Monday, February 16, 2015

Professionalism and Fairness in today's Tennis

Better Tennis Bureau 919-610-5255

For the most part, Tennis is considered a fair sport.  Supposedly, players, according to Nick Powell, who wrote the Code of Tennis Etiquette, were required to settle any question of doubt of a ball being considered “In” or “Out” [no pun intended] was always to be decided, awarded, given, unquestionably, in favor of your opponent.  That’s fairness, Right?
Playing two on one, or what’s called Australian Tennis, is not considered fair, right; but, good practice for singles and doubles!  But usually, when a qualified fourth comes along, they might be invited to play, Right?  What if the fourth is not as talented, or is just learning to play; that competition would not be considered fair either.
Competition is pitting your ability, talents, skills, agility and mental prowess, against an opponent of equal stature; if not, what’s the purpose?  If the players are not equal, the “game” or “pursuit” is not competition at all, it’s bullying. No one likes, or wants to be bullied.
Many will tell you that tennis is the fairest sport of all. They will argue that there are linesman, or lines-women lines persons [Let’s be fair] in the Umpire’s Chair, calling the many lines, keeping the score, deciding who is to serve first, all in the exercising of fairness.
Ball persons at the ready with towels, new balls, giving equal time and attention to the professional player.
In all competitive sports, the element of fairness is taken into consideration to make the competition equal; or to “level” the playing field, to be politically correct, as real journalist like to say.
Depending upon the sport, most team chose players, depending upon their ability, skill, speed, agility, height, weight. Take the sport of Baseball.  Nine players, of different, but known abilities and talents assembled as a unit to play a game.  The same requirements are to be found in most team sports like Football, Basketball, Hockey and La Crosse.
Tennis, the sport of a life time, [and there is a reason it’s called the Sport of a Lifetime time], does not chose its players in this fashion.  As anyone knows, in an individual sport, i.e., Skiing, Ice Skating, Boxing, Wrestling; you can be as good as you want to be, without exception. Practice, Practice determination, and hard work are all that is required and, perhaps an entry fee.
Think about the team sports per se, these players are physically trying to hinder the opposing player.  Catchers, Pitchers, other opposing team members, are trying to spoil the batters attempt to get a hit or get on base, through movement, different fielding positions and signaling. 
In Football, the coaches might call the plays, or the Quarterback might stutters is signal calling to get a penalty advantage of being off sides, etc.
Tennis given all of its effort to be fair, and claiming to a professional sport, has missed one opportunity to be fair.  While you might not make the team because of your height in Basketball, because of your weight in Football or Boxing.  Tall or taller Tennis players do gain a distinct advantage in height because of the serve elevation. 
Thus, pitchers have decided advantage over hitters because of the raised pitching mound.
For this reason the Better Tennis Bureau, a creation of the National Tennis Teacher’s College, believes and advocates, that all tennis players should be given just one serve per point. 
Think of it.  One serve per point would shorten matches, would eliminate double faults, and the wait, while another ball is retrieved. One serve would save wear and tear on the arm, back, shoulders and knees. Players would have more stamina, for the third, or fifth set, if they serve and volley, by not having to go back to serve the second ball.
One serve would take away the server’s advantage, we’ve all heard about, and receivers would be mentally set to receive serve, and the rally would be immediate.
Finally, if these are truly, professional players and capable of doing what you and I aren’t capable of doing, they should be able to be just as effective with one serve; however, in the interest of drama, the Better Tennis Bureau would suggest awarding two points for a one serve “Ace.”
That's my perspective.  What's yours?


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