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Cindysphinx 05-09-2010 04:46 PM

Again With The Footfaulting?
 
Had another issue with footfaults. My teammates have had issues with opponents calling footfaults, but it had never happened on my court before. Until yesterday, that is.

It was 3.5 doubles, 90-minute timed match. Our opponents were jovial and nice. I served first, and soon we led 2-0. When my partner was serving, one opponent said something like, "Hey, I just want to let you know that you're footfaulting a lot when you serve."

My partner didn't hear this clearly, so I went back and told her the opponent was warning her about footfaulting. My partner said she wasn't stepping on the line until after she had served it. I said, "Yeah, I know, but just serve from farther back so she can't complain." My partner served out the game without incident, and we took the first set 6-0.

In the second set, my partner was serving at 2-0, 15 all and struck a second serve. The serve landed in and the receiver returned it. The opponent, who was at net, said, "Hold on. No, you're still footfaulting. You stepped on the line. Take another second serve." I said, "You understand that a footfault has to be flagrant before you can call it, right?" The opponent said it was flagrant.

Again, I went back to translate, and my partner said she hadn't footfaulted. She took a moment to gather herself before hitting her second serve and missed it. She then hit an ace on the next serve and won her service game. We won the match, 6-0, 6-0.

This footfault rule . . . boy, I dunno. I don't know what I would have done had the opponent tried to claim the point that second time (I don't know why she gave my partner a do-over; isn't a footfault on a second serve supposed to be loss of point?). I certainly can't say whether my partner footfaulted or not, but I know I've played a few matches with her and she played at Districts and no one has ever called a foot fault on her.

Our league recently adopted a different footfault rule, IIRC. Now, a player cannot call a footfault but must instead find an observer to call it. That seems a lot more fair, but we were playing in a league with a different rule.

As it stood, it did cast a pall on an otherwise friendly match.

And yes, I did pay some attention to the opponent's service motion after she raised the issue of footfaulting, and yes, she was footfaulting also!

autumn_leaf 05-09-2010 05:07 PM

i would have just called over an official if there was one. in most cases i do not call a foot fault because the angle is just bad from the other side of the court unless it's just blatant.

and yes, usually a foot fault counts as a fault so on a 2nd serve it would be lost point, but maybe their league changed it to a warning or something. foot faulting away a point...ummm yea, i think because most people would find a hard time even calling a foot fault it'll take real galls to try to take a point by it, so maybe they didn't want to risk an outrage from your team.

ajmack 05-09-2010 05:09 PM

Annoying
 
Footfaulting is rampant in my USTA league, including guys on my team. I haven't seen anyone call it, though this is just my first year. It's highly annoying, but everyone else seems to accept/ignore it.
To me, it's like someone who moves his ball in the fairway playing golf or fails to putt everything out. I think it reveals something about their character.
I would think policing those violations would be difficult, short of a league official monitoring serves. A random "observer" may be biased.

Becksx1 05-09-2010 05:18 PM

I probably take a different view to footfaulting then most and I tend to look at how good the player is and how bad the footfaulting is. In england alot of recreational players footfault in the leagues here and although annoying I dont really find it an issue. If the player is slightly footfaulting and its not really affecting his serve and were having a good match then im not honestly bothered. What I mean by this is hes not firing down 130mph bombs with the footfault significantly helping him hes just serving normal but just happens to footfault ocasionly then i just think who cares why make it petty and ruin the game.

Unless its a blatent footfault where there literally a whole foot in the caught and there serve volleying and its a big advantage then I just leave it because at the end of the day where not professionals there is no referee most of the serial offenders never admit they do it "my feet are in the air" e.t.c e.tc and we only play the leagues for fun so its not worth the hassle. Chances are Cindy they were upset you were winning so comfortably and they were just using it to put you off your game.

If a player is clearly of a very good standard and is clearly using it to there advantage then its different but luckily i havent needed to call anyone on footfaulting yet although I remember playing a match where one of there players was footfaulting badly but he had a weak serve so I thought theres no point ruining it and pointing it out. (we were won 6-2 6-4) but the guy who was a bad footfaulter decided to say at the changeover "your partners footfaulting its a joke your letting him get away with it" this was a cheek considering how blatent the footfaults where from this guy. I said to him "I havent really noticed if he has or not as I have been busy at the net but in all honesty you have been to" the guy got all upset saying how dare you my feet are in the air i dont footfault e.t.c and then his partner came in and said well i have noticed you have e.t.c and after the match he just got in his car and left .... so I just figure whats the point really.

gameboy 05-09-2010 05:31 PM

Just because no one else has called footfault on her means nothing as most people loathe to call one. I know players who foot fault on every serve and nobody calls them on it.

She just needs to step back so there is no question.

r2473 05-09-2010 05:51 PM

Every rule / code needs to be enforced TO THE LETTER. There can be no exceptions no matter what EVER.

If I think my opponent has put one little piece of his shoe tread over the line, it is my duty to call a footfault.

If my opponent takes longer than the alloted time between serves, it is my duty to stop play and get an official.

If my opponent takes one second over the alloted time on changeovers / between sets, it is my duty to call for an official.

You make an out call I don't agree with and I will have that official over faster than you can say "This guy sure is an A-hole". By the way, if you call me an A-hole, that is a code violation and I will have you disqualified.

And I hear EVERY let on my opponents serve. Some people don't call every let. I call quite a few every match (my hearing is exceptional).

You try to take one second more time in the warmup and I will raise holy hell.

In fact, I call for an official on nearly every point (that rule / code book is pretty thick you know).

tennis tom 05-09-2010 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 4636962)
Our opponents were jovial and nice. !

Sounds like they lost that feeling when they realized they were on their way to a double bagel by asserting themselves in a negative way. If I'm losing that badly to an opponent I have respect for, I'm not going to try to pull some rabbit out of my hat gamesmanship ploy leaveing a bad flavor at the conclusion of the match.

A couple of points on foot-faulting, the player doing the foot-faulting can't know for sure because they are looking at the toss. Although it's not normally recommended, because you could get a serve in your mouth, but in this instance, maybe you could have looked back at your partner, confirming or not, if she was foot-faulting. Since you guys seemed to have the match well in hand, maybe playing back on the baseline to observe your partner's serve for a game.

It sounds like more of a case of sour-grapes by your opponents, but if you all plan on going to play-offs, it may be good to clarify the issue just in case your partner is foot-faulting, so she doesn't fall apart if the roving referees call her on it.

Cindysphinx 05-09-2010 05:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by autumn_leaf (Post 4636990)
i would have just called over an official if there was one. in most cases i do not call a foot fault because the angle is just bad from the other side of the court unless it's just blatant.

and yes, usually a foot fault counts as a fault so on a 2nd serve it would be lost point, but maybe their league changed it to a warning or something. foot faulting away a point...ummm yea, i think because most people would find a hard time even calling a foot fault it'll take real galls to try to take a point by it, so maybe they didn't want to risk an outrage from your team.

No officials in this USTA league.

Cindysphinx 05-09-2010 06:06 PM

Our league now has this statement in its document called "Basic Rules and Customs Every Player Should Know":

Quote:

Foot Faults may be called for a point penalty only if they are “flagrant” and only after (1) warning the offender and (2)
seeking an acceptable 3rd party to make such calls
Trouble is, I don't see where they get this. It's not in the local rules, and it's not in the Code so far as I know.

Does anyone know?

D. Net Tricks 05-09-2010 06:43 PM

from page 55 The Code
"24. Foot Faults. A player may warn an opponent that the opponent has
committed a flagrant foot fault. If the foot faulting continues, the player may
attempt to locate an official. If no official is available, the player may call flagrant
foot faults. Compliance with the foot fault rule is very much a function
of a player’s personal honor system. The plea that a Server should not be
penalized because the server only just touched the line and did not rush the
net is not acceptable. Habitual foot faulting, whether intentional or careless,
is just as surely cheating as is making a deliberate bad line call.'

Not sure whether that's what you were looking for, or not. Hope it helps.

Steady Eddy 05-09-2010 07:09 PM

When you get beat as badly as they did, it makes you look petty to claim there were footfaults. Surely, they would have lost if: the footfaults had all been called (if there were any), or if you'd of served from two feet behind the baseline. The only thing to salvage from an 0-0 loss is your sense of sportsmanship, and they even lost that.

dcdoorknob 05-09-2010 07:22 PM

All this talk of footfaults and no threats to shove **** balls down **** throats?

You're doing it wrong.

TennisandMusic 05-09-2010 11:34 PM

I find it hilarious people take offense to foot faults. I've seen some atrocious foot faulting at clubs. Like, two feet in before hitting the ball. I know I have foot faulted at times too, so I took measures to stop it as best I can. I plant the front foot behind the line and focus on not moving it before I push up towards the ball.

I think trying to get away with foot faulting is disrespectful to an opponent. It's a fault. Period. It would be like hitting the ball long and complaining that your opponent wouldn't let you play it. It's a fault.

That said, my guess is, sour grapes or not, your partner probably WAS foot faulting. I only guess this because it was pointed out multiple times, people do it a lot, AND they almost always insist they don't.

If it were me? I would thank my opponent for pointing it out to me as I don't want to foot fault. I want to be the best player I can, and doing that regularly means I am a bad player, and a cheater. No thanks.

Cindy, does all of this on court drama pre-maturely age you at all? :)

Bud 05-10-2010 12:48 AM

What exactly is flagrant footfaulting?

Is that stepping entirely over the line? 2-feet inside the court?

They need to specify exactly what that means.

Cindysphinx 05-10-2010 04:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisandMusic (Post 4637508)
Cindy, does all of this on court drama pre-maturely age you at all? :)

Boy, I wonder!! I mean, honestly. Here I was minding my own business and playing fairly well, having fixed some of the horrific screw-ups that cost me my last match. And then someone else interjects some drama.

Bud, that's exactly the problem. Is "stepping on the line" considered "flagrant?" How is she to argue that it is flagrant, and how are we to argue that it is not? I mean what was I supposed to say: "Nope, stepping on the line is a close one. You need to see 100% of her shoe 100% past the line."

It's a horrible, horrible rule, it really is.

I think this lady was in fact acting in good faith. Even though her solution (declaring that the serve in question must be served again) is not in the Code, it is a much better one than what the Code authorizes (a fault). A fault can mean loss of point, which can mean loss of game, which can mean loss of set, which can mean loss of match.

It doesn't seem right that an opponent should have quite so much power to call something they are in a poor position to see, when they might not even know what they are looking for, and when there is no agreement on what's "flagrant."

kylebarendrick 05-10-2010 06:12 AM

"flagrant" means that it can be easily seen by the opposing player(s). I would tend to take the word over a person that can see the server's feet (your opponent) rather than the person that can't (your partner).

We've all observed that lots of people footfault, yet we all believe we couldn't possibly be footfaulting. Something doesn't add up!

sureshs 05-10-2010 06:17 AM

Saw a 4.0 league match collapse due to FF calls. This guy said "Footfault warning. Take two." The server said "You can't see from there. I am not footfaulting." The other guy said "Footfault warning. Take two." Went on for a couple of time, then a point was taken. Much angry noises. Eventually, they finished the match but left the court loudly abusing each other. Since they were on the very far end with 3 courts in between, we the spectators couldn't tell.

sureshs 05-10-2010 06:25 AM

Anyone notice the trend?

First there was the bagel thread, in which Cindy destroyed her opponents.

Now in this thread, there is a fleeting reference to a double bagel.

Cindy is dropping hints everywhere.

spot 05-10-2010 08:28 AM

I still am fascinated by the servers who are told that they are footfaulting and can say with complete confidence that they weren't doing it. If I am serving and someone else is looking at my feet then they are sure in a better position to tell if I am footfaulting than I am.

I think the rule is fine as long as people follow it. In an unofficiated match if someone only calls footfaults when the faulting is so flagrant that they are 100% sure that a footfault occurred then I don't see a problem with calling it. There are plenty of people who egregiously footfault on every serve and while I personally would never call it, if someone else wants to I don't see a problem.

The biggest potential failure in the rules is what would happen if someone didn't fully understand the rule started calling them- they could both be 100% sure and 100% wrong. But fortunately to this point the only times I have ever seen footfaults the person serving was footfaulting badly. (of course the servers in both situations were convinced that they weren't footfaulting so the whole thing got ugly)

Cindysphinx 05-10-2010 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kylebarendrick (Post 4637923)
"flagrant" means that it can be easily seen by the opposing player(s). I would tend to take the word over a person that can see the server's feet (your opponent) rather than the person that can't (your partner).

We've all observed that lots of people footfault, yet we all believe we couldn't possibly be footfaulting. Something doesn't add up!

Where are you getting that defintion of "flagrant" from?

I ask because there is the issue of whether they were touching the line, but there's also the issue of whether they made contact before they touched the line. It's the latter issue that is truly hard to see from a distance.

Here's what "flagrant" actually means:

Quote:

shockingly noticeable or evident; obvious; glaring: a flagrant error.
Was my partner's supposed footfault "shockingly noticeable" and "glaring?" If so, why didn't the opponent just take the point rather than give a do-over? I think it's because she saw it, but it wasn't huge. Or flagrant.


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