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-   -   The Case Of The Tight Service Line Call (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=262408)

Cindysphinx 05-20-2009 01:42 PM

The Case Of The Tight Service Line Call
 
Hey, I am having an issue with a partner. I love her to death. She is a wonderful person. I mean, there is not an evil bone in her body. I look forward to playing with her; she has a sunny disposition and is perpetually happy. But here's what happened today (practice match with friends).

About five times when I was receiving serve today, she called the serve long. In each case, I was surprised that she called it long. I couldn't be sure, but I started to wonder if those serves weren't catching the back of the line. I tend to ignore the service line completely when I'm receiving and focus instead on not screwing up the service return (again), so I certainly didn't think I could overrule her. Maybe they were just barely out?

I have not seen her err on other calls (baseline calls, sideline calls, center line service calls).

In my experience, one tell-tale habit of the Tight Line Caller is that they tend to find it objectionable when you don't call the line tight and are always asking you whether "in" balls were "out." Like, if I don't call a serve long, a Tight Line Caller will miss the return and say, "Wasn't that deep?" over and over again in a match. 'Cause they see close balls as out. This partner doesn't question me about my service line calls even when it was painfully close or I gave benefit of the doubt, which I take as a good sign.

I'm not sure what to do about this, though. The thing that makes it really curious is that I don't get this feeling from other partners. In other words, I can go many matches with other partners without being frequently surprised at the service line out calls. So how come the only time I'm getting that feeling is with this partner?

I can either ignore it and just trust her, tell her I want to call my own service line, overrule her a few times, or tell her I think she is calling the service line too tight. Choices Two, Three and Four will upset her deeply. I know I wouldn't like it much at all.

Is there an issue here I need to address? Any thoughts on what to do about this without offending her needlessly?

Cindy -- who will save for another day the problem of the person who promises to call the service line for you and then repeatedly forgets

FloridaAG 05-20-2009 01:46 PM

Why not just discuss it with her (not in the middle of a match) - Maybe at a practice. Or after a match, tell her you thought a few of those serves she called out were in.

Doesn't seem like it should be such a big deal

seleswannabe 05-20-2009 02:25 PM

You are in a lose/lose situation. Unless you want to take a firm stand against her poor calls I think you just have to live with it or not play with her. Sorry, that stinks for you.

kylebarendrick 05-20-2009 02:33 PM

A ball that looks "in" to the receiver may be clearly "out" to their partner standing on the service line. Having the ball come directly towards you prevents you from seeing the gap between the ball and the line that may be visible to your partner.

mikeler 05-20-2009 02:34 PM

Play on clay and then you'll know for sure whether the calls are correct.

BullDogTennis 05-20-2009 02:36 PM

i mean honestly, you are a 3.5 woman playing doubles right? i mean maybe im looking at things completely wrong, but the ball cannot be served that hard, it should be pretty easy to know if it was in or out. if they are going in, you need to let it go the first time(anyone can mess up one) the next time let it go with the other team, but talk to her about it. then if she does it again over rule her.

ACK4wd 05-20-2009 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 3419053)
Which guy do you want to be? The guy on the right or the guy on the left?


why: some people just stick by the rules - it's easier to just play the game - win or lose than it is to spend hours debating how to interpret rules to a political end

OrangePower 05-20-2009 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kylebarendrick (Post 3446498)
A ball that looks "in" to the receiver may be clearly "out" to their partner standing on the service line. Having the ball come directly towards you prevents you from seeing the gap between the ball and the line that may be visible to your partner.

I second this. It's possible that your partner is calling in balls out, but also possible that you're seeing them wrong. Before confronting your partner, how about you ask a non-playing observer to discretely watch the service line next time you're playing, and let you know afterwards whether the calls were good or not?

gocard02 05-20-2009 03:07 PM

Just curious, in a previous thread, you said that you follow the letter of the rule. You saw the serve in, she saw it out. The rule states that you must replay the point. What's the confusion?

Cindysphinx 05-20-2009 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gocard02 (Post 3446612)
Just curious, in a previous thread, you said that you follow the letter of the rule. You saw the serve in, she saw it out. The rule states that you must replay the point. What's the confusion?

Well, I wouldn't characterize my position as "follow the letter of the rule." I'm a grey, not a black and white. You may have me confused with Drakulie there.

But I do think it is important to get line calls right and give benefit of the doubt, when I see the ball clearly from a good position. And as others have noted, part of the difficulty is that she is in a better position. It's just that my alarm bells aren't clanging with other partners the way they were with her.

Anyway, there are lots of options that are options but that don't help much. We play on hard courts often; I cannot dictate whether we will be on clay. Nor can I easily grab an observer and tell them what to watch for, assuming there were observers (there weren't).

No, the serves are not coming that fast. Which is why I am surprised this is coming up. These two opponents had nice serves in the upper end of 3.5, no doubt. But that just means you give more leeway and benefit of the doubt, not less.

I've never been especially good at having The Talk with people about stuff like this. It's just so uncomfortable and awkward, and someone always goes home upset . . . .

blakesq 05-20-2009 04:57 PM

The problem is geometry. If you are receiving a serve, and the ball catches the "back" of the line, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the receiver to see the ball in or out. The receiver's line of sight is blocked by the ball, and hence, you cannot call a ball in or out if it catches the back of the line, or if it is just barely out. Thus, you should rely on your partner.


Quote:

Originally Posted by gocard02 (Post 3446612)
Just curious, in a previous thread, you said that you follow the letter of the rule. You saw the serve in, she saw it out. The rule states that you must replay the point. What's the confusion?


cak 05-20-2009 05:33 PM

It sounds like the problem is she's calling the balls tighter than other partners, or even other lines she is not in the absolutely correct position to call. But in this case, she is standing directly on the line, and is taking advantage of that to call balls that are close but out, out. You may be able to remedy this by talking her into standing closer to the net, or even stand her at the baseline when you are receiving so her view of the line isn't so good. Or you could trust her.

tfm1973 05-20-2009 05:43 PM

figure you could bust out your video camera and tape some practice matches. point out to her the ones that you thought she made wrong?

otherwise during a match you could just overrule her and say that you saw it in. if her feelings get hurt . . . um i don't even know how to handle that. i guess guys don't have this problem. "hey partner. sorry i saw it clip the back of the line. nice serve guys."

do ladies really have to worry about these kinds of things?

Steady Eddy 05-20-2009 07:20 PM

Again, you support your partner. If she calls it "out", then it's "out". If it looks good to you, remember, it might be out anyway. Besides, there's no harm if she's wrong because 2nd serves are easier to return anyhow.

kylebarendrick 05-20-2009 07:53 PM

Eddy, for the record, a ball that "might be out" is "in".

Steady Eddy 05-20-2009 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kylebarendrick (Post 3447335)
Eddy, for the record, a ball that "might be out" is "in".

Ordinarily, that's right. But this isn't about calls that you have made, this is about a call that your partner made. And as you say, your partner wouldn't call it out, unless she knew it was out. She's in a better position to call the service line. So just let her make the call.

iamgoat 05-20-2009 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kylebarendrick (Post 3446498)
A ball that looks "in" to the receiver may be clearly "out" to their partner standing on the service line. Having the ball come directly towards you prevents you from seeing the gap between the ball and the line that may be visible to your partner.

perfect explanation. consider this.
i often think that serves are in, only to find that after the match someone tells me that i was being soft with my calling of serves.

Cindysphinx 05-21-2009 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tfm1973 (Post 3446966)
do ladies really have to worry about these kinds of things?

Tsk, tsk. You're married, aren't you? :)

Seriously, I know men have these issues also. How do I know? From reading TT!

tfm1973 05-21-2009 05:39 AM

cindy -- even in mixed doubles if my partner calls a ball out but i saw it in. i'll overrule her in a heartbeat. any calls i'm not 100% sure, i keep my big fat mouth shut though. i learned that from being married too. :)

i think the point for me is this. if my partner in doubles (male or female) is making bad calls (intentional or unintentional) -- then it makes me look bad. i do a good enough job on my own of looking bad. so i'll call it like i see it at any time.

Cindysphinx 05-21-2009 05:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tfm1973 (Post 3448141)
cindy -- even in mixed doubles if my partner calls a ball out but i saw it in. i'll overrule her in a heartbeat. any calls i'm not 100% sure, i keep my big fat mouth shut though. i learned that from being married too. :)

i think the point for me is this. if my partner in doubles (male or female) is making bad calls (intentional or unintentional) -- then it makes me look bad. i do a good enough job on my own of looking bad. so i'll call it like i see it at any time.

So you would have overruled her on the spot the first time? Despite the issues with being certain despite your bad vantage point? I mean, all I want is some comfort that benefit of the doubt is being given and we're calling the lines liberally, not tightly.

I wish I could figure out a subtle way to signal that I'm uncomfortable without going straight to The Dreaded Overrule.


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