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View Full Version : Time Limit to Call Serve Out


marcl65
11-16-2009, 12:21 PM
Is there a rule on how soon a serve (or any other shot I suppose) must be called out before it's considered "in"? I was playing a contentious doubles match where my opponents were seemingly playing fast and loose when calling serves.

For instance, I'd hit a serve that looked 2 feet long but the receiver's partner did not call it out and his partner blasted the return for a winner. Later, I hit another serve that was long but the receiver (same one as before) did not call it out *until* his partner had blasted the return into the net. I started noticing a pattern where the returner's partner seemed to withhold his "out" call depending on the quality of his partner's return.

A while ago someone told me that you have to call the ball before you hit it, otherwise it's considered in. But this doesn't seem realistic when dealing with fast serves.

blakesq
11-16-2009, 12:43 PM
You have to call it quick..but a fast serve and hard return will mean that ball has either gone over the net or into the net before a call can be made.

As the serving team, you must always be prepared to play as if your first serve was in (until the returning side calls it out), because you cannot call it out. Just because it looks out to you does not mean you should not play the ball.

You can always ask the other team if that serve was out, but you have to accept their answer.

There is no rule that you have to call the serve out before you hit it. And in fact if you are playing against a fast/hard server, its nearly impossible to do so.




Is there a rule on how soon a serve (or any other shot I suppose) must be called out before it's considered "in"? I was playing a contentious doubles match where my opponents were seemingly playing fast and loose when calling serves.

For instance, I'd hit a serve that looked 2 feet long but the receiver's partner did not call it out and his partner blasted the return for a winner. Later, I hit another serve that was long but the receiver (same one as before) did not call it out *until* his partner had blasted the return into the net. I started noticing a pattern where the returner's partner seemed to withhold his "out" call depending on the quality of his partner's return.

A while ago someone told me that you have to call the ball before you hit it, otherwise it's considered in. But this doesn't seem realistic when dealing with fast serves.

JavierLW
11-16-2009, 12:56 PM
Is there a rule on how soon a serve (or any other shot I suppose) must be called out before it's considered "in"? I was playing a contentious doubles match where my opponents were seemingly playing fast and loose when calling serves.

For instance, I'd hit a serve that looked 2 feet long but the receiver's partner did not call it out and his partner blasted the return for a winner. Later, I hit another serve that was long but the receiver (same one as before) did not call it out *until* his partner had blasted the return into the net. I started noticing a pattern where the returner's partner seemed to withhold his "out" call depending on the quality of his partner's return.

A while ago someone told me that you have to call the ball before you hit it, otherwise it's considered in. But this doesn't seem realistic when dealing with fast serves.

If it's really all that noticeable, I think it falls under this made up category:

The rules and especially the Code for unofficiated matches are really there with the intention that both players are playing honorably and are fair. If they are not, then there isnt much you can do about it in a lot of cases but think less of them.... (and not play them again if you have any control over that)

r2473
11-16-2009, 01:57 PM
I started noticing a pattern where the returner's partner seemed to withhold his "out" call depending on the quality of his partner's return.

Whatever the actual rule, this is what normally happens.

fe6250
11-16-2009, 02:41 PM
This is from "the code":

18. Prompt calls eliminate two chance option. A player shall make all
calls promptly after the ball has hit the court. A call shall be made either before the player’s return shot has gone out of play or before the opponent has had the opportunity to play the return shot.

Unfortunately this is not always practical or reasonable given the OP's situation. This may not even be desirable - especially when playing honorable people. On clay courts we often allow for a little more time on calls to inspect the mark and play it as if it is 'in' - however, I haven't seen anyone ever abuse it as being described by the OP.

kendall22
11-16-2009, 04:54 PM
Best thing to do is to tell them they cannot wait to see if their return is in before they call it out (if you get into a situation where you think it's fairly clear your serve was in and they seem to call it contingent on their return's outcome).

If they deny they are doing that, imply you don't believe them with one of those skeptical "uh huh"s but you have to go on and hope they take the hint.

retlod
11-16-2009, 08:05 PM
Grab a ball and go Serena on them.

goran_ace
11-17-2009, 06:27 AM
If you hit a serve that was obviously out and they played the return you should just stop the point and call the serve out yourself.

Geezer Guy
11-17-2009, 06:37 AM
If you hit a serve that was obviously out and they played the return you should just stop the point and call the serve out yourself.

Yeah, you really can't do that - but it's worth a try.

If they give you a bunch of grief over it, just call their return out.


Really, though, I've not seem anyone abuse this to the extent the OP describes. And making a bad call yourself just to make up for their bad call is NOT the way to go, normally. I'm just pointing it out as an option in an extreme case.

SlapChop
11-17-2009, 07:36 AM
I had a coach give a point to my opponent because I called the shot after I had hit the ball and my shot was traveling out, I delayed my call because the ball was close. I have made some calls too soon and had shots drop in that I thought would drop out so I take a split second longer in making the calls now, I think it agitates some people but I want to be as accurate with my calls as I can. Most of the time unless I am specifically planning for the ball to go out I hit the ball before I can make the call.