Ball Through The Net

net sticksThere are several different situations when the tennis ball is crossing the net that can create questions. Here is one that came in that I had not heard before…

Playing doubles, the opponent hit a ball that passed between the side of the net and the net post, under the net cable, and landed in the court. The hitter claimed that such a shot was good and claimed the point. Not being clear on the rule, we didn’t argue the point. But what is the rule?

Three Situations

1) Around the net post – We all have seen our Super Heroes, like Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, run wide and hit the ball OUTSIDE the net post (and below the level of the net) and land in the court for an amazing winner. That is legal.

2) Through the net – But if there were a defect in the net and a ball was hit THROUGH the net, that would be loss of point (technically called by the hitter on himself, like two bounces).

3) Between the net and the post – I am pretty sure that it is loss of point. First issue is that the net is supposed to be strapped to the post, with no space between; but I think it would be almost impossible to get through a space there without touching the poll or the side of the net – either of which would be loss of point.

Anyone know the rule, if there is one actually covering this instance?

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4 thoughts on “Ball Through The Net

  1. Having been the “victim” in that situation in a CTA playoff match, the thing that confused the issue was that the ball struck the post and then bounded onto our side. I think we all agreed afterward that it should have been our point, because if the net had been attached properly, the ball would have hit the net and fallen back on their side.

  2. The shot you describe is called a “through”, which is not considered a good shot.
    See USTA comment 25.3
    In theory the net should be tight enough against the netpost so this should not happen.

  3. According to Rule 1. The Court “The net shall be fully extended so that it completely fills the space between the two net posts.” So I think you’re inference is correct. I would think that a gap is really no different than a hole in the net.

  4. Sorry to contradict your point on #2, here is The Code on “Through the net”:

    From Code 20:
    20. Balls hit through net or into ground.
    A player makes the ruling on a ball that the player’s opponent hits:
    • Through the net; or
    • Into the ground before it goes over the net.

    Janet – i am more surprised by the second bullet than the first! thanks. george

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