# Rule: Order of Receiving in Doubles

K

#### krit

##### Guest
Hi all,

I have a question regarding to the order of receiving in doubles. I looked up 2 versions of ITF rules, 2003 and 2007, and found different wording, or if I interpreted it correctly, rule change. I will quote them here for your convenience:

2003 Version
36. ORDER OF RECEIVING IN DOUBLES
The order of receiving the service shall be decided at the beginning of each set as follows:-
The pair who have to receive the service in the first game shall decide which partner shall receive the first service, and that partner shall continue to receive the first service in every odd game throughout that set. The opposing pair shall likewise decide which partner shall receive the first service in the second game and that partner shall continue to receive the first service in every even game throughout that set. Partners shall receive the service alternately throughout each game.

2007 Version
15. ORDER OF RECEIVING IN DOUBLES
The team which is due to receive in the first game of a set shall decide which player shall receive the first point in the game. Similarly, before the second game starts, their opponents shall decide which player shall receive the first point of that game. The player who was the receiver’s partner for the first point of the game shall receive the second point and this rotation shall continue until the end of the game and the set.
After the receiver has returned the ball, either player in a team can hit the ball.

Let me assume a scenario to illustrate my question. Suppose there are 2 teams, AB (player A and B) and CD (player C and D). Team CD serves in the first game (either C or D serves does not matter regarding to this question). Player A receives the first serve on deuce court. The game ends with score Game - 15 after Player A receives the last serve on deuce court again.

Now, here is the question: Who will receive the first serve in the third game? Player A or Player B.

According to my interpretation of the 2003 version, Player A will receive the first serve in the third game.

According to my interpretation of the 2007 version, Player B will receive the first serve in the third game.

Am I interpreting these rules correctly?

Thanks in advance and play well

#### fgs

##### Hall of Fame
krit,
you do not interpret correctly. 2007 rules: "The player who was the receiver’s partner for the first point of the game shall receive the second point and this rotation shall continue until the end of the game and the set".

player a receives the first point of the game, then player b. in your scenario, the last one to receive will be a since the game end at game-15. but then the rule clearly specifies (for me at least), this rotation is valid for the entire game and for the duration of the set. so it player a was to receive the first point to be played in the return game, than for the duration of the entire set he will have to be the one to receive the first point of the games.

#### Bottle Rocket

##### Hall of Fame
Both are describing the exact same thing, there is no contradiction of any kind. I don't see where you're seeing a difference.

The way a returning team game ends has absolutely nothing to do with how that same recieving team begins their next return game.

I really don't get the issue here.

Have you ever played doubles?

Last edited:
K

#### krit

##### Guest
Thanks for your response, fgs and rocket. I am only a recreational player, and learn to play by myself. I get all the information by reading, watching, and asking. Unfortunately, doubles matches are rarely on TV. I read the rules and completely understand the 2003 version, but not sure about the 2007 version. So, I have to ask.

For 2007 version, I got confused by the phrase "and this rotation shall continue until the end of the game and the set". I thought that Player A received the last point of first game, and the rotation continue. So, Player B will receive the next point, which is the first point of third game. That was my interpretation for 2007 version, which contradicted with 2003 version, although I don't think an important rule like this are likely to be changed.

I think I got it now. So, in the same set, the first point of every receiving game is received by the same player of the receiving team.

Thanks and play well.

#### JavierLW

##### Hall of Fame
Hi all,

I have a question regarding to the order of receiving in doubles. I looked up 2 versions of ITF rules, 2003 and 2007, and found different wording, or if I interpreted it correctly, rule change. I will quote them here for your convenience:

Let me assume a scenario to illustrate my question. Suppose there are 2 teams, AB (player A and B) and CD (player C and D). Team CD serves in the first game (either C or D serves does not matter regarding to this question). Player A receives the first serve on deuce court. The game ends with score Game - 15 after Player A receives the last serve on deuce court again.

Now, here is the question: Who will receive the first serve in the third game? Player A or Player B.

According to my interpretation of the 2003 version, Player A will receive the first serve in the third game.

According to my interpretation of the 2007 version, Player B will receive the first serve in the third game.

Am I interpreting these rules correctly?

Thanks in advance and play well

The 2003 version is worded very poorly, that's about the only diffrence.

#### Bottle Rocket

##### Hall of Fame
As far as the serving team and the server of that team is concerned, it is the exact same as playing singles. They serve first to the duece court, then alternate sides until the game is over.

For the team returning serve, before the set, they must decide who plays which side. They will stay on that side until the match is over. Then you just simply play. Since you can't change sides, the box the server is about to serve into will tell you exactly which one of you is going to be returning the ball. You take turns each point returning serve, that is what the rules are saying.

In the beginning, during your returning games, you'll basically just play tennis on your side of the court. Your partner will handle the other half of the court. As you progress and develop more aggressive tennis skills, you'll begin "sharing" the court, covering each other, and even jumping out in front of your partner.

I highly recommend a book to keep around as you progress at the game, especially if you're self taught, and especially if you aren't going to get any coaching. Tennis Mastery by David Smith is a very comprehensive book, written very clearly, and has great pictures and diagrams. There is justification for tip and technique described. You can buy it on TW or at many book stores. All of the fundamental singles as well as doubles strategies are outlined in the book. An added bonus is that the author hangs around this forum so you can ask him about anything you can't quite grasp.

#### psp2

##### Banned
For the team returning serve, before the set, they must decide who plays which side. They will stay on that side until the match is over. Then you just simply play. Since you can't change sides, the box the server is about to serve into will tell you exactly which one of you is going to be returning the ball. You take turns each point returning serve, that is what the rules are saying.

This is incorrect. You can choose to switch receiving sides (deuce or ad) at the beginning of a new set/Match tiebreaker (if played in lieu of a 3rd set).

USTA Comment 15.2: May a doubles team switch its receiving
order at the beginning of any set or Match Tiebreak? Yes. There is no
requirement that any doubles team retain the same receiving order
for a new set or Match Tiebreak.

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