South Bay Grand Prix
South Bay Grand Prix
Ask The Official


Foot Faults.
by Anonymous

Q: I have heard different "opinions" concerning who can call a foot fault and when, etc. I understand that is often a rule that is overlooked, and I don't wish to be a bad sport, but a rule is a rule. How can it be enforced properly, especially in the Grand Prix, or any other format where there are not "officials" on the court?

A: USTA Comment to Rule 8b (Foot Fault): "This rule covers the most decisive stroke in the game, and there is no justification for its not being obeyed by players..." Comment continues: "In a non-officiated match, the Receiver, or his partner, may call foot faults after all efforts (appeal to server, request for an umpire, etc.) have failed and the foot faulting is so flagrant as to be clearly perceptible from the Receiver's side." Flagrant means not just touching the line, but stepping over the line well into the court. In any tournament, if no actual "official" is available, the tournament director can ask for a volunteer to act as a "Court Monitor" who can call foot faults. In social tennis, I would suggest that you nicely ask your opponent if they are aware that they are foot faulting. If that doesn't solve the problem, and it really bothers you, play with people who do not foot fault.

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Jim Flood Jim Flood has been a USTA Professional Tennis Official for many years and has officiated at many of the biggest and most prestigious USTA professional tournaments, including the U.S. Open. He is also a computer instructor and multimedia specialist and also fills his spare time as a commercial actor and voiceover artist. Jim's motto is: "Play by the rules."


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