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Good Question July/August 2017

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Can anyone call a service let? The server’s partner calls a “let” on the serve and the other team plays it and says it did not hit the net. Must a let be played?

Jane Milton, Thursday Women Vice President
This happens quite frequently. In The Code, No. 27, it states that “any player may call a service let. The call shall be made before the return of serve goes out of play or is hit by the server or the server’s partner. If the serve is an apparent or near ace, any let shall be called promptly.” The server’s partner is usually the closest player to the net and would be the best one to know if the ball hit the net or not.

One of my 10U players arrived for a City Finals match, only to discover a broken racquet string. He is used to playing with a smaller racquet, but we couldn’t find one to borrow. Was he required to play with a smaller racquet?

Celia Sheridan, Junior Leagues Vice President
According to Junior Rule I.F.2., it is recommended that 10U players use racquets that are 23 to 25 inches. It is a recommendation only, not a rule. The player can play with a larger racquet, if able.

Lineups were exchanged prior to the match, but at the completion of the line 4 match, it was discovered that an incorrect name was put on the scorecard. Is this a rule violation?

Holly Underwood, Sunday Women Vice President
According to ALTA’s General Rules Adult League III.B., “Captains or acting captains must exchange written lineups for all positions simultaneously before the start of the dual meet.” Since the lineups were exchanged, there is no rule violation there. The scorecard is submitted by one captain and reviewed by the opposing captain. Both captains have the ability to submit comments while reviewing the scorecard on the computer, and both captains have 10 days in which to report an error on the scorecard. After 10 days, the scorecard stands as entered and cannot be corrected. Any reported errors on a scorecard are thoroughly researched and verified by the coordinator before any corrections are made to the scorecard.

In my match today, our opponents became confused about whose turn it was to serve and the wrong person began serving the game. At 30-0 we realized the error and called it to our opponent’s attention. They switched servers at that point and finished the game with the other player serving. Did we do the right thing?

Bill Price, Mixed Doubles Vice President
Yes, you handled the situation properly, according to the ITF Rules of Tennis in USTA’s Friend at Court.   Under “Correcting Errors,” 27c states: If a player serves out of turn during a standard game, the player who was originally due to serve shall serve as soon as the error is discovered. However, if a game is completed before the error is discovered the order of service shall remain as altered.

According to 27d: If a player serves out of turn during a tiebreak game and the error is discovered after an even number of points have been played, the error is corrected immediately. If the error is discovered after an odd number of points have been played, the order of service shall remain as altered.

Our opponents arrived within one minute of the default time. Are they allowed a warm-up and, if so, how much time is allowed?

Jane Milton, Thursday Women Vice President
As it states in the ALTA General Adult Rules, Section IV, Paragraph G: Warm-up is limited to 10 minutes. In the Captains’ Handbook on page 20, No. 3, it states that “a player is never denied a 10-minute warm-up even if that player(s) arrive just before the default time expires.” For safety reasons, all players are allowed a 10-minute warm-up before their match.

If you’ve ever had a situation occur in a match where no one on the court knew the rule that applied, send your inquiry to Good Question. ALTA officials answer questions in each issue of Net News and yours could be chosen next. Submit your question, along with your name, league, team name and level to altaeditor@altatennis.org.

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