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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Applying rules

Yesterday I had a quarrel with my opponent regarding court behaviour and whether we should strictly follow the official rules. I was bothered by the way he serves: he doesn't want to spend too much time between first and second serve and he doesn't like to have a ball in his pocket during a rally, therefore his solution is this : he usually has 2 balls in his left hand, tosses up one ball, serves it and if the serve is good he'll drop the other ball; this thing is just driving me crazy: sometimes, when the serve is weak, I want to return and I see 2 balls, the one coming to me and the other one just leaping in background; some other time, I return the serve and I can see 2 balls near my opponent: the one returned by me, the other one dropped by him.

I told him that this bothers me and it's against the rules but all just ended up in a argument who left both of us unhappy and convinced that either of the two is right.

His point was that if we disregard SOME rules (like balls lying on court etc.), then I don't have the right to resort to ANY rule.

My point of view:
- if there are some things bothering me and not covered by the rules, I cannot say anything (I could only politely ask my opponent if he can do something about this, and if he doesn't want, that's ok)
- if there are some things bothering me and are covered by the rules, I'm entitled to ask him to follow the rules
- if there are some things that do not bother me but are against the rules, I don't mind (I'm not trying to strictly apply the rules just for the sake of it)

Of course this things applies for me as well (if he is bothered by my demeanour that's against the rules, I must obey and behave properly).

How do you settle this kind of matter?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 03:56 PM
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Re: Applying rules

Im not 100% sure, but I believe that it is technically your point if he throws a ball midpoint. If a ball falls out of your pocket you lose the point, so I would imaging throwing one behind you would be the same.

That being said, if you want to win the argument, then thats the way to do it.

If you want to actually settle the matter, thats a different story. I would say suggest that he stop doing that cause its distracting you. Unless hes cold hearted, he would probably listen to your request.

If not, id hit with someone else haha

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 04:36 PM
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Re: Applying rules

It sounds like he's being totally unreasonable. As for how you settle it, the only thing to really do I guess is, in a calm environment, listen to his point of view and then try and make him understand where you're coming from. If you still can't settle it then you'll have to agree to disagree, although if your opponent intend on playing club tournaments then surely he will have to abide by the rules and would perhaps be better off trying to get used to playing that way.

The only problem that I usually come across in these matches is that some opponents blatantly footfault on every serve but I just let it slide, although I have mentioned it to an opponent once or twice before.

Last edited by StevoTG; 07-11-2008 at 04:47 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 05:08 PM
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Re: Applying rules

Yea, i dont let foot faults really bother me either.

Unless im getting wreck by a serve and volley player!

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 01:14 AM
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Re: Applying rules



I'm not so sure that a ball falling out of your pocket is necessarily an automatic point for your opponent...at least not around here (in unofficiated matches). We tend to be a bit more laissez faire and leave it up to the moment at hand. If it's the first time (and well into the match), it's almost always just played as a let if it ultimately ends up in the way.

But about the second ball dropping (or throwing) following a good first serve, that's probably more of a different scenario. I searched for some guidance on the USTA site and didn't find much. I imagine if you bring it to your opponent's attention...as soon as possible (...in other words, don't wait til you've lost that first set, then complain about it)...you probably have grounds for claiming/asking for a point.

That damn second ball. It can be a real boondoggle in the womens game as many of the outfits don't even have a pocket (I refuse to purchase/wear such items ). Some women roll the ball up under their lollies (yuck!...esp on clay) and I've been involved in a match where one player was asked NOT to do it. It was a hot day and the ball got heavy (if you get my drift) quickly. They do make little ball carriers that attach to your waistline but I don't suppose that's very, ah, macho.

As for how to deal with it if you want to keeping hitting with this person...work on your own concentration so it doesn't become an issue OR...do what I do against someone who doesn't like a "clean" court...I'm not shy in trying to put my return in the area of the "loose" ball. Funny how quickly they'll pick up after themselves if they lose a point or two because a ball they've left...gets in their way.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 01:20 AM
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Re: Applying rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevoTG View Post
I The only problem that I usually come across in these matches is that some opponents blatantly footfault on every serve but I just let it slide, although I have mentioned it to an opponent once or twice before.


A complete pet peeve of mine. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

It was nice, though, when playing in a district tournament, I saw a roving official call it on one of my teammate's opponent. Totally screwed with that woman's head. She lost it...and the match. Ha!

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Applying rules

Ok, I've checked the rules, it seems to be against me:
- a player can hold 2 balls in one hand and toss the second ball away after serve
http://www.usta.com/USTA/Global/Impr...isc_Rules.aspx

- however, if a ball falls from a player's pocket, or if his cap falls of, the point should be replayed
http://www.usta.com/USTA/Global/Impr...Let_Calls.aspx
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 08:41 AM
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Re: Applying rules

It seems pretty unprofessional to me, and hopefully now you've mentioned something he'll stop doing it in future.

I can't see any advantage to holding two balls in your hand whilst serving, it just makes it more difficult to have a consistent toss (unless your Mansour Bahrami).

I agree with you entirely, but if it is in the rules then you'll just have to accept it if he keeps doing it, and just try to concentrate harder. On the positive side, there are opponents who will do much worse things than that to put you off so see this as something to 'thicken your skin' if you will.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 11:57 PM
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Re: Applying rules

It is possible to have 2 balls in hand prior to serve.
But if he drops the ball once, you reply the point.2nd time it is your point.

Case closed.

And ball on the court could be a distraction I know.
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