Need help with rule!....holding 2 balls while serving, drop ball when first serve in

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by baseliner68, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. baseliner68

    baseliner68 New User

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    I have a player who has emailed me with a problem she encountered and I thought I sent her the correct reply along with links to Friend at Court ...The Code... but she has continued sending emails. I don't quite follow but will someone please tell me the correct rule and what to tell her.

    Situation: This player holds two balls while serving instead of putting one in her skirt. Evidently she was playing a match and if her first serve went in she would drop the second ball behind her. After her doing this numerous times her opponents finally noticed. They then told her it was a hindrance and that not only was that point theirs but all the other points she had done this were theirs. I'm not sure how they were going to calculate that one!

    I grew up in the days where players regularly dropped a second ball after the first serve went in. (Watch a Chris Evert classic match.) After going through The Code I told her that the first time they saw her do that and notified her it was a let. From then on she shouldn't do that and actually she shouldn't do it period. Just put the second ball under your skirt like every other woman does. ....I told her that her opponents were not correct in telling her all the prior points were theirs. I also told her to get a copy of a current Friend at Court and always have on hand. She then asked others about this and her captain asked one person who they evidently believed had the answer. He said it was against the rules completely and she needed to always put the ball in her skirt/pocket.

    I don't see that it's a blanket rule to put the ball in your skirt/pocket. I had also told her she could ask her opponents prior to the match if it bothered them if she dropped the second ball and if it wasn't a problem then that was fine. ....Even now some pros take two balls and put one under their skirt or put in their pocket and others wait and get the second ball prior to serving.

    Could somebody just clearly define what to do and what the ruling is. I'm tired of looking to find something that will appease.

    Thanks a million!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    #1
  2. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    3,615
    Correct in green
    Wrong in red

    You told them the right thing, any subsequent hinderances would be a point to the oponents.
     
    #2
  3. JRad

    JRad New User

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    WI, USA
    USTA Comment 26.5: Can the server’s discarding of a second ball
    constitute a hindrance? Yes. If the receiver or an official asks the server to
    stop discarding the ball, then the server shall stop. Any continued
    discarding of the ball constitutes a deliberate hindrance, and the server
    loses the point. (page 20 of Friend at Court)
     
    #3
  4. JRad

    JRad New User

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    WI, USA
    Only subsequent points would be hindrances. You can't wait until break point to "notice" the extra ball and then claim the game.
     
    #4
  5. AELTC

    AELTC New User

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    NJ
    USTA Comment 26.5

    USTA Comment 26.5: Can the server’s discarding of a second ball constitute a hindrance? Yes. If the receiver or an official asks the server to stop discarding the ball, then the server shall stop. Any continued discarding of the ball constitutes a deliberate hindrance, and the server loses the point.

    There are some principles of the code that are also applicable:

    2. Points played in good faith are counted. All points played in good faith stand. For example, if after losing a point, a player discovers that the net was four inches too high, the point stands. If a point is played from the wrong court, there is no replay. If during a point, a player realizes that a mistake was made at the beginning (for example, service from the wrong court), the player shall continue playing the point. Corrective action may be taken only after a point has been completed.
    Shaking hands at the end of a match is an acknowledgment by the players that the match is over.

    17. Prompt calls eliminate two chance option. A player shall make all calls promptly after a ball has hit the court. A call shall be made either before the player’s return shot has gone out of play or before an opponent has had an opportunity to play the return shot.
    Prompt calls will quickly eliminate the “two chances to win the point” option that some players practice. To illustrate, a player is advancing to the net for an easy put away and sees a ball from an adjoining court rolling toward the court. The player continues to advance and hits the shot, only to have the supposed easy put away fly over the baseline. The player then claims a let. The claim is not valid because the player forfeited the right to call a let by choosing instead to play the ball. The player took a chance to win or lose and is not entitled to a second chance.

    18. Let called when ball rolls on court. When a ball from an adjacent court enters the playing area, any player on the court affected may call a let as soon as the player becomes aware of the ball. The player loses the right to call a let if the player unreasonably delays in making the call.

    In the situation you describe, the server must stop discarding the 2nd ball when the receiver makes the request. All points previously played in good faith will stand. If the request is made immediately, then the server shall receive a let if the serve was good, or a fault if not. If the receiver plays and loses the point and then notifies the server to stop discarding balls, the server must stop. The receiver may not demand to win the point, or request a let, because they are not allowed 2 chances to win the point. They either notify the server immediately, or play accepting the outcome of the point. Regardless of the request being made immediately or at the end of the point, the server must stop discarding once notified, or the action constitutes a hindrance.
     
    #5
  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    Agree with above.

    However, I wonder about this issue.

    You're playing a point. You notice a ball mysteriously appear behind opponent's baseline. You call a let. They say you cannot call a let because server discarded the ball at the beginning of the point and it has been there all along. So they claim the point.

    I guess the question is whether the request to stop discarding the ball and to clear the ball can be made mid-point?
     
    #6
  7. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    6,138
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I always though that whatever happens on my opponent's side of the court is their business. If they want to leave a ball behind the baseline or on the court, I'm not calling a let. I always thought it was their prerogative as to whether or not to call a let. Same thing, if a ball rolls into my court or there's a hindrance on my side, I'll call a let if I feel it was bad enough to distract me.
     
    #7
  8. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,767

    I feel the same but I think the rule might have changed. I believe your opponent(s) may request you remove a ball on your side and you must comply. Personally, I like it when they leave a ball because I like to aim for it or place my shot in between them and the ball so they have to step on it or think about it. If I hit it, it's difficult for them to make a return off the ricochet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
    #8
  9. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,767
    Au contraire, I find it VERY annoying when players do this! And it is totally unnecessary. Keep the 2nd ball in your pocket, panties, bosom or wherever, but don't discard it causing a distraction to your opponents and if playing doubles, a danger to your partner. I've never heard the sound of a femur snapping but it's supposed to be pretty loud. This could be a further hindrance call.
     
    #9
  10. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,147
    Yeah, but:

    --if a ball rolls behind you that you don't see, wouldn't you like your opponent who can see it to call a let since you could maybe step on it with injurious results?

    --and just seeing a ball rolling around on your side of the court wherever is distracting to your opponent, who has a right to call a let.
     
    #10
  11. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,581
    18. Let called when ball rolls on court. When a ball from an adjacent court enters the playing area, any player on the court affected may call a let as soon as the player becomes aware of the ball. The player loses the right to call a let if the player unreasonably delays in making the call.
     
    #11
  12. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,581
    If you are talking about a ball that is on your opponents side before the point starts then this applies.
    USTA Comment 25.2: Must a request to remove a ball that is lying in the opponent’s court be honored? Yes, but not while the ball is in play. Additionally, a request to remove a ball that is outside the court but reasonably close to the lines also must be honored.
     
    #12

Share This Page