What would you do in this situation?

Would you have called the code violation on yourself?


  • Total voters
    21

TeamOB

Professional
A very interesting situation came up in a tournament I was playing in recently. I was playing a guy who was very evenly matched with me. The match was pretty much dead even the whole time. He broke my serve at the end of the first set and won it 6-4. I broke him in the first game of the second and held the lead to win the set 6-4. We went into the 10 point breaker. The breaker went on serve until he was serving at 7-7. We got into a long rally and I got the upper hand. I maneuvered him around with some big FHs and got a sitter volley to put away. For some reason I went for an ill-advised drop-volley and missed into the net. In annoyance, I swatted the ball over the fence with my racquet. Seeing this, my opponent walked off the court. I thought he was going to get the ball and I apologized for making him go through the trouble. To my great surprise, he wasn't going to get the ball at all! He returned a minute later with a USTA official!

My opponent pointed at me and said to the ref: "He just hit a ball over the fence." The ref replied: "I didn't see him do it, so I can't call a code violation." I am standing on the other side of the net thinking: "What a b*tch! Why is he making such a big deal out of it? The most the ref can do is give me a warning, which won't matter anyway." The ref then turns to me and says: "If you admit to hitting a ball over the fence, I'll give you a code violation. If not, there is nothing I can do. Did you do it?" I ask: "The code violation is a warning, right?" The ref says: "No. This tournament is officiated using D1 rules, not the standard USTA junior rules. The first code violation is a point penalty. Do you take the point penalty?" At this moment I was literally pi$$ed as s***. I had just put 2 hours of work playing this match and it was all about to be undone by this little pathetic tattletale ratting me out to the ref! I desperately wanted to deny hitting the ball over the fence, but I didn't want to stoop to his level. I called the code violation on myself and took the penalty. The score became 7-9, my serve. I hit an ace to bring it to 8-9, but he hit a serve winner on the next point to win the match. I took every ounce of self-control to not spit in my hand before the handshake. I was devastated and incredibly pi$$ed at my opponent. What would you do in my shoes? Would you call the code violation on yourself? Or would you deny the ball abuse? Vote and discuss.
 

cjs

Professional
Wow. Simply wow at the other guy.

Was he annoyed at you for something else?

Having said that, I wouldn't hit the ball over the fence in the first place.

But you did the right thing in being honest about the code violation.
 

TeamOB

Professional
Was he annoyed at you for something else?
Not at all! That is the craziest thing about the whole scenario! He was the nicest guy for the rest of the match. The only other incident that happened during the match was when he was unsure of a call and I called a ref over to check the mark on the clay. The ref ruled in my favor and my opponent apologized profusely for the whole thing. I told him it was no big deal and it seemed like he had no hard feelings over it. Maybe he was secretly pi$$ed and determined to screw me over somehow. You never know with that sort of thing.
 

mightyrick

Legend
OP, you screwed up and you deserve a point penalty for it. I can't believe you're even asking this question.

You are in the middle of a hard-fought tiebreak. Your opponent gets the upper hand on his serve and earns a point. He's probably wanting to maintain momentum, go to back to his box and serve. However, you launch a ball out of the court.

Is he supposed to go pick up your anger ball interrupting his rhythm? Is he supposed to tolerate (on his serve) that there are only two balls on the court? So in the case of a let serve, he has to interrupt his rhythm to go pick up a ball again?

Sorry, OP. It's BS. You expressed very poor gamesmanship, and you deserve what you get. I might have done the same thing.

If you'd have hit the ball into the ground in anger, fine. If you'd have tossed your racquet at the net in anger, fine. If you'd have said a bad curse word... fine. But you don't potentially break your opponent's serving rhythm or the game rhythm by hitting one out of the court forcing you guys to take a break to retrieve the ball... or play with only two. Total BS.
 

TeamOB

Professional
Is he supposed to go pick up your anger ball interrupting his rhythm? Is he supposed to tolerate (on his serve) that there are only two balls on the court? So in the case of a let serve, he has to interrupt his rhythm to go pick up a ball again?
Bro, it was my serve. He was serving at 7-7 and he won the point. If not for the point penalty, it would have been 7-8 on MY serve. I was actually going to walk over and retrieve the ball myself, but he walked off the court first. I assumed he was going to get the ball, so I apologized for making him go through the trouble. I was not innocent in this whole incident, but let me make one thing clear: I would have NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES have ratted out my opponent to the ref like this guy did. If I was in his shoes, I would feel that the win wasn't legit. I can only hope that he feels the same way right now.

BTW I took great pleasure in watching this miserable tattletale get his a** handed to him in the next round by the #4 seed.
 

cjs

Professional
Is he supposed to go pick up your anger ball interrupting his rhythm? Is he supposed to tolerate (on his serve) that there are only two balls on the court? So in the case of a let serve, he has to interrupt his rhythm to go pick up a ball again?
I must admit when I was a junior I regrettably hit a few balls over fences in anger (usually it was through the fence as opposed to over), but I'd apologise to my opponent and I would always be the person who went and got the ball, and not only that I'd run to minimise the time delay. It simply not fair to expect your opponent to get a ball you hit over the fence.
 

mightyrick

Legend
Bro, it was my serve. He was serving at 7-7 and he won the point. If not for the point penalty, it would have been 7-8 on MY serve. I was actually going to walk over and retrieve the ball myself, but he walked off the court first. I assumed he was going to get the ball, so I apologized for making him go through the trouble. I was not innocent in this whole incident, but let me make one thing clear: I would have NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES have ratted out my opponent to the ref like this guy did. If I was in his shoes, I would feel that the win wasn't legit. I can only hope that he feels the same way right now.

BTW I took great pleasure in watching this miserable tattletale get his a** handed to him in the next round by the #4 seed.
Well, to me, it seems you're the one who has the attitude. You think you have every right to go unpunished for acting like a complete weasel in a tight tiebreak interrupting the game rhythm by launching balls out of the court?

Sorry, but nobody has to put up with that crap.

In the end, you did the right thing which is good. But if you really felt bad, you should have not been mad at him at all. You should have been very apologetic and acted with remorse. Instead, you are mad because he "ratted you out to the ref".

It sounds to me like he did what he needed to. You sure didn't offer to immediately give him a point for your ball-launching escapade. Who knows? If you'd have done that, he might just have said, "Nah bro, don't worry about it. It's all good."
 

TeamOB

Professional
Well, to me, it seems you're the one who has the attitude. You think you have every right to go unpunished for acting like a complete weasel in a tight tiebreak interrupting the game rhythm by launching balls out of the court?

Sorry, but nobody has to put up with that crap.

In the end, you did the right thing which is good. But if you really felt bad, you should have not been mad at him at all. You should have been very apologetic and acted with remorse. Instead, you are mad because he "ratted you out to the ref".

It sounds to me like he did what he needed to. You sure didn't offer to immediately give him a point for your ball-launching escapade. Who knows? If you'd have done that, he might just have said, "Nah bro, don't worry about it. It's all good."
I was apologetic. I immediately apologized for hitting the ball and offered to go retrieve it. He ignored my apology and walked off the court himself. I assumed he was getting the ball, so I apologized again and thanked him for going through the trouble. I only got pi$$ed when I saw him return with the official. I think I did an honorable thing by taking the penalty. If anything, he should be grateful because I effectively gifted him the match by doing that. If I were less honorable and had denied the ball abuse, the breaker would still have been on serve and I would have had a good chance of winning.
 
I wouldn't have gotten an official, but as he did, you did the right thing taking the penalty. He didn't really do anything wrong though; you did commit a code after all.
 

TeamOB

Professional
I wouldn't have gotten an official, but as he did, you did the right thing taking the penalty. He didn't really do anything wrong though; you did commit a code after all.
If you go by the official rules, he did nothing wrong. But in juniors there is kinda an unwritten rule about this stuff. What this guy did is almost universally considered a d*ck move in juniors. Guys like this are generally not very popular.
 

Devil_dog

Hall of Fame
What your opponent did wasn't necessarily wrong but should he have don't that? Well, that depends on the person. He obviously knew the rules and used it to his advantage. I wouldn't have gone to an official but that's me. But at least you owned up to your mistake and that's hell of a lot better than lying about it. You can live with yourself for owning up to your mistake. GSM. Get over it and move onto the next match or tournament. Live and learn.
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
Unlike tantrums and gamesmanship with no official around, making a knowingly false statement to an official takes some guts. I guess your opponent read you well.
 
If you go by the official rules, he did nothing wrong. But in juniors there is kinda an unwritten rule about this stuff. What this guy did is almost universally considered a d*ck move in juniors. Guys like this are generally not very popular.
I know. There isn't anything you can do though.
 

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
So it's the other guys fault that you broke the rules? I think not, you broke the rules and you got called on it. The only one you should be mad at is yourself for hitting the ball over the fence in the first place.

I will say kudos for not lying and accepting the penalty though.

Almost everyone lets their emotions get the best of them once in a while, but accepting responsibility for your actions is what separates adults from children.

You did the adult thing by not lying to the official, but you're slipping back towards acting like a child by blaming your opponent.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Sounds like the opponent is a real piece of work. Undoubtedly had a reputation as as a tattletale at home and in school as a kid and has devolved into a 1st class snitch. Perhaps his goal in life to make quick/easy money as a police informant.

His action was petty and was probably a pathetic attempt at gamesmanship.
 

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
Sounds like the opponent is a real piece of work. Undoubtedly had a reputation as as a tattletale at home and in school as a kid and has devolved into a 1st class snitch. Perhaps his goal in life to make quick/easy money as a police informant.

His action was petty and was probably a pathetic attempt at gamesmanship.
games·man·ship
/ˈgāmzmənˌSHip/

noun
noun: gamesmanship

the art of winning games by using various ploys and tactics to gain a psychological advantage.
The OP is the one that engaged in gamesmanship by hitting the ball over the fence.
 

Supertegwyn

Hall of Fame
Hitting a ball over fence in anger is such a minor offence; you should have at least four balls on the court anyway so it should not disrupt the game if one does go over (intentionally or not). A point penalty for such a minor offence is ridiculous.
 

cjs

Professional
The OP is the one that engaged in gamesmanship by hitting the ball over the fence.
Hitting a ball over the fence is like throwing a racquet. It is self destructive behaviour. Its a self-directed tantrum. I wouldn't call that gamesmanship.

Gamesmanship involves deliberate actions intended to put your opponent off their game, such as time wasting. If I see my opponent throwing a racquet, or yelling at himself, or hitting a ball over the fence, that doesn't hinder me - that makes me play better as I know that psychologically I've got them beaten.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
The guy was a poor sport to do that...IMHO. But be proud of yourself - you did the right thing owning up to your angry outburst..
 

TeamOB

Professional
Another thing that played a big role in this situation is me not knowing the rule. I thought that the worst thing that could happen is me getting a warning. In other tournaments I often get coded once (getting a warning). After that I always avoid any codable conduct. I use the warning as a tool to let off some steam with no real consequences. If I had known that this tournament doesn't give warnings, I would have never hit the ball over the fence. I think something similar happened to JMac when he got DQ at the AO. He didn't know that the rule had been changed and that he would get DQed.
 

arche3

Banned
I would of took the point. And then between your serves hit one of the balls out of the court and apologize. And see how you react like a man or a b*tch as you claim. Stop complaining. What you did was gamesmanship from his perspective.

If my son did what you did I would have no issues him getting a point violation.
 
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arche3

Banned
If you go by the official rules, he did nothing wrong. But in juniors there is kinda an unwritten rule about this stuff. What this guy did is almost universally considered a d*ck move in juniors. Guys like this are generally not very popular.
But he still beat you. Popular means nothing. Winning means something.
 

TeamOB

Professional
I would of took the point. And then between your serves hit one of the balls out of the court and apologize. And see how you react like a man or a b*tch as you claim.
I was wrong for hitting a ball over the fence, but I would never call a guy out to the ref. Once, in another tourney, my opponent chucked his racquet toward the net in anger. The racquet missed the net, came on my side, and hit me in the arm off the fly (hard enough to leave a significant bruise). He was of course terrified and very apologetic. If I had reported this to the ref, he would have probably been DQed. Instead, I took his apology, gave him his stick, played on, and won the match. I would definitely not have called this guy out for hitting a ball.
 

TeamOB

Professional
But he still beat you. Popular means nothing. Winning means something.
For me, the opposite is true. Tennis is a game we play for fun. In the real world, tennis and tennis skills mean nothing. Having friends means a lot. I always try to be a nice guy first and win second.
 

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
I was wrong for hitting a ball over the fence, but I would never call a guy out to the ref. Once, in another tourney, my opponent chucked his racquet toward the net in anger. The racquet missed the net, came on my side, and hit me in the arm off the fly (hard enough to leave a significant bruise). He was of course terrified and very apologetic. If I had reported this to the ref, he would have probably been DQed. Instead, I took his apology, gave him his stick, played on, and won the match. I would definitely not have called this guy out for hitting a ball.
Honestly you should have reported that, what if the next match this kid plays he does the same thing and instead of hitting someone's arm it hits them in the knee and fractures something?
 

mightyrick

Legend
Honestly you should have reported that, what if the next match this kid plays he does the same thing and instead of hitting someone's arm it hits them in the knee and fractures something?
Because he thinks getting the official to report excessively unsportsmanlike conduct is unsportsmanlike.
 

goran_ace

Hall of Fame
I had a pretty short temper as a junior and have to say that whether or not you know if you get a warning before a point penalty played no part in my decision to launch a ball over the fence or throw a racket - it was all done in the heat of the moment. I don't know about calling the ref 'universally' being considered a D move in juniors, I'd almost expect it out of an opponent. It's not like you threw your racket at the fence and then picked it up, when the ball leaves the playing area it's pretty obvious. Your opponent was not in the wrong for doing that and he handled himself properly by calling for the official instead of arguing with you. Would I have taken the penalty? Absolutely. I wouldn't put it past some people to lie and say it was an accident or something, but if directly asked about it you gotta man up and admit to it.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
Another thing that played a big role in this situation is me not knowing the rule. I thought that the worst thing that could happen is me getting a warning. In other tournaments I often get coded once (getting a warning). After that I always avoid any codable conduct. I use the warning as a tool to let off some steam with no real consequences. If I had known that this tournament doesn't give warnings, I would have never hit the ball over the fence. I think something similar happened to JMac when he got DQ at the AO. He didn't know that the rule had been changed and that he would get DQed.
Given your history of warnings, I have absolutely no sympathy for you. In fact, it sounds like you'd be better off in the long run if more opponents broke the unwritten rule.

If I had done something like that in a tournament as a junior, it wouldn't have mattered how my opponent responded because my parents would have pulled me out of the match straight away. They didn't tolerate loud profanity or physical acts like smashing balls or throwing rackets in anger. In the long run, that helped me learn to control myself and focus better rather than riding the emotional roller coaster.

But to answer the question in your poll, no I wouldn't have taken the penalty because I wouldn't have been given a chance to take the penalty. A much harsher one would have been given to me.
 
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RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
Do yourself a favor and let this be a turning point. Stop the childish antics. They're not impressing anyone and ony make you look like a jerk.

Your opponent was pretty desperate to win. I probably would have skipped the handshake under the circumstances.

What would have happened if you refused to answer the official? He said he couldn't call it unless he saw it, then put the onus on you. I wouldn't have lied but I might have just said well, if you didn't see it, you didn't see it. Is this like a line call, where you have an ethical obligation to call it on yourself? I've never seen a pro call a code violation on themselves.
 

TeamOB

Professional
Given your history of warnings, I have absolutely no sympathy for you. In fact, it sounds like you'd be better off in the long run if more opponents broke the unwritten rule.

If I had done something like that in a tournament as a junior, it wouldn't have mattered how my opponent responded because my parents would have pulled me out of the match straight away. They didn't tolerate loud profanity or physical acts like smashing balls or throwing rackets in anger. In the long run, that helped me learn to control myself and focus better rather than riding the emotional roller coaster.

But to answer the question in your poll, no I wouldn't have taken the penalty because I wouldn't have been given a chance to take the penalty. A much harsher one would have been given to me.
Man, you have strict parents! Getting pulled off the court for whacking a ball? Never seen that happen to anyone! My parents never watch me play or practice, so they don't mind any of my antics. My friends think it's really funny. Whenever they're watching I screw around a bit to get some laughs. BTW what is the "much harsher penalty" you were talking about? What would they do?
 

TeamOB

Professional
Honestly you should have reported that, what if the next match this kid plays he does the same thing and instead of hitting someone's arm it hits them in the knee and fractures something?
I considered it but decided to simply play on. He would have gotten into some pretty big trouble with the USTA for throwing his racquet at me. Since I knew the guy and he trained at my club, I decided to let it go and have a talk with him after. I still know the guy and we joke around about this incident when ever I see him.
 

newpball

Legend
Sounds like the opponent is a real piece of work. Undoubtedly had a reputation as as a tattletale at home and in school as a kid and has devolved into a 1st class snitch. Perhaps his goal in life to make quick/easy money as a police informant.

His action was petty and was probably a pathetic attempt at gamesmanship.
What happened to you today?
It sounds like a totally out of left field comment from you? :confused:
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
Man, you have strict parents! Getting pulled off the court for whacking a ball? Never seen that happen to anyone! My parents never watch me play or practice, so they don't mind any of my antics. My friends think it's really funny. Whenever they're watching I screw around a bit to get some laughs. BTW what is the "much harsher penalty" you were talking about? What would they do?
My parents liked watching me play, so I usually had at least one of them at most matches (in addition to most of my soccer games). They understood getting angry and occasionally yelling at myself, but they wouldn't tolerate any childish outbursts. The harsher penalty would have been a forfeited match. They'd pull me off the court if I started throwing rackets, smashing balls, or shouting obscenities. I learned that lesson the hard way in a practice match when I half-heartedly threw my racket.

Anyway, your antics are childish and most likely have a negative effect on your game. The fact that you regularly act out badly enough to get code violations shows that you have little control over your emotions, and that makes me think that you probably struggle to maintain focus throughout a match. You'd be better off if you developed more self control.
 

Pet

Semi-Pro
In my city have flown raquets over the fence soo...


Say that, if you mix 2 fools in a court.... you have this situations.
 

goran_ace

Hall of Fame
What would have happened if you refused to answer the official? He said he couldn't call it unless he saw it, then put the onus on you. I wouldn't have lied but I might have just said well, if you didn't see it, you didn't see it. Is this like a line call, where you have an ethical obligation to call it on yourself? I've never seen a pro call a code violation on themselves.
If I were the ref and you said no you didn't do it I would then ask you to explain exactly how the ball got outside of the fence and lead you into admitting it.
 

TeamOB

Professional
If I were the ref and you said no you didn't do it I would then ask you to explain exactly how the ball got outside of the fence and lead you into admitting it.
I've seen people deny this sort of thing. A guy playing on a court next to me smashed a racquet and when the ref came over to code him, he said it slipped out of his hand on a serve. For a ball hit over the fence the excuse is even simpler: "I shanked it and it flew over there". This is junior tennis. Unless there is a ref watching the match from start to finish, people can get away with anything. It is up to you to be a good sport and do the right thing.
 

newpball

Legend
Yesterday I showed my almost 7 year old this book:

No matter where you are or who you are, there are four main things that you have to do if you want to make good friends and keep them.

You have to be HONEST
You have to be FAIR
You have to be STRONG
and you have to be WISE

And there is no good in trying to fool yourself. All that isn't so easy."




He loved it!

Perhaps it also could be an inspiration to some of you as well?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0789306840/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
Maybe hit the ball hard into the net, but don't hit it out of the court. Now one of you has to get the ball, and it's a big interruption. Still, if I were your opponent I wouldn't have gotten an official. Also, if I were you I would have told the truth like you did. I also would have shaken his hand, (but not warmly).
 

GoudX

Professional
You both acted terribly.

You caused an interruption in the tiebreak which is at least inconsiderate and is potentially cheating (which is why you got penalized). However most players are known to hit balls hard in random directions in tense situations, so it is understandable.

Then he essentially handed himself the match by exploiting an overly strict application of a rule to award himself a mini-break to get match point. This feels a lot like if a player were to appeal to an umpire to dock a point for a time violation on match point - it's clearly outside the intended scope of the rule and very unsportsmanlike.
 

moonballs

Hall of Fame
A lot of guys hit the ball hard after the play has ended to get the frustration out. I have rarely seen them playing better afterwards. All it does is to waste time, which is the most precious thing in life.
 

TeamOB

Professional
To kinda wrap up the case: IMO neither of us was innocent. I committed an offense in the eyes of the official rules. He committed an offense in the eyes of public opinion. We both got our punishments. I lost the match. He lost the respect of many people. Some of my friends were watching the match and saw what happened. Word quickly got around. It is safe to say that this incident didn't help his popularity at all. In the end of the day I think I got the last laugh. He went on to get smacked in the next round while I bounced back and won the backdraw (since this was a fairly big tournament, I probably got some solid ranking points).
 
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Lukhas

Legend
Given your locale it is no surprise you would choose to lie. Surrender monkey.
Is it all you've got, going straight at stereotypes? :lol: I am disappointed; I'd thought that with years and years of using those words someone would've come up with something more original. Especially since it's contradictory: I said I'd lie and hence not surrender a point. You're not making any sense. I expected more than this half-baked retort.
 
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