" means he/she needs glasses. :shock:
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Annika, I'm not with you there. :)

    There isn't a requirement that both doubles partners make a definitive call on a ball. Now, if both saw it such that they had an opinion and those opinions conflict, then the ball is good.

    But if one player is off balance and lunging but is very close to the ball and didn't see it, the other can make the call. The player at whom we should be angry is the person making the line call from a bad position who is claiming they are 100% certain the ball was 100% out.
     
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  16. DE19702

    DE19702 Rookie

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    You haven't even tried what I said and you're judging it. Real open mind you have there. Make it 5mm then. Make it anything you want. Do an experiment and find out how far the ball can be out and still appear to be in if you're looking down at it. The point is, the width of the ball WILL hide the line and the person looking across the line will be able to see it better than the person looking down the line.

    If I see it out then I don't care how people will ***** about it. They should accept it and move on. Sounds like you're the one with the attitude problem.
     
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  17. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I disagree with this comment, because if you look across the court and behind you, there's no way you'll be able to clearly see a ball that is so close to the line. If there is clearly green between ball and line, no problem. My situation was that actually the ball hit the line, but the person called it out from completely across the court and could not have had a clear enough view to call it anyway - similar to professional matches when the umpire would never make this call, over-ruling a linesman; it would be a "challenge" for sure. The person looking straight down the line could make the call, but if they're not 100% sure, then the ball should be called good. Nevermind that I clearly saw the ball hit smack on the line, I realize it's not my call but I don't want the call to be made from a poor vantage point. I'm saying I wish there was a rule about this, but there isn't.
     
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  18. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    ...it's in.


    Agreed.

    I've been playing tennis for 25+ years, I'm a qualified coach, yadda yadda.... I think there's a fair chance I know what you're saying without needing to try it.

    Unless the person is *exactly* on top of the ball as it bounces (a quite rare occurrence), the person closer to, and in the OP's case looking along the flightpath of the ball, has a better view than someone many metres away and at an angle perpendicular to the flightpath.

    Yes. I have a line calling attitude problem. If I am not 100% sure the ball is clearly out, I call it in. This frequently involves playing balls that are likely out by much more than 2, 3 or 5mm.
     
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  19. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    Partner number 1 - " couldn't call it, it was too close" --> Uncertainty means you get the benefit of the doubt. Therefore ball is IN.

    Partner number 2 - " Out " --> call is contradictory to his/her partner

    .... your point because of disagreement in calls between partners.....

    pretty straightforward IMO.

    If partner # 1 said "I didn't see it".... then you're hosed by partner #2.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
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  20. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    I can think of a situation from a few years ago where I (playing on the deuce side) called a serve to my partner (on the ad side)....wide. They got livid. Said it wasn't my call to make. My response was that while I normally don't make wide-calls for the opposite sideline...this one was clearly out. I walked over to the mark (thank goodness we were on clay) and circled it...even invited them over to inspect it. One opponent did take a good long look over the net at my circled mark and rolled her eyes. Argument ended.

    Hate having to make those; rarely do. But when I do, I'm sure I've see court between the ball and the line.

    As more usual occurrence is for one of us to not see it and ask the other what they saw. If neither one of us has a definitive call, we make it in favor of our opponent. 99% out is still 1% in.
     
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  21. DE19702

    DE19702 Rookie

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    I'm talking about a situation where I know the ball is out but where other people would question the call based solely on my position on the court. Of course, if I did not see it out I would not call it out. But it is presumptuous to second guess someone's call just because you think someone else had the better view of it in certain situations.

    Come to think of it, the same problem comes up frequently when calling serves. If you are looking across the service line, especially at a ball close to you, the ball is going to obscure the line as it goes across, especially on low, fast serves. I have seen many people call serves good because they honestly could not see exactly where the ball landed because the spot was obscured by the ball. You can ameliorate the sight problem by getting closer to the ground but this is at the expense of not being ready after the return. The better technique is to move in front of the service line and look back. Its a good way to pick up a few extra points.
     
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  22. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    Um, no.

    Linespeople around the world will disagree with this.
     
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  23. SoBad

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    In recreational tennis balls that clip lines aren't considered "beautiful" because they can be easily called out. This isn't the pros, there's a margin required for beauty.
     
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  24. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    ^^^So very true with adults^^^
    Though all my freinds and those who arent who i play with all call good except for 2 people
     
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  25. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Not really. If the person on the line didn't turn around quickly enough to see it clearly, and the other person got a good look at the ball, that's not disagreeing. Both players don't have to see it . If the other player said something like, "I think it was in," that would be different. But not in this case.
     
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  26. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I agree with your observation - juniors tend to care more about their game and honour than the score. Still, you should never actually aim for a line, right? You should be aiming with a margin, so a ball that clips a line isn't a "beautful" shot, it's an errant shot that happened to be good (or not, depending on who you're playing).
     
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  27. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    This is why communication between doubles partners is essential. I've played with quite a few partners, and can honestly say no one ever seems to communicate well especially on line calls. This is why now working with my main friend that I also prefer to play doubles with I'll tell him hey we need to do a better job of not only communicating but also making the out calls. Sometimes their obvious, but quite a few times I'll have to call serves and other shots out that he didn't see really well. Especially those balls on the baseline are tough to determine whether they were in or out. I've seen Pro players have problems, so I just tell my friend hey on any ball deep like that, the person not playing it should probably make the call.
     
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  28. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    Playing doubles a lot of times I'll just call the ball out my partner is returning and vice versa because being up in the adjacent service box gives you a much better look at the serve. And no need to worry about the readiness issue either, once your partner returns serve then you need to be ready or in the process.

    Playing singles, that's a bit harder though.
     
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  29. Sherlock

    Sherlock Rookie

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    Not if you read the whole post. Linespeople are further down the court, meaning they get a good look "down" the line. They can also get closer to the ground than a player will want to in order to see the line. The poster was making the comment that a player on top of the ball will have a hard time making an accurate call because of his angle. A linesperson has a much better angle to view the ball from.
     
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  30. thejuice

    thejuice Hall of Fame

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    Bottom line is that when you make calls, or even question them, you should do so with the utmost confidence. If you cannot definitely call a ball out then it's in. If you are unsure but your partner calls it out from across the court, and he or she is confident, then you back your partner's call and move on to the next point. If you are at an angle where there is ANY uncertainty then don't guess a call into existence...simply call it good. I hate seeing retaliation in matches. This is one of the only recreational games where the participants are required to call their own lines and the integrity of the game goes down the toilet when people start getting revenge for calls that they thought were in from all the way across the net.

    I referee basketball and I can tell you that there are ALWAYS situations where a player's foot looks out from certain angles but they in fact weren't out to the official who is standing on that baseline or sideline looking right at them (from a down-the-line perspective). The bottom line is that angles will always produce raised eyebrows but a true honest call will be with confidence and this should dismiss all thoughts of revenge or cheating.
     
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  31. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    I dont have the interest to read the full thread but this post is interesting. No matter what you observe when you place the ball on the floor and walk around it, its very different when playing a point. You must have great eyesight to be able to know when a ball is 2-3mm out.

    Reminds me of a post a couple of weeks back when OP was adamant he can completely 100% see and call balls that are half an inch out.

    Me, i tend to only call it out when i know 100% its out, and for that to be the case its typically more than 2-3 inches out. I have even returned serves that i didnt call out for that reason but server stops the point and says he saw it out.

    I enjoy the game, and dont have delusions about my superhuman eyesight.
     
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  32. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    Yeh, I tried that in singles, it didnt work to well, I couldnt get back in time to return the serve.

    BTW feel free to disregard my above post if i mis-interpreted your points, I put that down to not really reading the posts closely and the time of day.
     
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  33. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Forgive me if I've misunderstood you, but it sounds like your goal is to find a way to call as many balls out as possible. If this means that out calls are made by players who are distant from the call, so be it.

    I have a problem with that, if I've understood correctly. Aside from the issue of accuracy -- which I'll get to in a minute -- you have to consider the issue of credibility/reputation. When I play teams where the distant player is frequently making out calls, I have to wonder if I am playing hookers.

    You're supposed to give benefit of the doubt on line calls to your opponent. The worse your position, the more likely it is that you will be wrong.

    Anyway, the Code does seem to caution against having players in bad position or far away from making calls:

    Best practice, I think, is for doubles partner to understand that the person in better position (angle and proximity) should make the call on close balls. Yes, you'll give away some points doing it this way. But that's kind of what "benefit of the doubt" means, right?

    People who partner with me know that I am not going to make the call on the center line and sideline when they are receiving. Only if the serve is fast and well out such that I can see my partner falling into the side curtain will I make the far sideline call. And I will usually wind up calling it good, 'cause it is awfully hard for me to be sure in that situation, especially since I am watching the service line.

    Even when the ball is up the T, it think it best for my partner to make that call. That is because I stand very close to the T when my partner serves. If the ball lands near the T, I move away from the T to make sure I don't block my partner's shot. If I am moving, the call is close, and the ball is moving fast, I am not in good position to make that call. My partner had better make that call or put the ball in play.
     
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  34. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Never ever? If you clearly see the ball an inch or more out on the center line you won't speak up? What if your partner got a bug in their eye or just spaced out?
     
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^If my partner is momentarily incapacitated and cannot see a ball that is well out, she can ask me if I saw it and I will call it out.

    Also, I am watching the service line. If the ball looks like it might sail past the service line, I watch closely and may not see the center or sideline. If the ball looks like it will definitely land inside the service line, I lift my gaze immediately to the opposing net player. I am usually not looking closely enough to call the center and sidelines also.

    It isn't the obvious calls that cause problems. Even the opposing team will see if the ball is well out. It's those close calls that seem to cause all the problems!
     
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  36. Bedrock

    Bedrock Semi-Pro

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    that's 100% correct.
     
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  37. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

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    The ball is good if it was that close. There is no way a human eye can make that kind of distinction with high accuracy (by accuracy I mean 9 out of 10 times). You don't call a ball out because it "seems" to be out. You call the ball out ONLY when you see it clearly out and you are so confident about that call that you would bet your life on it. I am exaggerating a bit, but I hope you get the point.

    I have a team mate who qualifies his "out" calls with comments like "it was half inch out". He routinely bashes his partner for calling the balls which the partner considered too-close-to-call. No wonder, every single match he plays turns into a "who makes more bad calls" contest and no one wants to partner with him anymore. Some people are just so paranoid about calling the balls out. Just remember why you got to the court in first place? To play some tennis and have fun. Being competitive is one thing and making "out" calls an ego issue is another.

    I am confident about my out calls when I see like good 6 inches between the ball and the line. Anything closer than that, I will call only if I was standing right on the line and had the good view of where ball landed. I also tell every new partner to feel free to reverse my out calls and tell them that I would do the same. I hate to see a good competitive match ruined because players had argument over the line calls.

    -Josh
     
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  38. TenS_Ace

    TenS_Ace Rookie

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    It's really easy, if your not sure...IT"S IN...Hell this isn't affecting our paycheques...99.99% out is still in... carry on..:)
     
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  39. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    The Code

    14. Partners’ disagreement on calls. If doubles partners disagree about
    whether their opponents’ ball was out, they shall call it good. It is more
    important to give your opponents the benefit of the doubt than to avoid possibly hurting your partner’s feelings by not overruling. The tactful way to
    achieve the desired result is to tell your partner quietly of the mistake and
    then let your partner concede the point. If a call is changed from out to good,
    the point is replayed only if the ball that was called out was put back in play.

    Player 1 did not see a mistake. No partner disagreement occured. The "possible" inturpretation of a contridiction only occured upon questioning after play was over. Although I would not make a big arument about it. Benefit of the doubt should come into play and I would suggest to my partner to replay the point becuase I was not sure if it was in or out and was playing the point.
     
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  40. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    It probably wouldn't go over well, but when you're dealing with shady people like these clearly were, things like this must be said to keep them in check. If i'm in the position of the person who was closer but said "it was too close to call", well that means it's in. Whenever the ball is too close to call, reasonable, honorable, decent, normal, sane people... call it in. Those who waver, or allow their shady partner to overrule a call that obviously is from a terrible angle, are either also dishonest or just spineless.

    I'll overrule my partner if I have a better angle at the call and think it's in.

    I wouldn't be surprised if these same people foot-fault constantly, etc.

    Happens too often to all of us, I guess it's a good thing we're not playing for money...
     
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  41. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    "She replied that she couldn't call it, it was too close." = IN.

    This overrules the overzealous know-it-all at the net on the other side of the court any day. I would have fought for the point.
     
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  42. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Wish there were more players like you out there. The rule is clear - if you're 99.9% sure the ball was out, then it was IN. Don't call a ball out unless you clearly see space between the ball and the line - and if your vantage point is all the way across the court, you can't call the really close ones. There is no way you are 100% sure, and you're probably hooking your opponent on a regular basis. if you can live with yourself by playing that way, then don't call me for a game.
     
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  43. roundiesee

    roundiesee Hall of Fame

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    If it is "too close to call", then the point should have been given to the OP; tough luck really, usually the tennis gods would even out the luck in such situations :)
     
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  44. jpr

    jpr New User

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    you must remember one of fundamental rules in league play...a bad call beats a good shot every time.
     
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