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-   -   To Bend or Not to Bend? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=178669)

fe6250 01-31-2008 04:26 AM

To Bend or Not to Bend?
 
There has been some discussions on this board on various rules of USTA amateur tennis (time limits, catching a clearly out ball before it lands, calling minor foot faults, etc..) So do you play completely by the letter of every USTA rule (enforcing them all) OR do you 'bend' the rules where it seems reasonable to you?

(Example - guy catches a ball behind the base line over his head on a fly to keep it from going out of the court area. Do you take the point because 'technically' he caught it before it bounced?)

tennis-n-sc 01-31-2008 05:04 AM

If I'm playing a social for fun match, I'll let a lot slide by. We often discuss the rules at these matches.

If it is a league or tournament match, rules apply. I do not have the authority to "bend" the rules where it seems reasonable to me. Neither do you.

WBF 01-31-2008 05:18 AM

If I'm playing for fun I'll let pretty much anything go (well, I don't like breaks, let alone big breaks.. I won't call people on it, but I'll do everything to encourage them to play as quickly as possible).

As for actual matches (tournaments, leagues, ladders, etc.) I'll call whatever I see. I don't pay attention to foot faults, so probably not those... Not to mention the fact that I love hitting the big serves, and hate weak serves :)

spiderman123 01-31-2008 05:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis-n-sc (Post 2058245)
If I'm playing a social for fun match, I'll let a lot slide by. We often discuss the rules at these matches.

If it is a league or tournament match, rules apply. I do not have the authority to "bend" the rules where it seems reasonable to me. Neither do you.

The question is not bending the rule when it seems reasonable to you but when it seems logical and the advantage lies with your opponent (e.g. when the opponent is standing 4 feet behind the baseline, reaches above his head and catches the ball.)

At that point, do you say "I am going to give you a point this time but this is not allowed." or do you say "(ha-ha) My point."

Supernatural_Serve 01-31-2008 05:35 AM

Play by the rules but I ignore foot faults and people showing up late or other related penalty rules, generous on service line calls, but I will warn people if they play painfully slow. That irritates me.

One of the common things I say no to is people asking not to switch sides according to the rules and the 1st serve in nonsense. Screw those requests.

fe6250 01-31-2008 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spiderman123 (Post 2058279)
The question is not bending the rule when it seems reasonable to you but when it seems logical and the advantage lies with your opponent (e.g. when the opponent is standing 4 feet behind the baseline, reaches above his head and catches the ball.)

At that point, do you say "I am going to give you a point this time but this is not allowed." or do you say "(ha-ha) My point."

I think that is an excellent clarification. I'm not asking whether or not it's 'ok' to cheat when it suits you - but rather do you let someone elses transgression go or not (foot faulting / catching the ball example). In the case of a time limit - both sides would have to agree. I'm assuming that you have to have agreement OR that the call is in your opponents favor that you are making. Personally - I wouldn't call the catched ball or the foot fault unless it was severe and impacted the game.

Supernatural_Serve 01-31-2008 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fe6250 (Post 2058289)
Personally - I wouldn't call the catched ball or the foot fault unless it was severe and impacted the game.

I wouldn't either, but I would ask him not to do that again.

Cindysphinx 01-31-2008 05:42 AM

Let's see.

I'm OK with a spectator on the court so long as they are as quiet as a church mouse. If they say or do anything, I would ask them to leave.

I insist on switching sides. I think this leads to scoring disputes.

I frequently tell opponents to say the score more loudly, or if they forget to announce it I ask them what it is.

I'll give someone a let for pretty much anything that is not insane, assuming I think they are trustworthy. If they called the let in error, I'll explain but still grant the let.

I don't call footfaults..

I let people play slowly so long as I think they aren't doing it to run out the clock. I'm generous about giving people two serves if there is a question about it.

I once claimed a point in a league match when the opponent was hit by the serve, though. 'Cause that's the rule.

tennis-n-sc 01-31-2008 07:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Supernatural_Serve (Post 2058294)
I wouldn't either, but I would ask him not to do that again.

Exactly......

tennis-n-sc 01-31-2008 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fe6250 (Post 2058289)
Personally - I wouldn't call the catched ball or the foot fault unless it was severe and impacted the game.

In other words, you are going to decide which rules infractions to call. Maybe your opponent and you don't agree on what impacts the game. That would be a great argument by Hewitt next time he's called for a foot fault, which usually happens at least twice a match.

fe6250 01-31-2008 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis-n-sc (Post 2058455)
In other words, you are going to decide which rules infractions to call. Maybe your opponent and you don't agree on what impacts the game. That would be a great argument by Hewitt next time he's called for a foot fault, which usually happens at least twice a match.

Hewitt is playing for money and has line judges - I don't see how your analogy applies to weekend warriors banging the ball around and having a good time. I prefer to be a gentleman - sorry if you didn't get that.

Further - what I meant by 'severe' was catching a ball that had a chance to fall in (never have seen that happen) or foot faulting 3 feet over the base line (haven't seen that either) - SO, for the record - I've never called either in a match.

Topaz 01-31-2008 07:54 AM

IMO, you best show respect for your opponents as well as other teams waiting to play by following the rules. Then there is no question, no gray area, no middle ground, and no arguing.

spiderman123 01-31-2008 08:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Topaz (Post 2058535)
IMO, you best show respect for your opponents as well as other teams waiting to play by following the rules. Then there is no question, no gray area, no middle ground, and no arguing.

Topaz is right.

Consider a case where your errant first serve of the game directly hits the opponent receiver who was not paying attention/was a little slow.

Don't you think he or she will feel more respected if you yell "15-0"/"Are you ok? 15-0" compared to "oops. Are you ok? love all. Second." The latter choice is sure to embarrass your opponent and they may quit because they did not get the respect on the court.

</s>

fe6250 01-31-2008 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spiderman123 (Post 2058586)
Topaz is right.

Consider a case where your errant first serve of the game directly hits the opponent receiver who was not paying attention/was a little slow.

Don't you think he or she will feel more respected if you yell "15-0"/"Are you ok? 15-0" compared to "oops. Are you ok? love all. Second." The latter choice is sure to embarrass your opponent and they may quit because they did not get the respect on the court.

</s>

Right On Spider! I don't need rules to define whether or not I'm respecting someone properly. I can usually figure it out on my own.

matchmaker 01-31-2008 12:19 PM

Common sense rules!

Once my opponent in a social match claimed the point because I had touched the net after crushing his dropshot down the line. I think that was really childish. I had already made the point when I touched the net slightly.

When balls go far out I think the best thing is to catch them in the air if you do not want to run after them to retrieve them. However when they are close to the baseline I am merciless. Either you take it, either you let it go. You cannot take it, hit an error and then say the ball was going to go out. If you thought so you should have let it go.

Many people do make mistakes in the score. They sometimes add a game or forget one. It can also be a point. In that case you have to explain the previous game or points to make them realize. It could be a lot better if every player stated the score out loud before every point.

I do not mind people playing slowly. I rather get irritated by those who play too fast. The previous point has not yet ended and they are already serving.

A.Davidson 01-31-2008 12:43 PM

For me, only if NOT breaking the rule would seriously hinder play (such as a ball going over the fence, and instead being caught) would I do any of these "minor" things.

But for time limits, ESPECIALLY the starting time, I try to enforce as much as possible - this includes defaulting too.

I call foot faults if they are blatant and the guy is a repeat offender.

If the ball is gonna be out, but just hit the fence, I let it be. Just grab it after the point.

randomname 01-31-2008 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis-n-sc (Post 2058245)
If it is a league or tournament match, rules apply. I do not have the authority to "bend" the rules where it seems reasonable to me. Neither do you.

dont have the authority to bend rules? the usta rulebook isnt exactly the constitution, believe it or not you ARE playing a game where I would hope common sense should be the prevailing rule

AlpineCadet 01-31-2008 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fe6250 (Post 2058197)
(Example - guy catches a ball behind the base line over his head on a fly to keep it from going out of the court area. Do you take the point because 'technically' he caught it before it bounced?)

The example you gave should be forgiven, because honestly, he and you both know that that ball is landing outside of the lines (unless there's an act of God, though highly unlikely.) Be honest with each other, and give the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.

I had the same situation happen to me a few months back during doubles, and our opponent took the point away from us, probably because he was losing anyway. We all knew that the ball had NO chance of landing near the court lines, but as soon as I reached out to catch/stop the ball, he loudly exclaimed that since I touched the ball, we lose the point. And at that moment in time, by him following the rules, it actually seemed like he was cheating us.

raiden031 01-31-2008 03:08 PM

If someone is a stickler for rules that don't really give anyone an advantage, then I will not give them any lets unless the rules require it and will be a stickler to them as well. Being a stickler is not a good thing because it annoys the opponent(s) and causes tension. I think being reasonably flexible is a better approach and if someone feels they can't win a match by being flexible (but instead must be a stickler), then they have issues. Sorry I have played against a few people that were pulling all sorts of rules out of their *** and they take the fun right out of the sport.

fe6250 01-31-2008 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raiden031 (Post 2059553)
If someone is a stickler for rules that don't really give anyone an advantage, then I will not give them any lets unless the rules require it and will be a stickler to them as well. Being a stickler is not a good thing because it annoys the opponent(s) and causes tension. I think being reasonably flexible is a better approach and if someone feels they can't win a match by being flexible (but instead must be a stickler), then they have issues. Sorry I have played against a few people that were pulling all sorts of rules out of their *** and they take the fun right out of the sport.

I couldn't agree with you more! If I was making a living doing this I might have a different opinion. The key for most amateur tennis is to have fun in my book and realize that sometimes it's better to do the right thing.

I had an indoor league match tonight that was a true pleasure to play. My partner hit a serve and my opponent called it out and then a point afterwards asked me if I agreed with his call. I told him - that honestly 'no' (I was looking straight down the line) and he wanted to replay the point. I told him that I thought he had called the ball honestly as he saw it and that we shouldn't replay the point and lets just keep playing. After that there were a few other close calls where we all just laughed and tried to call them fairly. The mood was MUCH better than had I made an issue out of him not being 'sure' he should have called it 'out'.

Calling your own game is an imperfect science - we all need to recognize that a little.


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