As I’m sure you’re all aware, the NCAA, ITA, and NAMBLA have finally teamed up to implement some widely popular rule changes in Division I tennis, which will be implemented throughout the 2015 Spring season this year. Foolish traditionalists somehow managed to prevent the far more knowledgeable NCAA from instituting 10-point tiebreakers for the 3rd set, but two key changes will be implemented next season:
1) Doubles play will consist of three regulation sets to 6 with a tiebreaker at 6-all.
2) All play will feature thrilling “no-ad” scoring in both singles and doubles
Undoubtedly, these changes will make college tennis more exciting, as a no-ad doubles point in the first game could end up deciding the doubles set right off the bat! The rule changes will also weed out those pesky 3-hour singles matches that nobody likes to see. The only question is: is it enough?
Though the no-ad points will surely be exciting and everyone will welcome shorter matches, college tennis still feels a little too “tennis-y” to me. We need some rule-changes to make tennis less like tennis and more like our more popular pastimes. We need more excitement and more violence. Accordingly, here are my proposed rule changes for the spring of season 2016:
Amendment XII: If, during the course of a point, any player manages to strike his/her opponent with the ball before it lands in an out-of-bounds position (commonly referred to as a “peg”), that player shall be awarded three (3) points. These points may carry over to subsequent games or sets.
Imagine. A player serving at 4-5, 40-15 hits an ill-advised approach and BOOM!!! PEGGED. The returner gets three (3) points, and, with no-ad scoring, the set is over! It doesn’t get any more exiting than that. Now imagine the flipside: it’s a no-ad point (Yessssss) and the server tags the returner on the fly with his/her first serve. Not only does he win the game, but he takes a love-30 lead in the subsequent returning game! The fans will not leave the edges of their seat, and this rule will shorten matches. That’s what we call a twofer.
Postulate C, subsection ii: A player with zero (0) points shall no longer be said to be at “love.” All instances of the word “love” in tennis shall be replaced with “hate.”
I think American fans are sick of all this lovey-dovey crap in tennis. If you don’t have any points, you should hate it. For the “purists” who would try to inform me some obscure origin of “love” in tennis, let me counter with: I DON’T CARE! SHUT YOUR FACE!
Corollary 3, paragraph ii, line 1: All female players shall henceforth be required to play in shorts matching the specifications of volleyball shorts. All male players shall henceforth be required to play without a shirt regardless of weather.
I admit that this rule is a little dangerous, but I think we can all agree that college tennis needs a little more sex appeal.
Rule 137.89a: Any set ending in a 6-1 score shall henceforth result in the winning player receiving two (2) “butts up” serves on his/her opponent. Any set ending in a 6-0 score shall henceforth result in the winning player receiving four (4) “butts up” serves on his/her opponent. In doubles, winning players shall receive two (2) and four (4) serves on each of their opponents for 6-1 and 6-0 sets, respectively.
subsection ii: Any “butts up” serve shall be conducted as thus: the serving player shall serve from behind the baseline. The receiving player may either sit or stand with both feet touching the service line on the other side of the net. Male players are permitted to position their racquet between their legs. Any injuries sustained during a “butts up” serve are not eligible for an injury time out.
Think about it. Boring sets too much of a problem? Not any more. Tanking will no longer be an issue. Winning players will no longer coast through sets after gaining one or two break leads. Fans will be riveted as overmatched players fight and claw to get two games. Sure, a little time will be wasted on the serves, but it’s worth it to ensure that the points that are played are worth watching. Plus, the lack of injury timeouts adds an element of strategy for the server, especially if there’s a 6-1 set in doubles. Imagine trying to incapacitate your opponent for singles after destroying them in doubles! Thrilling stuff!
Rule 9, Appendix 13, subappendix 18: All changeovers shall henceforth be considered “full contact.” “Full contact” rules shall apply only in the time between when an odd game ends and when one player touches the baseline on the opposite side of the court. If, after 90 seconds, players have not switched sides, “full contact” rules end and players must immediately switch sides without getting a drink or coaching. Coaching shall no longer be aloud during mid-set changeovers. Set changeovers shall remain “non-contact,” and coaching will be aloud.
This rule is phenomenal in a number of ways! Imagine smaller players forgoing water breaks to sprint to the other side and touch the baseline! Imagine a new breed of tennis “enforcers” who are put in just to injure opponents during doubles (which doesn’t really matter anyway). This rule is so awesome that I cannot even remotely contain my excitement. The only problem is that there would be no time for commercial breaks.
There you have it tennis fans. With these few suggestions, tennis can become more like football or basketball like we’ve always wanted it to be. Feel free to leave your praises in the comments and suggest more awesome rule changes that I can include in my proposal.
Happy summer! In all seriousness, we will actually be doing a Q&A with Collette Lewis on her thoughts on the Proposed DI Rule Changes. She has interviewed countless top players as well, so it will be interesting to get their thoughts.
Season is almost here!