The Charge: Not using your ‘funny’ side during the 2 minute warmup is bad sportsmanship
The Clerk of the Court speaks:
Your Honour, the case to be heard today is a class action put forward by members of ‘Speed Gluers Anonymous’ (SGA), who claim that members of ‘The Junk Users Unite Now Collective’ (JUUNC) are causing the SGA members severe emotional distress by JUUNC members malicious refusal to use the ‘funny’ side of their bat in the two minute warmup.
he SGA members are hereby seeking damages in the order of the removal of the offending rubbers from combination bats around the land, and the mandatory use of Bryce on both sides of the bat by all members of JUUNC. Banning of all penholders would be nice too, but is secondary in importance.
The Case for the Defence(!)
M’lud, as a medium pimpled rubber user of over 10 years standing, I am here today to refute these claims by the SGA members, and in turn to seek an injunction preventing these members from using or inhaling any speed glue until 2008. If it pleases your honour, I will now proceed with my defense.
To begin with, I call myself to the stand, your Honour. Slightly unconventional, I know, but I believe I have important testimony to make on behalf of my fellow combination bat players. [excited buzz around the courtroom]
I must admit, your honour, that I do not use the ‘funny’ side of my bat during the two minute warmup. [cries of ‘Shame!’ and hissing from members of the SGA seated in the courtroom] No, it’s true, and I am not ashamed at all. You see, I do so in order to spare my opponents from emotional distress, not cause it! [gasps of disbelief and boos from the crowd, stopped only by the judge crying ‘Order!’ and banging his gavel]
Judge Sahara speaks:
That will be enough of that, thank you very much – the next person to interrupt the proceedings of this court will be taken outside and forced to multiball for an hour. The defence may carry on, if you please.
Thank you, m’lud. As I was saying, the reason I only use the normal side of my bat during the warmup period is to spare my opponent from mental trauma. While warming up with my opponent I want to hit as many balls as possible in the time allowed to let us both loosen up a bit and get a feel for the table and bounce of the ball, etc. Hitting with the smooth side of my bat instead of the pimples allows my opponent and I to hit counter-drives quickly and easily, so we both get to hit more balls. If I was to use my medium pimples my opponent would find it difficult to hit his counterdrives consistently, and the result would be a poorer quality warmup for both of us, and considerable frustration for my opponent, who may be expecting to have a decent warmup hit.
Now, I’m not saying that some combination bat players don’t hide the funny rubber on purpose, just that sometimes we have other reasons as well (the cheap points are just a bonus!!) [Laughter in the court] And of course, m’lud, it is hardly fair to penalise the many upstanding members of JUUNC for the actions of the sneaky few, is it? After all, where is the outcry to ban all speedgluing, since some players use illegal glues?
To return to my point, I’m quite happy to hit with my pimples if my opponent puts the ball on the other side of the table. It’s not going to help him get used to them very much though – I mainly use the pimples to chop the ball, and when I do hit with them, it’s more of a loop stroke than a counterdrive.
If it would please the court, I would now like to call the head of SGA, Mr S.P.I’Nee, to the stand. [Mr I’Nee is sworn in – ‘Do you agree to use water based glues, wholly water based glues, and no glues with toxic solvents?’ ‘I do, so help me God.’]
Very well, Mr S.P.I’Nee, I have a few questions for you – perhaps you would be so kind as to answer these for the benefit of the court?
Question 1: Seeing as I mainly chop with my medium pimples, am I therefore obligated to go back and chop a few with them during the warmup, so my opponent can see how my chop with pimples works? If so, as a defender, am I allowed to demand that my opponent loop a few to me so I can try out my chops against his loops?
Question 2: Exactly how much control are you allowed to have over what your opponent does in the warm-up? If my opponent is allowed to request that I use my medium pimples, what else can he request? Can I be forced to hit the balls where my opponent would like them? Can he request how hard I hit them, or with how much spin? Can I request that he show me his best serves that he is going to use to try to set up his third ball attacks?
Question 3: What if I decided to skip the warm-up altogether? Can I be forced to hit some balls with my opponent? The only relevant rule that I can see is Law 188.8.131.52, which says that “Players are entitled to practise on the match table for up to 2 minutes immediately before the start of a match….” What if I don’t want a warm-up at all? Or if I want to hit up with my own practice partner? What happens then?
Question 4: Exactly how much of the practice period should a combination bat player use his funny rubber for? If, for example, he is a penholder who only uses the pimples on the back side of the bat once or twice a match, surely he would only have to hit it once or twice in the warmup? Or maybe if he only hits with the pimples for 10% of the warmup, he can only use the pimples for 10% of the match? If so, who is responsible for keeping track of this proportion?
Any reply at all, Mr I’Nee? No? In that case, M’Lud, the defence rests… [much cheering and clapping from a small but vocal JUUNC supporter’s group, who are surrounded by the overwhelming numbers of SGA supporters]
The Clerk of the Court speaks:
It is now time for the prosecution to put their case.
[The courtroom goes silent as Mr Techno Logee, the lawyer for the prosecution, gets up to put his case…]
[To be continued…]
Will Mr Logee make his case? Is there even a case to answer? Got an opinion? Why not post a comment? One thing is for sure, as a combination bat user, I’m not going to help out the SGA!!