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.

Pocket Protector:

The server hit a good first serve and moved swiftly toward the net. The second ball fell out of his pocket onto the court. He immediately stopped play and claimed a let for an errant ball on the court. I conceded the let, but told him it was a one-time concession: if it happened again, he must either play out the point, or lose it if he stops play. Was this correct?

—Juls Minshall, St. Augustine, Fla.

Yes it was.

While it’s true that an “errant ball” was on the court, that’s no basis for the server to claim a hindrance. Under The Code, #36, “a let is never authorized for a hindrance caused by something within a player’s control.”

The ball was under his “control” in his pocket.

—Rebel Good

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