Instructional Tennis > Tennis Rules & Regulations

Ball Drop Question


Question for the Big Jim D!  This came in today via. email:

--- Quote ---In a doubles match, my partner served then a second ball dropped from her hand onto the court...she continued to play but the opponents and I simultaneously called a let...I did not know where the ball came from....what is the correct call?  Play a let or their point....we gave them the point.
--- End quote ---

1st time it happens (I assume this is a ball falling out of a pocket vs the server intentionally discarding the other ball) it is a let but the player who dropped the ball is issued a HINDRANCE WARNING.  IF it happens again it is a point penalty.  The same rule applies to a hat falling off ones head, Serena losing her beads, etc.

There is another scenario similar to this in which the server is holding 2 balls and then discards the 2nd ball if the 1st serve goes in:
USTA Comment 26.5: Can the serverís discarding of a second ball constitute a hindrance? Yes. If the receiver or an official asks the server to stop discarding the ball, then the server shall stop. Any continued discarding of the ball constitutes a deliberate hindrance, and the server loses the point.


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