The Wrong Ball

What happens when you retrieve a ball from the bushes, put it into play, only to find out it was not the game ball, but an older one?

Naples City Tournament

That is what happened to Matt Davie and me in our second round 70s doubles match on Tuesday.  A ball went into the bushes off court and we retrieved a ball from that spot to put back into play.

Our opponents used that ball to serve to Matt and (perhaps because it was older/deader) he hit his return into the net.  He immediately asked them to “check the ball” and they confirmed it was not one of our game balls.

What To Do?

Is it “all points played in good faith stand”?  Or replay the point (like if a ball breaks during the point)?  Our opponents were very gracious and immediately offered to replay the point, which we did.

But, was that correct?  I do not know.  What do you think??

As it turned out, that point was not critical; as Matt and I played nearly flawless tennis… cruising to a 6-0, 6-0 victory (against a decent team).

Next, we await the winners from the bottom half of the draw; which will either be the tough team of Art Allen/Jean-Pierre Garnier or George Hahn/Ed Turville (brother of) – since the Michael Fenster/Dick Valentine team had to withdraw due to Dick re-injuring his leg.

For all the draws and results, click HERE

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5 thoughts on “The Wrong Ball

  1. Happens all the time but not in tournament play. but with a double bagel, it wouldn’t have mattered if you put a beach ball back in play!

    Jim, correct! george

  2. What about this situation creates an exception to “all points played in good faith stand”? I see none.

    Marty, but isn’t it more like a broken ball? And isn’t that point replayed? Thanks. George

  3. But it is not a broken ball, which is the point that you are missing, George. I am not aware of anything in the broken ball rule that says that balls that are somewhat less than optimal are equivalent to being broken.

    Further, where do we draw the line on used balls? If they have 92.7% or greater of their original pressure, is that acceptable not to have to replay the point, but 92.6% or less and the point gets replayed? And how much fuzz do they need to have lost to be more like the broken ball category than not? It gets a bit ridiculous.

    Also, both your team (which evidently mistook the ball for one of the game balls when it was retrieved from the bushes) and the opposing team (which served with it) apparently thought the ball quality was sufficiently close to a game ball to put it into play. MAYBE you would have a stronger point if your team had not been complicit, albeit inadvertently, in how this scenario played out. Maybe. But without an actual broken ball, I don’t think you have the basis to insist that a rule be followed. The rule that you rely on is not applicable.

    Judgment for the defendant. Court costs will be assessed.

    – The Honorable Marty M. Judge

  4. It seems to me a similar situation as when a doubles player returns from the wrong side. The point stands and then make the correction

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