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.

Sound and Fury:

"I have had many complaints from my opponents, and sometimes from adjacent courts, about my groans when I hit a shot. They claim it is an obstruction. I honestly cannot prohibit my exhale of a sound. If it is on my side of court, how can anyone complain?"

—Lisa Capicchioni, Bedford, N.H.

A grunt simultaneous with striking the ball typically is not cause for an opponent to claim they are being hindered. The Code, #37, cautions that “a player should avoid grunting” and The Code, #41, follows up by saying that “extreme grunting” is a reason a player may seek an official. The Code, #37, notes that “only an official may rule” that grunting is a hindrance.

That said, if you regularly have opponents and nearby players complaining about the noise you are making, you might want to tone it down. Remember that under The Code, #1, “Courtesy is expected.”

Rebel Good

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