Is the volleyball serve legal in tennis?

Fridge

Professional
Hi
In practice I will sometimes do what I call a volleyball serve. Start out near the back curtain, run forward and slam the ball into the ground before jumping up over the baseline to hit the ball a good 4-5 feet inside the baseline. Almost never works.

Does anyone else do this and is it legal?
 
Hi
In practice I will sometimes do what I call a volleyball serve. Start out near the back curtain, run forward and slam the ball into the ground before jumping up over the baseline to hit the ball a good 4-5 feet inside the baseline. Almost never works.

Does anyone else do this and is it legal?
Why do you slam the ball into the ground? Why not just toss it [as in VB]? Seems to me slamming it into the ground just adds more variability.
 

esgee48

Legend
16. THE SERVICE

Immediately before starting the service motion, the server shall stand at rest with both feet behind (i.e. further from the net than) the baseline and within the imaginary extensions of the centre mark and the sideline.

The server shall then release the ball by hand in any direction and hit the ball with the racket before the ball hits the ground. The service motion is completed at the moment that the player’s racket hits or misses the ball. A player who is able to use only one arm may use the racket for the release of the ball.

Not a legal manner to start the serve. The prose above defines what you must do before starting the standard service motion. Running forward or jumping 4' into the court from a startup run is illegal.
 

PaulC

Semi-Pro
Depends on how you do it.

If you simply stand 2-3 feet behind the baseline and toss the ball up & forward, and then you do a Pete Sampras JUMP-SMASH-ish motion: jump up and forward and then smash it.

(Once the service motion STARTED AFTER the toss, jumping is OK -- most of the pros in ATP and WTA jump up into the court with their feet off the ground nowadays when we look at the still frame pictures, some really high)

So its legal and achieve the desired effect, since there is no running -- but it may be tough to control it or aim accurately though.

I tried a few times long ago for fun, but the batting average was low.
 

Fridge

Professional
Why do you slam the ball into the ground? Why not just toss it [as in VB]? Seems to me slamming it into the ground just adds more variability.
I think trying to jump and toss makes it too hard. I prefer slamming it on the run up so that I can then jump and locate the ball
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
They should legalize the v.b serve. Make things more interesting. Monfils could long jump his way to 90 aces a match.
 
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McLovin

Legend
16. THE SERVICE

Immediately before starting the service motion, the server shall stand at rest with both feet behind (i.e. further from the net than) the baseline and within the imaginary extensions of the centre mark and the sideline.

The server shall then release the ball by hand in any direction and hit the ball with the racket before the ball hits the ground. The service motion is completed at the moment that the player’s racket hits or misses the ball. A player who is able to use only one arm may use the racket for the release of the ball.

Not a legal manner to start the serve. The prose above defines what you must do before starting the standard service motion. Running forward or jumping 4' into the court from a startup run is illegal.
Additionally:
During the service motion, a server may not:​
  1. Change position by walking or running. Although slight movements of the feet are allowed.
  2. Touch the baseline, or the court, with either foot.
  3. Touch the area on the other side of an imaginary extension of the sideline.
  4. Touch the imaginary extension of the center mark with either foot.
If the server commits any of these actions, a foot fault may be ruled.​

The key word here is 'slight'. I've always thought David Ferrer's motion was illegal because he takes 1 full step forward w/ his left foot, which violates the rule @esgee48 quoted, as well as the one I quoted above:


But I guess its considered 'slight', although it still violates the other rule.
 

grhcan99

Semi-Pro
Additionally:
During the service motion, a server may not:​

  1. Change position by walking or running. Although slight movements of the feet are allowed.
  2. Touch the baseline, or the court, with either foot.
  3. Touch the area on the other side of an imaginary extension of the sideline.
  4. Touch the imaginary extension of the center mark with either foot.
If the server commits any of these actions, a foot fault may be ruled.​

The key word here is 'slight'. I've always thought David Ferrer's motion was illegal because he takes 1 full step forward w/ his left foot, which violates the rule @esgee48 quoted, as well as the one I quoted above:


But I guess its considered 'slight', although it still violates the other rule.
"Immediately before starting the service motion, the server shall stand at rest with both feet behind (i.e. further from the net than) the baseline"

Ferrer was at rest before he started the service motion. He only moved after that.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
Additionally:
During the service motion, a server may not:​

  1. Change position by walking or running. Although slight movements of the feet are allowed.
  2. Touch the baseline, or the court, with either foot.
  3. Touch the area on the other side of an imaginary extension of the sideline.
  4. Touch the imaginary extension of the center mark with either foot.
If the server commits any of these actions, a foot fault may be ruled.​

The key word here is 'slight'. I've always thought David Ferrer's motion was illegal because he takes 1 full step forward w/ his left foot, which violates the rule @esgee48 quoted, as well as the one I quoted above:


But I guess its considered 'slight', although it still violates the other rule.
I was going to post something similar, I watched this ex japanese pro serving on youtube who does this same full step into his motion. Can't find the video anymore though.

When you watch Ferrer's serve, all that movement is still preliminary to the serve itself really, his feet are well and truly planted as he's coming into trophy pose and launching into his serve. I imagine it is more about rhythm than anything
 
Additionally:
During the service motion, a server may not:​

  1. Change position by walking or running. Although slight movements of the feet are allowed.
  2. Touch the baseline, or the court, with either foot.
  3. Touch the area on the other side of an imaginary extension of the sideline.
  4. Touch the imaginary extension of the center mark with either foot.
If the server commits any of these actions, a foot fault may be ruled.​

The key word here is 'slight'. I've always thought David Ferrer's motion was illegal because he takes 1 full step forward w/ his left foot, which violates the rule @esgee48 quoted, as well as the one I quoted above:


But I guess its considered 'slight', although it still violates the other rule.
Jamie Murray takes a step with his front foot and a another step with his back foot.
 

NoChance

Rookie
Once at rest, before serving, a small foot movement with either, or both feet, is OK with me, as long as it is behind the baseline. Other than that, nope. That's how I call it in D-1 tennis (never had to).
Locally, in my club, I got asked about someone who did a true "volleyball serve." I answered, "No, it is not legal. But do you want to stir the pot?"
That's their problem, not mine. USTA league tennis--not going there. You couldn't pay me enough to do that.
 

dsp9753

Semi-Pro
Just get rid of all the rules where it is super specific. Any serve is allowed as long as you are not stepping on the line or in the court when you contact the ball. Standard boundary rules apply.

I wouldn’t mind seeing people throw balls 10 feet into the court and try to hit it out of the air.
 

jered

Rookie
I've tried this for fun and once you get the timing down it's pretty effective because it really minimizes the net. If it was a legal and practiced thing it would be devastating even at lowly rec levels. Strikes against it are: the racquet is awkward, it's hard on your shoulder, and it takes a lot of energy/athleticism.
 
If it was a legal and practiced thing it would be devastating even at lowly rec levels.
It is legal if you jump without taking a running start [ie Battistone].

But lowly rec players already have a difficult time with the serve; adding the VB serve motion would make it exponentially more difficult.

Strikes against it are: the racquet is awkward, it's hard on your shoulder, and it takes a lot of energy/athleticism.
How is it any harder on your shoulder than a non-VB serve?

It definitely uses the legs more than a regular serve, which might be an important factor later in the match.
 

jered

Rookie
It is legal if you jump without taking a running start [ie Battistone].
True, but that’s not nearly as much of an advantage as a full 3-step approach. In VB we’d call his kind of serve a short hop. Usually done in warmups or for younger players developing a jump serve.


How is it any harder on your shoulder than a non-VB serve?
You use your arms in the explosive leap upward and then have to get the racquet in a correct position to swing forward to contact. I found this motion to really torque my shoulder due to the weight of the racquet. In a normal tennis serve I can allow the racquet to do the majority of the work. I suppose a more efficient technique with a racquet could be developed but I just did my standard jump serve (vb) more or less.
 
True, but that’s not nearly as much of an advantage as a full 3-step approach. In VB we’d call his kind of serve a short hop. Usually done in warmups or for younger players developing a jump serve.
I don't know the stats but I'd guess the average athlete's standing vertical is within 80% of his running vertical which means a Battistone-type serve will deliver most of the benefits. But I agree that the 2- or 3-step approach is superior and, to me, way more fluid. I would try to hit it just like I was hitting a 3m back row spike.

You use your arms in the explosive leap upward and then have to get the racquet in a correct position to swing forward to contact. I found this motion to really torque my shoulder due to the weight of the racquet. In a normal tennis serve I can allow the racquet to do the majority of the work. I suppose a more efficient technique with a racquet could be developed but I just did my standard jump serve (vb) more or less.
Yeah, I guess I can see that. I've never tried a tennis jump serve despite having hit hundreds of VB jump serves.

For me, the most difficult thing would be the change in timing.
 
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