“YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?”

College team tennis has its own unique rules. The “no service let” is even for men only.  One coaching colleague suggested “…the NCAA should have only ten rules, and if they add one they also have to eliminate one!”   Rules can be complicated .  Both coaches and players are better off knowing the rules.  American  college tennis is ruled by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).  High schools have their own.  USTA rules are the backbone of both, with differences for local and team differences. 

Here are some simple core rules:

PLAYERS ——Play by the CODE*

COACHES—-Don’t “stack” your lineup!**

REFEREES—- Line calls.  Stop the cheaters.  ***

  • A. The Code USTA Rules & Regulations are in effect in college tennis except where explicitly superseded by ITA, NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, CCCAA or Conference Rules. The Code is not part of the ITA Rules of Tennis. Players shall follow The Code unless there is a specific ITA Rule on point or except to the extent to which an Official assumes some of their responsibilities

Opponent gets benefit of the doubt. Whenever a player is in doubt, the player shall make the call in favor of the opponent. Balls should be called “out” only when there is a space visible between the ball and the line. A player shall never seek aid from a Chair Umpire, Roving Umpire, spectator, teammate or coach in making a line call.

**3. Players must play in order of ability. The line-up shall always be based on order of ability. In singles, players must compete in order of ability with the best player on the team playing at the No. 1 position, the second best at No. 2, and so on through all positions. This rule shall also apply to doubles play with the strongest doubles team at No. 1, etc. 

***Overrule must be immediate. It is the responsibility of the player to make an initial line call. An official in direct observation of a court shall immediately overrule a player’s erroneous “out” call. 

The  USTA (United States Tennis Association),  The ITA,  NFHSAA (National Federation of High School Athletics Associations) all have their rules in their online handbooks.   Most states have theirs online also.  ( North Carolina’s  are under THE NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS COACHES ASSOCIATION).

Parting Shots:  Rules change.  Year to year.  Tough to keep current.  

And societal changes affect sports too.  i

In my career Integration, Title IX,  Proposition 46 (800 SAT ) were seismic changes.  The influx of international  college tennis players was the most influential tennis rule change.  This year the portal rule becomes law.  It will affect American tennis families  ( see blog PORTALS AND POTHOLES )

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TENNIS PARENTING (by Frank Giampaola )  is a current  book I recommend. 

Additionally the article below should alert parents, players’ and coaches to the present situation:

  1. Check the college’s websites for rosters and nationality of players.
  2. There is an “elephant in the room” of college tennis: They don’t want
    your kid. Why? An 18-year-old can’t beat a 23-year-old international
    (other factors being equal).
  3. Don’t give money to institutions that don’t support our kids. Tell your
    alumni and giving buddies the same.
  4. Don’t go for the “walk-on” speech. If a coach wants your kid, he will
    find a scholarship. Otherwise, he has nothing to lose and probably
    doesn’t think your kid will play. Believe me.
  5. “Enron” University is out there. You have to protect your kid.
  6. Let the press know your feelings.
  7. Check out the “Florida Story” about internationals.
  8. Let the coaches know how you feel.
    James Michener, in Sports in America: “and we do it in the name of
    education.” What hypocrisy.

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