SECTION 3 – DEFINITIONS
3.A.1 Carry – Hitting the ball in such a way that it does not bounce away from the paddle but is carried along on the face of the paddle.
3.A.2 Coaching – Communication of any information, including verbal, nonverbal, and electronic, from someone other than a player’s partner, that a player or team may act upon to gain an advantage or help them avoid a rules violation.
3.A.3 Court – The area inside the outer dimensions of the baselines and sidelines.
3.A.4 Cross-Court – The court diagonally opposite of the court from which the ball was last struck.
3.A.5 Dead Ball – A ball that is no longer in play.
3.A.6 Distraction – Physical actions by a player that are ‘not common to the game’ that, in the
judgment of the referee, may interfere with the opponent’s ability or concentration to hit the
ball. Examples include, but are not limited to, making loud noises, stomping feet, waving the
paddle in a distracting manner or otherwise interfering with the opponent’s concentration or
ability to hit the ball.
3.A.7 Double Bounce – When the ball bounces twice on one side before it is returned.
3.A.8 Double Hit – Hitting the ball twice before it is returned.
3.A.9 Ejection – A behavior violation so flagrant that it warrants ejection from the tournament
by the Tournament Director. The player may stay at the venue but may no longer play in
3.A.10 Expel – A behavior violation so flagrant that the Tournament Director prohibits the player from playing in any current and any future brackets of the tournament. In addition, the player shall leave the venue immediately and not return for the remainder of the tournament.
3.A.11 Fault – A rules violation that results in a dead ball and the end of the rally.
3.A.12 First Server – In doubles, the player who shall serve from the right/even service court after a side out, according to the team’s score.
3.A.13 Forfeit – An egregious behavior violation or a combination of technical warnings and/or technical fouls that result in either a game or match being awarded to the opponent.
3.A.14 Groundstroke – A strike of the ball after the ball has bounced.
3.A.15 Hinder – Any transient element or occurrence not caused by a player that adversely impacts play, not including permanent objects. Examples include, but are not limited to, balls, flying insects, foreign material, players or officials on another court that, in the opinion of the referee, impacted a player’s ability to make a play on the ball.
3.A.16 Imaginary extension – A term used to describe where a line would extend if it projected beyond its current end point. Players and referees are to project where the line would extend if it were not limited to the boundaries of the playing area.
3.A.17 Left/Odd Court – The service area on the left side of the court, when facing the net. The starting server in doubles or the singles server should be positioned on the left/odd side of the court when their score is odd.
3.A.18 Line Call – A loud word(s) spoken by a player or line judge(s) to indicate to the referee and/or players that a live ball has not touched in the required court space. The preferred word to indicate a line call is “OUT”. Distinctive hand signals can be used in conjunction with a line call. Words such as “wide”, “long”, “no”, “deep” are also acceptable.
3.A.19 Live Ball/In Play: – The point in time when the referee or server (or server’s partner per rule 4.D.1) starts to call the score.
3.A.20 Momentum – Momentum is a property of a body in motion, such as a player executing a volley, that causes the player to continue in motion after contacting the ball. The act of volleying produces momentum that ends when the player regains balance and control of their motion or stops moving toward the non-volley zone.
3.A.21 Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) – The 7-foot-by-20-foot area adjacent to the net and specific to each team’s end of the court relating to NVZ faults. All lines bounding the NVZ are part of the NVZ. The NVZ is two-dimensional and does not rise above the playing surface. (See Figure 2-1 and Section 2.B.3.)
3.A.22 Paddle Grip Adjustments – Non-mechanical devices that change the size of the grip or stabilize the hand on the grip.
3.A.23 Paddle Head – The paddle, excluding the handle.
3.A.24 Permanent Object – Any object on or near the court, including hanging over the court, that can interfere with play. Permanent objects include the ceiling, walls, fencing, lighting fixtures, net posts, net post legs, the stands and seats for spectators, the referee, line judges, spectators when in their recognized positions, and all other objects around and above the court.
3.A.25 Plane of the Net – The imaginary vertical planes on all sides extending beyond the net system.
3.A.26 Playing Surface – The court and the area surrounding the court designated for playing.
3.A.27 Rally – Continuous play that occurs after the serve and before a fault.
3.A.28 Receiver – The player who is positioned diagonally opposite the server to return the serve. Depending on the team’s score, the player who returns the serve may not be the correct receiver.
3.A.29 Replay – Any rally that is restarted for any reason without the awarding of a point or a change of server.
3.A.30 Retirement – A player/team’s decision that stops the match and awards the match to the opponent.
3.A.31 Right/Even Court – The service area on the right side of the court, when facing the net. The starting server in doubles or the singles server should be positioned on the right/even court when their score is even.
3.A.32 Second Serve – In doubles, a term used to describe the condition when a serving team loses the first of its two allocated serves.
3.A.33 Second Server – In doubles, the first server’s partner. The second server serves after the first server loses serve.
3.A.34 Serve – The initial strike of the ball to start the rally.
3.A.35 Server – The player who initiates a rally. Depending on the team’s score, it is possible that the player who serves may not be the correct server.
3.A.36 Service Court – The area on either side of the centerline, including the centerline, sideline, and baseline, excluding the NVZ.
3.A.37 Serving Area – The area behind the baseline and on and between the imaginary extensions of the court centerline and each sideline.
3.A.38 Side Out – The awarding of the serve to the opposing team after a singles player or doubles team loses its serve.
3.A.39 Starting Server – For each doubles team, the player designated to serve first at the start of the game. In doubles tournament play, the starting server shall wear a visible form of identification determined by the Tournament Director.
3.A.40 Technical Foul – A referee’s assessment of a rule or behavioral violation that results in one point being removed from the score of the offending team unless their score is zero, in which case a point shall be added to the score of the opposing side. A technical foul shall be issued if one technical warning has already been given and a second technical warning is warranted; or when warranted by a player’s or team’s action, based on the referee’s judgement.
3.A.41 New: Technical Warning – A referee’s warning of a behavioral violation given to a
player or team. Points are neither awarded nor deducted for a technical warning.
Old: Technical Warning – A referee’s first verbal warning of a rule or behavioral
violation given to a player or team prior to a technical foul being issued. Points are not
awarded for a technical warning.
Reason: This clarified that technical warnings are for behavioral issues, not for fault rule
violations. The word “verbal” was removed to avoid confusion with a verbal warning.
The phrase “prior to a technical foul being issued” was removed because a technical
warning, for example for profanity, is not required to be given before directly issuing a
technical foul; depending upon the severity
3.A.42 Volley – During a rally, a strike of the ball out of the air before the ball has bounced.
3.A.43 Withdrawal – A player/team’s request to be removed from any upcoming play in a specified bracket.
3.A.44 Profanity – Words, phrases or hand gestures, common or uncommon, which are normally considered inappropriate in “polite company” or around children. Typically included are four letter words used as expletives or verbal intensifiers.
3.A.45 New: Verbal Warning – A referee’s warning of a behavioral violation. A single verbal
warning may be issued to each team once per match.
Old: Verbal Warning – A referee’s Verbal Warning (VW) is an optional, nonpenalizing, game management tool. A VW is specific to profanity which has not risen to the penalty level (TW or TF). When used, a referee’s VW is simultaneously administered to all players on the court. Only one VW for profanity is permitted during a match.
Reason and Intent: The intent of this rule is to empower the referee to use a verbal
warning as a method to control certain and specific behavioral issues in the match and
to prevent these issues from escalating. Verbal Warnings are not used for player faults.
Each team may now receive a single, specific verbal warning. A verbal warning issued
to a team is not a “global” warning to both teams and has no relevance on the opposing
team. For example, Team A may be given a verbal warning for profanity for a specific
word. Likewise, Team B may also be given a verbal warning for profanity for the same
word. If a team has been given a technical warning or technical foul, a verbal warning
may no longer be issued. (Note: Verbal Warnings should not be used for instances
when a specific application of a technical warning or technical foul should be applied as
in rules 13.G.1.g, 13.G.1.h, 13.G.2.d, and 13.G.2.f.)
Scenario A: Team B is repeatedly taking too much time to be set and ready to receive
serve. The referee should issue a verbal warning for delay of game.
Scenario B: Team A receives a verbal warning for saying the “F” word. During the
next rally Team B also says the “F” word. The referee may give a verbal warning to
Team B regardless of the prior verbal warning issued to Team A.
3.A.46 Wheelchair Player – Any person, with or without a disability, who plays the game in a wheelchair. The wheelchair is considered part of the player’s body. This can be a player with a disability or anyone that wants to play in a wheelchair.