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 Post subject: A refreshing attitude
PostPosted: 19 Sep 2017, 08:31 
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I played over 40s national league this weekend, and encountered two 'under the arm' servers. I have decided that, at that level, I will always call it and try to get them to stop, with at least with one polite approach.

First one, it mostly worked but caused a bit of bad blood to be honest. He tried to call my serves when I mentioned it for a second time, which I think are pretty clean, pretty sure the toss is enough but maybe a point about a cupped hand. But in my book no advantage compared to a hidden serve. It did make me think about the flat hand for the rest of the weekend and beyond though. I serve mainly backhand anyway.

Second player I called after the first serve! I made an under the arm gesture and........he nodded and served really cleanly for the rest of the match, even when it got tight. Not mentioned again. It was just such a refreshing attitude. There is a certain player out there with my full respect now.

At o40s a lot of players have played through a period where hiding the serve was fine, which can be a bit ingrained. I think how players behave when it is mentioned says a lot about whether it is a habit they have to watch, or if it is a deliberate tactic!

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PostPosted: 19 Sep 2017, 08:37 
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I've learned a lot of players just don't know they are doing certain things.

Some players sure love to serve quick from time to time too...


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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2017, 11:54 
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Yes, it can be so hard to criticize an opponents serve, without making it seem like a personal attack. Some will never see it as a legitimate call, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. I think only more strict calls by the umpire is probably the only way to improve this.

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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2017, 12:45 
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We've got an under the arm server. Completely non deliberate and has returned after 30 years away and has taken on lots of feedback on serves. I was beating him until recently. Of course when winning you don't care. During my first loss to him, I couldn't work out why my serve return was so bad, then I noticed I couldn't see contact. It took me 3 weeks to say something as I didn't want it to a an excuse or sour grapes. Was received well but unfortunately noticed its still happening.

On a separate occasion I was umpiring a game of b grade player which players had mentioned his bad serves. At was all amicable and banter as lots of mates in this grade. What I did was got him to show me all his serves. As he had several that we fine, I told him what ones we good and bad warned him up front that if used any bad ones, which was about 2 out of the 5 he did, then I would call foul. Was no worries, he won the game then improved in the bad ones over the following weeks.

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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2017, 12:49 
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Today's serves owe a lot to the hidden serve period. The stance with (for right handers) the right foot way behind comes from when people were serving from behind the body. It still hides most of the serve stroke, even if you do see the point of contact. I don't remember people using this stance in the 1970s - watch Klampar serve, for instance.

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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2017, 16:35 
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Gah! The oldies :-P :lol: yep we gots both young and old players trying to getaway with hidden serves and such. I tend to ignore the older players but the younguns will get a earful from me if they did that :rofl:

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