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Ruling on Body Shots

Q. Recently while playing a doubles match I poached and hit a ball that hit the ground then hit my opponents shin. The ball traveled from his shin and over the net without touching his racket. My opponent claimed the point was his, and it was some new USTA rule. Do you have any information on ‘body shots’?”

From Jim Lawson, Mid-Atlantic Section, USTA Referee

There is no new rule for 2006. See Friend At Court (FAC) R 24 (h) P.20 – Rules of Tennis: “Player loses point: The ball in play touches the player or anything that the player is wearing or carrying, except the racket.”

From Rob L. of Menlo Park, CA

A ball has to hit a racquet to be a bona fide hit. A ricochet (or any other type of shot) off a body part does not count as a legal shot. Otherwise, it would bring a whole new meaning to playing with tennis balls.

From TW

Don’t be duped. As soon as the ball contacts anything on your opponent, except his/her racquet, it’s out of play. Period. End of point.

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