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Rules of Tennis

CHANGES TO RULES MARKED IN RED. RELEVENT CHANGES WILL COME INTO AFFECT FROM JANUARY 2012

1.     THE COURT
The court shall be a rectangle, 78 feet (23.77 m) long and, for singles matches, 27 feet (8.23 m) wide. For doubles matches, the court shall be 36 feet (10.97 m) wide.

The court shall be divided across the middle by a net suspended by a cord or metal cable which shall pass over or be attached to two net posts at a height of 3 ½ feet (1.07 m). The net shall be fully extended so that it completely fills the space between the two net posts and it must be of sufficiently small mesh to ensure that a ball cannot pass through it. The height of the net shall be 3 feet (0.914 m) at the centre, where it shall be held down tightly by a strap. A band shall cover the cord or metal cable and the top of the net. The strap and band shall be completely white.

•    The maximum diameter of the cord or metal cable shall be 1/3 inch (0.8 cm).
•    The maximum width of the strap shall be 2 inches (5 cm).
•    The band shall be between 2 inches (5 cm) and 2 ½ inches (6.35 cm) deep on each side.

For doubles matches, the centres of the net posts shall be 3 feet (0.914 m) outside the doubles court on each side.

For singles matches, if a singles net is used, the centres of the net posts shall be 3 feet (0.914 m) outside the singles court on each side. If a doubles net is used, then the net shall be supported, at a height of 3 ½ feet (1.07 m), by two singles sticks, the centres of which shall be 3 feet (0.914 m) outside the singles court on each side. 

•    The net posts shall not be more than 6 inches (15 cm) square or 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter.
•    The singles sticks shall not be more than 3 inches (7.5 cm) square or 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter.
•    The net posts and singles sticks shall not be more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the top of the net cord.

The lines at the ends of the court are called baselines and the lines at the sides of the court are called sidelines.

Two lines shall be drawn between the singles sidelines, 21 feet (6.40 m) from each side of the net, parallel with the net. These lines are called the servicelines. On each side of the net, the area between the serviceline and the net shall be divided into two equal parts, the service courts, by the centre serviceline. The centre serviceline shall be drawn parallel with the singles sidelines and half way between them.

Each baseline shall be divided in half by a centre mark, 4 inches (10 cm) in length, which shall be drawn inside the court and parallel with the singles sidelines.

•    The centre serviceline and centre mark shall be 2 inches (5 cm) wide.
•    The other lines of the court shall be between 1 inch (2.5 cm) and 2 inches (5 cm) wide, except that the baselines may be up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide.

All court measurements shall be made to the outside of the lines and all lines of the court shall be of the same colour clearly contrasting with the colour of the surface.

No advertising is allowed on the court, net, strap, band, net posts or singles sticks except as provided in Appendix III.

IN ADDITION TO THE COURT DESCRIBED ABOVE, THE COURT DESIGNATED AS "RED", AND THE COURT DESIGNATED AS "ORANGE" IN APPENDIX VI CAN BE USED FOR 10 AND UNDER TENNIS COMPETITION.


3.    THE BALL
Balls, which are approved for play under the Rules of Tennis, must comply with the specifications in Appendix I.

FROM JANUARY 2012, FOR 10 AND UNDER TENNIS COMPETITION, THE BALLS DESCRIBED IN APPENDIX I CANNOT BE USED. INSTEAD ONE OF THE STAGE 3 (RED), STAGE 2 (ORANGE) OR STAGE 1 (GREEN) BALLS DESCRIBED IN APPENDIX VI MUST BE USED.


The International Tennis Federation shall rule on the question of whether any ball or prototype complies with Appendix I or is otherwise approved, or not 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 VII).

The event organisers must announce in advance of the event:

a.    The number of balls for play (2, 3, 4 or 6).
b.    The ball change policy, if any.

Ball changes, if any, can be made either:
i.    After an agreed odd number of games, in which case, the first ball change in the match shall take place two games earlier than for the rest of the match, to make allowance for the warm-up. A tie-break game counts as one game for the ball change. A ball change shall not take place at the beginning of a tie-break game. In this case, the ball change shall be delayed until the beginning of the second game of the next set; or
ii.    At the beginning of a set

If a ball gets broken during play, the point shall be replayed.

Case 1: If a ball is soft at the end of a point, should the point be replayed?
Decision: If the ball is soft, not broken, the point shall not be replayed.


Note: 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.
 
 
APPENDIX VI

10 AND UNDER TENNIS COMPETITION

Courts:

In addition to the (full sized) court described in Rule 1, the following court dimensions may be used for 10 and under tennis competition:
  • A court, designated "red" for the purposes of 10 and under TENNIS competition, shall be a rectangle, between 36 feet (10.97 m) and 42 feet (12.80 m) long, and between 16 feet (4.88 m) and 20 feet (6.10 M) wide. The net shall be between 31.5 inches (0.800 m) and 33.0 inches (0.838 M) high at the centre.
  •  
  • A court, designated "orange", shall be a rectangle, between 59 feet (17.98 M) and 60 feet (18.29 m) long, and between 21 feet (6.40 m) and 27 feet (8.23 m) wide. The net shall be between 31.5 inches (0.800 m) and 36.0 inches (0.914 m) high at the centre.

Balls:

From January 2012, only the following ball types can be used in 10 and under tennis competition:
  • A stage 3 (red) ball, which is recommended for play on a "red" court, by players aged up to 8 years, using a racket up to 23 inches (58.4 cm) long.
  •  
  • A stage 2 (orange) ball, which is recommended for play on an "orange" court, by players aged 8 to 10 years, using a racket between 23 inches (58.4 cm) and 25 inches (63.5 cm) long.
  •  
  • A stage 1 (green) ball, which is recommended for play on a full sized court, by advanced players aged 9 to 10 years, using a racket between 25 inches (63.5 cm) and 26 inches (66.0 cm) long.

NOTE: FROM JANUARY 2012, OTHER BALL TYPES DESCRIBED IN APPENDIX I CANNOT BE USED IN 10 AND UNDER TENNIS COMPETITION.


SPECIFICATIONS FOR STAGE 1, 2, AND 3 BALLS
 
  STAGE 3 (RED)
FOAM
STAGE 3 (RED)
STANDARD
STAGE 2 (ORANGE)
STANDARD
STAGE 1 (GREEN)
STANDARD
MASS (WEIGHT) 25.0-43.0 grams
(0.882-1.517 ounces)
36.0-46.9 grams
(1.270-1.654 ounces)
36.0-46.9 grams
(1.270-1.654 ounces)
47.0-51.5 grams
(1.658-1.817 ounces)
SIZE 8.00-9.00 cm
(3.15-3.54 inches)
7.00-8.00 cm
(2.76-3.15 inches)
6.00-6.86 cm
(2.36-2.70 inches)
6.30-6.86 cm
(2.48-2.70 inches)
REBOUND 85-105 cm
(33-41 inches)
85-100 cm
(33-39 inches)
102-115 cm
(40-45 inches)
118-132 cm
(46-52 inches)
FORWARD DEFORMATION ------- ------- 1.40-1.65 cm
(0.551-0.650 inches)
0.80-1.05 cm
(0.315-0.413 inches)


All tests for rebound, mass, size and deformation shall be made in accordance with the regulations described in the current edition of ITF Approved Tennis Balls & Classified Court Surfaces

Scoring methods:

For 10 and under tennis competition using stage 3 (red), stage 2 (orange) or stage 1 (green) balls, scoring methods specified in the Rules of Tennis (including the Appendix IV) can be utilised, in addition to short duration scoring methods involving matches of one match tie-break, best of 3 tie-breaks/match tie-breaks or one set.

 

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