tennis rules

Obscure Rules of Tennis: What Do You Know?

Anyone that follows or plays a sport knows that there are some quirky, obscure rules out there and tennis is no exception. We dug up some interesting rules for some fun tennis trivia. Take the quiz to see how well you know the tennis handbook!

  1. A perspiring player wipes his sweaty forehead with the tennis ball. Is this a violation?

    A. Yes, because that is unsanitary and gross.
    B. No, all players perspire and it is bound to happen occasionally!
    C. Yes, it materially changes the ball.

  2. Your opponent’s visor touches the net when she lunges for a ball. What is the ruling on this?

    A. You receive the point because no part of the body, equipment, nor apparel can touch the net.
    B. The ball is still in play.
    C. Only bodies can’t make contact with the net. The brim of a hat touching is legal.

  3. You enjoy a little smack talk when playing, so after you hit the ball you yell at your opponent. A little riffing doesn’t hurt anyone, right?

    A. Everyone loves a little trash talk in sports, no harm, no foul.
    B. It isn’t considered good tennis etiquette, but it doesn’t break a rule.
    C. If the disruption is deliberate the opponent wins the point.

  4. The ball is definitely hurtling out of bounds, so you catch it before it hits the court to keep things moving along. Legal?

    A. Yep, keep the game moving!
    B. No, the ball must bounce first.
    C. No, the ball can only be caught on the racket.

  5. Your opponent goes wide and hits the ball around the net. Is the ball still in play?

    A. What kind of craziness is this? Umm, no.
    B. Absolutely, now hit it back!
    C. Yes, but only if it was hit from the right side of the players’ court.

  6. Players must always serve overhand.

    A. No, serving underhand is allowed even if it doesn’t have much power.
    B. Yes, serving overhand is the official method.
    C. No, underhand is legal but only in singles.

  7. You see that you are not going to get to the ball in time, so you throw your racket at it hoping to make contact. Luck is on your side and the ball and racket connect sending the ball over the net. You are given the point. Good call?

    A. You deserve that point! Who doesn’t love a “Hail Mary” in sports?
    B. Heck yeah, because the odds of that happening is like getting struck by lightning!
    C. What kind of call is that? No, everyone knows that you can’t throw your racket…ever.

  8. Sunglasses are now part of tennis’ official attire and mandatory to wear because they protect the players’ eyes.

    A. Not mandatory, but they do protect eyes from harmful UV rays.
    B. Nada, but they will add a little swag to your tennis look.
    C. Both A and B are correct.

Now tally your score to see how you did:

Answer key:

  1. C
  2. A
  3. C
  4. B
  5. B
  6. A
  7. C
  8. C

Scoring notes:

0-3: oh no “love,” you need to brush up on the rules of tennis!
4-6: though you are not a “pro,” we will acknowledge that you have some tennis knowledge.
7-8: impressive, do you work for the USTA or just read the rule book in your free time?

Whether you scored poorly or well, you can now go show off your new knowledge on the court!