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Permanent Fixtures

Q . I was a spectator at a match played on a court which had numerous courts side by side with no fences between the courts. A player hit an overhead at a sharp angle that bounced in the doubles alley for a winner then took a high bounce over the adjacent court. The player who hit the overhead touched the net when the ball was still in play but it was in mid-flight over the adjacent court. Is the point over when the ball passes over the spot of where the fence would be if each court had a fence around it or is the point over when the ball actually hits the permanent fixture no matter where it is?

A. Revised answer: If you are asking if a player touches the net before the ball hits a permanent fixture or bounces twice, then YES, that player loses the point.

If the court has a fence, then the fence is a permanent fixture. There is no imaginary line where boundaries may be if there is no fence.

Q. I was in our club doubles final today, and a return of serve hit the score card and bounced on the court. Our opponents did not play the ball because they assumed it was out. Who wins the point?

A. Technically, the scorecard that is attached to the post really should not be there, according to the Rules of Tennis. If it is there, and a ball hits it, it is considered a permanent fixture, and the player or team that hit the scorecard loses the point.

Q. While playing doubles in a court covered with a bubble, my opponent hit a high lob. I backed up, let it bounce and reached up and hit it right before it hit the bubble at the back of the court. My opponent claimed the point, saying the ball had hit the bubble. I didn't think it did. Whose call is it?

A. If the ball hits the bubble before you strike the ball, you make the call.

See Making Calls: #20 in “The Code” in the Friend at Court.

Q. When playing doubles, I hit a ball that hit the net post and bounced in on the opponents' side. Do I get the point?

A. On the serve, it would be a fault. During a rally, if the ball hits the post, and lands in the court, it is a legal shot. If you are playing singles with singles sticks, the singles sticks are now considered the post and the same procedure applies. With single sticks in place, a ball off of the doubles post is NOT legal. Essentially, the singles sticks are now the “posts.”

Q. I've heard different answers to this situation. Is the ball good if it hits a score card and remains in play?

A. No. If the ball hits the scoreboard on the net, the player who hit that shot loses the point.

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