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Why do Umpires ignore code violations?

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Post by hawkeye Sat 20 Jun 2015, 3:56 pm

After Becker admitted that he coaches Djokovic on court I wanted to check what punishment should be receiving for this extra help.

According to the ATP rule book (found on the ATP site - section on "the code") penalties should be issued using the point penalty schedule as follows

2) Point Penalty Schedule
a) The Point Penalty Schedule to be used for Code Violations is as follows:
FIRST OFFENSE WARNING
SECOND OFFENSE POINT PENALTY
THIRD AND EACH SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE GAME PENALTY
However, after the third Code Violation, the supervisor shall determine whether
each subsequent offense shall constitute a default.

Clearly the Umpires are turning a blind eye to Becker's illegal hand signals because I would imagine he will give more than 3 per match.

I also noticed that a few other players are getting off lightly too because this same point penalty schedule should also apply to Ball abuse, Racquet or equipment abuse, physical or verbal abuse (of official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site ), audible or visible obscenity and unsportsmanike conduct. In fact for any of these offenses other than ball or raquet abuse a single incident if judged severe will constitute a Major Offense of Aggravated behavior. The punishment for this is default. In addition these offenses carry a fine penalty. Any player who has acquired a cumulative total of $10,000 in fines over a twelve month period will also be liable to suspension from the tour.

Very interesting. I wonder why the ATP doesn't crack down on players that break these rules chin

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Post by LuvSports! Sat 20 Jun 2015, 4:09 pm

Maybe a similar reason why the ATP didn't do anything with Agassi and the meth...

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sat 20 Jun 2015, 4:16 pm

Surely you remember HE

http://en.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/31805.html

But again it appears its who you are Whistle

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Post by hawkeye Sat 20 Jun 2015, 4:30 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:Surely you remember HE

http://en.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/31805.html

But again it appears its who you are Whistle

Well obviously Umpires have their ATP rule book twitching at the ready for a certain player.  

It is curious that the ATP considers some of these offenses serious enough to warrant immediate default and suspension. Offenses that can clearly be seen by everyone watching but not only Umpires but commentators ignore them.

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Post by LuvSports! Sat 20 Jun 2015, 4:39 pm

Nah he's too busy taking toilet breaks..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZxdqS9xTR8

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 20 Jun 2015, 5:44 pm

Clearly the likes of Uncle Toni and Becker get away with illegal coaching because of who the players are. The ATP aren't going to upset the top players too much - because they are the cash cow. The money is more important to the ATP than the integrity of the sport, just as any athlete who cheats is more concerned with winning than anything else.
Umpires also risk the wrath of the top players, and since the ATP will probably side with the players, the umpires may turn a blind eye because they want to keep their jobs.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sat 20 Jun 2015, 6:07 pm

Maybe Nadal should try breaking a few rackets at strategic points in the game or
Instead of giving vent to his feelings at the umpire, try swearing at  or throwing his water bottles at a ball girl.

Im sure it wouldn't escape the umpire's notice.

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Post by MMT1 Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:13 am

What is this thread about? Illegal coaching? Or the code of conduct in general?

There is a simple reason why illegal coaching goes largely unpunished - the umpire has a lot of things to worry about in a match, so one of the last things he'll notice is illegal coaching. As such, the only way to get cited for that is if it is egregious, and few players/coaches have the temerity to do it egregiously. Those that do, get cited.
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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 6:10 pm

Well I had a first stage interview Friday so I am hoping the manager hits the dope and puts me through Laugh

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Post by temporary21 Sun 21 Jun 2015, 10:47 pm

Word of warning, were going to split most of this topic up to where it got not so much derailed, but smashed into the sea with a railgun. Take out your frustrations elsewhere.

To clarify, you can THINK something is happening, under the obvious assumption it isnt anything outwardly hateful, and you can give evidence why you THINK this is why it is. Dont be surprised if people counter, or criticise it. Have some common sense, if its something potentially controversial to tennis be careful how you say it

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Post by temporary21 Sun 21 Jun 2015, 10:53 pm

MMT1 wrote:What is this thread about?  Illegal coaching?  Or the code of conduct in general?

There is a simple reason why illegal coaching goes largely unpunished - the umpire has a lot of things to worry about in a match, so one of the last things he'll notice is illegal coaching. As such, the only way to get cited for that is if it is egregious, and few players/coaches have the temerity to do it egregiously. Those that do, get cited.
I agree here. You have to catch a coach in the act, which is hard to do with the line watching and the stopwatch taking.
Either hand out post match punishment, or not let coaches be in the box.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 21 Jun 2015, 11:28 pm

Either hand out post match punishment, or not let coaches be in the box.

.I have to agree with that, frankly why do coaches have to sit courtside anyway..
Why can they not watch from a distant  point off court or by tv screen
There is no reason for them to be there other than to be a distraction to or interference with the course of play
They are, or should be, surplus to requirements

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Post by Jahu Mon 22 Jun 2015, 7:53 am

....they are scared Nadal will ban them from matches.
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Post by hawkeye Mon 22 Jun 2015, 8:19 am

MMT1 wrote:What is this thread about?  Illegal coaching?  Or the code of conduct in general?


Please read my op. It was not meant to be about Becker's or anyone's  illegal coaching or time violations as there are specific threads dealing with those topics. It was meant to question why Umpires generally ignore code violations. Although coaching is covered by code violation rules it has been covered elsewhere and as many have pointed out unless a coach specifically admits to it then it's very difficult for an Umpire to determine if or when it is happening.  

However other code violations are clear for Umpires and spectators alike to see and yet they are largely ignored. ie ball abuse, racquet or equipment abuse, physical or verbal abuse (of official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site ), audible or visible obscenity and unsportsmanike conduct. According to the rule book they carry a specific schedule of punishments that are meant to be applied to players who continuously flaunt these rules.

For example a player making one audible obscenity should receive a code violation warning if they swear a second time then they should lose a point, a third time a game and if they swear a fourth time they should be defaulted. Not only that but repeated violations are cumulative and if a player continues to swear in future matches they can be suspended from the tour. The rule is clear and yet I can not remember a single incident of a player losing a point for swearing. Why not? I'm sure with enforcement players would comply to this very simple rule.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 22 Jun 2015, 8:53 am

Ball abuse, racquet abuse and physical abuse are frequently, nearly always punished, from what I've seen.

Audible obscenities less so, although I've seen it happen. Although the umpire can't always hear what the TV picks up. I've watched matches at Wimby from near the baseline on outside courts (this was years ago) and you could hear players swear under their breath, but there was no way the umpire could hear it. I suspect these days, with swearing so prevalent in society, that they are only given a warning if a) it is very loud or b) it is directed at someone

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Post by hawkeye Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:37 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:Ball abuse, racquet abuse and physical abuse are frequently, nearly always punished, from what I've seen.

Audible obscenities less so, although I've seen it happen. Although the umpire can't always hear what the TV picks up. I've watched matches at Wimby from near the baseline on outside courts (this was years ago) and you could hear players swear under their breath, but there was no way the umpire could hear it. I suspect these days, with swearing so prevalent in society, that they are only given a warning if a) it is very loud or b) it is directed at someone

I have seen warnings for ball abuse and racquet abuse but I can remember quite a few occasions when players have smashed more than one racquet without loss of points or games. Judging by how harsh the punishment these are considered lesser "crimes" by the ATP than the other code violations I have listed. Physical abuse is thankfully rare.

Whatever you or any other individual thinks about how acceptable swearing the ATP has a clear rule in there rule book against it. Tennis is broadcast throughout the world and many broadcasters have their own rules about broadcasting audible obscenities so it is certainly understandable that the ATP wants to protect it's product. Of course the rule is only for "audible" obscenities so a player muttering something under his breath would hardly count it would have to be loud enough to be heard. If it is directed at someone it would count as verbal abuse (of official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site ) and if judged to be severe can be penalized by immediate default.  

A few high profile penalties would quickly clean up the sport. As it is players are making a mockery of the rule book.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:06 am

The ATP's product is the players. Hence they don't want to upset them too much. The ATP is more or less there to do the players' bidding.
Unless it affects viewing figures and revenue it's unlikely anything will be done, because the integrity of the sport (or the sporting ethos) is secondary to money.

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 22 Jun 2015, 1:29 pm

That strikes me as one step away from alleging corruption. I don't think there is any evidence that umpires don't make big calls because of the ATP/WTA and the players. The obvious example is Serena losing to Clijsters at the US Open a few years back as a result of a violation.

It seems to me that umpires generally do penalise. They may let some swearing slide, unless it is loud, but racquet/ball abuse generally gets clamped down on. I have seen no evidence that they are scared or otherwise influenced not to make the correct calls.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Mon 22 Jun 2015, 1:39 pm

I do question the swearing bit, because unless Umpires are fluent in all languages how do they know a player is actually using bad language.
Im not saying that it is necessarily an excuse for any player, but certainly questionable

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Post by MMT1 Mon 22 Jun 2015, 2:08 pm

hawkeye wrote:
MMT1 wrote:What is this thread about?  Illegal coaching?  Or the code of conduct in general?

For example a player making one audible obscenity should receive a code violation warning if they swear a second time then they should lose a point, a third time a game and if they swear a fourth time they should be defaulted.

I believe the game penalty has been removed from the escalation of the code of conduct violations since 1991. McEnroe was the first player to be default at a major (Australian Open) that year with the new code of conduct sequence, and he has always blamed his agent for not informing him that the escalation had changed, because apparently he didn't know and thought he would only get the game violation (which he was about to lose anyway).

In any case, audible obscenity there are two guidelines, as I understand it: first, the obscenity should be audible to spectators and which is not the case every time a player swears. Also, the rule is unintentionally biased towards players who speak languages where the obscenities are pervasively known, so umpires don't tend to apply this particular violation as strictly, unless (like the coaching example) the violation is egregious. Finally, most players police themselves and don't continue to engage in code violating activities once they've been warned, because of the risk of escalation.

I'm not sure what the point is - are you saying you're certain that violations are occurring that aren't being enforced? That is true of all officials in all sports, it's not specific to tennis. Generally officials don't cite players for behavioral violations of the rules unless the behavior is egregious. I've been watching live tennis for at the Citi Open in Washington since 1982, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've heard an audible obscenity from a player - it doesn't even happen that often when they practice, let alone play matches.
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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:45 pm

The language point is a good one. I'm sure I've heard said that Djokovic says some rather fruitful things in Serbian at times. Certainly some of the French players - Simon and Tsonga in particular - fairly frequently use colourful language, at least as bad as Murray. And who could forget Verdasco's famous outbursts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8aQcPHFOpg

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Post by Haddie-nuff Mon 22 Jun 2015, 4:04 pm

It doesn't get more blatant than this.. abuse of umpire Wink


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvSgXp-cwTg

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Post by temporary21 Mon 22 Jun 2015, 4:26 pm

Well a lot of the time we hear it clearly by mic, the umpires might only hear some mumbling, as he/she isnt listening intently

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Post by MMT1 Mon 22 Jun 2015, 5:21 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:It doesn't get more blatant than this.. abuse of umpire Wink


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvSgXp-cwTg

He was fined for that (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/usopen/6203602/US-Open-2009-Roger-Federer-fined-900-for-swearing-in-final-defeat.html), BTW, but you're right - he wasn't cited for a code of conduct violation. Only the umpire knows why, but that may have something to do with the likelihood that nobody in the stadium could have picked that up, and the umpire, while he certainly couldn't, would be hard pressed to give an audible obscenity violation based on what television microphones (which he is not privy to) picked up.

I should point out that Federer was right - the request for a challenge has to be in a timely manner, and there is no interpretation of that term that would allow a player to be crossing the net for the changeover before he challenges - even Dick Enberg weighed in saying it was too long. Umpires had been given the guidelines that if a player is moving towards the mark, or unaware that the ball had been called out, they should take that into consideration. Also, players were told that they could ask the opinion of the umpire, but that too had to be immediately, which was clearly not the case here.

Having said that - that was some pretty colorful language - I believe his last comment (which was not subtitled) was "...don't f---ing talk to me," a second use of the f-word. Not gentlemanly at all.
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Post by Haddie-nuff Mon 22 Jun 2015, 6:21 pm

Im not questioning whether he was right, Im not questioning whether he was fined.. I am merely pointing out it happens to the best of players
No??
But rules are rules are rules no matter who it is and what circumstances it applies as has been the argument/discussion  about all violations[/b]

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Post by hawkeye Tue 23 Jun 2015, 8:28 am

MMT1 wrote:

I believe the game penalty has been removed from the escalation of the code of conduct violations since 1991.

No the points penalty schedule that includes a game penalty for a third code violation is still on the rule book. Penalties for code violations can also include immediate default if the Umpire considers the incident to be serious enough. Check out the rule book on the ATP site for full details of escalating and cumulative penalties including default and suspension from the tour for repeated violations. They are in the section titled "The code".

MMT1 wrote:

In any case, audible obscenity there are two guidelines, as I understand it:  first, the obscenity should be audible to spectators and which is not the case every time a player swears.  Also, the rule is unintentionally biased towards players who speak languages where the obscenities are pervasively known

This from the rule book -

Audible Obscenity
i) A player shall not use an audible obscenity while on-site. Audible obscenity
is defined as the use of words commonly known and understood to be
profane and uttered clearly and loudly enough to be heard

So of course it has to be audible to be considered a code violation. If a player uses a word that is commonly known and understood to be profane then it is a code violation. I think the reasons for this are obvious. If a player is ignorant about what words are considered profane maybe they should check before uttering them if they don't want to risk being defaulted. Notice the rule applies for the whole time they are on site but during play it is considered more serious again for reasons that should be obvious.

temporary21 wrote:Well a lot of the time we hear it clearly by mic, the umpires might only hear some mumbling, as he/she isnt listening intently

This is covered in the rule book too. The violation occurs if members of the crowd or viewing public witness the violation. Of course if the player mumbles something and no one hears it then there is no problem.

3) Code Violations Not Witnessed By Chair Umpire
Occasionally, there are code violations by players that are not witnessed by the
chair umpire. The line umpire should immediately approach the chair umpire and
report the facts of the violation, during which time the chair umpire should turn off
all microphones in the area of the chair. The chair umpire may ask the player to
respond to such report; thereafter, the chair umpire must make a decision and he
either dismisses the report or declares a code violation and assesses a penalty. If
a code violation is assessed, then the chair umpire must announce such violation
to the player, opponent and spectators. If in his opinion there was a code violation,
but because of the time of discovery or other reasons a penalty pursuant to
the Point Penalty Schedule would be inappropriate, then he must notify the player
that he will refer the matter to the supervisor for action.
The supervisor may order the chair umpire to issue a code violation for a violation
witnessed or not witnessed by the chair umpire

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 23 Jun 2015, 9:04 am

HE, do you yourself have any theories about why time violations, on-court coaching, and audible obscenities are not punished to the full letter of the rule-book? Why do you think players that break these rules are getting off lightly?

Personally, I don't think it would help the sport if the likes of Rafa and Djokovic were defaulted from a match for repeated breaking of the rules. So in that sense I think common sense is taking precedent over the strict letter of the law. But certainly more should be done about on-court coaching. Audible obscenities are difficult to judge on TV, because it's hard to know if what the mike picks up is audible to the umpire/line judges.

I can't recall any incidents of repeated ball abuse/racket abuse that would lead to a game loss/default, hence I've stuck to the 3 mentioned.

Obviously extreme cases such as Serena & Nalbandian have led to instant defaults.

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Post by Born Slippy Tue 23 Jun 2015, 12:28 pm

Kyrgios is the guy who treads a very fine line. He could have easily been defaulted at the US Open and again in Estoril. In Estoril he smacked a ball out of the stadium, which should have been a 3rd code violation of the match. I suspect the umpire didn't want to end a 3rd set tie-breaker on a default but technically he should have done so.

His swearing is also far more audible and frequent than any other player. Both he and Murray should have been warned in their French Open match. I don't think there was any doubt the umpire would have heard them.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 23 Jun 2015, 2:06 pm

Hard to know what is best for the sport. Long-term, Kyrgios should have been defaulted, to set an example to other players and keep such behaviour in check. Short-term, the people who had paid to watch that match would have left feeling hard done by at not seeing a conclusion.
Hence the difficulties the umpires face, and why they sometimes don't act to the strict letter of the law.

Did Kyrgios get fined? And perhaps a short suspension should have been given i.e. effectively defaulting him in his next match.

Realistically though, if any of us felt any genuine outrage at this, we wouldn't waste our time just discussing it here, we'd be contacting the ATP, ITF etc and asking for explanations and changes.

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Post by hawkeye Tue 23 Jun 2015, 2:31 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:

Realistically though, if any of us felt any genuine outrage at this, we wouldn't waste our time just discussing it here, we'd be contacting the ATP, ITF etc and asking for explanations and changes.

Interestingly I have just seen that a petition has been set up this morning. It concerns the use of the time violation rule and I have also posted it on the time violation sticky but I'll link it here because having read some of the comments it shows that many do feel outrage about some of the code violations that go unpunished. In particular audible obscenities.

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

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Post by djlovesyou Tue 23 Jun 2015, 3:03 pm

All players should just learn to swear in Russian, then they can say what they want, about who they want and never run the risk of being warned.

But I can see where people are coming from mind you, becoming outraged over watching Andy Murray call himself an 'effing idiot' after a bad shot is most certainly an indicator that you're a balanced individual without any need to either 'get out more' or 'get a grip'.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 23 Jun 2015, 3:32 pm

hawkeye wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:

Realistically though, if any of us felt any genuine outrage at this, we wouldn't waste our time just discussing it here, we'd be contacting the ATP, ITF etc and asking for explanations and changes.

Interestingly I have just seen that a petition has been set up this morning. It concerns the use of the time violation rule and I have also posted it on the time violation sticky but I'll link it here because having read some of the comments it shows that many do feel outrage about some of the code violations that go unpunished. In particular audible obscenities.

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

Personally I think that's a poor petition because it's not designed with the good of the game in mind, just the interests of one player. It's precisely that sort of biased view that is bad for the sport in general.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 23 Jun 2015, 4:10 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
hawkeye wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:

Realistically though, if any of us felt any genuine outrage at this, we wouldn't waste our time just discussing it here, we'd be contacting the ATP, ITF etc and asking for explanations and changes.

Interestingly I have just seen that a petition has been set up this morning. It concerns the use of the time violation rule and I have also posted it on the time violation sticky but I'll link it here because having read some of the comments it shows that many do feel outrage about some of the code violations that go unpunished. In particular audible obscenities.

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

Personally I think that's a poor petition because it's not designed with the good of the game in mind, just the interests of one player. It's precisely that sort of biased view that is bad for the sport in general.


Must have escaped my notice did not see any names Headscratch

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 23 Jun 2015, 4:43 pm

It was fairly obvious I thought - names did not need to be specified.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 23 Jun 2015, 4:56 pm

To you, because you are looking for it and nothing else.
Verbal and raquet abuse Erm who is under discussion here
You are getting somewhat cynical about this subject JHM I have to say.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 23 Jun 2015, 5:13 pm

And about life in general Haddie

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 23 Jun 2015, 5:26 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:And about life in general Haddie

I know its a tough old world out there JHM  but  don't let the beggars get you down Wink OK

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Post by Guest Tue 23 Jun 2015, 5:45 pm

Interestingly most of the signatures are from female fans. I share JHM's cynicism.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 23 Jun 2015, 5:50 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:Interestingly most of the signatures are from female fans. I share JHM's cynicism.

:laugh:Now one day LK you just might:surprise me.. but then that's me being cynical Wink

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Post by Guest Tue 23 Jun 2015, 5:58 pm

Well Haddie I would like to believe every good intention behind a good deed. If only Wink

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Post by It Must Be Love Tue 23 Jun 2015, 9:02 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:Interestingly most of the signatures are from female fans. I share JHM's cynicism.
Yes, petitions should just be left to men to sign.

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Post by temporary21 Tue 23 Jun 2015, 9:03 pm

Lets keep the petition stuff to the topic.
Never saw the Kyrgios incident, sounded bad.

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Post by hawkeye Tue 23 Jun 2015, 9:25 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:
Yes, petitions should just be left to men to sign.

Laugh Hug

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Post by Guest Tue 23 Jun 2015, 11:17 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:Interestingly most of the signatures are from female fans. I share JHM's cynicism.
Yes, petitions should just be left to men to sign.

https://youtu.be/UBztjzDr0fM




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Post by Haddie-nuff Wed 24 Jun 2015, 12:06 am

It Must Be Love wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:Interestingly most of the signatures are from female fans. I share JHM's cynicism.
Yes, petitions should just be left to men to sign.

Nah they are far better  suited to t signing cheques Wink

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Post by temporary21 Wed 24 Jun 2015, 1:12 am

temporary21 wrote:Lets keep the petition stuff to the topic.
Never saw the Kyrgios incident, sounded bad.
ANYWAY, lets not suggest that womens opinions arent important shall we? I think we hear a lot of obscenities that the audience dont, we have a mic on court and theyve got all the background noise, if they mumble it, its unlikely to get noticed

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Post by hawkeye Wed 24 Jun 2015, 7:03 am

temporary21 wrote: I think we hear a lot of obscenities that the audience dont, we have a mic on court and theyve got all the background noise, if they mumble it, its unlikely to get noticed

The code violation is there to ensure that the audience wherever it is isn't subjected to listening to audible obscenities. With courts being miked up players should be aware that what they say will likely be heard. They are not protected simply because the Umpire doesn't hear. There are rules in place to ensure that penalties are given even when the Umpire doesn't hear. Broadcasting audible obscenities can break broadcasters rules and this would be something that the ATP rules would have been put in place to protect.  

3) Code Violations Not Witnessed By Chair Umpire
Occasionally, there are code violations by players that are not witnessed by the
chair umpire. The line umpire should immediately approach the chair umpire and
report the facts of the violation, during which time the chair umpire should turn off
all microphones in the area of the chair. The chair umpire may ask the player to
respond to such report; thereafter, the chair umpire must make a decision and he
either dismisses the report or declares a code violation and assesses a penalty. If
a code violation is assessed, then the chair umpire must announce such violation
to the player, opponent and spectators. If in his opinion there was a code violation,
but because of the time of discovery or other reasons a penalty pursuant to
the Point Penalty Schedule would be inappropriate, then he must notify the player
that he will refer the matter to the supervisor for action.
The supervisor may order the chair umpire to issue a code violation for a violation
witnessed or not witnessed by the chair umpire

Once again if they just mumble something under their breath that no one can hear then of course it isn't an "audible obscenity". Not sure why this keeps being brought up.

The rule also states that players can be fined for code violations including audible obscenities when on a tournament site. For obvious reasons code violations carry much heavier penalties when they occur during match play. On site code violations of course will not be witnessed by an Umpire.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 24 Jun 2015, 7:59 am

HE, what is your opinion on why players are let off the hook so often?

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Post by Guest Wed 24 Jun 2015, 9:30 am

hawkeye wrote:
temporary21 wrote: I think we hear a lot of obscenities that the audience dont, we have a mic on court and theyve got all the background noise, if they mumble it, its unlikely to get noticed

The code violation is there to ensure that the audience wherever it is isn't subjected to listening to audible obscenities. With courts being miked up players should be aware that what they say will likely be heard. They are not protected simply because the Umpire doesn't hear. There are rules in place to ensure that penalties are given even when the Umpire doesn't hear. Broadcasting audible obscenities can break broadcasters rules and this would be something that the ATP rules would have been put in place to protect.  

3) Code Violations Not Witnessed By Chair Umpire
Occasionally, there are code violations by players that are not witnessed by the
chair umpire. The line umpire should immediately approach the chair umpire and
report the facts of the violation, during which time the chair umpire should turn off
all microphones in the area of the chair. The chair umpire may ask the player to
respond to such report; thereafter, the chair umpire must make a decision and he
either dismisses the report or declares a code violation and assesses a penalty. If
a code violation is assessed, then the chair umpire must announce such violation
to the player, opponent and spectators. If in his opinion there was a code violation,
but because of the time of discovery or other reasons a penalty pursuant to
the Point Penalty Schedule would be inappropriate, then he must notify the player
that he will refer the matter to the supervisor for action.
The supervisor may order the chair umpire to issue a code violation for a violation
witnessed or not witnessed by the chair umpire

Once again if they just mumble something under their breath that no one can hear then of course it isn't an "audible obscenity". Not sure why this keeps being brought up.

The rule also states that players can be fined for code violations including audible obscenities when on a tournament site. For obvious reasons code violations carry much heavier penalties when they occur during match play. On site code violations of course will not be witnessed by an Umpire.

So what happens if the line judge misses the violation?

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Post by Guest Wed 24 Jun 2015, 11:00 am

In fairness most umpires/referees adopt a laisse faire approach. Why wouldn't they? The OP stance is lets penalise everything to the letter of the rulebook. Just imagine that for a second. Would any sport be free-flowing if every rule was acted on? You'd kill the sport. Referees/umpires would give in as would the sport participants. There's this amazing thing called discretion which everyone uses in daily life. You judge everything on it's merit.

I have refereed football matches, umpired cricket matches and I can tell you I haven't 'enforced' the rule right to the letter of the law. I can't begin to say how many niggles, kicks, swearing I witnessed. To each offence had a 'penalty' which also had financial implications and to me the working person has it tough as it is to which any offence I would always speak with players in the first instance and say 1 more strike and your out and I would say in 90% of cases it worked.

We don't know if the players council address these issues or whether ATP/ITF officials speak with the players and their conduct before/after matches/tournaments. Imagine right if the rules will enforced to the T and nothing was left to chance. You would get Slam/Tournament winners who would win titles without even completing a match!

For me if a player lets out an audible swear, I would like to see the umpire at the change of ends just a 60 second chat and say look it's your first, make it your last or I will give you a code violation.

For any code violation I think there needs to be a dialogue first between player and officials.

With everything that has transpired this year, maybe come close of play at the end of the season the ATP/ITF might sit with the umpires and players and try work out a way forward to ensure rule compliance. It's a big might I know.

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