Rule Submission TitleClarify time limit for appeals to the referee
USAP Board VoteFailure Confirmed
USAP Rules Committee VoteFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonThe signing of the scoresheet at the end of the match as the time period for an appeal is not appropriate since the scoresheet is only signed by one team. The ball is dead after a line call. Similar to the reason for disapproval of #954, there is nothing inherently unfair about making an appeal anytime before the start of the next rally.
Existing Rule #13.5
Proposed Rule Change

Players should not question or comment on an opponent’s call, although any player may appeal a rally-ending line call to the referee before the next serve occurs.

New sub clause for 13.F

13.F.3. The last line call of a rally  (or non-call for an in ball) may be appealed to the referee up until the next serve. An appeal on the last rally of the match may be made until the scoresheet is signed.

Original Rule Text

The Players

Players should not question or comment on an opponent’s call, although any player may appeal a rally-ending line call to the referee before the next serve occurs.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

Rule 6.D.7 controls how long a player has to make a line call.  There are some scenarios where the player is unable to make the correct call in time.  If we place those same limits on their ability to appeal a call or non-call, the wrong call will be made.  We have  underlying premise that we want the correct call to be made.  We don't want a player to lose a rally on a technicality.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

1) Challenge after a timeout

Player A hits a ball close to their opponent's sideline.  Player B calls the ball out.  Player A does not immediately appeal the call, but takes a timeout in frustration.  A spectator talks to Player A during the timeout and says that the ball was in and that Player A should appeal the call.  Player A makes the appeal and the referee overrules the out call because they clearly saw it in.

2) Out ball on an ATP attempt that hits the post

Player A hits a ball close to Player B's sideline.  Player B commits to an ATP attempt and hits the ball even though it bounced out.  The ball immediately hits the post and is dead, before the player registers that it is out and makes an out call.  Per rule 6.D.7, Player B has lost the ability to call that ball out, even though it was.  By rule, the shot by Player A was in and Player B loses the rally. This rule will allow Player B to appeal the non-call to the ref and win the rally the because the ref saw it clearly out.

3) Out ball on an ATP attempt that goes out on the opponent's side

Player A hits a ball close to Player B's sideline.  Player B commits to an ATP attempt and hits the ball even though it bounced out.  The ATP attempt goes wide and Player A calls it out.  Per rule 6.D.7, Player B has lost the ability to call their ball out, even though it was.  By rule, the shot by Player A was in and Player B loses the rally because Player A called Player B's ATP attempt out.  The new rule would NOT allow Player B to appeal the out ball from Player A because it was not the last line call of the rally.

4) Baseline out ball hit into the net

Singles Player A hits a ball close to Player B's baseline.  Player B is on the other side of the court and madly rushes to get the ball to return it.  Player B strikes the ball into the net, stumbling as they do so.  When Player B recovers, they realize that the ball was out, but due to 6.D.7 they cannot call the ball out since it is dead.  This new rule allows them to appeal their non-call to the referee.  If the ref clearly saw the ball out, they can override the default in call.

Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID1000
Date CreatedMarch 28, 2023
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