Archive for Some fun

Miscommunication: late arrival

It was the middle of December 2012, and we were playing in the middle of our three month and ten matches long season.

It’s Pumpkin’s freshman year in college who gets home in a record time from school and we decide to take in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I thought they’d like 3D (at 7:00 pm) but they prefer 2D (6:30 pm). It isn’t my type of movie but I tried to glue to the seat, to be there with them. However, mid way into the adventure, my phone begins to shake: emails, texts and voice calls pouring in like broken dam, unstoppable.
All from my teammates: one of my First Doubles players is late.
Getting a call right before a match, is like a phone rings in the middle of the night: nothing but nightmare.

  • The First Chauffeur is texting: where to pick up our two teammates
  • The acting captain is calling because the opposing captain asked him to move our 1D to 3D due to lateness.
  • The Second Chauffeur is texting and calling ..

Because the match is held at the bubble which is a good 5-10 minutes walk from the main building, in the dark so I asked one of my mates who drives to pick up the two mates who take subway. I just could not bear the thought that they walk in the dark. (Not sure if the Metro league knew/cared, they should really not to schedule matches, especially for the Manhattan league in the bubble.) When Mr. First didn’t respond I asked Mr. Second. Now Mr. Second is risking being late too. When they finally get hold of everyone, it’s obvious that 1D will be good 10 minutes late.

By the way, it’s an violation to use any electronic device on court – may constitute coaching!  The Metro league credits each court with the following number system:
1D = 6 points
2D = 4
3D = 3
Obviously 1D worth twice as many points as the 3D. Moving my 1D to 3D, the opposing team, presumably has a clear advantage on paper. I am furious. In my past experience, we just waited till the opposing team’s player(s) to show up. I’ve never asked them to switch the line up – the thought has never occurred to me because it isn’t a decent thing to do. I want to win fair and square.
Time is ticking.
I exit the movie twice to handle the situation. My acting captain finally give up arguing and says that he keeps telling the opposing captain that the missing player will arrive before the cut off time. He says he’ll do whatever the opposing captain wishes because the short 1.5 hour is diminishing very fast.
12 minutes pass the starting time, my running late mate steps on to the court. Match starts.
The movie (2:46) ends at around 9:15. My daughter asks me if I felt asleep.
Yes I did a little. It isn’t my cup of tea, and my mind was on the team.
They ask why did I have to go out, twice.
I went to the bathroom, I fabricate.
My kids enjoy it very much.
I feel sorry that my mates have to face so much chaos and stress. I call as soon as the pendulum strikes 10.
My 2D reports: we won.
Then my acting skipper says simply: we swept.
I am so pleased. No pleased isn’t the right word. Vindicated? Relief?
As I’m on the phone, I hear a woman’s voice screaming in the background, clear enough to make out that she’s going to appeal.
Appeal of what? My team did exact what you wanted them to do.
痛打落水狗 is never my style. But I’d like to know if the opposing captain has the right to force my team to switch. The flight coordinator replies:

You are supposed to exchange scorecards 5 min before the match and if all the players have not arrived yet then the missing player should be moved to 3D (in case of a default). That is in the rules too.  Your opposing captain is correct.

A seasoned captain weights in:

It clearly states that a default must occur from the bottom up (3rd dbls first everyone else moves up), but only  after the end of the warm-up period. It also states elsewhere that the warm-up period can be 15 minutes. Since the player showed up in 12 minutes, no movement was required. The fact that you did was quite gracious.

The rule on page 3 says:

Default: when player listed on the scorecard fails to show within 15 minutes after the match time.* Players arriving onto the assigned court more than 15 minutes after the match start time may be defaulted at the discretion of the opposing captain (having been so advised before the start of match play on that court.)
Scorecards must be exchanged simultaneously between captains AT LEAST 5 minutes prior to the match start time. Teams must present a line up at this time, even if all players are not yet present**.

**Defaults MUST occur from the bottom up. If a doubles player is missing at the end of the warm-up, the line-up MUST be adjusted and that team put into the 3rd doubles position. The 2nd and 3rd doubles teams will be moved up 1 position – no other changes in either teams’ line-up are allowed. 3rd doubles MUST be the court defaulted.

The rule indicates only when 15 minutes of default time reaches. There is no rule to support when a player arrives late but within 15 minutes.

The way I read this the switch doesn’t occur until the 15 minute default time has lapsed. Therefore if a player (in the 1st or 2nd position) is late on either team, none of the matches should start until the default deadline is reached to accommodate the switch.

The coordinator writes back:

Please read the footnote…it says that the default must occur in 3rd doubles. So most captains make the adjustment before the warm up if their player is missing. It’s just easier than having to interrupt the matches, does that make sense?

Since your captain didn’t know the rules then the courts stand as they were played last night.

Few more emails exchanged. Finally, on 12/20 the coordinator admits:

Bottom line is (and this is what the majority of captains put into practice when interpreting the rule) if you don’t know where your player is – you should move them. If you are sure they are arriving on time – then leave the line-up as is and take the risk.

The arriving on time should change to arriving within 15 minutes.

Miscommunication? Maybe.
Arrive late? Inexcusable.
How’s the movie? What movie?

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Friends with benefits

It’s really a learning experience when I began to organize season courts and practices. I had winter group in the past, with mostly my neighbors, it was rather easy. But this season it’s NOT. To make the season I ended up having a few players whom I know but don’t know: knew them on court but never dealt with them off the court before.

Due to Sandy, we have a few make up sessions. One group re-scheduled on three Sundays and since I wasn’t there, they wondered if I’m short changing them with balls. I really thanked him for bring this to my attention. And

When I asked them to switch to Bay so we could have more courts at the same time for our teammates in Dec and Feb, the group leader finally got back to me after nearly a week, and demanded: ” .. what benefit will we be getting for switching? You know I’m fine but some my mates may asking, or they may even think that I’m getting some benefit from you personally .. ”

I’m really really speechless .. and kind of angry .. so I told him: no problem if you are NOT willing to accommodate. I’m asking is because I think we’re friends and I get you guys a good deal for the season. Of course I did not forget to thank him for taking the courts in a timely fashion so we could all have a season.

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During the dinner, as so coincident, Golfer mentioned shenanigans: I told him about one tennis club says one thing then does totally another. To reciprocate, he entertained me with his ice hockey and golf clubs’ shenanigans. As if it goes with the territory that many sports clubs are not run by the professionals but probably by a brother’s in-law’s nephew’s second cousin?

Just as we were talking – I’m not making this story up – a mate called me up to say,
“I texted you to say John is ill, can’t come.” Dear John’s a potential replacement.
We’ve five courts and 19 players.
“Oh .. NO .. I didn’t get your text.” I said, very positively.
My first instinct is .. go to play. But I really can’t.
10 some fanatic calls followed for a sub.
I re-read our text message. Honest to lord, I still didn’t get it.
After dinner, I asked a facebook friend to show me how to take a snapshot of iPhone’s screen, then proceeded to do so – wanting to prove my innocence. It’s only during the brief editing in Paint – wanted to white out friends names – did I saw the word ill then recall, YES, I saw it when my friend texted me in the afternoon but I thought that’s a typo for in.
Does ill resemble in? Well, at that rushing moment, it did.
Truth’s, probably I’m just simply getting old.

Very sorry guys ..

Actually, I made a similar mistake not long ago: a friend text me “cant play at xx“. Apparently I misread cant as CAN, and directed two other player to xx while the texting player was waiting at location yy.

Our 7.0 tonight at Randall’s Island, won 1D but lost 2D and 3D to the first place team that has swept two previous outings. It’s a crisis too: I’ve 20 players on the roster but could only field one court. That’s a record. After begging, threatening and screaming, was I able to put a full line up. It’s NOT fun, it’s A work.

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A bump up

The second 7.0 match was a win, 2-1 (4-6, 2-4; 6-0, 6-2; 6-0, 4-3). The opponent put a 6.5 as the 2D while 7.0 for their 1D and 3D. I tho it’s common courtesy to line up your pairs according to their strength during the regular season, to give more competitive matches, even as on paper.


Dear :
The USTA National Regulations require each section adopt a policy to handle rating changes within the Early Start Leagues – which includes our Manhattan Mixed Doubles.
The Eastern Section’s policty is: “Players who are found to have valid computer ratings, after the appeal process, that place them above the NTRP level at which they are competing may continue their participation at the lower NTRP level UNLESS their year-end rating reached the clearly above level mark. If it did, they must adjust to that new NTRP level. Prior team matches played will be valid.”
Your year end rating of 4.0 places you clearly above level and you will not longer be allowed to participate as a 3.5. All matches from this point forward will be played at your new 4.0 rating.

(the coordinator)
LLC – Metro Region
USTA Eastern Section

My player’s 2012 season records is 3-3 in 7.0 flight and 0-1 in 8.0. This 2013 season, the player played only one match as 3.5 against 6.5 rating combo, won 6-0 and 6-2. I’m confused as why?

The coordinator sent me this link for info – Dynamic Ratings.

Deb (12/12/12):

Everyone has a dynamic rating – it is what is used to determine your year-end rating.

Self-raters are the only players for which you can file a self-rate grievance. All computer rated players are protected as their rating was determined by match results.

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The W Factor

An eventful day.
Sending the kids back to their paradises. They hugged me at parting,
“Mom, it’s only three weeks, we’ll be back.”
Still, it’s a sad moment for me, happy for them. The result of bad mothering.

Giants got annihilated last week by the Cincinnati Bengals (31-13). So, to show my moral support, with home made dip. As it turned out, they destroyed the Green Bay Packers to a 38-10 win (Eli Manning passed 249 yards). Oh well. It’s not nearly as exciting as my SNT.

Peacock Wai whose ring is frequently kissed by the previous organizers (yes, they even asked for his autograph .. !!), had a huge night:

Wai/Tony vs Ral/Dan: 6-0, 6-3
Wai/Gis vs Dan/Sachi: 6-1
Wai/Sachi vs Dan/Gis: 6-0

Ral is a former teaching pro who’s in shape and extremely competitive. Extracting a bagel out of him is no small feat. Reportedly the Pro got upset again by a questionable line call made by the girl, surrendered the set at 3 after the 3-1 lead. Actually the same girl has made a line call that was reversed by her partner. So, it seems she isn’t the cheating type but not as sharp as many 4.0 guys.

Later I spoke with the girl who couldn’t even remember the incidents.
“I really had good time playing, perhaps didn’t even notice.” She felt that her opponents had no chance of winning and went on to say, “when the ball is on my side of the court, I hope my opponents respect my line call because I have a closer view.”

It’s better to air the dispute right away, so all involved could solve it immediately. Especially on the har tru surface, the mark might still be traceable.

Another bad news is, one of my mates popped his Achilles about 40 minutes into the two-hour long play. Aouch .. Speedy recovery J!

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Decisions, decisions

We took a team vote on whether to default the non registered player. One mate reasoned that we shouldn’t:


When you exchanged the lineups, was his name listed on the roster on the scorecard?
If it was, then there is no issue and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
If it wasn’t, then WE should have noticed that and questioned why he’s playing.
Since he played “in good faith” and we didn’t object, then I think we’re stuck with the result.

This mate has a point. His name was not listed on the roster on the scorecard but I did not notice his name was missing until I began to entering the score: I don’t scrutinize the scorecard nor do I read anything.

On that match day, the opposing team was a little late. By 7:55, I asked 2D lady if they were ready to exchange the lineup. She said she wasn’t the captain but knew the lineup. I asked if she could write it down so we could exchange. As I was looking for a piece of paper, the 1D arrived, and handed me the lineup (I couldn’t remember he wrote it up on the spot or had it written.) that with only the last name of their six players.

Once we exchanged, as usual I put it aside. The reason is: I don’t comb the opponents, so there is no need to see who’s playing us. Beside, Roger Federer, from time to time, may have an off day. So, why bother?

After about ten or fifteen minutes, Jenn came to me and asked what are their ratings. I was chatting with the opposing captain. I looked at the lineup sheet, the penmanship is hard to read, so I asked OC. She provided me a few, plus their first names, I found a few myself from the scorecard. Now come to think, I remembered that I didn’t find the unregistered 2D (obviously), nor the 2D girl; the OC gave me their first names. I didn’t suspect anything, because either I did not read it thoroughly (failing to find their names), or they could have registered after we printed the score card – the deadline is good till 1/1/2013.

I found him missing from the team roster was only when I was entering the scores. I knew unregistered player is ineligible to play. But I could not believe that a seasoned captain would fail to check on this simple requirement. So I sent the OC an email immediately at 12:56 am.

As to my masterful English and its reading skill: the missing player finally registered the following AM. When I entered the score again, I looked to the bottom of the list first but I didn’t find him there. My first thought was, on no, don’t tell me he failed again. I know, I know, it’s only a short list, with a little more than a dozen of names. But he used MD as his title – so the list showed his last name followed by MD.

Anyway, the OC didn’t reply till 9:54 pm after I pressed again, who wrote:

Ok, you can go ahead and just put in all the scores. He registered late, with everything going on with his home and business with the storm he forgot.

Making the story short, our team voted default. It’s not an easy decision to reach. Certainly one we wish we did not have to make. This is the second time we faced ineligible player issue.

I actually did not know how to enter a default score. Thought maybe only the league coordinator could do it, who replied:

If he played a match without being registered, it should be a default as he was an ineligible player. I think the OC said it was due to the storm. If that is acceptable to you and he is now registered, you can just enter the score. If not, out your players names in, enter 6-0, 6-0 and in the drop down box, put default.

Guess not. I did it myself. One more lesson learned.

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Friday night is back

I got a call from GNE to say they’re done draining the water, re-opening for business. That’s pretty on schedule.

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Hot pot for hot shots

Fukuoka Shabu Shabu
hot pot
45-68 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11355
(718) 661-1616

Street parking is not easy but manageable. There are kids, pretty noisy. Good meat, ingredients are fresh. The dark rice vinegar is bad, a fake one. $22 pp with Bek Se Ju 100 years old liquor (abt $10) and a Corona.

Only two hot shots showed up for work, we have a three some. Thanks Tony.

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Lipa COO resigns

After 10,000 signatures over the storm Sandy… we’ve got some accountability!

Today’s Wall Street Journal is reporting that Governor Cuomo is ordering an investigation of utilities post-Sandy. No doubt related, LIPA’s COO Michael Hervey resigned today.

Now we need to make sure Gov. Cuomo keeps the heat on LIPA. You can do that by calling his office at 518-474-8390 and telling him “Please keep pushing to make sure LIPA cleans up their act.”

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Ok, our first match is rescheduled

Due to the storm Sandy, our first match in both leagues were canceled. The Long Island region was hit particularly hard, rendered many players/teams under the water, metaphorically and figuratively. Many emails ensued, trying to decide to play or not to play. Many feel tennis will give the players a temporarily relief for two hours while others couldn’t even think about it. The LI league has decided to go forward, but makes it clear, take your time to reschedule – you don’t have to play the match now. Manhattan league has offered to opt out after the storm, but no team has taken that offer, I think.

I’ve informed all the teams that would play us at our home base that alternative location at Roslyn will be used, because GNE is under the water and could not be back on its feet for a month or so. The first match team’s captain said her mates are all affected. Initially, she said let’s get couple of dates to see if we both could make it. I told her to pick a date since I’m sure we’re pretty much available. When I heard nothing from her, I called. She said she’ll get back to me yesterday morning but didn’t; I called her yesterday late afternoon. She has a pair ready to go and herself. All she needs is a guy to make two courts. As of today, I only have 10 players, three 3.5 girls. So we agreed to play this Sunday. She’ll let me know 2 courts or 3 courts.

Having been in the dark for 13 days, I very much sympathize with her. After hanging up the phone, I feel bit like a jerk for pushing her, while she still works out of Starbucks. My players are all anxious to start to play, even we look very weak at the moment: three 3.5 girls only one 4.5 guy. Don’t know what to do with Dan the 3.5 and the 4.0s. This is our first 8.0.

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