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  • Writer's pictureBen Lacy

Don't Get Caught In The Net!

QUESTION: I was playing a tough game the other day and during one of the rally's, a player on the other team dinked one of those shots that always surprises everyone. The ball looked like it balanced on top of the net, then rolled toward net post before finally coming onto our side and falling toward the court. Somehow, my partner was able to get to the ball before it bounced, popped it up enough to make it go back over in a beautiful lob in the back corner. My partner then stumbled very near the net post in their effort. Our opponents were able to hit the ball back, but it hit the net and did not come back over onto our side. Since my partner was in the act of picking themselves up and I was the only one covering our side, I was relieved that the ball did not come back over. As soon as the ball hit the net, I looked at my partner and noticed he was using the net post to support himself while getting up.

I know that touching the net during a rally is a fault, but since our opponent's shot did not come back over, we claimed we won the rally and continued playing. Were we right in saying that we won?

ANSWER: Over the years, I have frequently observed players interacting with the net system during a rally. In your scenario, there are two rules to think about both from Section 7 - Fault Rules.

7.B. Hitting the ball into the player’s side of the net without the ball crossing over to the opponent’s side. Note: The ball is dead and the fault occurs the moment the ball hits the ground.


7.G. A player, a player’s apparel, or a player’s paddle contacting the net system, the net posts, or the opponent’s court, when the ball is in play.

According to your description, since the ball had not yet touched the "ground" before your partner touched the net post, your team committed the fault and should have lost the rally. Had your partner waited another second or so before touching the net post, you would have won the rally.

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