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-   -   Calling footfaults is important (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=446143)

sureshs 11-19-2012 09:42 AM

Calling footfaults is important
 
I noticed that a 4.5-ish guy had a nice serve. Then I noticed he used a pinpoint stance. When I started focusing on that, I noticed that he had a complicated footwork pattern and his right foot was smack on the baseline and even perpendicular to it, as he served. Once when he served into the net, he said that he lost his footwork rhythm. That told me that he would have trouble if asked not to footfault.

Then I had a revelation. It is not about whether a few more inches forward makes any difference on the serve. It is really about whether the server can cope with the additional pressure of having a footfault called on him.

The best analogy I can give is say, you are allowed to serve long, but you will be highly appreciated if you serve within the service line. Most players would be very relaxed and actually get their serves in. Then tell them that the rule is now being enforced, and they will start faulting.

Footfaulting is cheating. I have sometimes watched doubles and jokingly threatened that I would act like an umpire and call footfaults. Usually, the serves went south after that, and I had to move on before my "friends" became hostile.

Please ensure that footfaulters are not allowed to get away with what they are doing. Watch their serves breakdown when the rule is enforced and have a good laugh. Watch 4.5s end up with worse serves than a 3.5, and get mighty angry in the process.

OrangePower 11-19-2012 09:48 AM

1. The type of footfaults you describe (and most footfaults in fact) can be easily avoided by starting the service motion with the feet a few inches behind the line. So I don't think your strategy is going to work.

2. If you can consistently spot that kind of footfault from across the court, then your eyes are much better than mine.

woodrow1029 11-19-2012 09:54 AM

I played in a tournament this weekend in NorCal, and there was a guy on the court next to me that would start with his front foot about an inch behind the baseline. He would take one decent sized step with his front foot and slide his back foot in so that before he hit the ball, he was actually foot faulting with BOTH feet (front foot about4-6 inches inside the baseline).

North 11-19-2012 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodrow1029 (Post 7024623)
I played in a tournament this weekend in NorCal, and there was a guy on the court next to me that would start with his front foot about an inch behind the baseline. He would take one decent sized step with his front foot and slide his back foot in so that before he hit the ball, he was actually foot faulting with BOTH feet (front foot about4-6 inches inside the baseline).

Once someone is that far inside the baseline, it is pretty noticeable when receiving serve. I usually notice it first as the server somehow being in a different serve position, and then it is clear that they look different across the net because they are a half foot (or nearly so) inside the baseline.

sureshs 11-19-2012 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7024606)
1. The type of footfaults you describe (and most footfaults in fact) can be easily avoided by starting the service motion with the feet a few inches behind the line. So I don't think your strategy is going to work.

2. If you can consistently spot that kind of footfault from across the court, then your eyes are much better than mine.

(1) is what I do.

It is not a matter of easy or hard. It is a matter of their state of mind when the fear of footfaulting creeps in. When I have called FF (as a spectator of social matches), I have seen the server throw in fault after fault, even as he tried to keep his feet more back. The rhythm is destroyed, and the mind has been messed with.

(2) I agree. I was talking more about getting a spectator (like me) on the sidelines and put fear into the server's mind, not the opponents calling it.

dlam 11-19-2012 03:35 PM

I really dont think its possible to call a foot fault from the other side of the net unless it was a very obvious foot fault.

In a match where we have to regulate each other without a referee, I have never seen it called.

Anyone have a story of one that was called by the opponent?

cll30 11-19-2012 08:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dlam (Post 7025179)
I really dont think its possible to call a foot fault from the other side of the net unless it was a very obvious foot fault.

That would seem true for singles, but in doubles it is very easy for the net person to see most foot faults if you look for them. The secret is to just not look.

Plestor 11-20-2012 01:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cll30 (Post 7025571)
That would seem true for singles, but in doubles it is very easy for the net person to see most foot faults if you look for them. The secret is to just not look.

Yep its really really easy to call from the net. I find it much eaiser than line calls as their feet move much slower than the ball and you're not focusing on your return, just your movement.

Outside of casual matches (in which I will mention it and not much more...), don't most matches have some provision for an umpire / referee?

tennis_ocd 11-20-2012 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7024746)
When I have called FF (as a spectator of social matches),

What a joy you must be :)

h2os 11-20-2012 04:32 AM

I played a match on Sunday. I normally have a reliable serve. I noticed the singles match taking place next to me and saw a guy consistantly foot faulting. He was our teams opponent and I thought about telling my teammate about it. I decided to let it go. Instead, I became concerned about my own footwork and began to double fault badly. I mean I was hitting a spin serve that was hitting before the net. I could not shake it. I agree with the original poster that once you call someone on foot faulting, you will destroy their service rhythm. Beware though that you could end up ruining your own!

Jim

tennis tom 11-20-2012 05:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodrow1029 (Post 7024623)
I played in a tournament this weekend in NorCal,...

Just curious Woodrow, I assume you weren't working it, and was watching as a spectator, what can one do in such a situation to remedy the injustice?

Thanks

sureshs 11-20-2012 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis_ocd (Post 7025895)
What a joy you must be :)

That is why they chase me away these days

sureshs 11-20-2012 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by h2os (Post 7025910)
I played a match on Sunday. I normally have a reliable serve. I noticed the singles match taking place next to me and saw a guy consistantly foot faulting. He was our teams opponent and I thought about telling my teammate about it. I decided to let it go. Instead, I became concerned about my own footwork and began to double fault badly. I mean I was hitting a spin serve that was hitting before the net. I could not shake it. I agree with the original poster that once you call someone on foot faulting, you will destroy their service rhythm. Beware though that you could end up ruining your own!

Jim

Haven't though about it from that angle, but if it happens to me, I will accept it. The skill to avoid a FF is a skill by itself, just like a forehand.

woodrow1029 11-20-2012 06:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis tom (Post 7025977)
Just curious Woodrow, I assume you weren't working it, and was watching as a spectator, what can one do in such a situation to remedy the injustice?

Thanks

I wasn't working or a spectator, I was playing. :-)

If his opponent had noticed and/or cared, he could have warned him that he was blatantly foot faulting. THen he could have gone and gotten an official (of course he can go get the official before he says anything too). Then, if the official can't be found, or if the official is on another court that had problems and can't leave the court he's on, he can call foot faults on the opponent.

As a player, I don't ever feel that it is going to make me lose the match just because the opponent is foot faulting. One guy I played last weekend foot faulted a lot on the deuce side by clearly going over the center service line with his back foot. They were blatant, but I didn't say anything, and I won the match anyway. :-)

tennis tom 11-20-2012 07:01 AM

The OP is writing about how to "get into the heads" of opponents--which for many, under the pressure of competing is not too difficult. I've seen at 4.0 sectionals some guys totally come unhinged when called for a foot-fault by the roving referee. One guy was a lawyer, who started arguing with the ref that it was "Only a technical violation", as only a lawyer could and persisted in foot-faulting and arguing with the ref, who called him on each additional foot fault until he lost the match, much to the dismay of his team-mate--hilarious!

It's very easy to correct for a foot-fault if you have a sound serve--you just move back a few inches and the problem is solved without coming unglued mentally. Sometimes if my serve is going long, I'll step back a few inches to keep it in for a quick fix.

At the same tournament that "Clarence Darrow" was in, I saw another instance of foot faulting being called where the perp did not become temporarily insane. It was in dubs and the roving ref called an f-f on a player who was NOT over the service line. The player was mystified why and the ref said to him you can ask me why and then I can tell you. The player asked, he was stepping over the imaginary line between the deuce/ad sides at the hash mark--which was unusual for doubles. This player handled it much differently then the lawyer in the previous example, fixed it and went merrily on his way.

woodrow1029 11-20-2012 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis tom (Post 7026106)
One guy was a lawyer, who started arguing with the ref that it was "Only a technical violation", as only a lawyer could and persisted in foot-faulting and arguing with the ref, who called him on each additional foot fault until he lost the match, much to the dismay of his team-mate--hilarious!

LOL. That is funny! Only a technical violation. :-)

OrangePower 11-20-2012 07:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis tom (Post 7026106)
One guy was a lawyer, who started arguing with the ref that it was "Only a technical violation", as only a lawyer could

Amateur. A real litigator would have insisted that the court dimensions were not exactly to standard and that in fact there is a chance that it might not have been a footfault were the court exactly to size. Demand a measurement of all court dimensions to take place there and then, or retract the call!

LuckyR 11-20-2012 07:51 AM

For singles, I agree with the OP that IF you can make the call, it is a big deal since small infractions would be unable to be called with certainty (that is: you may know intellectually that her is FFing but if you cannot actually see it happening, you should not make the call).

You don't need to add the issue of more faults because of a weak Mental Game since as he points out, it is cheating or at least against the rules anyway.

sureshs 11-20-2012 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis tom (Post 7026106)
At the same tournament that "Clarence Darrow" was in, I saw another instance of foot faulting being called where the perp did not become temporarily insane. It was in dubs and the roving ref called an f-f on a player who was NOT over the service line. The player was mystified why and the ref said to him you can ask me why and then I can tell you. The player asked, he was stepping over the imaginary line between the deuce/ad sides at the hash mark--which was unusual for doubles. This player handled it much differently then the lawyer in the previous example, fixed it and went merrily on his way.

I have observed both the crossing over the imaginary hash mark, as well as crossing over the imaginary extension of the doubles side line. There are guys who have specialized in serving from behind the doubles alley in a diagonal fashion - it causes distress to the returner. Quite often they step over the imaginary doubles sideline with their back foot. It is another great example where the "dangerous" serve would just not happen if FFs were being called.

sureshs 11-20-2012 08:04 AM

And don't even get me started on "handfaults" - standing close to the net and hitting the ball before it has come over.

If this was enforced, it would not result in merely "scaling" down of the net aggressiveness - it will lead to a collapse of the game because many of the guys who do it lack fine control to hit the ball just after it crosses. Under scrutiny, their shot will breakdown, and the "fearsome net guy" will be rendered harmless. This is another situation in which players get away with impunity and even build big reputations in the process.


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