What to do with "stallers"

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by crosbydog, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    So my daughter played up in a girls 14s tournament, made it to the finals against someone of similar ability. Whenever my daughter won a point or was serving and the score was ad in this person would turn her back and go hang out at the back fence for 8-10 seconds. My daughter did it back once and when the opponent turned around to see my daughter copying her she turned back to face the fence :twisted:

    Of course there was no official present, nor was there at the last tournament when this person walked off the court in the middle of a match.

    According to Friend of the Court " the receiver should play at the reasonable pace of the server.".
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
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  2. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    You know, the rules already tell you how to handle this.
     
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  3. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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  4. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    There is no set rule as to define "reasonable pace of the server"; however, the guideline we use is 12-15 seconds is considered reasonable. Of course, it varies. If a player is serving consistently at 8-10 seconds, and the receiver is consistently ready, and not complaining, then that could be considered reasonable pace for that match. If a player is consistently serving at 18 seconds or so, then, I would say reasonable pace for that match would be 15 second or so. And the player wouldn't then be able to quick serve and expect that to be reasonable.

    8-10 seconds isn't really stalling at all. If this was a USTA sanctioned tournament, there would have been at least one official. If your daughter was bothered by timing, she is free to leave the court to seek out an official.
     
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  5. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    It was a receiver who turned away to the fence and paused for a long time. Wasn't the receiver supposed to play at the server's pace?
    My daughter faced similar situation a few times. It annoyed her but she usually just waited. Sometimes the receiver stalled to interrupt server's rhythm and she double faulted. Would you recommend getting an official if the person keeps doing that?
     
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  6. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Yes she should get an official, but like I said, reasonable pace isn't always the same. And if she's back there for 10 seconds and ready to receive at 15, that is usually a "reasonable pace". Now, if she's there for 20 seconds and the server is ready to serve for a while, that's different.
     
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  7. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Duplicative post.
     
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  8. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the answer.
     
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  9. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    This is within the rules, but will delay many servers. Some consider it gamesmanship. In my view, it is the smart play for the receiver to slow things down when things are going badly. I have seen some coaches recommend other delay tactics. Another classic is to hit a long first serve into the net and slowly walk up to clear the ball before the second serve.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
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  10. lala28m

    lala28m New User

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    "Whenever my daughter won a point or was serving and the score was ad in this person would turn her back and go hang out at the back fence for 8-10 seconds."
    If your daughter is serving... It's at her pace. I've seen girls just go ahead and serve when the receiver is stalling. Valid tactic. It worked. The statler was ready next time.
     
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  11. lala28m

    lala28m New User

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    *staller was ready next time.
     
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  12. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    But it doesn't matter if it delays the server if the receiver is playing to a "reasonable pace".
     
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  13. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    No it's not a valid tactic as the rule is that the server has to wait for the receiver to be ready.
     
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  14. anhuynh16

    anhuynh16 Hall of Fame

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    I know, it's a terrible feeling waiting for the person to return your serve when you're already ready.

    Give them a stare or something when your ready..
     
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  15. Rattler

    Rattler Rookie

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    Say the score, this simple (and required action) prompts the receiver that the server is ready.
     
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  16. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    My daughter said the score multiple times to encourage the receiver to turn around. She didn't. She also did the s-l-o-w walk to retrieve a ball she hit into the net.

    Also even though it was a USTA tournament there were no officials and the TD didn't know the rules (as evidenced by his not allowing 2 other competitors to be coached prior to a third set tie breaker). I heard him tell his friend " the kids should just be allowed to play and told what they did wrong after the match".

    Thanks for everyone's responses.
     
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  17. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    What section was this? I have a very hard time believing there was not a tournament referee available.
     
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  18. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Also when talking about the third set tiebreak, do you mean a third set tiebreak, or a 10 point match tiebreak in lieu of a third set?
     
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  19. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Yes, that is exactly my point. It is perfectly valid for the receiver to take 10-seconds to gather their thoughts and slow the pace of the server.
     
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  20. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    If the receiver makes no attempt to return the serve then the serve doesn't count.
     
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  21. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It may not be a valid tactic but when you nail them in the back it just feels oh so good. :twisted:
     
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  22. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    10 point in lieu of third set
     
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  23. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    Missouri Valley - there was also no official AND no tournament director a week ago when this same opponent walked off the court when an opponent called her on foot faults :twisted:
     
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  24. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Ok. Now, definitely something is wrong with your posts. First of all, unless it was a "novice" tournament, there's no way there was not one tournament referee. Also, there can't be a USTA tournament without a Tournament Director OR a Referee.

    Finally, from what you put in your original post and the way you worded it, there's nothing wrong with what the player did against your daughter.
     
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  25. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I also see nothing wrong with what your daughter's opponent did. Juniors often have a tendency to 'play fast' and are coached to slow it down in between points. Walk to the back fence/tarp between every point or count to 10. Mentally reset before the next point.

    Even if there were an official there, good luck getting them to do anything about it. In all of my years of playing competitive tennis I have never seen a penalty issued for taking too much time in between points. The most I've seen is a verbal warning (more like 'hurry it up, please') if taking too much time during changeovers, but never in between points.

    I'll give the opponent the benefit of the doubt that she as just gathering herself and it's not gamesmanship, but gamesmanship does exist with more experienced tournament players. If that's the case, experience teaches you how to speed up or slow down play to mess with your opponent, but experience also teaches you how to not let stuff like that bother you.
     
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  26. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Even if it was gamesmanship, doesn't mean that there was anything illegal about what she was doing. Almost every match has some kind of gamesmanship played into it in one form or another.
     
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  27. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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  28. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Maybe you need to contact the USTA Missouri Valley section to find out why they are not having referees at these tournaments then, considering it's a requirement.
     
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  29. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    I see the issue. You also have to give complete information. Like giving the information that this was not a main site, but an alternate site.
     
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  30. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Even if an alternate there still should be a deputy referee assigned to the site correct? As well as some semblance of desk staff
     
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  31. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    There should be, but I don't know if that is a rule that there must be. In NorCal I believe it's a rule that each site must have a referee/deputy referee and one official per every 8 courts (I think that's it). I don't know about other sections.

    But there for sure has to be a referee.
     
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  32. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    There is nothing wrong with what the opponent did. She has every right to 8-10 seconds between the points.
     
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  33. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    She will have to learn ways to deal with it.
     
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  34. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Maybe, there can't be....

    But, I have been to plenty of sectional tournaments, where the tournament ran late
    and the TD and ref left....... Score was reported to the kid who was holding down the front desk.

    I did complain. And it still happens.....

    I am going to say this is one of the biggest issues in junior tennis, lack of refs and/or TD's interested in running a good tournament. And I am going to guess it must be about the $.
    The TD's probably don't make a lot of money running the tournaments and I know the refs are not paid well ( especially when you factor in gas money).

    I do wish the USTA would help fund some of the tournaments with money for more refs.

    I don't hear parents complaining about the cost of a tournament, but I do hear them complaining about the cost of a tournament not being worthwhile if it is not properly equipped to do a good job....

    Lastly, the reason I don't post on this board much anymore is all the snarky comments.
    Just because you have never been to a tournament where the ref disappears,
    doesn't make it impossible.

    It is a big country, every tournament is not a cookie cutter excellent event.
    Maybe, there was a ref and maybe he/she was taking a long lunch break.......

    I was at a national tournament two years ago,
    one ref went to lunch and the other one got lost in the bathroom......

    I have been to two supernats where they had replacement refs and they didn't know the rules.

    I have been to tournaments where the ref checks their texts during the matches.

    I could go for a while, but you get the idea.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
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  35. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    What exactly was snarky about me saying that there's no way a USTA sanctioned tournament can be held without a Tournament Director and Referee? The OP said that there was no referee and no tournament director at a tournament, which just can't happen (until I did my own research and found out it was at an alternate site, where it is possible that there wasn't an official at that site).

    This goes back to what was discussed in a couple of other threads last week about parents at junior tournaments. I would be willing to bet that if someone went up to the OP's daughter and asked her if she was bothered by her opponent going back to the fence for 8-10 seconds, she would say no (that is if she even noticed what was happening, or that is if it even happened at all)! Most of the time, what parents complain about, doesn't even happen at all. If it does happen, the kids don't even notice it, and it's not worth complaining about.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
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  36. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    How can you be so clueless.

    Walking back to the fence after every point is taught to disrupt your opponent.

    Its sad that kids are taught to use unsportsmanship tactics to win matches.
     
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  37. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    There are two issues here, and I only addressed one of them.

    So, let's start with the first issue, the poster's issue of the junior stalling for time.
    What else will bother juniors - the long strategic bathroom break, the come on after every point, hooting for double faults, etc, etc, etc.
    All issues of gamemanship - ok with some folks here on the board.
    I think juniors should just work on their game and technique, and that would be a better long term strategy.
    And just ignore all the other stupidity.

    Second, I addressed the lack of TD and ref.
    Yes, technically they should be there.
    Just like technically you shouldn't cut off the car in front of you or speed.

    But, many times, they disappear, or it gets late and they go home.

    Look it is a thankless job being a ref.
    You get paid very little and some of the junior boys are completely disrespectful to boot.

    I have seen great refs who write up code violations for throwing racquets and cursing,
    and I have seen others who are too busy talking to another ref or on their blackberry......

    My feeling is if you are going to take a job, do it well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
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  38. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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    It was the one and ONLY main site!
     
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  39. crosbydog

    crosbydog Rookie

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  40. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    I saw that kind of drama before. Girls must have been taught to stall or they just copy Sharapova.

    Boys probably will just walk slowly to get the towel. They are less likely to talk to the fence. My daughter talks to her strings to calm herself.....not the fence.
     
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  41. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    You don't think that the parents at junior tennis tournament most of the time are not the issue? I'm telling you. Most of the time, when the parents think there's an issue, the kids don't. The parents make a big deal out of EVERYTHING. A close call on the opposite side of the court that they are sure that their kid hit six inches inside the line that is not. The other kid is receiving coaching (according to the other kid's parents), but they are not. The list goes on and on.
     
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  42. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    And it's worse at the 12s and 14s level. Yes there is a lot of gamesmanship, but that happens at every level.

    Standing back for 8-10 seconds is not illegal. Doing the same thing in retaliation COULD be illegal if the other player has been playing at a certain pace and your daughter has been accepting it the whole time until she got frustrated.

    And there still can't be a tournament without a tournament director and/or a referee.
     
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  43. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Ok. Which tournament was it? You said challenger at Missouri Athletic Club. When I looked at a tournament that was a challenger at that site, it was one of about 6 sites listed.
     
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  44. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    And yes, it's sad that the parents allow their kids to use poor sportsmanship. But the parents that allow their kids to use poor sportsmanship are the ones who have kids that end up on the suspension lists, then it's those same parents tha sue the referee and umpires for giving the code violation that put them on the suspension list because the player is a different race than the umpire.

    There's also reasons why the parents are not allowed to call fr an official to the court and the players have to. And the reasons are that first of all the kids need to be able to have the responsibility to figure out when they need an official. Also, the parents are usually wrong about what happened when they are standing outside the fence.
     
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  45. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    If you are that concerned, go to the officials section on the USTA national website, and you can find the list of sectional chairmen of officials for all sections. You can also contact te juniors department at the sectional office.
     
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  46. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Boys sweat a lot......
     
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  47. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    ^^^that's a good one!

    And girls talk a lot....even with the fence or strings!
     
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  48. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Seriously, my son has to constantly go to the towel during the summer to wipe off sweat, and in the winter ( indoors) he doesn't bring a towel.

    Girl's tennis matches are always full of drama. Boys can't hold a grudge that long, they can't remember.
     
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  49. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    I also recommend that parents of juniors go to the USTA officiating school to learn the rules so that they can help their kids. Also they would be strongly qualified to assist as court monitors at juniors tournaments. Officiating eats up a good part of the budget for a referee and othe umpires if the tournament has more than one. Having parents as court monitors, especially if they are certified as officials would be a great way to cut down on the problems when there is only one referee or an alternate Ste with no officials present. But, of course, when that is suggested to parents, they never want to listen. Instead they want the tournament to hire more officials, then they GE mad at the cost of the entry fees
     
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  50. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Actually, that will be my dream (volunteer) job after my retirement from my real job. I have been thinking about that for a while!
     
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