Rules of Tennis
Physical Education – Turner CCHS
Serving the ball
Each player takes turns serving the ball with the players switching service after each game. (We'll
discuss games in a minute.) The server must stand behind the baseline, or the farthest line back
on his or her side of the court that marks legal play, and in between the center mark of the court
and the sideline.
When ready to serve, the ball is tossed into the air and aimed diagonally across the court to the
other player. As long as a served ball does not hit the server's side of the court or the net and it
bounces once within legal boundaries of the service box on the receiver's side, the ball is now
legally in play and a rally begins.
Continuous play
A rally simply means the ball is traveling back and forth between opponents in legal play. Legal
play means the ball is not falling out-of-bounds, is not bouncing more than once before being
returned, and is not hitting the net.
Be wary of time limits after points however. No more than 25 seconds may pass between a point
made and the next serve. There are also 90 second changeover breaks (when players switch sides
after a game) and 120 second breaks in between sets.
Faults
A fault in tennis is much like a penalty in other sports, only this penalty costs the player at fault the
point. A foot fault occurs when the server walks or runs while serving or if the server's foot touches
the baseline before the serve has been completed. If two faults occur in a row it is then called a
double fault and the receiver wins the point.
Scoring points
A competitor must accumulate at least four points to win the game.
The servers score is always announced first the entire game with tennis terminology voiced in a
manner unique to tennis.
Points Earned 0 = 0 Games Points or 'Love'
Points Earned 1 = 15 Game Points
Points Earned 2 = 30 Game Points
Points Earned 3 = 40 Game Points
Points Earned 4 = Game Over (2 Point Advantage Required)
The winner of a tennis game must win with a two point advantage. In other words, if the score is
40-0 and the server wins the next point, the server wins the game.
There are several ways to win a point. During a rally if the ball bounces inbounds and is not
returned, the point goes to the last person to hit the ball. Points are also earned if your opponent
double faults, hits the ball twice in a row without the ball traveling back to your side of the net,
steps out-of-bounds, hits the ball into the net, or touches the ball with anything other than the
racquet.
Game, set, match
The shortest period of play in tennis is the game. The game continues until one player has scored at
least four points and is at least two points ahead of their opponent. The set consists of several
games. While rules vary within some competitions, a set usually consists of six games. A match
consists of several sets. The winner of a specified number of sets (this usually varies between men's
and women's tournaments, usually 3, 5 or 7 sets) wins the final match.
Deuce is the terminology expressed when the score in the game is 40-40. Remember, in order to
win the game, a tennis competitor must gain a two point advantage over his or her opponent.
To win the game when the score is deuce, a competitor must score two consecutive points (one
immediately after the other) --- otherwise the score reverts back to deuce.
The first competitor to score after the score is deuce is ahead by one point and now has what is
termed in tennis as having the Advantage or 'Ad' for short. Remember the server’s score is
announced first.
If the server was the first player to score after the game score is deuce, then the score is announced
"Advantage In or Ad In by the server prior to serving the next point.
If the receiver was the first player to score after the game score is deuce, then the score is
announced "Advantage Out or Ad Out" by the server prior to serving the next point.
The tennis term 'game point' is announced when a competitor (server or receiver) is ahead by one
to three points and only needs one point to win the game.