Friday, November 25, 2011

Typical Excuse: It Was The Referee's Fault

Ndamukong Suh

One of the dirtiest players in the NFL, Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions, gave this excuse after being ejected from the game:

"I want to apologize to my teammates, my coaches and my true fans for allowing the refs to have an opportunity to take mt out of this game."

How many times have we heard that same excuse from whining, disobedient tennis players?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Texas 27 A&M 25

Enough said...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving always begins with lots and lots of food. Here's hoping you all have a great feast tomorrow...

Then we have many things to be thankful for... Such as:

* Living in America.
* Having the many tennis officiating friends that we all have.
* Having our friends and family to celebrate with us on this holiday.

And here's wishing to you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

MTOA Slate of Nominees

According to the by-laws of the MTOA, four new board members shall be elected at the annual meeting. Here are the four nominees as presented by the Nominating Committee (other nominations can be submitted from the floor):

Nancy Ebersole
Stephanie Burnam
Susan Wertenberger
Gary Tolbert

Larry Gendron will also be nominated to fill Cathy Kennan's unexpired term.

Be sure to read the information about the annual meeting in the following post and come and join everyone on December 4th!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Metroplex Tennis Officials Association Annual Meeting

The MTOA will hold their annual meeting on Sunday evening, December 4th, at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will feature the election of four board members and a time of food and fellowship.

The annual meeting will be held at the home of President Nancy King and her home is located at 2713 Thorncreek Lane in Ft. Worth, Texas (76177).

There will also be a board meeting immediately following the annual membership meeting in which officers will be elected for 2012.

All Metroplex officials are invited to attend so ya'll come!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

How Would You Rule?

The unique aspects of an MTO in a UIL high school match.

In a UIL singles match, player A asks for a receives a medical time out on the changeover at 4-3 in the second set. The coach immediately comes out and starts the 2 minute diagnosis to be followed by a 3 minute treatment time.

What do you do with the coach of player B after the 90 seconds for the changeover has run out?

1. Tell him to immediately leave the court because there is no coaching allowed during a medical timeout.

2. Let him stay with player B as long as they are treating player A.

3. Ignore player B and her coach and concentrate on properly administering the medical timeout to player A and her coach.

4. Make sure neither coach is coaching during the MTO and let them both stay on the court.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Congratulations to Marta Lesniak of SMU For Winning The ITA National Indoors

Mitchell Frank and Marta Lesniak

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY - After four grueling days of exciting matches, champions were crowned on Sunday at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

Top-seeded Mitchell Frank (Annandale, Va.), a freshman from the University of Virginia and the reigning ITA All-American champion, faced by far his biggest challenge on Sunday, but he rose to the occasion and beat Illinois senior Dennis Nevolo (Gurnee, Ill.) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, in a match that featured thrilling baseline rallies and some dazzling net play by Nevolo. The competitors were knotted at 5-all in the final set when Frank converted on a pivotal break point to take a 6-5 lead, and from there, he needed just five points to serve out the match and win the title.

"It was a tough one today," Frank said after the match. "The third set really went back and forth, and luckily I was able to convert the break at the end of the set. He’s a great player and it’s great to get a win like that. It’s very special to win any college tournament, and it’s definitely special to win at the site at the US Open."

In the women’s final, Marta Lesniak (Poland), a senior at Southern Methodist, won the school’s first indoor title by virtue of a 7-5, 6-1, victory over University of Florida senior Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.). Lesniak trailed Mather 4-1 in the opening set before taking complete control of the match, smacking winners from both wings and also connecting on four aces.

Each doubles final went the full three sets, with the winner of the opening set ultimately losing the match in both the men’s and women’s final. Ohio State’s No. 2 seeded team of Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola fought back from a 4-6 first set deficit to defeat the No. 3 seeds from Tulsa, Ashley Watling and Clifford Marsland, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. In the women’s final, the young unseeded team of Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria of USC upset No. 3 seeds Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews of Notre Dame 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom

It seems that every weekend that passes provides yet another opportunity for us to accumulate more PEARLS OF WISDOM as officials. Mondays are always a great day because that's when we get the emails with all the events that happened over the weekend.

Here are some of the PEARLS from this weekend:

New code violation created at the state UIL tennis tournament.

Seems that a new code violation has been created at the state tournament this year--a code for putting your racket on the top of your head. The explanation we heard was that it is a code for unsportsmanlike conduct because when a player does this it means that he/she is ridiculing their opponent for playing over their head. I can surely understand unsportsmanlike conduct, but this one is a little difficult to comprehend. Last time I saw a young man doing this I asked what he was doing and he said, "I'm playing like a dunce," so i guess the beauty of a code is truly found in the eye of the official...

Ty McDonald in action at the University of North Texas team tournament.

This was a great weekend as my son, Ty, had his first real encounter with a wild college player. Seems that the girl yelled out the F-word so he coded her. Then a few games later as he was standing at the net and the girl had just lost her serve to go down 0-5 after losing the first set, she said s__t, and Ty told her to "watch out" since she didn't yell it out and he was the only one who heard it. She then looked him squarely in the eye and said, "Shut Up!"

He then had the inglorious privilege of saying: code violation, unsportsmanlike conduct, game penalty--game, set, and match. The girl then began to cry and her coach congratulated Ty and then suspended his player...

A lesson well learned.
Gary Tolbert showing the proper way to have a coach exit the court after a changeover.

Perhaps we should do a teaching video showing officials the proper hand signal for directing a coach to leave the court after calling "time" on a changeover. Seems that one official at the state tournament simply told the coach, "Get the hell off the court."

Perhaps a little more training would be in order...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Case Of The Crotch-Grabbing Goober

New term: junk-grabbing

As we all move through the officiating world there are instances that bring anger, frustration, doubt--and most of all, humor. Not all events are bad and some are just funnier than others...

This past weekend, the Myronian and I were officiating a UIL regional tournament. During the finals match, here is what occurred:

Player A had received a code violation (racket abuse) in his previous match and since codes are cumulative in UIL, his next code would be a game penalty. Seems that he lost a crucial point in the finals match and immediately grabbed his junk (note that I used the contemporary term instead of crotch or balls) and began to lewdly grope himself.

At that point, I immediately gave him a code violation (for lewd junk-grabbing) and a game penalty. Since the dual match was tied at 8-8 and the next code violation for our young buck would have been a default, the match took on huge implications.

I have no doubts that the boy should have been coded both times but what I resent the most is that I had to stand on his court for an hour and a half (since I was the only one who could default him) and watch his gyrations and loss of self-control. In essence, what he had done was interjected me into the dual match by his bad behavior.

Sometimes we get called into positions that we didn't ask for...

(BTW, he finished the match and won and his team won the dual match and will be going to the state tournament this weekend. Sure hope he can keep his hands off himself in College Station.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

#1 Problem In Tennis: PARENTS

These are the all too familiar words of many of today's tennis kids... Their parents have become an embarrassment to them and in many of our tournaments, are completely out of control. Just like we officials are required to attend a school once a year, perhaps the USTA should make a "parent's course" mandatory for all parents of junior tennis players.

We've all had encounters with the "mother from hell" and all of her tricks and tirades... What a joy and hardly worth the amount of money we are being paid to oversee their children.

In a recent boys 12's ZAT tournament, we had two mothers get into a screaming match in the stands. It is any wonder their boys grow up to be juvenile delinquents. Seems that the mothers these days tend to be more aggressive than the dads but then it could just be the time of year when dads are out hunting and mothers are supervising their darlings.

Lest we think the mothers are the only violators, you see some crazy dads out there too...

This past weekend we had one dad physically confront the doubles team that had just beaten his son. To make it worse, the attacked boy's coach came to the rescue and then got into a shouting match with the errant father. After the UIL dual match was completed, the father again confronted the opposing team and the shouting began all over again. Too bad we can't issue penalties after a match is completed...

In that same match, official #1 warned a father about coaching his daughter and was told, "I'm her father and I can do whatever I want." After being told he couldn't and that his daughter would be penalized and he would be removed from the center, he left in a huff. Later in the match the referee walked by and the father was coaching again. The referee firmly reiterated to the father that coaching was forbidden and he would be removed and his daughter coded if he didn't stop. Again he said, "She's my daughter and I can coach her anytime I want." In a loving and sensitive manner, the referee looked him directly in his fatherly eyes and said, "do you fully understand that if you utter another word of coaching to your daughter you will be removed from this center and your daughter coded?" At that point the father sat down--and the referee called the daughter's coach over to reaffirm the actions.

The outcome: the daughter lost (obviously the coaching wasn't working), the coach had a 10 minute visit with the dad, and the sun set on a long, long dual match.


As officials, this is always a difficult decision since you want to enforce the rules but also avoid world war 3... Here are some suggestions (and I'm sure there are more):

1. Be firm with out of control parents. Warn them first, then code the player, and then remove the parent.

2. Be sure to write up the offending parent and send the writeup to Austin.

3. Do not ignore bad behavior and unethical actions by a parent. That only makes them worse for the next official.

4. Pray that the bad parents will go to someone else's tournament.

5. Pray for the kid because they have to live with that parent.

6. Encourage the parent of an errant child to discipline their own children instead of asking us to do it. Imagine what would happen if little Johnny's Dad took him off the court any time he misbehaved--either Johnny would behave or we wouldn't have to worry about him any more.

7. Remember that all parents are not offenders. The vast majority are wonderful--but we all need to deal with those who dishonor the name of "parent."