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The Final Word: Kinds of Hindrances

April 29, 2013 02:57 PM
What happens if your shot hits a tree? USTA Director of Officials Richard Kaufman has the answer.
Have you ever had a dispute with a fellow player over a call on the court that you couldn’t settle? Or have you ever wondered why a certain ruling was made during a match you were watching? Maybe you’re just curious about how some scenarios, from the common to the ridiculous, are resolved.
USTA Director of Officials Richard Kaufman is here to answer your questions. He selects a few submissions at a time and supplies the definitive rulings through a Q&A.

 Have a question of your own? Write to The Final Word!
Topic: Do you lose the point for hitting a tree?

Question from Nancy: I was playing a casual doubles game, not a match, on an outdoor court in a park. I hit a ball that then hit a twig on the end of a branch. It was not a high hit but still bounced onto the other side inbounds. Even though our opponent was right there to make the play, he called that it was their point because I'd hit a branch. We thought it should be a do-over, if he didn't want to play the point. What is the ruling?
KAUFMAN: If trees overhang the court and the ball hits any part of that tree, then the player who hit that shot loses the point.
Topic: Yelling Out
Question from Beth: I play tennis with a few women who when they hit a short lob, yell out "SHORT" "or "WATCH OUT" after they hit the ball. I thought I had read that once the ball crosses to the opponent's side of the net, you can't yell out. I personally find it distracting when I'm going to hit an overhead to have my opponent yell out. Is there a rule about this?
KAUFMAN: Communication between partners in doubles is permitted. It never should be so loud that it may distract the opponents or be mistaken for a line call. The communication should not occur while the opponents are striking the ball.


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