Would you default a match due to the part of town it was in?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by dcdoorknob, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    First, I am not the team captain and my understanding of the situation is both second hand and limited, but here is the gist of it:

    Our mixed team, which I just recently joined, was supposed to have a makeup match today, after a match a couple weeks ago was rained out. The two captains agreed upon the makeup time (today at 5pm). After this, our captain found out that our normal home courts were not available at this time. He proceeded to book some other courts, which are actually closer to the other team, and informed the other captain.

    This other captain said she did not wish to play at these courts at this time. When asked for a reason, she declined to give one. After some back and forth, my captain decided that there was no reason to put in even more work, and said that we would be at those courts at 5pm. 5pm came and went, and the other team did not show up. My captain said he intends to put it in tennis link as a triple default.


    The unspoken subtext (at least according to me, but it seems pretty clear) is that these courts are in, or at least very near, *that* part of town. I don't know that this is the reason but its the only thing that really makes sense. The courts are actually on the campus of a public university. The courts themselves are in pristine condition, and afaik the campus is actually quite safe statistically speaking (the campus having it's own police presence), although admittedly the same can't be said for some areas of town not far from campus.

    So what say you? Was my captain unreasonable or warranted in his decisions? What about the opposing captain? Should the opposing team be defaulted for the whole match? Would you consider a purposeful default like this based on a refusal to enter a particular part of town?
     
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  2. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    I guess I can see where the captain is coming from but if the courts are in great condition then someone or people are trying to bring and maintain tennis within that community.

    My team home court is very nice and is in a city that gets a very bad rep. Often times it is warranted (heck we have state of the art LED court lights that we are not allowed to turn on, we have been cut off. lol.) Many times we are practicing or playing a match and there will be some questionable people walking by from time to time and the occasional police sirens. But for the most part the people are great and it is a very family oriented park that I probably wouldn't want to be around at night lol.

    Our team captain used $20k out of his own money to repave and keep tennis in the city so I definitely commend him for that. I am quite sure we get made fun of behind our backs because of where we call our home court. But we are a group of blue collar players from a blue collar town, that's how we like it.
     
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  3. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    Why can't you use the lights?
     
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  4. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    1) not in the city budget and 2) they don't want people hanging around the park after dark.

    That is what we were told.
     
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  5. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I find it all pretty weird, especially the bit above.

    Given the lead-up to this, your captain must have suspected the other team would not show, and yet dragged your entire lineup out there? If I were in your lineup for that match and showed up for nothing, with the captain pretty much knowing I'd be showing up for nothing, I'd be pretty ****ed at your captain.

    Anyway, about your question: No, I would not default a match because it's in a bad part of town. Then again I'm a guy. Maybe a woman might feel more threatened, and you said this was mixed.
     
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  6. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    I don't think you can just change the venue without the other team accepting. If you try to default the other team be ready for a fight , and a justified one in my opinion.
     
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  7. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Surely the other team has to agree to the new venue? Otherwise there is a whole load of worms getting ready to jump out of cans (I think).
     
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  8. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Match Schedule for 7.0 Mx'ed:

    1) San Quentin

    2) Pelican Bay

    3) Atascadero

    4) Folsom

    5) Sanra Rita

    Year End Grand Prix : Lompoc
     
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  9. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I think your captain was wrong on several different levels.
     
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  10. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    From the wording of the OP, it sounds like only the date and time were agreed on by the captains, so no change of venue since the venue was never part of the agreement.
     
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  11. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Gotta be careful, some of those locations have some pretty stiff ocean side breezes! Makes outdoor play tricky!
     
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  12. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Given the dc in your handle, I'm assuming the match was moved to SE?
     
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  13. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    True especially Pelican Bay, but they have some pretty high walls for wind screening.
     
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  14. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    No. Don't live or play the District of Columbia.
     
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  15. RetroSpin

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    Wouldn't it have been easier to postpone the time of the match until your normal home courts were available?

    I don't understand why your captain insisted on making an issue out of it. It's a tennis match, not a political campaign. If the other team was uncomfortable with the substitute venue, it seems to me that should have been the end of the matter.
     
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  16. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    I prefer to play at equity country clubs and in the hood...the mix of players at each venue certainly provide for a robust set of opponents.
     
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  17. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    I have a friend that plays baseball with the inmates there. I guess it is some sort of program for good behavior. He tells me those inmates can play some ball. lol.
     
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  18. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    We have several local teams that split their home matches between two facilities (sometimes a park and high school for instance). The visiting team does not get a vote as to which facility is used for the match.

    If I'm the visiting captain, I'm just happy I'm not the one that has to find courts for a reschedule.
     
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  19. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Again, I'm not a captain and am mostly speculating here, but...

    1) several players on our team play in multiple other leagues, and obviously have other life obligations as well, so especially if this is also true of the other team, even finding a satisfactory make up date/time was likely quite a challenge.

    2) This league typically plays the same time every week. Booking the courts at this specific time is generally not an issue, and has likely been done much in advance. Booking these courts at other times on short-ish notice would likely be much more of a challenge.

    Honestly I think my captain was frustrated after finding other courts himself, which are both in excellent playing condition and actually closer to the other teams home base, only to have the other team decide they don't want to play there at the previously agreed time and refuse to give a reason. He likely also was frustrated because he did not think the reason they actually had, but refused to articulate, was a legitimate one (I happen to agree with him on that point).

    As of yet nothing has been entered into tennislink, and it is possible he may have just been speaking in continued frustration when he said he wanted to give them the default, instead of being really intent on following through with that. It's also possible he does want to enter the default but may not be allowed to. Really don't know how this is going to go.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
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  20. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    The date and time was initially agreed upon and the reasonable assumption is that it would be at the usual venue and not some place where the visiting players feel unsafe...

    And the fact that the courts are closer to the visiting team is irrelevant.

    The team -- probably the women-- just do not feel safe playing there. The home captain should accomodate.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
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  21. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    I may have a slightly different perspective in addressing this since I'm a public parks player, and not a member of a tennis club or country club. I have played my whole life, for the most part, on public park tennis courts. I like the "everyman" feel of them---not stuffy, not pretentious, not arrogant, just tennis. I have played lots of matches and tournaments at clubs as well, and have no problem with them either, just with those club members who feel and act like they are superior because they play at a private club.

    In any case, I don't know the precise reason your opponents refused to play on the courts your captain found, but it sounds like they were nice courts in good condition, and closer to your opponents than your own original courts would have been. Can't really see why there should be a problem with the location. And since they had agreed on the date and time, that's really the only factor left to consider.

    I can only speak to where I play leagues here in NC, but the only stipulation for us is that the "home" team is required to provide a minimum of three courts (for a regular 5-match team event). For a make-up match, if the teams can come to an agreed-upon date, fine; if they cannot, the home team gives the visiting team a choice of two dates and they have to pick one to play the match or they default. Teams I have captained have always played out of a public park as our home site. There have been years when the courts there were not in the greatest shape---playable, but not anywhere close to country club standards. And you sometimes get the park atmosphere in the background when you play there---people walking and exercising their dogs, kids yelling and throwing balls or whatever, sometimes people grilling out or having a picnic, etc. On a few occasions I have heard opponents mumbling during matches about the distractions and the non-club surroundings, and I always smile to myself when I do. I figure if the pros were able to play the Open in NY when the planes used to go over from the airport, then recreational players should be able to play with a few kids playing catch or chasing a dog in the background.

    Here, you wouldn't be able to just not show up for the match because you didn't like the courts. And it doesn't sound like there is anything close to a reasonable objection for playing on the courts your captain chose. I suppose your captain could give in and try to work out an alternate plan, but sometimes the time factor means you have to play where you can, when you can, to get a match in. I've been in that situation a couple of times. Personally, since he had to go to the trouble of finding and securing courts to play on to make up the match, I think he fulfilled his obligation and has every right to insist the opposing team play as decided or default the match.

    In response to the one comment about being on your team and being asked to show up and then having no match---in our league, you HAVE to have players show up and ready to play in order to claim a default if the other teams is a no-show.

    This is a less than desirable situation, but it sounds to me like your captain did what he was supposed to do and is well within his rights to hold the other team to the same standard of behavior. Based on what you have told us, I would support his decision to claim the default.
     
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  22. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    If this were the case, the opposing team should simply have said so---"Hey, we don't feel safe playing on those particular courts. How else could we do this?" They could have brought their fears to the league coordinator and sought some sort of accommodation. Doesn't sound like either of those were done. You cannot simply refuse to play at a site because you don't like it. I have known more than a few country-club players who would have always refused to play my team in a public park setting if that were the case because they didn't deem it up to their standards (no clubhouse, no bar for after the match, no on-site pro, less than pristine courts---you get the idea). A legitimate concern was never voiced by the opposing team, just the statement that they didn't want to play on those courts. That's not good enough.

    Maybe I'm reading too much between the lines, but it sounds more like a decision made based on the ethnic or social class make-up of the area where the courts are---a black neighborhood or a blue-collar neighborhood. I am not a fan of the Williams sisters, but I have to point out that they grew up and learned their tennis in a neighborhood far worse than the one being described here. Just saying.
     
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  23. RetroSpin

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    This is not an issue of country club players not getting perrier after the match. The assumption is the other team feels unsafe. You may say it is racism, they may be able to point to crime stats, but what is the point of turning it into an ugly confrontation? I imagine the other captain didn't want to get into just this kind of argument, with accusations of racism, etc being thrown around.
     
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  24. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    In Atlanta if your home courts aren't available then you have to offer to play at the opposing team's courts. If theirs aren't available then you can look for courts nearby. This seems like a pretty good rule to me.

    I'd think the other team is perfectly reasonable to decline to play at alternate courts where they may not feel safe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
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  25. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I think that the more accurate thread title would be "would you agree to move a match to a place where your players didn't feel safe?"
     
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  26. luvn10is

    luvn10is New User

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    I was going to say the same thing. This happened to my team a couple of years ago. It rained for several days in a row and the other team had clay courts that were pretty much mud. Without asking us, they decided to move the match to hard courts at a nearby facility. It was a playoff match that we had to makeup during the week and they lived up in BFE, way outside the perimeter. I've read the rules so I knew home court reverted to us. They tried to protest, saying the new courts were less than a mile away in another subdivision but the level rep told them tough and we played the match on our courts.
     
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  27. brokenRPM

    brokenRPM Rookie

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    yes, i would not want to play in parts of Chicago, Oakland, East Palo Alto, etc. etc.
     
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  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm with OrangePower.

    I would not appreciate a captain who sent me out to play a rescheduled match without an understanding that the other team would be there. Captain sounds very confrontational and immature.

    Unless there is a specific rule governing this sort of thing, you have to use common sense. If the other team doesn't like the courts for any reason (condition, lighting, surface, neighborhood), then you don't have an agreement to play there.

    Unless your captain has a very, very good email chain with some very good facts, I think he is being unreasonable and will not win a grievance.

    FWIW, I am not a country club gal, and I play on public courts. If someone objected to a location based on fear of personal safety, however, I would respect that. Just because I drive a beat-up car no one would want to steal does not mean other folks might not have legitimate concerns about the safety of their person or their property.
     
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  29. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Yup, yup & yup.
     
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  30. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    As usual, Cindy nails it.
     
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  31. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    what is someone did not feel comfortable playing at country club because of the looks he or she received? your safety, their comfort....this is a slippery slope.
     
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  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Actually . . .

    Our league has a policy that discrimination by clubs (or anyone else) won't be tolerated.

    So if someone felt a club discriminated against them because of race, religion, gender etc., a proper complaint to the league would likely result in the league opting not to schedule matches at that facility.

    If the issue was simply that someone didn't feel comfortable at a club based on how they perceive others will view them, then that's too bad.
     
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  33. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I don't understand how you can equate the two.
     
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  34. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    This is simple. your captain can not just take it upon himself to change the venue. It doesn't matter how good the courts are, how close it is to your opponents, or anything.

    If your captain can not schedule courts at your designated "home courts" he can ask to play at the opponents courts, or discuss playing at an altogether different site. But he has no right to force the other team to come to anywhere other than the facility registered for your team.
     
    #34
  35. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Pull up your panties, bring a gun and go play some tennis in the bad part of town. Sheesh. :lol:
     
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  36. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    One "feels" unsafe. What does that mean? Was there a recent police report where tennis players were assaulted during a set.

    I am sure people that look like Trayvon would be uncomfortable at my club...he may even feel unsafe as the security is armed. I once saw security harass this dark skinned fellow at a tournament in Texas because they failed to identify him as a tournament player.

    At a CC I play at in MD, there was allegedly something lifted from a car. Thus a player could assert that he feels insecure by playing at the location as the property has been shown not to be secure.

    What if one goggled a pro at a club and found he was accused of sexual battery in college? (This actually happened in Lake Forest at my ex-wife's club) I would not want my wife playing at a club with a sexual predator on the loose..

    Peoples' feelings should not matter. I can feel one way and be totally justified; you can feel another and be so too.

    if you don't wish to play at certain venue then don't play against teams that host in venues where you do not wish to play at--forfeit the match or play in a different league. Simple.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
    #36
  37. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Roger that!!!
     
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  38. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    HUH???????
     
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  39. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I don't think you understand the situation being discussed. This isn't about a team refusing to play at someone's home facility. This is about a team declining to play at a completely separate location picked by the OP's captain. That changes it significantly.

    If you don't want to play at another team's home facility then tell that to your captain and have them play someone else. But if another team's home facility isn't available and they pick a place that isn't suitable for you for any reason then I think you would be completely justified in declining to play there.
     
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  40. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Given that the other team never even gave a reason, I think you pretty much have to equate the two in this case, at least in terms of deciding what the proper course of action is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
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  41. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    No one ever died or even got a paper cut from a dirty look at a Country Club. In the USA today, if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time bad schit could come your way even if you're a cop. I don't go into bad neighborhoods these days. I used to in the old days but times have changed and the price has become too high to take chances. I'm not risking my life or limb, or my car getting broken into, which it has on the streets of urban America on a regular basis, just to play a tennis match, in an area I'm not familiar with and is on the news regularly for crime.
     
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  42. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Right, but here's the thing, they didn't say why they didn't want to come to these courts. I don't even personally agree that they are in a bad neighborhood at all, I've been on this campus a number of times and never felt the least bit unsafe, but in my attempt to understand the situation I basically just guessed that this might be the reason for lack of another explanation.

    If they can't even articulate what their reasons are, then they could just as easily just want to avoid being slightly uncomfortable in an area of town with a different racial and socioeconomic standards than what they are used to.
     
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  43. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

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    To me, it doesn't matter their reasons, they had them. If the make-up courts aren't the stipulated courts that league matches are supposed to be on I do not think that your captain can "force" them to play there and then forfeit them for not showing up.
     
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  44. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    For whatever its worth, there is a different team in this league that has these exact courts as their home courts.
     
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  45. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    At the moment I wouldn't want to be playing a league tennis match that takes me through downtown Oakland, CA., to go to.
     
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  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Doesn't matter.

    They can refuse for any reason or no reason.

    The point is that your captain cannot be judge, jury and executioner here. He should in good faith try to get the match scheduled. This should all be done via email. If the other captain is being unreasonable, then your captain can stop trying to be accommodating and file a grievance. If your captain wins the grievance, he will be awarded the match by default, without making your whole line-up go stand around at the courts for nothing.

    What your captain should not do is get all dramatic about it and make you go stand at the courts waiting for opponents who have already said they are not coming.
     
    #46
  47. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    I'm mostly playing devils advocate at this point, but they didn't ever actually say they weren't coming either from what I understand. Until the match time was 10 minutes gone, I think he still thought they might show up and didn't wish to risk his own team taking a default.

    I am curious if anyone can point to actual USTA league rules that might apply to this type of situation. I looked briefly but came up empty.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
    #47
  48. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It's just not that hard.

    Either the opposing captain wrote an email saying he would be there, or he did not.

    If he said he would show, take the default.

    If he never said he would show, write to him telling him you aren't coming because he ignored your requests to confirm.

    I think the first version of the story you gave probably is the most accurate, and your captain didn't handle it very well.

    But to answer your question, there are no rules to cover this situation in our league. Matches are indoors and are not rescheduled absent good cause (e.g. snow emergency resulting in closure of the facility). If a reschedule is appropriate, the league coordinator unilaterally selects a date/time/location and informs the captains. Failure to show is a default.
     
    #48
  49. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    That is your right, but you still should forfeit the match. I live in Vegas sometimes and prefer to socialize with only Ivy League graduates or other former GOP political appointees who graduated from a top ten school--glenn beck wacko nuts or ignorant southerners need not break bread with me. There are not many here so i am pretty lonely dude and have to always turn down party invitations.

    That being said, people can certainly feel humiliated and angry when disrespected--my dignity or my safety is not worth a tennis match
     
    #49
  50. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    Definitive evidence that you are a tool...
     
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