We Need A Stiffer Penalty

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Played a doubles match today. One opponent had big groundstrokes. She parked at the baseline the whole match, hitting beautiful passing shots if you displayed the poor judgment to come to net.

    To counter this, my partner and I would feed her massive topspin moonballs to back her up, hoping to get something weak that we could exploit.

    So far, so good.

    Not once but *twice* her partner at net turned around and confidently called these topspin balls out. Both times, her very honest partner called them in and awarded us the point.

    This has got to stop.

    The world is filled with net players who looooove to call close balls on the baseline. As a moonballer, I am sick to death of putting all kinds of topspin on the ball, moving in behind it (so I have the same view of the baseline as the net player), watching it dive near the line, and having the net player chirp "Out!"

    That the baseline players are sometimes overruling their partners proves that these net players should *stop* making that call. The net player is far away and is looking across the line rather than down it. No way is she seeing space between the ball and the line. Nope, she is wishing the ball out when her partner is standing *right there.*

    Come on, folks. If you are at net and your partner is right there at the baseline, let her call those moonballs.

    'Cause most of them are *in!*
     
    #1
  2. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    This has to be solved by the baseline player getting a bit irritated with the net player and telling them that by calling it out when it hit the line that it cost the team any chance of winning the point. It has to be the teammate that corrects the behavior moving forward.
     
    #2
  3. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Actually the OP is confusing two separate issues.

    First, the particular individuals involved in this particular match like to "wish" the ball out and are perhaps cheaters. Perhaps Cindy is getting so much topspin on the ball that the inflight trajectory looks out in midair and dives down at the last second to touch the line.

    As to the geometry of line calling, the netman actually has an unobstructed view of court between the ball and the line. The baseline player's view of this is often blocked by the ball itself. Not to mention that the baseline player is trying to actually hit the ball and that the ball is moving across their field of vision rapidly, neither are a problem for the netman looking back.
     
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  4. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I can see it being a little irritating, but the penalty seems correct - immediate loss of point. Think of it this way: had the net person not made an incorrect out call, the baseline player would have had a play on the ball - you may have ended up winning the point anyway, but no guarantee. But this way, the point is yours there and then.

    Perhaps instead of a stiffer penalty, today is one of those days where you need a stiffer drink after the match :)
     
    #4
  5. OnyxZ28

    OnyxZ28 Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Hear hear, I was going to say the same thing as OrangePower.
     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    This is why we are winding up in the weeds.

    Players are not supposed to call balls out unless they are 100% sure it was 100% out. If you are at net judging a topspin moonball that strikes near the baseline, you do not have a good view of that ball. Period. You should not make any call unless the ball is clearly and totally out -- which we know it was not because of the overrule.

    See, that's the problem. Everybody thinks they should be doing geometry: "Yeah, I'm 60 feet away from the ball and looking over my shoulder, but my partner is blocked by the ball and is pinwheeling her arms and staring into the sun, so I'll make a call." No. No, no, no. If you are not looking down that baseline -- either because you are at net or because you are at the back fence -- you have a poor vantage point and should just *play those close balls as in*, even if they might have been out.

    Yeah, in this case the baseliner (a friend who would never cheat) overruled her partner. But how many threads have we had where posters come right out and say they would never, ever overrule a partner?

    I'm getting hooked by people in bad position to make calls, and I'm getting tired of it.
     
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  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Cindy chooses thread titles with a lot of mischief
     
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  8. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Okay, consider this...

    - What does "100% sure" mean? A player can be 100% sure, but still be wrong.

    - This kind of stuff happens all the time at levels other than NTRP...for example, college tennis where players call their own lines but there's an umpire to overrule and/or arbitrate disputes over calls. You can say that this is an error-prone method, and you'd be right, but there ain't gonna be no Hawkeye, any time soon, in NTRP or most college matches. What a good umpire can do is overrule clearly bad calls and, more important, deal effectively with disputes over calls...it's no longer in the hands of the players, just a neutral 3rd party.

    - The gist of what you're saying is correct, and it's probably somewhere in the code. If you're playing doubles, the usual pro forma on serves is that the returner calls the serve...but if the receiver's partner, who is often in a better position to call the shot, sees it differently, then the server's partner should overrule. That's kind of the meat of what you're getting at, which is the team, as a team, makes the best call possible, and then either one can overrule a bad call...for example, and I've done this...I call a serve out, it's an ace if it's in, I realize it was a good serve, so I say "I'm sorry...serve was in, your point."

    Are you going to get most NTRPers to even know this concept, let alone make it happen in practice? I doubt it, which is yet one of the many reasons I don't play NTRP...but your mileage may vary...
     
    #8
  9. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I play on clay, so take that into consideration. Personally, I have a very difficult time calling the baseline on heavy shots that are landing near the baseline. My partner has a great view of any mark, and I welcome their help.

    BTW, wouldn't the net player be much closer to the play than the opposing player who hit the groundstroke and is SURE the ball is in?

    I'm just sayin'
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Not if you follow that aggressive ball to net, which I do.
     
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  11. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    On a deep ball to your partner the net person should be backing up to around the service line so they can be in a better position to play the next ball if it happens to be a volley by the other team at the net. If the net person is at the service line, they should have a fairly good view of the ball around the baseline, in fact probably a better view than the person at the baseline, especially if the person at the baseline is hitting the ball on the rise.

    But of course you should only make that call if you are sure of it.
     
    #11
  12. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    get umpires...

    played doubles today, one of the guys kept calling the ball before it even hit the ground... i told him to stop doing it because it was disruptive to play. he stopped. all was good.

    got one of our friends who was hanging out with us, not playing, to be an umpire. even when she left after a set, players were much more mature about the calls.

    some people cheat though. i find getting into a massive argument with them useful (only after persistent cheating), but it doesn't phase my tennis. it usually sours the atmosphere though, but cheater hate being called out and still getting beaten (i.e. when it doesn't work as gamesmenship).

    sorry for the rant...
     
    #12
  13. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    A pox on all your houses.
     
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  14. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Oh so you are running full speed from further away and you still get a better look. Ok. :)
     
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  15. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Let's try this one more time...

    ...I understand where you're coming from, Cindy, but consider the following:

    - You are basically talking woulda, coulda, shoulda, and, fortunately or unfortunately, the world of tennis...and the larger world as well...does not work that way. Yes, it's true...the people you are playing against should know how to fairly and effectively call lines as you do...but they don't. Most of the time, if you're getting hooked, the hookies aren't doing it on purpose...they just don't know any better.

    Just like they don't know any better when it comes to the larger game of tennis. This isn't a TW rant, it comes from Personal Experience. I play a lot of tennis, and on the weekends, the adjoining courts are filled to overflowing with women's 3.0-3.5 league matches. Almost invariably, they all look the same:

    - All 4 players are serving with a SW forehand grip.

    - The server's partner never moves, ever, except when the ball comes directly to her, in which case it's usually a shank, because she is hitting the volley with the (ahem) SW forehand grip.

    - A corollary to this is that it's not really doubles, it's 4 players playing singles on a doubles court. To whit: the server serves, the returner returns...to the server, of course, the two net players stand their like Greek statues...and eventually, either the server or the returner misses.

    - Nobody has a clue as to how to call lines. I'll go you one better, most of the time, the four players can't remember the point or game score, and none of them, because they've never done so, have the slightest idea of how to line up and play a tie-breaker.

    However...and I admit I've been pretty harsh about the entertainment value of NTRP tennis...lately I've been seeing four women, despite their peccadillos and faux pas...having a lot of fun out there. The sun's out, they've got a new can of balls and fresh strings, and they're temporarily relieved from all of the onerous responsibilities of life, wifehood, and motherhood, and they're having one whale of a time with their friends. If somebody shanks a lob over the fence, everybody laughs, and the beat goes on. They're having a great time playing the game of tennis...whereas you, on the other hand, are obsessed with the vision of what NTRP tennis should be.

    Which is fine. Obsession can be a useful thing, in, say, another form of endeavor such as the fine arts. Ernest Hemingway was demonstrably obsessed, but he did write The Sun Also Rises, among other things. Gaugin was definitely a few sandwiches short of a full picnic, but he did paint Starry Night, among other things.

    Obsession, however, has it's price, and it comes in two general varieties:

    - What happens to your life when you don't achieve your obsession.

    - What happens to your life if you do achieve your obsession.

    Which was it for Hemingway and Gaugin? Hard to tell, but the results are clear: Gaugin cut off his ear, among other things, and Hemingway stuck a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger with his toe.

    But that's actually way, way out there and probably doesn't pertain to any of us or this discussion. Instead, look at it this way: I violently agree with you, you're right, and your NTRP opponents ought to call lines, among other things, in a much more elevated fashion. Because they probably won't, pursuant to the above discussion, what are you to do? Well, the next time the netplayer on the opposing team makes an optimistic, too early out line call, instead of venting on TW, which won't change the situation, tell them, not us.

    You don't want to do that, for whatever reason? Fine, then shut up and play tennis...
     
    #15
  16. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    A couple of things:

    Everyone is in agreement that you should not call a ball out unless it is 100% out. We also agree that this particular individual in this particular example didn't and as I posted, they may be an outright cheater.

    The above of course, has no bearing on the original topic, it is just a side show. The reality is that every single day, netmen call baseline shots routinely and accurately. My guess is every poster in this thread has done so on numerous occasions.

    60 feet? Where I play, the service line is 18 feet from the baseline...

    I know you are NOT saying that players should not call close balls on lines where they can't observe along the line and have to make the call across the line. Face it, if such a practice was commonplace the game of singles could not take place (since serves could not be called long).
     
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  17. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I think you're confusing Gauguin with Van Gogh. Latter dude had the ear mishap. More common theory is that he cut it off himself in a fit of depression. However there is an alternate theory that it was cut off in a fight with his sometime-friend, you guessed it, Gauguin. In either case it is not disputed that Gauguin kept both his ears intact until his death. Although he too suffered from clinical despression as did Van Gogh.

    All part of the price of artistic genius.
     
    #17
  18. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Clearly, there is only one thing to do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY
     
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  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    So "Gaugin cut off his ear" maybe correct if he = Gogh hehehe.

    All these painters and their paintings seem the same to me hehehe.
     
    #19
  20. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    Your opponent at the net is still closer to the ball than you, so I think you're arguing against yourself :)
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    She may be closer, but neither of us from that vantage point can be 100% sure whether the ball was 100% out. She is supposed to give benefit of the doubt, and the distance is what should create the doubt.

    The point is not whether she might be right. The point is that she cannot be certain she is right unless the ball is pretty far out -- in which case her partner can see it.

    You know what I do? Assuming I actually turn around to watch the bounce of the ball (I usually do not, as I think it better to take a quick look at my partner if I am uncertain about her situation or watch my opponents), I will see the ball bounce. I will then *say nothing.* Only if my partner looks to me for a call will I make a call or affirm her call (or encourage her to reverse her call if I am 100% sure she was wrong).

    One reason I don't make calls when my partner is in better position or is closer is to avoid loss of point through partner disagreement, of course.

    The other reason is one of credibility. One way to know your opponents are not giving benefit of the doubt is if they frequently make calls in which their partners are better positioned. You know, the receiver who calls serves long, the net player who calls the far sideline.

    Doing things in the way I suggest will mean you will play a few balls that were probably out. It also means you will be in compliance with the code and will have a more enjoyable match.
     
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  22. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    It is always a possibility that the net person was right... :twisted: when back I'm focused on playing the ball and many times don't feel I've got a good view of the baseline call.

    But yes, the net person should only be calling balls that are 100% out.

    Had it happen on match point of a very close club double semi-final. Awkward second as the guy was hugging the net and clearly made a wishful call, on clay, hundreds watching (ok, perhaps a dozen.) Partner overruled for the match.
     
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  23. duketennisgal

    duketennisgal Rookie

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    I must admit, I'm just as guilty as most about being positive people are making bad calls against me, especially because I, as Cindy seems to do, hit a lot of heavy topspin balls. A lot of times I feel that people are calling the ball out because it looks like it's going out in mid air, but it drops fast and to me looks to be in.

    Now, having said all of that, and with the invention of shot spot for pro tournaments, I've come to realize that maybe I'm wrong on thinking my balls are in when my opponents are calling them out. I've seen balls on tv that the players question and seem 100% sure they got a bad call, which turns out to be a good call. Many of the times I'm on the players side and I think there's no way that ball was out, and many times I (and the player) are proved wrong.

    So in my opinion, there is no use in getting upset over line calls, unless you are on clay and can actually see the mark, you need to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt.

    Also, that person overruling at the baseline could be wrong about the overrule. I've had that happen before, I immediately overruled my partner on a call and gave my opponents the point. Right after I saw the mark in the pollen on the court and realized I was wrong. So it's just as plausible that the person on the baseline overruling your opponent was wrong in her call...
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
    #23
  24. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    He talked about starry night which is by van gogh, he is confusing the two. Off topic.

    I guess I see what you mean Cindy but there are too many instance where the front person has to call it as they got the better or sometimes only view. I don't think it's wrong for the front person to call it if they are sure, I think when they are intentionally hooking you that is an entirely separate issue, as ou said the person on the baseline corrected their partner. If inwas the partner I'd be mad as shes losing them points. I don't see why you are.

    What do you propose, forfeit a whole game because the wrong person makes a call (which could be right anyway). The penalty seems perfectly reasonable as demonstrated in your match where it worked perfectly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
    #24
  25. samarai

    samarai Rookie

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    The other side makes the call. There net player is still closer to the ball than u are. U may assume its in but if they call it out, I just go to the next point.
     
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  26. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    No one thinks about 100% or 99% or whatever when they call the ball out/in, you just don't have the time to ponder on how sure you are, you call it as you see it at that moment, it's that simple. And whatever you may think, the opponent at the net is moving a lot less than you are, since you're rushing the net, therefore, assuming their vision is as good as yours, they have a more accurate view.

    I strongly disagree with you that the person at the baseline sees the ball better, it's actually false, and the closer the ball bounces to the player the worse it gets, because they have to change their view angle a lot more to follow the ball trajectory, and that reduces vision clarity. I see the ball pretty well, but there were many times in both singles and doubles when I lost track of it when it bounced close. The best view distance is definitely farther than the distance of the player who's hitting the ball.

    Finally, calling the ball out only if it's "pretty far out" is nothing short of ridiculous. You're just giving points away if you do that, that only makes sense if you want to make it more difficult for yourself to win.
     
    #26
  27. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Cindysphinx and anyone else interested,
    try this experiment:

    Go to a tennis court with a friend. One of you on one baseline, the other
    on the opposite baseline across the net. Now turn around and face away
    from the net.

    Then have your friend place a tennis ball about 5 inches inside or outside
    the baseline. now turn around and see if you can tell whether the ball
    is out or not. If you are able to get the call right consistently, then
    have your friend reduce the distance from the baseline (of the ball).
    If you get it wrong, then have you friend increase the distance.

    You'll be surprised at the results:)

    Now image a moving ball...
     
    #27
  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I see what you are saying, and I think it is an important point.

    The problem, IMHO, is that people are simply not willing to admit that they didn't get a good look at a ball.

    If my partner is stumbling, falling, occupied, or blind, I am not making a call on a ball very close to the line if I have a poor vantage point. I seem to be in the minority on this. Others seem to be saying they feel obligated to step up and make a call, and I do not see it that way because this will result in bad line calls.

    Most folks seem to feel if they got a better look than their partner, that is good enough. I'm saying no, that is not enough. That your partner couldn't tell is no reason for you to start guessing and calling balls out when you are in poor position.

    We all watch pro tennis, and we see umpires refuse to overrule linespeople. Umpires are supposed to only overrule a clear error. This is similar to the obligation of a player calling lines (need to be 100% certain the ball was 100% out). How often do chair umpires call balls on the far sideline compared to balls right under their noses on the near sideline? Not often. 'Cause it is hard to be certain from such a distance, even from the perch of an umpire's chair.
     
    #28
  29. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    If you're sure, call it. If you're not sure, it's in. End of.
     
    #29
  30. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I don't have a problem with a single word of this post, though I will say from a practical standpoint it never comes up in matchplay around here.
     
    #30
  31. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    So, with the logic of doubles line calling - a singles player can never know if a ball is in or out unless it is right past the baseline because you are never close enough to call the ball! I actually have heard that line calls on the baseline are the most missed on line calls especially if you are standing on top of the line trying to hit a deep ball. For the most part, most players try to call the balls correctly from the net or the baseline and I don't worry too much about it. It is much harder to see than most of us realize.

    I know that when I play singles, I play a lot more serves that are close because i do not have a net person to look down the line to see if it was in or out. I do not call these in when my net person calls them out because they do have a better look at the ball and I trust them to call the ball correctly and as accurately as they can. That is not to say that if I saw a ball clearly in that I would not reverse my partners call, but it is less likely that I would do that because they should be able to see it better than i cna
     
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  32. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    I'm not saying this at all though I see what you mean. What I'm saying is if the correct person to make the call isn't able to and the other person is, why not. I feel like this argument is based on assuming you are playing dishonest players who are never going to relent a call. The fact is if I make a call, it's because I am 100% confident in that call or I wouldn't make it. I don't disagree with what you said people aren't always in the ideal local to call it, but in rec tennis with no line judges or umpires, its up to the players to call the best match possible. If my teammate was in a good vantage point to see something but miscalled it, (this does happen) I wouldn't mind over ruling if I had that kind of assurance in what happened. If I didn't see it perfectly out however, I would say nothing and they would get the point which is how its supposed to work right?

    No one is talking about guessing.
     
    #32
  33. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    Can't wait that long - what's the answer?

    Give us the answer - not all of us have the patience to try and learn and repeat - instant gratification society - answer please!
     
    #33
  34. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    oh - forgot to answer the question. The person at the net has the best view. Especially better than the people all the way across the net.

    Now, if the person at the net has vision problems or is a cheater - that's a different issue.
     
    #34
  35. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    There is one option I haven't seen mentioned here yet---by Cindy or anyone else. You know, you DO always have the option of stopping play to confront your opponent and make your point clear. How much venom you would want to include would be up to you, I suppose. I don't see anything wrong with making the point that she is 40 or more feet away from where the ball lands very close to a line and you absolutely don't believe she can see it to call it one way or the other. You are clearly right about the rule---unless she is sure the ball is out, she should not call it but leave that to her partner. I have played with a number of players who won't get off their lazy butts and move at all to improve their view of a ball landing, but feel perfectly justified in calling it out from 50 feet away. However, despite the rule, unless you confront someone who continually does this, that person is likely to continue to do it. Without a referee, you are the only one who can stand up for you. If you don't want to offend someone or risk starting an argument, I guess you have to be angry in silence. Or start pounding body-shots at the net player who is making bad calls. LOL.
     
    #35
  36. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    As usual you are the Voice of Reason.

    The penalty the net player may eventually get will be the inability to find someone to play with.
     
    #36
  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I thought it would be more effective to beseech the kind and generous people of TT to *stop making calls on close balls from a poor vantage point.*

    I failed.
     
    #37
  38. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yup, it happened again.

    My partner is serving to the ad court player. I am at net in front of the receiver. Partner busts a great wide serve. Smack on the line. I am looking right down that line.

    "Out!" cries the net player.

    Why, WHY, *WHY* do people insist on calling lines when they are looking across the line like that?

    When my partner is receiving serve, that far sideline is all hers. I know I don't have a good vantage point, so I am not calling that line on close balls.

    Ooooh, it makes me so mad!
     
    #38
  39. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    What did the receiver say when you asked her if she was sure?
     
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  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    "Yeah, it was out."
     
    #40
  41. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Not much you can do about it then. There's always a chance it really was out, and you didn't see it correctly. Or else the receiver is being dishonest perhaps out of unwillingness to overrule her partner. Make a note about her in your little black book, and move on.
     
    #41
  42. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    I check with my playing partners & ask if I can hang my HD cam on the outside fence & record to improve my game... the calls seem to get much better when I do that ;-)
     
    #42
  43. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Regarding line calls, I do not say 'OUT' anymore when an opponents' ball is in the air. I may say 'BOUNCE IT' or 'LET IT GO' if I think it has a chance of being out. That way, my opponents cannot argue over me calling the ball out. If the ball lands in, point continues or they win the point. None of my opponents have ever argued with me about what I say. I find that if I cannot get to a ball, just stopping and keeping head still can improve line call significantly. 2 cents.

    On service returns, the line perpendicular to the net should be called by the returner unless s/he is blind. The center line can be called by either. Line parallel to the net should be called by returner's partner.
     
    #43
  44. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    It's harder to call a ball at the baseline if the ball is moving and is near your feet. The net person has a better view in a lot of instances.
     
    #44
  45. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    You need to have 'I'll be watching you' by Sting playing in the background for maximum effect. :)
     
    #45
  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Having a "better" view is not the same as having a "good" view.
     
    #46
  47. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    The net person, being at the service line, can easily see if there is space between the baseline and ball on a slow moving lob or moon ball nuff said
     
    #47
  48. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    As an avid hater of moonballers, I would like a stiffer penalty for your type of play. :p
     
    #48
  49. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    I also have to agree with this. There have been several times when I've played with partners who thought balls at the baseline they were hitting were in but myself and someone calling the lines saw it as out. The ball bounces so quickly that your brain cannot tell 1" in or 1" out because the bounce happens and your brain cannot pickup if the view you saw as out was BEFORE or AFTER the bounce. It's very easy for someone at the baseline to see it in as opposed to out, especially when they're right on top of the ball, midswing, and making contact to return the shot. That's why most of those balls are played out on hard courts... because you can't generally check the mark after you hit it unless you see fuzz. On clay it's different and even I have hit the close ball back, then called it out if the mark looks out... regardless of what my return shot did. Don't misunderstand, the calls is almost right after the shot and at the end of my followthrough. I look down and see. If I see the mark and it's out, I yell "No or Out". No one usually makes a big deal out of it because they can see the mark and they know how hard it is to make the calls when you're on top of them like that.
     
    #49
  50. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Perhaps, but it is frequently a "good enough" view.
     
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