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-   -   Can a roving umpire call a let on a late call he did not see? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=476958)

rgc10s 09-11-2013 09:34 AM

Can a roving umpire call a let on a late call he did not see?
 
The 2013 Friend at Court states the following regarding a roving umpireís authority to overrule a line call:

"Overrule a playerís line call only when in direct observation of that one court. When a Roving Umpire overrules a playerís out call, that player loses the point. The Roving Umpire may not overrule as a result of a player appeal."

This states very clearly that a roving umpire can only overrule a call if he is in direct observation of the point. In other words, if Player A calls a ball out and Player B (the opponent) disagrees with the call, a roving umpire cannot overturn the call if he did not see the play. Does this apply to a case where a player claims a call was made too late and appeals to a roving umpire who did not see the play?

Letís say that Player A makes an out call and Player B claims that the call was made ďtoo lateĒ. There could be a variety of reasons why Player B thought the call was made late. For the sake of argument letís assume Player A lets a ball bounce a few inches long at the baseline, hits a half volley, then immediately calls the ball out. Maybe Player B either didnít hear the call and/or didnít see the out signal. So Player A reiterates the call, but by this time Player Aís half volley has hit the net. Player B only hearing the second (same) call, insists the call was made late. The roving umpire who was on another court and did not see the play is called over to settle the dispute. The umpire states that since he didnít see the play, he could not determine definitively whether the out call was made in a timely manner or not, thus he calls a let and makes them replay the point. Was this the correct ruling, or should Player Aís original call have stood, based on the fact that the umpire did not see the play?

woodrow1029 09-11-2013 09:39 AM

Player A's call should have stood. The roving umpire should tell Player B that Player A is responsible for line calls on his side of the court, and since he was not there to see it, the call would stand. Then the roving umpire should reiterate to both players that calls need to be made immediately, and then he should observe that court for a little while, if possible.

rgc10s 09-11-2013 10:09 AM

That's what I thought. This happened to my daughter in a tournament this past weekend. The kicker was she had just won the second set to split, and the point in question occurred when she had break point in the first game of the 3rd. So she thought she had won the game, but her opponent claimed her out call was too late and calls the ref over who makes the ruling I described.

Our section officials actually agreed with the ref's ruling. Does anyone know of any rules, regulations or precedents, other than what I referenced from Friend at Court, which would prove the ref's ruling was wrong?

woodrow1029 09-11-2013 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgc10s (Post 7750467)
That's what I thought. This happened to my daughter in a tournament this past weekend. The kicker was she had just won the second set to split, and the point in question occurred when she had break point in the first game of the 3rd. So she thought she had won the game, but her opponent claimed her out call was too late and calls the ref over who makes the ruling I described.

Our section officials actually agreed with the ref's ruling. Does anyone know of any rules, regulations or precedents, other than what I referenced from Friend at Court, which would prove the ref's ruling was wrong?

What section?

woodrow1029 09-11-2013 10:44 AM

The rule you quoted does not cover this though. He wasn't overruling the call of out to good. He was making them replay it because of the timing issue, which is a different issue, but if he didn't see it, he really should not have ruled that way.

rgc10s 09-11-2013 11:00 AM

New England section.

Yeah, I wasn't sure how well if at all that rule did cover this scenario. He did overturn the call by making them play a let. He did not change the call, so he technically did not overrule it. Still seems like it should apply to this scenario in the absence of anything more specific though, which I've been unable to find.

rgc10s 09-12-2013 07:54 AM

So thinking about this a little more, I'm really not sure why the regulation I quoted does not apply here. To repeat:

"Overrule a player's line call only when in direct observation of that one court. When a Roving Umpire overrules a player's out call, that player loses the point. The Roving Umpire may not overrule as a result of a player appeal."

Note that it does not give any exception to LATE line calls nor does it give an option to playing lets. It simply states that umpires cannot overrule a call they did not see based solely on a playerís appeal, which is exactly what happened in this case. It may come down to an interpretation of "overrule" vs "overturn", but to me those are really synonyms.

Thoughts?

Cindysphinx 09-12-2013 08:58 AM

My thought is that your daughter was the victim of a well-intentioned mistake by the roving official. I think she should have called for the tournament referee, who would have likely said playing a let is not appropriate.

Next time, tell daughter that if a roving official makes an error she should call for the tournament referee. That's what they are there for.

asimple 09-12-2013 08:59 AM

This wasn't really a line call dispute. It was a dispute over when a call was made and given both sides had an equal argument, I believe the ref made a fair decision.

This should actually be a good lesson for your daughter to clearly make line calls on close shots as well as making sure the opponent is aware.

rgc10s 09-12-2013 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asimple (Post 7752779)
This wasn't really a line call dispute. It was a dispute over when a call was made and given both sides had an equal argument, I believe the ref made a fair decision.

This should actually be a good lesson for your daughter to clearly make line calls on close shots as well as making sure the opponent is aware.

The problem is that she did make a quick line call and what she thought was a clear one. The opponent just didn't see or hear it (or worse). It is possible the opponent mistook the out call for a grunt too, since it was a hard hit ball that was half volleyed just past the baseline. I'm trying to give the opponent the benefit of the doubt, but they did change their objection very quickly from "it wasn't out" to "I didn't see the call" to "it was late" before settling on "it was late" when the official came over. So if you have one player insisting the call was late, and the other insisting it wasn't, and an umpire that doesn't see the play, how is this any different from an argument over whether the ball was in or not. Clearly the player arguing the call was late disagrees with the call as well or why would they be arguing?

Bdarb 09-12-2013 09:50 AM

^ I think what your describing pertains more to the opponents sportsmanship than the referees call. If she said the ball was out, then the ref could have made an informed decision but it sounds like your daughters opponent changed her grievance to get the desired outcome.

Cindysphinx 09-12-2013 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asimple (Post 7752779)
This wasn't really a line call dispute. It was a dispute over when a call was made and given both sides had an equal argument, I believe the ref made a fair decision.

This should actually be a good lesson for your daughter to clearly make line calls on close shots as well as making sure the opponent is aware.

I disagree. It was not a fair decision. It was wrong and unfair.

There was a disagreement of fact (whether the call was late). The ref didn't witness. Therefore the ref cannot overturn the call and the call must stand because the player making the call is entitled to make it.

Same result if the argument is whether the ball was in or out. It's a question of fact, ref didn't witness, call stands.

asimple 09-12-2013 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgc10s (Post 7752834)
So if you have one player insisting the call was late, and the other insisting it wasn't, and an umpire that doesn't see the play, how is this any different from an argument over whether the ball was in or not. Clearly the player arguing the call was late disagrees with the call as well or why would they be arguing?

I don't know that I would argue, but it is a completely valid point to argue a late call even if you think the ball was actually out. A player does not get to look at his shot and then determine whether they want to call it out or not.

In terms of the dispute, if it was about line calls then your daughter was completely right, but if it was about the timing of the call then it is unclear. The rules don't give you authority over judging the timing of your call. For this reason I think the let was the only fair solution.

rgc10s 09-12-2013 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bdarb (Post 7752883)
^ I think what your describing pertains more to the opponents sportsmanship than the referees call. If she said the ball was out, then the ref could have made an informed decision but it sounds like your daughters opponent changed her grievance to get the desired outcome.

Yes, you could make an argument to that effect. This was also a player after all who would consistently move real close to the service line on returns then run back right after the toss. Or on long first serves would slowly walk over to the corner where the ball had settled on its own, well out of the way, to move it a couple of inches before slowly walking back to receive the second serve. While I don't believe the first action is technically illegal, when it is done just about every point it is not hard to interpret the intention. I believe the second action is illegal though.

In any case, that still should really be irrelevant to the core issue. Regardless of whether the opponent's argument was in good faith or not, why would they be entitled to a let when they disagree with the call AND argue it was late verses just disagreeing with the call, which does not entitle them to a let? Again, keeping in mind that the official did not see the play, and the player who made the call is adamant they did make the call quickly.

rgc10s 09-12-2013 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asimple (Post 7752957)
I don't know that I would argue, but it is a completely valid point to argue a late call even if you think the ball was actually out.

Yeah, valid maybe, but I'm not sure why someone would argue about a ball they knew they hit out. Unless they were just trying to be difficult.

Quote:

Originally Posted by asimple (Post 7752957)
A player does not get to look at his shot and then determine whether they want to call it out or not.

Actually, they do on clay courts... but this wasn't on a clay court, and that's not what happened in this case anyway.

asimple 09-12-2013 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgc10s (Post 7753016)
Yeah, valid maybe, but I'm not sure why someone would argue about a ball they knew they hit out. Unless they were just trying to be difficult.

You are supposed to make an immediate call if the ball is out not after returning the shot. I have had far more cases where someone has decided to call it out after hitting it than the other way around. I don't argue, but do see the point of an argument in this case whether I see the ball in or out. It actually bothers me more when someone makes a call after hitting it than just hooking me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgc10s (Post 7753016)
Actually, they do on clay courts... but this wasn't on a clay court, and that's not what happened in this case anyway.

They check marks on clay but not after a shot is attempted. At this point it doesn't matter.


As a parent who is about to start their kids in tennis I do see your point though. I have played a handful of juniors this year. The good ones behaved well, but the borderline ones not only cheated but tried some really annoying tactics. Worse yet, I played one "friendly" match where the kid was blatantly cheating in front of his mom who didn't even care.

rgc10s 09-12-2013 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asimple (Post 7753128)
You are supposed to make an immediate call if the ball is out not after returning the shot. I have had far more cases where someone has decided to call it out after hitting it than the other way around. I don't argue, but do see the point of an argument in this case whether I see the ball in or out. It actually bothers me more when someone makes a call after hitting it than just hooking me.



They check marks on clay but not after a shot is attempted. At this point it doesn't matter.


As a parent who is about to start their kids in tennis I do see your point though. I have played a handful of juniors this year. The good ones behaved well, but the borderline ones not only cheated but tried some really annoying tactics. Worse yet, I played one "friendly" match where the kid was blatantly cheating in front of his mom who didn't even care.

Correct, you are supposed to make a "quick" call. On close plays though, you are taught to hit the ball then make the call if it is out. For obvious reasons.

I believe on clay courts you are allowed to stop play and take a few moments to check a mark before making a call. Of course, if you are wrong, you lose the point.

The opinions on how serious a problem cheating is in junior tennis run the gamut. Needless to say, it really comes down to what you (or your child) has experienced first-hand. Personally I feel it is a pretty big issue, but honestly I feel that poor sportsmanship is an even bigger issue in junior tennis than cheating. Although admittedly it can be a fine line between poor sportsmanship and cheating. But I too take exception to the parents who allow it to happen (or worse teach it).

woodrow1029 09-12-2013 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgc10s (Post 7753237)
Correct, you are supposed to make a "quick" call. On close plays though, you are taught to hit the ball then make the call if it is out. For obvious reasons.

Who teaches that?

rgc10s 09-12-2013 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodrow1029 (Post 7753274)
Who teaches that?

I do for one... in certain situations. I guess maybe I should have been more specific:

If your opponent hits a hard ball that is going to land close to the baseline, and you are close to the baseline (maybe trying to take an aggressive position and hit on the rise), then you should hit the ball and then call it out if it is out. Because obviously in that case you don't have time to determine whether the ball is in or not while trying to make a quality return shot if it is in. What you can't do of course is let the quality of your return shot influence your call.

Bdarb 09-12-2013 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgc10s (Post 7753341)
I do for one... in certain situations. I guess maybe I should have been more specific:

If your opponent hits a hard ball that is going to land close to the baseline, and you are close to the baseline (maybe trying to take an aggressive position and hit on the rise), then you should hit the ball and then call it out if it is out. Because obviously in that case you don't have time to determine whether the ball is in or not while trying to make a quality return shot if it is in. What you can't do of course is let the quality of your return shot influence your call.

I see what your saying here. Taking a ball on the rise like you described I would be swinging and as I see it out I call it, the result is me hitting a return while simultaneously calling it out. I don't think waiting much longer would be appropriate or could be a late call.

I think the short version of all of this is your daughter got a bad call. It happens, even from officials. I don't think there's anything wrong with the actual rule.


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