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


Foot position during serve
by Anonymous

Q: I was watching a GP doubles match yesterday. One server (right handed) had a very herky jerky service motion where his right foot would go beyond the centerline during the start of his deuce serve. Most of the time, his right foot would touch the ground on the correct side of the centerline right before he actually hit the service ball, but sometimes he didn't. So the question I have is: At anytime during the service motion, can the servers feet be outside the centerline or the outside lines (singles for singles and doubles for doubles)?

A: I guess the best way to answer this is to quote the Foot Fault Rule direct as written in the "Friend at Court" Rule 18 Reads "During the service motion, the server shall not: a.Change postion by walking or running, although slight movements of the feet are permitted; or b.Touch the baseline or the court with either foot; or c.Touch the area outside the imaginary extension of the sideline with either foot; or d.Touch the imaginary extension of the centre mark with either foot. If the server breaks this rule it is a "Foot Fault" Now you may ask when does a Foot Fault occur? And this has to do with when the "Service Motion" starts? And the USTA comment on this on item 18.3 tells us that a player commits a Foot Fault if after the player's feet are at rest before the player strikes the ball, either foot breaks rule(s) a. b. c. or d. listed above. I hope this helps you better understand this issue Brian
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