Rules Of Tennis
The Court shall be a rectangle 78 feet (23.77 m.) long and 27 feet (8. 23 m.) wide. It shall be divided across the middle by a net suspended from a cord or metal cable of a maximum diameter of one-third of an inch (0.8 cm.), the ends of which shall be attached to, or pass over, the tops of the two posts, which shall be not more than 6 inches (15 cm.) square or 6 inches (15 cm.) in diameter. These posts shall not be higher than 1 inch (2.5 cm.) above the top of the net cord. The centers of the post shall be 3 feet (.914 m.) outside the Court on each side and the height of the posts shall be such that the top of the cord or metal cable shall be 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 m.) above the ground.
When a combined doubles (see Rule 34) and singles court with a doubles net is used for singles, the net must be supported to a height of 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 m.) by means of two posts, called “singles sticks”, which shall be not more than 3 inches (7.5 cm.) square or 3 inches (7.5 cm.) in diameter. The centers of the singles sticks shall be 3 feet (.914 m.) outside the singles Court on each side. The net shall be extended fully so that it fills completely the space between the two posts and shall be of sufficiently small mesh to prevent the ball passing through. The height of the net shall be 3 feet (.914 m.) at the center, where it shall be held down taut by a strap not more than 2 inches (5 cm.) wide and completely white in colour. These shall be a band covering the cord or metal cable and the top of the net of not less than 2 inches (5 cm.) nor more than 2 ½ inches (6. 35 cm.) in depth on each side and completely white in colour. There shall be not advertisement on the net, strap band or singles sticks.
The lines bounding the ends and sides of the Court shall respectively be called the base lines and the sidelines. On each side of the net, at a distance of 21 feet (6.40 m.) from it and parallel with it, shall be drawn the service lines. The space on each side of the net between the service-line and the side-line shall be divided into two equal parts called the service-courts by the center service-line, which must be 2 inches (5 cm.) in width, drawn half-way between, and parallel with the side-line. Each base-line shall be bisected by an imaginary continuation of the center service-line to a line 4 inches (10 cm.) in length and 2 inches (5 cm.) in width called “the center mark” drawn inside the Court, at right angles to and in contact with such base-lines. All other lines shall be not less than 1 inch (2.5 cm.) nor more than 2 inches (5 cm.) in width, except the base-line which may be not more than 4 inches (10 cm.) in width, and all measurements shall be made to the outside of the lines. All lines shall be of uniform colour. If advertising or any other material is placed at the back of the Court, it may not contain white, or yellow. A light colour may only be used if this does not interfere with the vision of the players.
If advertisement is placed on the chairs of the linemen sitting at the back of the court, they may not contain white or yellow. A light colour may only be used if this does not interfere with the vision of the players.
Note 1 :
In Davis Cup, Fed Cup and the Official Championships of the International Tennis Federation, specific requirements with regard to the space behind the baseline and at the sides are included in the respective Regulations for these events.
Note 2 :
At Club or recreational level, the space behind each baseline should be not less than 18 feet (5.5 m.) and at the sides not less than 10 feet (3.05 m.).
The permanent fixtures of the court shall include not only the net, posts, singles sticks, cord or metal cable, strap and band, but also, where there are any such, the back and side stops, the stands, fixed movable seats and chairs round the Court, and their occupants, all other fixtures around and above the court, and the Umpire, Net-cord Judge, Foot fault Judge, Linesmen and Ball Boys when in their respective places.
For the purpose of this Rule, the world “Umpire” comprehends the Umpire, the persons entitled to a seat on the Court, and all those persons designed to assist the Umpire in the conduct of a match.
The ball shall have a uniform outer surface consisting of a fabric cover and shall be white or yellow in colour. If there are any seams they shall be stitches.
The ball shall conform to the requirements specified in Appendix I (Regulations for making tests specified in Rule 3) Section iv for size and be more than two Ounces (56.7 grams) and less than two and one-sixteenth ounces (58.5 grams) in weight.
The ball shall have a bound of more than 53 inches (134.62 cm.) and less than 58 inches (147.32 cm.) when dropped 100 inches (254.00 cm.) upon a concrete base.
The ball shall have a forward deformation of more than .220 of an inch (.559 cm.) and less than .290 of an inch (.737 cm.) and return deformation of more than .315 of an inch (.800 cm.) and less than .425 of an inch (1.080 cm.) at 18 lb. (8.165 kg.) load. The two deformation figures shall be the averages of three individual readings along three axes of the ball and no two individual reading shall differ by more than .030 of an inch (.076 cm.) in each case.
For play above 4,000 feet (1219 m.) in altitude above sea level, two additional types of ball may be used. The first type is identical to those described above except that the bound shall be more than 48 inches (121.92 cm.) and less than 53 inches (134.62 cm.) and shall have an internal pressure that is greater than the external pressure. This type of tennis ball is commonly known as a pressurized ball. The second type is identical to those described above except that they shall have a bound of more than 53 inches (134.62 cm.) and less than 58 inches (147.32 cm.) and shall have an internal pressure that is approximately equal to the external pressure and have been acclimatized for 60 days or more at the altitude of the specific tournament. This type of tennis ball is commonly known as a zero-pressure or non-pressurized ball.
All tests for bound, size and deformation shall be made in accordance with the regulations in Appendix I.
The International Tennis Federation shall rule on the question of whether any ball or prototype complies with the above specifications or is otherwise approved, for play, such ruling may be taken on its own initiative, or upon application by any party with a bona fide interest therein, including any player, equipment manufacturer or National Association or members thereof. Such rulings and applications shall be made in accordance with the applicable Review and Hearing Procedures of the International Tennis Federation (see Appendix II).
Any ball to be used in a tournament which is played under the Rules of Tennis, must be named on the official ITF list of approved balls issued by the International Tennis Federation.
Rackets failing to comply with the following specifications are not approved for play under the Rules of Tennis:
A. The hitting surface of the racket shall be flat and consist of a pattern of crossed strings connected to a frame and alternately interlaced or bonded where they cross; and the stringing pattern shall be generally uniform, and in particular not less dense in the center than in any other area. The racket shall be designed and strung such that the playing characteristics are identical on both faces.
The strings shall be free of attached objects and protrusions other than those utilized solely and specifically to limit or prevent wear and tear or vibration, and which are responsible in size and placement for such purpose.
B. For professional play, the frame of the racket shall not exceed 29 inches (73.66 cm.) in overall length, including the handle, as from 1 st January 1997. For non-professional play, the frame of the racket shall not exceed 29 inches (73.66 cm.) in overall length, including the handle, as from 1st January 2000. Until 1st January 2000, the maximum length of a racket for non-professional play shall be 32 inches (81.28 cm.). The frame of the racket shall not exceed 12 ½ inches (31.75 cm.), in overall width. The strung surface shall not exceed 15 ½ inches (39.37 cm.) in overall length, and 11 ½ inches (29.21 cm.) in overall width.
C. The frame, including the handle, shall be free of attached objects and devices other than those utilized solely and specifically to limit or prevent wear and tear or vibration, or to distribute weight, any objects and devices must be reasonable in size and placement for such purposes.
D. The frame, including the handle, and the strings, shall be free of any device which makes it possible to change materially the shape of the racket, or to change the weight distribution in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the racket which would alter the swing moment of inertia, or to deliberately change any physical property which may affect the performance of the racket during the playing of a point.
The International Tennis Federation shall rule on the question of whether any racket or prototype complies with the above specifications or is otherwise approved, or not approved, for play. Such ruling may be undertaken on its own initiative, or upon application by any party with a bona fide interest therein, including any player, equipment manufacturer or National Association or members thereof. Such rulings and applications shall be made in accordance with the applicable Review and Hearing Procedures of the International Tennis Federation (see Appendix II).
Case 1.Can there be more than one set of strings on the hitting surface of racket?
Case 2.Is the stringing pattern of a racket considered to be generally uniform and flat if the strings are on more than one plane?
Decision : No.
Case 3.Can vibration-dampening device be placed on the string of a racket and if so, where can they be placed?
Decision : Yes; but such device may be placed only outside the pattern of the crossed strings.
Case 4.In the course of play, a player accidentally breaks the strings of his racket. Can he continue to play with the racket in this condition?
Decision : Yes.
SERVER AND RECEIVER:
The players shall stand on opposite sides of the net; the player who first delivers the ball shall be called the Server, and the other the Receiver.
Case 1. Does a player, attempting a stroke, lose the point if he crosses an imaginary line in the extension of the net,
A. Before striking the ball,
B. After striking the ball?
Decision : He does not lose the point in either case by crossing the imaginary line and provided he does not enter the lines bounding his opponent’s Court (Rule 20(e)). In regard to hindrance, his opponent may ask for the decision of the Umpire under Rules 21 and 25.
Case 2. The Server claims that the Receiver must stand within the lines bounding his Court. Is this necessary?
Decision : No. The Receiver may stand wherever he pleases on his own side of the net.
CHOICE OF ENDS & SERVICE
The choice of ends and the right to be Server or Receiver in the first game shall be decided by toss. The player winning the toss may choose or require his opponent to choose: –
a. The right to be Server or Receiver, in which case the other player shall choose the end; or
b. The end, in which case the other players shall choose the right to be Server or Receiver.
Case 1. Do players have the right to new choices if the match is postponed or suspended before it has started?
Decision : Yes. The toss stands, but new choice may be made with respect to service and end.
The service shall be delivered in the following manner. Immediately before commencing to serve, the Server shall stand with both feet at rest behind (i.e. further from the net than) the base line, and within the imaginary continuations of the center-mark and side-line. The Server shall then project the ball by hand into the air in any direction and before it hits the ground strike it with his racket, and the delivery shall be deemed to have been completed at the moment of the impact of the racket and the ball. A player with the use of only one arm may utilize his racket for the projection.
Case 1. May the Server in a singles game take his stand behind the portion of the base line between the sideline of the Singles Court and the Doubles Court?
Decision : No.
Case 2. If a player, when serving, throws up two or more balls instead of one, does he lose that service?
Decision : No. A let should be called, but if the Umpire regards the action as deliberate he may take action under Rule 21.
The Server shall throughout the delivery of the Service:
a. Not change his position by walking or running. The Server shall not by slight movements of the feet which do not materially affect the location originally taken up by him, be deemed “to change his position by walking or running”.
b. Not touch with either foot, any area other than that behind the base line within the imaginary extension of the center-mark and sidelines.
9. DELIVERY OF SERVICE
A In delivering the service, the Server shall stand alternately behind the right and left halves of the Court beginning from the right in every game. If service from a wrong half of the Court occurs and is undetected, all play resulting from such wrong service or services shall stand, but the inaccuracy of station shall be corrected immediately it is discovered.
B The ball served shall pass over the net and hit the ground within the Service Court, which is diagonally opposite, or upon any line bounding such Court, before the Receiver returns it.
The Service is a fault:
A If the Server commits any breach of Rules 7, 8 or 9 (b);
B If he misses the ball in attempting to strike it;
C If the ball served touches a permanent fixtures (other than the net, strap or band) before it hits the ground.
Case 1. After throwing a ball up preparatory to serving, the Server decides not to strike at it and catches it instead. Is it a fault?
Decision : No.
Case 2. In serving a singles game played on a Doubles Court with doubles posts and singles sticks, the ball hits a singles stick and then hits the ground within the lines of the correct Service Court. Is this a fault or a let?
Decision : In Serving it is a fault, because the singles stick, the doubles post, and that portion of the net or band between them are permanent fixtures. (Rules 2 and 10, and note to Rule 24.)
After a fault (if it is the first fault) the Server shall serve again from behind the same half of the Court from which he served that fault, unless the service was from the wrong half, when, in accordance with Rule 9, the Server shall be entitled to one service only from behind the other half.
Case 1. A player serves from a wrong Court. He loses the point and then claims it was fault because of his wrong station.
Decision : The point stands as played and the next service should be from the correct station according to the score.
Case 2. The point score being 15 all, Server, by mistake, serves from the left-hand Court. He wins the point. He then serves again from the right-hand Court, delivering a fault. This mistake in station is then discovered. Is he entitled to the previous point? From which Court should he next serve?
Decision : The previous point stands. The next service should be from the left-hand Court, the score being 30/15, and the Server having served one fault.
WHEN TO SERVE:
The Server shall not serve until the Receiver is ready. If the latter attempts to return the service, he shall be deemed ready. If, however, the Receiver signifies that he is not ready, he may not claim a fault because the ball does not hit the ground within the limits fixed for the service.
THE LET :
In all cases where a let has to be called under the rules, or to provide for an interruption to play, it shall have the following interpretations: –
a. When called solely in respective of a service that one service only shall be replayed.
b. When called under any other circumstance, the point shall be replayed.
Case 1. A service is interrupted by some cause outside those defined in Rule 14. Should the service only be replayed?
Decision : No. The whole point must be replayed.
Case 2. If a ball in play becomes broken, should a let be called?
Decision : Yes.
THE “LET” IN SERVICE:
The Service is a let :-
a. If the ball served touches the net, strap or band, and is otherwise good, or, after touching the net, strap or band, touches the Receivers or anything which he wears or carries before hitting the ground.
b. If a service or a fault is delivered when the Receiver is not ready (see Rule 12).
In case of a let, that particular service not count, and the Server shall serve again, but a service let does not annul a previous fault.
ORDER OF SERVICE:
At the end of the first game the Receiver shall become Server, and the Server Receiver; and so on alternately in all the subsequent games of a match. If a player serves out of turn, the player who ought to have served shall serve as soon as the mistake is discovered, but all points scored before such discovery shall stand. A fault served before such discovery shall not stand. If a game shall have been completed before such discovery, the order of service shall remain as altered.
WHEN PLAYERS CHANGES ENDS:
The players shall change ends at the end of the first, third and every subsequent alternate game of each set, and at the end of each set unless the total number of games in such set is even, in which case the changes is not made until the end of the first game of the next set.
However there will be no rest allowed after the first game of the set but there will be a change of sides. At the end of each set the players are entitled to a two-minute break.
If a mistake is made and the correct sequence is not followed the players must take up their correct station as soon as the discovery is made and follow their original sequence.
THE BALL IN PLAY:
A ball is in play from the moment at which it is delivered in service. Unless a fault or a let is called it remains in play until the point is decided.
Case 1. A player fails to make a good return. No call is made and the ball remains in play. May his opponent later claim the point after the rally has ended?
Decision : No. The point may not be claimed if the players continue to play after the error has been made, provided the opponent was not hindered.
THE SERVER WINS POINT:
The Server wins the point: –
a. If the ball served, not being a let under Rule 14, touches the Receivers or anything which he wears or carries, before it hits the ground;
b. If the Receiver otherwise loses the point as provided by Rule 20.
RECEIVER WINS POINT :
The Receiver wins the Point: –
a. If the Server serves two consecutive faults;
b. If the Server otherwise loses the points as provided by Rule 20.
PLAYER LOSES POINT :
A player loses the point if: –
a. He fails before the ball in play has hit the ground twice consecutively, to return it directly over the net (except as provided in Rule 24 (a) or (c); or
b. He returns the ball in play so that it hits the ground, a permanent fixtures, or other object, outside any of the lines which bound his opponent’s Court; or
c. He volleys the ball and fails to make a good return even when standing outside the Court; or
d. In playing the ball he deliberately carries or catches it on his racket or deliberately touches it with his racket more than once; or
e. He or his racket (in his hand or otherwise) or anything which he wears or carries touches the net, posts, singles sticks, cord or metal cable, strap or band, or the ground within his opponent’s Court at any time while the ball is play; or
f. He volleys the ball before it has passed the net; or
g. The ball in play touches him or anything that he wears or carries, except his racket in his hand or hands; or
h. He throws his racket at and hits the ball; or
i. He deliberately and materially changes the shape of his racket during the playing of the point.
Case 1. In serving, the racket flies from the Server’s hand and
Touches the net before the ball has touched the ground. Is this a fault, or does the player lose the point?
Decision : The Server loses the point because his racket touches the net whilst the ball is in play (Rule 20 (e).
Case 2. In serving, the racket flies from the Server’s hand and touches the net after the ball has touches the ground outside the proper court. Is this a fault, or does the player lose the point?
Decision : This is a fault because the ball was out of play when the racket touched the net.
Case 3. A and B are playing against C and D, A is serving to D, C touches the net before the ball touches the ground. A fault is then called because the service falls outside the Service Court. Do C and D lose the point?
Decision : The call “fault” is an erroneous one. C and D had already lost the point before “fault” could be called, because C touched the net whilst the ball was in play (Rule 20 (e).
Case 4. May a player jump over the net into his opponent’s Court while the ball is in play and not suffer penalty?
Decision : No. He loses the Point (Rule 20 (e).
Case 5. A cuts the ball just over the net, and it returns to A’s side. B, unable to reach the ball, throws his racket and hits the ball. Both racket and ball fall over the net on A’s court. A returns the ball outside of B’s court. Does B win or lose the point?
Decision : B loses the point (Rule 20 (e) and (h).
Case 6. A player standing outside the service Court is struck by a service ball before it has touched the ground. Does he win or lose the point?
Decision : The player struck loses the point (Rule 20 (g)), except as provided under 14 (a).
Case 7. A player standing outside the Court volleys the ball or catches it in his hand and claims the point because the ball was certainly going out of court.
Decision : In no circumstances can he claim the point:-
I. If he catches the ball he loses the point under Rule 20 (g).
II. If he volleys it and makes a bad return he loss the point under Rule 20 (c).
III. If he volleys it and makes a good return, the rally continues.
PLAYER HINDERS OPPONENT :
If a player commits any act which hinders his opponent in making a stroke, then, if this is deliberate, he shall lose the point or if involuntary, the point shall be replayed.
Case 1. Is a player liable to a penalty if in making a stroke he touches his opponent.
Decision : No. Unless the Umpire deems it necessary to take action under Rule 21.
Case 2. When a ball bounds back over the net, the player concerned may reach over the net in order to play the ball. What is the ruling if the player is hindered from doing this by his opponent?
Decision : In accordance with Rule 21, the Umpire may either award the point to the player hindered, or order the point to be replayed (see also Rule 25).
Case 3. Does an involuntary double hit constitute an act which hinders an opponent within Rule 21?
Decision : No.
BALL FALLS ON LINE :
A ball falling on a line is regarded as falling in the Court bounded by that line.
BALL TOUCHES PERMANENT FIXTURES :
If the ball in play touches a permanent fixture (other than the net, posts, singles sticks, cord or metal cable, strap or band) after it has hit the ground, the player who struck it wins the point; if before the ground, his opponent wins the point.
Case 1. A return hits the Umpire or his chair or stand. The player claims that the ball was going into Court.
Decision : He loses the point.
A GOOD RETURN :
It is a good return: –
a. If the ball touches the net, posts, singles sticks, cord or metal cable, strap or band, provided that it passes over any of them and hits the ground within the Court; or
b. If the ball, served or returned, hits the ground within the proper Court and rebounds or is blown back over the net, and the player whose turn it is to strike reaches over the net and plays the ball, provided that he does not contravene Rule 20 (e); or
c. If the ball is returned outside the posts, or singles sticks, either above or below the level of the top to the net, even though it touches the posts or singles sticks, provided that it hits the ground within the proper Court; or
d. If a player’s racket passes over the net after he has returned the ball, provided the ball passes the net before being played and is properly returned; or
e. If a player succeeds in returning the ball, served or in play, which strikes a ball lying in the Court.
Note : In a singles match, if, for the sake of convenience, a Doubles Court is equipped with singles sticks for the purpose of a singles game, then the doubles posts and those portions of the net, cord or metal cable and the band outside such singles sticks shall at all times be permanent fixtures, and are not regarded as posts or parts of the net of singles game.
A return that passes under the net cord between the singles stick and adjacent doubles post without touching either net cord, net or doubles post and falls within the court, is a good return.
Case 1. A ball going out of Court hits a net post or singles stick and falls within the lines of the opponent’s Court. Is the stroke good?
Decision : If a service; no, under Rule 10 (c). If other than a service; yes, under Rule 24 (a).
Case 2. Is it a good return if a player returns the ball holding his racket in both hands?
Decision : Yes.
Case 3. The service, or ball in play, strikes a ball lying in the Court. Is the point won or lost thereby?
Decision : No. play must continue. If it is not clear to the Umpire that the right ball is returned a let should be called.
Case 4. May a player use more than one racket at any time during play?
Decision : No. The whole implication of the Rules is singular.
Case 5. May a player request that a ball or balls lying in his opponent’s Court be removed?
Decision : Yes, but not while a ball is in play.
HINDRANCE OF A PLAYER :
In case a player is hindered in making a stroke by anything not within his control, except a permanent fixture of the Court, or except as provided for in Rule 21, a let shall be called.
Case 1. A spectator gets into the way of a player, who fails to return the ball. May the player then claim a let?
Decision : Yes. If in the Umpire’s opinion he was obstructed by circumstances beyond his control, but not if due to permanent fixtures of the Court or the arrangements of the ground.
Case 2. A player is interfered with as in Case No. 1, and the Umpire calls a let. The Server had previously served a fault. Has he the right to two services?
Decision : Yes. As the ball is in play, the point, not merely the stroke, must be replayed as the Rule provides.
Case 3. May a player claim a let under Rule 25 because he thought his opponent was being hindered, and consequently did not except the ball to be returned?
Decision : No.
Case 4. Is a stroke good when a ball in play hits another ball in the air?
Decision : A let should be called unless the other ball is in the air by the act of one of the players, in which case the Umpire will decided under Rule 21.
Case 5. If an Umpire or other judge erroneously calls “fault” or “out”, and then corrects himself, which of the calls shall prevail?
Decision : A let must be called unless, in the opinion of the Umpire, neither player is hindered in his game, in which case the correct call shall prevail.
Case 6. If the first ball served – a fault – rebounds, interfering with the Receiver at the time of the second service, may the Receiver claim a let?
Decision : Yes. But if he had an opportunity to remove the ball from the Court and negligently failed to do so, he may not claim a let.
Case 7. Is it a good stroke if the ball touches a stationery or moving object on the Court.
Decision It is a good stroke unless the stationary object came into Court after the ball was put in to play in which case a let must be called. If the ball in play strikes an object moving along or the surface of the Court a let must be called.
Case 8. What is the ruling if the first service is a fault, the second service correct, and it becomes necessary to call a let either under the provision of Rule 25 or if the Umpire is unable to decide the Point?
Decision : The fault shall be annulled and the whole point replayed.
SCORE IN A GAME :
a. If a player wins his first point, the score is called 15 for that player; on winning his second point, the score is called 30 for that player; on winning his third point, the score is called 40 for that player, and the fourth point won by a player is score game for that player except as bellow: –
If both players have won three points, the score is called deuce; and the next point won by a player is scored advantage for that player. If the same player wins the next point, he wins the game; if the other player wins the next point the score is again called deuce; and so no until a player wins the two points immediately following the score at deuce, when the game is scored for that pl
b. Optional Alternative Scoring system
The No – Ad System of Scoring may be adopted an alternative to the traditional scoring system during the period 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2000 provided the decision is announced in advance of the event.
In this case, the following Rules shall be effective:
If a player wins his first point, the score is called 15 for the player; on winning his second point, the score is called 30 for that player; on winning his third point, the score is called 40 for that player, and the fourth point won by a player is scored game for that player except as bellow:
If both players have won three points, the score is called deuce; one deciding point shall then be played whereby the receiver shall choose whether he wishes to receive the service from the right-half of the court or the left-half of the court. The player who wins the deciding point is scored the game.
In doubles a similar procedure to that for singles shall apply. At deuce the Receiving Team shall choose whether it wishes to receive the Service from the right half of the court or the left half of the court. The team who wins the deciding point is scored the game.
In mixed doubles, a slightly different procedure will apply as follows: At deuce, with the male player serving, he shall serve to the male player of the opposing team irrespective of which half of the court he is standing, and when the female player is serving. She will serve to the female player of the opposing team.
SCORE IN A SET :
a. A player (or players) who first wins six games wins a set; except that he must win by a margin of two games over his opponent and where necessary a set shall be extended until this margin is achieved.
b. The tiebreak system of scoring may be adopted as an alternative to the advantage set system in paragraph (a) of this Rule provided the decision is announced in advance of the match.
In this case, the following Rules shall be effective:
The tie-break shall operate when the score reaches six games all in any set except in the third or fifth set of a three set or five set match respectively when an ordinary advantage set shall be played, unless otherwise decided and announced in advance of the match.
The following system shall be used in a tiebreak game.
I. A player who first wins seven points shall win the game and the set provided he leads by a margin of two points. If the score reaches six points all the game shall be extended until this margin has been achieved. Numerical scoring shall be used throughout the tiebreak game.
II. The player whose turn it is to serve shall be the Server for the first point. His opponent shall be the Server for the second and third points and thereafter each player shall serve alternately for two consecutive points until the winner of the game and set has been decided.
III. From the first point, each service shall be delivered alternately from the right and left Courts, beginning from the right court. If service from a wrong half of the Court occurs and is undetected, all play resulting from such wrong service or services shall stand, but the inaccuracy of station shall be corrected immediately it is discovered.
IV. Players shall change ends after every six points and at the conclusion of the tiebreak game.
V. The tie-break game shall count as one game for the ball change, except that, if the balls are due to be changed at the beginning of the tie-break, the change shall be delayed until the second game of the following set.
In doubles the procedure for singles shall apply. The player whose turn it is to serve shall be the Server for the first point. Thereafter each player shall serve in rotation for two points, in the same order previously in that set, until the winners of the game and sets have been decided.
Rotation of Service:
The player (or pair in the case of doubles) whose turn it was to serve first in the tiebreak game shall receive service in the first game of the following set.
Case 1. At six all the tiebreak is played, although it has been decided and announced in advance of the match that an advantage set will be played. Are the points already played counted?
Decision : If the error is discovered before the ball is put in play for the second point, the first point shall count but the error shall be corrected immediately. If the error is discovered after the ball is put in play for the second point the game shall continue as a tiebreak game.
Case 2. At six all, an advantage game is played, although it has been decided and announced in advance of the match that a tiebreak will be played. Are the points already played counted?
Decision : If the error is discovered before the ball is put in play for the second point, the first point shall be counted but the error shall be corrected immediately. If the error is discovered after the ball is put in play for the second point an advantage set shall be continued. If the score thereafter reaches eight games all or a higher even number, a tiebreak shall be played.
Case 3. If during a tiebreak in a singles or doubles game, a player serves out of turn, shall the order of service remain as altered until the end of the game?
Decision : If a player has completed his turn of service the order of service shall remain as altered. If the error is discovered before a player has completed his turn of service the order of service shall be corrected immediately and any points already played shall count.
MAXIMUM NUMBER OF SETS :
The maximum number of sets in a match shall be 5, or, where women take part, 3.
ROLE OF COURT OFFICIALS :
In matches where an Umpire is appointed, his decision shall be final; but where a Referee is appointed, an appeal shall lie to him from the decision of an Umpire on a question of law, and in all such case the decision of the Referee shall be final.
In matches where assistants to the Umpire are appointed (Lines persons, Net-cord Judges, Foot-fault Judges) their decision shall be final on question of fact except that if in the opinion of an Umpire a clear mistake has been made he shall have the right to change the decision of an assistant or order a let to be played. When such an assistant is unable to give a decision he shall indicate this immediately to the Umpire who shall give a decision. When an Umpire is unable to give a decision on a question of fact he shall order a let to be played.
In Davis Cup matches or other team competition where a Referee is on Court, any decision can be changed by the Referee, who may also instruct an Umpire to order a let to be played.
The Referee, in his discretion, may at any time postpone a match on account of darkness or the condition of the ground or the weather. In any case of postponement the previous score and previous occupancy of courts shall hold good, unless the Referee and the players unanimously agree otherwise.
Case 1. The Umpire orders a let, but a player claims the point should not be replayed. May the Referee be requested to give a decision?
Decision : Yes. A question of tennis law, that is an issue relating to the application of specific facts, shall first be determined by the Umpire. However, if the Umpire is uncertain or if a player appeals from his determination, then the Referee shall be requested to give a decision, and his decision is final.
Case 2. A ball is called out, but a player claims that the ball was good. May the Referee give a ruling?
Decision : No. This is a question of fact, that is an issue relating to what actually occurred during a specific incident, and the decision of the on-court officials is therefore final.
Case 3. May an Umpire overrule a Linesman at the end of a rally if, in his opinion, a clear mistake has been made during the course of a rally?
Decision : No. An Umpire may overrule a Linesman only if he does so immediately after the mistake has been made.
Case 4. A Linesman calls a ball out. The Umpire was unable to see clearly, although he thought the ball was in. May he overrule the Linesman?
Decision : No. An umpire may overrule if he considers that a call was incorrect beyond all reasonable doubt. He may overrule a ball determined good by a Linesman only if he has been able to see a space between the ball and the line; and he may overrule a ball determined out, or a fault, by a linesman only if he has seen the ball hit the line, or fall inside the line, or fall inside the line.
Case 5. May a Linesman change his call after the Umpire has given the score?
Decision : Yes. If a Linesman realizes he has made an error, he may make a correction provided he does so immediately.
Case 6. A player claims his return shot was good after a linesman called “out”. May the Umpire overrule the Linesman?
Decision : No. An Umpire may never overrule as a result of a protest or an appeal by a player.
CONTINUOUS PLAY & REST PERIODS :
Play shall be continuous from the first service until the match is concluded, in accordance with the following provisions:
a. If the first service is a fault, the second service must be struck by the Server without delay.
The Receiver must play to the reasonable pace of the Server and must be ready to receive when the Server is ready to serve.
When changing ends a maximum of one minute thirty seconds shall elapse from the moment the ball goes out of play at the end of the game to the time the ball is struck for the first point of the next game.
The Umpire shall use his discretion when there is interference, which makes it impracticable for play to be continuous.
The Organizers of international circuits and team events recognized by the ITF may determine the time allowed between points, which shall not at any time exceed twenty (20) seconds from the moment the ball goes out of play at the end of one point to the time the ball is struck for the next point.
b. Play shall never be suspended, delayed or interfered with for the purpose of enabling a player to recover his strength, breath, or physical condition. However, in the case of accidental injury, the Umpire may allow a one-time three-minute suspension for that injury.
c. If, through circumstances outside the control of the player, his clothing, footwear or equipment (excluding racket) becomes out of adjustment in such a way that it is impossible or undesirable for him to play on, the Umpire may suspend play while the maladjustment is rectified.
d. The Umpire may suspend or delay play at any time as may be necessary and appropriate.
e. After the third set, or when women take part the second set, either player shall be entitled to a rest, which shall not exceed 10 minutes, or in countries situated between latitude 15 degrees north and latitude 15 degrees south, 45 minutes and furthermore, when necessitated by circumstances not within the control of the players, the Umpire may suspend play for such a period as he may consider necessary. If play is suspended and is not resumed until a later day the rest may be taken only after the third set (or when women take part the second set) of play on such a later day. Completion of an unfinished set being counted as one set.
If play is suspended and is not resumed until 10 minutes have elapsed in the same day the rest may be taken only after three consecutive sets have been played without interruption (or when women take part two sets), completion of an unfinished set being counted as one set.
Any nation and / or committee organizing tournament, match or competition, is at liberty to modify this provision or omit it from its regulations provided this is announced before the event commences. With respect to the Davis Cup and Fed Cup, only the International Tennis Federation may modify this provision or omit it from its Regulations.
f. A tournament committee has the discretion to decide the time allowed for a warm-up period prior to a match but this may not exceed five minutes and must be announced before the event commences.
g. When approved point penalty and non-accumulative point penalty systems are in operation, the Umpire shall make his decisions within the terms of those systems.
h. Upon violation of the principle that play shall be continuous the Umpire may, after giving due warning, disqualify the offender.
During the playing of a match in a team competition, a player may receive coaching from a captain who is sitting on the court only when he changes ends at the end of a game, but not when he changes ends during a tiebreak game.
A player may not receive coaching during the playing of any other match. The provision of this rule must be strictly construed.
After due warning an offending player may be disqualified. When an approved point penalty system is in operation, the Umpire shall impose penalties according to that system.
Case 1. Should a warning be given, or the player be disqualified, if the coaching is given by signals in an unobtrusive manner?
Decision : The Umpire must take action as soon as he becomes aware that coaching is being given verbally or by signals. If the Umpire is unaware that coaching is being given, a player may draw his attention to the fact that advice is being given.
Case 2. Can a player receive coaching during an authorized rest period under Rule 30 (e), or when play is interrupted and he leaves the court?
Decision : Yes. In these circumstances, when the player is not on the court, there is no restriction on coaching.
Note : The word “coaching” includes any advice or instruction.
In case where balls are to be changed after a specified numbers of games, if the balls were not changed in the correct sequence, the mistake shall be corrected when the player, or pair in the case of doubles, who should have served with new balls is next due to serve. Thereafter the balls shall be changed so that the number of games between changes shall be that originally agreed.
THE DOUBLES GAME:
The above Rules shall apply to the Doubles Game except as bellow.
THE DOUBLES COURT:
For the doubles Game, the court shall be 36 feet (10.97 m.) in width, i.e. 4½ feet (1.37 m.) wider on each side than the Court for the Singles Game, and those portions of the singles sidelines which lie between the two service lines shall be called the service side-lines. In other respects, the Court shall be similar to that described in Rule 1, but the portions of the singles side-lines between the base-line and service-line on each side of the net may be omitted if desired.
ORDER OF SERVICE IN DOUBLES:
The order of serving shall be decided at the beginning of each set as follows :-
The pair who have to serve in the first game of each set shall decide which partner shall do so and the opposing pair shall decided similarly for the second game. The partner of the player who served in the first game shall serve in the third; the partner of the player who served in the second game shall serve in the fourth, and so on in the same order in all the subsequent games of a set.
Case 1. In doubles, one player does not appear in time to play, and his partner claims to be allowed to play single-handed against the opposing players. May he do so?
Decision : No.
ORDER OF RECEIVING IN DOUBLES:
The order of receiving the service shall be decided at the beginning of each set as follows: –
The pair who have to receive the service in the first game shall decide which partner shall receive the first game, and the partner shall continue to receive the service in every odd game throughout that set. The opposing pair shall likewise decide which partner shall receive the first service in the second game and that partner shall continue to receive the first service in every even game throughout that set. Partners shall receive the service alternately throughout each game.
Case 1. Is it allowable in doubles for the Server’s partner or the Receiver’s partner to stand in a position that obstruct the view of the Receiver?
Decision : Yes. The Server’s partner or the Receiver’s partner may take any position on his side of the net in or out of the Court that he wishes.
SERVICE OUT OF TURN IN DOUBLES:
If a partner serves out of his turn, the partner who ought to have served shall serve as soon as the mistake is discovered, but all points scored, and any faults served before such discovery, shall be reckoned. If a game shall have been completed before such discovery, the order of service remains as altered.
ERROR IN ORDER OF RECEIVING IN DOUBLES:
If during a game the order of receiving the service is changed by the Receivers it shall remain as altered until the end of the game in which the mistake is discovered, but the partners shall resume their original order of receiving in the next game of that set in which they are Receivers of the service.
SERVICE FAULT IN DOUBLES:
The service is a fault as provided for by Rule 10, or if the ball touches the Server’s partner or anything which he wears or carries; but if the ball served touches the partner of the Receiver, or anything which he wears or carries, not being a let under Rule 14 (a) before it hits the ground, the Server wins the point.
PLAYING THE BALL IN DOUBLES :
The ball shall be struck alternately by one or other player of the opposing pairs, and if a player touches the ball in play with his racket in contravention of this Rule, his opponents win the point.
Note 1 : Except where otherwise stated, every reference in these Rules to the masculine includes the feminine gender.
Note 2 : See Rule 26 (b) with regard to the Optional Alternative Scoring System in Doubles and Mixed.
RULES OF WHEELCHAIR TENNIS
The game of wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis as endorsed by the International Tennis Federation except the wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. The player must return the ball before it hits the ground a third time. The wheelchair is part of the body and all applicable ITF Rules which apply to a players body shall apply to the wheelchair.
1. THE COMPETITIVE WHEELCHAIR TENNIS PLAYER :
a. In order to be eligible to compete in sanctioned ITF wheelchair tennis tournaments and the paralympic games, a player must have a medically diagnosed permanent mobility-related physical disability. This permanent physical disability must result in a substantial or total loss of function in one or more lower extremities. If, as a result of these functional limitations, the player is unable to play competitive able-bodied tennis (that is, having the mobility to cover
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