Rules in Playing Tennis For Doubles


A man hitting a ball with a racket on a court

The biggest difference between singles & doubles games is usually the serve. In singles, the server is allowed to go where and whenever it wants to. However, in doubles, there is a time where the service is stopped from going where it wants to. The player who has the service can only serve where it is allowed to go and stop it at the same time. It means that the server is only allowed to serve where he/she is allowed to serve.

So what are these tennis doubles rules? Many different rules will be applied depending on which version of tennis you are playing. If you are playing a version of tennis with only two players, then there are no rules. However, if you are playing a doubles game, you must follow all the necessary rules and specifications for the game. These include: telling your partner when you are out, the receiving team being two people, and also the tennis ball.

Rule #1. Serving

A person hitting a ball with a racket on a court

As for the service, this is one of the most important factors in tennis doubles rules. The serve is the only way through which two people can play against each other. The person serving first should initiate the action and then the receiving team must have someone cover for that player who is serving. It means that the server should start the action first, followed by the receiving team. If there is a fault in either of those steps, the whole process will be stopped and the tennis match will be replayed without any delays.

Rule #2. Forcing

A person hitting a ball with a racket

Forcing is a term that is used in doubles. This means that when there are two people in a doubles game and one player wants to serve first, then that player has to face an automatic out fault. It means that the server has to wait for the time before he/she can do anything, or the receiving team has to stop playing because the server will then serve again. Forcing in tennis doubles rules is a serious offense and it can lead to a penalty.

Rule #3. Time control

Time controls are another consideration when playing in doubles. This is applicable if there are three or four players in a doubles game and the two players have to be served simultaneously. Each team has two-time controls per half hour of play, or thirty minutes if the game is played on an international court. The time controls are also applied to the service drill. The clock is the only time reference in such a situation, not the other way around like in singles.

Rule #4. Blocking service

Another important point regarding the service in tennis doubles rules is the blocking service. Three players can block at any given point. The player who blocks first receives first, and the player who cannot block is the recipient. Blocking services in tennis requires the accurate execution of a fault shot, where the fault lies on either of the partners who could have made the shot but did not do so.

In terms of faults in tennis, there are rules about double mistakes and they are as follows. A serving personnel fault results in a fault for the whole team – even though the serving personnel may also have been faulted earlier. Similarly, a hit behind the net by a server that is deemed to be legal in singles is deemed illegal in doubles. Serving three consecutive volleys which would have won the first set in singles is illegal in doubles. Similarly, hitting the net after the point is missed in singles is a fault, while hitting the wall in doubles is a no-no.

The above are the rules in table tennis doubles play. There are more specific rules in table tennis that have to be kept in mind. If you are new to table tennis, you can take the help of some professional players and/or a good coach to learn the game. You can also make use of software that runs straight from home and provide you with all the relevant information. Using software makes it easy for you to learn the rules without any hassle.

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