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Good Question Sept/Oct 2023

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Was it really a let?
I was serving in doubles. The first serve hit the net, went over, and hit the receiver’s foot prior to bouncing. My partner and I argued that it was our point since the ball hit the receiver prior to bouncing. They insisted that it was a let since it hit the net prior to hitting the receiver. We conceded and took a first serve. What was the correct call?

Wendy Fee, Junior Leagues Vice President:
Your opponents were correct in that it should have been played as a let because it hit the net first. According to the 2018 USTA Friend At Court (which can be found on the ALTA website), Rules of Tennis #22, page 11:22. THE LET DURING A SERVE. The service is a let if: a. The ball served touches the net, strap or band, and is otherwise good; or, after touching the net, strap or band, touches the receiver or the receiver’s partner or anything they wear or carry before hitting the ground.

Home or away courts?
Some of our facility courts are being resurfaced so they won’t be available for all our home matches. Under these circumstances, can we play our home matches at nearby courts that are available?

Susan Levin, Sunday Women’s League Vice President:
A: Adult Rules IV. Dual Meets, J. If the Home team is unable to provide its home courts, then the visiting team has the first option of providing its home courts. Once you know which matches your courts will not be available, you’ll need to notify the visiting captain. If they decide to host the match on their courts, they will be the home team. But if the visiting team doesn’t provide its courts, then the responsibility reverts back to the scheduled home team which must provide courts within the approved ALTA area at the scheduled time.

Pros have no comment
My partner and I had a disagreement with our opponents during our ALTA match. We were fortunate that our courts have a resident pro whom we asked how to handle it. Did we do what we should have done?

John Lowell, Mixed Doubles Vice President:
The short answer is no. ALTA Rule IV.H. specifies that “COACHING IS ILLEGAL. Spectators (including teammates, coaches, and fans) may not volunteer advice on line calls, scoring, or the conduct of the match.” In addition, while your pro might have expertise on the rules of tennis, it frequently happens that they do not have expertise in ALTA Rules.

What advice do we have for you? Print off and keep with you a copy of the ALTA Rules, USTA Friend at Court, and if you are a captain, the ALTA Captain’s Handbook. All of these are downloadable from the ALTA website and all may be consulted during a match.

If you still don’t have an answer, call (or have your captain call) an ALTA volunteer. Start with your Flight coordinator. And, if you can’t get in touch with them, try the overall coordinator who covers your level. You’ll almost always get an answer, and it will be one you can depend on.

Where’s my nice  spread?
Does ALTA require home teams to provide food or drinks at matches?

Gina Clance, Senior Leagues Vice President:
ALTA has never REQUIRED teams to provide food or drinks at matches. It became a fun tradition years ago, with some teams providing full catered meals or pulling out a grill for burgers and hot dogs. In 2020, most teams stopped having food to share at matches due to CDC COVID guidelines. Some teams have chosen to continue that, but many have gone back to bringing food and drinks to share. But it is not required by ALTA. HOWEVER, as a courtesy to your visitors, it would be nice if you could let them know before match day if you will not be providing anything at all. Especially in the summer leagues, we want to make sure players have enough water/sports drinks to stay hydrated in the heat. So, please let your opponents know if you will or will not be providing any food or drinks to share at your match.

 

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