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


Results are only viewable after voting.

r2473

G.O.A.T.
If I’m losing a match, I’ll always start calling foot faults. It’s normally enough to get under my opponents skin enough to throw off their whole game. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

I never call them if I’m winning (what would be the point?).
 

ichaseballs

Semi-Pro
(calling foot faults ) It’s normally enough to get under my opponents skin enough to throw off their whole game.
This is definitely true. Expecting someone to fix bad form while playing a match is pretty unrealistic.
Easiest solution would be for the footfaulter to stand further behind the baseline.

I always stand about 1-2" from the baseline when serving.
I never thought standing right on the baseline was necessary.
 

WilPro

Semi-Pro
I used to foot fault and I corrected that when a friend of mine filmed my serve as I asked him.

Then I asked other friends I played against, why didn't they tell me and they said they couldn't see it.
 

mauricem

Rookie
Inch faults, foot faults ok. But I draw the line at meter/yard faults ;)
Seriously, if it's minor no biggie, if they gain an advantage, e.g. serve volleyers then they get a friendly warning and if that's ignored nuclear options will be deployed...
 

davced1

Hall of Fame
I played doubles tournament today and noticed one of my opponents foot faulted quite much. I talked to my partner about it if we should call it he thought yes so I went on to talk to one of the tournament supervisors who I know well if we should call it and if it would be considered bad manners. He said we actually can't call it ourselves only notify the tournament supervisors and they would have to make the call. I didn't know that. That's how it goes in Sweden.
 

davced1

Hall of Fame
Here they have "Roving Umpires" who call foot faults at the most inopportune times.
Maybe they have it here too in bigger tournaments. This was just local club championship so the supervisors are acquainted with the players hence letting foot faults slip to avoid a bad atmosphere.
 

socallefty

Legend
When I play singles, I don’t think I notice footfaults by my opponent and I am not necessarily looking to spot them. When I play doubles in league matches, sometimes my opponents have warned my partner about foot faults. Invariably, what happens is that I then look to see if our opponents are footfaulting when they serve and they are doing it also 100% of the time at least slightly. Then I warn them too and it becomes a non-issue while making the good natured spirit of social tennis fly out the window. I would say that if you are going to warn your opponents about footfaulting, you had better make sure that both you and your partner never footfault which is probably unlikely in rec tennis. I’m in the camp where I never call it and don’t think it is worth the bad blood it creates as invariably opponents call lines tighter afterwards also.

The only players who never foot fault are those who have received a lot of coaching as juniors and have proper serve technique where they don’t move their front foot at all. Most rec players slide their foot forward slightly and at least touch the line.
 

J B

Semi-Pro
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.
This is untrue. Plenty of second serves at the 4.0 and lower level are started with a foot completely over the line. They do it to get it in, doesnt matter its a lousy serve.
 

cha cha

Professional
When I am returning, I have bigger things to worry about than watching the server's feet from 25m.
When I am sitting courtside, I will happily call it.
 

La Pavoni

Rookie
Unless you video yourself a fair bit, then I reckon that even quite a few people who are adamant that this won't apply to them may well be mistaken, even if it's just the odd one that they end up chasing after a bad toss.

Last year a coach suggested to me that I simplify my service motion. End result was that without having my weight backwards when tossing, I took a little step forwards with my front foot. I wasn't aware of doing it and only saw it when videoed. End result was that I either had to start my motion stood 6+ inches behind the line or revert back to the old motion
 

Curtennis

Semi-Pro
I played a guy whos back foot would step way far forward into the other half of the court and hed push off from there targeting up the T because he had no angle or even a negative angle it would make it quite difficult to return.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I see A LOT of foot faults in rec tennis than should be. And the few times I have mentioned, guys make it seem like I am in the wrong and they are entitled to do it. So while the USTA code says you can't foot fault it seems players think...

 
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J B

Semi-Pro
USTA does say you can call it

23. Avoid foot faults. Players should not foot fault because it violates the ITF Rules of Tennis. It is a foot fault when a foot just touches the line, even when the player does not follow the serve to the net.
24. Calling foot faults. The receiver or the receiver’s partner may call foot faults only after all reasonable efforts, such as warning the server and attempting to get an official to the court, have failed and the foot fault is so flagrant as to be clearly perceptible from the receiver’s side.
25. Service calls in doubles. In doubles the receiver’s partner should call the service line, and the
 

J B

Semi-Pro
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.
What level are you playing? Also the best tell is the toss… only pancake serves use a major upper body shift. My tell is a slight foot shift on my kick. But my toss is the same. Just farther forward for topslice and flat. Because 4.5 serves especially the second serve is very easy to see a foot fault on. Maybe at the UTR 10+ will you see two great serves. But there’s not many consistent first serves over 100 and 70mph plus kicks in rec USTA tennis.
I especially love out calls… I know not that topic on my serve when it hits the fence before they can swing then the same on a kick over their heads. But I don’t think many people hit 300+ serves 4 times a week being taught by a Canada tennis pro, to figure out the way to serve.
 

blakesq

Hall of Fame
In social tennis, I don’t think I’ve ever called it. In league tennis if I saw it, I might call it. But I don’t really see it in league tennis.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
The only players who never foot fault are those who have received a lot of coaching as juniors and have proper serve technique where they don’t move their front foot at all. Most rec players slide their foot forward slightly and at least touch the line.
I have the "wandering foot" problem that I have yet to be able to fix so I simply start from further behind the line.

Jamie Murray deliberately moves his front foot as part of his service motion; one of the few. His move is more diagonal.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
When I am returning, I have bigger things to worry about than watching the server's feet from 25m.
^ This. I'm concentrating on the location of the ball toss, body lean, etc. Unless he's taking a full stride into the court, I'm not going to notice.

Yes, there are some on this forum that claim to be able to see a one inch FF from 80' away but I'm skeptical.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I have the "wandering foot" problem that I have yet to be able to fix so I simply start from further behind the line.

Jamie Murray deliberately moves his front foot as part of his service motion; one of the few. His move is more diagonal.

Had this issue with my won and other players, and had a good time trying to get them to a set position to avoid the step. Ironically, was watching video of a match I played yesterday and guess what? I have a few times I step and haven't even realized it. But I have always rotated my front foot and most the time I set myself back an extra bit to accommodate for it. In league and tourneys I set myself a foot back to ensure I don't get too close.

EDIT: lol. Brought back some memories. Miss working with the kids and especially my son. Circa 2015. :)

 

smboogie

Semi-Pro
Depends on their style of play and how bad it is. If it's a toe or an inch I don't care, but if it's crazy steps into the court and they serve and volley I will warn them. If they don't correct I will say to either get a line judge or I'll call it on them.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
If it's an important match like a USTA playoff/sectionals yes. We had a tight match going into a 10 pt TB in playoffs this year. I wasn't playing but one of the opponents playing against our doubles line kept foot faulting and I got a USTA ref and he started calling it on the guy in the TB after I brought it to his attention, it totally screwed with the guy's head and we won.

Previous to this playoff match I played in a July 4th fast 4 doubles tournament and played the same offending foot faulter. I told him after the match that he foot faults every time and he just shook is head. It came back to bite him in playoffs 2 weeks later.
 

zaskar1

Semi-Pro
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 its competitive, like USTA League or Tournaments definitely call them
ask for a linesperson right away. in singles its hard to see, but in doubles, when you are the receivers partner, its kind of obvious.
Social matches, just mention it and let it go, it can lead to some bad feelings though. a couple of my friends wont play together anymore because one of them said the other was foot faulting.
z
 
Was at USTA sectionals last weekend, and the refs called foot faults, some on really big points. I’ve seen it happen in tourneys too.
 

Crashbaby

Semi-Pro
I normally let it go, especially in social play. I see it in league play too and it’s frustrating to have to tolerate it. But it doesn’t make any friends if you dare to bring it up. So base your decision on that, :)
 

chatt_town

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 mean, how are you going to enforce it unless you are at like a state tourney. You'd catch hell enforcing it with say an alta match even if everyone sees it. I mean what are you going to do about it?
 

Pitti

Rookie
I don't call them, but I just casually inform the other player. I've observed that's the norm at my club.
 
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