What would YOU do?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Xisbum, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    Played a USTA tournament dubs match Sunday, third of a 4-team round robin, winner would finish second.

    One of our opponents was about 10 minutes late; the USTA official said his team would incur a 1-game penalty and loss of the coin toss to determine who served, etc. Then he turned to us and said "Do you wish to accept these penalties on your opponents?"

    I turned to my partner and told him that I would prefer not to accept such a penalty for a 4.0 dubs match for second place; there was no money or rating points for state, regional or national rankings involved, and, to me, it wasn't right to start a match up a game because some guy got stuck in traffic.

    Partner agreed, so we told the official we came to play tennis, not read a rule book. We declined the penalty. Lost the first set 2-6, won the second 6-4 and won the tiebreaker (and the match) 10-8. It was much more satisfying to actually win on the court.

    Question is, what would you have done in that situation? Just curious.
     
    #1
  2. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Messages:
    633
    Location:
    Florida
    I would have done the same if given the choice.

    Was the official from the French Open....leaving it to the players? The whole point of penalties is to keep the tournament running on time. Generally, you don't have the option of accepting/declining it. You just have to take it & get the match going.
     
    #2
  3. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,566
    In all of the years I've been playing I've never had a situation where anyone who was offered the penalty agree to take it if the match can be played (defaults due to no-shows are different). Clearly if there was a good faith effort by the opponent to show up and play I think the right thing to do is to play the match without imposing penalties. The penalties are there for a reason, but in this case I really don't see a compelling reason to impose them. I think you did the right thing.
     
    #3
  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    That's just weird. It's not up to the player. I mean, if a player says an audible obscenity a second time, does the umpire turn to the opponent and say, "Do you wish to accept this penalty?" Indeed, our local rules state that all tardiness penalties are mandatory.

    To answer the question, I would only accept the penalty if it is a timed match. If it's not a timed match, then I would decline the penalty in the hope that my opponent would treat me better during the match.
     
    #4
  5. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    Yeah, that choice thing kinda surprised me, too. I thought he was just going to slap them with the penalty and we would start playing up 1-0. First time I heard that players could choose.

    For those who reference timed matches, I don't think that particular item works for tournaments, just for league matches. They already time-limit doubles matches anyway with that stupid 10-point tiebreaker in lieu of a full third set. Wish they would give players a choice on that one. LOL

    Anyway, ours was the last match on the schedule, so we weren't going to delay any subsequent matches.
     
    #5
  6. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    Is this the same official who let my opponent call a random let in the middle of a point (that I had won)?

    Like Cindy said, usually there is no choice, the penalty is mandatory. I understand just wanting to play it out on the court, but when do you draw the line for people who are late (and disrespectful of others' time)? In a timed match, yes, most definitely would have taken the penalty. In a tournament match...depends.
     
    #6
  7. brad1730

    brad1730 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    223
    I had the same thing happen to me. I figure that I'm going to be spending the next hour and half with this guy, and I don't want it to be contentious. I declined the penalty and narrowly lost - although I did win the first set, so it wouldn't have mattered anyway.
     
    #7
  8. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    792
    The official should not have left the decision up to the players. It puts the players in a terrible position. It's the official's job to handle these situations and give out penalties. If the offical had asked me, I would have told him/her nicely that it was not my decision.

    Out of curiousity, did you notify your captain and have them tell the tournament director? I imagine the tournament director would not have been happy if officials were not consistent with penalties for lateness. Tournaments really need to run on time, so lateness penalities are pretty standard and no exceptions are made.
     
    #8
  9. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    Captain? This was not a league team match; it was an NTRP tournament. The only people to whom my partner and I had to answer were us - and we opted to play the whole match instead of accepting something we didn't earn on the court, since we had the choice. Had we not been given the choice, we would have played it the way USTA told us to play, since we agreed to its rules when we signed up for the tournament.

    Topaz, different USTA person in the little blue shirt, but just as officious. Seemed surprised that we didn't take the penalties.
     
    #9
  10. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    792
    Sorry. For some reason I thought this was a USTA league post season tournament.
     
    #10
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    What about the tardy player's moral responsibilities?

    Shouldn't the late player in that situation say, "Hey, you know what? Rules are rules. I was late, so let's start at 0-1 because that's what we are supposed to do."

    I have had this sort of thing occur in matches I have captained. The tardy player is often so horror-stricken that she was late that she insists that the penalty be taken. Maybe the tardy player then feels that she isn't beholden to the other team and her tardiness was resolved.
     
    #11
  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    What's this about a random let? Do tell . . . .
     
    #12
  13. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    Dear Cindy, I can only be responsible for my imperfect life, morals and all. Far be it from me to try to regulate others or to judge them for their decisions, however misguided I may think those decisions are. :)
     
    #13
  14. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    My opponent and I were in the middle of a point, I was going to her BH and had just hit a ball that she couldn't get to...she calls out LET and puts her hand up. I look up at her, totally confused. She says she thought someone from the other court was talking to her. (I swear...ask Xis, he was there!) Official was on the neighboring court and said to replay the point. I was already hot behind the ears because of some other stuff she'd been pulling in addition to my crappy play.

    I didn't say anything. I always seem to get stuck in that place where on one hand you say something and have a contentious match, and on the other hand you don't and just stew about it (which I do).

    Ah well. Very bizarre, to say the least.
     
    #14
  15. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    I definitely would not take the penalty in most cases, as I play tennis to compete fairly, not to win at all costs. The only time I would take it is if my opponent was not respectful of me and the match. So to me rules like this have their purpose, but sometimes its better not to enforce it when its not in the spirit of the kind of competition that players seek.
     
    #15
  16. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    Yup, Topaz got jobbed, alright. I was right behind the court where the official in question was explaining the rules to the players, at the net close to the far fence, pretty far away from Topaz' court. I didn't hear a word she said. She definitely wasn't talking loud enough for anyone outside that court to think she was directing her comments to him/her. And Topaz hit a beautiful forehand, right on the far sideline, for a clear winner. The other lady didn't call let until a second or two after Topaz' ball hit the court. She got caught leaning toward the backhand and just didn't react to Topaz' shot at all.

    Big point, too, as I remember.
     
    #16
  17. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,783
    ^^^My opponent often got a bit wonky on big points! *eyebrow* Maybe it was the voices in her head? Lol.
     
    #17
  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Yes, but . . . If you were the tardy player and the official asked the opponent to waive the tardiness penalty, would you accept the waiver?
     
    #18
  19. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    Ah, m'lady, but tis a tangled web you weave. Since I would be the agriever, USTA would not offer me any choice in the matter. That all resides in the agrieved. However, I would not expect any charity, Christian or otherwise, were I the transgressor. I would accept whatever choice the agrieved party made.

    But then again I'm almost always at least an hour early to such things because I'm so directionally challenged. I always fear ending up on the New Jersey Turnpike. :)

    And we were not "asked to waive" the penalty; we were asked if we wanted to accept the penalty or not.
     
    #19
  20. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Well, since you won, you did the right thing. But, if you had lost, then you royally screwed up. J/K! You did the classy thing. Not much of that left in the modern American "jungle."
     
    #20
  21. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    My main concern is why did the official give you the option of taking the penalty or not? The lateness penalty is a firm rule and should just be assessed by the tournament referee. If you get to the court and decide to not accept the penalty, so be it, but the referee should not be giving the option of accepting the penalty.
     
    #21
  22. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,019
    I would told the official that I would like to decide later in the match what to do.
     
    #22
  23. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    We were on the court; he put us on because the other guy who was there said his partner was just a couple of minutes away.

    Hey, I was shocked that we got a choice, since I, like you, thought that was a firm rule for lateness. Five more minutes and the official would have called a forfeit, I think, which would have to be an irrevocable decision. Am I right on that one?
     
    #23
  24. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    :snicker:

    Or you could have asked for an opportunity to call your attorney.
     
    #24
  25. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    Which would be you. After following your amazing posting career here on TW, I would want no one else to plead my case before the court of tennis justice. :)
     
    #25
  26. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Yes

    0-5 minutes late, loss of toss and 1 game
    5:01-10 minutes late, loss of toss and 2 games
    10:01-15 minutes late, loss of toss and 3 games

    15:01 or more, DEFAULT.
     
    #26
  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Ha! I would sell you out for a cold bottle of Gatorade. :)
     
    #27
  28. MayDay

    MayDay Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    455
    Since we're not playing for money, how about making some additional "house rules" like... ...if you are late, down one bottle of beer right before the match? (or a shot of something)

    Hmm... ...maybe people would deliberately be late for the beer. :)
     
    #28
  29. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    About 2 years ago I had an 8:30 am tournament singles match in a town about 35 miles from my home. I got there a little early and warmed up but my opponent did not show so I was given a default. My opponent finally showed up about 2 and a half hours later without any excuse, and the tournament director asked me if I wanted to go ahead and play the match then. I just gave her kind of a funny look and said No!

    While I did sign up for the tournament to play some matches, I considered my opponent's behavior disrespectful to me and to the sport of tennis and was not about to reward that kind irresponsibility.
     
    #29

Share This Page