South Bay Grand Prix
South Bay Grand Prix
Ask The Official

Foot Fault
by Kathy

Q: A recent Q and A in Tennis magazine about a foot fault call seemed contradictory. I guess it comes down to this question. Can a foot fault be called before the player makes contact with the ball? The rules seem to indicate that it can be called once the service motion begins (after the feet are at rest) but 18.4 was quoted as the rationale for saying an official was incorrect for calling the fault since the player had not struck the ball.

A: A footfault OCCURS if the player touches the baseline (or the court inside the baseline), the extention of the center mark or extention of the sideline, anytime during the service motion, but - cannot be CALLED until the player strikes the ball.

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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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