Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?
The biggest problem with changing the rules regarding medical time outs is what to do? You often hear pundits, commentators saying they need changing without actually giving a solution or just giving an unviable solution.
The most common solution I hear is that MTO's should be stopped. If you're not fit to play you can't play and forfeit. This is commonly spouted on Eurosport. This is never going to happen in the real world though. There would be a large uproar you are putting players health at risk (think of how health and safety has increased in pretty much every sport in the last 2 decades). And secondly do these people actually consider the detriment to the product this does. Players retiring all over the place is far far worse than MTO's, I imagine the majority of fans would rather see a tennis match than someone withdrawing/tanking the match because they can't play.
Deducting points comes under the same category. It does not make good viewing, if you start just gifting games to a player because their opponent is injured.
People need to come up with solutions that are actually viable.
Probably the only solution and slight ammendment I would make is that unless the injury is groundbreaking like the ones players stop mid-game for treatment, you should have to take MTO before your serve. In fact once upon a time not too long ago it seemed umpires were enforcing something like this, but it doesn't seem to happen anymore.
Ps. I notice 'No MTO's for cramp' is an option. I thought this had been changed anyway, that you can't take a MTO for cramp now, you can only get treatment at the change of ends. Or is that only on the mens tour?