Question: My friend just had a USTA match today and there was a dispute over who can make the call when the opposing player reaches over the net to hit the ball (the ball was on opposite side of net, had not yet crossed it). Is it an honor system like a double bounce where the player reaching over must fess up, or can the team on whose side the ball was on make the call?
Answer: In the Code in Friend at Court it says, A player shall promptly acknowledge when: The player hits a ball before it crosses the net.” This is something the player calls on him/herself.
Question: How many ball tosses can someone have before actually hitting the ball for the serve? Can they toss it as many times as they want?
Answer: Friend at Court does not speak specifically to “how many times you can toss a ball.” The server is supposed to put the ball in play within 20 seconds after the end of the prior point. If the server is tossing the ball frequently and taking more than 20 seconds, the receiver will likely complain. On the other hand the receiver has to play to the reasonable pace of the server.
The key words in all of this is “reasonable pace” and this applies to both the server and the receiver.
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