The Hat Rule

The wind blew mightily Monday at Naples Bath and turned tennis into another sport. “The Great Equalizer,” near hurricane force winds blew balls ten feet sideways, paper cups across courts and hats off heads. So what is the rule?

The Hat Rule

The USTA referee explained it to us before our doubles match began…

• The first time a team loses a hat, the OTHER team may call a Let and replay the point,
• But the hat losing team cannot stop play. If they do, they lose the point.
• If the other team does not call a Let, the hat becomes “part of the court” and cannot be used for a later Let for the ball hitting it or someone afraid of stepping on it.
• The second time it happens to the same team (either player), it is automatic loss of point.

How do you handle the wind?

Our Doubles Match

Chuck Kinyon and I teamed up vs. veteran tournament players of Jeff Thomas and Ken Baker for our first-round match. We got off to a terrible start, “blowing” the first four games; but then settled down to lose the set 6-3.

In the second set, we handled the wind and are opponents a little better and took the set 6-4. In the Match Tiebreaker, they had the lead … we had the lead… and they ended up with a 10-7 victory.

Off to the consols for us! For all results and match times, click HERE

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2 thoughts on “The Hat Rule

  1. The wind was a great equalizer. I ‘ve played “Ricky Nelson” many times at World Tennis, where I stay, & usually come out on top. But we battled for 4 1/2 hours & I still came out on top with a 6-7(5) 6-4 7-5 win being down 3-5 in the third set. I then played doubles for another 2 hours under the lights. Marathon Man

    John, you surely are getting your money’s worth out of these tournaments! congrats. george

  2. Just a slight variation on the “Hat Rule”. Twice in our match, my partners hat blew off. In both cases, he caught the hat and it never hit the ground. We just continued play and we won the points. The other team did not mention it and perhaps did not even notice it. Could they have called a let or does the hat need to actually touch the ground?

    Rick, i would guess that it has to hit the ground to be a hindrance; but dont know for sure. george

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