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


Her First Time
by ???

Q: By 7 a.m. Bethany could already tell it was going to be a hot and humid day, but she didn't care it was her first tournament as a USTA Official. She was excited and a little anxious to start her new life as she looked to the distinguished tournament director to give her first assignment. He handed her several sets of scorecards on long metal rods telling her to "put these on any courts that don't already have them" and off she went. In fact, only half the courts already had the scorecards. As she put the long metal rods into the waiting holes that were part of the net posts, her mind inexplicably wandered to her once-promising, exciting marriage that somehow had deteriorated to five years of separate lives, lackluster drudgery and subsequent divorce finalized just four months ago. What a charming 35th birthday present that had been! "Ok, Bethany no looking backward- life is ahead of you!" As she raised her head high and made her way back to the tournament desk, she saw several vans, SUV's and shuttles - with the placards of various animal mascots gracing the sides- in the parking lot of the gorgeous resort that was the tournament site. As she neared she was then able to take in the disembarking of the tournament players -- "OMG" she thought as one handsome collegiate player followed another off the shuttles. She stood a little longer than she should thinking "almost any one of these guys makes Brad Pitt look like a Nick Nolte mug shot" (though he did resemble him a bit now anyway). "BETH! Get to work" she chastened herself and dutifully obeyed. The morning progressed uneventfully and she confidently reassured herself that she can do this -- and enjoy it. Then came the call over the radio instructing her to resolve an issue on an outlying court. She rushed out the court 14 to find four players, two coaches and several onlookers debating the issue --- "THE Scorecards are an affixed part of the Net post"... then "But they're removable so they're not permanent" was countered. Bethany was quickly told that on break point that the (adorable italian) player on the deuce side dove for a ball, hit it down the line hitting the scorecards and sharply angled into the court for a clean winner. Then the opposing coach yelled that those scorecards aren't a permanent part of the court so the point is LOST!!!! Why did I have to this question as my first? Bethany hemmed and hawed trying to come up with an answer -- Hadn't she just put those scorecards in this morning??? But weren't they now part of the court? UGH what to do??? She realized she'd just have to bite the bullet and make a decision -- she took a deep breath, and, with all the confidence she could muster, declared to all present...

A: Dear ???. While it was interesting reading about the exploits leading up to Bethany's first big ruling, I think the point of your question being "what happens if a ball in play strikes a scoring device mounted on the net or net post", could have been asked without all the other stuff. But that being said all Bethany would have to say to all present is that "per USTA Comment 13.2 found in the Friend at Court the player or team who hit the scoring device loses the point". And by the way this rule has been changed to include those new scoring devices that mount on the top of the net not just the post mounted type. So it is a good practice to set these type of devices on the ground next to the net post. Brian
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