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Play With Aloha! Question of the Month

The Final Word - Richard Kaufman, Director of Officials for the USTA

Who calls a tipped ball?

Q.  Recently we played a doubles match in which the opponent team believed my partner 'tipped' the ball with her racquet. She did not and I was able to return the ball, however the opposing team stopped playing in their belief that the point was over. Which call is this to make?  

KAUFMAN: That call should be made by the player who tipped the ball. It is not the opponents call to make. In The Code, a Players’ Guide for Matches When Officials Are Not Present, #19, page 47, 2011 Friend at Court: The player calls that on themselves.

Who calls a double bounce?

Q.  I was playing singles and hit a short shot, we both came up to the net. I clearly saw the double bounce and saw her hit the ball on the second bounce. My opponent argued that she hit the ball on the first bounce. What should I do at that point as I felt it was clearly a double bounce?

KAUFMAN:  The person who hits the ball is responsible for calling a double bounce against themselves. It is not their opponents call to make.You can ask that player if they are certain of that call. However, again, it is up to that player to make that call. 

Q.  I'm aware that for a double bounce it is the opponents call on if it did or didn't bounce twice before he hit it, however how is it to be treated if you ask the opponent, and they say that they are not sure if it bounced twice before they got it back? The thing is we were not sure how to proceed because he was uncertain and I didn't put it away when he returned it, so we just played a let. If the opponent is not certain it was hit before two bounces, should he assume it was two bounces?

KAUFMAN:  If the player does not make the call, play should continue. In your case, you stopped and asked, and the opponent said that he was not sure. Since he did not say one way or the other that it was two bounces, you cannot then assume it was two bounces. Therefore you should lose the point since you stopped play. He was being kind by offering you a let. It is his call to make, not yours.

Click here to download or view The Code. 

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