I’d like to bring to your attention a provisionary rule change for Spec Tennis effective immediately.
*There is a 2-month trial period for this new rule, and if the feedback from players is still positive, it will become an official rule beginning August 25, 2021.*
After receiving feedback from players, I determined it was best for the overall health and growth of the sport to make this change.
Currently when playing Spec Tennis doubles, you’ll often see the server’s partner and receiver’s partner starting near the net (just like you see in regular tennis).
I’ll state the rule change below and then discuss the rationale behind it.
Rule Change–“The 4-Back Rule”:
“In doubles all four players must stand with both feet behind the baseline until the server strikes the ball.”
The server must still serve with one foot on the service mark, (which is 4 feet behind the corner of the court on the right side, and 4 feet behind the corner of the court on the left side)
This means that players can no longer be waiting near the net at the start of the point.
You can still ‘serve & volley’.
Advantages of the Rule Change:
•It provides a more enjoyable experience for new players, which fosters growth of the sport. Players don’t have to worry about hitting a serve return that immediately gets volleyed back at them hard or as an outright winner. Especially if there is a range of levels on the same court, it can be a frustrating experience if you’re the lowest level player on the court and you keep hitting shots that a net player can poach or end the point on.
•It prolongs the length of the rally. Longer rallies are typically more exciting and enjoyable. Players learn to develop the point and have to choose when is the right time to go to the net.
•It helps players to develop strong baseline skills and defensive skills. By being forced to start behind the baseline, players will hit a lot more groundstrokes. This also leads to becoming a very well-rounded player, meaning you are comfortable playing from all areas of the court, and playing different styles.
•It helps players develop their transition game. Players will learn the right times to come to the net, as simply rushing the net when the server strikes the ball might not be the most effective strategy. They will also learn how to be ready when they are transitioning to the net by performing a split step at the right time.
•Volleys and half-volleys are improved overall. Players become comfortable volleying from deeper in the court than they might be used to. If they rush the net right after the server strikes the ball, there is a good chance their first volley will occur further away from the net.
I encourage you to please try out the rule change, and give me your feedback if you’d like by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for all of your support of Spec Tennis up to this point, and remember ‘you’re just one rally away’.