Calling Foot Faults - Do you call it or no?

Do you call foot faults on your opposing players?

  • Never

  • Sometimes - but only if it is egregious and repeated

  • Yes - If I can clearly see it, I call it


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So I have played a little bit of semi-competitive matches recently where someone is clearly foot faulting. It astounds me that so many people do it, yet I never call them for it. It frustrates me to no end, but I just don't know how kosher it is to do. If a player steps on the line a little bit, I don't care too much, but tons of players are taking almost a full step into the court before hitting the ball. I don't understand how people do it.

What are your opinions on calling foot faults? Yes, no, maybe so?
 
If you do it at the club social-mixer-level you will be very unpopular fast and shunned--your only friend will be the ball machine. If it's a match where the scores will be reported to a governing body that's different--follow what the "THE CODE" advises in regards to this.
 

chic

Professional
Depends on three things for me

1) needs to be egregious (and I'll warn them it's happening)
2) needs to be repeated
3) they need to get something off of it

Most of the guys I know foot faulting serve max like 70-80mph, usually waiters tray serves. I care to call it 0%.

Also if they're rude or lots of gamesmanship is happening in doubles I'll keep my eye out for it while I'm at the net.
 

PrinceMoron

Legend
Just don’t play the ball
Let it sail past you

If the server wants the point then let them have it


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
If you do it at the club social-mixer-level you will be very unpopular fast and shunned--your only friend will be the ball machine. If it's a match where the scores will be reported to a governing body that's different--follow what the "THE CODE" advises in regards to this.
I mean clearly if I am at a casual hitting event, I wouldn't even think about calling it. I really only care when there is an actual competitive nature to the playing. I guess I should really just let people know when they are doing it, and they will probably fix it themselves.
 

topspn

Legend
I have no idea how you’re seeing foot faults. I am standing opposite side concentrating on the ball as they go through their serve motion. I have no time to look if they're dragging their foot in before they land.
 
I have no idea how you’re seeing foot faults. I am standing opposite side concentrating on the ball as through their serve motion. I have no time to look if they're dragging there fit in before they land.
Because I am concentrating not just on the ball, but their body for tells in their service motion. Also it is pretty clear to see when they are moving their front foot inside the court before they jump for a serve or hit the ball.
 

topspn

Legend
Because I am concentrating not just on the ball, but their body for tells in their service motion. Also it is pretty clear to see when they are moving their front foot inside the court before they jump for a serve or hit the ball.
Unless they are stepping into the court before they start their service motion or have no jump at all and just move forward during their service motion, I can see how you would catch it. Otherwise, can’t see if i actually want to serve return
 
Unless they are stepping into the court before they start their service motion or have no jump at all and just move forward during their service motion, I can see how you would catch it. Otherwise, can’t see if i actually want to serve return
That's exactly what I am saying. I'm not bothered by tiny things like a slight foot reposition or drag during the serve as I don't notice it and it doesn't catch my eye. It is only the serves that have such a clear lower body movement into the court before the serve that I care about.
 

topspn

Legend
That's exactly what I am saying. I'm not bothered by tiny things like a slight foot reposition or drag during the serve as I don't notice it and it doesn't catch my eye. It is only the serves that have such a clear lower body movement into the court before the serve that I care about.
I’d call it in that case
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I never call foot faults, but I will mention it during a changeover if they're doing it repeatedly.

Most rec players have no intention of foot faulting, and obtain no real advantage from it.
 

Rusbus

New User
Never...It’s ridiculous you can even see it much less call it. You should be watching the service motion and planning your return. You can’t return a 100mph plus serve and watch a foot.

Maybe at lower levels or against opponents that can’t dial it up but if you are watching door faults your not returning to your full potential.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
So I have played a little bit of semi-competitive matches recently where someone is clearly foot faulting. It astounds me that so many people do it, yet I never call them for it. It frustrates me to no end, but I just don't know how kosher it is to do. If a player steps on the line a little bit, I don't care too much, but tons of players are taking almost a full step into the court before hitting the ball. I don't understand how people do it.

What are your opinions on calling foot faults? Yes, no, maybe so?
I've never seen anything approaching a full step, it's usually just the toes over the line or thereabouts. That's from watching from the sidelines.
Who cares anyway, doesn't make a lick of difference in the end. Dunno how anyone even sees it, I'm concentrating on the ball, and toss location, maybe where they are looking as well. No way would I waste time looking at someone's feet.
 

AZSunTennis

New User
Usually, I find, it's the quickest way to make an enemy. (Even though you are right.) Too, it's the easiest thing to correct - just step back a few inches or a foot. However, most people are too stubborn and/or too mad at you for pointing out the foot fault. Ironically, the players that get the most upset (understatement) with bad line calls are the ones that don't even care if they are stepping over the line on the serve! Some lines matter, others don't, I guess.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
So I have played a little bit of semi-competitive matches recently where someone is clearly foot faulting. It astounds me that so many people do it, yet I never call them for it. It frustrates me to no end, but I just don't know how kosher it is to do. If a player steps on the line a little bit, I don't care too much, but tons of players are taking almost a full step into the court before hitting the ball. I don't understand how people do it.

What are your opinions on calling foot faults? Yes, no, maybe so?
I have never actually called it in a match. If it was so clear that I couldn't miss it even though I'm not really even looking for it and it is giving him an advantage on the serve, I would say something and give him a chance to self correct it. I have never yet encountered a case that egregious.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
No. But, I've never had a problem in a situation that really mattered to me - like a tournament or USTA league - and then I could always get the referee. I play tennis with a guy who is 6 foot 4 inches tall, has a lefty serve (not a great one but still tricky), and must step into the court 12 inches on every serve before he hits the ball. This giant step is just part of his multi-movement service motion. But, I only play him recreationally - singles, park district doubles league. He's a nice guy and it's been explained to him, many, many times, and he'll move back for a few points and then go back to his normal foot-faulting ways. Some people won't play with him. Most other roll their eyes and put up with it since it's a fairly low stakes setting.
 

weelie

Semi-Pro
No, not worth it. In old man doubles about 75% of servers regularly foot fault. The only ones that annoy me a bit are when the server steps like a meter in to rush to the net.
 
I would never call one during a game even if I see it. Some players love to argue especially when losing why feed them??? Even in doubles I wouldn't say anything. if its a mate doing it repeatedly I might mention it in private.
 

esgee48

Legend
In league matches BITD, I would mention it and if really blatant, such as a foot over the BL, then it would be called. Best way to do it is to mention it to a member of the other team and let them advise the culprit. Social matches? Just a mention since it does not count. FWIW, in my social groups, there are only 2 guys that do this, but they only touch the line. None of the ladies seem to do it. :D
 
So I have played a little bit of semi-competitive matches recently where someone is clearly foot faulting. It astounds me that so many people do it, yet I never call them for it. It frustrates me to no end, but I just don't know how kosher it is to do. If a player steps on the line a little bit, I don't care too much, but tons of players are taking almost a full step into the court before hitting the ball. I don't understand how people do it.

What are your opinions on calling foot faults? Yes, no, maybe so?
 
I never call foot faults, but I will mention it during a changeover if they're doing it repeatedly.

Most rec players have no intention of foot faulting, and obtain no real advantage from it.
I've mentioned it to teammates because I don't want an opponent or roving umpire to call them on it in the middle of a match, which might disrupt their rhythm. I can't recall ever calling it on an opponent.

There are multiple opponents I've played that would have gained something significant if they FFd. But yes, the are in the minority.
 
I've mentioned it to teammates because I don't want an opponent or roving umpire to call them on it in the middle of a match, which might disrupt their rhythm. I can't recall ever calling it on an opponent.
This is it, if they have any aspirations for play-offs! I've seen players completely fall apart, go bonkers, argue with the roving umpire that it's only a "technical violation" (this chap was an attorney BTW)--his meltdown cost the team advancing to Nationals. Team captains and teammates should be educating each other on FF'ing but never seen it happen--it'll bite them when they least expect it.
 
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This is it, if they have any aspirations for play-offs! I've seen players completely fall apart, go bonkers, argue with the roving umpire that it's only a "technical violation" (this chap was an attorney BTW)--his meltdown cost the team advancing to Nationals. Team captains and teammates should be educating each other on FF'ing but never seen it happen--it'll bite them when they least expect it.
I once witnessed a guy essentially default the match because of a single FF call by a roving umpire. He had lost the first set and was up a break in the 2nd when the call occurred. He started arguing ["bad move, dude"; I wanted to say], then got penalized a point for delay of game, then he stormed out looking for the TD, bumping into the umpire in the process, and finally getting disqualified, again due to time.

If ever someone needed a lesson on mental toughness, it was this guy.
 

weelie

Semi-Pro
75% where would you get that figure from??????
Maybe it is over-estimated but I actually once in a friendly club event (3.5-4.0, maybe) walked around checking for foot faults. Something like 12 out of 14 had at least one foot fault. Anyway, what I meant was that at the low level I play at, I see it all the time. Mostly I think it is due to chasing a bad toss. I personally serve my 2nd serve a foot behind the service line.
 
Maybe it is over-estimated but I actually once in a friendly club event (3.5-4.0, maybe) walked around checking for foot faults. Something like 12 out of 14 had at least one foot fault. Anyway, what I meant was that at the low level I play at, I see it all the time. Mostly I think it is due to chasing a bad toss. I personally serve my 2nd serve a foot behind the service line.
You walked around checking for foot faults, Why?
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I tried it once in a HS mixed doubles tournament semifinal where the opposing server had a hard waiter's tray serve that, while inconsistent, was enough to give my partner trouble when it did go in. And in my opinion, he was gaining a tremendous advantage by taking a large step into the court before making contact. This was NOT a pinkie toe on the line, this was a stride into the court. His second serve, by comparison, was a powder puff.

I said during the changeover, "Hey, you know you're foot faulting on nearly every serve? I'm letting you know I'm going to have to call it if it continues."

Next time around, it happens again, so I start calling it. Now it's an argument over the rules that I can't call it and we need to have an outside official calling it. And the only outside official available is their coach. Their coach watches for two points, which the opponent deliberately serves powder puff so as not to step over the line, and then their coach wanders away. He goes back to cheating, but I can no longer call it, even though it's blatant.

We win in 3 hard fought sets and lose in the finals.

As I have said in other threads, if it were social I would say it under the context of it's cheating and you need to be made aware you're doing it so you can do something about it before it hurts you in a tournament, but I won't call it in order to win. However, if it's blatant in a tournament, you get the same courtesy of a warning, but after that, you bet I am calling it.
 
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J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I've mentioned it to teammates because I don't want an opponent or roving umpire to call them on it in the middle of a match, which might disrupt their rhythm. I can't recall ever calling it on an opponent.
I did this once in a sectionals match. I saw a roving official come over to our court during a match tb who I had seen calling foot faults earlier in the day. I mentioned to my partner whose serve it was to make 1000% sure he wasn't foot faulting because of her watching (I had never seen him do it but wanted to be clear with him anyway). He served his serve and then the opponents got called on the very next point and pretty much fell apart after that and we won the match.
 
So what I am gleaming from this thread is that:

1) If someone is foot-faulting in a social match - no biggie
2) If someone is foot-faulting in a competitive match - warn the other player that they are doing it and if they keep doing it you will call it
3) Some of you are blind as bats and think superhuman powers are required to notice someone stepping into the court well before they hit the ball
 

Wes

Professional
So what I am gleaming from this thread is that:

1) If someone is foot-faulting in a social match - no biggie
2) If someone is foot-faulting in a competitive match - warn the other player that they are doing it and if they keep doing it you will call it
3) Some of you are blind as bats and think superhuman powers are required to notice someone stepping into the court well before they hit the ball
(y)(y)(y)(y)
Is this how I quadruple "Like" this post? LOL
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
I don’t call it seriously. But I definitely throw in a *cough* footfault! *cough* after the point is over with.
 
3) Some of you are blind as bats and think superhuman powers are required to notice someone stepping into the court well before they hit the ball
Na, Some just don't care, We see the fault and think if you want to cheat that much go for it, but at the end of the day you are just cheating yourself.
If its a bluntly obvious and they do it all the time then they must have been growled a million times already and nothing you say is going to change the bad cheating habit.
Of course its different if its a new learner player so I am talking about at a higher league level
 
Na, Some just don't care, We see the fault and think if you want to cheat that much go for it, but at the end of the day you are just cheating yourself.
If its a bluntly obvious and they do it all the time then they must have been growled a million times already and nothing you say is going to change the bad cheating habit.
Of course its different if its a new learner player so I am talking about at a higher league level
There are people in this thread literally saying that it is not possible to notice someone foot faulting and, if I am able to notice it, I am in fact not properly returning the ball.
 
There are people in this thread literally saying that it is not possible to notice someone foot faulting and, if I am able to notice it, I am in fact not properly returning the ball.
Sorry I didn't read the whole thread, A foot on the line is properly to hard to see however a person who steps over the line and then hits the ball is hard to miss
 

FatHead250

Semi-Pro
why would you look at opponents feet. at rec level its irrelevant even if they step a full leg range into the court
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Every player should keep a current copy of the rules of tennis in their bag and quote from it often between points. Stop the cheaters.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
NEVER EVER call foot-faults, that is the USTA league rule. if you call foot-faults, you will be banned from the league play
 
why would you look at opponents feet. at rec level its irrelevant even if they step a full leg range into the court
I'm not looking at their feet while they are serving. I'm looking at the ball/upper body for tells. This may be a novel concept to many, but if you step into the court, your up body tends to move into the court as well. This is pretty easily noticed and taking a quick glance at someone's feet after this just confirms it. I'm not watching for foot faults when someone is serving, but when there is something foul afoot, it is clear.
 

chic

Professional
why would you look at opponents feet. at rec level its irrelevant even if they step a full leg range into the court
I mean. As I said above I don't call the faults, but it definitely makes a difference.

It can make a difference and those that say it doesn't are ignoring the math and science of it.

Lets take the case of serving down the T. If you contact the ball at 9 feet off the ground at the baseline, a straight line that just clears the net will be in the service box 19.5 feet past the net, or 1.5 feet inside the service box. If you contact the ball at the same height but a foot inside the baseline, the straight line will be in the service box 19 feet past the net, or 2 feet inside the service box.

Six inches isn't a big deal right? Well, if you could increase the window you have to serve into from 1.5 feet to 2 feet, a 33% increase, I think you'll see your serve improve in one or both of first serve percentage and/or your ability to go after more on the first serve and still keep the same percentage.

Yes, I know no one hits serves that are perfectly straight, we do live in a world where gravity rules, but the 33% increase is illustrative of how much easier being a foot closer to the net makes serving. And this example ignores serving out wide and how being a foot closer increases the angle at which you can still serve at a high percentage.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
I try not to pay attention to foot faults. It never ends well if you start poking at them. The exception is when the player lines up outside the court, either crossing the middle line or the side line. These are easy to see and are obvious even before the serve motion starts. I'll just tell them they can't stand there. Some people argue (why I don't know) but most adjust.
 

zaskar1

Semi-Pro
in league, if i can see it, i will call it. probably only in doubles can the returner's partner see it and call it.
but you have to warn them, and then get a linesperson.
in social matches, i will point it out, but do nothing. i have had friends who take it seriously so they wont play
with so and so because of footfaulting. you have to pick your spots, and understand who
you are dealing with

z
 

ichaseballs

Rookie
i don't call em but it does irk me. much easier to see when playing doubles and you're not returning.
i may mention it on a changeover or after we finish playing.
if i do say something the foot-faulter will act surprised and claim to not know they are doing this. :unsure:
generally haven't seen anything super egregious during league play.
 
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