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Posture Guy
01-07-2012, 12:40 PM
I'm playing with a guy and he hits his first serve into the net. It rolls into the middle of the court, like in the middle of the court between the service line and baseline. He's getting ready to hit his second serve and just leave it there. I hold my hand up and politely ask him to clear the ball. I don't want him getting hurt, but that's his business but having the ball there is dangerous and it's a distraction to me. He basically tells me to mind my own business and proceeds with his serve.

Now I don't want to see anyone get hurt in such a fashion, a teammate in high school had that happen and suffered a really gruesome ankle injury, had to have major surgery and was out the entire year. I see a ball there and it just makes me nervous.

Is it within my rights to ask him to clear a ball on his side of the court?

athiker
01-07-2012, 12:52 PM
Yes you are within your rights. If it is a distraction to you then you can request that it be removed and he must comply, regardless of which side of the net the ball is on...under USTA rule/code at least. That situation has been specifically addressed...I'll try to post the link if I come across it.

Click on the link below and it will take you to the USTA website. At the bottom of that page is another link to the current version of The Code. Item 42 on page 50 clearly addresses your situation. It is slightly rewritten from past editions but essentially the same. This is the USTA Code and not necessarily ITF tennis rules.

USTA: http://www.usta.com/Active/The-Rules-of-Tennis/2518_The_Code_The_Players_Guide_for_Unofficiated_M atches/ (Start here so you know it truly comes from the current USTA web site).

The Code: http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/2.%20The%20Code.4.pdf


BALL ISSUES
42. Retrieving stray balls. Each player is responsible for removing stray balls
and other objects from the player’s end of the court. Whenever a ball is not in play,
a player must honor an opponent’s request to remove a ball from the court or from
an area outside the court that is reasonably close to the lines. A player shall not go
behind an adjacent court to retrieve a ball or ask a player on an adjacent court to
return a ball while a point is in play. When a player returns a ball from an adjacent
court, the player shall wait until the point is over on the court where the ball is being
returned and then return it directly to one of the players, preferably the server

Posture Guy
01-07-2012, 12:59 PM
Thanks.

And this is me typing random text to satisfy the TW forum software's prejudice against brevity.

Say Chi Sin Lo
01-07-2012, 01:32 PM
For me, I'll ask the opponent(s) to remove the ball if it rolls/sits around the baseline, or if it's right in front of his/her serving position.

Anywhere else will be up to him/her.

This is what bugs me though, if the opponent goes and remove ball(s) kissing the net, or inches away from the net, and then demands to have another 1st serve, that's a no-no in my book.

r2473
01-07-2012, 04:53 PM
I'd never ask an opponent to move a ball on his side of the net. He assumes the risk of injury or losing the point if my shot hits that ball. He's probably a rhythm server and doesn't want to break his rhythm by taking the time to move the ball, reset, etc. Some people consider it pretty bad form to mess with the servers rhythm like that. But it is a good gamesmanship tactic. Lots of guys will SLOWLY retrieive every ball on their side of the net between first and second serve, stop play to ask the guy to pick up the ball on his side, etc. It really works to mess with a servers rhythm and is 100% within the rules of the game (but perhaps not the spirit of the game......if that really matters).

The only time I alert my opponent to a ball on the court is if it hit the fence and rolled out near the service line and he didn't notice it.

ttbrowne
01-07-2012, 05:55 PM
This is one rule I never agreed with. I think it's okay for your opponent to let his first serve ball sit on his side. Distraction? Lame excuse. I can never remember ever being distracted by a ball on the other side unless it's rolling.

thug the bunny
01-07-2012, 09:55 PM
I wouldn't say anything, just hit skidders right where the ball was sitting, hoping he'll roll his ankle.

Actually, I would say, 'dude, you want to break your ankle?', and if he didn't do anything, I would just play away.

TahoeTennis
01-07-2012, 10:13 PM
question: if you hit a return and it hits the ball, it's your point correct? I would also aim for the ball.

jmjmkim
01-07-2012, 10:59 PM
If they do not remove the ball, then it is also a good strategy to hit it towards the area because it is more distracting for him. That'll teach them the lesson

Posture Guy
01-08-2012, 04:12 AM
See, I disagree with these latest responses. Aim for the ball? Hit near the ball? Now I'm altering my game around this bs and I'm focusing on entirely the wrong thing.

Dude needs to move the damn ball. If it's addressed in the rule book, awesome. I gotta see if the rules of tennis are available in an iPhone app. Would be cool to look it up courtside, show him and say 'move it or default the point'.

Posture Guy
01-08-2012, 04:13 AM
And yep, here's one:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tennis-rule-book/id333250594?mt=8

Not sure if it's a good app or not.

Cindysphinx
01-08-2012, 06:53 AM
You can't use electronic devices during matches.

Better would be to get a copy of Friend at Court and put it in your bag.

I usually have the Code and local rules with me during matches. When there's a question and I'm sure I am right, I say, "I have the rules. Maybe we should look it up?"

Not once has anyone accepted the invitation.

Posture Guy
01-08-2012, 07:06 AM
Cindy....my understanding was the USTA banned the use of electronic devices during changeovers. If true, that would not prohibit one from using it to reference the rules during a match provided it wasn't during a changeover.

Can anyone clarify that ruling?

Fearsome Forehand
01-08-2012, 07:35 AM
If they do not remove the ball, then it is also a good strategy to hit it towards the area because it is more distracting for him. That'll teach them the lesson

Agree. If you ask for removal and he refuses, place a drop shot near the ball so that he will have to alter his footwork to play the shot. Maybe if you are lucky, he will step on the ball and go flying. You can then do an Ali Shuffle over his fallen body as he writhes in pain while holding your racket aloft and yelling "I told you to move the ball, biatch!" :)

He should move it. If he doesn't, play on and don't worry about it. It is a casual match, right? Why sweat it?

813wilson
01-08-2012, 07:59 AM
I've had this issue come up several times - revealing age. My approach is any ball that has rolled more than 1/2 way into a service box - I ask them to move it.

If I ask and they say no, I do one of three things:

tell them it is within my right to have it removed.
ask them to at least wait for it to stop rolling....

and this is my favorite: I have had a handful of times when the ball was left on the court. During the point I'll intentionally hit a shot near the ball to distract my opponent. Two things have happened.
1) I've actually had an opponent call a let because the ball was in his way.
2) I've had opponents(this one more frequently) kick/swat the ball out of their way. When that happens I call a hinderance.

After that - they move the 1st serve ball every time.....

Say Chi Sin Lo
01-08-2012, 11:35 AM
1) I've actually had an opponent call a let because the ball was in his way.
2) I've had opponents(this one more frequently) kick/swat the ball out of their way. When that happens I call a hinderance.

After that - they move the 1st serve ball every time.....

In either scenarios, I'll play on and when the point is over, I'll say this:

"I warned you before hand, didn't I? If you choose to ignore that the ball is there, I will too then."