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  • Writer's pictureBen Lacy

But My Partner Pushed Me In!!!

Question: The strangest thing happened today during rec play in my gentlemen’s group. I call it that but it’s really a group of 60+ (age wise) guys and most are far from gentlemanly…I mean that with love.

Anyway, on one point, our opponent and his partner were going for a volley near the NVZ. One of them hit the ball, then his momentum carried him over into the path of his partner, who was also moving. Their collision, mild as it was, caused the player who hit the ball to lose his balance.

WHILE HE WAS LOSING THEN REGAINING HIS BALANCE, the ball he hit went between me and my partner then rolled against the fence behind us.

While my partner was recovering the ball, the opponent that hit the volley finally stepped into the NVZ. My partner called it a foot fault, but is that possible even after the ball (that we clearly did not return) is dead? The player who stepped into the NVZ argued that it was his partner (who did not hit the volley) that pushed him into the NVZ and not his momentum.



The short answer is “YES.”  It is a fault on the player that volleyed the ball. Your partner was correct in calling it on the opponent. Foot faults are the only faults we as players, in an unofficiated game, may call on our opponents. Let’s look at the rules.

9.B. It is a fault if the volleying player or anything that has contact with the volleying player while in the act of volleying touches the non-volley zone. For players using wheelchairs, the front (smaller) wheels may touch the non-volley zone.

9.B.1. The act of volleying the ball includes the swing, the follow-through, and the momentum from the action.

9.C. During the act of volleying, it is a fault if the volleying player’s momentum causes the player to contact anything that is touching the non-volley zone, including the player’s partner. For players using wheelchairs, the front (smaller) wheels may touch the non-volley zone.

9.C.1. It is a fault even if the ball becomes dead before the player contacts the non-volley zone.

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