What can be done to reduce the cheating?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Woolybugger, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    True a complaint can be filed against a player for cheating. If the kid is a really bad cheater I would not discourage filing a protest. But without corroborating witnesses and if it's just for (perceived from the sidelines) bad line calls that in itself will not be the sole source of sanctions. I'm sure your example cheater was placed in his position because of what he did in front of officials, not just those on the sidelines. If he was being punished for what he did outside the view of officials its safe to say it was for more than linecalling alone.

    The USTA is not going to punish a child due to a letter writing campaign for line calls alone.
     
    #51
  2. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    at the very least you can write an email to the tournament director and your section office detailing your observations. it may not rise to the level of a formal complaint, but they will be placed on a "watch list" and be closely observed by refs or undercover volunteers. also, if other parents write in similar observations, they will definitely be red-flagged.
     
    #52
  3. hhollines

    hhollines New User

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    The solution is easy but won't happen. You simply start imposing serious penalties for cheating and bad sportsmanship and it will stop. But that requires enforcement. In one of our sectional tournaments, a young lady refused to call out the score even after multiple warnings from the linesman . . . why? b/c she cheats on the score by not calling it and then calling a wrong score in her favor. Finally, she had to default the match in the 3rd set after she told the judge "I don't have to call the score" . . . are kidding me! That wasn't enough of a penalty. That's an instance when the kid should be suspended for at least 3 months (maybe 6 months).

    Another solution . . . ban parents (I'm dead serious). My son is a competitively ranked chess parent. Guess what? Parents aren't allowed. Parents can watch in a room where they have split screens showing matches but you can be there up close.

    I just wonder . . . what would happen if parents could only watch on a big screen in a meeting room and no parent was allowed to sit on the fence? Now, it's just kid vs. kid . . . funny thing, kids seems to work things out . . . cheating is taught and generally the kid cheats b/c they want to win so bad but not for themselves but to win to keep their parents happy . . . they connect the win with love from the parents (that's the saddest part).
     
    #53
  4. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Yes, this is the beginning of how it gets a kid penalized.

    Parents complain, in writing to the sectional head of junior tennis.
    The written complaint would detail the cheating ( line calls, changing of score) and/0r bad sportsmanship.

    Complaints mount up....
    and voila a ref is on that kid's court at the beginning of the match.

    Now, this all works for tournament sites.
    Complaints mount up ( in writing) and the site loses the tournament.
     
    #54
  5. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    This is how tennis is played in the "indoor" sections. If you are lucky you can watch through the glass window. Sometimes you watch on TV screen, sometimes you cannot watch at all. Does not decrease cheating much.
     
    #55
  6. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    I can confirm that writing cheater up to the section works, especially if multiple parents do it simultaneously. I remember a case of pretty bad behavior and I knew that multiple parents wrote emails. Next sectional the offender was moved to the demo court with a chair in the beginning of expected competitive match. It was the only match in the tournament that was chaired and accidentally this was all done in front of an Ivy coach who came to watch this player. This player is now in college but not attending any Ivy.
     
    #56
  7. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    I think this is a section to section thing, and will probably change over time as people in the section change. Like the responses int this forum, I think the sections response might range from genuine concern and action to shut up you whiny parent.
     
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  8. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    #58
  9. andfor

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    I see you wrote the article which I like. I also see where you say "Cheating in tennis, especially in junior tennis is a huge problem". Which I disagree with. You are then contradicted by Dr. Fox later in the article when he says "Of course being cheated out of a point is a problem (albeit, generally a small one)". He's correct. How do you explain his correctl contradiction of your position and why did you not address that?
     
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  10. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Hm, a teammate once told me:

    "Tennis is 50% skill and 50% bartering".

    This I completely disagree with.
     
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  11. Rattler

    Rattler Rookie

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    Couldn't disagree more.
     
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  12. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    About what ? You think every person/section will react the same ?
     
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  13. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Don't need a PhD to figure this out. The best way to handle the cheating situation.

    1. Hit less unforced errors.
    2. Hit more winners.
    3. Tell Mom and Dad to stop whining about cheating and swear to them to chill or you'll never hit another tennis ball again. That's 1/2 the battle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
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  14. TCF

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  15. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    It depends on a situation. For instance, if your kid played v two cheaters during the same tournament (including finals), you probably would consider cheating is a big problem. But generally, you are right, it's not a huge problem, it is just a problem :(
     
    #65
  16. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    If a kid plays confirmed cheater who shouts "out" on all near base line balls on his side, your advice probably will not work. Hitting more winners means increasing more unforced errors. 1 and 2 contradict each other.
     
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  17. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Routinely hitting lines is luck. Great players don't aim for lines and they can beat you many ways.

    Hitting more winners does not mean more errors. Hitting more winners than errors is learning how to play and the key to winning matches. Novak was 19+ at one point vs Harrison last night.
     
    #67
  18. Alohajrtennis

    Alohajrtennis Semi-Pro

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    So there you go. Just tell your kid to play as good as Djoko and problem solved.
     
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  19. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Why wouldn't you tell your kid to emulate the best? The better junior players consistently have a positive winner to error ratio.

    As I've said before, losers make excuses, winners make adjustments.
     
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  20. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I do not draw that conclusion from Chalk's post that you cited, and I hope any juniors who read this thread.......if there are any left by now.....do not draw that conclusion either
     
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  21. TCF

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  22. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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    Gotta have a presence on the court, teach your player that. Known professional cheater in our area didn't cheat against my player, there was some kind of respect thing going on. Cheaters cheat those they see as weaker. Sure it helps to be the better player, that is the easy solution. But there is something about an attitude that says I don't put up with that. Sorta like the school bully thing, they prey on the weak. Don't have to be a jerk to get that message across. My kid is one of the nicest players you'll run across, but nobody cheats him, or if they try it is only once and done. Watch the top players and how they carry themselves, it's a swagger that says don't mess with me. Even sweet kids can pull that off when on the tennis stage.
     
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  23. TCF

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  24. tennis-player

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    No, we do not play at any club, neighborhood or public courts, not sure how you made your a$$umtions from my post.

    Again, I was only telling our first run in with cheating in junior tennis, and this particular dishonest player was confirmed by a few other kids/parents, so I know we were not imagining. Everyone can make a mistake making their own line calls, I play tennis myself and perfectly understand that. But not when a ball lands a foot inside the line.

    Since we taught our kids how to handle it, thankyouforyourconcern.
     
    #74
  25. tennis-player

    tennis-player New User

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    So true, very well said.
     
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  26. andfor

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    You clearly made a number of a$$umptions in your own post. Reread it. So I took the same liberty myself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
    #76
  27. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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    I could picture her when I read the description of what she wore to her first tournament. Love it! Sounds like skater/rock star/tennis girl with tude. One of my players with quiet confidence was also really stubborn which was actually a great trait on the court. Was not willing to give anything away! She'll handle herself and the craziness of tennis just fine. You seem to be enforcing "be true to yourself" in your approach to tennis and life versus joining the crazy marching band all trying to do the same thing and keep up with each other. Enjoy the path you are on and you just may pass them on the road.
     
    #77
  28. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    So true. Most cheaters and intimidators are bullies and they pick their targets. Unlike at school, the tennis bullies do it right in front of their parents, who 90% of the time turn a blind eye to it. That's why most tennis parents are not role models.
     
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  29. TCF

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  30. tennis5

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    With the kid who blatantly cheats -
    anything on the line, near the line, or a foot in is considered out.

    The only suggestion I can make here is to write it up to your sectional head, and especially write it up, when your player is not playing, but you are a witness to another's match.

    This is where the sectional will get involved and make sure there is a ref on the court if enough written complaints come in.
     
    #80
  31. andfor

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    Here's the recurring theme I see coming up over and over. Cheating is the parents fault. That said, offended parents should file letters against the child/participant cheater to get them under the eye of big brother. Does anyone not see the long term problem with this?

    Teach your kid how to handle cheating. Teach them they are responsible for what happens on the court. Just like being responsible for their school work, chores and job.

    Stop blaming cheating on your kids parents, lack of official, the cheater, etc. Tennis is not fair. Life is not fair. There are dignified ways to go about navigating life's waters. Blaming others is not one of them.
     
    #81
  32. lala28m

    lala28m New User

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    There are two kinds of cheaters.

    First, the ones we all know, anything within a foot of the line, if the official is nowhere to be seen, is OUT.

    Second type, I've encountered this one in the past year, and its actually brilliant! (if you take out the blatant dishonesty)
    ...Anytime the "cheater" is down a game, two games etc, as they are calling the score (semi-audibally ) ...you notice the score sounds wrong...you kind of hear it, but think you must have misheard (it was just 4-3, not 3-4.).. But now suddenly your kid is upset (you were right!). The "cheater" argues, you kid argues, the official comes over. Guess what happens? Score is set back to 3-3.. Because its the "last score the kids can agree on". Technically true, but so wrong!

    I saw this in two tournaments (NL3 Regionals), same offender, witnessed it in four matches. It was crazy. Someone spoke to the offender's parent, but he just kind of hung his head and said "what can I do ?,I can't interject...". I saw three 12 year olds in tears. Tears! The injustice! And it was. Worst thing I've ever seen in a junior league. Once is a mistake, 4 times (plus the other cases I didn't witness but I heard about from the offended)...It is a strategy.

    So you watch your potential opponents (the cheater "beating" everybody), and you tell your kid what's gonna happen. Because it will. And what we drilled is, do not let them serve until you both hear the score. Stop the serve if you don't hear. Make them call the score out. If there's a discrepancy, put you racket up. Keep putting your racket up until the officials get so tired of walking back and forth, they just stay there.

    Because the worst thing to see is your kid, playing better, but giving up when everything near a line is out, and every game won is a "back at square one" . It would discourage me too! It literally becomes not about tennis anymore. It some kind of poker game...what are you gonna do about it?!

    You have to give your kids the tools..the exact specific tools. "This is what they WILL do, this is what YOU HAVE to do when that happens. Do not wait." No benefit of the doubt for that specific opponent. It is not a maybe, it is a strategy.

    Sad, so sad. But true. In 6 years of jr tennis, I can truly say I have only seen two habitual cheaters, but those are the ones that will break your kid down, and the ones, in their "winning" strategies, you will see over and over again. Most important thing is: keep calling the official. When the official once again walks away, call them back, and then again. About the fifth time, they stay. Between the officials presence, and your kids insistance on questioning calls and calling officials, the other kid starts to understand. Its the Only shot your kid has to show the "cheater" their game will not work today.

    Saying this, most kids make mistakes or bad calls, but they try their best. They believe what they believe, and the parents see what they think they see. You have to trust or let go. Most of the time, they are not "trying to cheat" they just aren't. We're all human.

    So now, if I see the ball hit a line, I assume it might have been out, or in, ...and the caller gets to call it. No use worrying about those. It's the blatant calls...two foot in or out, and the change scores on you type of calls that are the only ones that offend my sense of justice.

    All the other 99% of the kids making calls are just trying their human best.
     
    #82
  33. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    Lala: I used to believe as you do- deliberate cheating by juniors was rare. Now I think dfferently because the evidence is overwhelming. A significant percentage of the top juniors deliberately cheat. I do not have sour grapes and I do not have a horse in this race. Of course, you have to teach your youngster that life isn't fair and all that jazz.
    I've played adult and senior USTA since it started. There is a bit of cheating, but it is about 2-3% of what it is at the junior level. Adults sometmes allow the opponent to make the call when they don't have a good look- I've yet to see that in a junior match. Unfortunately cheating is part of the culture of American junior tennis.
     
    #83
  34. lala28m

    lala28m New User

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    That's an interesting way of looking at it. You're right. I have often let the opponent make a call for me, if I did not have a clear view. And have had the reverse happen.
    But have never seen that in juniors. I guess you might be on to something. It's just so hard to call a kid a liar. Even to just acknowledge it to myself.

    What is true though..it's not just American kids. The international tournaments are far worse. Maybe because the kids are more invested, traveling overseas and all...but those kids and those parents would put the two "cheaters" I mentioned in my earlier comment to shame. They are just blatant, and hide behind the foreign language "barrier", but you can just ask a passerby to translate (not that you need that. You can tell, it's not a "c'mon" 5 minute instruction being yelled at the kid, along with finger twirls and whatever other gestures). Unfortunately, it's a worldwide juniour problem, I suppose. Hopefully, they will grow out of it. Or at least be forced to...bigger tournaments = more exposure/more officials.
     
    #84
  35. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    I was at JOB, Eddie Herr, many of the nationals, and I would have to disagree. What evidence are you referring to supports that a "significant percentage" of the top juniors cheat? And what is significant? Please state facts i.e. 2 out of 3 dentists...
     
    #85
  36. andfor

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    ^^^. This is another big issue I have with the "it's the parent's fault" and the "widespread jr. cheaters" crowd. It all comes down to a handful of folks here saying they "saw it with their own eyes".

    I'll say I've been to many of the very high level junior tournaments and seen widespread generous line calling. Literally attended hundreds of matches. I've seen many kids playing balls that should have been out as in, good sportsmanship, etc. Over and over I see this. Do I see what I think is a bad call every now and then, yes. But its so isolated. Are juniors more competitive than many adults, yes. But they are naturally immature, learning their way and don't see the bigger picture yet. They will with the help of parenting, coaching and age. All this doesn't mean kids are inherently cheaters, it's the parents fault and they are being coached to cheat as many are assuming. These thoughts are just absured.

    Overall, I just pick up on sour grapes and lack of coaching on how to handle bad line calls in the right way.
     
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  37. TCF

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  38. andfor

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    ^^^Thanks. One last thing.

    The idea of writing a letter or worse a letter writing campaign about a so called junior tennis player line calling cheater is very disturbing to me. Demonizing a kid over perceived bad line calling is simply tantamount to parent bullying of a child. If a kid develops a reputation as a cheater, be prepared before the match and know how to deal with it. I can't tell you how many matches I've watch where a kid has been identified as a cheater before the match and nothing happens out of the ordinary during those matches, regardless of the outcome.

    Writing a letter over egregious bad sportsmanship like cussing, coaching, physical violence, verbal threats, uncalled for parent involvement, etc. that is supported by witnesses, sure write the letter(s). Otherwise let the kids play their matches, stop trying to win matches from the side lines and stop the excuse making.
     
    #88
  39. TCF

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  40. treeman10

    treeman10 Semi-Pro

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    I agree with all of you, it's overstated and it's a problem, sometimes. I know two coaches and am familiar with their cheating techniques. One taught his kid, how to flip 30-40 and when (critical games like 5-4) and even flipping games in a set scores, which shots/balls to call out, etc. He was very proud that he came from a culture that winning at all cost is what matters and didn't mind sharing his strategy with those in his inner circle. A letter writing campaign effectively got them to put this kid on the watch list. Another coach flips his cap to indicate certain strategies at the higher levels, etc. So intentional cheating is out there and it is annoying when your kid is the victim. When it's during the final of a tournament and it costs your kid the match/tournament whether it's the points robbed or the emotional tailspin it send them in can suck. Yes, they need to learn to handle that however, and its a good lesson. Eventually they are at a level where there is a ref at finals or kids don't cheat them. And does it keep a kid from rising to the top? No. It creates bumps along the way and they have to get over those. Sometimes players are in a position where points from one tournament are key to qualifying for something really important, so I do sympathize with the stress of all of this. Better to lose straight out than to feel you were cheated out of it. Just do your best to teach your child not to be a victim on the court, just like in life everyday.
     
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  41. tennis-player

    tennis-player New User

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    Lala, I've heard about score "inaccuracies" from my own teammates with teenager children. Not sure if it's very brilliant or very disturbing.....
     
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  42. lala28m

    lala28m New User

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    Brilliant, as in cunning. Of course, it's disturbing. Brilliant and disturbing are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
    It was my first time witnessing this in many years of junior tourneys.. I'm hoping now that's it's not a trend we will be encountering in the future, since you're mentioning this as a known tactic of sort.
    I just remember how long it took me to catch on to what was happening, right in front of me, that day. Its not something I would ever think to do or most people would have the gall to do in front of a small crowd of people.
     
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  43. Milan

    Milan Rookie

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    Shot spot on every court ...Technology...

    and

    if that's not possible.. if Kids are cheating (proven cheating).. 1 year suspension.
     
    #93
  44. andfor

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    In junior tennis your idea 1 will never happen and idea 2 will never happen. Sounds good, but unrealistic.
     
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  45. North

    North Professional

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    Not really practicable. I have, however, seen people bring video cams & film matches when there is a known "problem child" playing who has been getting away with some of the brilliant but disturbing stuff that sometimes goes on.

    I think the incidence of poor behavior, including, but not limited to, cheating, varies with locality, TDs, parents in the area, and perhaps some other factor(s).
     
    #95
  46. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    If bad calls occur, teach your kid how to deal with it. Cheating happens but it's not out of control at junior tournaments. Parents need to learn how to accept losing, teach their kids the same and get ready for the next match.
     
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  47. tennis5

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    It is not an occasional bad call that folks are complaining about.

    It is systematic cheating where balls land on the line, inside the court near the line, and a foot inside the line that are constantly called out,
    or the score is constantly being changed .

    You say teach kids how to deal with it.
    Well, when there is only one ref for ten to twelve courts, it is hard to get the ref over to watch more than two balls.......

    So, I know I might be a bit slow here, but is "deal with it" code for cheating back?
    Otherwise, I am not sure what you are referring to?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
    #97
  48. SoCal10s

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    maybe this idea may help .record matches and review cheaters and mis-conduct who have a 'reputation'.. . with a small investment from the USTA and a little note to all parents and players participating in some tournaments ... something like this::

    "" the USTA is doing and in house experiment trying to curb cheating "" we will be recording certain matches and will b reviewing them"" ""if anyone is found guilty of cheating,you will be suspended from future participation for 6 months ect. ect..::: --- (some of you better writers can elaborate on this)...

    I think this would scare the crap out of some cheaters and straighten up a bit..
     
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  49. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    SoCal,

    You might not know about this, but the sections are already suspending kids who are caught cheating.

    In the past few months, there have been two big suspensions that I know of, one was 3 months for cheating,
    and the other was 6 months for cursing out the TD ( yes, a boy...).

    But, I have heard juniors come back from their suspensions and laugh about it
    ( sit there quietly with a book at a tournament and you will be amazed at what you hear.).

    So, in all fairness, sections are doing their jobs with the suspensions, but it doesn't seem to stick with the kids....
    They go right back to their ways.
    Maybe, this is a maturity issue, I don't know.
     
    #99
  50. SoCal10s

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    yes I know about different suspensions .. SCTA have been doing these things since I've played Jr tournaments .. and believe me, stupid kids can talk big and laugh about being suspended ,but the bottom line is, 'it's a fix' .. having 'bad boys' not being around for six months , a year ,2 years .. what ever, is still better than having a bad seed to ruin the rest of the crop..

    I still believe that deep down all kids are good .. kids have purity inside them that can be influenced to change for the better .. so I don't give up on kids.. the problem is that kids needs to live with their effed up adults parents.. and those are the ones that cannot be changed ..
     

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