Let and Stroke - Understanding Interference
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Understanding interference

The striker must make every effort to give the opponent a clear path to the ball. The opponent must also make every effort to get to the ball. The following must be practiced to avoid interference:

  • A striker must make every effort to provide his opponent with unobstructed and direct access to the ball
  • The striker must give a fair view of the ball to his opponent both before and after the ball is hit
  • Last, the opponent must give the striker freedom to hit the ball directly to all of the front wall

If interference is called, the play is a let, or a stroke. A stroke is a point awarded to the obstructed player. A 'No let' is given in the following situations:

  • The opponent would not have made a good return
  • The opponent did not make sufficient effort to get to and play the ball
  • If the opponent created his own interference
  • If the opponent ignored the interference and played on

A let is always given if one player stops from hitting the ball due to a reasonable fear of striking their opponent with either the ball or the racquet. The let is allowed even if no interference actually occurred.

The referee will award a stroke to a striker if the opponent does not make every effort to get out of the way and the striker would have made a good return. A stroke is also awarded if the player would have made a winning return, even if the opponent makes every effort to avoid interfering. Last, the referee may also award a stroke to a striker if their opponent makes unnecessary physical contact or has an excessive racquet swing.

In addition to previous mentions of lets, rallies are replayed when:

  • The striker does not hit the ball in a manner to ensure the safety of his opponent
  • A player is distracted by an occurrence on or off the court
  • The receiver is not ready for the serve and doesn.t attempt to return it
  • The ball breaks during play
  • Court conditions affect play

A player may appeal a decision that affects the rally by asking " Let, please ". The referee stops play and decides on the appeal. Penalties that the referee may levy include a warning, and a stroke, game, or match awarded to the opponent.

For sake of good sportsmanship, players should not fish for lets. Fishing is when the player tries to bend the rules to win the point. In other words they play the players not the ball. So instead of making every effort to play the ball, they will stop play and hope the referee will give them stroke.

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