Doubles Tennis Rules
Doubles tennis can be a lot of fun, but it can also result in a major catastrophe if the doubles tennis rules are not observed. Doubles tennis, as the name implies is tennis times two. At each end of the court you’ll find, not one, but two players. Two players on the same side of the net make a team (hopefully) and the two players on the other side are the opposing team. These two teams oppose each other’s efforts to land the ball into the other court. So, now if there are no questions, let’s proceed.
- The Service. In doubles, the server starts by standing behind the baseline and anywhere between the center line and the doubles sideline. His aim is to make the ball go over the net (without letting the ball touch it) and diagonally into the service box. Generally, a toss coin before the start of a game decides which team serves first.
- Receiving. The receiving player must be positioned diagonally across the court from the server. Serves rotate from one team to the opposing team, but instead of rotating two players as in the case of singles, four players are rotated each set.
- Who’s turn is it? The order of service can get players confused sometimes. If nobody remembers the order, who cares. Just serve the ball and have fun! All earned points during that game will be considered valid. If you’re about to serve and the mistake is discovered, your partner should take over right away. If the out of turn service is discovered after a game has ended, the new order must be maintained until the end of the match.
- Faults. Even if you’re mad at your partner, don’t hit him with your serve in doubles tennis. That is one point in favor of the opposing team. The same is true if you’re receiving and the ball goes over the net and then hits your partner—your opponents get the point.
- Mine, mine, mine! During a point, if you intend to take the ball, always let your partner know about your intention by saying “mine.” Say “yours” if you want him to take it. If you and your partner said “mine” at the same time and you both made contact with the ball, the opposing team gets the point. Note: If you’re mad at your partner for some reason, please be advised that hitting him with your tennis racket does in no way in itself constitute a fault, unless both of you made contact with the ball.