Rule Submission TitlePartner line calls
USAP Board Voting StatusNot voted upon
USAP Rules Committee Voting StatusFail
IFP Voting StatusAverage: 3.1 Detail:1,0,0,10,0,10,1
Existing Rule #6.D.9
Original Rule Text

6.D.9. In doubles play, if one player calls the ball “out” and the partner calls it “in,” then doubt exists and the team’s call will be “in.” Any player may appeal a call to the referee. If the referee did not see the ball, the ball is considered in.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Hi there,

I haven’t seen the email string that led to me being cc’ed, but as Mark asked, I’ll contribute my thoughts on this.

Currently, as far as I’m aware, the only part of the rulebook that clarifies line calls specifically in doubles play is Rule 6.D.9, which says:

In doubles play, if one player calls the ball “out” and the partner calls it “in,” then doubt exists and the team’s call will be “in.” Any player may appeal a call to the referee. If the referee did not see the ball, the ball is considered in.

The problem is that the rule does not address what happens when one player calls the ball “out” and the partner is unsure of whether the ball was in or out. This situation occurs at least as frequently as situations where both partners make definitive calls that conflict with each other, which is fully covered in Rule 6.D.9.

So, if one player makes an “out” call and the other partner is unsure, what should happen? There are two equally plausible interpretations:

Interpretation #1: Since the only player who saw the ball land clearly enough to make a definitive call made an “out” call, the ball is OUT.
Interpretation #2: Since one player saw it out, but the partner is unsure whether it was in or out, this is essentially a “disagreement on the line call”, in which case the ball should be called IN for the opponents.

That’s why I proposed adding the rule Mark mentioned, to address this situation; it resolves the conflict by enforcing Interpretation #1:

"Notwithstanding Rule 6.D.9, if a player does not clearly see a ball as "in" or "out" but the player's partner makes a definitive line call, the partner's line call stands."

I hope that all makes sense. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Cheers,
Dave Klein

Notes:

6.D.6 says that if the opponents (plural) can’t make the call, the ball is assumed in. In this scenario, one player makes an out call and the 2nd doesn’t make a call at all. So, is there really conflict or doubt?

Would we address this request by adding a new rule that states that ‘I am not sure’ is not a line call?

6.D.9.a: If one doubles player does not make a call because they are not 100% sure of what they saw, a clear call by their partner will stand.

Rule Book Year2022
Rule Change ID19
Date CreatedMay 29, 2021
View Comments View Comments