Hawkeye and line calls

D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
What I meant by anticipation, from a line umpire's point of view, is about anticipating that the ball may challenge your line and knowing roughly where it will land so that you can get your eyes focused on that spot. Not anticipating where the ball will go and being late to the line is the thing that will lead to incorrect calls.
line doesn't move.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
A few points...

Qualies has a lot of new(er) less experienced line umpires...the USTA and other Slams use Qualies as a pseudo job interview...more than a few don’t make the cut.

Also, for the experienced or umpires in a more ‘mentoring’ roll...most of them are not operating at their full potential...being on the road since Newport, RI...it gets to you, no matter how many times you’ve done it.

Everybody makes mistakes.

Wondering if I know CdnUmp
fair enough... those qually line judges were making usta type line calls!
the 3 line calls i mentioned were "obvious"... not the close halfin/halfout type calls.
 

CdnUmp

New User
A few points...

Qualies has a lot of new(er) less experienced line umpires...the USTA and other Slams use Qualies as a pseudo job interview...suprisingly, for many of the ‘new(er)’ umpires this may be their first big tournament past the Challenger level...more than a few don’t make the cut....so add in their nerves to the equation...and you’re gonna get a lot more errors.

Also, for the experienced, or umpires in a more ‘mentoring’ roll...most of them are not operating at their full potential...being on the road since Newport, RI...it gets to you, no matter how many times you’ve done it...so the occasional performance dip is to be expected, as unwanted, or untinentional it is.

Everybody makes mistakes.

Wondering if I know CdnUmp

Not 100% sure how the Open works, to be honest. I know that some of the folks I worked with at the Roger's Cup were working all 3 weeks at the Open. These are experienced umpires who have done serve and base at the Open finals for years. I'm guessing that umpires working the Open, even qualifiers, are not brand new; however, this is an opportunity for umpires who have less experience on base or serve to call those line.
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
Not 100% sure how the Open works, to be honest. I know that some of the folks I worked with at the Roger's Cup were working all 3 weeks at the Open. These are experienced umpires who have done serve and base at the Open finals for years. I'm guessing that umpires working the Open, even qualifiers, are not brand new; however, this is an opportunity for umpires who have less experience on base or serve to call those line.

Lol well getting into the Roger’s Cup from the US has historically been hard...only those with the best ATP numbers have ever gotten to work that event...and I’m sure we could both name them.
 

CdnUmp

New User
Lol well getting into the Roger’s Cup from the US has historically been hard...only those with the best ATP numbers have ever gotten to work that event...and I’m sure we could both name them.

Heh. Always enjoy working with them in Toronto. I actually got to work with quite a few American officials at the Parapan Am Games in 2015. The Parapans were running at the same time as Roger's Cup so we were short on Canadian officials.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.
if i were a line judge, i'd use my peripheral judgement to see if the ball is coming anywhere near the line (ie. 2-4ft)... then focus only on the line, to see where the ball lands.
i would not use the flight of the ball to influence whether i thnk the ball will land in/out... more likely to make an error doing it that way.
 

CdnUmp

New User
if i were a line judge, i'd use my peripheral judgement to see if the ball is coming anywhere near the line (ie. 2-4ft)... then focus only on the line, to see where the ball lands.
i would not use the flight of the ball to influence whether i thnk the ball will land in/out... more likely to make an error doing it that way.

That's almost word for word exactly what I said...
 

blakesq

Hall of Fame
if the ball clearly landed outside the side line, then the outside edge of the ball did not touch the line. I don't look for where the ball contacts the ground.

I look to see if I see any space between the ball and the line, if I do, it is out, if I don't see space between the ball and the line, it is in.

I had an opponent complain about a line call yesterday. The ball clearly landed outside the side line, which he didn’t dispute ... but he said that the inside edge of the ball still touched the outside edge of the line and that I had to allow for more clear separation of the entire ball and line to be certain it’s out. I think this thinking comes from the pro level tournaments where it is now common to challenge and occasionally get points for balls where the Hawkeye system says a tiny sliver of the edge of the ball maintained contact with the edge of the line even though the judge saw it out.

I personally think the rule should be changed so that if the center of the ball lands outside the line then the ball is out. Nothing except a dedicated line judge working with a camera system can make an accurate call in those situations; it’s impossible to make those types of calls at the amateur level while trying to hit the ball. Otherwise, the court effectively gets 2 or 3 inches bigger as balls that used to be called out start requiring the benefit of the doubt because of the possible “edge on edge” touches.
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
We used to play tennis, counting to 21, $5 a game, for 15 years. We follow the rules strictly.

A ball leaves a mark. Find the position of the ball and look closer.
 

joed465

New User
I have a very strong feeling related to line calls and the "Hawkeye System". This may be a slightly different angle on the subject, but I VERY STRONGLY want to spread the word on this issue, since I feel it is COMPLETELY IGNORED and perhaps always has been, even before Hawkeye.

I personally love that technology is available to more accurately call the lines, and I want to always use it when possible. However, it can be proven using simple 8th grade geometry that these calls are still not made correctly by not correctly interpreting what we see.

I would take the argument a step further, that (unless the rules explicitly state otherwise), the "SKID" of the ball has nothing to do with what should count as "IN". The ball mark (i.e. skid mark) has always been the accepted criteria of what is in or out. I would argue that has always been technically wrong.

What SHOULD technically be considered in our out is where the ball makes FIRST contact with the ground. A skid mark or computer generated skid mark happens in time not simultaneously. If we are judging by millimeters with Hawkeye, then we should use the technology to get it RIGHT.

There has been mention of the "center of the ball" in this discussion, which is technically CORRECT. Here is where the simple geometry applies. Look it up in any middle school text book. A sphere meets a two dimensional plane at a single, infinitely small point. In terms of math that is smaller than a pinpoint.

Therefore, I am annoyed by the fact that we use about a 4 square inch skid mark instead of a much smaller meeting point of ball and surface. It should be much smaller (ideally a pinpoint) but to be realistic, how about size of a pea, perhaps. We have the technology do we not?

As it is now I am consistently seeing calls made as good when the smaller meeting point is really outside the line. Does anyone understand simple geometry enough to discuss this and why it may be a more accurate way to make calls with shot spot or hawkeye?
 
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Max G.

Legend
The ball is not a mathematical sphere, it’s a physical object that deforms, squishes, skids. The bounce also isn’t a mathematical point in time, it’s a physical process.

The rules as it is are fine. If any part of the ball touches any part of the line, it’s in. Otherwise, it’s out. Simple enough.
 

joed465

New User
It still initially contacts the ground at an infinitely small point physical object or not.

There are other aspects that show inconsistency. Ex. The compression of a drop shot is different from a smash. If they hit the exact same spot, then the mark is completely different. One can be called in the other out.
 

Max G.

Legend
Yes, that’s correct. The compression of a drop shot will be different than that of a smash. They won’t hit “the exact same spot”, because the spot one hits will be wider than the spot the other hits.
 

joed465

New User
The point is that the initial contact point IS the same. The two shots SHOULD be called the same. The traditional thought of a mark is technically incorrect. Is a shot with a larger mark because it is hit harder a superior shot than the one with little or no mark at all?

Here is another inconsistency with using the ball mark. The humidity or slight dampness of a hardcourt affects how much the ball will skid. Therefore, by using the mark you effectively have changed the size of the court. Instead using the smallest possible initial contact point eliminates these inconsistencies.

This inconsistency also brings in more variables that are harder to measure accurately with by the electronic calling systems which must make many more calculations to accurately determine what that "mark" should be. When judging by millimeters the reliability becomes allot less reliable.

By the way, I am fairly certain that the line calling technology DOES use geometry to calculate the "ball marks". The way we INTERPRET the results is still technically incorrect. Only for the fact that it is so widely accepted this error is completely ignored.

What I am describing, as mentioned, is a huge change of thinking I realize. However, other than saying that the traditional way is fine and not a problem, I've heard no one that can dispute the technical error inherent in our so called "precise" computer line calling.
 

Max G.

Legend
It's not an error at all. It's behaving exactly like it's supposed to and is intended to.

You're the only one making up this "initial contact point" thing, instead of using the full contact area.
 

joed465

New User
Thanks for your viewpoint. As strongly as we may disagree, the discussion is needed.

The error is not in the technology and how it works. It works at a very high level and as I mentioned I am all for using it whenever possible.

The error is in how we interpret the resulting image of a ball mark. Also, as I said if the official rule states that a "ball mark" is the one criteria to make a call, we must follow it by rule. However, that very idea needs to be challenged, and that's the argument.

The argument can be supported by looking at what is actually occurring. We have all the information and technology, and therefore could be more precise in interpreting the evidence. Your term "full contact area" is an example of a different interpretation. The mark is created IN TIME, not all at once.

The electronic system is actual evidence of the initial contact point. The reason that the front of the mark is narrower is because the initial contact point is smaller, then the ball compresses to create the larger width.

Back to the big picture, which is that a shot could and I believe should be judged by where the ball meets the court. It does not meet the court over time in a skid mark. It meets the court at a very small point. It can be as accurate as you want and the technology is good enough to get that accurate point.
 
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winchestervatennis

Hall of Fame
I have a very strong feeling related to line calls and the "Hawkeye System". This may be a slightly different angle on the subject, but I VERY STRONGLY want to spread the word on this issue, since I feel it is COMPLETELY IGNORED and perhaps always has been, even before Hawkeye.

I personally love that technology is available to more accurately call the lines, and I want to always use it when possible. However, it can be proven using simple 8th grade geometry that these calls are still not made correctly by not correctly interpreting what we see.

I would take the argument a step further, that (unless the rules explicitly state otherwise), the "SKID" of the ball has nothing to do with what should count as "IN". The ball mark (i.e. skid mark) has always been the accepted criteria of what is in or out. I would argue that has always been technically wrong.

What SHOULD technically be considered in our out is where the ball makes FIRST contact with the ground. A skid mark or computer generated skid mark happens in time not simultaneously. If we are judging by millimeters with Hawkeye, then we should use the technology to get it RIGHT.

There has been mention of the "center of the ball" in this discussion, which is technically CORRECT. Here is where the simple geometry applies. Look it up in any middle school text book. A sphere meets a two dimensional plane at a single, infinitely small point. In terms of math that is smaller than a pinpoint.

Therefore, I am annoyed by the fact that we use about a 4 square inch skid mark instead of a much smaller meeting point of ball and surface. It should be much smaller (ideally a pinpoint) but to be realistic, how about size of a pea, perhaps. We have the technology do we not?

As it is now I am consistently seeing calls made as good when the smaller meeting point is really outside the line. Does anyone understand simple geometry enough to discuss this and why it may be a more accurate way to make calls with shot spot or hawkeye?
ITF rule:
12. BALL TOUCHES A LINE
If a ball touches a line, it is regarded as touching the court bounded by that line.
The Code:
7. Ball touching any part of line is good. If any part of a ball touches a line, the ball is good. A ball 99% out is still 100% good. A player shall not call a ball out unless the player clearly sees space between where the ball hits and a line.

The rules do explicitly state otherwise by saying “IF ANY part of a ball...” ANY recognizes the fact there are infinitely many single points on a ball and if ANY of them touches the line, the balls is good. I understand your point that a single pinpoint on a ball touches the court first, but that’s followed by many other parts touching the court (the skid as you put it).

Case closed.
 
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Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I have a very strong feeling related to line calls and the "Hawkeye System". This may be a slightly different angle on the subject, but I VERY STRONGLY want to spread the word on this issue, since I feel it is COMPLETELY IGNORED and perhaps always has been, even before Hawkeye.

I personally love that technology is available to more accurately call the lines, and I want to always use it when possible. However, it can be proven using simple 8th grade geometry that these calls are still not made correctly by not correctly interpreting what we see.

I would take the argument a step further, that (unless the rules explicitly state otherwise), the "SKID" of the ball has nothing to do with what should count as "IN". The ball mark (i.e. skid mark) has always been the accepted criteria of what is in or out. I would argue that has always been technically wrong.

What SHOULD technically be considered in our out is where the ball makes FIRST contact with the ground. A skid mark or computer generated skid mark happens in time not simultaneously. If we are judging by millimeters with Hawkeye, then we should use the technology to get it RIGHT.

There has been mention of the "center of the ball" in this discussion, which is technically CORRECT. Here is where the simple geometry applies. Look it up in any middle school text book. A sphere meets a two dimensional plane at a single, infinitely small point. In terms of math that is smaller than a pinpoint.

Therefore, I am annoyed by the fact that we use about a 4 square inch skid mark instead of a much smaller meeting point of ball and surface. It should be much smaller (ideally a pinpoint) but to be realistic, how about size of a pea, perhaps. We have the technology do we not?

As it is now I am consistently seeing calls made as good when the smaller meeting point is really outside the line. Does anyone understand simple geometry enough to discuss this and why it may be a more accurate way to make calls with shot spot or hawkeye?
Lines people make some calls. Technology makes some calls, but only when a player challenges.

Assume the technology could determine the exact point where the ball first touches the line. The human eye cannot.

So you would have an inconsistent system where the same ball could be in or out depending on whom or what is making the call.

Sounds like a hot mess.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
Back to the big picture, which is that a shot could and I believe should be judged by where the ball meets the court. It does not meet the court over time in a skid mark. It meets the court at a very small point.
I understand you'd prefer to track it differently, and I've got a good handle on how you'd like to see it done. What I'm not clear on is why is this better than the current system?
 

rogerroger917

Hall of Fame
The point is that the initial contact point IS the same. The two shots SHOULD be called the same. The traditional thought of a mark is technically incorrect. Is a shot with a larger mark because it is hit harder a superior shot than the one with little or no mark at all?

Here is another inconsistency with using the ball mark. The humidity or slight dampness of a hardcourt affects how much the ball will skid. Therefore, by using the mark you effectively have changed the size of the court. Instead using the smallest possible initial contact point eliminates these inconsistencies.

This inconsistency also brings in more variables that are harder to measure accurately with by the electronic calling systems which must make many more calculations to accurately determine what that "mark" should be. When judging by millimeters the reliability becomes allot less reliable.

By the way, I am fairly certain that the line calling technology DOES use geometry to calculate the "ball marks". The way we INTERPRET the results is still technically incorrect. Only for the fact that it is so widely accepted this error is completely ignored.

What I am describing, as mentioned, is a huge change of thinking I realize. However, other than saying that the traditional way is fine and not a problem, I've heard no one that can dispute the technical error inherent in our so called "precise" computer line calling.
What if you go even further? If we discuss quantum states in fact the ball never ever actually touches the ground. So it's never in or out.

Just follow the rules. It works. Don't be "that guy".

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

joed465

New User
ITF rule:
12. BALL TOUCHES A LINE
If a ball touches a line, it is regarded as touching the court bounded by that line.
The Code:
7. Ball touching any part of line is good. If any part of a ball touches a line, the ball is good. A ball 99% out is still 100% good. A player shall not call a ball out unless the player clearly sees space between where the ball hits and a line.

The rules do explicitly state otherwise by saying “IF ANY part of a ball...” ANY recognizes the fact there are infinitely many single points on a ball and if ANY of them touches the line, the balls is good. I understand your point that a single pinpoint on a ball touches the court first, but that’s followed by many other parts touching the court (the skid as you put it).

Case closed.

Thanks again for the viewpoint.

I am glad you found that rule, because as I stated, I am OK with following the rules. On that point you can say case closed, yes.

However, my argument is really more to determine the true intention of the rules, and if needed redefine them. Is change really needed? I am not absolutely sure, but I can think of real reasons that indicate a need.

The questions should be asked, and it is only for the reason of at least bettering the game and at the extreme possibly correcting some real injustices in the modern system of line calling.

Another question posed in this string is "why would another system be better."? My answer to that will go deeper into these questions that should be asked. Please read if interested, hopefully.

With the creation of precise computer generated systems, we are judging at a microscopic level that never existed before. The rules that we abide by were also created well before this technology existed.

Any real change always begins with allot of reluctance to say the least. I'd ask for the good of the game, keeping an open mind in finding any real issues that may arise from this discussion. Thanks.
 

joed465

New User
Lines people make some calls. Technology makes some calls, but only when a player challenges.

Assume the technology could determine the exact point where the ball first touches the line. The human eye cannot.

So you would have an inconsistent system where the same ball could be in or out depending on whom or what is making the call.

Sounds like a hot mess.

Thanks allot for the reply.

To clarify, the main focus is on the computer calling system. The human eye calling does not really need a change since it happens too fast to make the microsopic calls that the computer does.

The computer ALREADY determines the exact point of first contact. It is the very front of the mark.
 

joed465

New User
I understand you'd prefer to track it differently, and I've got a good handle on how you'd like to see it done. What I'm not clear on is why is this better than the current system?

Thanks so much for your question.That is the real crux of this discussion.

The rules as they are DO dispute my idea, but as I said to others in this string, my argument is really more to determine the true intention of the rules, and if needed redefine them.

The reasons are at least for bettering the game and at the extreme maybe correcting some real injustices in the modern system of line calling. After all, this technology provides much more information than we've ever had before.

The discussion can certainly be more philosophical and even vast, but I'll give a few of my ideas of importance. Like NFL rule changes (unfortunately..) it is asked, "What is the intention of the rule?"

What is the intention when we determine a line call or even further, what is the intention of a line in the game of tennis?

I would state it (in very plain terms) this way: A player directs the ball to a certain location on the court. It is judged either inside the line or out. Sounds plain enough.

Is the intention of the line to reward the player's apparent control? Sure. Their control of placing the ball at a certain location on the court.

Then what does a player control? Direction, path and velocity toward a resulting location, (whether they really meant to or not...).

I'd think that the ultimate intention of the line is to reward the player's control of the ball and punish their lack of control. Sounds fair enough , but correct me if I'm way off...

Does a player control the skid mark? Sure, they can if they really try to....they can control the angle, the trajectory, the spin, the force that they compress the ball...Is that what the line is intended to determine? Does anyone really try to create a certain kind of ball mark to create an advantage for themselves? Right!!! i.e. definitely NOT.

Apply the same questions to the initial much smaller "contact point", i.e. the front of the ball mark. Is this more PRECISE LOCATION what the player is actually aiming for? Ideally YES. Is this what he is trying to control? YES. Is this the type of location control that a line is intended to reward or punish? I think YES.

Our technology can now determine the location point that the player CONTROLLED to within millimeters. We probably never intended to judge by millimeters throughout the earlier periods of the game. A ball mark is an obvious and more convenient way of making a call in times before the technology existed.

In trying to be as logical as possible, this seems to be a possible way of improving the game.

On the more extreme side: When taking the extreme view of a more precise location point of the ball, (i.e. FRONT of the ball mark only, we can call it), there seems to be a great injustice on 95%+ of calls made "IN" by millimeters when the front of the mark is "OUT". For example, the side of the mark is never the first contact point, and should never be called IN.
 
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joed465

New User
What if you go even further? If we discuss quantum states in fact the ball never ever actually touches the ground. So it's never in or out.

Just follow the rules. It works. Don't be "that guy".

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Thank allot for the reply. I am actually OK and good for following the rules, and they DO go against my idea.

However, please check out my other replies as to why the rule itself may be in need of improvement.
 

winchestervatennis

Hall of Fame
Thanks so much for your question.That is the real crux of this discussion.

The rules as they are DO dispute my idea, but as I said to others in this string, my argument is really more to determine the true intention of the rules, and if needed redefine them.

The reasons are at least for bettering the game and at the extreme maybe correcting some real injustices in the modern system of line calling. After all, this technology provides much more information than we've ever had before.

The discussion can certainly be more philosophical and even vast, but I'll give a few of my ideas of importance. Like NFL rule changes (unfortunately..) it is asked, "What is the intention of the rule?"

What is the intention when we determine a line call or even further, what is the intention of a line in the game of tennis?

I would state it (in very plain terms) this way: A player directs the ball to a certain location on the court. It is judged either inside the line or out. Sounds plain enough.

Is the intention of the line to reward the player's apparent control? Sure. Their control of placing the ball at a certain location on the court.

Then what does a player control? Direction, path and velocity toward a resulting location, (whether they really meant to or not...).

I'd think that the ultimate intention of the line is to reward the player's control of the ball and punish their lack of control. Sounds fair enough , but correct me if I'm way off...

Does a player control the skid mark? Sure, they can if they really try to....they can control the angle, the trajectory, the spin, the force that they compress the ball...Is that what the line is intended to determine? Does anyone really try to create a certain kind of ball mark to create an advantage for themselves? Right!!! i.e. definitely NOT.

Apply the same questions to the initial much smaller "contact point", i.e. the front of the ball mark. Is this more PRECISE LOCATION what the player is actually aiming for? Ideally YES. Is this what he is trying to control? YES. Is this the type of location control that a line is intended to reward or punish? I think YES.

Our technology can now determine the location point that the player CONTROLLED to within millimeters. We probably never intended to judge by millimeters throughout the earlier periods of the game. A ball mark is an obvious and more convenient way of making a call in times before the technology existed.

In trying to be as logical as possible, this seems to be a possible way of improving the game.

On the more extreme side: When taking the extreme view of a more precise location point of the ball, (i.e. FRONT of the ball mark only, we can call it), there seems to be a great injustice on 95%+ of calls made "IN" by millimeters when the front of the mark is "OUT". For example, the side of the mark is never the first contact point, and should never be called IN.
You seem like a very pleasant person so please don’t take these questions the wrong way.

1) I think you’ve mentioned the idea of injustices of the modern game, if both players are playing under the same system, how is it not fair for both players?

2) Have you ever played on a court with this technology? I haven’t. Furthermore, I’ll go out on a limb and say about 99% of tennis is played on courts without the technology. So is this really an issue that affects the vast majority of tennis players? I believe the maximum diameter of a regulation tennis ball is 2.7”, call it 3”, so we’re essentially talking about shrinking the court width by 1.5” and the service box and baseline by 3” for the top professional tournaments. I don’t really like the idea of a rule regarding the regulation court size depending on the line calling technology.

3) Isn’t there some margin of error for the technology, a few millimeters? I believe the intent of the rule is to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt, are you then comfortable relying on a system with a margin of error to give the benefit of the doubt?

Maybe I’m just old school because i play on courts without this technology, but i was taught, and brought up, to give my opponent the benefit of the doubt. I hate losing and i love winning, but that takes a back seat to walking off the court with my opponent knowing i gave him a fair shake. That means something to me, and I believe thats the intent of the rules regarding line calls and the intent of the game to make me a better human. Just my opinion.

Case opened back up apparently.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Any real change always begins with allot of reluctance to say the least. I'd ask for the good of the game, keeping an open mind in finding any real issues that may arise from this discussion. Thanks.
You are a little too caught up in the factual issue of whether a ball is in or out, without asking yourself why it matters whether the ball is in or out at all. There are basically two reasons:
  1. Fair reward - players are trying to hit the ball in, so if they succeed they should get the point due to them
  2. Fair treatment - players should have the rules applied identically to themselves and their opponent
The current rules do not have a problem in terms of (2) - any errors apply equally to both players.

You could say that the change you are proposing improve fair reward in (1). After all, if a ball is in, shouldn't the player be rewarded for that? But at the microscopic levels we are talking about, whether the ball is in or out has no real relevance to the skill of a player. Humans don't have that level of precision. 'In' or 'Out' becomes purely arbitrary. So, as long as we are meeting the fairness criteria in (2), whether that ball gets called in or out doesn't actually matter.

The change you are proposing to the rules is very difficult, because it makes every call unable to be made by a computer exponentially harder - and computers make only a tiny fraction of line calls, even at the professional level. You are making the rules infinitely harder to enforce, for no actual practical benefit.

If you are really interested in "the good of the game", you would realise this.
 

joed465

New User
You seem like a very pleasant person so please don’t take these questions the wrong way.

1) I think you’ve mentioned the idea of injustices of the modern game, if both players are playing under the same system, how is it not fair for both players?

2) Have you ever played on a court with this technology? I haven’t. Furthermore, I’ll go out on a limb and say about 99% of tennis is played on courts without the technology. So is this really an issue that affects the vast majority of tennis players? I believe the maximum diameter of a regulation tennis ball is 2.7”, call it 3”, so we’re essentially talking about shrinking the court width by 1.5” and the service box and baseline by 3” for the top professional tournaments. I don’t really like the idea of a rule regarding the regulation court size depending on the line calling technology.

3) Isn’t there some margin of error for the technology, a few millimeters? I believe the intent of the rule is to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt, are you then comfortable relying on a system with a margin of error to give the benefit of the doubt?

Maybe I’m just old school because i play on courts without this technology, but i was taught, and brought up, to give my opponent the benefit of the doubt. I hate losing and i love winning, but that takes a back seat to walking off the court with my opponent knowing i gave him a fair shake. That means something to me, and I believe thats the intent of the rules regarding line calls and the intent of the game to make me a better human. Just my opinion.

Case opened back up apparently.

Thanks for giving this idea some good thought. All are good points and I'll respond with comments, not all necessarily in disagreement, but hopefully all of our perspectives are helpful for understanding...

and THANKS allot for thinking I MAY be a pleasant person, (that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, sniffle...Ha Ha) Trust me I really don't take myself that seriously all the time....friends are always shaking their heads at my "dry" sense of humor....(OK shut up already, then)....

1) The"injustices" are, as I mentioned really at the extreme. It assumes that you fully accept the idea of the smaller point, since that is when the line calls completely disagree. The current system is equal for both players, yes, and I definitely prefer it to nothing at all.

2) No, I've not played on a court using this technology, and this discussion is not for the everyday player. It is specifically aimed at the electronic system. Great point of shrinking the court. However, since we are now using a measurement of millimeters we are then raising the question of what is actually being measured at that level.

3) There is a margin for error inherent in the system, yes, and I accept that margin for the sake of this discussion, no problem. I love the ability of the technology and think it is surely sophisticated and accurate enough to use all the time. The question is more of why is a 4 square inch mark determining what this great technology calls in or out?

When it comes to the USTA code of conduct in line calling, I fully agree, and I am a real stickler for "benefit of the doubt to the opponent" when you are not sure of a line call. Therefore, I also fully agree with walking off the court as better sports and as better people. I often say that the only way we can have a friendly game without an independent line judge is by taking this approach.

I am also older school, in my early 50's and am really not a tech type person at all. It just strikes me immediately, however, because it right away appears that this system has the power to determine an exact point with great accuracy, but we MAYBE are not using it correctly. The maybe is a whole other discussion as we have found...

Another response in this string speaks of how in or out really does not matter anyway, which is another great perspective, and I will discuss. Please check out my comments if interested, hopefully still. Thanks, again.
 
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stapletonj

Hall of Fame
The argument is not about whether any part of the ball touches the line, the argument is about the definition of at what point in time do you make the determination that a ball is in or out.

Is it at the instant any part of the ball touches any part of the ground, or is it when the ball has fully compressed, skidded along the ground without leaving the ground if it is going to do that, and has left the surface on its way back up?

If the former, then the mark is inherently wrong unless the "center" of the mark is touching the line. If the latter, the the current hawkeye type system is accurate.

The real problem is that the definition in the rules of what constitutes where the ball "lands" need tightening up, language wise.
 

joed465

New User
The argument is not about whether any part of the ball touches the line, the argument is about the definition of at what point in time do you make the determination that a ball is in or out.

Is it at the instant any part of the ball touches any part of the ground, or is it when the ball has fully compressed, skidded along the ground without leaving the ground if it is going to do that, and has left the surface on its way back up?

If the former, then the mark is inherently wrong unless the "center" of the mark is touching the line. If the latter, the the current hawkeye type system is accurate.

The real problem is that the definition in the rules of what constitutes where the ball "lands" need tightening up, language wise.


Thanks allot for the response. You have very succinctly stated the issue as I see it.

The remaining question as you say is the definition of the rule. Surrounding and related to that question are others of course.

Is the rule prone to being outdated? It was surely created a long time ago when locations measured in millimeters were not available. I'm not saying absolutely it is right or wrong, but the question DOES need to be raised.

Information has changed, and not to be too philosophical, but the "truth" also changes with it. I'm not one to say the rule has ALWAYS been this and therefore will ALWAYS be right.
 
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joed465

New User
You are a little too caught up in the factual issue of whether a ball is in or out, without asking yourself why it matters whether the ball is in or out at all. There are basically two reasons:
  1. Fair reward - players are trying to hit the ball in, so if they succeed they should get the point due to them
  2. Fair treatment - players should have the rules applied identically to themselves and their opponent
The current rules do not have a problem in terms of (2) - any errors apply equally to both players.

You could say that the change you are proposing improve fair reward in (1). After all, if a ball is in, shouldn't the player be rewarded for that? But at the microscopic levels we are talking about, whether the ball is in or out has no real relevance to the skill of a player. Humans don't have that level of precision. 'In' or 'Out' becomes purely arbitrary. So, as long as we are meeting the fairness criteria in (2), whether that ball gets called in or out doesn't actually matter.

The change you are proposing to the rules is very difficult, because it makes every call unable to be made by a computer exponentially harder - and computers make only a tiny fraction of line calls, even at the professional level. You are making the rules infinitely harder to enforce, for no actual practical benefit.

If you are really interested in "the good of the game", you would realise this.

Thanks allot for the great perspective. A good point that looking at the microscopic level is irrelevant in many aspects.

I really had not spent allot of time to initially identify an issue. It was a matter of minutes that a contradiction of fact stood out to me. It "appears" immediately as a POSSIBLE misstatement of fact.

Immediately it "appears" as a POSSIBLE need for change in the rules. I've delved into that question in another response in this string, regarding the true intention of line calls, and what a player controls. Please check that out, if interested, hopefully.

I will certainly try not to judge the current rules as right or wrong all by myself. However, the question I feel should be posed since the microscopic level is now part of the professional game regardless.

The cost versus benefit of a change, as you allude to: I believe the computer already has the information on the screen. That is probably why it struck me immediately as a possible concern. The front of the mark IS that critical point as previously defined. This could easily be spelled out more specifically and then easily incorporated into the computer system.

The benefit of a change of course is only if the questions are answered in regard to: "What should be the true measurement of ball location?" and "Does the TRUE INTENT of the rules agree with that or not?"

Since we are now measuring at the microscopic level, the measurement and judgement should be CORRECT and in agreement with the game's true intent.
 
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Cashman

Hall of Fame
Since we are now measuring at the microscopic level,
We’re not. The vast majority of matches don’t have HawkEye, and even in matches that do it is still not practical to have the computer calling every line.

the measurement and judgement should be CORRECT and in agreement with the game's true intent.
You still haven’t explained why this is important on a microscopic level, where imperceptible errors have zero impact on the fairness or conduct of the game.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
I would take the argument a step further, that (unless the rules explicitly state otherwise), the "SKID" of the ball has nothing to do with what should count as "IN". The ball mark (i.e. skid mark) has always been the accepted criteria of what is in or out. I would argue that has always been technically wrong.
I would challenge that you haven't actually said why it's wrong. As you mention, it has been the accepted standard, so if you're calling it wrong the debate should start there. If this is simply about whether the "increased accuracy" is beneficial... I'll get to that too.

On the more extreme side: When taking the extreme view of a more precise location point of the ball, (i.e. FRONT of the ball mark only, we can call it), there seems to be a great injustice on 95%+ of calls made "IN" by millimeters when the front of the mark is "OUT". For example, the side of the mark is never the first contact point, and should never be called IN.
I don't agree that the rules indicate the ball should be called by some "initial" contact point.

ITF rule:
12. BALL TOUCHES A LINE
If a ball touches a line, it is regarded as touching the court bounded by that line.
The Code:
7. Ball touching any part of line is good. If any part of a ball touches a line, the ball is good. A ball 99% out is still 100% good. A player shall not call a ball out unless the player clearly sees space between where the ball hits and a line.
The ball remains "in contact" with the line the entire time it is touching the ground. Again, nothing here that makes me think they intended to call an initial contact point.

Here is another inconsistency with using the ball mark. The humidity or slight dampness of a hardcourt affects how much the ball will skid. Therefore, by using the mark you effectively have changed the size of the court. Instead using the smallest possible initial contact point eliminates these inconsistencies.
First, using a smaller point would allow for more accurate determination of the initial contact point, but I disagree it makes a difference in 99.999%+ of line calls. Yes, I mean less than 10 per million. I'm tempted to add another 9. I'll discuss more at the end of post.

Second, there are many, many variables beyond humidity that change how the game is played. The ball bounces and flies differently due to air pressure (elevation), which effectively "changes the court" in the same manor. I don't believe this is a relevant point to the overall argument.

I believe the computer already has the information on the screen. That is probably why it struck me immediately as a possible concern.
It should be mentioned that the exact accuracy of the top systems, like Hawkeye, are a little debated. On the most generous side they now claim accuracy down to 2.2mm but some studies have questioned that it could be much higher. I can understand the skepticism because from what I've seen the cameras are recording at 60fps. That's relevant because any hard hit ball is moving something like 1 foot per frame. Presumably, this is why they have 10 cameras around the court to try and increase accuracy with more points of data.

All that said, from a practical standpoint I'm not able to envision the situation where a line call would actually change with your recommendation. Except for the most unusual situation where a player is hitting from a very wide angle, and it hits in front of the line sliding onto it. Right or am I misunderstanding something?
 

joed465

New User
We’re not. The vast majority of matches don’t have HawkEye, and even in matches that do it is still not practical to have the computer calling every line.


You still haven’t explained why this is important on a microscopic level, where imperceptible errors have zero impact on the fairness or conduct of the game.

Thanks for the great thoughts. I'll comment on them separately to not go in too many directions at once. Hopefully we all will gain some understanding and at least clarification of the questions raised.

"Judging at a microscopic level" is referring to the electronic calls only. On ALL of them, by use of this standard we ARE judging by millimeters in or out.

The argument WHETHER or not there is an impact on the fairness of the game is a more philosophical one. The discussion is wide open to more subjective ideas on what the true intention of the rules of tennis are. I won't try to address every idea, but I'll reiterate points made of the same question earlier this week :

Let's ask what is the INTENTION when we determine a line call or even further, what is the INTENTION of a line in the game of tennis?

Is the intention of the line to reward the player's apparent CONTROL of the ball and punish a lack thereof? Yes, their CONTROL of placing the ball at a certain location on the court.

Then what DOES a player CONTROL? Direction, path and velocity toward a resulting LOCATION, (whether they really meant to or not...).

Does a player control the ball/skid mark? Sure, they can if they really try to....they can control the angle, the trajectory, the spin, the force that they compress the ball, but...

Is the SIZE of a mark what the line is intended to determine and reward? Is a larger mark better since it covers more area? Does anyone really try to create a larger mark to create an advantage for themselves? I'd argue the answer is NO to all these questions. Therefore I'd question the reasoning that a mark is what the lines are INTENDED to reward or punish.

Apply the same questions to the initial much smaller "contact point", which is located at the front edge of the ball mark, (which occurs BEFORE the subsequent skid/ball mark). Is this more PRECISE LOCATION what the player is actually aiming for? Ideally YES. Is this the most precise determination of location of the ball meeting the court. YES. Is the exact LOCATION what he is trying to control? YES. Is this the type of LOCATION CONTROL that a line is INTENDED to reward or punish? I think YES.

Our technology can now determine the location point that the player CONTROLLED to within millimeters. We probably never intended to judge by millimeters throughout the earlier periods of the game. A ball mark is an obvious and more CONVENIENT way of making a call in times BEFORE the technology existed.

Therefore, this seems to be a possible way of improving the game, and possibly more true to the INTENTION of the game.

If and ONLY IF fully accepting this view of a more precise location point of the ball, (i.e. FRONT edge of the ball mark, we'll call it), there seems to be a great injustice on 95%+ of calls made "IN" by millimeters when the front of the mark is "OUT". For example, the side of the mark is never the first contact point, and should never be called IN.
 
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joed465

New User
I would challenge that you haven't actually said why it's wrong. As you mention, it has been the accepted standard, so if you're calling it wrong the debate should start there. If this is simply about whether the "increased accuracy" is beneficial... I'll get to that too.


I don't agree that the rules indicate the ball should be called by some "initial" contact point.


The ball remains "in contact" with the line the entire time it is touching the ground. Again, nothing here that makes me think they intended to call an initial contact point.


First, using a smaller point would allow for more accurate determination of the initial contact point, but I disagree it makes a difference in 99.999%+ of line calls. Yes, I mean less than 10 per million. I'm tempted to add another 9. I'll discuss more at the end of post.

Second, there are many, many variables beyond humidity that change how the game is played. The ball bounces and flies differently due to air pressure (elevation), which effectively "changes the court" in the same manor. I don't believe this is a relevant point to the overall argument.


It should be mentioned that the exact accuracy of the top systems, like Hawkeye, are a little debated. On the most generous side they now claim accuracy down to 2.2mm but some studies have questioned that it could be much higher. I can understand the skepticism because from what I've seen the cameras are recording at 60fps. That's relevant because any hard hit ball is moving something like 1 foot per frame. Presumably, this is why they have 10 cameras around the court to try and increase accuracy with more points of data.

All that said, from a practical standpoint I'm not able to envision the situation where a line call would actually change with your recommendation. Except for the most unusual situation where a player is hitting from a very wide angle, and it hits in front of the line sliding onto it. Right or am I misunderstanding something?

Thanks allot for the thoughts.

The rules as they are now DO NOT indicate there should be an initial contact point. However, there IS an initial contact point proven by simple geometry that applies to the actual physics of a tennis ball and court surface.

The idea goes AGAINST the rules in an effort to determine if the rules of how lines are called are perhaps not in agreement with the TRUE INTENTION of the game. Please see my response to "CASHMAN" posted just minutes before this, where I'll go into that discussion of INTENTION of the game, since the very subject is a bit more subjective, but no less important.

The difference the smaller mark would make can be measured. The ball mark varies greatly in size and shape, but I'd roughly estimate the area to be 3 to 4 square inches. The smaller point would be as small as can be measured and that would need to be decided. The technology is very good and could make it as small as a few square millimeters in area. That's a big difference however you do the math. It would probably change the call on almost ALL calls made by the system.

The changes in conditions, i.e. humidity was referring to how it affects a ball mark. It was to point out that the ball mark is altered by these conditions greatly in some cases. Is a 6 inch ball skid mark on a humid, damp court what the game truly INTENDED to use for a line call?
 
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Cashman

Hall of Fame
Is this more PRECISE LOCATION what the player is actually aiming for? Ideally YES. Is this the most precise determination of location of the ball meeting the court. YES. Is the exact LOCATION what he is trying to control? YES. Is this the type of LOCATION CONTROL that a line is INTENDED to reward or punish? I think YES.
Show me that a players can deliberately control placement of the ball to a level that exceeds the margin of error that we're talking about, and this argument might hold some weight. Otherwise you are just arguing change for the sake of change.

More than that - you are arguing for a change that will make rule enforcement harder than it is currently, for the vast majority of line calls which cannot and will not be made by computer technology.

Find another windmill to tilt at.
 

joed465

New User
Show me that a players can deliberately control placement of the ball to a level that exceeds the margin of error that we're talking about, and this argument might hold some weight. Otherwise you are just arguing change for the sake of change.

More than that - you are arguing for a change that will make rule enforcement harder than it is currently, for the vast majority of line calls which cannot and will not be made by computer technology.

Find another windmill to tilt at.


Thanks for the reply

Actually the margin of error this idea is addressing is a 4 square inch mark versus a 4 square millimeter mark. A player DOES deliberately control that.

The point is not that a player controls to the degree of millimeters in question. Their efforts RESULT in an exact location, however.

The system DOES measure that exact location ALREADY. The enforcement would be no different for the system, the ball mark would be a much smaller area, that's all.

If the INTENT of the game is for the player to be responsible for that RESULTING LOCATION then with the computer system they are RESPONSIBLE for the EXACT LOCATION.
 
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Cashman

Hall of Fame
Actually the margin of error this idea is addressing is a 4 square inch mark versus a 4 square millimeter mark.
No, that is the margin that you are seeking to change the rule by. It is not the margin of error of calls made under the current rules.

The point is not that a player controls to the degree of millimeters in question. Their efforts RESULT in an exact location, however.
As previously pointed out, the exact location is arbitrary and irrelevant if it doesn’t have a material effect on fairness and errors are beyond the threshold of player precision.

Your position is nonsensical and pointless.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
Thanks allot for the thoughts.
And thank you for keeping the discussion civil. I'm always up for a thoughtful debate about a topic even if it doesn't change anyone's minds. It's healthy to evaluate the positions that we hold on anything.

There are a few different avenues of discussion here. First the practical one:
That's a big difference however you do the math. It would probably change the call on almost ALL calls made by the system.
Balls hit are essentially in from the time they are hit until they go out. The initial point of contact is going to be at the beginning of the skid, not the end, so eliminating that won't reverse an "in call".

And on the technology:
Our technology can now determine the location point that the player CONTROLLED to within millimeters.
I do want to keep in mind that technology that can measure accurately within millimeters is still only available on a dozen or so courts in the entire world. I'm as big a proponent as you can find for things like PlaySight, but it is good to know the limitations. It's highly unlikely most courts would see the kind of imaging technology necessary to measure accuracy down to a few millimeters of accuracy in the next twenty years.

The changes in conditions, i.e. humidity was referring to how it affects a ball mark. It was to point out that the ball mark is altered by these conditions greatly in some cases. Is a 6 inch ball skid mark on a humid, damp court what the game truly INTENDED to use for a line call?
I follow your concern, and this is a point different from the others. My belief is taking the view that a player's control is effected "equally" by things like air pressure and humidity when it comes to their control. So worrying about one aspect over the others isn't useful. I concede this is my opinion, and that there's a 'distinction with a difference' here.
 

joed465

New User
Show me that a players can deliberately control placement of the ball to a level that exceeds the margin of error that we're talking about, and this argument might hold some weight. Otherwise you are just arguing change for the sake of change.

More than that - you are arguing for a change that will make rule enforcement harder than it is currently, for the vast majority of line calls which cannot and will not be made by computer technology.

Find another windmill to tilt at.
No, that is the margin that you are seeking to change the rule by. It is not the margin of error of calls made under the current rules.


As previously pointed out, the exact location is arbitrary and irrelevant if it doesn’t have a material effect on fairness and errors are beyond the threshold of player precision.

Your position is nonsensical and pointless.

Well, that discussion of margin of error is your term and not really relevant to the issue. The issue is that the larger shape of a ball mark is ACCURATE (i.e. per margin of error) but not PRECISE (i.e., specific enough) and the computer system is making a PRECISE call with it anyway.

I've already said that the rules are in direct conflict with the idea, so I'm not saying the current rules support it.

You are on only one side of the argument of what can be considered important BEYOND the current rules. That doesn't make the argument nonsensical and pointless.
 
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joed465

New User
And thank you for keeping the discussion civil. I'm always up for a thoughtful debate about a topic even if it doesn't change anyone's minds. It's healthy to evaluate the positions that we hold on anything.

There are a few different avenues of discussion here. First the practical one:

Balls hit are essentially in from the time they are hit until they go out. The initial point of contact is going to be at the beginning of the skid, not the end, so eliminating that won't reverse an "in call".

And on the technology:

I do want to keep in mind that technology that can measure accurately within millimeters is still only available on a dozen or so courts in the entire world. I'm as big a proponent as you can find for things like PlaySight, but it is good to know the limitations. It's highly unlikely most courts would see the kind of imaging technology necessary to measure accuracy down to a few millimeters of accuracy in the next twenty years.


I follow your concern, and this is a point different from the others. My belief is taking the view that a player's control is effected "equally" by things like air pressure and humidity when it comes to their control. So worrying about one aspect over the others isn't useful. I concede this is my opinion, and that there's a 'distinction with a difference' here.

Thank you again for the thoughts.

By the current rules of a ball mark, yes, the full skid is IN. Under a different rule of using only the smaller beginning of the mark, this small part would often begin and end outside of the line, therefore called OUT, though the remainder of the traditional ball mark would continue to extend inside the line.

Another example I mentioned is that the side of the traditional ball mark often is all that catches the line and the result is an IN call, but the beginning of that full ball mark is always OUT.

The measure does not have to be a a few millimeters. Whatever the threshold of the technology allows is still at a high enough level and would be factored in to decide a fair size to use.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
I personally think the rule should be changed so that if the center of the ball lands outside the line then the ball is out. Nothing except a dedicated line judge working with a camera system can make an accurate call in those situations; it’s impossible to make those types of calls at the amateur level while trying to hit the ball.
But it would be easier to make a judgement that 50+% of the ball hit on or inside the line?
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Well, that discussion of margin of error is your term and not really relevant to the issue.
It’s entirely relevant, because your whole argument for changing the rules is to make calls more accurate.

I don’t think you fully understand what you’re talking about.
 

joed465

New User
It’s entirely relevant, because your whole argument for changing the rules is to make calls more accurate.

I don’t think you fully understand what you’re talking about.

I'll disagree with you. I am very aware of what I'm talking about, because I'm only being more specific in relation to your point.

I'll therefore, say that the margin of error you speak of is partly relevant but not the ONLY part of the argument.

Increasing the accuracy in the way I've discussed ALSO and MOSTLY involves viewing the relevant point of contact in an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT way than is currently accepted.
 

jmc3367

Rookie
I have watched several matches from an excellent vantage point and as a general rule, players play a lot more balls that are out that call balls out that are in. Even in tournaments and league play. Yes sometimes a call is missed or someone might hook you but if you ever watch an amateur match from a higher vantage point. (a bit higher that the umpires chair you will see many more out balls played than the other way around
 

joed465

New User
You still haven’t been able to give a coherent explanation of why this is important, or how it improves the game.

Are you on the spectrum by any chance?

I don't think you've payed attention to the words I've used at all, like "possibly", "only if", throughout. These words qualify the statements, which you seem to be taking as absolute, black and white, instead.

The errors are NOT "beyond the threshold of player precision"as you put it. We are talking of real judgement "errors" of up to 3 to 4 inches.

AND the system calls them beyond that "threshold" ANYWAY

Not sure where your hostility comes from in this supposedly friendly discussion. POSSIBLY, as one very smart person stated, referring to how stubborn and unwilling to change people are:

Real change and truth always passes thru 3 stages: 1)Ridicule, 2) Violent opposition, and finally 3)Acceptance as if it were obvious and self evident....

#3 is yet to be proven, but do # 1 and #2 sound familiar?
 
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Max G.

Legend
They laughed at Galileo, but they also laughed at bozo the clown.

(The 1 and 2 in your list can be achieved by any random piece of nonsense, if the person selling the nonsense is annoying enough.)
 
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