TENNIS RULES: Like most other racket and ball sports, tennis regulation is set around a series of points.
The trendy and popular game of tennis first originated in England in the 19th century.
Nowadays, it gets played worldwide and in scores of diverse countries.
The rules and regulations of tennis get used in all 4 major tournaments.
The US Open, Wimbledon Tennis Championship, the French Open, and the Australian tournament make up the four tennis majors.
As a rule, tennis matches get played out by two individuals (called singles games). That said, it is not uncommon to see four players competing on court. There would be two pairs of players and these matches are better known as doubles games.
Either way, singles or doubles will compete on a rectangular court and on opposite sides of a net. Tennis courts are usually made of concrete, clay, or grass.
Learning these simple rules of tennis for serving and rallying the ball means you will be a winner. Remember to check out the tennis terminology section and you won’t get left on the sidelines.
Regulations of Tennis Game
Aim of the Game in Tennis
The objective in tennis is quite simple. But let us make things completely clear to avoid any unforced errors.
Triumphing in tennis gets based on three steps of winning a competition.
- Score enough points to win a game.
- Win enough games to gain a set.
- Gain enough sets to win the match.
Players hit the ball with a stringed racket. They do so from a range of specified positions inside the court markings.
Tennis Court Dimensions and Equipment
The baseline marks the back of the rectangular shaped court. There are two service areas either side of the net. These are the landing zones for successful serves.
Two tram lines run down either side of the court. Singles matches use the inner side tram line whereas doubles games use the outer tram line.
A competition tennis court measures 23.77 meters long (78 feet). It should be 8.23 meters wide (27 feet) for singles matches and 10.97 meters (36 feet) for playing a game of doubles.
Tennis court dimensions are standard for games played on all surfaces. That includes clay, grass, carpet, and hard concrete pitches.
The rules and regulations of tennis govern some basic equipment needed to play the game. Players must use their own stringed racket to play and they will need some tennis balls. As a rule, typical sports attire will suffice.
Note: There are some exceptions such as the Wimbledon clothing rules for male and female players.
Serving Rules in Tennis
The quest for points begins with a ‘serve‘ and the one hitting the ball over the net gets called the server. Player service alternates after each game gets completed. A tennis umpire officiates and regulates all professional level matches.
Servers have two attempts to deliver the ball without error. The ball must land inside the opponent’s service box. If not, the server loses the point.
A ‘let‘ gets called if the ball makes contact with the net but falls into their box. In this case, the serve should then get repeated without a penalty to either player.
A rally of cross-court shots ensue as the players hit the ball back and forth to each other. They must play rallies within the boundaries of the court.
You win a point if the ball bounces more than once in your opponent’s side or if they fail to return it to you.
General Rules and Regulations of Tennis
- Most tennis tournaments begin with a coin toss. Flipping a coin determines which player will serve first and which side of the court to serve from.
- The server will serve the ball and alternate sides on the base line after each point. The server’s feet must not move in front of the baseline before they stroke the ball over the net.
- Failing to get the first serve ‘in‘ means they can take advantage to play a second serve. A double fault gets called if they fail to get their second serve in. The player would lose that point.
- The player who receives the serve can position themselves anywhere they like. The ball must bounce once before returning the serve to avoid losing the point.
- General play can include an unlimited number of strokes between each other after a serve. The aim is to win the point during the rally. You score the point by hitting the ball in such a way that your opponent fails to return it to the scoring areas.
- Points in tennis get awarded in scores represented by 15, 30, and 40. According to the main rules of tennis 15 will represent 1 point, 30 means 2 points, and 40 results in 3 points. Scoring 4 points wins the game.
- Tennis games often land on a score of 40-40 (known as ‘deuce‘ in tennis terminologies). A player needs to win by two (2) consecutive points to win a game after reaching deuce. The 1st point won after a tied position of deuce is ‘advantage‘. Winning the next point means they win the game. But, losing the next point means that particular game returns to deuce.
- A player needs to win 6 games by a margin of at least 2 games to win the set. The opening sets go to a tie break if they finish at 6-6 in games played to 7 points. But, the final set does not play out the typical tie break scenario. Most tennis rules and regulations require a player to win by two clear games. There are no upper limits to playing out this scenario. The Wimbledon Tennis Tournament is famous for tense moments like these.
- You must return the ball into the scoring areas on the court to avoid losing a point. This must take place before the ball bounces twice. You also lose the point if the ball hits the net and fails to drop into the opponent’s area. Players also lose points in tennis by automatic process if:
- They make contact with the net.
- Distract their opponent.
- Impede their opponent’s game in any way.
- The ball is ‘in play‘ even if it hits any part of the boundary lines. But, it gets called ‘out‘ if it lands outside the outer court lines.
- Professional regulations of tennis govern the use of new balls during a match. As a rule, old balls get changed for new balls after every 6 games.
Scoring in Tennis
Each player tries to be the first to score four points and win the game. A simple explanation of the scoring points in tennis would be:
- 15 (one point)
- 30 (two points)
- 40 (three points)
- Winning the ‘fourth point‘ would be the winning point to end that particular game. Special tennis rules apply for games scored at 40-40 (deuce).
Winning a Game of Tennis
As a general rule in tennis there is a maximum of three sets played in the women’s game and five in men’s tennis matches.
To win the game you must win a certain amount of sets (best of three for women’s matches and best of 5 sets for men’s games).
The first player to reach 6 games wins the set providing the margin is by at least 2 games. Thus, you need to win the set at 7-5 if your opponent wins 5 games.
The tennis tie break rules apply to sets reaching a score of 6-6 where the winner is the first player to reach 7 points.
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