Foot fault in league match -- captain's job?

#1
I am new to being a captain, and yesterday one of my players wanted me to "do something" about someone who was foot faulting on the other team. Because this could come up again, and I can't find any rule about it in my local rules (they have rules about line call disputes, but not foot faults), any suggestions? I've played in another league that does have a "rule" about it: inform the other person that you think they're doing it and ask them to stop. (But no penalty to them if they keep doing it.) Philosophically I think this is ladies 3.5 tennis, and unless they're completely running into the court to serve, if they're just inching over the line, it's not going to be the be-all and end-all, and focus on our own game vs whatever is happening on the other side of the court. Trying to enforce against foot faults in league tennis will just be distracting and frustrating. But ??? what do others do on this? As captain, do I have an official role or duty to do something? I don't want my players distressed but also really want them to just focus on what IS in their control during the match. Thoughts?
 
#2
I think it's the player's job to ask her opponent to stop. I don't think any penalties can be assessed, but it can make the match very long if she enforces the rule every time the other player is on/over the line. Captain isn't part of that.

I don't suggest this, but one of my players will start to serve inside the baseline if the other player(s) doesn't stop. Other team gets the message pretty quick. Makes for a tense and sometimes miserable match so wouldn't suggest this method except for last resort.

If you are in a tournament or playoffs/sectionals, I have seen the roving official enforce this rule. Warning first time then penalty. I think you can also ask the official to observe your match if you think it's warranted.
 
#3
No footfault calls in league play. That is the rule. However, if a player Starts the motion with the Foot on the line already then you call that. but if they just step onto the line as they hit the ball, you don't call that. This is the unwritten rule of USTA and other league play. You have to obey this rule at all times.
 
#4
Your player(s) need to call foot fault, not spectators, or they can request a line judge to assist. That said, it would be a total pansy move and unless we're talking really blatant leap into the court pre-serve in order to gain an advantage in serve and volley, there is no practical harm against your whiny sore loser player.
 
#5
I am new to being a captain, and yesterday one of my players wanted me to "do something" about someone who was foot faulting on the other team. Because this could come up again, and I can't find any rule about it in my local rules (they have rules about line call disputes, but not foot faults), any suggestions? I've played in another league that does have a "rule" about it: inform the other person that you think they're doing it and ask them to stop. (But no penalty to them if they keep doing it.) Philosophically I think this is ladies 3.5 tennis, and unless they're completely running into the court to serve, if they're just inching over the line, it's not going to be the be-all and end-all, and focus on our own game vs whatever is happening on the other side of the court. Trying to enforce against foot faults in league tennis will just be distracting and frustrating. But ??? what do others do on this? As captain, do I have an official role or duty to do something? I don't want my players distressed but also really want them to just focus on what IS in their control during the match. Thoughts?
Assuming there is no official watching the match, the only person that can call a FF is the opponent.

I believe the first call is a warning and all subsequent calls are points.

The larger question is if you really want to go there: calling FFs when the FF gives no advantage to the server [I'm assuming no one in your 3.5 group has a 100+mph serve] is a great way to pick up points and also ruin a match, even if the call is correct. The purists will say "those are the rules": true, but who pays follows all of the rules? Time limit between points? Time limit for changeovers? Sitting down after the first game of a set or during a TB? Calling out the score at every point? This is recreational tennis; I'm not going to be nit picking my opponent for every rule infraction just as I hope he won't be nit picking me.

Your player is concentrating on the wrong thing; perhaps she's looking for an excuse or something to complain about? Even at 4.5 Men's, there aren't that many with such a big serve that a FF would be a major factor [depends on how big the FF is; it sounds like from your description it was an inch or two] and the ones with the big serves tend not to be the ones that FF.

Maybe the best way to handle it is to inform the other captain that Becky is FFing and let the other captain deal with it after the match. Whether the captain follows through or whether Becky changes her behavior is beyond your control. Becky might be in for a rude surprise if a roving official at a tournament or playoffs calls her for it: she might pull the indignant "I never FF!" and proceed to melt down.

Now, it she's doing something like Simon at 3:15, that's a different matter:

 
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#6
As captain, you cannot do anything there. The match is between the players; spectators like the captain should not interfere.

The player can give a warning and then call clear footfaults if they choose.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#7
am new to being a captain, and yesterday one of my players wanted me to "do something" about someone who was foot faulting on the other team.

You cannot “do something” because you’re not playing in the match. However you as the captain do have a responsibility to address the concern. I would say something to the captain of the other team about their player’s ff. During the match, your player on your team has every right to call the opponent out on the foot faulting.

2019 USTA Friend at the Court Rules

18.FOOT FAULT During the service motion, the server sha l not: a. Change position by walking or running, although slight movements of the feet are permitted; or b. Touch the baseline or the court with either foot; or c. Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline with either foot; or d. Touch the imaginary extension of the centre mark with either foot. If the server breaks this rule it is a “Foot Fault”.

Case 1: In a singles match, is the server a lowed to serve standing behind the part of the baseline between the singles sideline and the doubles sideline? Decision: No.

Case 2: Is the server a lowed to have one or both feet off the ground? Decision: Yes.
 
#9
I have dealt with blatant foot faulters twice. In both cases the player was foot faulting badly on his way to the net. In both cases I pointed out to the opponent that he was forot faulting and asked him to stop. The results were cordial, the server backed up and the foot faulting basically stopped.
 
#10
i thought that the players can ask for a line judge, and then if the the line judge sees the foot fault, he
can call them.
as a spectator, you cannot interfere with the match.
z
 

time_fly

Professional
#11
Assuming there is no official watching the match, the only person that can call a FF is the opponent.

I believe the first call is a warning and all subsequent calls are points.
This is correct. Each side is responsible for calls for events on their own side of the net. My experience as a USTA league captain and watching a lot of matches is that almost half of 4.0 players and below (the level I usually play / watch) foot fault at least once or twice per match, and somewhere around 10% do it egregiously on almost every serve. If / when these players reach Sectionals level playoffs, they will have to adjust their serves because the roving judges will call it.
 
#12
This is correct. Each side is responsible for calls for events on their own side of the net. My experience as a USTA league captain and watching a lot of matches is that almost half of 4.0 players and below (the level I usually play / watch) foot fault at least once or twice per match, and somewhere around 10% do it egregiously on almost every serve. If / when these players reach Sectionals level playoffs, they will have to adjust their serves because the roving judges will call it.
When you bring it to the attention of people on your team, what is the reaction? Disbelief? Incredulity? "Inconceivable!"?
 
#13
Assuming there is no official watching the match, the only person that can call a FF is the opponent.

I believe the first call is a warning and all subsequent calls are points.

The larger question is if you really want to go there: calling FFs when the FF gives no advantage to the server [I'm assuming no one in your 3.5 group has a 100+mph serve] is a great way to pick up points and also ruin a match, even if the call is correct. The purists will say "those are the rules": true, but who pays follows all of the rules? Time limit between points? Time limit for changeovers? Sitting down after the first game of a set or during a TB? Calling out the score at every point? This is recreational tennis; I'm not going to be nit picking my opponent for every rule infraction just as I hope he won't be nit picking me.

Your player is concentrating on the wrong thing; perhaps she's looking for an excuse or something to complain about? Even at 4.5 Men's, there aren't that many with such a big serve that a FF would be a major factor [depends on how big the FF is; it sounds like from your description it was an inch or two] and the ones with the big serves tend not to be the ones that FF.

Maybe the best way to handle it is to inform the other captain that Becky is FFing and let the other captain deal with it after the match. Whether the captain follows through or whether Becky changes her behavior is beyond your control. Becky might be in for a rude surprise if a roving official at a tournament or playoffs calls her for it: she might pull the indignant "I never FF!" and proceed to melt down.

Now, it she's doing something like Simon at 3:15, that's a different matter:

All subsequent calls are faults not points
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#14
All subsequent calls are faults not points
Could explain that statement? My understanding of the rules is if player foot faults on both serves after being warned or it brought to their attention, the point will be awarded to the opponent? If the player foot faults on the first serve that serve is nullified.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#16
I had a guy on my team several years ago who foot faulted pretty badly. He wasn't S&V'ing, but he had a pretty good serve for a 4.0. I just filmed a couple of his serves on my phone and showed him and mentioned it after the match. He had no idea he was doing it. I think most people don't and will try to correct it if you mention it.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
#17
No footfault calls in league play. That is the rule. However, if a player Starts the motion with the Foot on the line already then you call that. but if they just step onto the line as they hit the ball, you don't call that. This is the unwritten rule of USTA and other league play. You have to obey this rule at all times.
the problem with "unwritten rules" is that everyone has their own version :p
but yeah i agree... it's rec tennis, if you're focusing on calling FF, you're focusing on the wrong things (ie. you should be focusing on the things that will help make you better).
when you get serious enough where FF makes a difference... there will likely be refs/judges around to call it.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
#18
I am new to being a captain, and yesterday one of my players wanted me to "do something" about someone who was foot faulting on the other team. Because this could come up again, and I can't find any rule about it in my local rules (they have rules about line call disputes, but not foot faults), any suggestions? I've played in another league that does have a "rule" about it: inform the other person that you think they're doing it and ask them to stop. (But no penalty to them if they keep doing it.) Philosophically I think this is ladies 3.5 tennis, and unless they're completely running into the court to serve, if they're just inching over the line, it's not going to be the be-all and end-all, and focus on our own game vs whatever is happening on the other side of the court. Trying to enforce against foot faults in league tennis will just be distracting and frustrating. But ??? what do others do on this? As captain, do I have an official role or duty to do something? I don't want my players distressed but also really want them to just focus on what IS in their control during the match. Thoughts?
your job as captain is to tell your teammate to stop being a baby and just focus on playing well... and doing so in a socially acceptable way :p (hardest job of a capt!) hardest part of delivering this message, is that folks likely don't take advice well from peers (or worse if they are better than you)... if you had a real coach/good player delivering the message, it's easier to take.
 
#19
the problem with "unwritten rules" is that everyone has their own version :p
but yeah i agree... it's rec tennis, if you're focusing on calling FF, you're focusing on the wrong things (ie. you should be focusing on the things that will help make you better).
when you get serious enough where FF makes a difference... there will likely be refs/judges around to call it.
Right exactly. During the USTA playoffs, there are 2-3 roaming judges, and these guys watch your foot like they have a foot fetish or tennis sneaker fetish.

And one time in the playoffs, they even warned us BEFORE the match started by saying,,,"hey, I am seeing several of you guys stepping on the line during serve, please watch yourselves, we will be calling them".................................... LOL.................. What a nice guy...............
 
#20
And one time in the playoffs, they even warned us BEFORE the match started by saying,,,"hey, I am seeing several of you guys stepping on the line during serve, please watch yourselves, we will be calling them".................................... LOL.................. What a nice guy...............
I had an official do this before my tournament finals match a few years ago. She was 100% addressing me, not my opponent (at that time, I used to play more tournaments and they all knew I foot faulted). She proceeded to stand and watch for a while, specifically watching me serve. Then she'd sneak back once in a while when it was my serve to watch. She was finally able to call me for a foot fault toward the end of the first set. It was funny because I didn't say anything. Just lined back up to hit my second serve. My opponent had no idea what was going on and was waiting on the other side to return serve. Took him a while to figure out what was going on.

The official apologized to me on changeover and said she has to call a foot fault if she sees it. I told her it was fine. My opponent thought the whole thing was ridiculous.

So later in the second set, she call a foot fault on my opponent to show that she was being fair to both of us. We were both laughing.
 
#21
I had an official do this before my tournament finals match a few years ago. She was 100% addressing me, not my opponent (at that time, I used to play more tournaments and they all knew I foot faulted). She proceeded to stand and watch for a while, specifically watching me serve. Then she'd sneak back once in a while when it was my serve to watch. She was finally able to call me for a foot fault toward the end of the first set. It was funny because I didn't say anything. Just lined back up to hit my second serve. My opponent had no idea what was going on and was waiting on the other side to return serve. Took him a while to figure out what was going on.

The official apologized to me on changeover and said she has to call a foot fault if she sees it. I told her it was fine. My opponent thought the whole thing was ridiculous.

So later in the second set, she call a foot fault on my opponent to show that she was being fair to both of us. We were both laughing.
I think I am starting to respect you. What you did means you are very mentally tough. With umpire watching you like a hawk like that on and off can really bother most players. It didn't bother you from sound of it and you stayed mentally tough and served well. That is show of great mental strength kind of like Nadal
 
#22
Ok, what is the rule for USTA league matches with no referees present? I was under the impression that no points can be awarded...only faults called by the opponent and a let played by the server. I have never seen a situation where points are given...could be we are all interpreting the rules incorrectly. I'm sincerely wondering what the correct answer is.
 
#23
I played a match a couple weeks ago. It's an informal saturday morning "league." I'm playing against this lady who I have seen step into the court fairly badly in the past. Serve is ok. But I wasn't going to say anything about that.

What I do notice, though, is that when she serves, she likes to toss the ball to her side. From the ad court, that takes her across the center line. Again, wasn't going to make a fuss, but she was able to hit basically a straight serve into the T because of it. So I bore down to try to win the match so I could say something afterwards. When I bring it up, she says a pro told her to get right to the hash mark "so she could serve anywhere," and that she used to be away from the hash mark. I don't know who the pro is, but wow.

Unless it's egregious I won't get into a toe on the line or something, but stepping into the deuce court to serve...... yeah something is getting said.
 
#24
Most USTA players believe they have a right to foot fault. It is amazing how many pinpoint servers in a USTA match will step on the line every time. But even professionals such as Serena Williams and Safin believed they had a right to foot-fault and became incensed when the rules were applied.

It might be a good strategy at sectionals to teach everyone on your team to not foot-fault and then complain to the roaming umpires.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#25
I played a match a couple weeks ago. It's an informal saturday morning "league." I'm playing against this lady who I have seen step into the court fairly badly in the past. Serve is ok. But I wasn't going to say anything about that.

What I do notice, though, is that when she serves, she likes to toss the ball to her side. From the ad court, that takes her across the center line. Again, wasn't going to make a fuss, but she was able to hit basically a straight serve into the T because of it. So I bore down to try to win the match so I could say something afterwards. When I bring it up, she says a pro told her to get right to the hash mark "so she could serve anywhere," and that she used to be away from the hash mark. I don't know who the pro is, but wow.

Unless it's egregious I won't get into a toe on the line or something, but stepping into the deuce court to serve...... yeah something is getting said.
Is she stepping over the line or just swinging. I've seen people stand at the center hash and hit like 3/4 arm angle serves where the racket head is clearly across the hash at contact, but the feet are on the correct side, which allows them to hit serves down the T that are actually angling away from returner. I think that's OK as long as your feet don't cross, right?
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#26
Most USTA players believe they have a right to foot fault. It is amazing how many pinpoint servers in a USTA match will step on the line every time. But even professionals such as Serena Williams and Safin believed they had a right to foot-fault and became incensed when the rules were applied.

It might be a good strategy at sectionals to teach everyone on your team to not foot-fault and then complain to the roaming umpires.
The thing that drives me nuts about foot faults and roving umpires is when the umpire comes to watch a match tb after split sets and then starts calling FFs at like 7-7 in the match tb. If you're going to do it, fine, I get that it's part of the rules, but check for it early in the first set so that everyone can adjust with 95% of the match still to play. If coming over just to oversee a match tb, it's far too late and the points are far too important to start enforcing something that hasn't been enforced for the previous 2 hours of the match.
 
#27
The thing that drives me nuts about foot faults and roving umpires is when the umpire comes to watch a match tb after split sets and then starts calling FFs at like 7-7 in the match tb. If you're going to do it, fine, I get that it's part of the rules, but check for it early in the first set so that everyone can adjust with 95% of the match still to play. If coming over just to oversee a match tb, it's far too late and the points are far too important to start enforcing something that hasn't been enforced for the previous 2 hours of the match.
Serena_Williams said:
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#28
I felt really bad for Serena, but there are some differences there. First, they are pros. Pros should expect to play to the letter of the law on every point. If I or my teammates were playing for a million dollars at 4.0 sectionals, I'd tell them to make for Gaddamn sure that they aren't foot faulting. Ever. Second, there were/are line judges watching every point of every one of her matches. If she gets called for the first time deep in a third set, it's probably likely it actually is the first time she did it in the match, which is a big no-no.
 
#30
Captains job is the make sure your players do not foot fault. I have seen National level Capts with players that do it on every serve. I had a playoff this weekend where the player was doing it and I said nothing
as we were in total control of the match and why disturb the flow if things are going your way.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#32
I am new to being a captain, and yesterday one of my players wanted me to "do something" about someone who was foot faulting on the other team. Because this could come up again, and I can't find any rule about it in my local rules (they have rules about line call disputes, but not foot faults), any suggestions? I've played in another league that does have a "rule" about it: inform the other person that you think they're doing it and ask them to stop. (But no penalty to them if they keep doing it.) Philosophically I think this is ladies 3.5 tennis, and unless they're completely running into the court to serve, if they're just inching over the line, it's not going to be the be-all and end-all, and focus on our own game vs whatever is happening on the other side of the court. Trying to enforce against foot faults in league tennis will just be distracting and frustrating. But ??? what do others do on this? As captain, do I have an official role or duty to do something? I don't want my players distressed but also really want them to just focus on what IS in their control during the match. Thoughts?
The player has to warn, and then call an official. Not the captain.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#33
I had an official do this before my tournament finals match a few years ago. She was 100% addressing me, not my opponent (at that time, I used to play more tournaments and they all knew I foot faulted). She proceeded to stand and watch for a while, specifically watching me serve. Then she'd sneak back once in a while when it was my serve to watch. She was finally able to call me for a foot fault toward the end of the first set. It was funny because I didn't say anything. Just lined back up to hit my second serve. My opponent had no idea what was going on and was waiting on the other side to return serve. Took him a while to figure out what was going on.

The official apologized to me on changeover and said she has to call a foot fault if she sees it. I told her it was fine. My opponent thought the whole thing was ridiculous.

So later in the second set, she call a foot fault on my opponent to show that she was being fair to both of us. We were both laughing.
Breaking the rules is not a laughing matter
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#34
I think I am starting to respect you. What you did means you are very mentally tough. With umpire watching you like a hawk like that on and off can really bother most players. It didn't bother you from sound of it and you stayed mentally tough and served well. That is show of great mental strength kind of like Nadal
@r2473 is at the same level as Nadal
 
#35
The thing that drives me nuts about foot faults and roving umpires is when the umpire comes to watch a match tb after split sets and then starts calling FFs at like 7-7 in the match tb. If you're going to do it, fine, I get that it's part of the rules, but check for it early in the first set so that everyone can adjust with 95% of the match still to play. If coming over just to oversee a match tb, it's far too late and the points are far too important to start enforcing something that hasn't been enforced for the previous 2 hours of the match.
This I kind of disagree with. I'd almost put it the other way around.

If the match isn't close, it doesn't matter if the umpire makes some calls. If someone routinely footfaults and the final score is 6-2 6-2 (one way or the other), it probably doesn't make any difference. But if it goes to a 3rd-set tiebreak, it's that much more important to make all the calls, because then every shot makes a difference.

But either way, I don't think the score should matter to an umpire, a call is a call. It's like calling a ball out. I wouldn't expect an umpire to avoid calling a clearly out ball just because it's a big point and he shouldn't penalize someone for an unforced error on an important point. So why would an umpire avoid calling a footfault on a big point?

The time to "adjust" is during practice, not mid-match.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#37
This I kind of disagree with. I'd almost put it the other way around.

If the match isn't close, it doesn't matter if the umpire makes some calls. If someone routinely footfaults and the final score is 6-2 6-2 (one way or the other), it probably doesn't make any difference. But if it goes to a 3rd-set tiebreak, it's that much more important to make all the calls, because then every shot makes a difference.

But either way, I don't think the score should matter to an umpire, a call is a call. It's like calling a ball out. I wouldn't expect an umpire to avoid calling a clearly out ball just because it's a big point and he shouldn't penalize someone for an unforced error on an important point. So why would an umpire avoid calling a footfault on a big point?

The time to "adjust" is during practice, not mid-match.
The difference is that out balls are out for the whole match. Starting to call FFs in the match tb is more analogous to the players having an explicit or implicit gentlemen's agreement to play everything within 6 in of the lines as in and then the roving umpires start calling the lines close at 7-7 in the match tb. It doesn't work like that in real life. The whole match is never played with out balls counting as in until the umpire changes the way the match is being played at the most crucial moment.
 
#38
As a captain, I suggest this: Tell your players to knock it off.

Whether the problem is stalling, hooking, or foot faulting, you have no viable remedy in the absence of an official. Your players should know that their job is to play their best and win anyway.

Resist the temptation to “help” your players settle disputes in their matches or figure out the rules. A captain in our league lost a grievance because she interfered in a problem on another court.

It is the player’s responsibility to know the rules of the sport they are playing. Give them the link to the Code and your league rules and the rest is up to them.
 
#39
Is she stepping over the line or just swinging. I've seen people stand at the center hash and hit like 3/4 arm angle serves where the racket head is clearly across the hash at contact, but the feet are on the correct side, which allows them to hit serves down the T that are actually angling away from returner. I think that's OK as long as your feet don't cross, right?
Totally stepping over. If it was just swinging like you described, you're right, it's fine(it's one way Isner has an advantage with those long arms), but this was stepping over consistently. She was about 5'4". Needed every inch.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#40
A more interesting question is: should a captain get rid of anyone in his/her team if he/she is a regular FFer? That is what I would do, because FFs are not part of tennis, whatever other skills a player may have. In swimming, if a competitor does not touch the other end in the process of turning back, he is out of the competition at once. Getting within 2 mm doesn't cut it. If a swimmer can do this while somersaulting during the turn, it is inexcusable for tennis players to not be able to control a FF.

I would also advice all of you to refuse to play doubles with a partner who FFs. Warn him right during the game in front of the opponents to cause maximum embarrassment.

The sports needs to be cleaned up. It is disgusting to see 50% of USTA league players FF, including the 4.5 level. Most of the offenders are men.
 
#41
A more interesting question is: should a captain get rid of anyone in his/her team if he/she is a regular FFer? That is what I would do, because FFs are not part of tennis, whatever other skills a player may have. In swimming, if a competitor does not touch the other end in the process of turning back, he is out of the competition at once. Getting within 2 mm doesn't cut it. If a swimmer can do this while somersaulting during the turn, it is inexcusable for tennis players to not be able to control a FF.

I would also advice all of you to refuse to play doubles with a partner who FFs. Warn him right during the game in front of the opponents to cause maximum embarrassment.

The sports needs to be cleaned up. It is disgusting to see 50% of USTA league players FF, including the 4.5 level. Most of the offenders are men.
I guess that sounds a little harsh... but if I think about it, back when I was a pitcher on my HS or college baseball teams, if I constantly balked while pitching, I would have been benched, so maybe it makes sense. Is FFing any different than double faulting? How much double faulting would you tolerate relative to FFing?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#42
I guess that sounds a little harsh... but if I think about it, back when I was a pitcher on my HS or college baseball teams, if I constantly balked while pitching, I would have been benched, so maybe it makes sense. Is FFing any different than double faulting? How much double faulting would you tolerate relative to FFing?
Double faulting is not cheating, FF is. Big difference.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#43
Fair point, I suppose, but tons of folks legitimately don't know they're doing it, so is it really "cheating"?

In theory, you can stop a person from FFing pretty easily by saying "hey dumbass, stand 4 inches behind the baseline for f*cks sake" and that should solve it with the loss of one or two points maybe. But if you get the yips, double faulting can take away every service game... which is worse?

I get your point that a rule is a rule, but I think that most people who FF aren't doing it to gain any advantage, they're just unaware,.
They are unaware because their FFs are not called. That is why I make it a point of pointing out FFs at my club. People don't like it though. I even photograph them on my phone.
 
#44
Not worth calling unless it's like a full step head start by a S&V'er. If I can't return their serve, it's not because half their foot is coming across the line.
 
#45
They are unaware because their FFs are not called. That is why I make it a point of pointing out FFs at my club. People don't like it though. I even photograph them on my phone.
I think this is reasonable. I am sure that there is some opportunity to deliver the message in a way that is a little less likely to be received badly. If you're playing a match with them I might suggest talking to them at the changeover perhaps, or when they're off court afterwards, and saying something like: "Hey Bill/Sue, I don't know if you're aware or not but it looks to me like you might be foot faulting. I know it's probably not something that's giving you an advantage or anything like that {maybe true or maybe not}, and I know you're not cheating {little white lie - for social grace}, but if you plan on playing in any officiated tournaments, or with some players, you may hear about it from the chair/umpire or a picky opponent. I'm not trying to be a jerk about it, I just figured you'd like to know. If you want, I'm happy to do some quick filming after the match or whenever to show you where it's happening so you can correct it with your motion."

If they respond badly to this, try to mollify them further... i.e. if they say "I'm not foot faulting, mind your business." you can respond with something like "OK well I'm not trying to put you off your game or anything {if you've brought it up during a match}, I"m just trying to help you avoid any crap in the future. You've got a pretty solid serve, I'd hate to see an opponent or umpire/judge throw you off of it."

I realize that this sort of thing probably sounds silly, but, as cliche as it sounds, I've found that you honestly do catch more flies with honey...
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#46
I think this is reasonable. I am sure that there is some opportunity to deliver the message in a way that is a little less likely to be received badly. If you're playing a match with them I might suggest talking to them at the changeover perhaps, or when they're off court afterwards, and saying something like: "Hey Bill/Sue, I don't know if you're aware or not but it looks to me like you might be foot faulting. I know it's probably not something that's giving you an advantage or anything like that {maybe true or maybe not}, and I know you're not cheating {little white lie - for social grace}, but if you plan on playing in any officiated tournaments, or with some players, you may hear about it from the chair/umpire or a picky opponent. I'm not trying to be a jerk about it, I just figured you'd like to know. If you want, I'm happy to do some quick filming after the match or whenever to show you where it's happening so you can correct it with your motion."

If they respond badly to this, try to mollify them further... i.e. if they say "I'm not foot faulting, mind your business." you can respond with something like "OK well I'm not trying to put you off your game or anything {if you've brought it up during a match}, I"m just trying to help you avoid any crap in the future. You've got a pretty solid serve, I'd hate to see an opponent or umpire/judge throw you off of it."

I realize that this sort of thing probably sounds silly, but, as cliche as it sounds, I've found that you honestly do catch more flies with honey...
Not gonna work with men, don't know about women. Many of the league men are full of themselves, even if they outwardly put on a funny humble facade. They will just explode if you tell them they are foot faulting.
 
#47
Not gonna work with men, don't know about women. Many of the league men are full of themselves, even if they outwardly put on a funny humble facade. They will just explode if you tell them they are foot faulting.
So do these guys gain any advantage by FFing or is it just sloppy technique/form? Is there any chance that they'll play in "judged" tournaments where an official can penalize them?

If neither of those things are the case, maybe it's just not worth the effort of correcting them if they don't care to learn to play properly, no?

*edit* The former captain of my mixed team used to get kid of wrapped around the axle over players at our level (3.0/3.5) FFing, but these were not players who were using it to any sort of advantage - maybe the farthest thing you could imagine from S&Vers. It just rubbed him the wrong way and he spoke about it in the same way you do - it's cheating - rules are rules, etc. It did make me conscious of it, and I try to ensure that I don't do it, but occasionally I know I do or at least come closer to doing it than I mean to, when I have a little bit of a sloppy body position due to a bad toss that I don't catch and instead try to hit anyway... but yeah, at this level, I think if you can't see a way to get people to quit it, and as long as they're not using it to gain an obvious first step in as S&Vers or anything, I'm thinking you've got to let it go and let nature take its course with them. Life's too short, know what I mean?
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
#48
So do these guys gain any advantage by FFing or is it just sloppy technique/form? Is there any chance that they'll play in "judged" tournaments where an official can penalize them?

If neither of those things are the case, maybe it's just not worth the effort of correcting them if they don't care to learn to play properly, no?
It is worth correcting them because they often lose their nerves and implode when trying consciously not to FF. An inferior player who is cool and calm can then easily beat them. That is why you can never judge the true quality of a player who FFs. He maybe rated as a 4.5 and play like a 4.5 when no FF is called, but collapse down to a 3.0 if challenged. To me, it means he was always a 3.0.
 
#49
It is worth correcting them because they often lose their nerves and implode when trying consciously not to FF. An inferior player who is cool and calm can then easily beat them. That is why you can never judge the true quality of a player who FFs. He maybe rated as a 4.5 and play like a 4.5 when no FF is called, but collapse down to a 3.0 if challenged. To me, it means he was always a 3.0.
Again, I do get it (see my edit above), but maybe that's just nature taking its course with them, eh?
 

time_fly

Professional
#50
This came up in a friend’s match lately so I looked a bit deeper. Here is what The Code says:

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.
 
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