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View Full Version : What if player's racquet hits scorecard?


10SDad
10-06-2011, 12:59 PM
Saw a college match where one of the players hit the scorecard with her racquet on follow-through at the net. It was ruled that the scorecard was part of the net, so the ball striker lost the point, but I don't believe that is what would be the right interpretation from what I've read. It appears from USTA rules that anything attached to/above the net is considered a permanent fixture. USTA is clear that a ball striking a permanent fixture (they specifically give the example of a scorecard) is a loss of point by the ball striker. However, I don't see anything that indicates what happens if any part of the player or his/her racquet comes in contact with a permanent fixture during play. The only other consideration I can think of is that the opposing team could indicate such a situation was a distraction for them, either by noise/visual, or if the cards fall to the court. But in that case, I believe it would be played as a let. Anyone have any insights on this one? Our coach was not certain either.

6-2/6-4/6-0
10-06-2011, 05:24 PM
I have been under the impression that it is considered the same as the net post, not the net itself (ie. if you hit the net with the ball and it goes in, then it's 'in' / if you hit the net post with the ball it's 'out' / if you hit the net with your racket it's the other player's point / if you hit the net post with your racket the point continues). This is how I understood the rules, though I may be wrong... Never been in a situation where this became an issue...

goran_ace
10-06-2011, 06:36 PM
OP is correct about the permanent fixture ruling.

Q. I was in our club doubles final today, and a return of serve hit the score card and bounced on the court. Our opponents did not play the ball because they assumed it was out. Who wins the point?

A. Technically, the scorecard that is attached to the post really should not be there, according to the Rules of Tennis. If it is there, and a ball hits it, it is considered a permanent fixture, and the player or team that hit the scorecard loses the point.

http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Rules/Distractions-and-Interferences/Permanent_fixtures/

10SDad
10-07-2011, 06:06 AM
Interestingly, I had noticed in researching this that the ITF/USTA rules state that hitting the doubles net post is not a loss of point if the ball goes in, unless you are playing singles with singles sticks, in which case the net beyond the sticks as well as the post are then considered permanent fixtures.

From the same link referenced by Goran_ace:

Q. When playing doubles, I hit a ball that hit the net post and bounced in on the opponents' side. Do I get the point?

A. On the serve, it would be a fault. During a rally, if the ball hits the post, and lands in the court, it is a legal shot. If you are playing singles with singles sticks, the singles sticks are now considered the post and the same procedure applies. With single sticks in place, a ball off of the doubles post is NOT legal. Essentially, the singles sticks are now the “posts.”

And from the USTA rules:

USTA Comment 13.3: During a rally in a singles match played
on a doubles court without singles sticks, a player hits a shot that was going out until it hits the doubles post and careens into the proper court. Who wins the point? Every effort should be made to provide singles sticks for a match that is played on a doubles court so that this situation does not occur. If it does occur, the player who hit the shot wins the point because the entire doubles net and doubles posts are respectively the net and the net posts for this match.

blakesq
10-07-2011, 06:46 AM
I play indoors, and we have curtains between the courts. I have hit plenty a shots where the ball is heading towards the side curtain, and i swing my racket and actually push the curtain out of the way with my racket in order to hit the ball BEFORE the ball hits the curtain. I believe that that is proper. In my mind, its no different than when going for a low ball and your racket hits the ground before you hit the ball, still a good point. Am i wrong?

Saw a college match where one of the players hit the scorecard with her racquet on follow-through at the net. It was ruled that the scorecard was part of the net, so the ball striker lost the point, but I don't believe that is what would be the right interpretation from what I've read. It appears from USTA rules that anything attached to/above the net is considered a permanent fixture. USTA is clear that a ball striking a permanent fixture (they specifically give the example of a scorecard) is a loss of point by the ball striker. However, I don't see anything that indicates what happens if any part of the player or his/her racquet comes in contact with a permanent fixture during play. The only other consideration I can think of is that the opposing team could indicate such a situation was a distraction for them, either by noise/visual, or if the cards fall to the court. But in that case, I believe it would be played as a let. Anyone have any insights on this one? Our coach was not certain either.

papa
10-07-2011, 07:13 AM
Well, your going to have to watch it here because there "might" be a difference between those score things that are a semi-permanent part (considered a permanent fixture) of the net and the newer types that flap over the net itself. The "flap-over" ones can migrate toward the center although "most" of its below the net and probably not a factor anyway. Be interesting to see if there are any rulings on these and their placement.