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Good Question May/June 2023

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Illegal Touch
Standing at the net, a ball is hit at me chest high. As I hit the volley, the ball strikes my backhand, and crosses over the net. Is that an illegal touch, or is the backhand considered an extension of the racket handle?

Chequetta Allen, First VP:
Rule 24i from USTA’s Friend at Court advises, “The point is lost if the ball in play touches the player or anything that the player is wearing or carrying, except the racket.”

Line Call Disputes
We had multiple line call disputes during our match. Can the captains stand in as line judges?

Greg McAfee, Men’s League Leagues VP:
No. While it would be great if every court had Hawkeye electronic line calling, it is up to the players on court to make the calls. According to the Adult Rules, under Section IV.H, “COACHING IS ILLEGAL. Spectators (including teammates, coaches and fans) may not volunteer advice on line calls, scoring or 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.” Furthermore, as stated in the Captain’s Handbook under “During a Dual Meet,” the players may request a copy of the rules, but no one may intervene or assist in any way. Additionally, the USTA Code states, “A player should always give the opponent the benefit of the doubt when making calls.”

Service Winner?
I played a doubles match, and my partner was receiving. A hard serve hit me in the knee and our opponents claimed the point. Is this correct, as obviously, the serve was nowhere near the correct service box? Why is it their point?

Karen Sullivan, Thursday Women’s League VP:
Rule 24, Case 7 from USTA’s Friend at Court states in the instance where, “a ball that has just been served hits the receiver, or in doubles the receiver’s partner, before it touches the ground, the server wins the point, unless it is a service let.”

Player Not On Roster
I tried to enter the scorecard, but one of my opponents’ players wasn’t listed in the drop-down menu options. I chose “Player Not On Roster.” What’s the deal?

Gina Clance, Senior Leagues VP:
Occasionally, if a player isn’t listed on the team roster, it means that person has not been added to the roster and thus, is an illegal player. More often, this means the captain used a different name on the scorecard than is listed in the ALTA database. People get married or go by nicknames, and when scorecards are handwritten or printed from a program other than the ALTA Lineup Checker, the player’s name is different. Printing your scorecards from the ALTA system will avoid the confusion of a player having a different name. Every player should make sure the ALTA database has his/her correct name entered and should check his/her contact information to make sure it contains a current email address and phone number.


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