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Tennis Rules - Tips on How To Play Tennis

Tennis is a great game, but it is easy to get bogged down by all of the tennis rules and terminology.

To make things easier for you, here is a list of tennis rules, sweet and simple, so they are easy to learn, remember and understand.

Tennis Rules - Starting the Game

The game starts with a coin toss.
The winner of the coin toss decides whether they will serve or which side of the court they will play on.
The winner must choose either to serve or pick a side, they can't do both.

Tennis Rules - Serving

The server stands behind the baseline, in between the center mark and the sideline.
The ball has to go over the top of the net on a serve.
Your serve must reach the service box on the other side of the court.
If the serve drops outside of the service box, you get a second chance to serve.
You get two chances to serve. When you miss a serve, it is called a "fault."
You cannot serve the ball before your receiver is ready.

Tennis Rules - When You Lose the Point

If you fault on two serves in a row.
If you don't return an opponent's legal shot before it bounces twice.
When your ball goes outside the lines.
If you, your clothing or your racquet touch the net or ground on your opponent's side.
If you get hit by the ball.
If you hit the ball before it goes all the way over the net.
If you hit the ball more than once.
If the ball returns to the other side of the net on its own. (So a huge gust of wind
cannot act as a doubles partner.)

Tennis Rules - Receiving the Ball

You can stand wherever you want when receiving a serve, but the tennis ball cannot be allowed to bounce into the service box.
If the serve is good, you must hit the ball back to the server.
The serve receiver has to let the ball bounce one time before hitting it back.
If you hit the ball before it bounces, the server gets the point.

Tennis Rules - Playing the Game

Play keeps going until a player misses the ball, or until the ball goes out or hits the net.
In singles play, the players switch sides (left to right) after each point.
The players switch to the other end of the court after every odd-numbered game.

Tennis Rules - Doubles Play

The serving order and sides of the court are decided before each set.
Receiving sides or serving orders can be rearranged prior to starting a set.
No replays are necessary if the order gets mixed up. Just correct the error and continue playing the game.



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