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    Default Line calls without an umpire

    Over the weekend - I went to watch the elite players play in the Toronto championship. What was very apparent was the amazingly bad line calls from the players, especially on the baseline.

    I play more tennis than badminton, in tennis when in doubt, it's considered in - but it appears in badminton it is "when in doubt - call it out?"

    Also, I find the international players are at a disadvantage as lot of their shots are on the line or very close to it - it was getting called out every time by the other players.

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    I find it strange that there was no umpire in a match between elite/international players? I agree with you. Unfortunately, many badminton players of all levels like to call shots out that touch their baseline because the opponent can't see that line properly and thus can't really do anything about it. Not all players would do this of course, but quite many. "When in doubt - call it out" yes unfortunately true in my experience.

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    It is supposed to be, when in doubt, consider it in. But some players take advantage of that. What I've learned as an umpire is, it really all depends on the angle you see the shot at. It makes a huge difference on calls.

    And usually when players disagree, they would request for audience members of some sort to be line judges to make it fair. Even with an umpire but no line judges, the umpire will ask that the players call each of their own half. The umpire will not be able to see every shot, and will definitely not be able to make a call on the back line unless they are 100% sure they see it.

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    From my experience:
    The higher the level of play, the more dubious the linecalls...;-)

    Just speaking for myself:
    If I play with a referree, I call shots out when I'm not sure (I never call good shots out on purpose!). Shall the ref overcall me! So on me, a ref def has the opposite effect of letting me be "unfairer". That having said, I'm well aware of the fact that it is almost impossible to make good calls on the baseline as an umpire. Just take a minute of your time and sit up there for a moment. So hard to judge!

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    This is because the player who is chasing the shuttle is seeing it from inside of court toward the sidelines.
    From the player's "view" point, anything that catch the outside part of the line would appear to be on the outside of the line.

    The opposite is true that someone from outside (audience) looking toward the court, would "see" the shuttle catches the line when it has just missed.

    The only objective view angle is straight down the line, not looking toward/away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaincook View Post
    This is because the player who is chasing the shuttle is seeing it from inside of court toward the sidelines.
    From the player's "view" point, anything that catch the outside part of the line would appear to be on the outside of the line.

    The opposite is true that someone from outside (audience) looking toward the court, would "see" the shuttle catches the line when it has just missed.

    The only objective view angle is straight down the line, not looking toward/away.
    Exactly!
    Although a lot of times the player looking from the inside can see a tiny gap between the line and shuttle head(audience behind court still see it as in), this is what I consider out when making call when playing, If can't see any gap when landing you have to call it in but that only works for the slower shots, faster ones you are 100% right, neither audience or player are at the right angle to make a brilliant standard of call .

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    So the proper strategy when playing without line judges is to go for tight drops as opposed to deep clears to the baseline.

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    Also consider the fact that umpires have a steeper angle of the sideline on their side of the court. if you can calulate and aim well, you can use the chance of them possibly accounting for a parallax error to your advantage...and don't forget a proper drama...verbally, and with the face. i've seen quite a few great and upcoming players do it...even before the umpire can call it, they act cool and point/enact with their hands that it was just [thiiiiis/thaaaaat] much [in/out] as if they're 100% sure, further weakening the ref's confidence levels and telling the opponent so he'd calm down.. .
    umpires have to be mentally very strong and not let a bad or unsure call affect their future judgments. i've heard some (lower level certified) say 'i judged the previous one in error to player A's advantage so later on, at the next unsure call, i think i was right in giving it to B'. duuuude!

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    I must say, as an umpire, when calling the side line (singles and doubles side line), at my angle, I am definitely more likely to call it in from what I see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by catman View Post
    Over the weekend - I went to watch the elite players play in the Toronto championship. What was very apparent was the amazingly bad line calls from the players, especially on the baseline.

    I play more tennis than badminton, in tennis when in doubt, it's considered in - but it appears in badminton it is "when in doubt - call it out?"

    Also, I find the international players are at a disadvantage as lot of their shots are on the line or very close to it - it was getting called out every time by the other players.
    As mentioned in the original post, the players could not be relied upon to make the correct line-call. In such a situation, the umpire exercises fairness to both sides of the net by correcting the obvious error in the line call by the player. It is possible that the referee had instructed the umpires to as players to assist in calls when no line judges were available. Generally, the most likely scenario will be that the other player also starts making such calls, to even the ledger so to speak. Most of the times, this induces honesty, players from each side taking matters in their own hands. This is still not a fair situation.

    If the assistance of a player is questionable, and the umpire is not in a good position to correct the apparent wrong call, there are two things the umpire can and must do. Firstly, beckon the wronged player and explain why it is that you were not going to over-rule, in as few words as possible, something like, I did not see clearly where the shuttle landed from here, I try and keep a closer yey. What this will do is have that player know you are doing your best. What is also likely to do is to let the unfair player know, you are on his/her game. If the umpire is certain one player is not fair, and cannot make a correction him/herself, then the proper course of action is to beckon the referee and arrange for the line judges [two line judges usually suffice, both seated at opposite corners from the umpire], then call both players and inform them, the line judges will make the baseline, long service line (doubles) and sideline calls.


    Quote Originally Posted by captaincook View Post
    This is because ...

    The only objective view angle is straight down the line, not looking toward/away.
    There is nothing like objective-subjective about a line. The best angle is down the line, with the dominant eye on that line. Either you saw it land in or out, or did not see because of blocking by player. Nicely put, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by CantSmashThis View Post
    I must say, as an umpire, when calling the side line (singles and doubles side line), at my angle, I am definitely more likely to call it in from what I see.
    Quote Originally Posted by CantSmashThis View Post
    It is supposed to be, when in doubt, consider it in. But some players take advantage of that. What I've learned as an umpire is, it really all depends on the angle you see the shot at. It makes a huge difference on calls.

    And usually when players disagree, they would request for audience members of some sort to be line judges to make it fair. Even with an umpire but no line judges, the umpire will ask that the players call each of their own half. The umpire will not be able to see every shot, and will definitely not be able to make a call on the back line unless they are 100% sure they see it.

    The role of an umpire is probably misunderstood here, the umpire is in charge here and must never relinquish her/his duties and authority to the players. An umpire does not ask the players call in their own half, they ask, and insist on, their assistance. This should be made very clear prior to the start of the match, who is calling what. The pre-match conference with the players at the coin-toss could be something simple like: "Hey guys, we will not have line judges in this match, I will call the short service line and my side line, help me out with the other lines, okay? You, [playerName], are from, ahh, long way, alright, call black or gold. It is gold, Serve or receive, or, take side ... all the best Fellows ..."

    The umpire has probably the worst possible angle, especially when sitting/standing a couple of feet off the sideline. Maybe there is some confusion in explaining here. There is never a definitely more of this or that, and never on any definite-unless situation either. This would not be a recommended practice, and any umpire worth her/his clipboard and timing device will not follow such method.

    Either the umpire saw where it landed or the umpire did not. Then and only then corrective action when necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by catman View Post
    Over the weekend - I went to watch the elite players play in the Toronto championship. What was very apparent was the amazingly bad line calls from the players, especially on the baseline.

    I play more tennis than badminton, in tennis when in doubt, it's considered in - but it appears in badminton it is "when in doubt - call it out?"

    Also, I find the international players are at a disadvantage as lot of their shots are on the line or very close to it - it was getting called out every time by the other players.
    I'm from Canada too so I definitely understand. Also, the umpire cannot make calls because they are essentially scorekeepers. When I played Junior Nationals, all umpires only kept score. Everything else you are on your own. If you think your opponent may be making incorrect calls purposely, you can talk to the umpire and request line judges, and you can also do this for service judges. Hope this helps!

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