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Poll: Slow play, Umpire discretion
Quickening play adds to viewer enjoyment
Players should be able to play to their own pace, within reason
Chair umpires should be able to use their own discretion
The time violation should be enforced, with a little wiggle room
The time violation should be rigidly enforced...period!
Time violations should be assessed to receivers, too, if they're dawdling
I see no point in changing things from what they are
There should never be an on-court shot clock.
There should be an on-court shot clock
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Slow play, stricter enforcement
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Moxie629 Offline
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Slow play, stricter enforcement
Obviously this is a hot topic, and the ATP is pushing hard. Seems a good time to discuss it, again. Rather than co-opt the Monte Carlo thread, we could discuss it here.
17-Apr-2013 08:59 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
I believe I have made this a multiple choice poll, so you should be able to choose as many as you like. (It's my first poll, so be patient.)
17-Apr-2013 09:17 PM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
So far I have been happy with enforcement this year. No shot clock and I do think recievers should be able to be penalized.
17-Apr-2013 09:52 PM
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AndrewWilliam Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
Here is an excerpt of the press release regarding the ATP Board's Time Violation Penalty.

NEW YORK — At its recent meetings in New York, the ATP Board of Directors approved a rule change and a trial for the 2013 season, both proposed by the new ATP Competition Committee.

From 2013, on both the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour, a time violation between points (25 seconds) will be penalised in the first instance with a warning. For the second and all subsequent violations, the penalty will be a fault for the server and a point penalty for the receiver. Currently, the rule is a warning and then point penalty for both the server and receiver.

“Thereâ€s been a lot of discussion about the amount of time taken between points,” said ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett. “We believe this modification will give officials a useful tool and allow for more consistent enforcement of the current time violation rule.”

I don't know that I would oppose some sort of timing device visible to both players. A 'Serve Clock' as it were. Chair umpires, at the end of the day, will have the final say so and should be lenient if the situation dictates the players have some additional time.
(This post was last modified: 17-Apr-2013 10:20 PM by AndrewWilliam.)
17-Apr-2013 10:08 PM
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Denisovich Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
I think players deliberately slow down the game to get the opponent waiting for them. Breaks the concentration just a tiny notch. Rigorous enforcement please. Win the game by skill, not by mindgames.
18-Apr-2013 03:19 AM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
A clock would be too much of a distraction. Everyone would spend more time 'clock watching' than watching the tennis. I don't really care if a player takes 26 or 24 seconds before serving. In fact, it sounds a bit petty to me. But yes, in the past some players have taken too much time. It all comes down to what's reasonable and what's not, and if players on a regular basis interfere with the flow of the match the umpire should do something about it. But if someone every now and then takes 26 seconds instead of 25 and he gets penalized for that it's just a case of pointless rule-aritis as far as I'm concerned.
18-Apr-2013 04:12 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
(18-Apr-2013 04:12 AM)jhar26 Wrote:  A clock would be too much of a distraction. Everyone would spend more time 'clock watching' than watching the tennis. I don't really care if a player takes 26 or 24 seconds before serving. In fact, it sounds a bit petty to me. But yes, in the past some players have taken too much time. It all comes down to what's reasonable and what's not, and if players on a regular basis interfere with the flow of the match the umpire should do something about it. But if someone every now and then takes 26 seconds instead of 25 and he gets penalized for that it's just a case of pointless rule-aritis as far as I'm concerned.

That's true. And a good umpire can take the pulse of a situation quite easily. If Rafa or Novak take ages between points when they're 6-3, 4-0 up, then get 'em moving. But if it's 4-5 in the fifth of a slam final, then pay a bit of respect too. Let them play and don't be petty about stuff like that...
18-Apr-2013 04:25 AM
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Denisovich Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
(18-Apr-2013 04:25 AM)Kieran Wrote:  
(18-Apr-2013 04:12 AM)jhar26 Wrote:  A clock would be too much of a distraction. Everyone would spend more time 'clock watching' than watching the tennis. I don't really care if a player takes 26 or 24 seconds before serving. In fact, it sounds a bit petty to me. But yes, in the past some players have taken too much time. It all comes down to what's reasonable and what's not, and if players on a regular basis interfere with the flow of the match the umpire should do something about it. But if someone every now and then takes 26 seconds instead of 25 and he gets penalized for that it's just a case of pointless rule-aritis as far as I'm concerned.

That's true. And a good umpire can take the pulse of a situation quite easily. If Rafa or Novak take ages between points when they're 6-3, 4-0 up, then get 'em moving. But if it's 4-5 in the fifth of a slam final, then pay a bit of respect too. Let them play and don't be petty about stuff like that...

Complete nonsense. If Novak hits a ball just wide on matchpoint in the fifth, we're going to pay a bit of respect too? Rules are rules, stick to them. That's what enhances certainty for everyone. Rigorous enforcement makes it clear to everybody. Play within the timelimit. You get plenty of time anyway.
18-Apr-2013 04:34 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
(18-Apr-2013 04:34 AM)Denisovich Wrote:  
(18-Apr-2013 04:25 AM)Kieran Wrote:  
(18-Apr-2013 04:12 AM)jhar26 Wrote:  A clock would be too much of a distraction. Everyone would spend more time 'clock watching' than watching the tennis. I don't really care if a player takes 26 or 24 seconds before serving. In fact, it sounds a bit petty to me. But yes, in the past some players have taken too much time. It all comes down to what's reasonable and what's not, and if players on a regular basis interfere with the flow of the match the umpire should do something about it. But if someone every now and then takes 26 seconds instead of 25 and he gets penalized for that it's just a case of pointless rule-aritis as far as I'm concerned.

That's true. And a good umpire can take the pulse of a situation quite easily. If Rafa or Novak take ages between points when they're 6-3, 4-0 up, then get 'em moving. But if it's 4-5 in the fifth of a slam final, then pay a bit of respect too. Let them play and don't be petty about stuff like that...

Complete nonsense. If Novak hits a ball just wide on matchpoint in the fifth, we're going to pay a bit of respect too? Rules are rules, stick to them. That's what enhances certainty for everyone. Rigorous enforcement makes it clear to everybody. Play within the timelimit. You get plenty of time anyway.

I think if a player takes 27 seconds to compose himself after a gruelling rally after playing for four hours, the umpire would be missing the point if he banged his gavel...
18-Apr-2013 04:44 AM
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Denisovich Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
^ the rule is not applied at GS. Players should be fit enough to deal with the rule in three sets, otherwise they should start playing curling. Get your act together, and don't towel off all the time or pick your arse. Just play and don't delay the game.

Personally I also think they should apply it consistently at GS too. There is no point in making exceptions, that just leads to arbitrary results. I don't care if you're in the fifth set of a GS final. You play by the rules just like everyone else. No delaying allowed.
18-Apr-2013 06:40 AM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
Keep the game moving, don't play mind games, have respect for the game and the opponent, and for heaven's sake, nobody needs to towel off after they hit an ace....Angry

18-Apr-2013 07:08 AM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
It appears my voting was in line with the top three vote-getters in the poll, which means I think it should be enforced with a little wiggle room (umpires still have discretion) with no time clock on court. That seems to be a reasonable accommodation.

Virgil Cane is the name ...
18-Apr-2013 09:06 AM
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ricardo Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
true, it should be enforced with 'capable' umpires' discretion. in the past it was almost a joke, ATP made the rule and some players keep abusing it at will.... people can see when there is crowd noise, someone fainted mid-match, a bird just dropped dead on court, etc, but we can also see deliberate 'time-wasting' - either it gives a player more rest, or upset another player's rhythm, as a strategy. It's unfair to players who comply, and fans who expected a match to play out according to the rules.
18-Apr-2013 09:15 AM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
I think strict enforcement with a little bit of common sense bending for super long rallies. I think Recievers need to be at the line as soon as the server steps up. Most of Djokovic doddling is when he is actually at the service line, so if rafa or delpo (i am delpo fan), take a long time at the towel, it is unfair to expect novak to skip his (admittedly ridiculous) service routine. I do think you have to take the returner's bs into account also.
(This post was last modified: 18-Apr-2013 10:02 AM by Riotbeard.)
18-Apr-2013 10:02 AM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
Today I heard one of the umpires tell the players at the coin toss that, if they want to know how they're doing for time, they can ask at the change-overs. That seems better than a shot clock, and they can gauge it without just waiting to get a warning. Actually, it was before Murray's match, because he had a few questions, given what happened to him yesterday. There was a bit of a discussion at the net.
18-Apr-2013 10:18 AM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
(18-Apr-2013 06:40 AM)Denisovich Wrote:  ^ the rule is not applied at GS. Players should be fit enough to deal with the rule in three sets, otherwise they should start playing curling. Get your act together, and don't towel off all the time or pick your arse. Just play and don't delay the game.

Personally I also think they should apply it consistently at GS too. There is no point in making exceptions, that just leads to arbitrary results. I don't care if you're in the fifth set of a GS final. You play by the rules just like everyone else. No delaying allowed.
the problem is that officially, the ITF rules at GS are even stricter - 20 seconds, which probably really is a bit short for today's game. in the end, the GS rule is basically not enforced at all, which doesn't make sense. it should be 25, and it should be enforced.

i do think Kieran's right in that there should be a teeny bit of wiggle room (but definitely under 5 seconds, and only in few instances, not every point after 4 all in the fifth). that'd be much less about fitness in long matches, though, but just to take into account the little things - ball kid mistakes, flash fotography, players tumbling into the net or anything like that.

but yes, players should know they can't take only so much time, even if they've just had a couple of all-out sprints. although on the other hand, a good serve takes a steady arm and a powerful movement. i wonder if, using a shot clock, we would start seeing, after grueling rallies, Chang underarm serves? servers forfeiting points? serves fainting? I reckon none of it is likely, and neither is the shot clock.
18-Apr-2013 10:32 AM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
(18-Apr-2013 10:02 AM)Riotbeard Wrote:  I think strict enforcement with a little bit of common sense bending for super long rallies. I think Recievers need to be at the line as soon as the server steps up. Most of Djokovic doddling is when he is actually at the service line, so if rafa or delpo (i am delpo fan), take a long time at the towel, it is unfair to expect novak to skip his (admittedly ridiculous) service routine. I do think you have to take the returner's bs into account also.

i think you got a good point, but it's a bit hard to do. i guess just generally enforcing the time rule will sort that out as well. in theory (and the rule), it's server's pace anyway. you'd just have to start acing those who refuse to line up for the return in time, i guess Wink
18-Apr-2013 10:38 AM
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tented Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
(18-Apr-2013 10:35 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  
(18-Apr-2013 10:18 AM)Moxie629 Wrote:  Today I heard one of the umpires tell the players at the coin toss that, if they want to know how they're doing for time, they can ask at the change-overs. That seems better than a shot clock, and they can gauge it without just waiting to get a warning.

They did the same before Novak's match with Monaco. Possibly this is become part of each pre-match dialogue? That would be good.

I hope it has, because it would help to apply this rule evenly. Part of the problem now is that umpires vary among themselves when it comes to its actual application -- that doesn't help anyone.
18-Apr-2013 12:14 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
(18-Apr-2013 04:12 AM)jhar26 Wrote:  A clock would be too much of a distraction. Everyone would spend more time 'clock watching' than watching the tennis. I don't really care if a player takes 26 or 24 seconds before serving. In fact, it sounds a bit petty to me. But yes, in the past some players have taken too much time. It all comes down to what's reasonable and what's not, and if players on a regular basis interfere with the flow of the match the umpire should do something about it. But if someone every now and then takes 26 seconds instead of 25 and he gets penalized for that it's just a case of pointless rule-aritis as far as I'm concerned.

This is basically where I am, too. I voted for:

- Chair umpires should be able to use their own discretion
- The time violation should be enforced, with a little wiggle room
- Time violations should be assessed to receivers, too, if they're dawdling
- There should never be an on-court shot clock

To give a time warning or point/serve penalty after a 30+ shot rally because they take 27 seconds before beginning the next point is petty. However, if a player hits an ace, there's really no excuse for taking 27 seconds before serving again (assuming no outside interference, which is beyond the server's control).

There's an organic nature to a match, which the best umpires understand. Mohammed Layhani, for example, gets this perfectly. He knows not to issue a warning after a long rally simply because 27 seconds have passed, but he also knows when a player is dawdling (not too long ago, I saw him issue a time warning to the server on match point).
18-Apr-2013 12:25 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Slow play, stricter enforcement
Overall, it seems a good thing that the sport is trying to make the rule and its application more uniform. I don't think the players like randomness, either. Probably the umpires don't, either. And, in the interest of uniformity, the Majors should also go to the 25 second rule, instead of 20.

As to the receiver being assessed for slow-play: to Johnsteinbeck's point, the rule is that play proceeds at the pace of the server, which is why you wouldn't see the receiving player assessed as often. However, it's obstructive (and probably gamesmanship,) if a receiver were to do it often enough to be cited. So call them on slow-play or obstruction, but that is really against long-standing rules if they're impeding the pace of the server.

One thing I heard the umpire say at the net at least once this week was that the player should receive a warning for slow play, before being assessed a penalty, but if not, "bad luck." I don't think that's fair. At the very least, the chair should warn the player at the changeover that he's at the edge of being penalized. If everyone is trying to adhere to the new strictness, in good faith, they should at least get the head's-up that they're walking the fine-line with the ump.
18-Apr-2013 06:30 PM
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