Bizarre disqualification at Challenger yesterday

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
From the ITF rule book:

T IMMEDIATE DEFAULT

The ITF Supervisor/Referee may declare a default for any misconduct violation of the Code. The election to proceed to an immediate default without going through the Point Penalty Schedule is a serious action and should not be taken except for severe and flagrant misconduct.

Throwing a racquet in such close proximity to an official that it touches them ticks the box for me (the fact it didn't appear to do any harm was down to luck).
Correct--in the present case, the violation is physical abuse commited toward an official. Plenty of precedents for this default (hitting a ball at an official, the Nalbandian rampage, etc.). The umpire actually probably had the ability to default the player even if the racquet had not struck the official but that would have been a closer call. The fact that the racquet hit her (even a glancing blow) made it virtually automatic--every player on the tour (and frankly even those of us who play sanctioned tourneys) knows this to be the case.

And, as pointed out, the fact that no harm occured was largely fortunate and not the proper measure as to whether a default should be imposed. I suspect a fine will follow as well.
 

jdubbs

Hall of Fame
Why is there a thread on a journeyman lower league player who never made it?
It's a pro tennis player section; it doesn't say what level of pro.

There are 50 million Federer or Nadal threads for you to choose from if you so decide.
The title said "challenger" and you were free not to click (but you did anyway).
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Lameness from both parties involved.

However...probably good in the long run...maybe he'll learn his lesson before he actually hurts someone.
 

aer0pr0

Rookie
she overreacted but being disqualified its the least thing the player should get

you tend to see nowadays kids in challenger and future competitions breaking and throwing rackets too many often. Its just not right, they seem like cry babys , and that is not OK for the sport, the atp should start being more serious about the racket breaking things, its happening really often. I dont remember the last challenger match i saw without a racket being thrown?
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
Correct--in the present case, the violation is physical abuse commited toward an official. Plenty of precedents for this default (hitting a ball at an official, the Nalbandian rampage, etc.). The umpire actually probably had the ability to default the player even if the racquet had not struck the official but that would have been a closer call. The fact that the racquet hit her (even a glancing blow) made it virtually automatic--every player on the tour (and frankly even those of us who play sanctioned tourneys) knows this to be the case.

And, as pointed out, the fact that no harm occured was largely fortunate and not the proper measure as to whether a default should be imposed. I suspect a fine will follow as well.
I don't think there is anything automatic about a disqualification having to occur when a thrown racquet lightly touches an official. What would have happened if the racquet touched an official in the foot, and he looked at it and smiled and walked away to his usual position to resume his duties? I suspect, "Code Violation. Racquet Abuse. Warning." would have been the only penalty against the player. When the umpire fell down, though, a DQ was inevitable.
 

SStrikerR

Hall of Fame
I'm not going to re-read the entire thread, but as far as I'm aware nobody has actually said that King shouldn't have been disqualified. Nobody to my knowledge has argued that the fact that it barely hit her means he shouldn't have been DQ'd. So I'm not sure why people are acting like that's the case.
 

Oz_Rocket

Professional
I don't think there is anything automatic about a disqualification having to occur when a thrown racquet lightly touches an official. What would have happened if the racquet touched an official in the foot, and he looked at it and smiled and walked away to his usual position to resume his duties? I suspect, "Code Violation. Racquet Abuse. Warning." would have been the only penalty against the player. When the umpire fell down, though, a DQ was inevitable.
The issue isn't whether or not it lightly touched the official. For me the automatic disqualification comes because the racquet was thrown in close proximity to a person with sufficient force that it could have easily caused damage.

It was clear he had no control over where it went and shouldn't be shown any leniency because through luck it didn't do any damage. If there was no person in the immediate vicinity (says 20 feet) then I'd agree with just a normal code.
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
The issue isn't whether or not it lightly touched the official. For me the automatic disqualification comes because the racquet was thrown in close proximity to a person with sufficient force that it could have easily caused damage.

It was clear he had no control over where it went and shouldn't be shown any leniency because through luck it didn't do any damage. If there was no person in the immediate vicinity (says 20 feet) then I'd agree with just a normal code.
Actually, officials are instructed to consider consequences when assessing conduct penalties. An offense with no direct consequences is treated more severely than an offense with direct consequences. That player could have done the exact same thing, but if the racquet bounced off the curtain differently than there would have been a simple code violation for racquet abuse, and the match would have continued. Sometimes an action that would not even be a warning turns into a serious DQ only because of the consequences. Ask Tim Henman about this.
 

rossi46

Professional
It's a pro tennis player section; it doesn't say what level of pro.

There are 50 million Federer or Nadal threads for you to choose from if you so decide.
The title said "challenger" and you were free not to click (but you did anyway).
I agree 100%. Best post in this thread. You would think that Nadal and Federer are the only 2 tennis players on the tour.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I agree that even if the racquet had just been "close" he threw it really recklessly and it had some force behind it before it hit the curtain... what if it had struck the umpire on the fly, or had hit a ball person? I've been at that court complex, the he threw the racquet near a corner that is tighter-- the other side of the court he was on is usually next to a middle court which is covered with a carpet of sorts and used for seating-- so the ball people can be out wider on that side, where as there is a side curtain and wall on the side where King threw his racquet.

I think the fine he receives will be big, to make an example for other players as this is certainly going to leave a bit of an ugly mark on the Pros for a while.
 

snowpuppy

Semi-Pro
Someone should forward it to all sport associations. You can see how big of an epidemic flopping is if referees are doing it. This is becomming second greatest modern day sport problem after doping.
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
I agree that even if the racquet had just been "close" he threw it really recklessly and it had some force behind it before it hit the curtain... what if it had struck the umpire on the fly, or had hit a ball person? I've been at that court complex, the he threw the racquet near a corner that is tighter-- the other side of the court he was on is usually next to a middle court which is covered with a carpet of sorts and used for seating-- so the ball people can be out wider on that side, where as there is a side curtain and wall on the side where King threw his racquet.

I think the fine he receives will be big, to make an example for other players as this is certainly going to leave a bit of an ugly mark on the Pros for a while.
Right or wrong, that's not how it works. The consequences of one's actions play a very large factor in penalties. Angrily throw your racquet as hard as you want into a curtain, if nothing bad happens as a result, the penalty is mild. Miss an easy shot and in mild frustration knock the ball you just missed toward a sideline and hit an umpire in the eye and he goes down, and it's likely a DQ.

Same is true in life really. Drive well over the speed limit and don't hurt anyone, and you get a ticket. Do the same thing and hit a pedestrian, and the penalty is likely severe.
 

JDMasFCK

Semi-Pro
The bigger question is... what is she doing outside of the kitchen?

#bringthehate

all joking aside, it was a pure flop imo
 

Kalin

Legend
She should have been booked for diving, that's for sure.

And for those saying she is an elderly or whatever woman- she agreed to do refereeing at a professional match. She should be physically and mentally fit for the job.
 

jrs

Professional
She looks elderly. Usually a large number of elderly people have various health issues. So in this case racquet being thrown near her could have aggravated some other existing health issue that caused her to fall down.

I'm guessing she wasn't faking it. That would be just sad!
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
Right or wrong, that's not how it works. The consequences of one's actions play a very large factor in penalties. Angrily throw your racquet as hard as you want into a curtain, if nothing bad happens as a result, the penalty is mild. Miss an easy shot and in mild frustration knock the ball you just missed toward a sideline and hit an umpire in the eye and he goes down, and it's likely a DQ.

Same is true in life really. Drive well over the speed limit and don't hurt anyone, and you get a ticket. Do the same thing and hit a pedestrian, and the penalty is likely severe.
What I was trying to get at is that King shouldn't act shocked that the racquet took a weird bounce and hit someone, as he threw the racquet toward a more crowded part of the court. If he were to throw it in that area and not hit anyone, I think at minimum one would have to look at as possibly endangering the official/ball person, and giving him a point penalty.

What he did was idiotic and inexcusable.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
She should have been booked for diving, that's for sure.

And for those saying she is an elderly or whatever woman- she agreed to do refereeing at a professional match. She should be physically and mentally fit for the job.
Physically fit for tennis officials usually means seeing the lines and being able to not impede or be injured by the normal course of play. It's not a job requirement to have racquets thrown near you.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
Lmao!! Damn, he threw it so close to her!
Given how little control he really had over the throw, it was closer than I'd be comfortable with... it looks like he turns and throws the racquet without really seeing where anyone is. If it had directly hit somebody it could be a whole lot bigger of an issue...

Watching the video again they were using a 3 ball person crew instead of the usual 6, so the danger wasn't as great of hitting someone, but it was still really reckless.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
Why is it so hard to understand that women(especially older ladies) get scared by something we males don't even consider as 'threats'. I wouldn't be surprised if that racquet throwing scared the hell out of the poor old lady, and when women get scared, they legs buckle which could be what was happening there. It can be quite scary to see the racquet getting thrown not onto the ground but onto the wall about head height for the ladies. I think young guys don't understand how weak and soft females can be.
 

ARKustom93

Professional
Given how little control he really had over the throw, it was closer than I'd be comfortable with... it looks like he turns and throws the racquet without really seeing where anyone is. If it had directly hit somebody it could be a whole lot bigger of an issue...

Watching the video again they were using a 3 ball person crew instead of the usual 6, so the danger wasn't as great of hitting someone, but it was still really reckless.
Of course it was ... Personally, I would have very much liked to see her pick up that racquet and knock his damn teeth out! Betcha he'd never do it again;)
 

TennisLovaLova

Hall of Fame
A settlement was reached in this case: the plaintiff agrees to forgo any future litigation against the defendant, and the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff a KFC Supercharger Meal, for a full-scale fill-up.
Two succulent mini breast fillets, souped up with delicious tangy sauce and brought together in a big tasty sub roll. And with extra large fries and a regular drink to wash it all down, there's no better way to recover from that incident.
 
... the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff a KFC Supercharger Meal, for a full-scale fill-up.
I really miss their chicken livers, they unfortunately dropped them from the menu years ago--maybe they figured out how to grow chickens without livers?

Safeway's got really good crispy fried chicken, but KFC's got the gravy.

That kid shouldn't have thrown that racket with people around, those tarps make a very loud noise when you slap 'em. The lady was suffering collateral damages from the shock waves of the concussion, I hope she's alright.

Lots of racket abuse at a Challenger I went to recently in NorCal. The ball kids were running around with all the cracked sticks for souvenirs. The lines people and other officials should get hazard pay for all the risk and abuse they endure these days, I wouldn't do it for any kind of money.
 

sundaypunch

Hall of Fame
Hopefully the lines person is ok, they need to get better lines people - not these senior citizens - who could get injured easily.

I agree. Calling lines in a Challenger is an extremely lucrative position. I believe it pays over $300,000 per year plus all of your travel expenses.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I agree. Calling lines in a Challenger is an extremely lucrative position. I believe it pays over $300,000 per year plus all of your travel expenses.
They also burn a ton of calories from travelling all over the country and are provided food from the official Challenger food sponsor Whole Foods, with housing arrangements coordinated through the most upscale neighborhood in every town.

In all seriousness, people criticize linespeople for not "being in better shape" these folks' job requires them to virtually STAND STILL all day, they travel all the time which makes it hard to get healthy food, and cooking your own isn't really possible when you're working out of a cheap motel. The challenger tour isn't as glamorous as some of us would like to imagine... for the players or the officials.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
Of course it was ... Personally, I would have very much liked to see her pick up that racquet and knock his damn teeth out! Betcha he'd never do it again;)
I feel that the challenger tour was really lucky this event played out the way it did, and everyone ended up ok in the end. If he'd directly hit a lines judge in the head area, he would have done major damage, and the atp as a whole would be in a really bad spot. This guy needs a severe punishment so that other players get the message that endangering others on the court isn't acceptable.

It's even worse that the player had such a bad attitude about the whole thing while it was going on. Get over yourself Darian King. You're a 300-something ranked tennis player that just made an *** of yourself for the world to see. Don't act like you've been given unjust treatment.
 

Mac33

Hall of Fame
Have looked at it numerous times.

He threw his raquet around 8-9 feet from her.

He made a big mistake and should be disqualified.

But she was never in any danger.

Her over reaction was possibly from shock,certainly not fron the frame contacting her at less than 5 mph!

His opponent hit a massively powerful forehand that also had depth and angle on it.

Nadal or Murray could not have got a frame on that.

So what is he so upset about? He played the point well,his opponent was just too good on this particular point.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
Have looked at it numerous times.

He threw his raquet around 8-9 feet from her.

He made a big mistake and should be disqualified.

But she was never in any danger.

Her over reaction was possibly from shock,certainly not fron the frame contacting her at less than 5 mph!

His opponent hit a massively powerful forehand that also had depth and angle on it.

Nadal or Murray could not have got a frame on that.

So what is he so upset about? He played the point well,his opponent was just too good on this particular point.


That's the exact point where the racquet hits the tarp... look at it compared to the height of the umpire, who is the same distance from the camera. That's not 8-9 feet. Closer to 4-5.
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
They also burn a ton of calories from travelling all over the country and are provided food from the official Challenger food sponsor Whole Foods, with housing arrangements coordinated through the most upscale neighborhood in every town.

In all seriousness, people criticize linespeople for not "being in better shape" these folks' job requires them to virtually STAND STILL all day, they travel all the time which makes it hard to get healthy food, and cooking your own isn't really possible when you're working out of a cheap motel. The challenger tour isn't as glamorous as some of us would like to imagine... for the players or the officials.
As she's calling "long lines", she actually does a fair amount of running back and forth between the center line and the sideline. Most meals would be at the tournament, and there would be at least some healthy food choices. It's a long day's work, and she probably made about $90. She likely bought her own uniform. If she was from out of town, she may have paid her own travel expenses. If she makes it to the "bigs", she'd earn a little over $100/day.
 

SStrikerR

Hall of Fame
I feel that the challenger tour was really lucky this event played out the way it did, and everyone ended up ok in the end. If he'd directly hit a lines judge in the head area, he would have done major damage, and the atp as a whole would be in a really bad spot. This guy needs a severe punishment so that other players get the message that endangering others on the court isn't acceptable.

It's even worse that the player had such a bad attitude about the whole thing while it was going on. Get over yourself Darian King. You're a 300-something ranked tennis player that just made an *** of yourself for the world to see. Don't act like you've been given unjust treatment.
You think challenger tour linespeople travel all over doing tournaments like the players? LOL
 

rossi46

Professional


That's the exact point where the racquet hits the tarp... look at it compared to the height of the umpire, who is the same distance from the camera. That's not 8-9 feet. Closer to 4-5.
She should be sitting, the pressure on her knees must be bad.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
You think challenger tour linespeople travel all over doing tournaments like the players? LOL
I know that some of them are local, but others for this one have been from farther away-- when I was a ball boy at that tournament, one of the chairs I got to have a conversation with (I was there literally 12-15 hours a day during qualifiers and the first couple days of main draw) was based in Miami. Some were more local but there are others I've seen on challengers in different parts of the country.

It's true you run more covering "long lines" than short lines, especially at this level when you usually have a few rounds where they have to call the entire length of the line (so they could potentially be making calls while trying to look through the net...later rounds always have more umpires.) Meaning that the umpire has to be the one to call the center line of the service box and then run over to the sideline more frequently. So it's a good amount of moving, but nothing insane. The worse part is probably the previously mentioned long days on concrete courts all day, especially since a lot of the umpires are older people.
 

HRB

Hall of Fame
This allows me to bring up something I've been wondering for awhile. Why the hell do we have obese semi-comatose folks judging lines in our favorite sport, and who are these people?
First off, when you are that out of shape, just standing for awhile can bring on fatigue and exhaustion..you really want someone in that state calling your shots?

Second...I always assumed if you were into tennis officiating then at some point you were into tennis....yet 90% look like they'd have a coronary if they picked up a racquet?

Just strange, and I noticed very common (especially matches in US)!

Ok, c'mon overly sensitive PC Police..let me have it!:twisted:
 
This allows me to bring up something I've been wondering for awhile. Why the hell do we have obese semi-comatose folks judging lines in our favorite sport, and who are these people?
First off, when you are that out of shape, just standing for awhile can bring on fatigue and exhaustion..you really want someone in that state calling your shots?

Second...I always assumed if you were into tennis officiating then at some point you were into tennis....yet 90% look like they'd have a coronary if they picked up a racquet?

Just strange, and I noticed very common (especially matches in US)!

Ok, c'mon overly sensitive PC Police..let me have it!:twisted:
So, you're saying you are applying for their job and will do better at it.

"Why the hell do we have obese semi-comatose folks judging lines in our favorite sport, and who are these people?"

WE, at least I don't have anything to do with hiring lines people. Maybe they are the only ones who want to do what as we can see is a thankless job. If you want to know who they are I suggest you attend a Challenger tournament where the officials are very available and approachable and ask them about their lives and habits. Maybe you can fill out an application to become one and demonstrate to us how it's done by a top 100 player which I assume you are since you are so proficient in all things.
 

jeebeesus

Rookie
he did it with no ill will

if a man who blew his girlfriend`s head off is sentenced to 10 months jail and the rest in house detention then what is so bad about this?
 
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kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
he did it with no ill will

if a man who blew his girlfriend`s head off is sentenced to 10 months jail and the rest in house detention then what is so bad about this?
I hadn't heard that story... and I'm not trying to go off about the excessive gun violence in the US, so I'll stick to discussing this dq. I agree with you it seems the player didn't ever intend to hit the official, but I don't think he was nearly as in control of the situation as some are making it out to be. He turned and threw the racquet HARD pretty much instantly. Now he may have had a general sense of where he was on the court, and assumed he wouldn't hit the official while the racquet was in the air, which ended up being true.

Obviously it wasn't that great of a sense because the racquet did end up hitting the official. I'm still curious to hear what ends up happening with this whole situation.
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
You think challenger tour linespeople travel all over doing tournaments like the players? LOL
Actually a lot of them do. If you're doing the semis and finals of a Challenger, you're well-qualified, and probably also doing ATP events and majors.
 

edmondsm

Legend
A) an assumption, and b) that lines person's 'reaction' is totally immaterial ... all that really matters is stupida== hurling his stick into the tarp ... Get it???

Unacceptable, period.
A) Not an assumption. We have video. The racquet gently lands on her back and she goes down like she's been tazed.

B) Not excusing his behavior. It was definitely unacceptable and he was rightfully disqualified.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
Actually a lot of them do. If you're doing the semis and finals of a Challenger, you're well-qualified, and probably also doing ATP events and majors.
When I used to ballboy there were a few linespeople that everyone recognized that we would later see doing the big events (Legg-Mason, USO etc.)
 

Raiden

Hall of Fame
I don't think there is anything automatic about a disqualification having to occur when a thrown racquet lightly touches an official. What would have happened if the racquet touched an official in the foot, and he looked at it and smiled and walked away to his usual position to resume his duties? I suspect, "Code Violation. Racquet Abuse. Warning." would have been the only penalty against the player. When the umpire fell down, though, a DQ was inevitable.
In that case the rules are not just bad but awful

(they are reaction-dependent and basically encourage the victim-official to act in a certain way
.
 
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