Rules or Code Provisions Hardly Anyone Knows

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I think I'd have to nominate the Code provision that says you can ask your opponent if a ball is in or out, and you have to accept their call if they saw it.

I don't know why, but people seem to take great offense at being asked whether they saw a ball as in or out. On the occasions I have asked for help -- being perfectly prepared to accept the opponent's call -- the opponent has gotten shirty with me. The hands go on the hips, and they say it's my call and if I don't know, then it's their point.

I'm getting gun shy over this. Yesterday, the opponent whipped a ball by me into my alley. My partner was near the opposite alley and didn't have a good look at it (but thought it was probably out). I spun around to look and thought I might have seen space but I didn't see it clearly enough to be certain. I thought about asking the player who hit the ball -- she was standing on the line and probably saw -- but I decided I didn't want the Hands On Hips reply again. So I just called it good.

Cindy -- who might also nominate "loss of point if ball strikes a player" as another one few people know
 

ChipNCharge

Professional
I think I'd have to nominate the Code provision that says you can ask your opponent if a ball is in or out, and you have to accept their call if they saw it.
That's a good one. Another is that The Code states you can't yell "short!" or "look out!" to your doubles partner when you hit a short lob. I can count on one hand the number of people that seem to know that rule.
 

Xisbum

Semi-Pro
If asked, I'll answer honestly whether I see my shot (or my partner's shot) in or out. Sometimes, but not often, I will volunteer that information if the ball is egregiously out.

Never bothers me if an opponent asks for my view; shows character, IMO.
 

Kostas

Semi-Pro
I nominate that you can officially coach your players or teammates between 2nd and 3rd sets.

Hardly anyone I know knows this rule. Everyone thinks coaching is the big taboo...
 

blakesq

Hall of Fame
thats not a rule. the rule says that the other side MAY call for a hindrance if you do that. but it doesn't say that the other side MUST call for a hindrance. and if no hindrance is called, you can do it all day long.

That's a good one. Another is that The Code states you can't yell "short!" or "look out!" to your doubles partner when you hit a short lob. I can count on one hand the number of people that seem to know that rule.
 

ChipNCharge

Professional
thats not a rule. the rule says that the other side MAY call for a hindrance if you do that. but it doesn't say that the other side MUST call for a hindrance. and if no hindrance is called, you can do it all day long.
Here it is from The Code:

-----
Section 33: "Talking During the Point"

"A player shall not talk while the ball is moving toward the opponent's side of the court. If the player's talking interferes with an opponent's ability to play the ball, the player loses the point. Consider the situation where a player hits a weak lob and loudly yells at his or his partner to get back. If the shout is loud enough to distract an opponent, then the opponent may claim the point based on a deliberate hindrance. If the opponent chooses to hit the lob and misses it, the opponent loses the point because the opponent did not make a timely claim of hindrance"
-----

"a player shall not talk while the ball is moving toward the opponent's side of the court" is pretty clear to me.
 
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woodrow1029

Guest
I nominate that you can officially coach your players or teammates between 2nd and 3rd sets.

Hardly anyone I know knows this rule. Everyone thinks coaching is the big taboo...
Only if it is an authorized rest break.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Here it is from The Code:

-----
Section 33: "Talking During the Point"

"A player shall not talk while the ball is moving toward the opponent's side of the court. If the player's talking interferes with an opponent's ability to play the ball, the player loses the point. Consider the situation where a player hits a weak lob and loudly yells at his or his partner to get back. If the shout is loud enough to distract an opponent, then the opponent may claim the point based on a deliberate hindrance. If the opponent chooses to hit the lob and misses it, the opponent loses the point because the opponent did not make a timely claim of hindrance"
-----

"a player shall not talk while the ball is moving toward the opponent's side of the court" is pretty clear to me.
I saw this rule misapplied once. My opponents hit a short lob and one of them yelled "Short" or whatever. We put the ball back in play, but the opponent stopped playing and walked to net. She said it was our point because she had yelled while the ball was on its way to us.

Uh, no. It's only a problem if we say it is, and we didn't think it was. But she had stopped playing, so the point was ours.
 

blakesq

Hall of Fame
If it is so clear, why does it say: "If the shout is loud enough to distract an opponent, then the opponent may claim the point based on a deliberate hindrance."

The above quoted portion means that if you are talking and it IS NOT loud enough to distract, then the opponent CANNOT claim the point.

Here it is from The Code:

-----
Section 33: "Talking During the Point"

"A player shall not talk while the ball is moving toward the opponent's side of the court. If the player's talking interferes with an opponent's ability to play the ball, the player loses the point. Consider the situation where a player hits a weak lob and loudly yells at his or his partner to get back. If the shout is loud enough to distract an opponent, then the opponent may claim the point based on a deliberate hindrance. If the opponent chooses to hit the lob and misses it, the opponent loses the point because the opponent did not make a timely claim of hindrance"
-----

"a player shall not talk while the ball is moving toward the opponent's side of the court" is pretty clear to me.
 

Taxvictim

Semi-Pro
How about the rule about leaving a ball on the court? I almost won a huge bet on that one that other night, but the other guy backed out at the last minute.

Anyone has the right to request that an extra ball be cleared from the court before a serve. If the serve is made while an extra ball is on the ground, all parties agree to play with the ball on the court. If the game ball strikes the extra ball during play, you can call a let, or the receiver can play the ball if it is clear which ball is the game ball after the two balls hit.

Everyone else at the tennis party said the player/team that leaves the ball on his/their side of the court loses the point for not clearing it. A copy of FAC proved me right.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
If it is so clear, why does it say: "If the shout is loud enough to distract an opponent, then the opponent may claim the point based on a deliberate hindrance."

The above quoted portion means that if you are talking and it IS NOT loud enough to distract, then the opponent CANNOT claim the point.
Whoa! I lost you in an ocean of double-negatives there.

In the case I described, I was the "opponent." The shout wasn't loud enough to distract me, so I played on. So I think we agree.
 

spot

Hall of Fame
The rule that I think few people know is that if the ball crosses the net and goes back to the opponent's side because of crazy spin or wind, you are actually allowed to walk past the netline onto the opponents side of the net to try and make contact with the ball before it bounces a second time. You aren't allowed to touch your opponent's court, but you can go over to their side and reach in.
 
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Taxvictim

Semi-Pro
Also, with regard to footfaulting, most players do not understand that walking during a serve is also a foot fault, even if you do not step on the line or over the outside extensions. The service motion begins with both feet at rest, and only limited movements of the feet are permitted (it is okay to jump). You can't toss the ball three feet to your right and walk over to strike it.
 

Spokewench

Semi-Pro
Tiebreaker

I asked all of my teammates this weekend to give them a rules test; we are going to sectionals this coming week.

We play best of two. So, we use 7 pt coman tiebreakers and a 10 Point Match Tiebreaker in lieu of a third set.

The question is: If you go to a 7 pt tiebreaker, who serves first in the next set?

Don't go look it up first, give me your answer without looking at the Rules!
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
The tiebreak can be thought of as the service game of the player/team that served first in the tiebreak.

So the first game of the next set is served by the other team.
 

PatrickB

Rookie
The rule that I think few people know is that if the ball crosses the net and goes back to the opponent's side, you are actually allowed to walk past the netline onto the opponents side of the net to try and make contact with the ball before it bounces a second time. You aren't allowed to touch your opponent's court, but you can go over to their side and reach in.
Even fewer people realize that you can hit it into *their* side of the net to essentially guarantee that you win that point.
 

JavierLW

Hall of Fame
I saw this rule misapplied once. My opponents hit a short lob and one of them yelled "Short" or whatever. We put the ball back in play, but the opponent stopped playing and walked to net. She said it was our point because she had yelled while the ball was on its way to us.

Uh, no. It's only a problem if we say it is, and we didn't think it was. But she had stopped playing, so the point was ours.
But the point would of been your's anyway had you said it....
 

JavierLW

Hall of Fame
Yeah....I play in MS so our regs authorize it. Didn't realize it wasn't the same everywhere else...

http://www.mstennis.com/pdffiles/RegsNorthCentral.pdf
If you play a match tiebreak instead of a 3rd set then it's almost never allowed because that's almost never a authorized rest period. (you only get 2 minutes just like between the 1st and 2nd sets)

A lot of areas get 10 minutes between the 2nd set and the 3rd set, so that's where they allow coaching.

Personally the few times Ive been "coached" in that period was more annoying then anything, and there was probably only once that I felt I had to say something to someone else during it.
 

dizzlmcwizzl

Hall of Fame
Dont know if it stacks up to the previous posters (especially the one about asking for help) but how about ...

Even after the exchange of lineups in a league match if a player is injured or weather forces the re-scheduling of the match you may change your lineup. Provided the first point on the court in question has not been played.
 
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Spokewench

Semi-Pro
The tiebreak can be thought of as the service game of the player/team that served first in the tiebreak.

So the first game of the next set is served by the other team.
Good Job Cindysphinx - not one of my teammates got it right! I am just appalled. I have asked most of these people to read the rules for 4 years straight now since most of them have been on one or another of my teams for the last 4 years.

Some of these people have been playing way longer than I have.
 
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woodrow1029

Guest
Spokewench,

If you'd like to really test your teams on the rules, go back through the threads I have started that are loaded with rules quizzes. Also, feel free to email me if you have any questions.
 

spot

Hall of Fame
If your opponent hits a ball in anger after the point is over and it injures you where you need to retire then you win the match. (throwing the racquet would also apply)
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Good Job Cindysphinx - not one of my teammates got it right! I am just appalled. I have asked most of these people to read the rules for 4 years straight now since most of them have been on one or another of my teams for the last 4 years.

Some of these people have been playing way longer than I have.
I have sympathy with people (such as myself) who can't remember how singles sticks are to be handled. But not knowing who serves in the next set after a tiebreak? Dang, there are people who actually believe you cannot change receiving sides/service order at beginning of new sets. Grrrr.

Cindy -- who has grown tired of telling her team about not returning obvious faults and is about to grind her teeth to nubs when partners return creampuff serves that land outside the doubles alley
 

HookEmJeff

Semi-Pro
I actually like this "probably unknown" rule:

37. Injury caused by a player. When a player accidentally injures an opponent, the opponent suffers the consequences. Consider the situation where the server’s racket accidentally strikes the receiver and incapacitates the receiver.The receiver is unable to resume play within the time limit. Even though the server caused the injury,the server wins the match by retirement. On the other hand, when a player deliberately injures an opponent and affects the opponent’s ability to play, then the opponent wins the match by default. Hitting a ball or throwing a racket in anger is considered a deliberate act.

***
So---basically if you're getting your butt kicked...lure an opponent to the net then toss your racquet at them in a wild swing...and maybe you'll knock them unconscious.

It's their fault. Solid!!!!


Jeff
 

rich s

Hall of Fame
Only if it is an authorized rest break.
help me understand please.... If I'm in league play and the league allows a 15 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd sets I can be coached by my teammates during that 15 minute break/period?

thanks...
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Wow. If my teammates could come out and "coach" me between second and third sets, I think I would have to go hide in the bathroom. What a nightmare!
 

North

Professional
If it is so clear, why does it say: "If the shout is loud enough to distract an opponent, then the opponent may claim the point based on a deliberate hindrance."

The above quoted portion means that if you are talking and it IS NOT loud enough to distract, then the opponent CANNOT claim the point.
Exactly. But... it is the opponent who decides if my talking is loud enough to be distracting - not me. Some people are oblivious to constant shouting from the other side and some people are distracted by quiet communication between the opponents on the other side.
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
I asked all of my teammates this weekend to give them a rules test; we are going to sectionals this coming week.

We play best of two. So, we use 7 pt coman tiebreakers and a 10 Point Match Tiebreaker in lieu of a third set.

The question is: If you go to a 7 pt tiebreaker, who serves first in the next set?

Don't go look it up first, give me your answer without looking at the Rules!
One of yer questions might be, what is a "7 pt" tiebreaker's actual name. :mrgreen:

Kevin
 

Taxvictim

Semi-Pro
Here's one: in doubles, one player requests a bathroom break. Can the other team use the match balls to hit back-and-forth while the player is gone?
 

spot

Hall of Fame
I'll say that I've always thought it was a myth that players aren't allowed to continue to hit while the opponents took the 10 minute break between the second and third sets or during a bathroom break. I don't think I've ever seen a rule forbidding it.

As far as which balls to use I think you are supposed to use other used balls if possible, but again there isn't a prohibition on using the match balls.
 
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cknobman

Legend
I actually like this "probably unknown" rule:

37. Injury caused by a player. When a player accidentally injures an opponent, the opponent suffers the consequences. Consider the situation where the server’s racket accidentally strikes the receiver and incapacitates the receiver.The receiver is unable to resume play within the time limit. Even though the server caused the injury,the server wins the match by retirement. On the other hand, when a player deliberately injures an opponent and affects the opponent’s ability to play, then the opponent wins the match by default. Hitting a ball or throwing a racket in anger is considered a deliberate act.

***
So---basically if you're getting your butt kicked...lure an opponent to the net then toss your racquet at them in a wild swing...and maybe you'll knock them unconscious.

It's their fault. Solid!!!!


Jeff
swett :)
 

goober

Legend
How about the rule about leaving a ball on the court? I almost won a huge bet on that one that other night, but the other guy backed out at the last minute.

Anyone has the right to request that an extra ball be cleared from the court before a serve. If the serve is made while an extra ball is on the ground, all parties agree to play with the ball on the court. If the game ball strikes the extra ball during play, you can call a let, or the receiver can play the ball if it is clear which ball is the game ball after the two balls hit.

Everyone else at the tennis party said the player/team that leaves the ball on his/their side of the court loses the point for not clearing it. A copy of FAC proved me right.
Actually if the ball hits another ball left on the court you can't play a let. Play continues. Probably 99% of the time the point is over for the receiving team because they have no play on the ball. The only way let could occur is if the returner hit actually hit a ball back into play and it wasn't clear that this was the correct ball. How often does that happen- almost never I would guess.

From the USTA Friend at Court:


Case 2:
A ball in play hits another ball which is lying in the correct court.
What is the correct decision?


Decision:
Play continues. However, if it is not clear that the actual ball in
play has been returned, a let should be called.
 

Taxvictim

Semi-Pro
Actually if the ball hits another ball left on the court you can't play a let. Play continues. Probably 99% of the time the point is over for the receiving team because they have no play on the ball. The only way let could occur is if the returner hit actually hit a ball back into play and it wasn't clear that this was the correct ball. How often does that happen- almost never I would guess.
Good clarification. Thanks.
 

michael_1265

Professional
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.


A lot of people who I've played with/against don't know this one.
 

DE19702

Rookie
Here's one that I don't know how to handle: I hit a high topspin serve which barely made it over the net. The receiver's partner yelled something unintelligible. He claims he said "short." I didn't understand what he said and thought he meant it was a let. Nevertheless, it distracted me and I stopped playing. The receiver returned the ball. Was I correct to claim a distraction on the serve? It seems to me that any kind of noise from that side could be interpreted as either a let or out. We played a let.
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
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.

A lot of people who I've played with/against don't know this one.
Interestingsly, I've recently learned (IIRC) that the ITF rule on this situation differs from the USTA's. Changing the call from "out" to "in" results in loss of point, regardless of how the ball might have been returned.

Kevin
 

michael_1265

Professional
Interestingsly, I've recently learned (IIRC) that the ITF rule on this situation differs from the USTA's. Changing the call from "out" to "in" results in loss of point, regardless of how the ball might have been returned.

Kevin
I wondered if there was some conflict in the rules, because some people I've played against seemed so certain they had read the rule otherwise
 

rich s

Hall of Fame
help me understand please.... If I'm in league play and the league allows a 15 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd sets I can be coached by my teammates during that 15 minute break/period?

thanks...
I've answered my own question... an authorized rest break is the required rest time between matches during a tournament not an allowed rest period between sets
 
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woodrow1029

Guest
I've answered my own question... an authorized rest break is the required rest time between matches during a tournament not an allowed rest period between sets
An authorized rest break during the match is either the break between 2nd and 3rd sets, or when the match is suspended because of rain, darkness, etc.

During those breaks, you can be coached.

You cannot be coached during a toilet break or medical timeout.
 

spot

Hall of Fame
richs- in USTA you are allowed to coach during the break between the second and the third sets. in ALTA you are not allowed to coach. ALTA is governed by USTA rules except when ALTA rules conflict and ALTA has a no coaching rule without exception.
 

Topaz

Legend
richs- in USTA you are allowed to coach during the break between the second and the third sets. in ALTA you are not allowed to coach. ALTA is governed by USTA rules except when ALTA rules conflict and ALTA has a no coaching rule without exception.
Is this a regional/district thing?

Because we are *very* strict on no coaching at any time during our matches. I've seen it enforced during both league and tournament play, both local and district level, regardless if there is a full 3rd set or a 3rd set TB or if anyone took a break or not.
 
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woodrow1029

Guest
^^^Except there is no coaching allowed in USTA league and tournament play.
If certain leagues have different rules that supercede USTA rules, that may be correct.

In USTA tournament play, however, if there is an authorized 10 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd set, or if play is suspended because of rain, darkness, etc,. coaching is allowed.
 

spot

Hall of Fame
Topaz- by USTA rules there is coaching allowed during between the second and third set. Local leagues can set more strict rules on coaching if they like.

USTA Comment 30.2 Is coaching permitted during authorized
rest periods? Yes. However, an authorized rest period does not include
a Toilet Break, a 2-minute Set Break, Medical Time-Out, Bleeding Time-Out, when play is suspended but the players remain
on the court, when a player leaves the court seeking the assistance
of the Referee, or when equipment or clothing is being adjusted.
Notice that if there is a rest period between the second and third set as many leagues allow then coaching would be allowed then. Many people who play USTA simply aren't aware of the fact that you can coach between the second and third sets. However your league may have eliminated this.
 
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woodrow1029

Guest
Topaz, this is out of the Friend at Court.


Case 2:
Is a player allowed to receive coaching when play is suspended?
Decision:


Yes.


USTA Comment 30.1:

A player may bring to the court written notes that were prepared before the start of the match and may read these notes during the match. A player may not use electronic devices such as cell phones, digital messaging systems, radios, mp3 players, cd and dvd players, cassette players, and any device capable of receiving communication. Hearing aids and watches not capable of receiving messages are permitted. A player desiring to use any other electronic device should first ask the Referee whether the device may be used.

USTA Comment 30.2:

Is coaching permitted during authorized rest
periods?

Yes. However, an authorized rest period does not include a toilet
break, a 2-minute set break, medical timeout, bleeding timeout, when play
is suspended but the players remain on the court, when a player leaves the court seeking the assistance of the Referee, or when equipment or clothing is being adjusted.

USTA Comment 30.3:


Is coaching permitted in the USTA League
programs?

No. Even though the USTA League programs are team
competitions for adults and seniors, coaching is not permitted under league rules, except during authorized rest periods or as otherwise permitted.

 
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