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Brian Dimsho
Brian Dimsho is a USTA certified official and the resident official of the Orange County Grand Prix.

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here's a new one...
by Sam

Q: The following scenario actually took place during a tournament match in April. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. John and Bob are playing Doubles against Steve and Mike. Bob hit a shot which sent Steve off the court. After returning the ball, Steve fell down and dropped his racket. While the ball was still in play, Steve realized that his back up racket was closer to him than the racket which he was using. Steve picked up his second racket and continued playing the point. To end the point, Steve hit a winning overhead which was not returned by Bob or John. Bob and John claimed the point because Steve changed rackets in the middle of the point. Steve and Mike claimed the point because Donny hit a winning shot. What is the rule?

A: Well Sam, Steve and Mike lose the point, because according to case 5 of Rule 4 of the "Rules of Tennis". It states that a player may not use more than one racket at any time during play. Play is interpreted to mean "during play of a point" because if the racket had broke from being dropped or a string broke Steve would have been able to change to another racket only after the end of the point. But who is Donny that hit the winning shot? Because my ruleing would change if Bob and John brought in a third player on their team during the play of this point. This must have been an entertaining point to watch. Brian
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