Line Calling: I Dread It

supermullet

New User
I started playing again a few weeks ago after a long layoff, almost 7 years! I've only played once a week or so, but surprised that most of my "skills" are intact, aside from being generally out of shape. I'd say I'm a borderline 3.5, with almost all of my progress coming from implementing the techniques on my service game from YT vids.

As reference, I'd say I have a total of perhaps 100 hours of total tennis play under my belt, almost all of it recreational hitting with beginners and in beginners classes where I made virtually zero progress. I have approximately 10 hours of play where I was able to implement an effective serve and hit semi-occasional aces against very weak opponents.

Returning, I'm playing with and against mostly 3.0/3.5ish players who have many, many years of consistent weekly, even daily experience.

The main thing I'm not looking forward to is the blatant cheating on line calls. I've always understood that a ball is "in" if even a tiny portion of the ball overlaps with a line or is so close that no space is clearly visible. I also try to give an opponent the benefit of the doubt.

I'm seeing fellow players call balls out which are clearly on the line or where no space is visible. It's not worth arguing with them or even questioning them, but enough people violate the honor system it gets super annoying. It's one of the main things that's frustrated me in the past, and I don't want it to become a significant distraction for me. Do you all just ignore this when you play? Or do you find players who demonstrate that they won't cheat on line calls?

OTOH, I don't like winning points when a ball is clearly out (to me) and my opponents are trying to be "generous" lol.
 
Remind your opponent that they're a good enough player to beat you without making the court smaller for you. This is especially effective when you're winning.
 

supermullet

New User
There's little doubt that the worse the players, the more questionable the line calls. Older players also seem more likely to call balls out if they are anywhere near a line.

I basically gave up after having three aces on the line in a set against a female doubles team called out. The older lady in the group loved to call balls out before they even landed! It got so bad she even hit balls back for her opponent! It wasn't even tennis, it was just some kind of a bad joke.
 

Crazy Finn

Professional
I just call things fairly. If it looks like it lands on the line, it's in. If I think it might have landed on the line, it's in. If I don't know, I don't say anything - so that makes it in.

I can't control what the opponent does - or opponents do, all I can do is give a little look when my serve hits the center line and they call it out. Then my partner tells me later that it was clearly on the line. Whatever. Win anyway and don't get worked up about it.

I find that people who call lines like that tend to not be as good.
 
I'm seeing fellow players call balls out which are clearly on the line or where no space is visible. It's not worth arguing with them or even questioning them, but enough people violate the honor system it gets super annoying. It's one of the main things that's frustrated me in the past, and I don't want it to become a significant distraction for me. Do you all just ignore this when you play? Or do you find players who demonstrate that they won't cheat on line calls?
First of all, welcome back to the fold! Make sure you do some stretching/yoga/conditioning so you don't get injured.

I can't control what my opponent does [for the most part]; I can only control how I react to what he does. If you're aware of the frustration and distraction, you should choose now in the relative calm how you will react when it happens. Hint: complaining to your opponent about being unfair will A) probably not work and might even backfire; and B) upset you. You can cheat right back until they stop [assuming they do]; you could ignore it and just play your game; you could try something in between.

What you do depends on your temperament.
 

Curtennis

Rookie
I always remind them that if it’s not clearly out, it’s in. I’ve had a handful of bad calls against me, but only once encountered a full on cheater. It was miserable. I should have just walked away. That match was a lot like walking up the down escalator. I felt like I was going to make it to the top, but he just kept turning the speed up and eventually there was no ball I could hit that was in. I think he had legit mental problems….
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
If they are that bad, don't hit near the line. Give yourself large target areas for serves and ground strokes. Hint: if they are that bad, hit drop shots or short and dare them to come to the fore court.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
It would be nice if dubs partners and receiver's partners would show some gumption and overrule bad calls--the Code says it's the job of ALL players to help make correct calls.
Lonely Days & Lonely Nights. Saw players walk off the court during a match after a bad call. He was a great partner too
 

puppybutts

Rookie
I started playing again a few weeks ago after a long layoff, almost 7 years! I've only played once a week or so, but surprised that most of my "skills" are intact, aside from being generally out of shape. I'd say I'm a borderline 3.5, with almost all of my progress coming from implementing the techniques on my service game from YT vids.

As reference, I'd say I have a total of perhaps 100 hours of total tennis play under my belt, almost all of it recreational hitting with beginners and in beginners classes where I made virtually zero progress. I have approximately 10 hours of play where I was able to implement an effective serve and hit semi-occasional aces against very weak opponents.

Returning, I'm playing with and against mostly 3.0/3.5ish players who have many, many years of consistent weekly, even daily experience.

The main thing I'm not looking forward to is the blatant cheating on line calls. I've always understood that a ball is "in" if even a tiny portion of the ball overlaps with a line or is so close that no space is clearly visible. I also try to give an opponent the benefit of the doubt.

I'm seeing fellow players call balls out which are clearly on the line or where no space is visible. It's not worth arguing with them or even questioning them, but enough people violate the honor system it gets super annoying. It's one of the main things that's frustrated me in the past, and I don't want it to become a significant distraction for me. Do you all just ignore this when you play? Or do you find players who demonstrate that they won't cheat on line calls?

OTOH, I don't like winning points when a ball is clearly out (to me) and my opponents are trying to be "generous" lol.
If a ball is in, I call in. If I'm not sure, I call it in. If there were lots of shots where I'm sure it's out, but it probably looked close to the opponent, occasionally I'll call in so they don't think I'm cheating and I can avoid a hothead. I don't do the last thing though if they are very strict about their own line calls though...generally I try to reciprocate the friendliness of my opponent's line calling.

I'm not saying this is you, but one thing that also bugs me is people who don't understand how point of view works. From my perspective, I can clearly see there is the color of the out court in between the line and the ball. My opponent has to understand, it might look close to them, but they can't see the portion of out court in between the ball and the line because the ball itself is blocking their vision.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
With nothing more than egos on the line, human beings can be the most self obsessed mammals on the planet. That's probably the biggest lesson I took away from the pandemic.

So don't expect altruism on a tennis court. If you fancy yourself a good sport, then do what you need to do to play with good sportsmanship. Don't expect that to be reciprocated. At the end of the day, the only person you have to deal with is the guy looking back at you in the mirror. So decide today that you will be Ok with whatever behaviour happens on the other side of the court. If you can be proud of yourself walking off the court, then you know you've won that battle.
 
I'm not saying this is you, but one thing that also bugs me is people who don't understand how point of view works. From my perspective, I can clearly see there is the color of the out court in between the line and the ball. My opponent has to understand, it might look close to them, but they can't see the portion of out court in between the ball and the line because the ball itself is blocking their vision.
Isn't that backwards? Seems to me the receiver is blocked by the ball from seeing the gap [if it exists]. The opponent has an unobstructed view [assuming the net strap is not in the way]. The problem is that he's 80' away.

What I try always remember is Vic Braden's demonstration that the ball can skid as much as 2" between landing and bouncing [that's why Hawkeye shows different shapes, from perfectly spherical to very elliptical] and whether I judge the ball as in or out depends on when my eyes actually snapped the image [it does not take continuous video]: if it's close to the landing, I'll see it in. If it's close to the bouncing, I'll see it out.

Add to the complication that I might be in motion and my head is moving, which degrades my ability even more.

Bottom line: I give the benefit of the doubt to my opponent and more often than not, it will have been the correct call.
 
So don't expect altruism on a tennis court. If you fancy yourself a good sport, then do what you need to do to play with good sportsmanship. Don't expect that to be reciprocated.
I'm an optimist: I expect altruism and good behavior in tennis. And, for the vast majority of the time, I'm correct.

Now, the past year has been unique as there has been no league or tournaments against relative strangers; I've only been playing with friends so that skews my view. But even pre-pandemic, I've generally been happy with everyone's conduct. I can think of exactly 3 people I'd prefer not to play.

At the end of the day, the only person you have to deal with is the guy looking back at you in the mirror. So decide today that you will be Ok with whatever behaviour happens on the other side of the court. If you can be proud of yourself walking off the court, then you know you've won that battle.
We agree here, though. Can be tough when your opponent is acting like a 3-year old but who said life is easy?
 

Purestriker

Rookie
I started playing again a few weeks ago after a long layoff, almost 7 years! I've only played once a week or so, but surprised that most of my "skills" are intact, aside from being generally out of shape. I'd say I'm a borderline 3.5, with almost all of my progress coming from implementing the techniques on my service game from YT vids.

As reference, I'd say I have a total of perhaps 100 hours of total tennis play under my belt, almost all of it recreational hitting with beginners and in beginners classes where I made virtually zero progress. I have approximately 10 hours of play where I was able to implement an effective serve and hit semi-occasional aces against very weak opponents.

Returning, I'm playing with and against mostly 3.0/3.5ish players who have many, many years of consistent weekly, even daily experience.

The main thing I'm not looking forward to is the blatant cheating on line calls. I've always understood that a ball is "in" if even a tiny portion of the ball overlaps with a line or is so close that no space is clearly visible. I also try to give an opponent the benefit of the doubt.

I'm seeing fellow players call balls out which are clearly on the line or where no space is visible. It's not worth arguing with them or even questioning them, but enough people violate the honor system it gets super annoying. It's one of the main things that's frustrated me in the past, and I don't want it to become a significant distraction for me. Do you all just ignore this when you play? Or do you find players who demonstrate that they won't cheat on line calls?

OTOH, I don't like winning points when a ball is clearly out (to me) and my opponents are trying to be "generous" lol.
If you think it is blatant it is OK to nicely challenge them on the call. While it won't overturn the call, it usually makes them question themselves on the next one. If it continues and its obviously in, then just do the same to them.
 

ngoster

New User
It would be nice if dubs partners and receiver's partners would show some gumption and overrule bad calls--The Code says it's the job of ALL players to help make correct calls.
This is easier said than done. From the many years of playing league with friends, I've learned that we all have really bad eyesight, especially in doubles, and to "support" our partners by not acknowledging anything then moving on. I've seen out calls when the ball landed in the alley, not on the line but in the fat green middle part of the alley. I've rarely encountered "cheaters". As far as I can tell, the calls were honest with no intentions of cheating. If we're just getting together and playing for fun, I don't really care because I know bad calls will happen on both sides of the net. If it's a league match and doubles I'll still have a high tolerance for bad calls because, again, I think it happens equally on both sides of the net. In singles, however, if the calls become habitual then I will question the call in an attempt to keep them honest or, at least, make them more conscious on subsequent calls. If this doesn't remedy the situation then I will do my best to not let it spoil the reason why I get up early and, maybe, have to travel to play tennis.
 

Chalkdust

Rookie
My personal experience is that I can make the game much more enjoyable for myself by just deciding to accept the calls being made by my opponents - and not even question them internally.
Ok, so maybe I get hooked on a few calls here and there. So what? It's not taking food out of my kids mouths...
Basically, I'm playing for my own enjoyment. I can't control how well/badly my opponents makes calls. In the past I've allowed myself to get stressed out over bad calls but that just diminished my enjoyment. So better to just decide to accept calls as is and just move on.
 

Creighton

Rookie
If a ball is in, I call in. If I'm not sure, I call it in. If there were lots of shots where I'm sure it's out, but it probably looked close to the opponent, occasionally I'll call in so they don't think I'm cheating and I can avoid a hothead. I don't do the last thing though if they are very strict about their own line calls though...generally I try to reciprocate the friendliness of my opponent's line calling.

I'm not saying this is you, but one thing that also bugs me is people who don't understand how point of view works. From my perspective, I can clearly see there is the color of the out court in between the line and the ball. My opponent has to understand, it might look close to them, but they can't see the portion of out court in between the ball and the line because the ball itself is blocking their vision.
The perspective thing is so true. I remember for awhile I kept getting frustrated my opponents would call obvious out serves in. I would stop play so they would easily win points.

Then one day I was hitting some practice serves on clay and went across to look at how my ball was landing. It was amazing how many balls I thought were out or close to the line that were well before the line.
 

puppybutts

Rookie
Isn't that backwards? Seems to me the receiver is blocked by the ball from seeing the gap [if it exists]. The opponent has an unobstructed view [assuming the net strap is not in the way]. The problem is that he's 80' away.

What I try always remember is Vic Braden's demonstration that the ball can skid as much as 2" between landing and bouncing [that's why Hawkeye shows different shapes, from perfectly spherical to very elliptical] and whether I judge the ball as in or out depends on when my eyes actually snapped the image [it does not take continuous video]: if it's close to the landing, I'll see it in. If it's close to the bouncing, I'll see it out.

Add to the complication that I might be in motion and my head is moving, which degrades my ability even more.

Bottom line: I give the benefit of the doubt to my opponent and more often than not, it will have been the correct call.
generally yes, it's the receiver blocked from seeing the gap and it's more a distance issue. but, for example, if I pull my opponent out wide to his right, and they hit a down the line shot that lands in the doubles alley. when they are out wide past the doubles alley, in that case they might not see the out court color between the ball and the line, while I, from the middle of the baseline, can.

interesting about ball skidding...never thought about it. tennis balls are flexible and flatten shape upon impact in the direction it is going. i always thought that was why hawkeye shows more elliptical shapes sometimes, depending on the pace/spin of the ball. either way, i remember one time roddick blew up at an umpire, and in his rant he asked "why is the hawkeye shadow a different shape than the ball?" :-D love the guy but sort of an embarrassing moment...
 

puppybutts

Rookie
The perspective thing is so true. I remember for awhile I kept getting frustrated my opponents would call obvious out serves in. I would stop play so they would easily win points.

Then one day I was hitting some practice serves on clay and went across to look at how my ball was landing. It was amazing how many balls I thought were out or close to the line that were well before the line.
haaa i hate that...every time i tell myself, "ok just play like my serve is in", but every time i hesitate and lose the point. even on TV/youtube, I'll slow down a video to .25x and think, "wow that ball looked so in, how was it not called?" then the challenge comes and it's not even close. I'm like....OK I guess network TV cameras or 3rd party youtube uploads aren't exactly high FPS so what looks like the moment of impact might actually be a few frames before or after
 
generally yes, it's the receiver blocked from seeing the gap and it's more a distance issue. but, for example, if I pull my opponent out wide to his right, and they hit a down the line shot that lands in the doubles alley. when they are out wide past the doubles alley, in that case they might not see the out court color between the ball and the line, while I, from the middle of the baseline, can.

interesting about ball skidding...never thought about it. tennis balls are flexible and flatten shape upon impact in the direction it is going. i always thought that was why hawkeye shows more elliptical shapes sometimes, depending on the pace/spin of the ball. either way, i remember one time roddick blew up at an umpire, and in his rant he asked "why is the hawkeye shadow a different shape than the ball?" :-D love the guy but sort of an embarrassing moment...
The extreme difference would be a slow lob moving almost completely vertically [spherical] vs a fast serve travelling mostly horizontally [elliptical].
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I'm an optimist: I expect altruism and good behavior in tennis. And, for the vast majority of the time, I'm correct.
I’m a realist so I recognize all communities have a percentage of narcissists in them including the tennis community. I can’t expect them to change their stripes because they generally truly believe their out calls are accurate. There will also be a very small group of sociopaths who will intentionally cheat. Again you won’t convince them to change their thinking because they don’t care.
These people don’t exist in my social group because we prune them out. But they seem to pop up in leagues and tourneys. You just have co-exist. Life is too short to let a personality disorder ruin your day.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
How often is a ball really that close to a line though? Those points never matter in the end.
They certainly matter less than the fuss we tend to make over them.

My view is that if I hit the outside of a line, it was an error and I should sigh in relief if I get a call and accept it graciously if I didn't.
 
Given that I play tennis for exercise and enjoyment I tend to not be irritated by bad calls. When it becomes blatant (as opposed to close calls) I ask the opponent if they are sure it was out or if they are aware that lines are counted as in when playing a point. Otherwise I just accept their calls. I will overrule my partner when I am sure they made a bad call. If I wasnt looking or was in a bad position I have to leave their decision as they made it. I only call balls when I know they are out. Otherwise I take them as in. Hardest when receiving in singles as I'm sure I call a lot of long balls in bit sue to my viewpoint I cannot actually see the ball as out.

As a result most of my calls are not questioned at club tennis where I play because I am generally known to give opponent more leeway so when i do call it out it most likely is out. I am not infallible and when my opponent does challenge I consider carefully my call. I'd rather enjoy my tennis without bad line calls affecting the fun
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Smash a forehand straight at their forehead. When they narrowly avoid it and the ball crashes into the fence on the full, mildly inquire whether it was in

They will get the message
 

Connor35

New User
It would be nice if dubs partners and receiver's partners would show some gumption and overrule bad calls--The Code says it's the job of ALL players to help make correct calls.
I do this ALOT, especially with one particular partner.

I live by "if you have to think about it, it's in."

And ideally you live in a place where there are enough tennis players where you just find playing partners who call them like you.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
These people don’t exist in my social group because we prune them out. But they seem to pop up in leagues and tourneys.
Agree with you here. Bad line callers quickly develop a reputation and are excluded. That rep sometimes, more often than not, carry over to USTA events. The TD is often notified and the court will have an official looking on.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Agree with you here. Bad line callers quickly develop a reputation and are exlcuded. That rep sometimes, more often than not, carry over to USTA events. The TD is often notified and the court will have an official looking on.
Or they become the event organizers. I find the guys that tend to organize groups are usually the guys no one wants to play with or against because they have a decidedly unique view of the rules. The only way they can get matches is to take on roles in tennis circles that no one else wants to bother with.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
It is difficult. If you feel like you are getting shorted on close calls, take some back.

Always remember MOST players are not trying to cheat, so don't screw them over.

It can get contentious if you allow it. What I do is question it and then just take a few calls back when I know the guy is calling some close shots out. The best ones to take back are deep on your baseline and probably barely in (if even in at all).

It's one of those things that you get the feel for with experience and matchplay. Not really worth arguing over too much. I have of course seen some heated discussions and it can get silly. Just remember, you will always look bad in that situation.

I look forward to one day where the line calls are automated everywhere, but I doubt that happens anytime soon.
 

Matthew ATX

Semi-Pro
I can't even remember the last time I questioned a line call. Of course I think people miss calls, or occasionally even hook, but I don't care. It's just a point here or there and if I'm good enough to beat them, those points won't matter. If I'm not good enough to beat them, those points won't matter. The only thing dwelling on line calls and either fighting over them or hooking them back does is completely suck the fun out of tennis.
 

supermullet

New User
After a few weeks of playing 1 to 2x a week, line calls are the least of my concerns, not by a long shot (no pun intended). Yeah, there are a few bad calls here and there and I'll occasionally question a call, but it's a non factor. Basically, I'm so incredibly rusty I'm starting all over again in terms of actual match play. On my part, I don't call balls out unless I can clearly see a few inches of space between the ball and the line, and even then, I'm reluctant to call them out if it's just a couple of inches.

My game looks pretty good in practice when I'm being fed balls, but when it comes to an actual set, I'm super rusty with footwork and hitting actual live balls in competition.
 
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socalmd123

Semi-Pro
I started playing again a few weeks ago after a long layoff, almost 7 years! I've only played once a week or so, but surprised that most of my "skills" are intact, aside from being generally out of shape. I'd say I'm a borderline 3.5, with almost all of my progress coming from implementing the techniques on my service game from YT vids.

As reference, I'd say I have a total of perhaps 100 hours of total tennis play under my belt, almost all of it recreational hitting with beginners and in beginners classes where I made virtually zero progress. I have approximately 10 hours of play where I was able to implement an effective serve and hit semi-occasional aces against very weak opponents.

Returning, I'm playing with and against mostly 3.0/3.5ish players who have many, many years of consistent weekly, even daily experience.

The main thing I'm not looking forward to is the blatant cheating on line calls. I've always understood that a ball is "in" if even a tiny portion of the ball overlaps with a line or is so close that no space is clearly visible. I also try to give an opponent the benefit of the doubt.

I'm seeing fellow players call balls out which are clearly on the line or where no space is visible. It's not worth arguing with them or even questioning them, but enough people violate the honor system it gets super annoying. It's one of the main things that's frustrated me in the past, and I don't want it to become a significant distraction for me. Do you all just ignore this when you play? Or do you find players who demonstrate that they won't cheat on line calls?

OTOH, I don't like winning points when a ball is clearly out (to me) and my opponents are trying to be "generous" lol.
Go to any junior tournament it’s horrible. USTA don’t provide enough officials and kids just blatantly cheat.
 

zaskar1

Semi-Pro
bad calls are part of the game, but if it persists, you need to find other opponents. since the league tennis had been suspended due to covid, i have been playing doubles with a regular 4 some, and dropin with the mens group at the club. occasionally there are bad calls, but not frequent enough
to affect the outcome of the game.
i know in league tennis, certain people are known "hookers", and i dont mean the oldest profession. they are known to make
bad calls, and usually we get linepeople setup in advance of their match


z
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
Rec comp tennis is mostly a joke to me because of the cheating.

I remember one, 1st serve of the match in dubs. Perfect freshly bagged & watered clay court. I hit a kick serve down the tee. Landed perfectly in the corner of the tee then kicked away, guy couldn't return it so called it out.

The mark in the perfectly bagged service box was clear as day. I pointed it out and there was just awkward silence but no admission of error, so i laughed grabbed my racquets and left.
 
I thought this thread was going to be about dreading to have to make the call yourself. That is what I hate. I have a real hard time, especially when I am serve receive and the ball may have been served deep. In doubles the person on the receiving team but not receiving the ball has the best view and should make the call as to whether it was deep. The receiver has the better view of whether the ball is wide or too far over over the t. I try to call it deep right away when I am not receiving the serve that way it is not awkward if my receiver hits the ball and everyone is assuming its in play. But in singles I am pretty sure I am playing many serves that more experienced players would call out. But I am not experienced and the rule is if you are not 100% sure it is out then it is in. I believe this is the rule even on the first serve. So yes I do notice sometimes the server is expecting me to call it out but I hit it back.

I think I am getting better at line calls but I still hate making those calls.

I haven't had an issue about my opponent calling my shots out when I think they may have been in. For the most part I am trying to hit the ball well inside the lines so if it ends up going all the way to the line then it was a mishit on my part anyway. I haven't had anyone who I think is intentionally cheating. But I do think most people think if it was "more than likely out" then it is out. But the standard is much higher. You have to be certain the ball was out before you call it out - all doubts go to your opponent.

In doubles I don't follow that rule all the time in a situation where my teammate gets a better view and says it was out I won't overrule them unless I see it was really in. So a ball I would call in because I really couldn't tell I would not overrule my opponent if they say it was out. But if I think it is in I will say "no I'm pretty sure that was in." And my teammates typically are fine with that because I think they are relieved of the burden. In doubles it is hard because you don't want to cheat your teammate or the other side.
 

Joe Garfield

Semi-Pro
If it’s close I call it in. I’ve made 2 or 3 mistakes in the past 6 months and felt terrible about it, so really if it’s close I call it in.

My doubles partner is the total opposite and calls everything that’s on the line out. It bothered me playing with her, then even more when she did it playing against me! I hit a perfect ace at least half on the line and she called it out. I was furious! So I hit probably the hardest serve of my life and smoked it by her, lol!

So the moral of my story is, if they’re calling close balls out, I need to win points that are not so close.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I thought this thread was going to be about dreading to have to make the call yourself. That is what I hate. I have a real hard time, especially when I am serve receive and the ball may have been served deep. In doubles the person on the receiving team but not receiving the ball has the best view and should make the call as to whether it was deep. The receiver has the better view of whether the ball is wide or too far over over the t. I try to call it deep right away when I am not receiving the serve that way it is not awkward if my receiver hits the ball and everyone is assuming its in play. But in singles I am pretty sure I am playing many serves that more experienced players would call out. But I am not experienced and the rule is if you are not 100% sure it is out then it is in. I believe this is the rule even on the first serve. So yes I do notice sometimes the server is expecting me to call it out but I hit it back.

I think I am getting better at line calls but I still hate making those calls.

I haven't had an issue about my opponent calling my shots out when I think they may have been in. For the most part I am trying to hit the ball well inside the lines so if it ends up going all the way to the line then it was a mishit on my part anyway. I haven't had anyone who I think is intentionally cheating. But I do think most people think if it was "more than likely out" then it is out. But the standard is much higher. You have to be certain the ball was out before you call it out - all doubts go to your opponent.

In doubles I don't follow that rule all the time in a situation where my teammate gets a better view and says it was out I won't overrule them unless I see it was really in. So a ball I would call in because I really couldn't tell I would not overrule my opponent if they say it was out. But if I think it is in I will say "no I'm pretty sure that was in." And my teammates typically are fine with that because I think they are relieved of the burden. In doubles it is hard because you don't want to cheat your teammate or the other side.
You just need to play more matches. None of this stuff is worth stressing about. The more you play, the more you will learn the best practice.

For example, I rarely read people saying "I'm not sure the proper procedure for warming up with an opponent before a match, I'm so stressed!". It doesn't happen to most people because after playing enough matches you just know the routine.

The same happens with line calls, keeping score and other little nuances.
 
-If I call an opponent's shot out, and then have any doubt that I was correct, then I'll overrule myself.
-If someone is calling my shots out and they're really close, I'll give the benefit of the doubt they are doing their best to call lines fairly.
-If someone is calling my shots out incorrectly and doing it blatantly, I will say something to them and if it happens again, I just walk off the court. I'm not wasting my time by starting to call their shots out blatantly too.
-Usually, I try to play with players who don't take line calls too seriously and will pretty much give benefit of doubt on calls for both sides.
-My personal favorite, is when I hit a close shot and the opponent is not sure if it was in or out, and then says "let's play a let"...lol.

If you're getting stressed about line calling, honestly, play with players who won't make you stressed out about it. That's the simplest plan.
 

supermullet

New User
I play against players of all ages and have noticed that very young and very old players hook like crazy. As in, they:

1. "lose track" of the score, but always in their favor
2. never give the benefit of the doubt on very close shots

Players in their later teens and young and middle aged adults seem less prone to these types of "errors." Which makes sense as very young players and very old players tend to struggle keeping up athletically. It's likely a subconscious attempt to level the playing field.

These are ego protective mechanisms which generally work as long as the cheater (I don't mean that in the harsh sense) isn't challenged and exposed.

Increasingly I just find all of it amusing and have no problems calling all of the cheaters out whether they get upset or not.

Almost all of us are pretty close in ability, at the 3.0 to 3.5 level, although some are high 3.5's and it's quite obvious that they're the better players and likely have 4.0 or higher potential.
 

Crazy Finn

Professional
I play against players of all ages and have noticed that very young and very old players hook like crazy. As in, they:

1. "lose track" of the score, but always in their favor
2. never give the benefit of the doubt on very close shots
There was a guy in my local league (about the levels you mention) that was older and my players said was.... questionable in his line calls. I never played him, but he fits your description to a "T". Former high (4.5, maybe higher) level player on his way down.
 
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