What is correct etiquette for the following?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by ron24, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. ron24

    ron24 New User

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    I play club mixed doubles. I have the following questions:

    1) Once, while at the net and my partner serving, a ball rolled back from the wall behind my partner, onto the court, about three feet away (her box). She refused to serve. I finally looked around and she was glaring at me, wanting me to get the ball away from her, and eventually insisted it was my responsibility, as she was serving, although it was much closer to her than me. I thought this a needless waste of time, and she should police her own court. Thoughts?

    2) Yesterday, I was lectured by another partner, who was receiving a serve (I again at net) that it was my responsibility to tell him if the first ball served was rolling back up behind him. He claims he needs to concentrate on the return. I say it's his box, and his job. Who is right? :confused:
     
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  2. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    Sound like a bit of a crabby bunch.

    Mostly around here people just tend to get it when it's near them when it rolls on court and watch out behind them when they are receiving. If I see one behind them, I'll give them a heads up though. Never really was an issue for me
     
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  3. ron24

    ron24 New User

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    I would probably say "sticky" for their version of what they say is proper. Remember, I am at a London Club so it can be very rule-sticky. I've read the code of conduct and it says players are responsible for the balls behind them, but doesn't clarify if it includes or excludes doubles.
     
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  4. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    I tend to find it has a lot more to do with the people instead of the rules but if they are good folk otherwise....

    Where do you play in London btw? I play at David Lloyd in Raynes Park generally. Not a bad spot but not very well run
     
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  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe we need to come up with a new Code provision for people like your playing partners who lack common sense!

    1. The person closest to a ball retrieves it.

    2. People who would otherwise be twiddling their thumbs should fetch balls if this can be done without disrupting the flow of play.

    3. Anyone who sees a problematic ball on the court should mention it. Only those with eyes in the backs of their heads are expected to notice balls that are behind them.

    Goodness.
     
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  6. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    1) When your partner is serving, presumably holding two balls, the third ball should be in your pocket - not rolling around the floor.

    2) When you see a potentially hazardous ball rolling behind anyone - friend or foe - you should halt play and warn them of the ball. They should do the same for you. Stepping on a tennis ball can sideline you for months.
     
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  7. ron24

    ron24 New User

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    I agree with Geezer Guy in terms of general politeness, but a few points - we play with four balls, not three, and generally it's informal so once in a while an extra ball will roll, as balls do. It's then that a few club members (Campden Hill) will become "sticky" about who is responsible even with the ball closest to them. BTW I have asked the LTA (as I am a member) and want to hear their view. This will come up again in our club play, I am sure!
     
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  8. ron24

    ron24 New User

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    Oh yes, both times the errant ball was seen first by my partner, not me, as I was at the net, waiting for play to commence and focusing on the competition!
     
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  9. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Tennis is a gentlemen's and should be played that way - IF anyone asks me to get a ball, I would try to oblige. If I see a ball, I will likely try to pick it up. At the same time, I am not going to stand there and wait for you to come back and pickup the ball because you as if you are my servent or criticize your ball watching. We are all tasked to pickup balls, watch the court, etc.
     
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  10. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Best post on the thread, esp #2. Stopping play to get balls off of the court is a safety issue and is essential. As to which player actually gets the ball, that is where your partners start showing their personality types. Refusing to pick up a ball that is close to you because it is on the other side of some random line on the court basically shows that person to be a jerk. Players should be happy to get errant balls off of the court as quickly as possible so play can continue.
     
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  11. ron24

    ron24 New User

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    I contacted the LTA. They made several points, including the fact that these instances were not detailed in the code of conduct. However, if server waits for partner at net to remove ball they initially saw on their side of the court, this raises a delay of game issue. Also, in the other instance, the receiver has the responsibility to be "set for the serve" including comfortable with everything around him. Hence primary responsibility for errant balls just behind him are his;
    however, etiquette always dictates that the person at the net help wherever possible to keep both players "ready to play". So, an undefined but indicative rule of primary and secondary responsibility.

    Gee, can't wait to play again with these people tomorrow!:| But interesting points...
     
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  12. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Your partners had better be pretty god d@mn old to be this crotchety.
     
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  13. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    You need to stop playing with beginners.
     
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  14. Crusher10s

    Crusher10s Rookie

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    I'm with Drakulie....or maybe you're so focused on the match that you're just oblivious to what's going on around you with regard to stray balls rolling back on your partners. You should make an effort though to be helpful to your partner and vice versa :)
     
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  15. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    1) If your partner is serving and she wont pick up a ball that is only 3 feet in front of her and thinks that you are going to walk all the way over to pick it up, she probally has other issues.

    Proper etquette here would be to find a new partner.

    2) If a ball is rolling back at your opponents feet behind them, it would be proper to warn them. How do they know it is there?

    Safety comes before "who's responsibility" it is, you are just playing a game after all....
     
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  16. ron24

    ron24 New User

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    Javier, I agree with your comments on number 1; however, on number 2, it is a practical issue. Yes, I watch the first serve to my partner, but not to the nth degree (where it ends up) as usually the server is fast with the next one. I'm watching him/her and their partner, and waiting for the return of the second serve. I am also watching the serve and my partner, because I will be be ready to call a serve out (at least from my angle). Gee, yes, by all means, if I see a ball roll back behind my partner I'll tell them, but, it's not my primary responsibility.

    As per the LTA comment, the receiver has the primary responsibility for the area around him/her, and for being comfortable/ready with taking the second serve. That includes errant balls. I certainly look around when I am in the same position, and don't rely on a partner - at the net - to police behind me.

    I agree on being helpful at all times. I just object to being lectured that the errant ball behind the receiver was my responsibility, when I am at the net.

    The people I play with are 40's/50's/60's and have a good standard of tennis. However, there are always 10% who try to insist upon a version of rules that seems illogical. Hence the my question for clarification.
     
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  17. fuhzball

    fuhzball Rookie

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    sounds like you play with a bunch of twits..
     
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  18. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    What kind of Oldy McOldertons from Oldsville are you playing with?

    #2 is just laughable, tell him that it's his problem, whether he likes it or not!
     
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