Frustrating match last night, and a bad decision that bit us in the @ss

leech

Semi-Pro
Having trouble getting untracked this year, going 1-2 in my prior men's 4.0 league matches. I felt pretty confident going into last night's match, despite being paired with someone I'd never played with, and being on D1 vs. the top, undefeated team.

My partner was 0-2 in this league, with both matches timing out when he was 1 point ahead in the match TB...which, under the local league rules, means the match TB is ignored. So, while 2 hours is plenty long, and I can't recall the last time I timed out in this league, I was a little anxious when our opponents took their sweet time getting to the court and setting up, then wanted to warm up 5 minutes past the 15 minutes allotted.

We faced an appeal-down from 4.5 (solid; definitely the stronger of the opponents, but seemed 4.0 was the right level for him, although he may get bumped right back up now that he's 6-0) and a 4.0C guy who seemed pretty average. (Ooh, looking at his record now...he's 5-0) Our plan was to target the 4.0C guy (whose name reminds me of the Pink Panther), and it was working well...until he starting making horrendous line calls. His partner overturned at least four of his bad calls, but there were a half-dozen other bad calls that stood (I understand that it's difficult to overturn a partner's call unless it's really egregiously bad). Still, we make it out of the first set, taking it 7-6(4).

The second set, we fall behind 1-4 with 20 minutes left. Plan was to try to win the next few games quickly, but if we dropped a game, we'd need to lose the next one also, to allow enough time to get to the match TB (and play the requisite 6 points for it to count). This is when the Pink Panther strikes again. Now, he's tossing and retossing the ball on each of his serves. Mind you, we are playing indoors; there is no sun or wind to deal with. But not only that, he takes his sweet time and would hold up the server when he was to receive, obviously not caring to play at the server's pace. My partner was pretty oblivious to the stall tactics and actually served a couple of times when the Pink Panther was still in his 10-second preparation phase, ha.

We end up losing the second set and begin the match TB with more than 10 minutes left on the clock. We are at a critical point in the match...my partner serving at 5-5 with 3 minutes left. He misses his first serve. Hits a floaty second serve that lands on the inside of the line, 4.0A returns it, only for the Pink Panther to insist the serve was out. I'm like, "c'mon dude, that was way in", and 4.0A opponent agrees and concedes the point. Sweet, we are up 6-5 with the weaker opponent to serve. Not so fast. My partner says he will just "take 2." We are all confused. He says the sporting thing to do is to replay the point, since the returner would have been able to return the serve. He reiterates that this is what good sportsmanship requires. (What? I had a similar situation come up the night before, in casual block play, where we took the point when our opponent made an early "out" call of a serve, that ended up not being out. None of us knew it was poor sportsmanship to follow the rules.)

I'll let you guess how the match ended up for us.
 

TennisOTM

New User
Yeah that was pretty generous of your partner. The code clearly says that if you call a ball out and then reverse the call to in, you concede the point and it is not replayed. Hard to get too worked-up at someone for being generous, though, and it was only one point (even if it was a big one).

More interesting to me is your rule for timed-out matches. If the rule creates scenarios where losing games on purpose can increase your chances of winning the match, that's terrible and needs to be changed.
 

Ft.S

Semi-Pro
You guys played a great match in spite of all the theatrics @leech. This type of thing is rare of course, but such silliness puts a huge dampening on the whole "for fun" thing, so very unfortunate. The match was yours for sure, he - not they - stole it from you (n)
 

leech

Semi-Pro
Yeah that was pretty generous of your partner. The code clearly says that if you call a ball out and then reverse the call to in, you concede the point and it is not replayed. Hard to get too worked-up at someone for being generous, though, and it was only one point (even if it was a big one).

More interesting to me is your rule for timed-out matches. If the rule creates scenarios where losing games on purpose can increase your chances of winning the match, that's terrible and needs to be changed.
It would be easier to accept if that particular opponent didn’t have a history of making ****ty calls on us. Given his unsportsmanlike conduct through the match, it doesn’t seem like we owe him any generosity there. Maybe he will refrain from making bad calls in the future, if his partners get pissed at him for costing them points.

Yeah, the timed out rules in some local leagues lead to perverse results and unintended consequences. I like how my home league does things, but it requires players who have the court after us to wait until the match TB is concluded. If the players after us are in a league, they will understand, but sometimes the court is booked by a random person just trying to play or get a lesson; not fair to them.


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Injured Again

Hall of Fame
Yeah, the timed out rules in some local leagues lead to perverse results and unintended consequences. I like how my home league does things, but it requires players who have the court after us to wait until the match TB is concluded. If the players after us are in a league, they will understand, but sometimes the court is booked by a random person just trying to play or get a lesson; not fair to them.
Our Club generously allocates one extra court following any league match as an overflow court. It is a lot to ask of any facility to do this but that court is used often enough to have it continue to be allocated. Many of our league matches are scheduled back to back so if the court isn't used to finish a match, it can be used as a warmup court for the next match.
 

Doan

Rookie
More interesting to me is your rule for timed-out matches. If the rule creates scenarios where losing games on purpose can increase your chances of winning the match, that's terrible and needs to be changed.
Easier said than done. Lets say you win a tight first set 7-6 that takes ages. You're now down 0-4 with 15 minutes left. Every timed out match rules that I've seen shows that its best to quickly lose the 2nd set and get to the 10 point TB.
 

leech

Semi-Pro
Easier said than done. Lets say you win a tight first set 7-6 that takes ages. You're now down 0-4 with 15 minutes left. Every timed out match rules that I've seen shows that its best to quickly lose the 2nd set and get to the 10 point TB.
I like how HoCo league does it. In the situation you described, it would be considered a split set scenario, so we would go to a 10-point match TB to determine the winner. The full match TB would be played out, and whomever had the court next would need to wait.


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J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Easier said than done. Lets say you win a tight first set 7-6 that takes ages. You're now down 0-4 with 15 minutes left. Every timed out match rules that I've seen shows that its best to quickly lose the 2nd set and get to the 10 point TB.
Middle States rules are pretty good in this regard. If there are 10 mins left and a team is down in the second, the set is over and a match tb is played if necessary. "Game count" never enters into winning or losing timed matches, so there is no incentive to throw games to make sure a match tb is played - it always is. I was in a match last year where we were up a set and switched down 4-1 with 15 mins left. Our incentive there was to go for winners almost right away in the point because we would have to win 3 games in a row very quickly to tie the set, and obviously, that is a suboptimal strategy, but it's still not trying to lose (unsurprisingly, we lost the next game and then decided to start the tb a couple mins early since it was pointless to play one more game at 1-5).
 

Doan

Rookie
Middle States rules are pretty good in this regard. If there are 10 mins left and a team is down in the second, the set is over and a match tb is played if necessary. "Game count" never enters into winning or losing timed matches, so there is no incentive to throw games to make sure a match tb is played - it always is. I was in a match last year where we were up a set and switched down 4-1 with 15 mins left. Our incentive there was to go for winners almost right away in the point because we would have to win 3 games in a row very quickly to tie the set, and obviously, that is a suboptimal strategy, but it's still not trying to lose (unsurprisingly, we lost the next game and then decided to start the tb a couple mins early since it was pointless to play one more game at 1-5).
Interesting. So if you complete the 10point TB - would you enter the 2nd set as 6-1 and then 1-0 "Completed" into tennislink ?
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Interesting. So if you complete the 10point TB - would you enter the 2nd set as 6-1 and then 1-0 "Completed" into tennislink ?
No, the score would be entered 6-4, 1-5, 1-0 with a match type of "Timed Match".
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Man, Leech. I totally feel your pain.

Stalling is the only issue I have with timed matches. I hardly ever time out, and I don't even wear a watch when I play because the time shouldn't affect how I play. So when my opponents suddenly need to catch tosses when they never did before, when they suddenly need all three balls when they never did before, when they suddenly need to recline on changeovers like they're at the beach . . . I can't stand it.

It is the main reason I don't play certain 90-minute leagues like DC. Two hours is reasonable. If a 4.0 doubles player often needs more than two hours to finish a match, she should work on finishing-the-point skills.

After 15 years of league play, I can say I never once ever stalled to run out the clock (or for any reason). I feel like there is an unspoken gentlemen's/ladies agreement about stalling. We all wish we could have all the time needed to always finish a match, but that can't happen. So we will all do everything we can to play in a way that gives us an opportunity to finish, with the better team winning.

Anything else is cowardly and bush league.

Regarding your decision to "throw" the second set to get to the tiebreak . . . I think that's fine. You're giving your opponent a fair chance to beat you, and you're playing tennis at an appropriate pace so that everyone plays the whole time. Stalling takes away the opportunity for the opponent to beat you, which is not cool.

That said, I have never found myself where I needed to lose the second set to have a chance to win the match. I probably would be so unaware of the score that I couldn't even figure it out with my pitiful math skills.
 

leech

Semi-Pro
Regarding your decision to "throw" the second set to get to the tiebreak . . . I think that's fine. You're giving your opponent a fair chance to beat you, and you're playing tennis at an appropriate pace so that everyone plays the whole time. Stalling takes away the opportunity for the opponent to beat you, which is not cool.
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I’d just mentioned to my partner what we’d need to do IF we lost either of the two upcoming games after we got ourselves into a 1-4 hole. As it turned out, we won the next 12 points in quick succession to tie the set up at 4-4...only to promptly lose the next 8 points to drop the set 4-6 (that wasn’t in the plans!).



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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
It’s posts like this that make me realize why I prefer competitive social tennis to league tennis.

I prefer playing where the only thing I need to fuss about is the current point. Having to fuss about stalling and shady line calls would be more aggravation than I’d need from a hobby.

I feel your pain leech. At least you can walk away knowing you were the better sport which in the greater scheme of life is what counts.
 

TennisOTM

New User
No, the score would be entered 6-4, 1-5, 1-0 with a match type of "Timed Match".
Yeah this is how it's done here in Intermountain too. If a team is winning by 2 or more games with 15 minutes left on the reserved court time, the set is over and scored as is, and then there's enough time to play the match tiebreak if needed. We get some wacky-looking scores, but it eliminates the bizarre "rush to lose the set" incentive.
 
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