When can you check a mark and call the shot OUT? There is a fine line between what is appropriate and what is not. A friend was playing a tournament match; and in the first game he was serving had an instance, which clearly raises this question again.
He hit his second serve. His opponent hit his return wide. And as my friend was picking up the ball, his opponent checks the mark of the serve and says, “Oh, there is a clear mark. Your serve was long.”
My friend said that he would give him that point; but not to do that again, because it is wrong. And I agree.
I believe the receiver had to call OUT before, during, or immediately after his stoke. Otherwise, he is playing the ball and not calling the shot out (even though, it might have been).
Another friend, who ref’s college matches (but only on hard courts, where you cannot really deal with marks left by the ball, like on clay), disagrees. He feels that if the ball is out, it is out; and that the receiver should have the luxury of checking the mark after his stroke.
But this is like the pros playing with officials on the lines and the video challenge system. They have to stop play IMMEDIATELY to challenge a call – and cannot play the ball (and when their shot flies out, to then challenge the call).
The Rules of Tennis support this position: they say a ball mark can be checked “on either a point-ending shot or when a player (team) stops playing the point during a rally (returns are permitted but then the player must immediately stop).”