Quickly learn about USTA rules when it comes to the tennis ball hitting player before you step on the court to avoid confusion and have the best chance at victory. This is especially important if you and your opponent are officiating your own match rather than conceding to an official to make the calls. Tennis is a competitive sport requiring athletic prowess and good eye-hand coordination.
First Serve Attempt: Here is what you need to know about when the tennis ball hits a player during the first serve attempt. The official calls a service fault if the served ball hits or touches the server or the servers clothing or his tennis racket. In a doubles match, if the served ball hits or touches the server or the servers clothing or his tennis racket the ball a service fault is called. When a service fault is called on the first serve, the server gets another try.
Second Serve Attempt: Now, for the second serve attempt. The same rules that apply for when the ball hits a player during the first serve attempt apply to the second one, too. The exception here is that if the official calls a service fault on the second serve attempt, the server loses the serve to the opposing player or team.
Tossing A Ball to Serve: Here’s what happens when the ball hits a player when the server tosses the ball for her serve. The server must release the tennis ball in any direction and hit it with the racket before it touches the ground to execute a serve. If the server releases the ball and lets the ball hit her hand and catches it, before or after the ball bounces, she can release the ball again to serve. This does not count as a service fault.
Let During Service: Sometimes when the tennis ball hits a player it’s a let instead of a fault. A let is different than a fault in that it does not count towards the two service attempts permitted. If the served ball touches the receiving player or his partner, including clothing or the racket, before the ball hits the ground the official calls a let.
Lost Point: You can also lose a point when the ball hits a player. During a volley – after the serve and the first hit – if the ball in play makes contact with the player, anything she is wearing except the racket, the player loses the point.
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Reference: United States Tennis Association Rule Book