Avoidable Hinder examples

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Jordan Kahn

Jul 25, 2003, 1:06:11 PM7/25/03
Here is a simple Avoidable Hinder example. Not a video, but just 3 pictures
along with explanations and the official rule.


The three common avoidable positions:

1. Center Court. Opponent did not yield center court when hitter is I center

2. Down the Line. Opponent did not yield the same side from which the hitter is
returning the ball.

3. Cross Court Pass. Opponent gives a straight in and down the line path, but
not a cross-court pass.

The most common avoidable hinder is when the opponent tries to establish center
court when the hitter is not given enough room to hit a cross court return.

Other common mistakes occur when the previous hitter doesn't watch where and
when the opponent hits the ball, and wrongly assumes they could take a position
that is actually blocking the path of the return.

This happens when the previous player fails to watch the ball, up until the
opponent hits the ball.

The ball can easily bounce several feet in any direction within a blink of the
eye. This is why assuming where the ball is, without looking, is almost
impossible on many shots, especially when the ball rebounds off a side wall.

An opponent who did not watch the ball can never argue they weren't in the
hitter's way, since they could not see where their opponent was.

Watching the ball is important for player's safety. Always wear eyeguards.

PS. Videos would be nice, but there are so many variables that this needs to be
instructed on an actual court.


Jul 25, 2003, 1:31:19 PM7/25/03

> PS. Videos would be nice, but there are so many variables that this needs
to be
> instructed on an actual court.

I think the first two are simple enough to understand. The third is more
difficult to call due to the fact there are more variables - especially
significant is the angle of the shot. Anyway I think the examples are good
but am curious about three things. Don't you think you need a breakdown of
the sequence of events chronologically to really make it clear to someone
how it is supposed to work? For example, if you are the receiver the ref is
not supposed to stop play until you either hit the player or hold up for
safety. At that point the referee should award the AH. If you are the
ref you stop play only when someone is going to get hit with a racquet, etc.
This is where most of the confusion is I believe.

Did you get permission to use the copyrighted rules? If so what was the
procedure for that?

Offensive opportunity? I don't see anything about that in the rulebook.

Jordan Kahn

Jul 25, 2003, 4:56:29 PM7/25/03

An avoidable hinder should be called for two reasons.

1) Safety. An opponent will likely get hit by the racquet or ball.

2) The non-hitting team fails to move out of the way, for the hitter to get to
a ball or for the path of the return shot.

A server who positions in the center court after the serve comes off the back
wall in center court would be a good example of a immediate avoidable hinder
called by the referee, since the non-hitting team failed to move and blocked
the path of the return shot.

This is the same during a rally when a player who takes up a position and
doesn't try to move out of the way during an offensive set up by the hitter.

PDS said >" For example, if you are the receiver the ref is not supposed to

stop play until you either hit the player or hold up for safety."

WRONG! The referee is empowered and should stop play as soon as possible!

The referee should immediately stop play whenever they see the non-hitting team
positioning in a area that will prevent the ball from having a straight path or
a cross-court path.

This usually occurs for players who do not look, or look just a little at the
ball they just hit.

A referee should never wait until a player gets hit or a players holds up their
swing. The referee makes the call before someone gets hit.

The referee should always side on safety and make a call instead of waiting for
a player to get hit, especially on faster rallies when players are off balance
and for lower skill players.

It is impossible to try to stop a swing after the swing begins, so the referee
should always make a judgment call.

The referee has a better view of the play from above or outside the court.

PDS asked>"Don't you think you need a breakdown of the sequence of events

chronologically to really make it clear to someone how it is supposed to work?"

ANSWER: NO, the avoidable can occur at anytime and there are too many variables
to possibly list.

PDS asked>"Offensive opportunity? I don't see anything about that in the

ANSWER: There is no such wording, but that is exactly the spirit of the rule.
This rule is based on many different variables for different situations and
different skill level players.

If you ask any experienced player you will likely hear them use the term
offensive to help explain the avoidable rule.

PDS asked>"Did you get permission to use the copyrighted rules? If so what was
the procedure for that?"

ANSWER: No I did not get the permission to snip a USRA rule from their website.
I do not know the procedures.

Although it is widely excepted to use explanations not printed word-for-word in
the rulebook; there will always be people who ask to see the Official Rules.
Which also explains why I added the snip from the copyrighted rules.

It has been a common practice to copy and paste directly from the rulebook on
this newsgroup, to help explain the rules to others, without any comments from
the USRA.

I am sure the USRA could request anyone or a group to stop this practice, but
taking the time to police this plus the poor image it would create for the USRA
may be the reason they don't.


PS. No, I did not receive permission from the USRA for the snip of the
avoidable rule, which I will be more than happy to reword if they take offense
and ask me to remove. BTW, while the USRA owns the copyright "wording" for the
rules, the government forbids certain types of things to be copyrighted. Rules
and procedures are things that can't be "owned", only the actual wording. So
anyone can reword the USRA rules and make their own copyright. This may be
confusing, especially for persons like you who ask about certain "words" like
offensive and setup. While the spirit of the rules can be defined with
different wording, some people feel more comfortable with the literal reading,
which is why I included a copy of the original for readers like you.


Subject: Re: Avoidable Hinder examples
From: "pds" p...@microsoft.com
Date: 7/25/03 12:31 PM Central Daylight Time
Message-id: <HPdUa.11787$Vp.6...@twister.socal.rr.com>


Jul 26, 2003, 11:06:19 PM7/26/03
jorda...@aol.com (Jordan Kahn) wrote in message news:<20030725165629...@mb-m21.aol.com>...

OK - I see that it will be a long time before anyone is willing to
develop a hinder video. To me, I would think of it as a training
opportunity. I would as that a survey be done in the membership to
see if one would be useful.

But back to the topic at hand... the examples of hinder a very obvious
Where the line of ball travel is blocked by the opponent and more
times than not the player will be hit by the ball.

But a sequnece of events would definately help point out at what point
the hinder takes place. How long does the hindering event need to
"last"? At what point does the hinder occur?

There are also path to ball hinders and line of site hinders.
If I cannot get to the ball, is that a hinder? If I could have got to
the ball, but hold up either because i was not aggressive enough and
with the opponent being in the path of my travel to the ball at some
point in time is it still a hinder or do I need to make an obvious
attempt and induce the path travel.

Line of sight. Once my opponent hits the ball how much visibility
should I have of the returning ball? 100%, 10% or somewhere in

As you can see there are some major hinder questions and without a
diagramed and detailed explanation of some of the major examples and
better yet an video or animation should an example the only way we can
learn them is from a person judging our play or for me to record it
and send the examples to someone to see if it was a valid hinder

It seems like such a simple thing to create. Even if you just record
all of the examples in tournaments and sell it for a reasonable price
it would at least be a start.

Come on let us non-professional in on a chance... you want us to learn
how to play correctly and improve our game, then teach us what we are
doing wrong and hinders are a part of that learning process

Thanks for your time


Jul 28, 2003, 1:14:33 PM7/28/03
What if he is looking back and planning on jumping up over the likely shot?
You are saying that is avoidable and play should be stopped, right? C'mon,
it happens too fast and too often to put the full burden on the player in
front and the ref. Ultimately the decisions in that situation are dictated
by the hitter no matter how you interpret or ignore the rulebook.

> This usually occurs for players who do not look, or look just a little at
> ball they just hit.

Actually I think it occurs pretty regularly at all levels including the
pros. If you stopped play and awarded the AH in the pros every time it
occurred it would be drastically different from how it works now.

"Jordan Kahn" <jorda...@aol.com> wrote in message

Jordan Kahn

Jul 28, 2003, 1:38:25 PM7/28/03
There are a few rulebooks. International, Canadian, Pro and USRA.

There are over 5 million players in the states, but about 100 pros.

Assuming we are talking about non-professional players.

You position in front of the hitter, intentionally or not and it can be an
avoidable. Will be if the hitter has a setup.

If the non-hitter plans on jumping they also risk being called on the

You are correct about the high speeds, that is why the referee or hitter should
stop play as soon as possible.

You may be thinking ONLY about a return set-up off the back wall, that is hit 2
inches above the floor and the opponent jumps perfectly and makes a return.

But most shots hit are not set-ups that are hit a few inches off the floor!

This is why it's so important to prevent possible injuries.

By the way, a pass shot is not hit as low as a kill shot. And the expression is
pass for dough, kill for show.

Percentage wise, only the top players can jump high enough over a pass shot and
still come down quick enough to have a chance for a return.

While jumping does occur, the actual return rate is not as high when a player

A player may take a personal risk by jumping, but the job of the referee is to
prevent risking players injuries.

The jumper can control their jump, but they have no control on the hitter's

The referee has no control on the hitter's accuracy or a players timing who
jumps. But the referee has a responsibility to insure safe play.



Subject: Re: Avoidable Hinder examples
From: "pds" p...@microsoft.com

Date: 7/28/03 12:14 PM Central Daylight Time
Message-id: <ZRcVa.16610$Vp.8...@twister.socal.rr.com>


Jul 28, 2003, 6:45:48 PM7/28/03
I got ya now. You are saying that one rulebook has to apply to two or more
different situations where the context is way different even though the
positions of the players is similar. Good point. What may be safe for the
pros may not be in C doubles and as the ref I need to evaluate and apply the
rules a little bit differently in terms of when to stop play.

"Jordan Kahn" <jorda...@aol.com> wrote in message


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