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Are You Allowed To Touch The Net With Your Racquet?

When it comes to intense sports matches, the rules are vital in separating the winner from the loser. Determining what is allowed and forbidden also develops over time as scenarios occur within games that professionals evaluate for future reference. So, is there a definitive rule regarding the racket touching the net, and are there exceptions to the rule?

A player who touches the net or post with anything they are holding or wearing will lose a point. If, at any time during a match, when players are trying to achieve a point, a player touches the net, they will lose a point even if the ball crossed over the net.

Players are not allowed to touch the net under any circumstances while the point is in play. Therefore, the jury is out on the rule regarding net touching. Although the rules are pretty straightforward and standard, there have been previous cases of expectations and even mistakes. Let’s delve into the circumstances of net touching and how to address a discrepancy when it arises.

Are There Exceptions To The Rule Of Touching The Net During A Point?

In short, if anything a player has or holds touches the net, they will lose a point. In professional tennis, if a player touches the net during a point, the other player will win that round; no questions asked. However, in amateur tennis, there will be more leeway depending on the seriousness of the event and the occasion of the match.

Often unfortunate accidents might be overlooked in an amateur game, but on a professional level, exceptions are almost non-existent, and very few cases exist where points have been awarded to players who touched the net during a game.

Even accidental touches where the incident was unavoidable still count as a discrepancy. However, there are cases where empires have missed the discrepancy, and points were awarded to players who touched the net.

For example, in a match between Milos Raonic and Del Petro, the former athlete slipped and touched the net with his foot while the game was still in play. This incident, by all accounts, should have resulted in a point lost for Raonic but was unfortunately missed by the empire and the line judges.

Due to the empire having control over the point system, mistakes can happen but are rare. The only time touching the net is acceptable is when the point has completely ended. A point is only considered complete when the ball lands outside the court following the first bounce or if the ball bounced twice.

Due to the net dividing the court, there are various rules regarding what is allowed and forbidden for players to score points. If touching the net is not allowed, does that also imply that reaching over the net will result in a point lost, and if a player can’t reach over the net can they hit around it? Let’s delve into the details of each rule.

Can A Player Reach Over A Net During The Game?

Now that we know that touching the net is entirely off-limits, are there any rules concerning reaching over the net? Is it allowed to literally jump over the net to score a point or use the racket to hit the ball on the other side of the net, and, if not, are there exceptions?

However, the general rules are not as clear-cut simple as they may seem. Firstly, as a general rule, reaching over the net with the racket to score a point is not allowed. It makes it too easy to score a point against the other player, which can be a severe safety hazard.

The racket can reach over the net if the ball has been returned from the player’s side of the court. As long as the racket, or player, does not touch the net, the racket can technically reach over after the ball has been returned. Hitting the ball before it reaches the other side of the court is forbidden.

On the other hand, a rare exception is stated in the international tennis federation (ITF). In previous tennis matches, balls have landed on the opposing side of the court and returned to the other side due to wind or skillful swings that result in spinning.

If the ball returns to the server’s side of the court due to rare circumstances (spinning & wind) and the opposing player can return the ball without touching the net, the player is allowed to reach over the net to score a point.

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Can A Player Jump Over A Net During The Game?

On rare occasions, it is allowed to reach over the net to score a point; however, jumping over the net is seen as a similar offense to touching the net. While a point is in play, touch and jumping over the net will result in a point lost.

Often players move at incredible speeds to return the ball, and jumping over the net is necessary to avoid injury. However, a point is usually still in play when a player is forced to jump over the net due to the game’s speed, resulting in a lost point.

Can A Player Hit The ball Around The Tennis Net?

Unlike touching or jumping over the net, hitting the ball around the net is allowed, although it is extremely difficult and rare. As long as the ball lands within the court without going out of bounds, it is a legal shot with the added benefit of not needing to go over the net’s height.


Touching the net in a professional game of tennis is not allowed at all during a point. In addition, jumping or reaching over the net in order to score is forbidden as long as the point is still in play. Due to the net dividing the court, exceptions are rare, and the only legal option is to hit around it to score. Only when points have already been awarded is net touching allowed.


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