FAQ

Section 1 Rules and regulations

Section 2 Who to contact if you have a problem on or off court

Section 1.

How high is the net supposed to be at the ends and center?

At the ends, the top of the net cord shall be 3 feet 6 inches above the ground.  At the center, the top of the net cord shall be 3 feet above the ground.

If a player cannot call a ball out with certainty, should he replay the point?

No, any ball that cannot be called out is presumed to have been good, and a player cannot claim a let on the basis that he did not see a ball or "I'm not sure."

The Server claims that the Receiver must stand within the lines bounding his Court. Is this necessary?

No. The Receiver may stand wherever he pleases on his own side of the net.

May the Server in a singles game take his stand behind the portion of the base line between the sidelines of the Singles Court and the Doubles Court?

No.  He has to be within the singles court.

A server makes an attempt to strike at the ball, but misses. Is this a fault?

Yes. 

A Server makes no attempt to strike at the ball, but catches it in his hand or his racket.  Is this a fault?

No.

A player serves from a wrong Court. He loses the point and then claims it was a fault because of his wrong station. Is this correct?

No.  The point stands as played and the next service should be from the correct station according to the score.

Who sets the pace, the server or receiver?

The server. However, the Server must wait until the Receiver is ready and if the Receiver claims to be not ready and does not make any effort to return a service, the Server’s claim for the point is not honored even though the service was good.

However, the Receiver, having indicated he is ready, may not become unready unless some outside interference takes place.

Can the Server in doubles stand outside the imaginary extension of the outside edge of the doubles sideline? 

No

A ball is served, first hits the net, and then touches the Receiver (or something he is wearing) before hitting the ground. Is this a let or a fault?

It’s a let.

If a delay between first and second serves is caused by the Receiver, an official, or outside interference, is the whole point replayed or does only get his second serve?

He gets two serves.  However, if the delay is caused by the Server, he has only one serve to come. A spectator’s outcry (of "out," "fault," or other) is not a valid basis for replay of a point, but action should be taken to prevent a recurrence.

A spectator gets into the way of a player, who fails to return the ball.  May the player then claim a let?

Yes. In this case, he was obstructed by circumstances beyond his control. Furthermore, even if he had previously served a fault, he has the right to two services. 

May a player claim a let because he thought his opponent was being hindered, and consequently did not expect the ball to be returned?

No.

A player serves or hits a ball that strikes a ball lying in his opponent’s court. Is this a let?

No, the ball is good and the opponent must continue (trying) to play the point.  However, if a ball in play strikes a rolling or stationary "foreign" ball that has come from elsewhere after the point started, a let should be played.

May a player request that a ball or balls lying in his opponent’s Court be removed?

Yes, but not while a ball is in play.  The opponent must honor this request.

If a player serves out of turn, how is this resolved?

The player who ought to have served shall serve as soon as the mistake is discovered, but all completed points scored before such discovery shall stand. If a game shall have been completed before such discovery, the order of service shall remain as altered.

If a mistake is made regarding changing ends, how is this resolved?

The players must take up their correct station as soon as the discovery is made and follow their original sequence.

The racket flies from the Server’s hand and touches the net before the ball has touched the ground. Is this a fault, or does the player lose the point?

The Server loses the point because his racket touches the net whilst the ball is in play.

In serving, the racket flies from the Server’s hand and touches the net after the ball has touched the ground outside the proper court. Is this a fault, or does the player lose the point?

This is a fault because the ball was out of play when the racket touched the net.

During his service delivery, a server's foot/feet land inside the court after he has struck the ball.  Is this a foot fault? 

No, so long as the ball has left his racket before his feet/foot touch or cross the baseline, it is not a foot fault. 

Can the server touch with either foot an area outside the imaginary extensions of the center-mark and sidelines? 

No. This is a foot fault.

Does the receiver (or receiver's partner in doubles) have to warn an opponent that he is committing foot faults prior to calling them?

"In a non-officiated match, the Receiver, or his partner, may call foot faults after all efforts (one to the server and a request for an umpire) have failed and the foot faulting is so flagrant as to be clearly perceptible from the Receiver’s side."

If a player asks the Referee or Line Umpire for an explanation of how he has foot faulted, should he be given that information?

Yes.

A ball hits the tape and bounds off in an unexpected direction.  Is this interference? 

No. 

A player catches a ball that appears to be going out.  Is this OK?

No.  An outgoing ball is still definitely in play until it actually strikes the ground, backstop, a permanent fixture, or a player. However, prior to beginning a match players can agree to stop such balls from interfering with play on other courts. The player stopping such balls must do so from outside the court.

A ball is hit into the net and the player on the other side, thinking the ball is coming over, strikes at it and hits the net. Does he win or lose the point?

He loses the point if his touching the net occurs while the ball is still in play.

Jane hits a shot to Jill and it goes out.  Jill calls it out just as she attempts to hit it back. Is this fair?

Yes.  According to the rules, Jill simply must call Jane’s shot out before Jill’s return (of the out ball) has either gone out of play or been hit by Jane. 

Does a player lose the point if his return hits a permanent fixture, scoring device, or other object attached to a net post, but lands in the court?

Yes.  

If a player double hits the ball on a swing, does he lose the point?

Maybe.  Only when there is a definite (intentional) "second push" by the player does his shot become illegal, with consequent loss of point. Two hits occurring in the course of a single continuous swing are not deemed a double hit.

Does a player win or lose the point if he or his racket (in his hand or otherwise) or anything which he wears touches the net, posts, or the ground within his opponent’s court at any time while the ball is in play?

Loses

A player, attempting a volley crosses an imaginary line in the extension of the net before striking the ball.  Is this legal?

No, he may not strike the ball before.  However, he can follow-through across the net.

Does a player win or lose the point if the ball in play touches him or anything that he wears or carries, except his racket?

Loses

Does a player win or lose the point if he throws his racket at and hits the ball for a winner?

Loses

May a player jump over the net into his opponent’s Court while the ball is in play and not suffer penalty?

No. He loses the point.

A and B are playing against C and D, A is serving to D, C touches the net before the ball touches the ground. A fault is then called because the service falls outside the Service Court. D and C call a fault.  Is this correct?

No.  C and D had already lost the point before "fault" could be called, because C touched the net whilst the ball was in play.

In doubles, a service ball strikes one of the receiving players before it has touched the ground. Is it a fault? 

No, receiving team loses the point.

If a player accidentally hinders his opponent in making a stroke, does he lose the point?

No. Unless it was deliberate, the point should be replayed.

A player, after his return is in the air, gives advice to his partner in such a loud voice that his opponent is hindered.  Can the opposing team call interference?

Yes.  This can be considered intentional hindrance. Such communications should be brief and quiet.

If your opponent’s hat blows off while a ball is in play, can you call interference and claim the point?

No.  This is presumably not an intentional act and that point can be replayed.

If a drop shot spins back over the net, can a player reach over the net in order to play the ball?

Yes and the opponent loses the point if he attempts to hinder him from doing so.

If the ball in play touches a permanent fixture (other than the net posts or net cord) after it has hit the opponent’s court, who wins the point?

The player who struck it. However, if it hits a permanent structure (bench, score cards, etc.) before it hits opponent’s court, his opponent wins the point.

A player hits a ball (from a wide position) that travels outside the net posts and below the level of the top of the net and lands in.  Is this a legal shot?

Yes. 

Is a stroke good when a ball in play hits another ball in the air?

A let should be called unless the other ball is in the air by the act of one of the players.

Is it a good stroke if the ball touches a stationary or moving object (bird, butterfly, trash) on the Court?

It is a good stroke unless the stationary object came into Court after the ball was put into play in which case a let must be called. If the ball in play strikes an object moving along or above the surface of the Court a let must be called.

Trick Question:  Its mixed doubles and deuce with the male player serving.  The male player on the other team is playing the ad side.  Where does the server serve, to the woman in the deuce court or the male in the ad court? 

He shall serve to the male player of the opposing team irrespective of which half of the court he is standing, and when the female player is serving, she shall serve to the female player of the opposing team.

Can a doubles team alter the order of who serves first at the beginning of each set or only the 1st and 3rd sets?  How about for the side on which they return serves (deuce or ad side)

They can alter service rotations or return positions at the beginning of each set.

Doug and Tim doubles against Lane and Bruce (again).  Bruce has just held serve to make the score 6-6.  Doug serves the first point of the tiebreak.  Lane serves out the tiebreak for his team.  Who serves the first game of the next set?                    

Either Lane or Bruce because the player (or pair in the case of doubles) whose turn it was to serve first in the tie-break game shall receive service in the first game of the following set.

How long does a server have between a first service fault and when the second service must be struck?

This must be done “without delay” and the Receiver must play to the reasonable pace of the Server and must be ready to receive when the Server is ready to serve.

How long a delay is allowed between points? 

A maximum of 20 seconds from the moment the ball goes out of play at the end of one point to the time the ball is struck for the next point.

How long a rest period is allowed during change overs?

No more than 90 seconds may elapse from the moment the ball goes out of play at the end of the game to the time the ball is struck for the first point of the next game.

However, after the first game of each set and during a tiebreak, play shall be continuous and the players shall change ends without a rest period.

How long a rest period is allowed between sets 1 and 2? How about sets 2 and three?

At the conclusion of each set, there shall be a set break of a maximum of 120 seconds from the moment the ball goes out of play at the end of the game to the time the ball is struck for the first point of the next game, or a reasonable time for a bathroom break. 

How many injury time outs are allowed for an injury?  What is their allowed length?

Only one 3-minute suspension of play is allowed for an injury.  Play shall never be suspended, delayed or interfered with for the purpose of enabling a player to recover his strength, breath, or physical condition.

Is a time out allowed for clothing, footwear, eyewear adjustment?

Not if it is intentional.  However, play may be suspended for a reasonable period and the player may leave the Court to correct the problem, if the clothing becomes unusable through circumstances outside the control of the player.  Players who wear glasses may call time out due to misty but playable weather.

How about for a broken racket or string?

If a racket or racket string is broken, no time out is allowed.  A player who leaves the Court to get a replacement is subject to the Point Penalty System.

How long is the warm-up period?

5 minutes.

Is coaching or any type of instruction allowed during team competition? 

Yes.  During the match a player may receive coaching from a captain who is sitting on the court only when he changes ends at the end of a game, but not when he changes ends during a tiebreak game. No form of coaching is allowed during non-team competition.

Can a player receive coaching during an authorized rest period when play is interrupted and he leaves the court?

Yes. In these circumstances, when the player is not on the court, there is no restriction on coaching.  However, no player may receive coaching during a toilet visit.

Section 2

The Tournament Directors decision is final. The GLTA Board of Directors will only intervene where rules and regulations have not been followed. Where there is evidence of injustice or unfairness not covered by regulation the GLTA commissioner may, at their discretion, on behalf of the Board recommend a course of action or mediation.

Who do I contact if I have an enquiry about entering a tournament?

Every tournament has a person named as Director who can be contacted by email. You can find contact details on the tournament page. Go to schedule then click on…

Who do I go to if the rules and regulations are not being followed or I believe a player’s conduct is unsporting?

E.G

  • Playing in the wrong division
  • Allowing friends to shout out line calls

In the first instance contact the tournament director (as above)

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome you can contact the GLTA commissioner (link) who will forward your concern to the responsible GLTA board member

What if I am dissatisfied with an aspect of tournament management?

In the first instance contact the tournament director (as above)

If you remain dissatisfied you can contact the GLTA commissioner (link) who will forward your concern to the responsible GLTA board member