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Old 02-01-2013, 07:27 AM   #49
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 184

Originally Posted by woodrow1029 View Post
USTA rules don't set a maximum number of bathroom breaks; however, the book says something like an official can deny a bathroom break if he feels that the request is due to gamesmanship. Very hard to enforce.
Thanks for the reply, that's what I figured.

I took a look at "friend of the court", which confirms what you said for USTA. Interesting bit on college ball, though...

Bathroom breaks. A player must ask an official for a designated “bathroom break.” The official may refuse this request if he determines that the player is resorting to gamesmanship. Division I women are allowed reasonable time for bathroom breaks and should take them on a 90-second changeover or set break. If a player is able to take a bathroom break during the 90-second changeover, this is permitted in addition to the bathroom breaks described above.

No bathroom breaks in Men’s Division I Tennis. No bathroom breaks shall be permitted in Men’s Division I Tennis. Men will have 90 seconds during the changeover to use the bathroom. After 90 seconds, the player will be subject to time violation penalties (Warning, Point, Point, etc.) If no bathroom is available within a reasonable distance from the courts, it is the responsibility of the coaches and the Referee to determine prior to the start of the match, how much time may be allowed. If a bathroom break is necessary for
medical problems, the break is to be treated as a medical timeout.

Wow, 90 seconds. You better run.

So that pretty much confirms what you said about USTA play, and I agree, it sounds difficult to enforce this rule. I think the rules make a stronger assumption of good sportsmanship in a purely recreational league.

As for the original question... a one time 7 minute bathroom or water break doesn't sound especially outrageous. I wasn't there, of course, but while I've seen some pretty egregious gamesmanship around the bathroom rule, this particular episode doesn't sound like it. If this was a one-time deal, my guess would be that the guy was trying to minimize the disruption by taking it after the completion of the set.
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