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  • Writer's pictureBen Lacy

Center line; IN or OUT?

Updated: Feb 27

Letter to "Ask the Ref"

My ball hit the center line when I served and the opposing team called it out; I disagreed. Who's correct?


Ben's Response: Thank you for that very commonly asked, but frequently misunderstood question. As I go forward with "Ask The Ref," I will always refer to the current rulebook, including chapter and verse, to clearly show that my answers are not just my opinion, but are in fact related to one or more specific rules. To your point, the rule related to your question Is a served ball that hits the centerline in? has been in the rulebook since the earth cooled, so it still amazes me that some people fail to wrap their brains around this very straightforward concept. According to rule 2.B.4. Service Court. The area beyond the NVZ on either side of the centerline, including the centerline, sideline, and baseline. Notice the that 2.B.4. includes "including the centerline". This means that regardless of which service court is being served to, the center is part of that service court. If the ball on a serve hits that line, it is IN regardless of which service court is being served to. I hope that helps and keep the questions coming. Ben

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