Tennis rule question: Tennis serve landing on singles sideline beyond service line up to 1 feet

topspinnerMN

New User
Is the ball considered in if it lands on the singles sideline outside of the service line? My friend served that way and the ball landed 3 inches outside of the service line but it landed on the singles side line. He said up to 1 feet on the singles side line, outside of the service line, is considered in on the serve. Is this true? I looked up online but I didn't find anything on this rule.
 
Is the ball considered in if it lands on the singles sideline outside of the service line? My friend served that way and the ball landed 3 inches outside of the service line but it landed on the singles side line. He said up to 1 feet on the singles side line, outside of the service line, is considered in on the serve. Is this true? I looked up online but I didn't find anything on this rule.
There's a reason you didn't find anything...

There are so many problems with his "rule":

- How am I supposed to judge whether the ball landed within 12" of the SL? I have a hard enough time figuring out if it hit the line; now I have to measure 12"??

- So if it's a foot long from the SL but not touching the singles sideline, it's out but if it touches the singles sideline it's now magically in?

If he truly believes this [and isn't trying to cheat], just show him the rule that says the ball must land inside the service box. 12" beyond the service box is not "inside".

If he can't understand this, then the next move is yours.
 
I don't think any sports having lines would need people to imagine a range from lines.
Actually, you do with respect to the centerline and serving: you cannot touch the ground beyond the imaginary centerline extension all the way to the back fence. If you're a righty, the most common way to FF this way is with your right foot when serving Deuce and with your left foot when serving Ad.

So there are 3 lines you can't cross: the BL, the imaginary centerline, and the imaginary sideline [I don't believe you can stand outside the singles court when serving in singles nor outside the doubles court when serving in doubles].

In volleyball, you can't hit the ball outside the imaginary line extending upwards from the antenna. Same thing in American football when kicking a field goal.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't understand why people cheat in rec tennis. What do you get out of it outside of a bad reputation?
 

topspinnerMN

New User
Is the ball considered in if it lands on the singles sideline outside of the service line? My friend served that way and the ball landed 3 inches outside of the service line but it landed on the singles side line. He said up to 1 feet on the singles side line, outside of the service line, is considered in on the serve. Is this true? I looked up online but I didn't find anything on this rule.
I should have been more clear. He wasn't trying to cheat. He didn't claim a point for the serve and let it considered as out, but he said that is the usual rule in pro tennis.
 
Exactly, there’s literally no point besides getting people to hate you and hate playing with you.
It just goes to show how much some people value winning. Maybe they have an inferiority complex that requires constant winning to keep at bay. Maybe it's not enough to have fun: they have to assert dominance, take the opponent down, follow a scorched earth policy, etc.

Word gets out eventually.
 
Actually, you do with respect to the centerline and serving: you cannot touch the ground beyond the imaginary centerline extension all the way to the back fence. If you're a righty, the most common way to FF this way is with your right foot when serving Deuce and with your left foot when serving Ad.

So there are 3 lines you can't cross: the BL, the imaginary centerline, and the imaginary sideline [I don't believe you can stand outside the singles court when serving in singles nor outside the doubles court when serving in doubles].

In volleyball, you can't hit the ball outside the imaginary line extending upwards from the antenna. Same thing in American football when kicking a field goal.
yes, those are direct extensions from certain markers. That's why I said 'range'. OP's friend is like landing on the extension line is ok but landing 1 foot from it is a fault.

But the tennis imaginary extensions are also weird. Why not just paint the centre line? And why does the centre mark go inward instead of outward?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
"Oh, you haven't heard the new rule? If you ace me but I can say 'grok' before it hits the fence or bounces twice, it doesn't count."
Reminds me of the service "let rule" in Div I men's collegiate tennis. A serve that hits the net yet lands in proper service area is a legal serve -- it is not regarded as a "let serve". Before this rule was Incorporated, many players would "steal" an ace hit by their opponent by declaring the serve was a let. Since they did not usually have lines persons for their matches, this was enough of a problem that they decided to add this rule.
 
Reminds me of the service "let rule" in Div I men's collegiate tennis. A serve that hits the net yet lands in proper service area is a legal serve -- it is not regarded as a "let serve". Before this rule was Incorporated, many players would "steal" an ace hit by their opponent by declaring the serve was a let. Since they did not usually have lines persons for their matches, this was enough of a problem that they decided to add this rule.
I'm all for getting rid of the let and just playing everything. If we do it during the point, be consistent and do it during the serve.

Is it only Div I?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm all for getting rid of the let and just playing everything. If we do it during the point, be consistent and do it during the serve.

Is it only Div I?
Yes, it is only Div I men's. It does not apply to women's Div I.

I tried to incorporate this with a group I used to regularly play with. But they nixxed the idea.

I'm all for it incorporating this idea but the problem with rec tennis is that serves are sometimes so slow that the ball often hits the net tape and just trickles over. (Happens much less frequently in pro tennis and Div I men's tennis cuz even 2nd serves are typically faster than 80 mph).

It would be criminal to reward the server in cases where a serve trickled into the box after clipping the net. One possible solution is to add an extra line, a short service line. This is a line you see on badminton courts and pickleball courts. Balls / shuttles that land short of this line are not good serves
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
yes, those are direct extensions from certain markers. That's why I said 'range'. OP's friend is like landing on the extension line is ok but landing 1 foot from it is a fault.

But the tennis imaginary extensions are also weird. Why not just paint the centre line? And why does the centre mark go inward instead of outward?
How far back behind the BL should we paint this extension? That added line might give Rafa fits. Whenever he resumes play on the court or leaves the playing area for changeovers, he almost always steps over lines with his right foot. He avoids stepping on lines in these situations.
 
Is the ball considered in if it lands on the singles sideline outside of the service line? My friend served that way and the ball landed 3 inches outside of the service line but it landed on the singles side line. He said up to 1 feet on the singles side line, outside of the service line, is considered in on the serve. Is this true? I looked up online but I didn't find anything on this rule.
Absolutely NO! NEVER heard of this--NO! Let me hazard a guess, your friend plays no more than once a year at the most, and uses the same balls he used last year.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Is the ball considered in if it lands on the singles sideline outside of the service line? My friend served that way and the ball landed 3 inches outside of the service line but it landed on the singles side line. He said up to 1 feet on the singles side line, outside of the service line, is considered in on the serve. Is this true? I looked up online but I didn't find anything on this rule.
He is not your friend
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
I should have been more clear. He wasn't trying to cheat. He didn't claim a point for the serve and let it considered as out, but he said that is the usual rule in pro tennis.
Your friend must have been watching Zverev the past couple days, poor Sasha couldn't understand the ball/line rule either!
 

Morch Us

Professional
You could say the exact same thing about ground strokes. So that invalidates this argument, if net-tape ground stroke winners are considered winners.

So in the end it is just about accepting a change from "traditional" methods.

but the problem with rec tennis is that serves are sometimes so slow that the ball often hits the net tape and just trickles over
 

Morch Us

Professional
Of course there is no such rules with 1 feet. But I want to give a different view point.

Possibly he was not happy with your line call? 3 inches deep, landing on sideline, that is a tough call to make accurately (except if you were definitely expecting the service at that area AND was relatively slow). Of course, I agree, he should have just asked you "are you sure" instead of making up some random story.

There is also some general "leeway" in most recreational tennis, were folks would give a benefit of doubt to server, in cases where it seems really close (around 1 inches to 2 inches out, are still called IN in most friendly matches, depending on the tennis personalities and competitiveness). Is there any possibility that your friend was referring to this idea? (in an effort to educate you possibly because you have relatively less experience than him on such unwritten tennis ettique).

Either way, there is no "1 feet rule" officially followed in "pro tour" or ANY tennis matches.

ball landed 3 inches outside of the service line but it landed on the singles side line
He didn't claim a point for the serve and let it considered as out, but he said that is the usual rule in pro tennis.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
You could say the exact same thing about ground strokes. So that invalidates this argument, if net-tape ground stroke winners are considered winners.

So in the end it is just about accepting a change from "traditional" methods.
No, it does not invalidate the argument. In the case of the serve, the other guy doesn't even get a chance to participate in the rally since the server, who should already have an advantage, will have gotten an undeserved freebie.

In addition, a lot of rec players hit their first serves very close to the net (and sometimes their 2nd serves). A significant number that hit the net tape can dribble over into the correct service box. Players should not be rewarded for this.

Sure it can happen later in a rally but, at least, the opponent has had an opportunity to play the ball. Also, many rec players will have more net clearance on their g'strokes than on their serve. So they will be less likely to get a cheap point, courtesy of the net, during a rally. OTOH, for rec players who have very little net clearance on ground strokes will, undoubtedly, be losing a lot of points during rallies already. An occasional freebie there should have less impact than freebies on serves.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Anyone grew up playing on clay courts with non-permanent line fixtures, would undestand that where this habit came from.
(Of course he does not like to "change" any such habits he developed).
Why the right foot? Clay courts would not dictate this foot preference. The line thing appears to be one of many idiosyncrasies (OCD behaviors) seen with Rafa.

Are there are there clay court specialists who go out of their way to step over lines? I can see not dragging your foot across the lines, but normal walking?
 

Morch Us

Professional
I agree with your net clearence on serve vs ground stroke argument, but not the below statement.

Sure it can happen later in a rally but, at least, the opponent has had an opportunity to play the ball.
A netcord can land very close to the net even on a rally ball, and arguably a net cord on a rally ball has more lucky space to land, it can roll over the net from left side all the way to the right side and still a good ball. A service net cord has more chance to go outside the service box (and so less chance for a lucky winner vs a ground stroke netcord lucky winner). Also at lower levels, possibly the returner is anyway inside the baseline to defend against some possibly short serves as well. A non-netcord ground stroke can land really deep close to the baseline, and so the court space or range to cover on a surprise lucky net-cord ground stroke is arguably more.

Anyway, that being said, I totally hate the idea of serve let winners. But I know that it is purely because of the way I learned playing. Same thing with fast 4 format vs traditional set. I can see the advantage in new format, but I hate a change like that.
 

HuusHould

Professional
If you're a righty, the most common way to FF this way is with your right foot when serving Deuce and with your left foot when serving Ad.
Kyrgios got done on the deuce court with his right foot for this. From memory the rule's a bit absurd in that it didn't matter that his foot was inside when he pushed off the ground, the fact that it came from a position that constituted a foot fault before he stepped up, was enough to render it a foot fault. I can understand why the rule is there, but that ruling makes no sense to me.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I agree with your net clearence on serve vs ground stroke argument, but not the below statement.



A netcord can land very close to the net even on a rally ball, and arguably a net cord on a rally ball has more lucky space to land, it can roll over the net from left side all the way to the right side and still a good ball. A service net cord has more chance to go outside the service box (and so less chance for a lucky winner vs a ground stroke netcord lucky winner). Also at lower levels, possibly the returner is anyway inside the baseline to defend against some possibly short serves as well. A non-netcord ground stroke can land really deep close to the baseline, and so the court space or range to cover on a surprise lucky net-cord ground stroke is arguably more.

Anyway, that being said, I totally hate the idea of serve let winners. But I know that it is purely because of the way I learned playing. Same thing with fast 4 format vs traditional set. I can see the advantage in new format, but I hate a change like that.
Not sure if you understood exactly what I was attempting to get at with that statement. If the net dribble happens on the serve, the other player never had an opportunity engage in the rally at all.

OTOH, if it happens during the rally, this is not fair either. But, at least in this case, both players have had an opportunity to participate in the rally. (And possibly even get to the net during the course of the rally).

The latter has happened to me a number of times over the years. However I tend to go to the net quite early in a rally and have often had a play on the dribblers. When it happens in doubs, my partner is usually close to the net even if I am not.

Anyway, adding a short service line, like badminton in pickleball have, would take care of the dribble situation for the serve. But that line would not be used during the rally. They would still be the unfair dribbler every once in awhile during the rally. But I think this has been less frequent than the serve dribblers when I've played.
 

Morch Us

Professional
You got me. Looks like I totally missed what you were trying to convey earlier.

So you are saying since serve is the first shot, a net-cord winner on that means no rally. But on a ground stroke exchange a netcord-winner on 10th shot means there was still "some" rally, so less of an annoyance because there was "some" play.

Ok. I will buy that.

Thanks for taking time to explain again.

Not sure if you understood exactly what I was attempting to get at with that statement
OTOH, if it happens during the rally, this is not fair either. But, at least in this case, both players have had an opportunity to participate in the rally. (And possibly even get to the net during the course of the rally).
 

DCNJ

New User
Did that just happen in the past year or two?
Yes. I think it was put in place starting last year (the COVID shortened season). I think DIII was supposed to follow as well, so that all NCAA play used the same rules, but only DII followed what DI was doing (so DII now has just the one point for doubles play, but DIII still has three points for doubles--one for each court. That's what DII used to do, even when DI had just the one doubles point)
 
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