Delay: hand signaling and talking

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by Zohar, Dec 19, 2019.

  1. Zohar

    Zohar Regular Member

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    I had a weak match today; worse, the opponents were sluggish:
    1. They often conferred after the rally for a few seconds.
    2. Whenever each of them serves: opponent is in place ready to serve, I'm ready to receive. Then, the serving opponent brings his hand behind his back to signal something to his partner, leaves it there for about 3sec, and then serves.

    What do the rules say about that?
     
  2. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    They'll probably signal where they'll serve. Often that's 4 different areas on the front service line (from the T going outward), the two rear corners and sometimes a drive serve. I cannot think of any rule against it.

    The advantages of doing this are obvious: You're determined where you'll serve which usually leads to better consistency. Also, your partner knows where you'll serve, thus it's easier to prepare for the third short.
     
  3. Zohar

    Zohar Regular Member

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    I imagined as much. First, it seems dumb. I usually decide where to serve based on reading the opponent in real time. So, the first thing I did when they started doing that was changing my position and stance (you signaled flicking? Well, now I'm back waiting for it..).
    Moreover, it's slow, annoying, and cumbersome to everyone, and I'd slap my partner if he did it.

    My problem with them doing it. I'm ready in position because you are ready in position. I expect a serve with no intentional delay. I don't intend to stand there ready and wait for you while you muck around. Otherwise, do what ever you need to do already, and let me know when you are ready.
     
  4. stradrider

    stradrider Regular Member

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    Yes, they are breaking the law:
    If they quickly discuss before getting ready and than serve it's fine. But if they completely ready and than suddenly start talking or gesturing each other while you wait they should not be allowed to do that. Often it's done on purpose to make you wait and throw your game off...
    Usually umpire would say to speed up the service if they do that and if continue - yellow card is in order.... Without umpire you should still tell them it's not ok.
     
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  5. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    That's up to interpretation and I'd argue they're not ready. To give the signals, the shuttle is probably in the same hand as the racket, when getting ready, they change that. What happens before that is the same as discussing quickly before the serve.

    Obviously not and after their first serve, you know that.

    Me neither. I know the feeling, but there's not much you can do...

    With that, you admit that you were not ready yet, so first of all that takes away any chance to argue against it. Second, you admit that you're deliberately trying to distract your opponents. It wouldn't be called, because you wouldn't admit it on court, of course.

    If I'm overseeing something, please let me know, but the way I see it, the argument to call that an undue delay after being ready to serve is extremely weak. I've seen this in professional doubles during an official BWF tournament before, so I fear I'm not alone with that view. That doesn't mean I like it.
     
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  6. stradrider

    stradrider Regular Member

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    Before you could do what you want. Today umpires instructed to prevent any delay, especially while an opponent is waiting in ready position. A couple of seconds to give partner a sign is fine but anything more than that is not allowed...
     
  7. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    I'm picturing something like

    just after 12:00 if the timecode link doesn't work properly


    That was 2018. Did the interpretation change since?
    edit:
    Also, OP started to change the ready position, so he's not waiting (anymore).
     
  8. stradrider

    stradrider Regular Member

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    They were not in ready position yet, and did not take more than a couple of seconds.
     
  9. stradrider

    stradrider Regular Member

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    That doesn't mater, if they were ready with rackets up and server suddenly starts doing stuff, he will be told not to delay the game..
     
    #9 stradrider, Dec 19, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  10. Zohar

    Zohar Regular Member

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    I see what you mean. But in the video, he stands casually, as well as his opponent. Yesterday, my opponent was in a ready stance, and then he started gesturing.

    Indeed, after the first couple of times, whenever they were ready to serve, I leaned casually with my racket down, gesturing get on with it and tell me when you are really ready.
    But it was confusing, and I needed to avoid the urge to answer the first false I'm ready gesture.

    Maybe it would have been less bad if the gesture wasn't after being ready and facing me; e.g. instead, face your partner, communicate, then come to the spot and be ready.

    Not sure what you mean by I wasn't ready:
    - Opponent was ready to serve.
    - I was ready to receive.
    - Opponent started nonsense.
    - I took it as undue delay, got out of "ready mode", and changed my position and stance.

    I admit that yesterday this was exacerbated by:
    - They conferring after almost every point and being slow in general.
    - It was a friendly box match. Last week, my partner was injured, and we lost the box. Yesterday, the box below was really weak, a waste of time, and I should have skipped it (found a replacement). Playing slow on top of that was really trying my patience.
     
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  11. Magwitch

    Magwitch Regular Member

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    Yeah, they do this in table tennis, and there can be problems if you serve what you signaled you would. Sometimes in table tennis I've played doubles against people who don't usually signal. At set point players who usually serve backspin often do a signal, which basically tells me the serve is going to be topspin. I remember one time I closed my racket angle after they did this preparing to attack. The person who signaled saw this and signaled again, then did a backspin serve.
     

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