Now you all know I am a stickler for good tennis etiquette. Most recently, we reviewed a whole bunch of posts on this very topic: It's Just Common Tennis Etiquette!
But here's a situation that I haven't said anything about even though it comes up in a good three-quarters of the matches that I play. Specifically, what is the etiquette when you hit someone or almost hit someone with the ball when you are hitting the ball? You know what I mean? You're at the net, volleying right at the net person and you come within an inch or two of hitting her in the face. Or you slam an overhead back at your opponent's feet but you end up catching her in the thigh. You didn't do it on purpose but do you owe them an apology?
On the one hand, what harm does it do to apologize to someone for almost beaning them in the face, whether that apology is heartfelt or not? And the type of tennis we're talking about playing is fun tennis, right? So, arguably, you could apologize for just about anything that comes within your opponent's danger zone.
On the other hand, I am just a little bit competitive (as evidenced, for example, by the existence of this blog) as I'm sure you are. And I may actually be aiming the ball in my opponent's direction to win the point. Especially if she's right up at the net and doesn't have a lot of time to react. And if she doesn't react fast enough, well, she might get hit by the ball. And I really don't feel compelled to apologize for that. I mean, at some point you have to see the obvious shot that's coming and get out of the way, right?
So, here are the hard and fast rules I'm following regarding apologizing:
- If I hit you, I'm probably going to apologize. Unless you've previously hit me and not apologized.
- If I come pretty darn close to hitting you but I don't, I probably won't apologize. Especially if you're being a real &*!%$ during our match.
And, by the way, I'm noticing when I play at higher levels, there aren't a whole heck of a lot of apologies flying around.
Am I wrong here? Do you think you might as well apologize for everything? Or are you never apologizing ever? Let me know. Maybe I'll stop apologizing altogether.
© Kim Selzman 2009
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