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This could happen....?

36. Grunting. A player should avoid grunting and making other loud noises. Grunting and other loud noises may bother not only opponents but also players on adjacent courts. In an extreme case, an opponent or a player on an adjacent court may seek the assistance of the Referee or a Roving Umpire. The Referee or official may treat grunting and the making of loud noises as a hindrance. Depending upon the circumstance, this could result in a let or loss of point
 

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Will they clamp down on Nadal and the other men who grunt too?
 

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Philosophical much? :D Ever since I've read here that grunting improves your tennis results, I can't possibly take the anti-grunters for real. Yeah, I know the RESEARCH proves it :hearts:
You are being disingenious. I didn't say anything philosophical or abstract, everything is grounded on pure facts and straightforward logic. All I'm saying is that physical pollution does affect human performance. In case of shrieking, it's a)very unpleasant b)makes it hard to determine the exact moment of hitting the ball (a very important information!) c)makes you think the ball is hit much stronger that it actually is d)supposedly slows down the reaction time. All four factors give the shrieking athlete a big advantage I reckon.

Now let's imagine that we expand this circus and allow players to produce visual pollution as well. Let's say, a player wore clothing that would flash like this. According to you, it would have no impact at all at the opponent's performance, even if there is well documented research (as well as common sense) that quickly alternating colors are very distracting.
 

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You are being disingenious. I didn't say anything philosophical or abstract, everything is grounded on pure facts and straightforward logic. All I'm saying is that physical pollution does affect human performance. In case of shrieking, it's a)very unpleasant b)makes it hard to determine the exact moment of hitting the ball (a very important information!) c)makes you think the ball is hit much stronger that it actually is d)supposedly slows down the reaction time. All four factors give the shrieking athlete a big advantage I reckon.

Now let's imagine that we expand this circus and allow players to produce visual pollution as well. Let's say, a player wore clothing that would flash like this. According to you, it would have no impact at all at the opponent's performance, even if there is well documented research (as well as common sense) that quickly alternating colors are very distracting.
OK then, how can I argue with all those science experts over here. I admit I was rigged, without the grunting Sharapova is just a random journeywoman. All her Grand Slams, WTA #1 and major accomplishments wouldn't have been possible without it. All those years I've lived in the dark, thank you for opening my eyes on the one thing that really matters :cheer:
 

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Strange sequence for me, tomorrow. I will watch the nfl championships, in which there will be times when the quarterbacks try to draw the defense offsides for a five yard penalty....by the way they shout the signals before the ball is hiked....

then, maybe see Maria, and consider...is she really all that good, or is it mostly just noise?
 

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OK then, how can I argue with all those science experts over here. I admit I was rigged, without the grunting Sharapova is just a random journeywoman. All her Grand Slams, WTA #1 and major accomplishments wouldn't have been possible without it. All those years I've lived in the dark, thank you for opening my eyes on the one thing that really matters :cheer:
Id definitely helped her, yes. It can't have been the deciding factor for her past GS victories, obviously, but it did help her by affecting the opponent's performance to some extent. Otherwise she wouldn't bother.:kiss:
 

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Even if shrieking does give the player ''an unfair advantage'', I really doubt players do it on purpose :shrug: (And I'll admit, I'm slightly biased on the issue). You win matches and tournaments because you're good enough to do so, not cuz you freak the shit out of your opponent because you shriek like a madwoman. I mean, it's just stupid. And to be honest, it's been a part of tennis for so many years that if something was going to be done about it, it'd have been done LONG AGO. The WTA doesn't seem to have a problem with it, certain players do, and if they want it to be changed, then it's their job to step up and do something about it. Going on about it in press conferences won't change a thing.
I've given you a good rep and it was done without me doing anything. It certainly wasn't intentional. I just came in and the screen just came up that I had. So I'll have to comment on this post because I don't agree with it - well not all of it.
  1. First: It's an unproven claim and pretty slanderous that players do it on purpose to deliberately cheat. I agree with you on that. In any case - it's unneccessary to accuse the players of that for the case that the WTA should put a stop to it.
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    Having said that:
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  2. Just because the WTA bury their heads in the sand and haven't done anything about it doesn't make it right. The spineless WTA are totally responsible for this fiasco.
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  3. It should not be up to players to protest. Just because the majority don't speak up doesn't mean they are not affected or happy with it. To claim that they don't mind is ridicuilous.
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  4. And to say they should complain if they are not happy about it is also ridiculous. Because if they do complain - they are attacked as whiners, poor losers, bad sports etc. and will get a whole load of media scrutiny they could do without.. They know that will cause them grief and be a distraction to playing tennis well. So they obviously remain silent even if they are affected by the shrieking and don't like it.
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  5. In addition - it discredits women't tennis. It's the butt of jokes. It's just a complete turn off to the outside world. Doesn't matter if some ppl here like it - they are going to watch women's tennis anyway with or without the shrieks. It's the subject of most complaints in emails and letters every Wimbledon.
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  6. Finally - my biggest beef on this is not the players themselves who shriek. Bur the gutless WTA for not dealing with it and instructing the umpires to apply the hindrance rule.
 
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I've given you a good rep and it was done without me doing anything. It certainly wasn't intentional. I just came in and the screen just came up that I had. So I'll have to comment on this post because I don't agree with it - well not all of it.
  1. First: It's an unproven claim and pretty slanderous that players do it on purpose to deliberately cheat. I agree with you on that. In any case - it's unneccessary to accuse the players of that for the case that the WTA should put a stop to it.
    .
    Having said that:
    .
  2. Just because the WTA bury their heads in the sand and haven't done anything about it doesn't make it right. The spineless WTA are totally responsible for this fiasco.
    .
  3. It should not be up to players to protest. Just because the majority don't speak up doesn't mean they are not affected or happy with it. To claim that they don't mind is ridicuilous.
    .
  4. And to say they should complain if they are not happy about it is also ridiculous. Because if they do complain - they are attacked as whiners, poor losers, bad sports etc. and will get a whole load of media scrutiny they could do without.. They know that will cause them grief and be a distraction to playing tennis well. So they obviously remain silent even if they are affected by the shrieking and don't like it.
    .
  5. In addition - it discredits women't tennis. It's the butt of jokes. It's just a complete turn off to the outside world. Doesn't matter if some ppl here like it - they are going to watch women's tennis anyway with or without the shrieks. It's the subject of most complaints in emails and letters every Wimbledon.
    .
  6. Finally - my biggest beef on this is not the players themselves who shriek. Bur the gutless WTA for not dealing with it and instructing the umpires to apply the hindrance rule.
That's fine and your post makes sense (I agree with a lot of points actually). My biggest issue with this thread and the topic in general is that shriekers are often considered cheaters. I just hate that reasoning, especially when there's no real way of proving it.
 

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That's fine and your post makes sense (I agree with a lot of points actually). My biggest issue with this thread and the topic in general is that shriekers are often considered cheaters. I just hate that reasoning, especially when there's no real way of proving it.
:yeah:
 

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One of the questions has been how the practice could be stopped, given that so many players are now habitual screamers. Obviously to suddenly deem it hindrance overnight would severely inconvenience those players who currently do it out of habit. So some kind of period of notice would be needed. This would be my approach to dealing with it:

  • At the start of the season players are told that grunting/screaming in excess of 80 decibels when hitting the ball will be treated as deliberate hindrance with effect from the start of the next season at all WTA and grand slam events. This would give them a full year to adjust.
  • The rule would not apply to occasional, involuntary grunting or yelps of pain.
  • From July onwards (after Wimbledon), microphones will be installed below the centre of the net to measure the volume of players' grunting/screaming. If a player is louder than 80 decibels they will be informed by the umpire but no action taken. This is to assist them in moderating their howling in preparation for the following season.
  • From the start of the next season, players will get one warning per match before umpires start penalizing them for hindrance.
  • From July (after Wimbledon) they no longer receive a warning and are automatically penalized.

Obviously a different approach would be needed at challenger and junior events but players would still be warned and, if they continued to offend, penalised for excessive grunting/screaming.

On the question of whether or not players scream deliberately to put the opponent off, I really don't think it makes much difference. They must know that at least some of their opponents find it off-putting but they continue to do it. Even if their original intention was not to distract their opponent, they are more than happy to take advantage when they know it does.

Personally, I find it hard to fathom why a player should repeatedly scream well in excess of 90 decibels other than to put an opponent off. Remember, what comes out of your TV is nowhere near comparable with what comes out of the player's mouth. The loudest screamers are as loud as an ambulance siren. Repeatedly screaming as loud as that would seem to me to be something you would only do with a purpose.
 

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One of the questions has been how the practice could be stopped, given that so many players are now habitual screamers. Obviously to suddenly deem it hindrance overnight would severely inconvenience those players who currently do it out of habit. So some kind of period of notice would be needed. This would be my approach to dealing with it:

  • At the start of the season players are told that grunting/screaming in excess of 80 decibels when hitting the ball will be treated as deliberate hindrance with effect from the start of the next season at all WTA and grand slam events.
  • The rule would not apply to occasional, involuntary grunting or yelps of pain.
  • From July (after Wimbledon) onwards, microphones will be installed below the centre of the net to measure the volume of player's grunting/screaming. If a player is louder than 80 decibels they will be informed by the umpire but no action taken. This is to assist them in moderating their howling in preparation for the following season.
  • From the start of the next season, players will get one warning per match before umpires start penalizing them for hindrance.
  • From July (after Wimbledon) they no longer receive a warning and are automatically penalized.

Obviously a different approach would be needed at challenger and junior events but players would still be warned and, if they continued to offend, penalised for excessive grunting/screaming.

On the question of whether or not players scream deliberately to put the opponent off, I really don't think it makes much difference. They must know that at least some of their opponents find it off-putting but they continue to do it. Even if their original intention was not to distract their opponent, they are more than happy to take advantage when they know it does. Personally, I find it hard to fathom why a player should repeatedly scream well in excess of 90 other than to put an opponent off. Remember, what comes out of your TV is nowhere near comparable with what comes out of the player's mouth. The loudest screamers are as loud as an ambulance siren.

Excellent plan, which unfortunately at this point has a near-zero chance of being implemented (I'd say literally zero chance within the time frame you specified). Despite several prominent players speaking out on the issue, the WTA is still turning a deaf ear. For this reason the really pressing question is how to stir them into action. Fans, prominent ex-players and the media have been complaining for years, with zero effect, and the WTA has basically said it will only implement rules if there is strong pressure from the current players. I'm not optimistic that that's going to happen:

  • The fast track to action would be through the WTA players' council, but although Wozniacki is now on the council, she's accompanied by three grunters in the Williams sisters and Francesca Schiavone. As the most junior top-tier member she's got little or no chance of getting anything on the agenda that the other 3 won't support.
  • In theory there could be a kind of snowball effect, with more and more players voicing their objections until it reaches a point where the WTA can no longer ignore it. That's also unlikely due to the individualistic nature of the game. To the extent that players form friendships, they largely cut across the grunting/non-grunting divide, so speaking out has personal costs, and professional costs as well, since the grunters can exploit the knowledge that these players are affected by it. Better to keep your mouth shut, especially since your voice on its own will have little or no effect on the outcome (free-rider problem).
  • That leaves the possibility that people like Wozniacki and Jankovic to try to activly muster support among their peers. The free rider problem applies even more here so this is unlikely to happen.
Unless someone can come up with a way to get the ball rolling that I haven't thought of, it's not going to happen, despite the fact that there's more than enough latent support for action. Ideas anyone?
 
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