Conflict on court: how should we address it better next time?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by EaglesTennis, Jan 12, 2018.

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Did we handle this correctly? Or at least close to it :)

  1. Yes

    55.6%
  2. No

    22.2%
  3. I have more feelings I'll leave in the comments

    22.2%
  1. EaglesTennis

    EaglesTennis New User

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    Hello, looking for a bit of advice here. So sorry its long

    I am a beginner player, while my partner is a more advanced college player. Yesterday morning we were using our local courts for a reserved practice time of 8:00 to 9:00. There was another group playing on the opposite court from 8:00 to 9:30. They were elderly beginner players. And they'll be important later on in the story...

    We were working on our serves when the group that was schedule to use our court next arrived. They were about 10 minutes early and were stretching off to the side. We waved "Hi" and mimed that we'd pick up the balls in just a moment and had 2 more serves left. Later we learned they were actually waiting on 2 more players to arrive. Everyone was all smiles!

    As we prepped our next serve the elderly gentleman came over from the other court and told us "Times up. You need to get your balls and get off the court." My partner and I exchanged looks and nodded to him then went back to our serves since we had already spoken with the group who was using the court next.

    He went back to his court. At this point I was sitting on the ground in front of my partner for a drill where I toss to him after he serves. My partner hit once. The older man came back over to our court, now fully screaming about how we needed to leave right then. He stood overtop of me and continued to yell as said "Sir please calm down." He then proceeded to lightly hit and roll balls at us.

    The other group exchanged sheepish glances at us. The older man's partner called to him to come back over. Then we picked up the balls and left. Before the end of our 9:00 appointment.

    In talking with the local court's office afterwards, they said he used to own the building over 20 years ago and gave it to the county. They did say they were going to look into it. But I fully expect to run into him again.

    Given that is a very conservative town, and we are very easily identifiable with the local college, we need to make sure that we are behaving in a manner that both respects our rights to use the courts and doesn't cause more trouble. We will meet him again. I'm sure he'll be watching the clock to yell at us again or to find something else we do wrong. What would you suggest?? :(
     
    #1
  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    If the time is not up, note it exactly and call the police. Snap pictures of him on your court - the files will have the timestamp on them.
     
    #2
  3. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

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    If you were a real man, you would immediately rip your shirt off, flex, and go crazy like a wild man. See how bad that guy wants to brawl. See who really wants the court and who is just running their mouth.
     
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    #3
  4. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    It is not his court yet, none of their business. I would take my court time over whatever time he wasted on your court time.

    man up, tennis bags on the bench!!
     
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    #4
  5. Rattler

    Rattler Professional

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    Wow!


    I know someone who would’ve cranked ever ball he hit at you into the next county...

    I think you handled it right, although next time I’d call the manager of the local courts over if he shows up again.
     
    #5
  6. 5sets

    5sets Rookie

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    tell him to get his saggy old man balls off the court you have it until 9.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G928A using Tapatalk
     
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    #6
  7. DE19702

    DE19702 Rookie

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    Be a bigger man and let the guy have the extra few minutes. Do you really want to go to the trouble of dealing with such a trivial issue? I know it's aggravating but let it go.
     
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    #7
  8. Max G.

    Max G. Legend

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    Sounds like that guy wasn't even involved - it wasn't his court before or after. He was playing on some other court and decided it was his business when someone else did a court switchover (and got it wrong).

    Not much to be done. Next time if he says something tell him exactly how many minutes you have left instead of nodding, maybe that'll help. Or maybe it won't.
     
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  9. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Hall of Fame

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    Why not just mention that you have the court reserved until 9am, and point out that it isn't 9am yet? Not sure why that wouldn't settle him down.
     
    #9
  10. norcal

    norcal Hall of Fame

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    Guy probably is mad at how much $$ he could get for that land 20 years later instead of seeing a couple trouble makers playing tennis on it. lol
     
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    #10
  11. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

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    Get out of here with that rubbish. You think rationally pointing out true facts in a polite manner is some sort of solution to conflict?
     
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    #11
  12. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    old dude’s behavior was bullying. my guess is OP looks young and bullyable.

    that said, old dude was probably trying to make sure that balls were picked up, etc, tonhave the court ready by 9 (some folks end at 9 then pickup, then leave by 9:03 or something)

    alternatively the OP was talking loudly, or something, disturbing the old dude. i’ve definitely seen that happen (i’ve hit with partners that get annoyed by talking/music in adjacent courts)... and maybe manifested itself in that confrontation.

    2 options:
    1: start screaming back at the guy, be ready for a full altercation (I bet he backs down caught off guard by a kid yelling back - but you’ve gotta watch your back with the guy going forward)
    2: politely ask the old dude or the old dudes partner what rule you were breaking or how you annoyed them so you can avoid doing so in the future (ie add all the stuff you said about wanting to be respectful in the community). this will earn their respect in a different way.
     
    tennis tom likes this.
    #12
  13. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    dupe
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    #12
  14. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    dupe
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    #13
  15. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    dupe
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    #13
  16. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    dupe
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    #14
  17. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    Dupe
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    #14
  18. stapletonj

    stapletonj Professional

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    deranged old dude. politely, yet firmly, tell him to get off your court until 9. Then it's those other guys problem. If he was "helping" you pick up your balls, fine. sarcastically thank him for his ball boys services while you finish hitting serves. If he gets in the way of where you ball is going, his problem, not yours. (last clear chance doctrine notwithstanding)

    Next time you are on a court next to him, it is a TT rule that you must place you bag on his bench, pour out your water bottle right where he will be standing to serve, and be sure to blast the nastiest rap you can find right at him for the whole hour.
     
    #15
  19. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    I'm curious as to why the older fellow took it upon himself to ask you to leave, considering that you were not infringing on his court time. During your hour on the court, did you and your partner cause the older fellow and his partners any undue inconvenience, eg by frequently mishitting balls onto his court or by creating inappropriate noise or other disturbance?

    In my long experience I've found that four older men often take their court time way to seriously, and may overreact to any perceived compromise of their game.

    Perhaps you should just let the incident pass and not ruminate on it.
     
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    #16
  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think the one thing you didn't try is involving the people who were next up. If they were right there stretching, you could say, "You know, the guys following us said it was OK for us to finish. They're right there; let's go check with them." Had they not been there, you could have told the older gentleman, well, anything.

    When dealing with the Crazy, de-escalate.
     
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    #17
  21. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    I think you handled it pretty well. Not escalating the situation makes you and the other college kids look better.

    I think next time I'd simply tell him that you have the court until 9:00 and it's only 8:56
     
    #18
  22. TenS_Ace

    TenS_Ace Semi-Pro

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    #19
  23. TenS_Ace

    TenS_Ace Semi-Pro

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    #20
  24. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    I would have said, "We will be off the court at 9. Thank you."
    Then I would serve a flat serve right at him, for good measure.
     
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    #21
  25. pabletion

    pabletion Hall of Fame

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    You acted more than appropriately, you, in all right, coul've been more stubborn about it and even scream back or whatnot (I dont know if I would've been able to hold back, so very good for you!). But by acting in such a good way, you have the total upper hand, next time this happens (possibly it will) you can just stand your ground and have a watch/clock, point to it and say something like "Im sorry but we still have five more minutes till 9am, last time we agreed to even leave early because of the way you demanded us to leave, but it was not right on your part."

    Some people, feel they have more rights or are entitled to other things, because theyve been there longer (or are just older!). Something similar happened to me when I was brand new at my club, about 17. An older fellow (possibly 50s) just stood on the sideline until he had enough and yelled at me "what, am I gonnna have to stand here the whole hour for you to know its time!!!???" I was thrown off, was aware that we were close to the hour, but didnt know the time, so I was waiting for him to say something. I respecfully, but standing my ground and with a firm voice, replied "I dont know what time it is, if its time just let me know and I'll step right out". I saw the elder fellow bringing it down a notch, I think he didnt expect a firm response, or maybe he expected a punkish disrespecful reply.

    Thing is, some people just like being bullies, but they quit it immediately once they see you dont stand for it.

    If it keeps on happening or things escalate just take it up with managment or whatever. Sometimes its not even worth it.
     
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    #22
  26. pabletion

    pabletion Hall of Fame

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    You acted more than appropriately, you, in all right, coul've been more stubborn about it and even scream back or whatnot (I dont know if I would've been able to hold back, so very good for you!). But by acting in such a good way, you have the total upper hand, next time this happens (possibly it will) you can just stand your ground and have a watch/clock, point to it and say something like "Im sorry but we still have five more minutes till 9am, last time we agreed to even leave early because of the way you demanded us to leave, but it was not right on your part."

    Some people, feel they have more rights or are entitled to other things, because theyve been there longer (or are just older!). Something similar happened to me when I was brand new at my club, about 17. An older fellow (possibly 50s) just stood on the sideline until he had enough and yelled at me "what, am I gonnna have to stand here the whole hour for you to know its time!!!???" I was thrown off, was aware that we were close to the hour, but didnt know the time, so I was waiting for him to say something. I respecfully, but standing my ground and with a firm voice, replied "I dont know what time it is, if its time just let me know and I'll step right out". I saw the elder fellow bringing it down a notch, I think he didnt expect a firm response, or maybe he expected a punkish disrespecful reply.

    Thing is, some people just like being bullies, but they quit it immediately once they see you dont stand for it.

    If it keeps on happening or things escalate just take it up with managment or whatever. Sometimes its now
     
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    #23
  27. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    No, if the courts are timed, it is incumbent on you to have a watch and know what time it is, not the other way around. You should be cleaning up your stuff ahead of time, picking up your balls and clearing the benches, so the new occupants of the court can unpack there stuff on them. If you're using the ball machine or a hopper full of balls, you should be collecting them and removing the machine before your time is up about seven to ten minutes ahead of time's up.

    The fellow at the gate was acting appropriately, waiting silently letting you know the court was his--you didn't take the hint. Courteous players will not walk-on while you are in the middle of a point even if your time is up, they may even tell you to finish your game--in which case you should get the points over with fast or say "Last point!" and not play long extended points seeking a record number of hits.
     
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    #24
  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Careful given that you said it is a very conservative down, the old fart could be carrying guns.
     
    #25
  29. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I'm not questioning your story, but something is not computing. Maybe the "old guy" who used to own the courts is senile and can't read the clock anymore. If he built the courts he would know the rules better then anyone else--and he wouldn't be a beginner, maybe just decrepit. I would check with the tennis "local courts office" and ask what you did or didn't do to set him off? Since you're a "beginner", maybe something's going on that you are not aware of. Let us know the rest of the story, inquiring mind's want to know?
     
    #26
  30. kevrol

    kevrol Professional

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    My guess is the practicing probably bothered the old dude. Probably more chatter an errant balls from practice than he would have liked. Still you should have just told the old dude you had the court reserved til 9 and you would be off the court at 9.
     
    #27
  31. pabletion

    pabletion Hall of Fame

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    Youre partially right. Thing is, I was in the first of a three adjacent court complex, and he was between my court and the next court, never said a thing. Court No. 1 is isolated, so, if someone stands on the sideline, its obvious theyre waiting on it.

    On this incident I didnt know he was waiting on my court. But I see your point. When I notice players approaching my court, I usually ask them if they have my court next, I finish on time and let them step in on time.

    Usually, if there was no one claiming the court next, I would just play on (whats ONE hour of tennis?????).

    Im very respectful (or at least try to be) about other players, I expect to be respected as well. When Im on the other end, and have to wait for my court time, I'll usually sit down and wait til theres about 5 minutes to go. I'll start stretching etc, and when its my court time, I'll politely ask if theyre finishing up (code for: its my court). I usually allow for the players to finish up their game, then step in.

    In 20 years Ive never had any issue like the one OP describes, except for the elderly gentleman I wrote about.
     
    #28
  32. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    I would have acted surprised and said, "Is it 9:00 already? I thought we had five more minutes?"
     
    #29
  33. Bluefan75

    Bluefan75 Professional

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    "Sh!tty people hope you will be the bigger person so they don't have to face consequences for their actions."

    I'm still waiting to hear why that guy came over and why he was justified in doing so.
     
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    #30
  34. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    If you have the court until 9AM, I would quietly but firmly say "we have the court reserved until 9AM and will leave promptly when our time expires". If you have balls scattered everywhere, you might want to stop practice at 8:57 to allow 3 minutes to pick up balls. Basically, my approach is just to state your position in a firm but polite manner. If he persists, I would tell him please stay off my court or I will call the police.
     
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    #31
  35. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    Don't know about that. As he stated the people's court that it would have been in 10 minutes were stretching or whatever. This guy was playing on a court next to their court. I would've stood my ground. I would try not to be disrespectful initially and explain to him the situation. If he persisted, well...he is taken his chances on getting his balls launched off the court 3 or 4 courts down. The problem with this is people like him tend to think they can bully people around because of something he used to own. I wouldn't stand for it because guess what, he's going to do it again and use his age as an excuse to bully you around. Put him in his place if you intend to go back there.
     
    #32
  36. RanchDressing

    RanchDressing Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like you should tell him about TT. Actually on second thought, he's probably on here. We just haven't figured out who he is... hmmm.
     
    #33

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