Why do club players say "five" not "fifteen" when scoring?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by David_Is_Right, May 1, 2009.

  1. David_Is_Right

    David_Is_Right Semi-Pro

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    OK, this has been bugging me like crazy since I started playing. Maybe this only happens in the UK, I don't know...

    Why do some club players score tennis games by saying "five" instead of "fifteen"? For example, they will call "five-thirty". I find it really annoying.

    Like I said, maybe it's just the UK or just my stuffy club but I'd love to know why they do that!
     
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  2. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    With one less syllable, "five" rolls off the tongue a little easier than "fifteen."
     
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  3. jelle v

    jelle v Hall of Fame

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    Never ever heard it before over here in The Netherlands..

    Strange to abbreviate fifteen to five..
     
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  4. David_Is_Right

    David_Is_Right Semi-Pro

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    Very odd, especially since other scores don't get abbreviated...
     
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  5. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    i've heard FIF a lot but not FIVE
     
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  6. RalphNYC

    RalphNYC Semi-Pro

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    I always say five, so much easier. I also sometimes say 3 5 or 4 Oh, or 5 5, I like single digits don't cha know. But is this really a Pro Player Discussion?
     
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  7. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    I get this a lot at my club also. Doesn't really bother me as it's clearly understood but I'm not sure why you would do it. It's not like it's a huge effort to just say fifteen.
     
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  8. armsty

    armsty Hall of Fame

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    I call it as Fif.

    Fif love
    thirty fif.

    Never heard of five.
     
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  9. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Ditto here in the US. Same reason that we say "ad" rather than "advantage". Only players visiting from Japan say "advantage" every time. A long time ago, in a land far, far away (England?), the score awarded after 30 was 45. Some of those annoying club players of yesteryear shortened it to 40 -- and now we are stuck with that convention.

    I say that we should start all over and go with multiples of 7, 9 or 12 instead of multiples of 15. It's really pretty arbitrary when you think of it. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Just accept it and get on with your life.
     
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  10. David_Is_Right

    David_Is_Right Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, really!
     
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  11. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    In the US, it is extremely common to just say five rather than fifteen - Falls under the who gives a ____ category to me.
     
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  12. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Good post. Yeah, we love a good abbrev.

    I remember a few of my granddad's friends sticking with 45 until the 70s.
    Five instead of fifteen....wow, I thought that was only us Americans. The Canadian, Aussie, Kiwi, SouthEffrigen, Latin, Euro and UK guys I've played with over the yrs all say fifteen.

    Well, anyway, I always score it love, 7, 14, 21, then game. Kidding. The fifteen thing is not as arbitrary. It might have come from a clock face used as early scoreboards.
     
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  13. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    i'll say it second, but never first: thirty/five, but never five/thirty. no idea why.
     
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  14. rosenstar

    rosenstar Professional

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    I say five instead of fifteen.

    I remember reading in a sports illistrated years ago that when tennis was first created, it was a betting game where the game score determined the wager. The better could choose to wager 5 instead of 15 if they chose. The scoring system remained the same, and some people just choose to say 5.
     
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  15. svijk

    svijk Semi-Pro

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    Lot of the older guys use that....other things i notice......they dont call balls long ....they say deep. if the server has the advantage, its ad-in else ad-out.
    they also raise the index finger for balls landing out....just age old club practices, i guess
     
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  16. scraps234

    scraps234 Hall of Fame

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    i say it 2 im im tired but i guess i doesnt rlly matter for me....
     
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  17. AndrewD

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    in 30+ years of tennis I've never heard 'Five' or 'Fif'.
     
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  18. Verno Inferno

    Verno Inferno New User

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    David Is Right is right, right David?

    I agree. My brain is so wired to understanding the implications of 15-40, that when someone says "five four" I want to strangle. In what scenario does serving 5 to 4 mean that you are losing woefully?

    Hate that. Das ist nicht stackenblocken!

    I've played in a tournament where a dude just said "one," "two," "three" and then "ad/duece." Where did this guy learn tennis? So one day 5 - 4 means 15-40 the next day 1 - 3 means 15-40.

    I'm not sure 15, 30, 40 can be improved upon now that it's the convention.

    PS: I don't know if I could play against someone who says "fif." You would be the proud recipient of a forfeit victory. :)
     
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  19. Verno Inferno

    Verno Inferno New User

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    New Idea: I'm from the U.S., and I'm going to start saying:

    Britain, Buchanan, Coolidge, Reagan, duece, advantage.
     
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They also say 35 and 45 for 30-15 and 40-15. In no-add scoring you hear 21, 31, 32 etc.
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Index finger is used by umpires too for clay court inspections of close balls - but they point it sideways
     
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  22. NotAtTheNet

    NotAtTheNet Semi-Pro

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    I used to say 15, until I played someone who used the abbreviated 5. Thought it sounded better so I use it now. Now that I found out it annoys some players, I will continue to use it.
     
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  23. Sublime

    Sublime Semi-Pro

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    I'll sometimes say 3 instead of Thirty.

    Also I'll call 40-30 or 30-40 as Ad-In / Ad-Out.

    Played a guy once who said "Ad Here / Ad You"... that was a little weird.
     
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  24. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    We use the index finger while in the chair also to confirm a line umpire's out call.
     
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  25. Verno Inferno

    Verno Inferno New User

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    Ha! Yeah... you'd destroy me. Good strategy. I need to let go...
     
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  26. AmericanTemplar

    AmericanTemplar Professional

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    I usually just say fff.
     
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  27. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    This would drive me nuts. What are we playing, a game or a tiebreaker here? You announcing the set score or the game score? 3-3 may refer to tie breakers or set score, but not 30-30.

    I don't have a problem with 5 being substituted for 15, though, and often do it myself. One less syllable...

    Sometimes when playing with friends, I'll announce the score as "15-5", or "30-15.. No wait. 30-5!"
     
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  28. mozzer

    mozzer Hall of Fame

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    I have always said five as people at my club said it and i thought it was the local accent, but it appears not.
     
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  29. l_gonzalez

    l_gonzalez Professional

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    I've heard it a lot and i use it myself too.

    15-15 = fives
    15-30 = five-thirty
    15-40 = five-forty

    30-15 = thirty-five
    40-15 = forty-five

    No idea why, just got used to it and it's stuck.
     
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  30. skip1969

    skip1969 Legend

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    in informal settings (hitting with the boys) we always say "5" for "15". and (like sublime) we say "ad in" or "ad out" after the 30-all point. guess we've always done it just to get on with things. we also raise an arm and point our index finger for an out ball. done it for as long as i can remember.

    in tourneys and whatnot, i would call out the full score unless the shorthand was understood by both of us.
     
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  31. Verno Inferno

    Verno Inferno New User

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    I like the hand gestures accompanying a call, because when it's windy and you play next to a street, it's not always easy to hear someone with their head turned away from you.
     
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  32. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Another pet peeve of mine, for it can confuse things. The next point after 30-30 is 40-30, period.

    Big fan of these too, and use them myself.
     
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  33. Steady Eddy

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    In the days of Court Tennis the scoring went 15, 30, 45, game, and they used a clock dial to keep score. The 45 got shortened to 40. Some people shorten them all: "fifteen" to "five", "thirty" to "three", and "forty" to "four", so the scoring goes": "five", "three", "four", completely illogical! For some reason the five for fifteen abreviation is the most popular. Shortening 30 and 40 seems to be only for very advanced players.

    I'm comfortable with 15, 30, and 40. I just don't like "love" for zero. That's the one we should change.
     
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  34. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    How can it confuse things? Suppose you win the subsequent point, if you said "add in", it's game, and if you said, "40-30" that's also game. No difference. But what if you lose the subsequent point? If you said "add in" it's now deuce. But if you'd said "40-30" it's now 40-40, which is also deuce. You'll either win or lose the next point, so it cannot confuse things.
     
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  35. ayuname

    ayuname Semi-Pro

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    What's wrong with 1 2 3 Adv?
     
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  36. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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    I refuse to say "five" instead of "fifteen" or "ad in" when it's 40-30. Because it's WRONG. ;) I'm a prig that way. And no, I'm not 87 years old. You just have to adhere to what's right, I think, and that's what's right. But I also take the point when someone catches a ball in the air that's clearly going out - guys love that about me. :)
     
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  37. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

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    I say fifteen.
     
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  38. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    I dont really care whether it is 5 or 15, but I do appreciate an index finger up if the ball is long or out; and since I play with a lot of deaf older folks, it helps a bunch, because they can't hear anything and will constantly ask you the score if you don't use hand signals. Also, half the year, I play inside with heaters and they are very loud, so even people with good hearing cannot hear the person across the net from them.

    spoke
     
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  39. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Frankly, I've forgotten how it can confuse things, I just remember that it can! Not in a dramatic way, but in a subtle way I can't remember at the moment.

    Can someone help me out here and remind me why this way is a bad habit?
     
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  40. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    Come on people, we have a standard scoring system for a REASON...
    If this happened where I played, I wouldn't tolerate it for a minute... I mean substituting fifteen for "fif" is somewhat ok since i hear the first syllable and know automatically what they're saying but other than that, stick to the standards...
     
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  41. skip1969

    skip1969 Legend

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    like i said, i only do it when playing with my friends. we use the same language, so to speak, so there is never any confusion. i'm not sure it's that big a deal. we aren't looking to covert the entire tennis community.

    having said that, we (as fans) see things every match on tv that are more irritating, bend more rules, and fly in the face of tradition than saying "5-40". i don't go to my towel after every point. i don't examine every ball before i choose two to serve with. i don't stop at my bag when i switch sides during a tiebreak. i'm trying to keep my matches going. just about every pro is see on tv is trying to slow his match down.
     
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  42. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    1-2-3 is used for no-ad scoring where there is no "ad". We would commonly use this convention to keep it straight that we were not using "ad scoring". No-ad scoring does not seem as popular as it once was. However, it has been adopted recently by the ATP for doubles.
     
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  43. chess9

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    Almost all the guys at my club say 5, not 15.

    -Robert
     
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  44. Underhand

    Underhand Legend

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    I raise my middle finger when the ball is out.
     
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  45. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Just about everyone in the U.S. says "Five" instead of "Fifteen", like "Five-all". It's just easier to say and takes less time, and everyone knows what you mean since it's the only score with a number "5" in it. I thought everyone around the world did this (in their own language, of course).
     
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  46. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    In fact, the score "Forty" is already an abbreviation for "Forty-Five" and nobody seems to have a problem with that. In fact "40" is now the accepted norm for the score of having 3 points and no one says "45" anymore.

    Don't forget that tennis scoring originated as being the 4 quadrants of a clock, i.e., each point is 15 minutes. So the scores are supposed to be: "15, 30, 45, and 60 (or game)." Once you've gone all the way around the clock, you've won the game.
     
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  47. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Actually, everyone abbreviates "45" to "40".
     
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  48. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Do you think we'll see even more such abberviations as the game evolves, like "40" to "39", or "30" to "28"?
     
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  49. Franz

    Franz New User

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    nobody abreviates 45 to 40.... 45 is the old scoring system, these increments of 15 were based on astrology and were officially discontinued at some point.
     
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  50. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Agreed.

    It is annoying (and can be confusing) though when people call 30-30 deuce

    or 40-30 ad-in, etc.

    Deuce should only be called at 40-40 and Ad's when it's 1 point above deuce.
     
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