These Grievances Are Made For Walkin'

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    Worst thread title ever, I admit it! :)

    Anyway, I was talking to a tennis friend today and she raised an issue I am unsure about.

    She played a match, and her opponent committed some unsportsmanlike conduct (name-calling). The next day, she and I discussed what her options for handling this would be during the match.

    I said that if your opponent commits some significant rule infraction that makes it impossible or untenable to continue the match, you can walk off, file a grievance and be awarded the match (assuming you can prove whatever it is).

    Examples might be:

    Your opponent is cussing you out, threatening you, etc.

    Your opponent refuses to give you penalties to which you are entitled. For instance, your opponent arrives 14 minutes late, which under our rules would say she loses the toss and three games. She insisted the score begin at 0-0 like any other match.

    Your opponent insists that a set tiebreak is 10 points instead of 7.

    In those sorts of situations, am I correct that you could (read: could, not should) walk off the court and be awarded the match if you filed a grievance?

    What about more minor infractions, like crossing the net over your opponent's objection to examine a mark on clay? Could you refuse to play and win by filing a grievance?
     
    #1
  2. floydcouncil

    floydcouncil Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    698
    Do you also make sure their vibration dampener is located on the OUTSIDE of the stringbed?

    Do you tell your opponent who uses a Head TiS7 that their racquet is illegal under the ITF guidelines?

    Do you also tell opponents not to check their txt messages during changeovers perhaps worried about "illegal" coaching from afar?
     
    #2
  3. corbind

    corbind Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
    #3
  4. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,269
    I wonder what is the nature of these matches that you have? Sounds so serious and stressful.

    I just started playing in a ladder. So far I have played 6 matches and everyone was more than fair and showing sportsmanship. We arrived on time, never questioned each other's calls AT ALL. A few times we even played shots that looked like out to me (I played along also cuz I didn't want to be thought as bad sport!). So far, not a single cussing directed to anyone. We don't know each other at all to be that disrespectful, no?

    (I hope I don't jinx it by posting about it lol)
     
    #4
  5. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,582
    look at the bottom of that page you linked.

     
    #5
  6. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,087
    Location:
    Iowa
    I still find it hilarious how many grievances people have. This is one weird sport but I still love it. Drop the gloves and go all out hockey brawl in any situation. No need to over-think.
     
    #6
  7. NumbersGuy

    NumbersGuy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    You’re giving Cindy too hard a time. Simply asking what the rules are does not constitute intention to enforce them (per her “could” not “should”).

    Cindy I believe the answer to your questions are yes to some, no to others. The course of action depends on the infraction, in particular whether it’s a defaultable infraction or not.

    For the types of unsportsmanlike conduct you mentioned, I believe you could walk off the court and have some chance of being awarded a default via grievance. It’s a high-risk decision however.

    For the late opponent, you should NOT walk off the court. You should continue playing the match, noting the exact sequence of when games are won or lost so that the grievance committee can determine when you should have been awarded the first set and when you should have been awarded the second. Since for all the grievance committee knows, the opponent might win the first 12 games played, they can’t award you a default without playing the match.

    Similarly for the wrong tiebreak, play it out, keep track of when each point was won, and play to 10. The grievance committee will then determine which format should have been used, and if you reached 7 ahead by 2 it will likely award you the match.

    For crossing the net, I don’t believe that’s a defaultable infraction unless you have some local rule. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong – I keep hearing that it is, but have never found it in an official publication. For that and certain other infractions, you can file a grievance and it may result in some kind of sanctions being placed on the opponent for the future, but doubt it will have any impact on the match outcome unless you have a local rule about it.
     
    #7
  8. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    526
    ^^^
    This.
    Cindy, set aside all the snarky trivial comments above, and consider the effect of abandoning a match and seeking redress via default. Playing the match to completion, despite perceived violations on the part of you opponents, is, I believe, by far the best course. Abandoning a match then putting together a case for default is likely to be time-consuming and ultimately fruitless.

    Name calling is certainly annoying and troubling but, really, could advise your teammate to toughen up and play through it.
     
    #8
  9. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,130
    Actually USTA rules are that points played in good faith stand. If you agree to play starting at 0-0, then that is the score. If you agree to play a 10 point tb after a set, then the winner of that is the winner. You can't agree to disagree but still do one and expect to later argue for the other.
     
    #9
  10. kevrol

    kevrol Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    311
    My wife played in a match yesterday where there was a bunch of name calling by their opponents. Wife got called a cheater because the opponents didn't hear an out call, started celebrating winning the point and were again informed the ball was called out. She was told she and her partner had horrible sportsmanship. One of the ladies on the other team walked off the court crying after they lost. This is week 2 of ladies 2.5 league. Unbelievable.
     
    #10
  11. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    6,208
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    I file grievance the first time my opponent takes more than 25 seconds between points.

    To help enforce the rule I bring a 1'x2' led clock to every match I play. Start the timer every time a point ends. If the clock reaches 25 seconds a loud air horn goes off and I call match.
    :)
     
    #11
  12. floydcouncil

    floydcouncil Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    698
    Ya gotta do, whatcha gotta do!

    I may have to start filing grievances for opponents' towels hanging too high on the fence!!!!!!!!
     
    #12
  13. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,001
    Wow. That may be worth watching next week. Reality tennis.
     
    #13
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,727
    How do you prove this stuff?
     
    #14
  15. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    526
    Exactly. That's why you must keep playing.
     
    #15
  16. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,363
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I don't know the answer, but I'm kinda curious what kind of name calling goes on in a 4.0 women's league ?
     
    #16
  17. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,958
    That was my reaction.

    Sheesh, 2.5 drama.
     
    #17
  18. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,958
    Again, that was my initial question as well.

    Some possibles:

    "Next time get a real doctor to do your face lift."

    "How many months pregnant are you?"

    "I saw that outfit at Goodwill."

    "Tell your husband I'm not going out with him, no matter how many times he calls."

    "Can we speed this up? We have our real match later today."

    "In this country the lines are in."

    And my favorite, "Would you stop putting the balls up your dress? I have to touch them."
     
    #18
  19. kevrol

    kevrol Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    311
    I am thinking of going. It's right near the office and I may take an early lunch and go watch.
     
    #19
  20. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Connecticut
    That explains why some of my male teammates sniff the balls in mixed dubs.

     
    #20
  21. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,546
    Location:
    Arizona
    I thought it didn't become deadly serious until you got to the 3.0 league. :confused:
     
    #21
  22. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,269
    Ewww..
    Start to sound like you folks were at a bordello instead of a tennis court.
     
    #22
  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    Yeah, see. That is what I thought.

    Obviously, the best defense is to know the rules and bring a copy with you.

    I remember a match I had a few years back. I served the first game. We started to switch sides, and opponent declared that you do not switch sides after the first game. She was adamant that she was correct, and there was no convincing her. It really bugged me -- to be so very sure and be so very wrong about something so basic.

    I wonder what a rules committee would do had we taken a stand and refused to play unless we complied with the changeover rule?
     
    #23
  24. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,546
    Location:
    Arizona
    Cyndi, have you ever thought of doing this? Just let the opponent have their way, every time. Be the Ghandi of your league. Either they'll go crazy/nuts taking advantage of you...or this will shame them out of being so petty, argumentative, and overly competitive.

    And if it's the former, then quit the league and find somewhere else to play tennis. I'm serious. :neutral:
     
    #24
  25. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    792
    When a grievance is filed, the outcome depends entirely on the grievance committee members. Grievance committees are made up of people chosen by local coordinators and approved by Districts & Section administrators. Just like any group that has to make decisions (like a jury), they bring their own opinions and experiences into their decisions. Some of them are very busy and have little time to deal with grievances, while others are retired or don't have to work for a living so they have all the time in the world. Some will research rules and ask questions to gather more info, some won't. Some would feel it is OK to walk off the court and refuse to finish. Others may think you should never do that. There are no rules saying when you can and can't walk off the court and refuse to finish.

    Like many other volunteer positions, many grievance committee members don't take grievances seriously and put little effort into fact finding. (I can't say that I blame them when grievances interfere with work and life.) They often say "It's one person's word against another and there's no proof of anything". If men are serving on the committee and women are involved in a grievance, many men brush it off as "women's stuff".
     
    #25
  26. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,768
    Good advice! Playing at 3.5-4.0 you will run into these situations regularly, this level is the bell curve of tennis. Playing for five or six teams is a social networking--not major league tennis--you're playing with C's and B's. This is rec tennis, a glass of wine, some home made appetizers and a bag of chips afterwards. You are going to run into some ignorants regularly, who are rude, stupid of the rules and aren't going to be educated about them in their life-times. There are no officials present to enforce the fundamental rules of tennis. Few clubs have court monitors to mediate rule disputes anymore--costs to much to hire someone to keep the huge egos of the members in check. The club pro is busy tending to the housewives.

    You can choose to forfeit them, not play the match, waste your time arguing with them, filing a grievance and getting all worked up, or grin and bear it. You would be better off practicing your serve solo or hitting against a wall and burn more calories. If you want to play "A" game tennis, get the Senior Age Group schedule and play in the 50's. You may lose every match but you won't run into these situations and the matches will be officiated with someone available to enforce the rules if needed, which will be seldom. Or, find a few tennis friends who know the rules and play with them regularly avoiding the whacks like the plague.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
    #26
  27. NumbersGuy

    NumbersGuy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Correct, which is why you don’t simply agree to start at 0-0 – if you do that, your grievance is invalidated. Assuming you want to be a big meanie and stick to your position, you inform your opponent that you’ll consent to start at 0-0 under protest, explain the grounds for your protest (which you’ve probably already done), and explain how and why you’ll be tracking the score. This can actually be done very amicably – you could take the posture that you’re not 100% sure of the rule. Then if you were to, say, win the first 9 games but your opponent regroups and wins the next 12, if the grievance committee upholds your position and awards you a 3-0 lead and thus the match, all points after the 9th game you played become, though played in good faith, points that occurred after the end of the match and thus of no matter.

    All very complicated and nothing to do with why you’re out there in the first place (to play tennis, not to litigate), which is why it’s sometimes better to just flip a coin.
     
    #27
  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,727
    They know where the second ball was kept when the women were serving
     
    #28
  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    I see what you're saying, but I don't think this would work at all.

    First, I would never agree to something like that. If I thought I was right, I would either stick to my guns or forget the whole thing. I wouldn't want to play a jacked-up match where no one knows the true score.

    Second, it would work poorly in practice. Say the players can't agree on the three-game penalty, so they start at 0-0 instead of 3-0. They play the match, and the final score is 7-6, 0-6, 1-0.

    Later, the grievance committee decides there should have been a three-game penalty. What then? If you add three games to the first set, you get 10-6. No, that won't work.

    Say you wrote down everything, and it went like this (with the conditional score in parenthesis):

    3-0 (0-0)
    3-1 (0-1)
    3-2 (0-2)
    3-3 (0-3)
    3-4 (0-4)
    4-4 (1-4)
    4-5 (1-5)
    5-5 (2-5)
    5-6 (2-6)

    Now you have a problem. If the players start at 0-0 but hope the grievance committee will sort it out later, the players will start their second set with the conditional score, but they would not with the penalty score scenario.

    No, I think all points played count. If you insist on penalty games and your opponent won't give them, you either have to cave or leave the court and let the grievance committee decide.
     
    #29
  30. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,077
    Location:
    Toronto
    Too much drama. Seriously.

    In the end it's about fun and sportsmanship. if not, then quit.

    I'm in agreement with Steady Eddy in post 24
     
    #30
  31. NumbersGuy

    NumbersGuy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Of course it’s better to reach agreement, and if you think holding your ground will get you there, then you should do so. But if both players are too hardheaded for either to cave, the play-under-protest does give you a legitimate option and results in actual tennis being played. The fact that the first set ends at a different point under each scenario shouldn’t have come as a surprise, neither should the fact that the second set starts at a different point. It depends what you’re there for – to play tennis, or to win your line by any means possible. If the former, you now have a third option that will get you there, though as I previously stated it’s more complicated than most folks would ever want to deal with. If the latter, then certainly leave and roll the dice with the grievance committee. Don’t forget option 4, section 32 of The Code, which is to flip a coin or spin the racket. Unfortunately you’re in a place at this point where there is no great option.
     
    #31
  32. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,806
    Cindy, that actually wouldn't happen. Again, points played in good faith stand. So the the committee will come back and say 'you played the points, the score stands'.

    THAT is the the golden rule that you must remember if you are in any situation where you think you may file a grievance and you're debating whether or not to continue. I guarantee, if you try to file a grievance but you continued to play, the committee will take about 3 seconds to repeat that rule to you and the case will be closed.
     
    #32
  33. stapletonj

    stapletonj Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Lavalette, WV
    the insults are hilarious!
     
    #33
  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,093
    Hey, where have you been, Topaz? It's nice to see you posting again.

    Maybe I'll write to you off-line . . .
     
    #34
  35. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,536
    Location:
    New England

    Reading 90% of the posts in AL&TT, one would have to conclude, this is not in fact the case. At least for some..


    Why would someone subject themselves to this? I feel like every time I stop in here Cindy, there is some of the wall occurance that I have never heard of, much less encountered in tennis. At least none that couldn't be solved by acting like a grown up (something I believe you absolutely do) which makes me wonder why you surround yourself with these nutters:confused:
     
    #35
  36. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    427
    [​IMG]
     
    #36
  37. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Around here, it's the pretty much the same guys playing NTRP league and age division tournaments, so the level of knowledge and sportsmanship is about the same (pretty good I think) :) Don't think this is unique to MN - I met a guy at a tennis camp that was #1 in the 60s in Texas and plays a solid 4.0 game. Of course the good young guys are playing at least 4.5. Maybe you are talking national level tournaments, which are a little impractical if that is the only way you want to play given the amount of traveling neccessary...
     
    #37
  38. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,517
    As stated above, points played stand and I doubt you are going to get it changed. Also, you can be defaulted for crossing the net.
     
    #38
  39. NumbersGuy

    NumbersGuy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    I don't doubt you, I just can't find the rule anywhere.
     
    #39
  40. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,768
    Crossing over to your opponent's side is definitely a NO, NO! I've witnessed bloody fist-fights break out over this one. Hingis learned the hard way against Steffi, but Jimbo didn't care, and it was funny when he did it.
     
    #40
  41. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,806
    Nursing school...then job. Not much time for surfing the web, especially since I started in ICU.

    It has been my experience though, with any grievance, if we continue to play, then nothing will get reversed. They love that rule.

    You know where to find me!
     
    #41
  42. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,546
    Location:
    Arizona
    I hope you still have time for tennis. So you left teaching?
     
    #42
  43. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    351

    Spineless Pacifist Award-winning post, if actually serious (or else odd post by someone who doesn't really understand tongue-in-cheek humor very well).

    Having a copy of the rules on hand can politely educate/shut up ignorant opponents. When faced with the rule in black and white, what can they do, argue that you brought a forged and altered copy with you?

    With the name-calling thing, how about the following response:

    "Name-calling? Seriously? Did you stop maturing after kindergarten?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
    #43

Share This Page