STAYING WITH THE FORMAT AND HOW TO PLAY A TIEBREAK
Matches are 2 regular scored sets and if you split sets (you win one and lose one), then proceed to a 10-point tiebreak. A 10-point tie break is played in lieu of a third set. If you are tied 6-6 in the second set, play a 7-point tiebreak to decide the second set.
In a tiebreak, the next person to serve, starts the tiebreak, and serves one point to the deuce side. The following two points served by the opponent are served by starting on the ad side. Players or teams switch ends every six points. The first player or team to 7, win by 2, in first or second sets, wins the set, or to 10 points for the 3rd set, win by two, wins the tiebreak. Understand the different types of tiebreaks, and how to play them (pro-set vs Koman). In Idaho, we do not play Koman tiebreaks. A tiebreak is considered “a game” so next team serves the start of the next set.
INTENTIONALLY STALLING IS NO FUN TO BARE
Essentially, a player is allowed to slow down, even stall or delay a game though it's disrespecting the game. A player can take a bathroom break anytime (encouraged between sets). Generally, players must keep the match moving at server's pace.
Maximum time between points is 20 seconds, time at changeover breaks is 90 seconds, with no break after the first game of each set and no break during a tie-break. There is a 2 minute rest allowed between the 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd sets. That’s it. Be flexible unless your opponent blatantly disregards and disrespects these time allowances.
Make sure the receiver is ready before a serve, especially on the first serve of the game. Wait for the opponent to show you they’re ready. Rule says play at servers pace, however, always return balls to the opponent at net, then announce the score when everyone is in ready position, and proceed with the serve.
DIDN'T SEE THE BALL? HAVE DOUBT THAT IT WAS OUT?
As the saying goes: IF IN DOUBT, CALL IT IN. It's your call, and your call alone, to call a ball in or out of bounds. Your opponent does not make that decision. If you allow your partner to make a call for you, then you may be in conflict with your partner.
Watch your lines! Anything touching the line is IN. You’ll be surprised that many balls are IN, not out. You’ll also be surprised to know that many serves that are called IN are actually OUT. It’s better to have the person closest to the ball make the call. Do not dispute your partner’s line call, unless it's obvious. More than likely, your partner is closer and can see the line better. Don’t dispute a line call with an opponent. It’s their call, not yours to make.
Often, because of proximity and speed of the serve, it's the partner, not the receiver, who makes the out call. Talk about this with your partner ahead of time.
WHO GETS TO CALL A DOUBLE BOUNCE, WHAT ABOUT A LET BALL, OR BALL INTERFERENCE OR A HINDERANCE?
Any player on the court can call a let ball when a serve skims the net and it's IN. Anyone. Say "Take two," or "Let," or "1st serve."
Ball interference calls -- When the ball interferes with your play (rolling on to your court), you or anyone in the match can call “ball” and you get first serve. When server’s ball rolls to another court, the server is not entitled to retake a serve.
Double bounce – Only the person receiving the ball can call a double bounce in error. Same goes for a ball hitting your body. Only the person who is hit (shoe, ankle), can call "my error -- your point."
Hit the ball on your side of the net. You can reach over the net and past the plain of the net to follow through only; however, you lose the point if you hit the ball on your side of the net. Also, you lose the point if you or your partner touches the net during a point. Always.
SERVING? IT'S YOUR JOB TO CALL OUT THE SCORE AS YOU STEP UP TO THE LINE TO SERVE
At service, the receiver cannot make intentional sudden moves that distract before the server strikes the ball. This could be a re-do. Only after the server hits the ball, can the receiver make a move like a spit-step. The receiver can split-step and prepare to hit, however, cannot move with exaggeration up /down/side to side to cause an intentional distraction while the server is preparing to serve. This goes for the receiver’s partner too.
Foot faults? Watch yours and your opponent's foot faults. Foot must not touch the white line before you hit the ball. Foot faults are everywhere. After the point, say something as simple as: “Hey, watch your foot on the baseline. You can’t touch the white line before you hit the ball.” If they continue foot faulting, they could technically lose a point.
GOOD DOUBLES TEAMS TALK A LOT SAYING THINGS LIKE: "Switch, You, Watch, Mine."
Talk to your partner as much as possible about strategy and support. Lack of communication creates misunderstanding. Keep it positive. Believe it or not, no one wants to hit a ball into the net. Instead, say “I love that you came in to cover that shot.” or “Come in when you can,” and "Yours," or "mine." If you have a coach, he/she is your coach. Technique advice from your partner is sometimes unwelcome. A light-hearted tip is OK. Ask what she prefers. She may say it’s OK when it may not be. Try something like this: “Try this - try that next time.” Always count on and talk to your partner especially before the point begins. Celebrate the previous point, move on, and keep it positive.
Hinderance. Because talking while playing is a distraction, no talking when the ball is on *opponent’s* side of the net. The hitting team can claim “hinderance”. It's OK to say to your opponent, "I'm so sorry. Your calls or talking to your partner is distracting me when you to talk and the ball is on my side of the net (and vice versa). Next time, I will call a "hinderance." The team making the hinderance loses the point.