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Old 11-04-2012, 12:21 AM   #3
Mike Y
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 182

There are many times that I want to call a hindrance. I have found that doubles players often talk to each other during points when the ball is traveling toward their opponent, but that is a hindrance. Even on a weak lob, yelling to your partner "Get back!" is a hindrance.

One time in a match when I was hitting my overhead well (and frequently right at my opponents), during a tiebreak point the girl on the other team hit a weaker lob, and I was running up to smash it, and her male partner was at the net. When she saw me running up, she yelled "WATCH OUT WATCH OUT WATCH OUT!" in a very loud scream. They did this often during the match when I was hitting my overheads, but this was particularly egregious. This scream was so loud and sudden that it distracted me for a second, and I actually stopped for a split-second and looked around. For all I knew a car was out of control and barreling onto the court. But I went to hit the overhead, and framed it, and it went out. I was very mad and I then called a hindrance, and a large argument ensued. I didn't know the exact rule at the time, and neither did anyone on the court. We decided that if she was yelling that when the ball was on their side of the court, it wasn't a hindrance, and I decided that I didn't know what side of the court the ball was on, so I dropped the hindrance claim. So yes, we made up an incorrect rule on the spot.

I looked it up later, and I was wrong, but for a different reason. I had every right to call a hindrance, based on the yelling when I was about to hit the overhead. You cannot talk to your partner when the ball is traveling toward your opponents, you can only talk with your partner when the ball is traveling toward you. But I hit the ball, and I cannot call a hindrance once I hit the ball. By doing that, I gave myself two chances to win the point.

But it seems to me that so many people in doubles yell things to their partner when the ball is traveling toward their opponent, and very few people know the rule. So I have just decided that I am not going to make hindrance calls, unless the opponent is saying things to deliberately mess me up. It just causes too much confusion and causes too many arguments and it is just not worth the trouble. I just need to concentrate and finish the overhead.
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