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-   -   Persistent Bad Calls, How to Handle? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=454564)

caro14 02-12-2013 12:19 PM

Persistent Bad Calls, How to Handle?
 
Hello. This is my first post, but I have lurked for quite a while. I would appreciate your advice and feedback on how you, as a player, handle persistent bad calls during a USTA league match. I am not discusssing one or two bad calls that may have been made in error, but an abundance of calls by the other team that seem to indicate cheating.

The specifics! My doubles partner and I played a USTA match against one player that has a reputation for making bad calls. We were concerned going into the match about this rep, but as we knew the bad callers partner and had played with the bad callers partner on a social level (but not USTA), we hoped the partner would provide some balance and step in as need be. Unfortunately for us, this was not the case.

By midway through the first set, we had balls they called as out, that we thought were in, but we didn't say anything and let it go. Then, I hit a deep shot right at the feet of the bad caller's partner. The parter was standing inside the baseline. It hits her at her feet. The partner hits it and misses. As her partner is swinging, bad caller calls it out. Her partner shakes her head and says "I think it was in." Bad caller yells, No, no, no it was out. I tell them that as one of them called it in, it's in. Bad caller says, no it was out. She then walks to the baseline and has a discussion with her partner we can not hear. Partner tells us she will replay the point. We tell her no. We do not want to replay the point. She called the ball in. It's in. It's our point. Partner gives it to us, but does not look happy.

For the next few games, any ball even close to the line, even inside of the line, that we hit provokes discussion among the other side. "Wasn't that out?" "It was out?" "Don't you think it was out?" They make a few other calls that are questionable, but we let them go. Tensions are high.

We win the first set in a tie break. First game of next set, my partner is serving and hits a nice, wide serve that drops nicely on the inside of the line. I am standing at net and see the ball drop. Bad caller swings, and as she misses it, she calls it out.

I am shocked. I look at her partner with my shocked face. Her partner shrugs, rolls her eyes and says, "I didn't see it."

I question the bad caller. I tell her it looked clearly in. Bad caller tells me that it's not my call to make. It's her call, she is calling it out and I can't do anything about it. I am furious and tell her that I would be embarrased and ashamed to make the calls she is making. She yells at me that since I keep challenging her this is her point! I tell her it is not her point and she needs to watch her calls. She yells back that the only reason that we won the first set is because we whined so much about her calls.

It was not pretty. In fact, the whole thing was downright awful. At this point, my partner and I just wanted it over. We ended up losing the second set and lose the tie-break. I think it all got into our heads. We couldn't handle the tension, the cheating, the just absolute craziness of it.

I had a mixed match shortly after this match. I regretted losing my temper and asked the guys I was playing with how they would have handled it. They said they would start to call the other teams balls out that were in to even it out. We did not do this. Is this what people do?

I am on my fourth year of playing USTA. I really enjoy it. This was the first match that made me hate it. I want to understand how I could have handled this better so if I encounter a similar situation again I can react differently. Obviously my challenging the bad caller only raised tensions and made things worse for my partner and me. But, my partner and I felt that if we hadn't challenged them at all, we were effectively letting them get away with it.

So I ask, what would you have done? How would you have reacted? Or do you just endure and let it slide?

OrangePower 02-12-2013 12:49 PM

There is only so much that you can do.

You can ask the bad caller "are you sure?"
You can ask the bad caller's partner "how did you see it?"
If bad caller is not sure, or bad caller's partner saw it in, then the point is yours.
Otherwise, you have to accept it, as frustrating as that might be.

Your only other recourse in unofficiated USTA league matches is to ask your captain to appoint a linesperson for the remainder of the match. The linesperson can be anyone who is there, but needs to be agreed to by both captains.

I have seen a lineperson requested on a couple of occassions but still it is quite rare. Things have to be pretty bad for that to happen.

schmke 02-12-2013 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7209765)
Your only other recourse in unofficiated USTA league matches is to ask your captain to appoint a linesperson for the remainder of the match. The linesperson can be anyone who is there, but needs to be agreed to by both captains.

I have seen a lineperson requested on a couple of occassions but still it is quite rare. Things have to be pretty bad for that to happen.

I have never seen it come to a lines person either, but my understanding is that even if one is present, they aren't authorized to make the call but may be asked if they saw a ball in or out and it is still the responsibility of the player/team who would ordinarily make the call to accept what the lines person saw.

Note also that the lines person is supposed to be impartial to both teams, and if that isn't possible you may have 2, one from each team. But then you just have the potential for them to disagree and tempers to flare more.

Fearsome Forehand 02-12-2013 12:58 PM

Bad calls happen. Sometimes it is an honest mistake. Sometimes it is someone who just can't call lines. Sometimes it is someone who is outright cheating.

If there are several such highly questionable calls, I think you need to take the bull by the horns and repay the other player (or team) in kind. At that point, anything near the line is out. Otherwise, you are just giving them the match. If they complain, you should say "Now you know how we felt."

You should complain to whoever moderates the league. You are probably not the first person this witch has screwed on calls. It is probably her normal M.O. And you might have had the right to ask for an umpire since it is a USTA match. Next time, at least ask so you know what policy is.

I have hit serves that were in the middle of the box that were called out. Some people are ridiculous. :roll:

gmatheis 02-12-2013 01:03 PM

I usually have a tripod in my car , I'd set up my iphone to record the match and tell them I will be using the video as evidence for a grievance.

damazing 02-12-2013 01:09 PM

I agree that the best thing to do would be to stop play and request a lines person if available. Additionally, you should file a grievance with the league coordinator. This will at least put the player on notice that their behavior is being monitored.

I know of one person in a league I play in that had 2 such grievances against them (both very justified - one of which I was present for and saw the person's match as a bystander and couldn't believe the bad calls) - this has resulted in team captains not wanting the person on their team and limited the person's playing ability in this counties leagues.

byealmeens 02-12-2013 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caro14 (Post 7209673)
I had a mixed match shortly after this match. I regretted losing my temper and asked the guys I was playing with how they would have handled it. They said they would start to call the other teams balls out that were in to even it out. We did not do this. Is this what people do?

I am on my fourth year of playing USTA. I really enjoy it. This was the first match that made me hate it. I want to understand how I could have handled this better so if I encounter a similar situation again I can react differently. Obviously my challenging the bad caller only raised tensions and made things worse for my partner and me. But, my partner and I felt that if we hadn't challenged them at all, we were effectively letting them get away with it.

So I ask, what would you have done? How would you have reacted? Or do you just endure and let it slide?

In my opinion it’s never a good idea to call balls out intentionally … it defeats the reason you’re competing and only makes things more ugly when both sides get involved. At the end of the day, if you’re truly looking to play your best, win or lose, you cannot make the match about calls and cannot afford to lose your concentration and take yourself out of the match mentally by getting involved in petty gamesmanship. Often players make bad calls to anger the opponent and take them out of their comfort zone. Be the better person … play the match fairly … let the other person call the balls out. It is his/her call to make and though a linesperson can be requested, it rarely works out. I am a USTA captain, and I have been there. It’s not fair, I know … it’s a terrible way for someone to play the sport and it’s disappointing that there are players who take advantage of the system, one which is played in good faith where individuals are expected to be honest. But that is life. There will always be those who want to win at any cost … even if they have to cheat. It’s been my own personal experience, however, that those individuals rarely improve … cheating only gets you so far … gamesmanship only works in so many cases. In the long run, the player focused on his/her game will dominate the one focused on short term results almost every time. Just my two cents.

lostinamerica 02-12-2013 01:47 PM

I intentionally make a VERY BAD call. I then stop and apologize that regardless of how bad their calls are, I will not resort to cheating. I award them the point. So far it has worked 100% of the time. In fact the court grows a bit.

Fearsome Forehand 02-12-2013 02:27 PM

When Andre Agassi got hooked by Jeff Tarango on a match point, his response was to start crying.

Of course, he was about 7 at the time. :)

spot 02-12-2013 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lostinamerica (Post 7209919)
I intentionally make a VERY BAD call. I then stop and apologize that regardless of how bad their calls are, I will not resort to cheating. I award them the point. So far it has worked 100% of the time. In fact the court grows a bit.

You know... that is sort of interesting. In doubles I've always thought it was more effective to ask the hooker's partner about the call- often times they know the call was bad but don't want to overrule their partner so asking them will often get them to say something the next time. I wonder how effective it would be to cut out the BS for our team to make a very bad call and have the partner know that they are to overrule it. Just starting the precedent of overruling a partner on a bad call very well may work. And it sort of puts a shot across the bow to the other team where they may think if there is another bad call the match is going to get out of hand quickly. Just a "good cop/bad cop" routine.

Overdrive 02-12-2013 02:43 PM

My goodness, I've never heard of bad line calls go this far...

Was there any bystanders watching? Was it a Flex League?

Where were your captains?

If anyone wasn't watching, the only answer I know to a situation like this is to hit winners that are CLEARLY in. I've played matches when the other team may have a few bad calls, but not where I needed a linesman. However, I was a line judge before. Twice. When this happened, nothing happened after that. I think it's because that the matches were won from UEs, winners, and double faults.

Cindysphinx 02-12-2013 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lostinamerica (Post 7209919)
I intentionally make a VERY BAD call. I then stop and apologize that regardless of how bad their calls are, I will not resort to cheating. I award them the point. So far it has worked 100% of the time. In fact the court grows a bit.

Well, this is straight up genius. It really is.

I have never seen this done. But if my partner and I were making bad calls, this would get through much more clearly than trying to have a discussion about it. I also like how it isn't cheating, because you don't take the point. You give them a little taste, and then show them how a gentleman/lady plays the sport.

I will try this the next time I play a couple of line call cheats. It only happened once in 2012, so it may be a while, but I will report back.

Two snaps up, LostInAmerica.

beernutz 02-12-2013 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fearsome Forehand (Post 7209998)
When Andre Agassi got hooked by Jeff Tarango on a match point, his response was to start crying.

Of course, he was about 7 at the time. :)

He got his revenge thirty years later by writing about the incident in Open.

woodrow1029 02-12-2013 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7209765)
There is only so much that you can do.

You can ask the bad caller "are you sure?"
You can ask the bad caller's partner "how did you see it?"
If bad caller is not sure, or bad caller's partner saw it in, then the point is yours.
Otherwise, you have to accept it, as frustrating as that might be.

Your only other recourse in unofficiated USTA league matches is to ask your captain to appoint a linesperson for the remainder of the match. The linesperson can be anyone who is there, but needs to be agreed to by both captains.

I have seen a lineperson requested on a couple of occassions but still it is quite rare. Things have to be pretty bad for that to happen.

Also, in NorCal, if there is a match coming up that the captains know might cause controversy, the captains can contact the NorCal USTA office, and let them know they need an official for a League Match. The home team needs to pay USTA NorCal $85 to pay the official, but you can request one for a match. Doesn't happen very often, and I have only seen it requested at a League Playoff match, so far.

Cindysphinx 02-12-2013 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodrow1029 (Post 7210042)
Also, in NorCal, if there is a match coming up that the captains know might cause controversy, the captains can contact the NorCal USTA office, and let them know they need an official for a League Match. The home team needs to pay USTA NorCal $85 to pay the official, but you can request one for a match. Doesn't happen very often, and I have only seen it requested at a League Playoff match, so far.

Really? Interesting.

When I was a newbie 2.5 in 2005, our league had something similar. I think it was just for the 2.5 league (which back then was robust with 9 teams).

The league decreed that each 2.5 team would have one of their regular season matches be officiated. The stated reason was so that all of us neophytes would get used to what it felt like to play an officiated match, for Districts and beyond. The league did not give advance notice of which match would be officiated. If the official showed up for the match, the players for that match each had to give the official $5 (total of $80).

As luck would have it, I played in the match when the official showed up. She walked into the lobby before the match and introduced herself and said she would be our official. She was wearing the uniform; we paid her.

She walked us onto the courts and gave her pre-match speech, then told us to start our warm-ups. She was roving, so I didn't see her all that much. At one point, she scolded me for clearing a ball that didn't need to be cleared between first and second (I was just trying to be tidy!). Later, I learned she cautioned a player about footfaulting and another about the continuous play rule. We had a set tiebreak and at one point she stopped us before a player served from the wrong court.

On the whole, it was a great experience. I think the league should have kept doing it (well, maybe they still do but I don't know because I'm not a 2.5). I think it encourages people to learn the rules, and that's always a good thing.

Overdrive 02-12-2013 03:07 PM

Wait a minute, you have to PAY for a USTA official?

To the catacombs for that.

I have never played USTA before (I will soon), but you have to pay for everything now huh?

Isn't it easier to request two members from the opposing teams to be a linesman? Unless if your playing Flex League, I wouldn't pay for an official. I'm not cheap, it just sounds ridiculous.

omega4 02-12-2013 03:07 PM

I think it depends on the situation and how competitively you take your league tennis.

If league tennis is your end all be all in life and you value it as you would a large money-purse tournament, then by all means challenge every bad call.

I recently witnessed a couple of 12 year old girls playing singles in a Regional USTA tournament here in North Atlanta. Both girls questioned just about every call that the other made with a sarcastic "Are you sure?!!". Needless to say, they acted like childish, immature girls.

Keep that in mind if you choose to protest every bad call....

Best of luck.

Quote:

Originally Posted by caro14 (Post 7209673)
Hello. This is my first post, but I have lurked for quite a while. I would appreciate your advice and feedback on how you, as a player, handle persistent bad calls during a USTA league match. I am not discusssing one or two bad calls that may have been made in error, but an abundance of calls by the other team that seem to indicate cheating.

The specifics! My doubles partner and I played a USTA match against one player that has a reputation for making bad calls. We were concerned going into the match about this rep, but as we knew the bad callers partner and had played with the bad callers partner on a social level (but not USTA), we hoped the partner would provide some balance and step in as need be. Unfortunately for us, this was not the case.

By midway through the first set, we had balls they called as out, that we thought were in, but we didn't say anything and let it go. Then, I hit a deep shot right at the feet of the bad caller's partner. The parter was standing inside the baseline. It hits her at her feet. The partner hits it and misses. As her partner is swinging, bad caller calls it out. Her partner shakes her head and says "I think it was in." Bad caller yells, No, no, no it was out. I tell them that as one of them called it in, it's in. Bad caller says, no it was out. She then walks to the baseline and has a discussion with her partner we can not hear. Partner tells us she will replay the point. We tell her no. We do not want to replay the point. She called the ball in. It's in. It's our point. Partner gives it to us, but does not look happy.

For the next few games, any ball even close to the line, even inside of the line, that we hit provokes discussion among the other side. "Wasn't that out?" "It was out?" "Don't you think it was out?" They make a few other calls that are questionable, but we let them go. Tensions are high.

We win the first set in a tie break. First game of next set, my partner is serving and hits a nice, wide serve that drops nicely on the inside of the line. I am standing at net and see the ball drop. Bad caller swings, and as she misses it, she calls it out.

I am shocked. I look at her partner with my shocked face. Her partner shrugs, rolls her eyes and says, "I didn't see it."

I question the bad caller. I tell her it looked clearly in. Bad caller tells me that it's not my call to make. It's her call, she is calling it out and I can't do anything about it. I am furious and tell her that I would be embarrased and ashamed to make the calls she is making. She yells at me that since I keep challenging her this is her point! I tell her it is not her point and she needs to watch her calls. She yells back that the only reason that we won the first set is because we whined so much about her calls.

It was not pretty. In fact, the whole thing was downright awful. At this point, my partner and I just wanted it over. We ended up losing the second set and lose the tie-break. I think it all got into our heads. We couldn't handle the tension, the cheating, the just absolute craziness of it.

I had a mixed match shortly after this match. I regretted losing my temper and asked the guys I was playing with how they would have handled it. They said they would start to call the other teams balls out that were in to even it out. We did not do this. Is this what people do?

I am on my fourth year of playing USTA. I really enjoy it. This was the first match that made me hate it. I want to understand how I could have handled this better so if I encounter a similar situation again I can react differently. Obviously my challenging the bad caller only raised tensions and made things worse for my partner and me. But, my partner and I felt that if we hadn't challenged them at all, we were effectively letting them get away with it.

So I ask, what would you have done? How would you have reacted? Or do you just endure and let it slide?


omega4 02-12-2013 03:10 PM

I would have "scolded" the official back and asked her if she would pay for my medical bills if I was tripped up by a ball in the middle of the court.

I commend you Cindy for being tidy on the court. I plan to be the same as well. Better safe than sorry, especially since the older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to bounce back from injuries....

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 7210062)
Really? Interesting.

When I was a newbie 2.5 in 2005, our league had something similar. I think it was just for the 2.5 league (which back then was robust with 9 teams).

The league decreed that each 2.5 team would have one of their regular season matches be officiated. The stated reason was so that all of us neophytes would get used to what it felt like to play an officiated match, for Districts and beyond. The league did not give advance notice of which match would be officiated. If the official showed up for the match, the players for that match each had to give the official $5 (total of $80).

As luck would have it, I played in the match when the official showed up. She walked into the lobby before the match and introduced herself and said she would be our official. She was wearing the uniform; we paid her.

She walked us onto the courts and gave her pre-match speech, then told us to start our warm-ups. She was roving, so I didn't see her all that much. At one point, she scolded me for clearing a ball that didn't need to be cleared between first and second (I was just trying to be tidy!). Later, I learned she cautioned a player about footfaulting and another about the continuous play rule. We had a set tiebreak and at one point she stopped us before a player served from the wrong court.

On the whole, it was a great experience. I think the league should have kept doing it (well, maybe they still do but I don't know because I'm not a 2.5). I think it encourages people to learn the rules, and that's always a good thing.


omega4 02-12-2013 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lostinamerica (Post 7209919)
I intentionally make a VERY BAD call. I then stop and apologize that regardless of how bad their calls are, I will not resort to cheating. I award them the point. So far it has worked 100% of the time. In fact the court grows a bit.

No, you don't resort to cheating. You just resort to gamesmanship.

While I don't mind if you do it while we play, I would make it a point NOT to get to know you better as a person.

With friends like that, who needs enemies....?

North 02-12-2013 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gmatheis (Post 7209806)
I usually have a tripod in my car , I'd set up my iphone to record the match and tell them I will be using the video as evidence for a grievance.

Although I don't see a lot of people doing this, I am starting to see it more & more. Definitely different when people are being filmed.


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