ITA Rule Changes That You Need to KNOW
Every year the ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association), has a meeting to clarify what changes are going to make college athletes better or worse for the next season. Most rules are straightforward and are being adopted from previous years when they were "tested" throughout a season.
Here are some rules/clarifications that may affect the student-athletes next year:
- Following a rise in sportsmanship-related incidents last season specifically tied to the behavior of bench players and support personnel, the ITA Rules Committee asks that a “point of emphasis” for the 2022-23 season be stricter enforcement of all sportsmanship-related ITA rules including unsportsmanlike conduct rules for on-court players, unsportsmanlike conduct rules for coaches and bench player harassment rules.
- In ALL divisions (and genders), there are no service lets. If the serve hits the net and goes into the proper service box, the ball is in play.
- In single-set matches, a player/doubles team will be penalized under the ITA Point Penalty System if overruled more than one time. In matches that consist of more than one set, the schedule of penalties for overrules remains unchanged
- Due to continuing supply chain issues, the protocol applied during COVID regarding the shortage of tennis balls and the use of alternate brands of tennis balls is being adopted as a change for this year. (ITA Website)
The most interesting rule change that might lead this conversation is the new service let rule for both male AND female players. Some have heard stories about players calling a "let" during a big point in order to stop an ace from happening. Maybe this is to prevent cheating on the women's side of the game or maybe we are trying to speed up the game for the audiences? Who knows...