Most all club players never use singles sticks when they play non-tournament singles matches; but face them when playing tournaments. A reader asks, are they obsolete or traditional?
A Reader’s Question…
Most tournaments use a ‘doubles’ net with singles sticks. There are precious few ‘singles’ nets on courts in the world and in recreational play we all use a doubles net with no sticks for singles play. I would be interested your views, and those of your readers, on the use of singles sticks.”
First, The Stats…
- The net at the center strap is 36 inches
- But at the net post it is 42 inches (3ft 6 ins).
- Singles sticks are the same height as the net post
- They are placed 3ft (36ins) from the singles sideline.
- And, they must be placed on different sides of the net (one facing each player).
Next, The Opinions …
In my opinion, the use of sticks is a tennis tradition that will “stick” around for another few years in amateur tournament play; but will eventually be phased out as no longer necessary. Which I agree with because it is like practicing all your matches indoors and then being forced to play all your tournament matches outdoors in the sun and wind (which is what we Florida players love to see in January, when the visitors come south!!).
What do YOU think… do you ever use singles sticks in practice?
Allan also provides several unusual singles sticks rules …
- If there is a hole in the net between the net-post and the net and a ball passes through that hole without touching the net, then the ball is considered still in play.
- If a singles stick falls to the ground in a rally then a ‘let’ is played… but if a singles stick is hit with a ball from a serve, then the serve is a fault.
- If a player’s return of serve hits a singles stick and hits the ground in the correct court – then the return is considered ‘good’.
- If a ball touches the net between the singles stick and the net post then the point is over and the last player to hit the ball loses the point…. and most surprisingly..
- If a player runs for a drop-shot and their momentum carries them into the net between the singles stick and the net post, they are allowed to push off the net or net-post to recover position and carry on the rally – as long as the net-stick remains in position and doesn’t fall to the ground. That is why seasoned officials weave the net-sticks through the net… it saves arguments about whether a ‘let’ should be called.
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