South Bay Grand Prix
South Bay Grand Prix
Ask The Official

Ball falls from pocket onto court during a point
by BJ

Q: During a point, a ball falls out of my pocket onto the court. My opponent immediately stops the game and takes the point? I say the rule is that the point continues unless the opponent calls a let, that I cannot call a let because I caused the problem. If play continues the ball becomes part of the court. My opponent insists that in a USTA Tournament, this exact situation happen to them and the official gave the point the other team? Who is right?

A: The first time an object you wear or carry (except the racquet) falls on the court, a let (UNintentional Hindrance) may be called by your opponent. However, an official may award the point to your opponent, or your opponent may claim the point, based on Intentional Hindrance, on subsequent occurrences. A hindrance must be called, by your opponent, before any attempt is made to play the ball. You may not call a let (hindrance) for something caused by yourself.

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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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