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Rule Changes tried out at the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals - The Tennis Podcast Polling Results

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

The future of the sport has been playing out this week (November 7-11) in the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, both in terms of the young players on court and the rule changes being tried out.

On the latest Tennis Podcast, presenters Catherine Whitaker (Eurosport) and David Law (BBC 5 Live, BT Sport) went through the rule changes, and delivered their verdicts while also polling their Twitter followers.

The final polling results were:

1. No line judges – Hawk-eye for all calls.

2. Best of five – four games in each set.

3. Tie break at three-all.

No poll carried out.

4. Sudden-death deuce points (i.e. no advantages).

5. No service lets – i.e. play continues as it would if there was a mid-point let.

6. Each match starts five minutes from entry of second player onto court.

7. A visible shot clock is in place to ensure 25-second rule between points.

8. A maximum of one medical timeout per per match.

No poll carried out.

9. End of set coaching via headsets to coaches.

10. Fans can move around during a match (except at baselines).

Listen to Catherine and David's verdicts here (23 minute clip):

Thirty30 Comment

Based on The Tennis Podcast polling results, the two rule changes being tried out at the ATP NextGen (Under 21) Event that polarized opinions the most were:

1. Best of five (sets) – four games in a set

i.e. First to 4 game sets over best-of-5. Like em?

Total votes cast = 666. Result: Yes = 73 (11%) and No = 593 (89%).

2. Sudden-death deuce points (i.e. no advantages).

i.e. No-advantage games. Like em?

Total votes cast = 792. Result: Yes = 103 (13%) and No = 689 (87%).

These two rule changes tried out are extremely unpopular.

4 game sets’ and ‘no-advantage games’ do not produce matches of increased intensity or improve the excitement/drama created during a match.

These two rule changes are in the 2017 ITF Rules of Tennis Appendix V - Alternative Scoring Methods, and are 2-out-of-the-4 'FAST4' rule changes that are included for the 'trial period' 2016-2017.

Will the FAST4 tennis format be part the 2018 ITF Rules of Tennis? We will find out soon.

The Thirty30 Tennis scoring method retains the ‘6 game sets (lead by 2)’ and the ‘advantage points’ rules. It is essential that these two rules are maintained.

Thirty30 Tennis produces matches that are more intense and creates more periods of excitement/drama during matches, i.e. five sets are completed in no more than ninety minutes.

Thirty30 Tennis produces shorter matches that FEEL, LOOK and SOUND like traditional tennis.

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