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The Final Word: Serving and being hit by the ball

November 1, 2012 11:08 AM
The receiver's partner may stand anywhere on the court.
Have you ever had a dispute with a fellow player over a call on the court that you couldn’t settle? Or have you ever wondered why a certain ruling was made during a match you were watching? Maybe you’re just curious about how some scenarios, from the common to the ridiculous, are resolved.

USTA Director of Officials, Richard Kaufman, is here to answer your questions. He selects a few submissions at a time and supplies the definitive rulings through a Q&A.
Have a question of your own? Write to The Final Word!
Subject: Ball hitting a player
Question from Wiki: I know that if the ball in play hits an object located out of bounds, it is ruled as being out. Does this rule stand if the ball hits a player located out of bounds?
KAUFMAN: If a ball hits a player during the point (including the hand that is holding the racquet) no matter where they are standing, that player loses the point. When a player is standing outside the lines, the ball must bounce first to be considered "out." If the ball hits a player outside the lines before it bounces, that player loses the point.
Subject: Serving
Question from Mary Lou: I was the receiver and I halted the server because her partner was not all the way on the court in position. The ball was served, I put my hand up and did not return the ball. Was this acceptable? The server didn't like it and said there was no rule to that effect.
KAUFMAN: The receiver’s partner may stand anywhere, on or off the court. There is no position that they are required to take. Once they take any position on or off the court and are ready, then the server may go ahead and serve.



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