Brian Dimsho is a USTA certified official and the resident official of the Orange County Grand Prix.
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Foot Fault Protocol
: In a recent Grand Prix final, the opposing team called a foot fault on my first serve in my first service game of the match. Very surprised, I didn't question their call, nor the several that followed. (I knew one of the opponents slightly so I trusted their call.) After the match, another player called to my attention Comment 18.6 of the Rules, which says "the receiver or the receiver's partner may call foot faults after all efforts (warning the server and attempting to locate an official) have failed . . . ."
Should my opponents have complied with 18.6? Other than accepting their call as I did, what were my alternatives?A
: In a match where no Offical is present and you run up against a player that is "Foot Faulting" you should first inform the player that he or she is Foot Faulting to give them a chance to correct the problem. If you are not successful with that attempt, you should stop play and contact the on-site offical (and an excelent official is on site at most of the OC Grand Prixs) he or she will come to the court and call the Foot Faults on any of the offending player(s). Only if no Offical is present at the match and only after you have attempted to have the player correct the problem can the other team or player call a Foot Fault on the other player. So yes comment 18.6 should have been applied. Also work on correcting that Foot Fault problem.