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Good Question May/June 2024

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Team Placement & Defaults
How do defaults count toward a team’s rating the following season? For instance, if my team has 15 points at the end of the season, but five of the points came from other teams defaulting, how is my team’s rating/percentage of wins calculated or adjusted? Or conversely, if my team has 10 points, but has defaulted five times in the season, how is that rating calculated or adjusted?

Siobhan Schaeffer, Thursday Women’s League Vice President
Our system calculates a team’s final level based on points won and where the team finished in their division at the end of each season. That calculation does not differentiate between on-court wins and losses or wins and losses by default or forfeit. When a roster is reinstated for the following season, there is a review of where the team should be placed. ALTA Adult Rules page 2 Section II. Level Placement states the following: “Final determination of level placement will be made by the respective league vice president and overall coordinators. Team movement from one flight to another shall be based on the most recent team history during the past 12 months as well as on the addition of new players and the loss of old players. The goal is to match teams with comparable abilities within each level and flight.” We recommend submitting a request for review with your roster submission and including any pertinent details that would help the league vice president and overall coordinators with placement of the team. They will review the team’s results (including points won or loss by default or forfeit) along with the addition and loss of players in determining the most appropriate level for the team.

When Do We Switch?
I played a mixed doubles match this past Sunday, and the first set was a tiebreaker. At the conclusion of the tiebreaker, we were all in agreement that my partner served first in the tiebreaker, so it was their serve to start the second set. Then my partner and I said we switch sides to start the set. Both of our opponents said no, we switch from where we started the tiebreaker. My partner and I said no, we switch from where we end the tiebreaker. We further explained that the tiebreaker is considered one game, and the score is now 7-6, which is odd, therefore we switch on odd games. Who was correct?

Greg McAfee, Men’s League Vice President
It seems this question always confuses people. You and your partner were correct. The tiebreak is considered a game, and the set score is now 7-6 so it is odd. You switch sides from where you ended the tiebreak, and the team that served first in the tiebreak will now be receiving first the next game/new set. (Friend at Court, ITF Rules of Tennis, page 6, 5b)

I Felt the Earth Move
During a rally, my partner hit the ball into the opponents’ court and then fell. The opponent returned the ball, and I returned it back into their court and won the point. The opponent then tried to call a let claiming the fall distracted them. Can they do this?

Loretta Phillips, Sunday Women’s Vice President
No, the opponent cannot call a let after the point is over. (Friend at Court, The Code, Making Calls, number 17) Prompt calls eliminate the two-chance option. A player must make all calls promptly. A call must be made either before the player’s return shot has gone out of play or before an opponent has had an opportunity to play the return shot.

Decisions, Decisions
In the Senior Leagues, the third set tiebreak is the default when one splits sets — unless all four players decide to play a full third set. Does the decision to play the full third set have to be made at the beginning of the match?

Seth Appelbaum, Senior Leagues Vice President
No, during ALTA matches, the decision to play a full third set can be made at any time during the match. (ALTA Adult Captain Handbook page 30, number 11)

 

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