Serve Out?

DE19702

Rookie
What do you think of this? Your partner is receiving serve. You call the serve long. Opponent questions the call and asks your partner whether he thought the serve was out. Your partner says he doesn't know or isn't sure. Opponent then claims a disagreement and insists on the point.
 

ncgator

Rookie
What do you think of this? Your partner is receiving serve. You call the serve long. Opponent questions the call and asks your partner whether he thought the serve was out. Your partner says he doesn't know or isn't sure. Opponent then claims a disagreement and insists on the point.
If your partner receiving the serve didn't clearly see if the ball was in or out, he should simply say he didn't see it clearly since he was focused on returning the ball and you have the better angle to make a long call. If he thinks it might have been good, the server wins the point.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
What do you think of this? Your partner is receiving serve. You call the serve long. Opponent questions the call and asks your partner whether he thought the serve was out. Your partner says he doesn't know or isn't sure. Opponent then claims a disagreement and insists on the point.
-If anyone says "I dont know", then the ball is considered in.
-If either players call is in disagreement with the the other, then the ball is considered in.

With this said:

Both players do not have to "agree" on a call, they just cannot "disagree" or voice "uncertainty". In essence, both players do not need to make line calls. One call is sufficient, so long as that call is not "overturned" or "uncertain".

If my partner is in the best position to make a call, im gonna go with their call unless I clearly see their call is wrong. I have overruled my partners before and I tend to make very generous calls in general. Suffice to say, most of the time your opponent asks you what you saw, they are generally trying to win the point by making you say "I didnt see it." so you have to be careful.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
If your partner receiving the serve didn't clearly see if the ball was in or out, he should simply say he didn't see it clearly since he was focused on returning the ball and you have the better angle to make a long call. If he thinks it might have been good, the server wins the point.
If you or your partner says "I didnt see it", you have just lost the point.

It's better to say "that was his line/call", or to just "agree" or "confirm" the call.

If you have any interest in winning the point, you shouldnt ever say "I didnt see it" because they're basically trying to trap you into losing the point. I play with honest partners, so im confident in their line calls in terms of fairness.

The most hilarious thing is when I actually see the same "call" as my partner, but when an aggravated opponent ask me what I saw, I just dont answer. It kills them in their head, because they're convinced we're cheating, even when we're not.
 

OrangePower

Legend
If you or your partner says "I didnt see it", you have just lost the point.
That is not correct. Only one player of the pair needs to make the call. The other player not seeing it does not constitute disagreement.

Think of it this way: player A is at net looking forward, his partner B calls a ball out by the baseline. Player A has no opinion since he did not see it, and the call stands.
 
Also, note that the receiver has a better view of the longitudinal line whereas the receiver's partner has a better view of the lateral line.
 

RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
I have seen this happen in tournaments. Player returns a serve that partner called out. Opponents want to know if returner saw it good. Returner said it was partner's call. Eye rolling from opponents. This is gamesmanship that can put off people who aren't used to playing by the Code.

I think the reverse is more common however. Your partner is a timid line caller. Either they say nothing or hesitate on close but out serves to you. You call them out, and of course the opponents object.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
That is not correct. Only one player of the pair needs to make the call. The other player not seeing it does not constitute disagreement.

Think of it this way: player A is at net looking forward, his partner B calls a ball out by the baseline. Player A has no opinion since he did not see it, and the call stands.
No. A "ball that cannot be called out is considered good". If one particular player says "I didnt see it", then that means they cannot call the ball out, and therefore the ball is considered "good". It does make it a disagreement.

If you dont say anything, or say "that's his call" or "he can call it", then you dont have a disagreement, because you have not created an element of "uncertainty" and therefore do not need to call the ball as "good".

Either player can make a call. It only takes one of them to be "not able to call the ball out" to create a "disagreement".

Basically, you are offering your opinion on to whether you thought the ball was in or out by saying "I dont know" whereas not saying anything, or saying it was their call, you have not offered your opinion at all.
 

OrangePower

Legend
No. A "ball that cannot be called out is considered good". If one particular player says "I didnt see it", then that means they cannot call the ball out, and therefore the ball is considered "good". It does make it a disagreement.

If you dont say anything, or say "that's his call" or "he can call it", then you dont have a disagreement, because you have not created an element of "uncertainty" and therefore do not need to call the ball as "good".

Either player can make a call. It only takes one of them to be "not able to call the ball out" to create a "disagreement".

Basically, you are offering your opinion on to whether you thought the ball was in or out by saying "I dont know" whereas not saying anything, or saying it was their call, you have not offered your opinion at all.
Sorry, your interpretation is just not correct. Saying "I didn't see it" means you have no opinion, and thus there is no potential for disagreement.
Just think through my scenario (player A at net looking forward while partner B makes the out call at the baseline), if your interpretation were correct:
Opponents look at player A and ask what he saw - knowing of course that he didn't see it since he was looking forwards.
Player A says "it's my partner's call" or some such, to avoid the "trap" you're cautioning against.
Opponents ask player A point-blank "did you even see the ball land? Yes or no?"
Now, according to you, he can't say "no, I was looking forwards at the time" without conceding the point. And he can't say "yes" (without lying).
Of course that's ridiculous. And while not every USTA rule makes sense, they are not *this* ridiculous :)
The rule that it's sufficient for one partner to make the call in dubs is acknowledgement that in dubs it is legitimate and fairly common to have one partner looking ahead and not watching the ball land behind them.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
Sorry, your interpretation is just not correct. Saying "I didn't see it" means you have no opinion, and thus there is no potential for disagreement.
Just think through my scenario (player A at net looking forward while partner B makes the out call at the baseline), if your interpretation were correct:
Opponents look at player A and ask what he saw - knowing of course that he didn't see it since he was looking forwards.
Player A says "it's my partner's call" or some such, to avoid the "trap" you're cautioning against.
Opponents ask player A point-blank "did you even see the ball land? Yes or no?"
Now, according to you, he can't say "no, I was looking forwards at the time" without conceding the point. And he can't say "yes" (without lying).
Of course that's ridiculous. And while not every USTA rule makes sense, they are not *this* ridiculous :)
The rule that it's sufficient for one partner to make the call in dubs is acknowledgement that in dubs it is legitimate and fairly common to have one partner looking ahead and not watching the ball land behind them.
While I certainly agree on it's usage, we're discussing a technicality here.

By saying "I didnt see it" or "I dont know" you have admitted you would be unable to call the ball "in" or "out" during that point. If you cannot call the ball "out", you must call the ball "in". In a situation where one person calls the ball "in" the the other calls the ball "out", the ball is called "in".

By not saying anything, or saying "it's his call", or "he's in a better position" you have not removed your ability to make the call because you have not admitted that you cant make the call. You've basically said "its better he makes the call" without actually saying "I cant make the call".

Only one person has to make the call in doubles. We agree there.

Making a judgement on what a person can and cannot see doesnt really apply during a technical argument. If this were singles, how well would the argument stand if the persons back is facing the ball, and they call the ball "out" so you challenge them saying "they couldnt possibly have seen it". That never works, even if it's true.
 

jhupper

Rookie
Sorry, your interpretation is just not correct. Saying "I didn't see it" means you have no opinion, and thus there is no potential for disagreement.
Just think through my scenario (player A at net looking forward while partner B makes the out call at the baseline), if your interpretation were correct:
Opponents look at player A and ask what he saw - knowing of course that he didn't see it since he was looking forwards.
Player A says "it's my partner's call" or some such, to avoid the "trap" you're cautioning against.
Opponents ask player A point-blank "did you even see the ball land? Yes or no?"
Now, according to you, he can't say "no, I was looking forwards at the time" without conceding the point. And he can't say "yes" (without lying).
Of course that's ridiculous. And while not every USTA rule makes sense, they are not *this* ridiculous :)
The rule that it's sufficient for one partner to make the call in dubs is acknowledgement that in dubs it is legitimate and fairly common to have one partner looking ahead and not watching the ball land behind them.
Yip

While I certainly agree on it's usage, we're discussing a technicality here.

By saying "I didnt see it" or "I dont know" you have admitted you would be unable to call the ball "in" or "out" during that point. If you cannot call the ball "out", you must call the ball "in". In a situation where one person calls the ball "in" the the other calls the ball "out", the ball is called "in".

By not saying anything, or saying "it's his call", or "he's in a better position" you have not removed your ability to make the call because you have not admitted that you cant make the call. You've basically said "its better he makes the call" without actually saying "I cant make the call".

Only one person has to make the call in doubles. We agree there.

Making a judgement on what a person can and cannot see doesnt really apply during a technical argument. If this were singles, how well would the argument stand if the persons back is facing the ball, and they call the ball "out" so you challenge them saying "they couldnt possibly have seen it". That never works, even if it's true.
Nope
 

OrangePower

Legend
While I certainly agree on it's usage, we're discussing a technicality here.

By saying "I didnt see it" or "I dont know" you have admitted you would be unable to call the ball "in" or "out" during that point. If you cannot call the ball "out", you must call the ball "in". In a situation where one person calls the ball "in" the the other calls the ball "out", the ball is called "in".

By not saying anything, or saying "it's his call", or "he's in a better position" you have not removed your ability to make the call because you have not admitted that you cant make the call. You've basically said "its better he makes the call" without actually saying "I cant make the call".

Only one person has to make the call in doubles. We agree there.

Making a judgement on what a person can and cannot see doesnt really apply during a technical argument. If this were singles, how well would the argument stand if the persons back is facing the ball, and they call the ball "out" so you challenge them saying "they couldnt possibly have seen it". That never works, even if it's true.
By saying "I didnt see it" or "I dont know" you have admitted you would be unable to call the ball "in" or "out" during that point. If you cannot call the ball "out", you must call the ball "in". In a situation where one person calls the ball "in" the the other calls the ball "out", the ball is called "in".
This chain of reasoning is not correct because...

If you cannot call the ball "out", you must call the ball "in".
... this is not a true statement. What's true is:

If a team cannot call the ball "out", they must call the ball "in".

Of course in singles, the two statements are equivalent.

There are two different rules in play:
1. A call must be made. If a call cannot be made, the ball is considered good.
2. In dubs, only one partner is required to make the call.

In singles, if you say you didn't see it, then your team (i.e. you) is not able to make a call, and the ball is considered good.
In dubs, if you didn't see it, then it's your partner's call. If he didn't see it either, then the ball is considered good, otherwise his call stands.

Remember that the code is all about making accurate and fair calls. That's why in singles a call must be made - otherwise we'd have multiple lets where a player claims he "didn't see it". In dubs, an accurate and fair call is possible where one partner does not see the ball land but the other does. However if they both see the ball, then they must be in agreement in order to give the opponents the benefit of any doubt.
 

Startzel

Hall of Fame
No. A "ball that cannot be called out is considered good". If one particular player says "I didnt see it", then that means they cannot call the ball out, and therefore the ball is considered "good". It does make it a disagreement.

If you dont say anything, or say "that's his call" or "he can call it", then you dont have a disagreement, because you have not created an element of "uncertainty" and therefore do not need to call the ball as "good".

Either player can make a call. It only takes one of them to be "not able to call the ball out" to create a "disagreement".

Basically, you are offering your opinion on to whether you thought the ball was in or out by saying "I dont know" whereas not saying anything, or saying it was their call, you have not offered your opinion at all.
The rules do not require both players to make the same call. It just requires the players not to disagree on the call.
 

coloskier

Legend
I have seen this happen in tournaments. Player returns a serve that partner called out. Opponents want to know if returner saw it good. Returner said it was partner's call. Eye rolling from opponents. This is gamesmanship that can put off people who aren't used to playing by the Code.

I think the reverse is more common however. Your partner is a timid line caller. Either they say nothing or hesitate on close but out serves to you. You call them out, and of course the opponents object.
Or, your partner could be one of those people that will call a ball in as long as he knows the return is going in, even if the serve was out. Especially against a big server. This is a lot more common than anyone would think, and is it's own version of gamesmanship, and should be dealt with by torture and dismemberment. :)
 

tennytive

Professional
This is one of the toughest calls for the receiver because the angle of the ball landing even an inch out behind the line will look good to the receiver as the ball hides the line, whereas the partner looking across has the better angle to see in or out.

That being said, I have overruled my partners many times as I was sure the ball was good as the receiver, when I was most likely wrong.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
By saying "I didnt see it" or "I dont know" you have admitted you would be unable to call the ball "in" or "out" during that point. If you cannot call the ball "out", you must call the ball "in". In a situation where one person calls the ball "in" the the other calls the ball "out", the ball is called "in".
This chain of reasoning is not correct because...

If you cannot call the ball "out", you must call the ball "in".
... this is not a true statement. What's true is:

If a team cannot call the ball "out", they must call the ball "in".

Of course in singles, the two statements are equivalent.

There are two different rules in play:
1. A call must be made. If a call cannot be made, the ball is considered good.
2. In dubs, only one partner is required to make the call.

In singles, if you say you didn't see it, then your team (i.e. you) is not able to make a call, and the ball is considered good.
In dubs, if you didn't see it, then it's your partner's call. If he didn't see it either, then the ball is considered good, otherwise his call stands.

Remember that the code is all about making accurate and fair calls. That's why in singles a call must be made - otherwise we'd have multiple lets where a player claims he "didn't see it". In dubs, an accurate and fair call is possible where one partner does not see the ball land but the other does. However if they both see the ball, then they must be in agreement in order to give the opponents the benefit of any doubt.
So, your argument is basically this:

In singles, if a person says "I didnt see it", the ball is being called "in" not because they give the "benefit of doubt" to the opponent, the ball is called "in" because " a was not made, but a call must be made, therefore the ball is "in"?

I disagree.

If you follow the code and give "benefit of doubt" to the opponent, saying "I didnt see it" means you are calling the ball "in". This means if one person says "Out" and the other person says "I didnt see it" you have one person calling the ball "out" and one person calling the ball "in".

If one player says "Out" and the other person says "it's his call" you have one person calling the ball "out" and one person not calling the ball at all. This means the ball is called "out".

I do not agree with the logic of: "in singles, if your opponent says 'I didnt see it', the ball is only being called in because a call 'must be made'". I would say the ball is called "in" because you have given your opponent the "benefit of doubt", as the code recommends.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
So, your argument is basically this:

In singles, if a person says "I didnt see it", the ball is being called "in" not because they give the "benefit of doubt" to the opponent, the ball is called "in" because " a was not made, but a call must be made, therefore the ball is "in"?

I disagree.

If you follow the code and give "benefit of doubt" to the opponent, saying "I didnt see it" means you are calling the ball "in". This means if one person says "Out" and the other person says "I didnt see it" you have one person calling the ball "out" and one person calling the ball "in".

If one player says "Out" and the other person says "it's his call" you have one person calling the ball "out" and one person not calling the ball at all. This means the ball is called "out".

I do not agree with the logic of: "in singles, if your opponent says 'I didnt see it', the ball is only being called in because a call 'must be made'". I would say the ball is called "in" because you have given your opponent the "benefit of doubt", as the code recommends.
I don't think you are remembering the code's actual language very well. Here is the pertinent paragraph, things bolded and underlined by me:

14. Partners’ disagreement on calls. If one partner calls the ball out and the other partner sees the ball good, the ball is good. It is more important to give opponents the benefit of the doubt than to avoid possibly hurting a partner’s feelings. The tactful way to achieve the desired result is to tell a partner quietly of the mistake and then let the partner concede the point.​

This does not say if the partner doesn't see it, the ball is good. It says if the partner "sees the ball good". There is a difference. So I'm really not sure where you are getting your interpretation.

Further, as others have pointed out, your interpretation doesn't address the situation where the partner at net does not turn to look at the ball and so does not see it, but their partner calls it out. Certainly there is not disagreement in this case and it is the same response "I didn't see it".
 

DE19702

Rookie
Another issue is whether an opponent has the right to ask the other player's partner whether they thought the serve was in after it had been called out thereby trying to create a dispute. This appears to me to be gamesmanship and is somewhat offensive to the person calling it out. I know there is a right to ask the person who made the call to confirm it - which is in itself offensive because it questions the truthfulness of the person making the call - but to try to create an issue seems unsportsmanlike-like.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
I don't think you are remembering the code's actual language very well. Here is the pertinent paragraph, things bolded and underlined by me:

14. Partners’ disagreement on calls. If one partner calls the ball out and the other partner sees the ball good, the ball is good. It is more important to give opponents the benefit of the doubt than to avoid possibly hurting a partner’s feelings. The tactful way to achieve the desired result is to tell a partner quietly of the mistake and then let the partner concede the point.​

This does not say if the partner doesn't see it, the ball is good. It says if the partner "sees the ball good". There is a difference. So I'm really not sure where you are getting your interpretation.

Further, as others have pointed out, your interpretation doesn't address the situation where the partner at net does not turn to look at the ball and so does not see it, but their partner calls it out. Certainly there is not disagreement in this case and it is the same response "I didn't see it".
I dont think you folks are understanding my argument very well.

I have read this part of the code, but it's not exactly addressing what we're discussing here, it's only related to it. If one person say "out" and one person says "in", then this part of the code can be easily applied. We agree there.

My argument is based on the wording "I didnt see it", or "I'm not sure".

Oranges argument says that you are not extending "benefit of doubt", but rather, in singles "a call must be made", and in doubles "only one person must make the call", so saying "I dont know" does not apply "benefit of doubt". My argument is that whenever you say "I dont know" you have just lost the point because you must extend "benefit of doubt". In doubles, if one person of the two says this, you've lost the point due to the same reason.

People are still stuck on "only one person must make the call in doubles". We're past that, and I never disputed that from the beginning. This situation is about when BOTH players essentially make a call. Orange is saying "I dont know" does not constitute a call, whereas i'm saying it does.

It doesnt matter "what you can see". I've already made examples that defeat this argument. You can literally be playing an actually blind opponent, and their calls will in fact stand. The code does say "some players are in better positions to make calls than others", but it quickly says "either player may make the call".
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
-If anyone says "I dont know", then the ball is considered in.
-If either players call is in disagreement with the the other, then the ball is considered in.

With this said:

Both players do not have to "agree" on a call, they just cannot "disagree" or voice "uncertainty". In essence, both players do not need to make line calls. One call is sufficient, so long as that call is not "overturned" or "uncertain".

If my partner is in the best position to make a call, im gonna go with their call unless I clearly see their call is wrong. I have overruled my partners before and I tend to make very generous calls in general. Suffice to say, most of the time your opponent asks you what you saw, they are generally trying to win the point by making you say "I didnt see it." so you have to be careful.
False. The rule is the partners can't conflict. If one defers to the other, which is what they were doing here, it's still the partner's call.
The rules do not require both players to make the same call. It just requires the players not to disagree on the call.
Exactly. In this case, the returner is deferring to their partner. The opponent also should have asked the player that made the call if they were sure, if they ask at all.
 

WYK

Professional
It never once states that both players must make a call after coming to agreement. Only one player need make a call. If the rules stated they both make a call, then you would have grounds to call one as in - which is why this is never assumed to be the case. But that rule is for singles play and when both players on a doubles team are in doubt. In such a case as both being in doubt,i will usually call a let if i am their opposing team. Why? Because I'm not a tool. Due to the dynamic nature of doubles, both players on a team can never be certain of every call. You're methodology would place every call in question. If one player at least on the opposing side makes a call, you either abide by it, or your argue it. That much in the rules is clear.

The basic idea folks is the game is a match of skills between two teams. You win when you play better, not when you do the better Alize Cornet impersonation. If i feel the other team is technicality Ing me to death, or cheating, i state so and default, and do not discuss it further. Life is too short to waste my time with people who are losers both on and off the court.
 

OrangePower

Legend
Orange is saying "I dont know" does not constitute a call, whereas i'm saying it does.
At least we agree on why we disagree!

The absence of a call does not in as of itself imply a call, however, a call must be made. I don't think I'm going to convince you though so if we ever disagree on the court we will need to settle it with pistols at dawn. :)

BTW I think "I didn't see it" is more explicit than "I don't know".
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
At least we agree on why we disagree!

The absence of a call does not in as of itself imply a call, however, a call must be made. I don't think I'm going to convince you though so if we ever disagree on the court we will need to settle it with pistols at dawn. :)

BTW I think "I didn't see it" is more explicit than "I don't know".
Let me try this argument then.

The baseline opponent calls your baseline shot "out". You inquire the opinion of your other opponent who was playing at net at the time. They say, "I didnt see it, I dont know, but it looked like it was going to land in."

-The net player didnt actually say they "saw it in".
-Two people do not have to make line calls.
-The net player was not in the best position to make the call, even if they had seen it.

What is the ruling?

By your reasoning, the "out" call stands. By my reasoning, the call is overturned.
 

OrangePower

Legend
Let me try this argument then.

The baseline opponent calls your baseline shot "out". You inquire the opinion of your other opponent who was playing at net at the time. They say, "I didnt see it, I dont know, but it looked like it was going to land in."

-The net player didnt actually say they "saw it in".
-Two people do not have to make line calls.
-The net player was not in the best position to make the call, even if they had seen it.

What is the ruling?

By your reasoning, the "out" call stands. By my reasoning, the call is overturned.
Out call stands, and it's a good example. Let's say the net player was lobbed, could not get in position to attempt an overhead, and calls "yours" to his partner while switching. Partner calls it out. Net player is honest and says he thought it was heading in as it was going over his head - which is why he called for help. But he was not watching the ball when it landed and if his partner saw it land out, it's out.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
Out call stands, and it's a good example. Let's say the net player was lobbed, could not get in position to attempt an overhead, and calls "yours" to his partner while switching. Partner calls it out. Net player is honest and says he thought it was heading in as it was going over his head - which is why he called for help. But he was not watching the ball when it landed and if his partner saw it land out, it's out.
Ouch. The only time i've ever said "I thought it was going in" was after I called the ball out, and it's usually in the form of a "praise". Basically, I use it like "you had me" when your opponent misses a shot that would clearly have been a winner if it landed in.

I dont think i'd ever say "I thought it was going in" if im being interrogated by an opponent, especially if it's the result of a call my partner has made.

Well, we have to agree to disagree then. You're consistent at least. We would have more to argue about if you had said the call would be reversed!
 

OrangePower

Legend
I dont think i'd ever say "I thought it was going in" if im being interrogated by an opponent, especially if it's the result of a call my partner has made.
I'm sure you've been 'beaten' by unreachable lobs that you would have made an overhead attempt on had you been able to reach it... but then the ball lands just out. We've all experienced that. So I'd have no problem admitting that as the ball was going over my head, I thought it would go in. If upon landing my partner saw it land out and I didn't see it land at all, then my misjudgement of the ball in the air is no reason to change the call.

I sense that you would not make such a statement because you fear that your opponents will use it against you, which is sad - perhaps you've had some bad experiences with arguments about calls on court. Maybe I've been lucky in that sense.
 
Let me try this argument then.

The baseline opponent calls your baseline shot "out". You inquire the opinion of your other opponent who was playing at net at the time. They say, "I didnt see it, I dont know, but it looked like it was going to land in."

-The net player didnt actually say they "saw it in".
-Two people do not have to make line calls.
-The net player was not in the best position to make the call, even if they had seen it.

What is the ruling?

By your reasoning, the "out" call stands. By my reasoning, the call is overturned.
Phrased that way, I agree with Orange. The net player never actually made a call. "It looked like it was going to land in" is not a call. "In" or "Out" is a call.

Also, what partner would ever say "It looked like it was going to land in"? I know I've never said that and it's not because I'm trying to get an advantage. It's just not relevant what it looked like the ball was going to do from an "In" or "Out" call perspective.

Now, that's different from the following: my opponent hits a ball that I think is going long but it goes in and I hit an awkward error. My opponent asks "was that in?". I say "Yeah, I thought it was going out but it went in."

In the former, I'm not making a call. In the latter, I am.
 
Let me try this argument then.

The baseline opponent calls your baseline shot "out". You inquire the opinion of your other opponent who was playing at net at the time. They say, "I didnt see it, I dont know, but it looked like it was going to land in."

-The net player didnt actually say they "saw it in".
-Two people do not have to make line calls.
-The net player was not in the best position to make the call, even if they had seen it.

What is the ruling?

By your reasoning, the "out" call stands. By my reasoning, the call is overturned.
Let me give a counter-example: you play the #1 seed. After the match, your friend asks you who won. You reply "I thought he was going to crush me." That's not an answer; it's just an opinion. Most people would then follow it up with the actual score.

By analogy, "It looked like it was going to land in" is not an answer; it's just an opinion. Most people would follow it up with an actual call or, if they didn't see it, say so: "...but I didn't see it land so I can't make a call."
 

Thamel90

Rookie
The situation in the OP does seem like gamesmanship to me. Asking the returner who was busy returning the ball & really only has a better viewing angle than his partner on one line (the singles side line) seems like poor form. Of course he's going to be uncertain on a lot of them, the ball is coming quickly towards him and he's trying to play it. It's slightly different from saying something like "My partner had the better angle" but it's not so much that it should constitute making/disagreeing on a call, IMO.

Now, if the situation is reversed (returner calls ball out, his partner gets asked & displays uncertainty) I can understand it a little more. I still think it's bad form to question calls unless you do it very rarely. Luckily I play on clay, but even that doesn't stop people sometimes,
 

GlennK

Rookie
@NTRPolice

I think you are confusing "I didn't see it." with "I didn't see whether it was in or out.". The first one is simply a statement that you are not making a call. The second statement is expressing doubt and of course would mean you must give the benefit of doubt to your opponents.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I agree with Glenn. "I didn't see it" is very explicit wording indicating you were not in a position to make any call on the ball. If both players "didn't see it" then their only recourse is to ask their opponents for help and accept whatever call the opponents made. If one player sees the ball as good or not good and makes a clear call, their call stands unless the partner sees the ball and expresses doubt. The partner should avoid wording such as "I'm not sure". That indicates doubt and thus means the ball may have been good. "I didn't see it" does not indicate doubt but rather deferral to those that saw the ball.

It's best to say, "I don't disagree with my partner" in those situations so there is no chance at gaming a point.
 

tennis_ocd

Hall of Fame
Or, your partner could be one of those people that will call a ball in as long as he knows the return is going in, even if the serve was out. Especially against a big server. This is a lot more common than anyone would think, and is it's own version of gamesmanship, and should be dealt with by torture and dismemberment. :)
I regularly read that here but in years of tennis and perhaps thousand matches I've never encountered this. That's not to say servers haven't complained when their serve was returned for a winner but a guy actually, purposefully playing out balls as a form of gamesmanship? Never seen it.

To me the more annoying situation is up player calling ball *wide* and receiver stating he's not sure so going with the OUT call. sigh.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
That is not correct. Only one player of the pair needs to make the call. The other player not seeing it does not constitute disagreement.

Think of it this way: player A is at net looking forward, his partner B calls a ball out by the baseline. Player A has no opinion since he did not see it, and the call stands.
Agreed

One player calling it out and the other saying they don't know isn't a disagreement on the call.
 

OrangePower

Legend
To me the more annoying situation is up player calling ball *wide* and receiver stating he's not sure so going with the OUT call. sigh.
Yeah, I usually don't get too worked up over calls - most people are honest, and we all sometimes make a bad call unintentionally. But I had a scenario like you describe happen in a postseason match: I was serving to the deuce court, first serve. I hit a great serve wide for an ace, maybe 2 inches inside the sideline. Receiver acts like he's just been aced - starts moving towards the net in anticipation of his partner receiving the next point. At the same time, receiver's partner calls it out. My partner (at net, who could clearly see it landed inside the line), pretty much loses it. Receiver's partner insists it was out, even though he has a terrible angle for making that call. And BTW receiver's partner is known in our area for hooking. But I lost even more respect for the receiver - I always thought he was a fair player, but in this case he definitely knew it was in, but when we asked him, he chickened out, said he didn't see it and let his partner's out call stand.

We ended up winning that game, that set, and the match, but to this day it has left a bad taste in my mouth.
 

tennytive

Professional
As a linesman we were taught to put two hands in front of our eyes if we were blocked by players from seeing the ball well enough to make a correct call. The chair umpire will always look to the linesman in question first to confirm a call. Usually the linesman will give a safe or out signal clearly visible to the chair.

In the time I worked I only saw one instance when a lineswoman gave the chair the unsighted signal. The chair umpire then made the call, and neither player complained that since the linesperson didn't see the ball in or out that there was a disagreement on the call.
 

woodrow1029

Hall of Fame
If you or your partner says "I didnt see it"
This is not true. Players don't have to agree on a call, they just can't disagree. If one partner makes an out call after seeing it out, the partner may not have a good look at it.

Saying "I didn't see it" is a lot different than disagreeing with your partner.

If both partners don't see it, then the team loses the point.
 

blakesq

Professional
NTRPolice,

Let me present this scenario to you: in a doubles match, you are at net, your partner is at the baseline, your opponents lob the ball over your head, your partner is behind you, watches the ball land 5 feet out, and calls it out, you, being at net, kept looking straight ahead at your opponents. if your opponents ask YOU if it was in or out, and you say "I wasn't watching where the ball landed", does that mean you lose the point?




I dont think you folks are understanding my argument very well.

I have read this part of the code, but it's not exactly addressing what we're discussing here, it's only related to it. If one person say "out" and one person says "in", then this part of the code can be easily applied. We agree there.

My argument is based on the wording "I didnt see it", or "I'm not sure".

Oranges argument says that you are not extending "benefit of doubt", but rather, in singles "a call must be made", and in doubles "only one person must make the call", so saying "I dont know" does not apply "benefit of doubt". My argument is that whenever you say "I dont know" you have just lost the point because you must extend "benefit of doubt". In doubles, if one person of the two says this, you've lost the point due to the same reason.

People are still stuck on "only one person must make the call in doubles". We're past that, and I never disputed that from the beginning. This situation is about when BOTH players essentially make a call. Orange is saying "I dont know" does not constitute a call, whereas i'm saying it does.

It doesnt matter "what you can see". I've already made examples that defeat this argument. You can literally be playing an actually blind opponent, and their calls will in fact stand. The code does say "some players are in better positions to make calls than others", but it quickly says "either player may make the call".
 
N

Nashvegas

Guest
Happened to find the April 2015 issue of Tennis magazine lying around (I'll let you fill in the blanks here), and lo and behold, stumbled upon the OP's question in the rules Q&A.

The answer was provided by Rebel Good, who has "taught the rules to officials for more than 20 years."

To be clear, the question posed was what to do if your doubles partner calls out, you "cannot tell if it was in or out", and the opponents then ask for your call.

I'll quote the answer:
"The interplay of several items in The Code often leads to confusion, particularly when it comes to doubles. Item 6 says you give your opponents the benefit of the doubt; Item 8 says if you can't call it out, it's good; and Item 14 says that when doubles partners disagree on a call, the ball is good. Presumably your partner followed the strictures of the first two when she called the shot out, so that's the call for your team. Now, did you disagree with your partner's call? Not as you described it. You were simply unsure. Your partner may have had a better look at it. That being the case, keep your mouth shut. If your opponents ask how you saw it, don't say, "I'm not sure." Just say, "I don't disagree with my partner."

- TENNIS magazine, Mar/Apr 2015, "Court of Appeals"

Fin?
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
Happened to find the April 2015 issue of Tennis magazine lying around (I'll let you fill in the blanks here), and lo and behold, stumbled upon the OP's question in the rules Q&A.

The answer was provided by Rebel Good, who has "taught the rules to officials for more than 20 years."

To be clear, the question posed was what to do if your doubles partner calls out, you "cannot tell if it was in or out", and the opponents then ask for your call.

I'll quote the answer:
"The interplay of several items in The Code often leads to confusion, particularly when it comes to doubles. Item 6 says you give your opponents the benefit of the doubt; Item 8 says if you can't call it out, it's good; and Item 14 says that when doubles partners disagree on a call, the ball is good. Presumably your partner followed the strictures of the first two when she called the shot out, so that's the call for your team. Now, did you disagree with your partner's call? Not as you described it. You were simply unsure. Your partner may have had a better look at it. That being the case, keep your mouth shut. If your opponents ask how you saw it, don't say, "I'm not sure." Just say, "I don't disagree with my partner."

- TENNIS magazine, Mar/Apr 2015, "Court of Appeals"

Fin?
Nice.

So, "I'm not sure" or "I didnt see it" doesnt make it a disagreement.

But, it's better to not say anything, or say "it's their [your partners] call".

So, in some sense, we're all correct?
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
Being unsure is fine. Saying so is problematic.
Of course.

And in the context of this thread, they're asking you "what did you see?" when they're basically disputing a call.

I obviously know that both doubles players dont always see where the ball lands and this generally isnt a problem. However, in the context of this thread, they are requesting the opinion of both players, with the intent of looking for an answer that creates a "problem" or contradiction. Sometimes one player may straight up overrule the other, but in this case, saying "I'm not sure" can only create more problems than it solves.
 

OrangePower

Legend
Being unsure is fine. Saying so is problematic.
Unfortunately people don't know the actual rule, and so may (incorrectly) try to use an admission of being unsure against you.
I personally avoid saying "I'm not sure", instead I say "I didn't see it". I haven't had any problems with that approach (at least yet).
I would not go so far as to say "I don't disagree with my partner's call" because that feels too contrived, and so may in itself introduce an air of contention where previously there was none.
 

blakesq

Professional
but you said in a previous post: " If you or your partner says "I didnt see it", you have just lost the point."

I think that is a false statement, see my scenario above. If one partner saw it, and one did not see it, you don't lose the point.


Of course.

And in the context of this thread, they're asking you "what did you see?" when they're basically disputing a call.

I obviously know that both doubles players dont always see where the ball lands and this generally isnt a problem. However, in the context of this thread, they are requesting the opinion of both players, with the intent of looking for an answer that creates a "problem" or contradiction. Sometimes one player may straight up overrule the other, but in this case, saying "I'm not sure" can only create more problems than it solves.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Unfortunately people don't know the actual rule, and so may (incorrectly) try to use an admission of being unsure against you.
I personally avoid saying "I'm not sure", instead I say "I didn't see it". I haven't had any problems with that approach (at least yet).
I would not go so far as to say "I don't disagree with my partner's call" because that feels too contrived, and so may in itself introduce an air of contention where previously there was none.
I think "I didn't see it" for the most part is acceptable but if you are pushed you can resort to, "I didn't see it so I can't disagree with my partner."

That should end any gamesmanship looking for a disagreement. If you specifically state you don't disagree, they have nothing to do but concede the call.

TBH I've never had this happen in doubles. It's accepted the net man has the best view and his call stands. As a receiver I've never been asked to clarify my partners call.
 

OrangePower

Legend
I think "I didn't see it" for the most part is acceptable but if you are pushed you can resort to, "I didn't see it so I can't disagree with my partner."

That should end any gamesmanship looking for a disagreement. If you specifically state you don't disagree, they have nothing to do but concede the call.
Agree with your approach.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
but you said in a previous post: " If you or your partner says "I didnt see it", you have just lost the point."

I think that is a false statement, see my scenario above. If one partner saw it, and one did not see it, you don't lose the point.
Because that's the way I incorrectly interpreted the rules.

In context, you're likely asking someone who probably saw the ball, not one who probably didnt, about a call that you think is incorrect. An example of this is when the returner calls a ball "out", so the serving teams net person asks the receiving teams net person what they saw. If the net person then says "I didnt see it." you have a great point of contention. If the net person says "out" or "he can call it", you dont there really isnt much more to say.

If you say "I didnt see it" on a ball that you probably saw, you can expect problems.
 
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