South Bay Grand Prix
South Bay Grand Prix
Ask The Official

by Jack E. Watkins

Q: In doubles, a ball hit by their opponents, one player, calls "OUT" to his/her partner before the ball bounces on their side of the court. My understanding is that play stops when "OUT" is called. If the ball lands out, the point is awarded to the team calling "OUT." If the ball lands in, the team calling "OUT" loses the point. A common response is "I was only talking to my partner, I was not making a call". What rule(s) covers this situation and what is the correct interprtation?

A: Players are allowed to talk/shout instructions to their partner while the ball is headed in their direction. Play stops if "out" is called AFTER the ball has hit the ground. You might suggest to your opponents that they shout "bounce it" instead of "out", to avoid mis-interpretations. See #33 of The Code

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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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