Question: Court hinder or out of bounds?

Question: Court hinder or out of bounds?

TL/DR Ball goes my racket -> legal spot high on the back wall -> net hanging inside the court just in front of the gallery -> floor. Without the net ball had the momentum to make it to the front wall.

I play a court that that has an open gallery with a hanging net in front. The net is not straight up and down but attaches to the ceiling about 2.5 feet inside the court. In the past the net was attached to the bottom part of the gallery window, but for whatever reason this was changed so that much of the net is bunched up near the ceiling (leaving the gallery open), and some of it drapes down to the same height as the base of the gallery window, and maybe 10 inches in front of it.

Today it happened that I was playing about 2/3rd to 3/4th toward the front of the court when my opponent hit a good shot that should have been a pass, But I somehow managed to spin and hit a booming shot straight to the back wall just barely below the gallery level (It did not hit the front wall or floor first). After hitting the back wall, it still had some upward momentum, and brushed the net, which caused it to fall to the floor.

Now in almost every case I've seen on this court, a ball that goes from racket to back wall to the net never has a chance of getting to the front wall, so the question of whether it is a court hinder is moot. But in this case it seemed clear to me that it had exactly the right trajectory and more than enough speed to make it if the net were not there.

So I called a court hinder, but my opponent countered that it was an out of bounds without first hitting the back wall (Neither he nor I knew that under current rules it must also hit the floor to be a re-playable out of bounds).

As we were arguing about it another guy came in and supported my opponents claim, so I finally gave in, but I felt a little brow-beaten and cheated, since I hit an excellent shot that was never in danger of actually going out of bounds.

So the relevant rules seem to be 3.13 (c) Failure to Return

  1. The ball is hit such that it goes, without first touching the floor, into the gallery or wall opening or else hits a surface above the normal playing area of the court that has been declared as out-of-play

and 12.6:

(a) Court Hinders. There are NO court hinders except when the ball strikes a foreign object, including, but not limited to, microphones, speakers, etc. used for production.

The question to me seems to hang on whether the net is a surface above the normal playing area of the court that has been declared out of play. Calling a net a surface seems like a stretch to me, but whatever. If it isn't, then it must be a foreign object and therefore a court hinder.

What do you guys think?

Submitted April 22, 2017 at 05:24PM by hudnix
via reddit

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