Quick rules/code question for you....

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by 813wilson, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. 813wilson

    813wilson Rookie

    Jun 15, 2009
    Tampa area
    Good morning to the TT community. I'm sorry if this has been asked/discussed previously. I looked and could not find my answer. I believe I know the rules on this one but have another question for you all.

    Playing doubles on clay, if I receive a serve and hit a "good return" but my partner calls the serve out, upon checking the mark the serve was good, we play a let. Correct? A let is played because my return was in and not a "sitter" put away for our opponents....?

    Now, I've read a lot about arguing line calls/in v out/ etc. but this came up yesterday.

    In a good and competitive group(all 4.5s) my partner is serving at 40/15. His 1st serve was up the T but obviously about a foot long. My partner was serving and volleying, seeing his serve was out, he stopped. The returner, right handed, hit a week slice backhand(not a cut / more defensive or desparate) that floated 1/2 way into our duece service box. Both my partner and I were able to "kill" the sitting volley but we stopped our movement because the serve was so obviously out. My partner picked up the "dying ball" and went back to the base line.

    The receiver's partner did not call the ball. The receiver did not call the ball. When my partner went to hit a second serve, the receiver said - "What are you doing? It's 40/30. So I said the ball was out - you can see the fresh mark behind the T. The receiver said it is his call.

    In an officiated match, I believe it would have been second serve @40/15. As this is club tennis/non league do you think I was right to question him and point to the mark?

    Ultimately, we played a let because the receiver's partner, though not seeing the serve, acknowledged that the new mark was from the serve( it was early in a freshly swept court). We played the "let" because of the time we took to discuss the issue - maybe two minutes in total.

    Thoughts appreciated on what we did and the "official" ruling. It was not angry discussion and we moved on quickly and has some great tennis....
  2. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Jul 22, 2005
    The receiving team is allowed to give you the benefit of the doubt on a serve call- you lose the point.
  3. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

    Dec 2, 2009
    From what I've read...and the sections of the code have been quoted here before and read in USTA Q&A...you are correct in your description of the voluntary self-reversal of an "out" serve call. If you returned it nicely then it is played as a let. If you blew the return or sent back a sitter then you lose the point.

    RE: the 2nd case where the serve was obviously long (to you) it is your opponents' call but I know of no reason you cannot ask them about their non-call. If they both indicate that they thought the ball was in then I don't believe you could overrule them and you would lose the point. If they agreed it looked long or felt it was long but close but recognized you stopped play, I don't see anything preventing them from allowing a 2nd serve to be played instead of taking the point.

    Again, I believe it is their call to make, so that you could not insist that a 2nd serve be allowed in that case, but doesn't sound like how it went down anyway. Bottom line, the safe play is to continue play when the call is theirs...though I know I've stopped in those obvious situations too. Sometimes all it takes is a blink at the wrong moment and your opponent may miss where the ball hit, especially on a fast serve, and they don't want to stop play when they just don't know...but instantly agree when asked.

    Sounds to me like you guys worked it out fine.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  4. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

    May 20, 2009
    I've had this situation before. I was referred to "rule 12" of the code, which is nebulous to say the least. Apparently if you return a serve and hit a decent return, but your partner over-rules and calls the serve out, you play a let. In my case, my partner and I both called a weak, bloopy serve "out" and I didn't even try to return it, sure it was out. My partner then over-ruled me and said she thought the serve hit the edge of the line, so it was in. We had to give up the point because I hadn't returned it (both of us called "out!" at the same time), and even though it seemed ridiculous considering the poor quality of this wobbly serve, it was called an "ace".

    In the second situation, if the opposing player returns your serve, the ball is in play. Hopefully this wasn't a case of "gamesmanship" because if the serve was so clearly out they shouldn't have played it, but it's their call. You should have played out the point.
  5. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

    Jan 27, 2007
    yes you should play a let provided the ball was not a sitter and was put back in play "good" if the overrule is immediate.

Share This Page