Last night I played a 7.5 combo match away on rubico where the home team tried something I'd never experienced before which I can only assume was some type of psyche out attempt. I was playing court 1 doubles as a 3.5 with a 4.0 from our club who I only knew from reputation as being a solid player. When it came time to start our match the home team hands us a couple of balls to use. Ostensibly these came from a new can but neither myself or my partner saw them actually open a can. Anyway after the first hit it was obvious the balls were dead. I squeezed one the first chance I got and while it was not quite like a nerf ball it was darn close to one. We asked the other team if they were new balls and they said they'd just opened them. My partner and I were taking serves and we agreed the balls were dead, although they didn't look used. I asked the opponents if the balls felt dead and the one who'd provided them said they were fine to him and the other just kind of hemmed and hawed. My partner and I conferred briefly and decided we'd just play with them as is and let the chips fall where they may. The balls were Dunlop fwiw. It turned out to be a non-issue as my partner was as good as I'd heard and I was having an ok night and we beat them 1 and 1 and it was very close to have been 0 and 0. I guess their plan had been to slow down the play even more but it really didn't help them as far as I could see. This tactic was a first for me in 6+ years of league play and my partner whose played much longer than that had never had that happen either but I started to wonder if it was more common than I'd originally thought.