USTA Associated Maryland Tennis Officials
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Intern, Officials – Accelerated Chair Line Training Program (ACLTP)
Maryland Greivance Committee:
contact Jim Cummings, 410-312-5460
Revised Code Provision Now in Effect for Correcting “Out” Calls
The Situation: Player A and Player B are playing a point during a recreational singles match. No officials are present. Player A calls a shot hit by Player B “out,” but immediately realizes she (Player A) made a mistake and corrects her call to “good”.
The Result: Player B wins the point.
Explanation: The former Section 12 of the Code (Players’ Guide for Matches when Officials are not Present) provided a different and more convoluted result. Under old Section 12, Player A would have been entitled to play a “let” after correcting the “out” call if, and only if, she had (a) returned the ball in play and (b) returned the ball such that it was not a “weak sitter” (even then, there were some who questioned whether Player A would be entitled to a “let” if she corrected her call only after being questioned by Player B). After much discussion and debate, the USTA Tennis Rules and Regulations Committee concluded that the old rule could be simplified in a way that would be fair, easier for players to understand, and more consistent with the overall spirit of the Code. First, the underlying essence of the Code is that tennis is a game of good sportsmanship. Accordingly, when making calls, players must give their opponents the benefit of the doubt—a concept articulated in numerous places throughout the Code. Second, once a player calls a shot “out,” the point is over; it makes little sense to attribute any significance to what the players might do following the “out” call as was the case under the “old” Section 12. Third, the new Section 12 follows the rule that has been in effect under ITA Rules for collegiate play for quite some time without any significant controversy or question.
The new Code Section 12 provides as follows:
12. Out Calls Reversed. A player who calls a ball out shall reverse the call if the player becomes uncertain or realizes that the ball was good. The point goes to the opponent and is not replayed. However, when a receiver reverses a fault call on a serve that hit the net, the server is entitled to two serves.
Simple. Fair. Objective.