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-   -   Rude to Return Out Service Ball to Server Especially When It's Obviously a Fault? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=456417)

USS Tang 03-02-2013 05:57 PM

Rude to Return Out Service Ball to Server Especially When It's Obviously a Fault?
 
One guy in our league when receiving always does this. The serve is two feet behind the service line and, instead of letting it go or hitting it into the bottom of the net, he intentionally takes a leisurely practice swing and sends the ball straight back to the server. Two things happen: (1) the server's second service motion is disrupted, or (2) the ball bangs around behind him and he has to wait for it to stop. My solution is to play a let and take another first serve when this happens. Of course, if it's a close serve, you give him the benefit of the doubt for returning it. Anybody have a different take on the subject?

gameboy 03-02-2013 11:06 PM

First, unless the server begins his second serve even before the ball lands on the other side, I don't know how it can "interfere" with his service motion.

Second, if he lets it go, it will rattle around behind the returner and you still have to wait for it to stop. You MIGHT save half a second or so, but is that even worth discussing?

At least if the return is right at the server, he can catch it and not have to waste time retrieving the ball before the next point.

NumbersGuy 03-03-2013 04:17 AM

From The Code:

28. Obvious faults. A player shall not put into play or hit over the net an obvious fault. To do so constitutes rudeness and may even be a form of gamesmanship.

mikeler 03-03-2013 04:18 AM

The Code says you are not supposed to return obviously out serves. The interpretation of "obvious" is up to the individual player.

Big_Dangerous 03-03-2013 04:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 7247920)
The Code says you are not supposed to return obviously out serves. The interpretation of "obvious" is up to the individual player.

And the other issue is that sometimes people try to go for way to much on their serve and end up missing it long by several feet. So when you've got a ball that's hit hard and well out of the service box coming at you, sometimes all you can do to protect you self is just block it back. However, if it goes over the net is that considered rude? I'd say missing a first serve by that much margin that's heading directly for you opponent is quite rude, no?

:)

stapletonj 03-03-2013 05:23 AM

Just my take.

1. Anybody who is in their 2nd service motion that fast is trying to "quick serve" the receiver and is a much more blatant type of gamesmanship than that complainied of here.

2. Taking a "full cut" service return at an obviously out serve is obviously :

a. practicing gamesmanship, (intimidation attempt)

b. not playing in the spirit of the game (practicing - kind of like in golf if you were on the green waiting to putt and you dropped another ball next to yours and hit it right before you hit your putt), and

c. could well be setting the server up for the "server stops, receiver smacks one, says nothing if goes in for a winner, says fault if the return does not", hooking.

3. Merely blocking or "bunting" the ball back to the server, or even the server's side of the court should not be considered a bad thing unless the server verbally objects. If the server objects, I might get just miffed enough to let them go to the back fence and let retrieving the balls be his problem. (I know, I know, that's not in the Code, but neither is being a prissy server)

tennis tom 03-03-2013 05:46 AM

The receiver should catch an out serve, hit it into the net or let it roll to the fence. Sometimes the serve is so close to the line and so fast there is not enough time for the nervous system to determine that the serve was long until after the return attempt was made and to pull the arm back. But there is time to hit the ball with control back to the server, hopefully without him fumbling it, or into the corner with the ball staying there. If the ball needs to be retrieved by the server or if it takes an inordinate amount of time for the errantly returned ball to come to a harmless rest, then the server should be offered two.

He can award himself two without starting a range war, the returners should offer the two. If they don't they are uncouth, not knowing the etiquette of the sport. If it's a friendly match, the server should not blast another big first serve in, but spin it in. The receiver should not blast a winner off this point starter first serve.

Catch it, hit it into the net or let it roll back to the fence so you don't have to give them a first serve and look like an oaf. Letting it roll back to the fence is my least favorite because it takes longer and can ricochet off a fence post or poorly placed concrete stop. Catching it is the best because it take up the least time and hitting it to the net is ok too because you can keep your eye on it. But you should not hit it so that it touches the net because if a ball in play hits the net it can become dislodged and roll around causing a distraction or injury and you can't claim a let for this since it you were the cause for it by not properly securing the ball.

All this can be learned like any other shot with some practice and makes the game move better making it more enjoyable for everyone.

stapletonj 03-03-2013 05:55 AM

I basically agree, tom, but I still think the "bunt back" of an OBVIOUSLY out serve is acceptable etiquette. Keeps the balls where the server can easily get at them.

Of course, the "cool" thing to do is to disdainfully do the little smack down with the racket or best of all catch on the strings and then pocket the ball. Wish I was good enough to do that.......

tennis tom 03-03-2013 06:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stapletonj (Post 7248009)
I basically agree, tom, but I still think the "bunt back" of an OBVIOUSLY out serve is acceptable etiquette. Keeps the balls where the server can easily get at them.

Yes, but then you give your opponent the opportunity to do the "fake fumble" off your "bunt back" necessitating you to give him two or appear uncouth to the peanut gallery.

Relinquis 03-03-2013 06:38 AM

if an opponent does this more than once (returning an obviously out ball on my serve), I'll continue the point. If he stops midway or protests then I will say "you should have left the ball, raised your hand or hit it aside if it was out. You played it as if it was in and now you've changed your mind because i was going to win the point".

No need to go john mcenroe on him, but it helps break bad habits. Could sour the mood though.

It usually gets rid of any gamesmanship.

Fusker 03-03-2013 06:50 AM

The definition of "obvious" varies with the difficulty of the serve. Against good servers, the process of returning the ball has started in motion early enough that even a ball two feet out will be hit back.

I watched a college match between University of Denver and Nebraska yesterday, and I don't think I saw a single bunt into the net or "catch" of the ball. I saw lots of moments where the server had to take a couple seconds to settle a ball and it didn't affect them one bit. Which brings me to another observation - players are far less nit picky about supposed grievances at higher levels.

But if you're talking about a guy who wails away on a 3.5 softball serve that's several feet out, yeah - that's a jerk move and you should call him on it.

slowfox 03-03-2013 07:34 AM

If it's a big server I focus mainly on getting my racquet on the ball, in or out. Feel it's a better habit to develop i.e. getting any ball back into play. Sometimes with a heater that goes long I may not react soon enough to deliberately send it into the net. What then? If it's considered gamesmanship (albeit unintended), then I shall start apologizing in those instances.

Learn something everyday... :)

OrangePower 03-03-2013 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stapletonj (Post 7248009)
I basically agree, tom, but I still think the "bunt back" of an OBVIOUSLY out serve is acceptable etiquette. Keeps the balls where the server can easily get at them.

Of course, the "cool" thing to do is to disdainfully do the little smack down with the racket or best of all catch on the strings and then pocket the ball. Wish I was good enough to do that.......

Hehe that's what I do (or try to do :) ) assuming I can tell the serve is going out and can still get a racquet on it. I actually find that much easier than trying to steer the ball towards the bottom of the net as someone else suggested.

I'm not a fan of the "bunt back" to the server approach. As server, I prefer to play by my own rythm between 1st and 2nd. And I do think some returners do it selectively as gamesmanship. But having said that it's not a big deal, as long as returner is doing is consistently (so not gamesmanship). I do believe that a server needs to be able to hit a 2nd serve at will even when not in rythm.

floridatennisdude 03-03-2013 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by USS Tang (Post 7247272)
One guy in our league when receiving always does this. The serve is two feet behind the service line and, instead of letting it go or hitting it into the bottom of the net, he intentionally takes a leisurely practice swing and sends the ball straight back to the server. Two things happen: (1) the server's second service motion is disrupted, or (2) the ball bangs around behind him and he has to wait for it to stop. My solution is to play a let and take another first serve when this happens. Of course, if it's a close serve, you give him the benefit of the doubt for returning it. Anybody have a different take on the subject?

Poor etiquette:

1) return of an obvious out serve

2) automatically declaring a let when someone hits an obvious out serve

Sounds like a beginner match. Those things iron themselves out over time.

dizzlmcwizzl 03-03-2013 10:27 AM

I feel the need to share a story here ... I have a disdain for folks that obviously return out balls and consider it a form of practicing returns on my serve.

5 years ago I was playing singles in a league match against a player for whom English was his second language and there was a language barrier issue between us.

Any who, my serve is my biggest (read only) weapon and early on he noticed this and started to return every out serve, no matter how clearly out it was.

I let this go on for a game or two, but then I asked him to stop returning out balls. I told him that I felt it disrupted my service motion to have clear the balls that were bouncing off back fence between serves.

For another 2 games he persisted in returning obviously out balls. I asked him again to stop returning out balls ... he replied that he had every right to hit these balls. His stance was that I had a very hard serve and that he wanted the practice.

Now I am hot and I begin hitting his practice shots ... hard, and right at him while he was on the baseline. The balls were screaming by him like middle school dodgeball in the 70's. A couple balls got stuck in the fence, one got stuck so high he could not reach it and I had to get it down on the changeover.

He started to yell at me and when he asked me why I was doing this I told him that if he was going to practice on my serve, I was going to practice on his return ... that I wanted to work on my drive forehand and as long as we were practicing I was going to practice also.

The opposing captain upon hearing the commotion walked over and asked what the problem was ... he told his player that the code says he is not supposed to hit out serves when possible and that it is a form of gamesmanship that he should not engage in. I felt I had won and that our match would finally even out.

Unfortunately, my opponent disagreed and persisted ... I persisted ... when he would yell at me I would tell him he was in total control. If he did not return out serves I would have nothing to hit back at him. I told him he was in total control.

So by this point we are both upset, and the tennis is not pretty. I am going for more on my 1st serves and as a result he is hitting more out balls and the problem is escalating .... fortunately for me, he was so upset that he was giving me error after error and I was ahead ...

So with me serving up 6-4, 5-0 at 30-love I hit a clean ace to go up triple match point. I was not really interested in being a good sport at this moment I added in a little trash talk ... "Rakesh, I bet you could have returned that if it was an out ball!".

He through his racket, swore in a language I am not familiar with and walked off the court with out any of his gear. He got in his car and left. His captain had to collect his gear and apologize for his players behavior. At the time I felt vindicated, now I look back on this with sadness for being a tool.

4 years later we ended up on the same team, became reasonably good friends and he eventually won a huge upset in playoffs to get us to sectionals.

corners 03-03-2013 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dizzlmcwizzl (Post 7248522)
4 years later we ended up on the same team, became reasonably good friends and he eventually won a huge upset in playoffs to get us to sectionals.

Sweet ending!

tenniscasey 03-03-2013 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dizzlmcwizzl (Post 7248522)
So with me serving up 6-4, 5-0 at 30-love I hit a clean ace to go up triple match point. I was not really interested in being a good sport at this moment I added in a little trash talk ... "Rakesh, I bet you could have returned that if it was an out ball!".

This was funny. I'm glad he ended up being a friend.

slowfox 03-03-2013 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenniscasey (Post 7248593)
This was funny. I'm glad he ended up being a friend.

It's called keeping your enemies close... LOL
Actually, good story man.

Cindysphinx 03-03-2013 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stapletonj (Post 7248009)
I basically agree, tom, but I still think the "bunt back" of an OBVIOUSLY out serve is acceptable etiquette. Keeps the balls where the server can easily get at them.

..

Please don't do this, per the code.

Thank you.

tennis tom 03-03-2013 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dizzlmcwizzl (Post 7248522)
... I told him that if he was going to practice on my serve, I was going to practice on his return ... that I wanted to work on my drive forehand and as long as we were practicing I was going to practice also.


Yep, that's the natural progression. Good story, seems like he learned something that day and maybe got familiarized with "THE CODE".


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