|Rule Submission Title
|The "out" debacle and contradiction
|USAP Board Vote Reason
|USAP Rules Committee Vote Reason
|Passed 1) Passed last year by the rules committee but overridden by the board
|Existing Rule #
|Proposed Rule Change
I urge you to remove 6.D.7 or make it guidance, not a requirement. If that is too great a change, at worst, it'd be great to see it revised to:
Players shall not call the ball "out" unless the
|Original Rule Text
6.C. A ball contacting the playing surface completely outside of the court is out.
6.D.7 Players shall not call the ball "out" unless they can clearly see a space between the line and the ball as it hits the ground.
|Reasoning Behind Suggested Change
Firstly, there's the contradiction wherein an out ball is defined in 6.C. as the ball contacting the playing surface completely outside of the court but later requires players to see space between the line and ball. It's insulting in some scenarios and only works to the advantage of those who would've cheated before the rule existed. It's causing so much more damage than help, is the root of so much controversy, and only serves to hurt those who were honest in the first place. I don't mind a suggestion or guidance for a code of ethics when uncertain, but to require honest players to call a ball as in when they're certain it's out is too far.
|Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies
Let's just use a quick example. There's plenty more than this but this really helps get the point across. Imagine you go for an around-the-post (atp) so now you're outside of the court, looking back into it. The defender of your atp got their paddle on the ball and hit it back. The play is bang-bang and your partner doesn't see it but it lands nearly an entire ball width out. While the space is obviously there, because you're outside looking in, you can't see it. The height of the ball blocks the space between the ball and line for you. In this scenario, it's clearly out but according to the rules you must call it in. You can't see the space between the line and the ball but it objectively exists. Sure, you can defer to the other team because everyone knows it's out but they plead the 5th, "I didn't really see it, sorry". We need the power in the rules to be able to call that out.
In short, it just hurts the honest players and causes controversy. It's not stopping cheaters but is hurting the rest of us. Tennis doesn't even have this rue
|Rule Book Year
|Rule Change ID
|May 19, 2022