Rule Submission Title3.A.18 Line Call
USAP Board VoteFailure Confirmed
USAP Rules Committee VoteFailed
USAP Rules Committee Vote ReasonThis has not been a widespread problem. The specific word is not the issue. The issue is that the players and referees need to identify the timing of the call: before or after the ball bounces. Expecting all players to only use the term "out" is not feasible since players commonly use other words to indicate "out" in other sports. The confusion regarding out calls frequently centers more around not being able to hear a verbal call, usually due to other noises or low voice volume by the player who made the call, or not seeing a hand signal made by a player.
Existing Rule #3.A.18
Proposed Rule Change

3.A.18. Line Call – A loud word(s) spoken by a player or line judge(s) to indicate to the referee and/or players that a live ball has not landed in the required court space.  The word to indicate a line call is “OUT”.  Distinctive hand signals can be used in conjunction with a line call.

Legislative format showing the changes to the original rule.

3.A.18. Line Call – A loud word(s) spoken by a player or line judge(s) to indicate to the referee and/or players that a live ball has not landed in the required court space.
The preferred word to indicate a line call is “OUT”.  Distinctive hand signals can be used in conjunction with a line call. Words such as “wide”, “long”, “no”, “deep” are also acceptable.

Original Rule Text

3.A.18. Line Call – A loud word(s) spoken by a player or line judge(s) to indicate to the referee and/or players that a live ball has not landed in the required court space.
The preferred word to indicate a line call is “OUT”.  Distinctive hand signals can be used in conjunction with a line call. Words such as “wide”, “long”, “no”, “deep” are also acceptable.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change

The word "out" should be a "reserved" word that is ONLY used for Line Calls.  Likewise, the ONLY word that should be used for Line Calls is "out."  Players should communicate uniformly on the Court and using ONLY "out" for Line Calls will communicate to all players that the ball is dead and that the point is over.  Players cause confusion when players use words other than "out" for Line Calls.

Scenarios In Which the Rules Applies

There are many instances when the use of the words “wide”, “long”, “no”, and “deep” are not audible or easily understood by the opponent and the opponent thinks that the ball is still in play because the ball was not called "Out."  Accordingly, because the Line Call is not understood, players attempt to keep playing the point, even when the point is over.

Rule Book Year2024
Rule Change ID941
Date CreatedMarch 15, 2023
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