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Rules - Tennis

Singles and Doubles Play

Tennis Singles Rules

The Game

  1. Participants are subject to all the policies and procedures in the Intramural Handbook.
  2. Game Scoring: A game equals four points.
  3. Match Scoring: 8 Game Point Pro Set.
    1. Instead of playing multiple sets, players may play one “pro set”. A pro set is first to 8  games by a margin of two games, instead of first to 6 games. A 12-point tie-break is usually played when the score is 8-8 (or 10-10). These are often played with no-ad scoring.
  4. Game Time: There will be a one-hour time limit per match.  If the time limit expires during the final game of the match, the score at that time will determine the winner
  5. Rest Period between Games: A one-minute rest period is allowed between game one and two.  Players are not permitted to leave the court.
  6. Rights and Duties of Participants: The participants are responsible for officiating their own match.

Serving

  1. The person listed first one the schedule shall have the option of: serving or receiving. The other participant: choosing side of court.
  2. Play is started with the serve which is made by tossing the ball into the air and hitting it with the racket before it touches the ground.  The server stands behind the baseline and to the right or left of the center mark, but not outside the singles sideline.
  3. The serve for the first point of a game always begins to the right of the center mark and is made to the opponent’s right service court.  After each point is played, alternate service court.  The same individual continues serving until the game is completed.
  4. The server has two attempts to put the ball into play.
  5. The serve is a fault if the server:
    1. Does not take the proper position before serving.
    2. Commits a foot fault.  (Foot touches baseline anytime prior to hitting ball.)
    3. Fails to hit the ball into the proper service court.
    4. Misses the ball in attempting to; strike it.  However, the server may toss and  catch the ball without penalty.
  6. If any of these occurs on the first serve, it is a fault.
  7. If any of these occurs on both serves, it is a double fault, and the point is lost.
  8. The ball must clear the net and land in the proper service court before being hit by the receiver.  However, after the service, the ball may be hit before it bounces.  A ball touching the line is considered good.

Doubles Serving Variation

  1. The order of serving is decided at the beginning of each set.  The pair serving first decides who is to serve in the first game, and the other partner will serve in the third game.  The opponents also decide who is to serve to first in the second game, and the other partner will serve in the fourth game.  Both pairs alternate in the remaining games of the set.
  2. The server’s partner may stand anywhere during service.
  3. If a player serves out of turn, the proper server must serve as soon as the mistake is discovered.  All points earned are counted.  If a complete game is played with the wrong server, the order of service remains as altered.

Doubles Receiving

  1. The order of receiving is decided at the beginning of each set.  The pair receiving in the first game decides who will receive first, and that player will continue to receive first in all odd-numbered games of the set.  The opponents will also decide who will receive first in the second game, and that player will receive the first service in all even-numbered games of the set.  Players alternate receiving services during a game.
  2. If a player receives out of turn, he/she remains in that position until the game in which it is discovered is completed.  The partners then resume their original positions.

Scoring the Game

1.    The server is responsible for announcing the score before the service.  The server’s score is always called first.

2.    A game equals four points.  The scoring in tennis is 15 for the first point won, 30 for the second, 40 for the third point won, and “game” for the fourth point.  A score of zero is referred to as “love”.  When each player has a score of 40, the score is “deuce”, which means that one player must win two consecutive points in order to win a game.  If the server wins the next point, the score is called “ad in” if he/she wins the following point, it is the game.  If the receiver wins the first point after deuce, the score is called “ad out”, and if he/she wins the next point, it is his/her game.  However, if after the score is either “ad in” or “ad out”, and the other player wins the next point, the score then becomes deuce again.

3.    A set is concluded when one player wins eight games, at 7-all, use the 12-point tie break.

4.     A match consists of an 8 game point pro-set.

 

Changing Sides

The players change sides of court at the end of the first, third, and every subsequent alternate game of each set, and at the end of each set, unless the total number of games in such a set is even, in which case the change is not made until the end of the next set. The order of service does not change between subsequent sets.  During the tie break, sides are changed at a total of 6 points between the two players.  Players change ends every six points.

 

Doubles Changing Sides

The opposing pairs change sides of court at the end of the first, third, and every subsequent alternate game of each set, and at the end of each set, unless the total number of games in such a set is even, in which case the change is not made until the end of the first game of the next set.  The order of service does not change between subsequent sets.

A Let

1.    A let is a ball which strikes the net, strap or hand, but lands in the proper court on the serve.

2.    A let is called when a player is unable to play a shot due to circumstances beyond his/her control, such as interference by a ball or a player from another court.

3.    A let occurs if a serve is delivered before the receiver is ready.  If however, the receiver attempts to return the serve, he/she is considered to be ready.

4.    When a let occurs on a serve, only that serve is repeated.

5.    The ball is in play if it hits the net during the subsequent play after the serve.

Scoring Points

The opponent will score a point if any of the following occurs:

1.    If the ball bounces twice on a players side of the net or if a player does not return the ball to their opponent’s court.

2.     If a player’s body, clothing or racket touches the net while the ball is in play.

3.    If a player reaches over the net to play a ball unless the ball has bounced back over the net due to a spin or the wind.

4.  If the ball is hit twice while on their side of the court.