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Moral Dilemma

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Post by summerblues Sun 06 Sep 2015, 4:46 pm

This happened yesterday on a quite full grandstand where the seating is first-come-first-served.

A family of three was watching the match when the mother and their young son left at a changeover (presumably restroom break or to grab some food?). The father stayed put. At a subsequent changeover – before they returned – a couple came in, saw the two seats, and wanted to sit there. When the father told them the seats were taken, the man in the couple said that the seats could not be reserved and they seated themselves there anyway.

What is your view on this situation?

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Post by bogbrush Sun 06 Sep 2015, 4:48 pm

Simple. What's the ground regulations?
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Post by summerblues Sun 06 Sep 2015, 4:54 pm

bogbrush wrote:Simple. What's the ground regulations?
I am not sure but I guess it may be somewhere in the same gray area as the 25s time limit.

My guess would be that technically one probably cannot reserve the seat, but in practice it is quite often done and rarely challenged.

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Post by CAS Sun 06 Sep 2015, 5:00 pm

I think if I was in that situation and I was told his child and his wife were sitting there, the decent thing to do would to not challenge it

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Post by summerblues Sun 06 Sep 2015, 5:12 pm

CAS wrote:I think if I was in that situation and I was told his child and his wife were sitting there, the decent thing to do would to not challenge it
Indeed, that was my first thought too.  But I have to admit that on a second thought I started to also see it from the opposite perspective.  I have many times seen people who hold seats "reserved" for a very long time (and even cases of people who just like to have an extra empty seat and claim it is "taken"), which strikes me as wrong too.  And the only workable approach against it that I can think of is to simply declare that seats cannot be reserved at all.

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Post by bogbrush Sun 06 Sep 2015, 5:24 pm

I'd have thought the right thing would be to

1. Identify alternative seats (assume done & none there).
2. Consult a steward for a ruling.

I'd have thought the seats weren't strictly being reserved in the sense of being forward excluded from others, they were occupied by someone who popped out.
If I were a steward and the rules weren't clear I'd rule they are occupied by the family. Otherwise there'll be chaos as people are displaced when standing up for a stretch.
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Post by summerblues Sun 06 Sep 2015, 5:50 pm

bogbrush wrote:I'd have thought the right thing would be to

1. Identify alternative seats (assume done & none there).
There were a few similarly taken sets of seats.  In fact, what happened in reality after the mother and son returned was that the father just seated them in another such pair of seats that some other people were trying to hold for their friends/family who had also stepped out.  I am not sure what happened after those people returned - perhaps a chain reaction?

bogbrush wrote:they were occupied by someone who popped out.
Yes, but I guess there is a question of how long one can reasonably pop out for and expect to be able to return.  In my reckoning, 10-15 minutes is fine, maybe a bit longer.  But I would also say that 1hr or longer is definitely too long.

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Post by It Must Be Love Sun 06 Sep 2015, 6:00 pm

I think the rules should be that you can only reserve seats for a maximum of 15 minutes.

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Post by bogbrush Sun 06 Sep 2015, 6:14 pm

Yeah (though then a smart arse like me would shift between the three seats, vacating none for longer than 12 minutes, thereby reserving them all for as long as I liked).
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Post by It Must Be Love Sun 06 Sep 2015, 6:16 pm

bogbrush wrote:Yeah (though then a smart arse like me would shift between the three seats, vacating none for longer than 12 minutes, thereby reserving them all for as long as I liked).
And then a women would come and give you a slap and you wouldn't be so smart after all.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 06 Sep 2015, 6:17 pm

Do as the Germans do and put your towels on them Wink

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Post by Guest Sun 06 Sep 2015, 6:51 pm

I would've done what my neighbours do and put my recycling boxes on the seats!

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Post by Guest Sun 06 Sep 2015, 8:29 pm

To avoid losing ones seat in future I recommend the use of what dog walkers call the poop and scoop.

Other suggestions: a child big enough to have a seat for him or her self could make their way to the toilets on their own - so avoid leaving two seats vacant at the same time. If there were only two people together - would they both leave together and expect their seats to remain unoccupied on their return.

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Post by summerblues Sun 06 Sep 2015, 11:19 pm

So the consensus seems to be that the morally best approach (from the perspective of the defender of the seats) is to make the seats uninhabitable for would-be intruders.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 07 Sep 2015, 12:41 am

I think they should have a rule that says you can reserve your own seat for 10 minutes and you should put an article of clothing or other item where possible and ask the person next to you to keep an eye on it.

Otherwise you cannot watch a 5-set match in heat unless you force dehydration on yourself, it is unreasonable to stop people going to the toilet.

Admittedly this is an imperfect solution, but that's what I'd do.

You perhaps need a steward on hand for this. At Wimbledon this year there were plenty of people available to go around enforcing petty regulations like not standing on a dirt area of leaning on a wall or stepping on a small raise on the ground to get a better view, but lots of people reserving seats.

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Post by YvonneT Mon 07 Sep 2015, 1:53 pm

summerblues wrote:When the father told them the seats were taken .....
If he said "by his family", I'd have looked subtly to the others spectators to confirm that, and if they did, I would certainly have left them. If they looked surprised by his claim, I'd be sitting in them!

I suppose if you have to leave the stadium altogether to get to the toilets (i.e. if there is a queue for the stadium, you would need to join it rather than just return to your seat), then it would make sense for someone else to take the seats.

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Post by laverfan Mon 07 Sep 2015, 3:40 pm

I would have honored the statement that some one was sitting there and tried to find other ones.

It should work like an honor system. If I have seats vacant next to me and someone asks if they are occupied, I would suggest to the requestors to take them.

The same situation will be viewed differently across continents and countries.

BTW, what was the match on GS when this happened?

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Post by summerblues Mon 07 Sep 2015, 9:21 pm

It was during Gasquet-Tomic match. The two sets of people continued to argue for a while during changeovers and I am not sure how they ultimately resolved it but possibly as the match became more obviously one-sided, they may have been able to find more empty seats.

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Post by kingraf Tue 08 Sep 2015, 8:17 am

I wouldnt have taken the seats, but if thats the system, I see no moral dilemma
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