DOES TENNIS NEED BIG RULE CHANGES?

tonylg

Professional
The ITF used to update equipment rules to preserve the character of tennis.

That all stopped about 20 years ago, much to the demise of the sport.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 
This is the heart of the matter: “… The absurd effect of the diagonal serve with current equipment is the main reason for this proposal. Tennis today is so fast that if the returner can get hold of the diagonal serve, the only chance is to try and hit a straight point because of being outside the court when returning. Indeed, the essence of the proposition for the change of the rules is a notable loss in the effect of the cross-court serve…..”

But a picture is worth a thousand words:
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
The change in the equipment has definitely changed the way the game is played. The people watching the game have also changed. If you want to change the game to make it more popular shorten the matches No add scoring best of 3 sets instead of 5 and tiebreakers at 6 all. Makes for a faster game for tv and fans
 

swizzy

Hall of Fame
People have advocated for eliminating the second serve entirely, my proposal is a compromise that would to some extent preserve the second serve but add a new level of strategy to the game: in each service game, the server gets one (maybe two) chances to hit a second serve, at his choice when missing a first serve. Do you use it if you're at 0-15, do you save it for deuce, do you use it at your-ad or save it if needed when down a break point. Would add some thinking to this monotonous game.
i read this a few days ago and thought of it- along with almost every argument i have seen about changing tennis...as ridiculous. love this game...any change to the court dimensions, net, lines, scoring within a game, etc. would create an entirely new and distinct era within the open era...but i do love this idea as fantasy. if adopted in this alternate tennis reality.. it would be very interesting. you could see the player utilize this strategically and would make the game more dramatic.
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
From what I understand the issue has been in the accuracy and questions about reliability, which is kind of ironic since the system was created because of human accuracy and issues with their reliability. We are talking a pretty mature technology that has accuracy around +/- 5mm last I checked. I like whatever that newest one is that actually has the high speed cameras too that show how much the ball can roll during impact, and removes any questions of if it really touched the line or not.

On a related side note, I am amazed that baseball hasn't put this in, though the pace of the game is already soooooo slow you prbably only see like 15 minutes of action in a hour of watching, so any challenge system would make that worse. They could just remove the plate umps with high speed cameras too. And TV laready uses the technology to show which pitches are in and out.

But I digress.
Fair point. I hadn't thought about the accuracy threshold. What the technology has in consistency, it lacks in a certain accuracy tolerance. What's the proprietary name of that high speed camera system that shows the "body roll" of the ball?

The digression about baseball is worth it. It brings up a good point about TV spectators having access to the technology when the officials are out there flying blind. An absurd situation for sure.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Fair point. I hadn't thought about the accuracy threshold. What the technology has in consistency, it lacks in a certain accuracy tolerance. What's the proprietary name of that high speed camera system that shows the "body roll" of the ball?
Well, I doubt the accuracy is less than people, so not sure why there would be a hold up. And the Next Gen finals uses Hawkeye only, no live line judges.

The ball roll one is used in Asian tourneys from what I remember and can’t recall the name. Anyone know?
 
Some rule changes I would suggest:

- ohbh players should start each game with 15:0 advantage... Beautiful ohbh starts with 30:0 advantage...

- Laver cup to be 5th slam, retroactively

- Dirt is not a surface, ban it from calendar, erase all results retroactively

- frame touch which launches ball on upper part of stadium should be considered winner

- 40:15, with two match point, is auto win... No need for another point...
Genius. This sounds perfect to me. :sneaky:
 
This is the heart of the matter: “… The absurd effect of the diagonal serve with current equipment is the main reason for this proposal. Tennis today is so fast that if the returner can get hold of the diagonal serve, the only chance is to try and hit a straight point because of being outside the court when returning. Indeed, the essence of the proposition for the change of the rules is a notable loss in the effect of the cross-court serve…..”

But a picture is worth a thousand words:
Never seen this. This would be cool. So they have to serve in the middle one? Or do they use all 3?
 

Tennisbg

Rookie
Who will measure how tall you tossed the ball?
System like hawk eye. I can imagine:
Player A: "Challenge and wins the point because the other player tossed the ball 1 cm higher than shoulder. It will be idiotic scenario.
 

chic

Rookie
Explain...
https://www.google.com/amp/s/metro.co.uk/2019/04/13/serena-williams-coach-patrick-mouratoglou-wants-more-controversy-in-tennis-9192339/amp/

He says it better^^

But basically I'd like more things done for viewership and to bring in fans.

Allow players to develop more personality on and off the court. Along with not (potentially) fining and suspending players, better interviews and encourage public appearance more. Play up rivalries somehow (grudge match exhibitions? Idk). Try to get tennis more accessible without cable network access (and in many cases an addition subscription on top).
 
https://www.google.com/amp/s/metro.co.uk/2019/04/13/serena-williams-coach-patrick-mouratoglou-wants-more-controversy-in-tennis-9192339/amp/

He says it better^^

But basically I'd like more things done for viewership and to bring in fans.

Allow players to develop more personality on and off the court. Along with not (potentially) fining and suspending players, better interviews and encourage public appearance more. Play up rivalries somehow (grudge match exhibitions? Idk). Try to get tennis more accessible without cable network access (and in many cases an addition subscription on top).
So they should encourage chair throwing and bullying umpires and cursing?

I get what you are saying about personalities, but that is hard to create, but it can be done without getting fined. Med Bear does it. The fines and suspensions happen because they do something idiotic not because they are showing their "personality" but showing their lack of restraint and lack of character.
 

chic

Rookie
So they should encourage chair throwing and bullying umpires and cursing?

I get what you are saying about personalities, but that is hard to create, but it can be done without getting fined. Med Bear does it. The fines and suspensions happen because they do something idiotic not because they are showing their "personality" but showing their lack of restraint and lack of character.
I agree about and love Medvedev.

It's less about what people have been fined for and more what they can be fined for. If potentiality makes it hard to be expressive or encourages people walking back honest feelings once they get to an interview it's stifling even without enforcement.

There's definitely lines that go too far (and despite my love for him kyrgios has definitely crossed them). But it's hard to push the overton window on such issues without some brash players showing how much it's needed as well.

It may be hard to create but tennis since I've been watching is definitely had been formal and gentlemanly which also equals largely uniform and low emotion. (I'm in my mid 20s so maybe the past 15 years). Luckily I love just watching the sport, but storylines sell and the big 3 or fedal have seemingly been the only notable one in the public eye at least that long. I guess maybe with the additions of both Andys' Cinderella and almost Cinderella runs.
 
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Never seen this. This would be cool. So they have to serve in the middle one? Or do they use all 3?
1) The dividing line between service courts will be completely abolished. The area will be divided
into THREE equally large service courts as opposed to the two of the present-day rules.
Respective one-third marks will be made on the baseline. A single service will in practice be
executed quite similarly as today, but the server will be standing between the one-third marks and
the respective service court will be the one-third court exactly opposite.

Accordingly, there will be no deuce
or advantage courts in a singles match, the service court will remain the same throughout the match, only one third narrower than previously. The server will naturally be free to choose his serving position between the marks.

2) It is also highly likely that serving into one court only at singles play will make the game much more easier to adopt for a complete tennis ignoramus; the treshold of starting themselves will be
lower and it is hardly much more difficult for a beginner to hit at a 4ft6 (137 cm) narrower service court than the present one. As an added bonus it is easier to aim lengthwise - or almost
lengthwise - and having to practise serving into one court only. The net is at its lowest in the middle, too.

This was Ray Bowers' comment: "Would it (smaller service courts) make the game more difficult for beginners and unskilled players? An analogy in the U.S. would be the shrinking of the strike zone in baseball."

After all he had to admit: "Your
comments on a beginner's difficulty are interesting and plausible."
 
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van_Loederen

Professional
People have advocated for eliminating the second serve entirely, my proposal is a compromise that would to some extent preserve the second serve but add a new level of strategy to the game: in each service game, the server gets one (maybe two) chances to hit a second serve, at his choice when missing a first serve. Do you use it if you're at 0-15, do you save it for deuce, do you use it at your-ad or save it if needed when down a break point. Would add some thinking to this monotonous game.
would be great if that worked, but with just one, the effect would be too small (serving would still be too small an advantage then, which made the game too boring)
and with two, i'm afraid the memorizing would become too disturbing.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Put a hard limit on the total wingspan of a player plus the length of the racquet to a certain number, say, 105" or something. That way someone who has a 6'10" wingspan can only use a 23" racquet.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
The best idea is this: Services would be allowed from a level with the shoulder at the highest. That was in use in the very beginning of tennis. The overhead serve was unknown.
that would eliminate the serve advantage almost entirely and thus make tennis boring (and also look weird and is hard to observe).

Markus Kaila said:
My 2nd best proposal is smaller service courts like this:
sounds actually very good to me. one could make the middle box smaller or bigger if needed.
my personal impression is that diagonal/out serves are pretty unattractive to watch, but dunno how others find them.

would an alternative be to simply move the service line closer to the net? :unsure:

my concern with the "higher net" idea is that it would affect mid sized players in rallies, while the tall ones only very marginally (if i'm not mistaken).
 
that would eliminate the serve advantage almost entirely and thus make tennis boring (and also look weird and is hard to observe).


sounds actually very good to me. one could make the middle box smaller or bigger if needed.
my personal impression is that diagonal/out serves are pretty unattractive to watch, but dunno how others find them.

would an alternative be to simply move the service line closer to the net? :unsure:

my concern with the "higher net" idea is that it would affect mid sized players in rallies, while the tall ones only very marginally (if i'm not mistaken).
You can be right with the higher net. That favours tall players even in rallies but only little. Much worse is of course that tall players would suffer from the higher net much less than mid-sized players when serving .

The same thing with the service line closer to the net. That means also smaller sevice courts but in a wrong way. And of course Ray Bowers' this comment: "Would it make the game more difficult for beginners and unskilled players?" Would get one and only answer in your cases , YES. (If you remember he changed his mind in this detail of the smaller service court in the middle! Message #70)
 

tonylg

Professional
The court markings weren't a problem 30 years ago and neither are they now. Same goes for second serves.

The problem with professional tennis today is equipment, specifically the world's best players using oversized heads and spin inducing strings.
 
The court markings weren't a problem 30 years ago and neither are they now. Same goes for second serves.

The problem with professional tennis today is equipment, specifically the world's best players using oversized heads and spin inducing strings.
By the way, the phenomenon has a name. it's called development! But at least that evolution is only human and can be corrected by man.
 

tonylg

Professional
Sport is an artificial construct and rules exist to maintain that construct. Development takes place within those boundaries and the rules get modified to maintain the character of the sport. That's especially true in sports where a ball is struck - like golf, cricket, baseball and tennis.

Three of the above mentioned sports have maintained the character of the sport. Tennis also used to and way back in 1978 the ITF knew the biggest danger to the character of the sport was undue spin, then due to spaghetti stringing and ball grippers dressed up as string savers.

1978 - Wording of the Rule

The racket shall consist of a frame and a stringing.

The Frame. The frame may be of any material, weight, size or shape.

The Stringing. The strings must be alternately interlaced or bonded where they cross and each string must be connected to the frame.If there are attachments, they must be used only to prevent wear and tear and must not alter the flight of the ball.The density in the centre must be at least equal to the average density of the stringing.

NOTE: The spirit of this rule is to prevent undue spin on the ball that would result in a change in the character of the game.The stringing must be made so that the moves between the strings will not exceed what is possible for instance with 18 mains and 18 crosses uniformly spaced and interlaced in a stringing area of 75 square inches (484 sq. cm).


They were right. Over the past 20 years, easy spin has resulted in the balance of the game being lost. What was once a game played across all areas of the playing surface is now dominated by slogging from the baseline.

I giggle as much as the next person when I see a ball I've hit that should sail out dip and fall inside the baseline, but as a lover of tennis I know the ability to do so has been detrimental to the character of the sport.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Ban all orange dirt tournanents and take away any titles players have won on it.

Ban grunting between points.

Make picking ur butt a code violation for unsportsman conduct.

Make stutgart and halle m1000 events and update people who won here to having won m1000.

Upgrade wimbledon to supreme grand slam, with 4000 points for win and the title being known as super grand slam counting for 3 normal grand slams.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Some rule changes I would suggest:

- ohbh players should start each game with 15:0 advantage... Beautiful ohbh starts with 30:0 advantage...

- Laver cup to be 5th slam, retroactively

- Dirt is not a surface, ban it from calendar, erase all results retroactively

- frame touch which launches ball on upper part of stadium should be considered winner

- 40:15, with two match point, is auto win... No need for another point...
Funny as hell...but I couldn't agree more. What's taking so damn long for these changes I'd also throw in erasing any results of anyone that was supposed to be dominant on one side(right hand) but ended up using their other hand as the dominant hand also retro acitve.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
this comment: "Would it make the game more difficult for beginners and unskilled players?" Would get one and only answer in your cases, YES.
yeah, but it wouldn't affect them by much if the dimensions wouldn't need to be changed by much.
(recreational players are also getting taller today as well.)
Markus Kaila said:
service line closer to the net. That means also smaller sevice courts but in a wrong way.
personally i like the triple court idea more (at my current level of information),
but technically speaking is it arguably a greater change to the game than the service line shift and net height increase.
maybe that's why it isn't popular yet / i haven't heard about it yet (while there's regularly talk about higher net).

Markus Kaila said:
higher net. That favours tall players even in rallies but only little. Much worse is of course that tall players would suffer from the higher net much less than mid-sized players when serving.
from what i've read, the justification is that tall players are more dependent on the serve.
well, there are also shorter players with a big serve out there, but in the other direction there's a limit: even the greatest movers among the tall players will never move as good as the best mid-sized players.
tall players also tend to getting more tired in rallies than mid-sized players.
my main concern with the higher net is that it may lessen that last aspect.

so the reasoning behind the higher net is that making serving just a little harder for tall players would already affect them significantly and relatively more.

i believe that an argument against a higher net could be that women are not getting so much taller today and that the net was too high for the shorter women of the past.
another counter argument may be that the traditional net height was not perfect in the past in the first place.

if the arguments against the higher net turn out as severe, there may still be the alternative with the service line shift in the room.

but i don't know by how much exactly the dimensions would need to be changed.
 

Gerco

Rookie
I was thinking of shortening the matches, like playing tie-breaks at 3 all or 4all in the 3rd set. Could be super tie-breaks also
 
yeah, but it wouldn't affect them by much if the dimensions wouldn't need to be changed by much.
(recreational players are also getting taller today as well.)

personally i like the triple court idea more (at my current level of information),
but technically speaking is it arguably a greater change to the game than the service line shift and net height increase.
maybe that's why it isn't popular yet / i haven't heard about it yet (while there's regularly talk about higher net).


from what i've read, the justification is that tall players are more dependent on the serve.
well, there are also shorter players with a big serve out there, but in the other direction there's a limit: even the greatest movers among the tall players will never move as good as the best mid-sized players.
tall players also tend to getting more tired in rallies than mid-sized players.
my main concern with the higher net is that it may lessen that last aspect.

so the reasoning behind the higher net is that making serving just a little harder for tall players would already affect them significantly and relatively more.

i believe that an argument against a higher net could be that women are not getting so much taller today and that the net was too high for the shorter women of the past.
another counter argument may be that the traditional net height was not perfect in the past in the first place.

if the arguments against the higher net turn out as severe, there may still be the alternative with the service line shift in the room.

but i don't know by how much exactly the dimensions would need to be changed.
Good points! But as to this:
"tall players also tend to getting more tired in rallies than mid-sized players.
my main concern with the higher net is that it may lessen that last aspect."
It may be true of current players, but in a long run, literally, your argument is not valid. I believe that you understand!
 

blablavla

Professional
Players over 6'5" should have to serve on their knees.
and players below 6'5 shall either walk or crawl as fast as they can?
it's not fair that they can run faster and longer than the taller opponents, no?
and wealthy families should not be allowed to spend more than a certain threshold for the training and tournament traveling of their kids
and low income families should have access to money to spend on the training and tournament traveling of their kids

did I miss something?
 
Many years ago I got this feedback: "I appreciate your efforts at developing a better system for playing tennis, in particular mitigating the effects of big diagonal serving with modern equipment.

I have no doubt that pros would have do difficulty with serving into the narrower court but I am not so sure about the novice player.

Overall I agree that your idea offers a solution to the game as it is
now played, but I wonder how such changes can be proposed to tennis authorities internationally."

I answered that it seems as if every tennis authority would have his own personal authority. He: "That would be funny if it were not so unfortunately true." Furthermore: "The game is dominated by a conservatism that is now bad for the game. I will offer support for your but I would think that development of the idea in Scandinavia at the junior
level or club level would be a fine starting point. I am Canadian and
somewhat more open to ideas as is my country. The U.S., unfortunately is not so open to reform."
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
There has been two serves from the beginning of tennis. Its greatest disadvantage is that at least on club level it would make the game too stressing and you should try to avoid a solution where top players and amateurs have different rules.

But I don't understand your lets at all. Do you really want to see how the match ball is creeping over the net in Grand Slam finals? "Ace, game, set and match to Mr Fortuna!"
That can happen on any shot other than the serve so why not. Not much different than serve, return, net cord over for a dribbling return winner. Game set and match Mr. Fortuna.

Most serves are going fast enough that any let is not going to just dribble over anyway. much more likely to see that on a groundstroke than a serve.
 
At its worst allowing the let serve can mean more disputes between the server and the returner in matches without the umpire. The server thinks the ball was wrong in the case of 1st serve when the ball has bounced from the net high and easy. He wants the 2nd serve but the returner wants to go on playing because the ball was in. That could mean a big quarrel!
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
At its worst allowing the let serve can mean more disputes between the server and the returner in matches without the umpire. The server thinks the ball was wrong in the case of 1st serve when the ball has bounced from the net high and easy. He wants the 2nd serve but the returner wants to go on playing because the ball was in. That could mean a big quarrel!
I don’t get this. What does the let serve have to do with this? The same "quarrel" could occur on any close serve without hitting the net cord when the server thinks it’s out and stops playing to make his 2nd serve while the receiver says it’s good.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Only good things can happen from removing lets.

@Markus Kaila idea that some slam is going to be decided by a net cord dribble is really far fetched. You almost never see lets dribble over as it is so the chances of it happening specifically on a championship point are going to be very slim.

Eliminating lets will speed the game up a lot and also make it more exciting, to watch and play both. This rule change really needs to happen.
 
From a well-known tennis-site I got this many years ago:

Dear Markus,
Your concept is an interesting one. Have you actually painted a court as
beautifully diagrammed at your website and played like this? In lieu of that I'm going to try it with ropes and give it a whirl. It looks like it could be everything you say! Of course the reality is the powers that be in tennis are a tough nut to crack...

Regards,
Bob Bobson (name changed)

AND a little later probably his boss:

Markus,
An interesting concept, however, I am one of those purists who see nothing wrong with the state of the game. If more groundstrokes and less service winners are preferred, simply slow down the speed of the court. That is the prerogative of the
tournament director.

Regards,
Roger (name changed)
 
I don't like the no-ad rule at all. That's why the following simple idea:

In order to win a game in doubles the pair has to win three points (15, 30, 40), with the exception that after the four points, when the game is at 30-all, the pair who has won the last point gets the advantage. By winning their advantage, they win the game. By losing it, the advantage immediately and directly goes to the opponent. (There is no 'deuce' at all!) This continues until either pair has won two points in a row. Game to them.

I think the above suggestion is in a good way somewhere between the no-ad-rule and the traditional scoring system. It is closer the original spirit of tennis (no sudden death!) but still the sets could even be shorter than the present ones with the no-ad rule. Therefore the normal 3rd set could bring back into use instead of the present tie-break.

No-ad was a mistake in the history of tennis. No-deuce would be much better!
 
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