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What's the Call: Off-court distractions

January 3, 2016 09:26 PM

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 singles match, a very loud car drove down the street behind my opponent when he was hitting the ball and he called a let. I've never had anyone call a let from an off-court noise such as a car, airplane or helicopter. Can they call a let? (submitted by Bret Williams)

ANSWER: No, a player is not entitled to a let due to noise arising from other courts or outside the playing area (including cars driving by the tennis courts). Rule 26 defines when a player is entitled to: (i) play a let for an unintentional hindrance, or (ii) claim the point for an intentional hindrance.


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