Tennis rules

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Rules of Tennis 2006


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Please note that where amendments are made in these Regulations the text is underlined
CONTENTS
FOREWORD 1
Rule 1 THE COURT 2
Rule 2 PERMANENT FIXTURES 3
Rule 3 THE BALL 3
Rule 4 THE RACKET 4
Rule 5 SCORE IN A GAME 5
Rule 6 SCORE IN A SET 5
Rule 7 SCORE IN A MATCH 6
Rule 8 SERVER & RECEIVER 6
Rule 9 CHOICE OF ENDS & SERVICE 6
Rule 10 CHANGE OF ENDS 7
Rule 11 BALL IN PLAY 7
Rule 12 BALL TOUCHES A LINE 7
Rule 13 BALL TOUCHES A PERMANENT FIXTURE 7
Rule 14 ORDER OF SERVICE 7
Rule 15 ORDER OF RECEIVING IN DOUBLES 7
Rule 16 THE SERVICE 7
Rule 17 SERVING 8
Rule 18 FOOTFAULT 8
Rule 19 SERVICE FAULT 8
Rule 20 SECOND SERVICE 9
Rule 21 WHEN TO SERVE & RECEIVE 9
Rule 22 THE LET DURING A SERVICE 9
Rule 23 THE LET 9
Rule 24 PLAYER LOSES POINT 9
Rule 25 A GOOD RETURN 11
Rule 26 HINDRANCE 12
Rule 27 CORRECTING ERRORS 12
Rule 28 ROLE OF COURT OFFICIALS 14
Rule 29 CONTINUOUS PLAY 14
Rule 30 COACHING 14
RULES OF WHEELCHAIR TENNIS 16
AMENDMENT TO THE RULES OF TENNIS 18
Appendix I THE BALL 19
CLASSIFICATION OF COURT SURFACE PACE 22
Appendix II THE RACKET 23
Appendix III ADVERTISING 24
Appendix IV ALTERNATIVE SCORING METHODS 25
Appendix V ROLE OF COURT OFFICIALS 27
Appendix VI PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW AND HEARINGS ON 31
THE RULES OF TENNIS
PLAN OF THE COURT 37
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO MARK A COURT 38
References to the International Tennis Federation or ITF shall hereafter mean ITF Limited.
1
FOREWORD
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the governing body of the game of
tennis and its duties and responsibilities include determination of the Rules of
Tennis.
To assist the ITF in carrying out this responsibility, the ITF has appointed a Rules of
Tennis Committee which continually monitors the game and its rules, and makes
recommendations for changes either on a permanent basis or for a limited trial period
to the Board of Directors of the ITF who in turn make recommendations to the
Annual General Meeting of the ITF which is the ultimate authority for making any
changes to the Rules of Tennis.
For reference purposes in this edition the old rule number is still shown in brackets.
Note: Except where otherwise stated, every reference in these Rules of Tennis to the
masculine includes the feminine gender.
2
1. THE COURT (OLD 1 & 34)
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 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 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 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.
3
- 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.
2. PERMANENT FIXTURES (OLD 2)
The permanent fixtures of the court include the backstops and sidestops, the
spectators, the stands and seats for spectators, all other fixtures around and above the
court, the chair umpire, line umpires, net umpire and ball persons when in their
recognised positions.
In a singles match played with a doubles net and singles sticks, the net posts and the
part of the net outside the singles sticks are permanent fixtures and are not
considered as net posts or part of the net.
3. THE BALL (OLD 3, 13, 27 & 32)
Balls, which are approved for play under the Rules of Tennis, must comply with the
specifications in Appendix I.
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 VI).
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 tiebreak
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.
4
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.
4. THE RACKET (OLD 4)
Rackets, which are approved for play under the Rules of Tennis, must comply with
the specifications in Appendix II.
The International Tennis Federation shall rule on the question of whether any racket
or prototype complies with Appendix II or is otherwise approved, or not approved,
for play. Such ruling may be undertaken 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 VI).
Case 1: Is more than one set of strings allowed on the hitting surface of a racket?
Decision: No. The rule mentions a pattern (not patterns) of crossed strings. (See
Appendix II)
Case 2: Is the stringing pattern of a racket considered to be generally uniform and
flat if the strings are on more than one plane?
Decision: No.
Case 3: Can vibration damping devices be placed on the strings of a racket? If so,
where can they be placed?
Decision: Yes, but these devices may only be placed outside the pattern of the
crossed strings.
Case 4: During a point, a player accidentally breaks the strings. Can the player
continue to play another point with this racket?
Decision: Yes, except where specifically prohibited by event organisers.
Case 5: Is a player allowed to use more than one racket at any time during play?
Decision: No.
Case 6: Can a battery that affects playing characteristics be incorporated into a
racket?
Decision: No. A battery is prohibited because it is an energy source, as are solar
cells and other similar devices.
5
5. SCORE IN A GAME (OLD 26 & 27)
a. Standard game
A standard game is scored as follows with the server's score being called
first:
No point - "Love"
First point - "15"
Second point - "30"
Third point - "40"
Fourth point - "Game"
except that if each player/team has won three points, the score is "Deuce".
After "Deuce", the score is "Advantage" for the player/team who wins the
next point. If that same player/team also wins the next point, that player/team
wins the "Game"; if the opposing player/team wins the next point, the score is
again "Deuce". A player/team needs to win two consecutive points
immediately after "Deuce" to win the "Game".
b. Tie-break game
During a tie-break game, points are scored "Zero","1", "2", "3", etc. The first
player/team to win seven points wins the "Game" and "Set", provided there is
a margin of two points over the opponent(s). If necessary, the tie-break game
shall continue until this margin is achieved.
The player whose turn it is to serve shall serve the first point of the tie-break
game. The following two points shall be served by the opponent(s) (in
doubles, the player of the opposing team due to serve next). After this, each
player/team shall serve alternately for two consecutive points until the end of
the tie-break game (in doubles, the rotation of service within each team shall
continue in the same order as during that set).
The player/team whose turn it was to serve first in the tie-break game shall be
the receiver in the first game of the following set.
Additional approved alternative scoring methods can be found in Appendix IV.
6. SCORE IN A SET (OLD 27)
There are different methods of scoring in a set. The two main methods are the
"Advantage Set" and the "Tie-break Set". Either method may be used provided that
the one to be used is announced in advance of the event. If the "Tie-break Set"
method is to be used, it must also be announced whether the final set will be played
as a "Tie-break Set" or an "Advantage Set".
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a. "Advantage Set"
The first player/team to win six games wins that "Set", provided there is a
margin of two games over the opponent(s). If necessary, the set shall continue
until this margin is achieved.
b. "Tie-break Set"
The first player/team to win six games wins that "Set", provided there is a
margin of two games over the opponent(s). If the score reaches six games all,
a tie-break game shall be played.
Additional approved alternative scoring methods can be found in Appendix IV.
7. SCORE IN A MATCH (OLD 28)
A match can be played to the best of 3 sets (a player/team needs to win 2 sets to win
the match) or to the best of 5 sets (a player/team needs to win 3 sets to win the
match).
Additional approved alternative scoring methods can be found in Appendix IV.
8. SERVER & RECEIVER (OLD 5)
The players/teams shall stand on opposite sides of the net. The server is the player
who puts the ball into play for the first point. The receiver is the player who is ready
to return the ball served by the server.
Case 1: Is the receiver allowed to stand outside the lines of the court?
Decision: Yes. The receiver may take any position inside or outside the lines on the
receiver's side of the net.
9. CHOICE OF ENDS & SERVICE (OLD 6)
The choice of ends and the choice to be server or receiver in the first game shall be
decided by toss before the warm-up starts. The player/team who wins the toss may
choose:
a. To be server or receiver in the first game of the match, in which case the
opponent(s) shall choose the end of the court for the first game of the match;
or
b. The end of the court for the first game of the match, in which case the
opponent(s) shall choose to be server or receiver for the first game of the
match; or
c. To require the opponent(s) to make one of the above choices.
Case 1: Do both players/teams have the right to new choices if the warm-up is
stopped and the players leave the court?
Decision: Yes. The result of the original toss stands, but new choices may be made
by both players/teams.
7
10. CHANGE OF ENDS (OLD 16 AND 27)
The players shall change ends at the end of the first, third and every subsequent odd
game of each set. The players shall also change ends at the end of each set unless the
total number of games in that set is even, in which case the players change ends at
the end of the first game of the next set.
During a tie-break game, players shall change ends after every six points.
11. BALL IN PLAY (OLD 17)
Unless a fault or a let is called, the ball is in play from the moment the server hits the
ball, and remains in play until the point is decided.
12. BALL TOUCHES A LINE (OLD 22)
If a ball touches a line, it is regarded as touching the court bounded by that line.
13. BALL TOUCHES A PERMANENT FIXTURE (OLD 23)
If the ball in play touches a permanent fixture after it has hit the correct court, the
player who hit the ball wins the point. If the ball in play touches a permanent fixture
before it hits the ground, the player who hit the ball loses the point.
14. ORDER OF SERVICE (OLD 15 & 35)
At the end of each standard game, the receiver shall become the server and the server
shall become the receiver for the next game.
In doubles, the team due to serve in the first game of each set shall decide which
player shall serve for that game. Similarly, before the second game starts, their
opponents shall decide which player shall serve for that game. The partner of the
player who served in the first game shall serve in the third game and the partner of
the player who served in the second game shall serve in the fourth game. This
rotation shall continue until the end of the set.
15. ORDER OF RECEIVING IN DOUBLES (OLD 35, 36 & 40)
The team which is due to receive in the first game of a set shall decide which player
shall receive the first point in the game. Similarly, before the second game starts,
their opponents shall decide which player shall receive the first point of that game.
The player who was the receiver's partner for the first point of the game shall
receive the second point and this rotation shall continue until the end of the game
and the set.
After the receiver has returned the ball, either player in a team can hit the ball.
Case 1: Is one member of a doubles team allowed to play alone against the
opponents?
Decision: No.
16. THE SERVICE (OLD 7)
Immediately before starting the service motion, the server shall stand at rest with
both feet behind (i.e. further from the net than) the baseline and within the imaginary
extensions of the centre mark and the sideline.
8
The server shall then release the ball by hand in any direction and hit the ball with
the racket before the ball hits the ground. The service motion is completed at the
moment that the player's racket hits or misses the ball. A player who is able to use
only one arm may use the racket for the release of the ball.
17. SERVING (OLD 9 & 27)
When serving in a standard game, the server shall stand behind alternate halves of
the court, starting from the right half of the court in every game.
In a tie-break game, the service shall be served from behind alternate halves of the
court, with the first served from the right half of the court.
The service shall pass over the net and hit the service court diagonally opposite,
before the receiver returns it.
18. FOOT FAULT (OLD 7 & 8)
During the service motion, the server shall not:
a. Change position by walking or running, although slight movements of the feet
are permitted; or
b. Touch the baseline or the court with either foot; or
c. Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline with either
foot; or
d. Touch the imaginary extension of the centre mark with either foot.
If the server breaks this rule it is a "Foot Fault".
Case 1: In a singles match, is the server allowed to serve standing behind the part of
the baseline between the singles sideline and the doubles sideline?
Decision: No.
Case 2: Is the server allowed to have one or both feet off the ground?
Decision: Yes.
19. SERVICE FAULT (OLD 10 & 39)
The service is a fault if:
a. The server breaks rules 16, 17 or 18; or
b. The server misses the ball when trying to hit it; or
c. The ball served touches a permanent fixture, singles stick or net post before it
hits the ground; or
d. The ball served touches the server or server's partner, or anything the server
or server's partner is wearing or carrying.
Case 1: After tossing a ball to serve, the server decides not to hit it and catches it
instead. Is this a fault?
Decision: No. A player, who tosses the ball and then decides not to hit it, is allowed
to catch the ball with the hand or the racket, or to let the ball bounce.
9
Case 2: During a singles match played on a court with net posts and singles sticks,
the ball served hits a singles stick and then hits the correct service court. Is this a
fault?
Decision: Yes.
20. SECOND SERVICE (OLD 11)
If the first service is a fault, the server shall serve again without delay from behind
the same half of the court from which that fault was served, unless the service was
from the wrong half.
21. WHEN TO SERVE & RECEIVE (OLD 12 & 30)
The server shall not serve until the receiver is ready. However, the receiver shall play
to the reasonable pace of the server and shall be ready to receive within a reasonable
time of the server being ready.
A receiver who attempts to return the service shall be considered as being ready. If it
is demonstrated that the receiver is not ready, the service cannot be called a fault.
22. THE LET DURING A SERVICE (OLD 14)
The service is a let if:
a. The ball served touches the net, strap or band, and is otherwise good; or, after
touching the net, strap or band, touches the receiver or the receiver's partner
or anything they wear or carry before hitting the ground; or
b. The ball is served when the receiver is not ready.
In the case of a service let, that particular service shall not count, and the server shall
serve again, but a service let does not cancel a previous fault.
23. THE LET (OLD 13 & 25)
In all cases when a let is called, except when a service let is called on a second
service, the whole point shall be replayed.
Case 1: When the ball is in play, another ball rolls onto court. A let is called. The
server had previously served a fault. Is the server now entitled to a first service or
second service?
Decision: First service. The whole point must be replayed.
24. PLAYER LOSES POINT (OLD 18, 19, 20 & 40)
The point is lost if:
a. The player serves two consecutive faults; or
b. The player does not return the ball in play before it bounces twice
consecutively; or
c. The player returns the ball in play so that it hits the ground, or an object,
outside the correct court; or
10
d. The player returns the ball in play so that, before it bounces, it hits a
permanent fixture; or
e. The player deliberately carries or catches the ball in play on the racket or
deliberately touches it with the racket more than once; or
f. The player or the racket, whether in the player's hand or not, or anything
which the player is wearing or carrying touches the net, net posts/singles
sticks, cord or metal cable, strap or band, or the opponent's court at any time
while the ball is in play; or
g. The player hits the ball before it has passed the net; or
h. The ball in play touches the player or anything that the player is wearing or
carrying, except the racket; or
i. The ball in play touches the racket when the player is not holding it; or
j. The player deliberately and materially changes the shape of the racket when
the ball is in play; or
k. In doubles, both players touch the ball when returning it.
Case 1: After the server has served a first service, the racket falls out of the server's
hand and touches the net before the ball has bounced. Is this a service fault, or does
the server lose the point?
Decision: The server loses the point because the racket touches the net while the ball
is in play.
Case 2: After the server has served a first service, the racket falls out of the server's
hand and touches the net after the ball has bounced outside the correct service
court. Is this a service fault, or does the server lose the point?
Decision: This is a service fault because when the racket touched the net the ball
was no longer in play.
Case 3: In a doubles match, the receiver's partner touches the net before the ball
that has been served touches the ground outside the correct service court. What is
the correct decision?
Decision: The receiving team loses the point because the receiver's partner touched
the net while the ball was in play.
Case 4: Does a player lose the point if an imaginary line in the extension of the net
is crossed before or after hitting the ball?
Decision: The player does not lose the point in either case provided the player does
not touch the opponent's court.
Case 5: Is a player allowed to jump over the net into the opponent's court while the
ball is in play?
Decision: No. The player loses the point.
11
Case 6: A player throws the racket at the ball in play. Both the racket and the ball
land in the court on the opponent's side of the net and the opponent(s) is unable to
reach the ball. Which player wins the point?
Decision: The player who threw the racket at the ball loses the point.
Case 7: A ball that has just been served hits the receiver or in doubles the receiver's
partner before it touches the ground. Which player wins the point?
Decision: The server wins the point, unless it is a service let.
Case 8: A player standing outside the court hits the ball or catches it before it
bounces and claims the point because the ball was definitely going out of the correct
court.
Decision: The player loses the point, unless it is a good return, in which case the
point continues.
25. A GOOD RETURN (OLD 24)
It is a good return if:
a. The ball touches the net, net posts/singles sticks, cord or metal cable, strap or
band, provided that it passes over any of them and hits the ground within the
correct court; except as provided in Rule 2 and 24 (d); or
b. After the ball in play has hit the ground within the correct court and has spun
or been blown back over the net, the player reaches over the net and plays the
ball into the correct court, provided that the player does not break Rule 24; or
c. The ball is returned outside the net posts, either above or below the level of
the top of the net, even though it touches the net posts, provided that it hits the
ground in the correct court; except as provided in Rules 2 and 24 (d); or
d. The ball passes under the net cord between the singles stick and the adjacent
net post without touching either net, net cord or net post and hits the ground
in the correct court, or
e. The player's racket passes over the net after hitting the ball on the player's
own side of the net and the ball hits the ground in the correct court; or
f. The player hits the ball in play, which hits another ball lying in the correct
court.
Case 1: A player returns a ball which then hits a singles stick and hits the ground in
the correct court. Is this is a good return?
Decision: Yes. However, if the ball is served and hits the singles stick, it is a service
fault.
Case 2: A ball in play hits another ball which is lying in the correct court. What is
the correct decision?
Decision: Play continues. However, if it is not clear that the actual ball in play has
been returned, a let should be called.
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26. HINDRANCE (OLD 21, 25 & 36)
If a player is hindered in playing the point by a deliberate act of the opponent(s), the
player shall win the point.
However, the point shall be replayed if a player is hindered in playing the point by
either an unintentional act of the opponent(s), or something outside the player's own
control (not including a permanent fixture).
Case 1: Is an unintentional double hit a hindrance?
Decision: No. See also Rule 24 (e).
Case 2: A player claims to have stopped play because the player thought that the
opponent(s) was being hindered. Is this a hindrance?
Decision: No, the player loses the point.
Case 3: A ball in play hits a bird flying over the court. Is this a hindrance?
Decision: Yes, the point shall be replayed.
Case 4: During a point, a ball or other object that was lying on the player's side of
the net when the point started hinders the player. Is this a hindrance?
Decision: No.
Case 5: In doubles, where are the server's partner and receiver's partner allowed to
stand?
Decision: The server's partner and the receiver's partner may take any position on
their own side of the net, inside or outside the court. However, if a player is creating
a hindrance to the opponent(s), the hindrance rule should be used.
27. CORRECTING ERRORS (NEW)
As a principle, when an error in respect of the Rules of Tennis is discovered, all
points previously played shall stand. Errors so discovered shall be corrected as
follows:
a. (OLD 9a, 11 & 27 b.iii)
During a standard game or a tie-break game, if a player serves from the wrong
half of the court, this should be corrected as soon as the error is discovered
and the server shall serve from the correct half of the court according to the
score. A fault that was served before the error was discovered shall stand.
b. (OLD 16)
During a standard game or a tie-break game, if the players are at the wrong
ends of the court, the error should be corrected as soon as it is discovered and
the server shall serve from the correct end of the court according to the score.
c. (OLD 15 & 37)
If a player serves out of turn during a standard game, the player who was
originally due to serve shall serve as soon as the error is discovered. However,
if a game is completed before the error is discovered the order of service shall
remain as altered.
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A fault that was served by the opponents(s) before the error was discovered
shall not stand.
In doubles, if the partners of one team serve out of turn, a fault that was
served before the error was discovered shall stand.
d. (OLD 27, Case 3)
If a player serves out of turn during a tie-break game and the error is
discovered after an even number of points have been played, the error is
corrected immediately. If the error is discovered after an odd number of
points have been played, the order of service shall remain as altered.
A fault that was served by the opponent(s) before the error was discovered
shall not stand.
In doubles, if the partners of one team serve out of turn, a fault that was
served before the error was discovered shall stand.
e. (OLD 38)
During a standard game or a tie-break game in doubles, if there is an error in
the order of receiving, this shall remain as altered until the end of the game in
which the error is discovered. For the next game in which they are the
receivers in that set, the partners shall then resume the original order of
receiving.
f. (OLD 27, Case 1)
If in error a tie-break game is started at 6 games all, when it was previously
agreed that the set would be an "Advantage set", the error shall be corrected
immediately if only one point has been played. If the error is discovered after
the second point is in play, the set will continue as a "Tie-break set".
g. (OLD 27, Case 2)
If in error a standard game is started at 6 games all, when it was previously
agreed that the set would be a "Tie-break set", the error shall be corrected
immediately if only one point has been played. If the error is discovered after
the second point is in play, the set will continue as an "Advantage set" until
the score reaches 8 games all (or a higher even number), when a tie-break
game shall be played.
h. (NEW)
If in error an "Advantage set" or "Tie-break set" is started, when it was
previously agreed that the final set would be a deciding match tie-break, the
error shall be corrected immediately if only one point has been played. If the
error is discovered after the second point is in play, the set will continue either
until a player or team wins three games (and therefore the set) or until the
score reaches 2 games all, when a deciding match tie-break shall be played.
However, if the error is discovered after the fifth game has started, the set will
continue as a "Tie-break set". (See Appendix IV)
i. (OLD 32)
If the balls are not changed in the correct sequence, the error shall be
corrected when the player/team who should have served with new balls is
next due to serve a new game. Thereafter the balls shall be changed so that
the number of games between ball changes shall be that originally agreed.
Balls should not be changed during a game.
14
28. ROLE OF COURT OFFICIALS (OLD 29)
For matches where officials are appointed, their roles and responsibilities can be
found in Appendix V.
29. CONTINUOUS PLAY (OLD 29 & 30)
As a principle, play should be continuous, from the time the match starts (when the
first service of the match is put in play) until the match finishes.
a. Between points, a maximum of twenty (20) seconds is allowed. When the
players change ends at the end of a game, a maximum of ninety (90) seconds
are allowed. However, after the first game of each set and during a tie-break
game, play shall be continuous and the players shall change ends without a
rest.
At the end of each set there shall be a set break of a maximum of one hundred
and twenty (120) seconds.
The maximum time starts from the moment that one point finishes until the
first service is struck for the next point.
Organisers of professional circuits may apply for ITF approval to extend the
ninety (90) seconds allowed when the players change ends at the end of a
game and the one hundred and twenty (120) seconds allowed at a set break.
b. If, for reasons outside the player's control, clothing, footwear or necessary
equipment (excluding the racket) is broken or needs to be replaced, the player
may be allowed reasonable extra time to rectify the problem.
c. No extra time shall be given to allow a player to recover condition. However,
a player suffering from a treatable medical condition may be allowed one
medical time-out of three minutes for the treatment of that medical condition.
A limited number of toilet/change of attire breaks may also be allowed, if this
is announced in advance of the event.
d. Event organisers may allow a rest period of a maximum of ten (10) minutes if
this is announced in advance of the event. This rest period can be taken after
the 3rd set in a best of 5 sets match, or after the 2nd set in a best of 3 sets
match.
e. The warm-up time shall be a maximum of five (5) minutes, unless otherwise
decided by the event organisers.
30. COACHING (OLD 31)
Coaching is considered to be communication, advice or instruction of any kind,
audible or visible, to a player.
In team events where there is a team captain sitting on-court, the team captain may
coach the player(s) during a set break and when the players change ends at the end of
a game, but not when the players change ends after the first game of each set and not
during a tie-break game.
In all other matches, coaching is not allowed.
15
Case 1: Is a player allowed to be coached, if the coaching is given by signals in a
discreet way?
Decision: No.
Case 2: Is a player allowed to receive coaching when play is suspended?
Decision: Yes.
16
RULES OF WHEELCHAIR TENNIS
The game of wheelchair tennis follows the ITF Rules of Tennis with the following
exceptions.
a. The Two Bounce Rule
The wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. The player must
return the ball before it hits the ground a third time. The second bounce can be
either in or out of the court boundaries.
b. The Wheelchair
The wheelchair is considered part of the body and all applicable rules, which
apply to a player's body, shall apply to the wheelchair.
c. The Service
i. The service shall be delivered in the following manner. Immediately
before commencing the service, the server shall be in a stationary
position. The server shall then be allowed one push before striking the
ball.
ii. The server shall throughout the delivery of the service not touch with
any wheel, any area other than that behind the baseline within the
imaginary extension of the centre mark and sideline.
iii. If conventional methods for the service are physically impossible for a
quadriplegic player, then the player or an individual may drop the ball
for such a player. However, the same method of serving must be used
each time.
d. Player Loses Point
A player loses a point if:
i. The player fails to return the ball before it has touched the ground
three times; or
ii. Subject to rule e) below the player uses any part of his feet or lower
extremities as brakes or as stabilisers while delivering service, stroking
a ball, turning or stopping against the ground or against any wheel
while the ball is in play; or
iii. The player fails to keep one buttock in contact with his wheelchair seat
when contacting the ball.
e. Propelling the Chair with the Foot
i. If due to lack of capacity a player is unable to propel the wheelchair
via the wheel then he may propel the wheelchair using one foot.
ii. Even if in accordance with rule e) i. above a player is permitted to
17
propel the chair using one foot, no part of the player's foot may be in
contact with the ground:
a) during the forward motion of the swing, including when the
racket strikes the ball;
b) from the initiation of the service motion until the racket strikes
the ball.
iii. A player in breach of this rule shall lose the point.
f. Wheelchair/Able-bodied Tennis
Where a wheelchair tennis player is playing with or against an able-bodied
person in singles or doubles, the Rules of Wheelchair Tennis shall apply for the
wheelchair player while the Rules of Tennis for able-bodied tennis shall apply for
the able-bodied player. In this instance, the wheelchair player is allowed two
bounces while the able-bodied player is allowed only one bounce.
Note: The definition of lower extremities is: -the lower limb, including the buttocks,
hip, thigh, leg, ankle and foot.
18
AMENDMENT TO THE RULES OF TENNIS
The official and decisive text to the Rules of Tennis shall be for ever in the English
language and no alteration or interpretation of such Rules shall be made except at an
Annual General Meeting of the Council, nor unless notice of the resolution
embodying such alteration shall have been received by the Federation in accordance
with Article 17 of the Constitution of ITF Ltd (Notice of Resolutions) and such
resolution or one having the like effect shall be carried by a majority of two-thirds of
the votes recorded in respect of the same.
Any alteration so made shall take effect as from the first day of January following
unless the Meeting shall by the like majority decide otherwise.
The Board of Directors shall have power, however, to settle all urgent questions of
interpretation subject to confirmation at the General Meeting next following.
This Rule shall not be altered at any time without the unanimous consent of a
General Meeting of the Council.
19
APPENDIX I
THE BALL
a. The ball shall have a uniform outer surface consisting of a fabric cover and shall
be white or yellow in colour. If there are any seams they shall be stitchless.
b. More than one type of ball is specified. The ball shall conform to the
requirements shown in the table below.
c. All tests for rebound, size and deformation shall be made in accordance with the
regulations below.
Case 1: Which ball type should be used on which court surface?
Decision: 3 different types of balls are approved for play under the Rules of Tennis,
however:
a. Ball Type 1 (fast speed) is intended for play on slow pace court surfaces
b. Ball Type 2 (medium speed) is intended for play on medium/medium-fast pace
court surfaces
c. Ball Type 3 (slow speed) is intended for play on fast pace court surfaces
TYPE 1
(FAST)
TYPE 2
(MEDIUM)1
TYPE 3
(SLOW)2
HIGH ALTITUDE3
WEIGHT (MASS) 1.975-2.095 ounces
(56.0-59.4 grams)
1.975-2.095 ounces
(56.0-59.4 grams)
1.975-2.095 ounces
(56.0-59.4 grams)
1.975-2.095 ounces
(56.0-59.4 grams)
SIZE 2.575-2.700 inches
(6.541-6.858 cm)
2.575-2.700 inches
(6.541-6.858 cm)
2.750-2.875 inches
(6.985-7.303 cm)
2.575-2.700 inches
(6.541-6.858 cm)
REBOUND 53-58 inches
(135-147 cm)
53-58 inches
(135-147 cm)
53-58 inches
(135-147 cm)
48-53 inches
(122-135 cm)
FORWARD
DEFORMATION4
0.195-0.235 inches
(0.495-0.597 cm)
0.220-0.290 inches
(0.559-0.737 cm)
0.220-0.290 inches
(0.559-0.737 cm)
0.220-0.290 inches
(0.559-0.737 cm)
RETURN
DEFORMATION4
0.265-0.360 inches
(0.673-0.914 cm)
0.315-0.425 inches
(0.800-1.080 cm)
0.315-0.425 inches
(0.800-1.080 cm)
0.315-0.425 inches
(0.800-1.080 cm)
Notes:
1 This ball may be pressurised or pressureless. The pressureless ball shall have an internal pressure that is no
greater than 1 psi (7 kPa) and may be used for high altitude play above 4,000 feet (1,219 m) above sea level
and shall have been acclimatised for 60 days or more at the altitude of the specific tournament.
2 This ball is also recommended for high altitude play on any court surface type above 4,000 feet (1,219 m)
above sea level.
3 This ball is pressurised and is an additional ball specified for high altitude play above 4,000 feet (1,219 m)
above sea level only.
4 The deformation shall be the average of a single reading along each of three perpendicular axes. No two
individual readings shall differ by more than .030 inches (.076 cm).
20
REGULATIONS FOR MAKING TESTS
i. Unless otherwise specified all tests shall be made at a temperature of
approximately 68 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius), a relative humidity of
approximately 60% and, unless otherwise specified, an atmospheric pressure of
approximately 30 inches Hg (102 kPa). All balls shall be removed from their
container and kept at the recognised temperature and humidity for 24 hours
prior to testing, and shall be at that temperature and humidity when the test is
commenced.
ii. Other standards may be fixed for localities where the average temperature,
humidity or average barometric pressure at which the game is being played
differ materially from 68 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius), 60% relative humidity and
30 inches Hg (102 kPa) respectively.
Applications for such adjusted standards may be made by any National
Association to the International Tennis Federation and, if approved, shall be
adopted for such localities.
iii. In all tests for diameter, a ring gauge shall be used consisting of a metal plate,
preferably non-corrosive, of a uniform thickness of one-eighth of an inch
(0.318 cm). In the case of Ball Type 1 (fast speed) and Ball Type 2 (medium
speed) balls there shall be two circular openings in the plate measuring 2.575
inches (6.541 cm) and 2.700 inches (6.858 cm) in diameter respectively. In the
case of Ball Type 3 (slow speed) balls there shall be two circular openings in
the plate measuring 2.750 inches (6.985 cm) and 2.875 inches (7.303 cm) in
diameter respectively. The inner surface of the gauge shall have a convex
profile with a radius of one-sixteenth of an inch (0.159 cm). The ball shall not
drop through the smaller opening by its own weight in any orientation and shall
drop through the larger opening by its own weight in all orientations.
iv. In all tests for deformation conducted under Rule 3, the machine designed by
Percy Herbert Stevens and patented in Great Britain under Patent No. 230250,
together with the subsequent additions and improvements thereto, including the
modifications required to take return deformations, shall be employed. Other
machines may be specified which give equivalent readings to the Stevens
machine and these may be used for testing ball deformation where such
machines have been given approval by the International Tennis Federation.
v. The procedure for carrying out tests is as follows and should take place in the
order specified:
a. Pre-compression - before any ball is tested it shall be steadily compressed
by approximately one inch (2.54 cm) on each of three diameters at right
angles to one another in succession; this process to be carried out three times
(nine compressions in all). All tests are to be completed within two hours of
pre-compression.
21
b. Weight (mass) test.
c. Size test (as in paragraph iii. above).
d. Deformation test - the ball is placed in position on the modified Stevens
machine so that neither platen of the machine is in contact with the cover
seam. The contact weight is applied, the pointer and the mark brought level,
and the dials set to zero. The test weight is placed on the beam in a position
that is equivalent to a load of 18 lb (8.2 kg) on the ball, after which the
wheel is turned at a uniform speed such that five seconds elapse from the
instant the beam leaves its seat until the pointer is brought level with the
mark. When turning ceases the reading is recorded (forward deformation).
The wheel is turned again until figure ten is reached on the scale (one inch
{2.54 cm} deformation). The wheel is then rotated in the opposite direction
at a uniform speed (thus releasing pressure) until the beam pointer again
coincides with the mark. After waiting ten seconds, the pointer is adjusted to
the mark if necessary. The reading is then recorded (return deformation).
This procedure is repeated on each ball across the two diameters at right
angles to the initial position and to each other.
e. Rebound test (as above) - the ball is dropped from 100 inches (254 cm) onto
a smooth rigid and horizontal surface. Measurements of both drop height
and rebound height are to be taken from the surface to the bottom of the ball.
22
CLASSIFICATION OF COURT SURFACE PACE
The ITF test method used for determining the pace of a court surface is test method
ITF CS 01/01 (ITF Surface Pace Rating) as described in the ITF publication entitled
"An initial ITF study on performance standards for tennis court surfaces".
Court surfaces which are found to have an ITF Surface Pace Rating of between 0
and 35 shall be classified as being Category 1 (slow pace). Examples of court
surface types which conform to this classification will include most clay courts and
other types of unbound mineral surface.
Court surfaces which are found to have an ITF Surface Pace Rating of between 30
and 45 shall be classified as being Category 2 (medium/medium-fast pace).
Examples of court surface types which conform to this classification will include
most hardcourts with various acrylic type coatings plus some textile surfaces.
Court surfaces which are found to have an ITF Surface Pace Rating of over 40 shall
be classified as being Category 3 (fast pace). Examples of court surface types which
conform to this classification will include most natural grass, artificial turf and some
textile surfaces.
Note: The proposed overlap in ITF Surface Pace Rating values for the above
categories is to allow some latitude in ball selection.
23
APPENDIX II
THE RACKET
a. The hitting surface, defined as the main area of the stringing pattern bordered by
the points of entry of the strings into the frame or points of contact of the strings
with the frame, whichever is the smaller, shall be flat and consist of a pattern of
crossed strings connected to a frame and alternately interlaced or bonded where
they cross. The stringing pattern must be generally uniform and, in particular,
not less dense in the centre than in any other area.
The racket shall be designed and strung such that the playing characteristics are
identical on both faces. The racket shall be free of attached objects, protrusions
and devices other than those utilised solely and specifically to limit or prevent
wear and tear or vibration or, for the frame only, to distribute weight. These
objects, protrusions and devices must be reasonable in size and placement for
such purposes.
b. The frame of the racket shall not exceed 29.0 inches (73.7 cm) in overall length,
including the handle. The frame of the racket shall not exceed 12.5 inches
(31.7 cm) in overall width. The hitting surface shall not exceed 15.5 inches
(39.4 cm) in overall length, and 11.5 inches (29.2 cm) in overall width.
c. The frame, including the handle, and the strings, shall be free of any device
which makes it possible to change materially the shape of the racket, or to
change the weight distribution in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the
racket which would alter the swing moment of inertia, or to change deliberately
any physical property which may affect the performance of the racket during the
playing of a point. No energy source that in any way changes or affects the
playing characteristics of a racket may be built into or attached to a racket.
24
APPENDIX III
ADVERTISING
1. Advertising is permitted on the net as long as it is placed on the part of the net
that is within 3 feet (0.914 m) from the centre of the net posts and is produced in
such a way that it does not interfere with the vision of the players or the playing
conditions.
2. Advertising and other marks or material placed at the back and sides of the court
shall be permitted unless it interferes with the vision of the players or the playing
conditions.
3. Advertising and other marks or material placed on the court surface outside the
lines is permitted unless it interferes with the vision of the players or the playing
conditions.
4. Notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) above, any advertising, marks or
material placed on the net or placed at the back and sides of the court, or on the
court surface outside the lines may not contain white or yellow or other light
colours that may interfere with the vision of the players or the playing conditions.
5. Advertising and other marks or material are not permitted on the court surface
inside the lines of the court.
25
APPENDIX IV
ALTERNATIVE SCORING METHODS
SCORE IN A GAME:
"No-Ad" SCORING METHOD
This alternative scoring method may be used.
A "No-Ad" game is scored as follows with the server's score being called first:
No point - "Love"
First point - "15"
Second point - "30"
Third point - "40"
Fourth point - "Game"
If both players/teams have won three points each, the score is "Deuce" and a
deciding point shall be played. The receiver(s) shall choose whether to receive the
service from the right half or the left half of the court. In doubles, the players of the
receiving team cannot change positions to receive this deciding point. The
player/team who wins the deciding point wins the "Game".
In mixed doubles, the player of the same gender as the server shall receive the
deciding point. The players of the receiving team cannot change positions to receive
the deciding point.
SCORE IN A SET:
1. "SHORT" SETS
The first player/team who wins four games wins that set, provided there is a
margin of two games over the opponent(s). If the score reaches four games all, a
tie-break game shall be played.
2. DECIDING MATCH TIE-BREAK (7 POINTS)
When the score in a match is one set all, or two sets all in best of five sets
matches, one tie-break game shall be played to decide the match. This tie-break
game replaces the deciding final set.
The player/team who first wins seven points shall win this match tie-break and
the match provided there is a margin of two points over the opponent(s).
26
3. DECIDING MATCH TIE-BREAK (10 POINTS)
When the score in a match is one set all, or two sets all in best of five sets
matches, one tie-break game shall be played to decide the match. This tie-break
game replaces the deciding final set.
The player/team who first wins ten points shall win this match tie-break and the
match provided there is a margin of two points over the opponent(s).
Note: When using the deciding match tie-break to replace the final set:
- the original order of service continues. (Rules 5 and 14)
- in doubles, the order of serving and receiving within the team may be altered,
as in the beginning of each set. (Rules 14 and 15)
- before the start of the deciding match tie-break there shall be a 120 seconds
set break.
- balls should not be changed before the start of the deciding match tie-break
even if a ball change is due.
27
APPENDIX V
ROLE OF COURT OFFICIALS
The referee is the final authority on all questions of tennis law and the referee's
decision is final.
In matches where a chair umpire is assigned, the chair umpire is the final authority
on all questions of fact during the match.
The players have the right to call the referee to court if they disagree with a chair
umpire's interpretation of tennis law.
In matches where line umpires and net umpires are assigned, they make all calls
(including foot-fault calls) relating to that line or net. The chair umpire has the right
to overrule a line umpire or a net umpire if the chair umpire is sure that a clear
mistake has been made. The chair umpire is responsible for calling any line
(including foot-faults) or net where no line umpire or net umpire is assigned.
A line umpire who cannot make a call shall signal this immediately to the chair
umpire who shall make a decision. If the line umpire can not make a call, or if there
is no line umpire, and the chair umpire can not make a decision on a question of fact,
the point shall be replayed.
In team events where the referee is sitting on-court, the referee is also the final
authority on questions of fact.
Play may be stopped or suspended at any time the chair umpire decides it is
necessary or appropriate.
The referee may also stop or suspend play in the case of darkness, weather or
adverse court conditions. When play is suspended for darkness, this should be done
at the end of a set, or after an even number of games have been played in the set in
progress. After a suspension in play, the score and position of players on-court in the
match shall stand when the match resumes.
The chair umpire or referee shall make decisions regarding continuous play and
coaching in respect of any Code of Conduct that is approved and in operation.
Case 1: The chair umpire awards the server a first service after an overrule, but the
receiver argues that it should be a second service, since the server had already
served a fault. Should the referee be called to court to give a decision?
Decision: Yes. The chair umpire makes the first decision about questions of tennis
law (issues relating to the application of specific facts). However, if a player
appeals the chair umpire's decision, then the referee shall be called to make the
final decision.
28
Case 2: A ball is called out, but a player claims that the ball was good. May the
referee be called to court to make a decision?
Decision: No. The chair umpire makes the final decision on questions of fact (issues
relating to what actually happened during a specific incident).
Case 3: Is a chair umpire allowed to overrule a line umpire at the end of a point if,
in the chair umpire's opinion, a clear mistake was made earlier in the point?
Decision: No. A chair umpire may only overrule a line umpire immediately after the
clear mistake has been made.
Case 4: A line umpire calls a ball "Out" and then the player argues that the ball
was good. Is the chair umpire allowed to overrule the line umpire?
Decision: No. A chair umpire must never overrule as the result of the protest or
appeal by a player
Case 5: A line umpire calls a ball "Out". The chair umpire was unable to see
clearly, but thought the ball was in. May the chair umpire overrule the line umpire?
Decision: No. The chair umpire may only overrule when sure that the line umpire
made a clear mistake.
Case 6: Is a line umpire allowed to change the call after the chair umpire has
announced the score?
Decision: Yes. If a line umpire realises a mistake, a correction should be made as
soon as possible provided it is not as the result of a protest or appeal of a player.
Case 7: If a chair umpire or line umpire calls "out" and then corrects the call to
good, what is the correct decision?
Decision: The chair umpire must decide if the original "out" call was a hindrance
to either player. If it was a hindrance, the point shall be replayed. If it was not a
hindrance, the player who hit the ball wins the point.
Case 8: A ball is blown back over the net and the player correctly reaches over the
net to try to play the ball. The opponent(s) hinders the player from doing this. What
is the correct decision?
Decision: The chair umpire must decide if the hindrance was deliberate or
unintentional and either awards the point to the hindered player or order the point
to be replayed.
BALL MARK INSPECTION PROCEDURES
1. Ball mark inspections can only be made on clay courts.
2. A ball mark inspection requested by a player (team) shall be allowed only if the
chair umpire cannot determine the call with certainty from his/her chair on either
a point-ending shot or when a player (team) stops playing the point during a rally
(returns are permitted but then the player must immediately stop).
29
3. When the chair umpire has decided to make a ball mark inspection, he/she
should go down from the chair and make the inspection himself. If he/she does
not know where the mark is, he/she can ask the line umpire for help in locating
the mark, but then the chair umpire shall inspect it.
4. The original call or overrule will always stand if the line umpire and chair
umpire cannot determine the location of the mark or if the mark is unreadable.
5. Once the chair umpire has identified and ruled on a ball mark, this decision is
final and not appealable.
6. In clay court tennis the chair umpire should not be too quick to announce the
score unless absolutely certain of the call. If in doubt, wait before calling the
score to determine whether a ball mark inspection is necessary.
7. In doubles the appealing player must make his/her appeal in such a way that
either play stops or the chair umpire stops play. If an appeal is made to the chair
umpire then he/she must first determine that the correct appeal procedure was
followed. If it was not correct or if it was late, then the chair umpire may
determine that the opposing team was deliberately hindered.
8. If a player erases the ball mark before the chair umpire has made a final
decision, he/she concedes the call.
9. A player may not cross the net to check a ball mark without being subject to the
Unsportsmanlike provision of the Code of Conduct.
ELECTRONIC REVIEW PROCEDURES
At tournaments where an Electronic Review System is used, the following
procedures should be followed for matches on courts where it is used.
1. A request for an Electronic Review of a line call or overrule by a player (team)
shall be allowed only on either a point-ending shot or when a player (team) stops
playing the point during a rally (returns are permitted but then the player must
immediately stop).
2. The chair umpire should decide to use the Electronic Review when there is
doubt about the accuracy of the line call or overrule. However, the chair umpire
may refuse the Electronic Review if he/she believes that the player is making an
unreasonable request or that it was not made in a timely manner.
3. In doubles the appealing player must make his/her appeal in such a way that
either play stops or the chair umpire stops play. If an appeal is made to the chair
umpire then he/she must first determine that the correct appeal procedure was
followed. If it was not correct or if it was late, then the chair umpire may
determine that the opposing team was deliberately hindered, in which case the
appealing team loses the point.
4. The original call or overrule will always stand if the Electronic Review is
unable, for whatever reason, to make a decision on that line call or overrule.
30
5. The chair umpire's final decision will be the outcome of the Electronic Review
and is not appealable. If a manual choice is required for the system to review a
particular ball impact, an official approved by the referee shall decide which ball
impact is reviewed.
31
APPENDIX VI
PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW AND HEARINGS ON
THE RULES OF TENNIS
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 These procedures were approved by the Board of Directors of the
International Tennis Federation ("Board of Directors") on 17 May 1998.
1.2 The Board of Directors may from time to time supplement, amend, or vary
these procedures.
2. OBJECTIVES
2.1 The International Tennis Federation is the custodian of the Rules of Tennis
and is committed to:
a. Preserving the traditional character and integrity of the game of tennis.
b. Actively preserving the skills traditionally required to play the game.
c. Encouraging improvements, which maintain the challenge of the game.
d. Ensuring fair competition.
2.2 To ensure fair, consistent and expeditious review and hearings in relation to
the Rules of Tennis the procedures set out below shall apply.
3. SCOPE
3.1 These Procedures shall apply to Rulings under:
a. Rule 1 - The Court.
b. Rule 3 - The Ball.
c. Rule 4 - The Racket.
d. Appendix I and II of the Rules of Tennis.
e. Any other Rules of Tennis which the International Tennis Federation may
decide.
4. STRUCTURE
4.1 Under these procedures Rulings shall be issued by a Ruling Board.
4.2 Such Rulings shall be final save, for an entitlement to appeal to an Appeal
Tribunal pursuant to these procedures.
5. APPLICATION
5.1 Rulings shall be taken either:
a. Following a motion of the Board of Directors; or
b. Upon the receipt of an application in accordance with the procedures set out
below.
32
6. APPOINTMENT AND COMPOSITION OF RULING BOARDS
6.1 Ruling Boards shall be appointed by the President of the International Tennis
Federation ("President") or his designee and shall comprise of such a number,
as the President or his designee shall determine.
6.2 If more than one person is appointed to the Ruling Board the Ruling Board
shall nominate one person from amongst themselves to act as Chairperson.
6.3 The Chairperson shall be entitled to regulate the procedures prior to and at
any review and/or hearing of a Ruling Board.
7. PROPOSED RULINGS BY THE RULING BOARD
7.1 The details of any proposed Ruling issued upon the motion of the Board of
Directors may be provided to any bona fide person or any players, equipment
manufacturer or national association or members thereof with an interest in
the proposed Ruling.
7.2 Any person so notified shall be given a reasonable period within which to
forward comments, objections, or requests for information to the President or
his designee in connection with the proposed Ruling.
8. APPLICATION FOR RULINGS
8.1 An application for a Ruling may be made by any party with a bona fide
interest in the Ruling including any player, equipment manufacturer or
national association or member thereof.
8.2 Any application for a Ruling must be submitted in writing to the President.
8.3 To be valid an application for a Ruling must include the following minimum
information:
a. The full name and address of the Applicant.
b. The date of the application.
c. A statement clearly identifying the interest of the Applicant in the question
upon which a Ruling is requested.
d. All relevant documentary evidence upon which the Applicant intends to
rely at any hearing.
e. If, in the opinion of the Applicant, expert evidence is necessary he shall
include a request for such expert evidence to be heard. Such request must
identify the name of any expert proposed and their relevant expertise.
f. When an application for a Ruling on a racket or other piece of equipment
is made, a prototype or, exact, copy of the equipment in question must be
submitted with the application for a Ruling.
g. If, in the opinion of the Applicant, there are extraordinary or unusual
circumstances, which require a Ruling to be made within a specified time
or before a specified date he shall include a statement describing the
extraordinary or unusual circumstances.
33
8.4 If an application for a Ruling does not contain the information and/or equipment
referred to at Clause 8. 3 (a)-(g) above the President or his designee shall
notify the Applicant giving the Applicant a specified reasonable time within
which to remedy the defect. If the Applicant fails to remedy the defect within
the specified time the application shall be dismissed.
9. CONVENING THE RULING BOARD
9.1 On receipt of a valid application or on the motion of the Board of Directors
the President or his designee may convene a Ruling Board to deal with the
application or motion.
9.2 The Ruling Board need not hold a hearing to deal with an application or
motion where the application or motion, in the opinion of the Chairperson can
be resolved in a fair manner without a hearing.
10. PROCEDURE OF THE RULING BOARD
10.1 The Chairperson of a Ruling Board shall determine the appropriate form,
procedure and date of any review and/or hearing.
10.2 The Chairperson shall provide written notice of those matters set out at 10.1
above to any Applicant or any person or association who has expressed an
interest in the proposed Ruling.
10.3 The Chairperson shall determine all matters relating to evidence and shall not
be bound by judicial rules governing procedure and admissibility of evidence
provided that the review and/or hearing is conducted in a fair manner with a
reasonable opportunity for the relevant parties to present their case.
10.4 Under these procedures any review and/or hearings:
a. Shall take place in private.
b. May be adjourned and/or postponed by the Ruling Board.
10.5 The Chairperson shall have the discretion to co-opt from time to time
additional members onto the Ruling Board with special skill or experience to
deal with specific issues, which require such special skill or experience.
10.6 The Ruling Board shall take its decision by a simple majority. No member of
the Ruling Board may abstain.
10.7 The Chairperson shall have the complete discretion to make such order
against the Applicant [and/or other individuals or organisations commenting
objecting or requesting information at any review and/or hearing] in relation
to the costs of the application and/or the reasonable expenses incurred by the
Ruling Board in holding tests or obtaining reports relating to equipment
34
subject to a Ruling as he shall deem appropriate.
11. NOTIFICATION
11.1 Once a Ruling Board has reached a decision it shall provide written notice to
the Applicant, or, any person or association who has expressed an interest in
the proposed Ruling as soon as reasonably practicable.
11.2 Such written notice shall include a summary of the reasoning behind the
decision of the Ruling Board.
11.3 Upon notification to the Applicant or upon such other date specified by the
Ruling Board the Ruling of the Ruling Board shall be immediately binding
under the Rules of Tennis.
12. APPLICATION OF CURRENT RULES OF TENNIS
12.1 Subject to the power of the Ruling Board to issue interim Rulings the current
Rules of Tennis shall continue to apply until any review and/or hearing of the
Ruling Board is concluded and a Ruling issued by the Ruling Board.
12.2 Prior to and during any review and/or hearing the Chairperson of the Ruling
Board may issue such directions as are deemed reasonably necessary in the
implementation of the Rules of Tennis and of these procedures including the
issue of interim Rulings.
12.3 Such interim Rulings may include restraining orders on the use of any
equipment under the Rules of Tennis pending a Ruling by the Ruling Board
as to whether or not the equipment meets the specification of the Rules of
Tennis.
13. APPOINTMENT AND COMPOSITION OF APPEAL TRIBUNALS
13.1 Appeal Tribunals shall be appointed by the President or his designee from
[members of the Board of Directors/Technical Commission].
13.2 No member of the Ruling Board who made the original Ruling shall be a
member of the Appeal Tribunal.
13.3 The Appeal Tribunal shall comprise of such number as the President or his
designee shall determine but shall be no less than three.
13.4 The Appeal Tribunal shall nominate one person from amongst themselves to
act as Chairperson.
13.5 The Chairperson shall be entitled to regulate the procedures prior to and at
any appeal hearing.
14. APPLICATION TO APPEAL
14.1 An Applicant [or a person or association who has expressed an interest and
35
forwarded any comments, objections, or requests to a proposed Ruling] may
appeal any Ruling of the Ruling Board.
14.2 To be valid an application for an appeal must be:
a. Made in writing to the Chairperson of the Ruling Board who made the
Ruling appealed not later than [45] days following notification of the Ruling;
b. Must set out details of the Ruling appealed against; and
c. Must contain the full grounds of the appeal.
14.3 Upon receipt of a valid application to appeal the Chairperson of the Ruling
Board making the original Ruling may require a reasonable appeal fee to be
paid by the Appellant as a condition of appeal. Such appeal fee shall be repaid
to the Appellant if the appeal is successful.
15. CONVENING THE APPEAL TRIBUNAL
15.1 The President or his designee shall convene the Appeal Tribunal following
payment by the Appellant of any appeal fee.
16. PROCEDURES OF APPEAL TRIBUNAL
16.1 The Appeal Tribunal and their Chairperson shall conduct procedures and
hearings in accordance with those matters set out in sections 10, 11 and 12
above.
16.2 Upon notification to the Appellant or upon such other date specified by the
Appeal Tribunal the Ruling of the Appeal Tribunal shall be immediately
binding and final under the Rules of Tennis.
17. GENERAL
17.1 If a Ruling Board consists of only one member that single member shall be
responsible for regulating the hearing as Chairperson and shall determine the
procedures to be followed prior to and during any review and/or hearing.
17.2 All review and/or hearings shall be conducted in English. In any hearing
where an Applicant, and/or other individuals or organisations commenting,
objecting or requesting information do not speak English an interpreter must
be present. Wherever practicable the interpreter shall be independent.
17.3 The Ruling Board or Appeal Tribunal may publish extracts from its own
Rulings.
17.4 All notifications to be made pursuant to these procedures shall be in writing.
17.5 Any notifications made pursuant to these procedures shall be deemed notified
upon the date that they were communicated, sent or transmitted to the
Applicant or other relevant party.
17.6 A Ruling Board shall have the discretion to dismiss an application if in its
36
reasonable opinion the application is substantially similar to an application or
motion upon which a Ruling Board has made a decision and/or Ruling within
the 36 months prior to the date of the application.

38
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO MARK OUT A COURT
The following procedure is for the usual combined doubles and singles court. (See
note at foot for a court for one purpose only.)
First select the position of the net; a straight line 42 feet (12.80 m) long. Mark the
centre (X on the diagram above) and, measuring from there in each direction, mark:
at 13'6" (4.11 m) the points a, b, where the net crosses the inner sidelines,
at 16'6" (5.03 m) the positions of the singles sticks (n, n),
at 18'0" (5.48 m) the points A, B, where the net crosses the outer sidelines,
at 21'0" (6.40 m) the positions of the net posts (N, N), being the ends of the original
42'0" (12.80 m) line.
Insert pegs at A and B and attach to them the respective ends of two measuring
tapes. On one, which will measure the diagonal of the half-court, take a length 53'1"
(16.18 m) and on the other (to measure the sideline) a length of 39'0" (11.89 m). Pull
both taut so that at these distances they meet at a point C, which is one corner of the
court. Reverse the measurements to find the other corner D. As a check on this
39
operation it is advisable at this stage to verify the length of the line CD which, being
the baseline, should be found to be 36'0" (10.97 m); and at the same time its centre J
can be marked, and also the ends of the inner sidelines (c, d), 4'6" (1.37 m) from C
and D.
The centreline and serviceline are now marked by means of the points F, H, G,
which are measured 21'0" (6.40 m) from the net down the lines bc, XJ, ad,
respectively.
Identical procedure the other side of the net completes the court.
If a singles court only is required, no lines are necessary outside the points a, b, c, d,
but the court can be measured out as above. Alternatively, the corners of the baseline
(c, d) can be found if preferred by pegging the two tapes at a and b instead of at A
and B, and by then using lengths of 47'5" (14.46 m) and 39'0" (11.89 m). The net
posts will be at n, n, and a 33'0" (10 m) singles net should be used.
When a combined doubles and singles court with a doubles net is used for singles,
the net must be supported at the points n, n, to a height of 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 m) by
means of two singles sticks, which shall be not more than 3 inches (7.5 cm) square
or 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. The centres of the singles sticks shall be 3 feet
(.914 m) outside the singles court on each side.
To assist in the placing of these singles sticks it is desirable that the points n, n,
should each be shown with a white dot when the court is marked.
Note:
As a guide for international competitions, the recommended minimum distance
between the baselines and the backstops should be 21 feet (6.40 m) and between the
sidelines and the sidestops the recommended minimum distance should be 12 feet
(3.66 m).
As a guide for recreational and Club play, the recommended minimum distance
between the baselines and the backstops should be 18 feet (5.48 m) and between the
sidelines and the sidestops the recommended minimum distance should be 10 feet
(3.05 m).
As a guide, the recommended minimum height to the ceiling should be 30 feet
(9.14 m).

Published by the International Tennis Federation
ITF Ltd Bank Lane Roehampton London SW15 5XZ
Tel: +44 (0)20 8878 6464
Fax: +44 (0)20 8878 7799
www.itftennis.com
Registered address: PO Box N-272 Nassau Bahamas
UK

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