Double Bounce

Post-op meal of oatmeal and banana

If you see the ball bounce twice on your opponent’s side of the court, whose call is it?  There are two different situations, with two different answers. They are here, along with a brief medical update.

Two Incoming Bounces

Your opponent runs in for a short ball and after the first bounce, hits it (in your opinion) just after it bounces a second time.  Whose call is it?  Your opponent’s – not yours.

But on the other hand, your opponent DOES hit the ball before the second bounce; but they hit it into the court and it comes over the net.  Whose call is it?  This time, it is YOURS.

The Ruling

This from Rebel Good’s Jan/Feb Court of Appeals…

A player “calls against themself” in a double bounce situation under The Code, #19 (“The opponent is not entitled to make these calls. [But] The principle of giving the opponent the benefit of any doubt applies.”)

But a shot hit straight into the ground on their side of the court is, in essence, a really, really short shot that did not land in the proper court. It is your call because, under The Code #5, a player “calls all shots landing on, or aimed at, the player’s side of the net.”

A Challenging Call

In my opinion, both calls are very difficult to be sure about and can create controversy.  But from teaching pro Spike Gonzales, one indicator of the second situation is if the ball comes over the net to your side with TOPSPIN.  If that happens, the ball was hit down into your opponent’s court first.

Have YOU faced these situations?

My Medical Update:

Yesterday was my heart catheterization; so here are just the headlines:

  • They gave me a form to sign saying that “while they were in there, they were going to install a pacemaker.” I said, NO YOU ARE NOT.

  • Afterwards, the Doctor spoke to groggy me and also called DeDe at home (my sons listening in); and he said I “probably previously had a heart attack, causing some damage.”
  • He said I have some blockages that “may need a stent”; but that I should go to see a heart surgeon next week to discuss what course of action they will take. His name is Dr. Solomon

  • I asked Dr. Santos of my three hours of MRIs; but he did not seem to know anything about the potential aortic aneurysm; but said there is an “aneurysm on the apex”(?) And I will talk to Dr. Solomon about that too.

  • I called am now scheduled to talk to Dr. Solomon Tuesday afternoon: and, he will discuss the possible solutions: medication ,bypass and/or stent. (and pacemaker)

There are some more details, which I have shared via email to some folks who have asked to be kept informed.  If you would like to read more, just drop me an email.

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com

My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to Amazon.com, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!

20 thoughts on “Double Bounce

  1. Best of Luck George! Let’s all get healthy, stay healthy and get our butts back out onto that court! Happy New Year!

    Jim, yes, and let’s celebrate at Newk’s in October! thanks, george

  2. You once described serious physical issues after playing long, hard matches in singles and doubles in a Naples tournament – wonder if you had a heart reaction to the overstress then? You have since said you will not try to play both singles and doubles anymore – many of us should probably do a reality check on over enthusiastic entries.
    Personally, I am getting closer to saying doubles only. begrudgingly.

    Winder, the incident you remember was at Sanchez and i had to play two hard doubles matches in one day in extreme heat; and ended up just short of heat stroke. So, maybe. thanks, george

  3. Wow George – Hope you’re feeling better and up & around (and back on the court) soon.

    I have had BOTH situations you described happen. IMO, the (possible) double-bounce is hard for both the hitter and the opponent to see clearly, and they may both be equally convinced that they’re right. However if it happens in Doubles the hitters partner will usually have a better view from the side.

    As for the situation where the player hits the ball down and then over, we had quite the contentious situation happen in Doubles on a very key point. Our opponent poached and stretched out really wide to his backhand to intercept the ball. He hit the ball down on his side of the net and it then bounced over the net to land on our side. When he hit the ball he had is back to the net so he couldn’t see it land, and at the same time he blocked his partner from seeing it. My partner and I both saw it clearly but it was such a weird thing we didn’t call it immediately. When we did call it a few seconds later they thought we were trying to hook them and it really got heated. I can remember all of that clearly, but I don’t remember how we resolved the point. Amicably, I hope.

    Wishing you all the best George.

    Terry, both versions have the potential for real on-court controversy! thanks, george

  4. george. how long is your recovery expected to be?

    Joe, depends on the outcome of Tuesday’s heart surgeon meeting. george

  5. Thanks for posting so soon after a procedure!! Very impressive!! Best wishes for a speedy recovery and good health

    Doc, thanks. george

  6. George,
    Get better soon!
    Your always upbeat attitude is key and an inspiration for us all.
    Don’t overdo it; remember at our age, we’re always winners just out there competing.
    Regarding the double-bounce, believe it’s the hitter’s obligation to call it in the favor of the opponent if there’s ANY question at all.
    (And, in most cases–absent Hawkeye–the hitter really knows what the call should be.)
    Best!
    Phil

    Phil, just like it is supposed to be on every close line call… if any doubt, goes to the opponent. Thanks for the kind words. George

  7. George,

    Sorry to hear about the cardiac issues. However, you are so fit and upbeat, I know you will do well. As I tell my athletes, listen to your body and follow the experts. Best wishes.

    Larry, I would love to find some experts to follow! Thanks. George

  8. George,
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery and all expert recommendations going forward.
    In all honesty, you always hope a player responsibly calls the double bounce rule on themselves. But, on the other hand, I have seen disagreements arise that have stopped matches for a brief time to determine the call.
    Another rule that sometimes causes controversy is when the the ball makes contact with a player’s clothing or any part of their body, such as his/her hand that is holding the racquet. Sometimes that player does not give a true assessment of a ball touching them or their clothing during a point. One other “pet peeve” of mine is when a player catches the ball (thinking it will go out) before it bounces, even if standing out of the court. Tennis is a great sport, whether you’re a player or a spectator. And playing by the rules shows good etiquette, respect, and sportsmanship, making everyone happy.

    Glenn, the thing that gets me upset on the tennis court is a player who either out right cheats or pushes the limits. thanks, george

  9. Who cares about a “double bounce”?!….just get well and feel better….we are all cheering for YOU!!!….and Go Tom Brady! (nice win last night). Scoot

    Scoot, thanks for both. I couldn’t sleep, so watched Mr. Brady and the Bucs win. george

  10. Get well fast, George. We are all thinking about you.

    And thanks for enlightening us about the double bounce distinction. I was aware of the former situation and calling on yourself, but not the latter situation where it is the opponent’s call. Logical, but confusing.

  11. George,

    I have already communicated with you privately about your medical issues, but publicly I will say that when I can’t sleep, I turn on the Golf Channel. Works every time.

    And, if you guys are going to start cheering on your teams in this forum, I would just like to say Go Buckeyes!!!

  12. Another “who makes the call?” scenario that I have encountered is this: Who makes the call when there is some encroachment on the court in the middle of a point that one player views as a distraction sufficient to call a let, but the opposing player disagrees this should entitle the distracted player to call a let.

    Here are a few real life scenarios that I have personally encountered:

    1). The players are in the middle of a singles point; lots of rally balls back and forth. Suddenly, a player from an adjacent court playing doubles runs past the alley and into the service box in front of Player X on the singles court because the player from the doubles court is trying to retrieve a sharply angled ball hit by the opposing player in that match. Player X immediately holds up his hand and loudly calls a let because of the obvious interference since there is a player from the next court standing in front of him in the service box on his own court in the middle of a still ongoing rally. However, in the real life example given, Player X’s opponent, Player Y, not so magnanimously disputes that the called let is valid and asserts that the point should go to him because Player X stopped playing in the middle of the point and gave up. On further discussion, Player Y “explains” his position that, because Player X bunted the ball with his racquet into the net while he was simultaneously holding up his other hand and calling a let, that was actually an unsuccessful “attempt” to play the ball as if it was good and the fact that an adjacent player was standing in front of Player X on his court should be ignored and is not relevant.

    2). A ball from an adjacent court rolls onto Player X’s forecourt in the singles match with Player Y and Player X, again, stops play in the middle of a rally to call a let because the ball that has just rolled in front of him is an obvious distraction in the middle of a point. However, again Player Y disputes that this was a legitimate let and tries to argue that he should be awarded the point instead because, according to him, Player X actually “gave up” on the point in mid rally and Player X “could not possibly” have been distracted since he was standing behind the baseline when the ball rolled onto Player X’s forecourt, near the net, and there was “no danger” that Player X might accidentally trip on the ball because he was so far away from it. Further attempts by Player X to rationalize with Player Y and point out that Player Y could easily hit a drop shot on his next stroke and create a situation where indeed Player X would be at higher risk of tripping on the ball are met with further bizarre argument by Player Y that (a) that is not what happened and (b) had that situation actually occurred Player X could still not call a let anyway because he would have failed to do so in a timely manner, that is when the encroachment actually occurred.

    3). Same singles match and Players X and Y are again having a baseline rally when a player from the adjacent court runs onto Player Y’s court, close to the fence and definitely behind Player Y, to retrieve a ball that had rolled there from the next court. Once again, Player X raises his hand and calls a let promptly when this occurs. However, Player Y this time argues that Player X is not entitled to call the let because the only person who could have been distracted was Player Y and he was not even aware that a player from the adjacent court had moved behind him to retrieve a ball while Players X and Y were mid-court. Player Y’s argument is belied by the fact that he was only a few feet away from the player from the nearby court who had run directly behind him and would have crashed into that other player had he just taken a few steps backward.

    In case you are wondering, I was Player X in all of these situations and they actually happened to me in one very hotly contested USTA league tennis match a few years back. There was no referee for the match, and no one was willing to be conscripted to serve that role as a substitute (although in each of the three scenarios, Player Y’s team captain actually sided with MY interpretation of the rules.) Although we did eventually wind up playing a let in each situation, each situation resulted in a lengthy argument and an incredibly debilitating exchange of words between myself and Player Y, who appeared not to misunderstand the rules so much as he was cleverly trying to play “mind games” with me by taking what I believed to be unsportsmanlike positions that were inconsistent with the Rules of tennis and, most especially, the Code, where his chief goal was basically to get me super angry so I could not play tennis.

    In fact, his strategy worked because I actually wound up losing that match after winning the first set easily 6-1, 5-7 (10-12) when I unfortunately got so pumped with adrenalin from my rage (because I really wanted to each across the net and literally pulverize him with my fist) that I lost my concentration and focus. Conspicuously, the arguments about lets only started to occur AFTER I had won the first set so easily. Until that point, my opponent was a perfect gentleman on the court. The damn match still haunts me and sends my blood pressure into the stratosphere whenever I recall it and how I let myself be psychologically played.

    One final note: My opponent was a Romanian immigrant. After the match was over (and yes, I did shake his hand although I really did not want to), I said “I’ll bet Ilie Nastase was one of your boyhood heroes, right?” He just smiled back at me and said, with a heavy Count Dracula accent, “Of course. How did you guess?”

  13. Hi George –
    Despite being on the post-op bed, you look hale and hearty. With your ongoing medical adventure, you will do fine (as I did) being at one of the top 100 cardiology care hospitals in the U.S. Your positive attitude and common sense will serve you well. With the CACS you took the first step of prevention, worth the “pound of cure” that might have been required had you not taken the initiative. Sometimes intervention is required to solve problems but when we pay attention our bodies have an amazing ability heal themselves. It won’t be that long before you are putting away volleys again.

    Dag, i am hoping you are right on all counts … especially on being able to put away those volleys! thanks, george

  14. Sounds like you are in very goods medical hands as you go thru your battery of test to determine what needs to be done. Being in great physical shape is very much in your favor, and you also have a great attitude which is very important. I went thru the same thing and had heart bypass surgery on December 29, 2014. I recovered quickly and was back on the tennis court in late March 2015. You will do great with whatever needs to be done. The LORD be with you.

    Billy, thanks for the good thoughts. george

  15. George, I can see that healthy living has made a significant difference in your life, your habits put you in a strong position to withstand any heart issue that has been thrown at you already, so keep up the good work. I had a stent put in in 2007; since then been taking my meds, staying active and been a regular visitor annually at the cardiologist. Looking forward to seeing you back on the courts. Take care.

    Tom, tks. sorry to have missed your XO match last night. All good? george

  16. George, you have been so careful in dealing with your heart’s health, it sounds strange that after the MRI’s they report some blockage. You are a clear thinker, and you know the doctors. Maybe the situation will be clarified in further discussion. Yes, I am wishing that the whatever treatment they proscribe is wise and successful. Am thinking of you and rooting for you! Nick

  17. George, I’m sure you will be up and running far sooner than you expect.
    As for the double bounce, last week in a league match, our opponents twice hit the ball on the second bounce. We continued to play the points and won both of them. After the first one, my mild mannered partner agreed with me on the double bounce but in the heat of the point, we decided just to continue the point and won it. Our opponents were good athletes but did not have the years of experience that we had on our side and I attribute there thinking they got the ball, to that. After the match we were sitting in the bleachers watching another match and I asked the player that did not hit it on the 2nd bounce if he thought there were any double bounces on his side of the court and he said no but that he wasn’t looking very hard and really had no idea. I think experience can have a lot to do with a double bounce call.
    Good luck and I’ll see you on the courts probably in 5 weeks:). Fred

    Fred, yeah, those young, face guys think they got to every ball! thanks, george

Comments are closed.