Morality/Sportsmanship Question

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
Perception truly is in the eye of the beholder. It’s amazing that two people can see the same shot so differently. I dont make it habit of overruling my partners, but I have too much honor and integrity to let a bad call stand. I don’t play with people that are so serious that it would cause tension or be problematic if I overruled them. Life is just too short and it’s just tennis at the end of the day. None of us are on tour.

This whole discussion reminds me of exactly why I prefer singles over doubles. ;)
 

Max G.

Legend
It is amazing how perceptions of calls can differ. Normally, I would trust my partner's call on the baseline if she is right there and I am not.

Except that one time. . . .

My partner was running back to the baseline to chase a lob. I was about the service line, watching and praying the ball would fly long because it was our only hope to win that point. It landed in by about eight inches. Not even close, not on the line, not close to the line. In. So very in.

My (normally quite reliable) partner called it out.

Stunned, I went over to her and said, "Oh, Becky. That ball was way, way in. Like this much [indicating] in. We have to give them that point."

Becky said, "WHAT?!? That ball landed way out here [indicating a spot a good foot behind the baseline]. Look, here's the mark, right here! [Indicates a scuff behind the baseline on a clay court that hasn't been swept all weekend]."

I said something like, "Oh, wow. That's really weird because the ball bounced around here [indicating]. Oh, well. We have to give them the point 'cause they're staring at us now."

Becky continued to fume, and after the match said, "You know, we really can't afford to be giving away points on balls that are way out."

I let it go.
Yeah, that's the kind of thing I was imagining with the OP's question. If you saw the ball clearly in like that.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I would always consult my partner first before making an overrule. The last thing I want to do is ruin the trust between my partner and I. After a brief review we would discuss with the opponents. It sounds like everyone here would (or claim to ;) ) automatically over rule their partner. I think that could embarrass your partner and hurt the communication of your team.
I don't get the value of having "the conference" with your partner about a line call. If I'm your opponent, and if I thought my ball was in, your conference is just going to prove your team was unsure about the line call and it should be my point.

I've also tried to be clear with my partners that I may be wrong with my overrule, but I thought it was good and I couldn't let an out call stand in good conscience.
Functionally, there is no difference between having a conference or not. If you're sure the call is wrong, the result is that you are going to overturn the call regardless of whether you consult your partner on it first or not. However, having a quick word where you let your partner know first that you clearly saw the call the other way and that you have to give them the point, that gives them a chance to be the one to overturn their own call and avoids showing them up and saying they are (more or less) cheating. As the post above says, it preserves the trust between the partners.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
It is amazing how perceptions of calls can differ. Normally, I would trust my partner's call on the baseline if she is right there and I am not.

Except that one time. . . .

My partner was running back to the baseline to chase a lob. I was about the service line, watching and praying the ball would fly long because it was our only hope to win that point. It landed in by about eight inches. Not even close, not on the line, not close to the line. In. So very in.

My (normally quite reliable) partner called it out.

Stunned, I went over to her and said, "Oh, Becky. That ball was way, way in. Like this much [indicating] in. We have to give them that point."

Becky said, "WHAT?!? That ball landed way out here [indicating a spot a good foot behind the baseline]. Look, here's the mark, right here! [Indicates a scuff behind the baseline on a clay court that hasn't been swept all weekend]."

I said something like, "Oh, wow. That's really weird because the ball bounced around here [indicating]. Oh, well. We have to give them the point 'cause they're staring at us now."

Becky continued to fume, and after the match said, "You know, we really can't afford to be giving away points on balls that are way out."

I let it go.
Did you ask Becky if she possibly only saw the second bounce? LOL.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
showing them up and saying they are (more or less) cheating. As the post above says, it preserves the trust between the partners.
That says a lot. The fact that I saw it differently does not mean that I'm showing up my partner, that I think they were cheating, or even that they were even wrong - I just saw it differently.

Realistically the courts are small. There is no way to "have a quick word" without your opponents noticing. The important thing is to understand line calling and benefit of the doubt before the match starts. If someone equates a disagreement about a call with their partner with being accused of cheating, then there is no way to smooth that over in the course of a match.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
That says a lot. The fact that I saw it differently does not mean that I'm showing up my partner, that I think they were cheating, or even that they were even wrong - I just saw it differently.

Realistically the courts are small. There is no way to "have a quick word" without your opponents noticing. The important thing is to understand line calling and benefit of the doubt before the match starts. If someone equates a disagreement about a call with their partner with being accused of cheating, then there is no way to smooth that over in the course of a match.
It's just optics, but optics matter sometimes. If someone makes a call and their partner immediately says no, you're wrong about that, it's possible that they take that as their partner showing them up in front of the opponents. If you have a quick word and let them correct it themselves, it is a lot more face-saving for the original person to say to the opponents "hey look, I got that one wrong" rather than your partner correcting it and leaving the original call out there as wrong without giving the original player a chance to acknowledge an error and move on. Again, just optics because the outcome is still the same, but that does matter to a lot of people.

It doesn't matter whether the opponents see the conference or not. You're changing the call either way, so you're not discussing whether or not to change the call, but rather giving the person who made the original error a chance to correct their own mistake.
 
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