Unlimited tosses?

TennisDude47

New User
I have a terrible toss on my serves. If it's really bad, I'll catch it. But I often end up hitting some pretty weak serves due to a spirit of fair play and desire to keep the game moving.

The rules say I can have as many tosses as I want. I don't think I've ever taken more than two. I almost never take more than one. It seems like bad sportsmanship. Meanwhile, other players are routinely taking two or even three tosses.

I think it's time for a rule change. Just like in golf, once you start your motion, you should have to finish it and live with the results. At a pro level, this would entertain the fans. At the amateur level, it would keep the game moving. The current rules seem to benefit people who put winning ahead of sportsmanship.

Who's with me?
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Meanwhile, other players are routinely taking two or even three tosses.
Who are you playing against? I don’t think I’ve ever played against someone who routinely takes multiple tosses. At least, not since I was playing in learner competitions as a kid.

If your opponent can’t regularly put his first toss in play, then I’d be having a quiet word with the competition organiser to highlight that they’re probably not ready for competition tennis.

I don’t see the need for a rule change.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
Ummmm.......no. I wouldn’t intentionally hit a bad toss just because I feel that I’m slowing the game down. Hitting a bad toss is just giving points away. Everyone catches their toss every now and then. Depending on the level you play this may happen more often than not.

If it’s social tennis that’s one thing, but if it’s an USTA league or tournament I would make sure I’m serving or my opponent is serving the ball within the allotted time.
 

toth

Professional
I have a terrible toss on my serves. If it's really bad, I'll catch it. But I often end up hitting some pretty weak serves due to a spirit of fair play and desire to keep the game moving.

The rules say I can have as many tosses as I want. I don't think I've ever taken more than two. I almost never take more than one. It seems like bad sportsmanship. Meanwhile, other players are routinely taking two or even three tosses.

I think it's time for a rule change. Just like in golf, once you start your motion, you should have to finish it and live with the results. At a pro level, this would entertain the fans. At the amateur level, it would keep the game moving. The current rules seem to benefit people who put winning ahead of sportsmanship.

Who's with me?
I would restrict the rules, but not forbid any second toss.
Just my opinion.
 

Trickster

Rookie
I've never really seen anyone regularly take 2/3 tosses. The goal with serving is ultimately consistency thus someone throwing up bad tosses time and time again is likely to be a rookie and won't get very far.

Obviously now and again everyone throws up a bad ball or something freak happens, but don't think you need any rules in place.
 

Chalkdust

Rookie
I don't really think it's a big deal, and for the sake of tradition the rule should remain unchanged.

But putting aside tradition, if I was making up the rules I would have the serve start when the ball leaves the hand. So no bouncing the ball before the serve, and no re-tosses. This has the benefits of keeping it simple (always a good thing), and speeding up the game (no excessive ball bouncing prior to serve). Also, maybe the stigma associated with underhand serving goes away. Because part of the complaints are that the server makes it look like he's going to bounce the ball like before a regular serve, but then serves underhand. With the new rule in place, once the ball leaves the hand the point is live. So no excuses.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I am more likely to chase a bad toss into the next county to hit a bad serve than I am to catch it.

Trying to eradicate this and just catch a poor toss. Here, we often play in very high winds so I have developed a regular day toss and a windy day (much lower) toss.

I probably catch a toss perhaps once in any given match ... not much less than what you see even on the pro level. Very windy days (over 25mph) there may be a few more catches.

I so rarely see someone who is catching many tosses throughout their service games. That would be most annoying, but perfectly legal.

So, if your toss is so bad that to chase it you are now foot faulting ... is that okay in your rule change? On a very windy day, that can absolutely happen .. thinking of a windy Nadal/Fed match last year where both were catching tosses pretty regularly.
 

blablavla

Legend
I've never really seen anyone regularly take 2/3 tosses. The goal with serving is ultimately consistency thus someone throwing up bad tosses time and time again is likely to be a rookie and won't get very far.

Obviously now and again everyone throws up a bad ball or something freak happens, but don't think you need any rules in place.
I have played recently such guy.
We played doubles, and he went for very aggressive kick serves, which mostly ended in double faults, and I think during the match there were only 2 or 3 serves where he made it from the first toss.

From my side, sure, it is not the most pleasing experience, but I'm fine.
My partner also didn't complain.
However I can see that some people would be annoyed, especially when losing.

I myself am also liable of many second tosses, although I am now deliberately working to reduce the amount of second tosses by hitting the serve no matter what, even knowing that it will result in 95% mistake.
but then, at recreational level nobody really complained about this, and it is rather me being annoyed with myself and me knowing that I can do better than this :)
 

WhiteOut

Semi-Pro
I have a terrible toss on my serves. If it's really bad, I'll catch it. But I often end up hitting some pretty weak serves due to a spirit of fair play and desire to keep the game moving.

The rules say I can have as many tosses as I want. I don't think I've ever taken more than two. I almost never take more than one. It seems like bad sportsmanship. Meanwhile, other players are routinely taking two or even three tosses.

I think it's time for a rule change. Just like in golf, once you start your motion, you should have to finish it and live with the results. At a pro level, this would entertain the fans. At the amateur level, it would keep the game moving. The current rules seem to benefit people who put winning ahead of sportsmanship.

Who's with me?
totally. I think 1-2 caught tosses per match are no big deal. anything more than that has to go. I'm the same as you...I chase so many bad tosses, mainly out of courtesy to my opponent. it's not my opponent's fault I cant get my act together and toss a freaking ball properly.
 

jered

Rookie
I would be totally fine with a one toss rule. Decades of volleyball have trained me that once you toss the ball you MUST hit it. I have to make a conscious effort to let the ball drop off a bad toss. That said, multiple tosses don't bother me. Usually means the server is terrible. :happydevil:
 

AlexSV

Rookie
At the amateur level, it would keep the game moving.
What's the hurry? I will never understand people who treat every aspect of sport like a race. Take the time you need and re-toss if necessary. We're talking seconds here, it's not like you're going for a beer and coming back in 10.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
I don't really think it's a big deal, and for the sake of tradition the rule should remain unchanged.

But putting aside tradition, if I was making up the rules I would have the serve start when the ball leaves the hand. So no bouncing the ball before the serve, and no re-tosses. This has the benefits of keeping it simple (always a good thing), and speeding up the game (no excessive ball bouncing prior to serve). Also, maybe the stigma associated with underhand serving goes away. Because part of the complaints are that the server makes it look like he's going to bounce the ball like before a regular serve, but then serves underhand. With the new rule in place, once the ball leaves the hand the point is live. So no excuses.
It would be fascinating to see which players could easily adjust since most are used to bouncing the ball as part of their routine and establish rhythm because of it. Some would adjust, some would be completely thrown off. I wouldn't think no re-toss would be as problematic since a low percentage of serves are re-tossed. But, it could make a big difference if a player had an errant toss on a big point.
 

HitMoreBHs

Rookie
If your bad tosses are as bad as mine, no one will expect you to hit them anyway. I have an awful habit of flicking my wrist just as I release the ball. I get the occasional one which goes so far behind my head that it can even land in the double's alley!! I couldn't hit the ball even if I tried.

I never had any of my playing partners or opponents complain; in fact, they mostly laugh!
 
Most rec players don't catch bad tosses but just hit off balance then and miss the serve.

Catching it a couple times per set is OK but if you have to catch it several times a game you need to practice tossing or nobody will want to play with you:)
 
One guy regularly tossed 2-3 times per serve, almost as if the first couple were just to test the wind.

He's the only person I know who has done this.

Another guy just had a very inaccurate toss [unlike the first guy who seemed to have reasonable accuracy].

Those are outliers, though. Not worth losing any sleep over.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
If you're prone to bad tosses, just don't waste time in other ways.

If you go for the towel, adjust your clothes, bounce the ball 10 times .. then catch and retoss .. that's annoying.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I said it before on another thread similar to this.

If that bothers you that much, you need to work on your own mental toughness.
Its more a time thing.

We all hate time wasted when we aren’t the one wasting it. People that are ok with serial tossers are probably fine with DMV lineups, guys that read putts from 3 angles, rush hour traffic, etc.

I would be fine with a one toss rule. You already get a mulligan in tennis with a second serve. Why give people so many chances?
 

AceyMan

Rookie
I recently watched a GS replay of DJ match where Martina said they should limit the number of bounces.

This was after Novak improved his service motion but he still had the yips when serving on big points.

One match around this time I informally counted for a set or so and his average was around eleven bounces. Eleven. That's a fairly long *rally*, fer chrissakes.

Martina's complaint was how it's unfair to the receiver who is bouncing on their feet trying to time their split-step, to which I totally agree.

/Acey
 
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zipplock

Hall of Fame
At what point would you call the guy for delay (more than 25 seconds)? What if the server was taking 2-3 tosses multiple times per their service game? Can't call them for re-toss but you should be able to call something for delay? I have played against guys like this. Usually a super high toss. Any wind makes it a nightmare.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
Doesn't need a special rule, just the enforcement of the existing one. When you have ball kids, 25 seconds is actually too long. It should be 15.
 

tavarua

New User
On speeding up the game,,,I heard Mac say, you should get two tosses... Its up to you if you want to swing at them.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Who are you playing against? I don’t think I’ve ever played against someone who routinely takes multiple tosses. At least, not since I was playing in learner competitions as a kid.

If your opponent can’t regularly put his first toss in play, then I’d be having a quiet word with the competition organiser to highlight that they’re probably not ready for competition tennis.

I don’t see the need for a rule change.
Yes there needs to be a rule change.

I play against a guy who constantly catches the toss and it's incredibly irritating. It's also a sneaky way for the server to get information about your positioning after the toss goes up.

There is a reason why Agassi had that meltdown against Kucera one year. It's a very annoying habit.
 
Its more a time thing.

We all hate time wasted when we aren’t the one wasting it. People that are ok with serial tossers are probably fine with DMV lineups, guys that read putts from 3 angles, rush hour traffic, etc.

I would be fine with a one toss rule. You already get a mulligan in tennis with a second serve. Why give people so many chances?
Someone did an analysis of the % of time in a match actually spent playing vs in between points, picking up balls, side changes, etc. It was something like 15%. Add in the serial tossers and it might drop to 12%. Is that really such a big deal?

That being said, I had no problem when they changed the volleyball rule to one toss only: you toss it, you hit it. Not coincidentally, I'm not a serial tosser in tennis either.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
The problem with innumerable tosses is not the extra time taken, but the disadvantage it puts on the returner. I jump up from my stance, take an explosive first step forward at the start of the toss and then split-step. If a server catches their toss 2-3 times, I get a little winded and don’t take that explosive step by the 3rd or 4th toss - so, my return quality suffers. I’m over 50 and there’s a limited amount of explosive footwork I can do during a match - usually this kind of quick motion is needed only during returns and at the net. I occasionally run into servers who catch their toss multiple times and it is not fun at all - I don’t complain though.
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
Its more a time thing.

We all hate time wasted when we aren’t the one wasting it. People that are ok with serial tossers are probably fine with DMV lineups, guys that read putts from 3 angles, rush hour traffic, etc.

I would be fine with a one toss rule. You already get a mulligan in tennis with a second serve. Why give people so many chances?
So you guys are just extremely impatient then? Especially if you're comparing a couple extra tosses to rush hour traffic and DMV lines.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
I play against a guy who constantly catches the toss and it's incredibly irritating. It's also a sneaky way for the server to get information about your positioning after the toss goes up.
I vaguely remember watching a pro match a while ago. I think it was Serena versus some young player. The player shifted a few feet towards the alley after Serena tossed, and Serena caught the toss. The female pro commentator -- again I can't remember who but it was one of the regular cast of Chrissy, Martina, or Lindsey -- claimed Serena caught the toss so that the other player would know she saw her move. The commentator called changing positions during the toss "college tennis level" stuff that pros don't do.
 

dkshifty

Rookie
2 to 3 per match is nothing. 2 to 3 per game is getting there. However, I still don't mind it. Say you tweaked your hand or wrist on your tossing arm and had trouble that day. I wouldn't want my opponent to rain on my parade. We are out there to compete and produce the best match possible anyway.
 
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I vaguely remember watching a pro match a while ago. I think it was Serena versus some young player. The player shifted a few feet towards the alley after Serena tossed, and Serena caught the toss. The female pro commentator -- again I can't remember who but it was one of the regular cast of Chrissy, Martina, or Lindsey -- claimed Serena caught the toss so that the other player would know she saw her move. The commentator called changing positions during the toss "college tennis level" stuff that pros don't do.
Federer did it against Dimitrov [USO 2019?] on the Ad court by stepping around his BH before Dimitrov contacted the serve so he could hit a FH. Commentators approved. Criticized Dimitrov for hitting the 2nd serve in the same place every time.

I think the Williams commentators were referring to shifting positions with the aim of distracting the server as "college tennis level".
 

JW10S

Hall of Fame
The rule needs to be changed. In volleyball, where you only get 1 serve chance, only 1 toss is allowed. In tennis you get 2 serves, so you should only get 1 toss. If you can't toss the ball up out of your own hand from a stationary position consistently maybe you should find another sport. I'd be for a rule that you get 1 re-toss per game only.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
So you guys are just extremely impatient then? Especially if you're comparing a couple extra tosses to rush hour traffic and DMV lines.
If it was merely a couple per match, then no problem. It's when it's a couple extra tosses per serve. Yes it's irritating and I don't know anyone that's played these people that didn't walk away venting frustration and refusing to play them again. Maybe not as bad as DMV but annoying nonetheless.
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
If it was merely a couple per match, then no problem. It's when it's a couple extra tosses per serve. Yes it's irritating and I don't know anyone that's played these people that didn't walk away venting frustration and refusing to play them again. Maybe not as bad as DMV but annoying nonetheless.
Hi nice to meet you! I'm definitely one of those people but I'm typically really patient and do admittedly have a really high tolerance level for annoying things. I fully understand why people find this unbearable to play against. I just think the proper course of action is to never play them again like you said, not to completely change the rules of tennis.
 

nochuola

Rookie
The rule needs to be changed. In volleyball, where you only get 1 serve chance, only 1 toss is allowed. In tennis you get 2 serves, so you should only get 1 toss. If you can't toss the ball up out of your own hand from a stationary position consistently maybe you should find another sport. I'd be for a rule that you get 1 re-toss per game only.
This is also the modified rule I would be for. At the open gym I play volleyball at, we have a generally agreed upon rule that each server gets maximum one re-toss per his/her turn of serve. I have been also enforcing that rule on myself in tennis where I would not re-toss more than once per game, just to not waste people's time.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Hi nice to meet you! I'm definitely one of those people but I'm typically really patient and do admittedly have a really high tolerance level for annoying things. I fully understand why people find this unbearable to play against. I just think the proper course of action is to never play them again like you said, not to completely change the rules of tennis.
Even my wife, the epitome of patience (she's married to me after all), has come home venting about serial over-tossers. So if you have more patience than her than you are going to give Job a run for the money. And quite frankly, we both put these people at the bottom of our playlist. Along with the serial hookers, the "on court coaches", the pushers and the ball bashers. Life is too short to play people that fray your nerves.
 
Even my wife, the epitome of patience (she's married to me after all), has come home venting about serial over-tossers. So if you have more patience than her than you are going to give Job a run for the money. And quite frankly, we both put these people at the bottom of our playlist. Along with the serial hookers, the "on court coaches", the pushers and the ball bashers. Life is too short to play people that fray your nerves.
Job would have made a pretty mentally tough tennis player.
 
Honestly I would go one step further and say you only get one serve - no 2nd serves.
That always occurs to me when you see someone hit a first serve fault and the ball kids scramble to chase it down. Wimbledon is especially bad because they seem inflexible about who is supposed to get a particular ball [it's definitely not whoever's closest].

I'd go one step further and eliminate the let serve. If you can play lets during a rally when you have to cover the entire court, why not during a serve when you only have to cover half? Yes, it will result in changing certain match outcomes but it will even out in the end and eliminate all of the related potential cheating in rec tennis.

 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I'd go one step further and eliminate the let serve. If you can play lets during a rally when you have to cover the entire court, why not during a serve when you only have to cover half? Yes, it will result in changing certain match outcomes but it will even out in the end and eliminate all of the related potential cheating in rec tennis.
If you only allow single service it absolutely makes sense to allow let serves. It will give the server back a few free points he's lost from being able to blast a first serve knowing he's always had a second serve in reserve. In fact I'd go as far as to add a couple inches depth to the service line just to give some advantage back to the server.

I'm not traditionalist and have always felt that if athleticism and equipment changes the nature of the game then the rules should change along with it. Most of the rules of golf and tennis were designed by rich people with oodles of leisure time, crappy equipment and crappy athleticism. The modern games are nothing like they imagined so the rules shouldn't be anything like they were in 1920.

Golf needs rule changes to shorten rounds for rec players (12 hole courses, no stroke and distance penalties) and make short length courses viable for pros (less lively balls). Tennis needs rules to add more variety back to the pro game (gear changes, single serve) and lessen gamesmanship by the rec players (no extra tosses, play let serves).
 
If you only allow single service it absolutely makes sense to allow let serves. It will give the server back a few free points he's lost from being able to blast a first serve knowing he's always had a second serve in reserve. In fact I'd go as far as to add a couple inches depth to the service line just to give some advantage back to the server.
I was thinking more along the lines of speeding the game up by reducing dead time not the balance of power.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I was thinking more along the lines of speeding the game up by reducing dead time not the balance of power.
If we really want to shorten the game, I think we should limit breaks and change of ends to every four games Instead of every two games. Two games are completed within 10 minutes in most cases and I don’t think we need a 90-second break every 8-10 minutes. I would make that change rather than worry about service clocks and other rules that affect play during games. I would support limiting catching a toss to only once per serve - the second time would be a fault. This is more to prevent disruption of the returner‘s rhythm rather to speed up the game.
 
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