If your opponent is blatantly cheating and there is no official, do you hook back?

Do you hook back?


  • Total voters
    38

TeamOB

Professional
I do. Fortunately I have very rarely been in this situation. Most of the time simbly talking to the opponent or calling an official is good enough. But if my opponent is definitely, obviously, 100% certainly cheating, I will get my point back. I make very certain to emphasize that I am not cheating. I tell my opponent: "You hooked me. If you don't change the call I will call your next shot out no matter where you hit it." If they don't change the call I simply take the next point, even if they hit to the very center of the court. After this I say: "The score is fair now. If you don't cheat again, I won't take any more points." I think this is perfectly justified if there is no official around. The only other option would be to simply accept it and face a certain loss. But that would both reinforce the cheater's behavior and give you an unfair loss. I do not like doing this but IMO it is a necessary evil in some situations. What do you think?
 

Maximagq

Banned
I've always wondered the psychology of this. If in response to a hook, you call a ball out that lands 10 feet inside the baseline, how does the original cheater react to you saying that you will claim the point. Because the cheater can BS the score and you guys will start arguing and when the line judge comes, you guys always have to start at a mutually agreeable score.

Here's a hypothetical situation. You are cruising 6-1, 3-0 and your opponent blatantly hooks. You hook back and the line judge comes. You know what the score is, but your opponent says it's 2-2 in the 1st set. You guys can't keep playing until you reach a mutually agreed upon score.
 

RanchDressing

Hall of Fame
If you play in an open tournament or any serious competitive play, and you let a bad call get to you, to where you make a blatantly bad call back, you're in for it. As soon as your opponent makes you change what you're doing, consciously (actively thinking) he's got you.

That's a big difference between calling tournament lines or true lines. Tournament lines, are usually out. If a guy I'm playing starts giving me bad calls, all I'll do (if I'd normally question it) is automatically assume it's out, make the call and look to the next point with no looking back.

When people give me real bad calls, I just put max margin on my shots and let them deal with that headache. Nobody likes a sudden jump of 500+rpm more on all your shots.
 

goran_ace

Hall of Fame
I have very rarely encountered cheaters in 100+ Adult League matches.
^^^ Amazed by this. I don't think hooking is confined to junior tennis at all; there are some ruthless bad calls made in Ladies' 3.5 league. They can get really mean out there. Back when I was teaching I was tournament official for our members tournament (so not even USTA sanctioned play) and the cheating was pretty bad among the men too.
 

goran_ace

Hall of Fame
When I was a junior I would never take a call to get even for fear of getting yanked from the match and what I'd have to do in practice as punishment. I usually responded by being really obnoxious. It starts with a 'are you sure?' and that's fine, but if the bad calls keep coming or you get a blatant bad one I used to ramp it up to 'hey man you know lines are good' to a McEnroe-esque 'you cannot be serious!' If I had friends watching they would cheer excessively for me and boo on bad calls. In retrospect that was still pretty immature of me. RanchDressing's post above had it right. You play long enough you learn to let it roll off your back. It's going to happen. It might happen on a pretty big point. But just keep on playing the game, don't let negatvie emotions infect your next points. If your opponent feels he has to cheat to beat you then he's probably an inferior player.
 

cjs

Professional
I have very rarely encountered cheaters in 100+ Adult League matches.

Just play tennis.
Here in Sydney, same deal in adult comps. People for the most part are honest, if not generous with their line calls.

As a junior I encountered massive cheats. I always got the tournament referee if I got a cheat and an umpire would be found. It made for the occasional scene and long delay, but so be it.
 

0d1n

Hall of Fame
I do. Fortunately I have very rarely been in this situation. Most of the time simbly talking to the opponent or calling an official is good enough. But if my opponent is definitely, obviously, 100% certainly cheating, I will get my point back. I make very certain to emphasize that I am not cheating. I tell my opponent: "You hooked me. If you don't change the call I will call your next shot out no matter where you hit it." If they don't change the call I simply take the next point, even if they hit to the very center of the court. After this I say: "The score is fair now. If you don't cheat again, I won't take any more points." I think this is perfectly justified if there is no official around. The only other option would be to simply accept it and face a certain loss. But that would both reinforce the cheater's behavior and give you an unfair loss. I do not like doing this but IMO it is a necessary evil in some situations. What do you think?
I think you have an extremely high opinion of yourself if you think you are "seeing absolute truth".
What about the possibility that he's right and you're wrong ?? Does that even exist in your own mind ??? Because...in reality...it sure does.
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
I do. Fortunately I have very rarely been in this situation. Most of the time simbly talking to the opponent or calling an official is good enough. But if my opponent is definitely, obviously, 100% certainly cheating, I will get my point back. I make very certain to emphasize that I am not cheating. I tell my opponent: "You hooked me. If you don't change the call I will call your next shot out no matter where you hit it." If they don't change the call I simply take the next point, even if they hit to the very center of the court. After this I say: "The score is fair now. If you don't cheat again, I won't take any more points." I think this is perfectly justified if there is no official around. The only other option would be to simply accept it and face a certain loss. But that would both reinforce the cheater's behavior and give you an unfair loss. I do not like doing this but IMO it is a necessary evil in some situations. What do you think?
As long as you are 100% sure opponent is cheating.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The cheater is pretending not to cheat.

But you are not pretending. You are cheating. And declaring your intention to do so.

You are just claiming the higher authority of justice to legitimate your cheating.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
My experience is that in league matches you aren't going to get the close calls. Anything near the baseline or the service line will be called out if the opponent is not way ahead..

In casual matches people tend to go the otherway - anything close is in. So its pretty jolting playing league matches... Are the league players cheating? Sometimes - I have seen it in videos. However as opponents its rare that someone is so blatant that we have an angle to see them hooking.. This makes it impossible to hook back - but most teams will start to call the tight ones out in response..

This is why getting some heavy topspin is so key if you want to win in league matches iMHO.. Make your ball bounce in with some zip - and you can live through cheesy line calls..
 

AtomicForehand

Hall of Fame
Normally I am pretty laid back about line calls. Everyone makes mistakes, me included. (My teammates just took me to task yesterday for calling two of my opponent's balls in that they said were out, but I would much rather err on that side--however, I'm sure I must make mistakes the other way too.)

So I give an opponent three strikes before I start to get annoyed. I just politely discuss it with the opponent. I say something like, "I don't think that's the right call. The ball was two inches inside the side line. I definitely saw space." At this point the opponent usually insists it was out. "I have to accept your call," I will say, "but I think you made a mistake."

That sort of puts them on notice that I will not accept any more bad calls without comment. Next incident, I say the same thing, accepting their call. And the next. After that I would ramp it up and say, "You are not making good line calls" and perhaps "That's a whole game's worth of points that I think you have called wrong in your favor." That's as far as it's ever gone with me.

No, wait, that's not true. Once I did tell an opponent, "This is not fair and this is not fun. If the bad calls continue, I am walking off the court."

I have reported three people to the league over the years for cheating on line calls.

I find that the higher you go in level, the better the line calls are.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I do. Fortunately I have very rarely been in this situation. Most of the time simbly talking to the opponent or calling an official is good enough. But if my opponent is definitely, obviously, 100% certainly cheating, I will get my point back. I make very certain to emphasize that I am not cheating. I tell my opponent: "You hooked me. If you don't change the call I will call your next shot out no matter where you hit it." If they don't change the call I simply take the next point, even if they hit to the very center of the court. After this I say: "The score is fair now. If you don't cheat again, I won't take any more points." I think this is perfectly justified if there is no official around. The only other option would be to simply accept it and face a certain loss. But that would both reinforce the cheater's behavior and give you an unfair loss. I do not like doing this but IMO it is a necessary evil in some situations. What do you think?
What will you do if your opponent called the official and told him exactly what you said? Would you claim that you never said it? If not, I can easily see you being disqualified from the match for such comments.
 

TeamOB

Professional
I think you have an extremely high opinion of yourself if you think you are "seeing absolute truth".
What about the possibility that he's right and you're wrong ?? Does that even exist in your own mind ??? Because...in reality...it sure does.
I only do this if I am dead certain that my opponent is cheating. If it's a close call and there is a chance that I'm mistaken, I won't do it. But if my opponent is calling balls that are a foot inside the line (BTW this isn't all that uncommon in juniors) there is simply no other option. To answer your question: No. There is no possibility of a mistake. I will only take a point back like this if there is absolutely no chance that I am wrong.
 

TeamOB

Professional
What will you do if your opponent called the official and told him exactly what you said? Would you claim that you never said it? If not, I can easily see you being disqualified from the match for such comments.
If there is an official around, this whole conversation is a moot point. I would call the official over myself and tell him that my opponent is making dubious calls. I am specifically discussing the scenario when an official is unavailable.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
I start off calling everything that's close, in, and progress into being tighter and tighter depending on how cheap my opponent is. I find with most people if you are generous early, they will return the favor.

Then there are the other 20% who will cheat no matter what. They tend to get reputations amongst the other club members. .
 

President

Legend
My experience is that in league matches you aren't going to get the close calls. Anything near the baseline or the service line will be called out if the opponent is not way ahead..

In casual matches people tend to go the otherway - anything close is in. So its pretty jolting playing league matches... Are the league players cheating? Sometimes - I have seen it in videos. However as opponents its rare that someone is so blatant that we have an angle to see them hooking.. This makes it impossible to hook back - but most teams will start to call the tight ones out in response..

This is why getting some heavy topspin is so key if you want to win in league matches iMHO.. Make your ball bounce in with some zip - and you can live through cheesy line calls..
I agree with this, if I am playing in a tournament I basically just take giant rips at the ball with super heavy topspin, it lands deep in the middle of the court and forces errors; no need to go near the lines.
 

RajS

Semi-Pro
The best policy is not to cheat - intentionally, anyway. In an official match (USTA for example) if your opponent persists in making bad line calls (after you've given him or her a chance or two), you should ask for a line judge and express your lack of confidence in your opponent's ability to make good calls, whatever the reason. I have had this type of trouble in USTA before.

When I play friendly matches (which is all I plan to do this year), I just let it go. Nobody does it blatantly, like if the ball is six inches in, nobody calls it out. I also err on the lenient side, like if my opponent's shot appears to be microscopically out, I call it good. Sometimes I really can't tell, like if the ball hits the sideline and I am on the other side, or if it's a speedy serve. I always call them good, but some opponents override me with the correct call - bless 'em!

In the end, I really don't think it makes a difference, unless the other guy is blatantly cheating, and frequently at that. If I encounter a type like that, I would just wish him a good life and a great career on Wall Street and vamoose...
 

zaph

Professional
I sometimes get this, I put alot of spin on some of my groundstrokes and my second serve. So it drops in at the last second, and I am certain some people call it before it lands.

Certain, because I have played the same players in doubles, and their partner corrects their calls. Some people will call any line balls long. Irritating, but difficult to do anything about it.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=8484033#post8484033

Quite often bad lines calls are not a result of intentional cheating. Take a look at the details in posts #75 and #77 in the thread link provided above. Unintentional bad line-calling happens quite a bit more than most players realize.

Hooking back against someone who we think is cheating is not the proper/moral thing to do -- it does not foster good sportsmanship. It almost never gets the bad line-caller to make better calls. Instead, it promotes an escalation of vindictive line-calling and results in a vicious cycle of cheating. Hooking back is a big part of the reason that we see so much cheating in many junior events.

We need to educate all junior (and other competitive) players as to the limitations of the visual tracking system for ball that are very near to us as well as balls that bouncing some distance away from us. Intentional cheating is only part of the problem. It might not even be the primary reason for bad line calls from many players.
 
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Edburger

Rookie
I think, if play amateur tennis with people who cheat, you play with people who take amateur tennis too serious.

Me, many times I quit competition because competition has too many want-to-be Federers and Nadals.

If you not getting paid, you play for fun. So have laugh, meet new people, and don't take score too serious. Cheating? Arguing? Gamesmanship? Crazy.
 

GoaLaSSo

Semi-Pro
I suppose it depends. I said yes in the poll, but it isn't black and white.

When I played competitive junior tennis, there was considerable cheating and a shortage of officials. In USTA and high school, there were some kids blatantly cheating. Tennis is a game of inches. If you are absolutely certain they are cheating in a close match, you have to get an official or find a way to make them stop. If you ignore it, they will eventually do it on an important point and you will lose. I usually give people the benefit of the doubt unless it is really really really obvious.

Back in the juniors if I was certain I was being cheated, I talked to the player a little bit. Asked him about a call and maybe told him to be careful with line calling. If that didn't work, then all his shots on and around the line were now out until he stops.

I have noticed little intentional cheating in adult league play. There was cheating when I played college club, but not as much as junior tennis. It was, however, the same dilemma as junior tennis. There were not enough officials, even at large national tournaments. I chose not to retaliate in any of these matches, but I suspect it cost me a few matches throughout college.

In my last tournament, we were playing one of the best teams in the nation. We had been right there with them the whole match, and they made two horrid calls on my last service game at 4 - 5 that won them the match. One ace that was inside the line by a few inches was called out. At 40 all, I hit a volley that landed at one of the opponent's feet. He was standing inside the line, but it was too hard for him to pick it up that low and close to him. He called it out, which led to all the 30ish people watching to just stare in disbelief. I walked up to the net and did the whole routine, but they didn't care. We ended up losing the next point and match.


Overall, cheating isn't as bad when there is not much at stake. I wouldn't care much about cheating in adult leagues because they mostly just fun. Cheating in competitive environments is a bit different. I don't like being robbed of hard work by intentional bad calls.
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
I've played some weird people in my time. But I never had someone who just blatantly cheated. As in calling a shot out when it is in by two feet. I don't know what I'd do if that happened. Would this opponent do this to everyone, or just me? If to everyone, he'd have to get a reputation. If just to me, I'd wonder, "What'd I do?"

To these people who think they play cheaters all the time, do you ever think that your opponent might have made an honest mistake?, or maybe he was right and you are wrong?
 

TeamOB

Professional
But I never had someone who just blatantly cheated. As in calling a shot out when it is in by two feet.
I assure you there are kids like this in USTA junior tournaments. They are not common, but you will face one sooner or later in juniors. Against people like this (if there are no officials) you have to either hook back or take a loss. There is really nothing else you can do.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
... Against people like this (if there are no officials) you have to either hook back or take a loss. There is really nothing else you can do.
Isn't there always a line judge available at USTA junior tournaments?

Or how about having someone with a video camera or smart phone recording (or pretending to record) every ball that comes close to a line on the side of the suspected cheater? After every suspect call, the person recording the event can announce, just loud enough so that the "cheater" can hear, "I've got it on video".
 

TeamOB

Professional
Isn't there always a line judge available at USTA junior tournaments?

Or how about having someone with a video camera or smart phone recording (or pretending to record) every ball that comes close to a line on the side of the suspected cheater? After every suspect call, the person recording the event can announce, just loud enough so that the "cheater" can hear, "I've got it on video".
There is always at least one line judge at every USTA event but most of the time that is all there is. One line judge for all the courts. If you call him over he will watch a few games and then leave to watch the other courts. Sometimes he will not even come over if he's busy with another court. Recording it on video might work, but it might result in the cheater complaining about spectators distracting/harassing him.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
... Recording it on video might work, but it might result in the cheater complaining about spectators distracting/harassing him.
He may complain about it, but it can also have the effect that his calls are being scrutinized by onlookers. He may be intentionally making bad calls or he may be unintentionally making erroneous calls (for reasons I stated in the link given in post #25 above). Either way, the player may become more careful about making "bad" calls if he knows he is being watched & scrutinized by onlookers. If he complains, perhaps the line judge will return to watch more of his match.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I do. Fortunately I have very rarely been in this situation. Most of the time simbly talking to the opponent or calling an official is good enough. But if my opponent is definitely, obviously, 100% certainly cheating, I will get my point back. I make very certain to emphasize that I am not cheating. I tell my opponent: "You hooked me. If you don't change the call I will call your next shot out no matter where you hit it." If they don't change the call I simply take the next point, even if they hit to the very center of the court. After this I say: "The score is fair now. If you don't cheat again, I won't take any more points." I think this is perfectly justified if there is no official around. The only other option would be to simply accept it and face a certain loss. But that would both reinforce the cheater's behavior and give you an unfair loss. I do not like doing this but IMO it is a necessary evil in some situations. What do you think?
So making bad calls is only ok if you're the one making the bad call? I played with an opponent that once hit a ball out and I could see the mark in the Georgia pollen just outside the line. it was on a fast overhead that he had hit. From his 'look' he thought I made a bad call. He waited until I hit a ball that was obviously in and called it out and gave me the same look again.
 
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