A Broken Ball


What happens if you play with a ball that loses compression… just replace it or replay the point?  That question comes from good Newk Camp friend Mike “Rambo” Rennels…

Déjà vu all over again …

“George, many months ago we sought your advice on a call of “Let it” on a ball my partner thought was out.  I played the shot and we won the point.  But our opponents made us play the point over claiming we hindered them by an equal to “out” call.

That match was under protest and we ended up with a rematch Today.

Yet another controversial situation reared its ugly head.

Serving at 5-5 in the second set at ad in, I wandered over to retrieve our third ball in the corner of the court and inadvertently picked up a ball with a number 4 on the skin among many rogue balls.  We had been playing with Penn 4s and I picked up a Penn ATP 4.   My second serve included this unintended ball.  It was noticeable at the very end of the rally that it had less bounce then the Penn 4s we had been playing with.  Their ball went long and we took the point and the game.  Our opponents protested – and claimed that we should play the point over.

We went on to win what they now say is an illegitimate set.  What is the call on this situation by USTA rules and/or tennis etiquette?”

The rule is …

Damaged Tennis Ball. If a ball gets damaged, or broken, during play, the point is to be replayed. If a ball becomes soft, but not broken, the point does not need to be replayed.

Any other experiences with soft or broken balls?

P.S. This week is the Longboat Key Cat II tournament; and with 342 players (20 doubles teams in my 75s), is one of the largest Cat IIs in the country!

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4 thoughts on “A Broken Ball

  1. Broken ball ? Hell, Lance played with a missing ball for years and he did just fine ( that is, if you overlook the drugs that probably everyone else took as well). See you guys Weds !)
    Mike

    Mike, and Brady/Pats got penalized for the same offense! thanks, george

  2. You mistakenly pick up and serve a “bad” ball, which your opponent misplays. You admit the ball played differently, but you want to claim the point anyway? Seems to me the sporting thing to do is to apologize and replay the point with the game balls.

    Terry, my friend did ask about the “rules and tennis etiquette.” I answered the first, and now you answered the second part. thanks, george

  3. Everyone who reads this great blog always emphasizes that it’s “just a game”…and indeed it is….keep it friendly, relax, and replay the point if your opponents ask. Scoot

    Scoot, good advice from a “reformed A-type personality”! thanks, george

  4. I use the “there is no heads you win, tails I lose” theory in tennis. With an inferior but playable ball used in error (not a dead ball) and I won the point, I would ask the opponent(s) asking for a replay if he (they) would have asked for a replay if they had won the point. If answer is “yes”, I would replay without another thought. If “no”, I would take the point.
    The answer being “honest” is not my concern – that is the opponent(s) issue, not mine.
    Of course, either team stopping the point before it is over saying “bad ball”, you replay.

    Winder, that is similar to what i do when i call a quick “Let” for a ball rolling on the court and think that it truly didn’t bother my opponent on their missed shot. I ask, “Did that ball bother you?” If they say YES, replay the point. If they say NO, my point. Thanks, george

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