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Where do you draw the line?
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Author:  Retriever [ 31 Dec 2017, 07:15 ]
Post subject:  Where do you draw the line?

A recent off topic discussion in an equipment thread has prompted this.

1. A rule in TT exists that cannot be enforced objectively. Into the mix, it may well be nonsensical or enacted in a less than transparent way. Do you:
    Obey it anyway as it doesn't directly affect you?
    Obey it even though it does affect you?
    Disobey it and acknowledge that you are in the wrong?
    Disobey it because it is a silly rule?
    Disobey it because everyone is doing it?
    Disobey it because it is unenforceable?
    Disobey it and justify it as a side effect of a legitimate activity?
Examples of such rules: minimum friction rule and also the aspect ratio for pimples out, no boosting by players, no hidden serves.


2. You are playing in a tournament where the entry rules state that players will be defaulted if they do not attend the table within 15 minutes of the match time. Do you:
    Claim the forfeit after exactly 15 minutes and 1 second no matter what?
    Claim the forfeit if they are more than say 25 minutes late no matter what, ie give them some leeway?
    Claim the forfeit even if the organizers are satisfied with the other player's excuse and ask you to play the match - insist that the rules be played to the letter?
    Are happy to play the match if the player turns up at all within reason?


3. You are the captain of a team in a pennants / league competition. It is organized on a home and away basis. Matches can be deferred by prior agreement between respective captains, otherwise the team turning up should claim a forfeit. On a particular night you turn up to find no opposing team. Do you:
    Claim the forfeit no questions asked?
    Contact the opposing team and if they have no reasonable excuse whatsoever, claim the forfeit, otherwise reschedule the match?
    Contact the opposing captain and reschedule the match?


4. You are playing and have an umpire. Your opponent plays a shot which catches the very faintest edge on your endline. The umpire and your opponent both act as if the ball was out. Do you:
    Acknowledge that the ball was in?
    Stay silent to get the point?
    Stay silent because its the umpire's job to adjudicate?


5. You are playing and have an umpire. Your opponent plays a shot which catches the very faintest edge on your endline. The umpire didn't see it but your opponent did. Do you:
    Acknowledge that the ball was in?
    Say nothing but if asked by the umpire you will acknowledge that it touched?
    Stay silent to still possibly get the point?
    Stay silent because it is the umpire's job to adjudicate?
    Disagree with the opponent and insist that the umpire is the adjudicator?
    Insist that the ball was out?

6. You are playing and don't have an umpire. Your opponent plays a shot which catches the very faintest edge on your endline. Your opponent claims the point. Do you:
    Acknowledge that the ball was in?
    Say nothing but accept that the opponent won the point?
    Disagree with the opponent but press for a let / replay of the point?
    Disagree with the opponent and insist that the ball was out and refuse to play until the point is scored that way?

For these last 3 hypotheticals, does the presence or absence of the umpire change your action? Should it?

The answers to these questions, and many others where there is a grey area, will be different for each person. I think that it would be instructive for people to examine their actions to see if they are totally happy with them.

Author:  LordCope [ 31 Dec 2017, 08:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

Very interesting. Reflecting personally has shown up some inconsistencies in my thinking. My answers:

1) Obey the rule even though it affects me
2) Give them some leeway (probably, depends if it messes up the schedule a lot)
3) Contact the team, and make a case by case judgement on whether to claim the forfeit
4) Acknowledge that the ball was in
5) Acknowledge that the ball was in

The presence of . the umpire makes no difference to me. I view the last two as being about honesty.

Points 2 and 3 are about allowing for the fact we play this game for enjoyment, and generally most people are doing their best. Mistakes happen, and I'd usually prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt before automatically claiming something.

The first point is just a principle for me. I didn't make the rules. I don't like all the rules. But I think the rules should be followed.

Author:  LOOPOVER [ 31 Dec 2017, 09:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

Lordcope, have you ever umpired any matches, do you enforce serve rules, what do you do when playing about serve rule violations ?

Author:  Dusty054 [ 31 Dec 2017, 09:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

Edges are part of the game and I think it's in the spirit of the game to acknowledge them. I find most players have the same attitude. If there is uncertainty or disagreement I'll let the umpire decide. If no umpire, I'll suggest a let.

Author:  LordCope [ 31 Dec 2017, 09:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

LOOPOVER wrote:
Lordcope, have you ever umpired any matches, do you enforce serve rules, what do you do when playing about serve rule violations ?


I've umpired lots of matches. And am in the process of becoming "certified", so to speak.... ;)

In fact just today I was umpiring at a tournament (in which I was also competing). One player was blatantly serving off his hand. First time I called a let, gave a warning, set expectations, and resumed. Later in the match the player served off his hand. I have the point to the opponent. He did this two more times, and on each occasion I gave the point to the opponent, without hesitation.

My view on this is that it is situational. If I believe the player is gaining benefit from an obviously foul serve, I will call it. If the player is plainly not going to win, and isn't getting a benefit from it, I would probably talk to them after the game.

Enforcing serving rules is not easy, because some rules are open to interpretations (nearly vertical throw), and others require a consistent view (hiding the serve) which may not always be possible from where the umpire is sitting.

Author:  haggisv [ 31 Dec 2017, 09:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

Great topic Retriever! :up:

Number 1. is a tricky one. I tend to follow the rules myself, but if I deem the rule to be silly and/or un-enforceble, I would turn a blind eye if my opponents were doing it.
As an umpire, I would feel I'd need to enforce the rules, but without scientific equipment and procedures in place, I would let it pass, as I feel if we're going to call out a player, we must be SURE that the call is correct. Unless of course the violation is plain obvious.

For 2 & 3, I'd give them some leadway and make attempts to get the player/team to the table.

for the rest, I'd agree with Lordcope... it's about being honest and showing sportmanship, so I would acknowledge an edge with or without an umpire, it makes no difference.

Author:  Retriever [ 31 Dec 2017, 10:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

Just to state the bleeding obvious, this is not an online test where the "correct" answer wins you a prize.

It is an opportunity to see if your actions and hypothetical actions back up the opinion you have of yourself.

In a lot of ways, I am not really interested in your answer being made public (but feel free to chime in with it), only if it is reflected in the actuality, ie does what you do back up what you say? It is up to you what your ethics are and whether you follow your verbalized version.

I find the discussion so far to be good, and am only too happy if some question their "morality", sportsmanship etc as a result of this thread.

Author:  mikea [ 31 Dec 2017, 18:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

Good thread - and as I've joined in the other thread with some gusto I'll add my two penn'orth here!

So firstly I'm only answering in respect of matches played under ITTF rules. If you're playing socially you can do whatever your opponents deem fair, including doing weird and wonderful things to your racket if that makes you happy.

As far as matches are concerned I take the stance that in general the rules are there to create an even playing surface and the spirit of the rules is as important as the letter of the law. Whilst I am a qualified umpire and have umpired matches at the top level in England, 99% of the matches that all of us umpire are played by players who play the game as a recreation and I think it's important therefore to react proportionally to rule infractions.

So for example if a player is throwing the ball up 5cm and gaining no advantage from it I would never call it in a league match or tournament. At the other end of the spectrum if a player is clearly making a deliberate attempt to break a rule to gain an advantage (serving or other rule) then I won't hesitate to call it. Between those extremes I'd make a judgement call depending on the circumstances - bearing in mind that rule infractions rarely operate in isolation as there are two (or more) players involved at any time.

I think that probably covers some of the questions. I always call edges if I see them and would never claim a match (or sets within a match) if at all possible because I go to matches to play, not claim them. The question regarding faulting at a tournament would probably be one for the Tournament Referee because if the tournament is running behind then the anser might be different than if time was not an issue.

Author:  Debater [ 01 Jan 2018, 08:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

1. Obey it even though it does affect me.
2. None of the options - I'd go speak to the organisors if the player was late and abide by their decision. I wouldn't wait until the 15 minutes was up. The player may be playing in another event, at the toilet etc. I've been to tournaments where the tannoy system simply can't cope with the size of hall so it can be very very hard to hear when you are called, particularly in the early rounds when there is lot's of noise.
3. Our league has a rule that if a team can't attend a fixture they must notify the Match and Registration Committee and ask if the match can be rescheduled, they must also contact the other team captain with 24hrs notice. If a team doesn't do this, and doesn't show, the other team can claim the match subject to appeal by the none showing team. When you have players giving up family time and basing life decisions on a playing schedule published well in advance, it is courtesy to comply with these rules and venues still have to be paid for even if one team doesn't show. If the MRC orders the game to be replayed then I would comply with that decision.
4. Acknowledge that the ball was in. If I don't, the only person I'm cheating is myself. I'd rather loose the point and the match than compromise my integrity for what is only a game. May sound arrogant or prigish but frankly I don't care. In my experience, very very few players have lied. Whilst language, foul serving and bad behaviour exist, cheating like this doesn't.
5. Same as answer to question 4. Makes no difference if anyone else saw or heard it. I did.
6. Same as answer to question 4. Same reason as 5.

Author:  darucla [ 01 Jan 2018, 12:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

I'd go with Debater on most 2,3,4 and 5, although the first point I look at from the other end of the table and I feel that treated rubber doesn't automatically confer an advantage: skill is still required. I am personally uncomfortable using very fast "speed-glue effect" rubbers of any kind, whether they are factory supplied or home-cooked. Same thing with friction-less pimples etc. Anyone who can use them to beat me could probably beat me anyway. Hidden serves and serves off the hand, on the other hand, I don't like, especially when it is done on purpose. They do confer an automatic advantage, and I have called faults in matches on these.

Incidentally, I've only played a few matches in tournaments (VETTS), and none of them ran on time. The league is a different matter, and I had a case recently (very), where the opposing team captain called me barely within the 24 hour window to cancel due to family emergency. I accepted the postponement, and went into my club to check the calendar for use of the room, worked out 2 alternative dates in consultation with my players, and proposed those. The response was that he couldn't put a team out for either date. Note, there was no alternative suggested from his side. The league secretary contacted me (I had kept them copied on emails) and said I could claim the match. After consulting the team, I did so. I would have preferred to play, but felt it was unfair to the other players (from 2 four-man teams). After, I heard from many other players that they were glad that someone had taken that stand. My coach has now sorted the other team out with 2 extra players. It's not simple running a team.

Author:  Gollum [ 02 Jan 2018, 13:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

LordCope wrote:
Very interesting. Reflecting personally has shown up some inconsistencies in my thinking. My answers:

1) Obey the rule even though it affects me
2) Give them some leeway (probably, depends if it messes up the schedule a lot)
3) Contact the team, and make a case by case judgement on whether to claim the forfeit
4) Acknowledge that the ball was in
5) Acknowledge that the ball was in

The presence of . the umpire makes no difference to me. I view the last two as being about honesty.

Points 2 and 3 are about allowing for the fact we play this game for enjoyment, and generally most people are doing their best. Mistakes happen, and I'd usually prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt before automatically claiming something.

The first point is just a principle for me. I didn't make the rules. I don't like all the rules. But I think the rules should be followed.

"LordCope" I agree completely with this reply. I love TT I like to win but if not thankyou for the game I follow the rules & I'm honest if I see something that's always the way I go. :up:
A great topic "Retriever"

Author:  Red [ 02 Jan 2018, 21:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

1) Disobey and acknowledge that I'm in the wrong.

Out of interest: You are talking about modified pimples which would be according to the rules if untreated here, are you?
I expect a player to come clean with modifications he made, but I would object to frictionless and/or overly stretched rubbers when it's clearly noticable that they don't match the original rubber. As I've written elsewhere, there's no legal frictionless pimple available nor are there approved pimples with wide spacings or extreme pimple-length which is a major difference between 10yr old rubbers that play like anti or boosted rubbers that play like MX-P or Tenergy (almost).
I'd object to hidden, illegal serves depending on the opponent. Sometimes the opponent is somewhat unexperienced and he simply can't do better.

I personally don't boost the sponge actually - I've tried several substances and techniques but the positive effects didn't make up for the negative impacts and the time needed for preparations.
I am using photo-glue on the wood and latex on the sponge and let them dry well, I am using peanut-oil and olive oil to regain the grip/tackiness of my rubber and I also use water with ammonia, sometimes alcohol, to clean the rubbers. So, I do violate the rules, don't you think? But do I cheat?

2) b (2nd answer) - But if there's a good excuse I'd play anyway
3) b (2nd answer)
4) a - honestly, I do expect the opponent to behave the same
5) a
6) a

Usually I don't care whether there's an umpire or not.
What I've experienced this season was a player who claimed that the ball has touched the edge, unnoticed by me and the umpire. Asked by the umpire I said that I didn't notice a ball on the edge and that I didn't hear a contact with the table.

Author:  mikea [ 03 Jan 2018, 01:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

Red wrote:

I am using peanut-oil and olive oil to regain the grip/tackiness of my rubber and I also use water with ammonia, sometimes alcohol, to clean the rubbers. So, I do violate the rules, don't you think? But do I cheat?



Against the rules unfortunately but if you tell people you play a lot in the kitchen you'll probably get away with it. :lol:

Author:  BRS [ 03 Jan 2018, 01:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

I would disobey a rule like the hidden serve rule if I were capable of it. Same with boosting if it wasn't too much trouble and I really thought it would help. I don't only because I think I'd mess myself up more than gain any advantage.

The defaulting thing is different here. I'm mainly going to tournaments to get in matches with new people, so to win without getting to play is no good. In round robins we routinely skip over matches when people are late, or need a rest or whatever, and let them finish later.

I always call edges, it's a reflex. Matches are never umpired, but it doesn't matter, I call edges in practice drills too. I have had opponents not call an edge I got, but when I ask if it hit they say yes. It's funny though, even if I don't hear it, I can see the look of disgust on their face so I know it's my point.

Author:  Retriever [ 03 Jan 2018, 06:23 ]
Post subject:  Re: Where do you draw the line?

Red wrote:
Quote:
I am using peanut-oil and olive oil to regain the grip/tackiness of my rubber and I also use water with ammonia, sometimes alcohol, to clean the rubbers. So, I do violate the rules, don't you think? But do I cheat?


mikea wrote:
Quote:
Against the rules unfortunately but if you tell people you play a lot in the kitchen you'll probably get away with it. :lol:


mikea, unfortunately you joke about it but that is uncannily like the justifications on that other thread. I wonder if it is enough to convince anyone to change their mind ... nah ... when a man's livelihood depends on them ignoring something, only a fool would expect him to take notice of it ... is close to what someone notable once said, maybe a former president of the USA.

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