A shot hit by our opponents looked like it might go out. My partner called “Out” to me. I hit it back anyway, and our unhindered opponents returned my shot. My partner then caught the ball and said it was their point. Was he overreacting? Our opponents even seemed confused as to why he caught the ball. He explained that his call of “Out” was a hindrance. Shouldn’t the victims of a hindrance make that call?

— F. Patterson, Norfolk, VA

While in general a hindrance call is made by the affected player or team, your partner did nothing wrong. Any player can concede a point at any time. In this case, from a technical standpoint, you lost the point
because your partner touched a ball in play (Rule 24.i). However, even if the point had been played to conclusion, you could have conceded it for the reason your partner explained. Always remember the principles embodied in The Code, Item 1: “Tennis is a game that requires cooperation and courtesy.”


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

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