Line Calls

Other than foot-faulting, the number one rule problem in amateur/recreational tennis is line-calling. Of course there will always be bad line calls on purpose and otherwise, but there’s an even more fundamental problem among tennis players (mostly at the 3.0-3.5 level). They just don’t get that if the ball touches the line, it’s good.

All the ball needs to do is touch the line. Even if most of the ball is outside the line, it’s in. Along with this rule comes tennis etiquette. If it’s too close to call, and in most cases it is, the ball should be played. It’s only out if it is clearly outside and not touching the line should it be called out to end the point.

Look at the picture below. If you were playing doubles, which of these three balls (A, B, and C) would you call out?


If you answered:

A – You’d be wrong. This ball clearly landed on the line.
B – You’d be wrong. This ball caught the edge of the line; it’s in.
C – You’d be wrong, and a cheater. You should not be allowed to play tennis and should be fined/imprisoned.

If you said “none”, congratulations! You are capable of understanding a basic rule of tennis! Pat yourself on your back and rub your tummy.