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Research into the use of the time violation rule - NEW petition expessing concern about it's inconsistant use

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Post by hawkeye Sat 25 Apr 2015, 5:31 pm

First topic message reminder :

I am doing a little research into the application of the time violation rule. Players are meant to take no more than 25 seconds between points. If they take longer they are meant to be given a warning on the first violation and on subsequent ones lose a first serve. It is proving difficult to find information on the number of penalties handed out and if the rule is being enforced correctly. If anyone is interested maybe they could help?

I would like to know of any instances when players have received a warning or loss of first serve and what the score was at the time.

How often players go over 25 seconds without being penalized.

The first question could be perhaps partly answered from memory and partly from noting new incidents

The second question could be answered by watching parts of any match and timing a few points. I've found this easy to do by using the timer that appears when you rewind or slow live TV as it shows the seconds but a watch or clock would work fine. According to the ATP rule book timing should start when the ball goes out of play and stop when the ball is struck for the next point. I have gathered some information but it's impossible to watch all matches so any information would be useful. 

Smile

NEW petition expressing concern about the inconsistent use of the time violation rule

Time limits for tennis players? Time for a response - a request to the ATP & ITF

We want to bring to your urgent attention the fact that growing numbers of tennis fans are raising serious concerns about the inconsistent application of the Time Violation Warning rule in ATP and ITF tournaments. This is beginning to spoil our enjoyment of this exceptional sport.

Umpires are currently issuing warnings randomly and arbitrarily, with some players who persistently go over the time limit not being penalised, and others regularly being given a warning.

In addition, it has been noted that the first warning of a match is suddenly given at a crucial point in a game - e.g. at break point - even when the time has been exceeded previously. We are concerned that this practice could significantly alter the outcome of a match.

We, the undersigned, urge you to find a way of regularising the application of the rule and respectfully request a formal response to the specific concerns highlighted in this petition.

Thank you.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/time-limits-for-tennis-players-time-for-a


Last edited by hawkeye on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 11:30 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To add a link to a petition)

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Post by Henman Bill Wed 29 Apr 2015, 8:28 pm

Sorry, but this is getting wierd. So TV would rather pay to watch people bouncing a ball than hitting shots?

Bouncing the ball can get a bit boring so I suggest that when a certain player starts bouncing the ball the TV shows 2 replays of the previous point, some statistics, an advert, cuts to a hot girl in the crowd and then cuts back for the start of the point. I'm not mentioning any names but it's a Serbian player - starts with Djok and ends with ic.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Wed 29 Apr 2015, 8:48 pm

Djokersobic? Leave him out of it, hes struggling to even exist, he doesn't need name calling too.

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Post by summerblues Thu 30 Apr 2015, 2:27 am

I agree with HB, do not really see TV wanting 5+ hr matches. Certainly not in the US, where they have hard time getting tennis on TV already. The longer the matches, the more difficult to get the networks to commit to it.

I could see TV pressure contribute to increased surface uniformity (the more uniformity means the fewer upsets and more big name finals) or even increased physicality of tennis (easier for an average non-tennis-playing viewer to appreciate physical effort that goes to running balls down than to appreciate the touch that goes to a soft volley), but not incrased length of matches.

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Post by summerblues Thu 30 Apr 2015, 2:45 am

This topic is similar to what I have seen in some other sports. For example in ice hockey a foul results in sending a player off for 2 minutes, giving the opposing team a temporary manpower advantage on ice.

During NHL playoffs, if the game results in a tie, extra time is being added until a team scores a goal.

An issue that gets occasionally discussed is how should referees call fouls during the extra time.

On one side, the argument is that it should be the players on ice rather than the referee who decide the game and that calling a foul in extra time gives too much of an advantage to one team. This side takes the view that referees should call fouls more sparingly in extra time and only call the most flagrant cases.

On the other side, the argument is that the rules do not define fouls differently for extra time and thus they should be called just the same as in regulation time.

As you can imagine, I agree with the second view, but it is a topic that is unlikely to ever get fully "resolved" - either in tennis or even more so in hockey.

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Post by Silver Thu 30 Apr 2015, 8:07 am

Not sure I'd agree, HB/SB. It's not so much about the endless ball bouncing and tics, more about the length of the contest and how engrossing it is - slam finals are what I'm really thinking of. AO 2012 is a good example - overly long, but absorbing. And if you started watching it, then you're going to want to stick it out to the end in most cases. I do think that the gradual slowdown is being dictated by tournament directors who recognise that revenue can increase (bums on seats, in the stadium and at home) when matches are of a slightly longer duration.

Unfortunately, this has had the side effect of all but stamping out quicker surfaces. Nothing wrong with slow surfaces, but variety is the key.

summerblues wrote:Hockey post.

I haven't watched hockey for a few years now, but I'd agree with you. Being shorthanded isn't a death sentence in terms of conceding, although if someone picks up a major in OT then it will spell ruin - but as a player you'd have to be a fool to allow that to happen.

Is OT still 4v4? I guess I can see the argument the other way, 3v4 is so much tougher than 4v5.

I don't see a resolution to the tennis 'problem' either.

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Post by hawkeye Thu 30 Apr 2015, 1:37 pm

laverfan wrote:This, at a slam, where ITF allows 20 seconds, compared to ATP at 25 seconds.

Research into the use of the time violation rule - NEW petition expessing concern about it's inconsistant use - Page 3 A1RWR

That was a great match Very Happy Matches like that are the reason's why tennis is so riveting. This is off topic but did you know that Nadal said it was one of his most enjoyable. He is perhaps a little crazy  Smile

As far as the average time between points go though Novak and Rafa were not breaking any rules because the Umpire was allowed back in 2012 to give discretion and I remember with all the great play and turns and twists in the plot the crowd got very excited and noisy. I'm sure the Umpire would have been using his judgement and making allowances when he saw fit. It's only from the beginning of 2013 that there would have been any problem because it was then that it was decided that the Umpires should use stop watches and anything over the limit must be given a time violation. It could be that the ITF haven't changed their rules?

All the talk is about Nadal going over the limit but I am interested in how long players take in general. I have read somewhere that Cilic in last years US Open final went over 20 seconds 58% of the time and over 25 seconds 16% of the time and on break points he went over 25 seconds 58% of the time. Maybe someone could check that out? He must be one of the quickest players (serve, serve hit, serve hit miss etc with little noise or interference from the crowd) so if this is correct other players are likely to break the rule even more frequently. All the matches I have timed show that they do.

Jeremy_Kyle wrote:

I think I might have a good theory to explain the apparently randomness of umpires time violation calls. Imo they have agreed a time limit beyond which they simply cannot avoid to make the call. Obviously it cannot be 25 sec otherwise they world be calling an enourmous amount of code violations every match making the situation unbearable at least for some player. Thus they must have set a limit well above the official rule, maybe 40 sec or more likely 50. This theory can explain well the stats reported above, imo.

Rafa has had a first serve removed at 27 seconds on a break point and other players have taken as long as 40 seconds without penalty. The rule book is quite explicit. Do you think there might be secret rules?

summerblues wrote:I agree with HB, do not really see TV wanting 5+ hr matches.  Certainly not in the US, where they have hard time getting tennis on TV already.  The longer the matches, the more difficult to get the networks to commit to it.


Silver wrote:Not sure I'd agree, HB/SB. It's not so much about the endless ball bouncing and tics, more about the length of the contest and how engrossing it is - slam finals are what I'm really thinking of. AO 2012 is a good example - overly long, but absorbing. And if you started watching it, then you're going to want to stick it out to the end in most cases. I do think that the gradual slowdown is being dictated by tournament directors who recognise that revenue can increase (bums on seats, in the stadium and at home) when matches are of a slightly longer duration.


Why the ATP decided to clamp down on time between points I have no idea. Does anyone know? I had never been aware of this issue until commentators started talking about what Rafa did between points and timing him. If the ATP think this rule is going to shorten matches then they are seriously deluded even if it was applied to all player generally and not targeted specifically on Rafa on crucial points. With tennis scoring as it is there will always be some crazy long matches even if players take ten seconds between points and about as much during points (think Isner Mahut). If they want shorter matches there are lots of more effective ways to get them. The doubles tour has gone down that route. If they want shorter rally's as well they could quicken the courts. That proved effective in the 90's. It also stopped the crowd delaying play by making too much noise.

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Post by hawkeye Thu 30 Apr 2015, 1:54 pm

temporary21 wrote:

Hawkeye, i dont think the rule is unreasonable, but I Do think it needs better enforcement, what in your view would make this rule less unfair?

I think what HE is saying with regards to the bold part, is that there arent that many special circumstances... not that I agree with partial quoting of course.

I think the rule is unreasonable. But if the ATP are crazy enough to have the rule they can't just bring it out and use it selectively.

I suppose I could cut and paste the whole rule book but in the circumstances I thought quoting the relevant part was more appropriate. Bleeding, vomiting etc are thankfully quite rare.

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Post by Jahu Thu 30 Apr 2015, 2:55 pm

Henman Bill wrote:Sorry, but this is getting wierd. So TV would rather pay to watch people bouncing a ball than hitting shots?

Bouncing the ball can get a bit boring so I suggest that when a certain player starts bouncing the ball the TV shows 2 replays of the previous point, some statistics, an advert, cuts to a hot girl in the crowd and then cuts back for the start of the point. I'm not mentioning any names but it's a Serbian player - starts with Djok and ends with ic.

HB, TV's do not care if the players are bouncing balls, scratching or eating secret food under the towel like Djoko, they want at least 4-5h of a prime time matches on a GS, and adverts every 2 game breaks.

TV's pay a tournament broadcast fee, and sell advert airtime blocks to sponsors, now does a match last 2h or 4h, makes a big difference to them.

Say sponsor pays 5 x 30 second adverts for a match, those 5 times are spread out and spent on 3 sets, match goes 5 sets, the TV will repeat a few more times the same advert to fill the time, and charge extra the sponsor.

So of course the TV's do not care whats going on court, as far as its a medium to long match, the advert time has been sold well in advance, it's not like suddenly on set 5 at 12:11, they will get anything extra from double viewership, just more advert time between games. thumbsup
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Post by bogbrush Thu 30 Apr 2015, 6:54 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
bogbrush wrote:
temporary21 wrote:It was umpires discretion back then which meant in theory they were within the rules if he didn't enforce it. It's not the players job to self enforce. Clearly the atp think this was wrong so new rules are in, and slower players will eventually adapt, the current way is s bit arbitrary so I'd be happy to see a good system do better. No need for this hysterics
You sure it's not against forum rules to falsely accuse posters of being hysterical?

No it isn't, especially when he's clearly right.
Great, especially since he (and you) are talking nonsense.

Sadly this type of close-down of discussion by the misuse of language is quite prevalent these days and neutered much rational discourse. It's just another step into the downward spiral for the forum that moderators feel it's worth endorsing it.
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Post by laverfan Thu 30 Apr 2015, 8:08 pm

hawkeye wrote:
laverfan wrote:This, at a slam, where ITF allows 20 seconds, compared to ATP at 25 seconds.

Research into the use of the time violation rule - NEW petition expessing concern about it's inconsistant use - Page 3 A1RWR

That was a great match Very Happy Matches like that are the reason's why tennis is so riveting. This is off topic but did you know that Nadal said it was one of his most enjoyable. He is perhaps a little crazy  Smile

As far as the average time between points go though Novak and Rafa were not breaking any rules because the Umpire was allowed back in 2012 to give discretion and I remember with all the great play and turns and twists in the plot the crowd got very excited and noisy. I'm sure the Umpire would have been using his judgement and making allowances when he saw fit. It's only from the beginning of 2013 that there would have been any problem because it was then that it was decided that the Umpires should use stop watches and anything over the limit must be given a time violation. It could be that the ITF haven't changed their rules?

Research into the use of the time violation rule - NEW petition expessing concern about it's inconsistant use - Page 3 Kd5FO

This is from the same match. Wink



Pascal Maria sat in his chair as long these two were playing.

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Post by summerblues Thu 30 Apr 2015, 8:34 pm

Silver:

For all I know you may be right that TV prefers longer matches and I agree it is quite possible that they increase TV rating but my thinking went something like this:

Tennis is not very popular in the US, so the networks are not too keen to put it on TV. They will put the biggest matches on (perhaps to tap on the specific tennis audience) but they do not want to show them for too long. Yes, a long match may increse rating, but even that increased rating may be lower than other programs TV may have shown (such as poker tournaments or Seinfeld reruns).

Re hockey. I was thinking overtime in the playoffs where they play 5-5. Anyway, the point was that similar discussions happen in other sports too.

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Post by hawkeye Sat 02 May 2015, 2:54 am

Nadal isn't playing this week but players will have continued to regularly break the 25 second limit. So have any time violations been given out? If so when?

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Post by hawkeye Sun 03 May 2015, 4:08 am

No reports of any time violations?

But I did see this. Murray serving at 4-6, 30-40 against Rosol yesterday. Takes 28 seconds without a warning or penalty.

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Post by lags72 Sun 03 May 2015, 7:28 am

hawkeye wrote:No reports of any time violations?

But I did see this. Murray serving at 4-6, 30-40 against Rosol yesterday. Takes 28 seconds without a warning or penalty.

That's a pretty poor show hawkeye  nope Murray seems to be getting away with murder.

Do you happen to know who the umpire was ....? I reckon I've lost count of the number of TV's by Rafa over the years that have gone unpunished in any way, so I'm wondering whether the same umpire was involved in the match you saw yesterday.

Mind you, I suppose one could argue that if umpires are failing in their duty to apply the rules correctly, then at least there's a certain amount of consistency in their failure .......

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Post by laverfan Sun 03 May 2015, 7:36 am

hawkeye wrote:No reports of any time violations?

But I did see this. Murray serving at 4-6, 30-40 against Rosol yesterday. Takes 28 seconds without a warning or penalty.

I am surprised that you are watching a Murray match. Wink

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Post by hawkeye Sun 03 May 2015, 9:23 am

lags72 wrote:

That's a pretty poor show hawkeye  nope Murray seems to be getting away with murder.

Do you happen to know who the umpire was ....? I reckon I've lost count of the number of TV's by Rafa over the years that have gone unpunished in any way, so I'm wondering whether the same umpire was involved in the match you saw yesterday.

Mind you, I suppose one could argue that if umpires are failing in their duty to apply the rules correctly, then at least there's a certain amount of consistency in their failure .......

Well yes I do believe Umpires are failing in their duty. In fact from my research I would go as far as saying the time violation rule is not being applied at all in approaching 100% of the times that the rule is broken. Added to that in the tiny fraction of times that players are punished it is on a non crucial point therefore the punishment is a bit of a joke it is so ineffective. I'm struggling to think of a time that a player has been penalized on a crucial point.  I just happened to be watching a bit of the Murray match when he was serving at break point and as part of my research timed it. As expected Murray broke the rule. I'm not particularly picking on Murray though as all players regularly go over the 25 seconds.

I don't think you have read my article though because I agree that Rafa like all players does go over 25 seconds regularly but as far as I know he is the only player who has been targeted with penalties on crucial points in matches. He has had a first serve taken away for doing what Murray did and unlike Murray it hasn't been on the first game in a set it has been at 4-5, 30-40 (break and set point) or on other crucial points in matches. If you think I was being harsh on Murray for pointing out that he had broken the rules I suppose that indicates that you don't think he should have been penalised? If so It follows that you must think the Umpire was wrong to penalize Nadal also. You can't have it both ways.  

If the ATP consider taking anything over 25 seconds a serious enough "crime" that they can give an opponent such an advantageous opportunity to win a set because of it. Why are the letting other players get away with it? Bearing in mind that the Umpires are not meant to give any discretion.

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Post by lags72 Sun 03 May 2015, 9:45 am

hawkeye wrote:

.................... I'm not particularly picking on Murray though as all players regularly go over the 25 seconds.


Of course you would never be seen to be "particularly picking on Murray" hawkeye. In fact I'm amazed you could even imagine that anyone could possibly think you would do such a thing...... Headscratch

That said, Murray is certainly deserving of warning and/or punishment when he breaks the rules - and that includes TV's.

As for your throwaway line that "all players regularly go over the 25 seconds rule"  : Simply not true. ALL players do NOT "regularly go over the 25 seconds". Indeed, many players seem not only perfectly capable of observing the time rule, but also of doing so on a regular basis.

As with all professional sport, things go better when participants a) observe the rules and b) are warned/penalised when they do not.

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Post by hawkeye Sun 03 May 2015, 10:27 am

lags72 wrote:

As for your throwaway line that "all players regularly go over the 25 seconds rule"  : Simply not true. ALL players do NOT "regularly go over the 25 seconds". Indeed, many players seem not only perfectly capable of observing the time rule, but also of doing so on a regular basis.

As with all professional sport, things go better when participants a) observe the rules and b) are warned/penalised when they do not.

It wasn't a throwaway line. I've gone as far as timing bits of quite a few matches involving quite a few different players and that's what I've found. Why not check yourself next time you watch?

Definitely agree with your second point with the qualification that if there is a rule then it must be applied CONSISTENTLY to ALL participants. This is not happening with the time violation rule.

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Post by TRuffin Mon 04 May 2015, 12:21 pm

You mention "all" players.   I'm curious to what your research showed for Federer?

I timed every serve in his final yesterday and he was between 8-14 seconds every time except twice where he
approached 20 seconds- once because a ball kid held him up and 2nd because waiting for opponent to get ready.

He looked to be serving at his usual pace, and I've gone back through parts of several other matches on youtube- and didn't
find even one time where he went over 20.  which gives him room to spare.

I assume he is part of "all" players, that would be great if you let me know the multiple times you found him "regulary" going over so I can add that
in to my own research.

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Post by MMT1 Mon 04 May 2015, 12:51 pm

The rule itself is the problem. The rule used to be that play was to be continuous, but once you give players 25 seconds (20 at the majors and Davis Cup) more and more are inclined to used the full 25 seconds or more, thereby making the entire game much slower overall and much worse for spectators in this regard. The real solution is to go back to continuous play.

The other problem is that when you allow for the umpire's discretion, then the rule is applied inconsistently. One umpire has the balls to do it right, and another is scared of the big name player (i.e. Nadal or Djokovic) and doesn't apply the rule properly. It doesn't help that a player like Nadal argues with the umpire on time violations when the rule IS applied properly - this contributes to their reticence to make the call even when it is just to do so.

The only solution to a consistent application of the rules is a serve clock. You could give each player the right to ask for a time extension once every 6 points, if there is a particularly difficult point, for example. The umpire could use one at his/her discretion if, for example, the players are getting a standing ovation or something, but no other exceptions.
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Post by hawkeye Mon 04 May 2015, 4:23 pm

MMT1 wrote:The rule itself is the problem.  The rule used to be that play was to be continuous, but once you give players 25 seconds (20 at the majors and Davis Cup) more and more are inclined to used the full 25 seconds or more, thereby making the entire game much slower overall and much worse for spectators in this regard. The real solution is to go back to continuous play.


That is an excellent point. When you make the limit a set time rather than "continuous" it will mean some players will deliberately take the whole 25 seconds even when doing so will in effect slow down play. For example after serving an ace or an ace followed by an UFE or service return winner the server has to merely move a couple of feet and should be ready to serve again and even allowing for a bit of time for the opponent to move to the other side it shouldn't take 25 seconds. If it does maybe play isn't continuous and some deliberate disruption is going on. If so with the continuous play rule an Umpire would have the authority to address it. That is why I believe a blanket lengthening the time between points (as some have suggested) would be a bad idea. If players were given say 30 seconds some would take it on every occasion. The real solution is as you say to go back to continuous play. Allow Umpires to penalize deliberate disruption. IMO it's quite obvious when a player is doing this.

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Post by hawkeye Mon 04 May 2015, 4:31 pm

TRuffin wrote:You mention "all" players.   I'm curious to what your research showed for Federer?

I timed every serve in his final yesterday and he was between 8-14 seconds every time except twice where he
approached 20 seconds- once because a ball kid held him up and 2nd because waiting for opponent to get ready.


Thank you for that. I have timed Federer a few times and he has been over frequently but I agree he is one of the quicker servers. I didn't watch this final but I can only presume there were some very short points. I've never timed any player at 8 seconds. I trust Federer wasn't quick serving his opponent. ie not allowing sufficient time for them to walk the distance from one side of the court to the other. To do so and prepare to receive in just 8 seconds would be quite difficult. Umpires are allowed to address the issue of quick serving as well as players taking over 25 seconds.

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Post by It Must Be Love Mon 04 May 2015, 6:26 pm

When has Federer been over 25 seconds HE ??

From what I've observed, he's very quick between points. But I am open if you have evidence otherwise.

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Post by TRuffin Mon 04 May 2015, 8:26 pm

hawkeye wrote:
TRuffin wrote:You mention "all" players.   I'm curious to what your research showed for Federer?

I timed every serve in his final yesterday and he was between 8-14 seconds every time except twice where he
approached 20 seconds- once because a ball kid held him up and 2nd because waiting for opponent to get ready.


Thank you for that. I have timed Federer a few times and he has been over frequently but I agree he is one of the quicker servers. I didn't watch this final but I can only presume there were some very short points. I've never timed any player at 8 seconds. I trust Federer wasn't quick serving his opponent. ie not allowing sufficient time for them to walk the distance from one side of the court to the other. To do so and prepare to receive in just 8 seconds would be quite difficult. Umpires are allowed to address the issue of quick serving as well as players taking over 25 seconds.

No, hawkeye- he wasn't quick serving him at all- but after a couple  short points or cueves on that side of court- fed did hit 8 seconds and cuevas is in position and seems to have no issue being ready-  players can play that quick.   Majority federer is in that 12,13,14 second range. In fact- the one time he hits 20 seconds is because cuevas is toweling off and fed waits until he's ready.

I just timed  3 full games of each match from you tube  of 4 different matches-  fed/cilic U.S. open 14, Seppi AO15,  verdasco and youzny Dubai 15 and I cAnt find one single time where he goes over 25 and just once over 20.   I times the two major matches as I know that reverts to 20 seconds instead of 25 rule, but still don't    See him over.In addition, I timed a  game  for each opponent and they are all hitting within the limit except cilic goes to 22 seconds once  and verdasco I time at 26. I just  did one game  of each of those guys though so not as extensive as fed.
Let us know the times you have fed  regularly going over 25 seconds as you state and I'll check it out."

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Post by hawkeye Mon 04 May 2015, 9:05 pm

I have figures for a couple of games in the Wimbledon final last year. Djokovic serving in the final set at 3-3 went 16, 17, 19, 30, 26, 24, 19, 27, 20 seconds between points. In the following game Federer went 21, 18, 19, 24, 20, 20, 23, 24, 20, 25, 19 seconds between points.

Bearing in mind in slams anything over 20 seconds should receive a penalty and it's grass so the points are quick. I'm afraid I wasn't that thorough when I first started timing. I would just time a few games whilst I was watching and once both players had gone over the limit without penalty I would stop. Sadly it's not that easy to find anything other than highlights of previous matches that's why I've asked for help timing future ones.

Truffin I agree Federer is one of the quickest. I'm not trying to prove he isn't only that the time violation rule isn't being applied fairly. Where did you find those matches on you tube? I can only find highlights and of course highlights are edited.

This is off topic but I have to admit if I was playing someone who only took 8 seconds between points they would be serving into an open court...

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Post by It Must Be Love Mon 04 May 2015, 10:25 pm

hawkeye wrote:I have figures for a couple of games in the Wimbledon final last year. Djokovic serving in the final set at 3-3 went 16, 17, 19, 30, 26, 24, 19, 27, 20 seconds between points. In the following game Federer went 21, 18, 19, 24, 20, 20, 23, 24, 20, 25, 19 seconds between points.
Hmm, so Djokovic is worse than Federer in terms of slowness, and even Federer's worse ones are too much for Slams but ok for Masters.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 05 May 2015, 3:07 am

The following is fairly obvious :-

1. All players go over the limit at some point
2. Those that go over more frequently and for longer get punished more than those who don't.

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Post by Born Slippy Tue 05 May 2015, 5:28 am

There needs to be consistency here. My understanding is that time starts to run from the point at which the umpire calls the score. This makes sense as it allows the umpire some discretion (ie. calling the score after a prolonged bout of cheering by the crowd). I get the impression HE's timings are from when the ball bounces a 2nd time?

That said, I am sure most players still regularly go over the time set and I agree the umpires are still not enforcing properly. First serves regularly vanishing would definitely speed play up significantly!

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Post by temporary21 Tue 05 May 2015, 7:08 am

I question I must ask though. In that wimby final at any point were any of you stopping watching a great match to go "hang on they're not keeping an internal timer in their head of how long they're taking! This is ruining the match!"

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 05 May 2015, 7:27 am

I've stopped watching some matches because of it. There was just too much time and too little tennis - so yes, it has spoilt some matches for me.
Djoko, I'm fairly sure, used to bounce the ball 18-19 times before serving. I would regularly switch off after the end of a set and turn back on at the end of the next set. He now only bounces it 12-13 times, so it's not so bad.
I think I've got those numbers right, but I haven't checked.

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Post by temporary21 Tue 05 May 2015, 7:37 am

Even federer falls foul of the rule sometimes too. It comes down to this. Do we expect players to have an internal timer in their head for this? To enfiorce it themselves? If not then this whole thing goes nowhere until the umpires got tough, and consistent with the rule.

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Post by Jahu Tue 05 May 2015, 8:08 am

OT: someone make us a Madrid thread, thanks thumbsup
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Post by hawkeye Tue 05 May 2015, 8:50 am

Born Slippy wrote:There needs to be consistency here. My understanding is that time starts to run from the point at which the umpire calls the score. This makes sense as it allows the umpire some discretion (ie. calling the score after a prolonged bout of cheering by the crowd). I get the impression HE's timings are from when the ball bounces a 2nd time?

That said, I am sure most players still regularly go over the time set and I agree the umpires are still not enforcing properly. First serves regularly vanishing would definitely speed play up significantly!

According to the ATP rulebook Umpires are meant to start a stopwatch the moment the ball goes out of play. If the ball is not struck within 25 seconds then they must issue a time violation penalty (warning on first offense loss of first serve on any subsequent offense). Check the rule book for yourself. Yes the rule is not being followed. It makes me wonder why it was introduced in the first place.

temporary21 wrote:I question I must ask though. In that wimby final at any point were any of you stopping watching a great match to go "hang on they're not keeping an internal timer in their head of how long they're taking! This is ruining the match!"

Ha ha! Well clearly the Umpire wasn't...

I never would have noticed the the exact number of seconds before commentators started bleating on about it endlessly. Even now there are times when some ignore the play and rant on about this issue. However most of the ranting is about one player. Those extra few seconds have been turned into a huge issue but only when Nadal takes them. During that Wimbledon final it was as if those extra seconds were no longer an issue as they are not seen as an issue for most players during most matches.

Maybe stopwatches only come out when Nadal plays?

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 05 May 2015, 9:26 am

As long as those who take the longest on average, or break the rule most often, get the most punishment, that seems relatively fair, even if they are not punished every time.
They could police it more strictly, but that would still affect the same players the most - but they would get punished even more often, unless they changed their ways.
Common sense seems to be prevailing more often than not, so the vast majority of people don't have a problem with the vast majority of players.

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Post by TRuffin Tue 05 May 2015, 9:33 am

hawkeye wrote:I have figures for a couple of games in the Wimbledon final last year. Djokovic serving in the final set at 3-3 went 16, 17, 19, 30, 26, 24, 19, 27, 20 seconds between points. In the following game Federer went 21, 18, 19, 24, 20, 20, 23, 24, 20, 25, 19 seconds between points.

Bearing in mind in slams anything over 20 seconds should receive a penalty and it's grass so the points are quick. I'm afraid I wasn't that thorough when I first started timing. I would just time a few games whilst I was watching and once both players had gone over the limit without penalty I would stop. Sadly it's not that easy to find anything other than highlights of previous matches that's why I've asked for help timing future ones.

Truffin I agree Federer is one of the quickest. I'm not trying to prove he isn't only that the time violation rule isn't being applied fairly. Where did you find those matches on you tube? I can only find highlights and of course highlights are edited.

This is off topic but I have to admit if I was playing someone who only took 8 seconds between points they would be serving into an open court...

I'm watching tsonga/Rosol 5-5 1sr set and tsonga just served 3 times in a row under 10 seconds.  8 seconds is not that unusual after quick points.

I wonder if playing djokovic who is slower to be ready to retrieve slows federer by a few seconds compared to his normal rate?  Or 5th set of a final and both players are slowing down from fatigue by a few seconds?  I've timed match after match and I don't see federer hitting 20 seconds ever other than rare occasions. I'm timing 1st and 2nd set games though, so it stands to reason in a fifth set, a player might take 3-4 seconds past their norm due to fatigue and it would be reasonable for an umpire to let that happen as long as it's being applied to both players.

This is the thing about the nadal is being targeted theory.  He's not being warned for going 1,2,3 seconds ove either.  I know in the match recently where he received three warnings- I timed it for another thread-  many times nadal was within the time rule.  Many times he was a few seconds over.  A few time he went at or past 30 seconds with no warning.  He received ths warnings when he went 30+ seconds.  So that is extreme and when an umpire should step in.   A second or two is within human error both the umpire timing and the player losing track.   I would hope that players are only being warned when they clearly go over by more than a few seconds and while it is clear umpires need to be consistent with it-  it seems they are giving some leeway.

In fairness though so one player can't say you warned me at 29 seconds, but let so and so go to 31 seconds, there needs to be a uniform shot clock.

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Post by hawkeye Tue 05 May 2015, 9:40 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:As long as those who take the longest on average, or break the rule most often, get the most punishment, that seems relatively fair, even if they are not punished every time.
They could police it more strictly, but that would still affect the same players the most - but they would get punished even more often, unless they changed their ways.
Common sense seems to be prevailing more often than not, so the vast majority of people don't have a problem with the vast majority of players.

Laugh

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 05 May 2015, 9:42 am

hawkeye wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:As long as those who take the longest on average, or break the rule most often, get the most punishment, that seems relatively fair, even if they are not punished every time.
They could police it more strictly, but that would still affect the same players the most - but they would get punished even more often, unless they changed their ways.
Common sense seems to be prevailing more often than not, so the vast majority of people don't have a problem with the vast majority of players.

Laugh

It's the truth hawkeye. Laugh if you want to, but it's the truth.

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Post by summerblues Tue 05 May 2015, 11:09 pm

temporary21 wrote:I question I must ask though. In that wimby final at any point were any of you stopping watching a great match to go "hang on they're not keeping an internal timer in their head of how long they're taking! This is ruining the match!"
No, maybe not quite like that and not in a slam final, but in general yes, I have found myself turning off matches because of slow play between points.

Slow play between points alone is not going to turn a great watching experience into a horrible one for me, but it is a factor in my enjoyment of the game.

One of the reasons why I have never come to enjoy watching baseball in the US is because of relatively long gaps between individual plays.  Long time between points is a similar turn off in tennis for me.

When I watched Kyrgios play Dimitrov earlier this year, I was reminded how much different - and more enjoyable for me - it can feel when players do not dilly-dally between points.


Having said all this, I would also note as a second point that - as long as the rule stands - players should be expected to stick to 20/25 seconds irrespective of whether or not time wasting makes the matches more or less entertaining.  If someone finds longer gaps between points more entertaining, they should lobby for a rule change first, instead of tolerating rule breaking.

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Post by summerblues Tue 05 May 2015, 11:19 pm

temporary21 wrote:Even federer falls foul of the rule sometimes too. It comes down to this. Do we expect players to have an internal timer in their head for this? To enfiorce it themselves? If not then this whole thing goes nowhere until the umpires got tough, and consistent with the rule.
Umpires should enforce it.  They do not enforce it nearly enough but I agree with JHM that as long as the biggest offenders get most penalties - as seems to be the case now - it seems at least vaguely fair.

I find this reference to "internal timer in their head" a bit loaded.  That seems to imply more difficulty in abiding by the rule than there really is.  Players should try to play reasonably fast.  They would find that they are just about always easily under 25 secs (I can perhaps see 20 secs being tight on occasion).  The players that would attempt to shave it close would obviously go over time more frequently (because we do not have an exact timer in our heads) but serves them right for trying to go close to the limit in the first place.

Believe me, if the rule got enforced rigorously, all players would very quickly learn to stick to 25/20 secs just fine.  My guess is that - at the latest - by midway through the first set of the first match where the rule got properly enforced they would be doing just fine.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Wed 06 May 2015, 2:39 am

One interesting thing, how often do players go over 25 secs in the ATP events. If it's so frequent, but the umpires are giving them the leeway, then perhaps a revision of the time limit, from 25 secs to a bit longer may be more reasonable. Fed is the exception, not the norm IMO, for a big server like Isner who relies on his serves more than anything else, would also go over the limit at times, so stubbornly sticking to the 25 sec rule may not be realistic.

Perhaps the ATP should gather some stats for this year and/or next year, to check if players regularly go over the time limit, and then decide whether the 25 sec rule is still realistic. While some here complained about long waiting time between points, I certainly don't enjoy players just serving aces or serving big and end points in one to three shots always. After some long rallies, it's only reasonable to let players have some breathing space before continuing with play. I do feel timing players after the umpire calls the score may be a better way forward, allowing spectators to cheer and the umpire to control the crowd before getting ready for the next point.

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Post by MMT1 Wed 06 May 2015, 11:27 am

Warning: RANT.  They don’t need to change the time violation rule – the players just need to get on with it. This is not an idle issue - tennis makes the most money when casual fans, who don’t have the patience of hard core fans, stay interested in the game. That’s why they’re always humping the next “rivalry” and/or “star”, because real tennis fans would watch their grandmother play if she had a decent backhand.

Nothing makes television execs run from tennis faster than matches that should be done in 2 hours that take 3. And nothing makes the casual fans more irritated than watching a tennis player towel off, bounce the ball 20 times, pick at their butt, complain to their team, adjust their hair, wipe their brow, and all the other absurd things they do in between points.  It’s part of the tennis culture now because the game is in a boom period, but I guarantee that when it goes into it’s next slump (it always does) people won’t be so forgiving of all the nonsense and then the culture will evolve out of the need to survive.

There are current players who consistently stay well within the time limit and somehow find a way to play very good, entertaining tennis, so I don’t agree with this argument that we need balance and tinkering to preserve the quality of the game.  I think Moses needs to come to the mountain. I’m sure if you asked Laver, he wouldn’t say that it was a walk in the park in his day, but if he got winded after a point, he had tools in their technical tool kit to shorten the next point. Modern players should do the same. And not all modern points are taxing - that too is a myth.

And saying that all players go over, so it's unfair to the players who go over the most to be cited for breaking the rules is a bit like saying one guy slaps someone in the face, while another shoots a guy in the face and then conclude:  well, they're both violent.  Certain players, like Nadal, go over the limit all the time - then they have the temerity to argue with the umpire who calls them on it - that doesn't help apply the rules, so if you're looking for a culprit, don't go picking on the Federer's and Wawrinka's of the world who rarely go over, start with the guys who go over the most and complain when they're cited for it.

If they have a shot clock and an "extension" rule, they can deal with the occasional really long points with a simple hand gesture request for an additional 30 seconds – say 1 extension every six points – but I think only the server should be able to do this, not the returner.  Otherwise, as the french say, it becomes a complete brothel…well that doesn’t really translate, but it becomes a mess.  This way the audience are aware that there is a good, but LIMITED, explanation for why things are taking so long, and mentally can get around watching players delay from time to time.

By the way, I have to say that while players like Ivan Lendl were notorious for slowing down in between points, the time violation rules were really aimed at players like Jimmy Connors, who preceded Lendl. When Connors started playing the rule was continuous play – no breaks in between points. Then Connors came with a brand of tennis not unlike the modern game – bruising points from the back court – and also developed a habit of prolonging the time in between points to the annoyance of everyone except his own fans.  The time violation rules were instituted and players like Ivan Lendl DEVELOPED routines in between points that lasted the entire amount of time allotted. So the rule actually made time in between points take LONGER, not the other way around.

I should also note that I watched Lendl play for 15 years, and while he got A LOT of time violation warnings, I NEVER saw him complain about it, and he would simply adjust his routine to ensure he didn’t get a point penalty…which by the way, I don’t recall him EVER getting for time violations – not in 15 years.  So it can be done, just give up one of your seven or eight idiosyncrasies.

Actually these players today are real sissies about this – they get warnings! They even say, “Code violation….warning Mr. X”. And they act like spoiled children who can’t tolerate even the slightest hint of being chastised. It's a warning...deal with it.

It’s all a nonsense – they just need to get on with it. My ideal solution would be to go back to the continuous play rule, but short of that, I would institute a shot clock that starts when the point is over and there is a violation if the serve isn’t hit before the clock reaches zero. If they don’t have time to wait for the ball-boy to get them their towel then they’ll just have to pull their socks up and serve anyway.

I know, I know, the droplets of sweat on their elbow and eyebrow that they just have to wipe away will be really tough to handle, but I think eventually they’ll manage.
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Post by temporary21 Wed 06 May 2015, 11:34 am

You guys have got me counting time between serves darn you all!!! Rafas normal pace in this Johnson match is about 22 seconds, thus I imagine he probably goes over after a long one. That being said he probably is speeding up for the rule.

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Post by temporary21 Wed 06 May 2015, 11:36 am

Remember MMT getting rid of habits is easier for some than others, how you view this has become the whole crux of this argument. If rafa got rid of maybe one or two bounces he would likely be well ok.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 06 May 2015, 11:43 am

By the way, next time anyone plays at their local club - bounce the ball 12 times like Djoko. You'll ending up getting bored yourself!

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Post by MMT1 Wed 06 May 2015, 11:58 am

temporary21 wrote:Remember MMT getting rid of habits is easier for some than others, how you view this has become the whole crux of this argument. If rafa got rid of maybe one or two bounces he would likely be well ok.

I'm sorry, but that is not at all the crux of my argument - if Rafa (and those other players who frequently go over the limit) have a hard time adjusting their byzantine routines, that's their problem, not mine.

My argument is that if the purpose of the rule is to improve the experience for the fans, then the best solution is continuous play. But if you have a fixed time limit, it should be applied, and players should accept the application of the rule and not argue about it, because that makes it harder for umpires to apply the rule.
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Post by Jahu Wed 06 May 2015, 1:23 pm

Fed-Korgi at 3:4, average times between points:

Fed 15 sec.
Korgi 18 sec.
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Post by laverfan Thu 07 May 2015, 8:29 am

“It was a fast paced match in terms of we don't take much time between points… I expected it to be difficult match.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2015/05/18/Madrid-Wednesday-Federer-Reaction.aspx

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Post by laverfan Thu 07 May 2015, 8:39 am

Lydian used http://www.riaanbooysen.com/misc/47-tennis?start=4 as an extensive reference for his previous discussions.

I can dig up many of the older threads of similar vein, if necessary.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Thu 07 May 2015, 9:03 am

I actually agree with MMT1 on this. The rule is there, it's stated fairly simply, and isn't really difficult to comply with. I would like to see the time limit made the same for all events, since I'm not sure it helps to have two different limits. I would go with 25 secs, starting from when the umpire announces the score (it's not inherently clear at what precise point the previous point "ends" otherwise IMO), and the next point deemed to have started when the server throws the ball up. That seems more than enough time to me.

Then enforce it STRICTLY. Only exceptions change of racquet for a broken string (an additional 5 or 10 secs say), and of course a linecall dispute (HE challenge, or Umpire checking a mark on clay). No other exceptions, remove the "discretion" for long points, which just makes things murkier, and IMO encourages players to push the limits, knowing that umpires are still somewhat reluctant to enforce them. Players WILL adapt, I am absolutely sure of it.

For instance, JHM mentionned Djokovic's ball-bouncing, and it was noticeable (to me) that he stopped doing it so much once they started enforcing the limits somewhat more rigourously.

Equally, Murray used to be one of the faster players on tour, but has noticeably slowed his routine down (I think since Lendl arrived, but might have been a bit earlier): if you watch some of his older matches from 08-09 you'll notice the difference. He now pushes the limit, and TBH I sometimes get annoyed at how slowly he's playing.

As for temp's question of whether people were actually bothered by it, then I would say that Yes, I am. Watching Nadal-Djokovic at times is painful: I have time to switch over to the cricket, watch a couple of overs, and get back just in time to see Nadal finish unpicking his boxers or Djokovic finish bouncing the ball. Gets a bit silly, and at times has actually annoyed me enough to switch the match off.

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Research into the use of the time violation rule - NEW petition expessing concern about it's inconsistant use - Page 3 Empty Re: Research into the use of the time violation rule - NEW petition expessing concern about it's inconsistant use

Post by Jahu Thu 07 May 2015, 10:13 am

I would also take away the towels, they have a break, serve once, asks for towel after 10 seconds on court. Let alone Nadal with 2 towels on each corner.

Ban the towels, wipe your face with your t-shirts or sweatband.

Asking for towel and wiping, is the biggest time consumption between points.
Jahu
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