playing with someone who called his first serve out

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by dlam, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. dlam

    dlam Semi-Pro

    Aug 3, 2010
    Need some feedback.
    league match.
    playing regular match, whenever Im receiving the serve, if the ball is out I call it loud and immediate.
    If the ball is obviously out , for me that is 2 feet or longer I say sometimes say out or not say anything cause if it's really wide/long and I think it's demeaning to yell out when it's obviously out.
    For most of the match the calls were fair. He acknowlege the obvious serve out calls woithout me calling it out loud.
    Then there was a really fast serve that was so close that I had to return and couldnt be sure, so I play the point.
    He appears not to try to play the point and catches the ball after I return over the net and tells me it's out and it's second serve.
    I dont say anything.
    I think hmmmm, server can't call that serve out. but I dont say anything and he serves second serve.

    During the next set, Im serving and there were a few that I felt was perhaps long but he plays it and continue playing those points.
    Then I make a purposely super slow serve and the ball looks obviously long to me (for me that 2 feet or more) I sure he's going to say out but he plays it and I dont move.
    I call my first serve out.(first time and only time)and he looks at me , I tell him I absolutely sure the ball is out. he thought it was in but and gives me second serve and lets me call it out.
    Now that really bother me ,
    I dont think either of us should calling our first serve out.
    What should I have done.
    Im thinking I should not let him call his first serve out in the first set as that made me think I could do it as well.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  2. 3fees

    3fees Legend

    Jun 24, 2010
    Player receiving the serve makes the call in or out, call attention to it with the server and that should be good enough, don't let server do your call in or out.

  3. penpal

    penpal Semi-Pro

    Feb 18, 2004
    You have a few options here:

    A) Do as you did. Allow your opponent to make the call and that's that.

    B) If you returned the ball in the court and your opponent didn't play it, take the point. This will involve some discussion, possibly an angry exchange, you might even have to pull out a rule book, but according to the rules it's your point and you have every right to take it.

    C) Allow your opponent a second serve just this one time after explaining the rule to him. Again, this might require a review of the rule book, but if your opponent protests too much you can decide to revert to option B.

    I find that most of the gentleman I play against are really good people and so I'll usually go with option C. Every once in awhile I come across someone who rubs me the wrong way and in those cases I'll go with option B from the get go. Only in non-league social matches will I select option A.
  4. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

    Dec 11, 2006
    I don't know what you expected. You ignore some rules (calling every out ball out), and play by other rules, of course there is going to be confusion. How do you avoid this? CALL EVERY OUT BALL OUT. If you think it will hurt your opponent's feelings, then indicate the ball is out by pointing your index finger up.

  5. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

    Dec 14, 2010
    Augusta, GA
    So there is no confusion I have the hand signal for out (index finger pointing in the air)

    I yell out if it's close and do the hand signal
    I only do the hand signal if it is obviously out (as like you say not to be demeaning) but you are still making the call to confirm you see it as out as well.
  6. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Aug 16, 2005
    Make TT better, use the Ignore List!
    This is the correct. I have a 4.0 friend who thinks his vision is better than it really is and therefore calls his own first serves out. I started off playing him with option A, got irritated with some of his calls and went to option C, and now consistently use option B. I regret having not started there in the first place.
  7. dlam

    dlam Semi-Pro

    Aug 3, 2010
    Like this solutions too
  8. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Aug 10, 2010
    Even if a serve is 5 ft long i call it so that if I ever get into this situation my opponent has no reason to think his serve is out when I don't say anything.

    If I don't say anything it means I was not 100% sure the ball was out and therefore the ball is in play.

    In a league match, if this happens and my return was good then I take the point unless my opponent is significantly lower in level than me in which case I let them get away with it because I feel they are already getting beat, why make them feel stupid too :)
  9. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Mar 24, 2010
    If you don't hit the ball, hand signal is fine. If you hit the ball I want a verbal call.... nothing irritates me more than when I have hit a serve, which you have blocked back and as I hit the second ball I look up to see you standing there with an index finger in the air.
  10. Borrelli

    Borrelli Semi-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Unfortunately there are some people out there with really bad vision who regularly play "out" serves and it leads to lots of confusion, especially if the server knows it's out. At the end of the day it is the returners call so best to just play out the point but yeah it can get ugly. I've watched the service line during other's matches and it's amazing how many "out" serves people actually do play as in. I try to play on clay as much as possible, that way you just check the mark.
  11. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Aug 16, 2005
    Make TT better, use the Ignore List!
    I agree with this 100% but what I'd really like is more information on your avatar.
  12. tennisee

    tennisee Rookie

    Sep 30, 2004
    In one match I served what I was sure was a fault, the guy plays it, I stand there and watch it.
    "I played that as in" he said.
    "Oh," I said, standing there.
    "Have a second serve." he says.
    "Thankyou!" say I.

    Then, later in the match, the opposite happened; I played one of his serves that he thought was out, he stood there, and I offered him a second serve, which he accepted with thanks.

    We both knew the rules, and I guess we both broke them, but it seemed like a reasonable thing to do.

    I now try to be more careful to play all points where there is no out call on the serve.

    It annoys me a bit when people say nothing on on a close out serve, so I'll generally go to switch sides claiming the point. Then if they say, "no, that was out," I'll politely say that I need a call.

    One match I was hooked mercilessly by an old guy who would stand there waiting for a second serve after I served one that I thought was good. I was inexperienced and let him get away with it - thinking I served lots of faults that day - only to be told by my team mates that a lot of those "out" serves were really in.

    Lesson learned!
  13. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

    Aug 22, 2010
    "How about I call my side of the court, you call yours and we both live with this rule!?...We can't have one guy calling both sides of the court. That's preposterous"
  14. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

    Mar 17, 2010
    Depends on if it's a league match or pickup. The guy I play every week calls his own balls even wide during the rallies and I do the same. That's pickup. We really think we are going to beat each other and want no parts of a cheap point. We even met in the finals of two tourneys and did the same thing. I don't do that with anyone but him though. The reason is this. People will use that same call against you later when you do call a ball out and he thinks it is in. When you start yelling this is my side and that's your side he's going to remind you that you didn't mind him calling your side when you were in the first game of the first set and nothing mattered and he would be right in saying so. So don't let him call it at all. If you don't put a stop to it, he will end up calling your side and his side and I'm sure you don't want that. :)

    One other thing. I call everything out even if it hits the fence on the fly. I have seen too many times in heated matches where guys are clawing for any point they can get try an intimidate to get points later in the game. True story. A mixed match is going on and words have already been exchanged. So the first point of this particular game, one guy hits a ball that is probably 4 feet back easily...the guy doesn't call it out and claims the point...the game goes on and when he's finally won the game, the guy that hit the ball out during the first points starts raising hell. He tries to go back and claim that point. The other guy tells him that the ball was 4 or 5 feet back and everyone saw it...the guy that hit the ball says he didn't care if 15 people on the side saw it out...he didn't and assumed it was good....the guy ended up giving away that point and the game and the match. So I call it out if it one hops the fence. i don't even just put the finger up...I call it out. You just never know what kind of fools you will run in to. :)

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  15. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

    Sep 7, 2007
    Saudi Arabia
    I am really terrible at calling serves out, especially fast ones.

    I will play an entire match thinking I am calling serves accurately on my opponent only to hear my teammate berate me after the match claiming half the serves I played were out.

    Occasionally I have had my opponents call their own serve out and I have never argued with them and just let them take a second serve.
  16. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Feb 11, 2005
    So Cal
    Sad to read that so many people - some who are some of the most solid posters on these boards, let this happen. There can't be any 'occasional' - the rules are simple and there for a reason: if there's no umpire/linespeople, the player calls his side and if it's not CLEARLY out, it's in. When people deviate from this, bad things happen; players start thinking it's acceptable and when they play other people who know the rules they get upset.

    What are you going to do when you play one of these guys and you crush a return winner and he decides that his serve was out?

    There are many instances in life that need discretion - line calling in tennis isn't one of them.
  17. maverick1981

    maverick1981 New User

    Aug 12, 2012
    This is awful. Stick to a unilateral course of calls: every match, every call, every ball, every player. Make a call, every single time, if the ball is 2 inches out or 20 feet out.

    This happened to me not to long ago, the server decided to start calling his own serves when he got down in the match. Apparently, he forgot the rules too. Its not the servers call. Play every single ball until a call is made. Period.

    This happens more and more in league play - you crush the weaker guys serve, they contend the serve was out. Its a joke and terrible gamesmanship.
  18. dlam

    dlam Semi-Pro

    Aug 3, 2010
    You are allowed to call your second serve out
    I think that's what confusing some players
    But it doesn't give the liberty to call your first serve out
  19. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

    Apr 21, 2011
    If the server has a look of astonishment and doesn't physically react at all to my return of serve. and I have some doubt, I usually give him a break and go to a second serve. Sometimes sun glare or shadows or crazy spin makes it hard to see the serve landing spot. The server can sometimes see long faults better than the returner. It is reasonable, in a physically demanding unofficial match or if the server is playing with a minor injury, that he doesn't want use energy to chase down a return of serve on an truly "out" serve.

    According to the Code, servers are supposed to play every serve like it is "in" so this is technically not the correct way to play. I would be less likely to give a break like that in an official tourney.

    Of course, if you see the serve as 100% clearly in, stick with it.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013

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