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What's the Call: Both doubles partners behind the baseline

May 16, 2016 09:52 AM

Have you ever had a dispute with a fellow player over a call on the court that you couldn’t settle? Or have you ever wondered why a certain ruling was made during a match you were watching? Maybe you’re just curious about how some scenarios, from the common to the ridiculous, are resolved.

The USTA Tennis Rules and Regulations Committee is here to answer your questions. Have a question of your own? Write to What's the Call!

Question: During my doubles match, I was getting ready to serve, when I looked up to see both my opponents standing in the receiving position across the net. Both were behind the baseline, one in the alley and the other just on the receiving side of the center service line. I told them they couldn’t position themselves like that, but they said they could. Who was correct? (submitted by Cheung W.) 

Answer: Your opponents were correct. If it was the first point of the match or set, you could ask them which one is receiving, and they would be required to tell you. This scenario is addressed in USTA Comment 15.1.


For the "Friend at Court" handbook and more information on the rules of tennis, visit the Officiating homepage.