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Re(1): Question for Stu

Thank you for this question. The answer is a bit involved.

As you know management has elected to form our doubles teams by pairing a strong or "stronger" player with a weaker player. Last year some of the differences were pronounced. An unintended consequence of this decision was that some of the more dominant players played the entire court with their partners standing off to the side. We worked on correcting this during the off season but when there is so much championship prize money on the line (over $30k between our 3 doubles championships this year) dominant players are motivated to take control of the court and the weaker players are too often willing to let them.

The comment you reference refers to guidance given to the players whereby backcourters are dissuaded from moving forward of the 7 line and frontcourters are dissuaded from going behind the 9 line by instruction of management. Judges on the court have nothing to do with supervising this and there are no penalties nor violation calls which would be made during a game. If a player is found to be in violation of the "rule" they may receive a warning or have one or more wins deducted from their cumulative wins which are counted towards the championship. Its very much a judgment call of management which is made after the fact, while reviewing video. To date we've had a couple of warnings but no wins have been subtracted.

We walk a delicate line between ongoing training and performance as a new program with new players. Moreover our players are developing at different rates based on the same training. In order to have 8 post doubles its necessary to mix players of sometimes vastly different experience and we are constantly training and practicing. The process even finds its way into my announcing as I will sometimes try to trigger a thought of something we have worked-on with a player while they are on the court. For instance it may sound like I'm trying to point out a stylish "one-handed grab" when it happens (LOL) but what our players hear is me yelling in the practice "Use Two Effing Hands On Your Left Side - You Don't Style Points!"


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