3.14 - Replay Hinders
A rally is replayed without penalty and the
server resumes play at first serve whenever a replay hinder occurs.
Also, see Rule 3.15 which describes conditions under which a penalty
hinder might be declared and result in loss of the rally.
- Court Hinders. The referee should stop
play immediately whenever the ball hits any part of the court that was
designated prior to the match as a court hinder (such as a vent grate).
The referee should also stop play (i) when the ball takes an irregular
bounce as a result of contacting an irregular surface (such as court
light or vent) or after striking a wet spot on the floor or wall and
(ii) when, in the referee's opinion, the irregular bounce affected the
- Ball Hits Opponent. When an opponent is
hit by a return shot in flight, it is a replay hinder. If the opponent
is struck by a ball that obviously did not have the velocity or
direction to reach the front wall, it is not a hinder, and the player
who hit the ball will lose the rally. A player who has been hit by the
ball can stop play and make the call though the call must be made
immediately and acknowledged by the referee. Note this interference
may, under certain conditions, be declared a penalty hinder. See Rule
- Body Contact. If body contact occurs
which the referee believes was sufficient to stop the rally, either for
the purpose of preventing injury by further contact or because the
contact prevented a player from being able to make a reasonable return,
the referee shall call a hinder. Incidental body contact in which the
offensive player clearly will have the advantage should not be called a
hinder, unless the offensive player obviously stops play. Contact with
the racquet on the follow-through normally is not considered a hinder
for either player.
- Screen Ball. Any ball rebounding from
the front wall so close to the body of the defensive player that it
prevents the offensive player from having a clear view of the ball.
(The referee should be careful not to make the screen call so quickly
that it takes away a good offensive opportunity.) A ball that passes
between the legs of a player who has just returned the ball is not
automatically a screen. It depends on whether the other player is
impaired as a result. Generally, the call should work to the advantage
of the offensive player.
- Backswing Hinder. Any body or racquet
contact, on the backswing or on the way to or just prior to returning
the ball, which impairs the hitter's ability to take a reasonable
swing. This call can be made by the player attempting the return,
though the call must be made immediately and is subject to the
referee's approval. Note the interference may be considered a penalty
hinder. See Rule 3.15.
- Safety Holdup. Any player about to
execute a return, who believes that striking the opponent with the ball
or racquet is likely, may immediately stop play and request a replay
hinder. This call must be made immediately and is subject to acceptance
and approval of the referee. (The referee will grant a replay hinder if
it is believed the holdup was reasonable and the player would have been
able to return the shot. The referee may also call a penalty hinder if
- Other Interference. Any other
unintentional interference that prevents an opponent from having a fair
chance to see or return the ball. Example: When a ball from another
court enters the court during a rally or when a referee's call on an
adjacent court obviously distracts a player.
(b) Effect of Hinders. The referee's call
of hinder stops play and voids any situation that follows, such as the
ball hitting the player. The only hinders that may be called by a
player are described in rules (2), (5), and (6) above, and all of these
are subject to the approval of the referee. A replay hinder stops play
and the rally is replayed. The server resumes play at first serve.
(c) Responsibility. While making an
attempt to return the ball, a player is entitled to a fair chance to
see and return the ball. It is the responsibility of the side that has
just hit the ball to move so the receiving side may go straight to the
ball and have an unobstructed view of and swing at the ball. However,
the receiver is responsible for making a reasonable effort to move
towards the ball and must have a reasonable chance to return the ball
for any type of hinder to be called.