Originally Posted by Bartelby
The above is probably a definition of a clear footfault, but flagrant seems far stronger than that.
: conspicuously offensive <flagrant errors>; especially : so obviously inconsistent with what is right or proper as to appear to be a flouting of law or morality <flagrant violations of human rights>
A flagrant footfault would be one that is both an obvious error from the viewpoint of the receiver and one that was intentionally committed so as to flout the rule.
Its my guess that the flagrant footfaults that the USTA eventually allows you to call are not just breaches of the rules, but ones where the clear intention is not just to cheat - which implies a concealment of fault -
but an attempt to cheat with open contempt of the rule.
Flagrant has absolutely nothing to do with intent in this situation, imo. Are you really suggesting that a reciever in an unofficiated match is expected to guess at the thought processes and intent of his opponent before he can make a foot fault call on a guy that is stepping a foot into the court on every serve? That's ridiculous. The first definition that schmke posted said absolutely nothing about intent, and even the one that you hand picked to make your argument has the word "appear" in there, which would complicate the rest of your assertions if you didn't ignore it completely.
If the guy chases a bad toss and ends up stepping a foot into the court before he strikes the serve, it is still a flagrant foot fault even if he never intended to foot fault. If the same guy always tosses the ball so far out in front that he always steps a foot into the court before he strikes the serve, he is still flagrantly foot-faulting regardless of his intent. If his bad habit is so ingrained that he can't just quit doing it even if he's trying to, that doesn't mean he is allowed to just keep breaking the rule every serve. It is absolutely in the receivers right to call the foot faults in this situation, after a warning, if no official is present. You may think it obnoxiouis but I think it much more obnoxious to expect to be able to get away with repeatedly footfaulting just because you claim to not be doing it intentionally.
Gah I got sucked in to all this nonsense. Oh well, finals are over, I've got some free time for now. There are only like 1000 better ways to spend my time than this. What a smart guy I am.