SI article on changing tennis scoring

Would you be in favor of this?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 10.3%
  • No

    Votes: 34 87.2%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 1 2.6%

  • Total voters
    39

kevrol

Hall of Fame
#2
Here's the justification:

1. No individual would bear the burden of serving more points than the opponent.
2. It equalizes the time between changeovers, enabling competitors to hydrate, rest and recover at regular rather than random intervals.
3. It reduces the average number of points played per set.
4. It normalizes relative match lengths.
5. It eliminates the inequity of winning more points than an opponent, yet losing the set.
6. It democratizes tennis, making the sport fairer and friendlier by giving equal worth and weight to every point.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#3
As the detractors point out, big servers would be disproportionately rewarded, the importance of identifying and winning big points will be minimized, fitness will play less of a role, and there will be overall a lot less drama that makes tennis different from other sports.
 
#4
It isn't brokened, why change it? While we're at it, let's lower the basket ball rim to 4 feet so short people can dunk, since they are at a disadvantage. Change professional American style football to flag football so that small player can survive on the field. Stupidity is always an option! Let's develop a sport where there are NO winners and losers. :rolleyes:
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
#5
It isn't brokened, why change it? While we're at it, let's lower the basket ball rim to 4 feet so short people can dunk, since they are at a disadvantage. Change professional American style football to flag football so that small player can survive on the field. Stupidity is always an option! Let's develop a sport where there are NO winners and losers. :rolleyes:
Being a short person, I'm in favor of lowering the basketball rim :p
Being a tennis player, I'm not in favor of changing the scoring.
Managing the "big" points and "momentum" points is part of what makes tennis, tennis.
Or maybe I'm just a traditionalist, and want to stick to the clock style scoring mechanics.
You're right though, winning the majority of individual points yet still losing a match, is definitely a tennis-ism,... but I liken individual tennis points to "yardage gained" in football. A football team can have the longest possessions, longest yardage gained, etc... and still lose because they weren't able to convert those thing into something that counts (eg. a touchdown, field goal, etc... or in the case of tennis, a game/set).
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#6
It isn't brokened, why change it? While we're at it, let's lower the basket ball rim to 4 feet so short people can dunk, since they are at a disadvantage. Change professional American style football to flag football so that small player can survive on the field. Stupidity is always an option! Let's develop a sport where there are NO winners and losers. :rolleyes:
It is not about that. It is about complaints from TV broadcasters about the length of tennis matches and about the empty seats in many tournaments.
 
#7
Here's the justification:

1. No individual would bear the burden of serving more points than the opponent.
2. It equalizes the time between changeovers, enabling competitors to hydrate, rest and recover at regular rather than random intervals.
3. It reduces the average number of points played per set.
4. It normalizes relative match lengths.
5. It eliminates the inequity of winning more points than an opponent, yet losing the set.
6. It democratizes tennis, making the sport fairer and friendlier by giving equal worth and weight to every point.
I don't see any of these 'justifications' as having much real merit, with the possible exception of #4.

Part of the beauty of tennis is that not all points are equal. Great players have the ability to handle the big points where the pressure is at its greatest. Also, good players adapt their strategy to the score. When serving at 40-0 you might try a very different serve to when serving down break point. It's all part of what makes the game more interesting.

Now as far as normalizing match lengths, or at least being able to more easily timebox matches, I can see this being a benefit, but I don't think it's worth changing the game so radically to achieve this. And there are other things that should be done first if the goal is to speed up the game, for example, stricter adherence to time taken between points, faster surfaces, etc.
 
#9
I always thought the tennis scoring system is stupid. It's unnecessarily complicated and unfair to the players. I would change it in a heartbeat. Also, I'm not sure why people say that making the change would benefit big servers. If anything, I feel it would be the opposite as it's easier to get points off a big server than get a break.
 
#17
I can see the reasoning behind it and it would heavily favor the statistically better player. The random "spikes" are absorbed into the tie breaker style score, and cant spike on checkpoints (games within a set) which at some point become insurmountable. A coin has a 50% chance to land on either side, but it doesnst mean there will be even distribution of sides over any series of flips except for infinite series. A 50% distribution of points isnt always reflected in a standard set of tennis, especially in a no-ad game. No-ad can be brutal, much more brutal than a standard ad scoring set.

Ever lost 1-1, or 2-2 against an even level opponent in a no-ad game? If there are 4-5 deuces per set, and you lose mostly all of them, you can lose big time. Remember, 50% chance on a coin flip doesnt mean it cant be heads/tails 4-5 times in a row. I'd much rather chase someone at 0-5 (or even 18-23) in a 24 point tiebreak than chase someone 0-5 in a standard set because they won every deuce game up to that point.

I dont think the game should be changed, but I can definitely see the rationale for the proposed changes.

They should change soccer so that there are multiple ways to score, make the goals bigger, and make it have more contact so players have incentive to stay on their feet vs. flopping when they think an opponents shoelace hit's their shoe. That will never happen, lol.
 
#18
If time was an issue, then golf and baseball are also problem areas. Tennis, outside of a few major rule benders, does try to adhere to time limits between points and serves. SI IMO does not know what they are talking about and is trying to generate controversy for its own sake. 2 cents.
 
#19
the empty seats are due to the policy of selling boxes to rich companies, etc., and then rigorously policing them, even when 50% or more of the seats sit unoccupied for days at a time.
Major college and pro football and basketball can get away with that, tennis can't (if you want the lower stands full)

The solution? After the first set, let the hoi polloi take unoccupied seats. Of course, the companies might want to pay less for boxes in that case, so the tennis tournament promoters will need to decide for themselves which way produces the most profits, kowtowing to the TV moguls or kowtowing to the corporate sponsors.
 
#20
Those proposed changes are so radical that I cannot see the tennis ruling bodies, or the pros adapting those sort of changes.

TV revenue is the big daddy, but all the tennis governing bodies, players, and avid fans know the greatest most memorable matches are those that are slugfests back and forth where the clock is of no consequence. Or the come from behind matches where the losing player comes back from 2 or 3 sets down to pull out a long hard fought victory in a tie break.

Also, other than the 4 majors, I do not think there would be a noticeable spike in viewership or attendance in the 2nd tier tournaments just because they changed the rules.

Besides, in tournaments, big or small, most of the early rounds go pretty much to form anyway. The better player wins in straight sets, or maybe loses one set or has to go to tiebreak. Sure, upsets happen, but mostly things go to form. So it would be the later matches the quarters or semis or finals where all the big tv viewership comes into play, those would be the matches most people want to see - that would be affected the most from a fans point of view.
 
#23
It isn't brokened, why change it? While we're at it, let's lower the basket ball rim to 4 feet so short people can dunk, since they are at a disadvantage. Change professional American style football to flag football so that small player can survive on the field. Stupidity is always an option! Let's develop a sport where there are NO winners and losers. :rolleyes:
Tennis is losing popularity in North America continuously since the 80's. Tennis courts are empty. Tennis matches are relegated to the extremes of cable broadcasts. Events are under sold. Tennis is broken.

My feeling is the biggest thing breaking tennis is the equipment that allows unprecedented power and spin for male athletes. Serve-bots abound in the top 50 with underdeveloped games. They are only superceded by baseline defenders who can return the serve and get into a baseline rally war of attrition. There is far less artistry in todays tennis game.

If I had to make a suggestion for tennis, it would be to limit serve to a single attempt and lengthen the service box by 8-12 inches. I think that would limit the advantage of serve bots and force more to develop well rounded games. The next step would be to limit spin (much like the PGA did by banning square grooves on irons). Altering the amount or grabbiness of the tennis ball fuzz might be a start. Limiting the COF on strings might be another.
 
#26
Tennis is losing popularity in North America continuously since the 80's. Tennis courts are empty. Tennis matches are relegated to the extremes of cable broadcasts. Events are under sold. Tennis is broken.

My feeling is the biggest thing breaking tennis is the equipment that allows unprecedented power and spin for male athletes. Serve-bots abound in the top 50 with underdeveloped games. They are only superceded by baseline defenders who can return the serve and get into a baseline rally war of attrition. There is far less artistry in todays tennis game.

If I had to make a suggestion for tennis, it would be to limit serve to a single attempt and lengthen the service box by 8-12 inches. I think that would limit the advantage of serve bots and force more to develop well rounded games. The next step would be to limit spin (much like the PGA did by banning square grooves on irons). Altering the amount or grabbiness of the tennis ball fuzz might be a start. Limiting the COF on strings might be another.
They could simply change the ball. A ball with the same mass, more compression, and less fuzz would definitely change the game. Even as a rec player, it's noticeable when a ball is flat and bald. I'm pretty sure if people watched TV matches that used the same quality of balls as your avg rec player the pros wouldnt look nearly as impressive. A ball that plays more like balls that have been used for 2 decent sets, brand new, would change the pro scene greatly. And if the balls played consistently for like 6 sets worth of tennis would be a great thing.
 
#30
Yeah let's turn tennis into volleyball or badminton, where rally scoring has basically turned them into games where getting an early lead decides the match because coming back is near impossible. Great idea.

I think baseball should get rid of innings too. Just get 27 outs. Then the home team bats.
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
#31
I kinda like the current system simply because it differentiates itself from other racket sports. If the system were changed, I'm pretty sure the same players would still win. I just like the current way's uniqueness. Its a completely fair system in my opinion and any thought in the opposite direction is just people psyching themselves out.
 
#33
Yeah let's turn tennis into volleyball or badminton, where rally scoring has basically turned them into games where getting an early lead decides the match because coming back is near impossible. Great idea.

I think baseball should get rid of innings too. Just get 27 outs. Then the home team bats.
That's actually not a bad idea for baseball. Would make it more like cricket.
 
#35
just go to no add scores and stop the 5 set tournaments.

No and No (imo).

They are all adults, playing for major money and prestige. Leave it like it is.

I obviously don't play for money, and just minor prestige, and I hate no add scoring, and wouldn't mind leagues going to 5 sets (impossible with court and time constraints... but I would still like to play 5 sets in league or tourneys)
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#36
Yeah let's turn tennis into volleyball or badminton, where rally scoring has basically turned them into games where getting an early lead decides the match because coming back is near impossible. Great idea.

I think baseball should get rid of innings too. Just get 27 outs. Then the home team bats.
I definitely don't want to change the scoring, but the baseball analogy isn't quite right. Tennis's system is like baseball teams trying to win 5 innings instead of scoring the most total runs.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
#37
No and No (imo).

They are all adults, playing for major money and prestige. Leave it like it is.

I obviously don't play for money, and just minor prestige, and I hate no add scoring, and wouldn't mind leagues going to 5 sets (impossible with court and time constraints... but I would still like to play 5 sets in league or tourneys)
In high school, my friends and I sometimes used to play matches "Davis Cup style", which was 5 sets, no tbs (DC was the last holdout that didn't have any tbs back then). We had some interesting matches...
 
#38
I definitely don't want to change the scoring, but the baseball analogy isn't quite right. Tennis's system is like baseball teams trying to win 5 innings instead of scoring the most total runs.
I was more attempting to demonstrate absurdity as opposed to finding a direct analogy. Point being, each game has their distinct characteristics that make them what they are, and the scoring systems are built to take advantage of that. Changing the scoring just totally changes the game.
 
#40
A)point is there already is cricket, and b)it's only a great idea if you're trying to make baseball worse.Baseball has issues, but the innings system is not one of them.
It really is an issue though. Think of all the time wasted switching between each half inning.

That's the biggest problem with baseball is the amount of time.
 
#41
Tennis is losing popularity in North America continuously since the 80's. Tennis courts are empty. Tennis matches are relegated to the extremes of cable broadcasts. Events are under sold. Tennis is broken.

My feeling is the biggest thing breaking tennis is the equipment that allows unprecedented power and spin for male athletes. Serve-bots abound in the top 50 with underdeveloped games. They are only superceded by baseline defenders who can return the serve and get into a baseline rally war of attrition. There is far less artistry in todays tennis game.

If I had to make a suggestion for tennis, it would be to limit serve to a single attempt and lengthen the service box by 8-12 inches. I think that would limit the advantage of serve bots and force more to develop well rounded games. The next step would be to limit spin (much like the PGA did by banning square grooves on irons). Altering the amount or grabbiness of the tennis ball fuzz might be a start. Limiting the COF on strings might be another.
I like the "one serve" idea. Just from a spectator standpoint, it's annoying to wait for the ball person to run a 100 meter race just to get the ball. From a player standpoint, it would alter the dynamic of serving. Also, play let serves, like in college or WTT.

I don't think changing the scoring will make more people play or watch.

I hated speed scoring in volleyball and then after one season I got used to it. I hated the metric system and then after one term in college i got used to it.
 
#42
I like the "one serve" idea. Just from a spectator standpoint, it's annoying to wait for the ball person to run a 100 meter race just to get the ball. From a player standpoint, it would alter the dynamic of serving. Also, play let serves, like in college or WTT.
I think going to just one serve would change the game too much at the pro level. Also, think of the rec game. With just one serve, especially at lower levels, you are going to see *a lot* of double, er, single faults. And having different rules for pro vs rec is not good for the game IMO.

But I completely agree that let serves should be played, both at pro and rec level. It's a relatively small change, will make things consistent across the board (we play on when any other shot hits the net and goes over), and means one less call to argue over in un-officiated matches (which is why let serves are played in college).
 
#44
I think going to just one serve would change the game too much at the pro level. Also, think of the rec game. With just one serve, especially at lower levels, you are going to see *a lot* of double, er, single faults. And having different rules for pro vs rec is not good for the game IMO.

But I completely agree that let serves should be played, both at pro and rec level. It's a relatively small change, will make things consistent across the board (we play on when any other shot hits the net and goes over), and means one less call to argue over in un-officiated matches (which is why let serves are played in college).
I really dont know why playing let serves isnt standardized. It seems like an ancient "gentleman's" rule where winning a point like that is uncouth. Sadly, there are enough bad let calls to remove it all together. I've literally seen a let serve called because a leaf on the court "clicked" in the wind right at the time the ball would be going over the net, on a kick serve which was likely 3 ft. over the net. It's was a habitual instantaneous call, not even a malicious one, but incorrect nonetheless.

Literally half of the tennis governing bodies call for a play of let serves.
 
#45
I'll take the other side of playing let serves. I went to a college match for the first time in years today. I didn't see any obvious benefit in playing the let serve vs the traditional approach. Doesn't the server have enough of an advantage without getting the benefit of playing the ball that alternates course due to hitting the net? It's a pretty cheap point when the serve hits the net and trickles over.

It's my understanding they play the let serves because players would get aced and call a phantom let.
 
#46
I'll take the other side of playing let serves. I went to a college match for the first time in years today. I didn't see any obvious benefit in playing the let serve vs the traditional approach. Doesn't the server have enough of an advantage without getting the benefit of playing the ball that alternates course due to hitting the net? It's a pretty cheap point when the serve hits the net and trickles over.

It's my understanding they play the let serves because players would get aced and call a phantom let.
Well, yeah there will be the odd cheap point for the server on a lucky net trickler, but there will also be the odd 'sitting duck' that hit the net and then popped up nicely into the middle of the box. I think it would pretty much balance out. And we're talking maybe a few points a set at the most.

As for the benefit, you answered your own question - eliminate bad let calls (whether intentionally bad or just mistakenly bad). Also, it speeds up the game a bit, and makes the rules a bit simpler. Not a huge deal and not a huge overall benefit, but really no downside IMO.
 
#47
Well, yeah there will be the odd cheap point for the server on a lucky net trickler, but there will also be the odd 'sitting duck' that hit the net and then popped up nicely into the middle of the box. I think it would pretty much balance out. And we're talking maybe a few points a set at the most.

As for the benefit, you answered your own question - eliminate bad let calls (whether intentionally bad or just mistakenly bad). Also, it speeds up the game a bit, and makes the rules a bit simpler. Not a huge deal and not a huge overall benefit, but really no downside IMO.
Not to be difficult but I'm never really in a hurry to get off the court and again few instances per set so no big deal. No obvious upside, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
#49
Big old no for me. The current scoring system creates more opportunities to come back and create potential drama. This means the winning player has to really earn a victory.

I still miss the 5 set Masters Series finals. They produced a lot of classic matches. Now we only have Davis Cup and the Slams to create some epic stories. Nadal vs. Djokovic in Rome was fun, but if there was another set, could Nadal have come back? Imagine if it was only 24 point sets? Crazy.

3 set tennis is fine, but can often be too short which is really evident in the Women's game.
 
#50
I think going to just one serve would change the game too much at the pro level. Also, think of the rec game. With just one serve, especially at lower levels, you are going to see *a lot* of double, er, single faults. And having different rules for pro vs rec is not good for the game IMO.

But I completely agree that let serves should be played, both at pro and rec level. It's a relatively small change, will make things consistent across the board (we play on when any other shot hits the net and goes over), and means one less call to argue over in un-officiated matches (which is why let serves are played in college).
Maybe it could be like training wheels on a bike: Use it in the beginning when you need it and then discard it when you don't. Yes there are logistical problems in implementation. But the end goal is the same.
 
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