My partner hit a ball from the doubles alley that hit the net post, then passed between the net and the net post before landing in our opponent’s court. None of us had ever seen this happen. Our opponents said it should be their point, as the ball did not go over the net. But I argued, as I’ve seen shots hit from out wide that did not go over the net but were still called good. Is the net post considered out—and therefore, should we have conceded the point?

— Brian Rosier, Woodbridge, CT

Your partner’s shot simply went “through” the net, in that it passed below the net strap but inside the net post, which is not “a good return.” Had the ball not gone through the opening, but had just struck the net post and landed in play, it would have been a good return (both Rule 25.a). You can legally return a shot around the net post, and below the height of the net (Rule 25.c). Keep in mind that the “through” is called by the opponents (The Code, Item 20).

Except where noted, answers are based on the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA's The Code.

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