What’s The Rule

Mike Dahm asks a question from an incident at the recent Longboat Key tournament about leaning over the net to hit a net postball.

Most players know they are allowed to reach over the net to hit a ball that lands on their side, but the backspin takes it back over to the opponent’s side. This is legal… as long as they do not touch the net with their racquet or any part of their body (before their ball bounces a second time, and is then “out of play”).

But the new question is: can you touch the scoreboard that is frequently attached to the net post – and even use it as support as you reach over?

Seems to me that, since a ball ricocheting off the scoreboard is OUT OF PLAY because that piece is defined as a “permanent structure” (like indoor, overhead lights), that the player can then touch it during play. But that is just my assumption.

Anyone know?

Related to that question … what happens if your opponent, who hit that back-spinning ball, is standing so close to the net that he

Art: Warwick.ac.uk
Art: Warwick.ac.uk
interferes with your swinging at that ball. Does he have to move out of your way or be called for a hindrance? Or, can he stand his ground?

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7 thoughts on “What’s The Rule

  1. #2 as long as the ball is in play the opponent -Talking is included.

    Bill – not sure what you are saying here? george

  2. Regarding the 1st question if the scoreboard is treated as if it were the side fence or any other outside obstruction then leaning on it or touching it are allowed. Just my reading of the code.

  3. Since Mike Dahm has a height advantage over the rest of us, rules change for him. He not only isn’t allowed to touch anything near the net, he is not allowed to come within 14 ft. of the net. Rules are now being made for him in that he will have to start serving from now on 3 ft behind the baseline, count to 3, then he can start his approach to the net. The rules committee is also contemplating forcing him to use a racket that is no more than 18 inches in length, with a head size of no more than 60 square inches. If anyone else has any recommendation to the rules committee, please address them now and we’ll put them into effect.

    Fred – i LOVE it! Just the reverse of wheelchair tennis — but like horse racing — put extra weights on the big guys! tks george

  4. The rule or usta comment 13.2 specifically states that when a ball hits an object attached to the net post such as a scoring device, the player who hit the ball loses the point because it hit a permanent fixture before landing in the court. Therefore, the net post and anything attached to it is out of play as I would read it. I would also think that you cannot touch the net, net post or anything attached to it.

  5. fred. the rules committee is thinking of another rule specifically for you. during any one point you may only hit your forehand groundstroke a maximum of 2 times. you may hit any other shots you want during a point, but only 2 forehands.
    of course, this rule does not apply when playing doubles with me.

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