Video:Basic Rules of Tenniswith Jeff Cooper
The basic rules of tennis are pretty simple. Watch this video from About.com to learn what the rules are and how they work.See Transcript
Transcript:Basic Rules of Tennis
Hi, I'm Jeff Cooper for About.com, here to show you some of the basic rules of tennis.
Lines in Tennis
Here are the names of the lines. This is the singles sideline, the doubles sideline, the service line, the center line, and this is the baseline.
Rules of Tennis: Essentials
Every point in tennis starts with a serve. You can serve overhead or underhand, but you have to hit the ball in the air, and you have to get it into the service box diagonally opposite you. You serve the first point from the right side of the center mark, the second point from left of the center mark, and so on until the end of the game.
More Important Rules of Tennis
If your foot steps on the line or over the line before you've made contact with the ball, that makes it a bad serve called a foot fault. On a serve, if the ball hits the top of the net on its way into the service box, that's called a let, and that's a re-do. If the ball hits the net on anything but a serve, then it's still a good shot, as long as it lands in.
Bounces in Tennis
The receiver has to let the ball bounce once, then hit the ball back anywhere in the court, singles court for singles, doubles court for doubles, and then the players hit the ball back and forth until somebody misses. Once someone wins a game, the players switch ends, and then they continue to switch ends after every odd game.
If any part of the ball touches any part of a line that's the boundary of an in-bounds area, that ball is in.
Other Tennis Rules
Here are some other rules people often ask about. In doubles, the intended receiver has to hit the return; the partner can't do it for him. If you touch the net during a point, with anything, even your shirt, your racquet, you lose the point. If a ball comes over to your side and has so much backspin it bounces over to your opponent's side, you can reach over the net to hit it, but other than that, you can never make contact with the ball on your opponent's side of the net. And one more rule is you can't hit the ball with two different motions. If the ball happens to glance off your racquet and hit it twice, that's okay, but you can't go like that.
For how to keep score, more rules, and everything else in tennis, visit About.com.