(This question has a GQ element, and an IMHO element, and possibly Cafe Society… MODS please move as appropriate!)
Club tennis is predominately self-policing… the players are responsible for calling the ball out, or identifying any other infringments during play.
Usually this works pretty well, but there’s one area that no-one I’ve spoken to seems to be clear on.
The rules around foot-faults are dead easy - if you touch the baseline with any part of either foot during the service action, it’s a fault.
Except that if I were to make such a call in a local league match all hell would break loose.
We have a bunch of players who routinely take a step onto or over the baseline during serve. It’s arguable that this confers little to no advantage, given the level we’re playing at, yet no similar leeway is given to line calls etc.
Our club chairman is notorious for doing this, and there are several other players who clear the baseline on every serve.
The general feeling seems to be that it’s “poor form” to call foot-faults - our chairman gets extremely irate if anyone tries it on him - but one chap told me LTA rules actually *prohibit * calling an opponent’s foot-faults during a match.
Am I entitled under LTA (or US equivalent) rules to call my opponent on a foot-fault when no umpire is present?
What’s the etiquette where you play for calling foot-faults? Do you ever make those calls, or is it one of those things everyone just puts up with?
My own view
This has bugged me for a while. The law is crystal clear - touch the line, and it’s a foot-fault.
Every other infringment can be called as a fault - so why not this one?
There was one reason I could think of why it might not be workable in a club game… for line calls etc, there’s usually at least one player on each side of the net who can observe the infraction.
During serve, the server (and his/her partner in doubles) cannot watch the server’s foot during play, making it impossible to verify whether the fault has taken place or not.
However, if I hit a cracking passing shot my opponent can’t see the ball land, and has to rely on my honesty. Foot-faults should be no different?
I have a club match tomorrow, and I’m half-tempted to try a few foot-fault calls to see what the reaction is.
Of course, it relies on me ensuring my own serve is whiter-than-white, but that’s no bad thing!
So… any thoughts, before I end up wearing my raquet tomorrow evening! :dubious: