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View Full Version : Hitting serves that are out


Mazilla2219
02-24-2009, 05:45 AM
Background info, I just started to play in USTA league play, before this it was just recreational play. I have notice that on serves that are obviously out I usually can call these right after the ball has landed, but sometimes I catch myself hitting a serve that is out before I can yell anything. It seems that my swing reaction is quicker than my assessment of the serve, usually on the heaters. Would most of you just play the point and just write off the return even if it is out or would you call a late wide or long call? I usually just play it even though I kick myself afterwards, if I knew that it was out.

pmerk34
02-24-2009, 06:20 AM
Background info, I just started to play in USTA league play, before this it was just recreational play. I have notice that on serves that are obviously out I usually can call these right after the ball has landed, but sometimes I catch myself hitting a serve that is out before I can yell anything. It seems that my swing reaction is quicker than my assessment of the serve, usually on the heaters. Would most of you just play the point and just write off the return even if it is out or would you call a late wide or long call? I usually just play it even though I kick myself afterwards, if I knew that it was out.

If you play USTA long enough you will learn that close means out.

blakesq
02-24-2009, 07:40 AM
As long as you aren't delaying the call, you can call the ball out as you are hitting the ball, or even after you hit the ball, especially if the ball is coming at you very fast. I just played a 4.0 doubles match last night, and it seems like at least 25% of all first serve returns were called "out" after the returner has already made contact with the ball. Perfectly legal, as long as you are not delaying your call.

I would NOT play the point, I would call the ball out as soon as I can, but sometimes you have to call the ball out AFTER you already hit it.


Background info, I just started to play in USTA league play, before this it was just recreational play. I have notice that on serves that are obviously out I usually can call these right after the ball has landed, but sometimes I catch myself hitting a serve that is out before I can yell anything. It seems that my swing reaction is quicker than my assessment of the serve, usually on the heaters. Would most of you just play the point and just write off the return even if it is out or would you call a late wide or long call? I usually just play it even though I kick myself afterwards, if I knew that it was out.

larry10s
02-24-2009, 08:13 AM
call out circle the mark if on clay. second serve. i have noticed that often in those circumstances i hit a great return ( because it doesnt count) so my opponent is happy the return did not count!

LeeD
02-24-2009, 08:29 AM
If you see the ball is out, the ball is out whether you hit a great return or dump it into the net. Period.

Jim A
02-24-2009, 09:58 AM
don't worry about it you may feel bad about giving a late call but it happens, especially when playing someone who is serving/hitting near the lines

LuckyR
02-24-2009, 11:37 AM
Seperate in your mind the fact that the ball is truly in or out, from the idea that a timely call is prefered.

Call the balls correctly as soon as you can, even if it seems later than average. It is completely reasonable to hit a return in earnest (since that is what you are gearing up to do) only to realize in midswing that the ball landed out.

SlapShot
02-25-2009, 11:35 AM
If you see the ball is out, the ball is out whether you hit a great return or dump it into the net. Period.

Technically, the rule is that the call must be made before the return is hit or lands out of play.

callitout
02-25-2009, 01:41 PM
Technically, the rule is that the call must be made before the return is hit or lands out of play.

Your point seems wrong in spirit and practice. In fact, it is inconsistent with USTA own supernats for juniors which I have seen many times...where they have a single chair umpire, but players call their own lines prior to semis. The chair will overrule blatantly incorrect calls, but the players call their own shots. As for the serve returns with serves typically being hit about 105mph at that level, it is virtually impossible to move to the ball hit, be ready to hit it, and make the call in the millisecond between landing just out and hitting it. I've never seen this pattern of hit first then call out even questioned let alone called.
Obviously if you had a situation in which you hit a lob as the guy was coming in, and you waited to see if it landed in or out, then you would be in violation of the basic spirit of the rules that you shouldnt get 2 chances to win the same point. But otherwise the basic pattern with a hard server is hit and call just after hitting. Usually it is a finger pointed into the air after hitting to be clear to the chair umpire.

SlapShot
02-25-2009, 01:49 PM
Your point seems wrong in spirit and practice. In fact, it is inconsistent with USTA own supernats for juniors which I have seen many times...where they have a single chair umpire, but players call their own lines prior to semis. The chair will overrule blatantly incorrect calls, but the players call their own shots. As for the serve returns with serves typically being hit about 105mph at that level, it is virtually impossible to move to the ball hit, be ready to hit it, and make the call in the millisecond between landing just out and hitting it. I've never seen this pattern of hit first then call out even questioned let alone called.
Obviously if you had a situation in which you hit a lob as the guy was coming in, and you waited to see if it landed in or out, then you would be in violation of the basic spirit of the rules that you shouldnt get 2 chances to win the same point. But otherwise the basic pattern with a hard server is hit and call just after hitting. Usually it is a finger pointed into the air after hitting to be clear to the chair umpire.

I didn't really explain the rule all that well. You can call the serve out prior to your return being hit by the other player (so the return of the return) or prior to your return landing out of play (basically ending the point).

Nellie
02-25-2009, 02:06 PM
Well, it seems to me that if you hit and call the ball out at almost the same time, you should be okay. But if you delay to determine whether, for instance, the ball is hit long, your call is too late.

woodrow1029
02-26-2009, 09:24 AM
I didn't really explain the rule all that well. You can call the serve out prior to your return being hit by the other player (so the return of the return) or prior to your return landing out of play (basically ending the point).
The call needs to be made promptly. So, you can call it before, during, or just after your return.

You can't throw up a lob, wait 3 seconds, then call it out just before the server hits his next shot. That's too late.

Mazilla2219
02-26-2009, 10:15 AM
So this is my situation, again usually on fast serves:
The ball has bounce on the ground, hit my stringbed and is leaving my racket as I realize the ball is out. At this time is it appropriate to call it out?

Spokewench
02-26-2009, 11:06 AM
So this is my situation, again usually on fast serves:
The ball has bounce on the ground, hit my stringbed and is leaving my racket as I realize the ball is out. At this time is it appropriate to call it out?


Yes, as long as you call it immediately

pmerk34
02-26-2009, 06:34 PM
Yes, as long as you call it immediately

In USTA if it's close it's called out period. The amount of cheating that goes on in this so called gentlemens sport is insane.

Spokewench
02-27-2009, 12:05 PM
In USTA if it's close it's called out period. The amount of cheating that goes on in this so called gentlemens sport is insane.

What has this got to do with what I said? I said if I am receiving and the serve is served to me and it is out of the box, then if I hit it, I need to immediately call out or put up my finger or whatever. I was not talking about a close call that might be in or out; I was talking about an out ball.

Other people who play USTA can do whatever they want; I try to play fairly and call my balls fairly to the best of my ability. Do I make mistakes, sure everyone does; but on the whole, I trust that I am not cheating when I make my calls.

spoke
spoke

pmerk34
02-27-2009, 12:39 PM
What has this got to do with what I said? I said if I am receiving and the serve is served to me and it is out of the box, then if I hit it, I need to immediately call out or put up my finger or whatever. I was not talking about a close call that might be in or out; I was talking about an out ball.

Other people who play USTA can do whatever they want; I try to play fairly and call my balls fairly to the best of my ability. Do I make mistakes, sure everyone does; but on the whole, I trust that I am not cheating when I make my calls.

spoke
spoke

You are not one of the cheaters.

blakesq
02-27-2009, 02:01 PM
No problem with calling it out then, or even a second or so later, if it takes you that long to call it out. But don't delay a second or two on purpose. Call it as soon as you are able.


So this is my situation, again usually on fast serves:
The ball has bounce on the ground, hit my stringbed and is leaving my racket as I realize the ball is out. At this time is it appropriate to call it out?

Geezer Guy
02-28-2009, 02:42 PM
In USTA if it's close it's called out period. The amount of cheating that goes on in this so called gentlemens sport is insane.

I've been playing USTA tennis for maybe 12 years, and I haven't noticed any more cheating in my USTA matches than in my non-USTA matches. Actually, I've known several guys that had a pretty good non-USTA winning record, but nobody wanted them on their USTA teams because they were known cheaters.

OrangePower
02-28-2009, 07:05 PM
So this is my situation, again usually on fast serves:
The ball has bounce on the ground, hit my stringbed and is leaving my racket as I realize the ball is out. At this time is it appropriate to call it out?

Yes it is entirely appropriate. Assuming of course that the call is being made entirely based on where the serve was seen to land, and in no part based on the quality of the return.

I've been playing USTA tennis for maybe 12 years, and I haven't noticed any more cheating in my USTA matches than in my non-USTA matches. Actually, I've known several guys that had a pretty good non-USTA winning record, but nobody wanted them on their USTA teams because they were known cheaters.

Yes I would agree - for the most part I've been impressed with the honesty of line calling in USTA matches. Maybe at more competetive higher levels it is more of an issue, but at 4.0 I've found most people to be quite fair.