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League News: Rules, Rules, Who Knows the Rules?

ALTA Sunday Women's League player

By Loretta Phillips, Sunday Women’s League Vice President

In ALTA matches, as with any sport (and life in general) there are rules that must be followed. Knowing the rules will make matches go much smoother. Knowing the rules can reduce the chances of conflict and loss of points and/or matches.

As captains, co-captains, or managers, it is your responsibility to know the rules and to ensure your team members know the rules. It’s no fun to be playing a match, have an incident occur and no one on the court knows the rule to apply to this incident. The players meet at the net and try to figure out what should be done. One player says she knows the rule. However, the others are not sure they want to accept what she says, especially if it does not agree with what they think should happen. The spectators and other team members are watching and saying things like “I guess they don’t know what to do,” or talking about what player they know who knows the rules. The desire to tell them the rule so the match can move along is growing with every second. This is the official rule:

General Rules Adult Leagues

  1. Dual Meets H. COACHING IS ILLEGAL. Spectators (including teammates, coaches and fans) may not volunteer advice on line calls, scoring or the conduct of a match. They may not offer advice or instruction that is audible, visible or by electronic device to the players on the court. It is each captain’s responsibility to control his or her spectators during match play. Once a match has begun, any communication, including cheering from teammates, coaches, or fans should be understood by all, or it could be considered coaching. A pair on the court may speak to each other in any language; however, they need to be able to communicate with their opponent in a language that everyone understands.

When ALTA rules don’t address a specific situation, here is where you can find your answers:

General Rules Adult Leagues

  1. Dual Meets C. ALTA rules govern play. In cases not specifically covered by these rules, USTA rules govern play. Also, “Friend at Court” which contains “ITF Rules of Tennis” and “The Code” as a handbook of ethics and fair play should be understood and followed by every ALTA player. “Friend at Court,” should be available for consultation along with league rules at all dual meets.

Where can you find these rules? ALTA’s “General Rules Adult Leagues” are made available to all members. Once you login to the ALTA site, go to My Resources > ALTA Documents > ALTA Rules > 2024 Adult Tennis Rules. For “Friend at Court” go to My Resources > ALTA Documents > USTA Publications > 2024 Friend at Court.

So, rules, rules, who knows the rules? We all do. Let’s play tennis and have some fun!

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