SECTION 7 – FAULT RULES

SECTION 7 – FAULT RULES

A fault (and resulting dead ball) will be declared for the following:

7.A.        If the serve or service return does not bounce before the ball is struck.

7.B.        New 2021: Hitting the ball into the player’s side of the net without the ball crossing over to
the opponent’s side. Note: The ball is dead and the fault occurs the moment the ball hits
the ground.

Hitting the ball into the player’s side of the net without the ball crossing over to the opponent’s side. Note: The play is dead and the fault occurs the moment the ball hits the ground.

Reason: This change notes the difference in the ball verses the play becoming dead. The scenarios below describe the reasons why the ball is not dead until it hits the ground as compared to the time when the ball hits the net.

Scenario A: Team A hits a hard shot and the ball hits the top of the net and spins on the top of the net for an abnormal amount of time. While the ball is spinning on the top of the net, a Team B player (who was attempting an Erne) crosses the plane of the net before the ball finally falls to the court on Team A’s side of the net. This is a fault on the Team B player because he had crossed the plane of the net before the ball became dead when it hit the ground.

Scenario B: Team A hits a hard shot and the ball hits the top of the net and spins on the top of the net for an abnormal amount of time. While the ball is spinning on the top of the net, a Team B player shakes the net and causes the ball to fall to the ground on the hitter’s side. This is a fault on the Team B player because he touched the net while the ball was still live. If the rule stated that the ball was dead when it hit the net (and subsequently does not cross over to the opponent’s side) then the moment the ball touched the net it would be considered dead thereby allowing the opponent to shake or grab the net, which cannot be allowed.

7.C.        Hitting the ball under the net or between the net and the net post.

7.D.        A player hitting a ball that first lands out of bounds or onto their own side of the court.

7.E.         Failure of a standing player to hit the ball before it bounces twice on the receiving player’s court and failure of a wheelchair player to return a ball before it bounces three times.

7.F.         Violation of any service rule. (Section 4)

7.G.        New 2021: A player, a player’s apparel, or a player’s paddle contacting the net system, the net posts, or the opponent’s court, when the ball is in play.

A player, a player’s apparel, or a player’s paddle contacting the net system or the net posts when the ball is in play.

Reason: This provides in writing the clarity that anything touching the opponent’s court when the ball is in play results in a fault.

7.H.      New 2021: After the serve, the ball contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s) in contact with the paddle and below the wrist. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, as long as the player’s hands are in contact with the paddle, the ball is still in play.

The ball in play contacts a player or anything the player is wearing or carrying, except the paddle or the player’s hand(s) in contact with the paddle and below the wrist. If the player is in the process of changing hands with both hands on the paddle or is attempting a two-handed stroke and either hand is hit below the wrist, the ball is still in play.

Reason: This change removes the possibility of a fault if the server had dropped the ball and it contacted either the server’s body or the server’s partner’s body. This would have been a fault since the ball was live at the start of the score calling. It also reaffirms the concept of a player’s hands being in contact with the paddle and hit below the wrist as still being a live ball.

Scenario: Player A hits the ball to Player B. Player B has their right-hand on the paddle grip and their left-hand loosely in contact with the top edge of the paddle. The ball hits Player B’s left-hand on the fingers and goes back over the net. Player A then hits the ball into the net but claims that Player B had committed a fault by hitting the ball with their fingers. The referee rules that both of Player B’s hands were in contact with the paddle and that the ball hitting the fingers was a legal application of rule 7.H. Player B wins the rally.

7.I.        A live ball that is stopped by a player before it becomes dead. (e.g., catching or stopping a ball in flight before it makes contact with the playing surface.)

7.J.         A ball in play contacting any permanent object before bouncing on the court.

7.K.        Violation of the non-volley-zone rules. (Section 9)

7.L.         Violation of the other rules. (Section 11)

7.M.       Once the ball is in play, a player hitting the ball before it passes the plane of the net.

7.N.      New 2021: After the serve, a player deliberately carrying or catching the ball on the paddle while the ball is live/in-play.

A player deliberately carrying or catching the ball on the paddle while the ball is live/in-play.

Reason: This change allows the server to “sling” the ball upward on the face of the paddle to begin the serve, rather than tossing the ball upward with their non-serving hand. The Intent: To allow players to have as little physical contact with the ball as possible related to the spread of certain diseases.

7.O.        New 2021: A hinder called by a player that is determined by The referee to be invalid.

A hinder or let called by a player that is determined by The referee to be invalid.

Reason: This change removed the word “let” because let serve replays have been omitted. A serve hitting the net and landing in the proper receiving court area is still in play.

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