What are the Rules for these situations?

Bluefan75

Professional
So this doesn't get lost in the stuff in the other thread, had a few situations pop up during the match with a lot of drama.

Mostly to do with lets. Had one situation where someone was serving, missed the first serve, put the second serve in play, and a ball from another court came in. Receiving team said "let. First serve." Does a team really get a first serve when a ball comes in from another court when the point is a second serve?

Another situation, I'm serving, miss my first serve, ball goes into the corner of the bubble. Unbeknownst to me, as I prepare for second serve, the ball started rolling back towards the court. As I hit my second serve, my partner calls let, tells the guy(receiver) the ball is behind him pretty close and he may want to move. Receiver moves the ball, and before he can say anything, his partner says "First serve." He says to his partner, should be a second serve, that's where he was. Which I agree with, but with the tinderbox of a match(described in the other thread), I wasn't going to argue either one. Just seems like a team could really find ways to buy themselves a new first serve.

Is there any situation where a let on a second serve gets you a first serve? or are people just trying to be nice?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Once the ball is put in play and the point is started and there is a let, you replay the point, and replaying the point starts with a first serve.

So in your first case, it sounds like the ball was in play, the point had started, so when the ball entered the court and the rules dictate playing a let, the serving team gets a first serve. The timing of this can be tricky though, had the ball rolled in the court before the serve was put in play and the receiver called for the server to not serve yet, that would not call for a first serve unless the time to clear the ball disrupted the server enough to warrant a first serve (subjective).

Your second case has a first serve granted far more infrequently, although the rules allow it. This sounds like it is more the normal clearing of a ball after a missed first serve which alone does not call for granting a first serve. Your opponents were just being kind to grant a first serve, presumably because they didn't clear the ball immediately and disrupted your second serve by deciding to do it late. They are under no obligation to grant a first serve in this situation.
 

NoChance

Rookie
And this...The point is considered to have begun when the server begins his/her motion. So, if the above interruption occurred during the service motion, even if the ball has not yet been struck, the point has begun, and a first serve would be granted.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
Once the ball is put in play and the point is started and there is a let, you replay the point, and replaying the point starts with a first serve.

So in your first case, it sounds like the ball was in play, the point had started, so when the ball entered the court and the rules dictate playing a let, the serving team gets a first serve. The timing of this can be tricky though, had the ball rolled in the court before the serve was put in play and the receiver called for the server to not serve yet, that would not call for a first serve unless the time to clear the ball disrupted the server enough to warrant a first serve (subjective).

Your second case has a first serve granted far more infrequently, although the rules allow it. This sounds like it is more the normal clearing of a ball after a missed first serve which alone does not call for granting a first serve. Your opponents were just being kind to grant a first serve, presumably because they didn't clear the ball immediately and disrupted your second serve by deciding to do it late. They are under no obligation to grant a first serve in this situation.
Yes first situation the point was in progress. And that one I get the first serve since no one has control over the ball coming from another court.

To be clear, in the second situation, it was my partner that held things up and told him he should move the ball. It was behind him and he had no idea it was there. Don't know if that affects anything or not in your analysis, but it was my partner who put a stop to things as I served.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
The rules are covered here:

22. THE LET DURING A SERVE
The service is a let if:

a. The ball served touches the net, strap or band, and is otherwise good; or,
after touching the net, strap or band, touches the receiver or the receiver’s
partner or anything they wear or carry before hitting the ground; or

b. The ball is served when the receiver is not ready.
In the case of a service let, that particular service shall not count, and the server
shall serve again, but a service let does not cancel a previous fault.
Additional approved alternative procedures can be found in Appendix V.

USTA Comment 22.1: May the receiver claim a let if the server loses
control and grip of the racket and it lands during the service in the server’s
court? No. Such an occurrence is not sufficiently unusual to justify a let.

23. THE LET
In all cases when a let is called, except when a service let is called on a second
service, the whole point shall be replayed.

Case 1: When the ball is in play, another ball rolls onto court. A let is called. The
server had previously served a fault. Is the server now entitled to a first service or
second service?
Decision: First service. The whole point must be replayed.

USTA Comment 23.1: What happens when the server is interrupted
during delivery of the second service? The server is entitled to two serves.

USTA Comment 23.2: What happens when there is a delay between the
first and second serves? If the delay is caused by the receiver (such as a
broken string or contact lens problem), an official, or outside interference, the
whole point is replayed. If the server caused the delay, such as when the
server breaks a string, the server gets one serve. Note that a spectator’s call
(“out,” “fault,” or other), a spectator’s ringing cell phone, or grunting on an
adjacent court is not basis for replaying the point. Action should be taken to
prevent further spectator interference.

USTA Comment 23.3: What happens when a ball from an adjacent court
rolls on the court between the first and second serves? The time it takes to
clear an intruding ball between the first and second serves is not considered
sufficient time to warrant the server receiving two serves unless this time is
so prolonged as to constitute an interruption. The receiver is the judge of
whether the delay is sufficiently prolonged to justify giving the server two
serves.

USTA Comment 23.4: Who may call a let? Only an official or player may
call a let. A player may call a let only on the player’s court.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
Knew I forgot a situation that came up.

Partner hits a serve that lands near the sideline and serve line. Can't recall if it went for an ace or receiver hit it long, but wins point for us. But his partner says "long." Receiver says, no it was in. then says, "It has to be your point since we disagree on the call." Is that the rule, or just the sportsmanlike thing to do?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Knew I forgot a situation that came up.

Partner hits a serve that lands near the sideline and serve line. Can't recall if it went for an ace or receiver hit it long, but wins point for us. But his partner says "long." Receiver says, no it was in. then says, "It has to be your point since we disagree on the call." Is that the rule, or just the sportsmanlike thing to do?
Yes, that is the rule per the USTA code. A pair does not get "two bites at the apple" by having one partner call it out and the other in and getting to play a let. If an incorrect call is made stopping play, the team making the incorrect call loses the point.
 

OrangePower

Legend
Another situation, I'm serving, miss my first serve, ball goes into the corner of the bubble. Unbeknownst to me, as I prepare for second serve, the ball started rolling back towards the court. As I hit my second serve, my partner calls let, tells the guy(receiver) the ball is behind him pretty close and he may want to move. Receiver moves the ball, and before he can say anything, his partner says "First serve." He says to his partner, should be a second serve, that's where he was. Which I agree with, but with the tinderbox of a match(described in the other thread), I wasn't going to argue either one. Just seems like a team could really find ways to buy themselves a new first serve.
Really this one is situational, so it's hard to say without being there. There's a couple of things that come into play:
- Whether the let call by your partner was made in good faith or not.
- How much time elapsed between the first serve, and the ball being cleared.

If I'm the receiver, and a ball that I can't see is rolling back behind me where I could potentially step on it, I absolutely want my opponent to call a let. If we discourage calling lets in this situation (by refusing to grant a first serve afterwards), then it can potentially put player's safety at risk. But it requires the opponent to use good faith judgement in deciding whether to call the let. In your opinion, was the ball really in danger of rolling back to where the receiver could be impacted, or was your partner just taking advantage of the situation?

Then in terms of how long the interruption was, again this is a judgement call, to be made by the receivers. If the the let call and clearing of the ball all happened quickly, then it should be 2nd serve. But if the whole thing took long enough as to potentially change the server's rhythm, then it should be 1st serve. Up to receivers to determine. And if the server was already in his motion for 2nd serve, then it's a let 1st serve.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
Really this one is situational, so it's hard to say without being there. There's a couple of things that come into play:
- Whether the let call by your partner was made in good faith or not.
- How much time elapsed between the first serve, and the ball being cleared.

If I'm the receiver, and a ball that I can't see is rolling back behind me where I could potentially step on it, I absolutely want my opponent to call a let. If we discourage calling lets in this situation (by refusing to grant a first serve afterwards), then it can potentially put player's safety at risk. But it requires the opponent to use good faith judgement in deciding whether to call the let. In your opinion, was the ball really in danger of rolling back to where the receiver could be impacted, or was your partner just taking advantage of the situation?

Then in terms of how long the interruption was, again this is a judgement call, to be made by the receivers. If the the let call and clearing of the ball all happened quickly, then it should be 2nd serve. But if the whole thing took long enough as to potentially change the server's rhythm, then it should be 1st serve. Up to receivers to determine. And if the server was already in his motion for 2nd serve, then it's a let 1st serve.
Well, based on what I posted in another thread, I can't say for certain it was good faith on my partner's end, but at the same time, if he really wanted to get the guy, I think he would have rather had him risk turning an ankle than getting us a first serve.

It was fairly quick. I hit the first serve, the ball went wide and into the corner. I knew it was out before it hit the ground, so I didn't have to wait for a call. So I pretty much was back into my routine to bounce the ball and then toss it up. It didn't occur to me to look at the ball since every time prior the ball hugged the canvas(we even had one disappear for a while under the inner sheet).

The other guy's explanation was that out of courtesy for wanting them to clear the ball for their own safety, it was worth a first serve.
 

OrangePower

Legend
The other guy's explanation was that out of courtesy for wanting them to clear the ball for their own safety, it was worth a first serve.
That completely makes sense. So clearly the opponent felt the call was not frivolous, and granted a first serve. I would have done the same.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
Really this one is situational, so it's hard to say without being there. There's a couple of things that come into play:
- Whether the let call by your partner was made in good faith or not.
- How much time elapsed between the first serve, and the ball being cleared.

If I'm the receiver, and a ball that I can't see is rolling back behind me where I could potentially step on it, I absolutely want my opponent to call a let. If we discourage calling lets in this situation (by refusing to grant a first serve afterwards), then it can potentially put player's safety at risk. But it requires the opponent to use good faith judgement in deciding whether to call the let. In your opinion, was the ball really in danger of rolling back to where the receiver could be impacted, or was your partner just taking advantage of the situation?

Then in terms of how long the interruption was, again this is a judgement call, to be made by the receivers. If the the let call and clearing of the ball all happened quickly, then it should be 2nd serve. But if the whole thing took long enough as to potentially change the server's rhythm, then it should be 1st serve. Up to receivers to determine. And if the server was already in his motion for 2nd serve, then it's a let 1st serve.
I usually agree with you, but not this time. While I understand the concept of encourage people to stop play if there is a hazard, this is clearly a case where the delay was caused by the server (they served, the receiver never touched it, and the ball rolled back toward the court). They shouldn't get a first serve. Frankly, the server shouldn't have even started their motion while the ball was still moving.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
I usually agree with you, but not this time. While I understand the concept of encourage people to stop play if there is a hazard, this is clearly a case where the delay was caused by the server (they served, the receiver never touched it, and the ball rolled back toward the court). They shouldn't get a first serve. Frankly, the server shouldn't have even started their motion while the ball was still moving.
Well the ball wasn't moving at that point, it had stopped. It rolled back towards the court.

But I also get the concept that just because we called it off, we shouldn't get a first serve out of the deal. I certainly wouldn't have raised a fuss if they had said second serve.
 

OrangePower

Legend
I usually agree with you, but not this time. While I understand the concept of encourage people to stop play if there is a hazard, this is clearly a case where the delay was caused by the server (they served, the receiver never touched it, and the ball rolled back toward the court). They shouldn't get a first serve. Frankly, the server shouldn't have even started their motion while the ball was still moving.
Bolded part is a good point, and I agree server should have waited to see the ball come to rest safely. But also I think receiver should have watched it end up safe before assuming ready position for the 2nd serve (I always do this as receiver). So I think both sides were jointly responsible for letting the 2nd serve commence before it should have.

But given that server did not wait, and that receiver did not make him wait, that the ball could have been a hazard, and that this all took enough time to be considered an interruption, I would offer a first serve.

I do agree with you that as server, if not offered a first serve in this situation, I would not have been upset. It's a close judgement call either way.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
Well the ball wasn't moving at that point, it had stopped. It rolled back towards the court.

But I also get the concept that just because we called it off, we shouldn't get a first serve out of the deal. I certainly wouldn't have raised a fuss if they had said second serve.
I was going by your original post ("Unbeknownst to me, as I prepare for second serve, the ball started rolling back towards the court."). That sounds to me like it hadn't fully come to rest. If a situation like that is awkward enough, as a receiver, I may offer a new first serve. As a server, I expect to be hitting a second. It seems like your attitude about it was good. Too many people look for any excuse they can get to hit a new first serve.

I did see a match the other day where a ball rolled onto the court between the 1st and 2nd serves. It came onto the receiver's side while the server was walking back to the service line to get ready for the 2nd serve. The receivers cleared the ball before the server even knew that it was there, but the server's partner still requested a new first serve. Sigh...
 
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Bluefan75

Professional
I did see a match the other day where a ball rolled onto the court before the 1st and 2nd serves. It came onto the receiver's side while the server was walking back to the service line to get ready for the 2nd serve. The receivers cleared the ball before the server even knew that it was there, but the server's partner still requested a new first serve. Sigh...
Wow. Now there's a guy who's a lot of fun at parties...
 

ZirkusAffe

Semi-Pro
How about ball rolling in the alley while I'm hitting an overhead that is unreturnable... let automatically? Ball rolled in the opponents side they called the 'let' as I hit the overhead.
We let it go (pun intended) but the point was virtually over but not technically over. My partner was mad, I said I saw it creeping onto our court as I was hitting, it hadn't hindered play they just called as they knew it was coming.
I assumed 'let' all along but I'm still curious if it's that fast and hard of a rule??
 

OrangePower

Legend
How about ball rolling in the alley while I'm hitting an overhead that is unreturnable... let automatically? Ball rolled in the opponents side they called the 'let' as I hit the overhead.
We let it go (pun intended) but the point was virtually over but not technically over. My partner was mad, I said I saw it creeping onto our court as I was hitting, it hadn't hindered play they just called as they knew it was coming.
I assumed 'let' all along but I'm still curious if it's that fast and hard of a rule??
From the Code:
18. Let called when ball rolls on court. When a ball from another court enters the playing area, any player on the court affected may call a let as soon as the player becomes aware of the ball. The player loses the right to call a let if the player unreasonably delays in making the call.

So, assuming they called let as soon as they saw the ball rolling in (and not only after putting up a weak shot), and assuming the ball distracted them, then they are allowed to call a let.
It's legitimate because let's say you hit the overhead in that direction, they try to chase it down but trip over the errant ball and get injured... nobody wants that.
Note that it's not an automatic let - someone has to call it in a timely fashion. They could have chosen not to call it if they were not distracted, but if they felt distracted and/or that the ball is going to end up in a position where it could pose a danger, they can call the let as long as the call is immediate.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
And even though the USTA has done away with the "easy sitter" portion of that rule, I would concede the point if I had no play and the ball rolling on to the court didn't affect anything.
 

OrangePower

Legend
And even though the USTA has done away with the "easy sitter" portion of that rule, I would concede the point if I had no play and the ball rolling on to the court didn't affect anything.
I agree with you in principle but in practice you don't always have that option.

Let's use the example scenario where you have hit a short lob, and then a ball rolls onto the court (on your side). At this point your opponent (just about to hit the overhead) can also call a let if he is distracted, but let's assume he does not.

You now have the opportunity to call a let. But the thing is, if you don't call it immediately, you can't call it later. And you don't yet know whether you will have a play on the overhead or not, or whether the ball on court might affect you. So it's a bit of a pickle. If you call a let, your opponent might view it as poor sportsmanship. But if you don't call the let, and the overhead is potentially returnable but requires you to chase it down where the ball on court could interfere, you can now no longer call the let. And of course you need to make the let / no let decision quickly so it's not like you have time to fully analyze all the options.

I guess if you did call the let, and the opponent hit the overhead for a winner anyway, and the stray ball turned out not to be a factor, you could then concede the point. But your opponent could also have just stopped play at the let call, or been distracted by it.

Or you could not call the let yet, wait to see where the overhead goes, and then if you have a play but are impacted by the stray ball, call a let at that point. But strictly speaking your opponent could claim the point based on you calling for the let too late after the fact.

Probably in this scenario I would not call the let at all myself, since I'd be too busy being disgusted with myself for hitting a poor shot. But I understand why someone would.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
I'm sure that's why they changed the rule. How easy a sitter does it need to be before you should concede it? The ones that drive me nuts are when someone tries to call a let after the overhead has been hit. The ball hasn't bounced twice yet, so technically the point isn't over, but the rolling ball never affected anything.
 

OrangePower

Legend
I'm sure that's why they changed the rule. How easy a sitter does it need to be before you should concede it? The ones that drive me nuts are when someone tries to call a let after the overhead has been hit. The ball hasn't bounced twice yet, so technically the point isn't over, but the rolling ball never affected anything.
Yeah, once in a while someone will abuse the let rules, and it gets irritating. But I guess it's no different to people who cheat on line calls. The vast majority play fair, but there's always the few who want to win so badly that they are willing to bend/break the rules. Nothing much that can be done other than shrug it off and feel sorry for them for being that pathetic.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
Bolded part is a good point, and I agree server should have waited to see the ball come to rest safely. But also I think receiver should have watched it end up safe before assuming ready position for the 2nd serve (I always do this as receiver). So I think both sides were jointly responsible for letting the 2nd serve commence before it should have.
I often have opponents who seem to grow impatient when I am returning and track the first serve until it stops rolling before I get ready for the second serve.

How about ball rolling in the alley while I'm hitting an overhead that is unreturnable... let automatically? Ball rolled in the opponents side they called the 'let' as I hit the overhead.
We let it go (pun intended) but the point was virtually over but not technically over. My partner was mad, I said I saw it creeping onto our court as I was hitting, it hadn't hindered play they just called as they knew it was coming.
I assumed 'let' all along but I'm still curious if it's that fast and hard of a rule??
The let is not only about safety, it is about distraction. Honestly being distracted justifies a timely let even if there was no chance the player would need to access that part of the court.

I'm sure that's why they changed the rule. How easy a sitter does it need to be before you should concede it? The ones that drive me nuts are when someone tries to call a let after the overhead has been hit. The ball hasn't bounced twice yet, so technically the point isn't over, but the rolling ball never affected anything.
The let is not only about safety, it is about distraction. Honestly being distracted justifies a timely let even if there was no chance the player would need to access that part of the court.

You also mistakenly assume that the decision to call a let was not made just before the overhead and the call made right after. 1/2 second delay between a decision and a call us completely acceptable.
 

Stretchy Man

Professional
Q: Server started his service motion when I wasn't ready on Sunday so I put my hand up clearly. He faulted into the net but then served a slow second serve. If I could have demanded he repeat his serve if it went in, it only seems fair he gets to repeat his first serve if he faulted. Am I right?
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
Q: Server started his service motion when I wasn't ready on Sunday so I put my hand up clearly. He faulted into the net but then served a slow second serve. If I could have demanded he repeat his serve if it went in, it only seems fair he gets to repeat his first serve if he faulted. Am I right?
You are right. However, I'm not sure the returner is burdened to stop the server and point this out. If the server is so clueless that he is still unaware of what happened, I would not usually be inclined to stop play and explain it all to him. My inclination might be to just keep playing, returning the second serve if it is in, and only reckoning it as a "first serve" if it is a fault and the server thinks he double faulted.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
Another situation, I'm serving, miss my first serve, ball goes into the corner of the bubble. Unbeknownst to me, as I prepare for second serve, the ball started rolling back towards the court. As I hit my second serve, my partner calls let, tells the guy(receiver) the ball is behind him pretty close and he may want to move. Receiver moves the ball, and before he can say anything, his partner says "First serve." He says to his partner, should be a second serve, that's where he was. Which I agree with, but with the tinderbox of a match(described in the other thread), I wasn't going to argue either one. Just seems like a team could really find ways to buy themselves a new first serve.

Is there any situation where a let on a second serve gets you a first serve? or are people just trying to be nice?
Ok.

If the ball is not moving, then no player may call a let because the point has already started with the ball in that position. You can only stop a point (play a let) if a ball enters your court WHILE a point is in progress. There could be 30 balls all over the court. If those balls are there when the server strikes the ball, you may not call a let for "ball on" since players are playing the court "as is".

Your partner should not call a let in this scenario. They should tell you to "wait". Your opponents then deal with the ball (take it or leave it) and decide if the delay was significant enough to give you a first serve. Under no circumstance would this ever call for a second serve.

What would I rule?

One of their players said "first serve" after they cleared the ball. This entitles you to a first serve.
 

ZirkusAffe

Semi-Pro
From the Code:
18. Let called when ball rolls on court. When a ball from another court enters the playing area, any player on the court affected may call a let as soon as the player becomes aware of the ball. The player loses the right to call a let if the player unreasonably delays in making the call.

So, assuming they called let as soon as they saw the ball rolling in (and not only after putting up a weak shot), and assuming the ball distracted them, then they are allowed to call a let.
It's legitimate because let's say you hit the overhead in that direction, they try to chase it down but trip over the errant ball and get injured... nobody wants that.
Note that it's not an automatic let - someone has to call it in a timely fashion. They could have chosen not to call it if they were not distracted, but if they felt distracted and/or that the ball is going to end up in a position where it could pose a danger, they can call the let as long as the call is immediate.
ok my partner's point was their weak lob was already in the air I was already in the process of hitting it the ball rolled in up towards the net opposite of side of the net player and 8-10 feet in front of the guy at the baseline.. there is no interference from the ball sitting in the alley but the ball was rolling into our court, that's why my partner thought it was kind of weird it couldn't have hindered them in the least they did not possess the ball for making a shot, the ball wasn't at anyones feet or in anyone's way to where they might move I was hitting an overhead if anything they would've been retreating further from where the ball was. Essentially the ball was in one of those spots near the net that some people would even leave it in singles during a second serve maybe no man's land maybe not. They did call quick, but calling it quick I was hitting my overhead so they put themselves more in harms way as they were calling a let as I was hitting the ball and letting their 'guard' down. I viewed it as legit I just don't know if it was necessary it was on a game point not that it mattered. For me if it happened 9/10 times and called quickly as it was I'd probably go with let, but if I was on the other of the net and the ball rolled in on my weak lob I would've called it at all as it wasn't hindering any player but that's not the rule either.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
ok my partner's point was their weak lob was already in the air I was already in the process of hitting it the ball rolled in up towards the net opposite of side of the net player and 8-10 feet in front of the guy at the baseline.. there is no interference from the ball sitting in the alley but the ball was rolling into our court, that's why my partner thought it was kind of weird it couldn't have hindered them in the least they did not possess the ball for making a shot, the ball wasn't at anyones feet or in anyone's way to where they might move I was hitting an overhead if anything they would've been retreating further from where the ball was. Essentially the ball was in one of those spots near the net that some people would even leave it in singles during a second serve maybe no man's land maybe not. They did call quick, but calling it quick I was hitting my overhead so they put themselves more in harms way as they were calling a let as I was hitting the ball and letting their 'guard' down. I viewed it as legit I just don't know if it was necessary it was on a game point not that it mattered. For me if it happened 9/10 times and called quickly as it was I'd probably go with let, but if I was on the other of the net and the ball rolled in on my weak lob I would've called it at all as it wasn't hindering any player but that's not the rule either.
Well, that's just unfortunate. They are entitled to call a let though. Technically speaking, a ball entering your court from another, anywhere on your court, and by anyone, can be called a let even if it doesnt seem to be "in the way". The ball does not have to be in anyones way. The ball just has to be "distracting", meaning I can call a let even if the ball is on your side of the court, or even if the ball is at my feet and my partner is the one about to hit the shot.

This same lameness can apply to serves as well. Any player can call a let on a serve. If people are hearing lets every time a serve is apparently nonreturnable, nothing can really be done.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
You need to be consistent as to calling lets. Normally, call it as soon as you see a ball coming towards the playing area. Everyone stops and the point starts over again. If the point is ongoing, still call the let as soon as the ball appears in the playing area. I know someone who does not like to call lets at all. Basically have told him 'we will not call lets when the ball is near you since you don't care about hurting yourself.'
 

ZirkusAffe

Semi-Pro
Well, that's just unfortunate. They are entitled to call a let though. Technically speaking, a ball entering your court from another, anywhere on your court, and by anyone, can be called a let even if it doesnt seem to be "in the way". The ball does not have to be in anyones way. The ball just has to be "distracting", meaning I can call a let even if the ball is on your side of the court, or even if the ball is at my feet and my partner is the one about to hit the shot.

This same lameness can apply to serves as well. Any player can call a let on a serve. If people are hearing lets every time a serve is apparently nonreturnable, nothing can really be done.
completely agreed, I think it has to be that way.. although I would let it slide I have let it slide on a ball in on my side and the ball was at my feet when the opponent was hitting an overhead I still view it as kind of unfair call a let when someone is finishing a point that you're not getting although if an USTA ref was there (lol yeah right) most likely they call let every time (at least from a consistency standpoint they would).
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
My habit has become to call lets anytime an outside ball comes on our court. It's too distracting. My mind is trained to follow the little yellow ball, and when another ball shows up, I'm then tracking two balls. I cannot focus enough on the one in play any more.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
Another situation, I'm serving, miss my first serve, ball goes into the corner of the bubble. Unbeknownst to me, as I prepare for second serve, the ball started rolling back towards the court.
One of my regular singles partners has a nasty habit of not waiting to see what the ball is going to do. He hits a first serve and if I call it out he just goes right into his second serve motion without pausing or even looking up to see what's going on. Many, many times as I'm moving a ball away from my feet, I get a second serve that goes whizzing by me! :mad::mad::mad:
 

blakesq

Hall of Fame
Just put your hand up, and if he doesn't look up, then next time tell him to hold it, until you clear the ball. He needs to check your readiness before EVERY serve.

One of my regular singles partners has a nasty habit of not waiting to see what the ball is going to do. He hits a first serve and if I call it out he just goes right into his second serve motion without pausing or even looking up to see what's going on. Many, many times as I'm moving a ball away from my feet, I get a second serve that goes whizzing by me! :mad::mad::mad:
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
I think giving a generous "First Serve" call early in a match can help set the tone moving forward, of course in social play but even in league play (but not so much in playoffs or tournaments). And also, players should take into account the court situation. If you are next to a doubles match where angled balls are often intruding onto your court, then just take a deep breath and realize that there will be a lot of lets called and "take two" calls offered.

But early in a match if warranted, and especially if I am the receiver, I will offer a "take two" call even on a negligible delay. As the returner, I may pay the price of getting aced on the additional first serve, but I'm trying to set the tone.

Now what happens after that may make me adjust my generosity. If they reciprocate... all is good. If me or my partner are serving well, and they don't give a "first serve" when it seems warranted... well, then it better be a clear distraction next time for me to offer another one.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
My habit has become to call lets anytime an outside ball comes on our court. It's too distracting. My mind is trained to follow the little yellow ball, and when another ball shows up, I'm then tracking two balls. I cannot focus enough on the one in play any more.
I'm the opposite. I dont like to call lets for ball on. I especially hate it when my opponents call a let "for me" thinking that the ball on my side of the court is hindering me so they stop play. I will not call lets for ball on, on your side of the court. I'll let you call those yourself. In exchange, I appreciate it when they do not call lets on my side of the court.

There is nothing in the rules that say they cant call a let for a ball on my side of the court, and I dont think people are generally trying to get an advantage by doing it. Still, I dont like it.

I'm a fan of "continuous play". I dont like delays and redo's. It's why I like having all 3 balls when it's not too much of an inconvenience. If there is a service let, I can immediately serve a first serve without anyone having to go and shag the ball. I dont care about the delays between points so much as the delay between serves or the lets that replay points.

Not many people know about this rule, but there is a scenario in which a point can be replayed mid game over an unresolved scoring dispute. This is the "mother of all lets". If players cannot agree on a game score and the returners did not hear or, server did not announce the score, the players will go over each point in the game. They will agree on the points each team did/did not win and they will replay the point that they cannot agree on.

Example: The serving team thinks the score is 40-30 and the receiving team thinks the score is 30-40. The server did not announce the score, or the returners did not hear the score announced. The players agree that the serving team won points 1 and 2 and the receiving team won points 4 and 5. This means neither team can agree on which team won point number 3. They replay point number 3 from the deuce side. If the servers win the score is 40-30. If the receivers win the score is 30-40 and play resumes from the ad side of the court.

Mother of all lets, right?
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I'm the opposite. I dont like to call lets for ball on. I especially hate it when my opponents call a let "for me" thinking that the ball on my side of the court is hindering me so they stop play. I will not call lets for ball on, on your side of the court. I'll let you call those yourself. In exchange, I appreciate it when they do not call lets on my side of the court.

There is nothing in the rules that say they cant call a let for a ball on my side of the court, and I dont think people are generally trying to get an advantage by doing it. Still, I dont like it.

I'm a fan of "continuous play". I dont like delays and redo's. It's why I like having all 3 balls when it's not too much of an inconvenience. If there is a service let, I can immediately serve a first serve without anyone having to go and shag the ball. I dont care about the delays between points so much as the delay between serves or the lets that replay points.

Not many people know about this rule, but there is a scenario in which a point can be replayed mid game over an unresolved scoring dispute. This is the "mother of all lets". If players cannot agree on a game score and the returners did not hear or, server did not announce the score, the players will go over each point in the game. They will agree on the points each team did/did not win and they will replay the point that they cannot agree on.

Example: The serving team thinks the score is 40-30 and the receiving team thinks the score is 30-40. The server did not announce the score, or the returners did not hear the score announced. The players agree that the serving team won points 1 and 2 and the receiving team won points 4 and 5. This means neither team can agree on which team won point number 3. They replay point number 3 from the deuce side. If the servers win the score is 40-30. If the receivers win the score is 30-40 and play resumes from the ad side of the court.

Mother of all lets, right?
That is a good one not many know. In fact, off the top of my head I only remembered the second option, to go back to a mutually agreed upon score. But what you described is the first option if it is just specific points that are in dispute.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
That is a good one not many know. In fact, off the top of my head I only remembered the second option, to go back to a mutually agreed upon score. But what you described is the first option if it is just specific points that are in dispute.
It's very rare to have it happen. Usually in a case like this players agree on a score and resume play once they talk it out. Talking it out is the preferred method. Unfortunately, sometimes people can be very "persuasive" and talk their way into a favorable game (and even set) score. I've seen it happen, but couldnt do/say anything because I was not there in an official capacity, just as a spectator.

Also, if the server calls a score and no objection is made, the point stands. This is why it's important to ask for the score if you think anyone is unsure and you should not play a point from an incorrect game score for any reason. If the server calls 40-15 and you dont say anything because "everyone" knows the score it 30-30, if the server wins that point and says "game" the game is over. Sometimes this happens and after some talking (especially from the servers partner) they will agree that the score is now 40-30. However, if the server insists it's game and the receiving team heard the score call but did not object, technically the game has been won.
 

OrangePower

Legend
I'm the opposite. I dont like to call lets for ball on. I especially hate it when my opponents call a let "for me" thinking that the ball on my side of the court is hindering me so they stop play. I will not call lets for ball on, on your side of the court. I'll let you call those yourself. In exchange, I appreciate it when they do not call lets on my side of the court.
Until the one time when a ball, unseen by you, rolls onto the court behind you, you step on it while back-peddling for an overhead, and sprain your ankle or knee (or if really unlucky, tear your ACL).
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
Until the one time when a ball, unseen by you, rolls onto the court behind you, you step on it while back-peddling for an overhead, and sprain your ankle or knee (or if really unlucky, tear your ACL).
And im willing to accept that danger in exchange for less lets being played. I look at it the same way as accepting the trickle ace serves that hit the tape and are unplayable in exchange for less phantom lets.

When we do drills, there are literally dozens of balls in our close proximity. No one has ever stepped on a ball. Yes, we do occasionally clear balls that are very close to us. However, when you think about how many balls could hurt us during drills compared to the number of balls that could hurt us during a match, i'm just not worried about it.

I've also seen more injuries in tennis (busted achlies, ACL/MCL) and none of those were from stepping on a ball. I've seen people roll their ankles just running.

I understand why people call lets for it, dont get me wrong. I just wish they would try to over protect me since I didnt ask for it. I dont care if they call lets on their side of the court one bit.
 

OrangePower

Legend
And im willing to accept that danger in exchange for less lets being played. I look at it the same way as accepting the trickle ace serves that hit the tape and are unplayable in exchange for less phantom lets.

When we do drills, there are literally dozens of balls in our close proximity. No one has ever stepped on a ball. Yes, we do occasionally clear balls that are very close to us. However, when you think about how many balls could hurt us during drills compared to the number of balls that could hurt us during a match, i'm just not worried about it.

I've also seen more injuries in tennis (busted achlies, ACL/MCL) and none of those were from stepping on a ball. I've seen people roll their ankles just running.

I understand why people call lets for it, dont get me wrong. I just wish they would try to over protect me since I didnt ask for it. I dont care if they call lets on their side of the court one bit.
I don't think the analogy of service lets is a good one. I agree with you on that one - I would rather play service lets like they do in college. But it's not a potential source of injury.

Perhaps I'm sensitive to the topic because a teammate of mine tore his ACL coming down on a ball. This was during a league match; I was playing two courts away at the time and did not see the actual injury, but I was there to hear him recount it and see the aftermath. He was going back for an overhead and jumped to take it, hit the overhead with both feet in the air, then his right foot came down on a ball on landing and his leg twisted under him. Apparently no-one saw the stray ball, not even the opponents, so it would not have been preventable anyway, but it just shows that it can and does happen. This happened May last year and he is still not back to playing competitively.

In a way I think the danger is less during drills, because you are conscious of the fact that there are potentially stray balls around. Whereas in a match you are just focused on the point and more oblivious to what's happening around you.
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
I'm the opposite. I dont like to call lets for ball on. I especially hate it when my opponents call a let "for me" thinking that the ball on my side of the court is hindering me so they stop play. I will not call lets for ball on, on your side of the court. I'll let you call those yourself. In exchange, I appreciate it when they do not call lets on my side of the court.
Fair enough that you don't want lets called on your side.
Now, moving on from there, consider this...

There is a ball on your court, nobody called a let because they respect your position. But during the rally, if you move the ball towards the net or to the back fence during because the ball happened to be in the general path you were running along... the opponent can then call a let again (for being distracted by the ball moving on the court), right?

It's kinda the same as a server cannot toss the extra ball behind him to the back fence as he is headed towards the net, or rather he can, but the opponent can call a let for that, right?
 
N

Nashvegas

Guest
I made a great move one time in drills. I saw a stray ball in the path to my next shot and thought I'd be cool and flick it away with my foot at the same time that I played my shot. Instead I stepped right on top of it and went straight to the ground. Only 8-10 witnesses.

Never be a hero.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
I don't think the analogy of service lets is a good one. I agree with you on that one - I would rather play service lets like they do in college. But it's not a potential source of injury.
It was merely a statistical analogy. Of course no one gets hurt by a net cord ace. However, net cord lets happen way more than balls that would end up being aces after hitting the net cord. Same thing with lets for ball on. I've seen more injuries due to simply playing tennis and dramatically more let calls for ball on when the ball is not anywhere near anyone than people being injured by stepping on the ball. I'm not saying it cant happen, and I hope your friend one day can enjoy the game we all love to hate, but that type of injury is so rare i'd appreciate it never being called on my side of the court. My partner calls it? Fine. My opponents call it on their side of the court? Fine.

The thing that made me upset the most was when a teammate playing on an adjacent court called a let on our court because the ball was behind me. I sort of yelled at him... "NOOOOO!!! (name). PLEASE!" because the let call was way more distracting than the ball was. He couldnt have known we were in a tie break, but he should know better than to attempt to call lets on other courts. He's a really nice guy, but in the heat of the moment on such a critical point I got very upset.

Fair enough that you don't want lets called on your side.
Now, moving on from there, consider this...

There is a ball on your court, nobody called a let because they respect your position. But during the rally, if you move the ball towards the net or to the back fence during because the ball happened to be in the general path you were running along... the opponent can then call a let again (for being distracted by the ball moving on the court), right?

It's kinda the same as a server cannot toss the extra ball behind him to the back fence as he is headed towards the net, or rather he can, but the opponent can call a let for that, right?
They would not be able to call a let. The "ball" essentially becomes part of the court. This is why you'd need to call the let while the ball is more or less still moving. Once that ball stops, it becomes part of the court. It doesnt matter if it's a ball, article of clothing, a fallen tree branch or a boulder that rolled down a mountain. If, during a point, a meteor falls from the sky and no one calls a let, that boulder is assumed to be a part of the court. This means that if a ball hits it, the ball is still live. If I lift the boulder and throw it outside the fence with my massive tennis forearms, the point continues. Well, actually, maybe if I didnt "lift" the meteor and throw it outside the court because that would be pretty dramatic. However, if I managed to stomp on the meteor and it broke into pieces while it was on the court, the point continues.

Just imagine the "ball" in this scenario is a "leaf" or tiny "pebble" that enters the court during a point. You wouldnt stop play if someone stepped on the leaf or rock mid point, would you?
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
They would not be able to call a let. The "ball" essentially becomes part of the court. This is why you'd need to call the let while the ball is more or less still moving. Once that ball stops, it becomes part of the court. It doesnt matter if it's a ball, article of clothing, a fallen tree branch or a boulder that rolled down a mountain.
I think you misunderstood my point... if during play you flicked the ball off your side of the court, I think the other team can call a let.
 

NTRPolice

Hall of Fame
I think you misunderstood my point... if during play you flicked the ball off your side of the court, I think the other team can call a let.
No, they cant.

They can only call a let when the ball enters the court, which usually means the ball is still moving. Once that ball stops it's essentially a part of the court. The argument could be made that they hadnt seen it, but then it's hard to be distracted by something you didnt notice. A let is not called for this because "a ball is on the court". A let is called because it's a "hindrance" and really has nothing to do with the ball being a ball. It could be a hat. It could be a shoe. It could be a twig that fell from a tree, ect.

If a ball falls out of my pocket, or my shoe comes off mid point, you may call a let. If you do not call the let when you first notice it, you cant call a let at a later time. The ball or shoe now becomes part of the court. For example, if I step on it, it's like stepping on a leaf or rock on the court that was there prior to the point even starting. If the ball in play hits the shoe or ball that fell out of my pocket, the ball in play is still considered live.

This isnt the same thing as "holding a second ball in your hand then discarding it after you serve". When you toss the balls away like that, you're likely creating a hindrance. If you were to kick up a pebble on the court as you're running around, it's not a hindrance.
 
I was pretty sure that only receiving team can call a let on ball klipping the net and being otherwise good. Now one of my friends is sure that it is possible to call a a let in doubles even if you are servers partner. I am pretty sure that he is mistaken that for footfault, even though thats also receivers call of course.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
I was pretty sure that only receiving team can call a let on ball klipping the net and being otherwise good. Now one of my friends is sure that it is possible to call a a let in doubles even if you are servers partner. I am pretty sure that he is mistaken that for footfault, even though thats also receivers call of course.
From the code, my bolding/underlining:

27. Service let calls. Any player may call a service let. The call shall be made before
the return of serve goes out of play or is hit by the server or the server’s partner. If the
serve is an apparent or near ace, any let shall be called promptly.
 
From the code, my bolding/underlining:

27. Service let calls. Any player may call a service let. The call shall be made before
the return of serve goes out of play or is hit by the server or the server’s partner. If the
serve is an apparent or near ace, any let shall be called promptly.
This seems weird. So if returner hits a good penetrating shot you as a server can always call a let, if you heard a net and stop playing after the return?

Wouldn't that mean more mistakes calling the let in the match, when you have four players in doubles calling it. I believe that you are right, but I have been playing competitively 20 years and couple of months ago was the first time that let calling from servers part happened. I was so amazed by it that thought it must be against the rules.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
This seems weird. So if returner hits a good penetrating shot you as a server can always call a let, if you heard a net and stop playing after the return?

Wouldn't that mean more mistakes calling the let in the match, when you have four players in doubles calling it. I believe that you are right, but I have been playing competitively 20 years and couple of months ago was the first time that let calling from servers part happened. I was so amazed by it that thought it must be against the rules.
I've called lets on myself. A let is a let. Who ever hears it calls it. TBH i can't recall an instance where it was disputed. Remember all calls need to be timely and a let call should be made long before the outcome of the service return is known.
 
I've called lets on myself. A let is a let. Who ever hears it calls it. TBH i can't recall an instance where it was disputed. Remember all calls need to be timely and a let call should be made long before the outcome of the service return is known.
Before it is hit by server or server's partner. So according to this you can call it as long as you havent hit the ball. If return of serve seems too hard or you don't feel like playing you can always call a let. This is really cute! :)
 
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