In a high school state championships dual match, two opposing singles players requested a line judge. Since there was no tournament official—just the two teams and two coaches—we placed a player from each school at opposite net posts to assist with calls. If the two line judges cannot agree on a call, should the players go with the original call or play a let? When it happened, the opposing coach and I couldn’t agree.
—Paul Smith, Mason, TX
One of the problems in making up officiating procedures on the spot is failing to establish the ground rules in advance. Should only the opinion of the line judge closest to the ball count? If not, and the two line judges disagree, what’s the solution? My opinion would be that since the line judges cannot agree, the original call stands. To do otherwise, when both line judges obviously have vested interests, invites chaos.
Except where noted, answers are based on the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA's The Code.
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