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

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Throwing a Racquet
by Sam

Q: In November, my partner and I were playing a tournament match (not a Grand Prix event). There was no offical present or available. Our opponent was having a bad day and was totally out-of-control. Finally, in another fit of anger, he threw his racquet at the net; however it missed the net, came over to our side in frisbee style and hit my partner as he was walking back to the baseline. The spinning racquet, unbelievably, hit my partners's elbow. it was very painful and he was not the same after this incident, AND we lost. The tournament stated that because the hitting of my partner was an accident and not thrown with the intent to injur my partner, we had no comlpaint. I think that the tournament officals were incorrect. Who's right? Thanks

A: If the event happened as you have discribed they were wrong! As you were playing under "The Code of Tennis" (no offical was present) Rule 37 clearly states that "if a player deliberately injures an opponent, and it affects the opponent's ability to play than the injuried opponent (in your case team) wins the match by default". It goes on to state that "Hitting the ball and throwing a racket in anger is considered a deliberate act". I don't know if it will help you now but ask the tournament offical to read rule 37 in the "Code of Tennis" which can be found in the "Friend of Court" which can also be found on the USTA's web site under subheading "Rules of Tennis" Also in most cases if an offical was present and witnessed this act the player would have been defaulted immediately under the Point Pentalty System.
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