The Code Violations in Tennis

Under the Grand Slam rules in tennis, coaching during the match is prohibited (ATP Code). It is a Code violation, and for the first code violation, players get a warning. Under those same rules, racket abuse is also prohibited.

i) Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw a
racquet or other equipment within the precincts of the tournament site.
For purposes of this rule, abuse of racquets or equipment is defined as
intentionally, dangerously and violently destroying or damaging racquets
or equipment or intentionally and violently hitting the net, court, umpire’s
chair or other fixture during a match out of anger or frustration.

Racquet abuse could get a warning as well, but if it is the second code violation by a player during a match, the second violation would be a point losss.

Under the Code, Players may disagree with officials:

Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with ATP policies are not prohibited. However, public comments that one of the stated persons above knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation or financial best interests of a tournament, player, sponsor, official or ATP are expressly covered by this section.

However, disagreement by players has its limits. For example, it is a Code violation for a player to engage in verbal abuse. Verbal abuse is defined under the code as “s statement about an official, opponent, sponsor, spectator, or other person that implies dishonesty or is derogatory, insulting, or otherwise abusive.”

For a first violation, players could receive a warning. For a second violation, players could lose a point. For a third violation in the same match, the penalty could be the loss of one game, which could mean the loss of a match.

In 2016, Carlos Ramos, a tennis umpire, issued a code violation to Andy Murray because he believed Mr. Murray had called him a “stupid umpire.” Murray responded that he had said, “Stupid umpiring,” and not “stupid umpire.” “Stupid” whether coupled with with “umpire” or “umpiring” is derogatory.

Serena Williams called Carlos Ramos a “liar” and a “thief” and also received a code violation. “Liar” and “thief” do not imply dishonesty. They are labels of dishonesty. She was given a one-game penalty, which Ms. Williams decried as unfair and an example of male players getting away with more than what she did. Actually, male players have been known to scream at refs, but they were not calling umpires “liars” and “thieves.” In fact, most penalties are assessed against men. As for the level of the penalties, it all depends on the number of the player’s violations per match. By the third code violation in the same match, an umpire could impose a warning, a one-point loss, or a one-game penalty. The application is not unfair. Sometimes cries of unfairness have resulted because of a lack of accurate information. Ms. Williams is comparing apples and oranges. Facts prove the umpire was correct and was just following the rules. New concept in this era.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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