With the beginning of May comes the perfect weather for playing tennis, and the return of pick-up matches, summer leagues and plenty of recreational tennis action. That also means the return of debates over lines and serves, questionable calls and the perennial query: What does The Code say?

Court of Appeals is here to clear the air. Rebel Good, a past editor of Friend at Court, the USTA’s handbook of rules and regulations, has taught officiating for more than 30 years and will resolve all your rules questions and quarrels.

Off the Mark:

Suppose that a ball is hit from outside the lines on a clay court at an extreme angle. If the ball travels low off the ground, it could skid along the court and leave a very long trail. If the end of this mark touches the line, is the ball good?

Mark Ailes, Lombard, Ill.

There are plenty of clay-court players who will argue that a ball that first hits outside the line, but then skids into it, is out.

“When it hit the court it was out,” they will wail. And they will be wrong.

The Code, #21, is clear on this: “If any part of a ball mark touches a line on a clay court, the ball must be called good.”

Rebel Good

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