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View Poll Results: What changes to the Medical Timeout rules would you support?

No MTOs, play through the pain or retire 4 8.16%
MTOs only before the player's own serve 16 32.65%
MTOs only for external injuries (eg player twists an ankle or is hit in the face by the ball) 11 22.45%
No MTOs for cramp 6 12.24%
No MTOs to retape an existing injury (player's responsibility to come to the match properly prepared) 8 16.33%
Other changes (please state) 4 8.16%
Players would get around any such rule changes anyway 6 12.24%
No change - the rules are fine as they are 21 42.86%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 01:53 PM   #46
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

I voted for the 2nd last option because there will always inherently be a MASSIVE blurring of the lines between "Treatable Medical Conditions" and "Non-Treatable Medical Conditions" under ITF rules. The problem is that players can literally complain of any musculoskeletal discomfort or medical illness under the sun with on-court trainers and doctors having absolutely 0% ability to ascertain whether the problem the player is complaining of even exists. These are internal problems that players are complaining of. If a player complains of back-pain, there is no way of determining if the pain exists. The word of the player must stand and treatment is issued. In essence, it's just technically impossible to enforce tight rules and regulations governing problems that nobody can 'see.' The fact that the decision of whether an injury/issue falls in the treatable vs. untreatable category lies in the hands of the tournament doctor and trainers is an unavoidable problem. I have raised this point a couple of times today, but a doctor/trainer will ALWAYS treat the player for the concern they raise (assuming it isn't cramping). The reason why is professional integrity. If a player complains of back pain for example, they will ALWAYS receive treatment because if they were denied treatment and the condition worsened, the trainer/doctor are going to have a substantial amount of explaining to do (they would be held accountable).

I'm not entirely sure the option about MTOs being taken before a player's own serve is all that great. I mean, it's going to disrupt rhythm either way. There would still be loopholes around it. I mean, a player could fake acute back pain that would warrant treatment before their opponent's service game under that rule anyway. It wouldn't matter.

One rule I would possibly argue needs tightening is the treatment of compound problems. According to current ITF rules "A player is allowed one (1) Medical Time-Out for each distinct treatable medical condition. All clinical manifestations of heat illness shall be considered as one (1) treatable medical condition. All treatable musculoskeletal injuries that manifest as part of a kinetic chain continuum shall be considered as one (1) treatable medical condition." Citing Azarenka's recent MTO, a 10 minute time-out was permitted because the treatment was on her knee and back which were considered to be two separate medical conditions. This is a massive gray area in the rule-book. Not only could a player fake injury/pain to receive a 3-minute MTO but they could also cite another issue to extend their delay. I think they should get rid of compound treatment altogether. No player should be able to have 2 different injuries treated in the same MTO. They should have to wait until the next changeover to have their other injury treated. Allowing 3 minute MTOs is acceptable. But a 10 minute MTO on compounding non-linked injuries is just ridiculous and excessive. At least if that happened the possibility of cheating would at least be limited/restricted.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 01:55 PM   #47
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Third Mall View Post
Some things are absolutely necessary in tennis, and a bathroom break (without penalty) is definitely one of them. Limit when you can take them by all means, but to penalise players for them is out of the question. Same with MTOs.

That's bullshit. The bathroom breaks should be merged with medical timeouts. You get three per match. Otherwise, players will always abuse the bathroom rule. If you already used your timeouts, you either default, or crap yourself on the court. Life's a bitch. And anyway, Nike will send you a new outfit at no charge.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 02:08 PM   #48
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

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Originally Posted by chuvack View Post
That's bullshit. The bathroom breaks should be merged with medical timeouts. You get three per match. Otherwise, players will always abuse the bathroom rule. If you already used your timeouts, you either default, or crap yourself on the court. Life's a bitch. And anyway, Nike will send you a new outfit at no charge.
There is no limit of 3 MTO's per match. The limit is once you've had a MTO, you can then only get treatment at 2 more change of ends (which really treatment at change of ends should be of no problem to anyone so I dunno why this is limited anyway). In theory you could invent 5 different injuries and get MTO's for them all.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #49
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

I think it's hard to make watertight rules as to when a MTO should be allowed, so I would be more inclined to go with a fairly simply system whereby players essentially "buy" MTOs through points penalties. To take the hardest edges off you could possibly give all players one get-out-of-jail-free card if they haven't taken an MTO in the preceding couple of calendar months.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 05:26 PM   #50
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

How about this:
  • Players may call for the trainer and take a MTO before their own serve for any condition that has arison during the match.
  • If a player wants to call the trainer before their opponent's serve they must forfeit that game.
  • If a player requires restrapping or taping of an existing injury they must forfeit the next game.
  • The umpire may call for the trainer immediately in an emergency

The last one is essential. Any restrictions that you place on players requesting MTOs should not endanger the player. If the player falls and hurts herself, is hit in the face by the ball or passes out, the umpire should be able to call the trainer immediately. But if the player requests the trainer, then the first three rules apply.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 07:11 PM   #51
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

i dunno ... i mean, i hate it when players do this kind of thing (especially the two "top players in the men's game" that the OP mentions) and i comdemn this kind of behaviour. but at the same time, i think it's part of being a great player to be able to shake off an interruption like that, to be able to concentrate no matter what.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 11:37 AM   #52
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

Watching today's final, we do need MTO even with opponents serve..
In case of REAL INJURY, setting rules might cause a trouble and dangerous...
Although I do hate fake MTO or BB...

What about giving players an interview or caution for whom taking dubious MTO or BB.
Suspicious players get investigated... they might wanna avoid that after the match and stop doing it...
OR... make them pay for MTO??
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #53
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viennalover View Post
Watching today's final, we do need MTO even with opponents serve..
In case of REAL INJURY, setting rules might cause a trouble and dangerous...

Although I do hate fake MTO or BB...

What about giving players an interview or caution for whom taking dubious MTO or BB.
Suspicious players get investigated... they might wanna avoid that after the match and stop doing it...
OR... make them pay for MTO??
That's why I suggested that, whatever restrictions you place on players requesting MTOs, the umpire should still be able to call the trainer in an emergency. Li Na falling and hitting her head today would be just such a case.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #54
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobito View Post
How about this:
  • Players may call for the trainer and take a MTO before their own serve for any condition that has arison during the match.
  • If a player wants to call the trainer before their opponent's serve they must forfeit that game.
  • If a player requires restrapping or taping of an existing injury they must forfeit the next game.
  • The umpire may call for the trainer immediately in an emergency

The last one is essential. Any restrictions that you place on players requesting MTOs should not endanger the player. If the player falls and hurts herself, is hit in the face by the ball or passes out, the umpire should be able to call the trainer immediately. But if the player requests the trainer, then the first three rules apply.
Forfeiting next game is pretty strict when you really has injury...
What about starts from 15-0. At least we can avoid fake MTO.
Nobody will try if you lose a point...

Bathroom break in the middle of the set also should have penalty of losing a point.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #55
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Re: Do the Rules on Medical Timeouts Need Tightening Up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viennalover View Post
Forfeiting next game is pretty strict when you really has injury...
What about starts from 15-0. At least we can avoid fake MTO.
Nobody will try if you lose a point...

Bathroom break in the middle of the set also should have penalty of losing a point.
If a point penalty would do it then I'd be happy with that but I suspect that it might take a couple. I'm not saying a player should have to take a penalty to call a MTO, just that that they should have to incur one if they want to call a MTO before their opponent's serve.
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