As I've noted, I try to play racquetball every weekday. It's a pretty civilized gathering. We can usually agree on whether a shot or serve is good or not, and when we can't, we just play it over.
Last week, we were playing doubles. My partner and I won the first game rather handily, but in the second game, one of our opponents was making unreturnable three-corner shots. Also, I wasn't picking up the ball well, missing makeable returns. This was somewhat frustrating, but that is just the way it goes.
Then, as they were leading 9-3, my partner returned a shot. Well, WE thought he'd returned it. The other side saw it differently, but instead of just replaying the point, as tradition would dictate, their side declared that the ball had bounced twice and that it was their point, making it 10-3.
This made me VERY ANGRY.
It wasn't the single point, it was the fact that social contract had been violated. But my anger wasn't arguing the decision type, it was the seething "what a crock THAT was", stomach-churning near-rage.
They eventually got to 14-3 in a 15-point, win by 2, game before finally losing the serve. I served, and suddenly, they couldn't touch it. Maybe I was focusing more, perhaps I was hitting it harder. Whatever happened, we got to 14-14 on my 11 consecutive successful serves. My partner served, and it was 15-14. They tied it at 15, but we got the next two points to win 17-15.
I was fascinated by all of this: just how ticked I got and how well I was able to channel it into SportsCenter-worthy comeback. Self-discovery is such a joy.