What is POP Tennis?
POP Tennis™ is the sport that everyone can immediately play and enjoy. It thoroughly engages and exhilarates you! (Please see adjacent “Videos.”) Unlike sports that require prior lessons or a measure of athletic ability, children, young and middle-aged adults, and the older set, can just grab a racquet, a tennis ball, and a court, and have a fantastic time. This makes POP Tennis a great family activity. Additionally, one of the fun things about POP Tennis, is that everyone has their own, unique playing style – so have a blast, as you find or create yours! The POP Tennis court is smaller than a Tennis court, the racquet or paddle is shorter than a Tennis racquet, and the ball is less lively. Additionally, the net is lower, and the players serve underhand—not overhand, as in Tennis. All of these things make POP Tennis easy to play. The huge benefits for POP Tennis players are that the rallies are generally longer than those of Tennis; there is more fun and exciting net play and (net) poaching; there is less court to cover; there are no overhead serves to learn; and as a result, there is far less running and wear and tear on the back, legs, feet, and shoulders.
In addition, POP Tennis is a wonderful sport for teenagers and adults to play. As Kent Seton, a premier collegiate tennis player and a top open POP Tennis player, astutely observed, “[Compared with Tennis,] You can play [POP Tennis] far better, far longer!” What Kent is essentially saying, is that once Tennis players leave college, begin to age, join the workforce, and play less frequently, their game and skills naturally begin to decline. However, in POP Tennis, you have less court to cover and have no overhand serving to deal with, so it is far easier to maintain your skill level for decades.
All of these factors make POP Tennis a fun and an exciting sport for individuals of ALL ages to play and to enjoy for a lifetime! POP Tennis certainly worked for me. I began playing POP Tennis at seven years old; then I transitioned to Tennis at thirteen, and played both POP Tennis and Tennis until I attended college. Due to my training in POP Tennis, I immediately became a top-ranked junior tennis champion. I then became the Captain and the #1 singles and doubles player on the Harvard University Varsity Tennis Team and the Eastern Junior Davis Cup Team. During this time, I won a plethora of singles and doubles tournaments. At age 35, I went back to playing POP Tennis exclusively, because I found it to be so fun, exhilarating, and satisfying; and as Kent Seton observed, I could continue to play POP Tennis at a very high level, whereas I was nowhere as good in Tennis, as I had been in college. Because of its unique attributes, POP Tennis can be played at a high level for a lifetime, with less practice, and despite previous player injuries and/or diminished skills. To this day, at age 62, I am still a top POP Tennis open doubles player (“Videos”).
Additionally, POP Tennis, due to the shorter distance between you and the player(s) on the other side of the net, leads to increased hand speed/quickness, and the development of faster hand/eye coordination. One benefit of this increased speed and quickness is that when you do play Tennis, your reflexes and reaction time will be quicker, so that you will feel as if you have far more time to react to, move toward, and hit the ball.
So playing POP Tennis should significantly improve your Tennis game. For a myriad of great reasons, POP Tennis is a fantastically fun and satisfying sport that you can play from ages 5 to 95. And “fantastic,” “fun,” and “satisfying” are pretty cool qualities, right?
POP Tennis: Try it and love it, for a lifetime!
What is over one hundred years old — but is now NEW, HOT, and POPPIN’? The answer is: POP Tennis!
According to the Carolina Paddle Tennis Association, Reverend Frank Peter Beal created the sport of Paddle Tennis in 1898. He saw Paddle Tennis as an activity for children and as a means for them to learn to play Tennis. His initial Paddle Tennis court was 18’ x 39’, exactly one-half the size of a regulation Tennis court. Players used a sponge-rubber ball and a wooden paddle. The much smaller court and the short-handled paddle allowed children to pick-up the game quickly; as a result, they enjoyed playing while attaining mastery of a racquet sport that prepared them to play Tennis.
Reverend Beal then moved to New York City in 1921, and the following year, the first Paddle Tennis tournament was held. During this time, adults began playing the sport and enjoyed how easy and exhilarating it was to play. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Paddle Tennis grew in popularity and spread to other cities, such as Los Angeles. In time, many adult players believed that a larger court would produce a better game; however, Reverend Beal wanted the court size to remain as it was. At one point, Murray Geller, who lived in Brooklyn, New York, became Chairman of the United States Paddle Tennis Association Rules Committee and held the position for the next forty or so years. Geller was passionate about Paddle Tennis and was largely responsible for growing it in New York City.
Early on, Geller began advocating that Paddle Tennis be played on a larger court—especially for adults. As a result, an “adult” court size of 20’ x 44’ was adopted (the same size as a Badminton, Pickleball, and Platform-Tennis court). Reverend Beal, the founding President of the United States Paddle Tennis Association for over 40 years, kept the smaller court for children. By the late 1950s, the game’s popularity had grown—especially on the West Coast. Popular Tennis players, such as Althea Gibson and Bobby Riggs were playing Paddle Tennis and competing in its tournaments. In 1959, Reverend Beal had a stroke, and thereafter, Geller began exerting more control over the game. Also during this time, the Brighton Beach Baths, in Brooklyn, New York, converted hand-tennis courts into 20 smaller-sized Paddle Tennis courts; and “BBB” soon became a hub for Paddle Tennis and remained so for decades to come. BBB spawned such national Paddle Tennis star players as Sol Hauptman, Jeff Fleitman, Jeff Lerner, Harold Kempler, Eddie Feldman, Mike Gansell, Dorothy Wasser, Nancy Bluttman, Sol Schwartz, Russ Garber, Kenny Lindner, and many others. Prestigious Paddle Tennis exhibitions were held at BBB, when Tennis luminaries such as Bobby Riggs, Tony Vincent, and Paul Cranis played matches against Lerner, Gansell, and Lindner. Both Lerner and Lindner defeated Riggs in singles, when Riggs was the reigning National Paddle Tennis Champion, and both dominated the singles tournaments for a number of years thereafter.
During this time of growth, Geller was convinced that the court was still too shallow for the powerful players of the game. As a result, in 1961, the official Paddle Tennis court was lengthened by three feet on each end in order to make it 20’ x 50’. Additional changes were also implemented. The sponge-rubber ball was replaced with a deadened tennis ball (one punctured with a hypodermic needle). The net was lowered from 33” at the posts and 30” in the center, to 31”, pulled taut across the entire width of the court. The overhand serve was also eliminated, and only one underhand serve was allowed. These changes were accepted by both the East and West Coast Paddle Tennis Associations and are still in effect today.
Throughout most of the 1980s, West Coast Paddle Tennis enjoyed great growth and popularity under the sage leadership of Greg Lawrence, who, like Geller, was passionate about and committed to the sport. Venice Beach became a main Paddle Tennis hub, boasting a plethora of enthusiastic players and a slew of exciting tournaments for all levels of enthusiasts. Additionally, private clubs, such as the Sand and Sea Club, the Jonathan Club, the Bel Air Bay Club, and the Beach Club, had Paddle Tennis courts and held tournaments of their own.
During this golden era of Paddle Tennis in Los Angeles, certain rules regarding the lob were eliminated, so that the full court could be used for any form of shot—be it a drive or a lob. It was during this time that teams such as Sol Hauptman and Jeff Fleitman; Sol Hauptman and Rick Beckendorf; Greg Lawrence and Brian Lee; and Mark Rifenbark and Steve Magid were excelling. Thereafter, Scott Freedman and Sol Hauptman, along with the teams of Daryl Lemon and Ken Lindner, Doug Kolker and Ken Lindner, Russ Garber and Marcus Kramer, Ross Garber and Aldo Burga, and thereafter, Daryl Lemon and Kent Seton, established themselves as the top open POP Tennis doubles teams. It was during this time that Hauptman and Freedman established themselves as the all-time best doubles team. Around 2009, Freedman and Kent Seton won many of the National Open Doubles Championships. Additionally, after years of playing against all-time great open singles players, such as Vinnie Van Patten, Javier Santos, and Mark Rifenbark, Freedman also established himself as the best and most awarded singles player, ever. Also during this time, Bill Brothers—lovingly nicknamed, “Mr. Paddle Tennis”—expended a great deal of time and effort to enable West Coast Paddle Tennis to grow and flourish. He, along with Scott Freedman, founded and maintain the Paddle Tennis Hall of Fame. The Paddle Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted the game’s very top and accomplished Open players, as well as those individuals who have played integral roles in growing Paddle Tennis. In addition to Brothers, Mike Cohen worked incredibly effectively to galvanize Culver City Paddle Tennis. Due to the great amount of respect and trust that players have for Cohen and what he has done for the game, he is known as ‘the Voice of Paddle Tennis.’
As the 1980s and 90s passed, two major events transpired. Murray Geller passed away, and Greg Lawrence left his position as the leader of West Coast Paddle Tennis. As a direct result, much of the growth of Paddle Tennis came to a halt. However, during the 1990s until today, Steve Farhood, Mitch Kutner, and Jackie Heller in New York City, and Mark Kempler in St. Augustine, Florida, have done wonderful work in keeping Paddle Tennis alive in their respective cities (For his exceptional work regarding Paddle Tennis, Jackie Heller was inducted into the Paddle Tennis Hall of Fame). Additionally, Mark Guion has done a marvelous job establishing and growing the Carolina Paddle Tennis Association.
Starting around 2010, John Coray became President of the USPTA and, along with Donald Land and Mark Groves, this trio has done yeoman’s work. Then, Steve Gumplo, followed Coray as the USPTA President. Thereafter, Daryl Lemon left the USPTA and, together with Dora Corral and Matt Denoff, formed the American Paddle Tennis Association, or APTA. Lemon has worked tirelessly as an ambassador for Paddle Tennis, the sport he loves and excels at. However, notwithstanding the excellent work of Coray, Gumplo, and Lemon, and their stellar colleagues, having two, well-meaning, but autonomous governing bodies of Paddle Tennis has allegedly caused some problems and conflicts. One of these problems, has been that the USPTA and APTA have run separate tournaments, with each allegedly mounting its own “U.S. Open.” As a result, there has been no, one, West Coast governing body of Paddle Tennis, with the unfortunate result being that there is ambiguity for those who play and follow the game.
Additionally, there have been and still are major differences between the East Coast and West Coast games of Paddle Tennis. The West Coast version—which Murray Geller was adamantly against — in many instances, uses a restraining or “bucket” line, 12 feet from the net on each side. When this bucket line (which is for doubles play only) is in use, neither team may cross it until the receiver’s paddle has struck the ball. This is in direct contrast to the East Coast’s no-bucket style of doubles play, which resembles Tennis, in that it features no restraining line whatsoever. The West Coast advocates of the bucket line believe that this rule allows for more rallies and shot variations, and its usage, therefore provides more fun and produces more skill development. The individuals who are against using the bucket line convincingly argue that it is almost impossible to effectively police it recreationally or during tournaments, unless you have excellent referees on hand—and they are very hard to find! Additionally, stopping at some arbitrary bucket line, as you are about to hit your volley, is counter-intuitive to individuals who play or have played Tennis.
So, for a myriad of reasons, Paddle Tennis is a fun, exciting, and thoroughly enjoyable sport that has been severely hampered by internal conflict, geographical rule differences, and by almost insurmountable brand confusion. For example, when individuals hear the name “Paddle Tennis,” many of them think it is Ping Pong, Platform Paddle Tennis (played on a wooden platform, surrounded by wire mesh), Paddle Ball, or, more recently, Padel (the Spanish version of Paddle Tennis, played with walls surrounding the court), Pickleball, or Beach Tennis—all of which, with the exception of Paddle Ball, are played with a racquet of sorts, a net, and a ball.
However, in 2014, two exceedingly beneficial things occurred. First, the new, young, charismatic, and exceedingly popular brother-team of Austin and Scott Doerner—who individually have achieved great heights in major college tennis—won their fourth straight U.S. Open Paddle Tennis Doubles Championship. As a result, two, fresh, highly-skilled perennial champions emerged. Additionally, a strong cast of top open Paddle Tennis players decided to take action in order to build and re-brand the sport that they love. This core group of top open Paddle Tennis players (please see “POP Tennis Trailblazers”) set out to find a new, unique name for their great sport, and thereby eliminate much of the brand confusion that has enveloped it and had held its growth back for so long. It was Leo Recagni who came up with the name “POP”—or Popular Tennis—as in pop art, pop entertainment, and pop culture. It sounded fresh, open, inclusive, fun—and a sport of the people. All attributes of the sport we love.
So with new, state-of-the art racquets that POP, colorful clothes that catch the eye and POP, and fast exchanges and poaches that POP, Paddle Tennis was re-branded at the beginning of 2015, as POP Tennis — because “everything about our sport, POPS!”™
On April 26th, 2015, the first POP Tennis meeting was held. Ken Lindner was unanimously elected as the President of the United States POP Tennis Association, Inc., the organization he founded. During that meeting, Ken shared his three-pronged choreography, to make POP Tennis a major national and international sport. The first step to be taken was to secure impactful, local and national television exposure. Weeks later, there were local market TV stories airing, discussing POP Tennis and its unique and highly positive assets. Thereafter, the Today show aired a compelling piece, devoted to POP Tennis, that was seen by millions; additionally, the Associated Press produced a POP Tennis story that was fed to 250 networks throughout the world.
POP Tennis was off and running.
A big thank you, is extended to Mark Guion and the Carolina Paddle Tennis Association for their excellent article from which much of the early Paddle Tennis history in this article is based.
Articles & Opinions
A letter from Ken Lindner, the President of the United States POP Tennis Association. One of the VERY MOST IMPORTANT goals of the United States POP Tennis Association, is to imbue and empower children with confidence, as well as with feelings of mastery and high...read more
Hi Everyone, I am writing this note to our POP Tennis Community, as a whole, and specifically, to those individuals who have not yet joined our POP Tennis Movement. I hope that this letter explains and elucidates what some of the primary, immediate and long-term goals...read more
Dear Fellow Paddle Tennis Players, I hope that this letter reaches you and all those you love feeling great and enjoying a beautiful and blessed day. I have been playing Paddle Tennis for 55 years, and I feel, as most Paddle Tennis players do, that we have an...read more
POP Tennis is a great way for everyone to have fun and exercise at the same time. With a less lively ball, a smaller court, a lower net, and a shorter racquet, it is easy for everyone --- especially children ---to immediately play well, and thereby, gain empowering...read more
My name is Russ Garber, and I am a tennis and POP Tennis enthusiast. I live in a place where this is no POP Tennis, so I play tennis a few times a week. However, I travel to Venice Beach over twenty times a year to get my fix of POP Tennis, a game we all love. This...read more
First off, I’d like to take the opportunity to say a big, thank you, to everyone for coming to the table to discuss how much better we can make this wonderful game that we all love. One of the most important things to remember when responding to Roberto’s fine memo is...read more
One of the primary reasons why Paddle Tennis has not fulfilled its tremendous national and international promise and potential is that there is brand confusion. Essentially, individuals often confuse or don't know the difference between Paddle Tennis, and the sports...read more
Dear Luminaries, First, I'd like to reiterate my support for all the work everyone is doing to infuse new energy into the sport we love. Since we're in what I feel is a new phase, inevitable questions have been raised, specifically having to do with rules and what...read more
Dear Paddle Tennis Players, The re-branding of our sport from Paddle Tennis to POP Tennis, is a marketing strategy designed to bring our sport national attention and reduce the confusion that already exists. It is not designed to change the game, but only to catalyze...read more
Because net play and (net) poaching are so important in POP Tennis doubles play, it is essential, in almost all instances, that you hit your returns-of-serve with topspin. This is the case because returns hit with topspin dip at your opponents’ feet. This forces your...read more
In life, a first impression can determine whether a relationship gets off to a positive or a negative start. In essence, it is a tone-setter. Similarly, the effectiveness --- or lack thereof – of your serve, -- often determines whether or not you start a point in a...read more
Below are tips that can enable you to raise the level of your POP Tennis game. Keep your feet moving/bouncing throughout your warm-up and the match. Quick, facile steps are the ticket. When possible and appropriate, hit your strokes with topspin. Vary the spots to...read more
One of the most common mistakes that individuals make when volleying, is that they stand “flatfooted.” As a result, they have no transfer of weight from their back foot to their front foot. By not stepping into their volleys and, therefore, not hitting the ball in...read more
Hi Ken, My name is Katherine Wagner. I really, really enjoy paddle tennis or now poptennis. I like the name change. I played doubles in tennis and was a pretty good recreational player. I captained a team from Jacksonville, FL in 92. we won nationals at the 5.0...read more
The United States POP Tennis Association, or PTA, is a not-for-profit organization devoted to logically, creatively, and aggressively growing POP Tennis nationally and intentionally. We are excited to share our aspirations with you!
To give POP Tennis every opportunity to become a hugely popular national and international sport, as well as an Olympic sport.
To adopt no-bucket POP Tennis for all or most major tournaments, including “Grand Slam Events.” This should eliminate any confusion as to how POP Tennis is played. Initially, all exhibitions and televised matches shall be no-bucket. Since no-bucket POP Tennis is played like Tennis, it will be far easier for those who play tennis to understand its rules and make a smooth transition.
In order for an individual to play a PTA sanctioned tournament, he or she must be a member in good standing of the PTA. All players must conduct themselves with proper decorum on the court and at all POP Tennis-related functions.
All major tournaments will be single elimination, so that fewer courts will be needed. Tournaments can be efficiently run in two days, which will allow clubs—tennis or otherwise—to hold POP Tennis tournaments on as few as three or four courts.
To bring POP Tennis courts, equipment, and certified instructors to schools and poor and/or lower income communities. As POP Tennis requires less space and is less expensive than Tennis, it is an ideal choice.
All chapters of the PTA shall coordinate their events and schedules and work together, so that maximum effectiveness, efficiency, and player satisfaction and enjoyment are achieved.
To adopt and embrace our sport’s over 100 year history and to intelligently, creatively, and passionately grow POP Tennis.
POP Tennis and the PTA Board of Directors shall endeavor to seek out, as well as align itself and work with those reputable individuals, companies, and entities that can effectively and intelligently grow POP Tennis into the mega-sport it can be.
To make sure that we do not adopt rules which will lead to any form of brand or sport confusion.
There will be “Grand Slam” events held throughout the calendar year. One Grand Slam event will be held in Los Angeles; one in New York City; one in St. Augustine, Florida; and one in any city whose association applies for it and secures the approval of the PTA.
The PTA Board of Directors will take all appropriate steps to ensure that POP Tennis is accessible to and played by men and women, of all ages and races, everywhere.
The POP Tennis Children's Empowerment Initiative
A letter from Ken Lindner, the President of the United States POP Tennis Association. One of the VERY MOST IMPORTANT goals of the United States POP Tennis Association, is to imbue and empower children with confidence, as well as with feelings of mastery and high self-esteem, through their playing POP Tennis. This is what we aspire to accomplish through our free POP Tennis Clinics.
As I discuss below, I know how empowering, feeling good about yourself on the POP Tennis court, can be for a young person. Playing POP Tennis, initially, as an overweight and a physically-challenged youngster, gave me strong and valid feelings of self-confidence. It is my passion and our Association’s mission to empower and equip young people to thrive in their everyday lives, through their learning and playing POP Tennis.
I began playing POP Tennis when I was 7 years old. Because the POP Tennis court is smaller than a Tennis court, the racquet is shorter than a Tennis racquet, the net is lower, and the ball is less lively, POP Tennis was extremely easy to learn and immediately play well. As a result, I was quickly able to begin rallying and have fun. These strong feelings of accomplishment, made me realize that I could do something well and feel good about athletics. Without doubt, my early POP Tennis experiences changed my life in the most positive ways. I lost weight, because I was active; I began to exercise appropriate discipline, because I felt that I was worth doing good things for; and I regularly practiced and played POP Tennis, because I enjoyed it and saw positive results. Years later, I transferred all of the positive life lessons that I learned on the POP Tennis court, to my Tennis, academic, and professional endeavors.
All of the highly-beneficial things that POP Tennis did for me, are experiences, benefits, and qualities that we hope to give to and develop in thousands upon thousands of our country’s children. Because I played POP Tennis beforehand, taking-up Tennis, at age 13, was easy and highly-rewarding. This was the case, because I had already developed my groundstrokes, poaching ability and instincts, volley, overhead, movement, court sense, and strategic, mindset on the POP Tennis court. Soon thereafter, I became a top-ranked Eastern Junior Champion. I then became the Captain and #1 Singles and Doubles player on the Harvard University Tennis Team, as well as on the Eastern Junior Davis Cup Team. During these years, I won a myriad of prestigious National and Eastern Tennis and POP Tennis titles. I also had the privilege and honor to play against some of the world’s very best Tennis players, such as Arthur Ashe (whom I defeated in an Exhibition match), John McEnroe, Vita Gerulaitis, Gardnar Mulloy, Brian Gottfried, Sandy Mayer, Harold Solomon, and others. What an amazing gift!; and I was able to experience all of this, because I learned to play and love POP Tennis as a child!
In this section of our POP Tennis website, we will keep viewers posted regarding free POP Tennis clinics and events that will take place in cities across the country. Below are two videos to enjoy. The YouTube video, shows Rachel Gailis, who has developed into a stellar Tennis player, by playing POP Tennis. The KNBC video discusses how beneficial POP Tennis can be for young people. Additionally, there is a membership list (in alphabetical order) of the POP Tennis Children’s Empowerment Committee. This Committee is comprised of Senior Educators and top-tier POP Tennis Instructors, who are committed to bringing the finest, free POP Tennis instruction and positive experiences to all children, everywhere. Here’s to POP Tennis enhancing, enabling, and empowering your child!
Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Ken Lindner President, The United States POP Tennis Association, Inc.
POP Tennis Children’s Empowerment Committee
Vahe Assadourian: Worldwide POP Tennis Ambassador and Premier USPTA Children’s Pro Tennis Instructor Mike Cohen: Highly-respected POP Tennis Leader, Luminary, and Ambassador John Coray: Head of Worldwide POP Tennis Special Projects Jimmy Dunne: Leader and Visionary of the California Children’s POP Tennis Conference Ronita Elder: Director: Diversity and Inclusion, Southern California Tennis Association Nick Haridopolos: Highly-respected POP Tennis Teaching Pro for the Jonathan Club Leslie Howard: Highly-respected POP Tennis Teaching Pro for the Jonathan Club David Joseph: Co-Founder and Executive Director of “America Scores,” which is a non-profit, after school program, that works with over 400 L.A.-based children. The goal of “America Scores,” is to inspire and empower children, on and off the field, through soccer and poetry. Cole Kahrilas: Bright, shining, young POP Tennis star Scott Krivitsky: Awarded New York City Board of Education Leader Melinda Lindner: Former Top Collegiate Tennis Player, Pro Tennis Instructor, and strong POP Tennis supporter Andrew Minnelli: USPTA Southern California Teaching Pro Of The Year for 2015 John Myers: Director of Athletics for the Bel Air Bay Club Jerry Pham: POP Tennis Leader, Catalyst, and Visionary Will Segar: Highly-respected Senior Children’s Educator and Children’s POP Tennis Leader Denise Yogi: Top Open POP Tennis Player and Strong POP Tennis Supporter
POP Tennis Rules
Rule 1. Dimensions & Equipment
- 50′ Base line to base line
- 44′ Service line to service line
- 20′ Side line to side line
- A basic court shall be 50 feet long and 20 feet wide.
- There shall be a line 3 feet within the base line, known as the Service line.
Lines: Service Line: 22′ from net, 3′ in front of base line, 20′ wide with closed ends matching side lines, on each end of the court. Center Line: Longitudinally through center of court, from service line to service line. Restraint Line (Where Authorized): 12′ from the net, parallel to base line on each side of the net. Base Line: 3′ behind the service line, 20′ side with closed ends matching side lines, on each end of the court. General Requirements: (a) All lines shall be 2″ wide. (b) All dimensions shall be measured to outside of lines, except for center line. (c) Lines for doubles and singles are identical. Net Posts & Nets: The top of the net shall be exactly 31″ above the surface for the entire width of the court, pulled taut by a steel cable which shall pass over the tops of two posts which shall be 18″ outside each side line. There shall be no more than one inch allowable sag at center if there is no steel cable and ratchet. The net shall be 22′ long by 2’6″ wide. Net Construction (Recommended): Heavy cotton, tarred, or “Deluxe braided polyethylene”; similar to Gold Medal Paddle Tennis Net; Douglas Net, and Carron Net with steel cable. Fence:
- Height: Minimum of 10′ high
- Length & Width: 40′ wide x 80′ long.
Court Surfaces (The same as for conventional tennis courts):
- Composition: Textured acrylic finish, similar but not limited to Plexipave, Laycold, Kemiko, Play-On, etc.; also Clay, Har-Tru, Omni-Turf and Mod-Sod.
- Color (Suggested): Hard court playing surface to be green or light-blue; side and rear areas to fencing to be Terra-cotta.
- Lighting: (1) Height: Pole mounted lighting fixtures to be not less than 20′ high. (2) Brightness: 30 footcandles reading at court surface evenly distributed. (Recommended)
- Ball: The ball shall be a pressurized tennis ball approved by the United States Tennis Association for tournament play which has its internal pressure reduced by being punctured so that when dropped from a height of 6’0″ to the playing court surface, the bounce will be not less than 31″ nor more than 33″. Puncturing with a hypodermic needle or safety pin is a simple method of achieving the required bounce.
- Paddle: The paddle shall be made of solid material or materials, and shall be not more than 9½″ x 18½″. It may be perforated and/or textured, but shall contain no strings; all paddles are subject to approval by the U.S. Paddle Tennis Association.
- Shoes must have non-marking rubber soles.
- Players must wear proper court attire.
Rule 2. Permanent Fixtures
Permanent court fixtures include: The net, posts, cords, or metal cable, strap and band, back and side stops, chairs and their occupants, umpires, judges, linesmen, ball persons when in their assigned positions and all other fixtures above or around the court.
Rule 3. Server & Receiver
The players stand on opposite sides of the net. The player who serves the ball shall be called the Server. The player receiving shall be called the Receiver. (Serving team or Receiving team)
Rule 4. Choice of Side & Service
The player who wins the toss or paddle spin may choose or require his opponent to choose: (1) The right to serve or receive, in which case the other player shall choose the side; or, (2) the side, in which case the other player shall choose the right to serve or receive.
Rule 5. Service
Only one serve is allowed. The Server shall stand behind the base line and within the imaginary extensions of the center and side lines. The server shall then project the ball by hand into the air and strike it with the paddle at a point not higher than 31″ above the court surface at the instant of impact; or, the Server may bounce or drop the ball to the court surface behind the base line and strike it with the paddle upon its rebound at a point not higher than 31″ above the court surface. Delivery shall be deemed complete at the instant of impact of paddle and ball. The Server may choose either method of serving; bouncing the ball or projecting it into the air before striking it with the paddle. However, whichever alternative he or she chooses, they must continue to serve in that manner for the entire set. In other words, the server cannot switch from a bounce serve to the projecting serve at will; although he or she may change his or her manner of serving at the commencement of a new set. The serve must land within the service area on the Receivers side diagonally from where the Server stands. If the serve fails to land within said area or if the Server strikes the ball higher than 31″ above the court surface at the instant of impact the serve is a fault and the Server loses that point. One ball only shall be used during a set. Server may not substitute another ball during an unfinished set without consent of opponent or tournament official, nor may Server hold another ball when serving.
Rule 6. Foot Fault
The Server, shall throughout the delivery of the Service: Not touch, with either foot, any area other than behind the base line within the imaginary extensions of the center line and side line before contact is made between the ball and paddle. If this rule is violated, a foot fault shall be called and the Serving Team will lose the point.
Rule 7. Alternate Courts
(1) Service shall begin in the right hand or “deuce” court at the start of every game and shall progress from there to the left hand or “ad court,” thus alternating at each point until the game is completed. If the ball is served from the wrong court, and is not detected, all points scored will stand, but the correct station shall be assumed immediately after the mistake is discovered. (2) The Served ball shall land in the diagonal court in that area bounded by the service line (not the base line), the longitudinal center line, and the net.
Rule 8. Fault
It is a Fault if: (1) The Service breaches any part of rules 5 or 6. (2) The Server, in attempting to serve, misses the ball. (3) The ball served touches a permanent fixture (other than the net, strap or band) before hitting the ground.
Rule 9. Receiver
The ball may not be served until the Receiver is ready. If they attempt to return the serve, they are deemed “ready.” If the Receiver indicates he or she is “not ready”, and the service is a fault, then he/she may not claim the point. The serve is replayed as a “let” ball.
Rule 10. Let
When a “let” is called under the rules, or to provide an interruption to play, the point shall be replayed.
Rule 11. Service Let
The service is a “let” if: (1) The ball touches the net, strap or band, and is otherwise good, or after touching the net, strap or band, touches a Receiver or anything the receiver wears or carries. (2) A Serve, good or fault, is delivered when the Receiver is not ready.
Rule 12. Receiver Become Server
At the end of the first game the Receiver becomes the Server and vice versa, and so on alternately until the match is over. If a player serves out of turn the correct player shall serve as soon as the mistake is apparent, but all points scored shall remain as is. If an entire game shall have been completed before the mistake is apparent, the order of serve remains as altered.
Rule 13. Ball In Play
A ball is in play from the moment it has been served. Unless a “let” is called, it remains in play until the point is decided.
Rule 14. Server’s Point
The Server wins the point if: (1) The served ball, not being a “let” under Rule 11, touches either player on the Receiving Team, or anything they wear or carry, prior to touching the ground. (2) The Receiver otherwise loses the point as noted under Rule 16.
Rule 15. Receiver’s Point
The Receiver wins the point if: (1) The serve is a fault. (2) The server loses the point as noted under Rule 16.
Rule 16. Player Loses a Point
A Player loses point if: (1) A player returns any ball after a second bounce. (2) A player returns the ball in play so that it hits the ground, a permanent fixture, or other object, outside the opponent’s court (excepting as provided in Rule 20(1) or 20(3). (3) A player volleys the ball without making a good return, even if standing out of the court. (4) A player carries, touches or strikes the ball with his/her paddle more than once during a stroke. (5) A player’s person or paddle (in his/her hand or otherwise), or anything he/she wears or carries, touches the net, posts, cord or metal cable, strap or band, or the ground within the opponent’s court at any time while the ball is in play. (Rule 13) (6) A player volleys a ball before it has crossed the net. (Rule 20(4)) (7) The ball in play touches a player or anything he/she wears or carries, except his/her paddle in his/her hand or hands or glove worn on his/her hand or hands holding onto the paddle. (8) A player throws paddle and hits the ball. (9) A player hits a ball in the gap between the net and post and lower than the net cord. It is a “pass thru” ball and the player loses the point, even though the balls lands in the proper court. (10) A player’s momentum after or before hitting a ball causes his/her person or paddle or anything he/she wears or carries to contact the net, posts, cord or metal cable, strap or band, even if the point were otherwise technically completed. (11) A player strikes the ball with his/her paddle during service at a point higher than 31″ above the court surface. (Rule 5) (12) A player returns a ball that hits a permanent fixture before hitting the ground. (Rule 19) (13) In doubles the paddles of both partners strike the ball in play during one stroke. (Rule 34) (14) A player violates the “Restraint” Rule, where Restraint (“Bucket”) Rule is authorized. (Rule 35) (15) In singles, the Server hits the return of service as a volley. (Rule 36) (16) During service delivery a player footfaults or otherwise violates Rule 6. (17) A served ball touches Server’s partner. (Rule 33) (18) A player deliberately hinders their opponent from making a stroke. (Rule 17) (19) A player footfaults by standing out of the prescribed area. (Rule 6) (20) A player misses the ball while attempting to serve, or the served ball touches a permanent fixture before hitting the ground. (Rule 8) (21) In serving, a player drops the ball in front of the base line. (Rule 5) (22) A player hits a ball that hits that part of the net post that protrudes above the net.
Rule 17. Hindering an Opponent
If a player deliberately hinders his or her opponent from making a stroke, the umpire shall award the point to the opponent; or if involuntary, the point shall be replayed.
Rule 18. Line Balls
A ball falling on or touching a line is regarded as being “good.”
Rule 19. Permanent Fixture Hit
If a ball hits a permanent fixture (other than the net, posts, cord or metal cable, strap or band) after hitting the ground in play, the player who struck the ball wins the point; if before hitting the ground, the opponent wins the point.
Rule 20. Good Return
It is a good return if: (1) The ball hits the net, posts, cord or metal cable, strap or band provided that it passes over any of them and lands in the proper court. (2) A ball served or returned hits the ground in the proper court and rebounds back over the net, and the player whose turn it is to hit the ball reaches over the net and plays the ball, provided that neither they, nor any part of their clothing, or paddle touches the net, posts, cord, or metal cable, strap or band or the ground within his or her opponent’s court, and that the stroke is otherwise good. (3) The ball is returned outside the post, either above or below the top of the net, even if it touches the post, provided it hits in the proper court and the post is flush with the net. (4) A player’s paddle follows through over the net after they have returned the ball, provided the ball passes to their side of the net before being played, and it is properly returned. (5) The ball lands in the proper court despite the fact that it made contact with the paddle hand or hands, unless such contact was made intentionally.
Rule 21. Interference
If a player is hindered in making a stroke by anything not within their control, except a permanent court fixture or except as noted under Rule 17, the point shall be replayed.
Rule 22. Game
Sequential scoring of points won is:
- 1st point – 15
- 2nd point – 30
- 3rd point – 40
- 4th point – Game
Rule 23. Set
(1) A set may consist of one in which the first player or team to win 6 games wins the set, providing they have at least a 2-game margin over opponent, until the score reaches 6 games to 6 games, at which point the tie-breaker procedure is invoked (Rule 37), or (2) A set may consist of one in which the first player to win 8 games wins the set, providing they have at least a 2-game margin over opponent, until the score reaches 8 games to 8 games, at which point the tie-breaker procedure is invoked (Rule 37), or (3) A set may consist of one in which the first player to win 6 games wins the set, providing they have at least a 2-game margin over opponent. If this is not the case, then play continues until a 2 game margin is established, except that a tie-breaker will be played if games reach 12 all, or (4) A set may consist of one in which the first player to win 8 games wins the set, providing they have at least a 2-game margin over opponent. If this is not the case, then play continues until a 2 game margin is established, except that a tie-breaker will be played if games reach 12 all. (5) The discretion of the Tournament Referee or Tournament Director controls as to what type of the above sets may be played.
Rule 24. Changing Sides
Players shall change sides at the end of each “odd” game (one, three, five, etc.) except during the tie-breaker play and at the end of each set, unless total number of games of such set be even, in which case they “stay for one” and change after the first game of the next set.
Rule 25. Maximum Sets
In tournament play a match shall consist of one 8-game pro set, or best two out of three standard six game sets at the option of the tournament director. (Rule 23)
Rule 26. Score
The Server’s score is always called first.
Rule 27. Decisions
Decisions of the Umpire are final for each match and/or tournament. If a Referee is appointed, Umpire’s decisions may be appealed to him for final decision on a question of law only, not of fact. If not, they may be appealed to the Tournament Director. The Referee or Tournament Director may at his or her discretion postpone a match on account of darkness, weather, or ground conditions. In the event of postponement, the score and court positions shall hold upon resumption of play unless the Referee and players unanimously agree otherwise.
Rule 28. Play Shall Be Continuous
Play shall be continuous from beginning of match to the end, except: (1) Players may towel down a maximum of 60 seconds while changing courts (baseline to baseline). (2) Players may have 10 minutes rest between second and third sets. (3) Players have 15 seconds between points. (4) Suspension of play should not be for the purposes of receiving instructions or to enable a player to recover his or her wind or strength. (5) The Umpire has the prerogative of disqualifying a player he or she feels is guilty of delay, interference, or suspension, after giving the player due warning. (6) A player unable to play because of physical unfitness or fatigue must be defaulted; in the case of an accidental injury, the umpire may allow a suspension of play. The duration of the suspension will be at the discretion of the Tournament Director. (7) The Umpire, after giving due warning, should default a player whom he or she determines is deliberately stalling for time.
Rule 29. Order of Service (Doubles)
The order of service shall be determined at the beginning of each set. In doubles if one player serves the first game, their partner will serve the third, alternating on the “odd” games. The player on the opposing team will serve the second game, his or her partner the fourth, alternating on “even” games.
Rule 30. Order of Receiving (Doubles)
The order of receiving shall be determined at the beginning of each set. The Receiving team shall determine which player will receive in which court, and they shall continue this formation every time they are receivers throughout the set. The opposing pair shall do likewise. Partners must receive service alternately throughout the game. The Server’s partner may stand anywhere on his or her side of the net, providing he or she does not violate the Restraint Rule, where the Restraint Rules is authorized. (Rule 35). Rule 31: Serve Out of Turn (Doubles) If a player serves out of turn, the correct player shall serve as soon as the mistake is discovered, but all points scored before the discovery shall be counted. If a game has been completed before the discovery, the order of service shall remain as altered.
Rule 32. Receive Out of Order (Doubles)
If, during a game, the order of receiving is changed by the Receivers, it shall remain as altered until the end of the game, but the partners shall resume their correct order of receiving in the next game of the set in which they are Receivers.
Rule 33. Served Ball Touches Player (Doubles)
If a served ball touches the Server’s partner, or anything he or she wears or carries, before hitting the ground, the Server loses the point. If a served ball hits the Receiver or the Receiver’s partner, or anything they wear or carry, before hitting the ground the Server wins the point. Rule 34: Ball Struck Alternately (Doubles) The ball shall be struck alternately by one or the other of the opposing pairs. Note: This does not mean that the partners themselves have to alternate in making returns.
Rule 35. Restraint (Doubles)
Both feet of all players must be clearly behind the “Restraint” line until clearly after the Receiver’s paddle strikes the ball. A player may lean into the “bucket” area as long as his or her feet are behind the “Restraint” line. Foot progress into the “bucket” area simultaneous, or nearly so, with the paddle vs. ball impact constitutes a violation and the point shall be awarded to the other side. If there is a reasonable doubt as to the violation, the Umpire may call a “let” and the point shall be replayed. Restraint ends for the Receiving team the moment the Receiver crosses the Restraint line prior to contact being made in order to return a short serve. The Receiver’s paddle must contact the service in order for play to continue. Receiver may not swing at a served ball, miss and charge the Server with violation of the Restraint Rule. Note: The above Restraint Rule (commonly called the “Bucket” Rule) prevails only where it is authorized. Paddle Tennis doubles can be played with or without the Bucket Rule, depending on the determination of the respective Tournament Director for each tournament; that fact to be indicated in advance on announcements and entry forms for the tournaments.
Rule 36. Singles Play
Each player must allow the ball to bounce once on their side (exclusive of dropping the ball behind the baseline) before being permitted to volley for the first time. In other words, the Server must allow the Receiver’s return to hit on their side of the court for the first shot following the serve. This is sometimes known as the “two bounce” rule.
Rule 37. Tie Breakers
The same procedure is used for both singles and doubles. The tie-breaker comes into play if a set reaches 6 games all, 8 games all or 12 games all, depending on the type of set played. (Rule 23) (1) The first team to reach 7 points wins the set providing they have a 2 point margin. If not, play continues until a 2 point margin is established by one team over the other. (2) The team whose turn it is to serve shall put the ball into play for the first point. (3) The set scores at the completion of the tie-breaker shall be recorded as 7 games to 6, 9 games to 8, or 13 games to 12, depending on the type of set being played. (Rule 23) (4) The team receiving service for the first point of the tie-breaker shall begin serving the next set from the opposite side from which it received the first point. Teams change sides after the first point. Doubles Sequence (Players A & B versus players C & D) (1) Player A serves point 1 from the Ad court. (2) Change sides (3) Player C serves points 2 & 3 (4) Player B serves points 4 & 5 (5) Changes sides (6) Player D serves points 6 & 7 (7) Player A serves points 8 & 9 (8) Etc., this rotation continues until one team has a 2 point margin. Singles Sequence (1) Player A serves point 1 from the Ad court. (2) Change sides (3) Player B serves points 2 & 3 (4) Player A serves points 4 & 5 (5) Changes sides (6) Player B serves points 6 & 7 (7) Player A serves points 8 & 9 (8) Change Sides (9) Player C serves points 10 & 11 (10) Player B serves points 12 & 13 (11) Changes sides (12) Player D serves points 14 & 15 (13) Etc…, This rotation continues until one player has a 2 point margin. Note: Except as noted herein, the rules of play and scoring of the United States Tennis Association shall govern. This code shall be strictly enforced at all sanctioned tournaments by the tournament committee, tournament director, Paddle Tennis Association Board of Directors, and/or linesmen, umpires or referees.
Code of Conduct & Behavior
Profane or Abusive Language
Any player who uses language that is disrespectful to players, linesmen, umpires, referees or spectators shall be penalized as stated in this section. Said language includes profanity or conduct that is hostile or abusive. The fines may be issued by linesmen, umpires, referees or the tournament director. No player may be defaulted without two warnings. During the course of each match a player who violates the rules under Section I shall be penalized as follows:
- 1st offense: loss of point
- 2nd offense: loss of game
- 3rd offense: default of match / $30.00 fine*
Flagrant Paddle Throwing
Any player who intentionally and flagrantly and without respect for the safety of others throws their paddle shall be fined $100.00. Upon the 2nd instance, player shall be fined an additional $100.00 and defaulted from the tournament.
Failure to Referee
A player may be required to call lines following a winner’s or loser’s bracket match, or at the discretion of the tournament director. A player who fails to call lines when required shall be fined $25.00. The linesperson may be replaced by suitable replacements if approved by the tournament director prior to the commencement of the match or during the match.
Proper court attire may be required at the discretion of the tournament director or local club rules.
Payment of Fines
Said player who incurs a fine will not be allowed to participate in any USPTA sanctioned event without first paying their fine. All fines are paid to the USPTA.
Flagrant abuse before or after default including but not limited to abusive language, throwing paddle, etc. Fines will be determined at the discretion of the Paddle Tennis Association Board of Directors or each affiliate where the offense occurs may handle its complaints. A letter will be sent to violating players. Players have 30 days from the date of the default to appeal. Their appeal must be in writing and sent to the USPTA Board of Directors or affiliate. A date for the hearing will be set with not more than five nor less than three board members. The player may present his/her case including any witnesses. Vote of the Board will be final and decision will be sent in writing within seven days.
PREFACE When your serve hits your partner stationed at the net, is it a let, fault, or loss of point? Likewise, what is the ruling when your serve, before touching the ground, hits an opponent who is standing back of the baseline? The answers to these questions are obvious to anyone who knows the fundamentals of tennis, but it is surprising the number of players who don’t know these fundamentals. All players have a responsibility to be familiar with the basic rules and customs of tennis. Further, it can be distressing when a player makes a decision in accordance with a rule and the opponent protests with the remark: “Well, I never heard of that rule before!” Ignorance of the rules constitutes a delinquency on the part of a player and often spoils an otherwise good match. What is written here constitutes the essentials of The Code, a summary of procedures and unwritten rules that custom and tradition dictate all players should follow. No system of rules will cover every specific problem or situation that may arise. If players of good will follow the principles of The Code, they should always be able to reach an agreement, while at the same time making tennis more fun and a better game for all. The principles set forth in The Code shall apply in cases not specifically covered by the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA Regulations. Before reading this the following question may come to mind: Since there is a book that contains all the rules of tennis, is there a need for The Code? Isn’t it sufficient to know and understand the rules? There are a number of things not specifically set forth in the rules that are covered by custom and tradition only. For example, if there is a doubt on a line call, your opponent gets the benefit of the doubt. Can you find that in the rules? Further, custom dictates the standard procedures that players will use in reaching decisions. These are the reasons a code is needed.
– Col. Nicolas E. Powel
- Courtesy is expected. Tennis is a game that requires cooperation and courtesy.
- Counting points played in good faith. All points played in good faith stand. For example, if after losing a point, a player discovers that the net was four inches too high, the point stands. If a point is played from the wrong court, there is no replay. If during a point, a player realizes that a mistake was made at the beginning (for example, service from the wrong court), the player shall continue playing the point. Corrective action may be taken only after a point has been completed.Shaking hands at the end of a match is an acknowledgement by the players that the match is over.
- Warm-up is not practice. A player should provide the opponent a 5-minute warm-up (ten minutes if there are no ballpersons). If a player refuses to warm-up the opponent, the player forfeits the right to a warm-up. Some players confuse warm-up and practice. Each player should make a special effort to hit shots directly to the opponent. (If partners want to warm each other up while their opponents are warming up, they may do so.)
- Warm-up serves and returns are taken before the first serve of match. A player should take all warm-up serves before the first serve of the match. A player who returns serves should return them at a moderate pace in a manner that does not disrupt the server.
- Player makes calls on own side of the net. A player calls all shots landing on, or aimed at, the player’s side of the net.
- Opponent gets benefit of doubt. When a match is played without officials, the players are responsible for making decisions, particularly for line calls. There is a subtle difference between player decisions and those of an on-court official. An official impartially resolves a problem involving a call, whereas a player is guided by the unwritten law that any doubt must be resolved in favor of the opponent. A player in attempting to be scrupulously honest on line calls frequently will find himself keeping a ball in play that might have been out or that the player discovers too late was out. Even so, the game is much better played this way.
- Ball touching any part of line is good. If any part of the ball touches the line, the ball is good. A ball 99% out is still 100% good. A player shall not call a ball out unless the player clearly sees space between where the ball hits and a line.
- Ball that cannot be called out is good. Any ball that cannot be called out is considered to have been good. A player may not claim a let on the basis of not seeing a ball. One of tennis’ most infuriating moments occurs after a long hard rally when a player makes a clean placement and the opponent says: “I’m not sure if it was good or out. Let’s play a let.” Remember, it is each player’s responsibility to call all balls landing on, or aimed at, the player’s side of the net. If a ball can’t be called out with certainty, it is good. When a player says an opponent’s shot was really out but offers to play replay the point to give the opponent a break, it’s clear that the player actually doubted that the ball was out.
- Calls when looking across a line or when far away. Either partner may make calls in doubles, however, the call of a player looking down a line is much more likely to be accurate than that of a player looking across a line. When you are looking across a line, don’t call a ball out unless you can clearly see part of the court between where the ball hit and the line. It is difficult for a player who stands on one baseline to question a call on a ball that landed near the other baseline.
- Treat all points the same regardless of their importance. All points in a match should be treated the same. There is no justification for considering a match point differently than the first point.
- Requesting opponent’s help. When an opponent’s opinion is requested and the opponent gives a positive opinion, it must be accepted. If neither player has an opinion, the ball is considered good. Aid from an opponent is available only on a call that ends a point.
- Out calls reversed. A player who calls a ball out shall reverse the call if the player becomes uncertain or realizes that the ball was good. The point goes to the opponent and shall not be replayed. However, when a receiver reverses a fault call on a serve that hit the net, the server is entitled to retake his or her serve.
- Player calls own shots out. With the exception of the first serve, a player should call against himself or herself any ball the player clearly sees out regardless of whether requested to do so by the opponent. The prime objective in making calls is accuracy. All players should cooperate to attain this objective.
- Partners’ disagreement on calls. If one partner calls the ball out and the other partner sees the ball good, the ball is good. It is more important to give your opponents the benefit of the doubt than to avoid possibly hurting your partner’s feelings by not overruling. The tactful way to achieve the desired result is to tell your partner quietly of the mistake and then let your partner concede the point. If a call is changed from out to good, the principles of Code §12
- Audible or visible calls. No matter how obvious it is to a player that the opponent’s ball is out, the opponent is entitled to a prompt audible or visible out call.
- Opponent’s calls questioned. When a player genuinely doubts an opponent’s call, the player may ask: “Are you sure of your call?” If the opponent reaffirms that the ball was out, the call shall be accepted. If the opponent acknowledges uncertainty, the opponent loses the point. There shall be no further delay or discussion.
- Spectators never make calls. A player shall not enlist the aid of a spectator in making a call. No spectator has a part in a match.
- Prompt calls eliminate two chance option. A player shall make all calls promptly after the ball has hit the court. A call shall be made either before the player’s return shot has gone out of play or before the opponent has had the opportunity to play the return shot. Prompt calls will quickly eliminate the “two chances to win the point” option that some players practice. To illustrate, a player is advancing to the net for an easy put away and sees a ball from an adjoining court rolling toward the court. The player continues to advance and hits the shot, only to have the supposed easy put away fly over the baseline. The player then claims a let. The claim is not valid because the player forfeited the right to call a let by choosing instead to play the ball. The player took a chance to win or lose and is not entitled to a second chance.
- Let called when balls roll on the court. When a ball from an adjacent court enters the playing area, any player shall call a let as soon as the player becomes aware of the ball. The player loses the right to call a let if the player unreasonably delays in making the call.
- Touches, hitting ball before it crosses net, invasion of opponent’s court, double hits, and double bounces. A player shall promptly acknowledge if: a ball touches the player; • the player touches the net; • the player touches the player’s opponent’s court; • the player hits a ball before it crosses the net; • the player deliberately carries or double hits the ball; or • the ball bounces more than once in the player’s court.
- Balls hit through the net or into the ground. A player shall make the ruling on a ball that the player’s opponent hits: through the net; or • into the ground before it goes over the net.
- Calling balls on clay courts. If any part of the ball mark touches the line on a clay court, the ball shall be called good. If you can see only part of the mark on the court, this means that the missing part is on the line or tape. A player should take a careful second look at any point-ending placement that is close to a line on a clay court. Occasionally a ball will strike the tape, jump, and then leave a full mark behind the line. The player should listen for the sound of the ball striking the tape and look for a clean spot on the tape near the mark. If these conditions exist, the player should give the point to the opponent.
- Server’s request for third ball. When a server requests three balls, the receiver shall comply when the third ball is readily available. Distant balls shall be retrieved at the end of a game.
- Foot Faults. A player may warn an opponent that the opponent has committed a flagrant foot fault. If the foot faulting continues, the player may attempt to locate an official. If no official is available, the player may call flagrant foot faults. Compliance with the foot fault rule is very much a function of a player’s personal honor system. The plea that a Server should not be penalized because the server only just touched the line and did not rush the net is not acceptable. Habitual foot faulting, whether intentional or careless, is just as surely cheating as is making a deliberate bad line call.
- Service calls in doubles. In doubles the receiver’s partner should call the service line, and the receiver should call the sideline and the center service line. Nonetheless, either partner may call a ball that either clearly sees.
- Service calls by serving team. Neither the server nor server’s partner shall make a fault call on the first service even if they think it is out because the receiver may be giving the server the benefit of the doubt. There is one exception. If the receiver plays a first service that is a fault and does not put the return in play, the server or server’s partner may make the fault call. The server and the server’s partner shall call out any second serve that either clearly sees out.
- Service let calls. Any player may call a service let. The call shall be made before the return of serve goes out of play or is hit by the server or the server’s partner. If the serve is an apparent or near ace, any let shall be called promptly.
- Obvious faults. A player shall not put into play or hit over the net an obvious fault. To do so constitutes rudeness and may even be a form of gamesmanship. On the other hand, if a player does not call a serve a fault and gives the opponent the benefit of a close call, the server is not entitled to replay the point.
- Receiver readiness. The receiver shall play to the reasonable pace of the server. The receiver should make no effort to return a serve when the receiver is not ready. If a player attempts to return a serve (even if it is a “quick” serve), then the receiver (or Receiving team) is presumed to be ready.
- Delays during service. When the server’s second service motion is interrupted by a ball coming onto the court, the server is entitled to two serves. When there is a delay between the first and second serves: the server gets one serve if the server was the cause of the delay; • the server gets two serves if the delay was caused by the Receiver or if there was outside interference.The time it takes to clear a ball that comes onto the court between the first and second serves is not considered sufficient time to warrant the server receiving two serves unless this time is so prolonged as to constitute an interruption. The receiver is the judge of whether the delay is sufficiently prolonged to justify giving the server two serves.
- Server announces score. The server shall announce the game score before the first point of the game and the point score before each subsequent point of the game.
- Disputes. Disputes over the score shall be resolved by using one of the following methods, which are listed in the order of preference: count all points and games agreed upon by the players and replay only the disputed points or games; • play from a score mutually agreeable to all players; • spin a racket or toss a coin.
- Talking during a point. A player shall not talk while the ball is moving toward the opponent’s side of the court. If the player’s talking interferes with an opponent’s ability to play the ball, the player loses the point. Consider the situation where a player hits a weak lob and loudly yells at his or her partner to get back. If the shout is loud enough to distract an opponent, then the opponent may claim the point based on a deliberate hindrance. If the opponent chooses to hit the lob and misses it, the opponent loses the point because the opponent did not make a timely claim of hindrance.
- Feinting with the body. A player may feint with the body while the ball is in play. A player may change position at any time, including while the server is tossing the ball. Any movement or sound that is made solely to distract an opponent, including, but not limited, to waving the arms or racket or stamping the feet, is not allowed.
- Lets due to hindrance. A let is not automatically granted because of hindrance. A let is authorized only if the player could have made the shot had the player not been hindered. A let is also not authorized for a hindrance caused by something within a player’s control. For example, a request for a let because the player tripped over the player’s own hat should be denied.
- Grunting. A player should avoid grunting and making other loud noises. Grunting and other loud noises may bother not only opponents but also players on adjacent courts. In an extreme case, an opponent or a player on an adjacent court may seek the assistance of the Referee or a Roving Umpire. The Referee or official may treat grunting and the making of loud noises as a hindrance. Depending upon the circumstance, this could result in a let or loss of point.
- Injury caused by a player. When a player accidentally injures an opponent, the opponent suffers the consequences. Consider the situation where the server’s racket accidentally strikes the receiver and incapacitates the receiver. The receiver is unable to resume play within the time limit. Even though the server caused the injury, the server wins the match by retirement. On the other hand, when a player deliberately injures an opponent and affects the opponent’s ability to play, then the opponent wins the match by default. Hitting a ball or throwing a racket in anger is considered a deliberate act.
WHEN TO CONTACT AN OFFICIAL
- Withdrawing from a match or tournament. A player shall not enter a tournament and then withdraw when the player discovers that tough opponents have also entered. A player may withdraw from a match or tournament only because of injury, illness, or personal emergency. A player who cannot play a match shall notify the Referee at once so that the opponent may be saved a trip. A player who withdraws from a tournament is not entitled to the return of the entry fee unless the player withdrew more than six days before the start of the tournament.
- Stalling. The following actions constitute stalling: warming up longer than the allotted time; • playing at about one-third a player’s normal pace; • taking more than 90 seconds on the odd-game changeover; or more than 120 seconds on the Set Break. • taking longer than the authorized 10 minutes during a rest period; • starting a discussion or argument in order for a player to catch his or her breath; • clearing a missed first service that doesn’t need to be cleared; and • excessive bouncing of the ball before any serve.A player who encounters a problem with stalling should contact an official. Stalling is subject to penalty under the Point Penalty System.
- Requesting an official. While normally a player may not leave the playing area, the player may contact the Referee or a Roving Umpire to request assistance. Some reasons for visiting the Referee include: stalling; • chronic flagrant foot faults; • a Medical Time-Out; • a scoring dispute; and • a pattern of bad calls. A player may refuse to play until an official responds.
- Retrieving stray balls. Each player is responsible for removing stray balls and other objects from the player’s end of the court. A player’s request to remove a ball from the opponent’s court must be honored. A player shall not go behind an adjacent court to retrieve a ball, nor ask a player for return of a ball from players on an adjacent court until their point is over. When a player returns a ball that comes from an adjacent court, the player shall wait until their point is over and then return it directly to one of the players, preferably the server.
- Catching a ball. If a player catches a ball before it bounces, the player loses the point regardless of where the player is standing.
- New balls for a third set. When a tournament specifies new balls for a third set, new balls shall be used unless all players agree otherwise.
- Clothing and equipment malfunction. If clothing or equipment, other than a racket, becomes unusable through circumstances outside the control of the player, play may be suspended for a reasonable period. The player may leave the court after the point is over to correct the problem. If a racket or string is broken, the player may leave the court to get a replacement, but the player is subject to code violations under the Point Penalty System.
- Placement of towels. Place towels on the ground outside the net post or at the back fence. Clothing and towels should never be placed on the net.
United States POP Tennis Association
United States POP Tennis Association's Officers
POP Tennis President
POP Tennis Executive Advisory Board
POP Tennis Executive Vice Presidents (In alphabetical order of last name):
POP Legends - POP Tennis Hall of Fame Members
These are individuals who have been inducted either because they were the very top POP Tennis players or because they have made significant contributions to our sport.
POP TENNIS HALL OF FAME RECIPIENTS
|Murray Geller||Greg Lawrence||Hillary Hilton-Marold||Ken Lindner|
|Buddy Davis||Jackie Heller||Rick Beckendorf||Barbara May|
|Jack Riskell||Mike Lege||Jeff Lerner||Clay Oxford|
|Henry Dunham||Alan Call||John Reynolds||Annabelle Rogan|
|Norman Marshank||Ralph Bleak||Dale Williams||Javier Santos|
|York Hafner||Louise Luber||Steve Magit|
|Doris Castaneda||Marvin Gross|
|Bobby Riggs||Harold Kempler|
|Mike Gansell||Diane Pirie Cockerill|
|Cheryl Craig||Nels Van Patten|
|Brian Lee||Greg Peebles|
News, Notes, & Events
The POP Tennis community is deeply saddened, as Mark Rifenbark, passed away today. Mark, who was known as “Rifey” and “The Flying Dutchman”, will be missed by all who knew him. Mark was one of the very few POP Tennis players, who won the National Open POP Tennis...read more
The St. Augustine POP Tennis Association hosts the Annual National Beach POP Tennis Championship. This year will mark our 44th annual event. Last year’s tournament was a huge success and we expect even better things from this year’s tournament. In addition to...read more
On Saturday, April 16th, the wonderful people in Ojai, are holding their annual, Ojai POP Tennis Doubles Tournament. As many of you know, the Ojai courts are nestled in a beautiful park that moves the soul. Additionally, the Tournament Committee in Ojai, cannot be...read more
April 2nd- 3rd, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks is proud to host the Venice Beach Spring Doubles POP Tennis Tournament at the Venice Beach Recreation Center! Call the LARP for more information: 310-399-2775read more
Dear Ken, The call I received from you this morning really excited my day by reinforcing why “POP Tennis” helps me to get up and start my day and why we want to help in promoting our sport! When I wrote you back in January to thank you for the inspiration you have...read more
Hi, My Dear Friends, I hope that you and those you love are well.This past week, I was invited to speak at The International Tennis Symposium, at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (I paid my own way:) ) The convention was HUGE, with, I am told, attendees coming from...read more
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (Jan. 20, 2016) — The tennis industry has promoted play on shorter 36-foot and 60-foot tennis courts for a number of years versus the full-size 78-foot tennis court. The shorter courts help players of all ages get active and learn the game in...read more
The United States POP Tennis Association, Inc. is pleased to announce, that we have been advised, that POP Tennis courts are now ready for play in New Zealand. We are excited for New Zealanders to enjoy our wonderful sport!read more
Here is a beautiful picture of one of the eye-catching POP Tennis-Pickleball Combo-Courts, that POP Tennis Hall-of-Famer, Mike Gansell, arranged to have built at the resort to which he belongs, PGA National. These courts, will be wonderful models for identical courts...read more
Charlotte Fleitman, the mother of Jeff and Steve Fleitman, both stellar sons and POP Tennis players, passed away last week. I knew Charlotte as a youngster, and she was always kind, gracious, and highly-encouraging. The POP Tennis community wishes Jeff, Steve, and...read more
Worldwide POP Tennis Ambassador, Vahe Assadourian, will be introducing POP Tennis to China next week. Vahe will be taking racquets, nets, and POP Tennis Rules, which have been translated into Chinese. Thank you, to Will Segar, who has asked his brother to do the...read more
On Thursday, October 8, POP Tennis was introduced to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, with a stellar exhibition and clinic. This event was brilliantly envisioned and orchestrated by Jerry Pham. The extremely talented and charismatic team of "A2", Austin Doerner and Austin...read more
As a result of compelling POP Tennis television exposure, and the excellent information and insights given by our "Head of POP Tennis Special Projects,” John Coray, the plan is for POP Tennis to come to New Zealand, in the very near future.read more
POP Tennis Teaching Professionals To Create A POP Tennis Professional Instruction Certification Manual
POP Tennis and Tennis Teaching Professionals will soon be collaborating to create a POP Tennis Professional Instruction Manual, which will set forth information and criteria for certification of POP Tennis Teaching Professionals. The goal of this Certification...read more
Doerner Brothers Win 6th Open Doubles Titles In A Row; Stillman and Miller Win “A” National Doubles Championship
On Saturday, September 26th, Austin and Scott Doerner won the 2015, United States POP Tennis Association’s, Men’s Open Doubles Championship, winning their 6th straight National Doubles title. They defeated, one of POP Tennis’ all-time, top teams, Scott Freedman and...read more
Hall of Fame POP Tennis player, Mike Gansell, is the visionary and catalyst for bringing POP Tennis/Pickleball Combo-Courts to the PGA National Club, in West Palm Beach, Florida. These courts will be the models for Combo-Courts to be built throughout the country and...read more
Congratulations to Mitch Kutner & Evan Swarztrauber, winners of the Open Division at the Annual Marvin Freed Memorial Peter Cooper-Stuyvesant Town POP Tennis doubles tournament in New York City. A field of twenty one teams started the day. Kutner and...read more
The annual Marvin Freed Memorial Peter Cooper-Stuyvesant Town POP Tennis doubles tournament will take place at Playground 5 in Stuyvesant Town (14th Street/Avenue B) on Saturday, September 19, and Sunday, September 20. Please contact Mitch Kutner for details:...read more
Jerry Pham, is putting together a fantastic POP Tennis Exhibition in Dallas, Texas, October 8th. This event will be held in conjunction with a Futures Tennis Tournament. We expect that this event will receive TV coverage. Thank you, Jerry, for your stellar work!read more
Mitchell Ball, who is the South Florida POP Tennis Ambassador, is bringing POP Tennis to both Miami and South Florida. He will be holding a POP Tennis event in Miami, on September 23rd, which will be covered by WSVN, Channel 7. We are all excited about what Mitchell...read more
In New York City, this past Sunday, Brian Wan and Melissa Tu defeated Mitch Kutner and Jason Freed, 8-5, in the finals of the William “Buddy” Henry Memorial POP Tennis Doubles Tournament. The tourney was held at the Silver Gull Beach Club in front of a big crowd....read more
POP Tennis to hold the William “Buddy” Henry Memorial POP Tennis Doubles Tournament, Sunday, August 30th, at 10AM, at the Silver Gull Beach Club, in Breezy Point, New York. William Henry was an heroic fireman, who gave his life in the 9/11 attack. For information...read more
Children from the Jonathan, Beach and Bel Air Bay clubs gathered for their annual day on the pop tennis courts. They were supervised, coached and mentored by club athletic directors and top pop pros. A fantastic time was had by all. POP Tennis extends a big "Thank...read more
On Saturday, July 20th, pop tennis held an exhibition at the BHCC. Exciting and enjoyable matches were played, and pop pros hit with and instructed BHCC members. POP Tennis sincerely appreciates being invited to to the BHCC to show members our great game.read more
Scott Doerner and Doug Kolker, and Mike Cohen and Bill Brothers win Open and “A" Division LA City Doubles POP Tennis Championships, respectively. Major congratulations to all those who participated and ran this first class, POP Tennis event.read more
Venice Schedule: L.A. City Doubles July 11 and 12th US Open National Singles August 22 and 23rd Fall Classic Mixed Doubles September 12 and 13th POP Tennis US Open Doubles September 26 and...read more
The POP Tennis World Mourns the Passing Of Dick Van Patten: Beloved Husband, Father, and Renown Actor
POP Tennis mourns the passing of a stellar human being and father to two top POP Tennis players, Vinny and Nels Van Patten, who are also top-drawer individuals and sportsmen. We know that Dick was an amazing dad, because he produced such great sons. We will all miss...read more
The Associated Press (AP) will be doing a story that will be fed to two hundred fifty networks throughout the world entitled, "The Boom of the Hot New Sport, POP Tennis."read more
"Today" show does a major POP Tennis story on the POP Tennis "craze!" Watch it here!read more
KTLA and its sister station in San Diego broadcasted POP Tennis stories today. Here in Los Angeles, KTLA aired four live POP Tennis segments!read more
KSWB in San Diego, California, airs POP Tennis story, "POP Tennis Craze Sweeping the Nation."read more
WCBS-TV in New York City, airs POP Tennis story entitled "Sport of POP Tennis Taking off in New York."read more
Brian Wan (Harvard) defeats 2-time, defending champion, Jordan Murray (Duke) in NYC POP Tennis Singles Finals.read more
Two Jacksonville, Florida stations, WJAX and WJXT, air POP Tennis stories highlighting the 43rd Annual National Beach POP Tennis Tournament, held in St. Augustine, Florida.read more
Local station KEYT in Santa Barbara, California, aired a story entitled, "POP Tennis, Becomes Next Big Hit." This story highlights Ojai POP Tennis, as well as women's and children's POP...read more
Jimmy Dunne, John Myers, Roland Sunga, and POP Tennis President, Ken Lindner, announced that the United States POP Tennis Association will now be affiliating with the prestigious Children's California POP Tennis Conference.read more
KNBC Channel 4 airs POP Tennis story discussing its Children’s Empowering Movement along with POP Tennis’ new affiliation with the California POP Tennis Conference. Watch it in our media section or on the KNBC website!read more
In a meeting of approximately fifty individuals during the POP Tennis launch meeting, Ken Lindner was unanimously elected President of the United State POP Tennis Association (PTA).read more
This event is postponed until later in the Summer - check back for more updates!read more
The New York Chapter of POP Tennis, is holding it's annual Singles Tournament, Saturday, May 16th, and Sunday, May 17th, at Stuyvesant Town, New York City. Should you want to enter this great tourney, please contact Steve Farhood (email@example.com), or Mitch Kutner...read more
Regretfully, POP Tennis mourns the loss of one of the East Coast's most popular POP Tennis players, Artie "Albany" Velcoff, who passed this week. We will dearly miss him.read more
Saturday, May 2nd, at Venice Beach, the POP Tennis Hall of Fame, will hold its annual Hall of Fame Doubles Tournament. Should you want to enter or get more information, please contact: John Coray (firstname.lastname@example.org).read more
The 2015 POP Tennis Hall of Fame inductees will be Harold Kempler, Diane Pirie Cockerill, Nels Van Patten, and Greg Peebles. Please join the festivities at the Venice Beach POP Tennis Courts, May 2nd, 2015, at noon!read more
The Good Day LA team was broadcasting live from Venice Beach this Friday, with Sandra Endo joining some POP Tennis all-stars as they took Los Angeles viewers through the basics of POP Tennis. Here is a clip from the...read more
Stephanie Simmons and the KCBS news crew spent the morning at the Venice Beach POP Tennis courts shooting a segment for the 5 o'clock news hour. The crew shot over a half hour of doubles points and filmed not only the Venice Beach POP Tennis enthusiasts, but players...read more
This month’s “POP Player Profiles” shines its spotlight on three players: Two mega-stars of today, Austin and Scott Doerner, the current #1 Open Pop Tennis doubles team in the country, and Hilary Hilton-Marold, a member of the POP Tennis Hall...read more
The Annual National Beach POP Tennis Tournament, in St. Augustine, Florida, will once again be held over Memorial Day weekend. It will be run by Team WIT, a group of “Women in Training” who do “Whatever it Takes” to run an excellent tournament and make everyone feel...read more
Our website is officially active! Please take the time to enjoy the POP Tennis videos at the top of the page, read the articles on the sport, or peruse our picture gallery. Check back in the news section for more POP Tennis updates!read more
The POP Shop
Use the code “poptennis16” at checkout and receive 10% off your Drop Shot purchase!
Let Sport Court build your POP Tennis court! For over 40 years, Sport Court has built over 100,000 courts worldwide in more than 100 countries on all seven continents, making them the World’s Largest Court Builder ™.
POP Tennis can be played on almost twenty thousand courts across the US, but finding a court can sometimes be a challenge. Use the link below to take the stress out of searching for a court so you can have fun playing the sport we all love!
Grab your racquet, a friend, and a (red, orange, or green dot) ball, because playing POP Tennis just got a whole lot easier Here’s more information on POP Tennis adopting the USTA’s 36 and 60 foot courts.