South Bay Grand Prix
South Bay Grand Prix
Ask The Official

Bathroom breaks in an interclub league that adheres to USTA Rules
by Joyce Gray

Q: I'm a commissioner for an interclub league and the following question came to me today. Can you give me a substantive rule that I can quote in a broadcast e-mail to all 950 players who play in this league? Can't believe players would be as discourteous as these were. Joyce- I wanted to make you aware of a situation that occurred during our match with River Run B-2. Playing at #6 were Carol Corgy and Rachel Lewis. After the first set was complete, they walked off the court together saying they had to go the bathroom. They took their sweet time and got back to the courts to play set #2. HC had won the first set 7-5. They stomped our ladies in the set #2. Our ladies asked if they had to use the bathroom and they said no. The third set started and HC was up 2-0 when the 2 ladies simply walked off the court again stating they had to go to the bathroom . Again they took their sweet time and even stopped at the snack table for a bite to eat on their way back to the courts. I questioned them about leaving the courts in the middle of a set and Carol said that she could go anytime she wanted. (I was not in the lineup that day.) Our ladies did win the third set 7-5 but were furious with the antics of these 2 ladies. Carol, I am told, is famous for pulling this bathroom thing. It is certainly curious that her partner goes with her each time. It certainly raises lots of suspicion. This bathroom break thing should be addressed for the all the Interclub teams. It is legal between sets #2 and #3. Certainly we would be understanding of a problem someone was having but this Carol treats it as a momentum break. obviously. I did not file a grievance since we won the court but I wanted to let you know that this bathroom thing is happening. What is the rule?

A: See a previous "Ask The Official" question/answer regarding bathroom breaks. Toilet visits fall under USTA Regulations I.W-4, and should be taken "whenever possible" during the 120 second set break, but can be taken at any time. The only way to prevent players from using the toilet visit for other than a bona fide reason is to have an official present. A player is allowed "reasonable time" for a toilet visit. Other activity should not take place during a toilet visit, including coaching.

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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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