How to call a foul for reaching over net

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by btpayne13, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. btpayne13

    btpayne13 New User

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    My doubles partner and I played our first doubles match in a meet yesterday on our high school's JV team, visiting another high school about an hour away from home. We had a good match against our opponents, but it really annoyed me when one of them would constantly make contact with the ball very close to or across the net. If it's a close call, should I call a foul? What is the correct procedure for calling a foul for reaching across the net?

    There was another situation later in the match where the server on the other team hit a baseline groundstroke. He didn't get a lot of power on the ball, so it was going to be very close as to if the ball would go across the net. Once it did go across the net (only several inches across), the returner on my team was preparing to hit a volley. However, the server's partner on their team was holding his racket way to close to the net, but wasn't crossing it. He seemed to be so close to the net, as if preparing to hit the ball before we could for some odd reason. Because the server's partner was so close, my partner was faced with two choices: (1) hit a volley and risk injuring the server's partner and/or damaging his racket or (2) not hit a volley in order to avoid any injuries for the server's partner. He chose to do #2. Technically, should this have been our point even though the server's partner didn't cross the net?
     
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  2. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    This is tough, because you have to be SURE they made contact on your side. Unless they're hanging over, I wouldn't even make the call.

    This seems like great positioning from the server's partner. If I was your partner here, I'd hit it right at the opposing netman. You're not going to damage the guy's racket by blasting a ball at him. Chances are good that you won't injure the guy either, unless you hit him in the eye. Being that close to the net is just asking to get hit, so if he tries to bully you with his positioning, make him pay!
     
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  3. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I'm a high school coach and this issue of breaking the plane of the net to hit a ball, as well as who makes the call, is nothing new. According to the rules and the code (read them this weekend in case you haven't), you have to make the call against yourself in the same way you'd own up to lightly "ticking" the ball with your racquet, your clothing, hair, etc. In an unofficiated match, all you can do is ask an opponent if they hit the ball on your side of the net and simply take them at their word.

    Don't ever let a coach or a spectator chime in on this. The match must be managed by the players unless maybe a roaming official is present.

    If an opponent blatantly reaches over the net to hit a ball and doesn't make a call against himself, simply stop play, have a civilized discussion about it (not everyone is hip to this rule), and get your coach to lend a hand if you need a consultation. No big deal. Don't get snippy or anything, just respect your opponents and let them know that you want to clarify the rules.

    Here's the problem: a player can make contact on their side of the net and legally break the plane when they follow through, but that can often look as though the player reached over the net to hit the ball. Just keep this in mind when the issue comes up again.

    Don't know what to say in terms of that other problem you had, especially since I didn't see it, but the opponent may have been guilty of hinderance with the position that he took up so close to your partner. If your partner went ahead and smacked the ball legally on his own side of the net, it would probably be the opponent's responsibility to stay out of his way. Hope you won the point anyway.

    Again, read both the rules and the code this weekend. Knowledge is power!
     
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  4. ChopShot

    ChopShot Semi-Pro

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    If I remember correctly, there is nothing wrong with contacting the ball on the opponents side of the net, so long as you do not contact the net itself. I believe Nadal did it during the IW semi-final, and won the point.
     
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  5. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    ^^ agree with what fuzz said. a lot of people still don't know that your not allowed to reach over vs when you're allowed to reach over (follow through and if the ball bounces back over the net with a lot of slice).

    i don't think it would be a hinderance in this case if he just took up position really close to the net unless they were waving their hands around or such. i would've just smacked the ball right at them and hopefully they'll learn not to do that again, if they're really good at volleying though i would say it's good positioning since they only have to angle their racquet to deflect the shot.
     
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  6. NolemurraY

    NolemurraY Rookie

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    That is correct, aslong as the ball has bounced on your side of the net first (which it seemed like it hadn't in their doubles match)
     
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  7. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    this rule has been uncommonly occuring in past tournaments this year. the rule is that if the ball bounces on your side of the court and then bounces back to your opponent's side due to tremendous backspin (or any other way that allows to jump back over the net) the player can reach over the net. there was a lot of commotion about it too during one of roddick's matches earlier this year.
     
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  8. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    1) Their call to make, not yours.

    2) Just f*cking hit the ball. If they get messed up, then say it's totally their fault and that you could've called a hindrance on them for it, but you decided to be nice and play the point out. They can't physically do anything that's meant to purposely distract you or affect your ability to play the ball/continue the point. For example, if they lob volley you, and grab you from their side of the net so you can't run back, free point for you. They can't block you from following through on your shot, so if you do hit them, call a hindrance. But please don't try to be a ****** and abuse this rule...
     
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