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Not entirely the same thing

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Thursday, 27 March 2014, at 12:00 a.m.

In Response To: Novak Djokovic Weighs in on Legal Moves (Bruce Farquhar)

While I applaud professional athletes that exhibit great sportsmanship and do things like Stick described, when you have a close or questionable call, like when you actually contacted the ball, and there is an official charged with making calls like this, I can certainly not fault a player who doesn't make a call against himself EVEN IF he thinks he might have gotten away with something. Why? Because there will be times he gets a bad call from an official and other times when his opponent will get away with an infraction.

Now, take a tennis game played without an official and , like backgammon, players should be expected to call infractions on themselves and not try to get away with something, and that principle would be stated in the official rules or standards so everyone is clear that is what is considered appropriate behavior.

Thus far I don't believe we have "institutionalized and formalized" this concept, but I hope people with authority will do so in the future.

Again, to those who say we can't enforce good sportsmanship, I say first, if most of us understand what is expected we won't have much of an enforcement problem. 99% of the tournament players I know are good, honest people but we have all applied our own personal beliefs about what is fair and we don't all agree. This is where many of the conflicts and mistrust and suspicion has occurred. We can stop most of that with a simple declaration of player's responsibilities.

As for the few shot-takers and cheaters--they can abuse any rules no matter how they are written and they need to be controlled with string action by TD's and when that doesn't happen, by reputation players will be warned and show no mercy to these very few exceptions.

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