Ruling on call reversal

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jc4.0, May 21, 2009.

  1. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I have asked several people this question and have gotten adamant answers - unfortunately two different answers. I hope you can clear this one up:

    In a doubles match, my team was receiving serve. The server hit the first serve to me (a rather weak serve, just an ordinary one) and my partner and I both immediately called “OUT”. I didn’t even move to hit the ball, and let it go by. A couple seconds later my partner walked over to the service line and said, you know I think that serve might have been in. I concurred that it was possible the serve hit the line. I said “take two serves”. But the opposing team said that since we reversed the call, they should be awarded the point outright. Who was right?

    (Their argument was that since we don’t have lines people to call the serve, we are playing by a separate set of rules than the professionals. Clearly when a serve call is reversed during professional play, and the serve was not an ace, the server gets two serves, and is never awarded the point.)

    I've gotten several opinions, and everyone is split 50-50 on this, even several pro coaches I asked! :)
     
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  2. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    If you had returned the serve (and it wasn't a weak sitter) then you would play a let. Since you didn't return the serve, you lost the point.

    I believe to some degree it applies to the pros as well. If they don't put a racquet on the ball then they may lose the point as well.
     
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  3. snark

    snark Rookie

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    Technically they are correct, I believe. Personally I would replay the point, however. I often find that replaying the point is a good friendly solution if there is some disagreement or doubt.
     
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  4. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    If you let the ball go by, and then change your call, you lose the point. The only way you can replay the point in an unofficiated match is if you put the ball back in play, and your shot didn't result in a weak sitter.

    From the USTA Friend at Court.

    12.
    Out calls corrected. If a player mistakenly calls a ball “out” and then realizes
    it was good, the point shall be replayed if the player returned the ball within the
    proper Court. Nonetheless, if the player’s return of the ball results in a “weak sitter,”
    the player should give the opponent the point. If the player failed to make the return,
    the opponent wins the point. If the mistake was made on the second serve, the
    server is entitled to two serves.

     
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  5. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    The nuance to rule 12 is this - when the ball is called "out" then the point is dead. For example you can't call the ball "out" and then hit the ball, expecting your shot to count. When the "out" call is made the point is over and everyone stops playing. If no call is made and you hit the ball, then rule 12 applies. In pro matches, if the umpire over-rules an out call on serve, they always "play two".
     
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  6. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    No they don't always play two when an out call is overruled. If the shot is a clear winner, and that shot is overruled to good, the player that hit the ball wins the point.

    #12 of the code posted above applies to unofficiated matches, which is what you were playing. When Player A hits a serve that Player B calls out and then corrects the call to good, you only play a let if Player B returns the ball into the proper court. If Player B lets it go, or hits it out or into the net, Player B (you) lose the point.
     
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  7. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Yes as I posted previously, in the pros if a player hits an ace or unreturnable serve and the call is over-ruled as "good" then the server gets the point. I just don't think this rule is clear for unofficiated matches. Can I then call each and every serve "out" and then hit my return for a winner? Wouldn't that be unfair to my opponents, as my "out" call (or my partner's) results in everyone relaxing and stopping play?
     
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  8. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    However rule #12 is worded for singles, that is the returner has the sole responsibility of calling the ball. In the OP's case the returner called the ball out but was "overruled" by his partner. The serve was not a legitimate ace regardless if it was returned or not. If the returner's partner would not have overruled the returner, then the ball would have been "out". It seems to be closer to a chair overrule than the spirit of the singles style of rule 12. I say play two.
     
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  9. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    You would still replay the point in this situation.

    And you posted previously that in the pros, they always "play two" if an out call is corrected to good by the chair umpire.
     
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  10. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    #12 is aimed at singles and doubles. A doubles team is considered one player. They are correcting their call. Therefore, if they didn't put the serve back in play, they lose the point.
     
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  11. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    call was out

    So you feel that if your opponent calls your serve "out" but then hits the ball back into your court with a legal shot (and you don't return it) then they should be awarded the point. Even if you stopped playing after the "out" call...
     
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  12. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    You are, of course technically correct and completely within the ruling of the rule. However, IMO this is an area where the rulemakers simply said "...and the same thing goes for doubles" without really thinking it through. The rule doesn't square with the chair overrule rule.
     
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  13. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    You can't get a let based on your own actions. You lose the point, since you didn't return the serve. If you had returned the serve, and the ball landed in, then you would have a let, because presumably the other team would not have hit your ball back.

     
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  14. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    If you called each and every serve "out" you would be cheating. Your question, makes no sense.


     
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  15. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    I know it doesn't square up with the chair umpire's overrule. That was what the original poster made the connection of, and I was contradicting that.
     
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  16. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    I just said that if the player that called it out and corrected themselves hits it back in play, you would REPLAY THE POINT.
     
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  17. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    To OP:

    Think of it this way.

    We know it is difficult to play and call lines accurately at the same time. We want to encourage people to own up to their mistakes.

    At the same time, we don't want people calling an ace "out" and then getting a do-over.

    So if you put the ball back in play, you get a do-over. If you don't or if it is a weak sitter, then it was an ace/service winner and your opponents have earned the point.

    As receiver, return every serve with your best groundstroke unless it is "obviously out."

    Oh, and listen to Woodrow! :)
     
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  18. jefferson

    jefferson Semi-Pro

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    This is pretty clear and is how I have always understood the rule.

    The pros do not always replay the point.
    it is up to the chair, if the chair feels the returner was unable to return the serve regardless of the out call, then the ace counts. If the chair thinks the returner could have returned it then, replay a first serve.


    and I agree listen to Woodrow!
     
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  19. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Rule 12?!

    I still say "rule 12" is nebulous. When an audible "out" call is made by the returner and/or the returner's partner, the point ends, whether on a serve or other point. A player cannot then make a legit shot and expect that shot to count. My opinion is that when a serve is clearly called "out" and the returner then does not even attempt to hit it because of the call, but upon looking at the mark decides to reverse the call, the server gets two serves. The only exception is if the serve was clearly an "ace". If the serve was an ace or unreturnable, then the server gets the point. During the recent Madrid tournament, Roger Federer received a serve that was called out. Roger then asked the umpire to over-rule in his opponent's favor, as the mark indicated the serve had clipped the line. Did the server get the point? No. The server received two serves.
     
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  20. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    That is my point exactly! You can't call a serve out and then hit the ball as if the point was continuing. Once the out call is made, the point ends.
     
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  21. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Because Federer got his racket on the ball. Had he not hit it back, and not had a play on the ball, the server would have gotten the point.

    I don't know of any clearer way to put it than what Code 12 says and what I have already said.

    I think you are thinking that the receiver can hit a shot after calling the ball out hoping that the server will give up, then when the receiver corrects his call, he wins the point. Am I correct that is what you are thinking?
     
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  22. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Federer did not even attempt to return the ball. The linesman called the ball "out". He could have just let it go, but being honest (as I was) he actually asked for the overrule. The serve was far from an ace. The rule is, the server gets two more serves.
     
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  23. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    --Actually what I'm saying is that the receiver can't hit a return after calling the serve out and think that his shot counts. When you call "out" the point ends. If the serve was an ace then you have to give the server the point. If you made an out call in error on a normal serve then the server gets two more serves.
     
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  24. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Not necessarily. The server doesn't have to play a let if the receiver doesn't put the ball back in play. The server wins the point in that case.
     
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  25. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    So the umpire decided that Federer "had a play on the ball" and that the out call hindered Federer. It's on clay. Had he not said that it was good, the chair umpire would have checked the mark.
     
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  26. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    So you're saying that the rules are different in unofficiated matches, because we do not have linesmen.
     
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  27. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    In officiated and unofficiated matches, if there is an out call and the ball is put back in play and the out call is corrected, you replay the point.

    In a match where umpires are calling the lines, if there is an out call, and it is corrected to good, the player only has to have a play on the ball and not necessarily hit it back in play.

    In unofficiated matches, the player that called the ball out and corrected their own call, loses the point, UNLESS they PUT THE BALL BACK IN PLAY AND THEIR SHOT IS NOT A WEAK SITTER. If they put it back into play and it's not a weak sitter, the point is replayed.

    So, yes, the rules are not exactly the same.
     
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  28. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    All true, but none of the scenarios is the OP's. In an unofficiated doubles match, if the returner calls the ball out and does not make a play on the ball, but is overruled by his partner, they lose the point (the OP's question). However, IMO this sends the wrong message to netmen, ie. don't overrule your partner because the crazy rulebook illogically penalizes your team by giving the server an "ace" on a returnable ball.
     
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  29. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    No, in a doubles match, if the ball is called out, the ball is put back in play, and the call is corrected, then the point would be replayed.
     
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  30. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes. When the receivers call "out," the point ends. Period. The point is over.

    Then the question becomes *who gets that point that is now over.*

    The rule could not be more explicit: if the ball was put back into play, no one gets the point. Play a let.

    If the ball was NOT put back into play (or weak sitter), server gets the point.

    Under no circumstances do the returners get the point.
     
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  31. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    How about when playing doubles and the receiver's partner calls it out??
     
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  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, that's a good point. But the real problem when there is an ace on a returnable ball is that the returner could have returned it but didn't.

    I guess that's why the rules don't provide a remedy when the receiver returns an "obvious fault." We don't want to get in a situation where the returner is darned if he does and darned if he doesn't.
     
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  33. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Here's my question - why would I hit the ball, i.e. put it back into play, if my partner has clearly called the serve out. (and in this case, the ball hit the back of the service line, so it was hers to call). So since my partner called me off the ball, and I also thought the serve was out, I didn't even attempt a return. It's the same as if a linesman had made the call, I stopped playing. Again, if this was an ace I would have conceded the point immediately. I just don't think it's fair to call any ball out, and then continue to play the point. If your opponent called "OUT!" on your serve, but then proceeded to hit a ball past you - would you think that a valid return? When you hear the word "out" you quit playing right? I say, when you make the out call, the point ends.
     
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  34. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Answer: because a line call is not instantaneous, often by the time your partner calls the ball out, you are already in your swinging motion, if you havent already hit the ball back.


     
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  35. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    So you would allow your opponent to call "out" and then play the ball anyway? I just don't think that is fair. In any case, I think in my situation the server should have taken two serves and not the point, but I gave my opponents the point to avoid an argument. Other times, I have not been given that consideration, and have accepted "take two serves because we can't decide whether your serve was in our out". But somehow Life goes on...
     
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  36. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    But . . . but . . .

    *You* (and by extension your partner) are the ones who made the mistake! So this is nothing like a linesperson making the call, where both players are innocent. If anyone should suffer because of the mistake, it should be the people who made the mistake.

    If *you* quit playing because of *your* partner's bad call, take it up with *your* partner.

    Besides, you have eyes. If the ball is so close to being in that your partner might muff the call, just play the ball. Don't just stand idle if there is any chance the serve could land in. Swing already.

    Seriously, this is a very simple rule. Yes, the rule could be written differently. But it is not.

    You can say that the point ends when the word "Out!" is uttered, but the Code says you don't completely disregard what happens after the out call. You pay attention to where the return lands in deciding what to do next. That is the rule. Period. No exceptions.
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The server should take all points the Code says they should take, and you should cheerfully give all such points. There is no "consideration" involved. You and your partner screwed up. It happens.

    Next time you are the server and this happens, take the point and move on. Your opponents won't have a problem with it. 'Cause that's the rule.
     
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  38. jefferson

    jefferson Semi-Pro

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    When the serve is that close as is the case when we arent sure the ball is out, you should be attempting to return the ball. Otherwise you would be just giving up on a ball that might clip the line and you lose the point. All because you "thought" it was going out. As your partner we would have a serious talk about this.
    Play all close balls. An out call can be made as you are hitting the ball, not a big deal.
     
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  39. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    You say: "So you would allow your opponent to call "out" and then play the ball anyway?". How am I supposed to stop my opponent from doing just that? I can't stop my opponent from calling the ball out and hitting the ball back. I dont expect it either, especially on a hard first serve where you don't have time to "not hit" the ball before calling it out. Whats not fair about it? I serve, opponent swings at the ball and his partner calls it out. If opponent changes his mind on the call, then I get to play two IF and only if my opponent put the ball into play. If opponent did not put the ball into play, I WIN the point.

    If your opponent cannot decide whether your serve was in or out, your serve, according to the code, is IN. Easy smeasy.


     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
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  40. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    True, but I didn't disagree with this scenario (not the OP's).
     
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  41. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    But why would the returner return a ball he called out? He's not expecting an overrule by his partner.
     
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  42. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    I think my objection to rule 12 can be summed up in saying this: what does OUT mean? Are we not to take the word "OUT" seriously? If we're allowed to call a ball out and then keep on playing, that seems like dirty pool. Once my opponent calls a ball out, I assume they have made an honest call and the point is over. According to some of you - I can call every ball out, tricking you into thinking the point is over, then go ahead and zing a ball past you for a winner. That is not fair. I don't think that is what the rule means, but it seems to be what it says. If you honestly think a serve was out and don't play it, calling it out, and that serve was not an ace, then I think the fair and sportsmanlike thing to do is "play two". I realize there is another side to this, that's why I asked the question originally. I think the rule isn't clear.
     
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  43. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    That is not what we are saying. If you call it out, or your partner calls it out, the point stops. If your team hits it and puts it back in play, whether you hit a winner or not, you REPLAY THE POINT. If you hit a weak sitter back, then the one that hit the ball that was called out would win the point. No way can the team that called it out win the point once they correct the call.
     
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  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not following you, but it could be because I didn't make any sense in the first place. Sorry!!
     
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  45. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Once again, I wasn't suggesting that my team wins the point after calling it out. I'm saying that in all fairness, the server takes the serve over. I wanted to replay the point, but instead I gave the point to the server, even though my partner called the ball out and I stopped playing when she made the call, so I had no play on the ball. I also thought the ball was out initially... in fact it was a close call that could have gone either way.
     
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  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You are not Not NOT to "keep on playing." That is simply not what is going on. The instant the ball is called out, the players are no longer "playing tennis." They are waiting to see whether and how the ball is returned. If the players "keep on playing," then there could be 20 strokes. No. That is not what the rules say, and that is not what the people discussing this with you are saying.



    Good.

    No. In no instance would your zinger be a winner. Not one person has said that in this thread (other than you).

    Your zinger would give you the right to replay the point. You botch your zinger and hit it into the net and you lose the right to replay the point.


    Can you look at the rule again and quote the part that suggests you can call a ball out and then hit a winner?

    The rule is crystal. You have to separate in your mind the difference between what the Code clearly and unambiguously requires (and for good reason, IMHO) and what you personally would have done had you written the Code.

    Me, I don't think it is fair and reasonable at all to play two if the serve was so hot you couldn't even put it back into play. *You* made the line call error. The sportsmanlike thing to do is suck it up and say "Too Good."

    Cindy -- impressed that Woodrow hasn't pulled his hair out in chunks by now
     
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  47. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    I don't know what else can be said. To me it's pretty clear.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2009
    #47
  48. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Cindy - the serve was not too hot - it was a blooper that flapped across the net and (maybe) clipped the back of the line. I've gotten other opinions from coaches and pros that agreed with my viewpoint - that in this case, two serves were in order, not awarding the server the point, because the serve was originally called out by both returning team members and therefore play stopped. I think there are two sides to this and the rule is not "crystal clear".
     
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  49. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Sorry, the rule is crystal clear - and you have learned a lesson. Watch the pros. You'll see that they make an effort to at least touch the ball with the racquet even when it is called out. Why? It proves that they had a play on the ball and ensures they can play a let (instead of lose the point) if the call is overuled.

    In this case you and your partner screwed up. You both called a ball out that was good. You deserve to lose the point. The code, though, is generous to you since if you had returned the serve you could have played a let instead. You didn't return the serve so you lose the point - which you deserve for blowing the line call in the first place.
     
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  50. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    In watching the pros I have seen that consistently, whether they touch the ball or not, if the serve call is reversed by the umpire, two serves are awarded to the server, unless the serve was an ace. The "out" call by the linesman is considered to "hinder" the returner so the server doesn't automatically get the point.

    You're right, I've learned one thing - if your partner or you call the serve out, the best thing is to hit the return anyway. Then you will avoid the server getting a free point on a lousy serve that just happened to drop in on the edge of the line.

    As I said - I gave my opponent the point in this case. Next time, I'll go ahead and hit the ball, even if I think it's out. Doesn't seem quite fair but I guess we can't question RULE 12.
     
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